Cubs Mid-December Status Check

Here is an update on 2006 Cubs payroll & roster situations. SIGNED FOR 2006 (15): Michael Barrett - $4.33m Henry Blanco - $1.5m Ryan Dempster - $5m + $1.5m in incentive bonuses Scott Eyre - $3.7m + $800,000 in performance bonuses Bob Howry - $4m Derrek Lee - $9.4 John Mabry - $1.05m Greg Maddux - $9m Neifi Perez - $2.5m + $500,000 in incentives based on PAs Mark Prior - $3.55m Aramis Ramirez - $10.5m Glendon Rusch - $2.75m + $500,000 in incentives based on GS Todd Walker - $2.5m Scott Williamson - $2m Kerry Wood - $12m (also has ìno tradeî clause in contract through 2006 season) INCENTIVE BONUSES: $3.3 mil TOTAL FOR PLAYERS SIGNED FOR 2006 (including Burnitz buy-out) ñ $74.25m ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION AFTER 2005 SEASON (5): Jerry Hairston, Jr - $1.8m (+$300,000 in incentives) salary in 2005 Will Ohman - $325,000 salary in 2005 Corey Patterson - $2.8m 2005 Juan Pierre ñ $3.7m in 2005 Carlos Zambrano - $3.76m salary in 2005 ESTIMATED 2006 SALARIES FOR THE ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: Zambrano $6.5m Pierre-$5m Patterson $2.75m (possible non-tender on 12-20) Hairston $2.5m Ohman $750,000 PROJECTED ESTIMATED TOTAL FOR PLAYERS ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION - $17.5m AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) FOR 2006 (5): NOTE: bold indicates player is likely on 2006 25-man roster/ others are likely to be optioned (likely 2006 destination in parenthesis) David Aardsma (AAA) Ronny Cedeno Brian Dopirak (AA) Angel Guzman (AAA) Rich Hill (AAA) John Koronka (AAA) Carlos Marmol (AA) Sean Marshall (AA) Scott Moore (AA) Matt Murton Roberto Novoa Felix Pie (AAA) Jose Reyes (AAA) Jae-kuk Ryu (AAA) Geovany Soto (AAA) Ryan Theriot (AAA) Todd Wellemeyer (out of minor league options) Jerome Williams Michael Wuertz TOTAL ESTIMATED 2006 SALARIES FOR AUTO-RENEWAL PLAYERS ON 25-MAN ROSTER - $1.75m ESTIMATED TOTAL 2006 PAYROLL AS OF NOVEMBER 8th - $93.5m (+ $3.3m in incentive bonuses) LIKELY 2006 PAYROLL BUDGET - $100m AMOUNT OF PAYROLL PROBABLY STILL AVAILABLE FOR 2006 SALARIES - $6.5m (does not including incentive bonuses) NOTE: Available 2006 payroll increases to $14 mil if Hairston, Walker, and Patterson are traded. ----------------------------------------------------- FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2006 SEASON: Henry Blanco Jerry Hairston, Jr Derrek Lee John Mabry Greg Maddux (ìno tradeî through 2006 season) Juan Pierre Aramis Ramirez (player option for 2007) Todd Walker Scott Williamson Kerry Wood (club option to pay $13m salary in 2007 or $3m buy-out - also ìno tradeî through 2006 season) ---------------------------------------------------- OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2006: # Todd Wellemeyer ONE OPTION YEAR LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2006: Ronny Cedeno Roberto Novoa x - Will Ohman (must clear Major League Waivers to be optioned) Corey Patterson (must clear Major League Waivers to be optioned) Jerome Williams (must clear Major League Waivers to be optioned) TWO OPTION YEARS LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2006: * David Aardsma (eligible for 4th option year) * Angel Guzman (eligible for 4th option year) Rich Hill x - John Koronka Mark Prior (must clear Major League Waivers to be optioned) Geovany Soto Michael Wuertz Carlos Zambrano (must clear Major League Waivers to be optioned) THREE OPTION YEARS LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2006: Brian Dopirak Carlos Marmol Sean Marshall Scott Moore Matt Murton Felix Pie Jose Reyes Jae-kuk Ryu Ryan Theriot x - NOTE: Ohman and Koronka have been outrighted once in their careers, so they would be eligible to be free-agents if Cubs attempt to remove them from 40-man roster.
Return to Homepage

Comments

Levine said yesterday that if we did get Tejada that the trib would ok the increase in payroll to 105. AZ Phil what do you think Jay Gibbons will make in Arbaration this year. Last year he made the same as Cpat (2.6 Mil) but had a better year. I am thinking he will likely get 4.

Matt Morris update (from the StL Post Dispatch) and Ricardo Rincon near signing as their LOOGY to replace Ray King (a Moneyball trade that Billy Beane made)

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stori...

Righthander Matt Morris, the Cardinals' first No. 1 draft pick in the 11-season tenure of general manger Walt Jocketty, told the Post-Dispatch Saturday night that he would not be returning for his 10th season with the club.

Speaking from his home in Jupiter, Fla., all Morris would say for the record on his choice was: "Not the Cardinals. I eliminated them today."

While Morris is moving out, veteran lefthanded reliever Ricardo Rincon apparently is moving in. A baseball source said the Cardinals are expected to announce the signing of the 35-year-old Rincon in the next day or so. Rincon, who has been with Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Oakland, appeared in 67 games for the Athletics last year, allowing just 10 of 46 inherited runners to score.

Why not just go ahead and increase payroll in hopes that we can be more creative in the moves made? I'd love to add Tejada/Abreu and Vazquez, but I don't think $105m will get that done.

its just not that easy to get someone...esp. when a team (phi/bal) isnt looking for a salary dump. these teams are looking to compete, not just take a year off. yeah philly would like to save some money and baltimore would love to get rid of tejada's contract. neither guy is a liability to the club or their payroll, though.

its a near 100% impossibility that either team wants just prospects. and throwing in t.walker/j.williams/c.patterson just dont cut it.

they gotta replace 30 homers and 40+ doubles and the position they play.

cubs gonna have to drag a 3rd team in and get mega-creative if all they hope to shift is top prospects to get it done.

it dont matter how much the cubs wanna spend...its a matter of whether the cubs wanna give up d.lee/zambrano/prior or try to get creative.

3-way+ trades break apart so easily.

Ken Rosenthal says 3 to 1 Cubs (ROFL)

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5157958

The only valuable trading chips the Cubs have (without ripping the stitches out of the team) are Todd Walker (I know, I know) and Jerome Williams. Neither or probably not even both get an Abreu or a Tejada.

As a realist, it's time to start asking: Who is going to be our "cheap" RF again this year? Start sorting through this list of stopgapcrap:

Encarnacion
Hidalgo
J. Jones
Sanders
Mondesi
P. Wilson (not the one who got popped by The Farns)
B. Williams
R. White (Part Duex)
Juan Gonzalez (!!!!!!!!!)

And then there's Jose Guillen. 270/340 with 25-80 for maybe $4-5MM? I think I that'd be my choice. The only other one I could stomach would be Hildalgo. Cheap going off a down year, but he is soooooo streaky. Until last year he was always Mr. September though.

There is really only 2 teams we can use to pry Tejada away from Baltimore. And even those 2 teams are long shots at best...

Colorado - They would like to be out from under Helton's contract so we ship prospects to them, they send Barmes and Helton to Baltimore we get Tejada.

KC - Mike Sweeney is a pretty large contract for a team going no where. He has been rumored on the block for years. So prospects to KC, Angel Berrero, and Mike Sweeney to Balt, and we get Tejada.

That is just if they are looking for a decent SS and a pretty good bat. If they don't really care about getting a SS back then that opens up a few more options. But those options aren't exactly good either.

