Chat with Jesse Rogers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Tuesday, Jesse Rogers stops by to chat about the Chicago Cubs' offseason.
Rogers joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.
Send your questions now and join Rogers Tuesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Jesse Rogers (1:01 PM)
Hi all, welcome to our weekly offseason cubs chat...this week in Chi, next week in Orlando at the winter meetings...busy day yesterday with tender date and then this thur the Cubs have a luncheon/press conference at Wrigley with new manager Rick Renteria..lets get to it. Fire away!
Assuming 2015 is a better year for Cubs to expand their budget, who are the top 5 FAs that will be available?
Jesse Rogers (1:04 PM)
From the people I've talked to..after 2015 might be the better class for the Cubs..or at least they might wait for that year...Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer are up after next year but you have to believe they get locked up...in 2 years, besides Samardzija, you have Latos, M. Cabrera, Justin Upton, Chris Davis, etc. '16 is deeper..but a bunch of those will get locked as well..anyway, don't be shocked if that's the year they go big...it's hard to know a need (besides pitching) since we have to see how some prospects pan out..
Max (Hollywood Fl)
The cubs signed back Donnie Murphy, I am a huge cubs fan but I live in south Florida so I knew who he was when he was with the marlins and he was the best clutch hitter... What will his role be with the cubs?
Jesse Rogers (1:06 PM)
He may be the opening day third baseman for all we know...I suspect if Mike Olt doesnt win the job than he and Valbuena will split time there...otherwise he backs up there and short with Valbuena the main back-up at 2nd...though Murphy can play there as well..Actually, Murphy probably a back-up at all four infield positions..
Dan R. (Chicago)
In my opinion, Detroit could have received a stronger package for Doug Fister. What impact will this have on any Jeff Samardzija trade discussions?
Jesse Rogers (1:09 PM)
It's interesting, if there was ever proof that a july 31 trade is better for the market than now, than this was it...Garza brought back a lot more - and he was a rental. Then again, if you think one player is going to put you over the top then you do it...So to me, it affects it by thinking Samardzija could be traded in July instead of now...my guess is still sooner rather than later but if the package is Fister-like then maybe it will be closer to the deadline...for sure by then..
Jesse is the Cubs lineup going to look like this at some point this year? Lake - LF, Alamora - CF, Soler - RF, Rizzo - 1B, Baez - 2B, Castro - SS, Bryant - 3B, Catillo - C? thanks - Teddy
Jesse Rogers (1:10 PM)
This yr? No. Too soon
The A's are willing to part with Brett Anderson, wouldn't he make a good fit for the Cubs?
Jesse Rogers (1:12 PM)
Not a bad idea cause of his age (25). Not sure about that price for 2014. I think it's 8 mil..plus a 1.5 mil buyout. I looked at him recently...so that's 9.5 mil for one yr for a 6 era? We know he has talent though. Maybe if the A's pick up some of it? Anyway, it's not out of the realm..I assume they would extend him mid-season if things are going well...Not sure though..Haven't seen enough of or talked to scouts enough to know for sure..but he's starting at a steep price..plus you have to give up something
Zach Taylor (Orland Park )
Why did the Cubs tender Barney
Jesse Rogers (1:15 PM)
Writing a blog about that today so won't give it all away...obvious reason is no one else ready to take over and he provides plenty of tangibles on defense and some intangibles in the clubhouse,etc. The crux of my blog is in regards to Sveum/Castro/Rizzo...Everyone blames Sveum for them, why not for Barney? He regressed under him both years...I think he deserves a half a season or what not..
Your gut feeling on Shark? Will he be here opening day?
Jesse Rogers (1:15 PM)
No...but better question is Aug. 1..that gets a NO
Dan (Arlington Heights)
Jesse, which pitcher and which hitter do you expect to make the biggest improvements this year at the major league level? Perhaps Rizzo after a full year in the show?
Jesse Rogers (1:18 PM)
Yeah, Rizzo works for me...not THAT much he has to improve on, in my opinion...bring up that avg. One hit a week or what not and it looks a lot better...walks are there, power is there...one more hit in like the 7th inning or later wouldn't hurt...I hope he's looking in the mirror and figuring it out this offseason and not just living it up with his new deal, etc. On the mound. Two words: JAKE ARRIETA...
Jesse, if the Cubs do go out and sign a marquee free agent do you see it as a move directed by Theo & Jed, or a move ordered by ownership to try and spike attendance?
Jesse Rogers (1:19 PM)
I think Theo and Jed would love to do it..if ownership says yes they would in a heartbeat...In any case, Theo and Jed are running the show but can't spend huge amounts right now.
Brandon (Sioux Falls, SD)
What has Rick Renteria been up to since being hired?
Jesse Rogers (1:20 PM)
Watching tons of video and recovering from hip surgery
Joe (West Town)
Do you think at least one pro ready player is a must in any Samardzija deal?
Jesse Rogers (1:21 PM)
Yeah, I mean if you look at Az. potential deals there should be a major league ready pitcher in there..or pretty close..but no proven stars or anything will come back..But near major league ready if not ready right now, at the very least
Is Lake, Sweeney and Schierholtz the starting OF? Surely, they need a RH bat to platoon in CF/RF.
