Blue Christmas?

The #1 topic of conversation these last few days has been the possibility of trading Mark Prior. Speculation, thanks to Ken Rosenthal's column, has centered on Prior going to Baltimore in a trade that brings Migeul Tejada to the Cubs, though there has been talk of a trade to the Phillies, and there may be a West Coast team (like the A's?) involved as well. The Cubs are supposedly holding out for Erik Bedard in return, while the O's may want one of the Cubs' minor leaguers along with Prior. Rob, Trans, John and I had a little discussion about this in email last night (and John even managed to drop a Dr. Who reference like the cheeky Brit he is), and since no matter what we post today the comments are going to be about this trade, we thought we'd just post our exchange here: Ruz: My basic take is that trading Prior would make me very sad. He's my favorite Cub, and he was even before I had the opportunity to meet him. I'd hate to see him go elsewhere, as I still believe he will put it together and be the ace that so many people think he can be. That said, a position player in the hand is worth two pitchers in the bush (or something), and adding Tejada to the lineup would be a huge plus. A great position player is more useful to a team that a great starting pitcher by virtue of the fact that he plays more than five times as much. So I would be in favor of trading Prior if it meant getting Tejada. Would I do it straight up? Probably. Would I do it if it also meant getting Erik Bedard, even if it meant giving up Felix Pie? Probably. John Hill: I cannot properly articulate just how absolutely furious, thoroughly devastated, inconsolably upset and terribly disappointed I would be if Jim Hendry pulled the trigger on a Mark Prior deal for Miguel Tejada, not least because he'd only be doing so in a desperate attempt to compensate for the extremely poor job that he's done putting together an offence over these last two off-seasons in spite of our big-market draw and nine figure payroll. Two unproven though promising prospects in Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno, two proven mediocrities in Juan Pierre and Jacque Jones, plus Neifi Perez and the pitcher's spot, or the pitcher's spot and Neifi Perez for they're somewhat interchangeable, and there you're looking at the most likely scenario for a whole two-thirds of next year's lineup as things stand. That's not to mention that on a good few days you'll be able to throw Henry Blanco into the mix too. Well done, Hendry, well done; you've made a right mess of things. But none of that, not one tiny little bit of it, justifies even for a single second contemplating a deal that sees you give up the most valuable starting pitching commodity in baseball not named Felix Hernandez bar none full stop period end of discussion just shut up. Seriously, find me a single pitcher that's younger, that's more years away from free agency, that's cheaper, that's got better stuff, that's got better control, that's struck out more guys, that's got a lower ERA, that's got a higher winning percentage, that by any remotely reasonable measure is a better pitcher, and then maybe we can start talking about just how we might be able to replace Mark Prior if we dealt him. And, really, while you're at it, knock yourself out and try and argue that colliding with Marcus Giles and taking Brad Hawpe line drives to the elbow are chronic conditions. Rob G. If Tejada was 4 years younger, I'd do it, but otherwise enjoy watching Prior carve up the American League, while we wonder what could have been. Seeing Tejada in a Cubs uniform pretty much tops my Christmas list (besides World Peace, winning the lottery and something involving supermodels). But I don't want to lose Mark Prior to get him (or Big Z for that matter). I know some folks are down on Prior a bit, but this guy is going to be one of the best pitchers in baseball over the next 10-15 years, I have little doubt about it. I just can't imagine the voodoo hex that he's been plagued by the last 3 years will last. Just for thought, his #'s before and after the fateful line drive off his elbow last year: Pre-liner: 4-1, 2.93 ERA, 9.6 K/9, 3.44 K/BB, 1.39 HR/9 Post-liner: 7-6, 4.07 ERA, 10.5 K/9, 3.07 K/BB, 1.33 HR/9 He certainly seemed to labor through those starts after the break for whatever reason and maybe he was suffering through the same issues of trying to find the correct release point on his pitches that plagued him for a good portion of 2004. But a 25 year old pitcher with a line of 41-23, 3.24 ERA, 10.55 K/9, 3.69 K/BB is absolutely filthy in my opinion. And I understand that you have to give up something to get something, but that something we give up, should not be Mark Prior. He's just too special of a talent to part with in my opinion, along with a pretty good track record already, one that I fully expect to get a lot better. Plus what the hell am I suppose to do with my #22 Prior jersey? Trans: I think the question is asked from a faulty premise. There are three scenarios where it would be reasonable to trade Prior. First, if we weren't confident of his long term health. But if we had good reason to lack confidence in his long-term health, we wouldn't be able to spin Prior for someone of Tejada's quality in return, anyway. Second, if we had good evidence indicating Prior will not seriously entertain the Cubs' attempts at re-signing him when he becomes a free agent and management believes that we will be contending for a pennant between now and then. I see no evidence of this, yet. Third, if we could expect equal offensive value in exchange for a fully healthy and happy Prior. There are three, maybe four names that I think would be of equal value in that scenario: A-Rod (with the Yankees balancing out the salary difference), Pujols (who won't be traded) Cabrera (who won't be traded in the next couple years) and maybe Dunn (who won't be traded in the next couple years). Like I said in a message board post, there are four things to evaluate before deciding to trade Prior for Tejada. We need to evaluate: 1. His future injury risk 2. The degree to which his recent struggles were injury related 3. The risk that he simply will not re-sign with the Cubs at any price 4. The talent received in return (Tejada) I am relatively bullish on points 1-3. Prior's reached the age of 25, which if I remember my Will Carroll generally marks the exit point from the age cohort where pitchers are most vulnerable to catastrophic injuries. Two of his most significant injuries to date have been fluke collisions - one with a ball, one with a diminutive second-baseman. His before/after splits, as Rob points out, suggest that his 2005 struggles were in fact injury related. On my third point, I have no idea what Prior's thinking, but since he hasn't floated any trial balloons expressing his unhappiness or desire to go somewhere else (has he?), I have no reason to assume he's uninterested in listening to the Cubs' best offer. I'm sure we can afford him if we have the will, and if we make terrible sacrifices like not paying top-dollar for middle-relievers, backup shortstops and prickly managers. We could just add more garish sign-boards inside Wrigley. Or get Neifi to sell plasma every other day. One other thing about the pitcher-for-hitter issue: I don't buy that a hitter is intrinsically more valuable than a pitcher by virtue of playing every day. A shortstop may appear in five times as many games as a starting pitcher, but the shortstop's influence over each individual game is far less than the starting pitcher's influence over the games in which he appears. And all that said, I won't shed a tear if we make the trade. I love Tejada, and he's so much more of a sure-thing, which we desperately need on a team full of uncertainties. John Hill: Miguel Tejada is a very good shortstop, one of the best in the game right now. But that says far more for the weakness of the position as it does for Tejada, for Tejada considered as a hitter as opposed to a shortstop is not that big a bat, his .291/.346/.498 line over the last six years (or even his .308/.355/.525 line over the last two) good but far from great. He certainly wouldn't absolve this team of its on-base deficiencies, let's get that straight, not least because he turns 30 years old next May and has likely already seen his best days. Factor in the fact that he has $54m coming to him over the next four years, but would also have the right to demand a trade next winter were he not happy in Chicago, allowed to walk out on us as a free agent on March 15th 2007 if that demand went unsatisfied, factor in too that Ronny Cedeno has a chance of being a bearable shortstop and that the value of pitching has of late gone through the roof (Jarrod Washburn's $37m/4yr deal the latest illustration of that point), and Miguel Tejada is just not worth Mark Prior. Not even close. With Erik Bedard, who I do really like, maybe, but I probably still wouldn't do it, and that's not on the table anyway, because the O's reportedly want Pie in that case too. Quelle surprise. I want Daniel Cabrera too then. And throw in Nick Markakis as well. And Adam Loewen. And whoever else it takes until Mr Flanagan gets my drift. My drift being "Mark Prior is not available for trade, capiche?" Jim. You've seen that movie Phonebooth? Well this is the exact opposite. Just hang up the phone, it's for the best. There's not a deal here that the Orioles are ever going to offer that you should agree to if you have any appreciation of what's best for the Chicago Cubs. Speaking of phonebooths, you've seen Doctor Who as well, right? Well use the phonebooth as a time machine, go back to the beginning of the off-season, and this time get your priorities straight. Not speed, athleticism and catching the ball. But the biggest bats you can possibly get in right and centre field, plus Todd Walker at second base. And Mark Prior in our rotation. Please. Ruz: Would you rather give up Prior or Zambrano to get Tejada in return? Personally, I'd be better with losing Zambrano. Both of them have the chance to develop into an ace, but Zambrano's usage pattern scares me more. Prior has thrown 683 professional innings, while Zambrano, who is 9 months younger, has thrown 1,232. If I feel the two of them have the same upside (which I do), and I can only keep one, I keep the one with less mileage on him. Trans: Which one would I rather give up? Neither. But of the two, send them Prior. Zambrano's more fun to watch, and when projecting future injury risk I think the first thing to look at is previous injury history. Z's clean. Ruz: Clean? Didn't we see him go through some forearm trouble, described as "cramps" and attributed to too much time on the Internet by the Cubs' Ministry of Health Information? And as far as Prior's injury history, he's had two freak injuries (the collision and the line drive) that had nothing to do with mechanics. Rob G. If you put a gun to my head, and that's exactly what you'd have to do, definitely Prior. Z's "cramps" made him miss all of one start I think and I believe Will Carroll said the injury was consistent with swinging a bat too much, which was the original diagnosis "tennis elbow". Then came the Internet story and honestly, I actually believe it, cause we didn't hear a peep the rest of the year and it's hardly like Z's performance suffered much last year. And Prior missed half a season in 2004 due to ankle/arm woes and then had some issues in spring training of 2005, although he only missed a start, on top of the collision and line drive. Z's a warrior, theoretically a year younger, and one of the most fun pitchers to watch in the game. But choosing which one you'd trade is like picking which of your kids to save from a burning building and you only had time to save one.
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Comments

So Murph on the score says the latest rumor is that there's some sort of a 4-way trade in the works involving the Cubs, the White Sox, the Red Sox, and the O's. Feel free to take it with a grain of salt, but still, hmmmmm....

Okay, this is kinda freaky, where the heck did everybody go?

That said, Z vs. Prior presents an interesting conundrum (word of the day tp):

Last year, 2 years ago, it's not a question, you say, because they're on different levels. Now? Zambrano has proven himself. Bottom line, who do you want in Game 7?

Here's the bad news--in Game 7, to win it all, you want Prior. Worse news--Prior may not get you to game 7, but Zambrano will.

Here's the diff--Prior may have good and bad, but how often does he go out and get shellacked for 8-ish ER in the first 2.1 or so?

Now admit it--over the past couple years, you've all seen that exact thing happen to Z, at least once.

What you haven't seen is Zambrano missing starts, cause this guy LOVES to go pitch, it's just what he does. And all those emotions we love to see....can turn against him and cripple him at the worst possible times.

Zambrano's not an ace, guys, at least not yet. And Prior is, as soon as he pitches a FULL SEASON, which may or may not be this year.

Ask me--get Barry Zito to join the party, and then watch the fun.....

Let's see, the cubs give up cedeno and pie, and get Tejada and Garland?......

I've heard worse....

