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Felipe Lopez to Cardinals for $1 Million is the Steal of the Winter

February 27, 2010 by Bob Warja · Leave a Comment 

Cubs fans, we should look at the Cardinals agreement with second baseman Felipe Lopez as an insult. With no sure-fire, proven starter at the position, why wouldn't Cubs GM Jim Hendry at least consider signing this guy? Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted that Lopez only got $1 million in base salary with easily obtainable bonuses that could take the deal to $1.2 million. Look, I'm not saying that Lopez is a great player, or even the best player of this winter's free agent class. Far from it. But to only have to devote one year and such a minuscule (by today's standards) ...

Chicago Cubs Signaling Change in Their Marshall Plan?

February 26, 2010 by Damen Jackson · Leave a Comment 

Filed:February 25th, 2010 Lost amongst the news of Carlos Zambrano's secret handshake with Kevin Millar, Angel Guzman being shut down, Ted Lilly being flu-ridden, and the existential question of should Lou Piniella tweet or not tweet, came a small snippet out of Arizona expanding on the Cubs competition for spots on the pitching staff. According to Piniella, he regards it as a race between Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny, and, wait for it...Sean Marshall. With that statement comes something of a drastic change in position, as the organization has long maintained that Marshall lacks the stamina to start, vacillating instead between using ...

Lou Piniella Touts Cubs Division Hopes But Avoids Talk Of World Series

February 26, 2010 by Bob Warja · Leave a Comment 

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2010 Chicago Cubs Profile: John Grabow

February 26, 2010 by Matt Trueblood · Leave a Comment 

Seven-and-a-half million dollars is a lot of money to pay to a relief pitcher who walked a career-high 4.98 batters per nine innings in the previous season. That is especially true if the reliever in question also struck out a career-low 7.09 strikeouts per nine innings in that season. Yet general manager Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs made just such an investment this winter when they inked left-handed hurler John Grabow to a two-year pact. It is easy to see what Hendry and his team see in Grabow: Indeed, Grabow's surface-level numbers are stellar. His 148.1 innings over the past two seasons ...

Chicago Cubs at a Crossroads: Five Key Questions

February 26, 2010 by Ed Leiser · Leave a Comment 

What can the Chicago Cubs do for an encore in 2010? 2009 started off with the highest of expectations, but a season of hope and promise quickly turned into one of dismal performances and despair. A team that was predicted to win the National League by most "experts" did not even qualify for the playoffs. Their season was derailed by injuries early and often, and a manager, front office, and city of fans were left scratching their heads, wondering what the hell happened to a 97-win ball club. Of course, injuries are just a cop-out—the good teams will win no matter what. Poor performances ...

MLB National League Central Division: The 20 Best Players

February 25, 2010 by Joel Reuter · Leave a Comment 

As the season approaches, and players from the NL Central Division get a chance to escape the never ending winter of the midwest for the sunny days of Spring Training, the season is now just around the corner. I decided to take a look at the rosters of the Central's six teams, and rank who I feel are the top 20 players in the division right now. I say right now, because someone like Colby Rasmus will not be found on my list. While he is potentially one of the most talented players in the division, he is not quite there yet. I ...

Starlin Castro: The Future at Wrigley Field

February 25, 2010 by TAB BAMFORD · Leave a Comment 

Not since Shawon Dunston have the Cubs had one of the top middle-infield prospects in baseball, but that has changed. There's a kid skyrocketing through the Cubs' organization that might show up at Wrigley Field at some point in 2010. If you haven't heard of Starlin Castro, here's your introduction. Castro, who will only be 20 on March 24, had a fantastic run in the Arizona Fall League that brought him national attention. Now his presence in Spring Training has some people in the Chicago media asking Ryan Theriot how soon he'll be playing second base. As the Tribune 's Paul Sullivan wrote, "Over the last eight months, ...

2010 Chicago Cubs Profile: Mike Fontenot

February 24, 2010 by Matt Trueblood · Leave a Comment 

It's hard to know what happened, exactly, but Mike Fontenot's career fell right out from under him in 2009. Fontenot, who will turn 30 in June this year, entered last season as the Cubs' starter at second base. While many players and fans missed the affable Mark DeRosa's clubhouse presence, Fontenot's 2008 season provided ample evidence that DeRosa's on-field skill set was expendable. In 284 plate appearances, Fontenot batted .305/.395/.514. Those are star-caliber numbers, and while it was apparent to all that another such performance was unlikely, his future as a late-blooming left-handed hitter looked bright. Handed the starting job on a ...

2010 Chicago Cubs Profile: Angel Guzman

February 23, 2010 by Matt Trueblood · Leave a Comment 

Angel Guzman is a star-crossed young man. Injuries have hampered the development of this talented right-handed Venezuelan hurler throughout his career. Finally, in 2009, he overcame them, stepping brilliantly into the setup role in Chicago's bullpen. He struck out 47 and walked just 23 in 61 innings, and he allowed the ninth-lowest line drive rate among Major League relievers, according to fangraphs.com. Fate intervened again this winter, however, as Guzman's brother and best friend were gunned down by unknown shooters in their increasingly crime-ridden hometown of Caracas. To add to that enormous and inestimable loss, Guzman then found out (upon reporting to Cubs camp) that ...

2010 Chicago Cubs Profile: Xavier Nady

February 23, 2010 by Matt Trueblood · Leave a Comment 

Contrary to popular belief, right fielder Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs is not a bad hitter. Though just a .258 career hitter, Fukudome's on-base percentage in two Major League seasons is a more than respectable .367. Popular belief has a funny way of creeping into Chicago's front office, however, and so GM Jim Hendry went out this winter and procured reinforcements. Xavier Nady, 31, played in just seven games last year before a serious elbow injury claimed his season. He still received a World Series ring from the eventual champion New York Yankees, but there was barely a whisper of talk that the ...

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