I would flip Derrek Lee for Tejada straight up. Derrek Lee's value will never be higher. He isn't going to repeat what he did last year. Besides it is much easier to find a replacement 1b man than it is to find a damn good SS.

Say you swap out Lee's contract For Tejada. Then the Cubs go out and pick up Todd Helton. Using Az Phil's estimated payroll of $91.5 million we can have something like this...

Subtract Lee's $9.75 million
Add Tejada's $10 million
Add Helton's $16.6 million
Total payroll $108.35 million.

Cubs could play Corey Patterson in RF and Walker or Cedeno at 2nd.

The Cubs could give Walker, Hairston and Patterson away via trade and bring down the payroll to around $100 million. Then if the Cubs were willing to have a payroll of $105 million you go out and sign Jaque Jones.

So for a $105 million you can put out a team of...

CF - Juan Pierre
LF - Murton
1b - Helton
SS - Tejada
3b - Ramirez
2b - Cedeno
RF - Jones
C - Barrett

Much better up the middle and OF defense than last years team. But you have to be creative to get the pieces you need.

You don't even have to use Helton. Insert your favorite rumored 1b man and run with this scenerio. I used Helton because by far he has the largest contract for a 1b man and I wanted to show how much flexibility the Cubs would still have even if they trade for him and took on all his salary.

I'd take Sanders or Encarnacioin in a 1-year deal before Hidalgo. Way before Hidalgo.

Is it possible that we are thinking too big? Yes, it is fun but it is not realistic. From the comments I have read over the past few days you would think the cubs were fielding the worst team since morandini, Bluaser, and Gietti took the field.

If we give up our future (pie, cedeno, etc...) and our bench (hariston, possibly patterson) for big names like tejada we are still subject to clubhouse and lineup problems. These big names don't really solve any issues. Just because names are out there doesn't mean we have to be buyers.

Honestly, Encarnacioin sounds like a great interim deal while we wait for Pie.

Lets not forget that the reason Tejada wants out of Baltimore is because he doesn't like their direction. They let BJ Ryan walk, their pitching staff is young and their outfielders are no names.

My point: Will they use this opportunity to "stock up"? They know the Nats are trying to steal some market share but the Sosa/Palmeiro thing didn't work.

from Rotowire:

Ronny Cedeno hit his first homer yesterday for Aragua of the VWL.
Cedeno is sixth in the league with a .353 average in 116 at-bats

"Ken Rosenthal says 3 to 1 Cubs (ROFL)"

The idea is he has is Tejada and Adam Loewen for Prior, Cedeno, Walker, and C-pat.

I would do it but I know many who drink the Prior kool-aid won't. I do not get why people think of Prior as a god he is a solid no. 2 when he is not acting like a school girl which is most of the time. Tejada is the best SS in all of baseball and Prior is not in the top 20 of SP's. SP's better than Prior:

1. Santana
2. Oswalt
3. Halladay
4. Willis
5. Carpenter
6. Peavy
7. Zambrano
8. Colon
9. Sheets
10. Pedro
11. Buerhle
12. Herandez
13. Harden
14. Beckett
15. Mulder
16. Hudson
17. Johnson
18. Myers
19. Zito
20. Burnett

Burnett better than Prior? Surely you jest.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?c...

found this Jayson Stark column on the freebie side of ESPN...rating the MLB Winter Meetings winners & losers

funniest line:

Other Losers
Yankees (Big Apple Division): Brian Cashman's biggest acquisition at these meetings was a cranberry muffin. No truth to the rumor he balked at adding a croissant when the cash-register attendant asked for Chien-Ming Wang in return.

...and his criticism of the Rangers and DRays new and young GM's was pretty interesting to me:

Devil Rays (Rookie Mistake Division): The Rays thought they had a deal they just needed to say yes to -- Julio Lugo for Atlanta third-base prospect Andy Marte, in either a two-team or three-team incarnation (with Boston). Instead, they asked for a little too much beyond that and took a little too much time to say yes. And by the time the new baseball decision maker, Andrew Friedman, was ready to deal, the Braves and Red Sox had moved on to their own deal. Tampa Bay still has a far more efficient and energetic approach than it has had in its history. And it has plenty of time to salvage this offseason. But this was not a good first step.

Rangers (Host City Division): There might have been more grumbling about new Texas general manager Jon Daniels from his fellow GMs than about any other GM on the premises. Because he was looking to make a big deal in his debut, Daniels overpriced his most attractive commodity, Kevin Mench. And then, when he dealt his other big chip, Alfonso Soriano, he got a package back that, surprisingly, included no big-league ready starting pitchers. There was immediate talk that Texas would deal away Brad Wilkerson, obtained in that deal, for pitching. But the price tag on him might scare more clubs away. "Unless they can flip those guys for pitching, that deal makes no sense," one assistant GM said.

Winners: Toronto, Mets and pitchers with career records under .500 (pretty interesting too, based on what the next level FA pitchers sign for)

Losers:
1. ManRam (nearly untradable)
2. Astros (because of Clemens)
3. Cardinals?In so many ways, the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best and most stable franchises in any sport. But these days, they're also one of the most puzzling.
They drew 3.5 million people this year. They won 100-plus games for the second year in a row. They have a new ballpark rising in the shadows of Busch Stadium and new revenue streams flying at them from all directions. So why are they suddenly spending money as if they're the Twins?
They could have had Burnett signed at these meetings if they'd been willing to offer him just a little bit more than $38 million over four years. They had a potential deal for Vazquez fall apart over money issues.
They let Mark Grudzielanek, a player they wanted to sign -- and who wanted to return -- take a hike because ownership wouldn't let the baseball people pay him more than $2 million a year. And they've now lost 16 players since the final game of the 2003 World Series, many because of pressure to keep the payroll down.
"That's a team whose window to win may be closing," one GM said. "They'll still be good. But they're getting thinner, and they're getting older, and they're getting more vulnerable."
And what happened at these winter meetings -- when a starting pitcher they clearly wanted to sign didn't bite on the "You Should Take A Little Less Because We're The Cardinals" sales pitch -- could be an indication of just how much more vulnerable they really are.

Adam Lowen wouldn't exactly ease the loss of Prior either. Tejada or not, a rotation of Zambrano, Maddux, Williams, Rusch, (maybe Wood) and God knows who if Wood can't go won't get us any further than the team we have right now.

Yeah, that Mark Prior dude is over-rated.

Career 3.24 ERA, 613 IP, 719 SO's, only 536 hits given up. Can't the Cubs get rid of this garbage and move Rusch up in the rotation?

Burnett and Beckett are better than Prior? And Brett Myers? Beckett is almost the same pitcher as Prior; a bit older, never yet putting together a whole year, but good ERA when he does. At least Prior needs a baseball to the elbow to go on the DL, rather than 5 different cases of blisters in one year. Burnett? Hardly, last year, maybe. Career, and next year? Doubtful. Myers has like a career 4.5 ERA...

And some of those guys are significantly older than Prior, and all but a few are much more expensive. He wouldn't be my first choice when building a staff (Santana), but he would be alot higher than most of those guys.

chifan, I love how you so expertly rank your starting pitchers, but the fact of the matter is that is completely subjective.

Prior's upside, assuming no injury, is closer to being in that top five list than below Sheets, Zito, Burnett, Harden, or Myers. Prior's 2003 showed what he is capable of. The guy is barely 25, and you put him in behind Johnson, who put up a worse 2005 ERA than Prior, and wasn't a "great" pitcher until he was well past Prior's current age. In 1991 Johnson walked 152 batters! He was 28 then. Come on, its not too difficult to see Prior's potential and current value.

