Leicester to Rangers

With a PTBNL sent to the Cubs in return. The brief announcement can be found here. Leicester, 26, has not yet figured out how to get out left-handed hitters, as his career line of .391/.513/.641/1.153 indicates. But I think the real ground for his relocation is that in 2005 he couldn't get out right-handed hitters, either. 2004: .200/.221/.314/.536 2005: .238/.393/.429/.821 Leicester already had lost his spot in the bullpen in favor of Weurtz and Novoa, among others, so this move does not really change anything when projecting the composition of next year's pen. Rob G.: Nothing more than a move to clear some 40 man roster space. I wouldn't be surprised if a few more were made in the next few days in preparation of the Rule V draft. Speaking of PTBNL, where's our guy from the Orioles? We're due one when Dave Crouthers retired earlier this year. Christian: I have no feelings about Jon Leicester one way or the other. But since getting rid of him for a PTBNL opens up a spot on the 40-man, that should help ensure no Andy Sisco scenarios this year. And that is a good thing.
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They sure did give up on him rather quickly...

I posted this on the previous thread because this one wasn't up yet, but my post applies more to this thread, so here it is again...

#100 of 120: By Arizona Phil (November 16, 2005 01:26 PM)
The Cubs traded Jon Leicester to Texas today for a PTBNL. Leicester (like Mitre & Wellemeyer) was out of minor league options, and would have had to make the Cubs Opening Day roster coming out of Spring Training 2006 or else risk being claimed off waivers if the Cubs had tried to send him back to AAA.

I thought of the three guys out of options, that Leicester actualy had thge best chance to make the Cubs staff next year. Mitre can't pitch efectively out of the bullpen, and Wellemeyer has terrible mechanics, but Leicester pitched OK out of the Cubs bullpen the last half of 2004, and pitched well in his last eight starts at Iowa this year, after struggling early.

One thing this trade does do is open up another spot on thr 40-man roster for a prospect like Carlos Marmol or Sean Marshall. Last year, Hendry made his final roster moves prior to the freezing of the minor league rosters on the Thursday before the final due date (which is a Saturday). So look for the Cubs to make their final moves tomorrow.

My prediction:

DROP:
Richard Lewis
Russ Rohlicek
Ryan Theriot

ADD:
Bobby Brownlie
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
Ricky Nolasco
Felix Pie
Jae-kuk Ryu

And also this one...

#110 of 120: By Arizona Phil (November 16, 2005 02:06 PM)
The thing about a PTBNL is that a lot times, there isn't one. It really should say "cash or a PTBNL."

In August 2004, the Cubs acquired catcher Mike DeFelice from Detroit for a PTBNL, but none was ever actaully sent to Detroit.

Last off-season, the Cubs acquired Stephen Randolph from Arizona for a PTBNL, but none was ever sent to the D'backs.

Before Spring Training 2005, the Cubs acquired Roberto Novoa, Scott Moore, and Bo Flowers from Detroit for Kyle Farnsworth and a PTBNL, but no PTBNL was ever sent to the Tigers.

Last season, David Crouthers (one of the players the Cubs got from Baltimore for Sammy Sosa) retired, but the Cubs did not receive a replacement.

What happens a lot of times is that the team that is expecting a PTBNL ends up getting cash in excess of the $50,000 waiver price (like maybe $100,000) instead of a player, and the team puts the money into the bank to use later for a Rule 5 pick and/or for a waiver claim or two instead. That way, the team gets a couple of players they may actually need at a later time, although the player or players would not be from the team with whom the trade was made.

The Cubs might get a player from Texas, but I would think it more likely that the Cubs will get cash instead (probably $100,000). I think this trade was made mainly to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for another player Hendry wants to keep from losing in the Rule 5 Draft (minor league rosters are "frozen" on Saturday), a player (probably a pitcher) who will have three minor league option years remaining istead of being out of options (like Leicester).

For instance, Bobby Brownlie and Jon Leicester project as similar-type major league pitchers (RHP middle relief), but it would make more sense to keep Brownlie (who would have three minor league options remaining) instead of Leicester (who is out of minor league options), if Hendry saw that as his choice in this case (and Brownlie IS probably "on the bubble"),

As for the other two Cubs who are out of minor league options, I believe Todd Wellemeyer could go in a PTBNL deal, too. I suspect Sergio Mitre will be traded for an actual player, though, because he has more value than Wellemeyer. Mitre appears to be capable of being a #5 starter for at least a half dozen MLB clubs right now, whereas Wellemeyer would eeem to be to project as (at best) a reliever (and that's only if he ever harnesses his control).

I wonder what went wrong with Leicester's 2005 season? Based on his 2004 performance he looked like he was effective and should have been able to build on it last year. It turned out that Wuertz basically took over his bullpen spot in 2005. He was awful last year from the outset. Was there a nagging injury? AZ Phil has said he would up the minor league season doing a bit better, but one probably had to see him pitch to say that since the I-Cub boxscores I looked at were nothing to brag about. I wonder whether the spot start where he gave up three 1st inning runs mentally ruined him last year (May 9th vs Mets).

It's not like this is a major loss as it just gets added to the list of prospects that have brief nice runs in the majors and then head back to oblivion...and God knows that Texas is a good place for forlorn pitching prospects to turn it around or say goodbye. I remember Ron Mahay took that route. (mayday, mayday...). It says too much that JL was brought up to fill Hawkins roster spot and then quickly removed to be replaced by the great John Koronka. Aargh.

JL's 2005 lowlights:

May 10 Jon Leicester, who was called up from Triple-A Iowa to take Ryan Dempster's spot in the rotation, was pulled after three innings Monday night after giving up four runs and five hits, including two homers.

May 10 The Cubs demoted Jon Leicester back to Triple-A Iowa after on Tuesday using him for a spot start on Monday night in which he allowed four runs in three innings of work.

May 29 The Cubs recalled Jon Leicester from Triple-A Iowa on Sunday. He'll fill the bullpen spot vacated by LaTroy Hawkins, who was traded to the Giants on Saturday. Leicester was 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA at Iowa before the promotion.

June 1 The Cubs sent Jon Leicester to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday to create room on the roster for John Koronka, according to the AP. Leicester was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in five relief appearances and one start for the Cubs this season.

And this...

#113 of 120: By Eric the Great (November 16, 2005 02:17 PM)
AZ Phil--good analysis. I agree, Rohlicek, Lewis and Theriot need to be dropped. Mitre and Wellemeyer can't be protected, that would be dumb. Here's a tough one though: do you protect Geovanny Soto again? I don't see any big league teams willing to waste a full season roster spot on Soto as a backup catcher. Use that spot to protect a bubble case like JK Ryu or Bobby Brownlie or Chadd Blasko.

Also--doesn't Renyel Pinto need to be protected this year? Brian Dopirak?

