Cubs sign Matt Harrington

The Cubs have signed former top pitching prospect Matt Harrington to a minor league contract. Back in 2000, the Cubs selected Luis Montanez with their #1 pick (#3 overall), passing on Harrington (the #1 rated high school pitcher in the draft) because of his pre-draft contract demands.
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Cubs making an early "splash". Great.

matt harrington...

HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH
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AHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAH
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i hope they pay him in food stamps.

Harrington has started preparing for his tenure with the Cubs by pitching simulated games.

Go TIGERS!

I wonder if Hendry is counting this as one of his big signings this offseason. Hendry might be thinking he would look good in the #3 slot right behind Z and Hill.

Harrington is warming up with a towel in his garage as we speak. Injured, once-highly-thought-of pitchers are destined to be Cubs!

Maybe the Cubs can sign David Clyde to a minor league deal.

harrington's story is 1 part tragic and 1 part "you screwed up 3 times and you deserve it".

after sitting out his 2nd season and burning 2 teams that drafted him in rounds 1 and 2...man...hell, the 3rd year he refused to sign he could have at least secured a few 100 thousand.

I think the Cubs got confused and thought it was Joey Harrington. We do like to draft football players.

Maybe that is our problem, the Cubs think they are a football team not a baseball team. That would explain Farnsworth's tackling skills.

Hmmm going to need an investigative report on this. Someone get on that.

The Cubs are going after Fernando Valenzuela next. He's been playing well in the Mexican leaguesand has finally fully recuperated from 1988. He can teach the rest of our pitchers to breathe through their eyelids!

*The Cubs are going after Fernando Valenzuela next.*

No way, dude...it's gonna be Mark Fidrych.

Everybody who thought LOU PINIELLA didn't want the challenge of managing the Cubs next year was wrong...

The Sun Times has it HERE

#7: Maybe that is our problem, the Cubs think they are a football team not a baseball team. That would explain Farnsworth's tackling skills.

And the fixation on speed. This is starting to get a little scary. Next they're gonna go after that big beef Broxton from the Dodgers bullpen to shore up their O-line.

In a thread yesterday, someone said that they were interested in bringing ARod to the Cubs as long as it didn't involve trading Rich Hill (and a few others). I wanted to comment on that yesterday, but didn't get a chance.

Rich Hill had a nice second half of the year. The starts he put together were very encouraging. He seems to have developed a confidence that was missing in his stints with the big club last year and earlier this year. Based on his performance during his second stint in 2006, Hill looks like he will be a sure thing to be a back of the rotation guy for the Cubs in 2007 and has the potential to someday be a #2 or #3 starter. I don't think he has the stuff to ever be the ace for anyone, but I could be wrong.

So what you have in Rich Hill is a guy who strung together several good starts and has the potential to be a good, perhaps above average, pitcher. What you don't have is a difference maker on the order of Roger Clemens, Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez (in his prime), or even Carlos Zambrano. Hill's not the kind of guy you want to get overly enamored with and make him untouchable. There are very few guys on the Cubs who should be untouchable. Rich Hill isn't one of them.

If the Cubs have the opportunity to trade for ARod or even Miguel Tejada, and Rich Hill is part of the price that has to be paid, I say make that trade. The Cubs are much better off having a future HOF SS playing every day rather than a decent (but not great) pitcher pitching every fifth day.

"The message I had to Matt was you could go the whole year without giving up an earned run," Smith said, "but if you don't throw harder than 90 you aren't going anywhere. I tip my hat to him; he busted to do what he needed to do.

I know I can sometimes get a bit too wrapped up in the numbers, but this is the kind of thing that makes my blood boil. The wilful dismissal of statistics (not that he DID go a whole season without a run, just that it wouldn't matter if he did) in favor of a magical velocity of 90. It's stuff like this that results in Akili Smith being the third selection in the NFL draft. He had a great combine, he runs fast, he throws hard, he jumps high, but...he can't play footbal worth a damn. So it doesn't matter if a guy sets down every batter he faces, if he doesn't throw 90, he'll never get a chance. What crap. I guess this explains the continued presence of sucky flamethrowers like Farnsworth. People fall in love with the velocity and ignore everything else.

Did anyone else hear that DC has a second interview with Girardi?

OMG- after reading the BA Harrington story, I believe I must excuse myself now and go vomit.