I think the idea that Tejada may be involved in steroids is a huge problem. If he was, his numbers a going to go way down. And where there is smoke there is fire. Don't you have to be suspect of any ex-A's players? Not the they did use, just that the exposure rate was so high?

And, assuming he never took steriods, how long can he keep this up? Two, three years tops? Prior will dominate for the next TEN!!!!!!!! Maybe longer.

Lastly, Trans, I just don't see where you can throw Dunn into that mix. I am probably the biggest Dunn fan at this board. I would trade him for DLee straight up. But for Mark Prior, I would only take the other three guys you mentioned. ARod, Puljos and Cabrera.

"Let's see, the cubs give up cedeno and pie, and get Tejada and Garland?......

I've heard worse...."

I would do that trade in a heartbeat!!!!!!!

What planet do you live on that doesn't consider a 24 year old pitcher with a career 3.26 ERA and throws over 200+ innings a year, not an ace?

Cards sign Juan Encarnacion 3/$15m

yeah, we can dream. that's what I like about multi-team deals, seems like you can come away with more than you put in sometimes.

No, Dunn does not, nor will he ever, belong in that company (I'm not 100% convinced Cabrera is there yet, although you knew in '03 he was special)

and yes, for a few different reasons, tejada stinks like roids, which is one more reason to skip it. Then again, I've never heard of roids making you a better fielder.....

He has the stuff, Rob, I'm just not sure he has the makeup. I LOVE Zambrano, ok, I want to find him a young wench to please him and have his love children, that's not the point. I'm afraid of him losing it in big games, I'm afraid of him coming unglued when we need him to keep it together, etc. I want (in fantasyland) my #1 to be a sure thing, like, no offense, Kerry when he's good and healthy or Prior in '03. Zambrano can make the best #2 in the majors, but I'm nervous about centering the staff on him

If the White Sox do get involved, Garland is going to the O's

For the life of me, I can't think of what the White Sox would get in a 4-way deal. Garland would be the guy they're sending, most likely to the O's. Unless they're somehow trying to get Manny Ramirez in the deal, but I figured he was going to the O's if the Red Sox got involved

O's get Garland, Hill, and something else
Cubs get Tejada and either Bedard, Clement or Arroyo
Red Sox get Prior, Patterson
White Sox get Manny (???)

No idea actually...

The White Sox were 1 of the teams mentioned to have interest in Tejada, just like the Cubs and BoSox

Murph said the deal would be
O's get MAnram Garland
CUbs Get Tejada
RSox get Priro
WSox get Bedard

Suprisingly a Baltimore paper is reporting this lates rumor.

White Sox get Tejada, Cubs get Manny and turn Murton + ??? into Zito...

ZZZZZZZZZZ

sorry, dozed off there, what was I saying?

Yeah, Z curls up into a ball when the stakes are raised. I think he had 1 something ERA in Septemer in 2004. And yeah, he got shelled in 2003 in the playoffs at age 22, after pitching over 200+ innings for the first time in his career. We should definitely hold that againt him. :)

I would trade Z before Prior, based on mental make-up. His arm and brain cramps coupled with his tendency to blow up make him a bigger big game risk.
Adam Dunn is easily the most vastly overrated player in baseball. His OBP is the product of being pitched around in a poor lineup. Other than that he's an all or nothing swinging, weak defender. Nowhere near a superstar worthy to be mentioned with ARod Cabrera or Pujols. Ask yourself, If you had any of those three, would you trade him even up for Dunn? I wouldn't trade Maddux or Wood for him.
Chad check your sarcasm detector. I think your batteries are dead.

No, you're right Rob, I get, I'm just relaying what my gut tells me...

should say 'I get it'

I guess I'm screwed either way... I've got a Prior jersey and a Z jersey. I'd rather not have to part ways with either of them. Which ever one we trade, I might frame it for when they win like 4 Cy Young's with the Orioles.

Seriously, there was a time when Prior had no-hit stuff EVERYTIME he went out there (see 2003). Last year, that was Z. I can recall the start he made before the All-Star Break against the Brewers when he got shelled for like 8 runs in 4 innings, but that was the only really bad start that comes to mind. I honestly thought that Z was going to throw a no-no everytime out. Perhaps that was blind bias, but I can't say that about a lot of pitchers in baseball. I don't want to trade either of them...even for Tejada. There was a time when this rotation was the best in baseball, and without Prior or Z, it might be one of the bottom 5-6.

Prior
Wood? (again.. big ? mark)
Maddux
Rusch
Koronka/Hill?

Z
Wood?
Maddux
Rusch
Koronka/Hill?

I'm not really excited about it. I think this team would have to score like 1000 runs to keep their heads above water. Unless Manny is coming to our OF, I don't like those chances.

The Cubs should be trying to flip Derrek Lee for Tejada. The Orioles #1 concern is replacing the production of Tejada. Lee's value will never be higher and good 1b man are pretty easy to find if you really want one.

The only problem is the Orioles don't like trading for guys entering their free agency year. They want a guaranteed player for 3-4 years.

What the Orioles don't want to do is flip Tejada for just pitching because it weakens the offense too much. They don't want to trade for Prior AND have to give up Bedard. Because if they lose Tejada they will need Prior AND Bedard to out pitch the competition.

The only deal that is making sense is Boston and Baltimore. The only thing holding that up is neither team is too interested in seeing the other player hit against them in the same division. If they were in different divisions Manny for Tejada would of already gone down.

The Cubs aren't doing any deal that doesn't involve them getting Tejada to play short. They haven't been mentioned once in regard to going after Manny.

That deal sort of makes sense that Jacos described, just not sure what the WSox are going to do with Bedard. Unless they plan to flip another starting pitcher. And I think the Cubs would still want to get a pitcher if they trade Prior away. Maybe they throw Patterson the Red Sox way and get Clement, Arroyo.

Anything that involves trading Prior away makes me ill.

Az Phil...

If JEncarnacion is worth 3/$15m, what does that make you think about JJones 3/$16M?

Encarnacion is a righty hitter with similar numbers vs. leftys and rightys, but JJones flaws vs Leftys are worth only about 100-150 AB's a season. JJones 3 yr numbers are better than Encarnacion vs Rightys (even with 2 not so good seasons in 2004-5)

Do you flip a coin as to who has the better offensive player? Encarnacion isn't a platoon based on the numbers below, but he's slightly inferior vs RHP. So if you want a lefty bat because of the lineup having 5 regulars from the right side (Murton-DLee-ARam-Barrett-Cedeno), and given the stats and contract (everyone hates these 3 yr deals to non star players) you can see the logic of Hendry getting JJones.

Encarnacion:
vs Leftys (3 yrs) 325 ABs: .262 .344 .382 .726

vs Rightys (3 yrs) 1266 ABs: .265 .314 .447 .761

and compare to JJones:
vs Rightys (3 yrs) 1141 ABs: .280 .333 .474 .807

No way that four way gets off the ground. BAL would be the only team to get ManRam and he hasn't mentioned BAL as a possible trade destination. He cleared himself to go the Mets but with Cameron gone that doesn't make sense anymore uhless NYM give BOS Beltran. So if you take out the White Sox and add NYM into that mix, or get a 5 way going, then you might have something. No way White Sux take ManRam's contract. K.Williams has said that he has to clear $9-10m off the payroll as it is. That's why Garland will get moved because he'll make about $8-9 in arbitration this season. Bedard to ChiSox makes sense for insurance in case B.McCarthy flops, but no way they're in on ManRam or even Tejada as if they were trying to get Miggy they'd have to move J.Vasquez or Contreras to make that happen.

Murph said the deal would be
O's get MAnram Garland
CUbs Get Tejada
RSox get Priro
WSox get Bedard

If those are the only players on the move, then it's not a 4-way deal. It's a 3-way between the Os, Bosox and Cubs and a 2-way between the Os and WS.

Rob, if the White Sox get in the deal, it is probably to get Tejada or to get Bedard and prospects. Manny wouldn't fit with them unless Boston was desperate to be unloading him and paying a big chunk of that contract. I could see the Sox move Garland to get a package including Bedard and Pie or something like that.

CUBSTER: I think Hendry had his mind set on getting a "younger" and "more athletic" left-handed hitting RF, and Juan Encarnacion, Preston Wilson, even Kevin Mench were probably never really on the radar. (Although it's possible Hendry offered C-Pat for Mench and--understandably---got turned down).

I don't know if Hendry pays much attention to "splits" (we KNOW Dusty doesn't), so I'm not sure that figured into the Jones signing at all. Jones just plain "fit the bill." He is a hyper-aggressive left-handed hitter, an energetic defender (which would be great if he was a basketball player), and he can hit home runs and he can steal a base. What else is there?

Needless to say, Jacque Jones is NOT the direction I would have gone in RF, but neither is Encarnacion. Of course, I have no idea what Hendry's offers were for Ibanez and Huff, or what the Phillies wanted for Abreu, or if there was even a chance to get any of them. But that is the direction I would have gone.

As things stand right now at this minute, I would go after Barry Zito and make sure to get him BEFORE I would even consider trading Mark Prior for Miguel Tejada. I like Tejada, but not for Prior (without having Zito as a replacement). And Erik Bedard doesn't interest me at all.

If I can get Zito, then I MIGHT consider trading Prior for Tejada (if the payroll can be worked out). Or I might just try to get Zito (plus Jay Payton to play RF, with Jacque Jones moving to LF) and stop right there. The Cubs would then have one of THE best starting rotations in baseball, with an improved bullpen. The lineup wouldn't be ideal (Pierre-Cedeno-Lee-Ramirez-Payton-Jones-Barrett-Perez), but with that pitching staff, it wouldn't have to be. A POTENT OFFENSE IS LOADS OF FUN, BUT PITCHING WINS PENNANTS. It just does. And I believe the Cubs have the exact type of players Billy Beane would want back for Barry Zito.

As I said in #20, the Cubs only interest in this is to get Tejada, so if a 4-way deal is really involved, the WSox are not getting him. Bedard makes some sense I suppose, I figured Manny was a longshot.

As mentioned by someone else, I still don't see Manny approving any deal to go to Baltimore, but who knows.

redsox get rid of a seemingly unreplacable SS and their main RBI/HR guy for a pitcher?

they dont need pitching that bad...and its not like there's a FA out there they can make that offense up with.

redsox get rid of a seemingly unreplacable SS for a prospect and their main RBI/HR guy for a pitcher?

...that should say...

I like AZ Phil's thought get ZIto and Payton and play ball. But supposedly Beane is asking too much. What would Cubs have to give up to get Zito?

KWilliams is under orders to cut $9- 10 million in payroll for the WSox, they will not end up with Tejada or ManRam. That's why I believe Hendry should call up SOx and see if they can get Garland for some of our pitching prospects.

I get it. Trade Z because he *might* develop arm problems and keep the guy with a *history* of elbow problems.

The way you make this trade is if you can replace the hole in the rotation you create. If they sign a Millwood, the trade becomes Prior for Tejada and Millwood.

I do that deal every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

If the deal is Prior for Tejada and, oh, Rich Hill in the rotation, you put the phone down.

#29 of 30: By jacos (December 23, 2005 11:34 AM)
I like AZ Phil's thought get ZIto and Payton and play ball. But supposedly Beane is asking too much. What would Cubs have to give up to get Zito?

-

JACOS:

What I would offer Billy Beane for Barry Zito (and Jay Payton) if I'm Jim Hendry:

FOR BARRY ZITO:

1. Either Matt Murton or Felix Pie (the A's would almost certainly choose Murton, because Billy Beane would never want a "free-swinger" like Pie);

2. Either Rich Hill, Jerome Williams, or Angel Guzman (A's choice, probably Hill because he is the closest thing to a younger version of Zito), and

3. Either Michael Wuertz or Roberto Novoa (A's choice, probably Wuertz).

This offer would be as good or better than the packages Beane got back from Atlanta last year for Tim Hudson (Dan Meyer, Juan Cruz, and Charles Thomas) and from St. Louis for Mark Mulder (Danny Haren, Kiko Calero, and Daric Barton) when both of those pitchers were in a similar situation as Zito is now (Hudson was a year away from free-agency, and Mulder was actually TWO years away!).

FOR JAY PAYTON:

Glendon Rusch or Brandon "Moneyball" Sing or ???? (negotiable)

The thing about Payton is that Billy Beane picked-up his 2006 $4m option before he acquired Milton Bradley and before he would have had a chance to acquire Matt Murton, so if the A's add Murton in a deal for Zito, Payton suddenly becomes a VERY expensive ($4m) "4th OF" in Oakland, and should be readily available as part of this deal.

Rob,

Yesterday's NY post had an article saying he would accept a trade to Baltamore. Personally I feel if this trade is not made by noon est tomrrow that this deal is not going to be made because the people are making this trade are going to go home for Christmas or Hannaunkah and have their relatives and friends telling them why they should hold on to their guys or there going to stew on this over the holiday weekend and think about this deal and come up w/ reasons why not to do this.

Worse idea ever...Prior's best days are ahead of him and Tejada's are behind him. Besides, Prior is a better pitcher than Tejada is a batter. Considering they want Pie and the downsides to Tejada's contract - no thanks!

We need some work but trying to overcompensate for the past two years of offensive blundering is not the way to go about it. I'll be quite happy to bide my time waiting for better opportunities while watching Prior tear the hell out of the NL.

"Adam Dunn is easily the most vastly overrated player in baseball. "

By stathead nation mostly. A lot of people recognize that a career .248 hitter really isn't THAT good. Walks are nice - but you don't walk your way into wins in big games. Against the best of the best, waiting for a walk is a bad plan. 175Ks and a .250 average with 40 HRs is nice - but he isn't what Stathead Nation wants you to believe he is.

I found the NY Post article and it says:

"Earlier this year, Ramirez made it known he prefers to be traded to the Angels or Mariners. He also would be willing to go to Baltimore, according to a source."

Let's just say I have my doubts about the NY Post and it's sources (and not just on this topic), but I'll upgrade my belief to "you never know" from "never going to happen" in regards to Manny approving a trade to Baltimore. I'll assume he'll want something to sweeten the pot if he does get dealt there, at the very least, no-trade protection.

*Let's just say I have my doubts about the NY Post and it's sources (and not just on this topic), *

Yeah, any paper that would hire Jayson Blair would...oh, wait, that's the *other* NY paper--the one that lies.

"Against the best of the best, waiting for a walk is a bad plan."

Of course players (including Dunn) don't waits for walks. Good hitters wait for a pitch they can hit and if none comes along they take the walk.

Dunn's high strike out a low average numbers are troubling to me as it appears that while he will wait for his pitch, which is good, he isn't that successful in doing much with it when he gets it. This is a problem since good pitchers aren't prone to giving hitters too many balls they can handle.

FOR JAY PAYTON:
Glendon Rusch or Brandon "Moneyball" Sing or ???? (negotiable)

Well considering Beane could of had Sing for pretty much nothing in the Rule V draft, I doubt he's interested. And Beane's focused more on defense lately than OBP, and Sing isn't winning any gold gloves.

I know everyone equates Moneyball to OBP, but it really should be Moneyball to "undervalued qualities". At the time of the book it was OBP, he then focused a lot on defense, and who knows where he goes from there. The whole point of the book is trying to compete with major market teams on a low-budget by finding qualities in players that are undervalued. Not just OBP or OPS or whatever. I'm not saying he suddenly stopped caring about OBP, but it's not always the primary reasoning behind his player moves.

If you are going to dump a big name marquis player for another similar type player to plug a hole then I say Goodbye to Aramis Ramirez and hello to a real stud ACE starting pitcher.

The pitching staff is nowhere near WS caliber..nor is the offense. Adding Tejada gets the offense close but still not there.... (Murton could have sophomore jinx...Jones is Burnitz with a dark tan....Pierre is speedy--so was Patterson....SS/2B seems to be a disaster in the making....so we could help the SS situation out...at the expense of the starting rotation? NO thanks!

I say build the team once again around great starting pitching and fill in the holes in July at the trade deadline....don't give up on Prior and/or Z...but rather make them 2 of 3 real true aces on the staff...surrounded with Maddux and another excellent number 4 pitcher....move Wood to the pen and I think the pitching is WS caliber and better.

The only thing that makes Adad Dunn overrated is he can't play a lick of defense. He needs to find the AL pronto and be the next Frank Thomas/David Ortiz. Dunn's "problem" as a hitter is he tries to hit every ball he swings at 500 feet. At least he doesn't get himself out by swinging at bad pitches. And even good pitchers make mistakes. Great hitter, bad defense, overall very good player, but not elite in my opinion.

"Of course players (including Dunn) don't waits for walks. Good hitters wait for a pitch they can hit and if none comes along they take the walk."

That's semantics. It is my personal opinion that there are hitters out there who will take a pitch that is close, that is hittable, if they think it may not be a strike. I think Dunn is a classic example. He is not aggressive in the box. He looks to take, unless it is center cut. Strikeouts have multiple causes. Corey's problem is that he swings at absolutely everything, including balls he has no chance to hit. Dunn is the opposite. Against great pitchers he gets into bad counts by not swinging at hittable pitches and by trying to kill them once they get thrown.

Dunn = Overrated IFF you think Dunn is a top tier player. If you think he is Dave Kingman, and you don't place much value to that type of player, he is no longer overrated.

Oh Rob...you didn't say that, did you?

"He needs to find the AL pronto and be the next Frank Thomas/David Ortiz. "

Frank Thomas, at Adam Dunn's age, was a .330+ hitter (or something like that). He put up numbers across the board, including power, and obp, but also hits. David Ortiz, I assume you are talking about the guy in Boston who is a totally different hitter than the guy in Minnesota, is a .300 hitter. Adam Dunn is a .250 hitter. That's not great. I understand the value of a walk. But in order to be a great hitter, you can't hit .250. I can't believe you'd say that.

Adam Dunn isn't even Don Mattingly good yet. He's not even trending to get there. He's certainly nowhere near Frank Thomas.

GMAFB

I think Rob was saying that Dunn needs to get a glove away from himself as fast as he can, much like Thomas and Ortiz.

I agree he's better without a glove than with a glove. Nobody would doubt that. But take the glove off his hand and he is still not overrated. Take the glove off him and he still lead the NL in Ks in both of the past two years and he's still a .250 hitter.

HRs are nice. Walks are nice. Dunn is a nice walker and a pretty HR guy. But he's a not a good "hitter." .250 with about 175 Ks. YUCK.

Yeah, what jacos said, but good point, Thomas is a HOF'er, he's not in that class. BUt he's a lot better than Dave Kingman too. Reggie Jackson is probably the best comp (and yes I stole that from BR.com)

But Dunn would make one hell of an actual DH, a guy who can hit and not field, rather than the washed up vet that normally lands that role these days.

and the .250 batting average doesn't bother me one bit, sure it would be great if he struck out less and in turn had a higer average, and likely more RBI's, but a near .400 OBP (.380ish) is outstanding. At age 26, he still should be getting better, don't forget. And he's definitely not a guy you need to worry about steroids or whatever affecting his power, the boy's an ox and I can foresee him challenging the HR record later on down the road.

#25 and others, Az Phil et al, now you're talking. Zito fills out this rotation nicely, and that's a rotation that wins the division, probably the League, and quite possibly the series, especially with the pen upgrades (he's also more reliable health-wise behind Z than Kerry or even Prior...)

Of course, once again, if it were that easy, why hasn't JH done it yet...

Prior may be glass, he may not, I don't know. The team doesn't need him as badly as they used to with the emergence of Z, that's for sure. At the end of the day, even just skimming Prior's bio, I see the word 'elbow' way too many times, even before the freak liner...

Of course, I also see 700-some-odd SO in 600-some-odd IP. Damn. I mean, Day-umn, that's pretty, and that's #1 stuff.

I just don't think that's worth a 29/30 y/o, possibly ex-juiced SS whose nos. are on a slight decline, especially one who's looking for a 'change of scenery'...

Yeah, if you're looking for Don Mattingly or Tony Gwynn, then Dunn's not your man. He's a slugger. Sluggers are people too.

And I don't care about walks, what I care about is working the pitcher and NOT MAKING OUTS. Not to start the OBP debate, but that's why us "statheads' get jazzed about guys with 350 OBP and above. It's not about the walking, it's about extending the inning and not making outs at a neifiesque pace.

And thank X for the Dunn comments, I've had about all I can stand of this guy, I really wish a lifetime .248 and 40-ish homers still meant something in this day and age, but they don't. Dunn sux, and he pops one up a loooong way about 40 times a season, that's about it. (Give Corey-flipping-patterson a spot down in the order, let him hit the gym like he means it for 1 (one) off-season, and guess what--he's the same hitter with a better glove.....)

This is my take-
If they don't get Tejada...how do we compare with the club last year? We have a much better lead off hitter and hopefully better middle relief. If we throw in the hope that Dempster can keep it going as the closer, which is a big IF- Then we are marginally better. A healthy Prior for an entire campaign would help immensely. The thing is...that doesn't get it done. Still too much pressure on the pitching. If we get Tejada and at least a starter that will keep us in ballgames in return then I think we have a much better shot at the post season.
Just a yokul from farm country's thoughts
GO CUBS

You are right, Rob, "Don't get out" is something I often scream at the TV while watching games--I'm not being a smart @$$, I'm dead serious. But still, a guy's gotta bring a little something more than that to get THAT much press, don't you think? And Reggie Jackson??? I think he was just a *little* better....

I hear you Rob. But "not making an out" means one of only a few outcomes. You get a hit. You walk. You reach on an error, HBP, dropped 3rd, etc. Let's discard the third column. Saying you like guys who "don't make outs" is effectively saying you want guys who walk. I have no problem with a .300 hitter who walks a lot. That's great. But a .250 hitter who walks enough to have an obp of .380 is not nearly as effective as a guy who hits .320 and only walks enough to get to .380.

Oh, and did I mention nearly 200 Ks per year?

A walk gets you one base, and only one base. It moves anyone forced by one base and only one base. A guy who puts the bat on the ball and gets hits adds more value.

I think I am dangerously close to talking about productive outs. And I know where this will lead. But I'll just say that Dunn is way overrated by statheads who value him anywhere in the elite offensive player category. To me, he's belongs with the littany of players who swing from the heels, strike out 150+ times, and hit 40 HRs. A young Preston Wilson... A young Rob Deer... Incaviglia... Mike Cameron...

I don't want to go anywhere near Adam Dunn.

A few things I don't recall anyone mentioning, or if they did in the last day or so I apologize:

1. Why aren't any sportswriters beating home the message that Hendry could have had Tejada two years ago as a free agent, but ignored him when all it would have cost were draft picks and money? One reason the Cubs didn't go after Tejada at the time was because Alex Gonzalez was owed $5M for 2004 and the Cubs refused to eat any of it.

2. There is a very good chance that Tejada is one of the premier players who are on performance enhancing drugs, and sometime in the next few seasons he could create a giant embarassment for his team and himself if he fails a drug test.

3. As someone else mentioned in the post, if Tejada is traded he can demand a trade next offseason, so if 2006 is a trainwreck for the Cubs, which it very well could be even with Tejada, the Cubs might be left without Tejada or Prior.

4. I can't help but think of things on a larger scale. In a way a team, despite being physically owned by a large corporation or one or two individuals, really belongs to the fans as a sort of intellectual property. Players come and go, but special players, players like Mark Prior, are the heart and soul of what makes a sports team special. General managers and managers also come and go, and looking at the big picture of things, Jim Hendry is likely to be a tiny footnote in the history of the Cubs, a guy who got a chance to run the team for a few years, looked promising at the beginning and for some reason stuck by a bad manager and started making poor decisions. One of those poor decisions should not be to alter the future of the franchise and trade away a 25 year old star pitcher simply because the GM has had a bad offseason and desperately needs offensive production. Hitting is much easier to find than top pitching, and much cheaper to acquire, both in trade price and salary. A team can win with players who drive in 80 runs, and those players can be found relatively easily. But star pitchers, elite 25-year-old pitchers capable of winning 20 games on a regular basis are as rare as a winning season at Wrigley.

Dunn=Korey-lite ?

You're kidding me right? Korey does everything he can to get himself out, Dunn works the pitchers, extends innings and does everything he can to not get himself out.

Just for fun...

Dunn career .248 AVG, .383 OBP
Patterson career .252 AVG, .293 OBP

Since their BA's are about the same let's look at the difference in OBP for a full season, 650 PA, let's say:
Dunn gets on-base 249 times,
Korey gets on-base 190 times

That's 59 less outs by Dunn. You don't think that's significant?

Did you ever see Frank Thomas throw a ball? He makes Bagwell look Ellis Valentine.

Let's start the talk of getting more pitching rather than subtracting. Get K Williams on the phone and get Garland off his hands or sign Millwood. Pitching will keep this team competitive and then make a mid season move (sounds like 2003 all over, huh?) for another bat. Rmember Aram and Lofton did not come over until mid season in 2003. For pete's sake they started the season with Belhorn at third and Choi at first.

Rob, are the 59 walks that Dunn gets over Corey worth the difference between a guy who is about ready to be traded for a bag of magic beans and a guy who some will pursue, and one will eventually give a 5/60mm+ deal?

I'd take Dunn over CP every day. Nobody wouldn't. But does Adam Dunn make your team that much better when he fails to even put the bat on the ball in nearly one out of three at bats?

" And Reggie Jackson??? I think he was just a *little* better....

Reggie's career line: .262/.356/.490 OPS+ of 139
Dunn's career line: .248/.383/.518 OPS+ of 132

Obviously there are some issues regarding ballparks, eras and leagues, but it's pretty close. Time will tell if Dunn can stay healthy and maintain his current pace, but so far Dunn's career measures favorably with Jackson when you just consider their hitting abilities.

Ruz,

'Prior has thrown 683 professional innings, while Zambrano, who is 9 months younger, has thrown 1,232.'

Help me out here- you're saying Prior has a lesser chance to break down, because he's been hurt? I would say the 267 innings that Prior pitched in college were equally or more intense than the ones Zambrano was pitching at the same time in the minors.

Another thing about injuries most people fail to understand - when you're on the DL - you don't play.... well, duh, right? Right, except when you excuse two of Prior's injuries as 'freak' you're dismissing the possibility that had he not had those particular injuries, he could have suffered some other injury. The assumption that Prior would have made all his starts last year had he not been hit on the elbow isn't sound- you can't be sure that he wouldn't have torn his hamstring in his next start. Both of his 'freak' injuries were avoidable. How many more poor fielding related injuries does he get to have before that type of injury becomes a given?

I just can't believe that Hendry is even considering this, let alone offering this deal. If Prior leaves we have one of teh owrst pitching staffs in baseball. PITCHING is what wins baseball games in the playoffs and the long haul.

We could of had Furcal and gave up NOBODY and still had Prior, but now he wants to give up Prior to get teh SS we could of had for jsut cash. Granted, Tejada is better than Furcal, but who would you rather have?? TEJADA or PRIOR & FURCAL It is a no brainer.

This would be a HORRIBLE trade for the Cubs if it is done. Can you imagine Madduz as our #2 pitcher?? Tejada better be able to help this team score 8 runs a game as that is how many we will need to score to have any shot of winning games.

Hendry is a JOKE!! I am SOOOOOOOO pissed he would even consider this. BYE BYE HENDRY!!!

Lets take a look at why we've failed the past two years before we decide what to fix. In '04 Prior and Wood missed about 15 starts apiece. Dusty mis-managed the bullpen and we had severe chemistry problems.

In 05 Wood gave us 66 innings (at 10M), Maddux started to show his age (at 9M) and Prior missed about 5 starts. Our offense didn't have a leadoff man, we missed Alou and Sosa's production and Dusty again mis-managed the lineup and the bullpen.

The team is built around Prior, Wood and Zambrano. If they all pitch 200 innings you know we'll be in the race.

It now appears that management is ready to "blow it up" and start over. If we could replace Prior with Guzman or Hill, I'd say pull the trigger. But I don't think Mark Prior is that replaceable. I think he's a special talent.

That said, when he started having trouble last year in spring training, the Cubs were rumored to think that he was soft. That rumor was discussed by Steve Stone on WCSR radio. Stone said, if you don't like Prior's demeanor, "get rid of him and see if anyone would want to pick him up". Basically, any team would be interested in making a deal for Prior.

The Cubs thought he was babying himself a bit too much. That could have been the beginning of the end. I can't help but think he influenced the Sosa trade. Let's face it, this is Prior's team. He carried them to the playoffs in 03. He should have won the Cy that year in my opinion.

I wouldn't trade Prior. Not even for Tejada.

X, you might be right that a 320/380/XXX player might be slightly more valuable a 250/380/XXX, but the difference is only slight and since batting average is a more volatile statistic, it can be dangerous for a player to have so much of his OBA tied to his BA. I'm willing to concede that Dunn might be slightly overrated by stathead types, but he is WAY UNDERRATED by folks who only want to talk about his strikeouts. Over the course of a year the difference between a strikeout and any other out is minimal (double plays making it so close). One other thing you fail to recognize is the value of seeing a lot of pitches. High K rates and high walk rates usually go hand in hand because that kind of player sees a lot of pitches, which wears pitchers down and gets you to their bullpen sooner. Reggie Jackson is a very good comp for Dunn at this point, minus the Mr. October hyperbole of course.

I have no problem with a .300 hitter who walks a lot. That's great. But a .250 hitter who walks enough to have an obp of .380 is not nearly as effective as a guy who hits .320 and only walks enough to get to .380.

No argument here, I'm completely in the camp that Dunn is nowhere near the hitter of Pujols or Manny's class.

A walk gets you one base, and only one base. It moves anyone forced by one base and only one base. A guy who puts the bat on the ball and gets hits adds more value.

Undoubtedly true, always prefer a hit over a walk. And guys who don't strikeout a lot are much more likely to get a hit. But hits are at the mercy of the defense who can convert a batted ball in play into an out. Walk rates remain much more solid over time.

To me, he's belongs with the littany of players who swing from the heels, strike out 150+ times, and hit 40 HRs. A young Preston Wilson... A young Rob Deer... Incaviglia... Mike Cameron...

Your kidding right? Deer tapped 30 Hr's twice in his career. Sure his walk rates are comparable, but since he hit for so much less power, his average was horribly worse, thus his OBP was horribly worse.

Wilson doesn't nearly show the patience that Dunn has, not even close, much less power as well.

Incaviglia, less walks, less power, same for Cameron.

Dunn, is not Pujols or Manny or even Cabrera, but he's still way up there in terms of offensive forces. The best of the best? Not quite, but just a notch below.

Blue jays getting Glaus for Batista and Hudson according to ESPN.com

Rob Deer-
The leading advocate of batters getting 4 strikes. His reasoning "Pithcers get 4 balls.

let's keep this on Prior/Tejada (and Dunn since Trans mentioned it).

Use the Friday Notes thread if you wish to discuss Glaus.

Thanks.

I would say something about my inclusion of Dunn, except Rob's pretty much done all the heavy lifting for me. (Thanks Rob. You should get workman's comp for that)

I'll just add:

1. Dunn's a particularly appealing fit because he's the only one of the four that I listed who hits left handed, and is one of two (Cabrera) who fills a positional need, Outfield.

2. I said "maybe".

Manny,

When Prior comes up with arm soreness again in ST if he is not traded and is on the DL until the 2nd week of April please dont blame Hendry for not making the trade. Prior= Brittle baby Tejada= Ironman.

How many more poor fielding related injuries does he get to have before that type of injury becomes a given?

Well it was just one fielding related injury and that ball was a screamer. He zigged, when he should of zagged. Damn poor instincts. The other "freak" injury was a baserunning gaffe.

Yeah, if Prior only made that start in the first week of April, all would have been okay last year.

Sorry about the Glaus trade mention.

Don't trade Prior.

End of transmission.

Oh no worries Jacos, we're attempting to keep the comments on topic, that's all! Plenty of other places to discuss the rest of the baseball world.

Chifan:
,i>"When Prior comes up with arm soreness again in ST if he is not traded and is on the DL until the 2nd week of April please dont blame Hendry for not making the trade. Prior= Brittle baby Tejada= Ironman."

I won't, I promise!!! But can I complain when Tejada gets busted for roids or numbers fall off the table (ala Giambi, Sosa and Huff) because he might of gone off the juice??

How's Tejada's fielding?
Any signs of that on the decline? Or are the Cubs going to move him to outfield in 2008 or 2009?

Rob G,

You're right, I should have said 'field' injuries.

What do you think the chances are of Greg Maddux suffering the same injury as Prior did this year?

Remember the freak injury that cut Jeff Bagwell's '94 season short? What are the odds that that could ever happen to him again?

There's a very real chance that Prior is JD Drew as a pitcher. If you don't understand that, you're dellusional. I guess it could be worse, he could be Tim Drew.

Exactly where does this Miggy on the juice stuff come from? Just cause he used to play in Oakland? Anything is possibly but
.304/.349/.515 last year isn't really a dropoff (actually it's an improvement over his career #'s). 2004 was pretty good too, which is when testing began.

"Your kidding right?"

Yeah - absolutely exaggerating just for shits and giggles. My point is that most baseball people don't overvalue Dunn, and that those in a very small yet extremely vocal circle do overvalue him a ton. I just don't think he makes a team that much better because he is SO one (maybe two) dimensional.

There's a chance that Prior really is a magnet for injuries. I'm just not buying that yet. And comparing Prior to Maddux in terms of fielding ability is a bit much. Maddux is a freak of nature when it comes to that, there's only about 3-4 other pitchers who are even close to fielding their positions as well. The vast majority of major league pitchers couldn't have done much to get out of the way of that ball.