#114 of 120: By Arizona Phil (November 16, 2005 02:32 PM)
ERIC: Renyel Pinto is already on the 40-man roster. He was placed on the 40-man roster after the 2003 season. In fact, Pinto will be one of the guys who will be out of minor league options NEXT off season (Ronny Cedeno, Richard Lewis, Roberto Novoa, Will Ohman, Corey Patterson, and Jerome Williams are the others, slthough Ohman, Patterson, and Williams, and probably Cedeno, are likely to play in the big leagues next year, so they won't use up their last option year).

As for Brian Dopirak, yes, he is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the 40-man roster. However, position players who have not played higher than Class "A" who can't pinch-run or play late-inning defense almost always are returned to their original team out of Spring Training if they get selected in the Rule 5 Draft. A good example was Jason Dubois, who was selected by Toronto in the Rule 5 Draft after the 2003 season (which he had spent at Hi-A Daytona), only to be returned to the Cubs after Spring Training 2004.

I'm not saying Dopirak won't get selected in the Rule 5 Draft if left unprotected (he very well may). I'm only saying that a guy like Dopirak (unlike a pitcher like Andy Sisco, who can pitch in "garbage time" and as a LOOGY out of the bullpen) would be an extreme long-shot to remain on a 25-man major league roster for an entire season at this point in his career, even with a team that is "rebuilding." There also is some question about just how good Dopirak really is. I suspect he might even end up repeating Hi-"A" Daytona (with high school teammate Ryan Harvey) in 2006.

Jon Leicester's last eight starts at Iowa going back to July 27th. :

8 G (8 GS)
2-4
3.98 ERA
52 IP (6.5 IP per start)
51 H
.244 OBA
20 BB
39 K

Not bad, not great, but (to be sure) it was a lot better than what he showed prior to that.

I have a feeling who the PTBNL is.

RAFAEL FURCAL

Now we can sign Furcal and with this trade we still have the same number of spots on the 40 man open. I agree W/ Rob we will see at least 1 more of these trades. My guess is Macias is the next to go in one of these trades. If he is going to be non tendered anyways why waste a spot on him that you can use on a kid w/ promise. I am sure his "versility" would be valued for some old school GM who has a bad farm system that a spot on his 40 man would be open for him. call it just wishful thinkin but by trade or release I do not think Macias will be on the roster in the next 72 hours.

keep dreaming chifan.....

I think macias has a better chance of being with the team next year over Walker, Cedeno and Hairston. Sad, very sad.

As a long-time Rangers fan, I suspect this means Leicester's arm is about to fall off.

Not that it has to do with anything in this thread, but I saw this on MLB.com and figured it would spark some new discussion...

Mets, Padres near Cameron-Nady deal

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...

Indeed, contrary to Walker, Cedeno, and Hairston (none of whom are the walking, talking definition of "replacement level"), I don't believe anyone in the Cubs brass has yet to say anything negative about any facet of Macias's game.

Anyone feeling motivated? Two free tickets to the value-tier game of your choice for the first person to come up with such a quote.

Arizona Phil --

I always enjoy reading your stuff on this board; you are probably the most informed poster we have. But I really hope you are wrong in your prediction that the Cubs will get just nominal cash (e.g. $100K) for Lsisiecesetser. Based on your track record, though, I fear that you are correct.

We can't keep up this practice of basically dumping guys for nothing at this time each year, just to keep under the 40 man limit. Why don't other teams seem to have these problems? This is pretty basic stuff. I like Hendry a lot but he seems to paint himself into a corner more often than you would expect.

I will be absolutely shocked - shocked, I say! - if Russ Rohlicek is de-rostered.

You know, my grandfather was de-rostered not too long ago, and he couldn't sit down for a week.

I saw this and shuddered...

BOSTON (AP) -- Al Nipper, a former Red Sox draft pick who played the majority of his career with the club, was hired Wednesday as Boston's bullpen coach.

This brought back a flashback of one of the worst trades in Cub history. In my opinion it's #2 after Brock for Broglio.

1988 trade: Lee Smith to Boston for Calvin Schiraldi and rag armed lefty Nippah.

It would have been bad enough just getting the pathetic Schiraldi and ineffective Nipper but it led to a decade of horrible closer acquistions trying to replace Lee Smith...including Dave Smith, Rich Gossage (the old version of the goose), Mitch Williams(cost us Palmeiro), Rick Aguilera, Mel Rojas

Randy Myers was the only one with a decent season or two as a closer...and of course Rod Beck/Shooter had a very shaky but sucessful 1998

Cubster,

You Jobo he was excellent in 03 and did have his moments in 04. Also your too harsh on the Williams-Palmerio trade. If we don't trade Palmerio he never meets Conseco meaning he is just Mark Grace w/o the glove which equals worthless.

oops there should be a forgot in their bewtten You and jobo.

Also, Mitch Williams played an essential role in that '89 season, and Gracie was waiting in the wings.

Another angle I thought of when I heard this trade is Hendry could just be holding out to find out how the free agent/trading market treats him, then perhaps take a choice of minor leaguer X or Y depending on need? Texas's minor league is to bats what ours is to arms.

So, what does anybody make of dumpster closing? Does he have the stuff to stick it, or are we asking for trouble? He seems like a good dude, but I don't know that he's got what it takes to close regularly. That said, he's better than any other option they have.

Ask me, never should have let Farnsworth go. Sooner or later, the right bullpen coach is going to get ahold of him, polish the edges a bit, and that 3 digit fastball could rival some of the best closers ever

From the Trib...

"The Cubs aren't interested in getting into a bidding war with teams like the Yankees and Cardinals for free-agent outfielder Brian Giles, who turns 35 in January and is seeking more than $10 million per year for at least three years."

Also, Sullivan is speculating that the Leicester deal is a sign of bigger moves to come with Texas, eg Mench.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

first Jon Leicester gets sent away, only 184 more to go...could Jose Macias be far behind? (I can dream, can't I ?)

from the Wall St Journal:

Tribune to cut staff at Chicago Tribune and LA Times - WSJ (32.44 )

The Wall Street Journal reports two of the co's largest newspapers, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, said they would cut roughly 185 jobs as the co struggles with weakness...

Tony,

With all due respect, if Leo Mazilli couldn't make a closer out of Farnsworth, nobody could. Until brain transplants are perfected, I'm afraid that Farnsworth will always be merely a "promising" pitcher.

As for Dempster, I can't help but like a guy who has a high-90s fastball and ice water in his veins. (The fact that he wore a Captain America costume to a Hawks game - and he's a Canuck, eh! - just make me like him more.) However, I worry about his control - remember how he walked four in a row late last year, only to get the save by the skin of his teeth? In brief, my heart says yes, my head says ... we'll see.

Eric the Great--"Here's a tough one though: do you protect Geovanny Soto again? I don't see any big league teams willing to waste a full season roster spot on Soto as a backup catcher. Use that spot to protect a bubble case like JK Ryu or Bobby Brownlie or Chadd Blasko."

The Cubs have the option of either keeping Soto on the 40-man roster, and thus in future burning either option years or service time; or they have the option of removing him from the 40-man roster, which would require him to go through irrevocable waivers.

