Rumor time….

I came across this over at Bleed Cubbie Blue. (Don't forget to VOTE NEIFI!). To sum up, Todd Helton would be willing to move to left field if traded to a contender. The Rockies have reached the point of considering moving their franchise player, with first base prospect stud, Ryan Shealy tearing up AAA ball. As with any trade, this is wrought with obstacles such as... 1) He hasn't played left field since 1997, where he played 13 games 2) His contract runs until about 3001 for something like $800 million a year (actually 2011 with a club option for 2012 at about $16 million a year) 3) He'll turn 32 this year and is having a rather awful year, particularly a massive loss in power so far. 4) Career road splits: .296/.392/.519 Career Home Splits: .371/.464/.688 Now if the Cubs have the opportunity to make such a deal, do they pull the trigger? I say yes but with all sorts of stipulations.... 1) The Rockies aren't getting out of Helton's contract anytime soon, they need to pay about three-quarters of it. He's due roughly $102 million over the remaining 6 years (not including this one). The Rockies pay $75 million of that, we pick up the rest. Assuming we don't restructure the years of the deal (something we should look into), that's about $4.5 million a year that we're on the hook for through 2011. That sounds about reasonable, especially since he'll be 38 when the contract runs out. Plus if we can get him and be responsible for so little, then trading him in a few years should not be too difficult. 2) Colorado needs power arms if they ever have hope to succeed in that thin air. We have a farm system full of them. I think we certainly have the advantage over any other team thinking about trading for Helton. Two pitchers should be enough, I'm thinking Sergio Mitre and Ricky Nolasco, but we have plenty more. We can throw in Jeromy Burnitz as far as I'm concerned but I'm sure they'd prefer Jason Dubois. 3) I'm not worried about the defense. He's a Gold Glove first basemen and former college QB. Certainly a top notch athlete and I think he could adapt to left rather easily. This is all heresay and rumor but my major concerns are his age and loss of power. Hendry likes players in his prime (somewhere between 26 and 32 in his book, I believe) and well Helton is just about to pass that. The loss of power this year is very concerning as well, but I'd like to believe that he's just sick of playing for a perennial loser. I love a good rumor and this is the best one I've heard recently. I'm sure Hendry is still holding out that the D-Rays will part with Aubrey Huff in the near future, but this is certainly something worth considering.
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"This is all heresay and rumor but my major concerns are his age and loss of power."
And play a new position at a new park, under playoff atmosphere? And he is overpaid?

Rob G what is good about this? The Cub uniform will be flattering to his figure?

FWIW, Yankees fan sites are abuzz with a rumored Sheffield for Patterson & Dubois & Mitre deal in the works.

what would be your thoughts?

Has anyone noticed Huff's numbers are down, since we had our little Huff-wish-fest in February?

.254AVG, 4HR, 32RBI

DuBois could do that as a regular player.

That's a lot to give up for renting Sheff.

The Yanks would only do that if they are giving up on the season. From what I can tell in New Haven, most Yankee fans are still in the who-else-can-we-get mode. The only big debate is if/when Torre will be fired.

And play a new position at a new park

Not too worried about the defense as I said, and he couldn't be worse then Dubois if that's who he replaces. His career road splits are quite good, so although he won't be topping the 1000 OPS mark, I'd expect some good things.

under playoff atmosphere? And he is overpaid?

I'm sure he's craving to be under playoff atmosphere after all that losing in Colorado, just not a concern for me. And as I mentioned, the Rockies would have to be on the hook for most of the cash and the only way they're trading him is if they pay a whole lot of his contract.

FWIW, Yankees fan sites are abuzz with a rumored Sheffield for Patterson & Dubois & Mitre deal in the works.

So who the hell plays center for us, if that happens? YUCK!!! Felix Pie is not ready. Dubois & Mitre, I wouldn't mind, throw in Patterson and that's not a good deal at all.

>>> Yankees fan sites are abuzz with a rumored Sheffield for Patterson & Dubois & Mitre deal in the works.

I guess I find it hard to believe the Cubs would ship Patterson this year, and even if they do, I doubt it will be for a guy like Sheffield. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Korey-phile, but even with his frustrating presence gone, we'd be significantly worse in speed and defense, not to mention adding concerns about health and where the nearest cortisone retailer is. While I am also suspicious of Dubois and Mitre's long term value as well, giving them up along with Patterson seems like WAY too much risk for WAY too little reward and giving up WAY too much in return.

But Helton? Hmm, that seems to be, at least initially, more interesting, assuming his contract headache can be figured out.

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Ok if this is real some of you would not trade..

Patterson - .262 BA, .294 OBP, 10 HR, 21 RBI, 57 SO, 11 BB.
Dubois - .259 BA, .306 OBP, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 41 SO, 6 BB
Mitre - 15 career starts, 6.30 ERA.

For......

Shef - .296 BA, .402 OBP, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 33 SO, 39 BB?

Shef alone is worth the offensive production of Patterson and Dubois combined. That is a massive upgrade. Who cares who plays CF. Burnitz, Hairston, Macias, I really dont care if Shef is in LF or RF.

Mitre is totally expendable and if that is what the Yanks want they can have him. This is what you would call a no brainer deal. Turning unproven players into a Hall of Fame production player.

However, I dont think much truth exists in this rumor. Because it makes the Yankees worse, not better.

Here are some better, more important statistics:

Year of birth:

Dubois: 1979
Patterson: 1979
Mitre: 1981

Sheffield: 1968

One more thing. Shef strikes out about 1/3 less than Dubois and Patterson combined and walks about twice as much as those 2.

You want to build a consistent offense and stop letting our starting pitching go to waste? Shef would be a step in the right direction.

I don't have doubts that Shef is a major upgrade at one position but improving one spot in the lineup and then having a GAPING hole at another, particularly a very important defensive position that's currently held by a good defensive player, is NOT a good trade.

For all the runs that Shef's bat may get us, unless a respectable center fielder is found (and we don't have one in our system right now), this would be a bad trade.

Sheffield-no
Helton-n0

Sheffield brings attitude problem and other luggage(roids, old age, questionable intergrity).
Helton on down side of career and not same hitter and he plays in Colorado!

How about Vernon Wells?

Or Preston Wilson and (gasp) Carlos Lee

I'm sure Toronto is just itching to get rid of a young, cheap stud outfielder in the prime of his career.

Sheffield's "baggage" usually doesn't show up for a year or two with a new team, which coincidentally is the length of his contract. I can live with it, but considering the Cubs off-season moves, they'd have a hard time explaining that one to the fans.

The concerns on Helton are legitimate but his road splits as mentioned still net him a .900+ OPS and the bulk of those road games were played at pitcher's parks like Dodger Stadium, Petco/Qualcomm and SBC/Candlestick over the years.