Jesse Rogers (1:22 PM)
Right, they will get another CF type for sure..I thought Nate McLouth type..won't be him..and yes, could use a right hander...but not sure who that someone is right now...
Ben(JOliet) [via mobile]
Of all the top prospects. .who do u predict will have to most impact
Jesse Rogers (1:23 PM)
Hard to say, but I think Kris Bryant is the surest thing..not to say any of the others are not..
Who are some young arms that could break into the Cubs starting rotation late this year?
Jesse Rogers (1:23 PM)
Kyle Hendricks is probably the only one...Arrieta is already in
Jax [via mobile]
There was s article last night written by shermen from ny... stating that the cubs will have a huge shot at Tanaka?? Do u think this is true? Can or will they get him?
Jesse Rogers (1:25 PM)
I read that..the funny thing is the CUBS HAVE ALREADY SAID THEY ARE INTERESTED...said it on the record during GM Meetings..go find it in my blog..so not sure we need Sherlock Holmes on this one...how serious they are is another question...Seems like the Yanks need him badly but you never know..I have my doubts re the Cubs getting him
Am I the only one who thinks that Josh Vitters could have a very solid season this year as the right handed part of a platoon in the outfield??
Jesse Rogers (1:25 PM)
Jessie, what about the Cubs going after Edinson Volquez (starter) or another lefty reliever for the pen to go with Russell (Oliver Perez or Mike Gonzalez)? Seems like buy low candidates that could stabilize a need and potentially flip later in the year
Jesse Rogers (1:27 PM)
Yeah, unfortunately, I think that's the type of deals they are looking for..I know they wouldn't mind a project if they are young...Thought Phil Hughes would fit but not sure the Cubs wanted to go 3 years at 24 mil on him..I could see what you are proposing but haven't heard anything specific
What is the most important deal the cubs should make at the winter meetings next week...in your opinion?
Jesse Rogers (1:29 PM)
Most important? Either locking up (doubtful) or trading Samardzija (possible)..Unless there is a shocker, everything else they do doesn't involve the core of the team as in the players that will be here when they turn the corner..unless it's a middle reliever. That's always possible..
Why would the Cubs invest in Tanaka over Ellsbury, he pitched in Japan which is like pitching in Triple A, you don't know if he will be a stud, where Ellsbury is proven and he can help everyday, plus a veteran leader who won a world series??
Jesse Rogers (1:30 PM)
25 and 31. fig out what that means...then add OF and pitching and think about what the Cubs have coming up (not down!) the pipeline
With how solar Bryant and Almora have played in the AFL and Baez having 37 hr what are your opinions on all of them
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
Love Bryant..closest to being a "professional" hitter...And fine at 3rd in my opinion...How can you not like Baez after that yr. Does need to keep refining his approach I believe...Almora is a ballplayer, simple as that..ball jumps off his bat..most believe he can play CF now in the majors..Soler still a work in progress though can't deny his athleticism and has a good approach at the plate..he just needs a solid, injury free yr in the minors..
Troy (Indianapolis, in)
Wouldn't we be better to not go after Ellsbury and and go after pitching, specifically Tanaka?
Jesse Rogers (1:33 PM)
Jason (Salem, IN)
Andrew Bailey seems like a good fit since he was non-tendered by the Red Sox.....you agree?
Jesse Rogers (1:34 PM)
Yes. Could def see that...
Ray (Wintry WI)
Are the Cubs going to make any additions to the 25 man roster this off-season that their fans can get excited about?
Jesse Rogers (1:35 PM)
Not of the big name variety unless I suppose it's Tanaka...I hope it's not Ellsbury. I think that would be a mis-use of money...
Paul (St. Louis)
Do you think the Cubs are going to be very active at the winter meetings? It seems their trade resources are quite limited.
Jesse Rogers (1:36 PM)
Active..maybe not very active..they'll do some little things...maybe one big one..hard to read right now...But I don't think they have the money to spend
Brian(Chicago) [via mobile]
I get a feeling that if the cubs dont make a big move asap ...that attendance will drop again? U agree?
Jesse Rogers (1:36 PM)
Yes, will keep dropping until there is something to get excited about
Tom (Pingree Grove, Illinois)
Hi, Jesse: While ESPN's Jim Bowden was only creating what he deemed as feasible proposals for Jeff Samardzija, he also claimed that the Cubs would not get either of the Diamondbacks nor Blue Jays' top two pitching prospects. Do you agree? If that be the case, then the Cubs should indeed just hold onto Samardzija until the trading deadline thereby creating a likely bidding war. Thank you.
Jesse Rogers (1:38 PM)
I agree with your assesment...If the Cubs could get one of their top pitching prospects than a deal would have been done. So maybe July it will be..in the meantime, maybe they can convince him to stay but not unless they pay him.
Is there any chance at all we end up with someone like Choo? Everyone talks about our prospects but there is a 0% chance that they all turn out to be solid contributors. (see Pie, others)
Jesse Rogers (1:38 PM)
I would take him over Ellsbury...but I don't tihnk so..he's so valuable and will cost a ton and better for a contending team where he matters more in his prime...
