On Continue Avec Jacque

As if it isn't bad enough that my wife, my daughter, and I have all been sick for the last three days, today I have to wake up and find out that the Cubs actually went to three years on Jacque Jones. The one thing I've been clinging to these last few weeks was the knowledge that only the Royals had offered him the third guaranteed year. I hoped that would be enough for him to decide to play there instead of in Chicago. So much for that. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that I don't hate this signing. I certainly don't think it's terrible, like giving nearly $40M to Jarrod Washburn, or like giving any money at all to Tony Batista. It's only about $5M a year, so it won't break the bank. In general, I guess I'm ambivalent, leaning barely toward grudging acceptance. Mostly, it's the third year that upsets me. Let's assume that the Cubs are working toward signing Juan Pierre to a long-term deal. If that happens, then Felix Pie has been effectively blocked by the organization, which strikes me as one of those moves that might help the team in the short run but is going to damage them down the road. If they had blocked Pie with a star player, that would be one thing, but to do it with guys like Pierre and Jones exhibits a short-sightedness that is upsetting.
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it could be worse...the cubs could have signed s.ponson.

thank god the cardinals did, though.

Three years??? For God's sake, why?

So many questions on a 3-year deal:
1. Hendry talked about extending Pierre's contract - does he still do that since he's now set the bar at three years?
2. Where does Pie play now? This pretty much signals a full year at AAA and a 4th OF role in 2007.
3. Will Hendry get more than a bucket of chicken for Korey?
4. Why should anybody watch this team in 2006 OR 2007?
5. What's next, a 3-year extension for Dusty???

Ponson did have some NL experience with the Giants. In 2003 they picked him up for the stretch drive. El Fatty did this (yawn):

2003 with SF G 10 10 starts, 68 IP ERA 3.71 3-6

2003 NLDS SFG vs FLA 1 start, 5.0 IP ERA 7.20 0-0

Now that's a good replacement for Matt Morris (or a swing and a miss for AJ Burnett)

from the STL Post Dispatch:

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

Ponson will be a different looking pitcher. Since reaching the major leagues in 1998, he has pitched with his head shaved. Photographed leaving the central booking center following his arrest Monday, Ponson sported a full head of dark hair.

Tuesday's agreement occurred barely 24 hours after Ponson's release from a Baltimore jail, where he served five days for a drunk driving arrest in August. That arrest prompted the Orioles to void the remainder of his three-year, $22.5 million contract. That action prompted the Players Association to file a grievance on his behalf. The matter is pending.

The one-year contract represents minimal financial risk but a significant leap of faith by a Cardinals organization acutely sensitive to controversy. Ponson was arrested twice last year for DWI and submitted to a 30-day treatment program for alcoholism after his release by the Orioles. He also spent 11 days in an Aruban jail following an incident in which he punched a judge on a beach.

Ponson signed a three-year deal with the Orioles. His problems have escalated since signing the multiyear deal, culminating in a 7-11 mark and 6.21 ERA in 23 games last season. Ponson was 0-6 in his last seven starts with the Orioles.

Before the Orioles released him, Ponson was due to make $10 MILLION in 2006.

That arrest prompted the Orioles to void the remainder of his three-year, $22.5 million contract. That action prompted the Players Association to file a grievance on his behalf. The matter is pending.

NOW THAT WAS A BAD CONTRACT!!!!!!!!

Signing Wade Miller has been posted as a suggestion by a couple people and might not be a bad gamble at a low signing price. I do suggest that the Cubs also grab a more reliable guy from a staying-healthy standpoint as well, however. Millwood I believe would be a good signing for the middle of the rotation. Zito would be another. A righthanded bat off the bench such as Eduardo Perez or Byrnes would help. Byrnes could cover RF against lefties. However, I'm still seeing a need for a solid LH RBI man in the 4-hole between RHs Lee and Ramirez.

Three years, ugh. I, too, had convinced myself that Hendry would not go to the third year and thought that was sufficient to save us from Jacquedom.

Get your pencils and scorecards ready, here is a list of Cubs signed through 2008 --

Jacque -- $5M+prorated bonus
A-Ram -- $11.5M
Howry -- $4M
Eyre -- $3.8M
Dempster -- $5.5M

We darn well better start hearing rumors about contract extensions for Z, Prior and Derek Lee immediately. Otherwise, this is poor custodianship of the franchise by Hendry.

Walker must have really done something to piss off Dusty and Hendry... From the Sun-Times:

"The Cubs would seem to need a right-handed-hitting reserve outfielder and perhaps a more versatile infielder than Todd Walker, who is third on the depth chart at second base behind Neifi Perez and Jerry Hairston. "

Third on the depth chart??? I understand the desire to trade him because of his low contract, good offense, etc. (although I'd like to see him stay).... but now he has supposedly dropped to 3rd on the depth chart??? I hope this is just Kiley talking out his ass and not the result of a conversation with Hendry...

things could be worse in Cubland...we could be in need of a leadoff hitter/CF:

The two headed GM in Boston, gonna take some licks in the media now.

from the Boston Globe...

the next, and most important, question becomes: who inherits his position here in Boston?
The list of possible replacements includes Seattle's Jeremy Reed, Cleveland's Coco Crisp, San Diego's Dave Roberts, Tampa Bay's Joey Gathright, the Cubs' COREY PATTERSON, and free agents Preston Wilson, Terrence Long, and Juan Encarnacion.
-
Az Phil has emphatically stated that CPat will not be on this team by spring training. I'm going to be very interested in what trade value he really has. We assume it's not very much but there are some desperate GM's and their housewives out there.

I don't see the connection in the earlier comments in this thread between Jones and Ponson. One just got a 3 year, borderline overpaid deal to start corner outfield. The other just got a 1 year, most likely low dollar deal to be, at best, a teams #5 starting pitcher.

The Cards signing Ponson doesn't make up for the Cubs signing Jones, and it isn't even close.

Actually, I donít hate this signing. I dont think itís terrible, like giving nearly $40M to Jarrod Washburn, or like giving any money at all to Tony Batista. Itís only about $5M a year, so it wonít break the bank. But I still donít like it.

Here's why I hate it:

1. The Cubs don't have enough sense to keep Jones away from LHP.

2. 2005-06 notwithstanding, corner OF positions are the easiest places to find offensive talent. Now the Cubs have one fewer open corner OF spot in which to insert a championship caliber hitter over the next few years.

it could be worse...the cubs could have signed s.ponson.

thank god the cardinals did, though.

I've given up on laughing at the Cardinals when they sign seemingly mediocre pitchers with a history of eating innings.

"One just got a 3 year, borderline overpaid deal to start corner outfield. The other just got a 1 year, most likely low dollar deal to be, at best, a teams #5 starting pitcher."

Agreed. Three years of a corner OF who can absolutely not hit lefties for 6mm.

We have a 100mm payroll and we behave like our competition for Jones - the Kansas City Royals - rather than like our competition for the NL Central.

I'm sick. This is a freaking joque.

Re #8, cubster

Thanks for the post, cubster. But it does not make me feel any better -- that list of available CFs is pretty long and Corey's value does not quite leap from the page. As for the Red Sox, I thought they had a Clement-for-Reed deal in place as a Damon contingency. Anyone hear whether Seattle signing Washburn might have annuled their interest in Clement?

I don't see the connection in the earlier comments in this thread between Jones and Ponson.

Yeah, this was bad news to wake up to, but I agree with Christian, this isn't the end of the world.

There's no way that this is a good signing. It becomes a decent signing if and only if Hendry goes out and acquires a lefty-masher, someone like Eric Brynes. Of course, I'd also be fine if he, say, traded for Vernon Wells and then used Murton to platoon with Jones. I'll take what I can get at this point.

I don't mind the money, and I don't mind the player TOO much -- it's the three years that makes this a bad signing. Jones is not a corner outfielder and unless he is set to replace Pierre in CF next year (doubt it, I bet Pierre gets re-upped), this deal is definitely 1-2 years too long.

We now have a right-fielder, though I'm not sure how much better he'll be than Burnitz. Cheaper I guess. Still, if any Cardinal fan tries to make fun of me, all we have to say in reply is "Sidney Ponson".

"I don't see the connection in the earlier comments in this thread between Jones and Ponson."

I think it makes some people feel better about our bad moves when someone else makes a bad move. The problem is that the Ponson deal is a 1 year deal for a 5th starter, not a 3 year deal for a starting OF.

3 years, 16mm, a draft pick...and we still have nobody to play RF against LHP.

DC Tom,

The Mariners said they'd still be interested in a Red Sox pitcher even after signing Washburn. But they want Arroyo, not Clement.

Re-posted from previous thread:

Catching up after two nights of boozing and broads again in Central Iowa. Heck, we got all the way through two kegs of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a raosted hog on the farm. Hi, Raffy Furcal and Sidney Ponson here.

MannyTrillo...boy, you're crazy!!!! And you're getting chewed up by logic from almost everybody on this Klatch. I stopped reading at...oh...let's say number 90.....my advice to you, "Stay Down MannyTrillo....Stay Down"

Regarding Jacque Jones.......and most regulars here know my affinity for Corey Patterson...is that his upside talent wise and stats wise is nowhere near what Corey's is. With that said, for one reason and one reason only, he MAY produce better than Corey because SOME OF YOU ASSHOLE FANS MIGHT GIVE HIM THE CHANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any of you ever had a poor job review? Ever had a boss in your ass just cuz he's a jerk? If so, did you perform better or worse? My guess is worse!!!

You drove out Corey Patterson.....he's likely gone.....and now you have to put up with average for the next 3 years. But hey, union boys, it's YOUR RIGHT to boo who you want, chew who's ass you want, bash Hendy and Baker......when you're perefect, I'll listen. Until then, some of you are still idiots in my book.

Somebody said we have a qeakness at SS. Where exactly is that weakness? Cedeno? Then why the hell is every team mentioned in a trade wanting him first? What do you think they know that you don't?

Second base? Walker is going to hit .300 and play average to above average defense...and he's a leader and not a head case. So what if he's religious...............deal with it like a man and appareciate that he might have different beliefs.

Could go on forever, but bail is getting posted soon by my agent. I know a 24 bar that I can run to and get back online. Any taxis in Des Moines? I'd hate to drive yet again while under the influence!!!!

R. Furcal

The signing of Jones is really not that bad if Jim Hendry has some other moves up his sleeve. I would rather given Jones' contract to a starting pitcher. I hope Hendry does deal for some insurance starting pitching, I can see a starting staff of Zambrano, Maddux, Williams, Rusch, and a slew of ???????? Just don't have faith in Mark Prior and Kerry Wood staying healthy. And what if Zambrano has health isssues, and Maddux. You can put 8 Derrek Lees around the diamond and all have great seasons but without starting pitching we will be less than a .500 team.

No sympathy here for CPAT. While I have not booed the guy the last two seasons when I have seen the team play, I do not blame others for booing him. CPAT got booed after the fans gave him every chance to show that he was at least trying a little bit not to swing at ridiculous pitches. No, CPAT just kept at it so the fans started booing. Then CPAT announced publicly that there are certain spots in the batting order that are not worthy of CPAT. That was not a good PR move, CPAT. I think the fans gave Corey every opportunity. When the booing started, some guys would have just sucked it up and turned things around. But not Corey. He continued to insist on swinging at terrible pitches and then whipping his head quickly around to look at the catcher, in disbelief that he had missed the ball. Corey has shown that he is a guy who needs to be coddled. Sorry, but ever since 2003, Cub fans are not willing to do that any longer. Try Kansas City, CPAT.

DRUNK Joey:
"my advice to you, "Stay Down MannyTrillo....Stay Down""

Yeah, let me take advice from the drunk...no thanks!!!

