There’s a snow storm brewing outside and the temperature is getting ready to drop to stupid cold levels. Most of us being holed up inside, now’s a good time to dig through the news pile and see what we can find…
This year’s convention is once again at the downtown Sheraton, and Carrie Muskat has some details. It’s kind of cool that David DeJesus is still active in the community even after getting traded to Tampa Bay, but I feel like the entry fee is kind of ridiculous especially if you have to put up with bad singing all night. It is for a good cause though!
The more interesting item is the who’s-who list:
Among the players scheduled to participate are Darwin Barney, Welington Castillo, Starlin Castro, Edwin Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Nate Schierholtz, Carlos Villanueva, and Travis Wood. New manager Rick Renteria will introduce his coaching staff, and Cubs alum scheduled to take part include Fergie Jenkins, Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly, Mark Prior, Dwight Smith, Jody Davis, Todd Walker, Billy Williams, Kerry Wood and Ernie Banks.
Seeing guys like Derrek Lee and Mark Prior will be very cool, not that I’m going, but I’m sure there will be a thousand random pictures on Twitter within seconds of their introduction to the fans during Opening Night. Nice of Carrie to tell us that pitchers and catchers report on February 13th, and don’t forget that the Cubs have new digs in Mesa this spring!
Masahiro Tanaka‘s Ultimate Destination?
Ben Badler of Baseball America handicapped the top ten teams in on Tanaka’s services. The Cubs are at #4, behind the Mariners, Yankees and Dodgers (in that order). We’ve written about the Cubs’ interest in Tanaka before, and short answer is that we have no idea if Tanaka will choose the Cubs, but the offer will be credible. Badler’s piece supports that approach, as long as the Cubs can sell Tanaka on the rebuild plan and still offer him a boatload of money. I’m not sure if the Mariners are crazy enough to throw armored trucks at Tanaka after going balls out on Robinson Cano, but the Yankees and Dodgers have money pouring out their orifices. The Cubs have an epic battle on their hands.
Myles at Obstructed View summarized John Sickels’ Cubs Top 40 Prospects List by position in a nice, tidy article. The gist is that the Cubs have great depth at center field, but are limited in their left-handed pitching and middle infield. Myles also names a couple guys who weren’t on the list but are intriguing. You’ll see a bunch of the usual suspects up top, and they jive with the names we figure will be in Jason Parks’ Baseball Prospectus Top 101 (check the tweets embedded here). Seven Cubs made Parks’ list. The farm is in pretty good shape, but could improve in the areas we just discussed. Depending on what the Cubs decide to do re: Tanaka and probably Jeff Samardzija, some of these commodities could be used to trade for key pieces to accelerate the timeline to contention.
We haven’t done a podcast in a while because Moe was the tech guy and we’re all Amish, but now that Kevin’s here and learned how, we’re going to start things up again. Feel free to send questions and comments! Also, this should be Dreamcast #35 by my count, and I was thinking based on Cubs player numbers we can call it the “OH MAN” edition after Will Ohman. If that’s too cheesy, I’m all ears for your suggestions.