Personnel Division - August Report

We are just about at the 3/4 mark in the 2006 MLB season. With the addition of Ryan O'Malley to the 40-man roster yesterday, the Cubs 40-man roster is now full. When (if) Wade Miller (shoulder) returns from the 60-day DL (probably sometime in the next couple of weeks), it is likely that Kerry Wood (shoulder) will be transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for Miller on the 40-man roster. Like Miller, Sean Marshall (oblique) and Freddie Bynum (blood clot in shoulder) are presently on minor league rehab assignments and could be reactivated from the DL in the next few days. Glendon Rusch (elbow) is probably healthy enough to be reactivated from the DL right now, but I would be surprised if he is reactivated before September 1st. Scott Eyre (hamstring) will be eligible to be reactivated from the 15-day DL on August 31st, but will probably be reactivated on September 1st when rosters are expanded. If Derrek Lee (wrist) and/or Mark Prior (shoulder) return to action prior to the close of the 2006 season, it will probably be no earlier than sometime in September. Here is the current up-to-date personnel status for the Cubs organization, nearing the end of the 2006 season and soon to be heading into the off-season: PROJECTED ROSTER STATUS FOR PLAYERS CURRENTLY ON 40-MAN ROSTER POTENTIAL MLB TYPE XX FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2006 SEASON: Henry Blanco Kerry Ligtenberg (at AAA) John Mabry Wade Miller Phil Nevin Juan Pierre Aramis Ramirez (player option for 2007-08) Kerry Wood (club option with buy-out for 2007) NOTE: Aramis Ramirez has a player option for 2007. If he exercises the option, then there is either a mutual option for 2009, or a player option (only) if he plays 270 games (combined) in 2007-08 SIGNED BEYOND 2006: Michael Barrett (thru 2007) Neifi Perez (thru 2007) Glendon Rusch (thru 2007) Scott Eyre (thru 2007 & player option for 2008 - limited "no trade" in 2007) Cesar Izturis (thru 2007 & club option for 2008) Ryan Dempster (thru 2008) Bob Howry (thru 2008) Jacque Jones (thru 2008) Derrek Lee (thru 2010 ñ ìno tradeî thru 2010) -------------------------------------------------------- NOTE: For the arbitration-eligible & "auto-renewal" (pre-arbitration) players listed below, projected MLB service time through 2006 are in parenthesis, presuming all of the players now on the 25-man roster continue to accrue MLB service time uninterrupted through to the end of the season. WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION AFTER 2006: Carlos Zambrano (5+42 - FA after 2007) Will Ohman (4+40 - FA after 2008) Mark Prior (4+131 - FA after 2008) AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) FOR 2007: David Aardsma (0+168) Freddie Bynum (1+35) Ronny Cedeno (1+108) Brian Dopirak (0) Angel Guzman (0+95) Rich Hill (0+87) Sean Marshall (1+0) Carlos Marmol (0+121) Juan Mateo (0+62) Scott Moore (0) Matt Murton (1+87) Miguel Negron (0) Roberto Novoa (1+169) Ryan OíMalley (0+47) Angel Pagan (1+0) Felix Pie (0) Jose Reyes (0) Jae-kuk Ryu (0+6) Geovany Soto (0+29) Ryan Theriot (0+112) Jerome Williams (2+94) Michael Wuertz (2+4) NOTE: Per the CBA, MLB 2006 minimum salary is $327,000, and the "split" minor league minimum for players on the 40-man roster (except for players on the 40-man roster for the first time in 2006) is $54,500. However, the CBA expires on December 19th, so it is unknown what the MLB minimum or minor league split minimum will be in 2007. Also, if a new CBA is not signed by the start of Spring Training 2007, there could be a lock-out. --------------------------------------------------- MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT FOR PLAYERS WITH LESS THAN FIVE-YEARS MLB SERVICE TIME : HAS NO OPTIONS LEFT: Freddie Bynum WILL HAVE NO OPTIONS LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2007: Jerome Williams WILL HAVE ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION YEAR LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2007: David Aardsma (will get a 4th option in 2007) Ronny Cedeno Angel Guzman (will probably get a 4th option in 2007) Rich Hill Miguel Negron Roberto Novoa (12 days accrued toward 2006 option) Will Ohman Geovany Soto Michael Wuertz NOTE 1: David Aardsma will get an additional (4th) option year in 2007 because players get a 4th option year IF they have not played five "full seasons" in the major leagues or minor leagues by the time they have used up their three minor league options. NOTE 2: Because of time spent on the DL in 2004 and 2005, Angel Guzman will likely get a 4th option year in 2007, because he will probably not have played five ìfull seasonsî (minimum 60 days on major league or minor league active roster in each of five separate seasons) by the time he has used up his three options. NOTE 3: If Roberto Novoa spends eight more days on option to the minors in 2006, he will be out of options as of Spring Training 2007 WILL HAVE TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTION YEARS LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2007: Brian Dopirak Carlos Marmol Scott Moore Angel Pagan Felix Pie Mark Prior Jose Reyes Jae-Kuk Ryu Ryan Theriot WILL HAVE THREE MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT AS OF SPRING TRAINING 2007: Sean Marshall, LHP Juan Mateo, RHP Matt Murton, OF Ryan O'Malley, LHP NOTE: Any player who has accrued five or more years of MLB service time cannot be optioned to the minors without his consent. A Player who has spent parts of at least three seasons on an MLB regular season roster must clear Major League Waivers before he can to be optioned to the minors. ---------------------------------------------------- SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS (PLAYER OPTION) IF NOT ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER BY 10-15-06: * not assigned to a minor league club at this time Hugo Castellanos, RHP (AAA) Gary Cates, IF-OF (DL - AA) Wilton Chavez, RHP (AAA) Buck Coats, IF-OF (AAA) Jeff Deardorff, OF-1B (AAA) Brandon Emanuel, RHP (AAA) * Cristian Gonzalez, RHP (RESTRICTED LIST) Nic Jackson (DL - AA) Casey Kopitzke, C (AAA) Albenis Machado, SS (AA) Luis Montanez, OF (AAA) Augie Ojeda, INF (AAA) Carlos Perez, LHP (Daytona) Carmen Pignatiello, LHP (AA) Michael Restovich, OF (AAA) Brandon Sing, 1B (AA) Jon-Mark Sprowl, C-1B (AA) Mac Suzuki, RHP (AAA) Carlos Vasquez, LHP (AA) Les Walrond, LHP (AAA) Aron Weston, OF (AA) ---------------------------------------------- ELIGIBLE FOR 2006 RULE 5 DRAFT IF NOT ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER BY 11-20-06: NOTE: Top ten most-likely candidates for addition to 40-man roster in BOLD * not assigned to a minor league club at this time Thomas Atlee, RHP (AA) Federico Baez, RHP (AA ñ 6Y MLFA after 2007) Justin Berg, RHP (Daytona) Oscar Bernard, RHP (Mesa - 6Y MLFA after 2007) Ryan Bicondoa, RHP (Daytona) Todd Blackford, RHP (Peoria) * Chadd Blasko, RHP Jerry Blevins, LHP (Boise) Bobby Brownlie, RHP (AA) Edward Campusano, LHP (AA) * Jose Caridad, RHP Rocky Cherry, RHP (DL - AAA) Robinson Chirinos, 2B (Peoria - 6Y MLFA after 2007) Matt Ciaramella, OF (Daytona) Matt Craig, 1B (Daytona) Darin Downs, LHP (Boise) Mike Fontenot, 2B (AAA) Jake Fox, C (AA) Alfredo Francisco, RHP (Boise) Sam Fuld, OF (DL - Daytona) Alberto Garcia, 1B-OF (Peoria) * Lee Gwaltney, RHP * Luke Hagerty, LHP Ryan Harvey, OF (Daytona) Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP (AA - 6Y MLFA after 2007) Micah Hoffpauir, 1B (AAA) Jesse Hoorelbeke, 1B (AAA) Jonathan Hunton, RHP (Daytona) Fabian Jimenez-Angulo, LHP (Peoria) Grant Johnson, RHP (Daytona) Scott Koerber, LHP (Peoria) Tim Layden, LHP (Daytona) Richard Lewis, 2B (AA - 6Y MLFA after 2007) * Dary Maria, RHP J. R. Mathes, LHP (AA) * Zach McCormack, LHP Casey McGehee, 3B (AAA) Adalberto Mendez, RHP (AA) Ryan Norwood, 1B (Peoria) Eric Patterson, 2B (AA) Isaac Pavlik, LHP (AA) Leonel Perez, RHP (Mesa) Billy Petrick, RHP (DL - Daytona) Jose Pina, RHP (Boise) Elvin Puello, 3B (Boise) * Robert Ransom, RHP Clay Rapada, LHP (AAA) Tony Richie, C (AA) Alan Rick, C (Daytona) Carlos Rojas, SS (AA - 6Y MLFA after 2007) Issmael Salas, INF (Daytona - 6Y MLFA after 2007) Joel Santo, RHP (Peoria) Paul Schappert, LHP (Daytona) Chris Shaver, LHP (AA) Andy Shipman, RHP (AAA) Jemel Spearman, IF-OF (Daytona) Nate Spears, 2B (Daytona) Jesus Valdez, OF (Peoria) Chris Walker, OF (AA) Randy Wells, RHP (AAA) Olin Wick, C (Daytona) Jesus Yepez, LHP (Peoria) ------------------------------------------------ WILL BE 1st TIME ELIGIBLE FOR RULE 5 DRAFT POST-2007 (TOP 5 AS OF NOW): 1. Donald Veal, LHP 2. Sean Gallagher, RHP 3. Mitch Atkins, RHP 4. Yusuf Carter, OF 5. Mark Reed, C -------------------------------------------------- PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN 2006 RULE 4 DRAFT:: 1. Tyler Colvin, OF (Clemson) - SIGNED - at Boise 2. to CLE for Bob Howry 3. to SF for Scott Eyre 4. to MIN for Jacque Jones 5. Jeff Samardzija, RHP (Notre Dame) - SIGNED - at Notre Dame 6. Josh Lansford, 3B (Cal Poly) - SIGNED - at Boise 7. Steve Clevenger, 2B (Chipola JC) - SIGNED - at Boise 8. Billy Muldowney, RHP (Pitt) - SIGNED - at Boise 9. Clifford Andersen, CF (HS - Sandy, UT) - SIGNED - at Mesa 10. Jacob Renshaw, RHP (Ventura JC) - SIGNED - at Boise 11. Chris Huseby, RHP (HS - Palm City, FL) - SIGNED - at Mesa 12. Kitt Kopach, RHP (Illinois State) - SIGNED - at Boise 13. Matt Camp, CF (NC State) - SIGNED - at Boise 14. Drew Rundle, OF (HS - Bend, OR) - SIGNED - at Mesa 15. Matt Canepa, C (Cal Poly) - SIGNED - at Boise 16. Blake Parker, C-3B (Arkansas) - SIGNED - at Mesa 17. Keoni Ruth, 2B (U. of San Diego) - HAS NOT SIGNED 18. Jose Hernandez, RHP (HS - Orlando, FL) - HAS NOT SIGNED 19. Jeremy Papelbon, LHP (North Florida) - SIGNED - at Boise 20. Kevin Kreier, RHP (HS - Henderson, NV) - SIGNED - at Mesa 21. Taylor Parker, LHP (Missouri) - SIGNED - at Mesa 22. Jovan Rosa, 3B (Lake City CC) - HAS NOT SIGNED 23. Chuckie Platt, RHP (Lamar) - SIGNED - at Mesa 24. Matt Matulia, INF (The Citadel) - SIGNED - at Boise 25. Jamie Bagley, RHP (HS - Huffman, TX) - HAS NOT SIGNED 26. Michael Cooper, RHP (Cal) - SIGNED - at Boise 27. Cedric Redmond, RHP (HS - Joliet, IL) - HAS NOT SIGNED 28. Brett Summers, RHP (South Suburban CC) - HAS NOT SIGNED 29. Jordan Latham, RHP (Southern Idaho JC) - HAS NOT SIGNED 30. Donny Walters, RHP (Richland JC) - SIGNED - at Mesa 31. Bryan Collins, RHP (Alvin CC) - HAS NOT SIGNED 32. Cesar Valentin, SS (HS - Moca, PR) - SIGNED - at Mesa 33. Ron Clipp, RHP (Point Loma Nazarene) - SIGNED - at Boise 34. Nathan Samson, SS (HS - Ocala, FL) - SIGNED - at Mesa 35. Marquez Smith, 3B (Clemson) - HAS NOT SIGNED 36. Miguel Cuevas, RHP (Pierce JC) - SIGNED - at Mesa 37. David Francis, RHP (Mississauga, ONTARIO) - HAS NOT SIGNED 38. Ben Feltner, OF (Temple JC) - HAS NOT SIGNED 39. Marcus Hatley, OF (HS - San Marcos, CA) - HAS NOT SIGNED 40. Eli Diaz, RHP (Texarkana CC) - SIGNED - at Mesa 41. Jonathan Negron, RHP (Puerto Rican Baseball Academy) - HAS NOT SIGNED 42. Ben Ornelas, OF (Cypress JC) - HAS NOT SIGNED 43. Anthony Morel, SS (Riverside CC) - HAS NOT SIGNED 44. Daniel Berlind, RHP (HS - Calabasas, CA) - HAS NOT SIGNED 45. Eliot Shea, OF (Franklin Pierce College)- SIGNED - then was released (flunked physical) 46. Ryan Shook, LHP (HS - Roseville, CA) - HAS NOT SIGNED 47. Andrew McCormick, RHP (Pikeville College) - SIGNED - at Mesa 48. Kenneth Goodline, RHP (HS - Castroville, CA) - HAS NOT SIGNED 49. Ryne Malone, INF (Florida State) - SIGNED - at Peoria 50. Ryan Davis, LHP (HS - Sammamish, WA) - HAS NOT SIGNED NON-DRAFTED FREE-AGENTS SIGNED BY CUBS: Cedric Bennett, RHP (Lynn University) - at Mesa Adam Hackstedt, C-1B (Concordia U. of Oregon) - at Boise J. J. Hollenbeck, RHP (VMI) - at Mesa Blake Lalli, C (Gardner-Webb) - at Peoria Ryan Lilly, INF (U. of San Diego) - at Peoria Matt Maradeo, RHP (Kutztown State) - at Mesa Nate Price, OF (Iowa) - at Daytona Rocky Roquet, RHP (Cal Poly) - at Boise Cory Vanderhook, C (Cal State - Fullerton) - at Mesa Jeremy Williams, OF (York College) - at Mesa DRAFT & FOLLOW (2005 RULE 4 DRAFTEES SIGNED PRIOR TO 2006 DRAFT): Cody Gilbert, OF (Lincoln Trail CC - 34th Round pick '05) - at Mesa Luther Murphy, 1B (Palm Beach CC - 46th Round pick '05) - at Mesa
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Comments