Joey From Newton, you are a piece of work, and your comments are to the point, I like that. The thing is dude, you have to ignore alot of the bashing on these postings because you a reading stuff from loonies and children so hungry for the Cubs to win it all. I think Corey Patterson will end up being a helluva player when he gets a change of scenery, away from Dusty, and all the Cub fans that have bashed him will be in denial, and bash Hendry for letting him go. Jacque Jones spells Corey Patterson they are somewhat alike, with Jones playing in the homer dome in Minn./StPaul, while Corey plays in Chi. under the watchful eye of Dusty.

Actually, if you had 8 2005 vintage Derek Lees on the field with replacement-level pitching, you would have a pretty darn good team. Bill James had a tool that would do that, not sure I have seen the figures for 2005, but a team of Lees would probably score 7 runs per game.

But that is beside the point, because human cloning research is banned in the U.S.

Andrew, I had not read about the M's preferring Arroyo -- I would too, if I were them. As for us, I know this is unrealistic to consider, but would Rich Hill and Corey for Arroyo make sense? I would consider it, and from Boston's perspective, it is probably better than Reed-for-Arroyo.

One quote from Jones that shows his mind is in a better place on the issue than Korey's:

"If I get my average back up where it's supposed to be at .280 or .290, around .300, then all those other things will come. But the more I concentrate on home runs, the more my batting average will probably stay where it is."

That's somewhat encouraging, I guess. He also expressed his desire to cut down on strikeouts and increase his patience.

---

DC Tom,

I'd be willing to move KPat and Hill, but I'd want to get a better pitcher than Arroyo. I'd be interested in having Clement back, except that he's overpriced and I think Hill is too much to give up for him. I'm not sure the Sox would have any interest in Korey.

Firstly, let me apologize to those I angered last night. I am just REALLY disappointed in this offseason. I was hoping with all the free money Hendry would be able to sign a couple real good FA and make a big trade or two to revamp this team. But the Jones signing showed me that ain't happening. So sorry, and this NEW YEAR I will attempt to be less combative, and I hope others will do the same to me, but at the same time I am not going to stop giving my opinions. I am usually like crunch and the most optimistic guy on here, but this year for some reason I just don't see it.

OK, I stepped back off the ledge after last night. But still this signing in not good and you have to really like those cubbieblue glasses to do so.

The $5M is not horrible, but the 3 guarenteed years is nondefensable especially when Hendry was basically bidding against himself (or KC). And the fact remains that another OF needs to be signed to even closely justify this signing because Jones can't hit LHP. So now that position will be $5M + whatever the other guy will make. And with NOBODY of any talent really left now, it won't be someone anyone will be HAPPY with.

Like someone said previously in another thread, this team still does come down to pitching. IF the starting staff can stay healthy and pitch to how we all hope they can and IF the bullpen finally comes together and protects leads and closes out games (and not lose almost 30 games), then we will be in contention for the playoffs. But those are big IFS especially with Wood and Prior being hurt the past 2 years nd Maddux showing his age and #4/5 starters being big question marks. But if they do all come together like teh White Sox pitching staff did, we will be right there.

Come on Hendry, the offseason ain't over yet, find some magic!!!

Manny my boy,

Sattire, "sarcastic humor used to emphasize a point."

Personally haven;t had a drink of the bubbly since college...and I'm 44.

Signed,

S. Howe and son

Jones will be all right, left-handed hitter who can take a walk and is a pretty good gap hitter. Everyone wringing their hands needs to understand that the suggested alternative (starting Patterson in RF?!?) can't do any of those things. Guys who can crush RHP are fairly common and fairly cheap, picking up one of them might even make the OF a position of strength next year. The production will certainly be better, though that isn't saying much.

It's not like Hendry chose Jones over Abreu or something...this is the best option the Cubs have for RF this year. If it took a 3 yr deal to get him, so be it. Doesn't mean he'll be the Cubs' RF until 2008.

Manny,

Thanks for the comeback. Even us "oldsters" have stepped to the ledge a couple of times in the past 2-3 years. SOOOOO Close.

This is the greatest Klatch I read......keep it up everyone. Makes my otherwise monotonous day better to be amongst those that worship at the church of Wrigley.

And I'll try to be less sarcastic and more to the point!!!!

Joey

Bruce Levine, ESPN AM1000 just said the Cubs are still working on a deal for Tejada...but nothing is impending based on Peter Angelos determination if Tejada can live with playing with Ramon Hernandez.

Bruce Levine also discussed the trades that didn't happen for a RF...apparently the #1 deal was for Aubrey Huff; #2 was Lance Nix/Kevin Mench. He didn't say who the Cubs dangled but it might have been the two below and a prospect.

also he says that Walker AND Patterson will not be on the club come spring.

"The Cubs would seem to need a right-handed-hitting reserve outfielder and perhaps a more versatile infielder than Todd Walker, who is third on the depth chart at second base behind Neifi Perez and Jerry Hairston."

Actually the Cubs have Walker at the top of their 2B depth chart. And Hairston, while still available to play 2B, is now listed as an outfielder (changed this week) on the 40 man roster.

Andrew, I looked at Arroyo's numbers again and I agree with you -- the strong dip in his K rate last year would concern me. And if I am the Red Sox, I want production, not potential, in CF this year, because I don't know how many more years of Manny and Ortiz I truly still have. Even Reed is a bit of a project...I am surprised they at least did not have a "check back with us" arrangement with Lofton yesterday...Dave Roberts seems like a better and cheaper fit for them now than the other alternatives.

I think Corey comes to spring training with the Cubs. And unless he tears it up or the avian flu breaks out among centerfielders on other teams, Corey gets traded in a March, desparate and disappointing, 25-man roster cutting move, Juan Cruz-style.

This makes no sense to me - if you stuck with young Patterson there would at the least be a chance that he fullfills the prophecy and becomes "the one" - Jacque Jones is about to hit his prime and what you see is what you get.

"loonies and children so hungry for the Cubs to win it all."

Loonies and Children? That's who's hungry for the Cubs to win it all?

"I think Corey Patterson will end up being a helluva player when he gets a change of scenery"

Unless he learns the strike zone, I don't see it. I'm not sure what a change of scenery gets him if he doesn't have any more discipline. As far as being a helluva player, I'm not sure what that means. Corey can blame it on Dusty. He can blame it on the fans. He can blame it on the rain that was falling. He can blame it on the sun that did shine at night. Whatever you do, don't put the blame on you...

I digress from Milli Vanilli, classic American rock, to my point, which is that Patterson can blame whomever he wants for his shortcomings, but ultimately he stands in the box with a bat and chooses to swing it. He is the one who judges fly balls. He's the one who throws the ball. Not Baker (who I dislike), not Hendry (who I have lost faith in over the past 2 years) not the fans (who deserve so much more than we get)...

Blame it on the CF.

Cubster:
"also he says that Walker AND Patterson will not be on the club come spring."

No walker?? So does Hendry plan on having Neifi start at SS and Cedeno at 2B with Hairston being a back up? And have Cedeno as the back up SS??

WOW! That would be losing significant offense from the middle IF. I hope that is not the case...

Corey gets traded in a March, desparate and disappointing, 25-man roster cutting move, Juan Cruz-style.

Andy Pratt is still available (so much for trading with John Schuerholz)

X,

Has anybody ever heard Corey Patterson bitch about anything?

Hung his head? Sure.
Expressed frustration physically? Absolutely.

NEVER HAS THE GUY COMPLAINED VERBALLY!!!!!
He's not blaming anybody and yet he could be..... he's a stand up guy!!!!

MannyTrillo---right on the button babe. BIG loss if we lose Walker. Our problem last year wasn't defense up the middle OVERALL. It WAS scoring runs with guys in scoring positon. Kind of like to have a .300 lifetime hitter in the middle of a better offensive lineup to see what he can do.

Joey

"Bill James had a tool that would do that"

I'll still say that any tool that predicts the results of a baseball game that hasn't happened yet has a +/- 50% margin of error, at least. Bill James is a fun read, but just cuz he says it, or has modeled it, doesn't make it true. Very few pitching staffs with all "replacement level" pitchers ever break .500, much less win 90+ games - that's cuz none have 9 Derek Lees. But in the post season, a team with great pitching has a decent chance of holding the 9 Lees to a normal level of runs. The replacement pitchers have no chance of doing such against a balanced offensive attack.

Winning a WS, which is our goal, requires BOTH offensive talent and top tier pitching. If you try and get one or the other, your odds of winning are much smaller.

No walker?? So does Hendry plan on having Neifi start at SS and Cedeno at 2B with Hairston being a back up? And have Cedeno as the back up SS??

Manny...we could use the REAL Manny Trillo at 2B!

I'm not sure why the media seems to have Walker traded. Even this AM's Sun Times article said Walker is 3rd on the depth list (although the cub website says he's the starter at 2B). He's a decent OBP hitter with some HR's and that is tough to find at 2B...and at worse he's a great option off the bench, which is what he signed on for when he agreed to his original deal with the Cubs in 2004 (with Grudz at 2B).

I think they need his bat and can give spot starts at 2B to JHJ and Neifi vs lefty's just to keep them from rusting, JHJ will get some starts vs lefty's in RF also unless they add to their bench with a better hitting righty bat (Dusty of course plays all his bench no matter what fans/media want). My take is Cedeno is now the starting SS and if he fails then Neifi steps in. I think Cedeno will hit pretty well at this point, certainly he's got nothing to prove in the minors anymore and sitting a young guy on the bench at this point isn't good for him whereas Perez is ideal for that role.

"Has anybody ever heard Corey Patterson bitch about anything? "

I hope not. When you hit .215 with a .254 OBP you shouldn't bitch about anything. But none-the-less we always hear that it is bad to boo him. That he doesn't hear the boos, that he isn't going to change his approach, that he takes every AB the same no matter the situation...

What's your point? I'm just tired of all the excusemaking for Corey, either by him, or on his behalf. Fortunately, it looks like the Corey Patterson era is over. Unfortunately, it is over because of the beginning of the Joque Jones era.

I'm not sure why the media seems to have Walker traded.

Well, I think circumstances are different now, as Hendry has added two OF without trading him.

I agree that Walker's chances of being dealt are lower than before we signed Jones. I'd still think he would go in the right deal, like Tejada. If we got Miggy, I'd be much more comfy with the Jones signing, and be willing to run Neifi out there at 2B.

Lets agree that both suck and our GM doesn't have the balls to risk a top prospect in a trade.

Cubster:
"Manny...we could use the REAL Manny Trillo at 2B!"

Not much bat, but GG defense...:)

Too bad he is a coach in the White Sox organization.

Cubster:
"whereas Perez is ideal for that role."

He is perfect for that role. A little overpaid, but the perfect late inning defensive sub at 2B, ss or 3B. Let's hope ARAM can stay healthy, Cedeno can produce and Walker sticks around, then Dusty doesn't have to play Neifi.

Has anyone ever thought of the possibility of Hendry acquiring Jones to trade off this offseason. Sure, it's unlikely, but the contract is not too large, and maybe Hendry knows the OF market is weak this year. I don't know, what the hell am I talking about? It's really a travesty.

From the ESPN article about the Damon signing:

"On Tuesday, Yankees officials told Boras they needed an answer by midnight, because there was a possibility that another center fielder would become available -- maybe someone like Corey Patterson of the Cubs. If Damon wouldn't take their four-year, $52 million offer, they were going to go in another direction."

Damn it - Corey AND Farns on the Yankees would have been an amazing spectacle. There's no way Corey could succeed as a Yankee though.

MRCUBSLOVER -

Interesting you would say that...just saw in my cubs.com newsletter they mention:

"Jones COULD fill the vacant right field spot and join new center fielder Juan Pierre, acquired in a trade from Florida, and rookie left fielder Matt Murton in the Cubs revamped outfield."

I just can't take it anymore.

To clear up a few items from previous posts.

Derrek Lee's RC/27 or RC/G is 9.9 for 2005 according to The Hardball Times. I don't have the time to calc the win % with league-avg pitching right now, but it would obviously be high.

This statement is ridiculous - Jones will be all right, left-handed hitter who can take a walk and is a pretty good gap hitter.

Sorry, I don't think so. Jones walked 51 times last season, for a walk rate of 1 walk every 10.25 AB, ( and a SO to BB ratio of 2.35/1) compared to Brian Giles who led the league in walks with 119 for a walk rate of 1 every 4.58 AB (And in case anyone forgot, Giles was a free agent who signed a 3 year deal to play right field.) But that rant is for another day and another time.

Now for the point of my posting. This signing makes me sick. For anything more than 1 year is ridiculous. Jones said that he had a 3-year offer for $15 million from K.C. but would rather play for a contender. To most G.M. that had any sort of clue, that would signal he would be available for less than that. So what does Hendry do? Not only match the years, but also offer more money. Three things should stick out here more than anything----

First, this signing should be a signal of a white flag from Hendry that he has failed on every possible trade, and he essential has given up.

Second, what is the state of the Cubs organization when they have to outbid the worst team in the American league to get a below-average player with little upside? Ponder this for as long as you need too, because it is actually quite disheartening.

Third. With Murton being projected as the Cubs LF of the future, Hendry saying he wants to sign Pierre to an extention(which he would have to, to justify sending those prospects to Florida), and Jones now here for 3 horrific years, where does Pie, who Hendry has claimed as untouchable and the next great thing, fit into the Cubs plans anywhere from 2006-2008? I thought he was suppose to be one of the cornerstones of the org. in 2007 and beyond. Now Hendry has essentially blocked him from any plans for the next 3 years.

Hendry has been hanging out with Dusty too long. Saying one thing, then going out and doing the opposite. I was a Hendry supporter up until about a month ago too.

There's no way that this is a good signing. It becomes a decent signing if and only if Hendry goes out and acquires a lefty-masher, someone like Eric Brynes.

Craig Wilson.

Chill, everyone. If Pie shoots up to the majors by 2007 - and that's an "if" not a "when" - Pierre or Jones could be moved. Their contracts are not prohibitively expensive.

Jacque Jones isn't as bad as everyone is making him out to be, and $5M a year isn't so terrible for a team with a payroll like the Cubs. 3 years does seem like too much, but like Ruz said, at least it's not Washburn for $10M a year for 4 years. At worst, Jones will be a lot like Burnitz - and for less than the $7M Burnitz was slotted to make.

People on this board sometimes expect Hendry to make every potential amazing deal out there, but there are 29 other GMs trying to do the same thing. At least we're not signing FA pitchers to 5 year contracts, or Sidney Ponson for any length of time. I'm not going to try and defend every single decision he makes - I'm not crazy about the Rusch or Neifi deals, or the amount of money offered to Eyre and Howry, although I think they'll be good for the pen. But Hendry has inarguably made the Cubs into a team that at least has a chance every year, and that's better than we've seen in a long time.

Sometimes I wonder if everyone on the board actually likes rooting for the Cubs.

I like the Cards deal a lot better than ours. Al=t least they kept it to one year. Reports were cubs offering 1yr$5M, and he gets us up to 3y/$16M? Nice negotiating, Hendry. Maybe Jones will convince me, but at this point Id rather have Korey out there in RF

I know this isn't a sabermetrics blog, so I won't go off a previous poster.

RC/G is not a future priction, it uses all historical, easily found information from the previous year's data and tells how many runs a team full of 1 player would have created per game. It has nothing to do with future performance, so it would not have a +50/-50 accurancy since it uses data from events that have already happened and makes no predictions for the future.

Like someone said previously in another thread, this team still does come down to pitching.

MannyTrillo just referanced one of my post?!

Is Satan wearing long johns?

Re #38, X,

"I'll still say that any tool that predicts the results of a baseball game that hasn't happened yet has a +/- 50% margin of error, at least...Winning a WS, which is our goal, requires BOTH offensive talent and top tier pitching. If you try and get one or the other, your odds of winning are much smaller."

X, I don't disagree. I was just responding to a point that a team of all Derek Lee's with bad pitching would not be a good team. Lee led all of baseball in Keith Woolner's Marginal Lineup Value calcuation last year -- 86.9 (Pujols was second with 78.6). This means that a team Derek Lee and 8 average other hitters would score 86.9 runs more than a team of all average players. 8 Derek Lees = 695 runs more than a team of "all average players". The average team in baseball scored 721 runs.

Yes, it is a silly stat. But it is more interesting for me to ponder today than thinking about Jacque Jones. But I can't help myself -- Jacque Jone's MLV for MN was -2.0 last year. Burnitz was +1.8, Walker +15.7, Neifi -13.7, Patterson -29.2, Pierre -10.3. Upgrades?

If Pie shoots up to the majors by 2007 - and that's an "if" not a "when" - Pierre or Jones could be moved. Their contracts are not prohibitively expensive.

Right on the mark, Nate.

Just to add, while I like Murton a lot, and hope he gets every chance to prove himself this season (that means not being platooned or benched during his first slump), but we don't know for certain he's the real deal yet. Murton could very well be the guy who gets moved to make way for Pie, if and when Pie proves he's ready to play.

Re # 49, Vince,

Good post. I was also a Hendry fan and defender until these last couple months. The only solace I have is that while Hendry is not good at 40-man roster management or in free agent signing, he is very good at trades. So if a Tejada trade is in the works, I might forgive him for signing up Jones to be a patient, #7 hitter. Absent a Tejada trade, he needs to go to work on Z, Prior and Lee contract extensions. But if he fails at both of those tasks, he has failed all of us.

Korey for Matt Clement anyone (with the Sawks picking up a significant portion of his bloated contract)?

3 guarenteed years is nondefensable especially when Hendry was basically bidding against himself (or KC).

This has been said by several people, but weren't the Cardinals also looking to add Jones? I thought someone said that a few days ago, but I don't have any sources to back it up.

If that is the case, you've got to give Hendry credit for one thing, he's done a nice job of screwing over Walt Jocketty. Between taking another RF option off the table and signing Neifi to a deal that priced Grudz out of their market, at least the Cardinals are also feeling our pain.

Remember - HE DOES NOT have a No-Trade Clause!!
This is an upgrade from Burnitz - more speed, better defender, good arm, will take suggestions for improvement! Cubs did NOT have much trade bait as it is currently, and the pickings were slim. Give it a chance (with a platoon RF who hits lefties well)

"This has been said by several people, but weren't the Cardinals also looking to add Jones?"

Very true, and as it stands now, the Cards will probably have to trot Larry Bigbie out to RF - and I think we can all agree that Jones is much preferable to Bigbie.

Absent a Tejada trade, he needs to go to work on Z, Prior and Lee contract extensions. But if he fails at both of those tasks, he has failed all of us.

Certainly if any of those 3 aren't with the Cubs next year Hendry will have failed us.

But under his tenure, I can't think of a single free agent who the Cubs have wanted to keep that they've lost. Hendry's guys, like Wood, Lee 04, ARam, Nomar 05, Dempster, Rusch, and Neifi have all been resigned, while the players who've left, like Alou, Clement, Nomar 06, Burnitz, were all guys who Hendry decided to let go without making serious offers.

Retro-shiite, I'm with ya on the Craig Wilson trail...

Is he available? Who is now in the starting Pirate outfield? Given the list below, it looks like Wilson will be their regular RF. What do you think the pirates are looking for given that they traded Williams (lefty starter) for Sean Casey. I don't think they want young pitching as they're up to their eyeballs in young lefty starters (Zack Duke, Sean Burnett, Paul Maholm) which is why Williams was expendable.

Craig Wilson's 2005 salary was $3M and it was a one yr deal signed in Jan 2005.

from the Pirates 40 man roster:
Jason Bay (check)
but the rest of the list is blurry:

Rajal Davis
Chris Duffy
Jody Gerut
Nate McLouth
CRAIG WILSON

Another thing about Damon. I was set aside, to say the least. I have never liked the guy, exploiting baseball so he can make money off of his "idiot" shit. But talk about sell-out. He would be the last person I would expect to leave for the money, b/c I believe the Sox offered him 10M less. Sure that's a significant amount less, but I think he could still feed his family on that (insert Latrell Sprewell joke here) therefore I would expect him to be loyal to the Sox. Maybe I'm venting on Johnny "Squanto" Damon because I'm a little anxious (dissapointed) about the Cubs and the upcoming season.

Here is what is bugging me --

The Yankees were able to sign Damon for four years, $52 million -- $13 million per year.

Effectively this offseason, we swapped the futures of Mitre, Pinto, Nolasco and a draft pick to stock our OF with Pierre and Jacque. Pierre and Jacque will now cost us $8.7 million in 2006.

Damon by himself is significantly more of an upgrade than Pierre and Jacque combined, and he doesn't block Pie. The $4.3 million "savings" in 2006 by not signing Damon is chump-change to the Cubs.

I can't take anymore either.

yes, brian giles is a better player than jacque jones...*golf clap* what does that illuminate, exactly? does anyone think that giles actually wanted to play anywhere but SD? he took less money to do so, after all.

it's always amusing to see internet folks quote a GM or a player or an agent as "proof" that a certain deal would have worked, or that someone would have signed for X. do you really believe that any of the above people are telling reporters the truth? it's not in their interest to tell the media the truth, this is pretty basic strategy.

Chill, everyone. If Pie shoots up to the majors by 2007 - and that's an "if" not a "when" - Pierre or Jones could be moved. Their contracts are not prohibitively expensive.

Great post, Nate. Multiple teams were competing for these guys and neither is untradeable barring complete collapses.

Pie is not blocked. If he was handed a job this spring he'd go .260/.290/.450 and run the team out of a zillion innings. If his meteoric growth curve continues this year and he doesn't burn himself on a cuppa Starbucks this September, then the man who got actual players for Todd Hundley and Sammy Sosa will have no problem disposing of a speedy CF who hits an empty .280 or a $5 mil corner OF mediocrity.

Craig Wilson
Awesome idea. Perfect.

Ponson will be a different looking pitcher.
Duncan will have him pitching 1-hitters and starting MADD chapters by May.

from the Boston Globe...

the next, and most important, question becomes: who inherits his position here in Boston?

Unfounded speculation: Keith Foulke is the PTNBL for Van Buren (+ Patterson)

Soon after the end of the 2005 season, it was reported in the Chicago media that the Cubs wanted to go "younger" and "more athletic" in RF in 2006. Well, Jacque Jones IS younger than Jeromy Burnitz, and he IS what they call "athletic."

That's why in our after-the-year autopsy here at TCR a couple of months ago, I wrote that I thought the Cubs would probably sign Jacque Jones to play RF. I wasn't HOPING that they would sign Jones, I just thought that's what would probably happen.

The bottom line is this:

Jacque Jones is Dusty Baker's kind of player. He's a VERY aggressive hitter, he has power, he hustles, he is a good defensive player, he has speed and can steal bases, and he is a veteran. If you were to draw up a profile of the PERFECT Dusty Baker player, it could very well be Jacque Jones.

As things stand right now (barring any additional deals), I believe Dusty will play Jones every day in RF (150+ games), and will hit Jones 4th against RHP and 5th against LHP. There will be NO platoon. Unless he gets hurt, JONES WILL PLAY EVERY FRIGGIN' DAY. Even if he hits .150 vs LHP, Jones WILL hit 5th against LHP. Why? Just because.

That said, I also believe Hendry thinks he is not necessarily finished. While it seems likely Hendry has absolutely given up trying to acquire Ibanez, Huff, or Gibbons, I don't think he wants to leave things as they stand.

