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October 4, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (1:03 PM)

Hi all, welcome to our first offseason Cubs chat...Not much to talk about huh? Lets get right to it...Fire away!!

OMAR (Lincoln Park) [via mobile]

I know it's a long shot, but if the Cubs can land Cano, what does that do to the future of the Cubs infield?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:06 PM)

Ha. Well Darwin Barney will be looking for work..dont see it happening..for several reasons, starting with "clogging up" the payroll..but here's my deal..he'll be 31 soon..these deals like for pujols and hamilton, etc dont just look bad years from now but they arent even getting value NOW...I just dont like it...soriano didnt live up to expectations..a FA that does is the exception...weirdly, the pitchers seem more reliable..(other than EJax!)

Chad Bane (South Bend, IN)

Any chance Cubs think about Ozzie for the job? #cubsfansforozzie

Jesse Rogers
  (1:08 PM)

No No NO....however, the idea of a Latin/Spanish speaking manager or coach I think is essential..they didnt have one in a prominent position..there is no doubt latin players relate better...castro, Lake, soler, etc. I think its needed but Theo is NOT rolling the dice on someone he doesnt know or knows enough that they arent a wild card

Paul (Longmont, CO)

Jesse, if Girardi does stay with the Yankees, who might the Cubs talk to about their managerial job besides AJ Hinch?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:10 PM)

I do think Hinch is at the top because he's the closest guy that checks all the boxes starting with already having gone through some losing as a manager..plus youth, etc. Again, I think the latin guys like Alomar Jr should be in play but I still wonder if guys like that (rookies) is a roll of the dice unless the pedigree is just amazing...no one is talking about Mike Maddux..I dont see why he wouldnt be in the mix...need a top notch hitting coach, no matter what..Manny Acta makes sense

Joshua Lawrence (Iowa) [via mobile]

Is there a possibility that Dusty Baker could be the next Cubs manager?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:10 PM)

No

Ryne (Chicago)

Please tell me the Cubs are not really "serious" about bringing in Joe G and are just saying that to appease those fans who are mad the Cubs passed on Sandberg.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:12 PM)

What's wrong with Girardi? He checks all the boxes...you're one of the few that dont like him..with girardi or someone like that you dont have to wonder about your manager...you dont have to worry, "will he grow". what are his skills like...Girardi is there...there's a reason everyone says perfect fit, cause he is..but again, maybe a latin becnh coach or hitting coach..think thats needed

BobbyZig (SW Mich)

What should be expected out of Rizzo and Castro next year? Rizzo .260/90 RBI & Castro .280/.320 OBP... Is that what we should expect out of these 2 'anchors' in order to consider them progressing towards potential?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:13 PM)

I dont have a prob with that with Rizzo but he can hit even higher...RISP should go up cause he cant go down...I would hope even more out of Castro but might help to have better hitters around him depending on where he hits...castro should be a .300 hitter

Eric H [via mobile]

What kind of starting pitcher do you see the Cubs going after this off-season? What are the chances of them adding a significant bat to give us hope in offense, such as an Ellsbury or Granderson?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:15 PM)

I just dont see them throwing a ton of money at someone in his 30's...clogs up the plan in my opinion..I think they are close to status quo UNTIL they know what positions they are weak in then go after a FA there...lets say Soler doesnt pan out, etc. and in a year or two they see an opening in right as one of the final pieces to contend, thats when they pull the trigger...having said that, I wont rule out the right guy now, but if 20 and want 5 years and huge money, I would say no

Jimmy (Champaign)

In your opinion is Giardi even the best fit for the Cubs at the moment?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:16 PM)

As stated before, yes.

John (MD)

Jesse,In order to get ahead of the fans disappoint when Girardi re-signs with the Yankees, who do you see as viable managerial replacements? Interesting that names like LaRussa or Brenley are not being mentioned, but AJ Hinch is...really? Thanks!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:17 PM)

Yes, I think Theo is looking forward to a young group and doesnt want to go older for a manager..someone that can relate and grow..makes sense...also, someone that believes in their phiosophies, especially on offense...HAVE to value OBP like they do

Andy (Muncie)

I feel like the prospects that are close to coming up (bryant, Baez, Alcantara, Olt maybe) all play infield. Are some of them going to change to the outfield, and what will that do to Soler, Almora, and Sczczur?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:18 PM)

Maybe Bryant.I think, like with Lake, they will mostly cross that bridge when they come to it...but a few will get some time in OF like Bryant in Arizona Fall league,etc

greg (phoenix)

when do we get someone to instruct the kids how to be a clutch hitter, and not a homerun hitter. We need runs, not glory!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:20 PM)

If you can find that person let them know...not easy to teach "clutch". You teach that by simply teaching to trust yourself...your mechanics, etc shouldnt change much depending on the situation..if youre a good hitter you'll eventually hit with men in scoring position..once in a while there's an exception...

