The Raiders From The North

Well, actually they’re the “Brewers,” but you get it. And considering the actions of yesterday, they have certainly hoisted the colors and are coming for what the team 80 miles south has. This metaphor gets even more muddled when there’s an actual “Pirates” in the division, but they’ve turn tail and ran so they’re not the best example of pirates, are they? Wait, no, Pirates totally loved to run. Hmm, got away from me a bit here. Anyway, let’s get to it, shall we?

You’ve heard by now that the Brewers acquired Christian Yelich for four prospects, including Lewis Brinson. And then GM David Stearns, feeding off a high rarely seen outside of a casino floor, signed Lorenzo Cain to a five-year deal in true “in for a penny in for a pound” fashion. Yelich was just about the most attractive position player available in a trade, and maybe Brewers fans should be upset they didn’t get to fleece the Marlins (in reality, Marlins fans) the way the Yankees did for Stanton. But hey, differences and all that. Cain was just about the most attractive position player free agent as well, so Stearns must’ve been running around the streets of Milwaukee last night cackling maniacally and waving his arms over his head, if not pouring beer directly onto his chest. Which wouldn’t make him too different from anyone else on the Milwaukee streets, really.

So what does this mean exactly for the Brewers? And their threat to the Cubs? In some ways it’s a huge upgrade, and in some ways it’s not the upgrade you might think.

Let’s work under the premise that Yelich is going to be in center and Cain in right, because Yelich has never played right. It could be the other way around and I have no doubts Yelich could make a fist of it in right, but Cain has the superior arm. Yelich is a huge upgrade over what the Brewers were rocking in center last year. For the most part, the now clearly on the market Keon Broxton took most of the starts there, and while he provided some pop with 20 homers his .299 OBP is not going to have Brewers fans waving their handkerchiefs in protest (don’t focus on what consistency and staining a Brewers fan handkerchief might have). Yelich is a massive offensive upgrade there in pretty much every way. Yelich is not a great defensive center fielder but he’s more than passable and will be an upgrade there as well. If you want to get WAR-y, and really who doesn’t, the Brewers got just about 1.5 WAR from center last year and just added a player who’s put up back-to-back 4.5 WAR seasons. This is our concern, dude.

It’s in right field that the Brewers will actually run about the same. There’s just no way that, at least at the plate, Cain is going to match what Domingo Santana put up. Santana slugged over .500 and had an OBP of .371, numbers that Cain has never come close to matching in his career. You might be tempted to look at Santana’s .363 BABIP and think he rode the wings of fortune a bit much, but given how hard he consistently hits the ball he looks to be the type who’s going to carry a high BABIP. Cain doesn’t have quite the power, and his OBP skills are a little more dependent on his batting average than Santana’s walk-heavy approach. It’s a huge upgrade defensively, obviously, as Cain was a plus center fielder now moving to right. That doesn’t always translate in the way you think but it’s likely to with Cain.

What’s frightening is the depth it gives the Brewers. If they do nothing, they can turn Santana into a platoon player, having him in left against lefties with Needles McGee (Braun) moving to first to swap out Eric Thames. Or Santana is insurance for the bi-monthly injury to Braun. Or the combination of Broxton and Santana having nowhere to play regularly gives them ammo to go get another starter, and they’re rumored to be after Danny Salazar already.

The Brewers were not a great offensive team last year. They had strikeout problems, much like the Cubs, and just added two everyday players who don’t strike out much. Yelich walks a lot. They both get on base a lot. Any improvement from Arcia at short and suddenly this is a meat-grinder of a lineup, which would only get worse if they do something weird like try and teach Santana to play second base or something.

Which makes it more likely that Stearns is going to try and turn Santana into pitching, because they’re short there. With Nelson pretty much out for a large swath of the year, this rotation is only two deep with Chase Anderson and Zach Davies. Anderson is also 30 and coming off a career-season that had some heavy BABIP and LOB% seasoning, and even then it was only 141 innings. Expecting him to get back to that might be a fool’s errand. Gallardo, Guerra, and Chacin is a back-end that screams “Kick me!” unless pitching coach Derek Johnson can work some more miracles. The pen looks as intimidating as it was last year, but it’s still a pen and can turn to ash in one’s mouth for really no reason at all other than “BASEBALL” and “BULLPEN.” And it’s currently slated to have to throw way too many innings.

