2015 Chicago Cubs Thread

Discussion in 'Chicago Cubs/White Sox Forum' started by little bear, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    It's never too early to talk about the upcoming season. :lol 027:

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    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/11786485/joe-maddon-expected-become-chicago-cubs-manager

    Joe Maddon expected to join Cubs

    The Chicago Cubs are on the verge of hiring Joe Maddon as manager, as first reported by CBSSports.com.
    Two sources familiar with the situation confirmed the agreement to ESPN's Jim Bowden. However, three team sources told ESPN's Buster Olney a deal is not yet in place, though they say one is expected.
    Major League Baseball is sensitive to teams making major announcements during the World Series.
    The deal will be finalized and announced after the World Series, likely over the weekend, sources told ESPN.com.
    CBSSports.com initially reported the two sides had reached an agreement, but then reported Maddon was on the verge of a deal.
    The Tampa Bay Rays announced last Friday that Maddon had exercised an opt-out in his contract, which was due to expire after next season.
    Maddon managed the Rays for nine seasons, compiling a 754-705 record. He led Tampa Bay to the playoffs four times, won two AL East titles and made one World Series appearance.
    The Cubs have not made the playoffs since 2008 and have finished last or next-to-last in the NL Central in each of the past five seasons.


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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/27922/what-would-a-maddon-coaching-staff-look-like

    What would a Joe Maddon coaching staff look like?

    CHICAGO -- As the World Series comes to an end, so too should the Joe Maddon saga. One way or another, the Chicago Cubs will either pull the trigger on a deal or pass on the former Tampa Bay Rays manager by the end of the week, according to industry sources. They owe at least that much to current manager Rick Renteria.

    As we await word from Wrigley Field, it’s worth examining what a Maddon coaching staff might look like. Remember, it’s not just the manager the Cubs said was coming back for 2015, they also invited almost everyone else back and already hired two new coaches in hitting coach John Mallee and first base coach Doug Dascenzo.

    Most skippers are allowed to choose their assistants, but the Cubs aren’t likely to fire their group to accommodate Maddon, according to an industry source. He’ll have to manage with most, if not all, of the coaches already in place, at least for one year.

    Let’s start with pitching.

    The Cubs kept pitching coach Chris Bosio, catching coach Mike Borzello and bullpen coach Lester Strode after dismissing Dale Sveum a year ago, so there is no reason to believe they would allow Maddon to move them out unless he insists his people from Tampa Bay would be better suited for the situation. That’s not likely to happen and would probably be a deal breaker the Cubs would win out on. Theo Epstein has stated in no uncertain terms he loves the “pitching infrastructure” that’s already in place.

    And it’s hard to imagine the newcomers would get canned before ever putting on a Cubs uniform, so Dascenzo and Mallee probably aren’t going anywhere either. Eric Hinske was moved to assistant hitting coach and its doubtful Maddon would make a stand there. That leaves a couple of options for him to bring in his own people. Bench coach is usually the place where the manager gets his guy, so Brandon Hyde's job could be in jeopardy. He worked for the Cubs in a non-uniformed role before taking over on the bench last season, so he could always be kicked back upstairs in some capacity. Another option for a Maddon guy could be as third-base coach. Gary Jones came over with Renteria from San Diego, so he could potentially be moved out along with the current manager. Those two spots are the most likely options for Maddon, at least for 2015.

    Would former Cub Dave Martinez be Maddon’s choice for bench coach if he isn’t hired by the Rays as their next manager? It makes all the sense in the world, considering both his ties to Maddon and the city. And both have the same Chicago based agent in Alan Nero. There’s always a chance Maddon simply accepts the entire coaching staff as is, given the unique timing of his potential hire. Plus, the Rays have stated they want to keep as much of their staff in place after they hire a new manager as well. But that new skipper might want his own bench coach, making Martinez expendable.

    No one is talking publicly about any of this yet, but behind the scenes these are some of the discussions that must be taking place if a deal with Maddon is to be done. Then the dominoes will fall.

