I’m working on a post that takes a look at who earned their money in 2009, but it’s not ready yet. Until then, you’re stuck with some random findings to discuss.

  • Apparently the world (or at least Cubs.com) thinks that 19 year old Starlin Castro is Major League ready. Need her evidence?

    He played rookie ball in 2008, then jumped to high Class A this season, then Double-A, and now is competing in the Arizona Fall League. He’s the youngest player in the AFL, but after one week of play, he’s keeping pace with the big boys, and through Sunday, was hitting .500 (7-for-14). He went 3-for-5 in the AFL opener. – (Source)

    Heck, who knew that was all it took. If that’s the case, then maybe we have a lot more guys down there that are ready. I’m not trying to be a hater. I’d love to see Castro up here in 2010, but rushing a 19 year old kid is just not the way to go. Would it be an ideal situation to see him at SS, with someone like Ryan Theriot at 2B? Sure, but right now barring any changes, I’d like to see Theriot at SS with Jeff Baker given a shot to show his stuff in a full time 2B role. In case you’re curious, here are Castro’s AFL stats as of 10/25/09

  • MLB Trade Rumors posted an off-season outlook for the Cubs. I suppose it’s an important thing to look at as we head down the stretch here before players are eligible to file for free agency. Some of the highlights:
  • The Cubs have about $124.2MM committed before arbitration raises to Hill, Baker, Theriot, Heilman, Marmol, Marshall, Guzman, and Gorzelanny.  Fontenot, at two years and 139 days of service time, is on the bubble for Super Two status (which could influence his 2010 status with the team).  Heilman, Cotts, and Fontenot are candidates to be non-tendered.  With at least seven arb cases, there is payroll uncertainty, but I’ll put the Cubs around $135MM committed. – (Source)

    Just to update that note on Fontenot, he just missed the cut to be considered a Super Two. That means his contract auto-renews for next year and he’s not awarded arbitration a year early.

  • Carrie Muskat had a chance to sit down with Geo Soto the other day. The article was ho hum so I thought I’d answer the questions for Geo to make it a little more interesting and worth reading. If you’d rather read the real answers, that’s fine too (Source)Cubs.com – What’s the first thing you want to do this offseason?Geo – Definitely light up a fatty and relax….oh wait, I mean eat Dorito’s and Twinkies…no wait, I mean lift weights and watch film. Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.

    Cubs.com – When you were growing up, was there a player you idolized?

    Geo – Oh definitely, I’d have to say Rick Wilkins. I loved and aspired to being just like him….a one hit wonder that had a great year and faded into mediocrity.

    Cubs.com – If you could trade places with someone on the team, who would it be?

    Geo – That’s easy….Sam Fuld. He dives around in the OF and runs into walls. He tells me that he sees stars when that happens. How cool would that be? I could see stars and not even need to get high to do it. I’ve gotta try it.

    Cubs.com – This offseason, when do you start your workouts?

    Geo – Um, we’re supposed to work out in the off-season?

    Cubs.com – Is there a comfort food you crave?

    Geo – A better question would have been “is there a comfort food I don’t crave?

  • Project Prospect has a nice little piece on the Top 100 prospects in baseball. They’ve compiled it from a host of various sources. Interesting read. – (Source)
  • Ken Rosenthal mentioned recently that “Multiple teams are in contact the Cubs about outfielder Milton Bradley, with one source saying, “You would be shocked at the level of interest.”. I’m calling B.S. – (Source)
  • Are you ready for the Wrigley Field high rise district? It may be coming. (Source)
  • Curious to see what Derrek Lee’s path to the pros was? Take a look. If nothing else, check out this vintage Derrek Lee photo.
  • The Cubs took a look at some sites in Naples, FL for a potential spring training move to Florida. (Source)
  • Kyler Burke picked up the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year Award. He’s a favorite of mine, so I was happy to see him have the year he had this year. (Source)
  • Finally, it looks like another ESPN employee is out due to sexual issues. According to ESPN’s PR guy “Steve Phillips is no longer working for ESPN. His ability to be an effective rep of ESPN has been significantly & irreparably damaged.” - (Source)
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail