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Monday, March 30, 2015

Cubs send Bryant to minors

The Chicago Cubs have reassigned top prospect Kris Bryant, who leads the majors with nine spring training home runs, to their minor league camp. The Cubs made the move Monday, less than a week before they open their season against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We entered camp with the presumptive move being to send him to Triple-A,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said. “It’s always the presumptive [move] for us move with young players that haven’t played in the big leagues yet.”

Bryant, 23, led the minor leagues with 43 homers last season and was having an outstanding spring with the Cubs, batting .425 (17-for-40) with 15 RBIs in 14 games.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 30, 2015 at 04:46 PM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, shenanigans

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NY Post: Sherman: Commish, Boras And Cubs: Shut Up About Hopeless Phenom Debate

It’s time for everyone involved in the current Kris Bryant saga to shut up. For the good of the kid and — more vitally — the good of the game.

Everyone has had their say now, even the new commissioner. Everyone has staked their position. This should be the feel-good story of the spring. Instead, the rarest commodity in the sport — a young position player with the talent and charisma to attract fans — has been soiled.

It would be worthwhile if this were a debate in which the outcome could be swayed. But that just is not the case.

The Cubs say they still have not made a decision whether they are sending Bryant down. Stop. If Bryant is sent to the minors for even just 12 days, Chicago can — by rule — control him for seven years before free agency rather than six. It is a no-brainer and anyone who has been around the Cubs executives would not describe that intelligent lot as brainless.

bobm Posted: March 28, 2015 at 10:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, scott boras, theo epstein

Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant and the service-time game | FOX Sports

As you may have noticed, there are a few Kris Bryant discussions on the site. One area of some contention is how the CBA actually works. I’ve seen one poster unequivocally state that keeping Bryant down won’t give the Cubs another year of Bryant’s play, even going so far as to say “I am so ####### tired of reading this. It is not about what years the Cubs have Bryant it is about how much they pay him in those years.” Debating such topics without factual information only makes the discussions more difficult and more acrimonious than they need to be. Luckily, CJ Nitkowski’s timely and informative article popped up in my Google search. FYI.

In an average year there are 183 service days in a major-league season, 162 games and 21 off days. If you accrue 172 days in any season, it is considered a full year. Six full years gets you to free agency. Five years and 170 days—like Rick Porcello currently has—does not.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 167 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boras: Cubs using business, not baseball, if Bryant stays in minors - CBSSports.com

I get that he’s trying to help his client become a free agent sooner but it’s also within the Cubs purview to send him down to the minors to gain another year and use Bryant’s defense as a reason to do so. If Boras really wants to get rid of the contract issue, he can agree to a contract which supersedes this issue. That won’t happen, of course. You don’t squeeze every penny out of a team signing such a contract. In the meantime, Scott, spare us the sanctimonious pontifications about “integrity and brand”.

The opiate of player control cannot supersede the greater importance of MLB’s integrity and brand, which says that this is where the best players play. You can’t have that,” Boras said in a phone interview with CBSSports.com. “Clearly, there’s an obligation to put the best players in the big leagues.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 10:20 PM | 212 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, scott boras, theo epstein

Cubs’ Ricketts reveals Wrigley renovation might take extra year

Wait til next year!

On Wednesday, though, Ricketts said the organization is projecting the $375 million renovation to take longer than originally expected.

“There will be four more years,” Ricketts said Wednesday after speaking at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. “The way we project it now is four more years of construction.”

Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for Ricketts, confirmed Wednesday evening that the project could very well bleed into a fifth offseason, one more than the original plan.

“That could still be the way it works out,” Culloton said of the original four-phase plan. “But it could take longer. Just take this winter for example, and we have found not only the problem with the weather but the water pipes that we had no control over. It could be four years, it could be five. It’s hard to say.”

The original plan for the construction was four offseason phases to be completed before the 2018 season, according to the Cubs’ Restore Wrigley website.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:14 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ricketts, wrigley field renovation

Callis: Ranking the best farm systems of the past five years

No Phils.

In today’s Pipeline Perspectives, Jonathan and I debate which farm system has been the most productive since the end of the 2009 season. My choice was the Nationals, who have developed three budding superstars in Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, two more All-Stars in Ian Desmond and Derek Norris, plus a bunch of complementary players and trade fodder….

