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Ready or Not....................................................

Posted: 12/20/2012 10:29 PM

Ready or Not.................................................... 


..........................................my take on the "Kool-aid" drinkers Vs. the "Instant Gradification" Mob. I'm not an automatic, unabashed "Kool-aid" drinker. I was all over Hendry long before the majority joined in. And if I believed that this rebuild was nothing but a grand money saving scam, as the "instant grat" supporters seem to suggest, I'd be all over this FO, too.

"This is a small market strategy," and "no team has ever won a WS with nothing but home grown talent," seems to be their take on the Cubs rebuild.

But, as I see it, the "instant grat" Cubs fans are about as accute as Stevie Wonder at an eye exam. At the Major League level, during the beginning stages of a full-scale rebuild, the Cubs have still managed to finished second in big money negotiations with Cespedes and Darvish last year and Sanchez this year. Now, if you want to argue that these offers were mostly for show, I'll agree-- up to a point. The FO is not yet ready for a sleeves-rolled-up bidding war on talent requiring a major longterm commitment, before it's potential impact can be fully put to use. Tellingly, when negotiating for free agent Minor League level talent, they're more determined, more involved pursuit allowed them to best the mega-market Yankees in acquiring Soler and Concepcion.  Last year and very possibly this year, they have spent millions on pitchers they can flip in order to add to the ever important core. Hardly a small market, small money approach but rather, where their focus and resources are currently at.

"No team has ever won a WS with nothing but home grown talent." And the Cubs "plan" is to try and be the first? Common now. If the financial commitment shown in pursuing the building block, home grown core, during phase one of the rebuild is any indication, there will be a huge big market, budget bump to reinforce the ever growing home grown core just as the first group begins to have it's impact felt at the Major League level.

"No big market team has ever tried this before." Quick history lesson. The impulsive, impatient George Stienbrenner spent the entire decade of the '80's in a frenzied, ill-advise spending spree trying to recapture the mini-dynasty he had with the Yankees of the late seventies. His impatient pursuit of another title continually purged the system of it's top prospects and despite this and an ever escalating payroll, the team was an also ran most of the decade. When he was  banned from baseball, due to the Winfield scandal (look it up,) his highly payed, highly talented FO, led by Gene Michaels, freed of George's meddlesome hamstringing, finally got a chance to clean house. They focuesed their large resources on scouting,  the draft and improving their Latin facilities and presence. The win-right-now philoshophy was shelved while the organizations road map was redrawn, by qualified, dedicated baseball people. And as those bloated, stiffling contracts began to come off the books, they went from middle-of-the-road, occasional conteders to losers-- while they took the time to rebuilt a broken system. Sound familiar? 

They used those years to acquire a Jeter, a Rivera, a Posada, and a B. Williams. It was the home grown core that led, in a matter of a few short years, into one of the storied Yankees greatest dynasties.

When the Cubs are ready to contend (for years to come) and begin to add those finishing touch, veteran pieces the "instant grats" new refrain will be "I told you all along, you couldn't contend without the veteran additions we've been pushing for."

Last edited 12/20/2012 10:40 PM by HolyMackeral

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Posted: 12/21/2012 5:16 AM

RE: Ready or Not................................................ 


Blame it on the jack and cokes...but I believe!
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Posted: 12/21/2012 10:46 AM

Re: Ready or 


You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan. He stated that he's heard from multiple sources that the Cubs feel that if they were a small market team, (KC, Pittsburgh etc.), they could have multiple 100 loss seasons to garner the highest picks and refurbish the system.

But this is Chicago..."and it isn't going to fly that way here." He feels part of the reason is lower ticket sales.


The team has added Jackson (which is something you thought they should not do - too soon and the core is not ready) on a multi year deal that is a big market move since most consider him a #3 or even #4 but that is what a big market team can do vs small market. By adding depth with Villanueva they have added pieces without the intention of flipping.

There is now rumors they are in on Bourn which could actually move them closer to a 500 team in 2013. I like they are taking steps to improve this season which should make competing even easier in 2014.

