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Chicago Cubs Management, Wrigley Field

Cubs Close to Signing Deal with Edwin Jackson?!?!? – Wrigley Field 12-20-12

Posted on 20 December 2012

What — the Cubs are close to signing Edwin Jackson to a 4-year, $52 million deal?  This does not make any sense at all.  What happened to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer building from within and building for the future.  Jackson is 29 years old.  He went 10-11 with a 4.03 in a pitcher-friendly Nationals Park pitching against weak NL East opponents like the New York Mets, Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies.  He has a career 4.40 ERA with a 70-71 record.  His best season came 5 years ago when he went 14-11 with the Tampa Rays and a “sparkling” 4.42 ERA?  All these stats warrant a $13 million dollar deal from the Cubs.  It’s not like the Cubs are going to be doing anything in 2013 and maybe not even 2014.  So way waste $26 million a guy for 2 lost seasons.  Especially given all the other cost-cutting moves that the Cubs have made since Theo & Co. took over back in November 2011, this move really doesn’t make any sense at all to me.

I guess he has started at least 31 games in every season since 2007, so he is durable.  And I guess this gives them some flexibility to move a Matt Garza at the trading deadline next season to bring back some more pitching prospects, but Cubs brass is really going to have to work to convince me that this was the right move for the Cubs to make at this juncture…

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Chicago Cubs Management, Wrigley Field

Cubs Re-Sign 3B Ian Stewart to 1-Year, $2 Million Deal – Wrigley Field 12-10-12

Posted on 10 December 2012

The Cubs opted to re-sign 3B Ian Stewart to a 1-year deal this weekend.  Stewart will have a base salary of $2 million and there are incentives in the deal that could net Stewart an additional $500,000.  With the free agent market thin at the third base position, and with the lackluster performance from young prospect Josh Vitters in 2012 (.121 batting average in 99 at-bats in 36 games), the Cubs were kind of “forced” to re-sign Stewart despite his paltry 2012 numbers.  Stewart racked up only 202 at-bats in 55 games in 2012 due to a wrist injury.  He had a surgery on the wrist to fix the nagging problem and is on track to be ready for Spring Training 2013.  Let’s hope so.  He hit just .201 with 5 HR’s, 17 RBI’s and a pathetic .292 on-base percentage.  Looks like GM Jed Hoyer and President Theo Epstein are still looking for their 3rd baseman of the future in the coming seasons…

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Chicago Cubs Management, Wrigley Field

Cubs Officially Sign Kyuji Fujikawa to 2-Year Deal – Wrigley Field 12-9-12

Posted on 09 December 2012

The Cubs and right-handed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa officially agreed to a 3-year, $9.5 million deal on Friday.  Fujikawa is 32 years old and will likely serve as a set-up man to current Cubs closer Carlos Marmol.  GM Jed Hoyer and President Theo Epstein are confident that a more consistent back-end of the rotation will lead to more W’s in 2013.  With Marmol, Fujikawa, James Russell and Shawn Camp ready to shoulder a good chunk of the load, that should allow Manager Dale Sveum a few more options during the long season and hopefully keep guys more fresh as the season wears on.  It could also give Epstein and Hoyer some flexibility to move Marmol (who is owed $9.8 million in 2013) at some point in order to bring back a few young arms and help deepen the Cubs pitching potential in the minor leagues.

The Cubs signed Fujikawa to a “team-friendly contract” of 2 years and $9.5 million.  He gets a $1 million signing bonus plus salaries of $4 million in each of 2013 and 2014.  The Cubs can buy him out for $500,000 at the end of 2014 if Fujikawa does not meet a “games-finished” option that vests if he meets a certain level.  The dollar value for the 2015 vesting option is either $5.5 million or $6 million.

Hoyer had this to say about the addition – “Our goal is to have the best bullpen possible. Kyuji certainly adds to that. He’s had a great career. If you look at his career, he was a dominant setup guy first and a dominant closer. We know he can do both roles. We look at it as adding a great arm, and we don’t worry about the role.”

Little by little the Cubs are piecing together their 2013 roster.  While they are not going to make any splashy moves this off-season, at least it seems like they have a plan to address a few of the areas that really hurt the club in 2012. That could mean a team that is more competitive in 2013 – http://www.ticketchest.com/sports/MLB_Tickets/Chicago_Cubs/ – let’s hope…

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Chicago Cubs Management, Wrigley Field

Cubs May Have a Deal for Japanese Closer Kyuji Fujikawa – Wrigley Field 12/1/12

Posted on 01 December 2012

The Cubs are in hot pursuit of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa.  Fujikawa, 32, has pitched in 12 seasons for the Hanshin Tigers.  He has racked up 220 saves during that time with a 1.77 ERA.  The deal is supposedly for 2 years and $9.5 million.  The Cubs have not confirmed the deal although it is believed that the only remaining hurdle is a Fujikawa physical.

While some scouts believe that Fujikawa can close in the big leagues, other scouts seem to think that he is better suited as a setup man for a more-established closer (especially since he has not pitched70 innings in any season since 2007).  We’re not sure if Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein will continue to shop current closer Carlos Marmol once the deal is announced, but it could give the Cubs some flexibility now or before the 2013 trading deadline.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything concrete.

 

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Chicago Cubs Management, Wrigley Field

Cubs Sign Scott Feldman to 1-Year, $6 Million Deal – Wrigley Field 11/27/12

Posted on 27 November 2012

The Cubs signed Scott Feldman to a 1-year, $6 million deal. Feldman made 21 starts for the Texas Rangers in 2012 and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer expects Feldman to be a starter for the Cubs in 2013.  Hoyer stated: “I know he has bounced around a little bit with the Rangers, but in large part that was due to the amount of starting pitchers they had.  We clearly see him as a starter, and we are excited to add him to the rotation.” He posted a high 5.09 ERA for the Rangers and only went 6-11.  He had a breakout year with the Rangers in 2009, going 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 31 starts.  He hopes a change of scenery knowing that he will be a starter will help him return to form.  Feldman stated: “Starting is something I have always wanted to do during my career.  When Cubs executives gave me the go ahead on that and let me know I was in their plans from the get-go it was something that made me very interested in coming to the Cubs.

The Cubs are starting to round out the group of starting pitchers expected to be in the mix in 2013.  Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood appear to be locks.  Feldman is in that mix as well and Scott Baker could compete for a spot as well assuming his continued recovery from surgery stays on track.

We’ll keep you posted as the Cubs make further moves this winter…

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Chicago Cubs Management, Wrigley Field

Cubs Ink Dioner Navarro to 1-Year, $1.75 Million Deal – Wrigley Field 11/25/12

Posted on 25 November 2012

The signed veteran catcher Dioner Navarro to a 1-year, $1.75 million deal last week.  Navarro is 28 years old and he spent the 2012 MLB season playing for the Cincinnati Reds and their Triple-A club in Louisville.  In his 24 big league games, he hit .290 with 12 RBI’s.  In 2008, Navarro was an American League All-Star and a teammate of Matt Garza with the Rays.   Navarro will back up projected starter Wellington Castillo who made a big impression in 2012 by hitting .265 in 52 major league games – a career high for the youngster.

We’ll keep you posted as things heat up at the winter meetings.

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