As such then, since the Cubs presumably do not want to make Soto freely available to whoever has a 40-man roster spot open and is willing to meet the $20k waiver claim "asking price", the Cubs are all but bound to Soto's continued presence on the 40-man roster.

You really have to careful then who you purchase to the 40-man roster, because, short of trading them, the only way to re-open that spot is by running the risk of losing that player for a $20k sum that in baseball is essentially nothing.

Naturally, there are times when that simply has to be done, when the player's value to you becomes less than the value of the roster spot itself. In this case though, that condition is not fulfilled - it makes very little sense to run the considerable risk of permanently losing a decent backup catcher type for the sake of avoiding the smaller risk of a player being selected, probably not even permenantly given the stringent conditions attached, in the Rule 5 draft.

None of this is to say though that Hendry made a quite terrible miscalculation when he seemingly decided that Sisco hadn't deserved to be protected, and that Sisco was far enough off from the majors that he could get away with imposing such a punishment. The Rule 5 draft does bring with it its risks, and they should not be overlooked. Neither though should they be overstated, and if Hendry starts protecting anyone and everyone now, he will regret it later, when he has to expose to waivers players that are worth having within the organisation but don't yet belong on our forty, burning options or service time.

Giles' agent Joe Bick believes they'll sign before the winter meetings (Dec. 5-8), acc. to Rotoworld. It's looking more and more likely that'll be with the Yankees who have spoken to Giles six times in the past 10 days.

On the bright side, if the Yanks get Giles, he won't go to the Cards, and the Cubs will basically have only the Braves to outspend to get Furcal.

To add to what John Hill just said in post #23, here is my post from yesterday from another thread:

#119 of 127: By Arizona Phil (November 16, 2005 02:53 PM)
ERIC: Regarding Geovany Soto, I don't think the Cubs should have put him on the 40-man roster last year when they did, although he did look pretty good (especially defensively) in the AFL last year (2004). I would project Soto as a Jose Molina-type back-up catcher, possibly when Henry Blanco leaves after 2006.

The problem with adding a guy to the 40-man roster is that you might need to take him off the 40-man roster at a later time, and it is much easier to lose a player permamently if he is claimed off waivers than if he is selected in the Rule 5 Draft, because if the player is claimed off waivers, and if he still has minor league options left, the claiming team can just option him to the minors. They don't have to keep him on their 25-man regular season roster (unless he is oit of options).

Even though I don't think Soto would have been selected in last year's Rule 5 Draft, I do believe that he (unlike Rohlicek, Lewis, and Theriot) WOULD be claimed off waivers by somebody if the Cubs tried to drop him from the 40-man roster at this time. That's why they shouldn't have added him to the 40-man roster last year.

Likely catchers for Cubs minor league teams next year:

IOWA:
1. Geovany Soto
2. Jose Reyes
3. Casey McGehee (also 3B-1B-DH)

WEST TENN:
1a. Jacob Fox (also DH)
1b. Tony Richie (also DH)

DAYTONA:
1. Oscar Bernard
2. Paul O'Toole
3. Alan Rick

PEORIA:
1. Mark Reed
2. Mario Mercedes

Does Dempster really have a fastball in the "high 90s"? Maybe my memory is failing me but I don't recall Dempster getting up over 94-95 except on a very, very rare occasion. I thought he was mostly in the 93 mph range.

It was exactly one year ago today (the Thursday before minor league rosters are "frozen") that Jim Hendry made his final roster moves, adding Soto and Rohlicek to the 40-man roster. So expect the Cubs to add five or six players to the 40-man roster today, as well as drop probably three.

If Hendry does exactly what he did last year, he will leave four spots open on 40-man roster, and his rationale for protecting a player will have more to do with it being a "reward" for "getting with the program" (like promoting a high school or college player from the JV to the varsity) than as a tactical move to keep from losing a prospect of value in the Rule 5 Draft.

But hopefully Hendry has learned his lesson after the Andy Sisco Fiasco of last year, and will not leave players off he 40-man roster just to make a point (Hendry's version of "tough love"). It might have been a good method to use at Creighton, but it just doesn't work like that in professional baseball.

My guess is that Rohlicek, Lewis, and Theriot will be dropped from the 40-man roster, and that Pie and Nolasco will (for sure) be added. That leaves five spots open. In addition to Pie and Nolasco, I believe Hendry will add three or four more players to the 40-man roster (three of four from among Brownlie, Ryu, Marmol, and Marshall, or possibly all four), and leave one or two spots open for free-agents.

If Hendry drops three and adds six, leaving only one spot open on the 40-man roster, remember that one more spot should become available in December when Jose Macias is likely to be non-tendered, and Hendry may be expecting to execute a couple of two-for-one deals in the near future that will open up a couple of more spots. So I don't see Hendry leaving four spots open going into the Rule 5 Draft like he did last year. It's not necessary.

Memo to Jim Hendry: Remember Andy Sisco!

Dempster is usually in the 92-93 MPH range. But, he has been working with Leo Mazzilli this off-season to increase it.

#26 of 28: By ARM (November 17, 2005 06:44 AM)
Does Dempster really have a fastball in the "high 90s"? Maybe my memory is failing me but I don't recall Dempster getting up over 94-95 except on a very, very rare occasion. I thought he was mostly in the 93 mph range.

ARM: Ryan Dempster's fastball topped out at 92-93 MPH as a starter, but bounced up to 95 MPH once he became a one-inning reliever (closer). That's pretty typical of a starter-turned-reliever.

Al Nipper was a righty.

the Andy Sisco Fiasco of last year

Yep, the problem with our bullpen last year was that it did its best pitching in other uniforms.

Perhaps CUBSTER was thinking of Bob Knepper. He was a lefty, although he didn't pitch for the Cubs.

I remember when Jim Frey made the Lee Smith deal with Boston, Tommy Lasorda was bewildered that Frey would take Schiraldi and Nipper instead of the pitcher the Dodgers were offering (Bob Welch). But Frey didn't want to trade Smitty to another N. L. club, so he took the inferior deal with the Red Sox over the clearly better offer from the Dodgers. So the Dodgers traded Welch to Oakland three days after the Cubs traded Lee Smith to the Red Sox, and Welch went on to win 17 games in 1988, 17 games in 1989, and 27 games in 1990.

CUBSTER is right about the Lee Smith trade leading to even more dumb moves (signing a washed-up Rich Gossage, then when that didn't work out, trading Rafael Palmeiro and Jamie Moyer to Texas for Mitch Williams and three stiffs, and then when that move went "south," signing a washed-up Dave Smith as a closer), although I wouldn't blame Frey for Rojas and Aguilera.

Frey also traded Dave Martinez to the Expos for Mitch Webster (another dumb move, although that trade was made because of a "conflict of interest" Martinez supposedly had with Ryne Sandberg), and presided over four crummy Rule 4 (first-year player) drafts (1988-91).

