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  1. #451
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    Assuming we can take those comments at face value and we're pretty much done for the offseason, I can live with it. It wasn't a home run offseason or anything, but it scrapes by with a passing grade. Maybe even a B.

    The Edwin Jackson signing was a must. If a good team in 2014 or even 2015 was a goal, they couldn't ignore the state of the rotation.

    There's some perplexing holes left unfilled, though. Our outfield situation for 2013-2015 is pretty weak, and this would have been a good offseason to do something about it. If they really see DeJesus as a CFer, well I hope they are right. Even then, they have two LH outfielders who need platoon caddies and only one guy who can do it.

    The infield bench is absolutely horrific. Valbuena is OK, and should probably be the starter at 3b, but beyond that we're just begging for another Joe Mather -3 WAR sort of season from the bench. And if there are any infield injuries, it gets really ugly. It can't be that hard to find a guy who can sort of hit lefties and can play the infield.

    Leaving those holes unfilled would be an indication that they don't really care if they fill any other minor holes that pop up during the season, which could cause us to really leak some key wins in the first half, which puts us in sell-off and tank range again.

  2. #452
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    Agree with pretty much everything kyle. Those are pretty much my exact thoughts as well. It would be nice to see if Jackson's revamped swing can help his K issues and he can take over CF. It would be nice to see but im not counting on it.

    I would still like to see a guy like Scott Hariston or Bourn added but doesnt sound like it will happen.

    We still have holes at 3b and some issues in the OF but we added quality pitching and solid bullpen arms.

    Im betting at the trade deadline this year we are going to see us in on young longterm assets and our asset aquisition will see a major uptick.

  3. #453
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyleJRM View Post
    Assuming we can take those comments at face value and we're pretty much done for the offseason, I can live with it. It wasn't a home run offseason or anything, but it scrapes by with a passing grade. Maybe even a B.

    The Edwin Jackson signing was a must. If a good team in 2014 or even 2015 was a goal, they couldn't ignore the state of the rotation.

    There's some perplexing holes left unfilled, though. Our outfield situation for 2013-2015 is pretty weak, and this would have been a good offseason to do something about it. If they really see DeJesus as a CFer, well I hope they are right. Even then, they have two LH outfielders who need platoon caddies and only one guy who can do it.

    The infield bench is absolutely horrific. Valbuena is OK, and should probably be the starter at 3b, but beyond that we're just begging for another Joe Mather -3 WAR sort of season from the bench. And if there are any infield injuries, it gets really ugly. It can't be that hard to find a guy who can sort of hit lefties and can play the infield.

    Leaving those holes unfilled would be an indication that they don't really care if they fill any other minor holes that pop up during the season, which could cause us to really leak some key wins in the first half, which puts us in sell-off and tank range again.
    Which I'm honestly not too upset about right now. They've done some good in some assets that can be used longer term. The minor leagues are getting a lot better and in one year we could really be able to make a splash (be it Price, Stanton, Upton or whatever). Financially we've avoided any major additions that could be considered a hindrence down the road. And if the team's just not going to be that great, we might as well have enough assets to where you can see a future for 2014 and still suck to get a pick, I guess.

    Not a home run off season, but a pretty good one. State of the team isn't terrible, and we could be one year away from getting this team back into a real playoff contender instead of one of these faux contenders where maybe, if everything goes perfectly we can back our way into it.
    mikeOLT!

    There's no "I" in "win"

  4. #454
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    ^^^jackpot^^^
    We Found Bin Ladedn We found Saddam Hussien, We know who Shot JR. Where the hell is this Plane?????

  5. #455
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    As they indicated that they understood earlier in the offseason, a wretched season in 2013 will make it very difficult to attract the free agents they may want in 2014.

  6. #456
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    Im curious...do we all agree that the team as it stands now is better then where we stood at the beginning of 2012?

  7. #457
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBears79 View Post
    Im curious...do we all agree that the team as it stands now is better then where we stood at the beginning of 2012?
    I honestly would say the ML club is only slightly better than last year and that has everything to do with the pitching...but pitching was considered a strength of ours going into last season as well...The stability of Rizzo at 1st full the full year definitely ticks up the lineup slightly but we are still running out Stewart etc..

