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  1. #346
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    It might be. It's nearly impossible to know for sure.

  2. #347
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorGato View Post
    Hendry earned much respeck from me, a long time basher even before it was cool, for leaving the new FO far less of a mess than he will eveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr in his life gets credit for unless Epstein feeds the idea out there.

    Castro, Barney, Soriano, Garza, Shark, and Russell were amongst the few quality talents on last year's roster. The 2011 draft haul restocked the lower minors. There's upper minors pieces who aren't Super Prospects but do seem to have a very good chance of seeing the majors and performing a role (Castillo, Jackson, Vitters, Ha, Watkins, Lake, etc....

    That said, it's illegal to say that so Epstein will have built us up from absolutely nothing but big contracts that tore the franchise down.
    Yes but there was a huge gap between where those role players were in the minors when Hendry left and their ability to play those roles soon for the major league team.

  3. #348
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    Sure, but the whole point is that the well wasn't dry to the point where you need to rebuild for the first 2-3 years of the Epstein/Hoyer FO.

  4. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorGato View Post
    Sure, but the whole point is that the well wasn't dry to the point where you need to rebuild for the first 2-3 years of the Epstein/Hoyer FO.
    That is my whole point, actually. The major league team was bad when they took over and they had a bottom 1/3 farm system. How much worse does it need to be for the well to be considered dry? They started the season with a 109 MM payroll last season and had a .421 winning percentage at the end of the day on July 31.

  5. #350
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    Quote Originally Posted by terencem View Post
    That is my whole point, actually. The major league team was bad when they took over and they had a bottom 1/3 farm system. How much worse does it need to be for the well to be considered dry? They started the season with a 109 MM payroll last season and had a .421 winning percentage at the end of the day on July 31.
    Bad =/ talentless. Pretty much every quality player on the roster last year was a Hendry era player, and they were probably a top 20 farm system (which isn't great, but not empty either - and this was based off the brand new 2011 spending spree). Prospectus had the Cubs at 20, as did Sickels. Baseball America actually had them in the top half at 14.

    As far as the bold - much, much, worse. The Cubs had to work hard to be Astros bad (record wise) last year, and they still have significantly more talent at the major and minor league levels.

  6. #351
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorGato View Post
    Bad =/ talentless. Pretty much every quality player on the roster last year was a Hendry era player, and they were probably a top 20 farm system (which isn't great, but not empty either - and this was based off the brand new 2011 spending spree). Prospectus had the Cubs at 20, as did Sickels. Baseball America actually had them in the top half at 14.

    As far as the bold - much, much, worse. The Cubs had to work hard to be Astros bad (record wise) last year, and they still have significantly more talent at the major and minor league levels.
    Just to be clear, #20 and bottom 1/3 are pretty much the same thing (technically #21 is the start of the bottom 1/3 but it was not a deep farm system entering the season and was extremely poor on pitching).

    Also, the Astros had a better record than the Cubs until right up until around the all-star break. The Cubs didn't really have to work that hard to catch up to the Astros since they were there from the start. I feel like people keep trying to paint the Cubs as though they were close to contention last season even though they were one marquee free agent short of the 2011 payroll but not 1 marquee free agent short of contention. The Cubs had that amazing July but, without it, they could have been neck-and-neck with the Astros all season.


    Here is who the Cubs would have on their roster right now if they hadn't made all those mid-season trades:

    Paul Maholm
    Geovany Soto (probably would have been DFA'd or non-tendered anyway)
    Jeff Baker (DFA or non-tender candidate)

    Instead of:
    Christian Villaneuva
    Arodys Vizcaino
    Jaye Chapman
    Marcelo Carreno
    Barret Loux

    You'd rather have the first group than the second? I just don't get the argument that having Dempster, Soto, and Johnson all season and keeping Maholm for another year instead of flipping him toward Vizcaino and Chapman for 6 seasons was the wise move. You saw what Dempster did in Texas after he was traded, too. It wasn't pretty. You can make arguments about what could have happened if he'd stayed in Chicago but he had a better defense in Texas and, even though Texas is hitter friendly, he had 3 parks to pitch in that rank from pitcher friendly to "pitchers' best friend" in the AL West.

    So the Cubs entered the season with the #20 (of 30) farm system in baseball. They had a $109 MM team that spent the better part of 3 1/2 months looking up at the Astros even though the only players traded away before the 2012 season were Zambrano (bad), Cashner (injured), Marshall (was in a walk year), and Colvin (replaced with DeJesus which was pretty much a push in bWAR). Then, they traded away a catcher who would have been released after the season, a pitcher headed for free agency, a backup outfielder headed for free agency, a utility player in a waiver trade and an over-30 soft tossing pitcher with a season and a half left on his contract.

    Oh and I forgot about Jeff Baker who the Cubs got a decent minor league starting pitcher for to everybody's shock. Jeff Baker is so valuable he got to bat 57 times the rest of the season after leaving the Cubs. He's so valuable a player that he was able to clear waivers twice after the trade deadline.
    Last edited by terencem; 11-23-2012 at 05:28 PM.

