Offseason Roundtable, Part 2: The One Where We Discuss Soriano and Other Free Agent Senior Citizens

As we get closer to the dawning of the Theo Era, we should probably finish off our roundtable discussion before it all becomes irrelevant.  


berselius : Percentage chance Soriano is in a Cubs uniform on April 1 

AndCounting : 98%

Aisle 424 : 50%

mb21 : 7.87%

berselius : 3.7%

berselius : why so high, Adam?

AndCounting : I just don’t see them dealing him in the offseason. I really don’t. The contract isn’t getting any prettier. And what are the options really for shipping him out? 

berselius : Release 

mb21 : I don’t really know what the options are, but Soriano speaking as if he may not be back with the Cubs made me think he might even retire. 

Aisle 424 : I don’t know if he’d retire, but I think the chances of him staying with the Cubs were a hell of a lot higher before Theo was brought on board. He won’t be as hellbent and determined to wring value out of those sunk dollars.

berselius : Unless this medical dude that Theo is supposedly trying to bring with him has a time machine 

Aisle 424 : (dying laughing)

mb21 : I think release is most likely. Maybe there’s some team out there that would take him if the Cubs sent them $45 million or something. I doubt that. 

berselius : I still think retirement is a pipe dream, but we’ve already had this argument 

berselius : Yeah, no team will want to pay anything for Soriano 

AndCounting : I guess I don’t see release as making that much sense. Can they replace him with someone better from the system if they’re going to pay him anyway? 

Aisle 424 : Long live LaHair!!!

mb21 : By the way, my source has just confirmed to me that the Cubs will not sign both Fielder and Pujols. 

berselius : “and” or “or”? 

AndCounting : Is this a real source or a rumored source? 

mb21 : and. They will not have 2 first basemen next year. 

Aisle 424 : This is why we get the big bucks here at OV, we go out on those precarious limbs.

mb21 : I think they do have guys who can replace his production, AC. 

berselius : Move Byrd to LF and play BJax in CF 

berselius : yeah, easily 

berselius : probably not those who can replace the production they’re paying for though 

mb21 : Who plays RF? I’m still not convinced Tony Campana isn’t more valuable than Soriano. 

berselius : Me neither 

mb21 : It really depends on how bad the Cubs or Theo specifically thinks Soriano is defensively.

Aisle 424 : It is very hard to speculate on the roster when we still don’t really know who will be making the decisions.  I’m just happy it isn’t Hendry.

AndCounting : And on the bench? I mean, even if he rides the pine, I’m not convinced he’s keeping anyone better off the team. 

Aisle 424 : Sadly, he probably isn’t.

berselius : I like the plan that was debated around here a month or so ago. Byrd-Campana-BJax in OF, not-Ramirez at 3b 

berselius : Cubs would probably become one of the best defensive teams in the NL 

Aisle 424 : I’m not sold on Campana’s defense.  Great speed doesn’t automatically make you a good centerfielder. I don’t like his routes to balls and his arm would be laughable if not for having witnessed Juan Pierre and Lance Johnson out there.

mb21 : Soriano sucks at getting on base, but still has some power. He’s a good platoon player at this point.

mb21 : You’re probably right about him on the bench, AC, but Soriano might make life hell if he were on the bench. 

berselius : Another question: do the Cubs make an offseason splash with Theo, or will the “splash” be a liquidation? 

berselius : I remember reports a few weeks back about the Cubs not being interested in Fielder, and wanting to target SP. But whatever Randy Bush (or whoever the source was) thought is pretty much meaningless.

mb21 : I don’t think there’s a chance in hell this team has a fire sale. I don’t think the Cubs have the guys to make it worthwhile. 

Aisle 424 : They missed their shot at getting value for some of the players they still have like Dempster and Byrd.  Even Soto doesn’t have a ton of value anymore.

berselius : I think he’s going to put some sort of mark on the team this offseason though 

AndCounting : I’d believe that stat, but I think most people believe the splash will have an aftershock. 