4. Royals
Kansas City nearly rode its system to a World Series championship last year, building the second-most homegrown playoff team in 2014—behind only St. Louis. The Royals’ in-house highlights included Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi (the key pieces in the James Shields trade), Salvador Perez and Yordano Ventura.

5. Reds
Cincinnati has harvested a nice combination of blue-chip talent (Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton, Devin Mesoraco) and solid contributors (most notably, Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Zack Cozart, Didi Gregorius, Yasmani Grandal and Mike Leake), though it has traded most of the latter group.


Maddon: No decision on Baez’s roster status | cubs.com

I’ve watched Baez quite a bit. He’s not ready at the plate. He seems compelled to flail at every breaking pitch away that gets served to him. From Maddon’s comment it also seems he’s not really taking to his coaching and might need to be humbled a bit more.

Maddon denied a report that Baez was on the final 25-man roster, and added that neither Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein or general manager Jed Hoyer gave the infieder the go-ahead either.

“I have no idea where that came from,” Maddon said. “That hasn’t been decided yet.”
...
“There are the occasions where sometimes it works in reverse,” Maddon said. “A guy like him, to go back and accept going back in Triple-A and getting it done there, he might renege at that thought, and maybe you’re not going to get the full adjustment you’re looking for and it might take longer.

“If a guy fails at the Major League level and thinks he belongs in the Major Leagues and then knows he failed, if he goes back, it might be easier to get the point across.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Five toughest roster dilemmas this spring | MLB.com

Dan O’Dowd has been providing some great analysis on MLB Network this off-season. He’s spot on in this article.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-25-2015

Milwaukee Journal, March 25, 1915:

“CUBS A FRIGHTFUL BUNCH WITH WHICH TO WIN PENNANT, BUT—” it depends on which team gets their GOAT.

I don’t have any idea what this is talking about, unless someone from 1945 invented a time machine and went back 30 years. That’s a weirdly prescient obscure reference.

Dan Lee tips his cap respectfully to JackVincennes Posted: March 25, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, goats, history

Javy Baez told he’ll make Cubs’ roster despite strikeout woes | Chicago

I’d say the biggest thing he needs to do is stop swinging at breaking pitches in the dirt.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javy baez

Monday, March 23, 2015

Robothal: Players union must fight again as familiar story unfolds in Chicago

If Kris Bryant starts the season at Triple-A, the union should file a grievance, even though it would stand little chance of winning. New union chief Tony Clark should embrace the pending Bryant absurdity as the perfect opportunity to take a stand, knowing that bigger fights lie ahead with the collective-bargaining agreement expiring in 2016.

Why won’t Epstein simply acknowledge service-time considerations with Bryant? Presumably for the same reason that other executives follow the same script when dealing with the same situation: Concern that the union would use such remarks as grounds for a grievance.

So, the explanation for the act might trigger a grievance, but the actual act wouldn’t?

Makes no sense.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 23, 2015 at 01:41 AM | 154 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kris Bryant making strong case for Cubs call-up, but is the brass even listening? - Yahoo Sports

This kid is a freak.

Kris Bryant, 23 years old, smiled and looked out over the tops of the heads around him. He’d hit two more home runs Saturday afternoon, one of them against Felix Hernandez, was batting .480, had played a capable third base and had all of Chicago Cubs fandom rallying behind him. The spring in which he’d been dared to play himself onto the team was going handsomely.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:37 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Mets feared elbow would scuttle offseason Wheeler trade | New York Post

Teams such as the Giants would inquire about the availability of Zack Wheeler during the offseason, and the Mets would not even entertain discussions.

The perception they gave to the industry was Wheeler was part of a group of protected players who were not going to be dealt.

In reality, the Mets did not talk about Wheeler because they thought a swap never would go through, The Post has learned.