Preston Wilson....NEVER, EVER, EVER!!!!

Carlos Lee....YES!!! and with some of the recent Brewers moves, it's certainly becoming more of a possibility, although if Lee continues his hot-hitting, the cost will be STEEP.

So let get this straight Ryno, age is more important than winning? Our pitching staff isnt getting any younger or cheaper or less injury prone for that matter.

I like developing prospects and giving them a chance. But when if I have a choice of Corey Patterson age 25 and Gary Sheffeild age 36 in helping my team win for this year and next year I take Sheff. Especially with a guy named Felix Pie down in AA who should be around in the next 2 years or sooner and plays the same position as Patterson.

I have alot of patience with Corey and I still hold out hope he can be a great player. But even Shef in a decline will massively out produce Patterson over the next 2 years. More importantly Sheff will just plain destroy Patterson when it comes to knocking in runners when it counts.

Perez, Walker, Lee, Sheff, Aramis, Burnitz, Barrett, Hairston/scrub in CF. That is a pretty dangerous lineup.

Mike, I appreciate your difference in opinion and I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree. You can point to stats and that's fine. I understand Sheffield has better numbers right now, but the qualities that I am referring to are not shown in statistics.

I think two of the most under-rated qualities in good baseball teams are camaraderie and youth. Sheffield, IMHO, would be a detriment to both.

I respect your right to have your own opinion and, who knows, you could be right, I'm not the all-knowing God of baseball. I just don't like the idea.

It's all rumors anyways.

So who the hell plays center for us, if that happens? YUCK!!! Felix Pie is not ready. Dubois & Mitre, I wouldn't mind, throw in Patterson and that's not a good deal at all.

Hairston. I know...we lose some defensively, but we improve defensively in the corner OF spot that Shef fills.

Look at this lineup:
Hairston (high OBA!!!)
Walker
Lee
Shef
ARam
Burnitz
Neifi!
Barrett

I would do that in a second. I am willing to sacrifice some defense for the very signicant increase in OBA at the top of the lineup. That would be a great lineup.

Wait a minute, does MikeC moonlight as...

Jay Mariotti--"Will Hendry recognize his Corey Patterson problem and pursue Eric Byrnes or Preston Wilson?"

Oh boy, that quote from his article today made me laugh.

Anyway, back to what Mike was on about. I wouldn't trade Patterson for Sheffield up front, yet alone throw in Dubois and Mitre too. This isn't a fantasy league, Mike, and there is more to consider than just the fact Sheffield is having a very nice season with the bat.

For, indeed, Sheffield is having a very nice season with the bat, and what's more his numbers are sustainable at their current level given his peripheral numbers. If the Cubs could by any chance acquire him for prospects or replaceable parts, then they have to jump at the chance.

But Corey Patterson isn't a replaceable part. He's a still young, cheap and under our control for a few years yet centre fielder whose overall production is above average. With the bat right now he's mediocre at best, but he has the potential to be a lot better. Defensively at the very least he's above average (at an important defensive position) and he's a fast baserunner, and that makes up for what his bat is currently costing us relative to the average player and more. Far from a replaceable part, he's a valuable commodity.

Gary Sheffield on the other hand defensively he adds very little if anything at all to his bat, there are questions over his temperament, he's 36 years old and as a result he has nagging injuries, and there's still in the region of $20m dollar left on a contract that expires after 2006 (with a $13m team option for 2007). Certainly, when he's healthy, he's a good player, but there's more to consider that just that.

Hell, if we're keeping Hairston, why don't we thrown him and another AAA-arm in there instead of Patterson? The Yankees need help right now at 2B/LF and we might be able to convince them of it if we threw in another quality young pitcher. That would be:

Dubois+Mitre+Hairston+Pitcher = Sheffield

???

I think two of the most under-rated qualities in good baseball teams are camaraderie and youth.

How many world series champs have a lot of youth? Not many. Sheff would be a HUGE upgrade to the Cubs lineup. If they have the opportunity, they should do that in a second.

And I would also take Helton, though I wouldn't give up what Sheff would demand. Even with Helton's road splits they are a huge upgrade. And Wrigley may not be Coors, but Wrigley isnt like Dodger Stadium either.

Hairston. I know...we lose some defensively

You lose a lot more then SOME...he makes Dubois almost look like a gold glover in left. He's very close to clueless in the outfield, he can mask it in left, but put him in center where's responsible for chasing all those balls that Sheff and Burnitz can no longer get to...No, no, no!!!! I really don't think he's an option at center except for the very occassional spot start.

With the bat right now he's mediocre at best, but he has the potential to be a lot better. Defensively at the very least he's above average (at an important defensive position) and he's a fast baserunner,

I would say that Sheff is obviously better with the bat. He has been better on the basepaths this year (6/7 sb's), which is prety consistent with his peripherals. And he is also above average defensively, or at least average.

Sheff adds more offensively than we would lose defensively (especially if you consider the upgrade defensively of Sheff over Dubois or Holly).

I make the trade if possible.

:: How many world series champs have a lot of youth? ::

Hahahahahaa.... Well the '03 Marlins come to mind.

Whew. Good one. :)

Having written #21, I agree with John and just find it hard seeing Gary Sheffield ever being a Cub. I just don't see him being apart of that organization. I think Todd Helton, likely trade or not, is much more the Cub-type-team player that we would want.

Having written #21, I agree with John and just find it hard seeing Gary Sheffield ever being a Cub. I just don't see him being apart of that organization. I think Todd Helton, likely trade or not, is much more the Cub-type-team player that we would want.

I only pressed the "Post" button once, not sure why it did that 3 times. Sorry.

Hahahahahaa.... Well the '03 Marlins come to mind.

Whew. Good one. :)

Thanks...but I sad "how many"...not "name one". I also said not many. I to thought of the Marlins...but I couldn't think of many more, can you?

Lets look at the last ten years:

04 - Red Sox - mostly veterans, very little youth
03 - Marlins - lots of youth
02 - Anaheim - some youth (K-Rod), mostly veterans
01 - Arizon - lots of veterans, little youth
00 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
99 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
98 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
97 - Marlins - Mostly veterans, some youth
96 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
95 - Atlanta - veterans

It looks like I few little world series teams have a significant ammount of "youths" that play a significant role.

Hey guys, first time poster but long time reader. I've been watching the shef rumor mill for most of the day and from everything I've seen it looks more like Mitre and Korey OR Dubois.

Frankly with Murton tearing it up in our farm system I wouldn't mind a trade of Dubois and Mitre for Shef with the Yankees picking up a few million of his contract. I would be a bit upset if we give up on Patterson. At the very least his defense saves several games for us each year and his speed is a huge asset. It's not a coincidence that the Marlins won a world series with speed and Dave Roberts made quite possibly THE play of the playoffs last year with his speed. Unfortunately, the cubs are somewhat lacking in this department outside of Patterson, Lee and Burnitz.