His defense is solid enough, and his bat definitely plays, so why isn't Logan Watkins considered a 2B starting option?
Jesse Rogers (1:40 PM)
I asked that question a lot at the end of last year..My opinion is if barney falters at the plate early on then he should get a look..He has had success at every level..it's simply not fair to not give him a shot at some point..I don't care about size, draft status, etc. If the Cubs want people who get on base, he's shown it..But as I'll write in my blog today, Barney does get one more crack at it..
Jesse, Putting aside that the Ricketts family paid a premium for a NAME in Theo Epstein, how long before that NAME reputation is replaced by grading on actual team wins and losses? Eventually, Cubs fans will tire of hearing the word 'Prospect' right? 2016? 2017?
Jesse Rogers (1:42 PM)
Since he was signed to a 5 year contract, the presumption is he had 5 years to show something..so let's say 2015 and beyond...years 4 and 5 need to start producing I would imagine..I will say this though, the prime of this team may not happen until even later..
Any reason why the Cubs weren't in on Phil Hughes? Young guy, down year, reasonable contract expectations, and durable . . . makes more sense than rehab contract crapshoots, no?
Jesse Rogers (1:43 PM)
I'm sure they kicked the tires just as they did on Josh Johnson and a few others that have signed..not sure they wanted to go 3 years...that's my guess...
Greg (Arlington Heights)
Note: Pitching in Japan is a far cry from pitching in Triple A. If it was a fair comparison the NPB would consist of nothing but American Triple A players.
Jesse Rogers (1:44 PM)
Yes, that's why maybe one a year come over...so take the best AAA pitcher, he usually gets a shot the next year right? And I still think the best Japanese pitcher CAN be better than the best AAA one. Not all the time but it sounds like this time could be one..
Has the trade market for Samardja cooled because of the lopsided Fister trade, and, if they do trade him, will the return be significantly less than originally anticipated?
Jesse Rogers (1:45 PM)
I'm not sure a lot has changed in 24 hours..but listen, the Cubs weren't getting anyone's top prospect anyway..so I doubt they aret that surprised by it...
Jesse Rogers (1:46 PM)
Difference also is the Tigers are still contending..they can "afford" one not go their way..The Cubs are trying to max out every assest so maybe they are less inclined to pull the trigger until they are comfortable..which is the right move of course
Do you think the Red Sox winning the WS this year has upped the pressure on Theo and Co?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
No, I think it's reminded people he knows how to scout (or his people do). A lot of those players on Boston Theo had a hand in bringing in.
Do you think Renteria is the right fit for the Cubs?
Jesse Rogers (1:49 PM)
For the moment, yes. If they need positive, teaching types who can get the best out of young players, he's the right fit...not too worried about disciplining veterans or working a bullpen in the playoffs right now..we don't know about that stuff but we know he can handle young guys, etc.
Cole (Cedar Falls, IA)
Didn't Jed say after DeJesus was traded they would need to acquire veteran leadership this off-season? Why not bring in a guy like Brian Roberts who could outperform Darwin in both ability and leadership.
Jesse Rogers (1:50 PM)
That's about the only reason I would consider him or Ellsbury, etc. Problem is these guys want to play for a winner which means overpaying them by a lot to get them here..Cubs are caught in a tough spot in reagrds to this..I say you let the coaches and whatever vets you do have lead the way or better yet, bring up the prospecst together and let them lean on each other...No easy answer except to spend where you might not want to normally
Kyle (Rockford) [via mobile]
Did the Cubs miss out on trading Castro when his value was so high?
Jesse Rogers (1:52 PM)
YOu can always look back and say that but who saw this regression coming at the plate? Maybe his lapses in the field were a sign but that can be fixed or he could be moved to another position..anyway, he's far from a bum so let's see how this thing plays out with new coaches etc
Mike (Nashville, TN)
Enough Samardzija: have you heard any viable rumors about secondary guys like Jackson and Schierholtz being on the move soon?
Jesse Rogers (1:52 PM)
No, neither...Both seem like deadline type deals if the Cubs go that route..especially Schierholtz.
Jesse Rogers (1:53 PM)
And if anyone wants Jackson...needs to perform
Jose (Chicago) [via mobile]
What do you project to be a possible starting rotation when the Cubs compete? Any prospects? Free agent signings?
Jesse Rogers (1:54 PM)
I dont know who their No. 1 is going to be...but Wood, CJ Edwards, Hendricks, Arrieta...those are a few names. (I know Arrieta isnt anything special right now but I like him)..if Samardzija is gone and Jackson as well..still not sure where that ace is...
didi (prairie view)
how much is still being paid to (marmol, soriano) and when will the slate be clean of dead money?
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
Soriano is like 13 mil...none for Marmol..slate clean after next season
Jesse Rogers (1:57 PM)
Ok, that's it for the day..wow, a lot of questions again for a tues in dec. Next week I'll be in Orlando for the winter meetings and will find a time for a chat..check in and read the cubs blog and follow me on twitter @espnchicubs...thanks again...good stuff