TCR Friday Notes

Well glad thatís all over, onto baseballís fourth season, the oven is warminí and the rumors are poppiní. Free Agents With the World Series ending, players can begin to file for free agency. The first Cub casualty was Jeromy Burnitz who appears to have had his $7 million option bought out by the team for $500,000. A lot of folks spent last season comparing Sosa and Burnitzís 2005 seasons. I always felt that Burnitz needed to equal Sosaís 2004 season and in my ever-present early season optimism, thought he was up for the task. And I was wrongÖ 2005 Burnitz: .258/.322/.435 24 HR, 87 RBI, 84 R, 57 BB, 109 K, 160 Games 2004 Sosa: .253/.332/.517 35 HR, 80 RBI, 69 R, 56 BB, 133 K, 126 Games Okay his defense was better than Sosaís, which as you know, helped us lose more games than 2004 and helped our pitching staff regress from one of the leagueís best to middle of the road. So yeah, that didnít work out at all. And no, Iím not blaming Burnitz's defense for those unfortunate circumstances just stating what I think the overall value of right field defense is to winning ballgames. Heíll seek a starting job somewhere or possibly retire and if we had a team where I wouldnít have to worry about the manager playing him everyday over a more deserving younger player, Iíd be inclined to keep the lines of communication open and see if he wouldnít mind being a bench player. The Cubs apparently have 3 days to decide on Todd Walkerís option and also hold an opton on Scott Williamson. Glendon Rusch has his own option which he must decide upon in the very near future and of course Nomar and Neifi should be filing for free agency in the upcoming days. In the same Trib article, it also does a bit of rumor mongering claiming the Rangers are interested in Corey Patterson. In other free agents newsÖ - Brian Giles turned down a three year, $21 million dollar offer from the Padres and filed for free agency. His agent stated that the offer wasnít even close to getting anything done. - Billy Wagner turned down either 3 years /$24 million and a no-trade clause OR 2 years with an option for 2008 and incentives that would have made the deal worth up to $27 million, depending on your sources. Wagner would like Rivera money at about 3 years/$30 million and a no-trade clause. And thatís just silly. But it doesnít hurt to ask, right? - Once the Theo Epstein saga is settled, Johnny Damon reiterated that Boston is still his first choice and would like to open up talks as soon as possible. Minor League Free Agents The Cubs did some work on the minor league front, resigning the following players: 1B/OF Brandon Sing RHP Lee Gwaltney LHP Phil Norton LHP Yorkin Ferreras INF Aaron Sisk C Casey Kopitzke The following players were released: RHP Walt Nolen RHP Alfredo Polanco INF Jose Cruz INF Aaron Smith INF Uriak Marquez RHP Armando Fernandez RHP Mick Lefort RHP Erik Foor LHP Jason Terry P Morrow Thomley And according to our resident roster guru, AZ Phil, although I donít know his source, the following players are also minor league free agents: RHP Talley Haines RHP Jonathan Searles C Mark Johnson INF Cody Ransom OF Calvin Murray AZ Phil also believes that Cliff Bartosh and Nate Frese were retained by the Cubs, but I have yet to find corroborating evidence. Winter Leagues I looked around some of the winter league team pages and found the following players with Cubs ties on rosters: Mexican Winter League Casey McGehee Trenidad Hubbard Scott Chiasson Chirs Walker Dominican Winter League P Alfredo Francisco P Carlos Marmol P Juan Mateo P Adalberto Mendez P Juan Cruz P Alfredo Polanco P Francis Beltran C Sandy Martinez 3B Aramis Ramirez LF Henry Rodriguez CF Felix Pie P Roberto Novoa P Ed Campusano C Oscar Bernard INF Brendan Harris Pie and most of the other Cubbies in the DWL, play for the Licey Tigers who have a roster of close to 100 players , but only about 30 or so have seen playing time so far. Iím guessing a lot of players are allowed to join the team like Pedro Martinez, Aramis and Vlad Guerrero and then can get into a game whenever they so choose. Pie so far is 8/24 in 7 games for a line of .333/.414/.625 with 2 doubles, a triple a home run and 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. In the VWL, Greenberg is hitting .350/.409/.500 in 10 games and about 40 at-bats. Next week, the rumors will really start flying, plus GM meeting are the week after. Should be funÖ
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Comments

Brian Giles filed for free agency, I would like to see him in Right next year seeing as Hendry has a bit of dough to throw around!

Giles wants a 4 year deal. I'd be afraid of paying him 10mm+ in 2008 and 2009. That said, we need a bat in RF and I don't see many better options at least in the short term. I'd almost pay him more to take a 2 year deal so we aren't stuck with him in 3/4 years.

I like Brian Giles, but if a three year, $21M offer "wasnít even close to getting anything done", then I'd take a pass.

First and foremost, the Cubs need Furcal...

ROB G: The six-year minor league FA list was released by MLB last week and appears in Baseball America on-line. The only Cubs on the list were Haines, Searles, M. Johnson, Ransom, Kelton, and Murray. I deduced that Frese and Bartosh (and Norton, Kopitke, and Sing) MUST have been re-signed by the Cubs because they were six-year minor league free-agents and were not on the list of FAs released by MLB that appeared in BA. Frese could have retired, but I doubt that Bartosh did, although it's possible. So if anybody sees Cliff Bartosh, please ask him to phone TCR and let us know what's up.

Also, I have posted this before (going back several weeks or months), but I will say it again...

I predict with reasonable surety that David Kelton will either sign a AAA with his hometown Atlanta Braves (Chipper Jones is his idol), get invited to Spring Training as a non-roster player, make the Braves 2006 Opening Day Roster, and platoon in LF in 2006 with Ryan Langerhans or Kelly Johnson, or, he will sign a deal to play in Japan (the latter possibility is per a conversaation I overheard in the HoHoKam Hospitality Room last March).

POTENTIAL MLB FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2005 SEASON (8):
Jeromy Burnitz (club has already exercised option to pay $500,000 buy-out for 2006)
Chad Fox
Nomar Garciaparra
Ben Grieve
Neifi Perez
Glendon Rusch (player option for 2006)
Todd Walker (club option for 2006)
Scott Williamson (club option for 2006)

SIGNED FOR 2006 (10):
Michael Barrett - $4m
Henry Blanco - $1.5m
Ryan Dempster - $4.33m + $1.5m in potential bonuses
Derrek Lee - $8.67m
Greg Maddux - $9m
Aramis Ramirez - $10.5m
Glendon Rusch - $2m +$1.2m in bonuses for games started (player option)
Todd Walker - $2.5m (club option)
Scott Williamson - $2m (club option)
Kerry Wood - $12m (also has ìno tradeî clause in contract through 2006 season)
ALSO: Jeromy Buirnitz ($500,000 buy-out)
TOTAL FOR PLAYERS SIGNED & BUY-OUTS FOR 2006 ñ $57m

FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2006 SEASON:
Henry Blanco
Jerry Hairston, Jr
Derrek Lee
Jose Macias
Greg Maddux
Aramis Ramirez (player option for 2007)
Glendon Rusch
Todd Walker
Scott Williamson
Kerry Wood (club option to pay $13m salary in 2007 or $3m buy-out, plus player option to be a free-agent after 2006 season if 400 IP in 2005-06 ñ also ìno tradeî through 2006 season)

ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION AFTER 2005 SEASON (6-7):
Jerry Hairston, Jr - $1.8m (+$300,000 in incentives) salary in 2005
Jose Macias - $830,000 salary in 2005
Will Ohman - $325,000 salary in 2005
Corey Patterson - $2.8m 2005
Mark Prior - $3.55m salary in 2005
Carlos Zambrano - $3.76m salary in 2005
NOTE: Jerome Williams could qualify for arbitration as ìSuper Twoî ñ TBD
ESTIMATED TOTAL SALARIES FOR PLAYERS ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION IF ALL ARE TENDERED CONTRACTS FOR 2006 - $22m (Zambrano $7.5m, Prior $6m, Patterson $3m, Hairston $2.5m, Macias $750,000, and Ohman $750,000, plus $1.5m for Jerome Williams if ìSuper Twoî).

