Who the Coaches May Be

Forget Joe Girardi. Forget Bob Brenly. Forget Bruce Bochy. Chris DeLuca is reporting in the Sun-Times that Lou Piniella will very likely be introduced as the new Cubs manager on Tuesday, and if so, here is how Lou's coaching staff might look in 2007: Von Joshua (hitting) Pat Listach (1st base) John McLaren (bench) Mike Quade (3rd base) Larry Rothschild (pitching) Matt Sinatro (bullpen) At Piniella's most-recent stop (Tampa Bay), his coaching staff was initially John McLaren (bench), Chris Bosio (pitching), ex-Cub manager Lee Elia (hitting), Tom Foley (3rd base), ex-Cub OF Billy Hatcher (1st base), and Matt Sinatro (bullpen). Bosio (who had been a rotation starter for many years with the Mariners when Piniella managed there) quit after the 2003 season to return to Wisconsin so that he could spend more time with his family, and was replaced by Devil Rays minor league pitching coordinator Chuck Hernandez. Both Hatcher and Foley had worked for the Devil Rays prior to Piniella' taking the Tampa Bay job, so they have no connection with Piniella and are unlikely to work for him elsewhere. Elia had been a "coaching consultant" at Seattle the last year Lou was there, and is currently Sam Perlozzo's bench coach in Baltimore, although there are rumors that he will not return to the Orioles in 2007. McLaren and Sinatro are just about locks to be part of Piniella's Cubs coaching staff, because both were also members of Lou's staff in Seattle and apparently they go wherever Lou goes. McLaren's last baseball gig was 3rd base coach for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic last Spring, so he probably would take just about any job right now. And Sinatro is apparently "between jobs," so figure he will be very interested, too. Other coaches who served with Lou in Seattle at the end of his tenure there were John Moses (1st base), Dave Myers (3rd base), Gerald Perry (hitting), and Bryan Price (pitching), but they did not follow Lou to Tampa. Price remained the Mariners pitching coach even after Piniella left, so he would seem to have been more of an "Organizational Guy" than a "Lou Guy." Same goes for Myers (who worked for the Mariners in various capacities for 25 years) and Moses (who also remained in the Mariners' organization after Piniella left). I think it's possible that Hendry might require (ask) Piniella to accept at least two (maybe three) "organization" guys on his staff, and Piniella has a history of doing that in his previous jobs. If that happens. Hendry might recommend Von Joshua (hitting) and either Mike Quade (3rd base) and/or Pat Listach (1st base) and/or possibly Alan Dunn (pitching). And then Piniella will probably be able to choose one or two more coaches (whatever spots are left) if he wishes, in addition to McLaren and Sinatro. With Stan Williams now 70 years old, Piniella no longer has any one pitching coach following him around from job-to-job. (Ex-Dodger Williams served as Piniella's pitching coach a couple of times, for a while in Cincinnati, and then again in Seattle). But if Piniella is given the opportunity to name the pitching coach, keep in mind that Larry Rothschild served as Piniella's bullpen coach and then later as his pitching coach in Cincinnati.
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Comments

AZPhil,

Its difficult to get excited about the potential coaching staff of LouPi but I am suprised or rather disappointed of the invincibility of Larry Rothschild. I don't get why he keeps surviving based on the results of the Cubs pitching staff. Can you please tell me your thoughts on Rothschild versus any other candidate, Dick Pole, Rick Krantz (I know he stayed with the Marlins), Dave Duncan (yes he is a Cardinal). Whats this guy got that we always retain him and please skip its not his fault its the injuries, or you cant make chicken salad from chicken #$^*. When the truth is I watch teams like the Cardinals over the years make the postseason with mediocre to bad pitching.

I'm actually going to miss Chris Spier at 3B. I thought he was a great 3B coach!

RORY: A lot of pitching coaches are just middle managers who supervise the pitching department. They keep track of who is available in the bullpen each day, and make sure starters get their side-session between starts. And then they prepare charts and graphs that help the manager understand the current state of the pitching staff.

Then there is another type of pitching coach who is more of an analyst (capable of quickly spotting a flaw in a pitcher's delivery and then explaining how to correct the flaw), a teacher (who can show a pitcher a new pitch or a better way to throw an old one), or a psychologist (a hypnotist who can keep a pitcher from losing focus during a game).