Hendry has spent the GM meetings and the Winter Meetings measuring the other GMs, and probably knows what it would take to acquire a premier player like Bobby Abreu or Miguel Tejada.

Hendry is never afraid to pull the trigger on a deal. All he needs is a Partner in Crime. But in this case, the other GM has to pull the trigger, but I suspect Hendry has already loaded the gun.

Hendry has a history of trading young Cubs players and prospects (Choi, Hill, Harris, Beltran, J. Jones, Dubois, et al) in deals, He is NOT in love with his youngsters. I think ANY player in the Cubs organization (other than Derrek Lee, Carlos Zambrano, Mark Prior, and the guys with "no trade" rights like Maddux and Wood and the recently signed FAs) is available right now.

The player I think now most likely to be traded now is Matt Murton, either in a deal for Bobby Abreu or in a deal for Miguel Tejada. That's why Hendry felt he had to jump on Jacque Jones before Jones went elsewhere,

I think ideally Hendry wants Dusty to play Jones in LF, where his below average arm is less of a negative factor. And Hendry would probably want to acquire a stud middle-of-the-order run producer to hit between Lee and Ramirez, with Jones hitting 6th (or at least 5th against RHP, or 6th against LHP).

Hendry must knows by now what it would take to do it, and that he thinks he now has the offer it would take to get either Miguel Tejada or Bobby Abreu. It probably starts with Matt Murton, and would include other players like Jerome Williams and Ronny Cedeno (if it's a deal for Tejada) or Rich Hill (if it's a deal for Bobby Abreu). I suspect Barry Zito would be part of a deal for Abreu, and that Hendry has that part already in place.

Remember, if the Cubs acquire Tejada or Abreu and pay all of the player's salary (minus Barry Zito's salary), the Orioles and Phillies would have money left over to either sign (although most of the better FAs are already gone) or make a deal for a replacement run producer.

If acquiring Barry Zito is crucial to getting Abreu and possiblry even as part of a deal for Tejada, the Cubs are in a good position to make Oakland a tempting offer. If you look at what Oakland took back for Tim Hudson (Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas) and Mark Mulder (Dan Haren, Kiko Calero, and Daric Barton), trading Barry Zito to the Cubs for Matt Murton, Rich Hill, and either Michael Wuertz, Roberto Novoa, or Jerome Williams would be a very similar type deal, certainly a better package than what they got back from Atlanta for Hudson.

And then the Cubs could trade Zito and Felix Pie to the Phillies to get Abreu, or Zito, Pie, and Cedeno to the Orioles to get Tejada. The Phillies and Orioles could use the $5m differential in 2006 salaries between Abreu and Zito or Tejada and Zito to acquire a replacement run producer.

#46 of 68: By MrCubsLover (December 21, 2005 08:13 AM)
Has anyone ever thought of the possibility of Hendry acquiring Jones to trade off this offseason. Sure, it's unlikely, but the contract is not too large, and maybe Hendry knows the OF market is weak this year. I don't know, what the hell am I talking about? It's really a travesty.

---

MR CUB LOVER: Players signed as Article XX free-agents have a "no trade" until June 15th of the following season. The player has the right to waive the "no trade," but I can't see Jones doing that.

AZ Phil, nice job predicting this signing months ago.

Question, will the Cubs actually lose a draft pick in this deal or will the Twins simply get an extra sandwich pick?

If member serves, the Cubs first pick is protect because of where they finished the year? Is that also correct?

"MR CUB LOVER: Players signed as Article XX free-agents have a "no trade" until June 15th of the following season. The player has the right to waive the "no trade," but I can't see Jones doing that."

Thanks ArizonaPhil, I didn't know FAs were distinguished like that (Article XX). What other kind of classifications are there for free agents? and what are their regulations in terms of trades?

There has to be something else going on here. My two best guesses/conspiracy theories as to why Jones was locked up for 3 years:

(1) Blocking Pie is no longer a concern, because he will be part of the Tejada trade package OR

(2) Jones himself will be part of the Tejada trade package.

MR CUBS LOVER: An Article XX FA is one who has at least six years of major league service time, no contract for the following season, and files for free-agency within ten days after the conclusion of the World Series. However, to get the "no trade" rights, the player has to sign a major league contract and be placed on a 40-man roster. If he signs a minor league contract, the "no trade" privilege doesn't apply.

Examples of a FA who would not NOT be an Article XX FA would be a six-year minor league free-agent, an arbitration-eligible player who get "non-tendered" on December 20th, and any other player not eligible to be an Article XX FA who gets an off-season "outright release."

AZ Phil...although Hendry has shown his talent to put together a 3-4 way deal, I doubt that both Murton AND Pie will be in one of those, one probably not both...unless they get both Abreu AND Tejada (which is not what you speculated)

(I'll use Wuertz for the bullpen arm but you can insert one of the other bullpen guys if you wish like Novoa)

your trade proposal #1 is: Murton, Hill, Wuertz (for Zito) but then you pass through Zito AND Pie for Abreau.

Murton, Hill, Wuertz, Pie = Abreu

trade #2 is: Murton, Hill, Wuertz (for Zito) but then you pass through Zito plus Pie and Cedeno for Tejada

Murton, Hill, Wuertz, Pie and Cedeno = Tejada

1) that's a farm system in itself for one player, a consideration only for Tejada in my humble opinion

2) both trades leave the Cubs short one OF

I think Hendry will be able to come up with a better and less draining transaction and I doubt Abreu is his target, only Miggy.

thanks again Arizona Phil. What are some on-line reading sources to clasp the nitty gritty of free agency and other aspects of the business side of baseball. I would assume the Collective Bargainning Agreement?

I would be pleasently surprised if the Cubs got an Abreu or Tejada via trade. I would be content with giving Pie up. The cost/benefit of the trade with an up-and-coming star prospect to getting an above average OF with proven numbers over a consistent time far outweighs burying your hopes in a prospect, especially if you're of the "win-now" mantra the Cubs have...I hope.

actually the Abreu transaction doesn't leave the Cubs short one OF...I wouldn't make that trade though.

The Tejada trade I'd not put Murton in the package...Oakland/Beane would have to pay through the nose for a classic moneyball hitter like Murton and he took much less in the Hudson trade...aka Tim Hudson (Juan Cruz, Dan Meyer, and Charles Thomas) is similar in value to Hill and Wuertz...but Murton is much more desirable to Beane than Charles Thomas value.

If Hendry trades for Tejada or Abreu, will it quell the TCR "fire Hendry" masses?

Chris,

I can tell you totally missed the point of my whole post. The idea of the Giles comparison was to refute the notion that Jones takes walks, compared to someone that actually does take walks. I would be more than happy to debate why the Cubs should have gone after Giles in a more relevant topic discussion, and besides the notion of Giles not wanting to play anywhere besides SD. I believe Damon "prefered" to play in Boston, Furcal "prefered" to stay in Atlanta, or if not Atlanta, then "prefered" to go to Chicago. Obviously players can and will leave where they prefer.

But like I said, the Giles mention was a small part of my post, that was not about Giles himself, but about the direction the Cubs organization appears to be heading, and about how horrible the signing of Jones for 3 years is. Lets hope Hendry does have a trade he is ready to pull off after this

#70 of 73: By Bleeding Blue (December 21, 2005 09:10 AM)
AZ Phil, nice job predicting this signing months ago.

Question, will the Cubs actually lose a draft pick in this deal or will the Twins simply get an extra sandwich pick?

If member serves, the Cubs first pick is protect because of where they finished the year? Is that also correct?

B BLUE: Jacque Jones is a Type "B" FA and because the Twins offered arbitration (it doesn't matter whether Jones accepts it or not), the Cubs will indeed lose a draft pick (4th Round) for signing Jacque Jones. The Twins will not get a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd round (the sandwich picks between the 1st & 2nd rounds are reserved for teams losing a Type "A" FA where the club offered arbitration, and the sandwich picks between the 2nd & 3rd rounds are the ONLY compensation a team gets for losing a Type "C" FA where the club offered arbitration).

As things stand right now, if the Cubs sign no more Type "A" or Type "B" FAs, the Indians get the Cubs 2nd Round pick in the 2006 Rule 4 Draft (June Draft) and a "sandwich" pick between the 1st and 2nd Rounds for losing Howry, the Giants get the Cubs 3rd Round pick (both Howry and Eyre were Type "A" FAs, but Howry had a higher Elias stat rating than Eyre) and a 1st-2nd round sandwich pick for losing Eyre, and the Twins get the Cubs 4th Round pick (but NO sandwich pick) for losing Jacque Jones.

So to summarize, the Cubs 1st Round pick is "protected" because they select in the top half of the 1st Round, but the Cubs will lose their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks. Since they did not offer arbitration to Nomar or Burnitz, the Cubs will NOT get a draft pick from the Dodgers or from whichever team may end up signing Burnitz.

On the bright side, the Cubs will have PLENTY of bonus money available to sign their 2006 #1 pick!

Sorry, I don't think so. Jones walked 51 times last season, for a walk rate of 1 walk every 10.25 AB, ( and a SO to BB ratio of 2.35/1) compared to Brian Giles who led the league in walks with 119 for a walk rate of 1 every 4.58 AB (And in case anyone forgot, Giles was a free agent who signed a 3 year deal to play right field.) But that rant is for another day and another time.

Giles turned down significant money to play for SD. He wasn't going to sign with the Cubs (well, maybe if we offered him 3/$60).

Here's what we can expect next year:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/ora...

NAte:
"If Hendry trades for Tejada or Abreu, will it quell the TCR "fire Hendry" masses?"

Pending on what was given up, it would quite me down. That's not to say he should lose his job if they don't make the playoffs. I think if the Cubs don't make the playoffs, BOTH Hendry and Baker should not be brought back.

I think it will be interesting to see what McPhail does after the New Year with Hendry/Baker. Is he going to let them go into the 2006 season as a lame duck? Or is he going to cave in and give an unjustified extension to Hendry (who will in turn give one to Baker)?

Also will the Cubs try and wrap up Z, Prior and/or Lee long term this offseason? Also, like AZ PHIL stated, is there a bigger trade for Abreau or Tejada on the horizon??

Even though the team is fairly set, there are still many questions to be answered.

thanks for the link Jobu... cracked me up, and made me want to drag my NES from the closet too.

OK EVERYONE

I DID NOT TRY AND START A BRIAN GILES DEBATE.

It seems some are totally missing the point of my post. Please go back and read what IT is about. Giles was used to illistrate the point about Jones and his BB's. It just happened to be Giles that led the league in BB's. I will use the next guy on the list if you prefer. Please go read my post and understand the point I was making in it.

The focus is on Jones and how a 3-year deal was absurd.

TRADE RUMOR
After digging into many sources and making a wild card conclusion that, according to the Boston Globe, that Manny Ramirez will not report to the Red Sox spring training camp and demands a trade. I see something very possible and maybe it has some validity.
Red Sox, Cubs and a West Coast Team make a 3-team trade-
Red Sox sending Manny Ramirez to the Cubs for Corey Patterson (to fill the Damon centerfield vacancy), Matt Murton (to fill the left (Green Monster) side vacated by Ramirez), a pitching prospect and the PTBNL the Red Sox owe the Cubs, and maybe Todd Walker for Cora as Boston has Loretta now.
The Red Sox swings this deal because David Wells is part of the deal going to the West Coast team for some outfielders, afterall they did recently sign Seanez

Vince:
"The focus is on Jones and how a 3-year deal was absurd."

I think that everyone except the most steadfast Hendry apologist agrees with that statement.

Can we please put the following issues to bed please:
1) Brian Giles
2) Trading Kerry Wood

These issues are resolved or never will be. Giles stays in SD and Woody has a no trade.

Jerry,

I am confused on your post. Here is what I took as your trade proposal.

(Give back their PTBNL, which is essentially throwing in Van Buren in the trade) SO....

