Posted on 08 December 2011 by Lou
How does Theo & Co. not go after Prince Fielder with everything that they’ve got?
The St. Louis Cardinals just lost Albert Pujols to the tune of $254 million over 10 years with the Anaheim Angels in the American League.
That weakens the Cardinals tremendously.
Rumors are out there that the Milwaukee Brewers have upped their offer to try to keep Prince Fielder at Miller Park. Who’s to say that they won\’t up it even more now that they know that the Cards have lost Pujols.
Who knows if the Cards will now try to take a run at signing Fielder away from Milwaukee with a portion of the money that they had allocated towards Pujols?
No one really knows. That’s why the Cubs need to swoop in and lock up the “next-best” 1st baseman available, thereby hurting both the Cards and the Brewers in the process. At 27 years of age, Fielder is about to enter his prime years – that’s 6 amazing years out of an 8-year deal (let’s say). Even in that case, he’s still only 35 years old when the deal ends. How can you go wrong. You can build the Cubs lineup around Starlin Castro and Prince Fielder for years and years to come. And during the next couple of years, you can tweak around the starting rotation a little bit with a focus on signing Matt Garza to a big long-term extension and a “friendly” rate before the end of the 2012 MLB season. You already know that you have around $35 million coming off the books next year when Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano become free agents. You try to make trades this year by moving a Marlon Byrd and a Carlos Marmol that might bring some quality pitchers back. You throw Brett Jackson into the fire by starting him in center field all season and see what he can do. How does a DeJesus, Barney, Castro, Fielder, Soto, Soriano, Jakcson, lineup sound? Sure you still need a 3rd baseman, but maybe you also land an Ian Stewart or Chase Headley. It’s now or never time for Theo and the Ricketts Family. You made a big splash by bringing in Theo, Jed and Jason, now make an even bigger splash and make Fielder an offer he can’t refuse.
Go Cubs Go!!!
Posted on 06 December 2011 by Lou
The games have started – 1st up – leading people to think that the Cubs are “all in” on Albert Pujols in the hopes that that will drive the price up out of the rival St. Louis Cardinals price range. Guess we’ll see if the ploy works.
The St. Louis Dispatch reported that the Cubs have spoken with Dan Lozano – Pujols’ agent – on Monday and that they made a “qualifying offer” (whatever that means). I love it. Let’s try to get people thinking that the Cubs are a player. Given the fact that the Marlins have made a bold move to land the slugger with a 10-year deal, I don’t see how the Cubs can compete with that. So let’s just hope that the Marlins “reel in” the big guy so he leaves the NL Central for the 1st time in a decade.
C ubs President Theo Epstein played it coy when asked about any meeting with Lozano. Epstein said: “He also represents Rodrigo Lopez, so if you see somebody going into someone’s room, it’s not always to talk about the Big Kahuna.” I love it even more.
Epstein & Co. rarely show their cards during these meetings. My wish – that they are planting the seeds about the Pujols offer, just to quietly go in and make an offer to Prince Fielder that his a-hole agent Scott Boras can’t refuse…
Go Cubs Go!!!
Posted on 29 November 2011 by Lou
Numerous reports have confirmed that the Cubs have contacted Albert Pujols’ agent regarding the big slugger. While some Cubs fans seem overly excited about the prospects about landing the best hitter in baseball, I have a feeling that this is a HUGE ploy by Theo & Co. Knowing how the Cubs have been hampered by Alfonso Soriano’s 8-year deal and knowing how Theo & Co. rarely enter into a bad “long-term” deal (the 7-year, $142 million Carl Crawford notwithstanding), the Cubs won’t make this deal. You heard it hear first. 8, 9, 10 years for a 32-year old 1st baseman entering the twilight of his career? What happens in Year 6, when Albert Pujols enters the year at 37 years of age and you still owe him a whopping $25-30 million a year for 5 more years?! That’s exactly what we’ve been doing with Soriano for the last 2 years and we still have 3 more years left on his deal. Now sure, Pujols is MUCH MORE productive than Soriano, but it still does not justify mortgaging the club again when we’re so close to getting out from the Soriano deal in another year or two.