Does anyone think Bynum should be recalled any time soon?

No need to distract Dusty with another player to take time away from Murton.

"A new manager for 2007 won't fix the organization's greatest institutional failing, which is a lack of stability."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Wow and I thought there greatest problems was a failure to understanding the important of controling the strike zone.

Good to know the Cubs should continue to do what they are doing because any kind of change is bad.

#1 of 2: By jacos (August 17, 2006 11:37 AM)
Does anyone think Bynum should be recalled any time soon?

No need to distract Dusty with another player to take time away from Murton.

JACOS: Unless a position player gets hurt sometime in the next two weeks, there is really no need to reactivate Freddie Bynum from the DL prior to September 1st. Of course, the other circumstances where Bynum might get activated is if the Cubs trade John Mabry or Phil Nevin to a contender looking for a veteran "bat off the bench" prior to September 1st (which is a distinct posssibility--same thing happended with Hollandsworrth & Lawton in August of last year).

But since he is out of options, the only way the Cubs can get playing time for Bynum at AAA is on a 20-day rehab assignment, so they might as well take full advantage of the opportunity.

There are only four likely September call-ups:

Felix Pie
Jae-kuk Ryu
Geovany Soto
Jerome Williams

If Derrek Lee does not come back this season, and if John Mabry and/or Phil Nevin get traded prior to September 1st (August 31st is the last day a player from outside an organization can be added and still be eligible for a club's post-season roster), it's possible that the Cubs might give Iowa 1B Micah Hoffpauir a September Shot (Hoffpauir could have a future as a Mark Sweeney/Ross Gload/John Rodriguez-type lefty PH-1B-LF), or Michael Restovich could get some September MLB service time if Nevin is moved (although Restovich would almost certainly get released as soon as the MLB regular season is over, because the Cubs would need his roster spot during the off-season for prospects or free-agents).

To open up additional spots on the 40-man roster during the off-season, Iowa back-up catcher Jose Reyes will likely be outrighted to the minors sometime prior to November 20th, and Freddie Bynum could get outrighted, too, because he is out of minor league options. Also, Jerome Williams will (like Leicester, Mitre, and Wellemeyer last off-season) probably get traded sometime prior to Opening Day. Hendry has no use for "MLB borderline" pitchers who are out of minor league options, because Hendry can't shuttle them back-and-forth to AAA during the season.

In a long miserable season, yesterdays pitching performance by O'Malley, was truly the highlight of 2006. It very well may be the game of his life, but this kid showed more poise than I have seen from veteran Cub players all season.

great info as always

AzPhil -- Do you know anything about 2B Ryne Malone? He seems to be holding his own at Peoria...is he a top of the order type player with some speed? Any info is appreciated...thanks.

Cubs outfielder Ryan Harvey hit a game-winning home run in the top of the 12th inning in high Class A Daytona's 5-4 victory against Sarasota, Harvey's homer to left field was his 19th of the year, continuing his second-half turnaround. After batting .173 through the first two months of the season, Harvey hit .257 in June, then .316 in July with nine home runs, and is now hitting .382 through 15 games in August.
(baseball america)

Looks promising?

AzPhil -- Do you know anything about 2B Ryne Malone? He seems to be holding his own at Peoria...is he a top of the order type player with some speed? Any info is appreciated...thanks.

JUNIOR: Ryne Malone was a big-time power hitter at Florida State, but doesn't show anywhere near as much pop when he hits with a wood bat. But he is otherwise a good hitter who has excellent patience at the plate and takes a lot of walks,, so he could be a #2 hitter in an organization that valus OBP over speed at the top of the order.

His defense has always been an issue, which is why he dropped to the 49th round in spite of being on some pre-season "College Player of the Year" watch lists. He played 3B (apparently none too well) at FSU, and has been playing mostly 2B at Peoria. He has hit very well at Peoria so far, albeit without much HR power. He does have a lot of doubles, however. He may be best-suited to be a 1B or DH. If he can improve his defense at 2B enough to stay there, his future would be a lot brighter.

That said, I'm always willing to keep an open mind about young players, and believe you should give them a chance to improve in areas where they are deficient. I saw Malone play in one game for AZL Mesa befor he got promoted to Peoria, so I haven't formed any opinions about him yet.

I expect Bynum to be called up soon to take his rightful place in left field platooning with Angel Pagan.

Murton will be sent down for further seasoning. He hasn't spent nearly enough time in the minors.

Felix Pie can't be called up either until he has at least 1000 more at bats in the minors than Dusty Baker did. Right now he only has 400 more. Dusty recalls that he spent a real long time in the minors, longer than he actually did, so these "kids" need to pay their dues before he can take them seriously.

No Pie isn't ready, and Murton projects as a fourth outfielder for AAA Iowa.

CWTP, as its been pointed out here before, Pie started professional baseball @age 16. Looking at AB totals to determine ability to play at the major league level is asinine. The reason Pie isn't being called up yet, is that he isn't ready to play major league baseball yet.

Oh and Matt Murton will not see minor league baseball again as a player less its for a DL rehab.

So your whole post is pretty much a waste. Good job.

I should add that I've ALREADY POINTED OUT that Felix Pie has posted statistics almost identical to Dusty Baker's in the minor leagues except that he now has spent much more time there. And that Dusty Baker was given major league plate appearances EVERY YEAR beginning at age 19.

#8 of 10: By Dusty Baylor (August 17, 2006 12:34 PM)
Cubs outfielder Ryan Harvey hit a game-winning home run in the top of the 12th inning in high Class A Daytona's 5-4 victory against Sarasota, Harvey's homer to left field was his 19th of the year, continuing his second-half turnaround. After batting .173 through the first two months of the season, Harvey hit .257 in June, then .316 in July with nine home runs, and is now hitting .382 through 15 games in August.
(baseball america)

Looks promising?

----

DUSTY B: Earlier this season when he was hitting sub-.200 and was striking out every-other AB, I thought a move to pitcher for Ryan Harvey was inevitable, and that he probably would not be a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster after the season.

But now I believe Harvey WILL stay in RF (he has the best outfield arm in the Cubs organization), WILL be added to the 40-man roster after this season, and WILL get promoted to AA in 2007. What happens after that is basically entirely up to Ryan Harvey.

I will say this: I like Ryan Harvey MUCH more than I like Brian Dopirak (Harvey's high school teammate). At least Harvey can play defense. I suspect Harvey is benefitting from having ex-MLB power hitter Richie Zisk as his hitting instructor at Daytona. If I were the Cubs, I'd make sure Zisk follows Harvey to West Tenn next season.

Although he has shown improvement as a hitter the last couple of months, and although there is no question that he has exceptional power and has the potential to be a Frank Howard/Mike Schmidt/Dave Kingman/Jose Canseco/Mark McGwire/Richie Sexson-type basher, and although he has a plus-arm in RF that reminds me of Andre Dawson's, he still needs a LOT of work. But I don't think he will be moving to the mound anytime soon.

If he can overcome his problem with swinging & missing, the Cubs could end up with a big bopper regularly crushing balls onto Waveland Avenue by 2009 or 2010 (and probably striking out 180 times a year). Or, he could flame-out at AA.

So you're saying that it was a sarcastic post?
interesting....

I deleted what was formerly comment #12 CWTP...

1, Dusty Baker had a whopping 5 ab in the ML at age 19
2. Tack on another huge season of 7 at age 20
3. 24 whole ab at age 21

Then the next year he spent probably september with the team seeing some time in 29 games.

Big deal.

Then, you do know that was starting in 1968, right? Free agency didn't exist then and you didn't have to worry so much about service time and arbitration years. The Cubs have to worry about these things now and that is why Pie hasn't seen the Major League yet. Baseball is very different and for you to point at Dusty and say, "IT WORKED FOR YOU JOHN!" doesn't mean anything.

Get a clue.

If you did not perceive post #10 as sarcasm, your sarcasm detector needs to go to the shop for maintenance.

confrontational mood today Chad? Relax a bit......

Hey man, i didn't swear, I didn't send any personal insults out there and I didn't respond at all to the post you deleted. (I don't really care and I wish it would have stayed) I am tired of people just trying to find any reason in the world to get on Baker's case.

Chad is the Neifi Perez of the Cub Reporter.

Chad-

7 of every 10 posts you make are personal in some way, making sure to defend Dusty Baker at any cost and jump on those who would besmirch his gold-plated reputation.

Lets review, in no order
:
1)Baker is a joke as the Cubs manager
2)Hendry has to really suck it up and improve this team in the offseason

Get it?

Chad,

"Get a clue" and "your whole post is pretty much a waste" certainly could be construed as insults and if anything they antagonize people into then telling you to f*** off. I'm not really in the mood to be a cop around here today but both of your posts could have stopped without those last statements and we could have avoided all this bad blood that's starting now.

Back to our normally scheduled Dusty/Hendry bitchfest...

I'd also like to bitch about fantasy baseball...
IT'S TAKING OVER MY LIFE!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.......

ok..i feel better..

#20

Give the ratio of posts complaing about Neifi and the posts aimed at Manny, Manny is clearly the Neifi of TCR.

#10
Clearly sarcasm, but pointless anyway.

Rob, I criticized his post by saying it was a waste (which I stand by) and then get a clue cause he didn't know what he was talking about. He was trying to make a comparison where there was no similarity.

And I am not the Neifi Perez of this site. I'm the Aramis Ramirez of this site. I have great insight and can be a perennial all star poster but for reasons unexplained, no one really likes me here and wish I went away.

To quote Tommy Lasorda:

"You don't hate me. You hate yourselves for loving me so much!"

And Tito, OF COURSE #10 was sarcastic but he was still trying to prove a point. A very misguided point.