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    I can't believe that right now I have more faith in the Cubs organization than the Bears. :doh:
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  2. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/stor...ent-calls-tampering-claims-chicago-cubs-silly

    Maddon agent: Tampering talk silly

    CHICAGO -- The agent of new Cubs manager Joe Maddon denies any tampering allegations while insisting Maddon would have stayed in Tampa Bay if they had increased their offer.
    "Theo [Epstein] would not even have talked unless he got clearance from the commissioner's office," agent Alan Nero said on MLB Network Radio on Sunday. "It's silly to suggest that [tampering], if they want to pursue that, that's fine.
    "In my world, if someone in your family has an opportunity to better themselves, you give them your blessing and move on. This accusation of tampering is really sad and a bit insulting."
    The Rays are considering filing tampering charges, according to the Tampa Bay Times, as they believe Epstein enticed Maddon to opt out of his final contract year.
    At first, Nero says he asked the Rays if Maddon could look for other opportunities while also negotiating with Tampa Bay during a 14-day opt-out window. They refused permission and so the sides spent "five to six days negotiating in good faith" exclusively before realizing they were too far apart. That's when Maddon decided to opt out.
    "Our proposals were under market value," Nero said. "Joe would have stayed if they had stepped up."
    Nero says 10 teams immediately called with front office or broadcast opportunities but there were no other clubs besides the Cubs willing to fire their manager as only the Minnesota Twinshad an opening at the time.
    "It would be disingenuous for me to suggest that," Nero stated about other teams. "The first contact with the Cubs was basically an email asking us to prove there was an opt-out and Theo doing his due diligence."
    The Cubs fired their existing manager, Rick Renteria, on Friday and then announced a news conference for Monday to introduce Maddon as their new skipper.
    "Everyone has to make business decisions and the Cubs felt this is the guy that might take them to the World Series a lot sooner," Nero said.


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    Don't give someone an opt-out, then start crying because he used it. Tampa's just pissed because they suck and made a bad contract. Good the for Cubbies. As for the tampering charge itself, good luck with that! Especially when the Cubs called the league first to verify Maddon was becoming available. Doesn't sound like tampering to me.
  3. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Nope. Cubs are smart
  4. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/28043/source-lester-to-meet-with-cubs

    Source: Lester to meet with Cubs

    PHOENIX – Free-agent pitcher Jon Lester will meet with the Chicago Cubs in Chicago sometime next week, according to a source familiar with the situation.

    Lester, 30, is one of the top free-agent pitchers on the market and has been linked to the Cubs for a while. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox while Cubs president Theo Epstein was the general manager there last decade. Lester went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA split between the Red Sox andOakland Athletics last season. His midyear trade means a team does not have to give up a draft pick to sign the four-time All-Star.

    “They always treated me with the utmost respect and class,” Lester said over the summer of Epstein and his assistants. “I have nothing but good things to say about them. If you’re in that position you do your homework. Obviously there’s the familiarity with those [Epstein] guys.”

    Lester’s agents have been meeting with teams this week during the general managers meetings, and ESPNBoston.com reports the pitcher will sit down with Red Sox ownership possibly by the end of the week. Lester is expected to command upwards of $20 million per season.

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  5. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    These moves are all good (it seems) but let's not start printing the playoff tickets yet . Fact is , there are still newbies and upcoming rookies who will need to adjust to ML pitching for a year or two , a bullpen that needs to get stronger , and a starting pitching staff that needs to get much stronger also .

    What we need to see is a front office that adds the right pieces ( especially to the starting pitching staff ) that will be there , and be solid by 2016 , when they 'might' be good enough to contend .

    The Giants position player's have never overwhelmed me , but their pitching has been solid and it's won them the WS a few times . THAT's where it starts .

    The Cubs ain't doing jack , until they have the pitching - so hopefully they add to it the next couple years , and the position players play as advertised . Then we're in business . Big time .
  6. shark86x

    shark86x Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Party pooper! Hope is all we Cubbies have, let's enjoy it while we can! Playoffs 2015 here we come...
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  7. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Lester-Arrieta-Masterson-Hendricks-Wada

    Bullpen is strong, but could add a strong lefty.
  8. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    'Sounds' potentially good but a couple of em haven't even really 'proven' themselves yet have they - but I do see some Glavine in Hendricks , and if he pans out that way ..... awesome.
  9. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/11/21/cubs-dodgers-white-sox-in-on-miguel-montero/

    Cubs, Dodgers, White Sox in on Miguel Montero

    If you can catch, you’re valuable. Miguel Montero can catch, ergo:

    The Diamondbacks continue to have dialogue with other clubs on a variety of players, including catcher Miguel Montero . . . Among the teams the Diamondbacks have spoken to about Montero are the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox.
    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that. But also notes that the action is not really heated at the moment.
    The 31-year-old Montero caught 131 games last year with some extra DH and pinch hitting duties thrown in. After a a 2013 in which he spent some time on the DL and his hitting suffered, he bounced back up to a line of .243/.329/.370. That’s off his peak, but comes out to an OPS+ of 95, which ain’t bad for a catcher.
    What is kind of bad? His five-year, $60 million contract which still has two years left to go.