So why are the rumors spreading about the Cubs making a play for Pujols? There are several reasons:
1. It drives the price up on the Pujols sweepstakes, maybe knocking him out of the Cardinals price range and sending him to the NL East Marlins or Nationals or the American League with the Texas Rangers or Anaheim Angels. That weakens the Cardinals big time with a move like that.
2. With the Yankees (Mark Teixeira) and Red Sox (Adrian Gonzalez) “probably” out of the mix for Pujols or Prince Fielder (you can never say never with either team however), it is plausible that the Cubs could land either player for a “steal of a deal” without the 2 highest payroll teams driving up the price further. So it is “conceivable” that the Cubs would make a play for Pujols.
3. It also hides your cards if your real intent is to go hard for the younger (Fielder is only 27 years old) 1st baseman. Epstein and Fielder’s agent Scott Boras have been known to get deals done and what better way to swoop in and make him an offer he can’t refuse than to let everybody think you’re going after Pujols. New skipper Dale Sveum was Fielder’s hitting coach in Milwaukee and the 2 have a good working relationship. With tons of money coming off of the books the next year, Theo & Co. can also make a commitment to Fielder that in addition to building from within, the Cubs will also have much more flexibility to add pieces from the outside through free agency after the 2012 season. With Theo & Co.’s track record, Fielder has to be reassured that the Cubs will be competitive just about every season once they get things settled.
Maybe I’m just hoping for the best-case ideal scenario – a 1-2-3 combo of Brett Jackson, Starlin Castro and Fielder as the future of a potent offensive lineup – but don’t surprised if Theo & Co. pull off this miracle signing within the next week. Imagine the buzz on the north side then…
Posted on 17 February 2011 by Lou
Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals failed to agree on a long-term deal before the start of spring training this week. Pujols gave the Cardinals brass a hard Wednesday deadline, and that came and went without a new agreement for perhaps the best 1st baseman of all time. Pujols said that he does not want any distractions for his team going-forward, so he and his camp will not entertain further discussions with the Cardinals during the course of the season. Those in the know speculate that Pujols wants a deal similar to the deal that Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees a few years ago – 10-years, $275 million. The Cardinals have all-but-said that they can’t meet that contract, so does it mean that Pujols will become a free agent at the end of the season?
I find it really hard to believe that Pujols will end up leaving St. Louis, but I guess anything is possible. At 31 years old, this is his final hoorah and his 1st time testing the free agent market, so it would not surprise me to see Pujols entertain offers in November. But if the Cardinals get somewhat close to the highest offer that Pujols receives, you would think that the guy decides to play it “safe” and finish his career with the Cardinals.
That being said, the Cubs better make an attempt to lure Pujols to Chicago despite the fact that they continue to try to shed payroll. With the Carlos Silva, Kosuke Fukudome and Aramis Ramirez contracts coming off the books after the season, the Ricketts family will have money to “play with” – about $38 million. They could easily allocate a good chunk of that to Pujols and still have some more money to sign another free agent or two. That all assumes that young stars like Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin and Blake DeWitt continue to develop and mature during the course of the 2011 MLB season.
We’ll be following the whole Pujols story very closely this year and we’ll keep you posted as soon as anything breaks…
Posted on 24 November 2009 by Lou
Derrek Lee had a solid year for the Chicago Cubs in 2009, but finished 9th in National League MVP Award voting. Albert Pujols of the Cubs biggest rival – the St. Louis Cardinals – was the unanimous winner, followed up by Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins, Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies and Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Lee’s 111 RBI’s were a career high. His .306 batting average led the team. Lee clubbed 35 HR’s, the most since 2005 when he hit 46 HR’s and finished 3rd in Most Valuable Player award voting.
Lee became the 5th player in Cubs history to have at least 2 seasons with the Cubs in which he had a .300 batting average and hit at least 30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s. The other 4 players to do so – Hack Wilson (4 times); Ernie Banks (2 times); Billy Williams (3 times); and Sammy Sosa (3 times).
Congrats on a GREAT year D-Lee – please keep it up during the 2010 MLB schedule…