PDA

View Full Version : What Should The Cubs Do?



Captain Obvious
06-21-2010, 09:22 PM
Overview

Despite a poor start and a 24-29 record, the Cubs only sit 7 games behind division leaders St. Louis and 5.5 games behind second place Cincinnati. They remain within striking distance if they can put together a strong stretch, but given the amount of talent on the two teams ahead of them, their playoff odds are long, likely around or below 10%. This has to be a disappointing, albeit salvageable, season to date for a team with a $144 million opening day payroll, especially given that $103 million of that payroll will be around for the 2011 season.

Buy Or Sell

The answer right now is likely “hold” – if both St. Louis (7-9) and Cincinnati (6-11) continue playing as poorly as they have in June, selling would be premature. However, the Cubs are too far out of the race to buy at this point, at seven games behind and playing just as poorly as the Cardinals this month. Given that I find the “buy” scenario to be a low probability affair, I will take a look at who the Cubs could be selling soon.

There are two obvious selling chips for the Cubs: Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly, both of whom have $13 million contracts expiring at the end of the season. Lilly would be a perfect “sell high” candidate. His 4.75 xFIP and 4.47 FIP are masked by a shiny 3.42 ERA and .234 BABIP. Lilly’s strikeouts are down and walks are up, which is unsurprising out of a 34 year old starter. Given that the Cubs could easily slide Tom Gorzelanny (2.80 FIP, 3.59 xFIP as a stater) into Lilly’s spot, the Cubs should move Lilly now if they can.

The situation with Lee isn’t quite as simple. He’s been hitting poorly this season, only posting a .327 wOBA, but much of that is based on a .268 BABIP. At 35, there’s no guarantee that this is all luck, and so there will almost certainly be some trepidation among teams looking for help at 1B. It’s likely that he’s still a good fielder, as his +4 UZR to date agrees with his +9.4 combined score from the last two seasons, so there is still some value here. Also, the potential replacements in Xavier Nady, Chad Tracy, and Micah Hoffpauir aren’t exactly desirable for even half of a down season, if it comes to that. Right now, the Cubs should hold their cards and hope that Lee can build up some value before the deadline.

Ryan Theriot‘s name has been bandied about in trade rumors recently as well. Theriot is a 30 year old but still has two years of arbitration left. However, his productivity has sharply dove since a solid 2008 season, to the point where his walk rate of 4.9% is less than half that of his 3.2 WAR 2008. His ground balls are way up (56.1% this season), leading to far less power – his ISO of .030 is down 55 points from last season. ZiPS suggests a partial turnaround is possible. Theriot’s value is low right now, but if a desperate team for middle infield help comes calling, the Cubs should deal, as given Theriot’s age, there’s no guarantee that he returns to the form that compiled 5.6 WAR in 2008 and 2009.

On The Farm

The Cubs farm system has vastly improved in recent years, as shown by the graduations of Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner and Starlin Castro this season. Hak-Ju Lee also shows great promise at SS, and should form the middle infield of the future with Castro. Josh Vitters is a 20 year old 3B with talent to burn despite struggling at AA so far this season. Overall, Beyond the Boxscore’s composite farm system rankings has the Cubs 10th, with six top-100 prospects.

Budget

If the Cubs do end up buying, they likely won’t be able to add much in the way of salary, particularly in long term deals. The $144 million opening day number was the highest in team history, and the team has two very expensive and likely untradeable contracts on hand until 2012 and 2014 respectively in the forms of Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. On the other hand, selling on Lee and Lilly could give some short term salary relief which could allow the team to be more aggressive next winter.

-FanGraphs

CUBDOM4life
06-21-2010, 10:30 PM
Nobody has run away with the division obviously. The Cubs ARE more talented than they have played this season, whether you want to ignore that out of frustration or agree with me.

IMO we shouldn't be definitive in buying or selling. We have a log jam in the outfield which we could solve by trading Fukudome for a 2b or reliever. We could buy AND sell I suppose.

ty_smitty21
06-21-2010, 10:39 PM
The Cubs might actually improve by "selling" fukudome and Lee or Theriot. Lilly is probably going to be traded, but we'd be much better off trading Z somehow, and resigning Lilly next year for a little less money than he makes now. Especially with the uncertainty of Wells' future, and the fact that Silva surely won't be this good next year.. I'd love to keep Lilly if the price was right.

We're in an odd spot right now, since the other teams haven't pulled away. The next 3 weeks will be the determining factor.

Vandelay16
06-21-2010, 11:28 PM
This is a tough one. The fan part of me says it's not over so buy! On the other hand I have to be realistic and realize it's going to be tough to climb back into the race.

Having said that I say wait until we are closer to the deadline and see where we are. Lee is heating up and they are starting to realize they have been playing like an A ball team. So I think they are determined to turn this thing around.

chicagofan71
06-21-2010, 11:36 PM
sell, sell, and sell some more. Blow up for the most part and start over with a younger core. Byrd, Fuku (if he can be moved), Lee, Lilly, Silva ALL need to go. Dropping them will give us more $ space and depth for the farm with atleast a few solid prospects. This team's core's run is over;

It just happens; similar patterns have been the Cubs forte this decade, the 2003-2005 core had their run, with a solid first year, awesome second year, and mediocre third. 2006 was ****** with injuries and aging players and inexperienced pitching. Then 2007-2009 core came. Solid first, AWESOME second, mediocre third. This is our ****** year. Let it ride out, get value out of who you can, and begin another nice 4-5 year run beginning in maybe 2011 and more likely 2012

BUD Bleachers
06-21-2010, 11:39 PM
Should the Cubs be buyers or sellers?

The answer is buyers.

You can't unload the contracts you really need to, and if you stick around the division long enough, you might as well pick up one or two more players at the deadline to go for it.

The Cubs have pretty much blown for 9 straight regular season months to this point; they're bound to put something good together.

