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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 06:17 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 12:39 PM | 38 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 05:40 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 10:01 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 08:05 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 05:45 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 08:36 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 01:40 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 09:17 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 11:30 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 07:34 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 02:49 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 07:45 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mariners, phillies, red sox, royals, yankees

MLB probing Cubs for tampering with Maddon | New York Post

The Rays are acting like jilted lovers.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2014 at 07:40 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rays

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Five MLB execs who will shape the offseason. | SportsonEarth.com : Richard Justice

We have the dynamics for a fascinating offseason in place.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2014 at 08:17 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, free agents, general managers, giants, red sox, yankees

JOE MADDON—AND MAYBE, FINALLY, THE CUBS—HAVE ARRIVED

This doesn’t sound that crazy. I’ve heard about other teams having something similar. I expect it’s a value system where a GM can quickly call up a number with the current estimated value for every player in baseball.

(Perhaps a little buried in all of the Maddon love over the past few days was that there appeared to be some sort of Dr. Frankenstein experiment going on in Tampa right before he departed.

“I think you need to balance it between the human being and the number,” Maddon said. “That’s something that we were really getting into in Tampa Bay right before I left, it was that interesting leap, trying to combine a number with a person somehow, and on a daily basis, trying to almost give that number life. I know that’s crazy stuff, but I think it’s doable.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2014 at 02:10 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, theo epstein

Alfonso Soriano retires from baseball

And, therefore, is not available.

Alfonso Soriano announced his retirement from baseball in a radio interview with Hector Gomez of Z101 in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old spent 16 seasons with the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs, hitting .270/.319/.500 with 412 home runs in more than 8,000 plate appearances. The Dominican native finished his career where it started—in the Bronx—and struggled through his worst offensive season since 2000 before being released in July.

“I’ve lost the love and passion to play the game,” Soriano said during the radio interview (via the Associated Press). “Right now, my family is the most important thing.”

The District Attorney Posted: November 06, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: alfonso soriano, cubs, nationals, rangers, retirements, yankees

Cubs’ Edwards works on offerings in Fall ball | cubs.com

Will Edwards really be more than a back-ender of a rotation?

The Cubs’ best hope for a front-line starter from their farm system is right-hander C.J. Edwards, whose prospect status has surged dramatically since the Rangers signed him as a 48th-round Draft pick from a South Carolina high school in 2011. Edwards came to Chicago in the Matt Garza trade during a 2013 season in which he led the Minors by averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects

Cubs looking again at Cole Hamels, plus top free-agent pitchers - CBSSports.com

If the Red Sox and Cubs are in the mix for Hamels, the Phillies should be able to make a nice deal?

The Cubs, already connected heavily in speculative reports about top free-agent pitchers Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, are also interested in Cole Hamels, according to sources, and are expecting to talk to the Phillies about him.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Cubs will look into Hamels, who’s comparable to the top two free-agent pitchers, and also available.

It isn’t known how the Cubs are prioritizing the top available starting pitchers, but suffice it to say they will investigate all three, and possibly James Shields, who has connections with new Cubs manager Joe Maddon. Chicago has a superb group of young position players but to compete, it must upgrade its pitching staff, particularly the rotation.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2014 at 07:30 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cole hamels, cubs

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Cubs, already a big free-agent player, are targeting Russell Martin - CBSSports.com

The Cubs, already the leader in free agency after landing marquee manager Joe Maddon for a $25 million, five-year deal, are going to target top free-agent catcher Russell Martin, sources connected to the team said.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 04, 2014 at 07:45 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, russell martin

Joe Maddon offers reporters ‘a shot and a beer’ in first press conference with Cubs - NY Daily News

How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 04, 2014 at 09:19 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, managerial search

Monday, November 03, 2014

Cubs introduce Joe Maddon

WKRP in Cincinnatus Posted: November 03, 2014 at 06:15 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, managers

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Tampa’s choice on tampering charges—MLB - ESPN - Insider (Sub Required)

Where’s the proof? Maddon had a opt-out clause in his contract. He reportedly was reminded about the clause by TB’s Matt Silverman, “The opt-out clause, Maddon said, was something of a fine-print treasure revealed to him in a call from Matt Silverman, the Rays’ president of baseball operations, just after Friedman left. “I had totally forgotten about it,” Maddon said. “Andrew leaves, and I get a phone call that I have an opt-out clause. Otherwise I would not have known, I swear to you.”” Without evidence, this is reckless reporting.

From the Rays’ perspective, the way the Maddon situation has played out must be, well, maddening. In the hours after Andrew Friedman’s departure to the Dodgers was announced, Maddon publicly stated a renewed commitment to remain with the Rays for the long term, and Matt Silverman—who replaced Friedman at the head of the Rays’ baseball operations—announced that Maddon would be the manager for 2015, and that the team would work to sign him to a long-term deal.

And the Rays followed up. They opened negotiations with Maddon and offered him a deal that would guarantee him standing as one of baseball’s highest-paid managers. There was a sense in the Tampa Bay organization that the two sides were on the verge of a deal.

Then, abruptly, something changed, days before Maddon formally opted out of his contract.

Update: Alen Nero talking about Joe Maddon.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2014 at 01:52 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, managers, rays

Cubs hiring Maddon to replace Renteria as manager | MLB.com

A press conference is scheduled for Monday.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2014 at 08:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Friday, October 31, 2014

MLB.com - In pursuit of Maddon, Cubs dismiss Renteria

The money quote:

“Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season-ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.

“Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon—who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us—had become a free agent. We confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.

“While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation, we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. Jed flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will indeed make a change.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: October 31, 2014 at 03:15 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, rick renteria

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