Because of his potential, losing Dubois would hurt but an outfield of any combination of Patterson, Pie, Murton, Shef, Burnitz over the next 3-4 years sounds mighty good.

I thought Anaheim '02 was also very young. I'll look it up.

Lowitzki:

I was going to post the exact same thing. You also forgot to list the losing teams in those years.

Stl - OLD
NYY - OLD
SF - OLD (real old)
NYY - AGAIN
Mets
Braves

I could go on.

Nothig wins like experience and veterans. Adding Sheff or Helton to this line up would make it SCARRIER than the Red Sox and Probalby BETTER than the Cardinals.

Why are we talking about trading young Cub starters for an old powerhitting outfielder with dubious defensive skills and a big contract when all we had to do was sign Moises Alou for one more year?

Wow...rarely do I agree with Chad.

No...Anaheim was not young. Here was their starting lineup in Game 7:

Eckstein - 27 (2nd year)
Erstad - 28 (7th year)
Salmon - 34 (10th year)
Anderson - 30 (8th year)
Glaus - 26 (5th year)
Fulmer - 27 (5th year)
Spiezio - 30 (7th year)
B Molina - 28 (5th year)
Kennedy - 26 (4th year)

I wouldn't call this young...they may be younger than most, but not young either.

As I wrote in #15...

....considering the Cubs off-season moves, they'd have a hard time explaining that one[trading for Sheff] to the fans....

How do you trade away Sosa, Farns and get rid of Mercker and Alou and then bring in Sheff?

They be some 'plainin to do.....

Don't give up Patterson. I remember Lou Brock. He was a five tool player, like Corey - who struck out alot. Corey may never "get it"- but it we trade him he will. (Cub Karma) I think Dusty conveys a certain amount of wisdom when pointing to D. Lee's maturation this year. He has fallen off a little lately but he covers a hell of alot of ground in center field. He also tends to be a hot/cold hitter- and he has not been hot yet. I'd like to get Helton or Sheffield for the short term and would give up Mitre, Dubois, Hairston and any minor league pitcher but Hill or Gallagher and others but Pie or Harvey. (within reason). Steve Phillips said this morning that Matsui might be available. If the boss really wants to back up the truck maybe A- Rod (might have to give up K. Wood for him).

Anyway, I have lost my focus. We need to make a deal. But I say keep (K)Corey.

Don't give up Patterson. I remember Lou Brock. He was a five tool player, like Corey - who struck out alot. Corey may never "get it"- but it we trade him he will. (Cub Karma) I think Dusty conveys a certain amount of wisdom when pointing to D. Lee's maturation this year. He has fallen off a little lately but he covers a hell of alot of ground in center field. He also tends to be a hot/cold hitter- and he has not been hot yet. I'd like to get Helton or Sheffield for the short term and would give up Mitre, Dubois, Hairston and any minor league pitcher but Hill or Gallagher and others but Pie or Harvey. (within reason). Steve Phillips said this morning that Matsui might be available. If the boss really wants to back up the truck maybe A- Rod (might have to give up K. Wood for him).

Anyway, I have lost my focus. We need to make a deal. But I say keep (K)Corey.

Sorry, didn't mean to post twice

From the "You Don't Say" department,

Tom Verducci at Si.com
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers...

The Yankees made a mistake in signing Womack to a†two-year, $4 million deal rather than keeping Miguel Cairo. They made the†blunder bigger by playing Womack every day. They made things even worse†by batting him first or second, giving a guy with a .289 OBP extra plate appearances. And they goofed again by moving him to left field, as if an American League team can simply write off offense from a corner outfield position.....Womack has been so bad that you can boil down his year to this harsh conclusion: He's on track to be the worst outfielder in 99 years.

and you think our manager and GM make dumb moves...

How about Corey for Andruw Jones? That makes more sense than the Sheffield deal.

With all of Atlanta's problems, they might be sellers in a short while.

Of course Atlanta would proceed to work miracles with Corey.

How about Corey for Andruw Jones? That makes more sense than the Sheffield deal.

Seems like your just paying A LOT more for pretty much the same thing. Certainly better defensively, but offensively he only gives you a bit more and he's a few years older. The Braves would have to pay a bit of his contract and I might even dare to ask for a middle of the row prospect.

SHEFFIELD RUMOR:
Sheff for Mitre & Dubois OR CPat makes sense. Including all 3 players makes ZERO sense. If we can get Sheff for Mitre and Dubois and have the NYY pick up a few million in salary, it should be done today. The problem is that the NYY are not willing to throw in the towel yet. They have too much talent and payroll the do so on June 15th.

HELTON RUMOR:
HA HA HA

This is so ridiculas it is almost a waste of energy for me to type this. This is all VERY simple. The Cubs will NEVER trade for Helton because of one reason: He still has 5-6 years left on his deal. Not because of the money, but because of the years. Hendry has a very simple philospohy that any Cub fan should be able to figure out. Hendry does not do deals for more than 4 years (after the Sosa fiasco). Even the Cubs franchise player who signed this offseason was signed to only 4 years (ARam 4yr/$42, with mutual option and/or games played option). All things set up to protect the organization and not have a guy be horrible at the end of his contract getting paid big bucks and be untradeable. Again, NO WAY do the Cubs trade for Helton, unless they can knock years off his deal, which the MLBPA won't allow.

I'd much rather see Helton come over than Sheff...I've never liked Sheff as a player, and I think that he's too big of an injury risk, not to mention another potential bad attitude in the clubhouse. Helton on the other hand, while he hasn't played in the OF in a long time, is the consumate team player, puts up good solid numbers, and is a clubhouse leader as well.

How do you trade away Sosa, Farns and get rid of Mercker and Alou and then bring in Sheff?

Easy...because Sheff is one of the best players in baseball. And the players that the Cubs got rid of were not necessarily for "chemistry" reasons:
Farns: needed a change of scenery - he wasn't performing for the Cubs anymore, and the boos didn't help (same thing as Latroy Hawkins).
Merker: we don't miss him, we didn't need him.
Alou: I don't think that this was a chemistry thing either...they just felt that they could replace Alou's production cheaper.
Sosa: Same thing...Sosa was no longer wanted in Chicago, by fans or management. And he wasn't performing.

I think that bringing in Sheff would be very acceptable to Cubs fans, and very welcomed.

as I mentioned, it would take the Rockies paying a whole lot of the contract (which they're going to have to do anyway), so that the length of the contract wouldn't worry the Cubs cause the cost was so low, meaning if they wanted to trade him in a few years it wouldn't be a problem OR restructure the deal so he gets the same overall money but in lesser years and the Rockies still pay about the same portion.