    The farm is absolutely light years from where it was last year for sure though.

    Still looks like a 90+ loss team if im being honest and not a fanboy

  8. #458
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    Theo said Garza and Baker should both be ready to start the year. If true, it looks like Garza, Samardzija, Jackson, and Baker are in the opening day rotation, with Feldman, Villanueva, and Wood battling for the last spot. Feldman probably has the advantage.

  9. #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubsfan365 View Post
    Theo said Garza and Baker should both be ready to start the year. If true, it looks like Garza, Samardzija, Jackson, and Baker are in the opening day rotation, with Feldman, Villanueva, and Wood battling for the last spot. Feldman probably has the advantage.
    For what it's worth, the Cubs currently have the rotation depth chart listed in order as Samardzija, Garza, Jackson, Baker, Feldman and Wood. Now that could be intentional, or it could just be the doing of the web content team. Villanueva won't be included in the mix on the official team website until he has officially signed.

  10. #460
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    I want sappelt to succeed... Cool *** dude.
    We Found Bin Ladedn We found Saddam Hussien, We know who Shot JR. Where the hell is this Plane?????

  11. #461
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyleJRM View Post
    It can't be that hard to find a guy who can sort of hit lefties and can play the infield.
    Maybe some guys will be left out to dry as free agents and we can grab them on minors deals.

    Jeff Baker is still out there. I'd bring him back for sure.

  12. #462
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    Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan
    Mark Prior flies in to talk to Cubs prospects today. #reunion
    .

  13. #463
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    Sheraton hotel to be built across from Wrigley

    By Danny Ecker:

    More than a year after the Ricketts family paid $20 million for the McDonald's lot across from Wrigley Field, the Cubs ownership group announced an agreement Thursday to develop a boutique Sheraton hotel on the Wrigleyville site.

    The new hotel is aimed at housing more tourists in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.

    "Once we know how we can save Wrigley Field, the Ricketts Family is looking forward to the opportunity to build a hotel across the street. It could complement the neighborhood and its establishments while also serving fans and tourists," Ricketts family spokesman Dennis Culloton said in a statement.

    The family aims to create 800 construction jobs and 1,300 full-time jobs in various developments around Wrigley Field, the statement said.

    Building the hotel is part of the "more than $500 million plan to reinvest in Wrigley Field and the neighborhood" and the ongoing effort to bring attention to the tourism boost that the stadium and the Cubs generate, the statement said.

    The design of the hotel, according to the release, will be a "one-of-a-kind collaboration" designed to fit the neighborhood landscape and community.

    It also will likely have to incorporate a McDonald's.

    The Ricketts family originally purchased the one-acre site across the street from the stadium in December 2011 with the caveat that if they decide to tear down the fast-food restaurant, a new McDonald's eatery must be included as part of any future development at the site.

    The announcement also comes the day before the start of 2013 Cubs Convention, at which the team is expected to unveil more detailed renovation plans for the park and the surrounding neighborhood.

    Those plans were reportedly presented to area residents during a recent Lake View Neighbors meeting.

    Renovating the historic ballpark could cost $400 million and require major public subsidies.

    As part of a new, exclusive partnership, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will become the "official hotel of the Chicago Cubs."

    “We look forward to collaborating with the Ricketts family to bring a global hotel icon to one of North America's most beloved baseball teams and the vibrant Lakeview community,” Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood, said in the statement.

    Members of Starwood's loyalty program will get exclusive access to benefits like seat upgrades during home games and VIP experiences with players and team management beginning this season.
    By Ameet Sachdev, "Cubs announce plan for hotel near Wrigley."

    The owners of the Chicago Cubs said Thursday that they plan to develop a hotel on property they own across the street from Wrigley Field that they acquired from McDonald's Corp. more than a year ago.

    But the development will be contingent on striking a deal with local governments to renovate Wrigley Field.

    "Once we know how we can save Wrigley Field, the Ricketts Family is looking forward to the opportunity to build a hotel across the street. It could complement the neighborhood and its establishments while also serving fans and tourists," said family spokesman Dennis Culloton.

    The family said it has an agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide to develop a boutique hotel.

