Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Cubs Newsbeat

Monday, December 15, 2014

Inside the Chicago Cubs’ Hiring of Joe Maddon, One of MLB’s Best Managers | Bleacher Report

A little info on the Maddon signing.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2014 at 06:27 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What the Jon Lester signing means for him, the Cubs and the Red Sox | HardballTalk

Good stuff from Craig Calcaterra.

So that’s what it all means for Boston, Chicago and Lester. Now, here’s what it means for you and me and everyone who yaks about baseball: we need to relax. One signing does not a pennant win or lose. You’ll see, in the coming days, an awful lot of talk about how “the balance of power” has shifted in the NL Central and the AL East and stuff like that. Don’t believe most of it. It’s in the same vein as the talk that had the 2012 Phillies winning it all and various Marlins and Blue Jays teams winning the offseason in the past couple of years. Which is to say that it’s mostly hot air.

Jon Lester makes the Cubs better. His absence will make the Red Sox worse. But he is, in the beginning and the end, only one man, and able front offices in Boston and Chicago will have a lot more to say about how their teams do than Jon Lester will. Let’s have fun with it all now, but let’s let the baseball season get underway before we declare there to be definitive winners and losers.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon lester, red sox, winter meetings

Nightengale: Maddon says he ‘won the lottery’ with Lester

No, Jon Lester won the lottery. From all reports Lester is a nice guy. When the Red Sox lowballed him last off-season, Lester did not complain in the press. Instead he went out and had the best year of his career and was rewarded yesterday with a contract $40 million plus higher than he was reportedly looking for last year. Congrats to Lester and his family.

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was enjoying his pork chop dinner with a couple of red glasses of wine late Tuesday evening when he checked the text message on his cell phone.

The Cubs just signed Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million contract, with a seventh-year option that could make the deal worth $170 million, Maddon was informed, beating out the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox, according to a high-ranking baseball official with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the deal is not yet finalized.

Correct that.

Maddon just won the lottery.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2014 at 06:53 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, jon lester

Sources: Cubs land Jon Lester with $155 million deal - Yahoo Sports

So it was all about the money.

“The thing I liked about ’em is it wasn’t forced and wasn’t a sales pitch,” Lester said after his meeting with the Cubs. “It was like, ‘This is what we can do.’ I don’t want BS. I don’t want show. I don’t want glitz and glamour. I don’t want to walk out to the field with your name and number on the JumboTron. I’m not 18 anymore. I want you to tell me what you can do for me and my family.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2014 at 06:38 AM | 152 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon lester

Jon Lester Saga Tested Red Sox’s Commitment To Organizational Philosophy | Boston Red Sox | NESN.com

Two World Series rings?

The Red Sox’s decision to not go beyond six years and $135 million for Lester wasn’t as much stubborn, frugal and merciless as it was systematic. Boston has been reluctant to dish out long-term contracts to pitchers over 30, and while the Red Sox were willing to making an exception for Lester, there still was a barrier the club was unwilling to cross. Two World Series rings and past success weren’t enough to cloud Boston’s organizational vision.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2014 at 06:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agency, jon lester, red sox

Full Count » Source: Cubs, Jon Lester agree to six-year, $155 million deal

OK, who is going to higher to get Scherzer? I hope it’s the Yankees.

Almost a year after his proclaimed interest in returning to the Red Sox on a hometown discount, left-hander Jon Lester rejected his former team’s free-agent overtures, and instead chose to make his baseball home in Chicago with the Cubs, according to an industry source.

Lester agreed to a six-year, $155 million deal, the largest average annual value ($25.83 million) ever given to a pitcher on a multi-year deal in free agency. His deal with the Cubs includes a vesting option for a seventh year. The Sox’ final offer, according to another industry source, was for a six-year, $135 million deal with no seventh-year vesting option.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2014 at 06:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, free agents, giants, jon lester, red sox

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Chicago Cubs Top 20 Prospects for 2015 - John Sickels/MiLB.com

In Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and Addison Russell, the Cubs have three of the top ten prospects in all of baseball. Kyle Schwarber isn’t far behind, and the system boasts rapidly improving depth behind the top group, including on the mound.

* * *

The Cubs probably have the best farm system in baseball. I’m only saying “probably” because I haven’t studied every organization in detail yet, but if they aren’t number one they’d be number two.

zonk Posted: December 09, 2014 at 10:59 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects

Once Lester picks team, rest of desired arms will fall into place | FOX Sports

Robothal reports.

