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 12:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. ET!
ESPNChicago.com (1:15 PM)
Jesse is having some technical difficulties getting into the chat so we're going to push it back to 12:30. Keep the questions coming and he will answer them soon.
Jesse Rogers (1:32 PM)
Sorry folks, bad technical difficulties. Last chat before the holiday break. Fire away.
Dave (NW Burbs)
What moves (outside of trading Shark and landing Tanaka) can bring in TOR pitching for 2015 and beyond?? I would assume drafting a college pitcher with the #4 pick, but it appears the FO likes hitters in the first round.
Jesse Rogers (1:34 PM)
Trading one or more of the top hitting prospects, Baez and fill in the blank can net you a top pitching prospect or proven major leaguer but I don't think the Cubs are ready to do to that until they know where they are solid and where there are holes.
TANAKA!!!!!!! How much money do you think the cubs will be willing to spend to sign him?
Jesse Rogers (1:35 PM)
That's a good question. If I knew the answer then I could tell you for sure if they were going to get him. They have to be prepared to spend between $13 million-$17 million per season. If Darvish got $10 million, with an all-out bidding war he's going to get more.
Andrew Ziola (Elmhurst IL )
Are the Cubs going to sign a free agent or trade for a closer?
Jesse Rogers (1:36 PM)
It sounds like they are going to sign one. I don't think they want to trade an asset for a need that isn't that important in 2014. The pickings are becoming slimmer so don't necessarily expect a guy with a lot on his resume.
Brandon Wiley [via mobile]
What prospects have a legit shot at making the team this upcoming season?
Jesse Rogers (1:37 PM)
Probably none out of spring training but Baez and Hendricks will start the season at Triple-A so they will have the best opportunity to come up sooner rather than later.
Jesse, last week Jed Hoyer mention that the cubs could be receiving gifts for Christmas. In your opinion what is he talking about? Can we expect a big free agent signing? or more 2nd and 3rd tier signings. Thanks
Jesse Rogers (1:39 PM)
Haha. These are going to be more like gifts you want to return. Just kidding. But they won't be big names. He meant probably a reliever or two, including the closer they are still looking for.
Alex B. (Morton, IL)
Hey Jesse,It seems to me like the Tanaka rumors have been all over the place. I'd love to have him as a building piece for the future, but is he really all that great? He went undefeated, but that is in the Japan League. What would you say are the chances Tanaka is pitching in a Cubs uni next year?Thanks!
Jesse Rogers (1:41 PM)
Very hard to say. I wrote a blog last night. I think the fact the Cubs say they are interested means they are serious about the money, at least I would hope so. But just like any other free agent they still have to convince him to come to a losing team. We have no idea if he will do that.
Shin Soo Choo (Chicago maybe)
Any chance I end up on the northside?
Jesse Rogers (1:41 PM)
Slim to none.
Will Bryant be up this season or does it depend on how Olt does?
Jesse Rogers (1:42 PM)
It doesn't sound like he's going to be up no matter what Olt does. I think he can get a promotion to Triple-A if he dominates but I don't think he gets to the majors. He's talented enough but they are taking it one step at a time with their prospects.
Jake (Northern Suburbs)
I get that Darwin Barney is a gold-glove level defender at 2B, but in terms of overall talent, Darwin can't touch Logan Watkins or Arismendy Alcantera...why are the Cubs wasting money by keeping Barney when the Cubs were near the worst in Defensive Runs Saved & it's pretty clear that the team isn't very focused on defense just yet in their "rebuild" process.
Jesse Rogers (1:44 PM)
I don't disagree that Barney is not a perfect player but don't underestimate what a great defensive 2B can do. I agree that at some point Watkins and Alcantarra should get the chance that Barney has had, but as I wrote recently, if Sveum was partly responsible for Castro's and Rizzo's regression and they are getting another chance then Barney should at least get that chance as well. For now.
vic (no cal)
I like the direction that the team is going, but I still don't understand how the Edwin Jackson signing fit into Theo's model. Do you? Seems like a complete waste of money and resources for a player that wouldn't help when the team is ready to compete.
Jesse Rogers (1:46 PM)
I think they panicked. They needed some stability over the course of last year and the next few years and thought Jackson would provide that at a somewhat decent price. But you're right, it doesn't fit and it was a mistake.
Is Ruggiano going to be the everyday CF? Or is he going to be used more in a platoon type of role?
Jesse Rogers (1:47 PM)
I think platoon for sure.
JT (Alliance, NE) [via mobile]
Jesse, I guess I don't understand the logic of trading Samardzija. Aren't the Cubs trying to acquire guys like Shark? He's a young power arm under team control. It seems like Jed and Theo are sort of going against their own plans.
Jesse Rogers (1:48 PM)
It's more complicated than that. The point of being under team control is keeping your salary under control, but Jeff wants to be paid now as if he's a free agent and the longer he goes without a new contract the more likely he will test free agency and the Cubs will get nothing. He wants to be paid to play through these losing years so either pay him or trade him to a winner is what he wants.
Doesn't Scott baker kind of owe the club a hometown discount?
Jesse Rogers (1:49 PM)
That's a nice thought but that's not how it works. If someone else wants to give him more money, especially a contender, why wouldn't he take it?
Jake (Northern Suburbs)
Are Josh Vitters & Brett Jackson gone yet? Seems to me that they have too fit in the new regime's team
Jesse Rogers (1:51 PM)
They have to win jobs, simple as that. Every prospect get his "turn." They were at the front of the line a couple years ago, now they are at the back of it. They have to wow someone to win a job.
Tracy (West Chicago)
Do you think Theo and Jed are pretty annoyed that the business side of things can't get their act together and finalize the stadium deal? I mean, how many times have we heard that the whole process is under "review"? It's got to be embarrassing, considering they can't spend any significant money until this is done.
Jesse Rogers (1:53 PM)
The short answer is yes. But I'm not sure two years into this rebuilding process what having enough money to sign Choo and/or Garza would do for them. Two years ago, if they wanted to re-tool the money would have come in handy. Now they are all in for the rebuild though spending will need to come in the next couple years.
does kyle Hendricks look like a no. 4-5 starter? i know hes a soft tosser that hits his spots.
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
Having never seen him pitch, all I can tell you is people who have say that he has worked his way into that position. Maybe as high as a No. 3. For him, as a soft-tosser, it's about knowing how to pitch. He looks like he knows how to pitch, at least at the minor league level.
Is there any news on Kyuji Fujikawa? Is he healthy or will he start the season on the DL?
Jesse Rogers (1:55 PM)
They are looking at a mid-season return if everything goes well.
Jesse, any chance the Cubs could go after Price? He's still young, fantastic, and would be a huge asset when their young bats are ready to contribute. Thoughts?
Jesse Rogers (1:57 PM)
No, I don't think they believe he will be worth the investment considering they are still a couple years away from contending, his age and his price tag. I gotta be honest, I would not trade Baez straight up for Price right now. Not now.
Juan (Chicago) [via mobile]
Who do you believe Theo and Jed consider to be their "top guy"? Who do you consider will be the "superstar" of the franchise in the near future?
Jesse Rogers (1:58 PM)
Right now I'd say it's a tie between Baez and Bryant, but I actually think Bryant is the more sure thing. At the major league level I think they believe Anthony Rizzo is going to be a stud.
How much does the ARI-LAA-CHW trade hurt the chances of Samardzija getting traded?
Jesse Rogers (2:00 PM)
A little bit for obvious reasons. Arizona moved a trading chip in Skaggs and the Angels are in no need of a starting pitcher. But there are plenty of teams that want him. I wrote that Atlanta might emerge as the top contender but Toronto has to be up there as well.
ShawnAZ [via mobile]
How much will new coach Renteria help the progress of our young talent compared to Sveum? Is he a long term answer?
Jesse Rogers (2:02 PM)
It remains to be seen if he is the long term answer. On the surface they got the best possible teacher who was a managerial candidate, and they have at least put themselves in a good position to advance their young players.
Grand (Arlington Heights)
Are Castro's days numbered with talent at SS ready to be major league ready in 2 years? Why not deal him?
Jesse Rogers (2:04 PM)
They could but there is no reason to right now. It's not like he's coming off a peak season and there are so many unknowns. What if Baez is a bust? What if three guys break their legs next year? Theo used the word "redundancy" several times at the winter meetings. He means having several starting-type players at every position, let them battle it out and see what you have left. Then fill the holes.
What did you think of the hiring of Bill Mueller, I loved him as a Cub, but I had no idea he was ready to be a major league coach, I like the idea of a hitting coach getting our players on base, what are your thoughts? Were there "better" candidates?
Jesse Rogers (2:06 PM)
When it comes to hitting coaches especially, it's hard to make a definitive statement one way or another. There are exceptions of course. If a guy's resume is littered with successes or failures it's easier to make a judgment. But the fact that he got on base 37 percent of the time in his career means he knows the strike zone. That's one better than Rob Deer. Now we just have to see if Mueller can impart some of that knowledge.
What exactly is Theo/Hoyer's big-picture plan to address the pitching? It doesn't seem there is one...
Jesse Rogers (2:09 PM)
They have drafted pitchers over the last couple years but no sure thing No. 1 has emerged just yet. They are still looking for that guy. But this is also the reason you keep acquiring talent because at some point they can make that bold trade for a big-time starter. And of course there is always free agency. They just need to do a better job than Jackson.
Jesse Rogers (2:12 PM)
That's it for me. Sorry about the technical difficulties earlier. I'm going to take the next couple of weeks off and we'll start the chats again in mid-January. Follow me on ESPNChiCubs and check out the blog here on ESPNChicago.com. Happy holidays.