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Time to be worried about rise of Cubs?


JohnBriggs12

They've added a bunch of much needed arms. There's no Cy Young candidate in the group but they will put a major league guy out there every day now. Offensively they still have some holes at 3B, and in the OF, but they've been rumored to be after Bourn.

 

Under the radar they picked up Dioneer Navarro to catch. It's not murderers row, but with a full year of Rizzo, Soriano and Castro, they have some pop in there.

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They would have to add another 4 or 5 guys to make me worried about them as contenders. Between the Astros leaving and the Cubs and Pirates improving it does make it harder and harder to get enough wins for the wild card games though.
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No...

 

The talent they're developing in the minor leagues is several years away from making a big league impact. They aren't close to being contenders, but they will probably be much more competitive early in the season. I think many of their offseason FA signings are going to be used to flip for prospects at the trade deadline, especially from a pitching standpoint. I see Edwin Jackson as the only guy they've signed that they would want to keep longterm.

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That Cub's team earned their record last year. It wasn't one of these teams that just have a bunch of injuries, lose a bunch of tight games or have a bunch of guys play below their level. This was a legit terrible team. It is going to take them some work to get back up to a .500 team talent level.
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The Cubs have some good, young talent, and they're letting them play. They'll extend some of these core players, and once they get a core built up, they'll have the money to fill in the holes and then they'll be a team to worry about. They're not there yet.

 

They seem to be building the right way, and Epstein brought the "street cred" that the fans needed to believe that a turnaround was the right thing to do (and would be done right). That said, they still need to give the drunks in the bleachers something to cheer for, so they have to make some signings like Edwin Jackson now and then. Bourn would seem to be an odd signing, as they have Brett Jackson, and his most value comes in CF. Oh well, I'm not going to get upset if the rebuilding Cubs block one of their best MLB-ready guys.

"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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They will be better next year; but not worlds better. They will probably win 70-75 games; but not getting to play Houston for 16 games will hurt. I wouldn't be suprised if they beat out PIT; PIT's talent level still isn't all that high IMO outside of Cutch.

 

There won't be any truly terrible teams in the division next year; so I am not expecting anyone in the division to put up some huge win total aided by beating up on the likes of HOU or CHI of 2012. It should be a pretty balanced division.

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They added Nate Schierholtz today. Still not worried about them.

 

With Schierholtz, the Cubs have committed $90.05MM to nine free agents. They have also agreed to sign Kyuji Fujikawa, Scott Feldman, Scott Baker, Dioner Navarro, Shawn Camp, Ian Stewart, Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Jackson.

Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#35oZAda5qG7Oibui.99

 

That is a lot of money for a very mediocre looking group of players.

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Ennd,

 

Other than Jackson, all of those deals to me look like stopgap signings to field a somewhat competitive team, and many of them could probably land minor league filler/prospects at the trade deadline - you see plenty of players of that caliber traded during the season to contending teams looking to improve their bench/pitching staff if there is a marginal hole to fill or injury to overcome. I think Theo's using veteran free agency as another route to restock a once porous minor league system, and the Cubs can afford adding some payroll while they wait for prospects to develop since they're in a large market.

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They'll still be bad next year, but in 2-3 years we'd better watch out.

 

 

Agreed. That's why I find it odd that they are trying to stockpile pitching now. It's not like they're trying to get young guys to build around.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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They'll still be bad next year, but in 2-3 years we'd better watch out.

 

 

Agreed. That's why I find it odd that they are trying to stockpile pitching now. It's not like their trying to get young guys to build around.

 

They don't have the financial restrictions of small market teams, and they still need to keep some talent around to maintain the fanbase. They'll make plenty of money even with a payroll in the $80-100MM range, so their "rebuild" looks different from that of a small market team. They've got young guys coming up that they can build around. Right now they're filling the rest of the roster with average-ish players and still making a lot of money. Once the core is built, they will fill in with good, expensive players. Plus, as Fear the Chorizo mentioned, they will be able to flip some of these guys off mid-season for some prospects.

 

They were a mess a few years ago, and they're working through it. They are fortunate enough to have money to blow while they work their way through it. I'd hate to see the Brewers get into that situation, because they really would have to fill the roster with trash for a few years until the big contracts got off the books and the farm was rebuilt.

"The most successful (people) know that performance over the long haul is what counts. If you can seize the day, great. But never forget that there are days yet to come."

 

~Bill Walsh

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They'll still be bad next year, but in 2-3 years we'd better watch out.

 

 

Agreed. That's why I find it odd that they are trying to stockpile pitching now. It's not like their trying to get young guys to build around.

 

They had/have a hitting heavy system, most of their upper tier young hitters made their MLB debut last season, but they have little pitching on the horizon.

 

I'm not sold on Vitters or Jackson but if those guys pan the Cubs will win quite a few games. They aren't a joke, they have one of the best Scouting Directors in baseball and GM who should learn from the end of his previous assignment.

