2014 Chicago Cubs Thread

Discussion in 'Chicago Cubs/White Sox Forum' started by little bear, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin
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    George Halas
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    Happy 100th birthday to the one and only Wrigley Field! The Great Vin Scully recorded this 25 years ago

     
  2. little bear

    little bear
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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/24597/rapid-reaction-cubs-draft-c-schwarber

    Rapid Reaction: Cubs draft C/OF Schwarber

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    CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' first-round pick, No. 4 overall, in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.

    The pick: Kyle Schwarber, catcher/outfielder, Indiana University, 6-foot, 240 pounds.

    His stats: Schwarber hit 18 home runs in 2013 then followed that up with 14 in 2014 while hitting .358. His on-base percentage rose in each of his three years at Indiana, landing at .464 his junior season. He walked 44 times while striking out 30 his final year at Indiana. He registered a .992 fielding percentage and threw out 16 of 43 runners this past season.

    His background: Schwarber, a native of Middletown, Ohio, was a second-team all-state linebacker his senior year in high school and led the Greater Miami conference in hitting with a .474 batting average.

    ESPN draft guru Keith Law’s take: In a draft light on power-hitting bats -- particularly in terms of college prospects -- Schwarber might have the most raw power of any prospect in the class, showing plus-plus power to right field thanks to tremendous lower-body strength and strong wrists. He transfers his weight well and has the type of raw power that could produce 30-plus homer seasons if he's able to play every day. He shows good feel at the plate, and a willingness to work pitches and get on base via walk, but doesn't have elite bat speed, and there's a lot of swing-and-miss in his bat as well.
    What it means: He could have a similar trajectory to the one Kris Bryant is on, as both were college juniors when drafted. That means time at rookie ball as well as Class-A later this summer. It’s yet to be determined if he’ll play outfield or catcher, though the Cubs need players at both positions.


    “We feel he’s a really good, underrated athlete that could certainly move to an outfield position, in the corner,” Cubs director of scouting Jason McLeod said. “His bat is obviously why we drafted him.”

    The decision: The Cubs claim Schwarber was No. 2 on their board after pitcher Brady Aiken, the left-hander who went first overall to Houston. That’s how highly they think of Schwarber’s bat.

    “We felt Kyle was the best hitter -- hands down -- in this year’s draft,” McLeod said.

    The Cubs are loading up on bats, especially with their high draft picks, as they can be game-changers. And the fact that he's lefty is a huge need, too.

    “These last three years we’ve been picking so high,” McLeod said. “When you’re picking up that high in the draft, you have a chance to get a talented, impactful player. That was no different this year.”

    Signability: McLeod made it clear that Schwarber shouldn’t be a tough signing and it would leave the Cubs with extra money to spend elsewhere in the draft. He was selected higher than most mock drafts indicated so the Cubs could get him at their price. Those selected right after him could get more.

    “We expect this to be a very quick process and get him out and playing in the organization and spend some money elsewhere,” McLeod said.

    Schwarber’s reaction: He was at a golf course with friends and family Thursday when he got the news. He said he realized in the past few days that the Cubs had serious interest in him when area scout Stan Zielinski reached out recently. Schwarber met with Cubs baseball operations president Theo Epstein in February during a college trip to Arizona.

    “Right now, I’m really embracing the moment,” Schwarber said on a conference call. “The Cubs organization has a very rich history and I got a taste of it when we were there with Team USA this past summer. That was the first time I was at Wrigley. I fell in love with the place right away."

    Schwarber said he loves to catch, but he’s open to a position change if the Cubs ask. Epstein told him to enjoy the moment -- and at the proper time they’ll talk about signing a contract.

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  3. little bear

    little bear
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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/24639/cubs-see-something-big-in-schwarber

    Cubs see something big in Schwarber

    CHICAGO -- The naysayers will definitely be out when it comes to the Chicago Cubs' early-round draft picks. But their first-round pick, catcher Kyle Schwarber from Indiana, and second-round pick, pitcher Jake Stinnett from Maryland, might be the most easily signable top two picks for any team in baseball.

    This means the Cubs can save some money and potentially use it elsewhere. And when director of scouting Jason McLeod declares Schwarber the "best hitter -- hands down -- in this year's draft," those are hard words to ignore.

