Bitter sweet arrival for Starlin.
On one hand, he’s just what the Cubs need–a new spark to energize the club. On the other, it screams desperation.
Bringing a 20-year-old rookie to the big leagues undoubtedly has its drawbacks. If for no other reason than the tremendous ammount of pressure it puts on this kid, not to mention, pressure that significantly changes his learning curve and development as a major leaguer.
The Cubs, quite simply, are asking Castro to be better–and for him to do it sooner.
His spacial talents make him capable of both, but there will be some serious learning curves in between.
Felipe Lopez fired agent Scott Boras in what appears to be a move to sign quickly with a club before Spring Training.
I flushed out the pros and cons for the Cubs to sign Lopez, and as it turns out, it’s a good move on paper, but my gut says the Cubs shouldn’t do it.
There’s just something fishy about a former All Star being unsigned in February, and especially one in his prime as a 29-year-old.
The hype surrounding the Cubs’ sure-fire, can’t-miss prospect, Starlin Castro, reminds me much of Brandon Larson.
Larson was ‘the talk‘ of minor league baseball in 2001–a sure-fire, can’t-miss prospect for the Cincinnati Reds.
In 1997 he won MVP honors during the College World Series for the LSU Tigers, then later became the Reds’ first-round draft pick (14th overall).
He climbed quickly through the minors, reaching Triple-A by 2001. The following two seasons he became an All Star of the International League batting .340 in 2002 and .323 in 2003, a season in which the Reds tabbed Larson as their Minor League Player of the Year.
All this proved little, however, at the big league level with Cincinnati. In parts of four seasons Larson never lived up to the hype. Playing in just 109 games he collectively batted .179 with 8 HR and 37 RBI.
The Cubs are showing little interest in signing Ryan Theriot long-term.
While the club avoided arbitration hearings with five players on Tuesday, they failed to sign Theriot.
It’s a wake-up call for the second baseman who’s seeking $3.4M. The Cubs counter with a $2.6M offer.
That’s a considerable gap, wide enough to be settled in a hearing, and a situation Chicago has avoided all together since Mark Grace’s case in 1993 (he lost).
According to Baseball America’s ranking of the 30 MLB farm systems the Cubs come in at No.18.
Author John Manuel sums up Chicago this way: Much better than at this point last year, led by SS Starlin Castro.
Two NL Central foes landed in the bottom five, and to my surprise St. Louis is one of them. Here’s a breakdown of the Central Division that I’ve pasted together from the article.