Almost all rumors are laughable but it's worth considering....

Carlos Lee isn't going anywhere. He's only in the second year of a three-year deal and Melvin likes to move guys during the winter rather than at the deadline. He's also the only reliable power hitter in the Brewers lineup.

I can't see the Yankees giving up Sheffield for the Meat-tray and Dewboy, or Patterson, and I don;'t think the Cubs should wate their time on this either. Straightening out the bullpen might be a better idea, as Borowski and Bartosh have been laying eggs lately.
And the 2002 Angels were certainly a fairly young team...28.4 years average....the prime is considered 27-32, so 28.4 is pretty young for an average age.

I can't see the Yankees giving up Sheffield for the Meat-tray and Dewboy, or Patterson, and I don;'t think the Cubs should wate their time on this either. Straightening out the bullpen might be a better idea, as Borowski and Bartosh have been laying eggs lately.
And the 2002 Angels were certainly a fairly young team...28.4 years average....the prime is considered 27-32, so 28.4 is pretty young for an average age.

John - Does Gary Sheffield even remotely compare to Byrnes or Preston Wilson? If they do you should trade your entire fantasy team and stop watching baseball.

Shef helps you win championships. Wilson and Byrnes are role players and they are not even good at that. You want impact player, difference maker, Gary Sheffield is that player. You want mediocre offense and no improvement then the Cubs should go out and get Wilson, and Byrnes.

Honestly Byrnes and Wilson are filler players for teams like the Yankees. They arent expected to go out and win games just be league average. They already have impact players like Jeter, Posada, Sheff, A-rod. The way I see it the Cubs need more of those impact players offensively because all we got is Derrek Lee and maybe Aramis.

As for the arguement why should we have a major upgrade in one position and a glaring hole in another? If Sheff is replacing the offense of two players this means a rotting corpse in the vacant position improves your offense. If you get a league average contribution from a player in the now vacant position you just upgraded your offense dramatically. Why do you think the elite players get paid the big bucks?

You do not upgrade your offense by replacing your two OF spots with the same type of player and saying ohh maybe a change of scenery will make him better. That is a pipe dream.

This is all moot because I dont think Sheff is leaving NY at all.

And the 2002 Angels were certainly a fairly young team...28.4 years average....the prime is considered 27-32, so 28.4 is pretty young for an average age.

They may be have been "young", but everyone was in the prime age. They only had one everyday player who was even in their second year. And one other "youth" (K-Rod- a rookie) that made significant contributions.

Ryno is arguing that youth is under-rated, and saying that we should keep prospects instead of trading them for veterans. But history shows otherwise. At best you have '03's florida team and maybe '02's angels, but I think it is a stretch to use Anaheim to support his argument.

And Jackiet the Brewers are on the verge of being real good in the next few years.

If the Cubs wanted Carlos Lee maybe they should of tried to convince the White Sox to take Corey Patterson. I am sure he was more valuable than Scott Podesnik.

Brewers have zero interest in trading him

I'm not so sure about Lee not being tradeable, maybe this season, but the Brewers won't be relevant until 2007 in my opinion and Lee will be too expensive, they would be smart to try and trade him for someone like Dubois or another player already under contract past 2006 (I believe that's when his deal is up)

Allow me to be more comprehensive in explaining why I wouldn't even trade Patterson for Sheffield up front. I'll do this in note form...

Corey Patterson
Current performance
- disappointing offensively, it has to be said. Defensively he is very good at a very important defensive position. A good and fast baserunner. Overall, given that he's currently underperforming his sustainable level, he has to be considered at least an average centre fielder, if not a slightly above average one.
Future performance - great potential for offensive improvement given that he'll only turn 26 in August and that there are clear problems to his game. Degradation in other areas of his game unlikely. Has the talent to potentially become one of the best centre fielders in the game. It's just a matter of fulfilling that talent. Hard to say whether he will or not, but I remain reasonably optimistic.
Foreseeable health situation - healthy.
Character - hard-working if quiet. Has done a good job of avoiding controversy.
Contractual situation - the Cubs own the rights to Patterson through 2007. He's earning just $2.8m this year, and his contract will be linked relatively closely to his performance as a result of arbitration.
Alternatives - the Cubs have no real internal alternatives to Patterson at this stage. Jerry Hairston isn't particularly productive offensively due to a lack of power, and his defence is terrible. Jeromy Burnitz could play centre field, but his play in right field is as pretty much bad as Corey's in centre. Felix Pie is not ready yet, and the Cubs shouldn't make the same mistake they did with Corey in rushing a player to the majors too soon. External alternatives are few since good centre fielders are thin on the ground. Neither Preston Wilson nor Eric Brynes would represent viable alternatives, regardless of whether Jay Mariotti cluelessly thinks so or not.

Gary Sheffield
Current performance
- excellent offensively and sustainable for now offensively due to strong peripheral numbers. Defensively questionable. No longer a genuine a basestealing threat. Still very much one of the better right fielders in the game.
Future performance - very real potential for across the board regression due to him being aged 36. Few players keep up their performance to the extent that Sheffield has done so far late into their careers. Collapse though looks unlikely.
Foreseeable health situation - problematic. Sheffield had very serious nagging problems with his shoulder last year that required cortisone shots and a lot of bravely grinning and bearing it on Sheffield's part. This year alone he has had more problems with that shoulder, plus various ailments involving his ankle, hip, hand and now his surgically repaired knee. That's in the space of about three months. He's playing through the pain and missing just the odd game as a result of these injuries now, but there's definate potential for a more serious injury given his age and all this wear and tear.
Character - let's just say that there aren't many people that can make Sosa look like an ideal teammate. Or at least that's the rub.
Contractual situation - earning $13m this year and next. There is an option year at the same price for 2007. Expensive, and Sheffield would need to keep up his performance, remain entirely healthy and behave himself to justify the money. The Cubs may not have the payroll either this year or next to fit him in, and they may need to ask the Yankees to pick up some of the tab, something the Yankees will doubtless be reluctant to do unless they get something really tangible in return.
Alternatives - the Cubs currently are not getting acceptable production from either of the corner outfield positions, and there are no real internal solutions to the problem. Other external options besides Sheffield may include Adam Dunn and Aubrey Huff, though doubtless they would come at a great cost.

Conclusion - trading Corey Patterson for Gary Sheffield would be a short-term and short-sighted move. There is no comparison between the two in terms of their current performance. However, Sheffield comes out behind in every single other category.