SUB-TOTAL ñ $79m

AUTO-RENEWAL FOR 2006 (PRE-ARBITRATION)
David Aardsma
Ronny Cedeno
Mike Fontenot
Adam Greenberg
Angel Guzman
Rich Hill
John Koronka
# Jon Leicester
Richard Lewis
Scott McClain
# Sergio Mitre
Matt Murton
Roberto Novoa
Renyel Pinto
Russ Rohlicek
Geovany Soto
Ryan Theriot
Jermaine Van Buren
# Todd Wellemeyer
Jerome Williams (or could qualify for arbitraion as ìSuper Twoî- TBD)
Michael Wuertz
TOTAL 2006 SALARIES FOR AUTO-RNEWAL PLAYERS ON 25-MAN ROSTER - $3m

FURTHER SUB-TOTAL - $82m

# OUT OFMINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2006:
Jon Leicester
Sergio Mitre
Todd Wellemeyer

ONE OPTION YEAR LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2006:
Ronny Cedeno
Richard Lewis
Roberto Novoa
Will Ohman (must clear waivers to be optioned)
Corey Patterson (must clear waivers to be optioned)
Renyel Pinto
Jerome Williams (must clear waivers to be optioned)

TWO OPTION YEARS LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2006:
* David Aardsma (eligible for 4th option year)
Mike Fontenot
* Angel Guzman (eligible for 4th option year)
Rich Hill
John Koronka
Scott McClain
Mark Prior (must clear waivers to be optioned)
Russ Rohlicek
Geovany Soto
Michael Wuertz
Carlos Zambrano (must clear waivers tro be optioned)

THREE OPTION YEARS LEFT AS OF NEXT SPRING TRAINING
Adam Greenberg
Matt Murton
Ryan Theriot

PLAYERS ON 25-MAN ROSTER MOST LIKELY TO BE DROPPED PRIOR TO 2005 RULE 5 DRAFT:
Richard Lewis
Scott McClain
Russ Rohlicek
Ryan Theriot

PLAYERS MOST LIKELY TO BE ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER PRIOR TO RULE 5 DRAFT:
Bobby Brownlie
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Ricky Nolasco
Felix Pie
Jae-kuk Ryu
Brandon Sing

ELIGIBLE FOR RULE 5 DRAFT (DECEMBER 2005):
Josh Arteaga
Thomas Atlee
Dwaine Bacon
Federico Baez
Cliff Bartosh
Chadd Blasko
Bobby Brownlie
Rocky Cherry
Robinson Chirinos
Matt Clanton
Buck Coats
Kevin Collins
Jon Connolly
Matt Craig
Matt Creighton
Brian Dopirak
Yorkin Ferreras
Jacob Fox
Nate Frese
Jordan Gerk
Lee Gwaltney
Luke Hagerty
Micah Hoffpauir
Nic Jackson
J.. J. Johnson
Casey Kopitzke
Aaron Krawiec
Drew Larsen
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Juan Mateo
Casey McGehee
Luis Montanez
Scott Moore
Ricky Nolasco
Phil Norton
Sean OíMalley
Paul OíToole
Billy Petrick
Felix Pie
Carmen Pignatiello
Victor Ramos
Robert Ransom
Clay Rapada
Jose Reyes
Alan Rick
Carlos Rojas
Jae-kuk Ryu
Jonathan Searles
Andy Shipman
Brandon Sing
Aaron Sisk
Jemel Spearman
Jason Szuminski
Anderson Tavarez
Raul Valdez
Carlos Vazquez
Chris Walker
Randy Wells
Jason Wylie

40-MAN ROSTER AS OF OCTOBER 24, 2005:

PITCHERS (20 + 2 60-DAY DL) :
David Aardsma
Ryan Dempster
Chad Fox (on 60-day DL, eligible for free-agency)
Angel Guzman
Rich Hill
John Koronka
Jon Leicester
Greg Maddux
Sergio Mitre
Roberto Novoa
Will Ohman
Renyel Pinto
Mark Prior
Russ Rohlicek
Glendon Rusch (eligible for free-agency)
Jermaine Van Buren
Todd Wellemeyer
Jerome Williams
Scott Williamson (club option for 2006)
Kerry Wood (on 60-day DL)
Michael Wuertz
Carlos Zambrano