"I just can't believe that Hendry is even considering this, let alone offering this deal. If Prior leaves we have one of teh owrst pitching staffs in baseball. PITCHING is what wins baseball games in the playoffs and the long haul.

We could of had Furcal and gave up NOBODY and still had Prior, but now he wants to give up Prior to get teh SS we could of had for jsut cash. Granted, Tejada is better than Furcal, but who would you rather have?? TEJADA or PRIOR & FURCAL It is a no brainer.

This would be a HORRIBLE trade for the Cubs if it is done. Can you imagine Madduz as our #2 pitcher?? Tejada better be able to help this team score 8 runs a game as that is how many we will need to score to have any shot of winning games.

Hendry is a JOKE!! I am SOOOOOOOO pissed he would even consider this. BYE BYE HENDRY!!!"

Ken Rosenthal should be suspended from sports journalism for writing that article. There really is no way that trade would happen straight up. Just because Hendry may have inquired about ("what would it take for...") Tejada, doesn't really mean it's in the works, any more than Prior/Z for Abreu would happen, or Prior+Z+Pie+Dusty for Manny would happen.

In fact, I think it means the opposite. If the response to:

JH: "What would it take for us to get X, a 30+ expensive player off your hands?"

was

Other GM: "Hah, your kitchen sink"

You can read: "NEVER HAPPEN"

Sure, whether Prior or anyone else really IS a kitchen sink is debatable, but that debate doesn't add any credit to the rumor.

Do what Ken Rosenthal should have. Read:
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...
...and look at the 8th paragraph.

Dunn's no 5 tool player, but the 2 tools he's got trump most anyone else. Although suprisingly he stole 19 bases in 2002.

Depends on what you have around him. Put him in a lineup between Lee and Ramirez (guys who slug and can hit for some average) and his offensive game is a huge asset. Make sure you have a great defensive centerfielder and give him the Kelly Leak order for anything hit in left and defense isn't as much of a problem either. Better yet, go to the AL.

#38 of 69: By Rob G. (December 23, 2005 12:13 PM)
Well considering Beane could of had Sing for pretty much nothing in the Rule V draft, I doubt he's interested. And Beane's focused more on defense lately than OBP, and Sing isn't winning any gold gloves.

--

ROB G: True.

But then sometimes teams don't want to bother drafting a guy they like in the Rule 5 IF they like him BUT they think he needs a year of AAA and they don't want to have to put him through the arduous task of spending an entire year on a major league 25-man roster when he isn't ready for the bigs yet.

You know what? Maybe the Rule 5 Draft should be reformed!

Ya,. That's the ticket.

In fact, as Jack Brickhouse used to say... "More about that later!"

DISCLAIMER: I believe ROB G wrote the comment about Brandon Sing, Billy Beane, and the Rule 5 Draft mainly to promote an upcoming article of mine, but I thought it was a good comment, anyway.

X...

adam dunn is one of the universally most covetted kids in baseball along with mark teixeria.

that's just a truth.

This has become the Adam Dunn blog. Can we be Adam Done please?

Rob G.:
"Exactly where does this Miggy on the juice stuff come from?"

It comes from his 2nd half numbers after Ralfie got busted for Riods (his 1st half #'s were .329/.373/.604/.977 w/19HR and 62 RBI, so imagine how low his 2nd half numbers were.) AND it comes from the age of baseball we live in where steroids were rampant.

Very possibly he went off the juice that Ralfie was on after he heard he got busted. It is all speculation, but in this day and age, it is specualtion that organizations BETTER be thinking about.

2005 was a dropoff from 2004:
2004: .311/.360/.534/.894 w/ 34 HR and 150 RBI
2005: .304/.349/.515/.864 w/ 26 HR and 98 RBI

Is this just a slight off year or is the start to a steady decline? Not sure yet. But I woulod not be willing to make that risk with giving up a top of the line starting pticher.

There was a caller last night on XM that said not to trade Prior -- or Wood for that matter -- because there is a tendency for fastball pitchers to get better with age (some after 30). I had never thought about it, but he rattled off some names that made sense (Schilling and Johnson were two). My father then mentioned it was also in a book by Rob Neyer and Bill James that mentions that.

Any thoughts? Obviously, injuries are a major concern for Wood, and some talk with Prior over the past few days about his issues. If those injuries never resurface, what future do these guys have?

As for Tejada, I'm not trying to say he isn't a great player-won't anyone like Cabrera or Michael Young be available in a few years were we can add them without giving up Prior?

btw...sing is not the "hot" prospect to as many clubs as we may think.

he's shown a lot, but he's got a pretty one-dimentional game at the bat and SHOULD be playing an arm-strenth possition (3rd/RF), but his glove skills and lumbering around wont let him.

he's a 1st baseman with a RF'r arm.

i like him more than doporiak, but dop's way more valuable if you're looking to trade away cubs excess 1st basemen. he's got more stable pure power and a nice stroke to match.

The trade that makes the most sense for the Cubs, in my mind, is one that could be done with the Red Sox and wouldn't cost us a #1 pitcher. The Sox need a center fielder. I believe the Orioles would take Manny Ramiez (if the Sox ate part of his salary) for Tejada. They could justify the trade to their fans and they wouldn't be sending Tejada to the Sox. If we can give up Patterson and Murton to fill the Sox outfield, awesome. But that won't happen. More likely, it would have to be something like Pie, Patterson and Jerome Williams to send Manny to Baltimore for Tejada in Chicago. Do that today.

"It comes from his 2nd half numbers after Ralfie got busted for Riods (his 1st half #'s were .329/.373/.604/.977 w/19HR and 62 RBI, so imagine how low his 2nd half numbers were.) AND it comes from the age of baseball we live in where steroids were rampant."

Oh...well in that case...

Pre All-Star Break
.378/.452/.733 with 27 HRs and 72 RBI

vs

Post All-Star Break
.287/.370/.581 with 19 HRs and 35 RBI

That guy must be on roids too?

"adam dunn is one of the universally most covetted kids in baseball along with mark teixeria."

UNTRUE

"As for Tejada, I'm not trying to say he isn't a great player-won't anyone like Cabrera or Michael Young be available in a few years were we can add them without giving up Prior?"

Do what Ken Rosenthal should have. Read:
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...
...and look at the 8th paragraph.

Yes.

I don't get why he wasn't caught already though...

Plus 2004 was a career year (when steroid testing began), to use that as the falloff point is a bit short-sighted. His decline should be measured against his A's years, shouldn't it?

All these other supposed "steroid users" began falling off in 2004.

2nd half decline? Yeah, steroids, sure, why not? Seeing how well he hit in the first half though, it was inevitable there be some dropoff.

I'm against the trade myself too, but 'roids aren't the reason.

X-
And I wouldn't trade Prior for Lee either...even though Roids isn't even a possibility with Lee.

If we can't swing a deal for Tejada, then I want Zito. Go get him. I'll take my chances with Cedeno at short and Walker (yes, the .300 hitting clubhouse guy) playing second.

X...you have no idea, man.

he is that covetted...he is that valuable.

he's one of the few guys capable of hitting 40-50 homers pretty regularly and not even in his prime.

yeah, he takes walk, but ya know...he's not slow. that makes a huge difference. he's not choi...he dont get on 1st then need an act of god (or 2 big hits) to get him home.

he's also a decent LF and a good 1st.

the reds wont part with him, and its not for lack of offers.

Rob G.:
"I'm against the trade myself too, but 'roids aren't the reason."

I NEVER said roids is the reason I wouldn't do the trade EITHER. But I DID say that it is something the organization SHOULD CONSIDER. Not the defining reason, just part of the entire deliberation.

BTW... isn't anyone else as pissed as me that if Hendry and McPhail had done their jobs and gotten Furcal, there would be absolutely no need to even talk about giving up an ace? Prior should not be traded for anyone outside of Pujols. They're both that good. Prior "called out" the Cardinals in his rookie year for-crying-out-loud. The kid has more guts than anyone on the Cubs roster, bar none. He's got Roger Clemons guts and the biggest upside of any pitcher in the past decade.

Uncle Charlie:
"BTW... isn't anyone else as pissed as me that if Hendry and McPhail had done their jobs and gotten Furcal, there would be absolutely no need to even talk about giving up an ace?"

I am, and I wrote about it on this thread in post #58. Again, who would we rather have:

TEJADA
or
PRIOR and FURCAL

I think it is a rhetorical question as there is really only one answer.

I get kind of tired of these roid accusations. Any player who has a down year and it MUST BE ROIDS!!!

So if Derrek Lee hits .270 again he is off the roids? What else explains him having his MVP type year right? Ohhhh, I get it, Lee can't possibly be on roids because he is OUR player. Huff, Tejada, any player with a down year and its roids related. Sure guys, whatever you say.........

MikeC:
"I get kind of tired of these roid accusations. Any player who has a down year and it MUST BE ROIDS!!!"

Then you are following the WRONG sport at the WRONG time. Deal with it...

And I never said anyone DID steroids, but it has to be at least considered, considering the times we live in. If not, management is doing a disservice to their organization.

Props to you, MannyTrillo.

furcal isnt worth 13m...even to the cubs.

that is one of the stupidest, overpaid, cotracts given this offseason.

yeah, the cubs wanted him, but given that cedeno can field his possition...13m for a guy with marginally better power and more speed?

And I never said anyone DID steroids, but it has to be at least considered, considering the times we live in. If not, management is doing a disservice to their organization.

Ok. But there isn't any real reason to believe that Tejada is taking them any more than DLee, who somebody above mentioned there was "no way" he was juicing.

The Dodgers had to pay him $13 million, but he's admitted that the Cubs could have paid him less (just more than they offered). Anybody else think Colletti pushed that deal to somehow stick it to his old organization?

"The Dodgers had to pay him $13 million, but he's admitted that the Cubs could have paid him less (just more than they offered)."

where did he say the cubs could pay him less and get him?

furcal and his agent have said a lotta b/s this offseason, but i missed that one.

"where did he say the cubs could pay him less and get him?

furcal and his agent have said a lotta b/s this offseason, but i missed that one."

Mike Murphy reported a few days after the deal that his agent stated he had a preference for the Cubs and would have gone there for just a little more than the Cubs were willing to spend. In fact, Murphy said, Furcal had made his mind up to go to the Cubs just before the Dodgers swooped in. Then the agent called the Cubs to tell them of the offer. Murphy inferred that at that point--with a counter offer--the decision went to McPhail and he declined to budge at all. It could be that Mike Murphy was full of b.s. Wouldn't be the first time. But I believe him on this one, knowing the Cubs' m.o. in FA dealings as I do.

I recall reading that Kinzer said he would have taken a little less to sign with the Cubs but they had to sweeten their original offer. But Kinzer said a lot of stuff this off-season, don't know why anyone would suddenly start believing him on that one statement.

As for 'roids and Tejada, what Voodoo Retard said. Just don't see the basis for including Tejada. His #'s got better once steroid testing began, (granted he started playing in a better hitter's ballpark). Yeah, I guess your right. The Cubs should consider it, and then realize it's baseless.

I guess I probably SHOULD change my philosophy of "never, ever, believe anything that Scott Boras says" to "...anything any agent says."

