Open Thread

Just going to roll the discussion over here for you guys. Not much to report other than a Paul Sullivan article in the Trib today. The highlights: - The O's now want Carlos Zambrano instead of Mark Prior. - The A's and Cubs haven't talked since early December and the A's apparently want a major-league pitcher and at least one top prospect for Barry Zito. - The Marquis Grissom deal will probably be announced next week, but it will be a non-guaranteed contract, as it should be. And in case you were wondering, the Cubs never offered Prior to the O's. The same story is repeated in the Paul Sullivan article. It was the O's asking for Prior in a one-for-one swap for Tejada and Hendry insisted on a "quality" pitcher coming back to the Cubs in the deal. Whether that's the spin doctors coming out and doing damage control or the god-honest truth, I suppose we'll never know.
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Comments

My guess is that the roster now is set. Z is not going anywhere. Prior is not going anywhere. We won't get Zito. We won't get Tejada. The team's fortunes this year will largely rest on Pierre getting on base a lot and our pitching staff remaining fairly healthy, Prior and Wood getting back on track, and Maddux giving us 12-15 wins. If these things happen, we have a shot at the playoffs.

I think we can still obtain Zito. I'd give up either Maddux, Williams, or Rusch. I think Williams is most likely. Package him with either Hill or Guzman (or both) and Beane may do it.

With the Cubs convention apparently in 2 weeks, I'm guessing any major moves will have to happen rather quickly as the Cubs would want to have the team pretty set by that point.

Vegas, Maddux? The A's would trade for Maddux? Zito for Maddux straight up?

Rob G.:
"With the Cubs convention apparently in 2 weeks, I'm guessing any major moves will have to happen rather quickly as the Cubs would want to have the team pretty set by that point."

Why do you say that? In three of the past four years, MAJOR moves have happened after the Cubs Convention.

-Traded Sosa after 2005 Cubs Convention.
-Signed Maddux after 2004 Cubs Convention.
-Traded for Alf/Clement after 2002 Cubs Convention.

If you say that thinking Hendry wants to appease the fans in some way, well then he should of come out right away and publicly said he WILL not trade Prior.

Chad,

My thinking would be that a) Maddux would be a free agent after this year, clearing cash for the A's. b) We'd be giving up both Hill and Guzman in that deal.

I believe Maddux has a no-trade. I also don't see the Cubs trading Maddux at all. I was just saying who I would give up, that's all.

Rob G.:
"Whether thatís the spin doctors coming out and doing damage control or the god-honest truth, I suppose weíll never know."

Exactly, now Hendry has to start doing damage control, but we will never know.

I also never thought he was willing to trade Prior for Tejada straight up. But i am pretty sure that the Prior/Hill/Patterson for Tejada/Bedard deal was fine by hendry and that is what I have a problem with, concidering we could of had a top tier SS, although one of elss caliber than Tejada, on the FA market this year without giving up a #1A pitcher.

Good point, the Sosa deal could of happened before the convention and it did not. Maddux signing that late was all up to Maddux and the alf/clement deal was a reaction to Gordon getting hurt in spring training that year. At least that's how I remember it...

Well maybe some fans would be appeased if we did trade for Tejada. According to the ST article, Prior doesn't seem upset at all about the whole thing and has been leveled with the whole way.

Vegas Brian:
"I believe Maddux has a no-trade."

Maddux does NOT have a no trade clause, we can trade him anytime to anyone.

Rob G.:
"Well maybe some fans would be appeased if we did trade for Tejada. According to the ST article, Prior doesn't seem upset at all about the whole thing and has been leveled with the whole way."

Well, if we are trusting this article, then it said, "Most Cubs fans want him staying in Chicago, so he will be wildly applauded at the convention and trying to inject some common sense into the hysteria." So, yes some fans might be appeased, but a good majority would not.

And it does not surprise me at all that Prior says he is not upset. he is a very classy guy and i would be shocked if he would come out against the Cubs in any fashion. And that is one reason why I and MOST Cubs would love to have him here over any other player in MLB.

whatever manny, bitch about hendry overpaying middle relievers, but then you bitch for him not overpaying for Shortstops. By most accounts, it seems McPhail axed the idea of ponying up more $$$ on the Furcal deal, not Hendry. So direct your angst in the proper direction....

But I'm sure you're going to ignore that cause it doesn't fit into your "I hate Hendry" platform your currently riding...

yeah I always thought Maddux didn't have a no-trade clause but AZ phil claims he does

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

Cubs are too conscious of PR to get rid of Maddux anyway. Part of me hope/thinks that they'd like him to stay on as a pitching coach/instructor if he decided to retire after this season.

Rob G.:
"whatever manny, bitch about hendry overpaying middle relievers, but then you bitch for him not overpaying for Shortstops"

I bitch about the Cubs not paying market value for top players, but paying market value for mediocre players.

If McPhail axed it then it is his fault (thus I am saying the Cubs), but again reports this offseason haven't been all that relaible obviously. I won't beleive anything 100% until a quote is attributed to Hendry/McPhail.

No, I and all Cubs fans should be happy that we missed out on a top tier SS and thus almost had to give up our #1A stud pitcher to make up for it. You can call it an Agenda or not, that is fine, but it is the truth.

That is honestly my thought too, Rob. I think he has a lot to offer. From a game standpoint, I don't want him on the field this year. I just can't see him contributing in any fashion, except to help the younger kids--and if they aren't up, what good does that do?

Regardless of who brought Prior's name up, the Orioles asking for Z makes any deal even less likely. Zambrano is a better pitcher than Prior, even when both are healthy (although that may be like saying a billion dollars is more money than 990 million). And if Boston is talking Manny and Clement, the Cubs don't have a shot. And the Red Sox are stupid.

I bitch about the Cubs not paying market value for top players, but paying market value for mediocre players.

But if the bullpen was the Cubs biggest problem last year, then why are you complaining when Hendry is paying market value (a change from your previous position of overpaying) for the best middle relievers on the market?

Maddux is an innings-eater who pitches just above league average ball and gets grossly overpayed for it. If our team wasn't apparently filled with a bunch of cocky young guns who don't seem to want to take advice from the smartest guy to ever play this game, he'd probably be even more useful as a mentor. The only guy who seems to talk to him on a regular basis is Barrett, god bless him.

That Miller Lite commercial with the synchronized Xmas lights is highly amusing btw...

Sullivan's column is not anything new other than the Zito stuff which I have my doubts on. The O's have always preferred Z to Prior. It has been clear since like Wedsnday that the Red Sox are the leaders for Tejada. But I doubt they can do a deal however there just to many obtisticles: the stigma of an inter-division trade, the $$$, Whether manny wants to be manny in BAL. I dont get why people are talking about that 4-way deal BAL FO would have to be the most assine people of 2006 if they trade the best SS in the game for a couple of .500 30-something pitchers and a MLB average SS. If they actually like that deal why not send them Cedeno, Rusch, Hill, Dopiriak.

Rob,

Murton seemed to talk to Maddux on the bench alot last season too.