CATCHERS (3):
Michael Barrett
Henry Blanco
Geovany Soto

INFIELDERS (12):
Ronny Cedeno
Mike Fontenot
Nomar Garciaparra (eligible for free-agency)
Jerry Hairston, Jr
Derrek Lee
Richard Lewis
Jose Macias
Scott McClain
Neifi Perez (eligible for free-agency)
Aramis Ramirez
Ryan Theriot
Todd Walker (club option for 2006)

OUTFIELDERS (4):
Adam Greenberg
Ben Grieve (eligible for free-agency)
Matt Murton
Corey Patterson

HAS FILED FOR FREE-AGENCY
Jeromy Burnitz

wasn't doubting AZ Phil, just like to see it for myself and the folks here like links. Do you have a link for the 2005 minor league free agents? I can only find the 2004 list on baseball america or does it require a subscription?

So based on that it looks like we have about 15-20mm available for FAs this year?

The Cubs have a lot more play room than that, first it's no guarantee that all the options will be picked up, second it's no guarantee that all those auto-renewals will be with the team, third, arbitration figures are an estimate and no guarantee all those players will be back either. A lot also depends on the actual payroll Trib gives and how much wiggle room Hendry wants for mid-season pickups.

I think the estimate is far closer to $40 mil, I actually worked up the numbers but I'm saving it for a later post.

ROB G: Subscription, unfortunately.

espn 1000 reporting that the cubs and Rusch are close on a 2 year, $6M deal.

that better be for relief and spot starts...

Levine is reporting Cubs will resign Rusch next week at 2/6. If true I guess Jwill is on the block. With the rumors today of the Rangers wanting Cpat maybe a Cpat and Jwill for Soriano/Sarge Jr trade will happen.

"espn 1000 reporting that the cubs and Rusch are close on a 2 year, $6M deal. that better be for relief and spot starts."

ELI 18,

You dont pay a guy 3 mil to spot start. He will be our 5th starter. Like I said in my post above Jwill is probably trade bait. Lets hope its for a guy like Dunn or Manram. Because that guy is chalkful of potential. I have a bad feeling on this Rusch contract.

I think the estimate is far closer to $40 mil, I actually worked up the numbers but I'm saving it for a later post.

Considering the Cubs are going to have more than $60M locked up by 9 players (Z, Maddux, Prior, Wood, Lee, Barrett, Blanco, Dempster and Ramirez), I'm not sure how you'd arrive at $40M.

It's looking like $25 - $30M at best, assuming a $100M payroll, which is far from a given.

it was wishful thinking...

if rusch is penciled into the 06 rotation, the season's already started on a sour note.

No, if that's true, Rusch is coming to be a starter. I don't get it...

It would appear that he'd take the 5th spot in the rotation and either Williams is moving to the pen or on the block. Williams is cheaper, probably can cover first base on a grounder to the right side and has a whole lot more potential than Rusch. Heck, he's just about as good as Rusch right now.

Just say NO to Soriano ...and SARGE JR? Your kidding right? his line in the friendliest hitters park not named Coors last year:
.255/.320/.436

marginal bench player at best

if ESPN 1000 is right, I am currently gouging out my own eyeballs.

Plus I think Sarge Jr. is a FA anyway....

Cubs.com says the Cubs picked up Walker and Williamson's options.

ROB G & X: I figured the $3 mil figure for "auto-renewal" (pre-arbitration) players like this:

1. Players signed for next season - 10 (at this time)
2. Players eligible for arbitration - 6 or 7 (at this time, 6 or 7 depending on whether Jerome Williams is a "Super-Two")
3. Auto Renewals - 8 or 9 - TBD (at this time, pending free-agents to be added and whether J. Williams is a "Super-Two")

Then I do the math:

8.5 (that is, 8 or 9 auto-renewal players - TBD) X $350,000 (average auto-renewal salary) = $3 mil.