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  10. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    For the love of God... NOOOOOOOO
  11. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    When's the last time we had a good catcher ? Jody Davis ? Damian Miller ? Crazy Michael Barrett ? It would be nice to get a true stud back there for once . And by that I mean someone who can throw and hit .
  12. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Define good.

    Castillo isnt bad, has potential. Won't ever be a stud though
  13. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    One that is acknowleged <( fk spellcheck I ain't got that kinda time ) as one of the top 10 - and like above one who can throw AND hit , cuz we always seem to have one who can only do half . If I had my druthers I'd rather have the guy who's the better hitter ( as long as he isn't a passed ball machine ) .
  14. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    Top 10... might be Randy Hundley.

    Castillo is a good young hitter, and he is getting better at defense. He only has two full years of work.

    Montero is an aging catcher with a declining bat at a high price tag. I pass
  15. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    Still need a top 10er . Castillo's BA needs work but he's ok defensively . Montero isn't worth the money which can be better spent somewheres else .
  16. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/28140/inside-the-pursuit-of-russell-martin

    Inside the pursuit of Russell Martin

    CHICAGO -- Though the Chicago Cubs lost out on their bid for free-agent catcher Russell Martin early last week, it doesn’t mean they weren’t in the hunt until the end. Martin’s Chicago-based agent, Matt Colleran, says it was neck-and-neck between the Cubs and the team Martin eventually signed with, the Toronto Blue Jays.

    "There were times throughout the process where it was Toronto and the Cubs, 1 and 2," Colleran recalled this past weekend. "They probably flipped spots in that process. One day the Cubs [were] going a little ahead, and the next Toronto was ahead. When we got into the [last] weekend the dollars started to come into play, and Toronto was just super aggressive with their approach."
    Colleran actually indicated the Blue Jays were the most aggressive team from the start of free agency, as he received a call from them at "9:01 a.m. on the very first day." But the Cubs were nearly as aggressive, and their face-to-face meeting couldn't have gone better, according to the agent.


    "Those guys are incredibly professional," Colleran said of the Cubs' front office. "The presentation was professional and on point … Russ came away super impressed."

    The presentation highlighted the Cubs' future and featured both current and former players, but at the end of the day the Blue Jays simply wouldn't be denied. Last Sunday morning is when Toronto's general manager Alex Anthopoulos basically told Colleran the Blue Jays were getting his client one way or another.

    "He flat-out said that [in the] morning," Colleran stated. "He said it in a way that he was determined and that he was going to be in it until the end. He was aggressive throughout the entire process, so that statement didn't surprise me."

    By that evening, Martin had agreed to a 5-year, $82 million deal. The price tag was simply too steep for the Cubs, who were of the mindset that a four-year deal was their limit. At some point in the process, it became clear to Colleran that Martin's former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, couldn't afford to have him back, and GM Neal Huntington intimated as much in interviews late in the final week before his former catcher signed. But just days before the agreement with the Blue Jays, the Cubs sounded like a team that had hopes of landing him -- without mentioning Martin by name -- while discussing the development of 2014 first-round pick, Kyle Schwarber.

    "Catchers take a little bit longer to develop in the minor leagues, and when they break in, they break in gradually and it's important for them to have good mentors," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said at the general manager meetings in Arizona. "He could very much be in our plans, and it would still make sense to sign a catcher if it's the right catcher out there."

    Martin was that right guy, but not at Brian McCann-type money. McCann's 5-year contract for $85 million with the New York Yankees last offseason was the deal Martin's camp used for comparison, according to Colleran. He was the only comparable catcher who actually made it to free agency, though McCann is one year younger.

    "We wanted to get close," Colleran said.

    And the Blue Jays were a willing participant. Colleran indicated having the best free-agent catcher is a little different from other positions. It's why a deal was able to get done so early in the offseason.

    "I sensed that things were going to move because each team involved in it was not waiting for something else to happen to get to Russell," Colleran explained.

    In other words, going after Martin wasn't contingent on anything else the Cubs were doing. They wanted him, as did the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pirates, but only the Blue Jays "stepped up to the plate."

    "They took the lead in everything," Colleran said.

    And what if the offers by the Cubs and Blue Jays were equal?

    "He never had to answer the question because of where it [the money] went," Colleran said.

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