Ramirez and Cora for Patterson, Murton, Walker, Van Buren, and a pitching prospect.

Is that right? And if so, where does the 3rd team fall in, you mention Davide Wells, but make no reference to any players from the 3rd team

Just trying to clarify what you are saying

Admittedly, I know much less about baseball that just about anybody here. However, when I look at this signing, it doesn't strike me as being as horrendous as some other jems (Eyre, cough). Really, is 5.3 mill THAT much money? Look at the contracts this summer or last (cough, beltran) and this one doesn't scare the sh!t out of me. Either jones plays like he deserves 3 mill or he plays like he deserves 8, right? I mean, if he gets back to his numbers from two years ago, he'll be a great deal. And those stats were not an anomaly given that they occured over a few seasons. As far as blocking Pie, why is Murton considered solid in left? Didn't he bat terribly against righties late in last season? Is it crazy to envision Pie moving to the outfield and jones and murton platooning? If so, then jones is overpaid, but we still have a 100 mill roster, making five a drop in the bucket. And if the outfield is too crowded, Hendry's track record proves he can get something out of jones (cough, latroy). Why all the moaning? What else could we have gotten? Damon at 4 years and 52? No thanks.

If a GM doesn't look like he's trying to win in 2006 or doesn't look like he's trying to build for the future, then what gives? Hendry has me so confused now. The trade, the huge money on average free agents, dragging his own players through the mud before he allegedly tries to trade them. I don't know how this could possibly work out.

Basically from the time Mark Prior cracked the 25-man and Hendry got on board, I felt this was a new team, full of promise. Now... what's the opposite of promise? Problems. That's obstacles without simple solutions. That's definitely what the Cubs have now.

I'm not going to jump on Hendry, because no offseason should be judged on December 21. But if he wants to go to war like this, I'm done with the Cubs until him and Dustiny are both toast. For me, he has 3 months from today to right the ship or I'm done with this Cubbie administration.

On the topic of trading prospects at their maximum Hype value vs developing your prospect to get them to help your team. I present for your consideration with regard to Az Phil's trades for Tejada and Abreu.

MIAMI (AP) - The Florida Marlins hired five new coaches to work with new manager Joe Girardi.
Gary Tuck will serve as Girardi's bench coach, Rick Kranitz as pitching coach, Jim Presley as hitting coach, Bobby Meacham as third base coach and Mike Harkey as bullpen coach.

I have distinct memories of watching rookie Mike Harkey warming up in the Cubs left field line bullpen in 1990 after a brief promising callup in September 1989. He was the 4th pick in the 1987 draft. There was alot of hype to him. Dreaming he was the future of the team as their ace. His 1990 season was promising also going 12-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 173 IP.

Now that was one hot prospect that disappointed.

Harkey was a minor league pitching coach in the San Diego Padres' organization for five years. He spent parts of seven seasons pitching for the five major league franchises, going 36-36 with a 4.49 ERA in 131 games.

the other headache from that 1987 draft is that the WSox picked Jack McDowell #5 (right after Harkey). Also not Craig Biggio was the best selection in that 1st round (although one could argue the obvious Griffey Jr)...but some other players passed thru the Cubs including Delino DeShields, Willie Banks and Mike Remlinger.

Player Name Pos Drafted By Drafted From (High School or College) High Level MLB Years

1. Ken Griffey OF Seattle Mariners Moeller High School (Cincinnati,OH) MLB 1989-2005

2. Mark Merchant OF Pittsburgh Pirates Oviedo High School (Oviedo,FL) AAA

3. Willie Banks P Minnesota Twins St. Anthony High School (Jersey City,NJ) MLB 1991-2002

4. Mike Harkey P Chicago Cubs California State University, Fullerton MLB 1988-1997

5. Jack McDowell P Chicago White Sox Stanford University MLB 1987-1999

6. Derek Lilliquist P Atlanta Braves University of Georgia MLB 1989-1996

7. Chris Myers P Baltimore Orioles Plant High School (Tampa,FL) -

8. Dan Opperman P Los Angeles Dodgers Valley High School (Las Vegas,NV) -

9. Kevin Appier P Kansas City Royals Antelope Valley College MLB 1989-2004

10. Kevin Garner P-OF San Diego Padres University of Texas -

11. Lee Tinsley OF Oakland Athletics Shelby County High School (Shelbyville,KY) MLB 1993-1997

12. Delino DeShields SS Montreal Expos Seaford High School (Seaford,DE) MLB 1990-2002

13. Bill Spiers SS Milwaukee Brewers Clemson University MLB 1989-2001

14. Cris Carpenter P St. Louis Cardinals University of Georgia MLB 1988-1996

15. Brad DuVall P Baltimore Orioles Virginia Tech -
16. Mike Remlinger P San Francisco Giants Dartmouth College MLB 1991-2005

17. Alex Sanchez P Toronto Blue Jays UCLA MLB 1989-1989

18. Jack Armstrong P Cincinnati Reds University of Oklahoma MLB 1988-1994

19. Brian Bohanon P Texas Rangers North Shore High School (Houston,TX) MLB 1990-2001

20. Bill Henderson C Detroit Tigers Westminster High School (Palmetto Bay,FL) -

21. Steve Pegues OF Detroit Tigers Pontotoc High School (MS) MLB 1994-1995

22. Craig Biggio C Houston Astros Seton Hall University MLB 1988-2005

note Craig Biggio (not)

#74 of 90: By Cubster (December 21, 2005 09:36 AM)
AZ Phil...although Hendry has shown his talent to put together a 3-4 way deal, I doubt that both Murton AND Pie will be in one of those, one probably not both...unless they get both Abreu AND Tejada (which is not what you speculated)

(I'll use Wuertz for the bullpen arm but you can insert one of the other bullpen guys if you wish like Novoa)

your trade proposal #1 is: Murton, Hill, Wuertz (for Zito) but then you pass through Zito AND Pie for Abreau.

Murton, Hill, Wuertz, Pie = Abreu

trade #2 is: Murton, Hill, Wuertz (for Zito) but then you pass through Zito plus Pie and Cedeno for Tejada

Murton, Hill, Wuertz, Pie and Cedeno = Tejada

1) that's a farm system in itself for one player, a consideration only for Tejada in my humble opinion

2) both trades leave the Cubs short one OF

I think Hendry will be able to come up with a better and less draining transaction and I doubt Abreu is his target, only Miggy.

--

CUBSTER: I think it very possible that if there is a pre-cursor deal with Oakland, it might be more like Murton, Hill, and Wuertz for Barry Zito and Jay Payton (with Murton-Bradley-Kotsay playing LF-CF-RF, Swisher the DH, and Dan Johnson at 1B for the A's in 2006), and then Payton would be flipped for Jay Gibbons if it's a deal with the Orioles involving Tejada (Zito, Payton, Cedeno, and Pie for Tejada and Gibbons), or Payton would be sent to the Phillies along with Zito and Pie if it's a deal for Abreu.

If the Cubs get Abreu or Gibbons to play RF and put Jacque Jones to LF (where he belongs), then the Cubs could sign a FA right-handed hitting 4th OF (like maybe Eric Byrnes or Danny Bautista) to back up the three lefty hitting OFs.

The Cubs would still have trading chips in Walker, Hairston, C-Pat (for what that's worth) and Wellemeyer, but if Cedeno is traded in a deal for Tejada, I can't see the Cubs trading both Walker and Hairston (although I believe one of the two would still be traded).

Again, trading pitchers away to Oakland to do a "three-way" to get Abreu or Tejada would necessitate that the Cubs acquire warm bodies as replacements. The Rockies are (IMHO) the best fit for Corey Patterson if the idea is for Corey to get his confidence back (he would be a 30/30 man playing every day at Coors, albeit with 200+ Ks and the worst home/road splits in MLB history), the Rockies also need a 2B/lead-off hitter (like Jerry Hairston, Jr, for instance), we KNOW they like Todd Wellemeyer and have been after him for months, and Jason Jennings (making $4.4m in 2006 and $5.5m in 2007) and Ray King (making $2.75m in 2006, then FA) would replace whatever pitchers the Cubs might lose getting Barry Zito from Oakland.

So Patterson, Hairston, and Wellemeyer to Colorado for Jennings and King sounds like a match made in... well, maybe not in heaven... but maybe in purgatory?

Hey I found one thing that Jones did better then Burnits, he stole like 8 more bases. That had to be worth a 3 year deal, Right? Hey does anyone think the Cubs can win a WS by let say year 2189 and will Dusty still be around?

Andrew, I looked at Arroyo's numbers again and I agree with you -- the strong dip in his K rate last year would concern me. And if I am the Red Sox, I want production, not potential, in CF this year, because I don't know how many more years of Manny and Ortiz I truly still have. Even Reed is a bit of a project...I am surprised they at least did not have a "check back with us" arrangement with Lofton yesterday...Dave Roberts seems like a better and cheaper fit for them now than the other alternatives.

I think Corey comes to spring training with the Cubs. And unless he tears it up or the avian flu breaks out among centerfielders on other teams, Corey gets traded in a March, desparate and disappointing, 25-man roster cutting move, Juan Cruz-style.

Likely Opening Day 25-Man (12/21/05)

Zambrano
Prior
Maddux
Williams
Rusch

Dempster
Williamson
Howry
Eyre
Wuertz
Novoa
Ohman

Pierre
Walker
Lee
Ramirez
Jones
Murton
Barrett
Cedeno

Patterson
Mabry
Perez
Hairston
Blanco

WPZ: I believe you are right on the mark, my friend! (as of this moment in time, anyway...).

WPZ...so who gets bumped when Kerry Wood comes off of extended spring training?

There will likely be a spring trade (or sooner) ala AZ Phil's suggestions to accomodate my question above.

Not to mention they will need to move Wellemeyer as part of some package. I agree that Colorado is a likely home for both Welly and CPat.

but getting Ray King and Jason Jennings just gives more fuel for trade fodder, per my question in post #99

WPZ-
Very likely...Not a playoff team unless a few players have career years and every stays 100% healthy.

But an * must be put on there for Wood. There is still a chance he makes the opening day roster and if not, should be back shortly therefafter.

I wonder who would get bumped off teh starting rotation when Wood steps in? Williams or Rusch?? Also, looking at the bullpen, there is not a long relief guy in there (someone who can go 3-4 innings in case the starter getrs hurt or shelled. I think if Wood can start in teh rotation, the winner of teh Rusch/Willams run off in ST will be in rotation adn loser sent to be long relief in bullpen with WEurtz being sent down maybe.

AZ Phil, I sure hope you're right that Hendry has another trade deal in mind. I'd certainly understand and feel better about the Jones deal if we could acquire Abreu or Tejada. And I'd sell the farm (yes, all of it) for both of them.

I don't see the Tejada trade happening in the fact Cubs have no name player to trade.
Another pressing need they could get would be Jon Garland. Give Sox Hill and another prospect and you can have Garland as your number three starter.

Cubster-
Good call...you beat me to it about Wood. But what about long relief??

Just so People Know, Hendry is working a Deal with a unknown Team, afew of our players to be traded are Corey, Todd, Ohman and Wood and Possibly Cedano and two a minor leaugers, even thought Washington is talked about for Woods, I do not beleive they are the team or they are in as one of two teams Hendry is working with. the only problem to work out is afew no trade clauses. Why can't we trade trade like Dusty to japan for a dinner at Harry Carrey's and send Hendry and Andy to the Twins for 12 snowball and a gallon of eggnog with Rum? But I will say this, I am working on a Idea, to buy the Cubs, but I am going to need a army of true Fans of the Cubs. I have the Plan, Now its Money Time, If interested E-mail me, after what they did yesterday, I said that was it. Screw the Tribune. I mean this Guy and Gals, I have a Plan and it will work. My E-mail [email protected]
hope to hear from you.