All that said, this still makes the Brewers the main competitors ahead of the Cardinals, even if they weren’t already. The lineup is far younger, deeper, and has less holes than the Cards (Tommy Pham can keep wheel posing to tell the world how great he is, I’m not buying it). The Cards rotation looks better, but is still depending on Carlos Martinez to not go to the zoo when things don’t go his way, Wainwright to not be the corpse he was turning into last year, and Michael Wacha to be anything other than “there.” It’s not a big enough advantage to overcome the disadvantages in lineup and pen.

Is it enough to catch the Cubs? Hardly convinced. With Nelson, I’d be way more worried, and might get so again if they make a trade for a starter. But even that would require nor regression from Anderson and more innings than he’s ever thrown. Sure, a lot of things could go wrong with the Cubs too and then we’d have a real race. The Brewers won 86 games last year and if you squint you can see them getting to 90. But the Cubs are also a starter away from getting back to 95 or more with any kind of improvement from Schwarber, Russell, Baez, Happ, Heyward, take your pick.

But hey, it’ll be fun for the Cubs-Brewers thing to be more than just a one year rivalry, as that’s really all it’s been in the past. These two look like they’ll be dancing for a while longer yet here in flyover country.

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  • Cain will be in center and yelich one of the corners with braun or santana the other.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agreed. They need to get better up the middle defense and with Eric Sogard set for 2B they're not getting it there. The issue of course for them is that Yelich's arm may not play in RF which is why I think they're going to try like the devil to move BRaun and keep Santana but with their pitching needs that's probably not possible.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Braun has 5/10 rights. Most teams would prefer Santana,

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Oh I agree completely, I just said that would be what they would try to do. They'll end up having to move Santana to get pitching.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Their big moves shot them all the way to 75 or 77 wins per Steamer, 2 less than or on par with the Pirates. Yelich was a good trade, but 5 years/$80m for a 32 year-old CF when you need 2 good SP?

  • In reply to bolla:

    I can see Braun moving to 1b against lefties. Thames had poor numbers against LHP last year, and honestly dropped off immnesely after early June.

  • I agree. I think you have to squint REALLY hard to see the Brewers get to 90 wins. And the Cubs would have to have everything go like it did last year (relatively poorly) to be in the 90-ish win range.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Right now I look at them at a win or two apart. Without getting a starter and going with Chatwood-Monty at the back end I'll pick the Cubs for 90 wins and the Brewers for 88-90 with the Cards at 86-87 but that's too darn tight for my taste. If they add a pitcher through trade, Danny Duffy, Drew Pomeranz and Danny Salazar are names that are flying around, and our guys don't the Brewers will be my pick in the Central. of course St. Louis could still make moves too. Hosmer and Holland would put them right with the other two teams.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I don't agree with you with regard to Milwaukee or St Louis. Milwaukee over-performed, almost to a man, in 2017. I don't see them repeating in '18. Yellich and Cain get them closer, but I still see them as a low 80s-win team with these additions. Fangraphs projects the Cubs for 92 wins rights now, and the Brewers for 78. Adding someone like Darvish to the Cubs bumps them to a 95-96 win projection.
    I sincerely hope the Cardinals add Hosmer and Holland. Holland is a living, breathing red flag, and Hosmer has been an actual negative value player until last year, when he still led the universe in groundball rate (hyperbole, but not really).

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    You know the funny thing here is when people thought the sky was falling last year I was the optimist. I never once thought they'd go back to the WS, but I knew they'd win the division and I figured they'd win a playoff series. This year I'm looking at the team as objectively as I can based on last year's performances, Zobrist and Lester being a year older and likely worse than last year, and not knowing who Almora, Happ or frankly Russell really are as players. You also have to figure that someone is going to have a terrible season because that's what baseball does. I'm not finding a lot of optimism this year to think that is anything but a solid baseball team, which is fine but disappointing in a year where I think the NL is up for grabs. Just my opinion.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Eh, fair opinion. I won't argue with your reasoning. I am inclined to believe Zobrist played through a wrist injury, and that was the reason his production fell off a cliff, more than that he just went from good to terrible over the course of one season. I don't think Lester went from Cy Young caliber to mediocre in 1 season either.
    I expect Almora to figure it out and get better and better. I expect Russell to have a much better year (dealt with injury and family issues in '17) but i'll concede we don't know what he really is, and I'm not a big Happ fan. I think Happ comes back to earth.
    But I expect Bryant to explode (he had a better year rates-wise in 2017 than 2016, despite having his HR power sapped after a wrist injury). I expect Schwarber to be a 130+ wRC+ guy. I'm very big on Quintana and even more so on Hendricks. I like Chatwood in front of this defense as well.
    If the Cubs players have normal years, I think they sniff 95 wins. If a few of them (schwarber, Russell, Almora, Baez, Bryant to an extent) break out and hit their potential, they'll be a juggernaut.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I'm with you on Schwarber and Q for sure. Two of my favorite players, and hey I still this is a playoff team I just think the race got tighter and it's long way to October.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'm not convinced Lester is on the decline. His velocity dropped a smidge, but I think he'll rebound a bit. Remember last year was his first without his personal catcher Ross with him. I think another year working with Contreras he'll improve some.