As part of any trade medical information is exchanged between teams, and there was enough troubling details already about the condition of Wheeler’s elbow — the need for MRI exams, a torn tendon, the eventual use of a platelet enrichment shot — that the Mets believed any club that looked at the portfolio would rescind the trade.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:03 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mets, orioles, rangers, zack wheeler

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bryant responds to talk of starting in Minors | MLB.com

Bryant plays this perfectly.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2015 at 04:52 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Boras vs. Cubs? Agent pushes team to keep Kris Bryant in bigs; Theo pushes back | FOX Sports

Cubs president Theo Epstein countered, “Kris Bryant’s development path has absolutely nothing to do with ownership, period. As with all our baseball decisions, I will determine where Kris begins the 2015 season after consulting with members of our baseball operations staff. Comments from agents, media members and anybody outside our organization will be ignored.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2015 at 07:22 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, scott boras, theo epstein

Saturday, March 14, 2015

After being scratched, Bryant hits two homers | MLB.com

How can the Cubs sell not keeping him on the 25-Man Roster? If they really are serious about winning this year, he has to be up to start the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 07:44 PM | 229 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Friday, March 13, 2015

Chicago Cubs camp analysis—Storylines abound - ESPN

The Cubs are a good press machine.

As a side note, this might be one of the best “interview” teams Chicago has seen in a long time. From Miguel Montero—the catcher will almost certainly be the first to lose it if things go bad—to Dexter Fowler to Ross to newcomer Phil Coke, we won’t be hard-pressed to find a good quote.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Soler, Baez and Bryant go back-to-back-to-back

A particularly arousing bit of Cub prospect porn.

Spahn Insane Posted: March 10, 2015 at 08:37 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez, jorge soler, kris bryant

Monday, March 09, 2015

Major league teams wrestle with personal catchers | www.daytondailynews.com

Managers have to home some type of plan to rest catchers. Personal catchers are as good a way to manage playing time as any.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2015 at 07:50 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, cubs, reds

BCB: Let’s Talk About Ballpark Food

Cubs decide to ban outside food from their spring training ballpark.  It was apparently an overnight decision.  Key bit:

I heard from a large number of people angry that they couldn’t bring peanuts or sunflower seeds into the ballpark. Really, Cubs? Really? REALLY? This sort of thing has been a time-honored tradition for decades—you buy a bag of peanuts outside the park from one of the street vendors and bring it inside. Or bring a sandwich from home, as I was going to today.

Beyond the change-the-rules-in-midstream vibe about this, the security employees were nasty about it. In fact, I have to say that of the 10 Cactus League stadiums—and I’ve been to all 10, many times—the Cubs security employees are the least friendly of any of them. I overheard one woman saying she needed special food for medical reasons, and they rebuffed her, and were decidedly not nice about it. It was clear to me that this woman did have some medical issues that were quite apparent.

Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: March 09, 2015 at 07:31 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Cubs to pay funeral home for Ernie Banks’ services - Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Cubs will pay for services for Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks after the funeral home that handled the arrangements jumped into the legal battle over the estate of the Hall of Famer with a claim for more than $35,000 it says it has not been paid.

The funeral home that handled services for Cubs Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks says they’re owed $35,000 that hasn’t been paid.

The claim by Donnellan Family Funeral Services was filed Wednesday. It comes amid a legal challenge by Banks’ widow, Elizabeth Banks, of a will Banks signed in October — without her knowledge, she contends — that leaves all his assets to longtime caregiver Regina Rice and nothing to her or Banks’ children.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ernie banks

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Cactus League will help determine roles - ESPN Chicago

Cubs questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Crane Kenney: Cubs Considered Playing A Season In Milwaukee

The Chicago Cubs of Milwaukee?

Crane Kenney’s statement indicates that they had considered playing an entire season—perhaps 2015?—at Miller Park, which would have given them from September 2014 to April 2016 to do significant work at Wrigley Field.

Logistically, this would have created significant issues for Cubs season-ticket holders who live, say, anywhere south of the Lake/Cook county line in Illinois. Even that line is about 70 miles from Miller Park; those season-ticket holders who live in the city of Chicago would be faced with a 90-mile drive to every game. The Bears did something like this when they played a year in Champaign while Soldier Field was being redone—but that was just eight games, once a week, mostly on Sundays. Baseball is a daily commitment. Further, since the Cubs and Brewers are in the same division and are often home at the same time, scheduling might have been difficult.

The Cell would have been, in my view, a better answer if the Cubs wanted to vacate Wrigley for a year to complete the project. At least it’s in the city of Chicago and accessible by public transit. There is a small subset of Cubs fans who refuse to go there. I know some of these people personally and I simply don’t understand that position. It’s a major-league ballpark with (mostly) good sightlines and natural grass.


Cubs strike out twice in bid for extended Wrigley construction hours | Chicago

At the least, I hope they will be able to work though the games.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 07:00 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, stadium renovations

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