From what I have seen, Rothschild would seem to be more of the former-type of coach (supervisor), and if he returns as Cubs pitching coach in 2007, I wouldn't let him anywhere near Mark Prior. I am still not convinced that it wasn't Rothschild's attempt to "fix" Prior's delivery last ST that helped to cause Prior's shoulder problem.

On the other hand, Iowa pitching coach Alan Dunn is more of the latter-type of pitching coach (analyst, teacher, and psychologist). Just ask Rich Hill.

#2 of 3: By cubbiechris (October 16, 2006 10:36 AM)
I'm actually going to miss Chris Spier at 3B. I thought he was a great 3B coach!

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CUBBIECHRIS: I also thought Speier did a good job as 3rd base coach last season, but the DUI bust probably sealed his fate. The Trib doesn't like pub like that.

Thanks AZPhil

I was rooting for Von Joshua and now i will root for Alan Dunn. Of course I will also be rooting for a new Cub contract for ARAM.

I'm stoked about Piniella. I think he was the best option out there, you know, since Little and La Russa already have jobs.

I'll be very suprised if Rothy comes back, though, AZ Phil. If he does, he'll have Hill's success to thank.

cubbiechris: I'm actually going to miss Chris Spier at 3B. I thought he was a great 3B coach!

Me too. I don't blame him for the DUI. What Cub fan wasn't regularly drunk by July.

AZ Phil: On the other hand, Iowa pitching coach Alan Dunn is more of the latter-type of pitching coach (analyst, teacher, and psychologist). Just ask Rich Hill.

So Hill is Dunn's work, not Rothy's?

Teflon Larry must have incriminating pictures of someone somewhere. Gerald Perry could be available as a hitting coach because ESPN is reporting Ken Macha "could" be getting fired today or tomorrow. I was fortunate enough to get some tix for the Tigers game on Sat, so I was out of town most of the weekend...is Girardi still the front runner in WASH then?

Bad day for the Cubs tomorrow. It will work out well for the Yankees and Girardi long term. We'll waste two years and then clean house. I've been defending Hendry but now I'll remember him as the guy who, Bartman-like, swatted away Girardi when he was falling into our hands.

I was hoping for Alan Dunn as well, his open critisicm of Rothschild down in Peoria was a breath of fresh air.

It seems to me that quality organizations like the Braves & Cardinals, are able to take troubled pitchers who struggled elsewhere and turn them into productive pitchers.

So the payroll is supposed to be bumped up to $115 million? That is 2 big time free agents/trades and a couple decent role players.

I will believe it when I see it.

Based on his history, Piniella seems to be cool with "organizational guys" as his coaches, as long as he gets a couple of slots for his guys. Of course, that doesn't mean that Hendry won't give Piniella the opportunity to name additional cronies to his coaching staff, though, like maybe a couple of buddies and pals who were not with him at his previous gigs. But Piniella will have to go a ways to round-up a crew to match Dusty Baker's entourage (Sonny Jackson, Dick Pole, Gene Clines, and Sarge Matthews).

Virginia Phil"I'll remember him as the guy who, Bartman-like, swatted away Girardi when he was falling into our hands."
That is my new signature.

Yep, if De Luca and Sullivan are to be believed, Hendry should have around $40 million to spend this offseason. The problem at that point would be finding people actually worth spending it on.

If we had about $52 Mil to play with that could translate into Schmidt, CLee, Soriano and maybe Matzazuka

#7 of 14: By Ryno (October 16, 2006 10:56 AM)
So Hill is Dunn's work, not Rothy's?

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RYNO: Yes.

And Rich Hill made sure to mention Alan Dunn when he talked about turning things around last August.

Dunn was Hill's pitching coach at AA in 2005, and at Iowa in 2006. Dunn was also the guy credited with developing West Tenn's outstanding starting staff in 2005 (Hill, Nolasco, Pinto, Ryu, and Marmol). The best chance the Cubs have at developing Guzman, Marshall, Ryu, et al into successful MLB pitchers would be to have a pitching coach like Alan Dunn working with them in the big leagues.

Hehe, the Baker logic is on display in that article as well. God I am glad he is gone.

That guy is dumber than a bag of bricks.

BadGuy: If we had about $52 Mil to play with that could translate into Schmidt, CLee, Soriano and maybe Matzazuka

I'm interested to hear how much you guys think Daisuke will go for? I'm going to guess about 5/40. There's a lot of mystique surrounding him and I think some team will shell out as much as 8-9 mil/year.