Sure, some team might want Lee or Lilly, but nobody is going to go out of their way to give the Cubs stellar young talent at this point. The Cubs also have some proven guys lingering in AAA that might be attractive to some teams in putting a few package deals together.

I just don't see Ricketts using his first year to throw in the towel by the deadline. He's going to go down with what he has or try to improve the team.

There's just too much money, history, and reputation to throw in the towel in the eyes of the fan base at this point.

1908_Cubs
06-21-2010, 11:40 PM
Buy! Buy! Buy! Trade the farm! Trade it! Sell the farm! Who needs it!

Buy! Buy! Buy! Buy! Buy everyone! He who dies with the most toys wins, even if those toys suck dick!

chicagofan71
06-21-2010, 11:46 PM
Should the Cubs be buyers or sellers?

The answer is buyers.

You can't unload the contracts you really need to, and if you stick around the division long enough, you might as well pick up one or two more players at the deadline to go for it.

The Cubs have pretty much blown for 9 straight regular season months to this point; they're bound to put something good together.

Sure, some team might want Lee or Lilly, but nobody is going to go out of their way to give the Cubs stellar young talent at this point. The Cubs also have some proven guys lingering in AAA that might be attractive to some teams in putting a few package deals together.

I just don't see Ricketts using his first year to throw in the towel by the deadline. He's going to go down with what he has or try to improve the team.

There's just too much money, history, and reputation to throw in the towel in the eyes of the fan base at this point.

Where do you improve? The pen? That won't make too much of a difference. 2B? what impact bats are availible? I guess maybe 3B, but is it really worth ruining our worst farm class in a while

Randall Simon
06-21-2010, 11:59 PM
buying at the deadline this year will keep this team in mediocrity for even longer. the good times have run their course for this team. Sell what you can & hope next year we're buyers again. Improving the farm depth should be priority #1 at this point.
Besides, unless you plan on benching a multi-million dollar player, there's no area to improve this team right now. not enough to make them legit contenders.

CubbieSteve
06-22-2010, 12:01 AM
Buy and sell. Shop some of the big contracts and feel out offers. If someone offers us a prospect we cant turn down for say, Lilly, do it. If we can improve the team for not only the rest of this year but the future, then buy.

shrek
06-22-2010, 03:04 AM
sell what? we really don't have anything to sell. Half the players are garbage and the rest are untouchables

Captain Obvious
06-22-2010, 03:10 AM
sell what? we really don't have anything to sell. Half the players are garbage and the rest are untouchables

Ted Lilly, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome, Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot, Carlos Silva, and Tom Gorzelanny come to mind.

scrubs101
06-22-2010, 09:15 AM
Should the Cubs be buyers or sellers?

The answer is buyers.

You can't unload the contracts you really need to, and if you stick around the division long enough, you might as well pick up one or two more players at the deadline to go for it.

The Cubs have pretty much blown for 9 straight regular season months to this point; they're bound to put something good together.

Sure, some team might want Lee or Lilly, but nobody is going to go out of their way to give the Cubs stellar young talent at this point. The Cubs also have some proven guys lingering in AAA that might be attractive to some teams in putting a few package deals together.

I just don't see Ricketts using his first year to throw in the towel by the deadline. He's going to go down with what he has or try to improve the team.

There's just too much money, history, and reputation to throw in the towel in the eyes of the fan base at this point.


I don't get this logic at all

IRNMN
06-22-2010, 10:45 AM
It really all depends on where we are at that time. If we are beihind St. Louis and Cincinnati at that time by about ten games call it a season and get some young talent in. Don't sell the franchise, but deal away three or four valuable guys such as Silva, Lilly, Lee, Byrd, etc. send them to a contender. Especially with Silva sell while he is still high because no one knows if he is legit or just lucky. If you get the right deal for a Lilly or Lee ponder it. Make the list of untouchables IE Castro, Colvin, Cashner, any top 15 prospect, Ramirez, Soto(Unless for Mauer, ha ha funny joke), etc. I mean were down still in third what makes any one else think were going to turn it around. They have not won in the first half what make the rest of the year any different. July will be the big implicator.

I think the Cubs would be well suited building around their talent for a change. Go out and get a few solid prospects and then fill in the holes in the offseason with FA's and trades.

ReJo
06-22-2010, 11:27 AM
It all depends on what happens in these next 2-3 weeks.
No one is looking to trade this early. They just need to try and win ballgames then see where they are in the standings and evaluate in a couple of weeks.

Mell413
06-22-2010, 11:33 AM
I'd hold for now. There's no deal that you can make now that you can't make in July. I'd sell off some of the older guys like Lee and Lilly if we are out of it. I'm also not opposed to adding a younger guy if it makes sense.

DLEE4MVP
06-22-2010, 11:38 AM
Why in the **** do people want to get rid of Byrd? He is under contract for two more years and is cheap considering the production he is giving us...Lee, Lilly, and Theriot are the only realistic people from this team that will go. I can't see any team taking on Fuku's contract or the Cubs paying most of it, and the same goes for Silva...

poodski
06-22-2010, 11:43 AM
Why in the **** do people want to get rid of Byrd? He is under contract for two more years and is cheap considering the production he is giving us...Lee, Lilly, and Theriot are the only realistic people from this team that will go. I can't see any team taking on Fuku's contract or the Cubs paying most of it, and the same goes for Silva...

Because people believe in the term buy low sell high. Thats why Byrd should be traded.

No one is saying give him away, but if you get a good solid offer for him you take it.

IRNMN
06-22-2010, 11:45 AM
Why in the **** do people want to get rid of Byrd?...

Potentially two reasons.

