Posted on 20 December 2012 by Lou
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…
Posted on 10 December 2012 by Lou
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…
Posted on 09 December 2012 by Lou
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…
Posted on 01 December 2012 by Lou
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.