The huge extra expense isn't worth the risk of injury and decline we'd be assuming, nor the difficulty of replacing Patterson. You can also say this for Corey, he's not going to get much worse. He stands a shot at getting a lot better. Selling now then could really represent selling ourselves short. If the only return was Sheffield, that would be the case, for the Cubs are not in a situation where they have to gamble on winning this year. This is a team built for the long-term. It is not worth compromising that for an only slight potential short-term gain in the probability of the Cubs winning the World Series, particularly when the same effect can probably be achieved without doing so as losing teams may look to offload more valuable players than Sheffield even come the trade deadline.

As far as Helton goes: I'd be worried about anyone whose power numbers have hit the basement in one season, this being the first juiceless season. I'm not saying he did it, I'm just saying...

Mr. Hill,

One of the reasons there's so much room for improvement in Patterson's game is that he's regressing. When his average gets to .240 the sky will really be the limit. Then we can talk about his amazing 50 point turnaround next year when he's hitting .290 in April.

The best hope we have for Patterson is that somewhere there's a GM who sees in him what you do, Hendry identifies that GM, and gets a decent amount in return for a trade. And I'm someone who was sticking up for him a few days ago when the guy next to me booed him at the Red Sox game.

Mike--"Does Gary Sheffield even remotely compare to Byrnes or Preston Wilson?"

Obviously not. But as far as I can tell, we'd not be trading Brynes or Wilson for Sheffield.

I've never said we should trade for Brynes or Wilson. In fact, quite the opposite. That'd undermine just about everything you said in your last post, which seemed to be based entirely upon me having the idea of trading for Brynes or Wilson. I don't have that idea. Get it out of your head.

Mike--"If Sheff is replacing the offense of two players this means a rotting corpse in the vacant position improves your offense."

In the short-term, yes, assuming Sheffield stays healthy (and that's no given). Unfortunately, this isn't fantasy baseball, and there's a lot more to think about than just short-term production. See my above post.

As far as Helton goes: I'd be worried about anyone whose power numbers have hit the basement in one season, this being the first juiceless season. I'm not saying he did it, I'm just saying...

Worrisome no doubt, but 'roids couldn't explain that big a drop, no way, no how.

Career slugging: .605
2005 SLG: .396

NEIFI! had a slugging percentage in the 400's in Colorado, there's something else going on (or in addition) to 'roids.

Even if he was on the 'roids, injury, disinterest and just a slump would be factors I'd be more concerned with.

And he still has a wonderfully patient eye with minimal strikeouts. RBI machine if he regains his power. And with his current slump, talking about buying low.

Assuming he replaces Dubois (I'd prefer Burnitz), a lineup something like this:

Walker
Patterson
Lee
Helton
Ramirez
Burnitz
Perez
Barrett

You can play around with the first two and last two anyway you want, but a middle of the order of Lee, Helton, Ramirez....WOW!!!
Lots of power, pretty good patience, few strikeouts.

Of course I'm assuming that there's nothing wrong with Helton and we could get the bulk of his contract paid for.

No longer a genuine a basestealing threat.

Sheff isn't a basestealing threat? He is 6 for 7 in SB's this year. Corey is 9 for 11. Is this really a big difference?

JH wrote about Patterson:
"Character - hard-working if quiet. Has done a good job of avoiding controversy."

I disagree, he has made some real pig headed comments over the years about being a power hitter, and that being his role...as for being hard working, already Baker and the hitting coach have called him out publicly for not making the obvious and proper adjustments that have plagued his career so far.

I do see GREAT potential if Patterson is willing to learn the game and make adjustments to balance his talents. He just seems to make no long term strides in that regards, and seems to me like he feels it will just naturally come to him one day.

As for his baserunning, the fact that a guy with that speed has only 9 steals in mid June shows a HUGE problem in my mind.

I dunno, I may turn out to be very wrong as he turns into an all-star and future hall of famer...but I simply don't see him helping this team over the next couple years, unless he fundamentally changes his approach at the plate.

I get the sense that will only happen when he is benched or traded....the Cubs don't have the ability to bench him, leaving them with one choice.

The Cubs don't need Helton (or Sheffield's power) they need their on base skills.

Adam-
Great Post....

See what JH is only looking at is CPat's potential. What if Cpat continues to not reach the potential he is expected to reach? I think Cpat has already not reached that and continues to say and shows signs of not doing what is needed to change. That is where Hendry and Baker need to step in and say, if he is not going to chnage then we need to cut our ties now and move in a different direction.

Big--"Sheff isn't a basestealing threat? He is 6 for 7 in SB's this year. Corey is 9 for 11. Is this really a big difference?"

Yes. We all know Corey has the potential to steal 30 bases at an extremely good clip this year as he did last year and would have done the year before that too had he not got injured. Meanwhile I'd be surprised if Sheffield keeps running at anywhere near the same rate or with the same success, particularly with all his niggling injuries (including, lately, his knee).

Adam--"he has made some real pig headed comments over the years about being a power hitter, and that being his role...as for being hard working, already Baker and the hitting coach have called him out publicly for not making the obvious and proper adjustments that have plagued his career so far."

He is a power hitter and that should be his role. Maybe that's pig-headed, but he's right. I don't know enough about Corey's work rate to comment, really, but the perception I get at least isn't that he's lazy.

March 21
Rocky Mountain News: "With anger, disgust and disbelief, Todd Helton responded Sunday to an allegation made by former Colorado Rockies broadcaster Wayne Hagin that Helton used steroids."

March 21
Denver Post: "All-star first baseman Todd Helton is contemplating legal action against former Rockies broadcaster Wayne Hagin in the wake of suggestions Helton used steroids seven years ago."

In the end, Wayne Hagin ended up issuing two different apologies for his "baseless" allegations.

In other words, I'm pretty sure Helton didn't do steroids. But I don't know who I trust these days.

Manny--"See what JH is only looking at is CPat's potential."

No. Let's get this right. What you're looking at is only what I've said about CPat's potential. I've also said (or I'll say now) that I'm reasonably content with Patterson even right now given that a) he's cheap, b) he's under our control for a few more years, cheaply, c) he's very good defensively and on the basepaths, which comprensates for his bad hitting in slumps and supplements his good hitting in streaks, and d) he's being misused by Baker right now hitting at the top of the order. Oh, and e) he has great potential to get a lot better in a hurry. I could probably think up more reasons from somewhere besides the top of my head, but I want to watch the game.

JH-
Great so it is OK to have a underperforming Corey, becuase he is cheap. Sound like teh Cubs are now the TB Devil Rays.

John, Corey Patterson is a mediocre power hitter AT BEST. 24 Home runs ties him for 58th in the major leagues last year. That is not a "power hitters's" numbers. If that's what he does BEST, the that is SHITTY!

And John you are DEAD wrong about him on the basepaths. He stinks! Yes he has blazing speed but he has NO BASERUNNING savvy. There is a HUGE difference.

Re #64;

Well now I'm certain that Helton never took 'roids as he's the first guy willing to sue someone for accusing him. I'm liking the idea more and more....