 

They have enough pitching now to make a run if their young hitters ascend next season. Actually I think that plugging the rotation with a bunch of mid tier guys makes sense for the Cubs, they will have to the resources to upgrade their pitching through FA if they want pending the development of their hitting.

 

People were dismissing Pit and Cin in years past, but both of those clubs continue to ascend, and somehow the Cards always manage to stay relevant. Pit, Cin, and STL all have better/more top tier talent in their farm system than we do... we have a ton of depth but they have 3-4 players each who are legitimate top 100 prospects (most are top 50 in my opnion) and worth being extremely excited about.

 

If people aren't worried now, they should be, I think the other 4 teams are doing exactly what they needed/should do to build/maintain contention. We desperately need our young pitching to ascend at the MLB level next season and then we need the young hitters from the last 2 drafts to make big performance jumps in the minors so our farm system continues to ascend... Otherwise we're losing ground.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Has a free agent acquisition not named Dawson (who had to basically beg them to sign him) ever panned out for the Cubs? Until that happens, I won't fear them due to a bunch of free agent signings. I can see why they need to spend money to make their fans think that they are trying, but some of these moves look penny-wise pound-foolish to me. I don't see an impact player in the bunch. Maybe if everything breaks their way, they can win 75-80 games or so, but that's hardly something to be feared. The pitching might be OK, but the lineup has tons of holes.
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People were dismissing Pit and Cin in years past, but both of those clubs continue to ascend, and somehow the Cards always manage to stay relevant

Nobody has dismissed the Reds and the Pirates have proven time and time again that they are a 2nd tier team at best, not sure where this is coming from at all. The Pirates epitomize the team that is treading water and not improving even though they should be.

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I think this safely sums up how worried I am about the Cubs!

 

 

Betancourt, 31 in January, spent 57 games with the Royals last season, posting a .228/.256/.400 batting line with seven homers. The infielder was reportedly on the Cubs' radar earlier this month as a third base option

Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#JOyt5JhhWZ6K5B7y.99

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Has a free agent acquisition not named Dawson (who had to basically beg them to sign him) ever panned out for the Cubs?

 

How exactly is anything that happened with the Cubs prior to Epstein's arrival relevant to the discussion?

 

That's like saying in 2001 the Brewers would never have a $50 mil payroll because the franchise had never demonstrated that capacity in the past.

 

Anyone who frequents the minor league forum knows how much I hate to losing to STL and Chi at any level so I would love to just dismiss the Cubs like others have done in this thread, but I won't, because I don't feel it's the truth.

 

I'll say what I said about TB and Texas prior to their rise, throw out win projections and historical production, then look take a good look at the direction the organization is heading. Not quick glance at the surface, look at their farm system, look at the moves the GM is making, look at the relative talent/age of the players on the roster, look at the SD and the talent he's bringing into the system, then make an informed critique of the situation.

 

I'll say this, the Cubs front office structure makes a heck of a lot more sense from a development standpoint than does the Brewers, I wish we had the international focus that Theo has brought to the Cubs. Yes they made a terrible signing in Gerardo Concepcion, and yes Hayden Simpson was a bad pick, the 2 sides of the scouting deparment haven't been perfect. However every organization misses, including the Brewers, it's not about the misses as much as the tact the organization is taking. I would ask that people see the entire picture and try to remove as much prejudice/bias as possible before making claims either way.

 

I think this safely sums up how worried I am about the Cubs!

 

We'll see... it seems to me the Brewers managed to contend with Betancourt on the roster, and it would obviously be a stopgap move. I also think it's silly to for the Cubs to give up on a 22 year old Vitters after all of 109 PAs, regardless of how awful they were. Though I guess I'm not surprised the opinion exists given that both Gamel and Escobar were garbage based on small samples as well.

 

I'm not saying the Cubs will contend next year, but they aren't anywhere near as far away as some are making it sound. I think they'll be around .500 next season, likely a tad under, which will be a nice bounce back for the fans and depending on what happens with their hitting they will have the disposable income to upgrade their roster if Epstein thinks it is time to hit the switch.

 

Every team in the division is a threat, there isn't poor management in place for any team and I would argue that Melvin is far and away the most sort sighted of the GMs in the division. We don't need BA, BP, THT, fangraphs, or any other blog/website to tell us what's true or not, there's plenty of information freely available to form our own opinions and make those determinations ourselves. However, at some point a publication will cover the rejuvination of the Cubs, it will get linked here, and then an entirely different discussion will take place.

 

I say again you don't have to develop pitching if you have the capacity to buy it, and the Cubs will have the disposable income to upgrade their pitching if their hitting pans out at all.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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How exactly is anything that happened with the Cubs prior to Epstein's arrival relevant to the discussion?

 

I can see your argument to an extent, but I would make a similar argument related to Epstein himself. How does what happened in Boston apply to the Cubs?

 

Bottom line, the Cubs have a history of off-seasons like this. They have signed a bunch of fringe guys and overpaid for a few decent arms. I'm not going to fear any team with Soriano likely hitting in the middle of the order and Edwin Jackson as the 1/2 guy in the rotation.

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