Tom Ricketts' Thursday morning radio appearance

zack54attack

Bears
Staff member
So no Ricketts segment at CubsCon but he did do a radio segment on Thursday morning and answered some of the hot topics around the Cubs.

On Cubs lack of spending via NBC Sports Chicago:

We didn't have the flexibility this year to go sign a huge free agent and I'm not sure we would have anyway, to be honest. We like the team we have. We have strong, young guys at most positions. We have a pretty good lineup. We won 95 games. Obviously it ended the wrong way, but I think everyone feels like the team we're gonna put back out there will be good. Obviously last year's offseason moves, none of them really worked out like we hoped. Whether it was injury problems or other issues. We feel pretty good about the team we're bringing in. Other than that, it's not like we didn't do anything — we signed Cole Hamels and that was a $20 million contract, we brought in Descalso and there's still a little bit more money left.

"...The money got eaten up in a lot of ways by the guys that were just coming through the system and it wasn't like we had a big contract roll-off. We knew before last year we were likely to limit our flexibility in this offseason and we made that bet then and we're still in the top couple spenders in the league. We'll never catch the Yankees and the Dodgers for a couple reasons. But we're right up there with the top spenders and we have all the resources to win and we have a great team. It's nice to throw a great, new, sexy free agent on top of everything, but this wasn't the year for it.

"...I think people also need to realize that money doesn't win championships — players do. Five of the Top 10 spenders last year didn't even make the playoffs. It's not just about how many dollars you spend; it really comes down to — are you building the right team and are you putting the dollars in the right place?
 

CSF77

Well-known member
https://www.mlb.com/cubs/news/tom-ricketts-talks-cubs-convention-offseason/c-302827024

On the Cubs' offseason thus far
"First of all, we have spent this offseason. Obviously, we signed Cole Hamels and we picked up [Daniel] Descalso and I'm sure Theo [Epstein] has a few moves left in him. But, frankly, we have one of the largest budgets in all of baseball. We've put that to work. We definitely signed a lot of players over the years. We have a team that we like. We have a team that we think is going to go a long way. We have a team that won 95 games last year without a lot of help from some of the guys we picked up last offseason, and just all the different things we fought through last year -- the injuries and everyone having kind of down years and some of the off-field distractions. We like our club. We're among the very top spenders."
They have spent but poorly . Heyward's value going in was almost 2x the D value over O. His O tanked and it tanked his impact. Basically his D was keeping him above replacement value.

Chatwood was a bad investment. This was a misguided Scud under the same circumstances of the E-Jax scud.

Morrow was a good signing. He was productive while healthy.

Darvish was injured. IMO this is more so on the Doctors not ID the issue vs anything Yu did. IMO he has a fresh take in 2019.

So just by default they should be better just by getting anything out of Darvish. Montgomery posted a 1.4 fWAR. Anything over that is an improvement.

on the non panel:

In an interview with 670 The Score, Ricketts chuckled when asked about the team canceling ownership's usual question-and-answer session with Cubs fans at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. He insisted that there were no ulterior motives to the decision to sit out of the convention spotlight.

"We had the lowest-rated panel last year, so the guys cut us. It's true," Ricketts said with a laugh. "I think people would rather watch the mascot play bingo than listen to the owners speak. The fact is that we had a low-rated panel. It got kind of dull over the years, because a lot of the questions were the same. It's funny to me. I saw a headline, somebody wrote like, 'Ricketts family cancels popular panel at Cubs Convention.' And the fact is we were the lowest-rated panel. "If people want us to come back next year throughout the forums, we'd be happy to do it again. But, we just were boring people, honestly. We're happy to do it again. I like talking to people. I think I'm the most accessible owner in sports."
.
I get that bit. If their act is dry then...


