Tagged: Carlos Zambrano

2013-2014 TO DO LIST

I do this every year.  I come up with a “TO DO LIST” for the Cubs.  Each year, I am a little ambitious in my list.  This year, will be somewhat similar.  So, let’s do this!

1.  The Cubs need to hire a new manager.  Some of the names that have been floated around are Dave Martinez, Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Mike Maddux and Manny Acta.  I would prefer Mike Maddux, but I have a feeling the Cubs will go with Rick Renteria.  Just think, we could have had Ryne Sandberg a couple of years ago, but Theo & Jed went with Dale Sveum.  We see how that worked out!

2.  The Cubs have a lot of holes on their roster.  Free agency cannot fill all of them realistically.  Yet, there are some potential moves that could happen.
Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-soo Choo are both viable options to sign and become our new leadoff hitter.

3.  As much as I like Welington Castillo the idea of signing Brian McCann is enticing.  His bat in the lineup as a catcher would be an upgrade.  Yet, no matter if the Cubs make a big splash in free agency, we do not have the depth at pitching needed to compete with the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds in the NL Central at this point and time.

4.  Trade options.  Trading for David Price would cost the farm…..literally!  But it is an option.  Heck, trade Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler in a deal for him.  I know it would take more than just those two, but it is a start.  Don’t trade Javier Baez or Albert Almora though.  Those two have too much talent to lose.

5.  Stay patient and wait til our younger players arrive.  Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant all have high ceilings and are not that far off from playing in the big leagues.

Basically, the Cubs have a lot of money available to spend.  It’s hard to believe that the Cubs were 3rd in payroll in 2010 at just under $150 million.  Since then the Cubs no longer have to pay the huge contracts for Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome, Carlos Silva, Alfonso Soriano, Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee.  The farm system has been restocked with hitters at every level.  Pitching is still a little bit thin, but it is improving.  I truly believe the Cubs are not that far off from competing.  But it’s going to take some work.  The Cubs have too many holes to fill in free agency this off-season.  I say let the young players earn their way to the big league roster and get their feet wet.  Our infield could have Javier Baez at SS or 3B, Rizzo at 1B, Barney at 2B and Castro at SS or OF.  The outfield could consist of Almora CF, Bryant LF or 3B and Soler in RF.

Whatever decisions are made I’m still a Cubs fan.  First things first though.  Let’s hire a manager.  I want Maddux but am predicting Renteria.

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WISH LIST STUFF

Here is my old list.

1.  Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization.

2.  Hire a quality manager.  We hired Dale Sveum.

3. Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.

4.  Go after Prince Fielder.  Sounds like it may happen. We may even go after Pujols.

5.  Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later)  Does not appear likely.

6.  Trade Carlos Zambrano.  (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)

7.  Trade Alfonso Soriano.  Sounds like this could happen.

8.  Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs.  Might happen.

9.  Strengthen the pitching staff

And here is my new and improved wish list.

1.  Sign Prince Fielder.  He could be the center piece to build around.

2.  Trade Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins.

3.  Trade Alfonso Soriano to any AL team that will take him!

4.  Sign Kerry Wood.

5.  Sign either Paul Maholm or Edwin Jackson.  We need pitching depth.

6.  Wipe the slate clean, don’t sign Prince, trade Soriano & Zambrano.  Then trade Matt Garza to the Reds or Rangers in a huge deal.  Follow that up by trading away Marlon Byrd, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells too.

Whatever direction the Cubs decide to go I hope they start making moves soon.  I just want to know what to expect for the next couple of seasons under Theo and Co..

Winter Meetings Almost Here!

I am getting excited!  The anticipation is almost like a child waiting for Christmas morning so they can open their presents.  Next week’s Winter Meetings have gotten me excited as they do every year.  However, this year I expect the Cubs to really be active.  I am betting on trades and free agent signings to happen with Theo at the helm.  I’m still aggravated that he allowed Greg Maddux to leave and that he didn’t bring back Ryne Sandberg.  However, if he can put together a winning team all will be forgiven.

The acquisition of David DeJesus was a great signing.  It was an inexpensive move as well.  Now we need to strengthen our pitching staff, find a left handed slugger (Prince…maybe) and make some trades.

Speaking of trades, I would love to see the Cubs trade Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano.  I doubt we will be able to trade both of these players, but I think we can swap at least one of them.  I’m betting that Soriano may be playing for another team in 2012 and it will most likely be in the AL.
I’ve also read that the Cubs may shop Matt Garza around.  I really, really like Garza.  However, if we are able to get a bountiful return for him then I have no problem letting him go.  I don’t see Theo and Hoyer accepting a trade for him without getting 4-5 minor league players in return.

Next week is kind of like a holiday for me.  I am a baseball nerd who loves this part of the off-season and cannot wait for it to begin.

UPDATING MY WISH LIST

At the beginning of November I created my wish list for the Cubs this off-season.  Here it is and along with a few changes.

1.  Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization.

2.  Hire a quality manager.  We hired Dale Sveum.

3. Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.

4.  Go after Prince Fielder.  Sounds like it may happen. We may even go after Pujols.

5.  Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later)  Does not appear likely.

6.  Trade Carlos Zambrano.  (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)

7.  Trade Alfonso Soriano.  Sounds like this could happen.

8.  Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs.  Might happen.