#26
I was merely commenting, ChaNeifi, I wasn't saying you didn't understand the sarcasm.

then get a clue cause he didn't know what he was talking about.

but of course you do? whatever....

"And I am not the Neifi Perez of this site. I'm the Aramis Ramirez of this site."

Of course Neifi sits on the bench stewing in jealousy, and thinking he's an All-Star given enough PA, so the Neifi comparison rings true.

Manny is the Dusty Baker of the blog.

Back to our normally scheduled Dusty/Hendry bitchfest...

Am I too late? Did I miss it?

I don't even need logic to bitch at Dusty! I just want him gone.

What? Damn, I am too late. Maybe another day.

*walks off silently into the night*

Can I be the Bad Joke Bob of TCR, or do I need to grow a porn 'stache first?

porn stache.

Off days can be brutal.

Crunch-
FYI, I found out the info on Grudz contract extenstion. He gets $4 million next year with a $4 million player option in 2008.

Dang. Well I guess Ill audition for being the Ron Santo of TCR......gurgle fliggle flaggle, ooooooh jeeez, gosh!, I got a Fax here.....

How'd I do?

Re: #35
"wow was that a triple play? anyway, this fax says that Jon Johanson of South Peoria is celebrating his 943rd birthday today.. that's almost old enough to have seen the last Cubs world series win..."

Hey...lay off South Peoria!!!!

Pat Hughes- And that's the Mets second grand slam...

Ronnie- I remeber hitting a Grand Slam when I went over to those damn White Sox.

Pat-Reyes at the plate

Ron- I was circling the bases and I was so mad at myself.

Pat- Ball one low

Ron- And I was thinking to myself "WHy did you do that?!?"

Pat- Fouled it off

ROn- Is that my pen Patrick?

OK, OK, I am the Jose Cardenal of TCR. I have spoken.

Now if youll excuse me, Im going to go hide my balls in the ivy......wait that totally came out wrong.....

Great work as always, Phil. Do you really think Jerome Williams will find himself in Wrigley in September? He has struggled mightily in Iowa and is doing his best imitation of a pitching machine in the Home Run Derby. I guess it makes sense but he certainly needs some major work to get back on track.

By the way, I just want to let the readers here know that there is a Cubs blog - Gonfalon Cubs Blog - at the Baseball Think Factory website. We focus on longer-form essays and critical analysis of the Cubs from a number of perspectives. BTF is expanding and is attempting to become a one-stop shop for baseball info. If you are interested, check us out at the URL linked to my name. Thanks!

I think they should call Harvey up and platoon him in right with Jacque. He should be able to go .184 .208 .320 against left handers and play better D than Jones!

reading this thread is actually worse than watching your average cubs game.

I found out the info on Grudz contract extenstion. He gets $4 million next year with a $4 million player option in 2008.

Its nice that the Royals were able to convince Grudz to take a "Hometown Discount."

Chad,

I love you.

Joey

Chad,

I love you.

Joey

well, if its latent homosexuality driving chad's hostility, we'll find out soon enough. :) thanks, joey.

Considering some of the posts, apparently Floyd Landis dropped a large bag of "T" and it got into distribution to several of the "TCR" regulars. Certainly not all but some. Defend your egos boys!

To quote Tommy Lasorda:

"You don't hate me. You hate yourselves for loving me so much!"

---

to quote anyone who's ever pitched for tommy lasorda:

"God...my arm hurts. Maybe pitching 150+pitches a game 3-4 times a year isnt such a good idea. We're not all nolan ryan. I can't even sign $10 autographs without a break every now and then. Can i come over to your house for some baked ziti?"

people comparing felix pie to dusty based on age alone?

umm...okay

wanna know what's holding pie back that didnt hold dusty back?

its not age...its that k/bb total...its what pie is NOT hitting vs. what he is hitting...

dusty could make the contact pie cant. dusty played in an era where "service time" wasnt even in the venacular of owners and agents unless its the phrase "my guy's been playing for you for a damn decade and wants a raise."

they may be somewhat comparable, but even in the loose association you can compare them on, there's numbers-based (numbers cuz i dont have a scounting report on 19-22 year old dusty around) signs that point to dusty being a more polished hitter who is gonna make contact on stuff pie is swinging through.

AZ Phil,

Doesn't it make more sense to call up Rusch to replace Guzman on the 25 man roster if all Guzman is going to be is the mop up guy. IMHO I think he would be served better from a devlopment standpoint to be helping Iowa win the Central Division of the PCL then being a non-factor in the pen.

iowa needs all the help they can get.

they were 1 back...then they lost 4 in a row. theyre currently finishing up playing PCL-best-record Round Rock (houston).

3 games back coming into tonite's game.

s.marshall starting, btw.

#49 of 49: By chifan3887 (August 17, 2006 05:15 PM)
AZ Phil,

Doesn't it make more sense to call up Rusch to replace Guzman on the 25 man roster if all Guzman is going to be is the mop up guy. IMHO I think he would be served better from a devlopment standpoint to be helping Iowa win the Central Division of the PCL then being a non-factor in the pen.

---

CHIFAN3887: I understand your point and it makes perfect sense, but I think right now Hendry wants the young Cubs seemingly MLB-ready (or near-ready) pitching prospects (Marmol, Hill, Guzman, Mateo, Marshall, Aardsma, and now maybe O'Malley, too) to get as much MLB experience as they can before the end of the season, both for their own benefit, and to help the Cubs get a better reading on what each may have to offer in 2007.

That is not to say that pitching in "meaningful" AAA games would not have value, just that getting MLB experience might have greater value at this point. Remember, the Cubs brought up AA West Tenn starting shortstop Ryan Theriot last September in the middle of the Southern League playoffs (after Ronny Cedeno was lost for the year with a broken thumb), just so the major league club (which was already out of contention) would have somebody to back-up Neifi Perez at SS.

The #1 purpose of minor league teams (even those playing in the post-season) is to develop and (as needed) supply players for the MLB team. And if a call-up hurts or even cripples a minor league team in the middle of a run for the league championship while providing just minimal reward for the major league club, well, then so be it. That's how the system works.

Now, if Hendry believes Dusty is going to let Guzman just sit around and pitch maybe once a week in a mop-up role (as happened last time Guzman was in Chicago), then yes, Gooz will probably get a ticket back to Iowa. But if it happens, helping Iowa win the PCL championship would have nothing to do with it. It will be done only to get Guzman regular work that he would not be getting in Chicago.

Since none of you did, I'll bite. AZ Phil, since when did Notre Dame have a Cubs farm team?

Wait for it...

there's actually some fans ive talked to who literally believe there is a dudin highschool/notre dame cubs conspiracy connection.

hendry does have friends there, but drafting the guys he's drafted outta those programs...well, none of them are really bad picks.

#40 of 52: By Luke (August 17, 2006 03:02 PM)
Do you really think Jerome Williams will find himself in Wrigley in September? He has struggled mightily in Iowa and is doing his best imitation of a pitching machine in the Home Run Derby. I guess it makes sense but he certainly needs some major work to get back on track.

---

LUKE: September will be the last chance the Cubs will have to get a look at Jerome Williams pitching versus major league hitters before they need to make a decision on his future in the Cubs organization.

As it is, Williams is probably already destined to be traded sometime prior to November 20th. Williams is out of minor league options, and the Cubs will need his roster spot for prospects or free-agents. Plus, a number of other pitching prospects (who DO have minor league options left) have left him in their wake.

I would think Hendry will want to get as much as he can for Williams, and having him pitch against MLB hitters with scouts from other organizations watching is the best way to show other teams whether Williams has anything to offer.

Even if he pitches "light out," I believe he's gone. And if he bombs, he's still young enough and with enough of a pedigree (former #1 draft pick, one-time Giants #1 prospect, a starting pitcher for SF in the '03 NLCS) that the Cubs can probably still get at least a Class "A" mid-level pitching prospect or postion-player prospect back for him.

As I wrote earlier, Hendry does not want "borderline MLB pitchers" who are out of minor league options on the 40-man roster, because he likes to have the flexibility to be able to shuttle the borderline guys back-and-forth to Iowa, which he can't do if the pitcher is out of options. Same thing happened with Leicester, Mitre, and Wellemeyer.