Good for Murton then, seems like a smart kid which is why I hope the Cubs keep him and play him. The ability to make adjustments is the biggest factor between stardom and just another player. And Murton seems to have that knack.

Rob G, you don't need an all-caps slogan a la Manny to be soothed by the idea that the Cubs may not have formally offered Prior. I'm happy about that as well, if it's true.

Has there been any real indication that Craig Wilson is available? Acquiring him would be about the only thing that would make losing Murton in a Zito trade go down a little easier.

Anyway, I have had sugarplums dancing in my head about C.W. for a while now but I'd like to be realistic about it too...it occurs to me that to attempt to get him may be one Pittsburgh-pantsing too many.

Dr. Magoo: And the Red Sox are stupid

Why? Cause they want to DUMP Matt Clement. Are you yet another person here who thinks Clement is good? Because no one else in baseball does. That's why the Sox are trying to get rid of him. Trading Manny for Tejada straight up would be a steal for the ORIOLES. Manny is a destructive hitting machine but he's a total headcase. You think Sosa was bad? Manny makes Sosa look like a choir boy. As soon as Manny's production starts to decline, and it will as he is now 34 years old no one will want him.

Tejada's numbers aren't AS good but he's four years younger and considered a "team player". Strange for a guy who is demanding a trade. But i digress.

Point being that the Red Sox may be stupid but only cause they signed that POS Matt Clement.

I wrote on it a few weeks back...

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

there was just a rotoworld blurb awhile back that said the Pirates were open to trading him and Mackowiak and then Mackowiak got traded within the next few days for a pittance(Damaso Marte). Apparently right now it's him and Gerut in RF for the Bucs.

Wilson though shouldn't be much more then a platoon-mate, 4th of/backup 1b/emergency catcher. Certainly something we could use. He can mash the lefties. OF defense isn't great, but I wouldn't use him as a starter unless some players went down.

I still think Korey and a low-level prospect would land him. But that's just my guess...

Man the hatred for Clement, Chad. Did he run over your dog or something?

I think the Red Sox are trying to deal from a position of strength (starting pitching) to fill their holes (SS, OF), not so much looking to just dump Clement.

Clement's another innings-eater, who pitches just above league average baseball and gets grossly overpayed for it. The only thing is he's young enough where he could still enjoy a career year or two.

Arm: #1

I don't agree that the roster is set.
You have to assume that one of Corey/Hariston/Walker will be traded at some point. For what? I don't know. Whatever they can get I imagine, posiibly an upgrade in the middle of the rotation, upgrade in the oufield, or shortstop/2b...

One thing I just want to throw out there.
What would be so terrible with Jerry Hairston as the starting 2nd baseman and batting in the 2 hole?
He's got a very solid OBP, good speed, average glove (at worst) at 2nd base which is his natural position...
I know he's in Dusty's doghouse, but he seems like he's being unfairly overlooked, like the forgotten Cub.
I prefer Todd Walker's bat, but if speed and defense are keeping Todd out of the starting lineup and out of the 2 hole, why not hairston.
His OBP is just as good if not better, (even if it is due to is uncanny ability to get hit by pitches) and he is clearly faster and better defensively.
He seems miscast as a 4th outfielder.

I am very comfortable with giving Cedeno the shortstop position and at least a half a season to prove himself. He can't do much more to prove himself at this point, other than play the games.

It's mind numbing to read the comments on this and other boards that say we don't have the pitching or hitting to win,(and we can't get one without trading the other) yet these same people don't want to give this kid a chance.
IF he plays well,(and I think he will based on his plate presence, defense and speed)we have a $300,000 shortstop not a $13,000,000 shortstop. That leaves a lot of cash to get other things done at the deadline, when teams are dumping salaries.
As was said earlier, the Cubs will contend with healthy years from Wood Prior and Zambrano, regardless of who plays short. If they can't throw 30 starts we're not going anywhere.

Maddux absolutely has a no trade clause and even if
someone wanted to pick up his salary he is not going
anywhere. Remembering the darkest days in Cub history
it was the Cubs reluctance to include a no trade clause
that caused Maddux to turned down a 5 year contract
at the start of the 92 season. THE NEXT DAY he faxed
the Cubs agreeing to the contract WITHOUT the
no trade clause but the Cubs failure to return
for 3 weeks (his deadline) blew the deal up.

Also to be fair Wood, Prior ,Z etc do listen to him. He
is still playing pitcher savant during games while
the rest gather round but realistically there is only
so much he can say to explain to get them to locate
better, throw fewer pitches and not be afraid to throw
over the plate more. He can always give them tips
on how to pitch to a particular batter but basically
it is up to them to figure out the rest

by most of Hendry's indications, it's going to be neifi, cedeno, hairston fighting for 2 spots in spring training with walker being dealt.

Which of course by some point means Neifi will be batting 2nd everyday in the Cubs lineup.

It would be funny if it wasn't true...

I was just really talking about any major moves. but I retract my "roster being set" comment about the cubs convention.

Chad,

Did you mean to say a Manny-Miggy would be a trade would be in favor of the Red Sox because that is what your analysis of it would lead one to think. About Tejada being a team player and wanting a trade I think a look back at history is needed. When Tejada signed with the Orioles they were talking about making a commitment to winning. They already had signed Lopez, Palmerio, and I think Ponson (remember this was coming off his 03 season and was one of the best SP's on the market) and were on the verge of signing Vlad and were the most aggressive suitor for Maddux. Since then they did nothing to improve that team expecpt making a token offer to Konerko. Miggy was a victim of fraud maybe he should have known what he was getting himself into but it was not a money grab alone he was lead to believe that he was the centerpiece of the rebulding of the Orioles and as a guy who admired Ripken he bought it. Dumb yes, but he is not Arod Pudge or Maggilo.

I would hardly call Clement an innings eater. They guy starts to huff and puff in the second inning. He has 6 career complete games. They guy is the most OVERRATED pitcher in baseball. I don't understand why the people at this board still pine for this guy.

Chifan
I think you are confused re the O's going for Maddux
in 02/03. It was clear from the start he had NO interest in
an AL team ( no DH EVER). Other than the Cubs the only
teams that publically expressed interest were the Cardinals
(never serious) and the Dodgers ( too dysfunctional to
make an offer). In the end it was the Giants who
made the only other serious offer. Whil Boras
used the Yankees to drive the Braves offer up in 92 ( not too effectively though) Maddux's very public disdain for
ever playing in the AL would pretty much rule out
an AL team ever seriously making an offer

Yeah Chifan, it made sense to me at the time but my logic is messed up. Even looking back at it, I'm not sure what the hell I was talking about. I think I was typing out of both sides of my mouth. But let me re-analize this.

The Red Sox are smart to dump the old head case and the freaky bad beard crap pile. AND get an MVP shortstop to boot. That makes them smart.

In the end that is what I was trying to say. Just horrible execution.

Rob G.:
"Cubs are too conscious of PR to get rid of Maddux anyway."