  • In reply to SenatorMendoza:

    I hope so, he's been one of my favorite pitchers since his rookie year in Boston. I just know at father time waits for no man is all. Hopefully that day is a couple of year off.

  • In reply to SenatorMendoza:

    Every pitcher in baseball saw there HR rtaes soar last year, even Scherzer Strasburg and Kershaw saw increases in gopher balls. I remember Kershaw gave up 4 HRs to the Cubs in LA and still won. The ball was lively last year for some reason, the thing is I dont remember too mant times its been that way in consecutive years.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    The homerun spike has been pretty well documented back to mid 2015. Due most likely to a confluence of ball changes. Changes that still fall within specs but in aggregate led to a juiced ball. Add to that swing changes to take advantage of it and warning track power, say an Ian Happ, led to more homeruns then ever. It doesn’t help guys like Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber or Baez as much. As they need little help. But your Happs, AA’s and Russells can take advantage.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Yep. Thames hot way over his head early in the year and Sogard was way above his career norms from his days in Oakland. Theres a reason they didnt last with there inital orgs, and there 2nd half performance in 17 showed it. Travis Shaw also was far better than his Boston days, if hes been that good in Beantown Hed be there IB right now.

  • Buy your Brewers-Cubs tickets now. It’s going to be fun in Brew Town.
    While I have not been an advocate of signing a big high priced free agent, preferring to wait for midseason coup, I think the gauntlet has been thrown down and the Cubs need a bona fide TOR starter rather than making do with Montgomery. The outfield is good enough, as is, but Yelich could have made it better. Sign Arrieta or Darvish for 5 years. It is a tossup who is better and who will have more staying power. Get it done. I rate Milwaukee the Cubs equal as of today.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Please- go position by position and tell me where the Brewers are better than the Cubs. Plus they might have two starters equal to but not better than Hendricks and Chatwood.

    To be honest, I am glad they just dropped all that money on Cain for his 32-37 years. Speed is the first thing to go and it is arguably his best tool.

    #NotAThreat

  • In reply to good4you:

    What is your definition of better? I would say cf, 2nd base could be slight advantage brewers. I would also say rf and SS is a clear advantage for brewers.
    All of a sudden chattwood is a top of rotation guy? Don’t agree with that.

  • These deals make the Brewers a lot better IMHO.

    Yelich and Cain give the Brewers a lot more "grind-it-out" type ABs resulting in a higher OBP for the offense in general, which coupled with the other good hitters in their lineup (Travis Shaw/Ryan Braun/Domingo Santana/ Eric Thames) will make them a more formidable lineup to pitch to.

    Cubs struggled hitting against the Brew Crew last year. Let's hope that doesn't continue this year.

  • You are in accord with Fangraphs, which has them inbetween the A's and the Phillies in team WAR/projected wins, after BOGO Thursday for center fielders. They see Davies and Anderson as only 1.7/1.8 WAR arms, despite Anderson's 160 ERA+ and Davies 17 wins. Suter is projected at 1.2 despite the 129 ERA+ he threw last season. Woodruff is likely to improve as he's only 24, and Guerra is a year removed from a 152 ERA+ pre-injury. Stearns will get them someone at least as good as the top two, which moves two guys into the pen assuming Chacin chews innings as a fifth starter. After they trade for, or buy a SP, all they are really missing is a bridge to Knebel and a second baseman, both of which are easily available without breaking the bank. I'd expect them to hang tough in a three team race most of the season and contend for a wild card slot at a minimum. Underestimate Johnson's ability to get results out of his staff at your own peril.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    Chacin was terrible away from Petco last year. He splits away from Petco were just like C hatwoods were in Coors Field. Hes one guy to me they are going to regret.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    I think Chacin will be a value. I put him the same category as Chatwood, Cobb and Lynn. Was kind of hoping we nabbed him in addition to Chatwood, unless of course we sign Darvish.