1. Brett Jackson MIGHT be ready as soon as next season
2. See high, Get Better Return

pacofunk64
06-22-2010, 12:17 PM
Sell, Sell, Sell...Realistically our best bets are Lilly & Lee going elsewhere. It's possible Zambrano could be available if he pitches well the next few starts but in exchange the Cubs would probably need to take a high contract or include lots of money. The Riot needs to go, Fukudome will stay because nobody will take that salary. It's time for the Cubs to try the farm system route.

darkfire423
06-22-2010, 12:44 PM
I say sell whatever we can. We need to shave money off, and get younger.

So trade who you can as long as you get soild specs back.

who knows maybe trade or two will wake up the clubhouse.

socherball
06-22-2010, 01:15 PM
Should the Cubs be buyers or sellers?

The answer is buyers.

You can't unload the contracts you really need to, and if you stick around the division long enough, you might as well pick up one or two more players at the deadline to go for it.

The Cubs have pretty much blown for 9 straight regular season months to this point; they're bound to put something good together.

Sure, some team might want Lee or Lilly, but nobody is going to go out of their way to give the Cubs stellar young talent at this point. The Cubs also have some proven guys lingering in AAA that might be attractive to some teams in putting a few package deals together.

I just don't see Ricketts using his first year to throw in the towel by the deadline. He's going to go down with what he has or try to improve the team.

There's just too much money, history, and reputation to throw in the towel in the eyes of the fan base at this point.

By this logic the Pirates are bound to go something ridiculous like 75-18 the rest of the way given their almost 20 years of poor baseball. In which case, they'd finish ahead of the Cubs.

socherball
06-22-2010, 01:22 PM
No ifs, ands, or buts, the Cubs need to sell. Maybe not right now, because Lilly's value right now is probably depressed due to the fact that Cliff Lee and Oswalt are potentially on the block as well, but my reasoning to possibly wait is more linked to maximizing return rather than some inkling that the Cubs could get back in the race. If someone blows you away with an offer today, take it.

Face it, various groups who figure this sort of thing say the Cubs have a 7% chance to make the playoffs. Betting against a 93% probability is not a smart way to run a franchise.

AllStar44
06-22-2010, 01:23 PM
Why in the **** do people want to get rid of Byrd? He is under contract for two more years and is cheap considering the production he is giving us...Lee, Lilly, and Theriot are the only realistic people from this team that will go. I can't see any team taking on Fuku's contract or the Cubs paying most of it, and the same goes for Silva...

I'm with you. I understand sell high, put he's been very productive.

windycityD
06-22-2010, 01:26 PM
Because people believe in the term buy low sell high. Thats why Byrd should be traded.

No one is saying give him away, but if you get a good solid offer for him you take it.

Let's assume you're right. Who do you think we could get from Boston spec wise for Byrd? Clearly, they have OF needs and worries over there.

chi416
06-22-2010, 01:37 PM
I think selling is going to be very difficult. Sori and Z are almost untradeable with their deals -- and would have to consent to doing so. A-Ram has a no trade clause and can opt out after this year so that, coupled with his injuries this year, will limit his value to far less than what he otherwose should fetch. Lee, Lilly and Fukudome all have no trade clauses and I would fully expect Lee and Lilly to both want some extension or raise with their new team. I just don't see that any of them bring back enough to warrant giving up the optionality of them reverting to historical levels and possibly making a run at things.

As for the depth of our farm, I'm not sure anyone is a slam dunk can't miss. Even for all the hype around Castro, he' still only posting a .672 OPS and has been far from spectacular in the field. Realistically, a youth movement likely doesn't pay any meaningful dividends until 2012 or 2013. In terms of pitching, your staff beyond this year looks a little rough with Dempster, Z, Wells, Silva and TBD.

Personally, I'd look to sell selectively (i.e. Fukudome, Theriot, Fonetnot, and Silva all come to mind) and also approach the agents for Lee, A-Ram and Lilly to understand their intentions/desires with respect to trade, free agency, extension and decide based on those discussions. I believe a lot of what will happen will be driven by those discussions.

Bearsfan54
06-22-2010, 02:20 PM
Look at it this way, you have 1 goal and that's to win the world series. Let's face it, this group is not going to win a world series. They have not even won 1 playoff game let alone a series or even a world series.

My plan

Trade fan favorite Derrek Lee
Trade Ryan Theriot
Trade Ted Lilly
Attempt to trade Koske Fukudome

By trading those players we will have freed up cap space to go bananas in the offseason.

Offseason Plan
Sign Adrian Gonzalez (everyone will be after Pujols if he opts out)
Sign P Matt Cain (Cliff Lee derby)


2011 Lineup

RF Tyler Colvin
SS Starlin Castro
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Aramis Ramierz
CF Marlon Byrd
LF Alfonso Soriano
2B Mike Fontenot
C Geovany Soto

Rotation
Carlos Zambrano
Matt Cain
Carlos Silva
Ryan Dempster
Randy Wells

BullPen

CL Carlos Marmol
SU Andrew Cashne
Lefty Tom Gorzaleny and Sean Marshall
Mop Up John Grabow Bob Howry

Captain Obvious
06-22-2010, 02:55 PM
Look at it this way, you have 1 goal and that's to win the world series. Let's face it, this group is not going to win a world series. They have not even won 1 playoff game let alone a series or even a world series.

My plan

Trade fan favorite Derrek Lee
Trade Ryan Theriot
Trade Ted Lilly
Attempt to trade Koske Fukudome

By trading those players we will have freed up cap space to go bananas in the offseason.

Offseason Plan
Sign Adrian Gonzalez (everyone will be after Pujols if he opts out)
Sign P Matt Cain (Cliff Lee derby)


2011 Lineup

RF Tyler Colvin
SS Starlin Castro
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Aramis Ramierz
CF Marlon Byrd
LF Alfonso Soriano
2B Mike Fontenot
C Geovany Soto

Rotation
Carlos Zambrano
Matt Cain
Carlos Silva
Ryan Dempster
Randy Wells

BullPen

CL Carlos Marmol
SU Andrew Cashne
Lefty Tom Gorzaleny and Sean Marshall
Mop Up John Grabow Bob Howry

Gonzo isn't a FA after this season. Neither is Matt Cain.... Douche Chill!