Chicago (Fan)

If Baez and Alcantara tear up spring training do they start opening day? And if Bryant destroys AFL does he bump up to AAA in the OF or does Olt move?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:20 PM)

Doubt any will start opening day...and no on Bryant..probably AA...but anyone can move up quicky..

Dave (Atlanta)

Jesse,Do you ever get tired of all the negativity that has become Cubs fans?? We werent going to compete over the last 3 years and Theo did say that he was going to rebuild from the ground up.We hailed him as our savior now just 2 short years later everyone bitches that he(and the front office) dont know what they are doing.Personally i am tired as a Cubs fan of throwing money at free agents and hoping that they will pan out.Lets give it another year and then we can have a better idea of just where the francise is actually at as far as their competitiveness

Jesse Rogers
  (1:24 PM)

I think you hit the nail pretty much on the head though i dont tire from it...I do wish people UNDERSTOOD what they are doing better..In my one year on the beat I've tried to explain...If you dont think the organization is much better today than even a year ago, youre not paying attentition..Ill write this in caps...EVERYTHING THAT'S HAPPENED IS BY DESIGN AND THE BEST THING THE CUBS HAVE DONE IS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR SITUATION...BY NOT TRYING TO GET TO .500 ETC THEY HAVE HELPED THEMSELVES

Lee (New Milford, NJ)

Hi, Jessie! Not particularily a fan of Charlie Manuel, but how come his name has never been mentioned as one of candidates for the Cubs job? Is he retired?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:25 PM)

Younger, more sabermetric friendly, off of Theo's tree..thats what they want...someone to connect with the players..more of an upa nd comer than an old school guy..thats my guess..remember what theo said, "creative, dynamic voice, " etc.

Doug B. (Burlington NJ)

Why would Cubs say Baez definitely starting in AAA next year?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:27 PM)

I guess so they dont start his clock and to take things slow with him...but Ive even had a few players ask me why he isnt here already..whats another few months..hes coming soon enough

Jim (South Suburbs )

Is there a realistic chance that the Cubs will finish higher than 3rd if we have the same players , but a different manager?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:27 PM)

Highly doubtful..but thats not why Sveum was fired..

Brandon Freihage (Jupiter, FL) [via mobile]

With Arietta and Rusin showing flashes of dominance, what do you think the Cubs plan to do with the staff? Keep both of them in the starting 5 or add an arm in the offseason?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:28 PM)

They'll add for depth but doubt they will spend like they did on EJax...Arrieta is in for sure..not sure about Rusin

Jim (Chicago)

Two part question here - Do you think the Cubs will trade Barney this offseason? If so, what kind of package can they get for him?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:30 PM)

Cant get a ton..I dont know if he'll be traded cause he wont be a centerpiece in a trade..so if some team says "throw in barney" then yeah, I think the Cubs would..but I have a feeling he might keep his job to start next season but not to end it...but no gauranatee when you hit .210..so nothing with 2nd base would surprise me

Jim (Marengo) [via mobile]

What do you do with Castro when Baez is ready they both have fielding problems.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:31 PM)

Castro stays where he is, for now...Baez moves around...then fig it out later...Castro is still pertty good..but needs to keep improving

Henry A (DeLand FL)

Is signing Shoo a top priority?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:33 PM)

31 years old...HUGE money...Im not for it..but again, could they sign one of these guys in the next yr or two, maybe...I do know they are torn no having a veteran around to show the way...I didnt think Sori was a great example of how to get on base and work a pitcher but he was a good example for work ethic...dejesus was better for younger hitters but he's not here...so for that reason maybe they would sign one of these veterans (if they'll come) to show the way...but then again they may have to overpay since the cubs arent ready to win...Im still reluctant to believe they will go hog wild on a FA right now

Mike Z (Bass Lake, IN)

What about an effort to push for Mike Trout? Imagine a core of Trout, Castro, and Rizzo. Don't you think that would help tremendously? Is there a chance we will pursue him?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:34 PM)

And how do you propose they do that...itll take Rizzo AND Castro and prob more to get him! Why would the angels trade him now? Maybe if they cant sign him as he gets closer to FA but cmon, now?