(sorry for the double-post...a quirk of the Blazer browser on my smartphone)

AZ Phil, I am trying to figure out the logic of the O's side of the three-way trade you have been talking about.

Zito, Cedeno, Payton and Pie for Tejada and Gibbons -- I don't see how that saves the O's money.

Zito has an $8.5 million option for 2006 and extending him would cost Burnett-style dollars -- that is, pretty much the same $$ that Tejada is costing them. Payton has a $4 million option for 2006, which is about the same salary that Gibbons would probably command in arbitration this Winter.

This means that for this to work, we would need to be paying Tejada (owed $48 million over next four years) plus possibly some of Zito's 2006 contract -- does that really make sense for us?

Jacos:
"Another pressing need they could get would be Jon Garland. Give Sox Hill and another prospect and you can have Garland as your number three starter."

No thanks...He is still a career .500 pitcher coming off a CAREER year. Actually a career first half of a year. He was 6-7 with a 3.74 ERA in the 2nd half. He is at his highest price he could possibly be right now and a FA after next year. We would have to give up alot to get him and then maybe only have him for a year.

I would rather wait to see what he does next year before REinvesting in him.

#100 of 102: By Cubster (December 21, 2005 11:07 AM)
but getting Ray King and Jason Jennings just gives more fuel for trade fodder, per my question in post #99

--

CUBSTER: True. But remember, Jerome Williams, Will Ohman, Michael Wuertz, and Roberto Novoa, ALL have minor league options left and could be sent to Iowa if there is a "numbers crunch" on the pitching staff. Of course, they wouldn't like it, but they wouldn't have a choice.

It actually might be kind of nice to know that there are some "major league ready" arms down at Iowa if the need arises. And after seeing Angel Guzman throw in the AFL, there is NOTHING wrong with his arm, and he has the stuff to be a top-drawer rotation starter in '07 after Maddux and probabbly Wood are gone.

So let's say the Cubs make a deal with the Rockies and get Jennings and King, but do NOT make a deal with Oakland for Zito (and thus do NOT get Tejada or Abreu), and then let's say Woody IS ready on Opening Day or soon thereafter:

STARTERS:
Zambrano
Prior
Wood
Maddux
Rusch or Jennings (one starts, other to the bullpen)

BULLPEN:
Dempster
Howry
Eyre
Williamson
King
Wuertz
Jennings or Rusch

AT IOWA (AY AAA):

STARTERS:
J. Williams
Hill
Guzman
Koronka
Ryu

BULLPEN:
Novoa
Ohman
Aardsma
Rohlicek
Brownlie
Bartosh or Norton
Shipman, Szuminski, or Blasko

LQQK1 -- was your post in english?

Manny-
He's pitching five years in the majors and is just reaching his peak years. What reinvestment, cubs got Kirchner for him?
I guess if you don't want to try to win now and wait for the great prospects to arrive, then yes pass on him and I will see you at the 100 year anniversery party in 2008.

AZ Phil,

Regarding your prospective Iowa Cubs pitching staff, what happened to Raul Valdes? Have they given up on him?

Sidenote: Anyone else not seeing the other AB links on the side of the page?

#106 of 108: By DC Tom (December 21, 2005 11:13 AM)
(sorry for the double-post...a quirk of the Blazer browser on my smartphone)

AZ Phil, I am trying to figure out the logic of the O's side of the three-way trade you have been talking about.

Zito, Cedeno, Payton and Pie for Tejada and Gibbons -- I don't see how that saves the O's money.

Zito has an $8.5 million option for 2006 and extending him would cost Burnett-style dollars -- that is, pretty much the same $$ that Tejada is costing them. Payton has a $4 million option for 2006, which is about the same salary that Gibbons would probably command in arbitration this Winter.

This means that for this to work, we would need to be paying Tejada (owed $48 million over next four years) plus possibly some of Zito's 2006 contract -- does that really make sense for us?

-

DC TOM: The A's have already picked up Jay Payton's 2006 option, and (as you said) he will get $4m in 2006. And (also as you said) Jay Gibbons is likely to get a similar 2006 salary via arbiration, so that should be "wash."

Zito gets $7.9m in 2006, and Tejada gets $12m ($10m in salary and $2m from his signing bonus). So that's a $4.1m savings. Tejada then would get $12m in 2007, $13m in 2008, and $13m in 2009, and $4m from the signing bonus deferred to the end of the contract ($2m in 2010 and $2m in 2011).

If the O's get Zito, I can't see them paying him more than the $7.9m he's guaranteed in 2006, even if they end up giving him an extension. I would think if Zito does agree to a contract extension (and he might not), that it would not include 2006, and would get added to the end of the contract (2007 and beyond) when the O's would have been paying Tejada $12-13m per year through 2009.

Whatever "name" player the Orioles might sign to replace Tejada in 2006 would probably be a DH (like maybe Mike Piazza or Frank Thomas) and wouldn't be making Tejada money. Maybe a one or two-year deal for $5m per year plus incentives. Most of that would come from the savings from exchanging Tejada's contract for Zito's.

Then the Orioles would realize an additional $4m savings after 2006 when Payton would be leaving (presumably replaced by Felix Pie, and that would pay for Zito's extension.

Sorry, I don't share everyone's optimism that there is a big trade brewing. It's false hope and just keeps everyone talking. Jones was a desperation move. I think this is our 2006 Cubs. We'll be battling for 3rd or 4th in our division and if everything goes right, maybe, just maybe, be in the wild card race until the beginning of September when the ultimate dude begins the fade.

I agree with Manny, that if they don't make the playoffs, Hendry and Baker should be fired. I would go one step further and say McFail should also be launched. Sooner or later the Trib brass has to realize that people that don't produce should not be retained. I'm sure they utilize that philosophy in other areas of their empire, why not in the baseball end. I know most you will say he stays because he runs a profitable division. There is some truth in that, but even the Trib has to be embarassed by the incompetence and want to produce a winner. Even they shouldn't want to approach the century mark in futility. Didn't they get a big taste in '03 and didn't it taste great until the last 2 games. The Trib has alotted an adequate budget, but it isn't producing the desired results.

I'm willing to write-off next year, which is what it looks like now, if it means McFail, Hendry and Baker are gone. I would even settle for two out of three.

MLB general managers, please give Adam Greenberg a shot! The Cubs have a solid CF/leadoff hitter who gives every ounce of talent he has. He's Lenny Dykstra with a brain and personality. He has had a .370 OBP almost every where he has played and makes only an error or two a year. Someone needs to let this guy energize their team.

Arizona Phil, won't Koronka be used as a bullpen guy in Iowa based upon his success in the fall league? We certainly know he is not a roster caliber starter.

JAcos:
"I guess if you don't want to try to win now and wait for the great prospects to arrive, then yes pass on him and I will see you at the 100 year anniversery party in 2008."

Whatever man...if you like signing guys who are in their last year of arb eligible and are tehir absolute highest peak value and will demand a big contract, then go for it, but for me I would need to see more than one CAREER year before I give up our top 3 prospect for him.

And based on what Hednry has done the past two years, it doesn't l;ook like he is going to try and win right now, so he is the guy that yiou should be saying this to.

But i would pass on garland unless we can get him for much cheaper than a top 3 prospect.

"If Hendry trades for Tejada or Abreu, will it quell the TCR "fire Hendry" masses?"

I suppose that would depend on the price we pay. Me personally - I wouldn't bitch one bit regardless.

#111 of 113: By DC Tom (December 21, 2005 11:39 AM)
AZ Phil,

Regarding your prospective Iowa Cubs pitching staff, what happened to Raul Valdes? Have they given up on him?

DCTOM: The scenario I was dealing with in POST #108 was CUBSTER'S question about what would happen if the Cubs acquired Jennings and King from Colorado without trading Hill and Wuertz for Zito, and if everybody (including Ketry Wood) is healthy to start the 2006 season. If that happened, THEN, Raul Valdes would probably get pushed down to AA until there is an opening in the starting rotation at Iowa.

Or Valdes could also be a starter at Iowa, Koronka could be moved to the bullpen (and he pitched great out of the bullpen in the AFL), and the Cubs could release both Norton AND Bartosh.

But I wasn't trying to slight Valdes. He is actually pitching great in Winter Ball, and even though he was something of a disappointment in 2005, the Crafty Cuban could conceivably figure in the Cubs pitching plans at some point in 2006.

garland sucks, and he's repped by boras on top of it. the FA market sucks, we knew it would. as for trades, good players like ramirez and abreu will cripple your team because their contracts were signed in a different, dumber era. it would be irresponsible for hendry to take them on before extending lee, prior and zambrano. so what, exactly, should hendry be doing differently?

I'm glad he isn't selling out the farm system the Cubs have worked for years to build...in the last year of his contract it'd be very easy for him to salt the fields in a desperate attempt to win it all this year.

#116 of 119: By TJ (December 21, 2005 11:51 AM)
Arizona Phil, won't Koronka be used as a bullpen guy in Iowa based upon his success in the fall league? We certainly know he is not a roster caliber starter.

-

TJ: Yes, that's very possible. But a lot times the Cubs use guys as starters in the minors to get them more innings, even when they see them as future relievers.

But you are correct about Koronka. He pitched GREAT out of the bullpen in the AFL, and IF he has a future in the big leagues (big IF), it's probably as a LOOGY.

#120: I think he kindof sold out his farm system by signing two middle relievers to 3 year contracts. Some of these young arms have to find a place somewhere on the roster (or on someone elses), otherwise I dont know if he 'built' much.

AZ Phil, how is Valdez' control these days? I remember his Cuban stats contained something ridiculously amazing, like an 0.42 BB/9...

"he isn't selling out the farm system the Cubs have worked for years to build"
What farm system?!?! In 20 years they have one pitcher(Maddux)two position players(Grace,Pameiro) that have been worth a damn. Remember when Cruz was a top three player? Where is he now? Farnsworth? Brooks Keschnick? Kelton?Guzman?Patterson?
C'mon it's been brutal, the only player they have now is Cedeno, and he's pretty much an unknown.

Well, Prior and Z were from the farm as well, but I get your point, especially concerning position players.

Looks like Hendry is set on settling for a mediocre team again. I'm not certain this lineup strikes much fear in the league--let alone the Central Division. Every team in the division has at least two big bats that can compete with Ramirez and Lee...some have even more.

The Cubs are not better offensively than Milwaukee or Pittsburgh...and are worse than the Cardinals and Reds....then you have all the other teams in the remaining divisions....

Hendry=Snowjob

Where is he now? Farnsworth?

You gotta be kidding, He has a three year, $17 million contract with the Yankees.

I stand corrected on Z, but Prior was a number 1 that fell into their lap.

"I'm glad he isn't selling out the farm system the Cubs have worked for years to build..."

But Chris, what happens next? Prior and Z get very expensive quickly. What's next? We have let so many prospects "develop" and they developed into NOTHING. We waited on so many guys, who eventually just lost all value, instead of traded them for young talent that could have helped us in 2003, 2004 or 2005. Think about all the prospects we have had who we let rot when we didn't have a spot to play all of them in.

I'm not one to "salt all the fields" but there is a point where you have to make moves like trading 3 prospects for Pierre. I think we should have done more of that the past 3 years, and should still be doing it. If management says Pie is a "can't miss" guy (which means he still has a 50% chance of missing, but it's better than most players chances) then you don't trade him. But we can't have THAT many "can't miss" guys that we hardly ever can trade them.

I'd have made the Alf/Clement deal any day. I may have traded Dontrelle Willis in a heartbeat. And we missed out on Willis. I may have traded Z to Philly for Rolen, and missed out on Z. I may have traded Patterson or Guzman or any of a number of other prospects that we sat on.