I also am confused as to why people want to trade Walker (I can understand if it brings in a name like Tejada), and why do people think Vazquez is worth getting and weren't all over the Burnett free agency?

If we're going by stuff..that is a great list. I'll wait on Myers, Harden, Hernandez, and Beckett/Burnett to produce a little more before putting theem on a pedestal.
Acting like a girl out there? Geez, why not just all him names too..I'd be acting differently too if I took a line drive off of my pitching elbow.
I also think that the whole Tejada thing would be great, but let's concentrate on reality and solidifying the RF spot.
Jose Guillen is available?

wow.
todd walker is a friggin bargain.

yes, todd walker is a friggin bargain, especially when you look at his batting numbers. Yet, they seem to already have him traded to every other team in the majors at some point or another this offseason. I'll take twalker over cedeno at second....

And I don't think balt is just going to give away a perfectly good tejada, but if he complains enough, who knows...

"Tejada is the best SS in all of baseball"

No Michael Young, Derek Jeter, and ARod (he signed as a SS) are all better that Tejada.

I love the idea of tejada on this team. Holy crap, batman. Especially if we can still have a prospect or two (or trade barrett) left to get huff to play right....

Pierre
Tejada
DLee
Ramirez
Huff
PIAZZA
cedeno/walker/neifi
Murton

wow, talk about finally wanting to win now..

(and yes, I'm sure I'm having pipe dreams about Mike Piazza catching part time with blanco, but I'm going to push it till it catches on...)

A-Rod is not a SS - you cannot pretend that he is simply because he used to play the position.

I guess Barrett is a 3b, right?

As for Jeter and Young, lets take a look:
Jeter: .309/.389/.450 49 x-tra bh's.
Young: .331/.385/.513 69 x-tra bh's.
Tejada: .304/.349/.515 81 x-tra bh's.

They are all pretty close. Jeter and Young have the higher OBP, Tejada having more power.

Lets take a look at VORP:
Jeter: 66.3
Young: 80.0
Tejada: 70.0

Win Shares:
Jeter: 26
Young: 27
Tejada: 26

Looks to me like they are all very close to each other, and that there is not really any of the three that truly stands out above the other.

>>the St. Louis Cardinals are ..also one of the most puzzling...why are they suddenly spending money as if they're the Twins?

Wonder if this is related?

http://adage.com/paypoints/buyArticle.cms/log...

Beer sales, which were 56% of the alcohol beverage market in 1999, were down to 53.2% of that market last year and the slide continues.

Why would we want Mike Piazza? Have you seen his numbers from last year?

First of all, he makes Michael Barrett look like a gold golver. But not only that, he makes Barrett look like a silver slugger too.

Piazza: .251/.326/.452 19 HR, 62 RBI
Barrett: .276/.345/.479 16 HR, 61 RBI

To be fair, Piazza was injured some in 05, so his HR and RBI totals are actually better than Barrett's. But come on...There is no way that Piazza is a better hitter than Barrett right now. And there is no way that he is a better defender than Barrett.

Piazza? No thank you.

First of all, he makes Michael Barrett look like a gold golver. But not only that, he makes Barrett look like a silver slugger too.

Funny, I thought the silver slugger in Michael Barrett's trophy case was the thing that made him look like a silver slugger.

"Acting like a girl out there? Geez, why not just all him names too..I'd be acting differently too if I took a line drive off of my pitching elbow."

Dusty,

I was not talking about that I was talking about the last 2 springs when he could not pitch through a dead arm period, and his meltdowns on the mound where he gives up a run or two and them can not keep his composure and then gives up 5 or 6 runs.

Funny, I thought the silver slugger in Michael Barrett's trophy case was the thing that made him look like a silver slugger.

Yea...good point. :)

But my point remains - Barrett is a better catcher than Piazza - both offensively and defensively.

and his meltdowns on the mound where he gives up a run or two and them can not keep his composure and then gives up 5 or 6 runs.

Are you sure Carlos Zambrano isn't the Cubs pitcher you're talking about here?

ESPN is reporting that the M.Morris to SF deal in now imminent...reportedly 3/$27m

AZ Phil-
Here are a couple salary issues I have vs your list above:

- I have Barrett making $4.13M ($4M base salary + $130K prorated signing bonus) as he had a $400K signing bonus spread over course of contract.
- I have Eyre making $3.7 M ($2.7M base salary + $1.0M one time signing bonus in 2006).
- I have Lee making $8.67M ($8.0M base salary + $670K in prorated signing bonus). He got a $2M signing bonus divided up over the 3 years deal.
- Mabry actually signed a $1.075M deal this year.

Of course, like you mentioned these numbers do not include the many performance and appearence bonuses. Let me know what you think.

#1 of 32: By chifan3887 (December 11, 2005 09:29 AM)
AZ Phil what do you think Jay Gibbons will make in Arbaration this year. Last year he made the same as Cpat (2.6 Mil) but had a better year. I am thinking he will likely get 4.

---

CHIFAN3887: Jay Gibbons is a 5th year arbitration-eligible player (he will be a FA after next season), so I see him getting $5 mil in 2006.

To the person who said: "And then there's Jose Guillen".

I live in DC, he's not going anywhere. We spend enough time dreaming about guys that are actually available.

#32 of 33: By mannytrillo (December 11, 2005 04:00 PM)
AZ Phil-
Here are a couple salary issues I have vs your list above:

- I have Barrett making $4.13M ($4M base salary + $130K prorated signing bonus) as he had a $400K signing bonus spread over course of contract.
- I have Eyre making $3.7 M ($2.7M base salary + $1.0M one time signing bonus in 2006).
- I have Lee making $8.67M ($8.0M base salary + $670K in prorated signing bonus). He got a $2M signing bonus divided up over the 3 years deal.
- Mabry actually signed a $1.075M deal this year.

Of course, like you mentioned these numbers do not include the many performance and appearence bonuses. Let me know what you think.

Manny: I wasn't sure how the signing bonuses worked for Barrett and Eyre, so I erred (eyred?) on the side of the Cubs, but I probably should have done the opposite.

I also BELIEVE that Prior's four years of $1m per season signing bonus payments concluded with the 2005 season (bringing his 2006 salary back down to $2.5m from $3.5m, but that is unclear, too).

I forgot about Mabry's extra $75,000.

As for Derrek Lee, he got a $750,000 salary escalator for 2006 by finshing 3rd in the MVP, and also got $350,000 in additional post-2005 bonuses for Gold Glove & Silver Slugger. So I combined the MVP salary escalator and other bonuses and just added an extra $1.1 mil to Lee's salary for 2006, bringing it up to $9.75m. But if you don't include the post-2005 Gold Glove & Silver Slugger bonuses, his salary will be $9.42m.

NOTE: I have changed Barrett's, Eyre's, and Mabry's salaries in my original article from earlier today (see above) to reflect Manny's corrections. Basically, it adds an additional $1.5m in 2006 payroll, bringing the number up to $93m, and leaving about $7m (if the payroll budget is $100m), or as much as $14m (if Walker, Patterson, and Hairston are traded or otherwise moved).

And thanks to Manny for the corrections!

Hahaha! Nice factoid on beer sales, Dave. The world works in mysterious ways... Could it be that the less Cubs fans drink, the less money the Cardinals have to spend? Have Bleacher Bums been financing St. Louis penant drives this whole time? You know, this is what sabermetrics really ought to be used on...

Anyway, so who are the Realistic options in rightfield? If this was a gambling website, I'd put money down on Shawn Green or Brad Wilkerson. Safe to say, the Cubs aren't breaking up the starting rotation, Miguel Tejada is not coming to Chicago and neither is Bobby Abreu. That leaves us with whom else as targets?

here's an interesting article....
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5157958

Sorry for adding on to the Tejada talk, but i just can't stop weighing what the impact would be or not be on this club

I saw Chifan and Arizona Phil mention Jay Gibbons earlier...