The Cubs might be the worst PR organizion in baseball. They raise ticket prices after 2 straight seasons on non playoffs, they dangle their most popular player (Prior) and lambasted their old most favorite player to justify trading him (Sosa). Those are just a couple examples...

Bleeding Blue:
"But if the bullpen was the Cubs biggest problem last year, then why are you complaining when Hendry is paying market value (a change from your previous position of overpaying) for the best middle relievers on the market?"

I am not sold on them. They might of been the best availible, but they are both coming off career years. I am glad hendry agreeed with some of us fans that saw teh bullpen to be the disaster we said it was, I just am not sold these guys are the answer. We will see...

What do you think of teh deals and and how do you think the releivers will do?

Rob G., jessica, or AZ Phil-
Can you guys or anyone else show me a link that maddux has a no trade. I looked couldn't find one and the couple places I use for contracts don't show he has one. Thanks!!

I've never seen anything official on a no-trade clause, jessica and az phil are making the claims that he has a no-trade clause.

Well I didn't say they were good at the PR, just conscious of it.

Rob G.:
"jessica and az phil are making the claims that he has a no-trade clause."

Ok, than Jessica, AZ Phil or anyone else, if you have solid info on a Maddux no trade, please pass it along. I don't beleive he has one. Thanks!!

"Well I didn't say they were good at the PR, just conscious of it."

HA HA Good one

It seems at times they take good steps in the PR department, then take HUGE steps backwards.

Whether Maddux has a no-trade clause or not is a moot point, because I don't think teams are exactly lining up to get him. I love Maddux, and respect the hell out of him, and think that if we had a decent offense (sans Lee and A-Ram) last year, he would have won 15 games, again.

BUT

His stuff is getting a little worse every year, his numbers are getting a little worse every year, and it takes him a little longer every year to get ready. Not only do I think the Cubs don't want to let him go for a second time, but I don't see any team--least of all Oakland, who exist because of young, inexpensive talent--wanting Maddux. If he is available at the trade deadline and somebody needs to add an experienced arm who handles pressure very well, then it's an entirely different story.

Dan the Fan: I agree (Hairston).

Chad: I'm gonna go with Rob G. on this one...what's with the Clement hate??? He does show up every 5th day (with very, very few exceptions) and gives his all. While he's not worth the contract he has in Boston, half of that roster isn't worth what they are being paid. He has a very good sinker and an excellent slider. If he could just learn to pitch in the second half the same way he pitches in the first half, he'd move from being a #4 pitcher to being a #2 pitcher. However, that's a pretty significant "if."

I happen to think that the Red Sox would be stupid to trade Ramirez straight up for Tejada, so adding anything to that trade makes it even more of a bad idea. Ramirez' average numbers: 314/409/599/1008. Tejada's: 280/338/477/815. Sure, there's a 4 year age difference, and Tejada's a good defender at an important defensive position, and he never gets hurt, but Manny is a much more dominant offensive force. I don't care that he's a nutjob - 183 points of OPS is huge.

As for Clement, calling him the most overrated player in baseball is absurd in a world where Darren Dreifort just finished a deal for 5 years and $55 million. I wasn't one who argued that the Cubs should have kept him - I thought they had greater needs - but he was an above average pitcher for 3 years with the Cubs, and he has value.

I like the idea of getting Zito.
I hear he has a "Zito-esque" curve. He's even been compared to Rich Hill.

Not sure how you guys missed the cause and effect in last years Cubs Convention.

Prior to Cubs Convention:
Hendry 'I'm comfortable having Sammy play right field for us in 2005'

During Cubs Convention:
An astounding chorus of boos rain down as Sammy's video tape is played, while Hendry looks on.

After Cubs Convention:
Cubs trade Sosa and a bunch of cash for 1 major leauger.

The Cubs PR department may be bad- but you have to admit, dealing with the bin of lunatics that are Cubs fans isn't any easy job.

About Maddux being traded, is he 5 and 10?

How about this for a cause and effect relationship:

Cause: Sammy ditches team on last home game
Cause: Sammys offensive numbers take a nose dive
Cause: Sammy pisses off everybody in the organization with his egocentric bullshit

Effect: Sammy is traded in the offseason.

The reason it took so long was not that Hendry needed to hear boos at the convention. It was because he had an enormous salary to unload.
It was obvious that sammy wasn't comming back before the convention.

Real Neal:
"About Maddux being traded, is he 5 and 10?"

The player has to have 10 years of ML Service Time AND have spent the previous 5 years with the same team have automatic No-Trade clauses.

Maddux has been with the Cubs for only 2 years.

no, maddog has only been with us for 2 years. It's 10 years in baseball, 5 with the same team. Lost that right once he left Atlanta.

Well if that were true about Sosa, those going to the Cubs convention need to use their powers for good this year. When they show a Neifi, Jones or Korey tape, boo until your eyes come out of your head!!!! And if Dusty ever shows up, all bets are off, do what must be done. I'll save it for Hendry still, cause I still think he's done more good then bad, although the discrepancy is much smaller after this off-season.

Dan the Fan:
"It was obvious that sammy wasn't comming back before the convention."

I agree with that but, as the Real Neal said, Hendry was saying he was comfortable with Sosa in RF. Of course, he had to say that to try and get soemthing for him. But it is another example of why we really can't trust what these agents, players and GM's are saying as they are all out for what's best for themselves, not nessecarily the truth.

Just like this Prior-Tejada deal. Of course Hendry does not want to admit that he really was willing to trade Prior, since the trade never went through. Now he might of never put the deal officially on the table or maybe he did, we might truly never know unless Hendry admits he did (becuase if he doesn't say he did, then can we really trust that knowing it is in his best interest not to admit it), but we do know clearly that Prior was dangled at best.

Rob G.:
"Well if that were true about Sosa, those going to the Cubs convention need to use their powers for good this year. When they show a Neifi, Jones or Korey tape, boo until your eyes come out of your head!!!! And if Dusty ever shows up, all bets are off, do what must be done."

I agree, this is the fans real chance to truly express themselves. But actually when Baker gets announced or shown on the video, there is very little booing, if any (also tons of people asjking for his autogrpah and pictures, etc.). That may change this year, as it may for Hendry also, but normally the fans are very positive at the Cubs Convention. That is why the Sosa thing was SOOOO glaring that the fans were tired of him and wanted him gone.

Jessica,

The Orioles made the biggest offer to Maddux. I agree there was no way he would have gone to an AL team but the O's did make an offer here is a USA today article to prove it.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/bbw/columnist/...

What about?
Effect: Cubs win 10 fewer games after trading Sammy
Effect: Cubs Fans who forced Sosa trade look for new scapegoat- turn their angst on Hendry and Baker

EFFECT OF WHAT? Trading Sammy?
Would you rather have had him on the cubs last year? His 05 was a display of epic suckiness both on and off the field.

The moral of the story- letting fans run your team is stupid.

Moral of what story?
The fans aren't running the team. That was my point. The cubs were going to trade sammy reguardless of the convention.

Does anyone else wonder why the fans of both the Cubs (a bad team) and the Orioles (a bad team) are against the Prior-Tejada trade?