LeoGetz
06-22-2010, 03:05 PM
I'd hold for now. There's no deal that you can make now that you can't make in July. I'd sell off some of the older guys like Lee and Lilly if we are out of it. I'm also not opposed to adding a younger guy if it makes sense.

I agree. At this time next month if we are still suck then do some trades.

Bearsfan54
06-22-2010, 07:13 PM
Gonzo isn't a FA after this season. Neither is Matt Cain.... Douche Chill!

Cain has an obt out clause so does Gonzo

1908_Cubs
06-22-2010, 07:23 PM
Cain has an obt out clause so does Gonzo

No they don't. Not at all.

Cain has a vesting option from his original deal. However he has no opt out clause. And neither does Gonzalez. Where you're getting your "information" is beyond me. But no, neither of them are free agents. Cain not until 2012....

Mell413
06-23-2010, 11:28 PM
I'm ready to sell now. I'd start seeing what you can get for guys like Byrd, Lilly, Lee, Nady, Fontenot, Theriot, Baker, Fukudome and Silva.

cowboydoc45
06-24-2010, 12:46 AM
Honestly, I have to say sell, but in a smart way. Here is what I would do...

1. Bench Colvin for now, and let Fukudome take his playing time in RF, this will allow us to showcase him. Once he has proven he has our trust (and that he is a valuable RF), trade him with half of his salary to a team for specs. RF belongs to Colvin at that point, either Colvin or Byrd lead off (if Colvin can get his Ks under control)

2. Trade Lilly, but not until July. The big heat is going to be for Lee and Oswalt, but, we need to let people know that he is available, and a good backup plan to Lee/Oswalt

3. Trade Silva. This is a sell high situation. If we get anyting in return, and don't have to send a lot of cash in the deal, we win big here.

4. Convince Lee to waive his NTC. I think we have a shot at this if we are seriously out in July. Lee would probably bring back at least a high spec, or a couple of mid specs...

5. Convince Ramierez to opt out of his deal at the end of the season. He hasn't looked good this season, and his best years could be behind him. This could free up some space, and we have Vitters in the pipe right now. Tracy or Baker can handle the position until he is ready.

6. Try to trade Zambrano. Really, I don't care what we get back, just go for a mid spec and clear the payroll. We have a fairly deep pitching rotation, Cashner could probably start, and there should be some real pitchers on the FA market this fall....

I know a lot of this is far fetched, but honestly, the thing this team needs to do is sell whatever "albatross" contracts it can without picking up albatross contracts in exchange. It would be nice to get some quality players back in return, or at least some pieces we could use in the off season as trades. If we get rid of the right contracts, and promot and utilize some of the guys we have and find the right mix... we could be back in 2011 or 2012.

Milnertime
06-24-2010, 01:14 AM
Look at it this way, you have 1 goal and that's to win the world series. Let's face it, this group is not going to win a world series. They have not even won 1 playoff game let alone a series or even a world series.

My plan

Trade fan favorite Derrek Lee
Trade Ryan Theriot
Trade Ted Lilly
Attempt to trade Koske Fukudome

By trading those players we will have freed up cap space to go bananas in the offseason.

Offseason Plan
Sign Adrian Gonzalez (everyone will be after Pujols if he opts out)
Sign P Matt Cain (Cliff Lee derby)


2011 Lineup

RF Tyler Colvin
SS Starlin Castro
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Aramis Ramierz
CF Marlon Byrd
LF Alfonso Soriano
2B Mike Fontenot
C Geovany Soto

Rotation
Carlos Zambrano
Matt Cain
Carlos Silva
Ryan Dempster
Randy Wells

BullPen

CL Carlos Marmol
SU Andrew Cashne
Lefty Tom Gorzaleny and Sean Marshall
Mop Up John Grabow Bob Howry
Pujols can't opt out. He's got a club option for 2011.


Your plan is apparently based on fantasy.

Jilly Bohnson
06-24-2010, 01:37 AM
If we're all mapping out our plans, here's mine:

Trade Fukudome, Silva, Lilly, and if possible, Lee at the deadline. With Fuku and Silva go for the best players available, as we don't need that much money for next year. If by paying most of their salaries for next year you can get legit prospects then f'ing go for it. Also, don't shop them but listen on Demp and Byrd, those two have a lot of value right now.

Play Colvin in RF for the rest of the year, we need to know, as much as we can, what he's all about. To this point he's blown his minor league profile out of the water, we need to find out of it's a small sample size thing or a he's one of those guys that radically transforms himself when he hits the majors. Let Cashner and Gorz have the two spots vacated by Lilly and Silva, and have Shark and one of Parker/Gaub/Cales/Mateo come up for the other spot. We need to get our future bullpen figured out as well you know.

Over the winter, go HARD after Carl Crawford. I mean HARD. I don't care if we have to give him Soriano money, get that guy in Chicago. However, if you can't get him, don't go after another outfielder unless Werth can be had for less than Jason Bay money. We'd be going after Crawford because he's Carl Crawford and he's a superstar we can build around, not because we need an outfielder. If we don't get Crawford, then get a stopgap 1b like an Overbay, Laroche, or Branyan or something. Basically, the best guy that can be gotten for a 1 year deal. If we get Crawford then shift Colvin to 1b for a year go into the year with

Crawford
Castro
Soriano
Aramis
Soto
Colvin (1b)
Byrd
2b

If we don't get Crawford then have Colvin stay in RF and slide random 1b into his slot in the lineup. That lineup is nice because adding Crawford should help, while we also have flexibility to add Vitters to the lineup if/when he's necessary. And if/when Jackson is ready you move Byrd.