Ryno
Yeah I actually think he may go for closer to 10/yr. The thing is stat wise he is just as good if not better than Zito and Schmidt. Plus he's younger. There's some question as to if he can stay healthy b/c he's pitched so much (I think I heard he had 209 pitches in a single game). With such a weak pitching FA market it'll be interesting to see how that whole process goes. Plus, AZPhil, do you know if the amount that a team bids for rights counts towrds payroll?

It's hard to say what Matsuzaka will get. The tendency seems to be to give Japanese players relatively small initial contracts, but Matsuzaka is quite a bit younger than the other big name Japanese players that have signed recently and he's got more of a "phenom" reputation.

Personally, I'm guessing he'll get something in the 5x60 ramge, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he signed a shorter contract for more money per year -- maybe 3x40.

Who knows, could be huge or not.

I think $20 million posting fee is fair and a 3 year $26 million contract.

I think Daisuke will take the contract route of Ichiro and Hideki, no more than a 3 year deal. Don't know if it will be 7 million but could very well be around those numbers. Depends how desperate teams will be for him.

And I'm not sure how posting fees work (i.e. whether they're paid as a lump sum or over time), but if they're paid up front I'd guess that whatever deal Matsuzaka gets is likely to be heavily backloaded. The Yankees are probably the only team that could afford to drop $40m in a single year for one player.

#20 of 21: By BadGuy (October 16, 2006 11:46 AM)
Ryno
AZPhil, do you know if the amount that a team bids for rights counts towrds payroll?

BAD GUY: I don't know. I would think it would, but it also could come out of the International Scouting budget, or maybe a combination of the two, or maybe from a one-time Special Fund (internal grant) linked to profits received from bleacher expansion (for example) that would not come out of either MLB payroll or scouting.

Thanks AZPhil.
It's an interesting process.

Think of the posting fee like this...it is an investment.

Also think if it from a marketing stand point. Cubs sign Matsuzaka and all of a sudden they have a huge marketing star in Japan wearing the Cubs uniform. That $20 million (or whatever is spent on the posting fee) could be made up quickly in merchandise and ads in Japan. Not to mention draw more Japanese fans and tourists to Chicago and Wrigley.

In the big picture, spending $20 million up front for him is nothing.

Wow! I was thinking 8-9 mil/year was pretty high for Daisuke, but the FA market is thin, you might find some desperate teams spending 10 mil+ on him.

BadGuy: The thing is stat wise he is just as good if not better than Zito and Schmidt.

...but it's in the Japanese leagues.

Ouch, BTW, 670 AM reporting the White Sox had better TV ratings in '06 than the Cubs.

I think the days of Japanese players signing undervalued contracts are probably over. Kenji Johjima was older and far less of a "star" than Matsuzaka, and he signed a three year deal for around $5.5m per -- pretty decent money for a 30 year old catcher.

matsuzaka will get his money and lots of it. I'd expect a 5/60 ish deal and whatever the Yankees decide to put in as a posting fee.

that $115 million range was kind of thrown out there by DeLuca. Hope he's got a valid source on that one, cause what a difference.

There's your big bat and big pitcher right there. Of course that's probably not enough, but it's the very least this team needed.

ESPN is now reporting the Cubs have set up a presser tomorrow to announce Lou's hiring. No time given however.

and reportedly it will be a 3 year deal.

Great, we're gonna have another manager who probably thinks OPS is a shipping company.

Re Girardi:

If Hendry passes on Joe and hires Piniella, it will be because of the mandate he received from McDonough to win and win now. McDonough may not have told Hendry specifically who to hire as manager, but the mandate effectively meant that Hendry did not have the flexibility to hire a long-term solution like Girardi.

Piniella is a proven winner, and Girardi has one year of managerial experience, and a turbulent one at that.

McDonough has put Hendry into quick-fix mode, and Piniella is the manager for a GM who has a "win now or else" sign on his door.

So if you want to blame someone for passing on Girardi, put the blame where it is due.

Talk about all the wrong choices.

Is it me or was Joe Girardi the obvious on the nose can't miss easiest pick in the world most natural ex cub perfect for this organization face of the Cubs for years manager?

Maybe Pinella will do alright but I think we fucked up the no-brainer.

this is from barry rozner's article from a few days back as well:

There are whispers of the Cubs bumping their payroll to about $115 million in 2007, which would be about $20 million more than last year.