Free agents frequently say such things, talking about comfort, happiness, etc. But Lester has similar offers from the Cubs, Giants, Dodgers and Red Sox, according to major-league sources. The question, in the end, will boil down to which team he prefers.
Lester’s offers all are in the six-year, $150 million range, sources said. One team — it is known which one — indicated it would go to the seven-year, $175 million range. But Lester would not necessarily choose that team even at that level, one source said.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2014 at 06:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, free agents, giants, jon lester, red sox, winter meetings

Monday, December 08, 2014

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: “Sources: Barring late change, Lester choosing between Cubs and Giants

The Red Sox have nobody to blame but themselves. If some of the other reports are true, Lester might be getting seven years.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2014 at 04:54 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, jon lester, red sox

Jason Hammel is said close to a deal to return to the Chicago Cubs - CBSSports.com

Hammel is said to be looking for a three-year deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2014 at 06:56 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason hammel, winter meetings

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Report: Cubs change Wrigley Field plans for possible tax credit

The catch is, they must build a home run sign with a rotating dolphin display.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider several changes Thursday that the Chicago Cubs made to their Wrigley Field renovation plan in exchange for possible federal tax credit worth up to $75 million.

The deal with the National Park Service would alter the dimensions and placement of video boards and other signs in order to not encroach on the historic manual center-field scoreboard and the ballpark’s view of the neighborhood, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Cubs spokesman Julian Green said the deal with park service would put the team on track to receive tax credits. It could earn Wrigley a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

‘‘We wouldn’t be eligible to receive those dollars until after the project is finished. But, the credit represents tens of millions of dollars that could be used to help fund the project. Given the scope of this project, we believe Wrigley Field qualifies for those dollars,’’ Green said.

 


Monday, December 01, 2014

OT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller

A crazed Chicago Cubs fan will do anything to guarantee a championship, and the President of the United States has a childhood secret that puts the Oval Office and lives at risk.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 01, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 5133 comment(s)
  Beats: books, cubs, fiction, politics

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kap: Cubs have made ‘significant’ offer to Jon Lester | CSN Chicago

“What I’m hearing is the Chicago Cubs have made a significant offer - significant north of $135 million,” Kaplan said.

Kap also said he’s hearing the Cubs’ offer would be for six years.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 05:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester

Rolling Stone: The 15 Worst Owners in Sports

Don’t let recent success blind you to an ample history deserving of scorn. After running arguably the worst non-arms-manufacturing company in the world, Walmart, Glass became sole owner of the Royals in 2000 and immediately treated baseball the way Walmart treats people.

Amid a jackal pack of ownership that included a (future) commissioner guilty of collusion to fix player salaries, Glass – then the team’s president and CEO – stood out as an anti-labor hardliner during the 1994 strike, wanting to bring in scab players for a monstrously un-telegenic spectacle summarizing the kind of ####-you tactics Glass learned at the Bentonville, Arkansas smile-time sociopathy juggernaut. He simultaneously advocated a hard salary cap in baseball, not to create an even playing field with large-market teams but to have a paper excuse to wave in doubters’ faces explaining why he didn’t spend anything on his team. Glass went ahead without one, with team payrolls routinely languishing in the bottom half of the league during his tenure, with notable years like 2000 (28th), 2003 (29th), 2005 (29th) and 2011 (30th). That’s out of 30. The last two years, Royals payroll has leapt to 19th in the league, but don’t let the 2014 World Series run fool you. Fans have every reason to expect them to regress, and every expectation that Glass won’t spend to correct that (Goodbye, Billy Butler.) After all, four seasons of 100 losses and an average of 92 losses per season under his tenure is a much bigger sample size.

Last, in 2006, Glass was all about that entrepreneurial spirit when renovations to Kauffman Stadium were furnished by a countywide sales tax, in exchange for discounts at certain games. Rolling back prices every day!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, david glass, fred wilpon, jeffrey loria, marlins, mets, owners, ricketts, royals

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Some Wrigley rooftops face foreclosure

Fifth Third Bank, which lent rooftop owners Thomas Gramatis, Max Waisvisz, Daniel Finkel and various holding companies about $18.6 million between 2006 and 2012, says the owners haven’t kept up with mortgage payments and owe in excess of $36 million in principal, interests and other fees, according to the court document.