I wonder if Hendry shops for clothes at TJMaxx. You know, the store where stuff is "as good as new!" except for the little holes, missing buttons, ripped seams, etc. Damaged, irregular, bah! Such a bargain!

^^Ha ha, Dave.

Do you think Hendry brags to his GM friends about the great deals he gets?

Maybe Hendry has a big stack or Baseball Americas by the toilet and during a particularly rough session got down to the year 2000 where he found his next project. Any word on whether Harrington will be in the rotation with Wood, Prior and Miller by May?

Maybe Hendry just singed him to tag along during contract negotiations with draft picks. "You don't want to end up like this guy, do you?"

Weird news item out here in San Diego -- Pads GM has given Bochy permission to talk to the Cubs. Have any of you guys heard this?

Jim Hendry's offseason "to do" list...

1. Sign Matt Harrington as part of the master plan to rebuild the pitching staff -- check

2. Purchase additional towels for throwing practice -- check

3. Hire Lou Pinella as manager --

4. Tell Cub fans I tried really, really, really, really, really hard to sign Barry Zito, only to see him land elsewhere --

5. Tell Cub fans I tried really, really, really, really, really hard to sign Alfonso Soriano, only to see him land elsewhere --

6. Tell Cubs fans I tried really, really, really, really, really hard to trade for Adam Dunn, only to see him land in St. Louis --

7. Order a giant size box of vaginal cream so the tranining staff has enough on hand to treat Mark Prior's recurring vaginitis --

8. Sign 2nd baseman Adam Kennedy --

9. Sign Cliff Floyd, then a day later put him on the 60 day DL with a ruptured achilles --

10. Order a bullet proof vest to wear during the Cub Convention --

For what it is worth, ESPN's Jayson Stark told Mike and Mike in the Morning that Bruce Bochy is Jim Hendry's preferred choice to be next Cub manager. He also said Joe Girardi had a terrific interview with the Cubs on Monday that addressed concerns the Cubs had. And there is another report now floating around this morning that Girardi is teed up for a second interview with the Washington Nationals.

I don't know what to make of all this. But something tells me Joe Girardi is not coming to Chicago because Hendry simply isn't all that enarmored with him.

Ben Christenson, Luis Montanez, Ryan Harvey, Bobby Brownlie, etc....

And people wonder why this franchise is in such woeful condition. The Cub minor league system remains a joke. It's hard to win, even if you are the Yankees, if you don't routinenly produce quality positional talent out of your system.

I for the life of me still don't understand how Jim Hendry retains his job. The man is slowly and methodically driving this franchise into the ground. The only thing he has ever been good at is acquiring a Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez when the team on the other side of the table was agreeable to accepting a box of sunflower seeds in return because they were so desperate to shave payroll. Hendry inspires zero confidence.

If Piniella or Bochy is named the news the Cubs manager, Hendry is still calling the shots without interference from McDonough. If Girardi is the new manager, McDonough is calling the shots or at least is wielding a veto club over Hendry's head. Because McDonough has said he wants the new manager to understand the Cubs culture, fans, tradition, and history (that would be Girardi), and Hendry probably would prefer the new manager not to even think about that stuff.

I got the "dream " manager from the fact that he wants someone that already has a job. There seems to be two very capable choices (Pinella, Girardi) but Hendry is chasing someone who is hired and my cost the Cubs a player to SD for compensation.

#22 of 23: By CubsBears (October 11, 2006 10:07 AM)
Ben Christenson, Luis Montanez, Ryan Harvey, Bobby Brownlie, etc....

And people wonder why this franchise is in such woeful condition. The Cub minor league system remains a joke. It's hard to win, even if you are the Yankees, if you don't routinenly produce quality positional talent out of your system.

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CUBS BEAR: The Rule 4 (June Draft) is a crap shoot for all 30 teams, which is why the Cubs need to go harder after Latin American talent and re-establish their presence in the Pacific Rim. They need to cast a wider net.

If Leon Lee was still operating as a Cubs scout in Asia, the Cubs might actually have a shot at Daisuke Matsuzaka. Clubs that want to get the best Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese players have got to maintain a presence there. Maybe Bill Murray is available.

While I agree on the woeful state of the Cubs farm system, I'm going to give Ryan Harvey some time to develop.