Jim Frey was an excellent hitting instructor, a good field manager, and one of the worst GMs in Cubs history. The Cubs won the N. L. East in 1989 in spite of Frey, not because of him. If only Dallas Green and Gordon Goldsberry had stuck around!

Yep, the problem with our bullpen last year was that it did its best pitching in other uniforms.

You keep saying this, but, other than Sisco, you never say who you're talking about.

Perhaps you didn't see Farnsworth's choke job in the playoffs? It was a not so nice flashback for those of us who watched him try to pitch under pressure when he was in a Cub uniform.

Or Perhaps you're refering to LaChoke Hawkins, who blew 5 saves in SF and saw his ERA rise from 3.32 as a Cub to 4.10 as a Giant.

Or is it JoBo you're talking about? He did a "great" job in Tampa, blowing all 4 of his save chances, and giving up 15 Earned Runs in his last 12 appearances, sporting an ERA of well over 9 over that span.

Yeah, that's the kind of "talent" the Cubs bullpen was lacking, we should be real "disappointed" that those guys were pitching for other teams.

What was the Andy Sisco Fiasco of last year?

don't forget good 'ol remlinger, who put up a 6.68 ERA in his 39.1 IP with the red sox.

Actually, that was Remmy's total number for the year.

Once he left the Cubs, he actually had a 14.85 ERA in 6.2 IP before being released by Boston.

#34 of 34: By OkieCubsFan (November 17, 2005 08:03 AM)
What was the Andy Sisco Fiasco of last year?

--

Hendry failing to add Sisco to the 40-man roster a year ago even though he had room for him, apparently only because Sisco was a "bad boy" and did not "get with the program." The minute minor league rosters were frozen on November 20th, it was clear to a lot of people that Sisco would be one of the first players selected in the Rule 5 Draft. And he was. And he went on to pitch well for the Royals out of the bullpen in 2005, and likely will be moved to the starting rotation in 2006 or 2007. 6'9" drop & drive power lefties don't grow on trees, especially in Wrigleyville.

oops, I copied the wrong row... still, even worse!

I don't really think the Trib is looking to sell the Cubs, but this article suggests that Mark Cuban may be interested if they are.

What was the Andy Sisco Fiasco of last year?

Sisco was kept off the 40 man roster, and was picked up by KC in the Rule 5 Draft. Hendry apparently didn't protect him because he had a horrible work ethic and had put on a lot of weight and didn't think he would stay on another team's major league roster for the entire season.

After drafted by the Royals, he actually lost the weight and went on to have a pretty nice season out of their bullpen, going 75 1/3 Innings, with a 3.11 ERA, 76k, and 42 bb.

that's all we need, mark cuban's crazy, eccentric @$$ owning the team. Of course, if he'll spend more money...

ah, never mind, they'd waste it on washed up talent... (prove me wrong, don't sign giles, PLEASE)

Giles is washed up?

def on the downward slide. Even if he wasn't, is he worth the money?

i know the stats experts are prob going to tear me up for that comment, but I'm not feelin' the love from giles to lead the team to the top--just a hunch, gut feeling, no more no less

Does anyone know how exactly the MLB's purchase of the Expos worked? Did each team acquire an equal interest in the team, or did the bigger market/budget teams take bigger shares?

I'm curious because if the MLB does manage to sell the Nationals for what they're asking ($450 million last I heard) the other 29 teams stand to make a substantial profit off their $120 million investment.

i know this is offtopic and the MVP is a dead subject, but the debate about MVP being the player most valuable to their team vs best player around gave me an idea: How do the "best" offensive players rate as a percentage of their total team offense? So I did a study using VORP, where the player with the highest VORP for each team is measured as a percentage of total team VORP.

I fully acknowledge that this is a "junk" test for two reasons: 1) VORP is not necessarily the best measure of offense, and 2) great players on teams with bad offenses will have a higher pct than those on better teams. So I'm not trying to argue anything about who deserves the MVP - I just thought it was interesting study.

So, the NL results:

Jason Bay - Pirates - 38.94%
Derrek Lee - Cubs - 36.41%
Todd Helton - Rockies - 31.93%
Albert Pujols - Cards - 31.67%
Jeff Kent - Dodgers - 28.69%
Morgan Ensberg - Astros - 27.60%
Moises Alou - Giants - 27.08%
Brian Giles - Padres - 26.80%
Miguel Cabrera - Marlins - 24.63%
David Wright - Mets - 24.56%
Nick Johnson - Nationals - 23.91%
Andruw Jones - Braves - 19.53%
Chad Tracy - D'backs - 18.85%
Chase Utley - Phillies - 18.12%
Ken Griffey Jr - Reds - 16.94%

"Jose Macias is likely to be non-tendered."

AZ Phil is usually so solid in his knowledge and predictions...

Al Nipper was a righty.
-
Thanks for the correction.

Nipper was so bad I couldn't watch him on the TV directly, I only watched his reflection off the TV on a mirror, hence my lefty recollection.

So I was at least half right...a rag armed (Righty)

Response to Cubster in #15:
Lou Brock was just fate's repayment for Three-Finger Brown. Even Steven.

Just an off topic post. Does anyone know the reason the Tribune is struggling? Because its LA Times newspaper is struggling because the paper is nothing but progressive propaganda that the American population is tired of hearing about.

On topic: I would love to have Giles and Furcal at the top of the lineup batting 1-2 infront of Dlee and Aram.

To NCFAN in post 50

Newspapers are struggling because circulation is down everywhere, so advertisers don't advertise because nobody is reading the newspapers.

All the newspapers are struggling because of a decline in circulation and the subsequent decline in advertising - which includes a decline in classified ads which hurts a ton (think job postings). The interenet is causing most of this and the old school media outlets have had a lot of difficulty figuring out how to compete. Newspapers have been going through rounds and rounds of layoffs over the past months, so the coverage slips, and then more people stop reading because the coverage is so poor, and it's perpetual cycle.

"Newspapers are struggling because circulation is down everywhere, so advertisers don't advertise because nobody is reading the newspapers."

Because of the internet. People can get their news and information from free online sources and no longer need subscription-based news outlets in order to live their lives.

The internet is the reason Trib Co. is struggling and indirectly responsible for the Cubs' failure to make the playoffs the last several years. Damn, your presence and mine on this forum are keeping our Cubbies from winning the World Series.

lol... from the Onion today:

Mia Hamm Declines Third-Year Option On Nomar Garciaparra

November 17, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, CAóJust days before the two-year anniversary of their initial agreement of terms, women's soccer legend Mia Hamm opted not to pick up her owner option for a third year on former husband Nomar Garciaparra. "Although I made a commitment to Nomar, there is no doubt that his skills have diminished with age, and it has shown in his lackluster performance over the past two years," said Hamm, who added that although she will always appreciate Garciaparra's loyal service, she is taking herself in a different direction right now. "Nomar is a great person, but he is well beyond his prime, and I just don't see him as a fit in my future." Although Hamm would not release details, she has hinted that after the mandatory waiting period concludes, she will begin to pursue younger, more versatile free agents.