Photo: http://chicago.curbed.com/uploads/rooftopforeclosure.png

McCoy Posted: November 18, 2014 at 04:40 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-18-2014

Toledo News-Bee, November 18, 1914:

Charles W. Murphy, former president of the Cubs, and credited with still holding a large interest in the club, announced on Wednesday that the deal by which Charles Weeghman, owner of the Chicago Federals, was to purchase the Cubs, is off.

...meaning another year of the Federal League-Organized Baseball war. But you all know that already.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 18, 2014 at 09:01 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, federal league, history

Might Yanks revisit their low-key winter plan and shoot for Scherzer? - CBSSports.com

I bet Boras is the one pushing this report.

The Yankees and Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, are said to have had a brief contact sometime since returning from the GM meetings, and word is the Yankees may “revisit” their inclination not to make any big expenditures this winter.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 18, 2014 at 07:05 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, max scherzer, yankees

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cubs Acquire Tommy La Stella

This is a super-weird one in terms of team strengths and weaknesses, if nothing else.

The Cubs have announced they have acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Braves for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. The two teams also swapped international bonus slots: the Cubs receiving the Braves’ number four international signing bonus slot in exchange for their slot numbers two, three and four.

The District Attorney Posted: November 16, 2014 at 04:45 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: arodys vizcaino, braves, cubs, tommy la stella, trades, transactions

Teams with excess depth could play big role in offseason | New York Post

Joel Sherman is very entertaining. He has a lot of ideas.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2014 at 07:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, nationals, red sox, trade rumors, white sox, yankees

Friday, November 14, 2014

Baseball Prospectus | 2015 Prospects: Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects (PAY)

I don’t typically link to pay content but I found the BP Top 10 interesting. (After not subscribing to BP for years, I signed up last season. Their daily content, especially the scouting stuff, has really improved. It’s well worth the subscription fee.)

The Top Ten

1. SS Addison Russell
2. 3B Kris Bryant
3. OF Jorge Soler
4. OF Albert Almora
5. C Kyle Schwarber
6. OF Billy McKinney
7. RHP Pierce Johnson
8. SS Gleyber Torres
9. 1B Dan Vogelbach
10. LHP Carson Sands

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects, scouting reports

Jon Lester would further solidify solid staff - Chicago Tribune

Thirteen pitchers have commanded contracts of $100 million or more, including two for C.C. Sabathia because of an opt-out clause he exercised. Clayton Kershaw’s seven-year, $215 million deal is the gold standard, followed by Justin Verlander ($180 million over seven years), Felix Hernandez ($175 million/seven), Sabathia ($161 million/seven), Masahiro Tanaka ($155 million/7), Zack Greinke ($147 million/six), Cole Hamels ($144 million/six), Johan Santana ($137.5 million/six), Matt Cain ($127.5 million/six), Barry Zito ($126 million/six), Sabathia ($122.5 million/five), Mike Hampton ($121 million/eight), Cliff Lee ($120 million/five) and Kevin Brown ($105 million/seven).

The jury is still out on many of those deals, but certainly Brown, Lee, Hampton and Santana didn’t work out, and Sabathia’s contract has become an albatross for the Yankees. Cain and Tanaka were injured this year, while Verlander no longer appears dominant.

The Red Sox have done studies to determine the characteristics in pitchers that make for better long-term investments — lefty vs. righty, power vs. finesse, what kind of delivery, etc.

“We do look at that. What we have found is the more predicted element at this point in their career is what they’ve done, not so much what they look like,” Cherington said. “Not to say what they look like or their delivery doesn’t matter. It does.

“But the track record is usually the best predictor. It just so happens that a lot of the available starting pitchers this offseason, at least toward the top of the market, have that very strong record of pitching a lot for a long period of time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2014 at 08:17 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester, red sox

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-13-2014

Toledo News-Bee, November 13, 1914:

Owner Charles Weeghman of the Chicago Federals on Friday denied that the Chicago Cubs actually had been transferred to him and peace terms for the elimination of the Federal league agreed upon, though well-informed baseball men insisted that these two steps were taken at Thursday’s conference between Weeghman and Garry Herrmann.