Also, it's VERY likely that Glendon Rusch will exercise his player option and file for free-agency, so an additional $2 mil can be subtracted from the $82 mil aggregate payroll at that time. And if Jerome Williams is not designated as a "Super-Two," then you can subtract another $1 mil.

As far as "auto-renewals" are concerned, the number of "auto renewal" players on the 25-man roster would decline by one for each FA signed. So if (for instance) three FAs are signed, you would subtract $1 mil from payroll because that would be three fewer roster spots to be filled (in theory) by so-called "auto-renewal" (or "pre-arbitration") players.

My guess-timates for arbitration figures are just that, but if you'll look back to last Winter here at TCR, my in-advance guess-timates for arbitration players' salaries were pretty darn accurate (check out my predictions for Corey Patterson and Carlos Zambrano--almost exact).

Additionally, if Corey Patterson and Jerry Hairston, Jr are traded (as I expect), that would be another $5.5 mil in available payroll. And if C-Pat and JHJ are turned into players who fill needs otherwise thought to be filled by free-agents, that would mean less money needed to sign whatever free-agents are eventually signed.

well to be fair, it is levine and if I went through all the times that someone posted what he was reporting on ESPN 1000, you'd find out he was far more wrong than right. If it is true, as I mentioned, what a waste. We have at least 6 prospects/youngins who could compete(Hill, Mitre, Guzman, Williams, Nolasco and Pinto) for the job of 5th starter next year, all with better 'stuff' than Rusch and of course cheaper. Unless Rusch backed off his stance of "I want to be a starter", I don't like this move at all, particularly if it precludes us from going after some marquee players in free agency or trades.

your arb figures are pretty close to what I came up with as well. I disagree a bit with C-Pat, he's either getting low-balled at $2.24 mil (the maximum 20% paycut allowable) or at the VERY MOST getting the same he got this year. I have Z at $8 mil, and the rest about the same.

I have Prior down for $2.5 million next year according to hardball dollars and cot's baseball contracts has him at $2 million. The clause I read was that he could void 2005 and 2006 contracts, IF he qualified for arbitration after the 2004 season, which he did not? Did I miss something where is now arb-eligible (highly possible). Even if he is arb-eligible, I would guess more like $5 mil because of all the games he's missed over the last 2 years.

Rob G.

Sarge Jr. is a 6th year arb eligable player. Why I would do a Cpat and pitching proscept ( ALA it is not Guzman, Gallager, Nolasco, or Pawelek) for Soriano ASSUMING he would play RF and bat 5th and not play 2b and bat 2nd. The deal I mentioned I would not do, but I was throwing it out there as a possibility. I hope this Rusch move is one of two things:

1. Hendry is feeding Levine BS to keep Burnett's suitors (BAL and TOR) from not making a strong offer thinking that the one big market team interested went elsewhere then snap him up.

2. The Trib has told Hendry to win at all cost and he can now afford to give spot starters 2/6 contracts.

either scenerio is unlikely but we can hope.

And if the Cubs in fact DO sign Glendon Rusch for two years for $6 mil ($3 mil per year), then disregard what I said in my previous post about it being VERY likely that Glendon Rusch will exercise his player option and file for free-agency.

It should be pretty obvious (even to the Cubs brain-trust) that Rusch is a crummy reliever (he allows too many hits & base-runners), so signing him for two years must mean (I would think) that the Cubs figure Rusch as the #5 starter.

Figuring that Rusch would be re-signed to start (and not relieve), that means Jerome Williams will almost certainly be on the trading block (probably as part of a package to acquire a RF in a trade instead of signing one as a FA), along with Patterson and Hairston. And it won't be a starting pitcher (I had thought possibly Kip Wells or Jason Jenings) that the Cubs get back in a C-Pat deal, either.

If Paul Sullivan is right about the Texas Rangers expresing interest in Corey Patterson (and it kinda makes sense, because C-Pat can hit 9th in that lineup), then Gary Matthews Jr would probably be what the Cubs would and could get back for him. Matthews would fit the profile of a "bridge" to Felix Pie in CF, at which point he would become the "4th outfielder." Think about it... Sarge Jr is EXACTLY the type of player Dusty likes...