And then there is the matter of roster slots. As it is, the Cubs are probably not going to be able to protect all of the prospects they would like to protect while still leaving spots available for free-agents. Jerome Williams is a goner, but although he doesn't deserve it, I think he is also a likely September call-up (unless he gets hurt in the meantime).

OK fine! I'm the Cesar Izturis of this site. You don't like me, you're stuck with me but you know damn well that I'm better than you all give credit to.

Bleeding Blue:
"Its nice that the Royals were able to convince Grudz to take a "Hometown Discount.""

I don't think that was a hometown discount as I don't think Grudz would of gotten more than that on the open market. If anything I think they might of overpaid a bit, especially considering there was a vesting option for $3 million in 2007 if Grudz got 500 PA's this year, which he is going to do. So they gave him a needless $1 million raise for next year.

Sorry to interupt this retardation, but here's some even more retardation-

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnis...

I still believe that if DLee didn't get hurt, we'd be in wild card contention right now. Possibly first in the WC race.

Nope chad you are the Todd Walker.

I do agree with chad on that. But it's another one of those "IF'S" if prior. if wood. BLAHBLAHBLAH. It's all the same redundant bull____ nowadays.

GET GAI-US OFF THIS BLOG!

Go back to your own one-sided BLOG, with your minions of GAI-US YES MEN!

GAI-US MARIUS: THE "Neg Man" who never admits when he's wrong, even when proven otherwise.

adam dunn?

jesus E-Man, relax dude....

Did he run over your dog?

and if he truly never admits when he's wrong, he'll fit right in here.

I don't think that was a hometown discount as I don't think Grudz would of gotten more than that on the open market.

Oh, so just because someone resigns with a team before hitting the open market it isn't necessarily a hometown discount.

That's good to know. But somehow, I still expect to keep hearing how everyone Hendry resigns is because of a "Hometown Discount" regardless of the circumstances behind their signing.

paying a guy 1m more than he'd make next year isnt much of a hometown discount.

its fair market value, probally.

guy still has questionmarks on his legs...WHEN he's playing he's great, but he's a guy who's not gonna play 160 and is gonna need some rest. with his age and injury history, a leg tweak might/could sit him for a few days, not just a game.

still...hard to complain about his value when he's healthy. good deal for KC if he stays at least as healthy as he has for most of this season.

It would appear to me that Grudz had no interest in trying to find a new job somewhere else. At his age I would do the same thing. Why spend an offseason worrying? They guy has responsibilities and probably children to feed. Good move Grudz.

Bleeding Blue-
And you will continue to hear it, and rightfully so, if Hendry signs current players to contracts that is less than what they can get on the open market.

ROB:

"Did he run over your dog?

and if he truly never admits when he's wrong, he'll fit right in here."

Rob - if you've been to his OWN blog, or read his constant negativity angle, you know what I mean. He has worn out his welcome at other blogs.

Hi constant, relentless, negative tone and self-rightousness does nothing to promote objective interesting dialogue about the Cubs.

Thanks Phil. Just to clarify and make sure my brain is working, the reason Williams is out of options after this year (2006) and not after last season, even though he made his debut (and original appearance on a 40-man roster) with the Giants in 2003, is because he spent the entire 2004 season on the 25-man roster, right? Thanks.

Also, I know you mentioned Isaac Pavlik a few days back on your AFL thread. He has started out strong in AA - do you have any idea how hard he throws? I especially like the fact that he seems to keep the ball in the park at an impressive rate - at 26 he has the disadvantage of being "old" as a prospect, but, on the other hand, he also might be one of those guys who finds it a little later than most. I was glad to see him given a shot to start - he's one to watch for sure.

I've been to his blog and read his stuff at other places and I know why you wrote what you did, rightfully or not, but he wrote one comment here that had nothing to do with baseball even.

If you have issues with the man, take it up on his site, he's not hard to find.

And you will continue to hear it, and rightfully so, if Hendry signs current players to contracts that is less than what they can get on the open market.

It has been the habit of people here to call ANY deal make to resign a Cub player a "Hometown Discount." It is just assumed by some that since a player has been resigned by Hendry, before that player reaches free agency, that is must be a "Hometown Discount." This factually inaccruate statement has been repeated so much that some have even gone so far as to say that the future resignings of current Cub players will involve "Hometown Discounts."

The fact is, there are few if any Cubs who truely have been "Hometown Discounts." Even the most famous "Discount" posterchild in D-Lee, didn't take a "Hometown Discount," in the true sense of the phrase. You want real hometown discounts, look at people like Brad Radke, Brian Giles, and Trevor Hoffman, who resigned when they had more money on the table elsewhere. Its not a "Discount" because someone resigns today even though they might make more money in the furture if they have another good season or they don't get injured. I can't think of a single Cub who actually meets the real definition of a "Hometown Discount"

And the most bizarre thing of it all, is that not only is the phrase being completely misused, but somehow The 'Blame Hendry so Dusty doesn't take any responsibility' crowd has turned it into a negative, which I really just don't understand at all.

#70 of 72: By Luke (August 17, 2006 07:25 PM)
Just to clarify and make sure my brain is working, the reason Williams is out of options after this year (2006) and not after last season, even though he made his debut (and original appearance on a 40-man roster) with the Giants in 2003, is because he spent the entire 2004 season on the 25-man roster, right? Thanks.

-

LUKE: Yes. He was added to the Giants 40-man roster in November 2002, and his three minor league options were exercised in 2003, 2005, and 2006.

Bleeding Blue:
"Even the most famous "Discount" posterchild in D-Lee, didn't take a "Hometown Discount," in the true sense of the phrase. You want real hometown discounts, look at people like Brad Radke, Brian Giles, and Trevor Hoffman, who resigned when they had more money on the table elsewhere. Its not a "Discount" because someone resigns today even though they might make more money in the furture if they have another good season or they don't get injured. I can't think of a single Cub who actually meets the real definition of a "Hometown Discount""

That is your opinion and you are clearly entitled to it. But I can't I agree with your opinion (and I am sure you won't agree with mine). I think DLee was a "Hometown Discount" according to my description of what a Hometown Discount is (signed for cheaper to stay in Chicago, instead of making more money on the open market). Your definition might be somewhat different from mine and others, which is cool.

"And the most bizarre thing of it all, is that not only is the phrase being completely misused, but somehow The 'Blame Hendry so Dusty doesn't take any responsibility' crowd has turned it into a negative, which I really just don't understand at all."

Well I think that is the way some pro-Hendry and anti-Baker people take it, but as a clear anti-hendry guy, I for one don't use it as a negative for Hendry. It is good business move if he can convince the players to take the discount. And the way he has butchered spending his budget, I hope he can convince more players to do it, so he can finally go out and sign a top tier FA or two (or trade for them). Because we deperately need to add a top tier bat and SP.

#70 of 73: By Luke (August 17, 2006 07:25 PM)
Also, I know you mentioned Isaac Pavlik a few days back on your AFL thread. He has started out strong in AA - do you have any idea how hard he throws? I especially like the fact that he seems to keep the ball in the park at an impressive rate - at 26 he has the disadvantage of being "old" as a prospect, but, on the other hand, he also might be one of those guys who finds it a little later than most. I was glad to see him given a shot to start - he's one to watch for sure.

----

LUKE: Baseball America rated Pavlik as having one of the best fastballs in the Rockies draft class back in '02 (he was an NWL All-Star that season). He was the closer at Seton Hall, and was used exclusively out of the bullpen by the Rockies, too.

I guess they hoped he would maybe become another Billy Wagner, but it didn't work out that way. I don't know how hard he throws these days, but situational lefties with AA/AAA experience who throw strikes are always a popular commodity in the Rule 5 Draft, and it's possible Pavlik might get selected in the Rule 5 next December. Same goes for Edward Campusano and Clay Rapada, if the Cubs do not add them to the 40 after this season.