Then you are following the WRONG sport at the WRONG time. Deal with it...

Ok fine you want to play that game Manny...

Prior is on roids, his achilles really should of healed by time the 2004 season started

Z has roid rage.

Ramirez can't stay healthy, must be the roids.

Derrek Lee suddenly turns into Albert Pujols, got to be the roids.

Wood has to be on roids, he can't stay healthy.

We better factor into our decision that they just are not worth as much because they could be possibly on roids. Afterall the Cubs organization leads the majors in numbers of players busted for steroid abuse. I guess we just promote that culture huh?

There is no difference in what you say about Huff and Tejada than what I said about the above mentioned Cubs players.

Keep your baseless allegations about roid use to yourself.

Manny,

I'm with you on you assertion that the Cubs could have had Furcal without a trade. Would it be worth 13 mil to get a quality SS and keep a potential HoF like Prior on the staff? I think so.

Cedeno will do just fine at SS....and Walker is one of the better hitting 2B in the league (but they are hellbent against him. Ramirez, Cedeno, Walker and Lee are an average defensive infield...with polar extremes...great at SS and 1B and awful at 2b and 3B...but offensively that is an infield capable of winning IF the pitching staff is top notch.

I realize this team doesn't have squat in offense with Cedeno, Perez, Pierre, Jones in the lineup....but you add Tejada at the expense of the pitching and you negate the benefit greatly.

Hendry needs to concentrate on the pitching staff....go convince Roger Rocket to pitch for 2 more years...offer him 21 million a year...then go get Zito....Rocket, Zito, Zambrano, Prior and Maddux would be an awesome 5some to contend with. Then in July go make a deal with a team falling out of it to upgrade with a bat or two for the outfield or infield. Move Wood to the bullpen and this pitching staff would be outstanding from opening pitch until the final out.

I'd trade Ramirez to get a stud starting pitcher but I don't think that is really necessary to do. Pitching will get you to the wildcard...from there it's a crapshoot BUT pitching will be a strong factor in the playoffs.

4-way trade in the works involving the Cubs, the White Sox, the Red Sox, and the O's. Feel free to take it with a grain of salt, but still, hmmmmm....

Cubs trade Prior, Patterson, Cedeno
O's trade Tejada, Bedard
Red Sox Trade Ramirez, Clement
White Sox trade Garland, Juan Uribe

Cubs get Tejada and Bedard
O's get Prior, Uribe, Ramirez
Red Sox get Patterson, Garland
White Sox get Cedeno, Clement

Cubfan:
"I'm with you on you assertion that the Cubs could have had Furcal without a trade. Would it be worth 13 mil to get a quality SS and keep a potential HoF like Prior on the staff? I think so."

Exactly, Furcal might not of been worth the $13 million a year (supposedly we could of gotten him for a little less), but if it meant signing him for that would keep us our #1A pitcher, then it should of been done.

"I realize this team doesn't have squat in offense with Cedeno, Perez, Pierre, Jones in the lineup....but you add Tejada at the expense of the pitching and you negate the benefit greatly."

Right on...

I still beilieve you win with PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING and solid DEFENSE. Of course scoring a ton of runs is nice, but you need to look no further that last years WS to seewhat is the most important element to a team.

#109

I don't support that trade but I think those players are possibly on the block and could see a trade like this going down. I'm sure a lot of cash would be involved as well...

And something like this might set a team like the Red Sox up for making some other kind of move.

If Hendry hasn't been on the phone with Clemens agent he should be fired.

Here is a 20 game winner still with incredible stuff who probably isn't looking for a contract longer than a year or two....go get him...you aren't locked up with a LONG contract and you just bolstered your staff by a ton!

Manny,

I am sure he is not or was not on roids. Look at his #'s in the 2 years since testing they are on par with his previous ones. How do you know Prior is not a jucier I mean look at those calves of his and his mentor Tom House was the 1st juicer in MLB.

MikeC and Manny - I hate arguing but I feel that this steroid issue is very important.
I really think that steroid use is something that fans, media and most of all, players, should discuss routinely. I'm tired of this 'dont ask dont tell' mentality. I'm tired of drugs ruining a wonderful game. I think that the more we talk about roids, the farther we go towards getting them out of baseball.
If all players would just get tested, and I mean really tested, then we wouldnt have to talk and wonder and argue about juicing anymore. -because we'd all know.

there's no reason that clemens would pitch for us, he has no ties to the team whatsoever. The Texas teams are near his home, the Yanks he won a World Series with and he started with the Red Sox (and I seriously doubt he'll pitch the RSox). If you want the Cubs to make a PR move and make a call, like the Dodgers did, that's cool, but it's a waste of time. But it'll look good to the fans.

Chifan:
"How do you know Prior is not a jucier I mean look at those calves of his and his mentor Tom House was the 1st juicer in MLB."

He might be, many people have mentioned it as a possibility. I have no clue, just like I have no clue about Tejada, but NOTHING should be disgaurded when thinking about making a trade this large (and stupid).

Also, I hope MIKEC tells you to: "Keep your baseless allegations about roid use to yourself." You are talking about steroids. :)

I'm tired of drugs ruining a wonderful game. I think that the more we talk about roids, the farther we go towards getting them out of baseball. If all players would just get tested, and I mean really tested, then we wouldnt have to talk and wonder and argue about juicing anymore. -because we'd all know.

No, champsummers, we still wouldn't all know. There are new drugs being created every day. There are ways to mask tests. We'll never know for certain and frankly i don't give a rat's ass. I'm sorry that "drugs" are ruining the game for you. But for myself and most fans, it hasn't and will not ruin it for us. What is annoying is the constant chatter and ridiculous speculations amongst fans and (more shamefully) the media. I scream when people point to numbers as evidence that a player did or did not take "steroids" as if there is ANY proven correlation between on-field performance and these "black-listed" chemicals.

Rant over.

Useless Kevin Millwood mentions of the day: posts #30, 54

I think it's entirely reasonable to suspect Tejada of using the shit. Regardless, he'll be declining while Prior continues to climb toward his peak. This trade would haunt the Cubs for a long, long time.

#116

Exactly.

And at the risk of starting a war, perhaps the same sort of caution should be used when considering signing up Clemens.

VOODOO RETARD:
"But for myself and most fans, it hasn't and will not ruin it for us."

And who gave you the authority to speak for "most fans"??

Because the polls I have seen show that fans do not like steroids and drugs in their sport and think it to be a MAJOR problem.

http://cbs.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8357971
AP-AOL poll: "Players' high salaries were named as baseball's "biggest problem" by 33 percent of those surveyed, followed by steroids at 27 percent and the cost of going to a game at 22 percent"

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2004-12-10-ste...
USA TODAY Gallop Poll: "The poll, conducted Dec. 5-8, also shows 61% of the 533 respondents who said they were baseball fans are less enthusiastic about the sport (becuase of steroids)."

Baseball has come a long way and I tip my cap for that. It was long overdue.

BIG JOHN STUD:
"I think it's entirely reasonable to suspect Tejada of using the shit. Regardless, he'll be declining while Prior continues to climb toward his peak. This trade would haunt the Cubs for a long, long time."

You agreeing with me?? WOW!!!

NO CHANCE we get Clemens, nor would we want him. He was a risk 5 years ago that was worth taking. He can't pitch in the cold and he can't last a whole season anymore. Waste of time talking about it.

Furcal not only would have kept us from a potentially insane transaction of sending Prior away, but with Furcal and Pierre in hand, Hendry would not have found it necessary to get more speed with Jones in right. More likely he would have gone harder after Huff or Mench instead. Then we could have have the balanced speed, power, and defense we need from veterans.

VOODOO:
"And at the risk of starting a war, perhaps the same sort of caution should be used when considering signing up Clemens."

Maybe so, but at least we would be signing him to a 1 year deal likely and would NOT have to give up any players. HUGE differnce!!

You're right Manny. I have no authority to speak for anyone other than myself. I still don't believe, however, that most fans believe it has "ruined" the game. At least it hasn't proven to be that way at the attendance gates or on the television screens. There's a large difference between fans "not liking steroids" and saying that it is "ruining" the game, don't you think?

voodoo-
I understand your point of view. And I agree with you that a great many fans now days dont care about drug use. Sadly you are also likely correct in your speculation that drug designers will always be one step ahead of drug testing.

But I do care because the game is different now and I hate drugs.

I think that we will just have to agree to disagree, and wait and see what happens.

that wasn't my quote, manny.

I hope Bonds breaks Aaron's record at Wrigley so he can experience the euphoria of rounding the bases while 40,000 fans silently turn their backs to him and his 'roid-stoked obnoxious career.

I hope Bonds breaks Aaron's record at Wrigley so he can experience the euphoria of rounding the bases while 40,000 fans silently turn their backs to him and his 'roid-stoked obnoxious career.

No chance at all. Bonds won't play on the road if he has one more to hit to break the record. He will sit until they are back at San Fran.

I guess we are agreeing, Manny. It's a legitimate concern and it's extremely naive to believe that the few players who've been busted are the only ones using. Also, now that an actual program will be in place for 2006, with REAL consequences, there will probably be a much more noticable decline in stats/production. The penalties for illegal substance abuse last year were nothing compared to the penalties under the new policy.

#128, I think you're right about that Cubfan. And that is why Bonds is a total POS. Once again, personal records always taking priority over winning.

I ask you all, would Barry Bonds trade 200 home runs for a World Series ring? I say NO FREAKING WAY!

VOODOO RETARD:
"At least it hasn't proven to be that way at the attendance gates or on the television screens."

Well, you are wrong at least on the television screens.

Ratings for the MLB All-Star game have been down the past 7 years from 13.3 in 1998 to 8.1 in 2005.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/asgtv....

And this year's World Series was the lowest rated world Series of all time (11.1 rating vs 11.9 in 2002).

But yes, MLB attendence has finally gotten back above the pre strike levels.

Uncle Charlie:
"I hope Bonds breaks Aaron's record at Wrigley so he can experience the euphoria of rounding the bases while 40,000 fans silently turn their backs to him and his 'roid-stoked obnoxious career."

I won't turn my back, becuase I will of sold my season tickets for that game for MAD money...Then I will be standing out on Sheffield Ave. trying to catch that ball that will be worth well over $1 MILLION. GO BONDS!!!

Manny, I assume your "GO BONDS!" was more tounge in cheek then anything else. I hope you would only be cheering as to line your own pockets. If so, I'm behind you. If not, well, those steroids don't bother you as much as your earlie posts would indicate.

television ratings are down on everything, thus is the nature of Tivo, 200,000 channels and the Internet. Even the insanely popular NFL is seeing a lag in ratings for MNF. Nothing to do with steroids, everything to do with the diversity of our society.

http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/attendance...

Total Attendance:
1990-1992: 54 mil, 56, 55
1993: 70 mil (expansion year up to 28 teams)
1994: 50 mil
1995 - 1997: 50, 50, 62, 62 (million)
1998 - 70 mil (expansion year up to 30 teams)
1999 - 70 mil
2000 - 72 mil
2001 - 72 mil
2002 - 67 mil
2003 - 67 mil
2004 - 72 mil
2005 - 74 mil

not sure what was in the water in 1993, 2 new teams in Colorado and Florida, shouldn't account for a 14 million spike in attendance. I'd say 1998 is when attendance got back to normal, accounting for new teams and whatever absurdity was going on in 1993. 2002 and 2003 dips in attendance were likely attributed to post 9/11 fears and what not.