Because no fan base wants to see their favorite player leave.

The cubs are a better team than the orioles.
They cubs have been contenders for most of the past 3 years. The orioles havent.
The Orioles have to compete with the Yankees and the Red Sox in their division. The cubs don't.
The clubs have great pitching, (potentially) the orioles don't.

A message to all Cubs and Orioles fans- Your teams stink. When your team stinks change is good.

That's pretty siplistic logic.
Change is good when your teams suck, but change for the sake of change isn't good.
Change doesn't necesarily make your team better, just different.

Chifan
Nightengale has always been spot on re Maddux but this
is the first I ever head of the O's making the biggest offer.
Maybe it was for show since it makes no sense at all.
They had to know he would not consider it. I would
not put it above Boras to encourage such an offer but
as Maddux had made it clear he was not going to the
AL ( no fun playing if he can't bat) the O's would have
to have been stupid or delusional ( or Boras was making it
up). If I had heard that story during the drawn out negotiating
process I would have been more a wreck than I was so
good thing I didn't

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL
( going off to party)

Wow, me and manny are going to agree on something. For Hendry to say he did not have any intrest in trading Prior for Tejada is ludicrious. Yeah he may not have started those talks but he was an active participant in Prior for Tejada talks. If he had no intention of trading Prior he could have said no thanks Mark is going nowhere. My gut on this is he would do a Prior for Tejada deal if he had to because it looks like from media reports he engaged in enough talk after Bedard's name came up and was shot down. The ? is why Prior went for untradeable to tradeable?

Manny:
Obviously you have to read between the lines when t comes to these deals.
It's not Hendry's job to be totally honest with the public about his dealings.

We may never know the whole truth about what goes on, and we don't need to. If Mark Prior doesn't get traded, he certainly doesn't need to know what may or may or not have been discussed.

I for one, am very against trading Prior for Tejada in any of the packages mentioned.

What do you think of teh deals and and how do you think the releivers will do?

As I've said before, I think they will provide some short term improvement, but will be liablities by the time their contracts are over.

I think its much smarter to build your bullpen from within, like the Cubs were doing last year.

the article doesn't say anything about Hendry confirming or denying anything about the trade. What it actually says is:

In fact, what Prior has been assured of behind the scenes is this important fact: The Cubs didn't offer him to the Orioles for Tejada. Major-league sources explained that the Orioles phoned Hendry and asked if he would trade Prior for Tejada. Hendry told the Orioles he wouldn't consider that one-for-one swap.

Effect: Cubs win 10 fewer games after trading Sammy
The moral of the story- letting fans run your team is stupid.

Let me get this straight, the Cubs lost 10 games last year because they had Burnitz and Hairston playing instead of Sammy - who struggled to hit 200 when he was even healthy enough to get a half season of at bats???

That's some pretty messed up thinking right there.

Bleeding Blue:
"As I've said before, I think they will provide some short term improvement, but will be liablities by the time their contracts are over."

Well then we kind of agree. I think Hendry's mistake was giving the releivers so many extras (years, bonuses, incentives, NTC, etc.) to guys who are coming off career years.

But I do give him props for getting the top middle releivers on the market and getting a leadoff guy. Now we just need to see how well those pickups actually work out.

Ron G.-
It does say Hendry would not consider a 1-1 swap, but it doesn't mention anything of a multi player swap like the Prior/Hill/Patterson for Tejada/Bedard deal.

But still, nobody know for sure...

Bleeding Blue,

'Let me get this straight, the Cubs lost 10 games last year because they had Burnitz and Hairston playing instead of Sammy - who struggled to hit 200 when he was even healthy enough to get a half season of at bats???'

It's impossible to say what numbers Sosa would have put up had he stayed in Chicago. If you want to use the simplistic thought process 'Swap Sosa's stats for Burnitz's' I agree it looks like a good deal to get rid of Sosa. But the assumption that Sosa would have had the identicle year in Chicago that he had in Baltimore isn't valid. Maybe the Cubs use enough chlorine on the locker room floor so Sosa doesn't get an infection. If the Cubs 'fans' continue to boo Sosa in '05, maybe there's not so much pressure on CP and he has a better year. Maybe without Hairston they make a blockbuster trade for Manny or Dunn to play left when the Hollandsworth/Dubois platoon goes in the tank. It's impossible to say how the 2005 season would have played out if Sammy was still around.

'- who struggled to hit 200 when he was even healthy enough to get a half season of at bats???'

I don't really know what the phrase means. Before Sosa went on the DL he was hitting .269 .325 .454
Burnitz on the season hit .258 .322 .435

But still, nobody know for sure...

Exactly, so no reason to get on his case for possibly doing nothing more then listening to another team's offer. He's the GM of the team and it's his job to try and make the team better. So the O's called, he listened, stuff was talked about it, we really know nothing more... Who knows who axed what or if anything was agreed upon...

So Rob G, then you should say the same thing about almost every trade and/or free agent dealings, because we don't know what happened. So from now on nobody should comment on anything unless they are in the room with the dealings?

I, and it appears others, will use fair reasoning skills to get the gist of what we think happened and I am sure I and many others will continue to talk about.

did I say something about not commenting?

Real Neal, the stats you posted for Sammy last year are the reasons I would love to have him back. We could just go to the 4 man outfield. Have Jones play all three posistions. Murton, Pierre, Jones to start. Then Murton Pierre Sosa against lefties. Then Jones, Pierre Sosa every once in a while and when Pierre needs a rest, Murton, Jones, Sosa. Kinda like what Cinci did last year with their four outfielders.

It would be nice if Sosa, Baker and Hendry didn't have egos. It's a shame it's not even a possibility.

Rob G.:
"did I say something about not commenting?"

No, you just said "no reason to get on his case".

Which I took as if you blame Hendry you shouldn't comment, because we don't know what happened. Which ain't gonna happen.

Which I took as if you blame Hendry you shouldn't comment

That's a helluva leap....

VIVA LA FREE SPEECH!!!! Comment away, just no reason to try and bury Hendry until we knew the particulars.

Rob G.:
"no reason to try and bury Hendry until we knew the particulars."

So again, you can say that about almost every trade and/or Free Agent dealing, since the players, agents and GM's usually lie to make themselves look good and we NEVER trully find out what happened in those meetings. So we should not bury the GM on any trade or FA signing that did not happen will most likely never know the details? Again, not gonna happen.

I think it is pretty clear in this case that Hendry was willing to dangle Prior in some sort of deal for Tejada. Maybe not straight up, but this rumor went too long with no comment from Hendry to be made up.

You can give him a pass on this topic and every other topic about trades and FA dealings until we found out the truth (if we ever do), but I am sure most fans won't. Nor should they.

Manny, you seem very angry today. The holiday's got you down?

Chad-
I am always angry...I am a Cubs fan (with the Red Sox and White Sox winning the last two WS). ;)

So we should not bury the GM on any trade or FA signing that did not happen will most likely never know the details?