Crunch
"they may be somewhat comparable, but even in the loose association you can compare them on, there's numbers-based (numbers cuz i dont have a scounting report on 19-22 year old dusty around) signs that point to dusty being a more polished hitter who is gonna make contact on stuff pie is swinging through"

So you say they are not comparable because you "believe" Baker was better at contact hitting
but actually have no evidence of it. Is this right? Because if that what you are saying, I am laughing. Pie is younger less MLB at bats, and maybe a different type player. Dusty was good but I wouldn't pattern my playing or career style after his. PLMK.

scooter

"So you say they are not comparable because you "believe" Baker was better at contact hitting but actually have no evidence of it. Is this right?"

well i have pa-ab/h vs. k vs. bb #s etc

minors and majors.

its really safe to assume he made more contact.

i know what pie is swinging/missing at...that's not the issue. im assuming baker's making contact based on the his numbers. what kinda contact, i dunno...but just going on raw #s its clear that dusty hit more.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/P/Feli...
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/B/Dust...

baker - 1415ab 151bb 195k
pie - 1870ab 156bb 422k

i was stating i dont know HOW baker hit in those days, but its pretty clear one makes better contact.

Scooter:
"Dusty was good but I wouldn't pattern my playing or career style after his."

I bet you 99% of all current baseball players (majors and minors) would take a career like Dusty had as a player. So maybe they should pattern it after him.

Baker won an NL MVP, Gold Glove, 2-time Silver Slugger, was a 2-time All Star, hit 242 HR and had career numbers of .278/.347/.432. And he won a WS ring. Not too shabby...

Richard Justice is one of my favorite sports writers. He's funny and usually insightful. But I'm not so sure how much he had to drink before writing this:

"Didn't he (Phil Garner) do a good job in 2004 and 2005? Do you think he got stupid?...Do I think he's one of the best? No, I don't. I don't think he is as good as Tony LaRussa, Jim Leyland, Bobby Cox or Dusty Baker. And Dusty Baker is going to get fired, not because he's incompetent, but because the Cubs stink. Do the Cubs stink because of Dusty? Of course not."

I'll agree that the Cubs don't stink because of Dusty. That honor belongs to Jim Hendry. He built a very high priced team with very mediocre talent. However, Dusty certainly could have done a better job managing the team this year. His lineups were questionable, his strategy confusing, and his inability to motivate the troops during times of adversity bordering on criminal.

The 2006 Cubs have been a "perfect storm." The timely combination of horrible roster construction, inept management and underachieving performance from second tier (or worse) players.

I think DLee was a "Hometown Discount" according to my description of what a Hometown Discount is (signed for cheaper to stay in Chicago, instead of making more money on the open market).

If he had another season like he did last year, then yes, he almost certainly would have made more money this upcoming offseason. But when he signed his contract, that certainly wasn't a guarentee.

In fact, one year removed from a career season, and now after basically missing this entire season with a wrist injury, assuming Lee would make more than 5/65 this offseason is hardly a sure thing.

As it is, Lee signed a contract that gives him more money than Konerko, who also signed a free agent deal last off-season. Not only are the 2 players' career numbers remarkably similar, Konerko is acually listed as DLee's "most similar" player at Baseball Reference.

So if you want to think that DLee was a hometown discount, even though he's making more money than a very similar player who signed a contract on the free agent market during the same offseason, then go ahead. But the facts simply don't back you up.

"So if you want to think that DLee was a hometown discount, even though he's making more money than a very similar player who signed a contract on the free agent market during the same offseason"

furcal?

har har har...sigh etc.

Bleeding Blue:
"But when he signed his contract, that certainly wasn't a guarentee."

Exactly, that is why Lee gave a discount to protect himself against an injury occuring (smart man). Lee knew there were no guarentees, so why not take the deal as he wanted to stay in Chicago anyways and not cash strap the team.

Also, the Konerko/Lee comparison is not exactly fair because Konerko was actually was a FA and tested the waters, got offers from other teams, and so the White Sox had to match those offers. Lee never had other offers and thus not that advantage of playing other teams off the Cubs and Hendry did not have to compete with the NYY or other big market teams.

Also, while looking at their career numbers, they are very similar in most categories, but as we all know, most contracts are given out on a "what have you done for me lately" type of thought process. So when knowing that and seeing what each player had done the 3 years previous, it is clear why Lee is making more than Konerko and could of made more if he hit the FA market.

Konerko (2003-2005): .267/.350/.496, 99 HR, 282 RBI
Lee (2003-2005): .295/.385/.559, 109 HR, 297 RBI

And of course Lee's huge edge in running the bases, stealing and Gold-Glove fielding haven't even been touched upon. I still think if Lee was a FA after this season and tested the waters, he would get more than he signed for, maybe 5/75.

5.2ip 4h 6r 6er 4bb 6k

sean marshall in iowa tonite...

also interesting...j.williams relieved marshall in the 6th, threw 1 pitch for an out, and that was the extent of his use.

If only there was a team that loves to spend money that could have signed Lee to a big deal this off season. Some team that needs a first baseman who over spends on free agents.

If that team existed DLee could have gotten more money, but Manny what team is there like that?

Exactly, that is why Lee gave a discount to protect himself against an injury occuring (smart man).

Exactly my point, Taking a deal now because of an injury (or other) risk later is NOT a hometown discount. It is a calculated move, much like taking the lump sum instead of the annuity for a lotto winner.

Also, the Konerko/Lee comparison is not exactly fair because Konerko was actually was a FA and tested the waters, got offers from other teams, and so the White Sox had to match those offers.

Yes, again exactly my point and that's exactly why the comparison is fair. The Sox paid Konerko what the market forced them to pay, the Cubs payed DLee more money for a player whose numbers are quite similar. Again, that shows that DLee took a contract that was right at market value for last offseason - no "discount".

Also, while looking at their career numbers, they are very similar in most categories, but as we all know, most contracts are given out on a "what have you done for me lately" type of thought process.

Yes, exactly, which again is why DLee was making a smart financial decision (not taking a discount) when he chose to resign coming off a career year - and it is one of the reasons he got more money than Konerko. If he stayed healthy and repeated his 2005 numbers this season, I don't think 5/75 was out of the question at all, but its also pretty unlikely that those same "what have you done for me lately" thinkers would be willing to give that kind of money to a guy who is coming off an injury and who is now a full year removed from a season where his numbers skewed far above the rest of his career/3 year stats.

DLee made a smart move by signing early and cashing in on a career year to sign at market value. He could have gambled in might have made more money this offseason, but as it turned out he got hurt and he probably wouldn't have made as much. That's exactly why his contract is NOT in any way shape or form a "Hometown Discount."

If only there was a team that loves to spend money that could have signed Lee to a big deal this off season. Some team that needs a first baseman who over spends on free agents.

The Yankees didn't have a good 1b going into this year either, but they didn't get into the Konerko sweepstakes, and he clearly was the best 1b on the market last year. Its simply not a foregone conclusion that the Yanks would simply give a blank check to a guy who only played a month of the 2006 season.

And also, signing a deal today even though there is a chance a team might possibly overpay later is also not a Hometown Discount.

If Furcal would have resigned with the Braves for 4/40 last year (after other similar SS signed for similar money the previous offseason), would you have called that a hometown discount?

I would say that I have a very different recollection of the whole Konerko situation. I clearly remember him NOT really testing the waters fully. Pretty much looking for any HUGE HUGE paydays. Then turned around and signed with the Sox cause he never really wanted to leave in the first place.

Bleeding Blue:
"DLee made a smart move by signing early and cashing in on a career year to sign at market value."

But in my opinion, he signed UNDER market value (thus the discount). He could of gotten 5/75 in a open market bidding war. Furcal got $13 million per year, the same as Lee. Who is better?

Also, Lee is clearly better than Konerko over the past 3 years (2003-2005) in every possible category (offensive, defensive and baserunning). But only signed for $1 million per year more, but that is not a discount? OK, whatever.

Blue, you will never agree with me, so let's just say that our definitions are different and leave it at that. You see it one way, and I see it a totally different way. The "Hometown Discount" idea is opinion, not fact, so there is no right or wrong.

"I bet you 99% of all current baseball players (majors and minors) would take a career like Dusty had as a player. So maybe they should pattern it after him."

Manny, Dusty had a good, solid career, but I'd watch the hyperbole. Of course, 25 years ago his numbers looked much better than they do now, which is why it gets difficult comparing players of today to those of different eras.

GET GAI-US OFF THIS BLOG!

He has worn out his welcome at other blogs.

lol -- the highest form of complement! ;)

truly, rob -- thanks for your evenhandedness. you have your hands full here as it is, i see. :) your efforts at tcr are appreciated.