" ... its LA Times newspaper is struggling because the paper is nothing but progressive propaganda that the American population is tired of hearing about." - NC Fan

Of course to different people "progressive propaganda" could mean anything from editorials against tax cuts to articles that say global warming is real and the earth is more than 6,000 years old.

It's Los Angeles, not Philadelphia, Mississippi. Having lived in LA for over a decade I can tell you that a Washington Times or NY Post would do even worse. That's why God made the Orange County Register.

It's hard to increase newspaper circulation with a TV-addicted population that's increasingly stuck in their cars navigating the massive suburb that is LA.

it doesn't help that all the LA TIMES sports columnists are Jay Mariotti clones. I'm about to cancel my subscription, they disgust me so much.

OC Register, here I come....

Why would anyone buy a paper when they are free on line?

Once again guys can we PLEASE keep politics out of this arena? We argue enough and we are all Cub fans.

The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that the club submitted an initial offer to Damon worth somewhere from $27 to $30 million over three years.

Damon has said publicly numerous times that he is looking for a longer deal, perhaps five years or longer.
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Damon gets offered $10M/yr x3; and is asking $12M/yr x 7...(he can ask for it, sure why not? This was reported a few days ago.)

given the context of Matsui signing at $13M/yr x4 (he's younger too at 31)

and of course there is 35 yr old Brian Giles talking Yankee dollars too.

You keep saying this, but, other than Sisco, you never say who you're talking about.

That's just another outright lie on the part of my personal troll, basketcase blue, and not worth a further response.

No, Bluewater Pennant, you keep making a blatantly false statement as if your saying something over and over makes it true.

I'll keep pointing out the facts each and every time you make the idiotic statement that "all the talent in the cubs bullpen was pitching for other teams."

Why would anyone buy a paper when they are free on line?

Two crucial reasons.

1) My dog can't get the paper in the morning off of the computer, it's the highlight of her morning. And yes, she really does it.

2) Don't feel like navigating a laptop while I'm on the toilet, which is where the bulk of my newspaper reading is done.

Funny that you made that Dog/poop connection Rob, cause the only thing I think the LA Times is useful for was to paper train my puppy.

Her name is Wrigley, BTW and I think she should be the official mascot of TCR.

WSCR in Chicago said the Cubs could announce that they signed Scott Eyre as early as tonight.

i find it kinda hard to believe eyre is settling this early unless someone threw some serious loot at him.

besides wagner, he's the LH bullpen jewel of the offseason and should be pursued by more than just a few clubs.

"WSCR in Chicago said the Cubs could announce that they signed Scott Eyre as early as tonight. "

While this probably (depending on cost/length) not be a bad move, it is typical that in a year where there are two stud LH RPs out there, we would sign the third (and a longshot from second or first) at best of the three. I never thought we would have a shot at Wagner, but I'm surprised that we don't even sound remotely like a player in the BJ Ryan discussions. I guess Eyre and Ohman isn't bad. But if the plan is to put Koronka or Hill in the pen, then I'll get pissy.

When are the Cubs ever going to go out and get the PREMIERE player available in FA. It surely won't be this year. The best we can hope for is Furcal.

"besides wagner, he's the LH bullpen jewel of the offseason and should be pursued by more than just a few clubs."

He's a distant third behind BJ Ryan. (I assume that was an oversight and not a judggement, right Crunch?)

the positive thing about Eyre is that while he may be third best LH bullpen free agent, his price is most likely a distant third too. I love BJ Ryan, but he and Wagner are going to milk whoever signs them for way more than they're really worth.

Player Compensation ratings are posted at BA in Callis's latest Ask BA column.

I'm in shock right now as Burnitz is considered a type A free agent.

"He's a distant third behind BJ Ryan. (I assume that was an oversight and not a judggement, right Crunch?)"

yeah...i forgot about ryan...im not even much of an eyre fan. definately #3 on the pecking order, minimum.

Agreed, Nate. The price will be nice compared to a Ryan or Wagner contract. Eyre would be a great pickup--I'm excited if it actually happens.

Unlike most, I have some confidence in our bullpen. I like Dempster and Williamson at the top (that could be a disaster, though) and I think Wuertz is a fine bullpen guy. Put Eyre in there with Ohman and you have some solid lefties. Also, I'm pretty high on JVB being good, so I think the team can afford to focus its efforts elsewhere.

The bullpen really wasn't that bad in the second half. I don't have numbers to back that up but I got the feeling we weren't as bad back there.

I'm in shock because so is Brad Ausmus

When are the Cubs ever going to go out and get the PREMIERE player available in FA. It surely won't be this year. The best we can hope for is Furcal.

Why would Furcal not be "premiere"? He's the best SS available and better than the any of the duds that signed big deals last offseason (Cabrera, Renteria, etc.). Maybe the better question is, who you'd consider "premiere" in the year's crop of free agents? I personally don't think there's a better player out there considering impact, age, and price at any position. Name any other player and there's a good reason not to seriously go after them (too old and wants too many years, too expensive, etc.).

In recent memory the only free agent I wish the Cub's could have and should have signed was Guerrero. There haven't been too many other players that have slipped away considering what our needs were at the time. This is a trait I've adored in Hendry. He doesn't go out to the market feeling like he's got something to prove and throwing (read: wasting) a bunch of money at a perceived star player to appease the masses. How would you like be the team that got stuck with Thome's contract, or Brown's, or Park's? It's hard to recall a recent monster contract that the team didn't live to regret to try to trade away after a season or two.

Hendry has avoided all serious land mines and not crippled the franchise with potentially regretful contracts. I don't know why this perception exists that Hendry can just simply rub the magic lamp and get any player he wants. If you were to analyze the free agent/trade market around the time of every deal he's made I'd doubt you'd find a GM with fewer mistakes and more wins.

The only area he seems to need improvement in is supplying depth to the big league roster. For every Ramirez/Lee trade he's signed a Jose Macias or Neifi Perez or Lenny Harris and expected them to exceed previously established levels of out-wasting. There is ALWAYS a multitude freely available talent floating around AAA rosters, waiver wires, and free agency to fill out a bench and have reserves at AAA...there's no defending those signings.

Hendry nails the big ones, it's the little things he struggles with.

I was somewhat excited about the possibility of Scott Eyre until i looked in Baseabll reference at it listed as the 4th most similar player - Felix Heredia. That's too close for me. We shouldn't get him.

Well there are some who projected in 2004 that Sammy Sosa would be the premiere Free Agent of 2006....LOL funny how time changes

welcome on board the cubfan bandwagon everyone! lol

you shouldnt trust any historical stats on eyre...

he's a late bloomer.

here's about all you need to know...

good: low 90s fastball with movement, killer slider, mentally stable now that he's on meds for ADD, keeps the ball in the park

bad: he'll walk people, he's probally best used as a LH specialist but is capable of working full innings and probally will be if he's gonna get the 3m a year he's looking, and for what its worth he's as clueless as randy johnson with a bat

he should draw more than a few comparisons to mike remlinger as far as his results go if he keeps on his current path...