Rob G wrote...

"Exactly where does this Miggy on the juice stuff come from? Just cause he used to play in Oakland? Anything is possibly but
.304/.349/.515 last year isn't really a dropoff (actually it's an improvement over his career #'s). 2004 was pretty good too, which is when testing began."

From what I gather is people have the impression that after Pamiero was busted for illegal performance enhancing substances Tejada felt the heat and cut them from his diet. No more B12-injections.

An Orioles fan friend of mine pointed out one reasoning behind is drop in production: no lineup protection. Tejada didn't have Palmiero hitting cleanup any longer, nor did he have anyone else posing a threat to opposing pitching. Sosa??!

I'm not sure if I buy it. But, I can understand a player like Tejada becoming increasingly discouraged as a promising season quickly deteriorated into a sub-.500 campaign.

In the end, there really is no excuse deemed worthy for a player of that calibre and contract to play the way he did for the Orioles in the second half of '05.

Prior for Tejada? I'm not sure if I buy it!
Prior and prospects galore for Tejada and Zito? Maybe...

We'll have to wait and see.

"We like his all-around makeup," Jocketty said of Encarnacion. "He hits for power, runs very well and plays a solid outfield."

cards scouts unearth some good tallent outta nothing, but i wanna know what scout told jocketty all that.

i put that last one in the wrong thread...not worth really repeating, though. heh..

I care about steroids in the game. I think anyone caught doing roids should have their stats erased from the day they were caught.

But what I will not do is accuse players without any evidence on the table they have ever used at any drugs of any kind. And I will not base my decisions on who to go after over the made up belief a guy like Tejada could or could not be on roids. Because guess what? Once you start down that path you have to assume everyone is on roids.

It is no different than your workplace. Systems are in place to try and catch these people and you assume they are clean until proven otherwise. How would you like to be up for a raise but your boss passes you over because he "believes" your on drugs? Would you like to be accused of that when you know your clean? Is that fair?

If you think that is fair your one fucked up person.

MikeC, you're WAY off base. There are many signs that Tejada was mixed up in this whole thing. No one here is saying he is, we're just afraid of pinning our hopes on a guy who would be unable to produce like had in the past. For you not to look at this situation and have some suspicion is crazy.

Even though I am for the Tejada trade, it is a poor comment on Hendry that it had to come to this. I'm probably the last fan who misses Nomar, but if they should have re-signed him. The hitting would have been solid with decent platoon players. The next GM (I hope Hendry does not get a new contract) will have to clean up his messes, like he had to do for Lynch and McPhail.

Nomar can't play defense at short anymore. I love the guy, and I love his bat, but $8 million for an injury-prone guy who makes too many errors isn't the solution. The Red Sox discovered that at the right time for them.

Something to keep in mind when considering the Prior/Tejada deal: The window of lost opportunity for trading Prior only extends until his moment of free agency -- not into the indefinite future. The concerns that he may develop into a hall of fame/4 Cy Young guy over the next 10 years are misplaced, because if he is that good when he hits free agency in a few years, WE are free to re-sign him (for the same deal that he would have signed if he had stayed with us, probably).

As much as we like to think otherwise, the top FA's generally go to the highest bidder. If the Prior trade turns out to be a disaster, we can just try to sign him as a free agent; if we don't/can't, we would have lost him at that point anyway.

Rob--#56--fair enough, I am one of the people who wants to remember Reggie as probably better than what the nos. show

#109--the only clear winner in that one is the O's, ending up with Prior and ManRam

"Bonds won't play on the road if he has one more to hit to break the record. He will sit until they are back at San Fran."

If that's the case, he's more of a selfish p.o.s. than I thought. I don't care how many he hits, he's getting paid to be a baseball player and do his job, if the team needs him, then they need him, no questions asked. That's the kind of mentality that (IMHO) really cost the cubs '03. (I can find my rant on that in the archives if anyone really wants to read it)

chad #130, sorry, I guess you beat me to the punch, yeah, what you said...

433:
"As much as we like to think otherwise, the top FA's generally go to the highest bidder. If the Prior trade turns out to be a disaster, we can just try to sign him as a free agent; if we don't/can't, we would have lost him at that point anyway."

There's also a matter of loyalty that players do consider. In free agency, Prior will remember that the Cubs liked Tejada more than him and will suspect that they may be willing to trade him again in the future, if the situation is right for the Cubs. I know that's life in baseball, but players consider that. The best tact is to tell Prior how much he means to the Cubs and that they want to make him a Cub for life. When he enters the Hall, let's hope he still has a blue cap with red C on his head.

Trade Prior, and I'll be angry.

Trade Z, and I'll just stop watching.

433: In addition to factors such as Uncle Charlie's point that Prior most likely will remember and may (or may not) hold a grudge for being traded, there is one other flaw (IMO) with your argument: We want to win NOW. That's the whole point of possibly trading for Tejada--to bolster the offense in an attempt to win in 2006. I just fail to see how trading Prior makes us a better team next season.

In general, I can see a bright side to acquiring Tejada, but I am definitely not in favor of this trade. Our offense is improved over last year, and while the addition of Tejada would give us one helluvan infield, it would deplete our rotation. Not only is Mark Prior my favorite Cub, and not only is he a bona fide ace, but his ability and potential (if given a full year without injuries) makes it very, very hard to justify trading him, even for one of the ten best players in all of MLB.

If there is any way to acquire a guy like Tejada or Abreu (who I would prefer to Tejada, as, IMO, he's a better player with a more well-rounded game) without giving up Lee, Prior, Z, or by raping the farm system, I am for it. Even though it would increase payroll, the Tribsters can afford it, and we fans deserve it. However, I don't think it's possible for us to acquire top-tier players via trade (at least not now) without giving up something of Prior's value--at least, not since the rumors/rumblings have come out that Prior's available--he's a talent that EVERY team in MLB would love to have in their rotation.

I remain skeptical that this particular deal gets done, and that's a good thing. I do, however, hope that we can acquire Zito and somehow spin him for Abreu. That, or I'd like to see us acquire one more stud pitcher (I like Zito--his curveball takes me to my happy place, but I can think of a couple of other pitchers that may be a better fit for Wrigley field) and a really good 4th outfielder (wonder if we could get Mench and a good prospect for Walker and Patterson), and we've got a pretty damn solid team.

Also, in regards to acquiring Garland...no thank you.

I don't know why everyone has such a hard-on for this guy--he has had exactly 1/2 of a good/great major league season...and that was as a 5th starter!

He has a nice sinker and a pretty good change, but his overall stuff is nothing to write home about. He does have pretty good control, but it's not Maddux or Buerhle good. He also seems like quite a bit of a prick, IMO (anybody remember him blaming his teammates in '04 for him losing some of his games? in all of the years that I played competitive sports (14 of which were baseball--10 of those as a pitcher), I never once tried to blame my team for a loss...totally inexcusable). There is one other thing that really bothers me about Garland...While I don't think that a pitcher needs to be a power pitcher to be great, every pitcher needs to have the strikeout as a potential weapon in their repetoire...Garland really doesn't have that weapon. That bothers me. Immensely.

Garland is a fool to not take the contract extension...not only is he passing up a chance to be on the reigning World Series Championship Team again (like it or not, they have to be favored to win the Central again this year), but he also may drive his value down. Guillen's probably going to pencil him in as the #2 or #3, and everyone will see Garland for what he truly is: average.

Mannytrillo; Rob G: Maybe Tivo has something to do with this year's lower WS ratings, but I tend to think it was the lack of interest in the teams playing. We had one team that is second fiddle in their own city, and then we had the Astros...not only were there only a couple of sexy names in that series (Clemens and good ole Andy P.), but neither team is going to draw national pub...now, if only we could have an all California WS...I'm sure THAT would get great ratings...oy

From the discussion in the last 10-15 posts or so, I think loyalty is an important part of the equation. Aside from no more than a couple of blips on the radar (maybe) in the last 20 years or so, 2003 was the best Cubs team in quite some time. Despite baseball "being a business", the organization should feel obligated to be loyal the horses that got them there.

I don't honestly think that Corey Patterson still being a Cub is 100% because Hendry/Dusty are stupid. Corey/Prior/Z/Wood/Barrett/Ramirez/Sosa were the core of that team. Obviously Sammy stabbed the Cubs in the back, so they moved him. Corey didn't, and to this point, he's still a Cub, despite his putrid 2005 numbers.

The organization has stood by Prior the last 2 years when he's been on the shelf the majority of the time. Despite Prior being a salty jerk to the media, I would imagine he has some loyalty to this franchise and the city. Look at what Konerko did on the south side. The Sox stuck with him even when he wasn't putting up gigantic numbers over the last few years, and he apparently took less money to come back and play in Chicago. This city has stood behind Mark Prior, and for that reason, I couldn't see him pulling a Johnny Damon at the end of his deal and skipping town for whatever team can woo him with the most cash.

Also, I didn't see this above, unless I scrolled past it. This is from CBS Sportsline, about a potential 3-way between the Cubs, O's, and those damn pale-hosers:

Cubs give up: Z, Neifi, Corey, Ohman, & Hill/Guzman

White Sox give up: Garland, Charles Haeger (knuckleballer who was supposedly good at AA last year), & 3 other prospects

O's give up: Tejada, Bedard, & prospects

Cubs get: Tejada & a group of probable total of 5 prospects from both teams including O's stud Hayden Penn

WSox get: Bedard, Hill/Guzman

O's get: Z, Garland, Neifi, Corey, & Haeger

Take that with some salt, because the O's would be idiotic to trade away their best player AND every good prospect they have just to get Prior, Garland, a knuckler, and two average position players in Neifi and Corey.

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/9115652/2

wsox 1- have to reduce a little bit of payroll 2- dont need another pitcher...they need to get rid of one.

as for the rest of it...meh.

Weschc: I agree that the Cubs should be loyal to Prior, but not just for the sake of being loyal; not only does Prior bring in quite a bit of revenue (has to be one of the 3 most popular players on the team), but as most of us have discussed, his current ability, combined with his potential if healthy all year, makes it very hard to justify trading him--even for Miguel Tejada.

As for the trade proposal, buy a copy of today's Tribune. That particular idea originated from the plebian brain of Phil Rogers, aka, the village idiot. He personally drew up the plan himself (on a cocktail napkin, no less...hope he took a cab home). Let's take a look at it, team-by-team:

White Sox: As Crunch said, they need to significantly cut payroll, which this deal doesn't accomplish. It does bring them Bedard, who they are said to covet, while still getting rid of Judy Garland...however, even though Williams has shown extreme recklessness in trading in the past (and even this year), he's a very shrewd businessman, and not stupid by any stretch of the imagination. Having already given up his best prospects (except Owens), I doubt he's going to give up some of the few remaining members of his top 10 prospect list--especially not for Bedard and a LOOGY.

Orioles: This deal would make sense for them, obviously. They get Zambrano (never gonna happen), get rid of a disgruntled Tejada, and get some great prospects in return. I know they don't want to give up Bedard unless they get something special, which they obviously would; they also definitely don't want to give up one of their top pitching prospects. Still, they'd do it.