Could it be that the less Cubs fans drink, the less money the Cardinals have to spend? Have Bleacher Bums been financing St. Louis penant drives this whole time?

Of course.

That's why real Cub fans drink Old Style.

Tejada ahh, it's nice to dream... People have said he has a problem with Ramon Hernandez, but someone also said they used to be close. How many things in life are completely irreconcilable? Plus the Orioles have Peter Angelos, a lawyer and skilled negotiator, right?

The Orioles really must start winning or they will lose fanbase to the Senators. They will want arms and legs for Tejada, as Angelos is a very stingy fellow (see lawyer). And by those arms and legs I mean major league ready starters. Oh, I hope no one burns me for this.

If anyone has a link with a published year-by-year breakdown of Michael Barrett's contract, I'd be grateful if you would share it.

Also, Mark Prior will be paid $2.75 in 2006. He earned separate $0.5 (Cy Young voting) and $0.25 (All-Star appearance) escalators in 2003.

I swear that Mike Kiley of the Sun Times must read this blog. Sometimes he seems to regurgitate the arguments that play out on this board (like his recent Tejada article).

Not that I really blame him -- there is some pretty intelligent discussion here, and I'd rather read the stuff here than any of his original thoughts. I just think we should all get compensated -- say, $20 each per article.

Throughout this off season, I have gotten the feeling Jim Hendry needs three hours to change a light bulb. He should have re-signed Nomar and just concentrated on the outfield. I somewhat glad they did not sign Furcal (a guy w/ 2 DWI's palying day games in a park surrounded by bars)but now the Cubs are scrambling for RF and SS. Last year's team was not bad (except for "your name here" in LF and Corey) but rather they were hurt. At one time or another, one or two of the starting infield was out injured.

Lets not get caught up in the Jay Mariotti mindset here...

I like Tejada like the rest of you but if you can't deal from surplus, you just shouldn't deal.
We need a number 5 hitter. Ideally that hitter plays rightfield. If we can trade some guys that don't figure prominently in 2006, I say pull the trigger, otherwise walk.

You don't trade Prior or Zambrano to get Tejada. The best is yet to come from those boys. They're making nothing right now. You can't replace them in the market right now.

We could get anyone we want for Prior or Zambrano-Abreu, anyone from Texas, Tejada, etc...because they're worth more. Thats the market talkin, not the stats.

Personally, I like Jerome Williams. I can't help but think that Texas wouldn't give us Mench or Wilkerson for Williams. The market is THIN for starting pitching. The longer we wait, Morris will sign, Millwood will sign, etc...the more value we'll get for Williams.

As for Bradley, I think he's a thug. Thug's don't win championships. I live near Indianapolis and constantly listen to Ron Artest problems. Guys like that aren't worth the headaches they bring.

If Pierre plays great, we'll re-sign him. Pie will move to rightfield. If we a sign Jacque Jones it would have to be a two year deal tops.

If we trade for Tejada we still have to get a rightfielder.

Yes, this is a rant. I haven't been hittin' the booze today.

They can get old crap from the Angels, Manny won't want to play there. If they have to move him, they'll come to us.

I'd say Cedeno, Williams and their choice of Patterson or Walker is the best we offer. If we did that deal we could play Pie in right and hit him 8th but thats somewhere between plan b or c...

I'm disappointed the Cubs didn't get Furcal, but I don't know why they didn't offer Nomar arbitration. Sure it would cost at least $8 million to keep him around then, but if Furcal's worth 13 million and Neifi's worth 3 million, then I don't think its an outragous amount.

Its not like there's another good option available, which means Neifi will be getting another 600 ABs this season.

Just thought I'd say thanks to AZ Phil for the $$ update. I remember much payroll talk in Sept. & Oct., but hadn't seen much recently. Interesting to see how much money we have left. Keep up the great work, Phil.

BTW, of all the crazy rumors, this one was my favorite:

Cubs -- get Abreu
Phillies -- get Zito (this is what it would take to get Abreu from them)
A's -- get J. Williams, Rich Hill, CPat, T. Walker -- try to do this deal w/o Murton, but if you MUST include Murton, I'd lose him to lock up Abreu for the next couple years, maybe try to keep J. Williams then.....

Another BTW -- in my opinion, Cedeno at SS = good option. I think this guy can hit at least .280, maybe around .300 if he surprises, put up a decent-solid OBP, and play great D. Plus, he seems to do small things well -- hustle, hit to the right side, bunt.....things the Cubs often lack.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=rs-winn...

Ryno writes a column for Yahoo Sports (above). He's become a media moth now that he's a Hall of Famer. But at least he's OUR HOF'er

This is another winners/losers article on the winter meetings...

His take on Juan Pierre (under Winners)

Juan Pierre ñ He got out of Florida just in time. He would have been miserable playing there while the team continues to get dismantled. Pierre will flourish with the Chicago Cubs and he'll take advantage of bunting on Wrigley Field's tall infield grass.

Joel Sheehan wrote this a week ago in BP about Furcal and the Dodgers signing him

Iím very impressed by the imminent Rafael Furcal deal, which looks like three years and $39 million. The Dodgers are showing an understanding of a key element of free-agent signing: itís often not the money in the deal but the length, and a shorter commitment that involves the same number of dollars you might spend in a longer one is often a better deal for the team.

Furcal is a good, not great, player, and heís probably better suited to bat anywhere but leadoff. He has very good power for a shortstop, but his walk rates are average and heís not a .300 hitter. Batting him second would be a better use of his skill set. The Dodgers will get his age 28-30 seasons and have no commitment to him past that; itís a terrific contract for them, and shows an understanding of the limits of player projection. Three years out is about as far as you can project any player, and even thatís going to have a fair amount of uncertainty attached to it.

furcal isnt 35-37 years old...signing him 3 years or 5 years isnt gonna really gonna matter to a guy his age unless he runs into injury. i still dont buy the fact that furcal is worth 13m a year in any market...even the 98-01 FA market craziness.

i dont think shee's an idiot or anything..he's a smart dude, but i just cant buy that piece on furcal.

i wonder how he feels about the braves restructuring to guarentee c.jones a deal to free up money for the braves this offseason.

I guess there's someone more qualified to speak about the Wrigley infield than Sandberg... but I just can't think of who that might be.

Did see the article about baserunning hidden in the back of Baseball Prospectus 2005? I gave my copy to my brother, but as I recall Sandberg was the 4th best baserunner since 1972 (or so), and he was probably a little slower than the other guys ahead of him on the list. Wonder why they're not bringing him in to show people how to run bases instead of Vince Coleman....

I also wonder why BP comes up with that baserunning stuff, then neglects to count it in thier VORP (or WARP etc). If 6 to 10 runs can be credited to a hitter for excellent baserunning, you'd think that they're counting other things too highly (yeah, I'm looking at you OBP)

Sandberg was a fine player but he is a terrible writer on Yahoo! Really terrible but not as bad as that redneck Wertzel.

Yea...I agree - Ryon is terrible on Yahoo. He has absolutely no idea how to write a decent article, and his baseball "insight" is not much better.

Ryne

"Late Wednesday, another rumor popped up, with the Phillies said to have offered outfielder Bobby Abreu, catcher Mike Lieberthal and pitching prospect Gavin Floyd for lefty Barry Zito and catcher Jason Kendall.