He's got power, and a plus arm in RF, but has GOT to cut down on his strikeouts.
.248/.290/.432 doesn't look so great at Hi-A ball, but I'd take the 20 HR and 84 RBI's.

He's only 22..I wouldn't lump him in with Brownlie or Christenson just yet.

Ryan Harvey suffers from Brian Dopirak disease, who suffered from Jason Dubois disease. And that is he has gigantic holes in his swing. Apparently, one of Jim Hendry's philosophies is to scout and select guys who are more suitable to play in a local 16 inch beer league versus the major leagues.

And I agree 1000% with the notion that the Cubs must do better in Latin America and the Pacific Rim. The Cubs have crappy presence in both vital markets for talent. I can't help but wonder this has something to do with the financially challenged Tribune Company demanding that Andy McPhail and Jim Hendry pare back operations to save money in the short-term. Reason eight million and two why Tribune ownership of this ballclub sucks.

CWTP-- That's good, I suppose. After hearing the options the Cubs have up for the manager position, I think I'm leaning Pinella. Of course I know very little about most of the candidates.

Arizona Phil: If Piniella or Bochy is named the news the Cubs manager, Hendry is still calling the shots without interference from McDonough. If Girardi is the new manager, McDonough is calling the shots or at least is wielding a veto club over Hendry's head.

This is naive, but isn't it also possible that they could find some common ground? :)

Bah... probably not.

Personally, I don't think John McDonough has much say in who is next manager. So far McDonough has been wholly unimpressive. He seems to be good at speaking fluent marketing cliche speak. Other than that, not much behind the suit. Seems to me that the Tribune Company execs sat around the board table and went eenie, meany, miny, moo as the process to select a new Team President.

If I was running the Cubs, I would establish such a presence in Asia that the Cubs would become the team of first refusal for all players that become available. The June Draft would just be a back-up. To help entice Asian players to sign with the Cubs, I'd make Murphy's Bleachers a sushi bar and Cubby Bear a chop suey joint.

The future of baseball is in Asia, and since there is no international draft (making the best Asian players available to any MLB club willing to make the effort), being aggressive in Asia--while at the same time understanding the political and cultural nuances of each country--is critical. It is important to cultivate relationships with the powers that be in Asia, because that's really who you're dealing with.

And to motivate the best Latin American players (mainly Dominican and Venezuelan) to want to sign with your organization, you have to create a more Latin-friendly environment (more Latin American coaches and instructors) and have a good relationship with Latin American agent-operators like Gus Dominguez.

More money needs to be dedicated to the international (Latin American & Asian) scouting budget, even if it means spending less in the U. S.

So far McDonough has been wholly unimpressive. He seems to be good at speaking fluent marketing cliche speak. Other than that, not much behind the suit.

Why do you say that? I'm not huge on the McDonough signing either, being that he has more of a marketing background than baseball, but he hasn't done anything so far to make me think he has been "wholly unimpressive." He's only been on the job a few weeks.

I'm not saying you are wrong, I am just wondering what actions of his have caused you to come to that point of view? Maybe I just missed something.

Hendry is chasing someone who is hired and my cost the Cubs a player to SD for compensation.

I really think they got rid of that after LouPa went to the DRays, but I could be wrong. I think it would just cost the Cubs money.

and you all know that Matt Harrington was signed by Tim Wilkens right? Good.

Why would anyone be upset about the Matt Harrington signing?

It is, literally, a zero-risk move.

They gave him no signing bonus. They're pretty much only committed to paying him a weekly salary and meal money in Mesa for a few weeks. If he washes out, no big deal. If he looks intriguing, he's off to Daytona or Peoria.

He's 24. He got some terrible advice when he was an 18-year old and a 19-year old. And then he got hurt, and while he kept getting drafted, the contract offers disappeared. It's not as if he's been telling MLB to shove it for the last 3 years.

Frankly, this is exactly the kind of thing that our scouting guys should be doing.

Amen Dillon. I can't believe that people are that upset. What is the big deal? Every so often one of these guys blossoms. And Tim Wilken (not plural) is an idiot for one signing? are you kidding me? This guy is universally respected (even from Steve Stone). Even the genius GMs make mistakes. But, come on the ink is hardly dry. Why not? The draft isn't until June. Should we not sign anyone until then (minor league wise).