Even if itís not that much, the Cubs have money to spend, but so do the Giants, and both teams have numerous holes.

The Cubs intend to add pitching and a big bat, and Piniella has ideas, having watched the Cubs the last few months in preparation for this possibility.

Thatís good, because Hendry needs a partner with ideas.

hmmm, that's 2 people talking about $115 as next year's payroll. Maybe McDonough wasn't full of it after all, we shall see.

"So if you want to blame someone for passing on Girardi, put the blame where it is due."

On the Tribune Corp for not going out and hiring a baseball man as the permanent President of the club, and instead promoting the marketing guy into the CEO seat. Marketing guy can't tell baseball guy WHO to hire, otherwise we'd have hired Girardi. Marketing guy makes stupid promise to win next year, so now GM and manager have to work as if a planning process has a one year horizon, and making all moves to that short term end.

Tell me what incentive Hendry has right now to make a move to help this team in the future, at the expense of today? (NONE) As a fan, we should want a new regime (President, GM, Manager) that can build a strong organization capably of winning EVERY year, not just one that might do it this year.

I like Lou - and I like the hire if it goes that way. But Lou, Hendry and McDonough should have their contracts all tied together in terms of length. Whatever the right timeframe is to build a winner, the three of them should be incented to do it in concert with eachother.

If it were closer to $120mil that would allow us to address just about every need we have, depending on what ARam and JPierre do.

well Hendry has two, Piniella looks to have three and McDonough seems to have a "until you fuck up" contract, so close enough. :)

LouPa it is.

Alright, now like I said there should be some major moves (trades and Fa)they don't want an angry Lou for three years.

Did anyone else hear that Kenny Williams called Cashman right after Yanks lost?

He offered Crede, one of the three pitchers for Arod. Cashman was concerned about Crede's back and wanted McCarthy. Obivously it didn't work out.

Gotta like that spunk though.

Going to the Bears game talk to you tomorrow.

hmmm, that's 2 people talking about $115 as next year's payroll. Maybe McDonough wasn't full of it after all, we shall see.

Make it three. Paul Sullivan's article in the Trib this morning says the Cubs will raise payroll 15-20%, which would put it at around $115 million.

Levine has Pinella down as making $3m per by the way. For everything that has been reported, Pinella seems to be Hendry's guy, I mean it seemed that way even before McDonough took over. I'm sure McDonough had some input but it appears to have been Hendry's choice...as it probably should be as Lou will make or break Hendry's tenure.

I shall now be thoroughly disappointed if Soriano, Wells or Andruw Jones are not playing CF and either Schmidt or Matsuzaka aren't pitching next year for us or players very comparable to those guys.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/st...

that's an article saying Kenny Williams called offering up Vazques, Buerhle or Garcia and Cashman refused. Does somebody else have something more or is it just pure speculation like the rest of that article?

Any one want to retract what they said about me when I said the Cubs would/could up the payroll for next year.

Remember when I outlined my plan for building a winner and you all went nuts at me cause it would cost 110 mil and I said the Cubs would spend 110 mil and you all made fun of me?

Is it me or was Joe Girardi the obvious on the nose can't miss easiest pick in the world most natural ex cub perfect for this organization face of the Cubs for years manager?

I like Joe Girardi, but FWIW I was hoping the Cubs would go with Piniella: simply because I couldn't see Girardi taking a team like the Cubs to the post-season, I could see it with Piniella. I don't have any real reasons, that's just how I feel.

"Is it me or was Joe Girardi the obvious on the nose can't miss easiest pick in the world most natural ex cub perfect for this organization face of the Cubs for years manager?"

joe cant speak spanish.

joe's first job he managed to piss off a whole slew of people.

joe's lack of spanish speaking ability and he actually staffs a crew, of which, none speak spanish.

joe is in love with the bunt, which people here tend to hate, but somehow its okay if he does it cuz he's joe girardi.

joe's use of his pitchers was really erratic, but he might be able to have a flyer on that one cuz of the age of the kids he was working with.

joe's first few months with his insta-rules and lack of communication didnt go over too well.

...i'd be affraid to give him a 100m+ team, myself.

thank god this is almost over...its almost player time.

"Alex Rodriguez is now Yanks' best chip to attract a quality arm for a struggling rotation."

wsox clear up what...10m in payroll at most.

yanks are a payroll spending machine...

and arod is the yanks only hope and wsox need to help them acomplish this?

new york press #1.