  7. #352
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    You'd rather have the first group than the second?
    This isn't even in the vicinity of what was said.

  8. #353
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorGato View Post
    This isn't even in the vicinity of what was said.
    But you said they had to work very hard to catch up with the Astros, so I don't follow....

  9. #354
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    ****, I guess I should address the relevant rest:

    Just to be clear, #20 and bottom 1/3 are pretty much the same thing (technically #21 is the start of the bottom 1/3 but it was not a deep farm system entering the season and was extremely poor on pitching).
    20, 20, and 14 make a total of 0 in the bottom 1/3, and one in the top 1/2. Depth was actually the strength of the farm system, as well as people like Callis claiming that the Cubs had more future MLers in their system than any other team in the league going back to 2011. The weakness was top tier talent.

    Also, the Astros had a better record than the Cubs until right up until around the all-star break. The Cubs didn't really have to work that hard to catch up to the Astros since they were there from the start. I feel like people keep trying to paint the Cubs as though they were close to contention last season even though they were one marquee free agent short of the 2011 payroll but not 1 marquee free agent short of contention. The Cubs had that amazing July but, without it, they could have been neck-and-neck with the Astros all season.
    1. Fair enough, though that has more to do with a whole bunch of Cubs under performing (Garza, Castro, Barney lost BA and OBP from 2011, DeJesus had even less power than usual, Stewart was even worse than he's been, Marmol was awful) and far less to do with the Astros actually being a more talented roster.

    2. I feel like I'm trying to say that the Cubs were more talented than the Astros, and were (and are) not a bare cupboard. I feel like you need my point to be that the Cubs were a FA away to take this where you need to take this (well, where it went in the next part). The rest of your post has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm saying.

  10. #355
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    Quote Originally Posted by terencem View Post
    But you said they had to work very hard to catch up with the Astros, so I don't follow....
    Yes yes, and I'm sorry I gave you that opening because you got to take what was said in a far more favorable direction for your argument.

    Either way, trying to make the argument that the Cubs and Astros having close to the same record = the Cubs and Astros have the same talent level is not something that will be easy to argue for you. BA had them at 18, BP at 26, and Sickels at 25. They had a total of 4 players on the roster who even topped 2 WAR (3 by fWAR).

    Before it's done, the Cubs had 4 and 5 players over 2 WAR. Since that raw number can make an easy counterargument - the Cubs were Castro (22, 3rd two+ WAR season), Rizzo (22, 1.8 fWAR and 2.2 rWAR in less than 400 PA), Barney (26, second straight season), Samardzija (27, first timer), Soriano (36, long proven talent), and Dempster (36, long proven talent). The Astros' were Justin Maxwell (28, first 2 WAR season), Jed Lowrie, Lucas Harrell (27, first positive value season), Wilton Lopez (28, first timer though he's been iiiiight for them).
    Last edited by SenorGato; 11-23-2012 at 05:48 PM.

  11. #356
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorGato View Post
    Yes yes, and I'm sorry I gave you that opening because you got to take what was said in a far more favorable direction for your argument.

    Either way, trying to make the argument that the Cubs and Astros having close to the same record = the Cubs and Astros have the same talent level is not something that will be easy to argue for you. BA had them at 18, BP at 26, and Sickels at 25. They had a total of 4 players on the roster who even topped 2 WAR (either way, 3 for fWAR).
    Yes, but last season did happen. We're not talking in theoreticals here. You can argue how good the Cubs should have been all day but they had a record. It's over. The players the Cubs traded away would not have made them a contender and then most of them would be gone by this point so they would have been held onto for no gain for the organization. I don't understand why we have to keep arguing about whether or not they should have traded these players.

    Being ranked 25 and 26 literallly makes them one of the worst farm systems in baseball. That's what those numbers mean. You can argue about depth and high end and whatever all day but the fact is 25 is bad. 26 is bad. I believe Law had them at 20. When 3 of the leading 4 rankings systems have you in the bottom 11, that's not a good sign. 18 isn't anything to sing about, either, especially when you're most advanced prospects are hardly ready to make the jump the the majors (and the one who was most ready was brought in by Jed/Theo).
    Last edited by terencem; 11-23-2012 at 06:07 PM.

  12. #357
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    It's over.
    All the more reason the talent gap between Cubs and Astros is further apart than one season's record would indicate.

    The players the Cubs traded away would not have made them a contender and then most of them would be gone by this point so they would have been held onto for no gain for the organization.
    Again, nothing to do with what I was saying before.

    Being ranked 25 and 26 literallly makes them one of the worst farm systems in baseball. That's what those numbers mean. You can argue about depth and high end and whatever all day but the fact is 25 is bad. 26 is bad. I believe Law had them at 20. When 3 of the leading 4 rankings systems have you in the bottom 11, that's not a good sign. 18 isn't anything to sing about, either, especially when you're most advanced prospects are hardly ready to make the jump the the majors (and the one who was most ready was brought in by Jed/Theo).
    The Astros were 18, 25, and 26. I have given you the Sickels/BP/BA rankings of the Cubs at least twice already, with you even addressing that already.