Lowitski wrote: "95 - Atlanta - veterans"

How can you say the 95 Atlanta team were veterans in the context of this thread when the average age was 27.9? Justice, Maddux and Glavine were 29, Grissom and Smoltz were 28. Chipper jones was 23. None of these are vets compared to the 36 y/o Sheff.

Also, the Yankmes in 96 had an average age of 30, which pales in comparison to their average age of *34* today. That '96 team had a lot of players that came up through the farm system... and today's team has the same core of players that came up (Jeter, Posada, Bernie Williams, Hammer of God). Without grooming anyone, what happens? You just keep buying expensive free agents ad infinitum.

Lowitski wrote: "It looks like I few little world series teams have a significant amount of "youths" that play a significant role."

Older pitchers seem to be the difference maker (Johnson/Schilling, Clemens, etc). I don't know how much I agree with this statement for position players. Think Derek Jeter was important to any of those Yankees World Series? He's, what, 31 now?

I just don't think it's true to say that WS teams must to be stacked with veterans. Plus, if it doesn't work, you get stuck with a bunch of guys you can't trade or risk injury.

The Giants have gotten far older position players since 2002 (outfield avg. 33.6 in 2002 to 35 today incl. Bonds, 38.6 if Grissom is playing!). They've lost, what, 14 of their last 16 with Bonds still out from injury?

Anyway, bottom line: Just getting older isn't the perfect strategy to win. Getting 30 year old "vets" sounds good. 36 year old vets like Sheff, I'm not sure that's a great idea.

Sorry for the long post.

John Hill, you're right on. If we're going to win we need good up the middle defense. Cpat, depsite his frustrating lack of understanding the strike zone, is a good defensive cf that most likely will get better. That said, we need one more stick in the lineup. Depite DuBois' .800 ops, I think LF is the obvious place to upgrade. DuBois is 26. Hollandsworth has been primarliy a bench player throughout his career. Trading DuBois to an AL team is NOT high risk. Trading for Sheffield isn't bad unless you mortgage the future. He's old, the steriod allegations, the reputation, etc... Randy Winn from Seattle would be good. As for trading Mitre-I'd rather trade Maddux.

What trading for Sheff would cause the Cubs to mortgage the future? Say what? Huh? Did I just read that? Hello?

Trading Dubois, Patterson and Mitre would deplete our farm system? Holy Cow someone alert the Cubs! End this rumor quickly, our farm system is about to get raped!

This is the same arguement we had years ago with Rolen and Thome even though they were much younger then. Their production and leadership would of already put a World Series title in Chicago by now. What was the price then? Juan Cruz and Bobby Hill for Rolen. Blocking Choi for Thome. Go back and look at posts and other sites. The price was too large then to trade or sign those guys because our sure bet prospects were going to produce.

If Patterson doesn't produce quickly it will be Pie's job. I dont have a magic time machine to see if Patterson will produce or not in 10 years. But right now Felix Pie as the EXACT odds that Corey Patterson has at being a productive CFer. And that troubles me if I am a GM trying to build a winner. Something has to give. And if Sheff is what I can get in return I take my unknown factor and turn it into something I can realistically count on for the next 2 seasons.

No one can say they can count on Patterson to do anything except field. In fact we can all count on Patterson to do one thing. To SO and look back at the catcher in a look of disbelief as he takes a seat on the bench. Ask yourself this? How do you get Corey Patterson out? High fastballs, and curves in the dirt. How do you get Sheff out? No one has figured that out yet. Unless Patterson is going to suddenly become that good, getting Sheff would be a no brainer for the next 2 years.

Plus I sure would like to cut out in over 300 AB's this season about 50 SO's from the lineup and add in about 20-30 more walks. Yeah getting Sheff would really suck and screw us over for the future.

If Dubois, Mitre, Patterson are our future the future is very bleak for the Cubs. Spin them now would be wise.

MikeC: "What trading for Sheff would cause the Cubs to mortgage the future? Say what? Huh? Did I just read that? Hello? "

If you're talking about my post, no, actually you didn't read that at all. Look back and you can see that the statement was in a paragraph about the Yankees.

"If Dubois, Mitre, Patterson are our future the future is very bleak for the Cubs. Spin them now would be wise. "

Mike, I don't disagree with you in this specific case. My post was purely to express that age does not necessarily mean winning a world series.

Anyway, if Hendry thinks trading for Sheff is the right thing to do, so be it. It's his job on the line, not mine. I don't agree that age equals good (though Sheff specifically is good). I also wish trading for a 36 year old headcase wasn't our only or best option. The Cubs just got rid of a 36 year old headcase in the offseason.

John -- I agree with your points. I think CF defense is hugely important, and can save a ton of runs, esp. playing in parks like SD, Col, etc. with huge outfields. And trading Mitre, now?? I think that would be a horrible idea. I know 2 starts does not make a career, but the kid looks like he has finally got it. Not just 2 great outings, but look at the GO/FO ratio. AMAZING. & w/ the wind blowing out in the summer, how valuable is that? Right now, he is also healthy, which is a lot more than is true about other starters. Hell, we have KORONKA starting for us. The Cubs need corner outfield help, but getting an injury-prone Sheffield, who is 36, for Mitre & Patterson hurts us short-term & long-term.

big lowitzki >>>
04 - Red Sox - mostly veterans, very little youth
03 - Marlins - lots of youth
02 - Anaheim - some youth (K-Rod), mostly veterans
01 - Arizon - lots of veterans, little youth
00 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
99 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
98 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
97 - Marlins - Mostly veterans, some youth
96 - Yankees - lots of veterans, little youth
95 - Atlanta - veterans

Alright, I've compiled average age for the WS roster for these years, just to see if what you are saying is accurate. It is totally not accurate (pulled from baseball-alamanac.com):

95 - Atlanta (You simply called veterans, this really confused me... unless you mean they are veterans now...) - Avg Age: 28.52 (Also keep in mind this is their average age in 1995)
96 - Yankees (You called lots of veterans little youth), Avg Age: 30.48
97 - Marlins (You said mostly veterans, some youth), Avg Age: 28.96
98 - Yankees - Avg Age: 29.81
99 - Yankees - Avg Age: 31.91
00 - Yankees - Avg Age: 33.00
01 - Diamondbacks (By far my favorite world series) - Avg Age: 32.00
02 - Anaheim - Avg Age: 28.64
03 - Marlins - Avg Age: 28.05
04 - Red Sox - Avg Age: 31.81

Yankees current avg age: 34.32 (31-32, 4th)

The question of trading Patterson should turn on two questions (1) how close is Pie, and (2) what do you do at CF until Pie is ready. You then balance the opportunity cost of any transaction against other moves that you forgo. Even if you assume Pie will be ready in two years, the trade does not make sense for the Cubs.