You're right, we should crucify a GM, particular for something that "did not happen". DAMN YOU JIM HENDRY for answering your phone!!! DAMN YOU for investigating what it would take to get an MVP calibre-SS. DAMN YOU!!!!

think it is pretty clear in this case that Hendry was willing to dangle Prior in some sort of deal for Tejada.

I think it's pretty clear that Hendry talked to the O's and they discussed players including Prior and Tejada. Maybe you mean something else by "dangling", but to me, dangling sounds a lot like "shopping" Prior to the O's as the cornerstone for a Tejada deal. It doesn't sound like Hendry was doing that at all.

Rob G.:
"It doesn't sound like Hendry was doing that at all."

Well to me, and some other Cubs fans, it does. I guess that is where we differ. There has been too much smoke for there to be no fire. It's all cool though...

I think if BALT would do the PRIOR/HILL/PATTERSON for TEJADA/BEDARD deal, Hendry would jump at it. You might not, but like we've said neither of us know for sure, but I think it is fine for me, or you, or others to discuss it or to not discuss it.

Again, the article never denied a multi-player deal, just a straight up one.

Well, Chad, I didn't go to med school, thank you very much, but I think it's not unreasonable to correlate salary with the perceived value of a player. I don't know what rating system you're using, but if you have specific data, that would be appreciated.

Statistically, from 2002-2004, Matt Clement was a better than average pitcher in the NL. In 2002, he was 22nd in ERA, tied for 21st in wins, 4th in K's, 7th in OPS against, and 10th in WHIP. In 2003, those rankings were 27th, 12th, 11th, 12th, and 12th. In 2004, he only had 9 wins, but was 18th in ERA, 7th in K's, 17th in WHIP, and 14th in OPS. Amazing? No. But when you consider that each of 16 NL teams was using a 5 man rotation, that's a pitcher with value.

For that, he got 6.5 million last year, and underperformed.

I'm not very optimistic about our chances this year, despite the division seemingly being wide open with the Astros and Cardinals having slow offseasons.

I think our chances will depend on several things, besides the obvious of key players staying healthy, Wood returning early, etc.

Key points in my opinion:
The team could very easily struggle for runs. If Neifi, Cedeno, Murton, and Jones are in the lineup regularly at the same time, along with Juan Pierre, there isn't much run production there. Murton is a huge puzzle. I love what I've seen so far, and think if the Cubs were smart enough to play him every day for a couple of years he would develop into a very good player. My fear is that Dusty will keep making excuses to get vets time over Murton, and the vets on the bench won't produce any better than Murton will. Still, LF will probably only give us 70-75 rbi next year. RF - Jones, another free swinger who refuses to work the count and isn't very dangerous - 75-80 rbi would be a very good year for Jones, but I could also see him completely tank and drive in 45-50 runs and lose his job. Neifi and Cedeno, at best, drive in 50 runs a piece. I also like Cedeno and think he should play until he proves himself, but the problem is putting him in the lineup when there are so many other positions that are unproductive. If Cedeno matched his career best in the minors he would have something like 8 hr's and 50 rbi. And Pierre will be a very solid leadoff man, but there won't be many people behind him who can drive him in. Again, not Pierre's fault, but this team will struggle to score runs.
Add Derek Lee coming back to earth and hitting .280ish, plus ARam's inconsistent health and Barrett's good O and questionable D and pitch calling and things aren't too promising.
As for pitching, even if Z, Prior, and Wood have good years and stay healthy, I expect Maddux will continue to decline and end up with around 10-11 wins and an era near 5.00. The 4th/5th starters of Rusch and Williams are real questions and nobody should be penciling them in for 12+ wins. Williams has shown promise and should get a regular spot in the rotation, he's young, his contract is controlled for several years, and he has a lot of talent. Starting Rusch over Williams would be a mistake. As nice as Rusch has filled in as a starter and part-time reliever, he's just an average big league pitcher. The bullpen should be better but not great, as Eyre, Howry, and Dempster have a history of pitching poorly, with a few seasons that are exceptions. Dempster still scares me because he walks too many people and that is bound to catch up to him.

One other thing, if I were the Cubs I would strongly consider trading Rich Hill, depending on what I could get for him. Yes, he's a young, talented and inexpensive starter, something we will desperately need in the next season or two, but consider this: he is a flyball pitcher. He only has two pitches. Yes, he can learn another pitch, or hopefully two, but as a 2 pitch flyball pitcher he really belongs in the bullpen and on another team. Wrigley is not a good place for a flyball pitcher. Hill's trade value is likely at it's highest, if I could nab a very solid player for him I would have to consider it.

ESPN 1000 is reporting Orton will start tommrrow.

Chifan:
"ESPN 1000 is reporting Orton will start tommrrow."

UGH!!!!

So Rex is going to get 1.5 games with the starting offense AND have off 20 days.

Me not likie!!!

Manny,

Rex has looked pretty good in those 1.5 games with a 27 month break. They will be practing in those 20 days. Anyways look how bad Eli (whose played the whole season) has been this past month. I am sure the D cordinator of who we play in the Divisional round is going to have a hard time gameplanning with only 6 quarters to study.

#67
no reason to try and bury Hendry until we knew the particulars.

sentence first. verdict afterwards.

I've been wondering something that maybe someone can explain to me.

QB Rating for the Bears:
Orton 59.9
Grossman 59.7

How does Grossman, exactly, make the Bears such a powerhouse? He came in against Atlanta and led us to a touchdown on a 1 yard drive and led us to a field goal. Against 3 win Green Bay he lead us to a scintilating 17 pts while
completing 11 of 23 passes.

Matt Hassleback must be shocked he made the Pro-Bowl over Grossman.

Real Neal-
I assume you haven't been able to watch many games this year. If you watched orton he looked horrible. And the offense barely moved with him in there. he might be Joe Montana in the future but this year he is clearly overmatched.

The offense has tons more confidence in Rex and his ability to throw the ball with more accuracy, will open up the running game even more as the defenses can't put 8-9 in the box.

The ATL game showed the difference in the offense. The 1st half was horrible and the 2nd half was 100 times better. Night and Day!!

The best thing that happened to the Bears this year was losing to PITT. It gave Lovie the oppurtunity to bench the underperforming Orton in favor of the much higher ceilinged Rex. Lovie just could not convince to make a QB change with the winning streak going on even though Orton had nothing to do with it. I am not saying Rex is the best QB in the NFC, but he is head and shoulders gives the Bears a better offense.

Again, the article never denied a multi-player deal, just a straight up one.

Actually other articles did deny that the specific Prior/Hill/Korey for Tejada/Bedard was ever offered.

Yeah what manny said about Rex. Just watch the games and you'll know the difference.

Oh I forgot,

Dan the Fan,

'The Orioles have to compete with the Yankees and the Red Sox in their division. The cubs don't.'

The Cubs have to compete with the Cardinals and the Astros in their diviosion. The orioles don't.

Did you have any point there or just feel like your post was too short? The Yankees and Sox have won a total of 3 more games over the last two years than the Cardinals and Astros. The AL East won 82.2 games per team last year. The NL Central won 81.5 games per team.

Happy New Year Everybody!