"Boras, however, should not expect the Yankees to make a run at his other high-profile client, Barry Zito"

another gem from that article.

man, i wanna be a new york sports writer...that crap is easy.

Rob's Dream (and Suddenly Reasonable) Lineup:

Soriano - CF ($15 mil)
Giles - 2B ($6 mil) or Ray Durham ($8 mil)
Lee - 1B ($13 mil)
Ramirez - 3B ($11 mil)
Jones - RF ($5.25 mil)
Barrett - C ($4 mil)
Murton - LF (500,000)
Izturis - SS ($4.15 mil)

$58.9 mil

Pitching
Schmidt or Matsuzaka ($12 mil)
Z ($10 mil)
Hill (340, 000)
Innings-Eater ($5 mil)
Prior or pick your rookie or Wade Miller ($4.5 mil at most)

$32 mil

Bench
Ryan Theriot (300,000)
Henry Blanco ($2 mil)
Angel Pagan or another 4th OF ($1 mil max)
Power Bat OF ($2-$3 mil)
Util IF/OF ($500,000 max)
$6 mil max

Bullpen
Dempster ($5 mil)
Howry ($4 mil)
Eyre ($3.5)
Ohman ($1 mil)
Wood ($1 mil) or Guzman or Ryu or whoever
Wuertz (500,000)
pick your poison, Aardsma, Novoa, someone else (500,000)

$15 mil

$111 mil? (some wiggle room for the bench, another bullpen arm and the unpredicitability of FA signings)

Some arbitration guesses in there, who knows what the FA deals will be and you can spend more on your bench or get 2 starting pitchers. Man, what a difference. I'm assuming Ramirez doesn't get anymore money next year and he'll get his cash later on in his deal. I'd use Sean Marshall or Ryu or Guzman as Giles bait or something like that.

Levine had something to the same effect on Crede + either Buehrle or Garcia, don't remember Vasquez's name tossed in though..probably assumed that Cashman wouldn't be interested in a Javy experiment part deux. It's also been noted that STL would be destination #1 for Buehrle since he's from that area and grew up a Cards fan, so signing Buehrle to an extention for a club like NYY would be difficult even with the Yanks $. Noted it would most likely take a multiple team deal if A-rod were to get traded.

Personally, any rumor involving A-rod is going to be speculation at this point. In order to trade A-rod the Yanks are going to have to publicly push him out the door...and basically do to him what they tried to do to Giambi after the Balco scandal and the publicized attempts to get his contract terminated. A-rod isn't going to ask for a trade simply because it will be him admitting that he failed and with his overly self-conscious image I don't see it happening. Big Stein will have to push him out.

I think you left out...Joe's players played their ass off for him.

Can we make that same claim about Dusty's players? For the past 3 seasons they have sleep walked through seasons expecting wins to be handed to them without working for them.

I would rather have Girardi, but Lou I am fine with. I want a motivator, and a guy that stresses fundamentals. Either way Girardi or Pinella have both of those traits.

and by dream I meant reasonable, not let's go get Adam Dunn and Miguel Cabrera.

Remember when I outlined my plan for building a winner and you all went nuts at me cause it would cost 110 mil and I said the Cubs would spend 110 mil and you all made fun of me?

Kudos to you, but at the time you were just guessing. Macphail gets canned, Lou Pa probably only comes with a promise of a payroll increase (no way he goes through the Drays debacle again), and voila, $$115 mil payroll is possible. Somewhat unforeseeable chain of events, but hey looks like you were right.

You did nail Izturis for Maddux.

This may be a stupid question....but why would Soriano play CF? I understand he is fast, but I don't remember him being all that great in LF.

The most important defensive position in the OF and it will be entrusted to Soriano? For some reason that just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

can spend more on your bench or get 2 starting pitchers. Man, what a difference

I should proofread, I mean get 2 inning-eaters for starters instead of one for a total of 3 FA pitchers (Schmidt or Matsuzaka, Suppan or Maddux types).

joe not speaking spanish is a huge minus...cant really ignore that. he didn't help his case or his spanish speaking players by ignoring that when filling out his staff. that's a huge first misstep.

he made a lotta mistakes last year that put up warning signs and the love-fest for him didn't begin for his players for months into the season.

cabrerra and another slew of hispanic players were sick of him before the season even began.

most of those kids were happy to be there and playing their asses off to keep a job.

i dunno how much truth there was to what the architects of the team envisioned for player roles vs. what hendry envisioned, but that would be a major question if it came to hold water.

i could care less who manages, but girardi wasnt a slam-dunk no-brainer. he's a 1 year manager who managed to helm a winning club, still got fired, and isnt being mentioned in any talks for the bigger clubs.