Assess the NL Central, if it looks as weak as it currently does, maybe spend money on a FA starter. It's probably not a good idea long term, but if we can steal a division title then it's probably worth it. If it doesn't look weak, then just go into the year with Z-Demp-Wells-Cash-Gorz with Jackson as the long man/6th starter ready to step in. That rotation while it may not produce immediately is very talented so it's not exactly like we're phoning it in. But if we do go shopping Bonderman, De la Rosa, Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb are all FA's.

No new additions to the bullpen, we have too many quality minor league relievers and hopefully after Silva and Lilly are gone we have gotten them some innings to see what we have. Stevens has been very good this season, hopefully he keeps it up and one of Guzman/Caridad comes back well and along with Marshall and Marmol we have a great back of the bullpen which can be accentuated with Shark/Mateo/Cales/Parker/Gaub/Russell.

All in all next year should be a transition year, however it doesn't preclude us from being competitive, since thankfully barring Cincy going crazy during Hotstove the Central will be weak once again next year.

JayCub
06-24-2010, 02:51 AM
Honestly, I have to say sell, but in a smart way. Here is what I would do...

1. Bench Colvin for now, and let Fukudome take his playing time in RF, this will allow us to showcase him. Once he has proven he has our trust (and that he is a valuable RF), trade him with half of his salary to a team for specs. RF belongs to Colvin at that point, either Colvin or Byrd lead off (if Colvin can get his Ks under control)

2. Trade Lilly, but not until July. The big heat is going to be for Lee and Oswalt, but, we need to let people know that he is available, and a good backup plan to Lee/Oswalt

3. Trade Silva. This is a sell high situation. If we get anyting in return, and don't have to send a lot of cash in the deal, we win big here.

4. Convince Lee to waive his NTC. I think we have a shot at this if we are seriously out in July. Lee would probably bring back at least a high spec, or a couple of mid specs...

5. Convince Ramierez to opt out of his deal at the end of the season. He hasn't looked good this season, and his best years could be behind him. This could free up some space, and we have Vitters in the pipe right now. Tracy or Baker can handle the position until he is ready.

6. Try to trade Zambrano. Really, I don't care what we get back, just go for a mid spec and clear the payroll. We have a fairly deep pitching rotation, Cashner could probably start, and there should be some real pitchers on the FA market this fall....

I know a lot of this is far fetched, but honestly, the thing this team needs to do is sell whatever "albatross" contracts it can without picking up albatross contracts in exchange. It would be nice to get some quality players back in return, or at least some pieces we could use in the off season as trades. If we get rid of the right contracts, and promot and utilize some of the guys we have and find the right mix... we could be back in 2011 or 2012.

Nobody will take on that kinda Cash for Z, who wants to pay 18+ mill per season for a guy who can barely break the 10 win mark. I don't know if anyone would take Silva either, yes he's been a stud so far but past history tells us it won't hold up. The way things are $$ is the biggest factor in trades, and without taking on bad contracts in return theres no way this happens no matter how bad we all want it to.

Lee and Lilly on the other hand still have some value, but Lee needs to go a tear for us to get anything back worthwhile for him. I like Lee, and I'm kinda hoping we hold on to him till we can replace him with a worthy player because as it looks now our system isn't full of replacements.

zambo4president
06-24-2010, 02:54 AM
I say we panic

Mell413
06-24-2010, 10:35 AM
If we're all mapping out our plans, here's mine:

Trade Fukudome, Silva, Lilly, and if possible, Lee at the deadline. With Fuku and Silva go for the best players available, as we don't need that much money for next year. If by paying most of their salaries for next year you can get legit prospects then f'ing go for it. Also, don't shop them but listen on Demp and Byrd, those two have a lot of value right now.

Play Colvin in RF for the rest of the year, we need to know, as much as we can, what he's all about. To this point he's blown his minor league profile out of the water, we need to find out of it's a small sample size thing or a he's one of those guys that radically transforms himself when he hits the majors. Let Cashner and Gorz have the two spots vacated by Lilly and Silva, and have Shark and one of Parker/Gaub/Cales/Mateo come up for the other spot. We need to get our future bullpen figured out as well you know.

Over the winter, go HARD after Carl Crawford. I mean HARD. I don't care if we have to give him Soriano money, get that guy in Chicago. However, if you can't get him, don't go after another outfielder unless Werth can be had for less than Jason Bay money. We'd be going after Crawford because he's Carl Crawford and he's a superstar we can build around, not because we need an outfielder. If we don't get Crawford, then get a stopgap 1b like an Overbay, Laroche, or Branyan or something. Basically, the best guy that can be gotten for a 1 year deal. If we get Crawford then shift Colvin to 1b for a year go into the year with

Crawford
Castro
Soriano
Aramis
Soto
Colvin (1b)
Byrd
2b

If we don't get Crawford then have Colvin stay in RF and slide random 1b into his slot in the lineup. That lineup is nice because adding Crawford should help, while we also have flexibility to add Vitters to the lineup if/when he's necessary. And if/when Jackson is ready you move Byrd.

Assess the NL Central, if it looks as weak as it currently does, maybe spend money on a FA starter. It's probably not a good idea long term, but if we can steal a division title then it's probably worth it. If it doesn't look weak, then just go into the year with Z-Demp-Wells-Cash-Gorz with Jackson as the long man/6th starter ready to step in. That rotation while it may not produce immediately is very talented so it's not exactly like we're phoning it in. But if we do go shopping Bonderman, De la Rosa, Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb are all FA's.

No new additions to the bullpen, we have too many quality minor league relievers and hopefully after Silva and Lilly are gone we have gotten them some innings to see what we have. Stevens has been very good this season, hopefully he keeps it up and one of Guzman/Caridad comes back well and along with Marshall and Marmol we have a great back of the bullpen which can be accentuated with Shark/Mateo/Cales/Parker/Gaub/Russell.