Given that Abreu is owed roughly $30 million over the next two seasons and Lieberthal is scheduled to make $7.5 million next year, such a deal would increase Oakland's payroll over the next two years by more than $10 million. Kendall is owed $24 million over the next two seasons, but the Pirates are paying $5 million of that in 2007, and Zito is scheduled to make $7.9 million next season -- not $8.5 million, as Forst reminded reporters -- in the last year of his contract"

This is from the A's website. Couldn't we spin a couple of prospects and/or Jerome Williams for Abreu?

He'd be the perfect fit.

"The Diamondbacks have yet to address their logjam at the corner infield and outfield positions, which means if the season started today, Chad Tracy would be in right field with Shawn Green in center. First base would be manned by Conor Jackson, who played sparingly last year after being called up in July."

from the D-backs website...I like Shawn Green.

According to rotoworld Tejada told the Baltimore CSN he never said he wanted to be traded, but is frustrated by the team's failure. This contradicts what he said to the AP on Thursday.

"I've been with the Orioles for two years and things haven't gone in the direction that we were expecting, so I think the best thing will be a change of scenery."

I think Tejada is just doing a CYA job in the likelyhood a trade does not happen. Remeber this time last year Sosa said he did not want a trade.

Parrerson should be our third outfielder and bat
bat sixth behind Barrett for half a season,then moved to fifth. He'll be happy there, hit 30 hme runs and steal 30 bases and strike out a hundred times We're fools to trade him just because he doesn't like to bunt and lead off, We didn't try to do that to Sosa when he was a kid. We shouldn't do it to Patterson just because we're huffed. Pattersom's arm is good enough for right when he's not be razzed by drunken fraternity boys from Northwestern

AZ Phil:
"And thanks to Manny for the corrections!"

No problem...I, just like yourself are infatuated with the payroll and 40 man roster and it can get very confusing very easily and I thank you for your comments on the matter so I can double check my thoughts.

Like we have done here and in the past, I am sure we will continue to help each other on these topics.

Parrerson should be our third outfielder and bat
bat sixth behind Barrett for half a season,then moved to fifth. He'll be happy there, hit 30 hme runs and steal 30 bases and strike out a hundred times We're fools to trade him just because he doesn't like to bunt and lead off, We didn't try to do that to Sosa when he was a kid. We shouldn't do it to Patterson just because we're huffed. Pattersom's arm is good enough for right when he's not be razzed by drunken fraternity boys from Northwestern

Ugh, the Phillies want legit talent in return. They want Barry Zito. Former 23 game and Cy Young award winner. They don't want joe nobody Jerome Williams.

You want Abreu you start at Mark Prior, Ramirez, Lee, and Zambrano. You don't start at the bottom of the barrel with Jerome Williams.

I don't know why Cubs fans think we can offer our garbage and expect to get the best player off another team. Especially when they aren't looking to deal him just for the sake of dealing him and are trying to win their division.

If Derrek Lee spoke up and said he was unhappy with the direction of the Cubs organization and demanded a trade does that mean you will trade him to Atlanta for Adam LaRoche and some prospects? You wouldn't be screaming for that, you would DEMAND equal value in return.

Maybe if the Cubs signed some big time talent in the past we would have more pieces to offer up in a trade. But then again if we signed some big time talent in the past we wouldn't be salivating over long shots such as Abreu and Tejada. Hell me might not even care they are available. We would just shrug our shoulders and go, oh thats nice, but we got a pretty damn good offense already.

Parrerson should be our third outfielder and bat
bat sixth behind Barrett for half a season,then moved to fifth. He'll be happy there, hit 30 hme runs and steal 30 bases and strike out a hundred times We're fools to trade him just because he doesn't like to bunt and lead off, We didn't try to do that to Sosa when he was a kid. We shouldn't do it to Patterson just because we're huffed. Pattersom's arm is good enough for right when he's not being razzed

Parrerson should be our third outfielder and bat
bat sixth behind Barrett for half a season,then moved to fifth. He'll be happy there, hit 30 hme runs and steal 30 bases and strike out a hundred times We're fools to trade him just because he doesn't like to bunt and lead off, We didn't try to do that to Sosa when he was a kid. We shouldn't do it to Patterson just because we're huffed. Pattersom's arm is good enough for right when he's not being razzed

I thought Sosa DID bat leadoff for a time. Am I wrong? Not sure.

MikeC, sometimes when a player demands to be traded, your hands are tied and you take what you can get. Also, when trying to dump payroll, younger guys are attractive.

Here is what Tejada said in that BCSN interview:

"I never said I wanted to be traded. I said I want to see a better team. I don't want to keep losing like we have the past two years. Look at the division we're in. It's not easy to win without pitching. I'm not saying I don't like the team or the city. If they trade me, I don't want people to think I just want to go to a winning team. I just want the organization to do something, go get pitching. If they don't, they're telling me they don't want to win. I don't want to take anything away from the pitchers we have. But we need more. We need an ace. I think they've got to make some moves. That's why I'm upset. I hope the fans won't be mad at me. But I think me speaking up might actually help the team get better."

Backs up what I said about it in my earlier post. Chad is right if Tejada makes it into a sitution where the O's have to trade him then we would get him for Jwill, Cedeno, Cpat, and Ryu or Marmol if not then at the least we will have to give up Pie and Hill on top of Jwill and Cedeno and most likely they would want Prior. Ultimetly I think Tejada is too much of a class act to pull a TO on the Orioles so he stays put.

Never said he wanted be traded...just said he wanted a change of scenery...

"I've been with the Orioles for two years and things haven't gone in the direction that we were expecting, so I think the best thing will be a change of scenery," Tejada told The Associated Press during a telephone interview in his native Dominican Republic.

Backpedal on Miguel.

You guys are laughable with your old turn your crap into gold ideas for Abreu and Tejada.

Only Crunch seems to understand the basic reasons for why Baltimore and Philly will not simply give away these players. For whatever reason that logic is lost on the rest of you and you keep throwing out Jerome Williams and Cpat as our great bargaining chips.

It is really laughable to see the same names thrown out day after day. Most of the players you guys throw out you don't even like or think are any good. But in your weird twisted view of what is valuable you think it is an awesome offer that both of these teams could not possibly resist if we offered it. Go talk to a Philly or Balt fan and offer that? After they stop laughing ask them why they are laughing.

#26 of 68: By dave (big lowitzki) (December 11, 2005 03:20 PM)
Why would we want Mike Piazza? Have you seen his numbers from last year?

First of all, he makes Michael Barrett look like a gold golver. But not only that, he makes Barrett look like a silver slugger too.

Piazza: .251/.326/.452 19 HR, 62 RBI
Barrett: .276/.345/.479 16 HR, 61 RBI

To be fair, Piazza was injured some in 05, so his HR and RBI totals are actually better than Barrett's. But come on...There is no way that Piazza is a better hitter than Barrett right now. And there is no way that he is a better defender than Barrett.

Piazza? No thank you.
----

If you have something to back up the D part, please show that. I know "Catcher Defense" is one of those things, but at the end of the day, I would take piazza, at roughly the same price as barrett because he can CALL A GAME. Piazza knows what to do behind the plate, maybe better at it than anybody in the majors. Not to mention, as you pointed out, he's still got better nos. in a full year at the plate than our "silver slugger" barrett.

