Recent News

Fan of the Week: Off-Season Goals

November 21st, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

It is Friday once again and that means that it is time for our Fan of the Week. This week’s Fan of the Week is, long time reader, Kelby Phillips. Kelby has been an active contributor in our Facebook discussions and now he has the chance to have his voice heard on the website! Here is his paragraph of airtime:

***Thanksgiving at Wrigleyville***
Well everyone wants to talk about free agents, since Theo & Co. have said that we are ahead of schedule and the goal of the 2015 campaign is to make the playoffs.
With Russell Martin heading home to Canada and [with rumors about] John Lester returning to Boston, what can a true blue Cubs fan expect to be grateful for this off season and positioned nicely between a double portion of turkey, smashed potatoes and German green beans?
Frankly, I'd like to see a veteran corner outfielder brought in who can hit fourth, fifth or sixth to give protection to Rizzo, Bryant, (Oh, believe me, Bryant is the REAL deal) and Soler in the line up. One would think the appropriate player would be left handed, such as a Melky Cabrera, but I'm hoping to find a Nelson Cruz next to the candied yams.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wishful Thinking: Chicago Cubs’ Lineup of “What-If’s”

November 21st, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

In recent years the Chicago Cubs have run into a bit of bad luck in terms of catching players at the right time in their careers. Whether it was trading Josh Donaldson, Ryan Flaherty, DJ LaMahieu, Dontrelle Willis or Josh Hamilton before they reached their potential, getting diminished and/or brief performances from Ron Coomer, Todd Hundley and Juan Pierre, or watching Corey Patterson struggle with numerous injuries. Here is a look at a composite lineup of some of the talent that the Chicago Cubs have missed out on over the years.

C- Todd Hundley: Signed as a free agent in 2001

Traded to LAD in 2003 as part of Eric Karros/Mark Grudzielanek deal

1B- Ron Coomer: Signed as a free agent in 2001

Left via free agency in 2002

2B- DJ LaMahieu: 2nd round pick by CHC in2009

Traded to COL in 2011 as part of Ian Stewart deal

3B- Josh Donaldson: 1st round pick by CHC in 2007

Traded to OAK in 2008 as part of Rich Harden deal

SS- Ryan Flaherty: 1st round pick by CHC in 2008

Selected by BAL in 2011 Rule-5 draft

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MLB Free Agent Tracker: Jon Lester

November 20th, 2014 at 2:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Jon Lester’s visit to Chicago has come and gone, and it is now time to focus on when he will decide to sign a contract. As we mentioned yesterday, Jon Lester will have no shortage of suitors, and it appears that the first offer has been made. The Boston Red Sox, who met with Lester earlier this week, offered the lefty a 6-year deal worth $110-$120 million.

Team

Meeting date

Contract Offer

Odds up/down

Boston Red Sox

November 16th

6-years, $110-$120

Up

Chicago Cubs

November 18th

None

Even

Atlanta Braves

November 20th

None

Down

Toronto Blue Jays

Unscheduled

None

Down

New York Yankees

Unscheduled

None

Even

St. Louis Cardinals

Unscheduled

None

Up

Boston Red Sox:

The Red Sox met with Lester over the weekend and have gained a leg up on the competition simply because they are the only team with a contract offer. There is a very strong opinion going around baseball that Lester will return to Boston. Now that the money is right, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way.

Chicago Cubs:

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Chicago Cubs Kick the Tires on Arizona’s Montero

November 20th, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Since missing out on Russell Martin earlier this week, it appears that the Chicago Cubs have turned their attention to Arizona Diamondback’s catcher Miguel Montero, according to arizonasports.com. Welington Castillo, the Cubs’ current catcher, came under fire this summer when he failed to reproduce the success he had in 2013, but the reality of the situation may be that he is, in fact, the Cubs' best option for 2015.

A strong case can be made for Welington Castillo over Miguel Montero on a number of levels.

Player

.ave

.obp

HR

RBI

CS%

oWAR

dWAR

Castillo

.237

.296

13

46

33%

1.3

1.2

Montero

.243

.329

13

72

29%

1.6

-0.0

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

According to the numbers, Castillo is very comparable to Montero and will make about $10.5 million less in 2015. As it stands right now, it doesn’t appear to be worth it to go out and make a trade, only to have to absorb Montero’s salary.

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FA Jon Lester Visits Wrigley Field

November 19th, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Prized free agent starter Jon Lester met with the Chicago Cubs yesterday according to Carrie Muskat. Now that the first free agent dominos have begun to fall, it is time for the Chicago Cubs to lock in on their top target. So far, no details from the meeting have been reported, but regardless of what Jon Lester’s current inclinations are, the Cubs will have to fight for his services. There are believed to be as many as six teams who will be vying to sign him, but at least four figure to take it to the very end.

The Chicago Cubs came under pressure this weekend when the St. Louis Cardinals boosted their roster by acquiring Jason Heyward from the Atlanta Braves, causing many to look for the Cubs’ counter move. Adding Lester would be a perfect comeback.

Predictions on where Lester will ultimately land vary greatly from source to source. In Chicago, sources believe that he will join the Cubs. In Boston, sources believe that Lester will be rejoining the Sox. There are also legitimate cases to be made for the Atlanta Braves, Lester’s hometown team, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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