"Why would Furcal not be "premiere"? "

I said that we have never gotten the premeire FA. I would submit that Furcal is still not the premiere FA. He's the best SS available - but not the premiere FA available. I'd be surprised if there was much arguement there.

Then who is? Johnny Damon? I would argue that Furcal is the premiere free agent out there.

Assuming we'd have to pay a premium to get him to sign at this point, I don't see how there is value in signing Eyre without even making a shot at Ryan. Let's leave Wagner out since we have ZERO shot at him. (I'd be my house that we aren't signing a 30+ year old CL to a 4 year, 40mm deal under the Trib.)

But I just don't get why we don't feel like we can get a better option than Eyre. He's also 33. He's also had a lot of injuries in his career. Frankly, I don't think Eyre is such an improvement over what we have that I'd sign him until we feel there is absolutely no chance of getting Ryan.

We are supposed to have $30mm in salary to spend - right? Why are we bargain hunting instead of trying to get the best talent out there. This isn't the Oakland As that has to do it on a $65mm budget. We have $100mm to work with, and could be a championship calibre team if we make the right moves.

Scott Eyre...I'd be happy with the signing if it was our third or fourth biggest FA acquisition. But if it is Furcal and Eyre, and we go with rookies and retreads at the corner OF and CP in CF, then this will be another wasted season.

What's Eyre's injury history? Seriously, I'd like to know. I've only come up with a bulging disk in spring of 2004 and he didn't end up missing that much time. His early ChiSox history doesn't show him pitching a lot of games but he was always really crappy. Honest question, no snarkiness, do you know when and what injuries he's had in his past?

"Scott Eyre...I'd be happy with the signing if it was our third or fourth biggest FA acquisition."

Personally, I'm less interested in picking up FAs, which is where you get killed in cost, and more interested in seeing Hendry pull off creative trades - something he's established himself at being adept at (Nomar, Barrett, etc)

before eyre went on ADD meds he was a very "rushed" pitcher...mentally and physically.

he's only been on the a bit over a year or so...so its not enough to prove it really helped. but alou sure feels confident in him last year more than ever and eyre delivered most of the time.

dunno about any physical stuff besides the back thing.

"Then who is? Johnny Damon? I would argue that Furcal is the premiere free agent out there.

Matsui and Konerko for sure, possibly Burnett and Wagner will be more in demand than Furcal.

Matsui - already locked up by the Yanks
Burnett - overrated for the money he will get
Wagner - good but not worth $40M/$yr

Konerko is the only one who I would say you could even argue is more "premier" than Furcal, and I'd say you could make an argument either way as to which one is a better player.

Not to mention we don't need a first baseman...

Matsui shouldn't really count as a free agent since he was resigned before he could go out on the Market.

Konerko can certainly be called a premier free agent, but I don't think the Cubs really need to upgrade at 1st base.

Burnett and Wagner may end up with bigger contracts than Furcal, but that's only because there are so few pitchers available. I'd bet both of them end up with contracts their new teams will regret in the very near future.

Rob, he has had a history of groins and hammys. I don't think he had a significant surgery, but I think he is often banged up.

He had one good year. Our bullpen needs a lot more than this.

Burnett, Damon, Konerko are the only 3 players that I can see rivaling what Furcal will end up (I suspect 4/40 with a 5th year option based on good behavior and at-bats, and by that I mean to ensure he stays out of trouble, I can see an at-bat or games played clause in there).

Konerko will probably end up around 4/50, Burnett is about 5/60 and Damon(4/48 with some perfomance options that could vest a 5th year). Just my crazy guesses.

Wagner at best will get 4/40 but that's going to be a stretch, no one else is willing to go over 3 except the Mets so far and that's just a rumor at this point that they would.

a bit off subject...i made this list of non-1st/dh/starters that might be overlooked by some.

if anyone knows anyone i missed, chime in...for the rest...here's a good starting point if you're not too sure who's available who might be interesting pickups. some will be mostly useless to the cubs and some wont settle for bench work, but its not a bad list of options.

Roberto Hernandez, rhp
Braden Looper, rhp
Chris Hammond, lhp
Rudy Seanez, rhp
Ricardo Rincon, lhp
Shigetoshi Hasegawa, rhp
Bobby Howry, rhp

Jose Hernandez, IF
Tony Graffanino, 1b/2b/3b
Olmedo Saenz, 1b/3b
Wes Helms, 1b/3b
Fernando Vina, 2b
Alex S. Gonzalez, SS/3b

Eli Marrero, of
Bobby Higginson, of
Rondell White, of
Danny Bautista, of
Michael Tucker, of

--i left out some cusp guys like randa/b.williams/dotel/etc. cuz im looking for more under-the-radar "oh yeah" types.

any input is welcome, though...i'll silently add/trim the list for myself. thnx.

I don't know if I agree that we should be aggressively pursuing BJ Ryan, as much as I like him. I think Rishi said it well somewhere above, but we have a lot of young arms who are decent. I really like Wuertz, more than most people seem to, Dempster proved himself this year although some regression is expected, and Williamson is on track to return to being the above-average reliever he was before TJ surgery (check out his K/9 this year). Between Van Buren, Ohman, Novoa, possibly Eyre, and who knows who else may emerge in ST, I think our bullpen will be alright without having to spend millions.

"Matsui - already locked up by the Yanks"

And we were nowhere close to the discussion. 4/51 was well above what we'd pay.

"Burnett - overrated for the money he will get"

Obviously your opinion is very different from whatever the teams are willing to pay that for him.

"Wagner - good but not worth $40M/$yr"

To some team he will be.

"Konerko is the only one who I would say you could even argue is more "premier" than Furcal, and I'd say you could make an argument either way as to which one is a better player."

Sure

"Not to mention we don't need a first baseman..."

Not my point...I just said we never get the premiere FA on the market.

I'm assuming the Cards will still win the division next year. Does Furcal and Eyre make us 10 games better than Houston (assume Clemens returns, or they have $17mm to spend elsewhere) and Philly (assume Wagner or Ryan close)?

I'm looking for a reason to believe 2006 is going to be better than 2005 or 2004. Furcal and Eyre are a nice start, but can't be the total package.

I'm not an Eyre fan, but FYI, he's had at least 2 good years (2003, 2005).

He's pitched 74, 83 and 86 games the last 3 years. If he hasn't had any arm injuries earlier in his career, I can't qualify him as "injury prone" then.

But X, the point isn't to get the premier free agent. the point is to put together the best team you can with the money you have, while at the same time looking towards the future.

Believe me, whoever gives out a 4 year contract to AJ Burnett will be trying like all hell to unload it by 2008

The rumor is the Cubs are going to sign Eyre to a 4-year deal.

I hope that isn't true.