All in all next year should be a transition year, however it doesn't preclude us from being competitive, since thankfully barring Cincy going crazy during Hotstove the Central will be weak once again next year.

Do you think Crawford would be open to playing center or right? I thought I read on here that he was not open to a position change. I could be wrong on that though. I'd almost be willing to let Soriano go back to 2B if we got Crawford and he insisted on playing left, but I doubt that would even be considered. I think Crawford goes to the Yanks in the off season.

windycityD
06-24-2010, 10:42 AM
If we're all mapping out our plans, here's mine:

Trade Fukudome, Silva, Lilly, and if possible, Lee at the deadline. With Fuku and Silva go for the best players available, as we don't need that much money for next year. If by paying most of their salaries for next year you can get legit prospects then f'ing go for it. Also, don't shop them but listen on Demp and Byrd, those two have a lot of value right now.

Play Colvin in RF for the rest of the year, we need to know, as much as we can, what he's all about. To this point he's blown his minor league profile out of the water, we need to find out of it's a small sample size thing or a he's one of those guys that radically transforms himself when he hits the majors. Let Cashner and Gorz have the two spots vacated by Lilly and Silva, and have Shark and one of Parker/Gaub/Cales/Mateo come up for the other spot. We need to get our future bullpen figured out as well you know.

Over the winter, go HARD after Carl Crawford. I mean HARD. I don't care if we have to give him Soriano money, get that guy in Chicago. However, if you can't get him, don't go after another outfielder unless Werth can be had for less than Jason Bay money. We'd be going after Crawford because he's Carl Crawford and he's a superstar we can build around, not because we need an outfielder. If we don't get Crawford, then get a stopgap 1b like an Overbay, Laroche, or Branyan or something. Basically, the best guy that can be gotten for a 1 year deal. If we get Crawford then shift Colvin to 1b for a year go into the year with

Crawford
Castro
Soriano
Aramis
Soto
Colvin (1b)
Byrd
2b

If we don't get Crawford then have Colvin stay in RF and slide random 1b into his slot in the lineup. That lineup is nice because adding Crawford should help, while we also have flexibility to add Vitters to the lineup if/when he's necessary. And if/when Jackson is ready you move Byrd.

Assess the NL Central, if it looks as weak as it currently does, maybe spend money on a FA starter. It's probably not a good idea long term, but if we can steal a division title then it's probably worth it. If it doesn't look weak, then just go into the year with Z-Demp-Wells-Cash-Gorz with Jackson as the long man/6th starter ready to step in. That rotation while it may not produce immediately is very talented so it's not exactly like we're phoning it in. But if we do go shopping Bonderman, De la Rosa, Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb are all FA's.

No new additions to the bullpen, we have too many quality minor league relievers and hopefully after Silva and Lilly are gone we have gotten them some innings to see what we have. Stevens has been very good this season, hopefully he keeps it up and one of Guzman/Caridad comes back well and along with Marshall and Marmol we have a great back of the bullpen which can be accentuated with Shark/Mateo/Cales/Parker/Gaub/Russell.

All in all next year should be a transition year, however it doesn't preclude us from being competitive, since thankfully barring Cincy going crazy during Hotstove the Central will be weak once again next year.

The future bull pen is pretty much together now, with a good amount of sub options. If Cashner goes to the rotation, Jackson goes to our pen. Jackson is the guy who needs to get seasoning the whole second half of this season, as does Cashner in the rotation. We have to build on 2011 in 2010, that's the key.

I clearly see why you are all on for Crawford. However, Byrd in CF is not an issue & is waaay cheaper. Our LF is what it is, and really, that's where Crawford should be playing imo. If Colvin is going to actually get playing time, it will have to be him playing more than just the 4th OF role and I am all for him logging some time at 1b. I would NOT trade/ move/ give away Fukudome until summer 2011. We have no one else who fits the primary lead off bill for us, and once Lou is out of the way, that role should be wide open for him. To boot, Fukudome is a plus RF defensively.

To add bats, 2b and 3b seem where we should be exploring deals and moves to improve. For my money, getting a high end 3b spec that could be ready by 2012 or sooner would be ideal, b/c if Vitters pans out, 1b will very likely be his position. 2b is obviously a bit trickier. Ex: Uggla is a defensive nightmare, despite the power and run production. I want no part of that guy. You put him and Castro in the middle of the diamond and you'd have issues galore.

1908_Cubs
06-24-2010, 11:32 AM
The future bull pen is pretty much together now, with a good amount of sub options. If Cashner goes to the rotation, Jackson goes to our pen. Jackson is the guy who needs to get seasoning the whole second half of this season, as does Cashner in the rotation. We have to build on 2011 in 2010, that's the key.

I clearly see why you are all on for Crawford. However, Byrd in CF is not an issue & is waaay cheaper. Our LF is what it is, and really, that's where Crawford should be playing imo. If Colvin is going to actually get playing time, it will have to be him playing more than just the 4th OF role and I am all for him logging some time at 1b. I would NOT trade/ move/ give away Fukudome until summer 2011. We have no one else who fits the primary lead off bill for us, and once Lou is out of the way, that role should be wide open for him. To boot, Fukudome is a plus RF defensively.

To add bats, 2b and 3b seem where we should be exploring deals and moves to improve. For my money, getting a high end 3b spec that could be ready by 2012 or sooner would be ideal, b/c if Vitters pans out, 1b will very likely be his position. 2b is obviously a bit trickier. Ex: Uggla is a defensive nightmare, despite the power and run production. I want no part of that guy. You put him and Castro in the middle of the diamond and you'd have issues galore.

Uggla is only a -3.5 UZR/150 at 2b. He's actually not that bad defensively. He's been a 2.1 WAR player in the first half. Means he can get to be a 4 WAR player at 2b, fairly valuable.