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Posted: 12/21/2012 11:23 AM

Re: Ready or 



cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan.

BS.  Epstein has stated from the very beginning that they will sign FA's to a sizeable contract if they fit their dual track criteria - helping the team both in the present and the future.  Sanchez (if he signed here) and Jackson fit that criteria.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 12:24 PM

Re: Ready or 



KatieCubFan wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan.

BS.  Epstein has stated from the very beginning that they will sign FA's to a sizeable contract if they fit their dual track criteria - helping the team both in the present and the future.  Sanchez (if he signed here) and Jackson fit that criteria.
As did Soler, Fuki, the bid for Yu.

The crowd that complained they were acting like a small market (with a 100 million payroll) are now suggesting that the strategy has changed. I have stated all along that the payroll would not drop below 90 million and the Cubs were just being smart in looking for value signings. The only difference between 2012 and 2013 is that there are fewer holes to fill this season because of the work done last season.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 12:49 PM

Re: Ready or 



absolutebadger wrote:
KatieCubFan wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan.

BS.  Epstein has stated from the very beginning that they will sign FA's to a sizeable contract if they fit their dual track criteria - helping the team both in the present and the future.  Sanchez (if he signed here) and Jackson fit that criteria.
As did Soler, Fuki, the bid for Yu.

The crowd that complained they were acting like a small market (with a 100 million payroll) are now suggesting that the strategy has changed. I have stated all along that the payroll would not drop below 90 million and the Cubs were just being smart in looking for value signings. The only difference between 2012 and 2013 is that there are fewer holes to fill this season because of the work done last season.
What do you mean fewer holes - they have signed an OF, 3b, backup C, 4 starting pitchers & 4 bullpen arms. They are still looking for another OF and a RH bench player for the IF.

You keep bringing up Soler that was a minor league signing that was years away from helping when signed. That is separate from the major league payroll.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 1:01 PM

Re: Ready or 



KatieCubFan wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan.

BS.  Epstein has stated from the very beginning that they will sign FA's to a sizeable contract if they fit their dual track criteria - helping the team both in the present and the future.  Sanchez (if he signed here) and Jackson fit that criteria.
I second that BS 2007.  You were the one I heard talking about tanking next season the most.  Some were OK with it for draft pick consideration but I think most of us "kool aid drinkers" were saying things like "the offseason isn't over yet".  All the depth the Cubs added to their pitching staff cost less than Greinke.  Those same moves improved this team more than Greinke alone would have.  The FO is being efficient.  This is the crux of the argument.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 1:07 PM

Re: Ready or 



zighawk73 wrote:
KatieCubFan wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan.

BS.  Epstein has stated from the very beginning that they will sign FA's to a sizeable contract if they fit their dual track criteria - helping the team both in the present and the future.  Sanchez (if he signed here) and Jackson fit that criteria.
I second that BS 2007.  You were the one I heard talking about tanking next season the most.  Some were OK with it for draft pick consideration but I think most of us "kool aid drinkers" were saying things like "the offseason isn't over yet".  All the depth the Cubs added to their pitching staff cost less than Greinke.  Those same moves improved this team more than Greinke alone would have.  The FO is being efficient.  This is the crux of the argument.
I have been saying tanking is a bad idea and they should improve the major league club along with the farm. The last few signings they have taken that step and signed players they have no intention of flipping and are now building a team and improving the talent at the major league level. They were ready to sign both Sanchez and Jackson - not sure how efficient that would have been.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 1:33 PM

Re: Ready or 




---------------------------------------------
--- cubs2007 wrote:


zighawk73 wrote:
KatieCubFan wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan.