    Maybe the Cubs think they took the left-handed version of Kris Bryant, their up-and-coming slugger who went No. 2 overall last season. As much as pitching wins games, there's still a price for power these days.

    "It lines up perfectly because he is hitting from the left side, and we don't have many of those players," McLeod said Thursday. "We feel this is an impact bat that can hit in the middle of the order."

    That makes sense, but the question remains whether Schwarber is really as good as McLeod believes. McLeod flatly said his team would have taken Schwarber ahead of pitchers Carlos Rodon and Tyler Kolek. However, Rodon could be fast-tracked to the majors for the White Sox, while it's the Cubs who are desperate for pitching, which makes it hard to believe they would have bypassed Rodon for Schwarber.
    But Bryant gives the Cubs some currency: They claimed he was the best hitter in the draft, and he's proving as much in the minors this season. Gaining the two best hitters in the draft in back-to-back years can only be a good thing -- whether for production at Wrigley Field or for use in trades down the line, presumably for some pitching.


    Maybe that's the way the Cubs are going about their rebuild. McLeod said that picking as high as they have lately demands taking impact players. That said, he admitted they were "enamored" with high school lefty Brady Aiken, who went No. 1 to the Houston Astros, so pitching was on their minds, but after Aiken it was all about Schwarber.

    "Everything came back [to] just what type of person he is," McLeod said. "That's the type of people we're trying to bring into the organization."

    The same could be said about other hitters in the draft, such as Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto, on whom the Cubs passed. The bottom line is almost no one had Schwarber rated this high. He isn't the sure thing Bryant looked to be, but the Cubs get the benefit of the doubt because of their seemingly brilliant choice of Bryant over a pitcher in last year's draft.

    The problem might be where Schwarber plays. More than one scouting report said first base might be his best option, as it's doubtful he'll remain at catcher. If he does stay, he becomes a valuable commodity; hitting catchers are hard to find. Otherwise, he'll move to left field, where he doesn't project to be one of the better players defensively.

    But, as McLeod said, the Cubs drafted him for his bat. If he hits, they'll find a place for him and prove the naysayers wrong.





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  4. little bear

    little bear
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    Very controversial topic. No team has ever won the World Series with Minor Leaguers. You need proven MLB talent to build a winning team. Trading Samardzija for 2-3 prospects who might do something in 3 years or do nothing gets you nowhere.
    On the other hand, if a player is not going to be a contributor when the team is ready to compete, it makes no sense to hold onto him.


    Benji, your opinion please?

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    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/stor...-talks-regarding-jeff-samardzija-jason-hammel

    Cubs talking Jeff Samardzija trade

    The Chicago Cubs have talked with multiple teams about trades involving ace Jeff Samardzija and veteran starter Jason Hammel, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
    Citing multiple sources, the Sun-Times reported that the Cubs may already have begun fielding trade offers from multiple teams. The report identified the Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays as some of the teams most interested in acquiring either Samardzija or Hammel.
    Hammel could generate more interest than Samardzija because he likely will not command as large of a return in a trade, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney earlier this week. Hammel could be targeted by teams needing short-term rotation help like the Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins, according to Olney.
    Samardzija is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season and has been speculated as a top trade target since this past offseason, when he was unable to agree to a long-term deal with the Cubs.
    Samardzija, 29, is just 2-6 this season despite pitching to a 2.77 ERA. The right-hander went winless in his first 10 starts before finally claiming his first victory on May 26 against the San Francisco Giants.
    Hammel, who will become a free agent after this season, also has been outstanding for the Cubs, going 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts. The nine-year veteran signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Cubs in February following a disappointing 2013 season with Baltimore.
    Despite the solid pitching from Samardzija and Hammel, the Cubs (27-38) entered play Saturday with the lowest win total in the National League and just percentage points ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks (29-41) for the NL's worst record.


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  5. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin
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    George Halas
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    the short of it is this. Samardzija wants to hit the free agent market and is not willing to settle for a team friendly deal.He wants Ace money, and he is not an ace pitcher. So, he will test free agency after the 2015 season (unless whichever team he is traded to this Summer gives him his mega deal). If he were still a Cub, chances are he gets signed elsewhere when another team outbids the Cubs, and all they get is a draft pick.

    Keeping him is a massive gamble, because you could lose him for nothing.