I didn't watch him play enough out there but his numbers looked good and from what I read, he looked pretty good out there (BP has him at saving 10 runs above average in left). He obviously has the speed to handle it. Play him in RF and move Jones to CF, whatever.

"i dunno how much truth there was to what the architects of the team envisioned for player roles vs. what hendry envisioned"

vs. what joe envisioned...that should read. ha.

talk about a conspiracy if hendry was involved... =p

could care less who manages, but girardi wasnt a slam-dunk no-brainer. he's a 1 year manager who managed to helm a winning club, still got fired, and isnt being mentioned in any talks for the bigger clubs.

So the Nationals don't exist? It is one more club that has been interested in Dusty this off-season.

Since I've fired on McDonough, I will also acknowledge that most MLB President's are guys with business backgrounds, and not "baseball guys" per se. Their job is to hire a baseball guy to run the field operations, while they handle the business aspects of the operation. McDonough's qualifications and experience on the business side of baseball are first-rate.

Any "master" off-season plan needs to include picking up a legit 4th OFer like say Jay Payton. Someone will probably offer him a starting job, but if not he'd be a good FA signing to start against tough lefties over Jacque and can fill in at LF if Murton fails or even CF for Pierre(or whomever roams CF in '07). I know Payton wound up starting in OAK most of the year, but at the beginning of the year he was a bench player and became a starter after Dan Johnson tanked and Swisher moved to 1B. If the small market A's can carry a Jay Payton on their bench then the Cubs can fill the 4th OFer spot in a questionable OF to begin with. Pagan can be the 5th OF, speed guy off the bench.

I agree with all your points crunch, but there's only 3 manager jobs open and we know Sabean is only going to go with a vet for the job. It sounds like the Nats job is for Girardi to lose and Texas seems to be off the, we're not paying for a manger ilk. So the bigger clubs comment is a little weird.

Rangers are probably waiting on Trey Hillman from Japan. I kinda wanted him for the Cubs, but hey whatever. I bet he has already come to terms on a deal but is just waiting on the Japanese World Series to finish up to announce he will be the next guy in Texas.

"So the Nationals don't exist? It is one more club that has been interested in Dusty this off-season."

that's a big club?

if it fits your definition, so be it...btw...expect dusty to end up staying with ESPN full time if it works out his way. his agent supposedly hasnt even called a single club, but has been in conn. more than once the past few weeks.

Any "master" off-season plan needs to include picking up a legit 4th OFer like say Jay Payton.

I envisioned my power bat off the bench as a guy who can step in and start without much worries. Phil Nevin or Craig Wilson type guys. Pagan is a 4th of for his defense and flexibility, but label them anyway you want. Felix Pie should be called up anyway if any OF goes down and take over starting duties. He's likely to be better than anyone we pick off the scrap heap.

I was pulling for Girardi, but I'm okay with Pinella. He has a lot more experience than Girardi and I have to admit that his "win right now" attitude gives me hope for 2007. That, combined with the rumored higher payroll should make this off-season interesting.

It will also be interesting to see if Pinella has any influence over a potential trade for A-Rod. Since ARod has a full no-trade clause, he can be selective in where he goes (if he goes). With Pinella in place, maybe ARod would be more interested in joining the Cubs.

It is bigger than Florida. So yeah.

The radio is saying Rothschild will be back. That isn't going to make Cubs fans happy.

ESPN reporting 3 year deal.

Fox Sports reporting 3 year deal with an option for a fourth.

I don't think it matters if Girardi or Lou Pa or Bochy is the next Cubs managers even tjough its going to be Lou. It also doesn't matter what their managing strategy is - bunt a lot, how they use the bullpen, or how often they pull the double switch. It's like Tony Larussa said after he lost last night - as the manager you have to do what you think is right and take the blame if it fails. Same with the Cubs next manager all they have to do is win everything else is inconsequential! Its all about winning and if LouPa wins a World Series within three years thats what counts!