Plays good defense? Check.
Can he play CF? Check.
Switch-hitter? Check.
Above-average speed? Check.
Can he hit home runs? Check.
Is he an aggressive hitter who hates to take a walk? Check.

So that's settled then.

Corey Patterson for Gary Matthews, Jr.

Hey guys, the Cubs just exercised options on both Todd Walker and Scott Williamson!

If we start the season with Gary Matthews Jr. is CF every day, I'll have a really bad taste in my mouth.

ROB G: Prior made $3.55 mil in 2005 per his original five-year deal ($10.5 mil plus incentive-escalators that have since increased the value of his contract to $12.1 mil). As part of the deal, he had the option to void the deal after 2004 if he became eligible for arbitration and chose to do so. But since he did not qualify for arbitration after 2004, he couldn't void his deal then, but my understanding was that he could void his contract WHENEVER he first became eligible for arbitration AFTER 2004 (in other words, could have been after 2004, but wasn't, so now it's after 2005).

If he does NOT have the option to void the deal after 2005 and file for arbitration (now that he is finally eligible for arbitration), then he will make exactly $5.15 mil in 2006 ($3.6 mil original 2006 base plus prorated portion of $4 mil signing bonus plus previously-earned incentive-escalators).

So since I can't say for sure that Prior can void his contract and file for arbitration after 2005, change my $6 mil arbitration guess-timate for Prior to the $5.15 mil ($3.6 mil base plus $1.15 mil in previously-earned guaranteed incentive-escalators and prorated portion of $4 mil signing bonus) he would collect per his original five-year deal, because that is a given if his only opportunuity to void the deal was if he had become eligible for arbitration after the 2004 season (only).

This is pure speculation on my part, but I always thought of Prior's option as a performance clause. If he was good enough to qualify as super two performance (thus being arb-eligible after 2004) then he could negate his deal and negotiate a better one. He was not, he was injured and he's still getting paid pretty well. I poked around google a bit and most places say he's arb-eligible after next year, but it's such an obscure clause that it would be easy to miss. We shall see...

ROB G: What is kinda odd about Mark Prior's contract IF the ONLY way he could void it and file for arbitration would have been if he had accumulated enough MLB service time to be eligible for arbitration after the 2004 season is that it would have been almost impossible for that to happen.

For Prior to be eligible for arbitratioin after the 2004 season, he basically would have had to make the Cubs Opening Day roster in 2002 (his FIRST season in pro ball) and remain in the major leagues for three seasons. As it was, he did accumulate 131 days of MLB service time in 2002 (his first season in pro ball) after spending about two months at Iowa, and yet--even with 2 years + 131 days of MLB service time--he STILL did not qualify as a Super-Two after last season!

I can't say for sure if it was done this way, but it would make more sense (from Prior's POV) to have a void clause in the contract if it was tied to whenever Prior actually first became ekligible for arbitration, rather than absolutely only if it happened after the 2004 season. Otherwise, the Cubs would have had an incentive to send Prior to Iowa for a couple of months in 2002 to make it impossible for Prior to opt out of the contract and file for arbitration after the 2004 season. (Hey! That's what they DID!).

After reading that write up by AzP, is that why so many rookies don't break camp with the big squad but get called up in May or June?

"So that's settled then.
Corey Patterson for Gary Matthews, Jr."

But Arizona Phil, that's like trading KKKP for KKKP.
Those two came up around the same time and have remarkably similar career records.

Corey Patterson/Sarge Jr.

AB 2176/2167
R 293/325
H 549/539
RBI 231/236
XBH 190/188
AVG .252/.249
OPS .707/.724

Sarge Jr. walks a whole lot more than Patterson though.

CHAD: I don't think most teams would option a young player or pitcher to the minors just to buy another year of MLB service time toward free-agency or another year before the player can be eligible for arbitration IF the young player or pitcher plays a key role on the team. However, if there is a decent veteran option, or if the young pitcher is the team's "5th starter," it can be very tempting to option a youngster out just long enough (at least 21 days) to buy another year of service time toward free-agency or arbitration (although the "Super Two" rule makes it necessary to keep a young player in the minors for a lot longer than just three weeks to buy another year of "auto-renewal").