9.  Strengthen the pitching staff

So two of my wish’s have already been rejected.  However, the Cubs may pursue Pujols or Fielder which is a good thing.

HOT STOVE SEASON HAS BEGUN! PLUS, MY NEW WISH LIST FOR THIS OFF-SEASON

Okay, the Cubs have been busy over the last month.  Theo Epstein has been brought in as President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs and he has gotten Jed Hoyer, from the Padres, as the new GM.  Theo also landed Jason McLeod as the Director of Scouting and Player Development.  These three amigos are tasked with turning a century of losing into a championship contender on a yearly basis.  That is an enormous challenge!

Theo and crew has already started by “releasing” Mike Quade from his position as manager of the Cubs.  Theo then called up Ryne Sandberg and notified him immediately that he would not be considered for the newly vacated managerial position.  I think that was a good thing to do.  Don’t lead Ryno on and let him believe he has a chance at the job like happened last year.  However, I do hope Theo is able to get Sandberg back into a Cub uniform as a major league coach or minor league manager.  I’ve read that the Cardinals are interested in him and that would just kill me.  If he took over for the Cards in 2012 and won a World Series……..well, it wouldn’t be a good thing for me.

Anyway, before I worry too much about this worst case scenario, I have to remind myself that Theo realizes knows what he’s doing.

The search for a new manager is underway and I have a feeling that Theo will make a wise and educated choice.

Here is my wishlist for this off-season.

1.  Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization.

2.  Hire a quality manager.

3. Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.

4.  Go after Prince Fielder

5.  Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later)

6.  Trade Carlos Zambrano.  (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)

7.  Trade Alfonso Soriano

8.  Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs.

9.  Strengthen the pitching staff

My goal over my next few posts will be to address all 9 of these items on my personal wishlist.  I will also add new ideas to my list when I can come up with something feasible.  I look forward to the HOT STOVE season and I plan on blogging about it as much as I can.

A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING

I’ve been really busy over the last two weeks.  Since my last post, the baseball season ended with excitement.  The Rays and Cards came back in the month of September to make the post-season.  It was exciting for baseball and even me.  I’ve watched as much as I can of the playoffs up to this point.  However, I haven’t been able to watch an entire game, yet.  Like I mentioned, I have been busy.  I am learning that having three children requires a lot of work and time.

As for my Cubs, I am expecting a huge change this off-season.  I think Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano won’t be back next season.  We will have a new General Manager soon and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ryne Sandberg come back to the organization in a coaching or managing position on the big league team or in the minors.  If he isn’t brought back, I expect some other organization to snag him and make him their big league manager.

I keep reading rumors that the Cubs will pursue Theo Epstein.  I think that would be a great fit for the Cubs and the Ricketts’ family.  We have a lot of money that is coming off the books this year and after next season as well.  I believe that Theo would spend that money wisely if he actually becomes the GM for the Cubs.  If he doesn’t, I’m fine with that as long as we hire someone soon.

I awoke today to see that Steve Jobs had passed away.  I finally bought my first IPOD just a few weeks ago.  I absolutely love it.  My wife has had one for quite a few years, but I’ve been too cheap to buy one.  Glad I finally did.  Rest in peace Steve.

 

WHAT A DAY!

Well, the Cubs have finally parted ways with GM Jim Hendry.  I would like to wish him the best.  He did help guide the Cubs to three appearances in the playoffs under his watch.  He made some great trades early in his tenure.  But his massive contracts to Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Kosuke Fukudome have hurt the Cubs tremendously.  I give him credit for the teams he put together when the Cubs were winning and I hold him accountable for the team he has assembled this year as well.  Thank you Mr. Hendry for your time with the Cubs.  I know you tried.

In December of 2010, I wrote two posts on Jim Hendry as our GM.  Here are the links to both posts.

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/2010/12/20/a-closer-look-at-jim-hendry-part-i-free-agents/

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/2010/12/21/a-closer-look-at-jim-hendry-part-ii-trade-history/

 

 

Now comes the hard part.  Who will the Ricketts family choose to replace Hendry.  I hope that Greg Maddux would want the job, but I’m not sure he does nor do I know if he would be able to do it.  I would like to believe that Maddux would be a great GM and lead the Cubs to the World Series.  He was a special assistant to Hendry so I’m guessing he won’t even be considered for the position.  I think the Ricketts family will be looking for a GM with more experience.  Time will tell.

Finally, today the Cubs won a great game over our Arch Rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.  The game was won in extra innings with Tyler Colvin knocking in the game’s winning run.  This game was unique though.  I’ve watched a lot of Cub games this year and they’ve seemed a bit flat as a team.  Today was different.  When Colvin drove in Soto to win the game the Cubs celebrated as if they had clinched the division.  It was pure joy and excitement.  I don’t know why it seemed different today, but it did.  Maybe it was a tribute to Hendry.  Maybe it was because the clubhouse downer, Carlos Zambrano, wasn’t there.  Maybe it’s because the Cubs had fun playing baseball today.   Whatever it was, I know I enjoyed today’s game.  The Cubs never gave up and their excitement at the end of the game was refreshing.

Oh wow, just turned on the Little League World Series game between Pennsylvania and Kentucky and there is over 41,000 people in attendance.  WHAT A DAY!!!!