This tread only serves to show how much we need some real Cubs news. And soon.

BTW, those of you railing against our sad presence in Latin America/Pacific Rim are 100% correct.

Otherwise, cheer for Magglio and Frank.

Spats

I could live with Bochy, presuming there would be no compensation as Rob G. speculated. This hire is Hendry's future. He'll get re-signed or fired based on the success of the new manager. So I'd like to see him get the guy he wants the most. Then we can make in informed decision on whether Hendry is worth keeping. Well, at least those few of us who haven't already decided...

"Why would anyone be upset about the Matt Harrington signing?"

It's not like this board is frequented by Nobel Prize winners:

"Cubs making an early "splash". Great."
"HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH"
"So far McDonough has been wholly unimpressive."
What exactly this person expects a new president to do before the FA filing period begins, amittedly, has me curious.
"The Cubs have crappy presence in both vital markets for talent." May I introduce to you Carlos Zambrano and the kid we signed for $600 K this year.
"It's hard to win, even if you are the Yankees, if you don't routinenly produce quality positional talent"
I guess this is true if you define 'routinely' as 'every 10 years or so'
"If the Cubs have the opportunity to trade for ARod or even Miguel Tejada, and Rich Hill is part of the price that has to be paid, I say make that trade. The Cubs are much better off having a future HOF SS playing every day rather than a decent (but not great) pitcher pitching every fifth day."
Since the Yankees and Orioles are in a bidding war to give us their HoF SS for Rich Hill, lets see if we can get one of them to throw in their 2nd basemen as well.
"The only thing he has ever been good at is acquiring a Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez when the team on the other side of the table was agreeable to accepting a box of sunflower seeds in return because they were so desperate to shave payroll."
Unless of course you consider Nomar Garciaparra,Matt Murton, Eric Karros, Kenny Lofton, Mark Godzillanek etc. good players. He even got 2005 team MVP Neifi Perez for nothing.

The Real Neal:
"Unless of course you consider Nomar Garciaparra,Matt Murton, Eric Karros, Kenny Lofton, Mark Godzillanek etc. good players."

Lofton was part of that salary purge ARam deal. Grudzielanek and Karros was also a salary dump by both teams. I will give you Nomar and Murton though...

yeah that 1.025 mil Lofton was making in 2003 (which of about 40% we'd have to pay) really had to come off the books in Pitt, pronto.

No Rob, it was just part of the deal for us to take ARam. If it was a seperate deal, I would I agree with the Real Neal about him, but it wasn't. We got Lofton as part of the ARam deal which was made as a salary dump by PITT. Lofton was just a part of that salary dump deal.

Once again, Manny logic amazes.

There are trades. There are FA signings and there is player development (also sort of FA signings). I don't think I've ever heard of the 'Salary Dump' deadline, but maybe I am wrong. Maybe you should define what a 'salary dump' is, because by every reasonable person's definition it would involve one team shedding payroll. How can you have a salary dump by 'both teams?' Did Texas get Soriano from the Yankees in a salary dump?

"We got Lofton as part of the ARam deal which was made as a salary dump by PITT. Lofton was just a part of that salary dump deal."

Except Lofton got paid the same as Hernandez that year, and the Cubs also received cash.

Are you this black and white about everything? It's really quite amazing in a One Hour Photo kind of way.

I agree that signing Harrington is a no risk deal. Are we already in midseason form by knocking everything that Hendry and his staff do?

Who cares if a team is dumping salary and the Cubs make a trade? Every other team had a chance to make those deals, Hendry did!

I think Hendry's approach to take his time is right. It doesn't hurt to check out Bochy as a good argument can be made that he is the best candidate.

Montanez, Brownlie, Christenson were all highly rated by all of MLB. Yes, it is odd that we can be wrong on all three but other teams would have also drafted them very high. Christenson got hurt so it's really unfair to say it was a bad choice because of talent. So many talented high draft choices don't make it throughout baseball that it is hard to only point fingers at the Cubs. Montanez and other HS players are all crap shoots in IMO. You just never know if they will adjust adequately to professional ball.

Wilkens keeps getting ripped on this page and others every time he does anything and yet he is one of the most successful guys in the draft for years. We won't know about his picks for the Cubs for some time so maybe we need to cool it.

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