The theory of a Corey/Mitre/DuBois for Sheffield is that Sheffield should be productive for the two years -- long enough for Pie to develop. Presumably, Steinbrenner would still pay the lion's share of Sheffield's salary, always a plus.

But this theory breaks down because it does not solve the problem the Cubs have offensively and it makes it that much harder for us to solve it. That problem is offensive production at corner outfield -- not center. Corey, faults and all, is in the top 25% of CFs in baseball. Sheffield's not a center fielder any more, which means we would have to play Holly every day, slide Burnitz over to CF and put Sheffield in right. The net result is an outfield only slightly better offensively than what we have now -- Sheff's production must be balanced against having to bat Holly against lefties, a major downgrade. And that outfield is certainly worse defensively and borders on being the worst in the division and possibly the entire NL. And it is a more injury-prone OF.

But the real problem with the deal is the opportunity cost. Mitre and Hairston should be sufficient to purchase a strong corner OF from a number of teams -- possibly one with not as much potential offensive punch as Sheffield, but one that can still rake better than the Holly/DuBois platoon. Here are some candidates, without mentioning the word "Huff":

Jody Gerut, CLE
Juan Rivera, LAA
Eric Byrnes, OAK
Mark Kotsay, OAK
Brad Wilkerson, WAS (only if Nats fall out of contention, which seems less and less likely)
Brian Giles, SDG (if Padres falter...he is 34 and quite expensive)
Matt Lawton, PIT (which might be the best fit and most gettable player of this bunch)

And don't put it past Hendry to make a run at Jason Bay of the Pirates.

Trading Mitre and/or Hairston for one of the above would put us in a far superior position, both immediate and long-term, than Mitre/Corey/DuBois for Sheffield.

Hi,

Sheffield stinks defensively. He can't throw at all. The only reason he's still even in the field is because the Yankees already have 5 other DH's on the roster.

Now about his base-stealing. 6 for 7 is pretty good, but when did he get those 6 stolen bases? Were they in high-leverage situations? I doubt it.

Helton-no good, won't happen. That would put us in the same situation Sosa did.
Trading C-Pat for Sheffield= no good.

I wouldn't mind seeing Dubois and Mitre (or two minor league pitchers) for Damon (who can't throw well enough for center field anyway), not sure what boston would do about CF then- maybe flip Dubois to some other team.

Chad--"Corey Patterson is a mediocre power hitter AT BEST. 24 home runs ties him for 58th in the major leagues last year. That is not a "power hitters's" numbers."

So he's a mediocre power hitter. That's still a power hitter. What else does Corey do with the bat? Does he make a lot more contact and thereby hit for average? Does he do nothing besides take four balls? No, I didn't think so. But what he does do, and this is pretty indisputable, is he hits for power. 24 home runs, 33 doubles and 6 triples (in 2004), 63 extra-base hits and a slugging percentage regularly 200 points above his batting average. That's power. Not overwhelming blink your eyes, shake your head and call it steroids power, but power all the same.

Chad--John you are DEAD wrong about him on the basepaths. He stinks! Yes he has blazing speed but he has NO BASERUNNING savvy. There is a HUGE difference.

Not a big enough difference that Patterson isn't getting the results. Corey's now attempted 100 steals in his major league career. He's been successful 80 times, which my mathz makes to be 80%. Well above the break-even point of about 73.1%, which means that his baserunning is comfortably adding runs to the team's cause.

Now I agree with you that how Corey steals those bases is pretty unrefined. I don't think he reads pitchers from first any better than he does when standing with a bat in his hands at the plate. As a result, he's certainly no Scott Podsednik, capable of stealing a bag pretty much whenever. But he has got blazing speed, and when he does run, which over the course of a full-season these days is at a 30 successful steals a year rate, not be balked at, he manages to get himself there in time by and large. Could he do with improving? Absolutely. Does he stink? Get real.

Honestly, I know this is the day and age of gratuitous Corey-bashing being really cool and what not, because Jay Mariotti says so or something, but really, you to take it to extremes. There are lots of legitimate knocks on Patterson. But power and stealing bases are not among them.

Manny--"Great so it is OK to have a underperforming Corey, because he is cheap. Sound like the Cubs are now the TB Devil Rays."

Yes, it's okay to have average players (for Corey, right now, is one, if not slightly better) making less than average money. Congratulations. You have figured it out. Your novelty prize cheque is in the post.

It is not possible to have a superstar earning $10m at every position, regardless of whether you're called the Yankees, Cubs or Devil Rays. So you take what you can get on the cheap at positions where you don't have a superstar so you can afford superstars elsewhere. It's really not rocket science, just simple economics.

And the Cubs are in a good situation with Corey, because to an extent as a result of arbitration he'll earn what his performance deserves (relative to the rest of baseball) for a few years yet (through 2007). Actually, it's better than that. For if he never improves, merely average production for the Cubs, merely average money for Corey. But if he does improve, nearer superstar production for the Cubs, not quite so near superstar money for Corey, because what you can earn in service time arbitration regardless of who you are is pretty much capped at about $8m.

Right now then is not the time to be selling Corey. This time next year or the year after that, if things haven't improved, then you think about it.

Carmen--"If we're going to win we need good up the middle defense. CPat, despite his frustrating lack of understanding the strike zone, is a good defensive cf that most likely will get better. That said, we need one more stick in the lineup. Despite Dubois' .800 OPS, I think LF is the obvious place to upgrade. Dubois is 26. Hollandsworth has been primarliy a bench player throughout his career. Trading Dubois to an AL team is NOT high risk. Trading for Sheffield isn't bad unless you mortgage the future."

Well, I wouldn't go as far as saying that trading Patterson represents mortgaging the future, but as I've continually expressed now, I don't think it represents a good move at all.

I agree with you we need one more big bat in the lineup. I've pretty much said this all year long, and if we could acquire Sheffield without compromising too much of the rest of the time, that'd be a good solution. I would definately not be opposed to trading Dubois as part of a reasonably modest package to net him. That is, if he's available at an agreeable price, and I highly doubt it.

Carmen--"As for trading Mitre-I'd rather trade Maddux."

I'm not entirely sure about that. I certainly wouldn't mind moving Maddux (although I've got to be careful about saying that, some Maddux loyalists love to jump on this kind of thing), but right now I think represents a good time to trade Mitre. His value right now is pretty high, and the Cubs have a roster crunch, for next year the competition for spots at the back of the rotation behind Prior, Zambrano and Wood will be fierce...