I'm tired of watching our fields grow. I'm looking for a big hunk of meat - and I want it now. Very shortly, Prior and Zambrano will be making a ton of money. I'm afraid that this team window, as configured, is getting smaller and smaller.

Jacos, what do you mean "fell into their lap?" Do you really think Prior was a fluke, that they were like, "hmm, who should we take with our high draft pick, eenie, meenie, minie, moe..." It's fine to argue that the farm system is overrated, but at least give credit where credit's due - Prior was a GREAT draft pick.

"The Cubs are not better offensively than Milwaukee or Pittsburgh"

huh? dispair is one thing, but that's just flat out crazy even though it is an opinion.

hell, the cubs are offensively better than STL/HOU at the moment in a lotta people's eyes.

and the cubs pitching runs circles around all theirs.

Well it looks like another year or three are wasted. Jones was nothing more then a Baker pick, patterson now will be the LF, another Baker pick, I'm just surprized Baker has not tried to trade barrett and all the other white players.

Lqqk1, please.

At least we're not the lily-white Astros.

Looks like the Yankees just signed Damon

Re #113 and #119 AZ Phil,

Thanks for the clarifications, especially on Valdes.

As for the O's, based on what I've seen in the Baltimore Sun etc., I don't think they would make a trade simply to save money. Zito would be attractive, but only if they arrange an extension, and that will be expensive (Burnett dollars, easily). If they are simply going to try and save money, they are more likely to trade Javy Lopez.

Jason Bay, Sean Casey, Craig Wilson....are not any worse than Lee, Ramirez and (fill in the blanks)....Same for Brady Clark, Geoff Jenkins and Carlos Lee....

The Cubs are not superior to either team...just a superior payroll.

"Jason Bay, Sean Casey, Craig Wilson....are not any worse than Lee, Ramirez and (fill in the blanks)....Same for Brady Clark, Geoff Jenkins and Carlos Lee...."

and you seriously believe that?

wow.

It just occurred to me that for Hendry the best option to platoon with Jacque Jones is Korey. And either can platoon with Murton if he doesn't pan as an everyday .300-type hitter. So you hopefully get three effective outfielders out of the four. But still, three years doesn't sit well with me. This is a worse deal than Maddux was, and in 2008 this will be a major obstacle for the Cubs.

In 2001 the Twins had the number one pick and Prior was the no brainer number one pick in the country. The Twins knew Prior would be costly, and at the time the Twins were being talked about as being contracted, so they took Mauer knowing he would not cost as much. Therefore the Cubs with second pick got Prior.

number ones for cubs in last 7 years-
1998-Patterson(still raw talent, he might figure it out somewhere else 4 or 5 years from now)
1999-Ben Christensen- DUCK!!
2000-Montenez-developing
2001-Prior
2002-Brownlie
2003-Harvey

i dont get it...does a guy have to hit 30+ homers to get a cubs fan's attention?

or is a leadoff man with low power not worth a damn unless they can make 13m bucks and hit 10-20 homers?

one of the deepest starting pitching staffs around isnt valid? there's teams out there that dont even have a veteran "6th starter"...the cubs got that and a few kids behind that.

i would suggest trying being a fan of another team, but unless you like boston/yanks or dont care much about the state of dodger pitching, there's not a lot out there to be a rah-rah fan of.

Nate not yet. They could of had Furcal, but blew it, They gave 3 minors for 1 CF when we could of had Willis also, they resign Micas to minor leauge deal so they can bring him back. we sent 2 minor leaugers to AZ and the Red Sox for players to be named later. they Over paid Jones to keep him from KC, and gave him 3 yrs. Thier is a deal on the table right now Hendry says, But it sound more like a way to let people swallow the fact we got Jones at a bad price. They have not talked about giving Lee a big contract, only Prior,Woods and Zambarno. They want to lock up pierre for afew year (ok I like that move)and they keep throw walker out there in trade talks and no one is listening. where is the excitement for 2006? How can we win with this team? If I was a Cub I would be pulling a Manny and Tajada right now. Maybe its time to buy a White Sox Hat and Jersey, the Cubs seem to be going backwards. Sorry I had to rant for a moment.

As per the NL Central I'd say right now it's still wide open but if I had to guess, I'd go alphabetical in the standings. Granted, picking at this point is like projecting individual stock prices 40 years from now.

AZ Phil # 68

Brilliant analogy without all the stats. Thank you for that.

X-Who cares about Corey not complaining openly? I do, and everyone else that is a baseball fan should too. This modern bullshit of thinking it;s okay to mistreat a struggling player, ESPECIALLY one who has been hurt AND playing significanlt out of position...just becuase you bought a ticket.....is part of the cuase of the Johhny Damon's of the world not showiing loyalty. Corey Patterson is a man......a stand up guy.......he just happens to be a man that struggled mightily in front of an audience.

Do you suppose YOU would have handled it better?

Joey

I agree with X #129, and that's what I implied in #75, doesn't mean we have to sell the farm, but why put all this weight and value and promise into prospects while we can get a top-of-the-tier guy like Abreu and Tejada that can help us win now. You listening Mr. Hendry...And the White Sox winning (damn, its still hard to say that) in '05 should make this all the more urgent to get the city of Chicago back on your side.

"Jason Bay, Sean Casey, Craig Wilson....are not any worse than Lee, Ramirez and (fill in the blanks)....Same for Brady Clark, Geoff Jenkins and Carlos Lee...."

Jason Bay is better than anyone in our outfield, but other than that? Lee is much better than Casey, Barrett trumps Cota/Doumit, ARam runs circles around Freddy Sanchez, and Neifi/Cedeno vs Jack Wilson could be a wash - depends on if we see '04 Wilson or '05 Wilson, as well as how much playing time Cedeno gets and how well he does with it. Other than Bay, Pierre/Jones/Murton vs (pick two) Duffy/Gerut/McClouth/C Wilson doesn't favor either team that heavily.

advantage: Cubs

Abreu and Tejada can be had...all you gotta do is give up d.lee.

they need to get those homers and bat back from somewhere in the lineup.

they dont need prospects and no one needs pitching that bad.

there's no where to replace that production on the open market.

"They gave 3 minors for 1 CF when we could of had Willis also"

Um... whatchoo talkin about, Willis?

And who is this "Zambarno" character? He sounds like a superhero.

Ruz said, "If they had blocked Pie with a star player, that would be one thing, but to do it with guys like Pierre and Jones exhibits a short-sightedness that is upsetting."

That's my problem. A few years ago, I met a GM for a (well run) major league team (not the Cubs). I have a friend who got me that opportunity. It was awesome. What struck me most was the planning. This GM had a board with all of his clubs (MLB and Farm) and who he had planned for any given spot on any team for 3 years. Some spots were blank in the lower minors down the road for obvious reasons. Some spots were even blank in the high minors. Many spots had multiple options. But his major leage roster, for the next three years, had players in each spot, with realistic salaries to match his budget and he also had backup plans for those spots that may have been in doubt (either due to a player's contract expiring, a player's talent level, or in cases where they had prospects penciled in. I felt like that guy knew exactly what he was going to do, and if that didn't work, that he had a plan. I don't recall the exact names in many spots, so I don't know how it came to fruition. But I wonder if Hendry has that sort of foresight. I feel like I should doubt it. Our follies with closers, our CF/SS escapades, the disaster in both coner OFs last year, our development of pitchers from the farm given how rich that farm is... It all combines leaving me wondering.

I'm thinking Hendry might be a better scout than a GM. Signing Joque Jones for 3/16 and surrendering a draft pick to do it makes me more convinced about that.

Hell nate, I spelled his name wrong, so what. Willis for Gusman, would you do it? I would of. but hendry likes A. Gusman to much to trade for a 20 game winner

pie's not blocked...no contract anyone will sign is immovable...unless pierre signs for 6-7m and gets gimpy.

worst non-injury scenerio is j.jones has to be traded away and the cubs suck up 1-2m of his pay per year. that's not crippling at all and a lefty 3-OF possition guy with 20+HR power isnt that hard to shift...save the patterson jokes...

murton sure isnt a statue and is movable...and hell, if everyone clicks...pie should fetch a hell of a premium.

the club isnt crippled by jones or his contract.

sorry Lqqk1, I'm not trying to pick on your spelling - "Zambarno" is just funny to me for some reason

But what on earth makes you think that a) Willis was available, and b) he could have been had for Guzman? It was never a possibility.

Willis for Gusman, would you do it? I would of. but hendry likes A. Gusman to much to trade for a 20 game winner

Did a magic fairy tell you that Hendry turned down this "trade?"

Or have you simply decided that because this hypothetical trade hasn't happend that Hendry wouldn't do it?

"Do you suppose YOU would have handled it better?"

Joey, in my job, even if I try my hardest, even if I am put in challenging spots, even if the task is difficult, IF I FAIL, I GET BLAMED. I get railed, criticized, threatened, penalized financially, possibly suspended, and possibly fired. That's the reality of my life. Corey is fortunate that he can't get penalized financially in season, short of being released (although his future earnings will reflect his past performance).

I don't give a rats a$$ what kind of "man" he is. It really is of no concern to me. I am only concerned about how he plays baseball. He's not my role model. He's not my friend. And fortunately, he's not my CF anymore either.

As far as Damon being loyal, that's a load of crap. Here's what Damon is responsible for... He had a contract. He was responsible for honoring that contract. That contract expired. He was a FA. He chose to play somewhere else. Don't blame Damon or the fans, or anyone else. Luccino didn't pony up what Damon wanted - and he left. Luccino effectively dismissed Theo by not working out a deal much earlier, and the two-headed monster in his place has so far not worked out too well.

"This modern bullshit of thinking it;s okay to mistreat a struggling player,"

Again, I disagree with your assessment. Nobody is mistreating CP. He is paid per his contract. He is expected to deliver what he is being paid for. When he can't hit over .215, get on base over .300, etc. he's the one who fails his responsibilities. The fans have every right to express their displeasure with that performance. I am not condoning anything that clearly crosses the line (race, family, death threats, etc.) but most other forms of expression are more than just a "right" of a fan. They are actually the best way that fans of this club can make their feelings known. Not showing up is really not an option since for every ticket available it seems there are 2 people willing to buy it for over face value. Not showing up would require 6mm people (ok - maybe less since many people go to many games - but you get my point) doing it.

Hendry Gave a list of name he would trade, Hill, Gusman and afew others were left off. In a article I read a week or so ago stated that Willis was on the table for a minor leauger would start now with a low salary. when asked about hill or Gusman hendry said no.... I try to find the article.

"This modern bullshit of thinking it;s okay to mistreat a struggling player,"

Is that you Dusty?

Yea, but Damon's still a tool.

Jones actually has some value as a player. He's a quality defensive player at all 3 outfield positions and adds to the team speed (not necessarily SBs). That being said, as has been pointed out here a billion times, he can't hit left handed pitching and should be a platoon player. I'm not worried about him blocking Pie though. If and when Pie is ready, Jones contract isn't untradeable or too outrageous to serve as a 4th outfielder splitting time at all 3 positions.

Two Scary observations...
1. Murton, Pierre and Jones will be one of the least productive outfields in baseball....and it's an IMPROVEMENT on 2005...ouch.
2. There's an outside chance that Dusty actually does understand the whole left / right split thing and uses this as an excuse to a) platoon Murton and Jones and b) start someone like Hairston or whatever Macias like player we sign on a daily basis

"and b) start someone like Hairston or whatever Macias like player we sign on a daily basis"

That would be John Mabry.

"start someone like Hairston or whatever Macias like player we sign on a daily basis "

Not to mention the soon-to-be-a-Dusty-favorite, John Mabry.

Think of it this way, If your in the Army and your not do your job right, one of 3 things happen, Discharge,demotion in grade and pay, court marshal. What does Corey get Millions of dollars and asked to play winter ball. So taking Coreys side and saying he is a great player but just has not achieved his potental is BS...

great minds think alike, andrew!