On a perceived lack of urgency after last season's abrupt ending
"I think what people don't see is the players and Theo and [manager Joe Maddon] have all worked throughout the offseason to talk amongst themselves -- more so than in past years -- to really focus on being prepared and coming in strong in Spring Training and getting the season off to a good start. The fact is, we look at our lineup and we say, if you look around the horn, who would you switch out? We've got a pretty good team. I think we've won, what, 97 games on average the last four years. We're still that team if we stay healthy, and we get Yu [Darvish] back, who's feeling pretty good right now. And obviously with Hamels for the whole season. We're going to be great. I think people should just judge us by what happens during the season -- not what happens during December."
I agree with this. Last year the 4/5 was 8 by Darvish and 20 by Chatwood. Going Darvish/Hammels should add value to the rotation by default.

On retaining Addison Russell, who will be out until May 3 while serving a suspension for violating MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy
"There's no simple answer to that question. The fact is, the fact that we have decided -- after talking to a lot of experts, after talking to Addison multiple times, talking to the league -- that we'd rather support him through the process than just cut him and let him go, that doesn't mean it's in conflict with support for victims of domestic violence. The fact is that you have a decision to make as a club: What do you think is going to be best for the player and his family? In our case, after talking to, like I said, many experts, after talking to Addison many times, we thought the better thing for the players, for the player's family, was to see if we could help him get through this.

"I think that it's not an easy decision and not a decision that anyone takes lightly. It's something that every team has to decide for themselves, but I do give a lot of credit to Major League Baseball for having good protocols and policies on this. There was a process for him. He's already begun doing some of the things that the league requests and he's doing things beyond what the league requests. So, we'll see where it goes. I think he knows the gravity of the situation. I think he knows what he has to do. Let's just hope that he follows through on the promises he made to himself and the promises he made to the team."
I'm not a fan of Russell. I doubt that I ever will be. But it is not my bankroll.

On the Cubs' exploring their own regional TV network
"We're definitely looking at being able to talk about that more sometime in the future, but it'll be a while yet before we know exactly what we can have and can't have. I think it's already out there that we're looking to go our own direction on this, which is the right thing for the team and for the fans."
Pretty vague.

On striving for postseason sustainability
"You just have to get to the playoffs as often as possible, because once that happens, you have as good a chance as anyone. Once you get to that first Wild Card Game -- which, of course, we did last year -- you have as good a chance as anyone of still going. It comes down to who's hot, who's healthy, who gets the clutch hit. So, we have to be consistent. And I think one of the mistakes that might've been made in previous ownership is this theory that you load up and go for it one year. That doesn't work. That's fool's gold. That's a bad strategy. We take it from a different approach."
I feel that they are correct in this assessment but let's be real. This is a cop out answer for not spending.
 

CSF77

Well-known member
Thank you for that. Was gonna post more but got side tracked.
NP. Ya know I get it. They are spending over 220M and to be real the Trib never came close to this. 148 was a cap and they freaked out after by selling the Trib to Zell.

Regardless Theo has been a mixed bag. I really like his trades far more than his F/A signings in general.
 

jooo83

Active member
https://www.mlb.com/cubs/news/tom-ricketts-talks-cubs-convention-offseason/c-302827024



They have spent but poorly . Heyward's value going in was almost 2x the D value over O. His O tanked and it tanked his impact. Basically his D was keeping him above replacement value.

Chatwood was a bad investment. This was a misguided Scud under the same circumstances of the E-Jax scud.

Morrow was a good signing. He was productive while healthy.

Darvish was injured. IMO this is more so on the Doctors not ID the issue vs anything Yu did. IMO he has a fresh take in 2019.

So just by default they should be better just by getting anything out of Darvish. Montgomery posted a 1.4 fWAR. Anything over that is an improvement.

on the non panel:



I get that bit. If their act is dry then...




I agree with this. Last year the 4/5 was 8 by Darvish and 20 by Chatwood. Going Darvish/Hammels should add value to the rotation by default.



I'm not a fan of Russell. I doubt that I ever will be. But it is not my bankroll.



Pretty vague.