BS.  Epstein has stated from the very beginning that they will sign FA's to a sizeable contract if they fit their dual track criteria - helping the team both in the present and the future.  Sanchez (if he signed here) and Jackson fit that criteria.
I second that BS 2007.  You were the one I heard talking about tanking next season the most.  Some were OK with it for draft pick consideration but I think most of us "kool aid drinkers" were saying things like "the offseason isn't over yet".  All the depth the Cubs added to their pitching staff cost less than Greinke.  Those same moves improved this team more than Greinke alone would have.  The FO is being efficient.  This is the crux of the argument.
I have been saying tanking is a bad idea and they should improve the major league club along with the farm. The last few signings they have taken that step and signed players they have no intention of flipping and are now building a team and improving the talent at the major league level. They were ready to sign both Sanchez and Jackson - not sure how efficient that would have been.

---------------------------------------------

They could have signed both for less overall money than grienke got, that would have been efficient.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 2:28 PM

Re: Ready or 



Brianj wrote:


They could have signed both for less overall money than grienke got, that would have been efficient.
That is what aces are signed for - There has been some talk about going after Price next offseason. Besides giving up a number of your top prospects he would also need to be signed to a deal like Greinke.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 5:23 PM

Re: Ready or 



cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan. He stated that he's heard from multiple sources that the Cubs feel that if they were a small market team, (KC, Pittsburgh etc.), they could have multiple 100 loss seasons to garner the highest picks and refurbish the system.

But this is Chicago..."and it isn't going to fly that way here." He feels part of the reason is lower ticket sales.


The team has added Jackson (which is something you thought they should not do - too soon and the core is not ready) on a multi year deal that is a big market move since most consider him a #3 or even #4 but that is what a big market team can do vs small market. By adding depth with Villanueva they have added pieces without the intention of flipping.

There is now rumors they are in on Bourn which could actually move them closer to a 500 team in 2013. I like they are taking steps to improve this season which should make competing even easier in 2014.






Theo stated at the start of the offseason (paraphrasing) "this may be another year in which we (the Cubs) trade 2/5's of our rotation at the trading deadline." And not one of the pitcher signings came with a NTC, so, as always, I say you're wrong.

The tip off to when they are really ready for an all-in season will be when they include a NTC, as a "cost of doing business" manuever, in a contract for a highly prized FA. The kind that can put you over the top. Baez and Almora are likely to move through the system quickly. The first round pick could be a fast moving college pitcher. 2014 is a realistic target. 2013 will once more see the Cubs flipping for prospects. The main reason for these signings.

Another tip off, Theo resently stated that the Cubs currently have 6 core components and the goal is to have 12. They added 3 (Rizzo, Soler, and Almora) last year. This years draft will provide  one. Depleting the pitching depth could bring this years total to 3. 

As I stated in another thread, Olt would bring eerilie similar qualities to 3B as those that Rizzo brought to 1B last year. Potential moves like this will be too tempting for Theo and Jeb to pass up in pursuit of a .500 season. Their rebuild goals are not there yet. Not after just one year, regardless of what that BS'er Kaplin has to say.

Kaplin are reliable source?!?!

Last edited 12/21/2012 5:25 PM by HolyMackeral

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Posted: 12/21/2012 7:31 PM

Re: Ready or 


I don't believe for one minute that they changed their rebuild plan no matter what Kaplan has said. For one thing, with this new CBA they knew they couldn't count as heavilly on the draft.  I believe they have always been looking for value signings that fit the goal. But if none were out there they weren't going to jeporadize the future to plug a hole and win a few more
games.  

The fact that they signed Jackson and tried to sign Sanchez only means that they have found two players that fit their needs. It doesn't mean they've changed anything. Every signing they have made has a purpose in the overall plan.

Obviously, you can't have a run of 100 loss seasons in a large market with high prices and a TV deal to negotiate in a year or two. You think they didn't know that as well?  They had to blow the first season to shake out the deadwood, try out some players and build on prospects.  Now they are working on the parallel building that they talked about up front. Adding players that fit the plan WITHOUT jeporadizing the future. Nothing has changed. Maybe Kaplan didn't understand the process.