The 2006 Cubs have been a "perfect storm." The timely combination of horrible roster construction, inept management and underachieving performance from second tier (or worse) players.

sweet lou, i couldn't agree more. dusty isn't singularly responsible, but he is jointly and severally. his influence extends beyond tactics and is also to be seen in acquiring and playing players like neifi, who will somehow get 300 ab for this club in 2006. and of course it's hard to convincingly explain the slots at iowa once given to trenidad hubbard and calvin murray in any other way, minor though that is.

But in my opinion, he signed UNDER market value (thus the discount). He could of gotten 5/75 in a open market bidding war. Furcal got $13 million per year, the same as Lee. Who is better?

that's certainly questionable, though, mt -- five-year deals necessarily rely on long views of statistical production, and in that respect he and konerko were nearly identical. it seems to me that lee's contract was one of the easier in history simply because the rational price point had been set.

and i'd argue that furcal's utility as a shortstop is just a touch *greater* than lee's at first. which is the rarer commodity? first basemen with a stick are common -- with a glove, only somewhat less so. shortstops with a .350 obp, 15 hr power *and* 50 sb speed? slightly rarer.

in a game where good teams are built of advantages position-by-position vs the competition, i think furcal pretty clearly represents as great a plus over mean as lee.

He could of gotten 5/75 in a open market bidding war. Furcal got $13 million per year, the same as Lee. Who is better?

Yes, if he stayed healthy, I agree 5/75 was very possible. But he didn't and there was no way of knowing if he would at the time he signed. Furcal getting $13 million is apples to oranges. Who is better, Furcal or Konerko? Based on that, Konerko should have made 5/75 too, but no one was willing to pay that.

Also, Lee is clearly better than Konerko over the past 3 years (2003-2005) in every possible category (offensive, defensive and baserunning). But only signed for $1 million per year more, but that is not a discount? OK, whatever.

Yes, Lee's a somewhat better player, and because of that he signed for a million more. How is that a discount again?

And again, keep in mind Lee's numbers are better than Konerko over 3 years, because of the one single monster year he had last year (which going into this offseason would look a whole lot like a fluke to a potential bidder). Lee made a smart move to cash in on that and resign when his value was high - not because he took a discount.

The "Hometown Discount" idea is opinion, not fact, so there is no right or wrong.

Really? When players actually take "Hometown Discounts" its pretty clear because the definition really isn't that complicated. A "Hometown Discount" is when a player is willing to take less money than he can certainly get on the open market because more than anything else he wants to stay with his current team.

Its not a Hometown Discount when someone takes a fair market deal today, even though he gives up the possibility of making more money later if the right conditions develope. That's making a smart business decision that has more to do about guarenteeing one's financial situation than it does about a strong desire to stay with ones team. Which, as has already been admitted, is exactly what Lee decided to do - clearly making him a case where a "Hometown Discount" doesn't apply. It never has, and up until this season, I've never heard anyone even try to describe that situation as such.

And of course all of this is important, because some people have now mis-used the phrase "Hometown Discount" so many times, they take their new definition as being fact. That's why we can hear this spin that the only reason that Hendry signs players is because they all take hometown discounts, and the only way the Cubs will get ARam to stay -after he opts out of his contract for more money- is by getting him to take a "Hometown Discount."

Neither of those things are true, and in reality, I can't think of a single Cub who meets the actual definition of a "Hometown Discount"

Wow,

A whole thread with Manny in a debate and he hasn't cried "victim" yet.

I thought hell was getting a bit cold this morning......

Great article Arizona Phil. Two questions: Is Afredo Francisco the same guy that was a 3B prospect a few years ago? If so, the Cubs must lead all of baseball in coverting flamed out hitters into pitchers ( With some degree of success at tyhe minor league level I might add). Second question - is Ryan Norwood considered much of a prospect? He has been around awhile, but I think he missed an entire year. I am intrigued by his statistics, but he may just be too old for his league.

#94 of 94: By TJ (August 18, 2006 09:54 AM)
Great article Arizona Phil. Two questions: Is Afredo Francisco the same guy that was a 3B prospect a few years ago? If so, the Cubs must lead all of baseball in coverting flamed out hitters into pitchers ( With some degree of success at tyhe minor league level I might add). Second question - is Ryan Norwood considered much of a prospect? He has been around awhile, but I think he missed an entire year. I am intrigued by his statistics, but he may just be too old for his league.

TJ: Yes. Alfredo Francisco was the "hot" 3B prospect signed by the Cubs out of the Dominican Republic a few years ago. He couldn't hit a breaking ball, so the Cubs made him a pitcher. And the Cubs do seem to have a penchant for converting position players to pitchers. That's why earlier this season (before he turned up the heat) I thought Ryan Harvey might end up going to the mound.

Here's the list of position players the Cubs have turned into pitchers ("transpositionals"), although I may be missing somebody:

Carlos Marmol (ex-C)
Randy Wells (ex-C)
Federico Baez (ex-IF w/BAL org)
Adalberto Mendez (ex-SS)
Alfredo Francisco (ex-3B)
Oscar Bernard (ex-C)
Leonel Perez (ex-SS)
Brandon Taylor (ex-3B)

One thing about position players turned into pitchers is that they don't seem to incur arm injuries like other pitchers. Maybe position players condition their arms differently than pitchers (they throw every day, they are used to throwing with minimum warm-ups, they learn how to make awkward throws without "abusing" their arms, and they maybe tend to be less "sensitive").

Among the "transpositionals," Carlos Marmol has already made the big leagues and Randy Wells was an NRI to '06 ST and is a virtual lock to make the 40-man roster after this season, but Federico Baez is the next one you may be hearing about.

Baez is a former infielder in the Orioles organization who was signed by the Cubs after he got released by the O's. The Cubs (naturally) made him a pitcher, and he has progressed steadily up through the organization. He was a member of Team Puerto Rico in the WBC last March, and then was used as a "swingman" (spot start/long relief) at AAA Iowa earlier this season. Last time I checked, he was in the starting rotation at AA West Tenn (probably to get him more innings). Baez is the protypical "rubber-armed" swingman. He can throw almost every day, can start on short notice, and then be back in the bullpen the next day.

As for Norwood, he was drafted by the Cubs in the 9th round (smack dab between Eric Patterson and Sam Fuld) out of East Carolina in '04, and was supposed to be the 1B at Peoria last season, but he broke his ankle in ST and missed all of the '05 season. He is a better "pure" hitter than Brian Dopirak, but without Dopirak's power.

Once a player is around 23-24, I really don't look at chronological age that much anymore. Rather, I consider pro experience as more significant. So it made sense to start Norwood at Peoria this year (this is Norwood's first full season in pro ball). That said, Norwood probably should have been promoted to Daytona at the All-Star Break. He did what he needed to do at Peoria, had nothing more to prove there, and it was time for him to move up. (BTW, Baseball America recently rated Norwood as the best defensive first-baseman in the MWL).

I think it's pretty much a slam-dunk sure-thing that (barring another injury) Norwood will be the 1B at Daytona next season (with Micah Hoffpauir at Iowa, Brian Dopirak back at West Tenn, and Russ Canzler at Peoria).

One thing about position players turned into pitchers is that they don't seem to incur arm injuries like other pitchers. Maybe position players condition their arms differently than pitchers

I would think this would also give some pretty strong support to the theory that way too many High School and College coaches overwork their young arms, setting them up for injuries in the future.

Arizona Phil, thank you for your detailed and informational answer. My memory is that Norwood's first year in short season he showed an ability to draw a walk and not much power. He now has developed power and does not walk much. Is my memory of his short season correct or was I thinking of some other 1B. One comment on Hoffpauir, I think there is a fair chance that someone will grab him in the Rule 5. If I was the GM of a dismal team like Tampa, KC or Pittsbugh, I would certainly take a flier on him.

"dusty isn't singularly responsible, but he is jointly and severally."

But, you misuse the term Gai Mar. If Dusty is "jointly and severally" liable for the Cubs performance this year that means he's entirely responsible, no matter who else was involved.

#97 of 97: By TJ (August 18, 2006 11:03 AM)
Arizona Phil, thank you for your detailed and informational answer. My memory is that Norwood's first year in short season he showed an ability to draw a walk and not much power. He now has developed power and does not walk much. Is my memory of his short season correct or was I thinking of some other 1B. One comment on Hoffpauir, I think there is a fair chance that someone will grab him in the Rule 5. If I was the GM of a dismal team like Tampa, KC or Pittsbugh, I would certainly take a flier on him.