I feel that they are correct in this assessment but let's be real. This is a cop out answer for not spending.
I strongly disagree about the Morrow signing. A contender depending on a then 33 year old injury prone player to close was a highly questionable move from the start. And to do it a 2nd year in a row after he missed half of last season is at best a bad idea. This team needs a closer. Strop offers some insurance if Morrow can't pitch anything but he's not ideal in that role.
 

fatbeard

Well-known member
Chatwood was a bad investment. This was a misguided Scud under the same circumstances of the E-Jax scud.
I challenge you to look through Chatwood's numbers and find something that predicted his meltdown upon coming to the Cubs. The fact is that he was a good road pitcher for the Rockies and there was no way to predict how inexplicably broken he was last year.
 

CSF77

Well-known member
I challenge you to look through Chatwood's numbers and find something that predicted his meltdown upon coming to the Cubs. The fact is that he was a good road pitcher for the Rockies and there was no way to predict how inexplicably broken he was last year.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.mlb.com/260793498-5-ways-tyler-chatwood-could-be-charlie-morton.amp.html

Some interesting takes going in. He had 2 TJ and never topped 150 inning. A bit of a reach on a 3 year deal. He held a high curve spin rate but had already moved away from that pitch. I do remember thinking that he should have gone back to what he was before Coors forced his delivery mechanic to change. He was more over the top with a hammer. Coors represses that pitch which forced him into a 3/4 arm slot which is more suited for a slider.

Regardless there is a 20 year history of that stadium breaking pitchers and this result was common.
 

CSF77

Well-known member
I strongly disagree about the Morrow signing. A contender depending on a then 33 year old injury prone player to close was a highly questionable move from the start. And to do it a 2nd year in a row after he missed half of last season is at best a bad idea. This team needs a closer. Strop offers some insurance if Morrow can't pitch anything but he's not ideal in that role.
I don't disagree. I thought that they should have given into Davis' demands myself. They wanted to add volume that off-season and went with 2 pen and 2 rotation. Thus the skimp on Chatwood and Morrow.

Regardless what came out of it is when Morrow is in he is worth every cent. And Strop proved that he is closer material also. Over all I'm not concerned.
 

jooo83

Active member
I don't disagree. I thought that they should have given into Davis' demands myself. They wanted to add volume that off-season and went with 2 pen and 2 rotation. Thus the skimp on Chatwood and Morrow.

Regardless what came out of it is when Morrow is in he is worth every cent. And Strop proved that he is closer material also. Over all I'm not concerned.
Not concerned about closer? It's on my shot list of biggest concerns about this team. But it depends greatly on Morrow's health. Add a legitimate closer to this team and bullpen is elite IMO.
 

Castor76

New member
Not concerned about closer? It's on my shot list of biggest concerns about this team. But it depends greatly on Morrow's health. Add a legitimate closer to this team and bullpen is elite IMO.
I think Strop proved he can handle being the closer. Health bit this team hard last season. Despite it all, they were successful. Not what we wanted, but overall very good.
 

chibears55

Well-known member
I think their done adding anyone to 25 man roster...

Back up catcher going to be Caratini

Almora and Happ will man CF

The bullpen will be what they have along with guys from the system

2019 going to be a prove yourself year for these guys

Were either going to see the young core rise up or were basically going to see an offensive repeat of 2018
 

Castor76

New member
I think their done adding anyone to 25 man roster...

Back up catcher going to be Caratini

Almora and Happ will man CF

The bullpen will be what they have along with guys from the system

2019 going to be a prove yourself year for these guys

Were either going to see the young core rise up or were basically going to see an offensive repeat of 2018
If it's a repeat of the first half, I'll be very happy.

Short of "miracles" this team is set and should be. With the players they have they can platoon their way to a fairly strong offense but do have to worry about the lack of contact in certain spots.

Worse case scenario, they have three tradeable veteran assets and will have a payroll of around 180M with 4-5 slots to fill for next season. It could be a very fast reload if needed.
 
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