Jilly Bohnson
06-24-2010, 12:44 PM
Do you think Crawford would be open to playing center or right? I thought I read on here that he was not open to a position change. I could be wrong on that though. I'd almost be willing to let Soriano go back to 2B if we got Crawford and he insisted on playing left, but I doubt that would even be considered. I think Crawford goes to the Yanks in the off season.

I think for 100 million dollars he'd be more than happy to switch from one corner to the other. But hey, even if he's not we could move Soriano, we know he's a team player despite his reputation.

And I don't think Sori could handle 2b anymore. By most accounts he was pretty bad there to start his career, now after having lost a few steps it'd be ugly.


The future bull pen is pretty much together now, with a good amount of sub options. If Cashner goes to the rotation, Jackson goes to our pen. Jackson is the guy who needs to get seasoning the whole second half of this season, as does Cashner in the rotation. We have to build on 2011 in 2010, that's the key.

I clearly see why you are all on for Crawford. However, Byrd in CF is not an issue & is waaay cheaper. Our LF is what it is, and really, that's where Crawford should be playing imo. If Colvin is going to actually get playing time, it will have to be him playing more than just the 4th OF role and I am all for him logging some time at 1b. I would NOT trade/ move/ give away Fukudome until summer 2011. We have no one else who fits the primary lead off bill for us, and once Lou is out of the way, that role should be wide open for him. To boot, Fukudome is a plus RF defensively.

To add bats, 2b and 3b seem where we should be exploring deals and moves to improve. For my money, getting a high end 3b spec that could be ready by 2012 or sooner would be ideal, b/c if Vitters pans out, 1b will very likely be his position. 2b is obviously a bit trickier. Ex: Uggla is a defensive nightmare, despite the power and run production. I want no part of that guy. You put him and Castro in the middle of the diamond and you'd have issues galore.

The infield is where it makes the most sense to add guys, but there's no one of note to add except Uggla really, unless we're interested in a blockbuster deal for Ian Kinsler or something along those lines.

Crawford is by far the best guy on the market next year, and Colvin has experience at first, so I think if we want to add an impact guy that's the way to do it.

And ideally, Jackson and and Cashner have long term roles in the rotation. But yeah, next year one should be in the rotation and hte other in the bullpen and be deemed as the guy to replace anyone in the rotation if there's serious injury or ineffectiveness. I'd love a pitching staff of

Z
Demp
Wells
Gorz
Cashner/Jackson

Marmol
Marshall
Jackson/Cashner
Stevens
Grabow
Gaub/Russell

Mell413
06-24-2010, 02:04 PM
I think for 100 million dollars he'd be more than happy to switch from one corner to the other. But hey, even if he's not we could move Soriano, we know he's a team player despite his reputation.

And I don't think Sori could handle 2b anymore. By most accounts he was pretty bad there to start his career, now after having lost a few steps it'd be ugly.

I hope you are right in regards to Crawford willing to shift to right for a few years. I'd love to move Soriano, but I don't see a team taking him unless we pay at least $40 million of the $72 million left on his deal. I guess as a last resort we could do what you suggested a while back. Soriano seems like a nice guy so maybe he would be willing to defer some of his money.

Jilly Bohnson
06-24-2010, 02:08 PM
I hope you are right in regards to Crawford willing to shift to right for a few years. I'd love to move Soriano, but I don't see a team taking him unless we pay at least $40 million of the $72 million left on his deal. I guess as a last resort we could do what you suggested a while back. Soriano seems like a nice guy so maybe he would be willing to defer some of his money.

I meant literally move him. As in move him to right field. If Crawford staying in left is some sort of deal breaker Soriano's a big enough man that he'll move to right without much fuss.

windycityD
06-24-2010, 02:22 PM
Uggla is only a -3.5 UZR/150 at 2b. He's actually not that bad defensively. He's been a 2.1 WAR player in the first half. Means he can get to be a 4 WAR player at 2b, fairly valuable.

He's making 7.8 mil for 2010 and won arbitration in 09. Then you have the whole other scenario of dealing with Loria, etc. Eh.

The upcoming FA list for 2b is real bad. It's clear we would need to either "solve" that position via trade or go with yet another platoon. I'm not saying we could pull this off, but I would certainly kick the tires on Ian Kinsler.

windycityD
06-24-2010, 02:32 PM
I meant literally move him. As in move him to right field. If Crawford staying in left is some sort of deal breaker Soriano's a big enough man that he'll move to right without much fuss.

Oh man, Soriano in RF at Wrigley? He has the arm, but that position is not easy out there. Yeah, Dawson was basically a cripple when he played it and Sosa did fine-ok there, sure. But still, that could get fuggly.

If Ricketts allows the next GM to sign a "big bat," I'm convinced that will likely be Adam Dunn for 1b. 2b and 3b are going to be tough to truly upgrade if you're talking OPS, power, etc etc. That said, I would make sure when we do deal off vets this season, we get one high end spec back at either 2b or 3b. I'm thinking A Ram will be here through most or all of 2011.

WOwolfOL
06-25-2010, 01:24 AM
We need power from the left side, somebody who can also hit lefties, and will not need a platoon. We need 2 of those.

Kirel
06-25-2010, 07:53 AM
We need power from the left side, somebody who can also hit lefties, and will not need a platoon. We need 2 of those.
So you are basically asking for two of the top 15 or so left handed hitters in the game...

Yeah, that doesn't sound like to bad an idea to me either.

1908_Cubs
06-25-2010, 09:12 AM
So you are basically asking for two of the top 15 or so left handed hitters in the game...

Yeah, that doesn't sound like to bad an idea to me either.

Why stop there? Lets also get Pujols.

BDawk4Prez
06-25-2010, 09:56 AM
Why stop there? Lets also get Pujols.