  13. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorGato View Post
    All the more reason the talent gap between Cubs and Astros is further apart than one season's record would indicate.



    Again, nothing to do with what I was saying before.



    The Astros were 18, 25, and 26. I have given you the Sickels/BP/BA rankings of the Cubs at least twice already, with you even addressing that already.
    I mistook what you were posting. The Cubs' rankings are still nothing to write home about. Squeaking into the top 20 is not very good.

    You literally said there was no reason to rebuild. What I showed you was the only talent Jed/Theo traded away was irrelevant to the 2013 Cubs or a player who got a significant return. I also showed that the worst case scenario for the 2012 Cubs was having one of the worst records in all of baseball, even worse than the Astros. The ceiling for a club with that kind of basement isn't very good.
    Last edited by terencem; 11-23-2012 at 06:30 PM.

  14. #359
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    I mistook what you were posting. The Cubs' rankings are still nothing to write home about. Squeaking into the top 20 is not very good.
    They also squeaked into the top half for Baseball America. While nothing to write home about, these rankings certainly don't feed any argument you might try to make about a dry cupboard.


    You literally said there was no reason to rebuild.
    Where?

    What I showed you was the only talent Jed/Theo traded away was irrelevant to the 2013 Cubs or a player who got a significant return. I also showed that the worst case scenario for the 2012 Cubs was having one of the worst records in all of baseball, even worse than the Astros. The ceiling for a club with that kind of basement isn't very good.
    1. Again, not once have I said otherwise about the talent they traded away.

    2. The Cubs experienced their worst case scenario in 2012, and on paper their worst case scenario was never as bad as the Astros. If we're playing technical then everyone's basement is a record worse than the Astros. That many players seeing a drop in performance, especially players of the quality of Garza/Castro/even DeJesus, Marmol, and Barney, is hard to imagine happening twice in a row.

    3. The last sentence is not something I have ever argued, and again this is more of an attempt to twist what I'm saying into "the Cubs of 2012 were a potential playoff contender."

    4. I don't think you showed me that the 2012 Cubs had that basement anyway. It's hard to have that kind of basement going into a season with three above average pitchers in the rotation (Dempster, Garza, Maholm). For comparisons sake the Astros' 1-3 to open the year was Wandy, Harrell, and Bud Norris - Rodriguez being the only one who had been a strong major league starter for any significant amount of time.

    I don't think you have followed what I have been saying from the start. Saying the Cubs of 2012 had and have more talent than their record reflects does not = the Cubs of 2012 were a playoff contender and just need a couple more players to become perrenial contenders. It's simplifying what I'm saying (as well as how to build - which has already been simplified enough here) to fit your agenda.

  15. #360
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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorGato View Post
    They also squeaked into the top half for Baseball America. While nothing to write home about, these rankings certainly don't feed any argument you might try to make about a dry cupboard.




    Where?



    1. Again, not once have I said otherwise about the talent they traded away.

    2. The Cubs experienced their worst case scenario in 2012, and on paper their worst case scenario was never as bad as the Astros. If we're playing technical then everyone's basement is a record worse than the Astros. That many players seeing a drop in performance, especially players of the quality of Garza/Castro/even DeJesus, Marmol, and Barney, is hard to imagine happening twice in a row.

    3. The last sentence is not something I have ever argued, and again this is more of an attempt to twist what I'm saying into "the Cubs of 2012 were a potential playoff contender."

    4. I don't think you showed me that the 2012 Cubs had that basement anyway. It's hard to have that kind of basement going into a season with three above average pitchers in the rotation (Dempster, Garza, Maholm). For comparisons sake the Astros' 1-3 to open the year was Wandy, Harrell, and Bud Norris - Rodriguez being the only one who had been a strong major league starter for any significant amount of time.

    I don't think you have followed what I have been saying from the start. Saying the Cubs of 2012 had and have more talent than their record reflects does not = the Cubs of 2012 were a playoff contender and just need a couple more players to become perrenial contenders. It's simplifying what I'm saying (as well as how to build - which has already been simplified enough here) to fit your agenda.
    Aren't you on the bandwagon, though, that the Cubs could have made moves last offseason to be marginally competitive?

    Not trying to put words in anyone's mouth, here, but I feel like I remember that.

    Short of signing a Pujols or Fielder, (which I don't think anyone, deep down, really wanted) I don't really see any realistic scenario for the Cubs that puts them into contention.

    I think some people here are giving no credence to the idea of seeing what you've got before you spend a bunch of money. I'm guessing this front office wanted to see exactly who they had that would be worth keeping and make moves accordingly. Unfortunately, it led to this abysmal season. I'm not sure I'd have done it differently. The entire organization was/is undergoing a major overhaul in on the field philosophy. It was always going to take more than 3 months to make this team a contender.

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