Most of Major League Baseball is still dissecting the nine year, $214 million contract that Prince Fielder signed with the Detroit Tigers. As it turns out, the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Washington Nationals were all teams to be in the Fielder derby until the moment the free agent first baseman chose the Tigers. The size of Fielder’s contract is what surprises me the most. Fielder lasted on the free agent market until mid-January, and usually when a players lasts that long on the open market, they generally begin to come off their initial demands. For instance, in the moments leading up to the terms of the contract being released, Buster Olney of ESPN suggested that Fielder and his agent Scott Boras may be willing to settle for a one year deal. If that was the case, I am sure the Cubs would have been more involved in the Fielder sweepstakes. Nonetheless, the Cubs appear to be more focused on adding three Cuban players to their organization. After the jump, there will be an update on one of those Cuban players, take a look at the styles of new manager Dale Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio, and a touching on a pair of former Cubs.
- Tom Loxas, formerly of Cubs Insider, has joined the writing staff for Cubs Den. Loxas put together a very interesting read on new Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum. Loxas suggests that Sveum will be a “sound x and o guy” like Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Like Quenneville and Thibodeau, Loxas believes Sveum will manager with a balance and have the respect of his players. The problem with the last Cubs’ manager, Mike Quade, was that the players did not respect him. While all players should respect their manager no matter what the case, it is the duty of the manager to be assertive and take control of his team. Quade did not do that, and like Loxas, I believe Sveum will be the anti-Quade. Dare I say it, but I have this suspicion that Sveum will be to the Cubs what Ozzie Guillen was to the Chicago White Sox after he was hired in 2004.
- If Sveum is Guillen, then is new Cubs’ pitching coach Chris Bosio the Cubs’ version of Don Cooper? I know they White Sox analogies our at best cliche, but hey, don’t judge me. Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune pieces together a profile on Bosio. Bosio proved at the Cubs Convention that he will bring an “old-school” mentality when coaching the pitching staff, and Bosio also admitted that he is not afraid of having his pitchers throw at batters if necessary. Too bad Carlos Zambrano is no longer with the organization. Though, Carlos Marmol‘s wildness may finally be welcomed.
- Both outfielder Kosuke Fukudome and shortstop Ryan Theriot went from being favorties to being hated by the Cubs’ fan-base. Theriot was traded to the Dodgers in 2009, and Fukudome to the Cleveland Indians in 2010. Both were free agents this off-season, and Theriot has signed with the San Francisco Giants. While it has little impact on the Cubs, it does re-unite the LSU duo that many Cubs’ grew a liking to in Theriot and Mike Fontenot. Meanwhile, Fukudome has drawn little to no interest this winter and it would seem that the outfielder is on a track to return to Japan.
- The Cubs remain interested in signed both Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler, and the team may be willing to make this a party with three in the form of Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion. The Cubs along with the Texas Rangers, White Sox, and New York Yankees have all expressed interest in Concepcion. With multiple offers on the table, Concepcion appears to be on the verge of signing with a major league team. The 18 year old left handed starting pitcher needs seasoning in the minor leagues first, but would be a nice addition to the Cubs’ organization. While it may be overblown, the potential addition of Concepcion may attract Cespedes and Soler to the Cubs’ organization.