Happy New Year to the whole TCR community.

Real neal,

Grossman is better you can just see it with how he throws the ball looks like a rocket with a nice tight spiral. Orton does not have the accuracy or arm strength to go vertical with the passing game the way Grossman can.

On the NFC seeding here are the possibilities:

3 seed

TB can clinch it with a win
Car can clinch it with a win and TB loss
If TB and Car lose NYG will win it.

4 seed
If won of the south teams wins NYG will be if not South champ.

5 and 6 seeds

If CAR, TB, and WAS all win Car is the 5th seed and WAS is the 6th. Same is true if all lose and DAL does to. If DAL wins and the other 3 all lose DAL is the 5 seed and CAR is 6. If both south teams and DAL lose WAS wins is the 5th seed and CAR 6th. IF DAL wins and CAR loses the seedings are WAS 5th and DAL 6th. TB has clinched at least a WC spot because of their win aganist WAS. They are guarnteed the 5th spot vs. both DAL (record vs. Common opponets) and WAS (head to head)

Wow I guess I am the AZ Phil of the NFL playoffs.

Happy New Year!

Real Neal,
My point is that the Yankees and RedSox have more of a strangle hold over the Orioles and the AL east. They were the two best teams in the AL in 03, 04 and in 05 they both made the post season.
The Yankees and RedSox have the 2 highest payrolls in all of baseball.
Cubs are not in a situation where two teams ahead of them have dominated the divison over the past few years. The Cubs are also not in a position where they have a much lower payroll than the two top teams in the division.
Is that clear enough for you neal?

My original point was that the cubs are, and have been in a better position to compete for the postseason than the orioles.

"Insipid Sammy"

I used Google to translate an article by Bob Rossi published in a Dominican newspapter from Spanish to English. Damned if this automated translation isn't better than the original article in Spanish.

Happy New Year everybody. Here it is,

"Pirates interested in Sammy"
by Rob Rossi

PITTSBURGH. - Joe Randa already returned the Pirates to play the waiting room. Insipid Sammy could be the next acquisition so that it is appropriated the right meadow.

With Eric Byrnes in route towards Arizona, the Pirates have turned their tentacles towards signing to the Dominican jonronero, that is free agent and is a player desired by several equipment.

The Buccaneers glided to sign to the ardent Byrnes and to place it in the right meadow, however this one already has a tentative pact with the Diamondbacks.

After signing to Randa, the Pirates hope to fill their final goal of the period of receso, which will be to acquire a right gardener, who can bat with being able, because the plans are to place it of quarter or fifth bat and to place to Randa in the sixth turn.

Insipid, a gardener free agent of 37 years and seven times member of the equipment All Stars with the Puppies, that remained the last campaign with the Orioles.

The gardener has 588 home runs in his account. "

Dan the Fan,

Do you just make this stuff up or is it just from a really crappy source?

'They were the two best teams in the AL in 03, 04 and in 05 they both made the post season.'

2005 Best team in AL = White Sox
2003 2nd Best team in AL = Athletics

Source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL....

Now as to the payroll disparity, I am not going to claim to have intimate knowledge of the revenues of the Red Sox and the Orioles. What I can point out, maybe you're too young to remember this or just dismissed it for the sake of proving your 'point' is that the Orioles used to be the Red Sox of the AL East.

Year MLB Payroll Rank
1995 2nd
1996 2nd
1997 1st
1998 1st
1999 4th

During those 5 years the Orioles revenue was estimated at about $73 million more than the Red Sox (and about $186 million more than the Cubs).

Source:
http://www.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/blue_ribbon....'MLB%20highest%20Payrolls'

Yawn, I am soooo bored by the NFL-Bears discussion on this site. Go Cubs!

I would hardly call Clement an innings eater. They guy starts to huff and puff in the second inning. He has 6 career complete games. They guy is the most OVERRATED pitcher in baseball. I don't understand why the people at this board still pine for this guy.

Since 2001 Matt Clement has had the same amount of complete games as Carlos Zambrano.

Zambrano

2001 0
2002 0
2003 3
2004 1
2005 2

Clement
2001 0
2002 3
2003 2
2004 0
2005 1

I wouldn't look to complete games stat as the be all for endurance. Manager decisions have a LOT to do with that stat.

Look at innings pitched

2002 Z 108.1 Clement 205.0
2003 Z 214 Clement 201.2
2004 Z 209.2 Clement 181.0
2005 Z 223.1 Clement 191.0
Total Z 755 Clement 778

You think Clement is that much worse than Z because in the past 4 seasons he has had the same amount of complete games...and has pitched more innings than Z??

Tell me again what a piece of crap and overrated pitcher Z is...oh I mean Clement is???

Cubfan,

In 2002 Zambrano pitched 117.3 innings. He only had 16 starts in the Majors. If we stretch that logic a little further, Clement is better than John Smoltz as well.

Using your stats, since Zambrano has been a full time starter, he's pitched 73.1 more innings starting from day 1 of the season than Clement has. I'm not going to say Clement is crappy but Zambrano is among the top 10 starters in MLB and comparing Clement to him does both of them a disservice. Clement is a #3 type starter who can have stretches where he's a solid #2.

Insipid, a gardener free agent of 37 years and seven times member of the equipment All Stars with the Puppies, that remained the last campaign with the Orioles.
---

I REALLY HOPE the Pirates do sign Sammy to be the gardener in RF...

(puts new meaning into the baseball vernacular, "the guy can rake")

Because it means CRAIG WILSON will be even more likely to be available and we still need a righty bat to platoon in RF against lefty pitching and his righty bat on the bench will be a good complement to Mabry's lefty bat.

Right now JHJ is the Cubs only option for that role but he's really not a lefty masher, not even close to Wilson's numbers:

JHairston 3 yr vs Leftys: .276 .331 .372 .703

CWilson 3 yr vs Leftys:.284 .413 .575 .988

---
as to Cliff Floyd, if the Mets do get ManRam he would be available...but I'm not so excited any more as he'd only take away playing time from Murton. As another lefty bat who is not defensively good enough to play RF, he's just not a good fit at this point.

Not only that but he's got the bad splits against lefty pitching (not quite as bad as JJones, but when the splits get this similar we're comparing bad to really bad)

CFloyd 3yr vs Leftys: .241 .306 .418 .724
3ry vs Rightys: .287 .383 .527 .910

JJones 3yr vs Leftys: .238 .295 .363 .658

I'd hate to see us using Murton as a platoon righty bat with TWO lefty hitting corner OF's that can't hit rightys...

Morale of the story: WE REALLY DO NEED CRAIG WILSON.

TWO lefty hitting corner OF's that can't hit rightys...

oops, of course meant:

TWO lefty hitting corner OF's that can't hit left handed pitching

Whaa haa haa!!! of course they want Zambrano. He's 24 stinking years old... imagine that moving fastball in a couple years hitting 95mph. He has the capability to be one of the greatest pitchers of our time.