My main complaint is that, especially with the potential in this staff, they need a catcher to throw to, and to call a game. Look, piazza's never had an arm. Noted. He's getting really old, is having knee, back and everything else problems, and can't move so good behind the plate. Heard ya. Have kremchek check him out, sign him on the cheap, and you just gave yourself another decent piece of trade fodder in barrett. Plus, here's a secret--barrett's not that good, partially because until not all that long ago, he's NOT A CATCHER. There's a reason why maddux and now prior like throwing to blanco, it's because he can CATCH. I think we'd be better served by letting that happen, and then you've got a bigger bat and a better game caller for any/everybody else. Plus, when blanco starts, you've got a huge bat off the bench, plus when you bring soto, etc. up after the rosters expand, you've got a guy who's probably a better instructor than a lot of guys who get paid to do it, plus, you've got a HOF'er whose been to the WS before. I like this a lot, and I'm not really sure I'm wrong.....

mikec--you make a good point. However, who'da thunk marte would've gone for renteria 1-for-1? It's a weird day right now. The one hairbrained thing I do think would work? A package of essentially prospects and crap for manny, as long as we pay most/all of his salary, only because by the media, they seem desperate to move him. I also think it's following in that vein that once "tejada requested a trade", it seemed like balt would follow suit and be ready to hand him over, which, at least for now (and probably quite awhile) ain't the case.

one more thing dave(big lowitzki)-- (I can't resist)--I don't care how much piazza makes barrett look like a "gold golver"

Joe - yes, Sosa batted leadoff at the start of his Cub career. I thought that I knew a place somewhere online to see batting order breakdowns by year, but can't find it at the moment. But scanning retrosheet, you can find games from 1992 where he led off. Early in the season, we had Dunston first and Sosa second. How's THAT for a poorly-designed top of the lineup?

I would take piazza, at roughly the same price as barrett because he can CALL A GAME.

Okay...you tell me that I should back up my defense assertion with something, and then you make the same assertion.

It is commonly known that neither Barrett or Piazza are good defensive catchers. At best they are probably equally bad.

Not to mention, as you pointed out, he's still got better nos. in a full year at the plate than our "silver slugger" barrett.

Umm..no I did not. I only said that Piazza would have more homeruns and RBIs. But I still think that Barrett has clearly been a better hitter over the last two years. There is a reason that the Mets don't Piazza anymore. Because he simply is not that good. He cannot catch consistently because of health problems, and he cannot hit consistently anymore.

I would be very, very surprised if any team in baseball would want Piazza over Barrett.

Piazza would have been nive 5 or 6 years ago, but not for 2006.

Yahoo Sports has situational stats for players over the past five years and for their careers since '87. Not that helps what Sosa did in '92 of course, but it's helpful sometimes.

According to Yahoo...Sosa saw 469 at-bats from the leadoff spot, sporting a wonderful line of .271/.312/.478. Not sure what year they came in.

.312? That is Korey bad.

MikeC, you are missing the point. Randy Johnson was traded for Freddie Garcia and Carlos Guillen. Not exactly huge stars.

?????

Chad, the Mariners made out like bandits when you consider they were trying to trade Randy as a two-month rental to a contender. I don't know if you've been alerted to this or not, but Garcia just anchored a WS winner, and Guillen's put up some fabulous numbers.

If you haven't seen this before, a neat website for player contracts: http://www.mlb4u.com/chi.html

Here's what it said about Prior:
"Mark Prior: 5-Year worth 10.5M- will make in 2002- 250K + 4M signing bonus, in 2003- 650K, in 2004- 1.6M, and in 2005- 2M, and in 2006- 3.6M- + he can void deal after 2004 if elgible for arbitration and then by opting for salary arb.- + receives a 5M escaltion of salary for winning Cy Young or an ALL-STAR selection in the previous year Agent: John Boggs Service Time: 2.131"

So Prior will be marking 3.6 million according to this info...

And how about this:
"Calvin Murray: RETIRED--working for Scott Boras Corp."

...NB... Incorporate yourself in 2006. This way if you lose millions on the market, you can just dissolve the corporation. Whaddayasay? It worked for Enron!

Bandits, huh? Future hall of fame pitcher for an slighty above averag pitcher who hasn't won more than 14 games in the last three years. Oh, they made out like bandits alright. Not to mention that at the time of the trade Garcia was a prospect. A good prospect, but not Roger Freaking Clemens. ERGO, it wouldn't take a big name to land Abreu or Tejada. Just the right place at the right time.

A's website--"Late Wednesday, another rumor popped up, with the Phillies said to have offered outfielder Bobby Abreu, catcher Mike Lieberthal and pitching prospect Gavin Floyd for lefty Barry Zito and catcher Jason Kendall.

"Given that Abreu is owed roughly $30 million over the next two seasons and Lieberthal is scheduled to make $7.5 million next year, such a deal would increase Oakland's payroll over the next two years by more than $10 million. Kendall is owed $24 million over the next two seasons, but the Pirates are paying $5 million of that in 2007, and Zito is scheduled to make $7.9 million next season -- not $8.5 million, as Forst reminded reporters -- in the last year of his contract"

Woo, this is really interesting, this is exactly what I wanted to hear! Zito is the Phillies' idea of a return for Abreu! I doubt though that the A's want to take on such a big salary commitment to Abreu in 2007, so this really gives the Cubs and their cash a chance to get in the middle of things.

Phillies get: Zito, Kendall
A's get: Lieberthal, Wilkerson, G.Floyd, R.Hill
Cubs get: Abreu
Rangers get: Williams

I would be very, very surprised if any team in baseball would want Piazza over Barrett.

----

Unfortunately, I haven't taken up the Bill James lessons, but I'm curious to see the VORP I think it is, comparing these two. I think piazza brings a lot of intangibles, and barrett's overrated. My two cents, that's all.

Barrett's one of JH's golden children, he's up and down the lineup (not his fault), and his value comes from his bat, which should be covered by 1B/3B and hopefully RF. C isn't a huge run producer anywhere in the NL, apparently, judging by barrett's silver slugger numbers; my point, whether piazza or Henry-frigging-blanco, is that Catcher was not barrett's natural position, and I think he, and more importantly the pitching staff, suffer from it.

Maybe I've been misled by a mets-fan buddy of mine concerning piazza's game-calling; I doubt it, but for the sake of argument, I'll grant it. I'm not the only one to post similar ideas on this site about barrett, concerning things like the pitchers not trusting him, etc. All I'm saying is I think this team, especially with the somewhat fragile pitching staff as it is, would be much better served by forgoing the "bat" that michael barrett brings and getting a REAL FLIPPING CATCHER. Thoughts?

That idiot Rogers is saying we should trade Z for Tejada. That is the one guy who should not be traded. I would give up Aram, Dlee, or Prior in a heartbeat for Tejada.

Chifan, your stupidity on the Tejada issue is bested only by that of Phil Rogers.

Problem is we have too much deadWood on this team. That's tying Hendry;'s hands.

"baltimore would love to get rid of tejada's contract"

Crunch,

What have you seen that leads you to this conclusion? I have seen no evidence to this. Tejada may want out. But I have no reason to believe that Baltimore wants to trade him.

Interesting that since Furcal got 13mm, Tejada wants to be traded. I wonder if this has anything to do with the stipulation in his contract that makes him a FA after next season if he gets traded? He'd have 2 years and 24mm left (or is it 3/36?) after 2006. He could surely go out on the FA market and get more than that.

End of the day - I don't think Baltimore will trade Tejada cheaply. If they move him, it will be because they swing a deal that gets them another big bat now, and a replacement calibre SS, and possibly a prospect, but not just for prospects. I'd give up ANY 3 guys in the farm for Tejada right now. Peter Angelos wouldn't do it. And if he would, he'd be able to get more from Anaheim who has a better farm system than we do right now.

Filling the hole in right
Does anyone thing Matt Lawton would fit the hole in right? He'd be good behind Piere in the two hole. As for trading one of the horses, Prior and Zambrano, Hendry would be run out of town. The Braves didn't win 10+ divisional championships throwing the top prospect out on the mound every other game.