  • To me, the Brewers look like team that is going to score early and often. I'm not sure about the rest. Defense and pitching might have few holes at this point.

  • Fangraphs had a somewhat concerning article about the Cubs a few days ago -- https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-cubs-still-need-yu-darvish/

    It warned that if the Cubs fail to pick up Darvish or another good starter, and if players like Russell and Schwarber don't improve on their 2017 seasons, the Cubs could be an 86-win team.

    In all likelihood, the Cubs are better than that. Theo and Jed are almost certainly going to fortify the pitching staff and at least a couple of our position players should take a big step forward. Hopefully the Cubs win 90-plus. But there's a reason the Cardinals and Brewers are getting aggressive -- they see the Cubs as vulnerable.

  • In reply to October:

    With Rizzo and Bryant in their primes the Cubs will never be below 90 wins.......

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I don't know about that. Through most of the 60's, with HOFers Banks, Santo, Williams and Jenkins, they reached 90 wins ONCE.

    On another note... the Cubs are on the brink of an achievement last reached in the 1930's - after SEVEN consecutive sub-.500 DECADES, 92 wins in 2018 puts them on the plus side of the W-L ledger for the 2010s.

  • I don’t think the Brewers are done yet. They wouldn’t spend this much in both cash and players and ignore their pitching needs. Definitely going for it this year.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    I’d add the next 4-6 years, with their prospects, they are a few moves away from their window being wide open.

  • Their farm system just took a hit with the Yelich trade. Still good but did take a hit.

  • Somewhere Kato Kaelin is smiling.

  • I'm telling you guys darvish will be a cub. Be patient I got access to a VERY reliable source only a matter of time

  • In reply to bolla:

    Well, it's obviously a done deal, then.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I will be be shocked as hell if the Cubs don't get a SP.
    We just don't know which one yet.

    Still holding out hope that Jake does a Dexter...

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    That's not happening. Jake is old news, the cubs are negotiating contract details with darvish. It's cubs or twins for darvish & the cubs won't be outbid even twins beat writers are doubtful. Darvish will be a cub it's only a matter of time.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bolla:

    Boy I hope your right. I was super pissed we didn't get Darvish when he came over from Japan, but that was probably a smart move as the tanking worked out. I hope I am not disappointed again. I think too much is being made off the Darvish WS collapse, so he might be able to be had for a tad less then he would have if he came up Huge for the Dodgers.

    I think w him switching leagues FT along w him hungry w a bad taste in his mouth, we could be looking at a Cy Young type season from Yu in 2018. I really hope he's wearing Cubbie Blue.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I think the FO wants him. I think Darvish wants the Cubs. They just have to agree on the numbers. I really think this impass is a main reason for the slow offseason. Darvish is the #1 SP available and all the rest are waiting to see where they slot in behind his contract numbers. It is a very interesting off season.

  • In reply to John57:

    Now it's being reported that the Cubs and Minnesota are the teams left in on Darvish and that he's informed the Twins that they need to make an offer "substantially" above the Cubs offer in the next 48-72 hours or he's signing in Chicago. Hard to imagine that that the Twins would go out on a limb like that. I'm thinking he signs tomorrow or Wednesday.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Who had that report?

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Heyman.

  • AND not a WORD about who the Cubs plan to bat LEADOFF for a 162 games. (John Jay, remember, NOT A CUB) Ideas, my brothers?

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    It doesn't matter. Any high-OBP guy will do.

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    We have none. I am going with some combination of Almora, Happ, and Zo.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think that is the right combination.

    Keep Schwarber away from leadoff

  • 1. Bryant
    2. Schwarbs
    3. Rizzo
    4.Contreras
    5. Zobrist
    6. Russell
    7. Heyward
    8. Baez
    9. Darvish

  • In reply to Calicubby:

    Horrible lineup in my opinion. Bryant leading off, no way. Zobrist hitting 5th, no way. Heyward the center fielder, no way. No Almora, no way. Besides that, not bad.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    KB is the best baserunner on the team. He will be regularly advancing from 2nd base to third and home due to hard contact towards right field from the two lefties that follow. I can see Bryant scoring a ton of runs...

    You can plug Happ for Zobrist. Both will platoon.

    Like it or not, Heyward is on your team and he WILL be in your everyday lineup. I hate the $180 Million, but I will take a gold glove and .250 from my 7th place hitter....