If Cliff Floyd becomes available cheap, get him. The guy can smoke the ball with our power alleys. A good choice to hit 4th between Lee and Ramirez. As opposed to Jones, already familiar with NL pitchers. I like Murton but I already know what big Cliff can do, and Murton would still be a valuable player to spell Jones against lefties(I'm skeptical of Jones's first year in a new league at the plate period, let alone against lefties, and moreso than Floyd against lefties) and to backup Clifford should he pull a hammie. I also would grab a Craig Wilson-type and carry Floyd, Pierre, Jones, Murton and Wilson as my 5 OFs. platoon Floyd and Jones with Murton and Wilson, utilize the platoon guys as a stronger bench with Mabry as a backup 1B/3B/OF, Perez and Hairston as reserve MIs and Blanco as #2 catcher. If I count right, that gives us the 2 platoon OFs plus the other 4 off the bench (stronger bench), and 6 pitchers in the bullpen. Platooning the 4 corner OFs would potentially keep them sharper for when they come off the bench to pinch-hit. I admit guys like Floyd and Wilson aren't strong defensive players but we need some more punch and I believe they could be had without gutting our pitching staff. Corey could be utilized in securing one of them, as I still feel we need to get something of some value in a deal he goes in, not just a sheer giveaway thing.

Cubfan, you cannot be serious. Zambrano averages almost an inning more per start, but you didn't know that cause you just averaged everything. And Clement has been a full time starter since 1999. Z only started full time in 2003. Your analysis is flawed. You totally cherrypicked your stats and your results are totally skewed.

In response to all you posters that wear Cub blinders and say things like "damn you Jim Hendry for trying to get us an all-star ss" sarcastically...

Are you the same people that think Hendry did a great job in giving Neifi 5 mil., and possibly Just not siging a Vizcaino-type, and using the extra Mil/or 2 to use towards siging Furcal?

Instead, we're at a point we've been at for the last 90 years, " IF WE JUST DID THIS......WE WOULDN'T BE HERE RIGHT NOW SCRAMBLING."

Here's some examples...

If we just signed Furcal, we wouldn't need to talk about Tejada, losing a Prior/or a Zambrano, or losing cash/or draft picks or Rich Hill types in the trade.

1-2 extra million would have avoided all of this Crap!

But, that's your Cub for you, if we just signed a TRUE closer in the last 2 years we wouldn;t need to use AN EXCELLENT set-up man for the Twin WHO WAS CLEARLY NOT ENJOYING being the Cub closer, as their closer and probably would have had us a wild-card in 04.

If we just signed a true lead-off hitter last year, we would have scored more runs and with the (bargain-basement) emergence of Dempster as closer we could have maybe challenged for the wild card.

If we just....

If we just....

If we just....

I could list a ton of examples that include names like Randy Johnson, Jim Thome (who was rejected when he flew in to meet with Hendry and ask for the first basemens spot for his childhood favorite team BEFORE they signed Lee), Mesa (who was available to us in July 04 if we wanted him for half a season to close), etc...

THE CUBS HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER DO WHAT IS NEEDED TO WIN, IF IT INVOLVED THEM TO GO THE EXTRA MILE, DOLLAR, OR EFFORT.

THEY EXPECT EVERYTHING TO FALL IN THEIR LAP, JUST LIKE THE ATTENDEES OF EVERY GAME THERE.

THAT IS THEIR BUSINESS MODEL...WE DO NOT HAVE TO REALLY TRY TO GET PEOPLE IN THE SEATS, SO WHY SHOULD WE TRY TO GET THE (ALREADY) TALENTED PLAYERS WHO MAY COST US MONEY TO PLAY FOR US?

[THE SOSA'S, D. LEES OF CUB HISTORY BECAME GREATS AFTER THEY WERE A CUB, NOT BEFORE]

PLAYERS IN BASEBALL SHOULD WANT TO PLAY FOR US FOR OUR FANS, OUR HISTORY/IVY, CHICAGO ADDRESS/FUN, DUSTY, ETC...

NOTHING COMPELS THEM TO TRY HARDER! HENDRY EVEN SAID THE SOX WINNING THE SERIES HAS NO BEARING ON THEM...EXACTLY!!

BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALREADY WON!!!!!...$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Clement is a #3 type starter who can have stretches where he's a solid #2.

I agree with this.

Chad brought up Clement sucks because he only has 6 career complete games. I brought up that Clement has the same complete games as Zambrano. Using complete games as a measure of how good a pitcher is ...is well..NUTS. Some managers never let their pitchers throw complete games.

Chad says Clement sucks and I brought up a pitcher most would say is in the ACE catagory (which I agree) and comparing. Clement does NOT fall to such an extreme compared to Clement that he would be labeled as "Sucks".

TA,

Usually people stop drinking when they wake up on New Year's day.

Real Neal,
Maybe I haven't made my point clear.
I was originally responding to the idea that you threw out there in the begining of this thread. That the Orioles and the Cubs both stink and they need to change.
It sounded like you were saying that the Cubs should make the Prior/Tejada trade because like the orioles, the cubs aren't going to win anything unless they "shake things up".
Maybe I misunderstood.
But it seems like you are nitpicking.
I was just making the point that the cubs and orioles are in different situations.
The orioles have not been condenders like the cubs in the past few years. My point is that the Cubs are more competive team. for a variety of reasons:
Payroll is one, Yankees and RedSox are another, and so is talent.
I'm just saying that you can't put the cubs and orioles in the same boat.
The underlying point here gets back to the

more on Gardening RF in Pittsburgh, this is from the Post-Gazette:

(subliminal message to Jim Hendry, "Craig Wilson")

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06001/630866.stm

Littlefield has addressed three of his four targeted positions for upgrade this offseason, with only right field remaining. He has not ruled out using Craig Wilson or Jody Gerut in right, perhaps as a platoon, but reiterated his preference to find a new starter from the outside.

"We want to try to get a power bat that's been productive, hopefully with some solid defense, someone who fits into our lineup," Littlefield said. "We're out there working to find that guy."

He added that is more likely to occur through free agency than a trade.

The most prominent corner outfielders still on the open market are Preston Wilson, Richard Hidalgo and Sammy Sosa.

Sosa, 37, would be by far the biggest name the Pirates would acquire, but there is no indication they are pursuing him after a star-crossed season in which he batted .221 with 14 home runs for the Baltimore Orioles and was tailed by controversy. He was paid $17.9 million, but his price is expected to be a fraction of that next season.

The Pirates' payroll total, with nine players signed to contracts, is $26.7 million. They have an estimated $9 million left to spend this offseason.

Once again Cubfan, you missed the point. I said you can't call Clement AN INNINGS EATER. I pointed out his lack of complete games and low innings per start to prove that. Some how you bring up Carlos Zambrano who has the SAME number of complete games in HALF the starts of Clement. So by your measuring stick, Craig Biggio is a better home run hitter (Career 260 hrs) than Albert Puljos (career 201 hrs), right?

You are clueless.

Clueless is calling Clement the most overrated pitcher in baseball.

Dan the Fan,

'Prior/Tejada trade because like the orioles, the cubs aren't going to win anything unless they "shake things up".'