Weeghman declared that a few details in the deal by which he is to become owner of the Cubs, are yet to be arranged and that the transfer will not take place until after the Federal league meeting on Nov. 28.

It was the general belief, however, that the Cubs have changed hands, but that announcement will be withheld until the Federal league meets and sanctions arrangements for peace.

That announcement was indeed made after the Federal League met on November 28, but it was made a year later. Weeghman bought the Cubs, Phil Ball bought the Browns, five other teams took cash settlements, and the Baltimore Terrapins filed a famous but ultimately unsuccessful anti-trust suit.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, federal league, history

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sources: Cubs in talks to acquire Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann | Chicago Sun-Times

Another report says the clubs aren’t dealing. Brett Anderson would be a great buy-low pickup for a smart team.

Zimmermann, 28, would be a younger, potentially less-expensive alternative to the higher-end free agents on the market this off-season, though the player package to acquire him would have to include at least one of their touted young middle infielders, sources say.

One source said the teams have enough mutual interest that names have been discussed. Another said he expected the Cubs to complete the deal – along with Cardinals free agent Justin Masterson, who blamed minor injuries for season-long struggles in 2014 after a 2013 All-Star season.

Masterson is said to be willing to sign a low-cost one-year deal for a chance to prove himself in spring training, possibly similar to the $1 million deal the Cubs gave James McDonald last winter.

Lester, considered by some executives the most valuable free agent starter on the market, is still in play for the Cubs, say insiders, along with buy-low/upside guys such as Rockies free agent Brett Anderson, veteran bench guys such as Athletics free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes and bullpen help.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2014 at 06:34 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: brett anderson, cubs, jordan zimmermann, justin masterson, nationals

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bullpen help not a high priority for Cubs - Chicago Tribune

Starters still matter.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series this year with a rotation that ranked 16th in the majors, beating a Kansas City Royals team whose rotation finished 11th overall.

So why spend over $100 million on a free-agent starter when an average rotation combined with a few shutdown relievers in the seventh, eighth and ninth seemingly works just as well?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2014 at 01:49 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Mariners aim to emulate Royals; will KC land Big Piece?

Bob Nightengale’s latest.

They are intent on dumping first baseman Ryan Howard and the remaining $60 million on his contract, but after finding no takers during the season, they have surprising interest from a small-market club with one baseball’s lowest payrolls.

The Royals.

The Royals aren’t about to rip up their payroll, and David Glass suddenly isn’t about to go all Steinbrenner on us, but if the Phillies are willing to eat most of the contract, the Royals have had internal discussions about acquiring him.

They believe he just might be the perfect fit to replace Billy Butler as their everyday DH, and considering they didn’t have a single player hit 20 homers or drive in 75 runs last year, he may be the power threat the Royals need to return to the World Series.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2014 at 06:45 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mariners, phillies, red sox, royals, yankees

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(142 - 8:51pm, Dec 20)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5133 - 8:51pm, Dec 20)
Last: Joey B.

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr. says it would be best if Phillies move on from Ryan Howard
(31 - 8:51pm, Dec 20)
Last: bobm

NewsblogTrading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog
(91 - 8:45pm, Dec 20)
Last: akrasian

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9178 - 8:44pm, Dec 20)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(756 - 8:41pm, Dec 20)
Last: rr

NewsblogThe Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair
(5 - 8:35pm, Dec 20)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogAmazin' Avenue - Cohen: Mets and Rockies discussing Troy Tulowitzki deal with Noah Syndergaard as the centerpiece
(52 - 8:33pm, Dec 20)
Last: billyshears

Hall of MeritHerman Long
(10 - 7:54pm, Dec 20)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogThe Yankees’ plan in case A-Rod can’t play at all
(10 - 7:34pm, Dec 20)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogThe right — and wrong — way for Mets to get Tulowitzki | New York Post
(11 - 6:55pm, Dec 20)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogAngels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel - LA Times
(18 - 6:40pm, Dec 20)
Last: GregD

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1371 - 5:56pm, Dec 20)
Last: Dan The Mediocre

NewsblogOT - College Football Bowl Spectacular (December 2014 - January 2015)
(105 - 5:39pm, Dec 20)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogGiants acquire McGehee to fill third-base spot
(3 - 4:38pm, Dec 20)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

Page rendered in 2.6230 seconds
167 querie(s) executed