Where the hell did that rumor come from? 4 years for a middle reliever? Thats one hell of a "rumor"

hmm...from rotoworld.com:
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Chipper Jones has reportedly agreed to restructure his deal in order to free up money for the Braves.
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Jones' agent, B.B. Abbott, said the new contract would reduce his 2006 salary from $17 million to $11 million and turn a pair of $15 million vesting-option years in 2007 and 2008 into guaranteed years at $11 million per season. It also includes a $4 million signing bonus due in January, and adds a vesting option for 2009 worth between $8 million and $11 million. Under the previous deal, his options would have vested with just 450 plate appearances per year. This could save the Braves as much as $15 million over the next three years, giving the team additional money to re-sign Rafael Furcal or pursue Trevor Hoffman. Nov. 17 - 6:51 pm

"If we don't trade Palmerio he never meets Conseco meaning he is just Mark Grace w/o the glove which equals worthless."

Chifan3887, that's complete irresponsible journalism on your behalf.....Sosa would've turned Raffy onto the Roids somewhere around 1996 man.

Bullpen splits by half in 2005:

IP......H.....R...ER...BB....K...HR ERA
245.1 239 128 120 127 242 40 4.40
200.2 168 95 90 114 214 22 4.04

Rob:

If I read the Chipper Jones stuff right, a $4M bonus plus $11M in 2006 vs $17M previous salary is just a $2M saving in 2006.

Is this really enough to make a difference in either Furcal or Hoffman?

Are the Braves that strapped for short term cash?

Even if they save $2M in 2006, this ultimately will cost them more in guaranteed money to Chipper to get the short term benefit. I guess it makes sense if Turner Sports/Time Warner sells the Braves before the contract is over.

$15 Mil for 3 years is the potential ultimate savings. I never underestimatee Schuerholz and his ability to make things work. Don't know if this will get them Furcal, but it's a step towards that goal. Who knows? Just passing the info on.

"But X, the point isn't to get the premier free agent. the point is to put together the best team you can with the money you have, while at the same time looking towards the future."

I'm tired of looking towards the future. The point is to win it all - NOW. Some teams should be looking to the future - but not this one. The window is only open for a short time sometimes. We have Prior and Zambrano so far at the first 4 years of their careers when their cost was at a minimum. NOW is the time to win. Unless we end up a dynasty like the Braves (pardon my skepticism), we shouldn't remotely be worrying about the future. I'd take 20 losing seasons for 1 World Series win.

"Believe me, whoever gives out a 4 year contract to AJ Burnett will be trying like all hell to unload it by 2008"

That's possible. But that doesn't change the current demand for his services.

"The rumor is the Cubs are going to sign Eyre to a 4-year deal. "

I'd have to hear the pricetag on each year, and how many are guaranteed vs vesting vs options. But my gut feeling is that 4 years for a 33 year old RP who has been at best marginal for the majority of his career isn't the wisest move.

I'm wondering why we'd rush to do this without giving every shot we could at BJ Ryan. I'd rather spend a few more million per and get Ryan than Eyre.

Definitely doesn't mean that the Braves will pursue Furcal stronger...it appears their #1 priority is closer and other bullpen help. Braves are actually working on a trade with the D-Rays for a Julio Lugo for Johnny Estrada swap which may lead into a larger trade including John Thompson. Braves want Hoffman but he's asking for Billy Wagner type $ which he won't get.

"He's pitched 74, 83 and 86 games the last 3 years. If he hasn't had any arm injuries earlier in his career, I can't qualify him as "injury prone" then."

Fair enough...I'll modify my statement to say he was injury prone early in his career. That's a more accurate description anyhow.

"Perhaps you didn't see Farnsworth's choke job in the playoffs? It was a not so nice flashback for those of us who watched him try to pitch under pressure when he was in a Cub uniform."

I did see that game, how did his playoff #s compare to his reg season #s?

And not to scrape open and pour salt in old wounds, but go Chipper. That sounds to me like a player who wants to win. Could you ever, under any circumstances, see Sammy agreeing to something like this?

anyone ever recall the braves signing a "proven" closer in the fa market? Maybe priorities have changed without mazzone, but I do not believe that's schuerholz's m.o.

a bit more legs to Eyre rumor from rotoworld.com
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Agent Tommy Tanzer said free agent Scott Eyre is close to reaching agreement on a deal but wouldn't say with which club.
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"It could be relatively soon, before the weekend potentially, or sooner," he said. Tanzer stated yesterday that it was between the Cubs, Cardinals, Astros and Braves. We believe he's choosing the Cubs' offer. Nov. 17 - 7:39 pm et

"I'm tired of looking towards the future. The point is to win it all - NOW."

Signing AJ Burnett is not going to make it happen any sooner.

I totally agree with you on that Rob. They have been the exception to the rule when it comes to closers nearly the entire run of championships. The crud they have had close is so opposite what most contenders have.

If they are freeing up money for someone, my guess is that it is to make a stronger run at Furcal, rather than to pursue a 38 year old closer who is just coming off of a season where his performance declined significantly over his three year averages.

I loved Hoffman as a closer for a long time. But that time was when I had a lot more hair and was 20 lbs lighter. :-)

they have had some good closers, but they came through the minors (rocker, wohlers) and of course smoltz, who did it to try and lengthen his career (and he should go back). Every year, I hear the braves need to sign a closer and I just don't recall schurholz ever spending the $$$ to do it, same as I hear every year that the rangers need pitching (which they do) but never seem to acquire any that isn't on the dirt cheap.

of course I had farns signing with them in the fa frenzy game, so what the hell do I know...

"Signing AJ Burnett is not going to make it happen any sooner."

You have a high degree of confidence in that. From what it appears, several major league GMs disagree with you.

3.44 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .237 opp avg, 80BB in 209 IP. You don't think that would help a team win? Really? I know he isn't a lock to get 30+ starts like he did last year, but I don't understand how you can be so confident that a guy with Burnett's talent, who delivered Top 10 calibre seasons in 2 of his last 4 years couldn't help a team to win. If we had him last year, instead of any of our starters except Zambrano, we'd have won more games. If Philly had him, they'd have beaten Houston and made the playoffs. If Cleve....you know where I am going with this.

So you don't like him - I get that. But how can you say he won't help a team?

Rob, Rocker had 2 good seasons as the Braves closer, and then went straight down the crapper. Wholers had 2 good seasons and 1 ok season.

They have also had Alejandro Pena and Juan Berenger co-closing. Stanton and McMichael co-closed. Ligtenberg, Remlinger, Farns, Reitsma and Kolb also...

They have done an amazing job in 14 years considering they had a solid closer only half of those seasons. Check the teams that win a WS and those who make the WS in the past 15 years. Very few of them are teams that have questionable closers. There is a a strong relationship between winning a WS and having a closer.

Bruce Levine has just reported Cubs signed Scott Eyre, no terms of agreement as of yet..or if he did I missed it.

This has probably been posted earlier but here's Eyre's stats.

SPLIT G IP H R HR BB SO W L Sv P/GS WHIP BAA ERA
Season 86 68.1 48 21 3 26 65 2 2 0 0.0 1.08 .200 2.63
Career 408 480.0 489 268 64 244 365 18 25 4 91.9 1.53 .264 4.52

This is from ESPN.com

Since he was claimed off waivers from Toronto on August 8, 2002, Eyre has resurrected his career. That turnaround can be traced to his focus after he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Eyre is less hyper on the mound and able to concentrate much better.

the Eyre deal is 3/$11

you mean what crunch said in #82 about eyre.

X, it's not that I don't like Burnett, although i do think he's kind of an ass. He's a fine pitcher, above average. But he happens to be a FA in a year where there's not a lot of quality talent, so he's going to demand a much more expensive deal than he's worth.

Putting the future aside, though, since you want to win NOW - he's still going to command somewhere in the $10M range simply for 2006 - which ties up a lot of money that could be spent in other places to fix other problems. And it's not like he's not the 2nd coming or anything. He had a good year, but he lost his final six starts and had an ERA of 6.40 in those starts.

"If we had him last year, instead of any of our starters except Zambrano, we'd have won more games. If Philly had him, they'd have beaten Houston and made the playoffs."

Not necessarily true - he'd be pitching in different parks, with different offenses and defenses to back him up, and who knows what would have happened? Just because he pitched 7 scoreless innings against the Nationals on July 30th doesn't mean he would've pitched 7 scoreless innings against the D'backs if he was on the Cubs on the same day.

got a source, bogey or is that from the radio?

No, I mean what espn.com said about Eyre.

I'm glad the Cubs are active and the bullpen sure as hell needs help but I also wish the Cubs' supposed top tier farm system could deliver someone who could accomplish the same things at a fraction of the cost. That's is one hell of a lot of dough. Can't wait to see how Baker can turn it into a bad investment.

RobG. Bruce Levine said 3/$11 but a friend who works for mlb claims it might be a 2 year deal with a player option for a third year

Levine says Hendry also wants to sign either Scott Elarton or Braden Looper to serve as a RH set-up guy. Also Rosenthal is reporting the Cubs, Cards, Red Sox are pushing hard for Burnett and Mets, Rangers, Beltway teams, and the Mariners have intrest. Jerry Crasnick is reporting that TOR offered him 5/50. I like the Pen now if it looks like this:

Dempster
Williamson
Elarton/Looper/Wuertz/Novoa
Erye
Novoa/Wuertz
Ohman
Wellemeyer/Mitre as mop up guy

I think one of Wuertz or Novoa will be traded if Elarton or Looper is signed.

Yep, 2 year contract with a player option:

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.js...

Ryan Dempster
Roberto Novoa
Will Ohman
Jermaine Van Buren
Scott Williamson
Michael Wuertz
Scott Eyre

...wellemeyer/mitre/koronka

and theyre looking to add another reliever?

interesting surplus theyre building there...not to mention rusch/j.williams

I doubt that either wuertz or novoa are leaving...
Wellemeyer and Miter are the most likely to be traded.

Well, we got a good lefty now! Lets hope Hendry is on top of Furcal, Pierre, and Mench?

Actually, i can see Mitre, JWill, and Wellemeyer being traded in the next two weeks. Mitre and Wellemeyer could go to the Rangers for someone like Mench. It would not be too naive to imagine them going to Cincy for Kearns or Dunn.

I'd actually like to see Van Buren and Koronka in the pen next year!

*Does anyone know about the Pierre for two minor leaguers?Cpat?

Karl H,

If you look at our pen if we sign Elarton or Looper our pen will look like:

RHP

Dempster
Williamson
Elarton/Looper
Novoa
Wuertz

LHP
Eyre
Ohman

Neither Novoa or Wuertz have the Staminia to be Mop up guys. Both will look good to FLA in a Pierre deal with the pen woes.

Scott Eyre received a 10th place vote in this week's NL MVP balloting.

i have a feeling eyre is going to be the next remlinger...

Count me among those unimpressed with this signing. The Cubs are going to spend 3+ million dollars for 3 years on a 33 year old reliever who 3 years ago was waiver wire trash?

But hey, now the people that have been screaming that Hendry needs to do something about the pen can be happy.

Nothing like nickle and diming your way through 35 million dollars. Just think, only two or three more of these "cheap" free agents and we'll be back to being a $100 million payroll team. That is spending $100 million on $70 million in talent.

Maybe Eyre will find a way to earn his money, but I've got 5 bucks that says he's traded or DFA'd before his contract is up.

We've now committed $13 million to Eyre, Rusch, Neifi, and Dempster for each of the next two years. That's just great baseball management. Hats off. I'm enthused to be a Cubs fan.

The careers of Borowski and Eyre tell you that you can find effective pitchers and role players for more-or-less free if you know how and where to look, and this'll let you spend money on difference-makers where the pickings are otherwise slim. Alternatively, you can spend multiple millions on familiar names to fill relatively inconsequential roles. In fact, I think some people out west fleshed out the relative benefits of each path a couple years ago and somebody wrote a book about it or something.

Hendry's biggest flaw, his absolute and total failure to recognize value and anti-value at the bottom end/medium tier of the talent spectrum, has now cost the Cubs enough money to sign someone like Giles or Furcal (or, more accurately as they'll probably end up with Furcal, both of them).

Let the hagiography resume. Thank You Jim, I'll Always Remember 2003!!!

3.6 million a year for Eyre? Ehhh. Ok. His splits look pretty good, and ERA is nice.

I don't know what it is, but I don't have much confidence in Eyre. His numbers look pretty good but I can see why he signed so earlier. The Cubs over-paid again for a middle reliever.

Wait a minute, ESPN says it is a 2 year deal worth 11 million. 5.5 million for Eyre? Holy bat-shit batman.

That is just a sickening deal now. Way to just throw money away. No wonder Eyre was in such a damn hurry to get this deal done he hit the freaking lottery.

"Not necessarily true"

Oh come on...

If the word "necesarily" is put in because it isn't mathematically provable, then sure. But how can you possibly argue that he wouldn't have been a net add to our staff over any of the guys we had who pitched (or in the case of Wood and Prior didn't pitch)

"And it's not like he's not the 2nd coming or anything. "

On the season, his numbers were only slightly off of Zambrano's. Even if you take his adjusted numbers, his season definitely placed him in the category of a solid #2 pitcher.

10mm for AJ doesn't shock me. Look at what SPs are getting. Look at what guys who are far inferior to him got last year. Prior and Zambrano are entering year 2 of their arbitration. Assuming Prior finds health and Zambrano maintains his ability to pitch 200+ despite the high pitch counts, don't you think those guys will get well over that? I'm talking 50% more... Are they EVER going to provide 50% more quality innings? I doubt that.

Is he a lock to be worth 5/50? NO WAY. But you seem to be 100% convinced that it is a lock that he isn't even worth 10mm for 1 year, much less down the road. My take - if he was in our rotation, and Rusch was a spot starter/reliever and Kerry Wood insurance, I'd be a lot happier. (That said - I wouldn't want him at the cost of having holes in the lineup either.)

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