And I'm no kool aid drinker. I was a charter member of the anti-Hendry club. I call it as I see it. Hendry had no idea how to build a winning organization. So far, this group is on track.
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Posted: 12/21/2012 8:42 PM

Re: Ready or 


Up to this point in the offseason, I haven't seen anything that suggests they have altered their plan.  They haven't spent big on anybody.  At least as far as length of contract and salary go.  Sanchez and Jackson fit what they have always said they would target.  Guys who were entering their prime years.  Jackson more so because the Cubs won't lose a pick with his signing.  Outside of Jackson's four year deal the Cubs haven't added anybody for longer than 2 years.  Those are short term assets.  If anything I am more convinced the Cubs will trade Garza.  If he shows he is healthy, and effective, possibly as soon as Baker is ready. 

The starting staff is deeper.  The bullpen is a bit better.  But the lineup as it is now is still not all that good.  I see a repeat of last season where the Cubs are major sellers at the deadline.

"Winning is us,'' Brown said. "That's what we do at Illinois."
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Posted: 12/21/2012 10:42 PM

Re: Ready or 



HolyMackeral wrote:
cubs2007 wrote: You and many others were ready to tank this upcoming season and even 2014 to get better draft picks and continue to build the farm at the expense of the major league club.

Listening to Kaplan on the radio last night(who has been one of the more reliable sources with the new front office) feels the Cubs have changed their rebuild plan. He stated that he's heard from multiple sources that the Cubs feel that if they were a small market team, (KC, Pittsburgh etc.), they could have multiple 100 loss seasons to garner the highest picks and refurbish the system.

But this is Chicago..."and it isn't going to fly that way here." He feels part of the reason is lower ticket sales.


The team has added Jackson (which is something you thought they should not do - too soon and the core is not ready) on a multi year deal that is a big market move since most consider him a #3 or even #4 but that is what a big market team can do vs small market. By adding depth with Villanueva they have added pieces without the intention of flipping.

There is now rumors they are in on Bourn which could actually move them closer to a 500 team in 2013. I like they are taking steps to improve this season which should make competing even easier in 2014.






Theo stated at the start of the offseason (paraphrasing) "this may be another year in which we (the Cubs) trade 2/5's of our rotation at the trading deadline." And not one of the pitcher signings came with a NTC, so, as always, I say you're wrong.

The tip off to when they are really ready for an all-in season will be when they include a NTC, as a "cost of doing business" manuever, in a contract for a highly prized FA. The kind that can put you over the top. Baez and Almora are likely to move through the system quickly. The first round pick could be a fast moving college pitcher. 2014 is a realistic target. 2013 will once more see the Cubs flipping for prospects. The main reason for these signings.

Another tip off, Theo resently stated that the Cubs currently have 6 core components and the goal is to have 12. They added 3 (Rizzo, Soler, and Almora) last year. This years draft will provide  one. Depleting the pitching depth could bring this years total to 3. 

As I stated in another thread, Olt would bring eerilie similar qualities to 3B as those that Rizzo brought to 1B last year. Potential moves like this will be too tempting for Theo and Jeb to pass up in pursuit of a .500 season. Their rebuild goals are not there yet. Not after just one year, regardless of what that BS'er Kaplin has to say.

Kaplin are reliable source?!?!

Kaplan as a reliable source...funny shnit there buddy!! He has been wrong about 98% of the time since he has been around...good one though, gave me a great laugh!
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Posted: 12/22/2012 12:31 AM

Re: Ready or 



dancingwithgoats wrote: I don't believe for one minute that they changed their rebuild plan no matter what Kaplan has said. For one thing, with this new CBA they knew they couldn't count as heavilly on the draft.  I believe they have always been looking for value signings that fit the goal. But if none were out there they weren't going to jeporadize the future to plug a hole and win a few more
games.  

The fact that they signed Jackson and tried to sign Sanchez only means that they have found two players that fit their needs. It doesn't mean they've changed anything. Every signing they have made has a purpose in the overall plan.

Obviously, you can't have a run of 100 loss seasons in a large market with high prices and a TV deal to negotiate in a year or two. You think they didn't know that as well?  They had to blow the first season to shake out the deadwood, try out some players and build on prospects.  Now they are working on the parallel building that they talked about up front. Adding players that fit the plan WITHOUT jeporadizing the future. Nothing has changed. Maybe Kaplan didn't understand the process.