For a player to NOT accumulate a full-year of MLB service time, the player must spend at least 21 CONSECUTIVE days in the minors in a given season (not including minor league rehab assignments). If a player is optioned to the minors for 20 days or less (and it could be several different times during the season), the player continues to accrue MLB service time while he is in the minor leagues. It's only after he hits the 21st consecutive day where he begins losing MLB service time, and then he loses the ENTIRE 21 days.

Per the CBA, a MLB "season" for the purpose of MLB service time is 172 days, but the playing season is actually 182 days, so a player can lose up to ten days of MLB service time in a given season and still get credit for a "full season" of MLB service time. The thing is, a player CANNOT lose just ten days of MLB service time in a year. Either the player gets credit for the full season, or he loses 21 days (taking him 11 days under a "full season."

When Mark Prior was optioned out in 2002, he spent 51 days in the minor leagues. So he got credit for 131 days that season. The first 10 days in the minors counted, but only took him to the service time limit. It was only after he went past 20 days that he started to "lose" MLB service time, and he was "down" 11 days right away (again, the first ten days of the 21 did not count against him, and next 11 only counted against him once he reached his 21st consecutive day in the minors).

#31 of 32: By cubswinthepennant (October 28, 2005 06:21 PM)
"So that's settled then.
Corey Patterson for Gary Matthews, Jr."

But Arizona Phil, that's like trading KKKP for KKKP.
Those two came up around the same time and have remarkably similar career records.

Corey Patterson/Sarge Jr.

AB 2176/2167
R 293/325
H 549/539
RBI 231/236
XBH 190/188
AVG .252/.249
OPS .707/.724

Sarge Jr. walks a whole lot more than Patterson though.

----

CWtP: I'm not advocating the trade. It just sounds like something the Cubs would do, with Sarge Jr being the type of CF Dusty can live with until a better option (Felix Pie) arrives. And I believe Corey Patterson WILL be traded this off-season.

It would be one of those generic "change of scenery" deals that could actually benefit both teams. The Cubs would be "cutting their losses," and replacing Corey with a more "stable" player (albeit with a lower "ceiling") with very similar ballplayer characteristics, and the Rangers could benefit greatly if Corey can get himself straightened out and tap into his latent potential. It really would be a "no lose" deal for Texas, because Sarge Jr is going to be a free-agent after 2006 anyway, and I doubt that they had any plans to try and re-sign him.

AZ Phil-
To make a couple small changes to your dollar figures in post #6. This is from my understanding of the deals.

- Michael Barrett will be making $4.13M this year as he has a $400K signing bonus to be spread out over the 3 years (that is why he made $3.13 last year).
- Ryan Dempster's $1M signing bonus was included only in 2006, not over 3 years, so he is making $5M in 2006. (http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/sports/bas...)

Also Foxsports.com shows Grieve declared for Free Agency, McClain refused minor league assignment and is FA and Ramirez was taken off 15 Day DL.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/teamTransactions...

I'm not advocating the trade. It just sounds like something the Cubs would do,.."

Yes it does. Yes it does.

We are doomed.

I'd rather see Hairston Jr in CF than Matthews Jr...but it does make sense for the Rangers. On the days that Hidalgo played RF they had Dellucci in CF with very average speed. In that lineup C-Patt could hit 8th or 9th (even behind Barajas:).

"I'd rather see Hairston Jr in CF than Matthews Jr"

I'd rather poke my eyes out with a butter knife. For crying out loud let's put a real CF in CF. Hairston is a 2B - he plays fairly bad CF.

If our OF is Nomar, JHJ and Murton, that would mean we put a 2B in CF, a SS in LF, an LF in RF... We already have a bad defensive 3B and 2B and an average defensive C. Assuming this is to add Furcal, our only good defensive players would be Furcal and Lee. No thanks - I'm really not up for seeing a poor defensive team out there every day making it harder on our pitching.

I'm not on the Kenny Lofton bandwaggon - but I'd rather have him than Hairston or Matthews.

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