Dan (Elgin) [via mobile]

There's a rumor the Maddon and the Rays' brass are clashing. What do you hear? Is he our guy if the relationship sours and Girardi resigns?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:36 PM)

They would be stupid not to pounce on that...would take a decent prospect to get him..I would do it in a heartbeat...or find the next Maddon..thats the perfect scenario but is that AJ Hinch? or someone else? I dont know

Zac (Elkhart, IN)

Another wild card manager....what about Dave Martinez?? Former Cubby, learned from one of the best (if not the best) in Joe Maddon. One thing he doesn't have is manager experience.....is that an ultimate must have??

Jesse Rogers
  (1:36 PM)

Its not the must have..if they think he's learned enough and he can lead better than Sveum and is able to get the best out of the young guys, sure..

Sean (gurnee, Il) [via mobile]

For the cubs to be a threat in the NL Central, they need to have some top of the rotation arms. Is there a possibility they go after one this offseason? Or are they looking to Samardjiza and Arrieta to fill that role?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:38 PM)

I dont think they do this offseason..more like next...think thats why they signed EJax when they did...cause they knew they werent this offseason...Im putting my eggs in the Arrieta basket...He's your gm 1 starter when they make it to the playoffs...I know, huge limb Im on...

hector (peoria il)

Will the cubs be hireing a hole new coaching staff. and if they are what about Jim Thome as there hitting coach. That is of course if they hire joe.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:40 PM)

Dont think it will be a whole new staff but thats up to the new manager so I dont know...I think they will highly receommend Dave MckAy and possibly Chris Bosio and asst Mike Borzello...hitting coaches will be new for sure..unsure about David Bell at 3rd..Quirk is prob gone as bench coach

Francis (Apple Wood)

Have the Cubs talked about when they think any of the Class A pitchers would be ready to reach the majors--Edwards, etc? Seems like other teams have put in 20 and 21 year olds and have done well.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:40 PM)

Not really...couple years...2015 should start to see some...

Eric (Chicago)

Hi Jesse. I know the Cubs have a plan and don't want to spend $ unwisely, but the team is brutal. Is there no free agent out there that would add some excitement to the team while still fitting in the plan?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:42 PM)

Maybe..would have to be the right fit...Schierholtz did but as Ive written I dont think a big money guy is the answer...dont worry about the losing..this thing will change on a dime..As Ive said before they will go from 90 losses to 90 wins in a one season and everyone will be thrilled.

Asrar Khan (Chicago)

Why was Lou Pinella picked over Joe Girardi in 2006, and does Girardi possibly still have ill feelings about that whole process?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:43 PM)

Cause it was Lou Pinella..pretty good resume..and why would he? Diff regime, etc.

Eric (Chicago)

Jesse, your line of thinking regarding a Latin coach I believe is well overblown. We just need someone who can come in, develop young hitters and punish them (sitting them on the bench for a game or two that Sveum never did) so they can learn the game by watching. You can get a Latin coach as a bench coach or roving instructor or whatever but let's face it, the game of baseball is played between the white lines. English, Latin, Japanese, German, French...baseball is baseball.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:45 PM)

I just said it would be good idea to have one on the staff..doesnt have to be the manager but latin players do relate better to latin coaches..no a huge surprise...honestly, cubs were pretty lily white in most respects..not all but a lot..and no latin coaches in prominent positions..make a diff, in my opinion..

Eric (Upper Peninsula MI) [via mobile]

Jesse, just wanted to give you a shout out for the great job you do as a Cubs reporter. Who would you hire right now as manager if Girardi is off the table?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:47 PM)

You dont want to know who I would hire..cause Jim Riggleman is the best person I've ever been around if you're a member of the media...and I think he's a good manager..but anyway, younger seems the way to go..like I said, maybe latin...I wouldnt mind sandy alomar jr if surrounded by veteran coaches..I do like the idea of Mike Maddux and bring Greg with him..along with a great hitting coach

Matt (Cedar Rapids)

Do you think Samardzija is on the opening day roster next year if they can't come to a long term agreement over the winter? His stock is high, not as high as it has been but you don't want to risk an injury.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:48 PM)

Its a good question..Ill say yes, he's still around cause FA isnt around the corner just yet and you can move him later still

Jesse Rogers
  (1:51 PM)

That's it for today folks...we'll see how this all unfolds..in Girardi's court right now..think Hinch is next up but Alomar Jr and Manny Acta are right there..mayb Maddux but havent heard his name much...maybe that means he's the guy! Anyway, thanks for the questions...Ill be hosting Talking Baseball tomorrow at 9 am...want to do a ton on the cubs plan and discuss (or argue) with you guys...tune in and check the blog out every day for updates