I just think it's foolish not to be open to the possibility. The Cubs shook things up last off-season and it backfired. The White Sox did the same and they wound up winning it all.

The Cubs have for the last three seasons counted on their starting pitching to get them to the series and haven't made it. The Orioles have counted on a thumping line-up to get them there and haven't made it. They both finished 4th in their division in 2005, with losing records. They both have to contend with two teams who have dominated their respective divisions for the last 6 years or so. And they both have the means (maybe not the desire) to have $100 million payrolls. Should they not be open to trading some hitting for some pitching because there are lots of fans with Prior and Tejada jerseys already? Both teams GM's should do what they feel they need to do to make their team better. As has been studied to death- the best thing you do to increase your revenues is to win ballgames. If they don't make the trade because of fans reaction they should both be fired. As soon as Prior has his first 15 K game for the Orioles their fans will forget about Tejada and lay down their $100 for Prior jerseys. Likewise the Cubs fans when Tejada hits his first game winning homer. Most Cubs fans are against the trade because they don't want to be the team that traded away a HOF pitcher at the age of 25. Take a look at his comparables on baseball-reference. How many HOF's do you see on that list? I count 0 though I haven't heard of a couple of them. Now take a look at Tejada's, I count 6.

If you take the portofolio view of roster management- it's good to have players that can be counted on for steady performance, and some boom/bust players. Tejada is more likely to contribute an 60 to 80 VORP (or whatever your favorite cross-positional statistic) than Prior is. Converly Prior is probably more likely to put up a VORP of > 90 or

Real Neal,

Good point on the value of Tejada and Prior. If Guzman is over his injuries and healthy than he could replace Prior because he has better stuff than Prior whereas as much as I think Cedeno can be a good player Tejada is in another league in terms of production.

No Cubfan, its not. Its actually an intelligent take, If you think Mark Prior is overrated, fine. But its certainly not clueless either. Overrated is a relative term and I can make a great case that Clement is highly overrated.

Chad,

I asked before if you could provide data that Clement was overrated. By whom? In what system?

A career .500 pitcher with a career 4.37 era, who has never won more that 15 games. Who gives up a lot of home runs and barely averages 6 innings per start. Who has 6 complete games in seven full seasons (three were in 2002). That's pretty overrated.

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on an article I did over on my site about Tejada and the 2006 season for the Cubs. It's a short read, don't worry, lol. Anyways, keep up the good work here guys!

http://robincon.com/nowwhat/archives/45

Go Cubbies!

Chad,

If you want to use data to back up your claim that Clement is overrated you are using a flawed approach. The main reason is that you are not making any sort of comparison... overrated against who? An example of an appropiate approach would be something like this:

Some of here think that Clement is a very good number 3 starter. We may believe that that has been the case since X year (2002, 2003, whatever). A real debate would begin by comparing him in the categories you mentioned with the averages of the number 3 startes in the league within this time span. I do not know the results of such a comparison and frankly they would be enlightening for everybody. We could discover that the average ERA for 3rd starters during the years Clement was with the Cubs was 5.00 thus making him well above the average and hardly overrated. Or we could discover the average ERA was 3.00 thus making him way overrated (these numbers are random). Any discussion on being overrated without this kind of data is pretty much a waste of time (if one takes said discussion seriously, that is).

Luis

From my experience, you will find a wide range of opinions about how good Clement actually is. I don't know what the consensus opinion really is.
so it's hard to say he's 'overrated.'
A better word would be underachiever.
He has great movement on his pitches and ohas one of the best sliders in the game.
The problem is that he has been consistency and endurance. He seems to fall apart in the second half. His mechanics seem herky jerky and he has trouble repeating his delivery. His arm slot changes all the time.
He gets good strikeout numbers and can be dominant on a good day. But he hasn't ever put it all together. At this point in his career, I don't think he will.
If he does take the next step I think he needs better conditioning and he needs to refine his mechanics to make them more regular and consistent. This takes a ton of work and discipline and is unlikely.
He's a good #3, no more no less, in my opinion.

Dan The Fan,

Agree with your comments 100%. He has the potential to be better than he has been but there no evidence that would lead one to believe that he will fulfill suc promise. And yeah, it's hard to call someone overrated when their ratings are all over the place!

Luis

This is taken from the Chicago Sun-Times:

"The Cubs continue to have trade talks about outfielder Corey Patterson. Their other backup outfielders are John Mabry and Jerry Hairston, also a reserve at second base to projected starter Neifi Perez. Second baseman Todd Walker also remains on the roster, but like Patterson, he is on the trading block."

Projected started Neifi Perez? I think I'm gonna throw up...

Luis

No way I see the sense in starting Neifi at 2B, either. Or adding Marquis Grissom over someone like Craig Wilson or Richard Hidalgo. As for the discussion on Clement, I agree he's a serviceable #3 with a history of under-achieving. Back to the current Cubs, I'd start Walker and hit him 2nd or 6th(if you hit Murton 2nd). I'd get a guy with pop like Wilson or Hidalgo to platoon in right with Jones. I'm not liking the way this lineup or bench is shaping up. Don't go trading Prior, just make some smaller moves to refine the roster. Winning ballclubs do this with regularity.

adolfophillipsjones,

You should have a long conversation with Hendry ASAP... :)

Luis

adolfophillipsjones

Oh yea, you are so right, the yankees have been refining their roster for years, but with blue chip quality major leaguers, MVP's , Cy Young's. Never have I ever seen the Cubs completely overhaul the roster from top to bottom. And invest in the A-Rod's, Randy Johnson's, Miguel Tejada's, and Barry Zito's. Players that make the difference, not a roster filled with average and utility players trying to win a starting job and put up average numbers. Lets go guys, if the Cubs are to win a World Series they need to invest in the top players or overhaul.

The story says, Kerry Wood will start to throw in January. The injury prone whinner, will of course have soreness, and the doctors have to look at him again and again and again, soon it will be opening day, and Kerry has not thrown an inning in Spring Training, as expected. Wood's Spring Training will take place once the season is into a month old, look for Wood to pitch after the All-Star break. The Cubs are hovering around the .500 mark again, while the White Sox and their pitching looks like they will repeat. What I am trying to say is, THE CUBS NEED TO UPGRADE, ADD-TO, SOLIDIFY, STRENGTHEN, THE STARTING PITCHING. I have been saying this all winter long, if anyone has been reading my posts. Getting rid of Prior or Zambrano to get Tejada, STUPID, we should be getting rid of Tejada to get another Prior or Zambrano.

"...we should be getting rid of Tejada to get another Prior or Zambrano."

Since we don't have Tejada, does that mean we should trade Derrek Lee to get Jason Schmidt and play Dop at first? Insane.

Jerry,
But I do agree that the Cubs' most pressing need is a #2-quality starter. Zito is an option, but we'd have to give a ML starter plus prospects to get him. Maybe Jerome Williams would do it if Morton or Pie was attached. I wanted Millwood, but he went for the insane money. Who's out there that's legitimately available for what the Cubs could give up?

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