Vernon Wells -- he needs to be our big time target now. Him in CF makes bats like Murton in LF, and Theriot/Cedeno at 2B (w/ a Craig Counsell type on the bench just in case) tolerable. I honestly wouldn't mind going into the season Theriot at leadoff, Murton at 2 spot in order, but only if you have guys like Wells, DLee, Ramirez, Jones, Barrett behind that.

It's hard to find power in CF, and Vernon Wells gives that. Now the question is, WHAT WILL IT COST US? AZPhil, anyone else, your best guess on that? I would definitely be willing to offer F. Pie in that deal, and potentially add in Marshall/other pitching prospects. You guys think that will make it close, maybe throw in a Scott Moore or someone else?

Pagan is a 4th of for his defense and flexibility
--

Pagan is a horrible defensive outfielder. How many balls did he miss because he couldn't figure out what angle to run after them? That's not counting the ones that bounced over his head that were catchable. He's god awful and belongs in the minors.

"Kudos to you, but at the time you were just guessing."

Not exactly. Sure, I had no inside knowledge but it's not like I was going on nothing. I was taking many factors into account and that is why I laid out my plan as such. In the end, you are correct, it was a guess. However, I would say it was an educated guess based on facts and history and not just wild fanboyism.

I suppose Piniella may make a Matsuzaka run more likely, as he had quite a bit of experience with Japanese players in Seattle - Ichiro, Sasaki, and Hasegawa at least.

I would think Toronto would DEMAND players contributing at the MLB level in return. Keep in mind, Riccardi built this team to win now, especially with all of that money he put up last winter. Getting Pie, Moore, and other minor league arms (Gallagher, Veal, Pawelek) might be appealing 4 seasons from now, but Toronto (i.e. Riccardi) does not have that kind of time.

They also finished 2nd in the AL East (87 wins), so keeping Vernon this season and making a push for the playoffs might be their plan.

Personally, I don't think we have a package that would entice Riccardi to pull the trigger on a V Wells trade.

I've been somewhat out of the loop since Dusty got the ax, and thus unable to keep up with managerial rumors. Not knowing a lot about the managers other than the obvious personality characteristics and W-L records, I was somewhat indifferent.

The more I read about Piniella though, the more I am excited about this. It seems very clear that Piniella was not interested in going anywhere that was going to be a "projet". If there's one word that best describes the current Cubs team, however, it's that one, so there must have been some pretty clear assurances that big bucks would be spent to turn this team around. With rumors that the payroll is going up by $20-25 mil, that's huge.

So while my sentimental side would have loved to see Girardi in Cubbie blue, there were enough concerns that I can see passing him over this time. He's a young guy, and chances are, the Cubs could consider him again in the future. But for now, with a team that from all reports wants to win now, Piniella could be a great choice.

Btw, anyone hear that if the Cubs want A-Rod, they'd likely have to give up Pie, Hill and Eyre? Seemed strange that it could be done without giving up A-Ram, but hey, what do I know?

"Pagan is a 4th of for his defense and flexibility"

didn't agree with that either. Payton can play all 3 OF spots too with less speed sure, but a much better bat...clutch too, .381/.385/.615 vs lefties with RISP if you're talking about a platoon with Jacque. Equal splits vs RHP/LHP at .296 and hit .326 in day games last season. As a 4th OFer I'll take him for what the $ should take. Pass on Nevin, Wilson should be able to land a starting AL DH spot with a club like the Orioles or Rangers.

if anyone cares, Kurkjian was asked about the Cubs hiring Pinella and stated that "it's only a good move if the Cubs plan on significantly altering their roster". I think most of us would concur with that.

It's funny seeing the alert come across in e-mail

"The Cubs and Lou Piniella have agreed on a three-year deal worth an
estimated $9 million, the Tribune has learned. "

..the Tribune has learned. There's always a conflict of interest reporting the Cubs for the Tribune.

Move on.

fine get Payton, wasn't saying you shouldn't. But I'm sure he wants a starting gig, otherwise he'll stay in Oakland. The weather is nicer.

making anyone your #1 target who's only available via trade isn't a very good idea.

you won this round Chad, but the war rages on. :)

Macha got canned, I'm guessing he doesn't come back this time.

Well I can agree with many of the sentiments of those who wanted Giardi...but in all honestly Pinella isn't a bad manager, just like Dusty wasn't a bad choice at that time too. These are the guys everyone would have said would be a nobrainer as a manager. So now that we've gotten the manager the Q is now what?