And I'm no kool aid drinker. I was a charter member of the anti-Hendry club. I call it as I see it. Hendry had no idea how to build a winning organization. So far, this group is on track.
+1.  I think that what we've seen on this board is a false dichotomy, wherein the only two ways of (re)building a franchise are the "grow your own/small market" and the "spend, spend, spend/big boys" models.  Unless I'm totally mistaken, Theo & Jed never said that they'd rebuild on the cheap or pass on pricey free agents.  What they have mentioned is the need to create a framework and philosophy for sustained success.  And what, pray tell, are some of the keys to their philosophy?  I'd argue that among the most important are:

A)  Valuing draft picks.  Even with the Cubs finishing poorly in 2012 and
     having a protected first-rounder in next years' draft, they weren't in
     on any FA's who would cost them even a second-rounder.  In an 
     organization still short on talent, high-round picks are gold...
     especially early high-round picks..

B)  Maintaining flexibility, both in payroll and how contracts are
     structured.  You see a mix of one-year guys, two-year deals and 
     longer-term paper (Castro, Jackson.)  The point is, don't hand out
     deals of longer than a year or two unless they work to the clubs' 
     advantage...and especially don't handcuff yourself with long-term 
     no-trade deals.  We've all seen how well those work out.

C)  Being smart, not cheap.  Look at the Sanchez offer--the Cubs went 
     to 5/75 and not a penny more. Granted, that meant losing him to the
     Tigers, but with the $80m that they didn't spend on Sanchez the Cubs
     got Edwin Jackson ($52m) AND Villanueva ($10m) AND still have $$$
     left over to address other needs. 

I could add another point or two about "finding value" or the "Cubs Way" that Theo likes to espouse, but those, to me, are givens. 

Now, there will always be exceptions--especially when (I hope) the Cubs become consistent contenders.  Would they sacrifice a 1st-round pick to sign someone like Justin Verlander in two years?  Yeah...especially if that pick is closer to the bottom of the 1st round than the top.  And would they consider at least a limited NTC to someone like Verlander if that's what it took to seal the deal?  Probably...but again, that's the kind of thing you do for Justin Verlander, NOT Edwin Jackson. The point is, what Theo and Jed are exercising right now is discipline, and that's what keeps them from things like offering dumb contract extensions, bidding against themselves for FA's, etc. etc.  And after the last few regimes, a little discipline is definitely a good thing.
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Posted: 12/22/2012 11:13 AM

Re: Ready or 



HawkCrazy420 wrote:
Kaplan as a reliable source...funny shnit there buddy!! He has been wrong about 98% of the time since he has been around...good one though, gave me a great laugh!
Maybe, but he appears to have more inside info and is correct more often than any of the other reporters in town when it comes to the Cubs.
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Posted: 12/22/2012 2:06 PM

Re: Ready or 



---------------------------------------------
--- doughboy981 wrote:


HawkCrazy420 wrote:
Kaplan as a reliable source...funny shnit there buddy!! He has been wrong about 98% of the time since he has been around...good one though, gave me a great laugh!
Maybe, but he appears to have more inside info and is correct more often than any of the other reporters in town when it comes to the Cubs.

---------------------------------------------

He doesn't even report on the Cubs much anymore. Patrick Mahoney is now the lead Cubs reporter on Comcast Sportsnet. Kaplan even admitted on CTL (where he is just awful on and has the worst possible guests, the show is only watchable when he is gone), that he was just "guessing" into the Cubs thinking on the recent signings and conceded he had ZERO inside knowledge.

And it doesnt take a rocket science to see nothing has changed. They been consistent since Day 1 that they were going to build from the ground up while collecting as many "assets" as possible while keeping both the payroll/roster very flexible. All these signings were done with that in mind therefore all these deals meant the teams long term plan/criteria.

Last edited 12/23/2012 7:02 AM by PorkChopExpress12

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