Cubs "losing" a bunch of players to free agency/waivers
Team MVP Shawn Camp was the only officially official free agent on the roster, but a few other players have opted for free agency after being kicked off the Cubs 40-man roster. Apparently they don't realize that "cut from the Cubs roster" is not going to be a net positive for them in future negotiations.
So far, the team has "lost" the following players to free agency/other organizations
- Shawn Camp (FA)
- Joe Mather (FA)
- Anthony Recker (Mets)
- Manny Corpas (FA)
- Justin Germano (FA)
- Chris Volstad (Royals)
As Aisley pointed out, given Mather's -1.5 fWAR last year he's probably going to have to pay some team $15m to play for them next year (laughing)
Brenly Replacement Search Continues
Dan Plesac has joined Eric Karros as a candidate for the position. Please, no Plesac. I'm really hoping to hear that Doug Glanville is actually being considered, rather than just being wishcast by various fans.
Thoyer Conference call with season ticket holders
Brett has a paraphrased transcript over at Bleacher Nation. Nothing too earth-shattering there. They admit that they inherited some really shitty pitching depth and mentioned that they're not planning to bullpen Arodys Vizcaino, which is great news. They also said they're not interested in doing any deals like the Cubs did with Carlos Pena that defers a huge chunk of money. But there's no real reason for them to do that right now anyway because they have so little payroll.
Javier Baez Update
Baez broke the tip of his left thumb, but it was a non-displaced fracture so it sounds like it's relatively not a big deal. It will end his AFL season, however. Logan Watkins was given his spot for the rest of the league's short season.
Cubs float a balloon about bringing back Ryan Dempster
In that same article, Carrie Muskat mentioned that Hoyer has been in contact with Dempster's agent. Hoyer was quick to down-play this, and said it was more of a "I bumped into him" kind of situation. Though it's hard to accidentally bump into someone when you pick up your phone and call them. Maybe he and Demp's agent were just discussing candlesticks as wedding gifts for a mutual friend of theirs.
Vague trade rumor of the moment
Bruce Levine mentioned last week that the salary-dumping Marlins have approached the Cubs about trading Josh Johnson. If (almost) all he costs is money, it's something I think that Thoyer would be interested in. He turns 29 in January, but has surprisingly little mileage on his arm. Of course, that's due to an injury or two…
The Cubs should strike while the iron is hot here, because if the Marlins secure the funds for a new ballpark they might keep Johnson and go on another spending spree.
(That's probably a top ten all-time Onion article)
Additional vague trade rumor of the moment
The Cubs are interested in Dan Haren, and according to Heyman they have been involved in "talks". The Angels have to decide today if they're going to pick up his option. I would be shocked if a deal gets done here though. The Angels don't have a ton of leverage.
Minor league coaching hires
The Cubs have hired Anthony Iapoce as the new minor league hitting coordinator. He was previously an instructor in the Blue Jays system, and a career minor leaguer with the Brewers and Marlins before that. The Cubs also grabbed Vandy pitching coach Derek Johnson as the new minor league pitching coordinator. Vandy went to the College World Series in 2011, and eight of their pitchers were drafted (two in the first round), and he also worked with David Price before he was drafted.
Is there a Cubs game today?
Off-topic comments thread I recently enjoyed
There was much discussion of board and role-playing games in the comments yesterday, as well as arguments for and against plastic cutting boards. Needless to say, it's been our busiest day in weeks here at OV. The 2013 Cubs, everyone!