The Chicago Cubs week that was and more Cubs stuff

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After a crazy Cubs week, full of news and groundbreaking signings like those of Trever Miller and Matt Tolbert combined with another eye-opening list of prospects from BA that no one has ever thought of before, it is hard just to catch one’s breath.

Can you sense the sarcasm? Good, because I am laying it on pretty thick.

And as I am typing this, word breaks across the wire that the Cubs landed themselves and 18-year-old Cuban prodigy. I am pretty sure that I had something to with that by typing the opening paragraph at the precise time I did. You are welcome.

And I digress, it has been rather quiet so new prospect lists are a good way to create conversation and discussion and debate. Who is the Cubs best prospect? I have no idea. That is as honest as I can be.

So, let’s shake it up with some ramblings on a Friday. And I sure hope this can create some good banter to get the Super weekend started.

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Plenty of Depth, Lack of Pizzazz Defines Cubs’ Farm System

Anthony Rizzo

“As the Cubs’ draft went on, we were sitting around in our draft room and we could tell what they were doing. We said ‘hey, they get it, they’re finally getting it’….That got my attention, the attention of a lot of other people in the game.”

Those words, spoken by Theo Epstein at his introductory news conference in Chicago in October of last year, speak volumes about the state of the Cubs’ farm system. Obviously, there is an element of intrigue there, with the Cubs’ drafting of a very strong class last year. They got several big prospects, and they were able to sign a big chunk of them, spending more in bonuses than they had in the previous two drafts combined.

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Kerry Wood Thrills Convention Goers, Re-signs with Cubs

After months of speculation as to whether or not he would return to the North Side, reliever Kerry Wood revealed his decision on Friday night by being the last player introduced at the Cubs Convention at the Hilton Chicago. The event, always geared toward recognizing the new faces the team has brought in over the winter, as well as appreciate the club’s history, but this time, it took on a special meaning with Wood emerging on the stage.

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Coverage of Castro Accusations Sets Dangerous Precedent

On day that Cubs fans should be celebrating both the departure of Carlos Zambrano and the arrival of super prospect Anthony Rizzo (who was an instrumental part in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox), instead the news cycle on the North Side has been dominated by a bombshell dropped earlier today. Starlin Castro, the star shortstop who has been touted as the next big star for the Cubs, has been accused of sexual assault by a 22-year old woman in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred in September, according to reports.

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Cubs Trade Tyler Colvin to Colorado Rockies for Ian Stewart

Before leaving Dallas and the Winter Meetings on Thursday, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer did manage to make one move. No, it wasn’t signing Albert Pujols or CJ Wilson (both of whom signed with the Angels), but instead it was a trade, acquiring third baseman Ian Stewart from the Colorado Rockies. They also acquired minor league pitcher Casey Weathers in the deal.

In exchange, the Cubs sent outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder DJ LeMahieu to Denver.

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What’s My Motivation: Cubs Interested in Fielder, Pujols?

 

pujolsJust when you thought the Cubs had already made some serious waves during this off-season, they could be preparing to make an even bigger splash. According to a report by FoxSports.com, the Cubs are pursuing free agent first basemen Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, who are the two crown jewels of this year’s free agent class. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com also weighed in this morning, reporting that the Cubs have reached out to Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano, and are apparently serious about joining in the race for the slugger’s services.

If the report is accurate, the Cubs would join the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins in the Pujols sweepstakes, and they could also be joining the Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, and Washington Nationals in pursuit of Fielder. Both players are going to get large paydays, but the fact that the Cubs are in a rebuilding mode may not be deterring them from spending money.

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Cubs Starlin Castro, White Sox Carlos Quentin Make MLB All-Star Team

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Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro today was named to the 2011 National League All-Star team, the first selection of his MLB career. Castro joins manager Mike Quade, who was named to National League Manager Bruce Bochy’s coaching staff last week, in representing the Cubs at the 82nd Major League All-Star Game Tuesday, July 12 in Phoenix .

At age 21, Castro becomes the youngest player in franchise history to be named an All-Star.  300 game winner Greg Maddux was 22-years-old when selected in ’88 but did not play in the exhibition game.  The youngest position player in franchise history to play in the All-Star Game was Ron Santo, who was 23 in 1963.

Right fielder Carlos Quentin was selected as the lone White Sox representative.

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Rotator Cuffs and Forearms Seriously Frustrating to Cubs Fans

With the off day yesterday, the DL debacle and Dempster’s destruction, it is time to just get it all out and rant like nuts about all things Chicago Cubs.

So, let’s get it on …

Dempster does not look good. In fact, he looks bad.

• I feel like with need a real-life version of ESPN’s fantasy baseball commercial, where Quade sits down with Marmol, Wood and Marshall and lets them know that they might pitch in 150 games each.

• That was just horrific on Tuesday watching the Shark and Mateo completely botch that game. Thankfully, the Cubs still won, but it was just plain ugly.

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Chicago Cubs are Starlin Castro’s Team Now

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The Chicago Cubs of 2008, the team that was a juggernaut up until late August; who finished just shy of 100 wins before performing the ultimate choke job of all choke jobs, are pretty much gone. The high-priced, built to win now team is almost entirely turned over in just three short years. Most of the starting rotation is gone, as is the bullpen.

Aramis Ramirez is the only infielder left, but he’s not expected to produce as much of the offense as he did back three years ago. Same with Alfonso Soriano, who’s disgustingly bloated contract, by far the worst investment in Cubs history, has has morphed from tragedy to farce today. Jim Edmonds, Derrek Lee and the “ot boys” are all gone.

And in their place is a young nucleus with the names Darwin Barney, Tyler Colvin, Marlon Byrd and Starlin Castro. That’s the future of the Cubs, especially that last one.

By Paul M. Banks

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Some Cubbies Ramblings During a Deep Freeze

Hello again, everybody. We are a week removed from the Cubs Convention, and like they say, there is never really an off-season when the hot stove is sizzling.

More moves, more thoughts, more rumors, and more pontificating from the masses … just another week for the Cubs.

It is cold in Chicago. When it was 20 degrees warmer it is was freezing. Now it is mind numbing, bone-chilling ridiculousness.

So, with all that said, let’s ramble a little bit. Let’s just have the random stream of consciousness coming flying out on paper, or more accurately, an electronic screen.

By: Brian McCabe

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Cub fans, Commence the Starlin Castro Bandwagon!

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By Paul M. Banks

(update: Cubs super-prospect Starlin Castro goes yard in his first at bat!)

The Chicago Cubs today called up Starlin Castro from Double-A Tennessee after infielder Chad Tracy was jettisoned to Triple-A Iowa.

Castro, the first ever Cub born in the 1990s (don’t you feel old now) wears uniform number 13 and hit a three-run homer in his first ever at bat. The 20 year old is rated the number one prospect in the Cubs’ system by Baseball America.

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