Precursor to Peavy as well?

chi416
06-25-2010, 10:03 AM
I think we should put up new signs, move our spring training facility, raise ticket prices and agonize over plans for the triangle building/retail complex. Oh wait, you mean the new owners actually have to do something with the on field product?!?? So far, I've seen vastly more concerning the business of baseball than I have the sport of baseball. To me, the big question is do you let Hendry help put your stamp on this team now, which means he sure as hell better be someone you have confidence in, or do you wait until after the season to hire your guy and go from there. It seems difficult to try to put your stamp on this team if you don't believe in Hendry.

poodski
06-25-2010, 11:02 AM
I think we should put up new signs, move our spring training facility, raise ticket prices and agonize over plans for the triangle building/retail complex. Oh wait, you mean the new owners actually have to do something with the on field product?!?? So far, I've seen vastly more concerning the business of baseball than I have the sport of baseball. To me, the big question is do you let Hendry help put your stamp on this team now, which means he sure as hell better be someone you have confidence in, or do you wait until after the season to hire your guy and go from there. It seems difficult to try to put your stamp on this team if you don't believe in Hendry.

Well the business of the Cubs is just going to lead to a higher payroll. I have no problems with more signs, and doing something about spring training. I don't have a problem raising prices either, because well there are what 100K people on the season ticket list? The demand is there, raise the prices. I wouldnt mind raising the premium dates even more for games.

All that is going to do is allow for more money to spend on the players. Which is a good thing, a very good thing.

WOwolfOL
06-25-2010, 06:42 PM
So you are basically asking for two of the top 15 or so left handed hitters in the game...

Yeah, that doesn't sound like to bad an idea to me either.

I just said what we need, didn't say it was realistic.

Kirel
06-25-2010, 06:43 PM
I just said what we need, didn't say it was realistic.
Realism should be implied.

The Cubs obviously need the best 25 players in the game.

WOwolfOL
06-25-2010, 06:51 PM
No they don't.

But a couple lefties who can swing a good bat against lefties would be nice.

Ghostdog
06-25-2010, 08:27 PM
Dump, fire hendry, rebuild for 2 years, buy 3 big name FA's win the world series.. Dave Dombrowski did it twice.

LaToyaHawkins
06-25-2010, 11:30 PM
Would should the Cubs do? I thought you'd never ask!

1) Fire Jim Hendry. Fire him immediately. He's destroyed the immediate and long-term future of this franchise with horrifying FA signings (Soriano, Fukudome, etc). Without question, he has to go.

2) Fire Lou Pinella. This needs no explanation. It's crazy he's being allowed to finish out the season.

3) Trade Derrek Lee. Derrek Lee is the epitome of what's wrong with this team. A three-hole hitter who doesn't scare anybody. On a contender he wouldn't hit higher than 6. That's the absolute truth. Lee disgusts me. I really could care less how good of a guy he is. He's ineffective at this point in his career. Defensively he's a shell of his former self.

4) Trade Ryan Theriot. I bitterly hate Theriot. He's the worst situational hitter I've ever seen. How can a little guy have absolutely zero clue how to bunt? It's a pathetic. He can't even get on base. The only thing he can do is hit singles. That's it. He's one dimensional. If he's on the team next year I will go ballistic.

5) Trade Ted Lilly for prospects. It's a shame but Lilly being a UFA we have no choice. As uncompetitive as we are, and so far away from being competitive, we have to move him for prospects. This ineptitude of our franchise has left us no choice.

6) Wait painfully for the contracts of Fukudome and Aramis Ramirez to end. The decline of Aramis Ramirez has been shocking, if not spectacular. He has gone the way of David Ortiz of 2009, minus the steroids. I doubt Ramirez will ever recover from this. And Fukudome has never been good. He's a platoon bench guy with the salary of an All-Star. Thank the Good Lord next year is Fukudome's last.

7) Go on to the bitter end with Soriano and Zambrano. Nobody on God's green earth is dumb enough to trade for either. This is not Milton Bradley we are talking about. Both players have contracts so gigantic that both are beyond unmovable. We have to go forward as a franchise with them in tow. Hendry gave them somewhere in the ballpark of $220M. What GM would keep his job after throwing away $220M? No one. Oh, I'm sorry...more like $270M when you include Fukudome. I'm not sure which will cause me to celebrate harder....the firing of Jim Hendry/Lou Pinella or the firing of Jerry Angelo/Lovie Smith.

WOwolfOL
06-27-2010, 01:33 AM
Ramirez has gone the way of Scott Rolen. Shoulder injuries zap your power and it takes seasons to come back. You might think a good hitter would maintain a good BA but it is highly unlikely.

Matchstckman
06-27-2010, 10:32 AM
Ramirez has gone the way of Scott Rolen. Shoulder injuries zap your power and it takes seasons to come back. You might think a good hitter would maintain a good BA but it is highly unlikely.

So let's trade him for Troy Glaus circa 2008! I'm down. (Injuries or not)

windycityD
06-27-2010, 11:58 AM
I think we should put up new signs, move our spring training facility, raise ticket prices and agonize over plans for the triangle building/retail complex. Oh wait, you mean the new owners actually have to do something with the on field product?!?? So far, I've seen vastly more concerning the business of baseball than I have the sport of baseball. To me, the big question is do you let Hendry help put your stamp on this team now, which means he sure as hell better be someone you have confidence in, or do you wait until after the season to hire your guy and go from there. It seems difficult to try to put your stamp on this team if you don't believe in Hendry.

Although Bush could do a fine enough job as interim guy come July, even making the deals with our vets, I suspect Ricketts wont pull the plug on Jimbo til October. But, he has to have a new GM in place by November.

Last time I checked, Ricketts and his family were businessmen making an investment. The stadium re-defines the term depreciation, you have the yuppies in the neighborhood & the city to deal with in trying to expand the night game schedule, plus the expansion & upgrading of facilities inside and around the ballpark. Pretty clear all have been and will be on the table in terms of non-baseball operations.