Cubs – Best Decoy in Baseball Today as A’s Ink Cespedes – Wrigley Field 2/13/12

Posted on 13 February 2012 by Lou

The A’s signed Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes to a 4-year, $36 million deal further proving that the Cubs are the best decoys in baseball today.  Cespedes himself said that he felt like the Cubs were the most active team pursuing him for his services.  And from the sounds of things, it doesn’t look like the Cubs even made him a competitive offer (the Marlins reportedly offered Cespedes $36 million as well, but for 6 years of his time).  Go back to the Albert Pujols saga.  Supposedly the Cubs made Pujols a legit offer.  Shortly thereafter, he signed a 10-year deal with the Angels.  The Cubs were allegedly quietly pursuing Prince Fielder too.  But no offer was made and Fielder signed a 9-year deal with the Tigers.

Theo Epstein and his crew have always been known for keeping things close to the vest and for potentially disseminating exaggerated information.  And it looks like that trend has already started with the Cubs.  Most of the time I like the tactic.  You might be able to drive up the price of a player who you know you will never sign.  It might also help you sneak in and snag a player out from someone else’s grasp if you really want them that bad.  But right now, with the Cubs team in such shambles, it’s hard to hear all of these rumors floating around all the time and then come up empty-handed.  Granted with Cespedes, I would have been completely shocked if they made a crazy offer to sign a 26-year old Cuban defector who has never played a single inning at the major league level.  It just didn’t fit into the new management’s MO.  You’re gonna pass on Pujols and Fielder – 2 proven stars – but then throw a ton of cash at someone in the hopes that he’ll be a star?!  No way.

So another day has passed and the Cubs have stayed pat, waiting their time.  Sure, more salary comes off the books in 2013.  No more Ryan Dempster.  No more Marlon Byrd.  And maybe with only 2-years and $36 million left on his deal, the Cubs will be willing to move Alfonso Soriano and eat $25-30 million just for a team to take him.  If some of these youngsters show some promise (Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Cardenas), then maybe Theo and Co. will target a free agent or 2 to try to sign in the off-season to complement the major league roster.  But it is sure going to be a slow process on the north side.  Based on their moves (or rather lack of moves) this winter, it is clear that they have a plan and that they are going to stick to that plan no matter what…

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