    But some of the rumors I have heard have the Cubs getting back some very nice players, such as Guasman from Baltimore with another top pitching prospect (Heard Bundy) back in return. That is a deal I would do yesterday.
     
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  6. little bear

    little bear
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    Can't wait to see Bryant play at Wrigley.

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    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/11102799/chicago-cubs-promote-kris-bryant-triple-iowa

    Cubs promote Kris Bryant

    Kris Bryant @KrisBryant_23 Follow
    Can't wait to join the @IowaCubs tomorrow! Thank you to @smokiesbaseball and all my teammates for so many great memories!


    Bryant, 22, led the Southern League at Double-A Tennessee in batting average (.355), home runs (22), RBIs (58), on-base percentage (.458) and slugging (.702).
    Previously, the Cubs said their top prospects have to dominate each level in the minors before being promoted.
    Bryant, a third baseman, has been on a tear since winning honors as best collegiate player last season at the University of San Diego.
    The Cubs chose him No. 2 overall in last June's amateur draft, and he quickly took to the professional game. Bryant hit .336 with nine home runs last season in Single-A. He went on to win Arizona Fall League MVP, and now leads the Southern League in all three Triple Crown categories at the All-Star break.
    On Monday, Bryant won the Home Run Derby at the Southern League All-Star Game.
    He joins another top pick, Javier Baez, at Iowa. In addition, Manny Ramirez is headed there shortly as a coach and a part-time player.
    Headed to Triple-A along with Bryant are right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Armando Rivero.
    Vizcaino, 23, is still a highly regarded prospect despite two years of arm problems. The Cubs purposedly started his season in the warm weather of Class-A Daytona then moved him up to Double-A Tennessee. He had a combined 1.99 ERA at both stops in 23 games. Rivero, 26, had a 1.59 ERA at Double-A appearing in 26 games. Both performed well for Cubs brass in spring training.


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  7. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin
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    George Halas
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    Wait til 2015 at least :D

    Should be fun
     
  8. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe
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    Guess whos got the best record in the NL over the last 31 games ? Da Fubs at 18-13 . Yea. Maybe they'll finish 4th .
     
  9. little bear

    little bear
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    View: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/25502/lester-could-make-sense-for-cubs-in-15

    Lester could make sense for Cubs in '15


    CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs are in need of top-of-the-rotation pitching in the coming years, so why not call Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, who likely is headed to free agency this winter?
    Lester was a longtime favorite of the Cubs' current front office when Theo Epstein ran the Red Sox for a decade. Epstein signed him to a five-year extension worth $30 million in 2009 which included a team option for $14 million for this season. Now, at age 30, Lester likely will be a free agent for the first time in his career.


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    "They always treated me with the utmost respect and class," Lester said this week of Epstein and the front office. "I have nothing but good things to say about them."

    Lester wouldn't comment specifically about the Cubs, but it's been well reported that a new deal with the Red Sox doesn't seem imminent. The Cubs might open their purse strings for a player such as Lester, who's reportedly already turned down a four-year, $70 million extension from Boston. That offer seems way below market value.

    "If you're in that position you do your homework," Lester said about free agency. "Obviously, there's the familiarity with those [Epstein] guys. That's kind of predicting the future and possibly be putting a foot in my mouth which I don't want to do."

    Lester is 9-7 this season with a 2.92 ERA. He's made at least 31 starts in each of the past six seasons since becoming a full-time big league player and beating cancer in 2006-2007. That kind of durability is going to be attractive to teams, although no one knows what his asking price is or what the market for him will look like.
    The Cubs reportedly offered Jeff Samardzija five years at $85 million, so maybe a deal could get done with those kinds of numbers. But more than likely it would take much more. The Cubs might go higher if they believe in him as an ace, something that's in question with Samardzija.


    "Watching them and looking at them it seems like they are pretty close to being there," Lester said of the Cubs. "Maybe one or two players away from putting it together."

    Lester had only good things to say about Chicago adding his wife "never misses that trip." He also knows that Cubs fans are "fanatical."

    "They do such a good job no matter who it is, they make it attractive to go there," Lester said. "Next year or two will be good for them. I know what (Epstein's) able to do."

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  10. soulman

    soulman
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    Anybody been checking the Cubbies for PEDs lately? One win is usually a winning streak for them but what's it now 4 or 5 games?
     

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