Tag:Brandon Guyer
Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: November 27, 2011 12:28 pm

Homegrown Team: Chicago Cubs

By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.

When we discuss the Chicago Cubs, no baseball fan is lacking an opinion -- specifically, everyone seems to have some pet theory as to why the Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. I've long argued with the people who believe the streak has something to do with a stupid "curse" or somehow now has something to do with playing so many more day games than everyone else. No, the real problem is they've never put a top-to-bottom management system in place that has done the job consistently for more than a small handful of seasons. It's possible current Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has done so with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, et al (in fact, I'd argue it's likely), but that's a different discussion for a different forum.

For now, we're left looking at one of the worst Homegrown Teams in our series.


1. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
2. Darwin Barney, 2B
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Tyler Colvin, LF
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Eric Hinske, 1B
7. Geovany Soto, C
8. Sam Fuld, CF

Starting Rotation

1. Ricky Nolasco
2. Kyle Lohse
3. Andrew Cashner*
4. Carlos Zambrano
5. Randy Wells
* - if Cashner fell injured like he did in the real 2011 season, the options would be: Jon Garland, Dontrelle Willis and Casey Coleman.


Closer - Kyle Farnsworth
Set up - Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, Al Alburquerque, Juan Cruz, Michael Wuertz
Long - Jeff Samardzija, Rich Hill, Sergio Mitre

Notable Bench Players

Robinson Chirinos, Ryan Theriot, Ronny Cedeno, Brandon Guyer, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Tony Campana, Lou Montanez. In fact, feel free to grab any of these guys, plug them in the lineup and play around with it. There's really no wrong answer, because it's one marquee player (and he's only 21) amidst a heap of mediocrity at this point. Maybe Guyer proves a good player, McGehee bounces back and/or Colvin becomes a good everyday player, but we have to go on what we've seen up to this point.

What's Good?

The bullpen is really strong. It's well-rounded with righties and lefties, depth, power pitchers and specialists. Of course, there could be an issue with the lack of a reliable closer when it comes to either Farnsworth or Marmol, but a new-age manager might just abandon that idea and use whoever makes the most sense in the ninth.

What's Not?

The starting rotation doesn't have a true ace (or No. 2, for that matter). The infield defense sorely lacks range and the outfield isn't great either. The team speed is minimal, there isn't a good option at leadoff (or in the two-hole, or cleanup, or fifth ... you get the point) and who is the best power hitter? Colvin? Soto? Basically, everything other than the bullpen and Starlin Castro is lackluster.

Comparison to real 2011

You have to give former general manager Jim Hendry credit for scraping together a team good enough to win three division titles in six years, considering this bunch. Then again, he was in charge as the organization was assembling nothing more than a mediocre foundation (Baseball Prospectus now says the minor-league system is "not bad" but is more "depth than starpower."). Let's leave out the excuses, because there are far more bad picks (Montanez at third overall as a shortstop, for example) than there are instances of bad luck (Mark Prior, for example).

The amazing thing is that the 2011 Cubs were 71-91 and I actually think that team was better than this Homegrown unit. When we do the Homegrown rankings in mid-December, expect to see the Cubs toward the bottom. That probably changes in five years, but we're doing this exercise in the present. And this team would probably win somewhere in the ballpark of 65 games. Maybe fewer.

Up Next: Seattle Mariners

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Posted on: January 7, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:44 am

Rays, Cubs agree to Matt Garza deal

GarzaIn what is suddenly becoming an ultra-competitive NL Central, the Cubs are poised to add starter Matt Garza from the Rays, as CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports.

The deal is not yet 100 percent done as procedural matters (such as physical exams) have to be completed, but the players have been agreed upon. Chicago will essentially empty its farm by sending starting pitcher Chris Archer, who was the Cubs' minor league pitcher of the year along with shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, outfielder Brandon Guyer and catcher Robinson Chirinos.

Additional players may be part of the deal, with Knobler reporting the names of Sam Fuld from the Cubs and Fernando Perez from the Rays as the additional names. Both are outfielders. ESPN.com's Bruce Levine also adds that a minor-league pitcher from Tampa Bay may also be included in the deal.

Garza, who tossed a no-hitter and is eligible for arbitration for the third time (with another year of team control ahead), should sniff $5 million or more after making $3.35 million in 2010. The recently-turned 27-year-old hurled 204 2/3 innings for the Rays, posting a 3.91 ERA. His whiff rate dipped to 6.6 per nine off of a 8.38 K/9 showing in 2009, but also improved his command. His stuff should play up nicely in the National League with a mid-90s heater.

GM Jim Hendry has been of the opinion that the Cubs are only a few moves away from contending, and Garza would be the third such move after first baseman Carlos Pena and reliever Kerry Wood signed on. The cheap deal by Wood -- at just $1.5 million for a year -- likely freed up the money to pursue Garza.

Archer split 2010 between Double- and Triple-A, posting a cumulative 2.34 ERA in 142 1/3 innings, punching out 149. He was recently named the Cubs' top prospect by Baseball America. He profiles as a future No. 2 starter.

Lee, the No. 4 prospect in the system according to BA, was projected to bump Starlin Castro to second base upon promotion to the majors. Clearly, that has changed as Lee now has a clear path to the majors in Tampa as Reid Brignac can shift to second eventually. The left-hander is still a ways away, playing 2010 as a 19 year old for Class A and hitting .282/.354/.351 in 551 plate appearances.

Guyer ranked No. 10 on the top prospect lists as the 24-year-old (25 on Jan. 28) batted .344/.398/.588 in 410 plate appearances for Double-A, cranking 13 home runs. He could be part of the competition for the left- and right-field spots.

Chirinos is old for a top player, but the 26-year-old backstop hit .326/.416/.583 in 380 plate appearances between Double- and Triple-A. He could contend for a major-league spot, battling Kelly Shoppach for time behind the dish. Chirinos can hit, but he can also field, with BA tabbing him the best defensive catcher in the system.

Fuld (29-years-old) and Perez (28-years-old in late April) are old for the minors, but both are fleet of foot -- especially Perez. Fuld has a better stick, hitting .272/.383/.394 in 440 Triple-A PA while Perez hit an embarassing .223/.280/.299 in 429 Triple-A PA that seems like an aberration. Both figure to be backup outfielders, with the switch motivated by a change of scenery. 

-- Evan Brunell

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com