I'm confused... are you advocating Leavenworth for Corey if can't get his OBP above .300 or something?

Andrew,
Totally forgot about the Mabry signing....good lord, I think I'm going to be sick.....

"I'm confused... are you advocating Leavenworth for Corey if can't get his OBP above .300 or something?"

Haha, great minds, indeed, Nate. I was just about to post something similar.

No what I am saying is if you can't do your job, look for a new one, Selling cars seems poular to players that couldn't cut it.

In a article I read a week or so ago stated that Willis was on the table for a minor leauger would start now with a low salary. when asked about hill or Gusman hendry said no.... I try to find the article.

First, why would the Marlins trade Willis for someone with a low salary when he's still cheap - reaching just his first year of arbitration.

And Hendry was asked about trading Hill or Guzman for Willis or he was asked about trading Hill or Guzman hypothetically or as you said earlier, Hill and Guzman simply weren't on a list of people Hendry's thinking about trading.

They are all very different things.

Corey's a handsome guy, maybe he should give acting a shot.

You have to be FOS, X. What kind of idiot General Manager would let a jamoka off the street like you ....OR ANYBODY, for that matter.....see a board with the plans AND projected salaries for his whole system for the next three years??!!!

Talk about giving away the farm. It defies credulity.

"Hendry Gave a list of name he would trade, Hill, Gusman and afew others were left off. In a article I read a week or so ago stated that Willis was on the table for a minor leauger would start now with a low salary. when asked about hill or Gusman hendry said no.... I try to find the article. "

This is just plain silly. Florida isn't trading Dontrelle Willis for Guzman AND Hill. Did I stumble into cubs.com message boards by mistake?

Willis and Cabrerra are virtually untouchable. I don't believe we could get either one of them even if we offered Guzman, Hill AND Pie.

Hendry had a list of players he could trade, and a list of untouchables, Gusman and hill and afew other were on the untouchable list. Florida wanted players with options, with ability to play now for Willis and Cabara, but they wanted Hill first and Gusman second. Hendry said no to those players in a multible trade, so we Gained Pierre for 3 player on the trade list. The Marlin thought they would have to dish out 5-7 mill. to Willis if he went arbration, in stead the lucked out and signed him for one year at 3 mill.

Cubswin - I was in his office. I wasn't able to see each line. I saw what the board was, and how it broke down. I wasn't able to read it. He didn't let me see it. But it exists... Most teams do the same thing. I imagine we do too. I just don't see that foresight from JH in his actions. Do you?

Lqqk1, are we talking PS2 baseball? Because the Marlins are building around Willis and Cabrera, not trading them...

"Hendry had a list of players he could trade, and a list of untouchables, Gusman and hill and afew other were on the untouchable list. Florida wanted players with options, with ability to play now for Willis and Cabara, but they wanted Hill first and Gusman second. Hendry said no to those players in a multible trade, so we Gained Pierre for 3 player on the trade list. The Marlin thought they would have to dish out 5-7 mill. to Willis if he went arbration, in stead the lucked out and signed him for one year at 3 mill."

That's not even close to reality.

oh, and cubswin (serious Q) - what is credulity? Never heard that word before.

Florida wanted players with options, with ability to play now for Willis and Cabara, but they wanted Hill first and Gusman second. Hendry said no to those players in a multible trade, so we Gained Pierre for 3 player on the trade list.

And your fairy godparents told you this???

sounds like a deal possible in fairy world, but not in Major League Baseball.

Murton, Pierre and Jones will be one of the least productive outfields in baseball....and it's an IMPROVEMENT on 2005...ouch.

Like I said the Milwaukee Brewers outfield is superior to the Cubs...Sad I think....

Baker can't stand Cub fans...but he didn't realize how tough Cub fans were until bad times hit. Now the much "wanted to be loved and adored by all" Baker feels a need to kick every Cub fan in the balls before he leaves next year so he fields a pitiful team..albeit through Jim Hendry who is listening to every word of Dusty Baker. We are getting kicked in the balls big time and Hendry doesn't even see it. Of course he's one of the last few still adoring Johnny B. lately.

Hey Blue,

Just was wondering, are you a Sox fan? Or are you always rude? If I wanted to make Sh*t up, it sure would be better then that. I read lot of news on the Cubs, and do not just live on Blogs, I've played for the Army until a car accident derailed that for me. The Cubs is the one and few thing I get to enjoy left in my life Except for my Son. If you want Fairy tales go read Mother Goose.

"Baker feels a need to kick every Cub fan in the balls before he leaves next year so he fields a pitiful team."

Okay, this is insane. So Baker is actually an evil genius who understands baseball but will choose to sabotage his own team to get back at the fans? And was he in that mode last season when he was batting Patterson and Perez at the top of the order? Or is he just an old baseball guy who doesn't get it?

Maybe the evil mastermind should get a big white cat to hold in his lap and pet while he cunningly leads the Cubs to a sub-.500 record.

Raven1908 wrote one of the best observations of the last fifty messages or so:

"1. Murton, Pierre and Jones will be one of the least productive outfields in baseball....and it's an IMPROVEMENT on 2005...ouch."

Let's compare, shall we? Not scientific and I am leaving out all obviously-better outfields...

By my count, Murton/Jones/Pierre is still better than:

Orioles: Matos, Newhan and Gibbons
Royals: DeJesus, (blank, presumably Reggie Sanders), Emil Brown
Marlins: Auigla, Kinkade and Hermida

And we are worse than:

Tampa: Baldelli, Crawford, Huff
Blue Jays: Catalanotto, Wells, Rios
A's: Kotsay, Kielty and Bradley
Nats: Soriano or Marlon Byrd, Church, Guillen
Brewers: Brady Clark, Carlos Lee, Jenkins
Pirates: Wilson, Bay, Duffy (only because of Bay)

And about even with:

White Sox: Br. Anderson/Mackowiak, Podsednik, Dye
Detroit: Granderson/Logan, Monroe and Maggio
Twins: Torii Hunter, Sh. Stewart, Jason Kubel
Cardinals: Edmonds, Bigbie, John Rodriguez
Rockies: Holliday, Hawpe, Sullivan

Two things jumped out as I made this list:

1. There are a number of bad outfields in baseball. By my count, no less than 15 are clearly suboptimal for whatever reason.

2. Of the bad outfields, we have one of -- but not the -- worst.

Baker is a people person, players like him, thats why for the first 2 years players wanted to come to Chicago, and some still do, but Dusty does not know how to manage the pitching . he's proved it in S.F. and he is proveing it here.

"Maybe the evil mastermind should get a big white cat to hold in his lap and pet while he cunningly leads the Cubs to a sub-.500 record."

Would it be too much to ask for outfielders with frickin' lasers on their heads?

now you're talking sense, Lqqk1 - I totally agree.

Thanks Nate

"Baker is a people person, players like him, thats why for the first 2 years players wanted to come to Chicago"

NAME TWO?

"and some still do"

Mabry, Neifi, Hollandsworth..."

I smell troll - or 9 year old...

I vote 9 year old - thus the nickelodean cartoon referance from earlier.

I know this has been discussed before, but why is it we have no interest in Reggie Sanders?

You know I have this crazy thought.

Corey Patterson, Jerry Hairston to Boston for Mark Loretta.

Basically Loretta is a better fielding version of Walker.

I would say Walker and Patterson to Boston but I don't think Boston has any interest in Walker and I don't think Walker has any interest in playing for them again.

But I can dream of a Pierre/Loretta 1, 2 punch. Two of the toughest hitters in baseball to strikeout starting off the game? Sounds good to me. It would go along way to forcing pitchers to throw more pitches against our team and get them out of the game earlier.

Walker can still be traded or he could be kept until the trade deadline in July. This would allow the Cubs to see if Cedeno is ready or not. If he isn't Loretta could play SS. He has 328 games played at that position in his career but hasn't played it much since 2000. It is a better option than going with Neifi. I know it basically screws over Walker again, who should really be starting, but you got to do what you got to do sometimes.

Let me know if this is crazy, stupid, flipping dumb or all the above. God knows I have no problem telling other people what I think is dumb.

Jacos:
"What farm system?!?! In 20 years they have one pitcher(Maddux)two position players(Grace,Pameiro) that have been worth a damn."

What about Willis?? What about Wood, Prior and Z???

Outfielders with lasers on their heads, eh? So this is what it's come down to? Needing our outfielders to zap baserunners as to keep them from scoring? This was Hendry's big plan?

LQQK1-
"Well it looks like another year or three are wasted. Jones was nothing more then a Baker pick, patterson now will be the LF, another Baker pick, I'm just surprized Baker has not tried to trade barrett and all the other white players."

Come on...I know I will be labeled a Dusty defender, but this is STUPID!!! I thought Hendry was the GM?? And some people think Cubs fans are the smartest fans in baseball, well I guess all groups have their bad apples.

You left out many other superior outfields:
In the NL alone there's
CIN: Griffy, Kearns, Willie Mo, Freel
LAD: Drew, Lofton, Cruz
SD: Cammeron, Giles, Roberts
SF: Bonds, Alou, Winn
NYM: Beltran, Floyd, Nady/Diaz
Atl: Jones, Franceor, Langerhans
PHI: Abreu, Rowand, Burell, Michaels
HOU: Taveras, Lane, Berkman
AZ: Green, Tracy, Gonzo

Really, when you look at it, the only NL teams that have a worse outfield than the Cubs are Marlins (who are basically a AAA team), Rockies, and maybe the Cardinals.

That is a sad state of affairs.

"about even with White Sox: Br. Anderson/Mackowiak, Podsednik, Dye"

Really? If you are projecting great things from Murton, you must project equal things from Anderson as he is a highly rated prospect just like Murton. Dye is worlds better than Joque Jones. And Podsednik is at least as good, if not better than Pierre if you evaluate them based on their recent performance, or their trends...

Why would you say that our OF is better?

They talked to one of the Twins' radio analysts on WSCR yesterday; he said that Jones is a real team player who loves to play the game. He sounds like a good clubhouse guy and a great teammate. I would like to stress the fact that teams make champions, not a single players (i know it's an old cliche). For instance, the Sox had a good team that played well together; no one hit over .300 on that team! I do believe that the Cubs will be a good "team" in 2006.

It is however, true that there is more to be done. If Hendry adds another Starter we might have a chance. If Hendry somehow pulls off a Tejada trade we might have more than a chance. But, I sincerely believe that our present projected line-up will sadly the one that we will have in 2006. Like I said, if they really play like a team, they could be good (see 2005 CWS).

"What about Willis?? What about Wood, Prior and Z???"
No one knew about Willis, even the Cubs who threw him in the trade for Clement.
Prior- fell in their lap
Z- I stand corrected.

WOOD!!!! Even when he's healthy he is eratic to say the best. He does not take instruction or try to learn his craft, he just tries to K every batter.

Now the AL:

The only outfields that are clearly worse than the cubs are
Baltimore and Kansas City

I would rate the cubs outfield 25th out of 30 in the majors.
Helluva way to win a pennant.

Cubfan:
"Baker feels a need to kick every Cub fan in the balls before he leaves next year so he fields a pitiful team..albeit through Jim Hendry who is listening to every word of Dusty Baker."

Can you provide ANY evidence that Hendry is actually a puppet GM and Baker is the actual Gm making teh decisions? Thanks!!

KarlH-
The main reason for the Sox success- pitching.
No Small Ball, no Grinder Ball Bs.

Out and Out pitching from starter one to the last guy in the bullpen.

" Like I said, if they really play like a team, they could be good (see 2005 CWS)."

The Sox won because they gave up a run and a half less per game than the year before. Their amazing team work and supposed small ball actually produced 120 less runs than in 2004. Give the Cubs four or five pitchers having career years like the Sox and they'll be right there.

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