Archive for the ‘ Misc. ’ Category

Cubs DFA Hinshaw, Promote Blake Parker

So that’s what gets you released, giving up five runs in spectacular fashion.  The Cubs have designated Alex Hinshaw for assignment, and promoted Blake Parker who has just completed his rehab assignment in Iowa.  Parker was a bright spot early in the season and should help a depleted Cubs pen.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Castro’s Extension Official!

Here is our post from August 18, 2012-

The Cubs have signed Starlin Castro to a 7 year $60MM extension.  Great news, more when we get back from the 2012 UA High School All American game.

Well, now we finally have more.  The Cubs announced today that they have officially come to terms on an extension with Starlin Castro.  The deal is for 7 years, and $60 million, here is a full breakdown of the deal from the Tribune.

Castro, who will give up three years of free agency, receives a $6 million signing bonus and has a club option after the final year for $16 million or a $1 million buyout.

He will receive salaries of $5 million, $5 million, $6 million, $7 million, $10 million and $11 million.

This is a big piece of the future right here, and it comes cheap.  Castro has made physical errors, and mental errors this season, but people around the club have seen improvement and see what he can become.  This is a no lose situation if I’ve ever seen one.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Matt Garza Officially Done For The Season

Probably not shocking news for anyone that has followed the Cubs, but Matt Garza will be shut down for the remainder of the season.  He was transferred to the 60 day DL today to make room on the 40 man roster for Chris Rusin.  Really no point for Garza to push it to get back in September as it won’t prove anything.  I’m sure both Garza and the Cubs wanted to show other teams that he was healthy enough to pitch but he just isn’t right now.  Hopefully rest is all he needs and this isn’t something long-term that requires a more serious course of action.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Castro and Cubs Reach Deal!

The Cubs have signed Starlin Castro to a 7 year $60MM extension.  Great news, more when we get back from the 2012 UA High School All American game.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Oneri Fleita Fired [UPDATE] Wasserstrom Gone As Well

In somewhat of a shocking move today, well depends on who you ask I guess, Oneri Fleita the Cubs VP of Player Personnel (former) has been given his walking papers.  Just last September Fleita was given a contract extension by Tom Ricketts, keep in mind this was before Theo Epstein was brought in to take over.  Fleita was outstanding when it came to dealing with the Latin American talent, and losing that could hurt, but I’m guessing the decision here might have been mutual.  Fleita is going to be a hot commodity on the open market as he had over 15 years experience with the Cubs and a tremendous track record.  The reason I say that it could be mutual is I wouldn’t be surprised if Fleita is on to bigger and better things, and he wouldn’t be able to do that unless he was fired because of said contract extension last year.

Up until this year Fleita was the head man overseeing everything having to do with the Cubs farm system.  Enter Theo and Jed, they brought in Jason McLeod to assume that role before this season with Fleita acting as second in command.  With the recent promotion of Tim Wilken to special assistant, and bringing in Jaron Madison to be the new scouting director, Theo is starting to make his mark on the Cubs organization as a whole and how he wants it run, and who he wants running it.  Best of luck to Oneri, we will have more details if and when they emerge.

[UPDATE 1:24 PM]  Theo means business today, according to Paul Sullivan, the Cubs have re-assigned Ari Kaplan from Manager of Statistical Analysis to a consulting position.  Sullivan continues, letting us know that the Cubs have eliminated Chuck Wasserstrom’s position which was Manager of Baseball Information, Wasserstrom had been around forever, and per Toni Ginetti, the Cubs are looking to find a new position for Scott Nelson who was the director of player operations.  The deck has officially been shuffled, we will be back with more.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Born on Third Featured!

That’s right, your favorite Cubs bloggers are currently being featured on the MLB.com blogs home page.  Check out the screen grab below to see our name in lights, okay not really, but it is pretty cool.

I don’t think we would be getting this type of recognition if it weren’t for our awesome readers, so thank you for reading, and being awesome.

– George

 

MLBlogs Latest Leaders: #10! How Fitting

 

Wanted to send out a quick post as a thank you to everyone for visiting and commenting on the blog, we were lucky enough to be the 10th most visited blog in July, and we couldn’t have done it with out you, so THANKS!  Rather fitting that we came in at #10 considering Ron Santo entered the Hall of Fame this month.

Please continue to stop by and interact with us as we chronicle the ever-changing landscape of Cubs baseball, top to bottom.  Especially now that the trade deadline has passed and the Cubs minor league system will be front and center at the Major League level.

Please check out the full list of the latest leaders here, lots of great blogs out there, go check them out.

Thanks again for everything!
– George

Listen To Me On The Radio!

I will be joining Patrick Schmidt on his radio show this morning at 8:35 AM CST to talk post deadline Cubs.  We will discuss the minor league teams, the trades, and much more I’m sure.

Follow the link below and click listen live!

Sports Town Chicago

Thanks in advance for tuning in!
– George

The Cubs Were Superheroes on Sunday; Off the Field

The Cubs found some time to have some fun after being swept by the Cardinals on Sunday as they all dressed up as superheroes, and there are some gems.  Have a look below, the idea came from Matt Garza which is not a surprise given the themed trips he was on under Rays skipper Joe Maddon.  Brett over at Bleacher Nation has a solid post up detailing the Cubs fun.

Oh boy

 

Mario Bros

 

Dempster as Captain America

 

Campana, too easy

 

 

 

 

Johnson and Baker as Theo and Jed, priceless

 

 

Sveum as Hellboy

 

Ah, little Darwin

 

Carlos Marmol

 

 

 

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs System Quickly Gaining Traction

When Theo Epstein came on board this off-season one story he told really stuck with me.  It was when Theo was with Boston in 2011, and it was during the 2011 first year player draft.  As the rounds flew by, Theo remarked in the war room that the Cubs finally “got it” in regards to the players that they were drafting.  On one hand it’s a sobering statement considering I’ve been a fan of a team that was viewed by other teams as basically incompetent when it came to drafting and building a strong farm system.  On the other hand it might have been the first time that Theo had the thought of joining the Cubs to see this process through.  I didn’t like a lot of what Jim Hendry and company did here in Chicago, but there were some positives, and the 2011 draft class is one of them.  That draft class signaled the change in philosophy for the Cubs, and Theo has assumed control and the responsibility of making sure that the organizational depth gets better each year.

The reason I’m writing about this today, or at least the article that prompted me to put my thoughts out here today, is from Jim Callis of Baseball America.  If you don’t read Baseball America, or Jim’s work I highly suggest you do as he is a tremendous prospects resource.  Any way, a couple of weeks back he published BA’s top 50 midesason prospects list which featured Javier Baez coming in at 25th overall (2011 1st round draft pick).  Jim followed up that list with a new midseason prospect report that includes where some of the 2012 draft picks would be ranked.  All any Cubs fan has to do is take a look at this list to see the impact of Theo Epstein so far.

#25 – Javier Baez (2011 – 1st Round Pick) – Hendry
#31-32 – Albert Almora (2012 – 2nd Round Pick) – Theo
#36-37 – Jorge Soler (2012 – FA Signing) – Theo

Just like that the Cubs have three players in the top 40, two of which have yet to pick up a bat in a game as a professional.  By the end of the year these players could be higher, and there could be even more players on the list.  This list doesn’t include Anthony Rizzo who was called up in late June, but he would have been a top 10, maybe top 5 prospect at this point.  Instead he has stabilized a Cubs team that was in a free fall to the tune of a 12-4 record since June 25th.

The one thing that is clearly lacking from an improved Cubs system is not only pitching depth, but impact, power arms.  Enter the trade deadline, and Theo’s next test.  The Cubs have a countless number of players that can and most likely will be traded by July 31st.  With these trades hopefully comes some of that pitching depth that has been absent from the Cubs system forever.  The 2012 draft, which we will expand on very soon, brought in a number of quality, yet unproven arms, at least at a professional level.  If just a couple of those pitchers take big steps and Theo hits big on the impending trades then we might be talking about a top 10, maybe even top 5 farm system by this time next year.

Thanks for reading,
– George

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