The prospect lists are out! In case you haven’t seen them; Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com’s lists are below for a convenient look at the Cubs top prospects to begin the 2014 season.
The Cubs, despite putting in a great effort, failed to land the top pitcher available this off-season. Masahiro Tanaka, of the Rakuten Eagles, has decided to sign with the New York Yankees for 7 years and $155 Million. The Cubs, like the D-Backs, White Sox, and Dodgers, all put in an offer not knowing what the other teams were bidding. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report that the Japanese right hander had signed in New York. What is believed to be the key part of the contract, is a 4 year opt-out clause for Tanaka. After 4 years, he can opt-out of his contract and make himself a free agent again. All of this is disappointing for Cubs fans, but they should be proud of their team putting in the effort. The Cubs will now look at some minor league deals for pitching after having a pretty slow off-season.
This weekend has been full of Cubs news and tid-bits and that is all thanks to the 2014 Cubs Convention. From the top prospects to the planned renovations, Cubs fans were informed on almost everything. Here are some of the highlights of CubsCon.
- Cubs have made an official offer to Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, along with 4 other known teams.
- Last years 1st round draft pick 3B Kris Bryant will start the season in AA Tennessee.
- Cubs have money to spend this year on free agents (Tanaka), but if they don’t use it, it can roll over to next off-season.
- Cubs have avoided arbitration with 4 players; OF-Nate Schierholtz, 3B-Luis Valbuena, P-Pedro Strop, and P-James Russell.
- The Wrigley Field scoreboard/jumbo tron will be constructed by the start of the 2015 season.
- According to Crane Kenney, the Wrigley renovations could be done in the next 4 years.
- Cubs radio and television contracts could be decided by opening day.
- Lastly, many of the Cubs prospects were invited to Chicago to get a tour of Wrigley and get a taste of Major League life. This was completed by a trip to the United Center to see the Blackhawks play the Colorado Avalanche. Though many of the prospects didn’t necessarily understand the hockey rules. All seemed to have a good time. 2012 first round pick Albert Almora summed up the game: “It was my first hockey game. I was lost. I didn’t know what was going on. Whenever they (the crowd) cheered, I cheered. It was a great thing.”
With all the excitement over the Convention, the Tanaka rumors, and the prospects being in town, let’s just hope that this buzz is still around the team come June and July.
We apologize for the lack of posting these past few months, but now that baseball is starting to pick up, we are back and better than ever. Myself, Chris, and Shawn will be posting every day and keeping you guys informed on what is going on in the Cubs organization from top to bottom. Thank you for your patience!
The site is under construction and will be up and running with a whole new look in no time! Stay tuned!
Javier Baez hit his 19th home run at AA Tennessee and 36th overall this year in last nights game. In 52 games so far with the Smokies, Baez is hitting .295/.349/.633 with 51 RBI. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Baez within the top 5 when the top 100 prospects comes out for 2014. This man is a beast that can’t be stopped.
Here is a very nicely written article by Tony Andracki detailing Javier Baez and the other FOUR Tennessee Smokies, on the AA Southern League Postseason All Star team.
CSNChicago: Baez an All Star
You can follow him on Twitter @TonyAndracki23 for more updates about your minor league Cubs.