1. Hold on to whatever prospects we have left...therefore don't go after A-rod because it will cost us at least Hill and Pie. IF we go for broke we are going to be going through all of this over again.
2. Sign Aram and Pierre - If we had lee this year our team would have been completely different.
3. Increase the OBP...keep Pierre (and his SB), don't be stupid and add Giles or Durham. Keep Theriot at 2nd and Cesar at SS.
4. Add Soriano for either Lft or 2nd (depending on who does well b/n Theriot/Murton
5. Add one starter (pick from Matsuzaka (most prerfered), Zito, Schmitt (not to excited about them too much for either too old/not dominant future) and a solid inning eating pitcher
6. Work in some youth into the team

Projected team:

CF Pierre
LF Soriano
1b Lee
3b. ramierz
RF: Jones
C: Barrett
SS: Isturez
2b: Theriot

SP: Z, Matsuzaka, Hill, FA/Guzman, Prior

My fear is the cubs will over pay for Schmitt or Zito...the A's know when to dump their "stud" look what happened to Mulder/Hudson.

AZ Phil writes: "Dunn was Hill's pitching coach at AA in 2005, and at Iowa in 2006. Dunn was also the guy credited with developing West Tenn's outstanding starting staff in 2005 (Hill, Nolasco, Pinto, Ryu, and Marmol)."

I'd love to see Alan Dunn promoted to pitching coach. Successful organizations develop in all areas of the game - not just players, but coaches and front-office guys as well. Dunn's success deserves to be rewarded; and it only makes sense to keep Dunn and the youngsters together.

That being said ... perhaps it's a coincidence, but Sean Marshall seemed to lose his way after Maddux left the team. Before he was hurt, Marshall appears to have had the good sense to seek out Maddux and listen to him. Would it make sense to try to reacquire Maddux, or send Marshall to work with Maddux during the off-season (assuming such a thing could be arranged)?

mark it down: zito will get too much for too long! plus, aside from the arm he throws with and his nationality, he is the american league 'zombie'! led the league in walks, # of pitches, etc. - i prefer either schmidt [fewer years of contract]or matsuzaka [fewer years of age]- also, besides espanol, can lou cuss in japanese too?

"....or send Marshall to work with Maddux during the off-season..."

On his golf game?

"mark it down: zito will get too much for too long!"

Mark it down: every free agent every year gets too much for too long. But unfortunately when you have a horse**** farm system that can't produce a major league position player, you have to overpay to get decent players

I think the Cubs' management situation will lead to disaster. The Cubs roster has gross deficiencies that cannot be corrected this winter especially because of the thin free agent crop. The Cubs need to rebuild with prospects.

Installing the broadcasting executive, McDonough as the interim president was foolhardy. He isn't enough of a baseball man to realize the problems are too severe to be corrected in one off-season. This will lead to a chain reaction of problems.

The chief executive should have fired both Hendry and Baker and aligned the contract durations of the new GM and new manager so that all levels of management have the incentive to rebuild.

Last winter, Hendry's contact was nearing expiration and he made desperate free agent signings and trades in an attempt to win. He signed Neifi Perez to a two-year contact, even though he is an abysmal hitter. He signed Jacque Jones to a three-year contact and apparently did not perform due diligence. It appears that Jones has a rotator cuff problem and may need surgery this winter. Hendry traded for Juan Pierre as a leadoff hitter despite his low on-base percentage and his defensive deficiencies. Can anyone explain why Hendry signed John Mabry? The end result in 2006 was nearly 100 losses.

Now we have Hendry on a short-term contract and a manager who has clearly been hired with a mandate to win immediately. This can only lead to further disasters and could ruin the Cubs competitiveness for many years.

We are headed back to the point where both the major league team and the minor league teams are devoid of talent due to short-term focus. It will be similar to the low point before Dallas Green was put in charge and decided to take a longer term focus and trade for a young prospect named Sandberg.

Piniella could hire Esteban Lyons to be his bench coach. They worked together at Fox Sports, and Lyons is now available. 'Steve' is an excellent communicator who would be a real hit with the Cubs' latino players.

If the Tigers win the World Series this year, or even if they don't, Larry Rothschild should get a playoff share. He turned down the Tiger's job, and stayed with the Cubs. They hired Chuck Hernandez, and, well, you know the rest.

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