AndCounting : I wouldn’t be surprised if they did get Pujols. Or Fielder. At this point I really have no clue. 

berselius : Well, not a full on firesale 

mb21 : Yeah, AC, in order to keep the confidence up something else has to happen. If they sign some big name free agent, I’m going with Fielder. 

Aisle 424 : They lowered their ticket prices a bit this season, so I’m guessing a big leap in payroll isn’t happening.

mb21 : Actually, I’m just going to go with Fielder. I think he’ll be a Cub next year. 

Aisle 424 : I won’t go that far, but he’s the one I’d prefer if they are definitely going to sign one or the other.

berselius : If Theo goes after any FA it’s probably Fielder. CC would be a close second but I think the Yankees renegotiate with him before he hits the market 

AndCounting : I would love that. Honestly, I’ve always thought he was a pretty entertaining player. 

berselius : Sucks for CC and Fielder that the Yanks/Sox have Teix and Gonzalez 

mb21 : I also expect the Yankees to announce an extension with CC during the World Series like they did with ARod. They enjoy pissing Selig off. 

AndCounting : Is adding CC and Fielder a possibility? If the Cubs thought the clubhouse was cramped before . . . 

Aisle 424 : I can’t imagine how they could swing that.

berselius : I’ve always been a big Prince Fielder fan, so I’d love to see him around. Not for anything more than 5 years

berselius : That pretty much goes for any player, but esp Fielder 

mb21 : the Cubs food budget would double with those two on the same team. 

mb21 : The thing I’ve always worried about Fielder for is his defense and his weight. Factor in his position, which are already filled with guys don’t age well and you potentially have a problem. 

Aisle 424 : I don’t think either signing is ideal. If they were a guy that could put them over the top, fine. But they aren’t. I’d rather use the dollars to land Wilson and maybe some other stop-gap pitching that can get us through the next couple of years without it being embarassing.

berselius : I think both of those guys stay in the NLC. I’d be shocked if Pujols leaves STL. The only way I see it happening is if LAAOA throw stupid money at him 

mb21 : It would be pretty cool if Fielder signed with the Cubs and the Brewers signed Pujols. 

Aisle 424 : If the Brewers could afford Albert, they’d probably just pay Fielder.

berselius : His defense doesn’t bother me that much. It sucks, but it’s just a number. I feel pretty confident in his ability to have hitting make up for it. 

berselius : Would not be cool for Brewers fans 

berselius : As I always try to mention, don’t forget Fielder’s age 

AndCounting : I know Ricketts has said he’s looking to build on the farm system and move away from ridiculous free agent contracts, but it would be nice for the team to not completely suck again. Revenue could go through the roof if they signed two big free agents. 

Aisle 424 : But not right away.  They still sold something like 90% of the ballpark with no expecatations and no hope.  Plus they lowered ticket prices this year.  Any upswing in revenue this year would be marginal.  It would be 2013 before they start seeing any real bump and that is assuming a couple of high-priced band-aids actually equal enough wins to get them into contention again.

berselius : whoops, misread your comment, that would be really awesome. 

mb21 : Age is important, but so is athleticism. I’m not sure that Pujols is much older than Fielder physically. It’s probably pretty close. 

AndCounting : What is Fielder’s age? I forgot. 

berselius : I think he’s 27 

berselius : He came up at 21 

mb21 : I do expect the Cubs to try to contend next year. I don’t think they sign 2 big free agents, but I could see Fielder and a trade. 

Aisle 424 : That would certainly explain not wanting to pillage their system just to land Theo.

berselius : Aren’t there still questions with respect to Pujols’ age? 

Aisle 424 : I believe his grandchildren have already addressed that, B.

berselius : There’s a chance that all three marquee 1b in the division are gone next year. 

berselius : I think it’s pretty small at this point. 

AndCounting : He’s always looked old. But never that old. He’s Jim Thome-esque. 

berselius : Heh, Thome still looks like a big kid 

mb21 : Thome looks like he played in the 1930s. 

Aisle 424 : He didn’t?