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TJ: I didn't mean to imply that Norwood doesn't have any power. He has always hit a reasonable number of HRs, and he hits a lot of doubles. He just doesn't have the gonzo power-swing of Dopirak or Harvey. But Norwood is apparently going with "first-ball fastball" approach at Peoria this year. He has not taken many walks, and he has struck out a lot.

As for Micah Hoffpauir, I have written before that I think Hoffpauir could well have a future as a Mark Sweeney/Ross Gload/John Rodriguez-type MLB lefty PH-1B-LF. He would certainly be a cheaper version of John Mabry, if the Cubs want to go bargain shopping for the bench next season.

The problem (of course) is that there are only a finite number of spots available on the Cubs 40-man roster, and I don't think Hoffpauir is going to get one of them. One possibility would be if Mabry is traded to a contender looking for a veteran "bat off the bench" by August 31st (as happened with Lawton and Hollandsworth last year), the Cubs might give Hoffpauir a one-month audition as a role player off the bench. If he were to do the job as a PH and part-time 1B (presuming D-Lee doesn't return), he could force the Cubs to keep him on the 40-man roster for next season. Otherwise, they could at least trade him and get something back for him.

As you said, if Hoffpauir is not on the Cubs 40-man roster as of November 20th, he would be a strong candidate to get selected in the next Rule 5 Draft. Same goes for lefty relievers like Clay Rapada, Edward Campusano, and Isaac Pavlik, a rubber-armed right-handed "swingman" like Federico Baez, and a speedy CF/lead-off hitter candidate like Chris Walker (who will probably never get an opportunity to play for the Cubs, but would probably be of interest to a team looking for a CF/lead-off hitter like the Pirates or the Marlins).

One other thing you may see happen is that the Cubs might jettison Will Ohman after this season. He will once again be eligible for salary arbitration, and will probably command somewhere around $1m for '07 (he will be a FA after 2008). Ohman is an OK #2 bullpen lefty, but the Cubs may decide to save a few bucks and either trade Ohman or non-tender him, and then give Rapada, Campusano, and Pavlik a chance to compete for Ohman's old job next Spring. If nobody from that group pans out, then Rich Hill could probably do a decent job as a #2 bullpen lefty (if he doesn't win a spot in the starting rotation).

If Dusty is "jointly and severally" liable for the Cubs performance this year that means he's entirely responsible, no matter who else was involved.

how about, cwtp, merely party to responsibility but entirely accountable -- as is hendry and macfail?

Well, gaius marius, if someone like Dusty Baker is "jointly & severally responsible" then it's perfectly legitimate to make him pay for everyone else.

Looks like Murton is on the bench today....guess he'll have to hit .700 to stay in the lineup regularly

AZ Phil,

Sorry if you've discussed this in another thread, but what do you think is the prospect of Aramis Ramirez exercising his player option to be a free agent this winter?

If he does not exercise the option he will be paid guaranteed $11M in 2007 and $11.5M in 2008. The mutual option in 2009 is for $11M, I believe.

Ramirez's current deal is a fair one that is in-line with other recent 3B signings:

Eric Chavez (extended 2004): $9M in 07, $11M in 08-09, $12M in 2010

Troy Glaus (signed 2004; extended in 2005): $10.75M in 07, $12.75M in 08, $11.25M in 09

Chipper Jones (extended 2005): $11M in 07, $11M in 08, option in 09

Scott Rolen (extended 2002): $12M/year through 2010

Adrian Beltre (signed 2004): $11-12M through 2009

If A-Ram does decide to become a free agent, he easily could be one of the biggest names available, and I suspect the Angels and Dodgers would be interested. I assume he would want to sign for at least five years, or two more than his current Cub contract. But do you think he would really be able to command much more than $11-12M per season? If he walks, that would certainly be a statement about what he thinks the future of this team is.

it is, cwtp, imho -- but of course, if you're really going after parties who owe you jointly and severally, why stop at just one of them? :)

DC TOM: I am pretty sure Aramis Ramirez will exercise his player option to file for free-agency, but I also don't think Hendry will let him walk. And unless the Cubs situation deteriorates beyond what even you & I can imagine over the last 1/4 of the season, I really doubt that Aramis would want to leave Chicago.

The other potential decent off-season FA options at 3B (Pedro Feliz and maybe Nomar) don't come close to Ramirez, and the only attractive in-house candidate (AA All-Star Scott Moore) leads the organization in Ks and is probably a couple of years away.

As you mentioned, it's unlikely that Ramirez would get a whole lot more money per season than what he would be getting if he didn't exercise the option (maybe $14m per year for five years from the Dodgers), but I suspect he mainly wants a longer deal for slightly more money, but with the money 100% guaranteed and not dependent on games played (as is the case with his current deal), probably something similar to what Derrek Lee got ($65m guaranteed over five years with a "no trade"). And if that is the case, Hendry has to do it, and I believe he will.

Then, the Cubs will need to get Carlos Zambrano signed to a long-term deal, and it will probably need to get done prior to the start of the 2007 regular season. It will be similar to the situations with Aramis Ramirez going into the 2005 season and with Derrek Lee going into this season.

The Cubs cannot let Carlos Zambrano leave via free-agency. As it is, I would expect Z to command about $11m in his last year of arbitration, but well beyond that (possibly as much as $15m per year for five years) once he hits free-agency. So figure Hendry can probably sign Zambrano to a contract extension prior to next season that would be something like $84m over six years (last year before free-agency plus five years beyond that). And naturally Z will want a "no trade," and then Hendry will offer some sort of stupid "player option" where Zambrano will be able to void the deal after a couple of years.

As far as Michael Barrett is concerned, he will be a FA after next season, but he is already signed for '07. So it's likely that Hendry will defer the Barrett extension issue until the Zambrano matter is resolved. I would think Barrett would probably get somewhere around $40m for four years as a FA if he were able to be one right now, and Hendry will probably need to offer Barrett something close to that to keep him from leaving after next season. Maybe something like $36m over four years 2008-11.

The thing about Hendry is that he has been able to re-sign and retain the potential Cubs free-agents that he has wanted to retain. Hendry was not interested in retaining Clement, Alou, Mercker, Grudz (after 2004), Nomar (after 2005), Burnitz, et al, so he made little or no effort to re-sign them. But when he has wanted to re-sign a player (Wood, Grudz after 2003, Ramirez, Hollandsworth after 2004, Nomar after 2004, D-Lee, Dempster, Neifi, Rusch), he finds a way to get it done. And unlike Larry Himes, Hendry seems to get along well with player agents (even Scott Boras).

The problem is not so much with Hendry not being able to sign guys once he decides who he wants (Rafael Furcal being the one obvious exception), the problem is more a matter of not always identifying the right players to sign or re-sign. He also seems to be unable to "bank" payroll and take it to the next season. It's like he has a certain amount to spend each year, and then he makes sure to spend that amount, even if some of the players on whom he spends the payroll aren't worth signing or re-signing.

Same goes with the Rule 4 Draft (June Draft). The Cubs apparently had budgeted a certain amount of money for signing high school and college players out of the 2006 June Draft, and when they lost their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks as FA compensation, they took the money they had budgeted for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds and applied it toward signing players they had selected in lower rounds who were considered "unsignable" or at least "tough to sign" (Samardzija, Huseby,and Rundle).

And as I posted on another thread a few days ago, I believe Fredi Gonzalez (Hendry's old buddy from his Marlins days) will be the new Cubs manager next season. It will probably be a two-year deal for a LOT less money than what Dusty Baker is getting (that is, Bob Melvin/Ken Macha money, around $800,000 per year with an option for a 3rd year).

Vince:
"I thought hell was getting a bit cold this morning......"

Good, I don't have to tell you to go to hell, as you are already there...:)

"in a game where good teams are built of advantages position-by-position vs the competition, i think furcal pretty clearly represents as great a plus over mean as lee."

mmmm crack.

reminds me of a convo i had with someone who was argueing with me that ichiro isnt a good RF'r but would be a good CF'r based on the people that play in the positions...nevermind ichrio's arm not being in RF would be a crime in itself.

the sum of the whole is worth looking at in this era.

Aggregate baseball, the very heart of the Billy Beane philosophy. One that I agree with him 100%.

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