    In November 2011, the owners of the Chicago Cubs bought property across the street from Wrigley Field from McDonald's Corp. for $20 million, expanding their opportunities to redevelop areas around the stadium. It included a McDonald's restauranton the northwest corner of Clark and Addison, as well as a large parking lot north of the restaurant.

    The Ricketts family also owns a triangle parcel next to Wrigley Field but said the development of that property also hinges on a proposal to renovate Wrigley Field.

    The family has been seeking state and local taxpayer incentives to help finance more than $200 million in renovations to Wrigley Field, which will be 100 years old in 2014.

    Their original plan, which included the use of amusement taxes paid on Cubs tickets, received little political support. But the family continues to have conversations about public financing with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and members of the General Assembly.

    Until a deal is reached, McDonald's will continue to own and operate the restaurant on the property. The agreement with the Ricketts family calls for a McDonald's restaurant to be included in any future redevelopment of the property.

    The Ricketts family bought the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and related assets from Tribune Co., parent of the Chicago Tribune, in 2009.

  14. #464
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    I expected to read a little more on this here. No comments yet?
    (The Mark Prior speaking today, thing)

  15. #465
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP:CubsFan910 View Post
    (The Mark Prior speaking today, thing)
    Here's an associated article by Paul Sullivan:

    Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior was invited to address some of the team’s top prospects Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field during an extended major league acclimation program for the kids.

    Jason McLeod, the Cubs senior vice-president of scouting/player development, said Prior, a former first round draft pick who experienced the highs and lows of stardom in Chicago, was a “bookend” speaker for the prospects after ex-Cub Kerry Wood addressed them earlier this week.

    “Who better to know and understand (about) having all the hype, having all the pressure, being the young guy coming up and then performing in his environment?” McLeod said during a rookie workout at Northwestern University. “Who better than those two guys? Those had to have been two of the most hyped Cubs prospects of the last 15-20 years.”

    McLeod knows Prior from working in San Diego, where Prior lives. The former Cub hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006, when his career was waylaid by arm problems. He’s made several comeback attempts since, including last year in the Red Sox system.

    McLeod said he didn’t know if this was a chance for Prior to re-establish a relationship with the Cubs organization.

    “I do not know what the deal was when he left,” he said. “I don’t know if there were bad feelings. All I know is I reached out to him a little over a week ago, told him about the program and asked ‘Hey, would you mind coming in to talk to these guys?’ Honestly, I thought he was going to say ‘No, I don’t want to.’ But he was fired up about it, said ‘I’d love to come talk to those guys, tell them about my experiences.’

    “Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay for the (Cubs Convention) because his daughter’s birthday is this weekend.”

    McLeod said the Cubs began the rookie program to “expose them to the market” and teach them “how to be professional, how to handle the media, how to handle the fans here.”

    Top prospect Javy Baez and a dozen other players have been working out at Northwest this week while going through various training sessions at Wrigley Field. Marc Strickland, the team psychologist whom McLeod referred to as his “mental skills coach,” has also been on hand, talking to prospects about dealing with the pressures associated with their profession.

    Some of the young players were at Wrigley Field for the first time, and even got a chance to walk on the field, leading to an overreaction by vice-president of ballpark operations Carl Rice, who was worried about them damaging the infield grass.

    “Carl Rice was a little upset because they walked on the infield and left some imprints,” McLeod said with a laugh. “So we had to have a talk with them about that.”

    With Rice, or with the players?

    “Well, both,” he said.

    President Theo Epstein, outfielder David DeJesus and pitching coach Chris Bosio also spoke to the prospects, while Chairman Tom Ricketts and business president Crane Kenney gave them a sneak peek at the expansion plans for the clubhouse and ballpark, which will be announced Saturday at the Cubs Convention.

    “I know the guys have gotten a lot out of it,” McLeod said.

    Baez and outfielder Matt Szczur agreed the program was a big help.

    “A lot of guys have come in and talked about the top and the bottom,” Szczur said. “That helps, because we sit with them afterwards and get to pick their brains a little bit. That’s the most important thing for us- to pick their brain and get that little bit of knowledge that can help us in the end.”

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