  • In reply to Calicubby:

    if your best lineup has Russell in the 6th spot, then we are in trouble.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I think that's where he should bat. Of course he has a lot to prove.

  • In reply to TC154:

    He should be batting in BALT. LOL. :-)

  • In reply to TC154:

    That lineup has more holes than the rotation andnyiu have angst over the rotation.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yeah, 95 RBI's (2015) is too many for the 6th spot. Better bat him 5th and Z/Happ 6th.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    2016 Russell.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    I figured someone would throw that out there. You realize Russell hit with more men on base than anyone in ‘baseball in 16? And left more runners on base than any hitter in baseball that year. Also, he has posted sub 100 wRC+ in consecutive years? He is made for an 8 or 9 hitter. Don’t fool yourself with a rate stat that doesn’t tell the story of his lack of offensive prowess.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Where do you find a stat for "runners left on base" ? I could not find that stat any where. I am not questioning you I am just wondering where that stat is.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Article from Fangraphs i believe before ‘17. There are a few sites that have slicers.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Thanks rbrucato. I searched for awhile and couldn't find that stat.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    You may be right, but bottom line, it s too soon to tell what he is going to be.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    3 years is too soon? If they keep him, then he needs to be a threat. He is nothing more than a 7-10 game streaky hitter today followed by prolonged dry spells.

    .280/.340/.450 would be amazing.

  • In reply to Letsplay2:

    By too soon, I mean too young. He just turned 24. Likely bigger/better numbers coming.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Honestly, I think Bryant has to lead off. The only other choices are Rizzo and Contreras. I go Bryant, Rizzo, Almora, Contreras, Schwarber, Russell, Baez, pitcher, Heyward. People forget that in modern thinking your 3 hole guy is supposed to be your fifth best hitter.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I would rather see Almora or Zobrist leadoff and Bryant stay in the 2 hole. Doesn't the modern thinking say have your best hitter hit second? Plus if Maddon starts the season with Bryant leading off he will keep him there till July like he did with Schwarber last year and Heyward hitting second in 2016. Almora, Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras, Schwarber, Russell, Baez, pitcher, Heyward

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yes, best hitter hits second but your best OBP guy leads off and he’s both. Zobrist isn’t going to play enough and Almora doesn’t have the OBP. It really is Bryant, Contreras or Rizzo.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I agree you want the guy with a high OBP at leadoff. I just don't like Bryant leading off. Maybe it's the old school thinking I have. I struggled when Maddon moved Bryant to hitting 2nd but learn to accept it. I guess we'll see how it works out.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Almora hit .298 last year and his OBP was 4th on the team. You gotta think they are doing everything possible to develop him into a proper leadoff hitter. I don’t care what the money ballers say, KB leading off is just gross.

  • In reply to good4you:

    Almora slashed .342/.411/.486 and OPSed .898 against LHP, He can at least lead off against them. Perhaps Happ/Zobrist against RHP. But it is quite likely Almora will hit RHP better this year.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Almora could leaf off against lefties and Happ or Zobrist against righties

  • In reply to Calicubby:

    I think If you are going with Bryant, Maddon will put the pitcher 8th.

  • fb_avatar

    The cubs are a 3rd place team if they don't sign another SP and if players like Baez,Russell,Happ,Schwarbs and Contreras have any regression. Other than Happ the other guys really can't use the "were still young" excuses anymore. They have to contribute and in a big way. And it sure would be nice if Heyward could hit .270 ,20 plus hrs,85 r.b.i.s.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Couldn't you list 5 key players from ANY team and predict that the team won't finish as well if they all regress?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Baseball is weird. The REDS might run away with the division this year! Who knows

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Hahaha. Based on your prediction that the Cubs would finish 3rd last season, behind the Cards and Pirates, I love this prediction.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Greg Simmons:

    I'm curious what you think a "regression" from Russell would look like? They're not a third place team. At worst they and the Brewers both look like potential division champs. The Cardinals really haven't had a great offseason -- and it looks like there is significant internal drama with Matheny.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    A regression from Russell puts him in Iowa. No room for Larry Bowa playing SS in today’s game.

    If they keep him, he is the biggest key to the offense. If he stays as a .240 hitter they Cuba’s are in real trouble. They are virtually giving up 9 outs to the opponent with a P and Heyward also in the lineup.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to rbrucato:

    Javy has a sub-.320 OBP, himself. You're looking a real problem string together hits 6-9 if Russell or Zo doesn't improve. Hopefully the off the field stuff last year with Russell has dissipated. Everybody thinks our rotation is the issue but lineup has some real questions, too.