Cubs: Yeah...right...well, I seriously doubt that Z is available for anybody right now (unless his name happened to be Albert Pujols, and that's never gonna happen). The Cubs are also reluctant to get rid of Rich Hill. Trading Hill for Penn would be a loss, IMO (think Hill is gonna be VERY special, as soon as he develops a little better control and finetunes his change-up), but since Hayden has such a high ceiling and is a stud, let's just call it a wash...so basically, the Cubs are losing starting pitching (and their most reliable and arguably best starter, to boot) for Miggy and some prospects? Never gonna happen. Especially since one of the better prospects in that list is a 1B, which the Cubs don't need (Rogers talks about how Rogowski is a good hitter, but the Sox don't need him 'cuz of Thome and Konerko...Cubs are trying to sign Lee to an extension, and have Sing and Dopirak in the minors--both of which have more potential than Casey Rogowski).

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Phil Rogers may be the stupidest sportswriter in the history of Chicago.

Ryan,
Amen on the Phil Rogers comment, but he may run a close second to Mike Downey. Downey tries to be cute, and that's impossible. He tries to be clever, but you can forecast his punchline a paragraph ahead of time, so... he ain't that clever. And he just doesn't know enough about Chicago and Chicago sports fans to speak to us like we're his buds. He needs to get out more and actually listen to what's going on. Downey's 11? Downey's 1 is too much.

As far as Prior goes, I sincerely believe that it's possible to get Tejada through a trade with either Boston or the A's without giving up Prior or Z. Boston has a lot of position needs, and the A's are always looking to cut payroll to pick up prospects and young arms. Boston has Manny to package up to the O's and the A's have Zito. We can fill in the trade around either one of those guys that the O's may really want. Zito and Pie? Ramirez and Hill? Sounds decent to me.

Uncle Charlie: Downey is pretty bad. But if I had to choose who was worse, it'd be Rogers. Like you said, Downey tries to be cute and fails, but to me, that's better than trying to be intelligent and failing. Rogers' insistent scenarios involving the trade of Big Z are simply asinine. His continued worship of Kenny Williams is asinine (if you like his moves this off-season, great, but don't say that he can count on another trip to the WS before the season starts...he may be a favorite to win his division, or maybe even a favorite to get to the WS, but don't say that he *will* be going). Worst of all to me, however, is his posturing as a journalist who actually knows a damn about baseball. He proves time after time that he not only has no intrinsic knowledge of the sport or the people involved in it, but his rumors show that he doesn't even have any reliable sources to give him the inside scoop. Why is he allowed to have a job at the Tribune???

As for acquiring Zito, or Abreu, or Tejada, as I've said before, I'd be very much in favor of getting any of those three, so long as we don't have to give up Z, Prior, Lee, or an abundance of our best prospects. I used to have Pie as an untouchable also, but I guess I would move him for the right player in the right situation. It would have to be a great (not good) player, however, as Pie is our most valuable minor league trading chip at this point. Even if he has no shot of being great with the Cubs (ala Patterson)--something that I believe is NOT the case, he is still worth a lot. It would be nice to not have to gut our farm system, since we are already losing 3 high draft picks next season; however, we still have an over-abundance of pitching that a lot of teams would love to have. Plus, I have a good feeling that Wilken is going to help the Cubs to maximize efficiency in acquiring and trading minor leaguers (they've done a great job with pitching prospects, but to this point have not been anywhere near as efficient with position players).

Although I am nervous about possibly giving up the next Roberto Clemente in Pie, I believe that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Tejada is a proven top 10 talent who would have 4 years remaining on his contract if we picked him up. With the core of the staff and the murderers row of Lee, Tejada, Ramirez in place, I'd love to take 4 shots at the World Series. I have a feeling we'll find out by the new year what will happen.

Merry Christmas. Go Bears.

Agreed in regards to Pie. If he is fine-tuned in the minors (much the way Patterson should have been but never was), and can learn to cut down on the K's, he has the potential to be one helluva player. And ultimately, comparisons to the Willis trade will come up. Having said that, I would be willing to trade a potential great player for a proven great player--under the right circumstances.

"As for acquiring Zito, or Abreu, or Tejada, as I've said before, I'd be very much in favor of getting any of those three, so long as we don't have to give up Z, Prior, Lee, or an abundance of our best prospects. "

Ryan, if you aren't trading value, you aren't getting guys like Zito, Abreu or Tejada. If Hendry says that those guys aren't available, then we will not be making any significant moves. That's fine - this team might actually be able to compete without moves. I'm just not interested in taking that risk. I see too many problems and not enough fixes.

X: Who said anything about not trading value? Different teams with different needs hold different players at varying levels of value. To me, there are only 3 untouchables on the major league squad. While, were I in Hendry's shoes, I would be willing to trade some minor leaguers, I would not be of the mindset of many posters who make comments such as: "Give the O's anything they want" or "Open the door to the farm system and let the Orioles take who they need." Doing so would effectively take away not only a number of very talented players who can help the club in later years, but would also take away Hendry's ability to deal for other key pieces this year and over the next couple of years. That is why I've criticized Kenny Williams' moves this off-season.

As for getting guys like Zito, Abreu, or Tejada...well, things aren't as simple as meeting "equal value." Because of payroll issues, Zito can be had for Beane's "perceived" value of Zito, which could be, say, Rich Hill and Brandon Sing (not saying it is, just offering an example). Because of a lack of starting pitching in Philly, along with a hefty contract, Abreu, according to rumors, could have been obtained straight up for Zito. Is Zito "equal" to Abreu? In my opinion, no, but supply and demand dictates what Zito's value is to a team like Philadelphia. A month ago, Tejada was not available to anybody. Because he is unhappy in Baltimore, it is at least possible to obtain him via trade. Would I trade Prior to get him? Hell no. But suppose that Tejada strenuously suggests to Angelos that they should trade him...maybe his value to the team falls and he becomes available for something less than Prior or Zambrano.

Just as these players are not at their peak value to their team, Prior may not (and probably is not) at his peak value to the Cubs--otherwise I highly doubt that Hendry would entertain any thought of trading him. I probably value Prior higher than Hendry does, as I have him as an "untouchable."

As to no deals being completed...I do have a feeling that we aren't going to be getting Zito, Abreu, or Tejada, although I do believe that we may get a pitcher a notch below Zito (something tells me that, although Hill has so much potential, his value is so high right now that Hendry may not be able to resist the urge to trade him), who might then possibly be kept or spun to another team for a quality bat. All speculation at this point, but that's one of the reasons I love the Hot Stove.

#108 of 161: By mannytrillo

"Even if it is .01% of theoverall considerations, they should consider it. Just like they should with all players in baseball at this time, considering we are just finishing (hopefully) ther STEROID ERA. AGAIn, let me say this, I NEVER said he was on steroids, only that it should be one of the many considerations."

--

okay, so lets see, one one-hundredth of a percent of the "consderations" should be spent on juice. perhaps it would look something to the effect of;

"Jim, you think he's on juice, or was on juice?"

"Uuuh, lemme check my magic 8-ball here...ah, just says "may be so". Should we ask him?"

"What, and piss him off? Are you insane?"

"Yeah right. Well...at least we considered it."

would that do to satisfy your 0.01% of the "many considerations"?

ahahahaha. thanks for the chuckle.

Ryan: I'm with you completely. Hendry's task is to discover a team's greatest need and provide the least valuable players, as far as the Cubs are concerned, to get the most value for the Cubs in return (which is a player who is desirable to another team for filling their need). It's like buying and selling houses in developing neighborhoods. You identify market need, make the minimum necessary investment, and sell as high as possible. The Red Sox need outfielders, pitching, a short stop, and probably a first baseman or good utility infielder (Neifi?). The A's are always looking to optimize their budget with young hitting and pitching talent. Zito is definitely on the market, and it wouldn't take Prior to get him.

Whatever happens, it's important that Jim Hedry remain more patient and disciplined than the rest--while remaining very aware. If it takes Pie or Hill--over whom most GMs drool--to get the one player that can be rolled into a Tejada deal without sacrificing Prior or Z, then Hendry will have done a masterful job. If it's a straight-up Tejada for Prior trade, then it seems to me more of a coiin flip and would make me furious over Hendry's inability to land Furcal for $11-12 million in order to keep his staff intact.

I like how this article:
http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/9115652/2
doesn't even list an author. I guess no one was willing to take responsibility for this horse shit.

I think we need to get used to the roster as is. I agree with X's last post #160. The market is so thin that at this point, any big addition will almost have to mean a big subtraction and the inherent risk that comes with it.

What we have needs a year of burn-in to see what pans out and what doesn't. Too many unanswered questions: How will Cedeno and Murton do in a full year at the Major level? Will Jones rebound or continue downward trend? Ditto for Pierre? Is Kerry Wood a starter, a reliever or a used car salesman? Is Dusty helping or hurting the team, should we sign him again? Which cusp pitching propects will bubble up if any? Is Felix really the Pie in the Sky as touted on this board?

I personally, would like to see success with the team we have. I would especially like to see the pitchers stay healthy all year and the bats stay "above average". That will give us a good look at the Dusty question.

"Mike Murphy reported"

Funniest thing I've ever read on this blog. Murphy is not a reporter in any way, shape or form. He's a jackass who shares his opinions on the radio, thankfully only for two hours now.

Take anything he says -- other than his opinion -- with a huge grain of whatever.

"Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior are not going to be traded by the Chicago Cubs," Hendry said.

Will be interesting to see if anyone calls him on this if Prior or Z are dealt for Tejada.

I think it was Rob G. who said the thought of trading Prior makes him sick. Ditto. Z, too. I've always had a lot of faith in Hendry, up until the LF situation last season. If he deals either of these two guys, I'll have lost all of it.

Agreed on Mike Murphy. Moron. Tool of the Century.

Ronny Cedeno is probably the only significant minor league prospect the Cubs have brought up through the ranks correctly over the past decade. He was hitting .376 in Venezualan winter ball up until a week or so ago. Why not give him a shot at SS? It will cost us A LOT less in money, players and prospects. Hendry can still try to add power in a platooning outfielder or second baseman via trade. Miguel Tejada is great, but he is not the ONE player that will put the Cubs over the top, especially if they would have to give up Prior or Z and another key prospect to do it. Addition by subtraction won't work in this case. We have to look at the difference between having Tejada and having Cedeno--not just adding Tejada's numbers to our offense.

Hey, I'm just checking out some MLB blogs and stumbled upon this one, which is pretty good. However, I cannot resist the opportunity to point out the absurdity of this statement:

"Adam Dunn is easily the most vastly overrated player in baseball. His OBP is the product of being pitched around in a poor lineup." -- lipboil

Now, you can say that Dunn is overrated if you want, because that is rather subjective matter, but you can't say that the Reds had a poor lineup, unless you think that every offense in the national league was poor. The Reds scored 820 runs last year, more than any other NL team. Next was the Phillies with 807, then the Cardinals with 805. Having said that, I'm sure no one will ever read this because the thread is a few days old and this is at the very bottom.

I agree "Reds Fan" thanks for stopping by. This blog has spots of genious mixed in with, well, less than... Nevertheless, it's a nice quick fix for Cubs addicts everywhere.

...GENIUS even, you gene-yus

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