Tejada isn't going anywhere, move on to your next fantasy.....or reality. We'll get a J jones/p wilson/r sanders type to play RF as a stopgap for when hell freezes over. And once again we are going to rely on a less than reliable pitching staff and an average offense and fielding. All this means another near .500 season(unless wood/prior/Z ALL never get hurt)and an extension for Crusy Faker and JH for at least one more year.

RE: Prior and Zambrano

2005 is year 2 of arbitration for both of them, right?

So 2006 is year 3.

They are both FAs in 2007.

What's the plan? Can we afford to resign them both? 15mm each? 17mm? more? 5 year deals for both...

Can we afford to committ to a 30+mm per year for 2 starting Ps? Eventually we need the farm system to deliver some middle of the rotation starters out of this huge talent pool that we have talked so much about over the past 5 years. My guess is that by Opening Day 2007, there will be no more than one of the current projected 2005 starters still in the rotation.

Matt Lawton? Are you kidding me? There is less than a zero percent chance that the Cubs are interested in Lawton. Remember, this is the guy who was AWFUL last year during his mercifully short stint with the Cubs. In addition, this is the guy who got caught using steroids. Lawton is at least one thing none of us needs to worry about.

Matt Lawton??

I hope you are kidding..."Juiced" Matt Lawton wasn't even good enough.

#70 of 88: By MikeC (December 11, 2005 10:50 PM)
You guys are laughable with your old turn your crap into gold ideas for Abreu and Tejada.

Only Crunch seems to understand the basic reasons for why Baltimore and Philly will not simply give away these players. For whatever reason that logic is lost on the rest of you and you keep throwing out Jerome Williams and Cpat as our great bargaining chips.

It is really laughable to see the same names thrown out day after day. Most of the players you guys throw out you don't even like or think are any good. But in your weird twisted view of what is valuable you think it is an awesome offer that both of these teams could not possibly resist if we offered it. Go talk to a Philly or Balt fan and offer that? After they stop laughing ask them why they are laughing.

----

MIKE C: So if what you say is true (and maybe it is, I don't know), why did the A's trade Tim Hudson to the Braves for Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas?

Mike, you know as well as I do that baseball history is littered with unbelievably stupid trades. The Cubs have made dozens of them. You know that. I KNOW you know that.

So the three-way trade I proposed a couple of days ago (Todd Walker to the Dodgers for Milton Bradley, then Bradley, Jerome Williams, and Rich Hill to the A's for Barry Zito, then Barry Zito to the Phillies for Bobby Abreu), is no more or no less "laughable" (to me) or plausible than Tim Hudson for Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas was a year ago, the only difference being that trade ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

"So if what you say is true (and maybe it is, I don't know), why did the A's trade Tim Hudson to the Braves for Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas? "

Because Oakland has a 50mm payroll, while Baltimore has a much higher payroll. Remember, Balt was trying to ADD Paul Konerko at 13.5mm per for 5 years. He turned them down and took less money. They aren't looking to dump salary.

If Tejada didn't complain about his situation, there would not be one peep about him being available.

#90 of 93: By X (December 12, 2005 06:52 AM)
RE: Prior and Zambrano

2005 is year 2 of arbitration for both of them, right?

So 2006 is year 3.

They are both FAs in 2007.

---

X: Zambrano is a free-agent after 2007,

Prior is signed through 2006 per the deal he signed when the Cubs drafted him in 2001, and so he will be eligible for arbitration after next season and after 2007 (only), and then he will be a free-agent after 2008.

Here is the complete list through 2009:

FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2006 SEASON:
Henry Blanco
Jerry Hairston, Jr
Derrek Lee
John Mabry
Greg Maddux (ìno tradeî through 2006 season)
Juan Pierre
Aramis Ramirez (player option for 2007)
Todd Walker
Scott Williamson
Kerry Wood (club option to pay $13m salary in 2007 or $3m buy-out - also ìno tradeî through 2006 season)

FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2007:
Michael Barrett
Scott Eyre (player option for 2008)
Corey Patterson
Neifi Perez
Glendon Rusch
Carlos Zambrano
Kerry Wood (if Cubs decline buy-out after 2006)

FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2008:
Ryan Dempster
Scott Eyre (if player option is not exercised after 2007)
Bob Howry
Will Ohman
Mark Prior
Aramis Ramirez (mutual option for 2009, or vesting option for 2009 if 280 GAMES PLAYED 2007-08)

FREE-AGENT AFTER 2009:
Jerome Williams

"Aramis Ramirez (mutual option for 2009, or vesting option for 2009 if 280 GAMES PLAYED 2007-08)"

He can opt out after this year - right?

oops - I see it now Phil - thanks

#94 of 95: By X (December 12, 2005 07:19 AM)
"So if what you say is true (and maybe it is, I don't know), why did the A's trade Tim Hudson to the Braves for Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas? "

Because Oakland has a 50mm payroll, while Baltimore has a much higher payroll. Remember, Balt was trying to ADD Paul Konerko at 13.5mm per for 5 years. He turned them down and took less money. They aren't looking to dump salary.

If Tejada didn't complain about his situation, there would not be one peep about him being available.

-

X: In the four-way trade I proposed involving the Orioles and Miguel Tejada, there was no "salary dump" by Baltimore.

In fact, in return for Tejada and Jay Gibbons, the O's would get Troy Glaus, Kris Benson, and $6m (from the D'backs), which they can use to sign a "name" FA SS (like Nomar Garciaparra) to replace Tejada. (And the D'backs would have $6m left-over even after they send $6m to Baltimore!).

In the case of my three-way proposal involving Abreu and Zito, it's no different than the A's trading Tim Hudson when he was entering his last year before free-agency a year ago... The A's want to get something back for Zito, because he will be a free-agent after next season. Three players (two auto-renewal pirchers and an OF who isn't going to make more than MAYBE $4m in arbitration) is not "out of line" with the package the A's received for Hudson a year ago (Cruz, Meyer, and Thomas).

The package the A's got from St. Louis for Mark Mulder was understandably better than what they got for Hudson, because Mulder was TWO YEARS away from free-agency when he was traded to the Cardinals. But Zito's MLB service time tight now is where Hudson's was a year ago, NOT where Mulder's was.

And so once the Cubs get Zito, they would trade him to the Phillies for Abreu, and (with the differential in 2006 salaries between Zito and Abreu) the Phils would still have $5 mil left-over to sign a veteran FA RF to replace Abreu in 2006.

And adding a Mike Lieberthal and Gavin Floyd to Oakland for Jason Kendall component to the deal (see John Hill's Post #82) only makes it MORE enticing for Billy Beane.

What I'm trying to say is that the two trades I proposed may not happen (Jim Hendry rarely calls me for advice), but I don't think it's fair to call them "laughable," either.

Here again are the two trades I proposed yesterday:

FIVE-WAY SCENARIO (A's, Dodgers, Phillies, Cubs, and Rockies)

CUBS TARGETS: RF Bobby Abreu and RHP Jason Jennings

A'S GET:
CF Milton Bradley
RHP Jerome Williams
LHP Rich Hill
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE: $1.5 mil (estimated) savings

DODGERS GET:
2B Todd Walker
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE: NONE

PHILLIES GET:
LHP Barry Zito
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE: $5 mil savings, which could be used to sign a FA RF to replace Abreu.

CUBS GET:
RF Bobby Abreu
RHP Jason Jennings
$3 mil from A's
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE FOR CUBS: About $10 mil (net) added to 2006 payroll.