  • The Cubs have strong ownership and competent front office. The White Sox rebuild has been done wisely, and should set them up for the future. And the Brewers are building a team that will compete for playoffs every year. Lots of great baseball will be played in the coming years within a 100 mile radius. It is a fun time to be a fan in our geographic region. What will the eastern sport network do? Center of excellence is no longer Bos & NYY.

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    Hear Hear, Rosemary. I’m kind of pumped that the Brewers are entering the fray. And the Sox are finally doing it right (bonus being Hawk finally retiring). I also think the Pirates could surprise (bonus being Dirty Birds in 4th!)

  • Yeah 4th place would be nice for the cards but missing the WC by one game would hurt more. :-)

  • At least we signed Michael Roth

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    And Freeman!

  • It's almost hilarious reading you guys hem and haw over what position the Cubs will finish, much less, which players will be in the starting lineup. The uncertainty of who the Cubs are going to sign worries us all. They may stand Pat. They might trade Happ, Schwarber. We don't know. Who would y'all want to be screaming at for the next 4 years? Four years of Arrieta, or four years of a younger Darvish? Or the heck with it, sign both! Go over the luxury tax, and do a salary dump after 2018.

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    "Four years of Arrieta, or four years of a younger Darvish?"

    Darvish: Age: 31-163d
    Arrietta: Age: 31-326d

    163 days probably isn't anything to get too worked up over.

  • In reply to LRCCubsFan:

    The hot stove aint so hot this year, what did u expect when u came here?

  • I'm so glad we are 2-3 weeks from spring training starting. time is running out for the Players/agents. Eventually you have to realize no one is gonna match your demands

  • I like the comment about signing both Arrieta and Darvish. As a fan why should I care how much dough TDAmeritrade makes. They are picking up $50million of Disney money. Bet the farm, Theo. Then buy another farm next year.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Seems to me most of the top FAs this year are represented by Boras. There lies the problem.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    There are 130 free agents not signed. What about the rest not represented by Boras?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    His guys typically are typically at or somewhat near the top of the FA pool, and they tend to hold up teams other moves. Plan A waits long, therefore plans B, C & or D have to wait until plan A falls thru or signs.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    TDAmeritrade does not own the Cubs and its profit is not impacted at all by the Cubs. The Cubs have constraints set up by the CBA that have to be followed. They will do what is best for the team and it doesn't involve betting the farm.

  • There's been reports that hosmer and jd martinez have 5 offers yet that's still not enough.They are being greedy, no team is giving a 30 year old martinez a 7 year 200 million dollar contract or a 32 year old arrieta a 6 year 180 mil contract(or whatever ridiculous contract he wants). Accept the offers or take a one year deal and be a free agent next winter but they don't want to take that risk.

  • In reply to bolla:

    *5 year offers

  • In reply to bolla:

    If the players don't want to play baseball for what they are being offered they can always stay home and do some gardening.

  • In reply to John57:

    Negotiating is fine with me, but it does lead to a slow hot stove winter.

  • In reply to bolla:

    There were reports that Hosmer had a 7 year offer

  • Their big moves shot them all the way to 75 or 77 wins per Steamer, 2 less than or on par with the Pirates. Yelich was a good trade, but 5 years/$80m for a 32 year-old CF when you need 2 good SP?

  • In reply to Peredonov:

    Maybe true, but it's not going to be easy getting 27outs against that lineup and offensive depth.

  • In reply to Peredonov:

    Predicting teams and players 2018 seasons is silly. Means nothing. Might as well go to a psychic or use a ouija board.

  • The Ricketts children had the wealth to buy the Cubs franchise after the economic collapse of 2008 because father Ricketts had deep deep pockets, not because Laura sold parasols in the park or Todd went on Shark Tank. Technically TDAmeritrade does not own the Cubs, of course but the assets to buy the team came from the brokerage firm’s success. Ithas been a tremendous investment, though buying an ETF in 2009 probably would have been better. One of the keys to further building the asset is to have another playoff team. If it takes 5 years $100 mil apiece for Arrieta and Darvish, it makes sense to try to build a $2billion property into a $3 or $4billion. Go for it TD.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Theo is making the baseball decisions about what is best for the team not TD. And they are not going to sign both Darvish and Arrieta this year. That would be an inefficient use of the teams resources and bad for the team long term playoff chances. :-)

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