Greg Maddux (option year will almost surely vest)
Jerome Williams
Angel Guzman (will be out of options)
Sergio Mitre (will be out of options)
Glendon Rusch (has the option himself of whether to return or not)

And that's just considering the starters that I'm entirely confident could do a good enough job next year (so leaving aside the likes of Rich Hill, Renyel Pinto). Obviously something has to give. Maddux obviously is unlikely to be traded, and as long as he's not he'll have a rotation spot. Even if we suppose Rusch seeks free agency, that would still leave three into one for the final spot. I suppose we could move both Guzman and Williams to the bullpen (Guzman for inning reasons, Williams because he lacks a great third pitch), and let Mitre start, but a) that'd be a waste because Guzman and Williams are both good enough to start, and b) it's not as though we're likely to be short on relief arms either, is it?

Keith--"And trading Mitre, now?? I think that would be a horrible idea. I know 2 starts does not make a career, but the kid looks like he has finally got it. Not just 2 great outings, but look at the GO/FO ratio. AMAZING. & w/ the wind blowing out in the summer, how valuable is that? Right now, he is also healthy, which is a lot more than is true about other starters."

And I bet that other teams will look at the fact he's got it and be willing to give up value in return. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, and his performance lately has been invaluable, but that still doesn't get us away from the roster crunch come next year. And Mitre's value now may be as high as it'll ever be. The only problem with trading him now would be finding someone to start in the short-term until Prior and Wood return, and then having to hope the rotation stays healthy once those two are back in it. That's a bit of a problem, obviously.

John Hill:
"Right now then is not the time to be selling Corey. This time next year or the year after that, if things haven't improved, then you think about it."

This is the time to sell him...If he continues to underperform the next two years we will never be able to get anything of value for him and we would of wasted 5 years hoping he would turn into half the player we thought he could. I leave it up to Dusty and Hendry to make that decision. They know better if he can improve, but I personally would have him on the block.

Manny--If he continues to underperform the next two years we will never be able to get anything of value for him and we would of wasted 5 years hoping he would turn into half the player we thought he could."

The operative word being that nice big if. It's a definite possibility, yes, but I disagree that even should Corey not progress within the next two years, we'd not be able to get anything of value for him. You need to look at some of the players other teams are running out in centre everyday. There'll always be some market for Corey as a result, even if he remains merely an (at least) average centre fielder overall, as he is now. There's also a possibility that Corey improves, perhaps enormously, in which case this would represent selling low on Corey.

Besides, you say you personally have Corey on the block, so who are you replacing him with in centre?

Manny--"I leave it up to Dusty and Hendry to make that decision."

Fortunate that, because Dusty and Hendry were afraid you were going to make the decision for them!

"This is the time to sell him...If he continues to underperform the next two years we will never be able to get anything of value for him and we would of wasted 5 years hoping he would turn into half the player we thought he could."

If all Corey ever does is play average CF for a modest salary for five years that is not a waste, that is a definite PLUS.

The Cubs will not win a World Series unless they have at least some players playing better than they are paid. Patterson is doing just that. Sheffield is not.

That's not saying Sheffield couldn't help the team this year. But if we pay his salary plus give up several prospects AND Patterson we are paying retail + 50%. That's not a good bargain unless you are very sure that the difference between Sheffield + Hairston and Dubois + Patterson is the difference between winning a WS and not.

John Hill:
"Besides, you say you personally have Corey on the block, so who are you replacing him with in centre?"

Burnitz can fill in there and we can go get a legit corner OF. Also, most of you argument too is based on the word "IF", just like my argument (if Corey improves). Corey's value is more now as he is not maiking much money in 2 years he will be a FA and demand market cost and his value will diminish more.

John Hill:
"Fortunate that, because Dusty and Hendry were afraid you were going to make the decision for them!"

Well, with your book report like posts, I am shocked they won't consult you...

Manny--"Also, most of you argument too is based on the word 'IF'"

My argument is that if Corey never gets better, he'd still be worth us owning him, and that if he does get better, he'd be great to own. Yes, it is based on the word if then. Unfortunately for your argument, those ifs cover both of the two most likely eventualities.

Yuh, Burnitz can fill in at centre field and basically hit like Corey, field a lot worse than Corey and run the bases worse than Corey while costing more money. A few questions.

1) If Sheffield gets injured or his performance falls off a cliff this year, which you have to consider a pretty plausible possibility given his age and injury history, what happens then? An outfield of Dubois, Burnitz and Hollandsworth? Oh joy. If the injury or decline only happen next year, say this time next year, what do the Cubs do then? Will you ever bitch about Sheffield's lack of production, his bloated contract or the fact he doesn't get on well with anyone else?

2) At the end of the year the Cubs have a big hole at centre field they need to fill (because I'm assuming the Cubs will have the sense to avoid paying Burnitz $7m or whatever it is next year. Then again, I thought they had the sense to avoid paying Burnitz $4.5m a year, and I was mistaken). Because they're spending $13m on right field, do they go find someone that can play centre field for a year or so, regardless of the fact there aren't many options out there? Do they make a big splash on Juan Pierre on not spend money elsewhere, say shortstop? Or do they rush Pie to the majors? If they rush Pie to the majors, will you in five years time possibly be complaining about how he's not producing as you had hoped and that therefore he needs to be traded?

John Hill:
"Yuh, Burnitz can fill in at centre field and basically hit like Corey"

Hmm...let's see.

Patterson-.257/.292/.412/.704 10 HR 22 RBI
Burnitz-.280/.331/.488/.819 11 HR and 40 RBI

Burntiz DOES NOT basically hit like Patterson his numbers in every category is better than Patterson and in some by A LOT. You cannot just sluff it off as about the same like you did, because they are not.

Again, just like you tried to knock down my argument you keep using teh "IFS" for your argument, but I guess it is OK for you. How many times over the past 3 years did we hear about Alou going tio get hurt??? Hundreds?? Well he didn't, so until he does, it is only hypothetical. Also, to turn the tables and use your flawed argument, What if we don't trade and Cpat gets injured, then what will the OF look like. See how easy it was to turn you argument around??

My idea would be to leave Burny in CF next year till Pie is ready. And yes if after 5 years Pie is not performing anywhere close to his potential, then i would be looking to trade him.

Handy. Select an okay stretch from Burnitz and a very disappointing one from Corey, then try and pass it off as a comparison of their true abilities.

And, yes, it's kind of important that I use 'ifs', because, believe it or not, I'm not Nostradamus. And obviously we're talking hypothetically. We all know that we're not getting Sheffield.

If Corey gets injured, yes, things get messy. But what happens if Prior and Zambrano retire from baseball tomorrow because they find it too easy? And what happens if Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez are traded to Tampa Bay for Alex Sanchez? Some things are less likely eventualities than others. And Corey's a lot less likely to get injured than Sheffield. So you've turned my argument (well, actually, it was a question) around, big deal. Now try turning it around so you have a convincing counter argument.

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