ROCKIES GET:
CF Corey Patterson
RHP Todd Wellemeyer
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE: $1.5 mil savings

----

FOUR-WAY SCENARIO (Mets, Orioles, Diamondbacks, and Cubs):

CUBS TARGETS: SS Miguel Tejada & RF Jay Gibbons

METS GET:
RHP Javier Vasquez
2B Todd Walker
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE: $3 mil added to payroll

ORIOLES GET:
RHP Kris Benson
3B Troy Glaus
$6 mil from Diamondbacks
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE: $6 mil savings, which could be used to sign a FA SS to replace Tejada (Nomar, maybe?)

DIAMONDBACKS GET:
RHP Jerome Williams
2B Jerry Hairston, Jr
CF Corey Patterson
RHP Aaron Heilman
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE: $6 mil savings, which could be spent on a FA starting pitcher.

CUBS GET:
SS Miguel Tejada
RF Jay Gibbons
2006 PAYROLL CHANGE FOR CUBS: About $11 mil (net) added to 2006 payroll.

"In fact, in return for Tejada and Jay Gibbons, the O's would get Troy Glaus, Kris Benson, and $6m"

And given that they have control of Tejada for 3-4 more years, why in heaven's name would they do that? Baltimore already has a very good 3B (Mora) and Glaus is one of the most overrated 3B in baseball (IMHO). Benson - blah, they can just go out and spend the money they had wanted to spend on Konerko and get Washburn, Weaver or Milwood who are all in the same ballpark as Benson. Phil, where do they get better in doing this?

"And so once the Cubs get Zito, they would trade him to the Phillies for Abreu"

I'm sure the Phillies have something else to say about this.

Phil, I just don't see it. Philly and Baltimore are not looking to unload payroll. They want full value for their guys. I may be wrong (wouldn't be the first time) but I really doubt that either of those teams would trade one of the best player at their positions for packages with guys who are truly mediocre, or who are prospects.

X: Frankly, despite media reports to the contrary, I just can't see the Orioles trading Tejada, either, unless he starts to act like T. O. I agree that acquiring Glaus and Benson and a chance to sign Nomar wouldn't make up for losing Tejada. I was only speculating what the Orioles MIGHT decide they need to do IF (and ONLY if) they are put into a position where keeping Tejada becomes counter-productive, and IF they don't want to trade Tejada to another A. L. club (like to Boston for Manny Ramirez, for instance).

As for whether the Phillies would actualy trade Bobby Abreu for Barry Zito, they might IF they feel adding another quality starting pitcher can only happen IF they jettison Abreu's mega-bucks contract ($13 mil in 2006, $15 mil in 2007 and $16 mil--or a $2 mil buy-out--in 2008) and acquire a cheaper RF.

Obviously, if the Phillies are not serious about wanting to trade Abreu, then it doesn't matter whether the Cubs can get into the middle of a multi-team deal or not. But IF the Phillies DO want to trade Abreu for a starting pitcher (and there have been media reports that back that up), then a three-way deal with Oakland (or a four-way with the Dodgers) that can get Zito to Philadelphia could bring Abreu to the Cubs. Not likely, but not laughable, either.

If you look at what the A's took back for Tim Hudson a year ago when he was in the exact same position Barry Zito is in right now, getting Jerome Williams, Rich Hill and Milton Bradley (for instance) back for Zito certainly isn't any worse (and I would say it's actually better) that getting Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas for Hudson!

I'm on board with you on most of your above points Phil. I agree that is the kind of package the As would want. I'm not sure the Phils would be that complicit. I don't think they are in much a cash constraint. I think they'd rather sign a Weaver/Milwood/Washburn than get one year of Zito at the cost of giving up Abreu who is priced fairly given what he produces.

'That idiot Rogers is saying we should trade Z for Tejada. That is the one guy who should not be traded. I would give up Aram, Dlee, or Prior in a heartbeat for Tejada.'

Of course you would. And I am so glad you are not our GM.

"Of course you would. And I am so glad you are not our GM."

Would you not trade Aramis for Tejada?

Would you not trade Lee for Tejada?

I can see not wanting to trade Prior for him - but the other two certainly would be worth considering.

Does anyone have any reference of Mark Prior's salary in 2006? Even within these comments there have been varying answers. I was pretty sure he was at $3.55m, but if anyone has any factual evidence it'd be appreciated.

It's $2.5mm according to hardball dollars, but I think he has some of his signing bonus come to him which is probably why you've seen 3.55 mil

#104 of 105: By wilkerson (December 12, 2005 03:29 PM)
Does anyone have any reference of Mark Prior's salary in 2006? Even within these comments there have been varying answers. I was pretty sure he was at $3.55m, but if anyone has any factual evidence it'd be appreciated.

#105 of 105: By Rob G. (December 12, 2005 04:39 PM)
It's $2.5mm according to hardball dollars, but I think he has some of his signing bonus come to him which is probably why you've seen 3.55 mil

WILKERSON & ROB G: Here is the correct contract info for Prior in 2006. I erred in the list I posted in the article above and it has been corrected. I am really bad at math.

BACKGROUND: Prior signed a five-year MAJOR LEAGUE conract (so he was immediately placed on the 40-man roster) for $10.5m (total) plus incentive salary escalators covering the years in 2002-06, with the right to opt out of the deal after 2005 IF he was eligible for arbitration at that time. (To be eligible, he would have realistically needed to make the the Cubs out of Spring Training in 2002, but he spent the first seven weeks of 2002 in AAA).

In addition to receiving a certain specified salary each season, Prior also got a $4m signing bonus which was to be paid in increments of $800,000 over the years 2002-06. He also could receive automatic salary escalators for making the All-Star team ($500,000) or finishing in the Top three in the Cy Young ($250,00 for 3rd, $500,000 for 2nd, and $1m for fwinning the Cy Young).

So he received:

2002: $250,000 (+$800,000 signing bonus) - $1.05m total
2003: $650,000 (+$800,000 signing bonus) - $1.45m total

NOTE: $500,000 salary escalator beginning in 2004 for making 2003 All-Star team, and $250,000 salary escalator for finishing 3rd in Cy Young.

2004: $1.6m escalated to $2.35m (+$800,000 signing bonus) - $3.15m total
2005: $2m escalated to $2.75m (+$800,000 signing bonus) - $3.55m total
NOTE: Had right to terminate balance of contract and go to salary arbitration after 2005 if eligible, but he just missed being a "super-two"

2006: $2m escalated to $2.75m (+$800,000 signing bonus) - $3.55m total (same as 2005)
NOTE: Will be eligible for salary arbitrsation after 2006 and 2007 seasons, and will be eligible for free-agency after 2008 season.

Thanks Phil, that's what I had too.

"NOTE: Will be eligible for salary arbitrsation after 2006 and 2007"

So realistically this is his last year really cheap. Then next year he will get 2nd year arbitration $ (7mm?) and then he gets 3rd year arbitation $ (top award to date is $10mm to Gagne I believe)

Window - Still Open

Yes, I believe Tejada is a great SS, but let's not forget about the steriod scandal with Palmeiro....Let's take a look at Tejada's statistics from last year:

April - 8HR - 31RBI
May - 5HR - 14RBI
June - 6HR - 15RBI (NO HR's after June 18)
July - 3HR - 10 RBI
August 3HR - 15RBI
September - 1HR 11RBI

Wasn't it in mid May that Rafael Palmiero tested positive for steroids? So theoretically others on his team found out about it sometime in late May or early June? And Palmiero was the one that linked Tejada to the "Vitamins" (or whatever it was) that he took before the test that he believes made him test positive?

My point...If he theoretically went off the juice around June 1, It looks like it takes about 3 weeks for it to wear off.

Anyone want to bet that he's closer to his 1999 numbers of around 20 HR's and 85 RBI's next year? Not the 35-40 and 115-150 that he's put up the last few years.

Tejada's a great player, I just wanted to throw this out there to be discussed.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter