2006 MLB Free-Agents

LAST UPDATE: 11/2 The following MLB players were eligible to file for free-agency under Article XX of the CBA starting last Saturday at 12:01 AM (EDT): * Bats or throws left # bats both STARTING PITCHERS : Tony Armas, Jr (WAS) Miguel Batista (AZ) * Bruce Chen (BAL) Roger Clemens (HOU) Adam Eaton (TEX) * Shawn Estes (SD) Ryan Franklin (CIN) * Tom Glavine (NYM) - MUTUAL OPTION Orlando Hernandez (NYM) Jason Johnson (CIN) - MUTUAL OPTION Ted Lilly (TOR) Greg Maddux (LAD) Jason Marquis (STL) Gil Meche (SEA) Wade Miller (CUBS) Brian Moehler (FLA) Mark Mulder (STL) Mike Mussina (NYY) - CLUB OPTION Tomo Ohka (MIL) Ramon Ortiz (WAS) Russ Ortiz (BAL) Vicente Padilla (TEX) Chan Ho Park (SD) Andy Pettitte (HOU) Brad Radke (MIN) * Mark Redman (KC) Jason Schmidt (SF) Aaron Sele (LAD) Jeff Suppan (STL) John Thomson (ATL) Steve Trachsel (NYM) Jeff Weaver (STL) * David Wells (SD) Kip Wells (TEX) Woody Williams (SD) Paul Wilson (CIN) - CLUB OPTION Randy Wolf (PHI) Kerry Wood (CUBS) Jaret Wright (NYY) - CLUB OPTION Jamey Wright (SF) * Barry Zito (OAK) CLOSERS: Danys Baez (ATL) Joe Borowski (FLA) Keith Foulke (BOS) - MUTUAL OPTION Eric Gagne (LAD) - CLUB OPTION Jose Mesa (COL) Troy Percival (DET) RELIEVERS: Antonio Alfonseca (TEX) Chad Bradford (NYM) Doug Brocail (SD) Giovanni Carrara (LAD) Mike DeJean (COL) Octavio Dotel (NYY) * Alan Embree (SD) * Aaron Fultz (PHI) * Eddie Guardado (CIN) * John Halama (BAL) * Chris Hammond (CIN) LaTroy Hawkins (BAL) Rick Helling (MIL) Matt Herges (FLA) Dustin Hermanson (CHW) Roberto Hernandez (NYM) Yusaku Iriki, RHP (NYM) - CLUB OPTION * Ray King (COL) * Steve Kline (SF) Dan Kolb (MIL) * Tom Martin (COL) Brian Meadows (TB) * Kent Mercker (CIN) Guillermo Mota (NYM) * Terry Mulholland (AZ) Jeff Nelson (CHW) * Darren Oliver (NYM) * Arthur Rhodes (PHI) David Riske (CHW) * J. C. Romero (LAA) * Scott Schoeneweis (TOR) Rudy Seanez (SD) - CLUB OPTION Justin Speier (TOR) Russ Springer (HOU) * Mike Stanton (SF) Tanyon Sturtze (NYY) * Ron Villone (NYY) * Jamie Walker (DET) David Weathers (CIN) Rick White (PHI) CATCHERS: Sandy Alomar, Jr (CHW) * Paul Bako (KC) Rod Barajas (TEX) Gary Bennett (STL) Henry Blanco (CUBS) Einar Diaz (LAD) Mike DiFelice (NYM) Todd Greene (SF) Mike Lieberthal (PHI) Doug Mirabelli (BOS) Benjie Molina (TOR) - MUTUAL OPTION Mike Piazza (SD) Todd Pratt (ATL) # Gregg Zaun (TOR) Chris Widger (CHW) FIRST-BASEMEN: Jeff Bagwell (HOU) * Sean Casey (DET) * Robert Fick (WAS) Nomar Garciaparra (LAD) Shea Hillenbrand (SF) * John Mabry (CUBS) * Doug Mientkiewicz (KC) Kevin Millar (BAL) Phil Nevin (MIN) Eduardo Perez (SEA) - CLUB OPTION Frank Thomas (OAK) * Daryle Ward (ATL) SECOND-BASEMEN: Ronnie Belliard (STL) Craig Biggio (HOU) Miguel Cairo (NYM) # Ray Durham (SF) Damion Easley (AZ) Tony Graffanino (MIL) Damian Jackson (WAS) * Adam Kennedy (LAA) Mark Loretta (BOS) * Jose Valentin (NYM) * Todd Walker (SD) THIRD-BASEMEN: Tony Batista (MIN) David Bell (MIL) * Geoff Blum (SD) Aaron Boone (CLE) Jeff Cirillo (MIL) Mark DeRosa (TEX) Pedro Feliz (SF) Wes Helms (FLA) Jose Hernandez (PHI) * Aubrey Huff (HOU) Lou Merloni (CLE) Aramis Ramirez (CUBS) Joe Randa (PIT) # Scott Spiezio (STL) Fernando Tatis (BAL) SHORTSTOPS: Rich Aurilia (CIN) - MUTUAL OPTION Royce Clayton (CIN) # Alex Cora (BOS) * Craig Counsell (AZ) Chris Gomez (BAL) Alex Gonzalez (BOS) Ramon Martinez (LAD) Julio Lugo (LAD) # Tomas Perez (TB) # Jose Vizcaino (STL) Chris Woodward (NYM) LEFT-FIELDERS: Moises Alou (SF) Barry Bonds (SF) * Frank Catalanotto (TOR) Jeff Conine (PHI) - MUTUAL OPTION * Cliff Floyd (NYM) * Luis Gonzalez (AZ) * Todd Hollandsworth (CIN) Brian Jordan (ATL) * Ryan Klesko (SD) * Ricky Ledee (NYM) Carlos Lee (TEX) Jay Payton (OAK) * Dave Roberts (SD) Alfonso Soriano (WAS) Shannon Stewart (MIN) Rondell White (MIN) - CLUB OPTION Preston Wilson (STL) Eric Young (TEX) CENTER-FIELDERS: * Jim Edmonds (STL) - CLUB OPTION * Darin Erstad (LAA) * Steve Finley (SF) * Kenny Lofton (LAD) # Gary Matthews, Jr (TEX) * Juan Pierre (CUBS) # Bernie Williams (NYY) RIGHT-FIELDERS: * Jeromy Burnitz (PIT) David Dellucci (PHI) Jose Guillen (WAS) Gabe Kapler (BOS) * Trot Nixon (BOS) Tim Salmon (LAA) Gary Sheffield (NYY) - CLUB OPTION * Matt Stairs (DET) * Michael Tucker (NYM) Craig Wilson (NYY) Besides the players listed as eligible to file as MLB free-agents under Article XX of the CBA, there are a number of other players who were eligible to be free-agents after the season under Article XX, but who were released during the season or after the season and who therefore no longer need to file. These players are just plain-old totally unrestricted free-agents, and can sign with any MLB club at any time. Among these players are: Manny Alexander, INF Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B Pedro Astacio, RHP Mark Bellhorn, 2B Jim Brower, RHP Vinny Castilla, 3B Jose Cruz, Jr, OF Vic Darensbourg, LHP Erubiel Durazo, 1B Joey Eischen, LHP Carl Everett, OF Geremi Gonzalez, RHP Jerry Hairston, Jr, 2B Richard Hidalgo, OF Mike Holtz, LHP Kevin Jarvis, RHP Tim Laker, C Matt Lawton, OF Travis Lee, 1B Kerry Ligtenberg, RHP Jose Lima, RHP Terrence Long, OF Javy Lopez, C Matt Mantei, RHP Eli Marrero, C-OF Joe Mays, RHP Quinton McCracken, OF Joe McEwing, IF-OF Cliff Politte, RHP Sidney Ponson, RHP Desi Relaford, INF Mike Remlinger, LHP Felix Rodriguez, RHP Julio Santana, RHP Scott Sauerbeck, LHP Ruben Sierra, OF J. T. Snow, 1B Kelly Stinnett, C John Wasdin, RHP Scott Williamson, RHP Tony Womack, 2B Esteban Yan, RHP Dmitri Young, 1B Also, several players who were not eligible to be Type XX FAs but who have varying degrees of MLB experience became minor league FAs this month: Kurt Ainsworth, RHP Rob Bell, RHP Francis Beltran, RHP Alan Benes, RHP Chad Bentz, LHP Nate Bland, LHP Dewon Brazleton, RHP Dee Brown, OF Nate Bump, RHP Alberto Castillo, C Raul Chavez, C Hee Seop Choi, 1B Brad Clontz, RHP Steve Colyer, LHP Bubba Crosby, OF Enrique Cruz, INF Jacob Cruz, 1B-OF Zach Day, RHP Ryan Drese, RHP Travis Driskill, RHP Jason Dubois, 1B-OF Sal Fasano, C Wayne Franklin, LHP Mike Gallo, LHP Raul Gonzalez, OF Ken Harvey, 1B Bobby Hill, INF Ken Huckaby, C D'Angelo Jimenez, INF Matt Kata, INF Mike Koplove, RHP Brandon Larson, 3B Brian Lawrence, RHP Jon Leicester, RHP Ryan Ludwick, OF Sandy Martinez, C Henry Mateo, INF Chad Moeller, C Dustan Mohr, OF Mike Moriarty, INF Eric Munson, C-3B C. J. Nitkowski, LHP Jose Offerman, INF Carlos Pena, 1B Bret Prinz, RHP Brandon Puffer, RHP Tike Redman, OF Chris Richard, 1B Luis Rivas, 2B Victor Santos, RHP Chris Truby, 3B T. J. Tucker, RHP Jermaine Van Buren, RHP Pete Walker, RHP
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Comments

anyone listenting to ESPN 1000? I read that Levine said Ramirez opted out of his contract and filed for free agency. Looking for confirmation.

Not that it wasn't expected, it gives Ramirez more leverage and he can talk to teams now.

"Your 2007 Cubs 3b - Aubrey Huff" (I heard Piniella loves him)

I will gladly take Aubrey Huff over Bill Mueller. I just fear that Jim Hendry will not.

Mueller's got one foot into retirement with some serious knee problems, I wasn't really expecting him back.

i'd say David Bell, Aaron Boone, Derosa or Huff or the ever-present trade route would be the options. Oh, let's not forget Pedro Feliz and his sub-300 OBP.

ESPN says Kerry Wood filed for free agency on Sunday. Does that mean the Cubs bought out his option?

yeah I would think so.....

it was actually a mutual option, so I guess Wood could have just turned it down and filed.

Hey, Hendry still has 12 more days to screw this up before we really have to start thinking about all the different options we can get at 3B to make our offense even weaker.

#5 of 7: By Rob G. (October 30, 2006 01:09 PM)
yeah I would think so.....

it was actually a mutual option, so I guess Wood could have just turned it down and filed.

----

ROB G: And it would have been a player option (only) if Wood had somehow managed to pitch 400 IP in 2005-06 combined, and (as we know only too well) he fell a little bit short of that number.

Of course, threre is no way Woody woulda turned down $13.5M for '07, so for Wood to have filed for FA already, the Cubs MUST have already officially declined their "club option" part of the "mutual option" (or else why file and give up $13.5M?).

I read somewhere (can't find where) that you can pre-emptively (sp?) file for Free Agency, and if an option (team or player) gets picked up, then you just get pulled off the FA list.

So I don't beleieve the Cubs had to officially turn down his option yet for him to file.

i know its mostly cheer-led by a select few, but why do people think aram is good as gone?

mets fans arent going around crying the sky is falling cuz glavine isnt being signed yet and his negotiations are ongoing...

the entire situation was spelled out for the cubs months ago...to nix aram now would take some quick spending to lock up soriano/ca.lee almost immediately after aram's possible exit.

its probably one of the more transparently obvious contract negotiations in baseball, currently.

both sides know what's on the line and both sides know aram is gonna get paid + years. its a commitment that was made before a single word of negotiation started for the cubs.

it'd help if a writer out there could get a few scraps of the years/money being back-forth'd over.

kinda weird aram hasnt filed yet, even with the cards all laid out on the table. hopefully, he's got more important issues to deal with.

crunch:
know its mostly cheer-led by a select few, but why do people think aram is good as gone?

Actually, I'm suprised he hasn't filed, yet, crunch. I just base this on what I would do in his shoes.

Ryno, Sept. 25, 2006:
I think he'll become FA no matter what and go to the highest bidder, even if it is the Cubs.

Because that route gives him the most leverage. But what do I know, I predicted Oakland would beat the Tigers, then I predicted a 4-game Tiger streak. So much for my predictions.

"Ryno, Sept. 25, 2006:
I think he'll become FA no matter what and go to the highest bidder, even if it is the Cubs."

oh, totally.

hendry had to know this when he didnt trade him, though...any negotiation with aram involving huge money or huge years i really dont think is gonna surprise or upset hendry cuz its seems like a given the minute he decided to hang onto aram. its not one of those things that sneaks up on ya.

Crunch:
"i know its mostly cheer-led by a select few, but why do people think aram is good as gone?"

I agree, I don't think he is as good as gone. Hendry really has no choice but to pay the man. ARam is going to get his $$$$, most likely more than what Lee just got. But that is expected as ARam and his agent have the upper hand. They did a GREAT job by getting a contract two years ago that had this out in it and ARam did a GREAT job by putting up his numbers late in the year. Again, I don't think ARam will leave, he will just milk every last dollar out of Hendry. I just hope it doesn't go higher than $15 million per.

Crunch:
"hendry had to know this when he didnt trade him, though...any negotiation with aram involving huge money or huge years i really dont think is gonna surprise or upset hendry cuz its seems like a given the minute he decided to hang onto aram."

I totally agree. But then Hendry better sign him too. Knowing it does nothing, if you don't finish the deal.

the deal-breaker for the Cubs might be the years...Kinzer was talking about 6 last week and Hendry seems to like to cap them at 5. Who blinks first? And does Kinzer want another opt-out?

Furcal was 28 last year and they were happy to get a 3 yr deal for a little more money and said if he signed with the Cubs (4 or 5 yr deal) that they would have wanted an opt-out clause.

I think 6/90 and a no-trade until Ramirez gets his 10/5 rights is what it's going to take to get him inked before the deadline.

If the Cubs plan on signing a big bat per the Tribune and ARAM leaves does that mean that the Cubs will sign two big bats? If so will that big bat turn out to be Soriano?

From the "absolutely hilarious" and "I know funny" file...

In a comments portion of a Tribune.com review of last Saturday's SNL was this tidbit written by someone who has got to be a Cub Reporter regular:

"I think SNL would benefit by batting Nefi second & making sure they "Don't turn their back on Holly!"
(Pitchers & Catchers report FEB.12th)

Posted by: Rusty Raker | Oct 30, 2006 11:40:05 AM"

Rory:
"If the Cubs plan on signing a big bat per the Tribune and ARAM leaves does that mean that the Cubs will sign two big bats?"

If they want to improve the offense any, they will HAVE to sign/trade for two big bats if the can't resign ARam. And they will have to be BIG bats, not just slight upgrades. And with the Cubs and Hendry not having a track record of signing top FA's, that is why this ARam deal is so important. Signing one big FA is going to be hard enough, signing two is unrealistic.

And that all doesn't take into account they need to sign a top tier SP too.

Rob G.:
Kinzer was talking about 6 last week and Hendry seems to like to cap them at 5.

I hope that's not the sticking point. 6 years is easy from the Cubs point of view (I think it would make him 35 at the end of the 6 years). 6 years, some ridiculous amount of money. I think the contract will look something like Carlos Beltran's.

ARam was born in June of 1978, making him 28 right now. So a 6 year deal would only make him 34 at the end of the contract (33 to start the last year of his deal).

ARam's leverage aside, I think it would be criminal to pay him more than Derrek Lee.

no big shocker here but Wsox picked up options on Buehrle, Dye and Iguchi. They did decline Hermanson's option though.

aram does have his very slick 3rd going for him along with his power and decent contact.

when he came over he was a guy who may or may not catch the ball, would catch stuff sheepishly off the hip and took a while to pivot and throw to 1st.

now his D is fluid and his arm is a deadly rocket.

if it wasnt for his groin issue, he'd practically be a cant-miss.

Other than the fact that he is younger, plays a more demanding defensive position, and he routinely puts up bigger numbers. I cant see why Aramis would want more money than Derrick Lee? Who does he think he is?

wsox are actually gonna give 9.5m to Buehrle...okay, whatever...its their money.

while i dont think he's the 5.00era pitcher he was last year, i dont think he's much better than the 4.00era 6-inning pitcher he's been most of his career.

guess that should be 7ip...not bad...still...he's just so hittable and he dont fool many even if he doesnt walk many.

Aram's contractual situation is unique due to that specially negotiated odd contractual clause, which I have always hated.

Under his contract, only one of two things can happen: (1) he can file for FA or (2) if he doesn't file for FA, then he is stuck with the old deal for the remaining 2 years.

So Aram is forced to take one of two extremes -- become a free agent or be paid below market for 2 years. There's no middle ground, and no player would choose option 2.

So, the deal actually discourages Aram from signing with the Cubs before filing for free agency and taking advantage of the bidding war that would come with it. Why would he NOT file for free agency, even if he does plan to eventually sign with the Cubs anyway? Being a FA would maximize his value and ensure that he receives a fair market salary. The only way the Cubs could avoid that situation is to pay him what both sides believe he would have received as a FA (in other words, pretend he is a FA anyway).

So, this was nothing more than a 2 year contract from the start. Aram will be paid as a FA even if he never files. The contract had lots of upside for Aram (as we are seeing now) and no downside -- if he wasn't performing, he would still be able to receive that nice salary from the Cubs for the next 2 years.

AaronB, for future reference:

Derrek Lee = Cubs first baseman
Derrick Lee = Louisiana serial killer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_Rouge_Seri...

buehrle has a career 3.83 ERA in the AL In a hitter's park and is going to be 28 next year. I'd take him for $9.5 mil in a second.

I don't see any difference between him and Zito's future, other than Buehrle is cheaper.

Aaron:

Aramis has youth, but his youth is tempered by chronic groin/leg injuries. He has gaudier season averages than D-Lee, but he also has never matched D-Lee's '05 performance (and D-Lee's prior seasons were hardly trash). He has solid defense at a tough position, but D-Lee has multiple Gold Glove defense at first. Aramis is also perceived (rightly or wrongly) as lazy and as a follower, whereas D-Lee has a reputation as a team leader that works his ass off.

I don't think it's crazy for someone to feel that Aramis shouldn't be getting a subtantially larger contract than D-Lee.

Just because a player in contract negotiations and likely to leave the team does not mean he is what the parent company portrays him to be (lazy). What are the tribune flunkies going to write about after management bungled YET another contract situation. Are they going to write that Jim Hendry is the worst GM in all of baseball and that the organization never really had a long term plan? Or are they going to spin it that Aramis Ramirez is lazy, disloyal and greedy and stabbed the cubs in the back? I think all of you know the answer to that.

And if Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez were both on the open market today. I can assure you with 100% certainty that Aramis Ramirez would be worth more money.

"Are they going to write that Jim Hendry is the worst GM in all of baseball...?"

Cue nervous cough from Dave Littlefield

Whoa, boy. Calm down. The Aramis being lazy thing isn't some new conspiracy cooked up by TribCo. He's had that reputation his whole career, deservedly or not (and I personally think not). His reputation for being injury prone and for wilting under the spotlight isn't new either.

Just because a player in contract negotiations and likely to leave the team does not mean he is what the parent company portrays him to be (lazy).

Just because a player is in contract negotiations does not mean he's "likely to leave the team."

and

Just because a player is viewed as lazy by much of the fan base does not mean that they have those views because of a grand conspiracy by the teams parent company.

I apologize for insinuating that the Tribune and the Cubs organization would be anything less than forthright in all things concerning injuries and spin control. I trust them about as much as I would trust my son around a strange priest.

Again Aaron, you are really giving the Cubs way too much credit here.

The Cubs might not be doing much to change the image that ARam is lazy, but ARam had that repuation before he ever arrived in Chicago, and he's done very little to change that repuation in the eyes of many fans - with or without the master spinster at the Trib Tower.

Aramis didn't get his "lazy" rep from the Tribune, he got it from refusing to hustle and plastering a permanent "I couldn't care less who wins this game" look on his face.

Whether or not he wakes up at 5:00 AM in the offseason to workout and improve his game, we'll never know, but his visible behavior on the field and in the dugout earned him his reputation.

So are we suggesting that we bring Kevin Orie back? He always hustled.

how do lazy people suddenly improve so many aspects of their game?

if aram's improving so much by his 'laziness' he could be a god by now if he actually applied himself, i guess.

i could care less if he stands at home plate taking pictures of his 400ft. homers as long as he keeps hitting them and his D continues to stay well above average. of course, i'd rather he not do that, but him not running IF hits out like he's got juan pierre speed and a 100% healthy legs isnt the end of the world, imo.

Aaron, where did anyone say that Aramis shouldn't be brought back?

Just because people don't believe that ARam's reputation is part of some grand conspiracy by the TribCo, doesn't mean they don't think he should be resigned.

I don't mean to start a fire here, but I have always thought that ARam's reputation for being "lazy" has racist undertones. If he was white and didn't run out ground balls and admired the flight of his deep fly balls, we would say that he's arrogant or a jerk, but probably not lazy.

Anyone agree?

Following up on Post #42 -- for example, Phil Nevin.

1) Hendry was stupid for agreeing to the deal that permits ARAM to opt out after just, what was it, two years? The Cubs were bound to get screwed over no matter what happened. Either ARAM was gonna tank and have horrible numbers the first two years, in which case ARAM would have gladly accepted the money that currently is coming to him the next several years. Or ARAM was gonna have consistently good years and have no reason not to opt out of the remainder of the contract. What in the world was Hendry thinking when he agreed to this deal?

2) I agree with the comment that, if both DLEE and ARAM were free agents now, ARAM would definitely get more money? Why? First, hitters like ARAM who play third base are much more rare than great fielding first basemen who can hit, too. And yes, DLEE has had one year that ARAM cannot match, at least in terms of batting average, but so what? It is not like ARAM's batting averages have been terrible. And I suspect that RBIs is a pretty attractive stat for owners looking for first and third basemen. ARAM has four 100 + RBI seasons while DLEE has one. DLEE's slugging percentage a couple of seasons ago easily beats the best that ARAM has come up with. Can DLEE match that figure again coming off his injury? Hard to say. A statistician might say it is doubtful.

3) I would not be surprised at all if ARAM is as good as gone. It might depend on how much he likes living in Chicago during the season and what he thinks the chances are that this team is gonna contend again in the next several years. I guess I am not so sure that he is going to automatically take the most money. If the difference between the best offer and the second best offer is considerable, whatever that means, then yes I assume he will go with the best offer. Otherwise, if he has an offer from a legitimate contender, something we clearly are not at this point, and our offer is not much better, do you really think that ARAM is gonna come back?

433:
Under his contract, only one of two things can happen: (1) he can file for FA or (2) if he doesn't file for FA, then he is stuck with the old deal for the remaining 2 years.

Uh, if they renegotiate, they can just tear up the old contract, no?

433:
I don't mean to start a fire here, but I have always thought that ARam's reputation for being "lazy" has racist undertones. If he was white and didn't run out ground balls and admired the flight of his deep fly balls, we would say that he's arrogant or a jerk, but probably not lazy.

Personally, I don't think you should make your cleanup hitter, one with a history of hamstring problems, run out every routine play, I have no problem with Ramirez's play... but maybe the perception of laziness has less to do with his color than it does the way he makes it look. Maybe the way he acts looks to some people like laziness, and the way Nevin acts, to some people it might look arrogant, etc. Maybe white people don't look as cool when they're slacking... I don't know. :P

Bleeding Blue, you sound like Dusty.

I think it has everything to do with the fact that he doesn't run out ground balls, etc.

CT Steve:
"Bleeding Blue, you sound like Dusty."

Classic!!!

Hey Steve, do you get to any minor league games here in CT? Bridgeport Bluefish? New Haven Ravens? New Britan RockCats? Do any of them play any of the Cubs monir league affiliates? Thanks!!

Oops, I meant 433...

I went to see the Fish once; it was a great time. Cheap beer, cheap seats, and the quality of play was very Cub-like (ha!).

I keep meaning to see the Ravens, but it never works out.

The closest I came to the RockCats was in August, when Dylan played at their stadium. What a show!

We should catch a game sometime.

Branyan option picked up, Klesko and Piazza declined.

hey manny

i went to bluefish game this summer and got to see the spring training hall of famer angel echevarria. it's independent league at its best. that pitcher porzio from the white sox was the starter i believe.

i don't think any of them play cubs minor leagues teams, cubs don't have a low level anywhere near the northeast.

cameron's option picked up too....

If Dusty was still here, I'd have bet all my lunch money on the Cubs signing Russ Ortiz.

Thanks for the info CT Steve and GL.

We will definately have to meet up for a game. I can promise I will be attending all 3 NY Mets games next year.

Hmm, I wonder why the Padres didn't pick up Piazza's option. If they think Josh Bard is going to keep up with his production... then... hello 2008.

What pitchers would you guys like to see in Cub uniforms next year? I mean besides the obvious choices.

$8 mil is a bit steep for Piazza. I think they'd like to resign him to around $4-$5 mil instead.

"What pitchers would you guys like to see in Cub uniforms next year? I mean besides the obvious choices."

Randy Wolf, Phillies

Hey! Me, too, E-Man.

in honor of halloween, please make me a "wolf-man", too. and i would have to at least investigate ted lilly; wonder how a rotation of z and 4 lefties (hill-marshall-wolf-lilly) would hold up in the under-whelming n.l. central...

Gil Meche -- I don't mind the guy.

Hendry needs to get 2 starting pitchers: a #1/2 type guy and a #3/4 type guy.

Wolf would fall in that #3/4 type guy, but he hasn't thrown more than 136.2 innings in a season since 2003 and his ERA has gotten worse each of the past 4 seasons.

Sounds like a perfect Hendry guy...

But a good GM who has a $100 million+ payroll who wants to win right away, shouldn't go after Wolf.

Carlos:
"Gil Meche -- I don't mind the guy."

Meche wouldn't be horrible for a #3/4 guy. Going to the NL might be good for him and wouldn't break the bank.

I like Gil Meche, too. Sign him and Wolf.

And put Preston Wilson in LF......70 wins here we come.

I like the idea of going after AL guys. There's sure to be a bit of an ERA readjustment.

I'd rather have Meche for the #3/4.

lilly...meche...

pettite i wouldnt mind as a 2nd tier type, but i fear he'll probally want front tier money (8+m).

You can win a World Series with Preston Wilson, Mike. Or is it in spite of him? I forget.

Ted Lilly would be another good #3/4 starter to look at. Another AL guy who would be coming over to NL. He is only a career .500 pitcher, but has made at least 25 starts the last 4 years. Again, he would come at a good price.

In 2007 we should be looking at:
Z
FA/Trade top tier SP
FA/Trade inning eating #3/4 type SP
Hill
Prior/Guzman/Marshall

#1 of 69: By Rob G. (October 30, 2006 12:56 PM)
anyone listenting to ESPN 1000? I read that Levine said Ramirez opted out of his contract and filed for free agency. Looking for confirmation.

Not that it wasn't expected, it gives Ramirez more leverage and he can talk to teams now.

=================================

ROB G: Why rush? With a contract that runs through 2008 even if he gets hit by a runaway garbage truck or falls out of an airplane, Aramis Ramirez would be a fool to file for free-agency until the absolute last minute (November 11th). His contract is like an insurance policy against catastrophic injury that conceivavbly could occur before November 12th.

So if I'm A-Ram, I wait until the absolute last minute, and then file for free-agency. That way, if anything bad happens to me anytime in the next 12 days or so, I'm guaranteed to get $22.5M (salary for 2007-08).

The only thing Ramirez gives up by not filing right away is that talking to the other 29 teams during the next 12 days would violate the CBA, but he will have plenty of time to talk to other clubs after November 11th.

Which is why Kerry Wood filing for free-agency right away must mean that the Cubs have already officially declined their $13.5M option for 2007. Because if they had not declined it, Wood would have no reason to file for free-agency at this time with $13.5M still on the table.

"Wolf would fall in that #3/4 type guy, but he hasn't thrown more than 136.2 innings in a season since 2003 and his ERA has gotten worse each of the past 4 seasons."

Geez - that's pretty piss-poor.

However, seeing that our general standards showing that mediocrity is o.k. to pay millions for pitchers, 136.5 innings with an era of 4.5 is I suppose "acceptable" under these current MLB conditions.

See Jeff Weaver for examples of this.

It seems as if teams have a solid #1 (which we do), and a "good" number 2 (which we do not), then the rest can fall into the scenario described above and with a little luck, coupled with a productive offensive - its good enough to make it in the playoffs.

Oh - throw in a "surprise" young pitcher or wiley veteran that have career years too...

I still like Wolf. Numbers be danged.

I like Padilla more, though.

Do you mean, "Numbers be dammed"?

I'm not sure. Rarely do I know what I mean.

HA HA HA!

Actually, Gil Meche would not be bad. He's a bit younger and his injury record seems better than average.

He also has been going deeper into games which as we all know would be HUGE on the NSide.

If Meche and Piniella got along well in SEA, we might be the favored place for him to land.

Well ARam did file, so Hendry definitely needs to fall on his sword now.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

You really don't want anything to do with Gil Meche. He pitches in a pitchers park, in case we have forgotten.

His road and home splits over the last 3 years has a full run difference.

4.35 at home
5.31 on the road.

This season he sported a 3.74 ERA at home and a 5.14 on the road.

Plus he is a gopher ball pitcher. Loves to give up the HR's.

At home in the last 3 years--

234 IP, 91 BB, 187 SO, 32 HR

On the road 3 last years--

224 IP, 112 BB, 151 SO, 31 HR

He would be the last pitcher you would want at Wrigley. Basically he would be a more expensive version of Glendon Rusch. He works fine in Seattle, but would be a disaster as a Cub. He really benefits from pitching in that park.

No thanks, pass.

Well, I said I didn't want to wake up this off-season and see Aramis Ramirez opts out and become a free agent.

I understand he could still return but with that being said....

Way to go Jim Hendry, you had a chance to trade him and get some value and now are risking losing him for nothing. At this point you deserve to be fired for the stupid contract, and for letting him declare for free agency without re-signing.

Now he enters into a bidding war in which our wonderful GM has never won a single time with a single player in his entire tenure as GM.

I for one am confident Hendry can get a deal done. He has such a glorious track record of doing his job properly, why worry?

Mark Redman would look good in the rotation given how relatively little value he seems to have as basically a journeyman #4 starter. He'll be a good cheap buy for whatever team gets him. I believe he finished strong in KC although his Ks were way down last year. Another guy who stunk it up in 06 and could be a bargain bin buy is Bruce Chen. Interesting project but I wouldn't want to ink him in for a definite spot in the rotation, so I'm not sure the Cubs are in a position to gamble on him unless they find a way to unload Glendon.

"Now he enters into a bidding war in which our wonderful GM has never won a single time with a single player in his entire tenure as GM."

I didn't realize Hendry hadn't signed a single free agent in his tenure, or was it that he hasn't signed one anyone else wanted? Thanks for clearing that up.

The funny thing is that no one seems to realize that Ramirez was not going to re-sign without 'testing the waters'. Manny has been harping on for two weeks, 'sign him, sign him now' blah blah blah. He's not going to resign, he is going to be a free agent. The agents are sensing a 2000 like spending spree by the GM's, that's why none of the big ticket free agents have re-signed. Not Mike Mussina, not Tom Glavine, not Soriano, not Lee, not Schmidt, not Zito, not Pettite, not Clemens, not Thomas, no one besides Jamie Moyer.

As for what contract would keep Ramirez off the open market, I would guess it's 6 years at $95 million. When you have 8 teams flush with cash who are needing a third basemen, why would that third basemen not talk to them at least to decide what he's worth? As far as not trading Ramirez at the deadline, if the Cubs lose him, which I'll go ahead and point out they haven't yet, it would be a bad decision. Who knows what Aramis and his Kinzer told Hendry back then, though? He was hitting .259 at the All-Star break, maybe $23 million for two years seemed like a good contract then, and his outstanding 2nd half made Aramis and Kinzer decide to re-evaluate.

As far as Crunch's evaluation of his defense, I'd say he was pretty good last year at making outs on the balls he gets to, but I'd describe him as 'average at best' and that is only for 2006 for 2005 he was noticeably below average. The stats seem to agree with my evaluation as well.

I don't know what the Mariners think about Adrian Beltre but if the Cubs could get him for Moore and 2 pitchers not named Zambrano, Hill, Gallagher or Veal I think it would be a good idea. He seems to be owed three $35.5 million over the next three years, and his offense would undoubtedly improve in Wrigley and he would give the Cubs third-base defense to rival St. Louis's. Mike Lowell may be available as well, if the Red Sox want to move Youkalis back to third, they would probably be happy to take Howry off our hands.

aram leaving...arod coming?

Kevin Youkilis at 3b, just ask his teammates and Boston fans how they spell his name when it comes to defense (YOUKILLUS). His range is horrible, one foot to each side, his hands not much better and forget left field, this is the same guy that made the highlights by getting hit in the chest with a line drive this season when he filled in for Manny. Pitchers in the American League are starting to figure out YOUKILLUS, his strikeouts are way to high for the style offensive player he needs to be, 279 with 120 strikeouts (more than Manny and Oritz) added with his horrible defense vs his 381 oba (big deal), we cant have that as a player added on in Chicago on either side of town.

SlamDog,

That's not the impression I got out here. I watched a lot of Sox games and know a great many Sox fans.

He's no Derek Lee, but recall that the team set the record for most consecutive games without an error this year.

Plus, they were so surprised by his defense that they had no use for J.T. Snow, and sent him packing.

You cant make an error when you cant get to anything, if you watch him its so evident, plus he better hit 35 home runs with those strikeouts and drive in runs playing the position he might be able to stand at!!!

Hell Nefi Perez has a chance of moving JT Snow at this point in Snows career!

Couple of thoughts:

1. Ramirez had to file to get the maximum leverage. I'm not saying he'll sign with us but he'll get more now by filing.

2. Howry was our best pitcher in 06. Can't trade him.

3. I predict that Padilla will be the guy we go after the hardest.

Bleeding Blue, you sound like Dusty.

Saying that conspiracy theory's are silly, and suggesting that that fans just might be able to come to conclusions that aren't spoon fed to them by the Cubs sounds like Dusty?

How do you figure?

"Now he enters into a bidding war in which our wonderful GM has never won a single time with a single player in his entire tenure as GM."

I didn't realize Hendry hadn't signed a single free agent in his tenure, or was it that he hasn't signed one anyone else wanted? Thanks for clearing that up.

What are you being stupid now? Is that what I said? No it isn't. Hendry has never won a bidding war for any big time free agent. It's a fact,look it up. Unless ofcourse I missed Pudge, Tejada, Furcal, Vlad, Beltran signing with the Cubs. Oh wait I didn't, they went to other teams.

So yeah I am confident Hendry can out bid teams who really really want Ramirez like the Angels, Philly, and even Boston.

JD_Too:
What pitchers would you guys like to see in Cub uniforms next year? I mean besides the obvious choices.

I'd like to see the Cubs get back to building a team around a strong pitching rotation. Next year's rotation, IMO, should look something like this:

Z, Schmidt, Westbrook, Hill, Eaton

If the Cubs insist on keeping Prior around, and by some miracle he is healthy next year, any one of those pitchers could be easily moved.

Unless ofcourse I missed Pudge, Tejada, Furcal, Vlad, Beltran signing with the Cubs. Oh wait I didn't, they went to other teams.

Well if we are going to talk about winning bidding wars, other than Furcal, which of those people did Hendry even get involved with the bidding war?

You can't win if you don't play, and most of the time, Hendry decides not to get involved. In actual bidding wars for top level players, he's 0-1.

and before anyone suggests it, no, I'm not defending Hendry for not getting involved in said bidding wars or saying that its good strategy, just pointing out the relevant facts.

Not pursuing a free agent isn't the same thing as getting outbid. Furcal is pretty much the only one on your list that Hendry actively pursued.

And I'd counter your point by asking: how many times has Hendry failed to keep a current Cub that he wanted?

I forgot a couple other teams who really want Ramirez. The Dodgers and Detroit. Both teams are on the upswing and getting better.

Beltre set the market at $13 million a year for 3rd baseman in 2004. Ramirez has better career numbers so his agent will be starting at that point for a 5 year deal.

He was under-paid compared to the Beltre's contract and he isn't going to be under paid anymore.

So you are looking at 5 years 70+ million for him probably.

#91 of 92: By MikeC (October 31, 2006 08:23 AM)

What are you being stupid now? Is that what I said? No it isn't. Hendry has never won a bidding war for any big time free agent.
-

No you are being stupid. That is not what you said. This, sir, is what you said:

"#81 of 92: By MikeC (October 30, 2006 11:41 PM)
Now he enters into a bidding war in which our wonderful GM has never won a single time with a single player in his entire tenure as GM."

I'm not even disagreeing with your point. Hendry hasn't signed a top-FA, so I am also worried about his chances of signing Aramis.

However, you don't have to be a dick to someone because you didn't clarify yourself on your first statement.

Hendry not winning a bidding war a "Single time with a single player" is not the same as him not winning a bidding war with a top-tier FA. Hell Jacque Jones had a bidding war for his services, obviously a bidding war that Hendry won.

If you meant a bidding war for a top-named FA thats fine, but don't be an ass because you didn't state that point originally and then someone calls you out for being wrong.

I'm hoping Aram is signed, if not you can write off 2007 right now and I'm sure Pinella will start thinking he's in Tampa again.

I recall Hendry saying he mad an offer ~cough~ to Beltran, was "shocked" about the deal Vlad got because of his back, didn't need Tejada when they had AGon for 2004 (ugh), and don't forget Thome basically crawled in with his hat in his hand in 2003 and was rebuffed.

So it looks good to get Aram back, but I don't know how he goes after the 2006 FA's when he turned his nose up a the best FA's arguably ever the last several years.

The only hope I have is that McFail held the purse strings and now they are loose.

It is one thing to resign with a team that seems to be on it's way to building for a World Series. Its another to attempt to resign players after the train wreck of a season we had.

Most players jump ship like rats in those situations as soon as they can. Career's are short, players hate to lose, and if they can get paid and win at the same time they are going to do that in a heart beat.

Obviously, you don't read this site at all. So please leave your stupidity at the door.

All I ever talk about is big time free agents and how Hendry fails each to get them. I don't need to explain myself to people who dont read this site. I have hundreds of posts on this subject to back it up.

You can look it up yourself, just google Cub Reporter. Until you read up, go fuck yourself.

Thanks, LNL.

Couldn't have said it better myself. First time I have ever seen anyone quote himself then say, 'is that what I said? No it isn't'.

I could argue that Maddux and Garciaparra were bigger FA's than Furcal. I could also argue that Pierre's services were as hotly vied for as some of those players you mentioned, particularly Rodriguez who no one wanted to give more than a year deal to until the Tigers came along.

Mike C,

I think you're really looking at 6 years and between $90 to $96 million for Aram Ram.

Carmen,

I don't think Howry was our best pitcher (I'd probably put him behind Zambrano and Hill and would have been Weurtz had he got called up when he should have), and if we wind up with a gaping hole in 3rd and cleanup, I'd rather take the chance that Weurtz can fill Howry's roll than Pedro Feliz or Scott Moore can fill Aram Ram's.

Ryno,

I believe there's any reason to pay for Adam Eaton, just get him off the scrap heap in June from whatever team that releases him. Westbrook is not a very DIPS friendly guy. I would prefer someone with higher K rates if we're going to give up prospects for him.

It's a wonder you have to post at all, since everyone can read your mind!

#99 of 101: By MikeC (October 31, 2006 08:55 AM)
Obviously, you don't read this site at all. So please leave your stupidity at the door.

You can look it up yourself, just google Cub Reporter. Until you read up, go fuck yourself.
---

So because you post so often no one has to read your exact statements? We should automatically know what you think? Because I posted your statements side by side and you apparently didn't disagree with my analysis.

You simply contend that because you are a frequent poster, its my responsibility to check up on your, or any other posters, background and views before I respond..... is that correct?

Somehow I didn't feel that Googling TCR and reading the message board archives was a prerequisite to posting on the this message board.

Your anger is pretty damn funny also. "Go fuck yourself"... because someone called you out (correctly) on a Cubs message board? Are you serious?

Keep it coming Mike. This entertainment is getting me through my morning classes.

Here's some good news from the Detroit News:

"Bonderman represents potentially the biggest business decision Dombrowski and his staff will face. Do they try and sign him to a long-term contract that likely is to be extravagant -- if Bonderman and his agent bite -- or do they trade him for a handsome return that would almost certainly provide multiple Grade-A position players, including, perhaps, a top-shelf catching prospect?"

Jones, Marshall and Fox for Bonderman? Does Jones count as a Grade-A position player? Does Fox count as a top-shelf catching prospect?

Why is Mike always involved in all of the shouting matches.

Come on, now.

Also, the word from the NY area is that the Yanks have a deal in place to trade Sheffield, but have yet to pull the trigger. (They are waiting for the market to sweeten.)

The Cubs are mentioned as one of the possible teams. Do we want him?

I say no. I can do without the attitude. However, it Jones is going the other way, I say do it.

"Also, the word from the NY area is that the Yanks have a deal in place to trade Sheffield, but have yet to pull the trigger. (They are waiting for the market to sweeten.)

The Cubs are mentioned as one of the possible teams. Do we want him?"

2 Words: Hell. No. The last thing the Cubs need to do is sign an over-the-hill short-term solution to a long-term problem. Sheff is what, 40 now? And he has some health problems? I can't imagine that working out very well at all.

Hendry has already screwed up the contract siuation with ARam giving him this free out. By not resigning him in this market, it would be even a bigger disaster. Hendry has to sign him. If he doesn't, no Hendry apologist in the world can logically explain this one. 11 days and counting Hendry!!!

Manny,

Knock, knock. Ramirez is going to do the whole Free Agent thing. How could you not realize that by now?

"Hendry has already screwed up the contract siuation with ARam giving him this free out."

Has it ever occurred to you that Ramirez probably wouldn't have signed the extension in '05 if he didn't have the opt-out? Or that we go two years of Ramirez well below market thanks to that opt-out? How is that a screw up?

Kinzer called the opt out 'a major conscession' on Hendry's part. Probably Aram Ram would have taken less money in '05 and '06 if he hadn't gotten it, like $6 million a year. Maybe Hendry doesn't know what a free agent is! There's a myriad of possiblitiies on why Aram Ram's contract was structured that way, too bad none of them make any sense.

The Real Neal:
"Ramirez is going to do the whole Free Agent thing."

That doesn't change the fact that Hendry needs to sign him or he would have made the biggest blunder in his GM tenure, which is saying a lot. Giving him the out, then not trading him, then not resigning him before FA starts, then losing him....That would be a NIGHTMARE.

Vorare:
"Has it ever occurred to you that Ramirez probably wouldn't have signed the extension in '05 if he didn't have the opt-out?"

Yeah that might of happened (I wouldn't say probally). But ARam could of just asked for more money per year to make up for not having the opt out.

"Or that we go two years of Ramirez well below market thanks to that opt-out?"

I would of had no problem paying fair market value for ARam to get a 4 year deal with no opt out. Getting him cheaper the last two years was no big favor as now we are going to have to more than make up for it with this new contract.

I highly doubt Ramirez would have signed a four year deal without the player option. He was only 26 at the time, he was coming off of a huge year, and Carlos Beltran (who was actually older than him) had just signed a 7x120 deal.

"That doesn't change the fact that Hendry needs to sign him or he would have made the biggest blunder in his GM tenure, which is saying a lot. Giving him the out, then not trading him, then not resigning him before FA starts, then losing him....That would be a NIGHTMARE."

Manny,

I think you're under the impression that these negotiations are one sided affairs. Jim Hendry has no control over what Aram Ram does. He cannot make him sign a contract. Way back in the '04 off-season Aramis and his agent wanted to have the ability to be free agents after the 2006 season. They left probably a million dollars on the table for the '06 season, so that he would have that opportunity. This is most likely going to be the only big pay day for Aramis's career (as well as his agent, whoever he is), so he is going to squeeze every last penny out of it. That's human nature. Compare it to Greg Maddux's free agency. If Aramis is being honest in saying his preference is for the Cubs, I think he'll return. I don't think Hendry is going to pull the rug out from under him like ... God what was his name, Hymes? did Maddux.

Hypothetically, what if losing ARam frees up the money to sign Soriano and Zito or Schmidt? I think I'd be fine with that. Obviously those dollars don't cancel out, but if you re-sign ARam to a big deal, there's not as much money left for other FAs.

And to be honest, I just don't consider ARam to be a superstar. Sure, he's good, but superstars don't take the first 3 months of the season off every year.

Doug D,

I think that what the average Cubs fan wants is them to re-sign Ramirez then add Soriano and Schmidt.

One of the Baltimore Papers says Soriano's agent using Carlos Beltran's contract as a starting point for negotiations. It is going to be a fun off-season.

We will se what happenes, but I can't see any logical excuse for Hendry here if ARam is not in a Cubs uniform next year. He has had 3-4 different chances to make the ARam situation right and didn't. Until ARam signs, Hendry still has time to sign him, let's just hope it gets done, if not this offseason is off to a disasterous start.

Doug D.:
"Hypothetically, what if losing ARam frees up the money to sign Soriano and Zito or Schmidt? I think I'd be fine with that."

There are two problems with that idea. First, what makes you think Hendry would be able to sign TWO top tier FA's when he hasn't even signed one in his tenure. Secondly, by losing ARam, the team takes one big step backwards. But by adding Soriano and Schmidt/Zito the team takes 2 big steps forward, only netting one step forward. In my opinion, the team needs more than one step forward to improve enough to seriously compete next year.

The Real Neal:
"I think that what the average Cubs fan wants is them to re-sign Ramirez then add Soriano and Schmidt."

I agree with you on that, but unfortunately sometimes there's just not enough money to go around. Do I think it's realistic that Hendry would get 2 top tier free agents? Not really. But, my point was that the world won't implode if Aramis isn't re-signed. That just frees up more cash to go out and fill other needs.

He has had 3-4 different chances to make the ARam situation right and didn't.

What were these 3-4 different chances that you speak of?

Bleeding Blue:
"What were these 3-4 different chances that you speak of?"

1) Could of not included opt out in contract.
2) Could of renegotiated his contract last offseason.
3) Could of traded him this trading deadline.
4) Could of renegotiated his contract at this trading deadline if he wasn't going to be traded.
5) Could resign him now.

All 5 of those could have realistically been/be done to protect the Chicago Cubs from having ARam walk this offseason and get basically nothing.

Losing Ramirez and gaining Soriano would be a lateral move at best. This team had the worst offense in baseball last year. It has been several years since this offense was even in the top half in the NL. You cannot lose Ramirez and replace him with one bat. If Ramirez leaves then you have to get two really big bats to replace him. Soriano, Carlos Lee, Aubrey Huff. That is about it. You have to get 2 from that 3. And you have to sign a Starting pitcher. There is no way to spin this into a positive. The cubs are going to have to spend 40 million next year on 3 new players.

I agree with manny on this. Its not like we didnt know about this opt out last offseason. The cubs made it a priority to re-up Derrek Lee this year. Apparently Aramis wasnt as big a deal. Chances are we are going to be seeing this same scenerio playing out with Carlos Zambrano next year at his time.

speaking of trading Ramirez, sounds like he did have a no-trade clause and didn't want to go anywhere.

http://tinyurl.com/ylfvhr

Ramirez had a no-trade provision in the first two years of his four-year, $42 million deal, and he told the Tribune during the '06 season he did not want to be traded, no matter how bad it got for the Cubs. Three of the four years were guaranteed, and an $11 million mutual option for 2009 would have automatically kicked in if he made 270 combined starts in '07 and '08.

Miles of the Herald and I believe the Trib as well have been saying that this Ramirez deal had a lot to do with MacPhail for what it's worth.

For the extra couple of million they saved to get Ramirez inked, they gave him this opt-out. Assuming this no-trade is true, I would say the Cubs were pretty confident they'd be competitive those 2 years and didn't see any reason why they'd want to trade Ramirez, so might as well make him feel wanted.

this isn't brain surgery guys, we'd have been going through this dance last year instead of this off-season is the only difference.

As for Soriano wanting Beltran money, HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Your anger is pretty damn funny also. "Go fuck yourself"... because someone called you out (correctly) on a Cubs message board? Are you serious?

You called me out on what exactly? We have been talking for weeks on how the Cubs need to sign some big time free agents and how Hendry always seems to come up short.

That is the context I was speaking in and what many other posters speak in as well on this site. That is why I am in no mood to put up with people who don't even bother to take the time to follow the flow of the conversation.

Thats why I told you to google TCR. I don't have the time nor the desire to be your history teacher on this site. If you don't like it, thats your problem not mine.

Next time you butt into a conversation, actually know what your butting into. Until then I am done with you.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/printedition/ny...

apparently Yanks already have a deal for Sheff that they lilke but are hoping the market imrpoves.

Claims Cubs and Phils are the top suitors...

1) Could of not included opt out in contract.

I've never liked the opt out, but if the alternative would have been to sign him to a 2 year deal, then we'd be no better off today.

2) Could of renegotiated his contract last offseason.

Possibly, if ARam had been interested. I'd say its more likely that he wanted to see how this season played out though.

3) Could of traded him this trading deadline.

Well, yes, but who knows what another team would have give up for him, considering he was basically a FA at the end of the year. More importantly, if you want him to stick around long term, trading him isn't the best way to go about doing that. Even if ARam certainly wants to test Free Agency, there are advantages to having him on your team.

4) Could of renegotiated his contract at this trading deadline if he wasn't going to be traded.

Sure, if ARam was willing to renegotiate. If he was set on testing Free Agency, then ARam simply might not have accepted any deal put on the table.

5) Could resign him now.

Yeah, and Boras was saying Damon deserved a seven year deal last offseason. He ended up at what, 4x52?

Another thing to consider in the Ramirez negotiations: if Hendry/Ramirez come to terms on a contract, that contract is going to set the bar for other free agent negotiations. If they hand him the 6x90 deal some people here are talking about, the chances of adding another bat (Soriano) and a top-end pitcher (Schmidt/Matsuzaka) would drop dramatically--even with the bigger payroll.

I don't have any idea what Ramirez is asking for right now, but I'm guessing it's less than what Soriano is demanding and will get. And he's going to end up being a bargain then because he's a MUCH BETTER hitter than Soriano.

I agree that Ramirez is a better hitter than Soriano. Aramis was scheduled in for 11.5 mil this year anyway. Giving him 15 million is not that big of a stretch. Jim Hendry will just have to not give Glendon Rusch another extention. It might also close the possibility of bringing Neifi Back.

"there's just not enough money to go around"-
That's true if this team was in Pittsburgh or Kansas City.

Look this is their bed now they have to lie in it because of no minor league options.

Soriano has no defesive position to play, he and Lee are best suited for DHing. If you loose Aram and sing Soriano you are making up the at bats but are creating two holes in the field.

That said I can live with Soriano's defense with Aram at third.

By the way-

WHO THE HELL IS GOING TO PITCH???

Here's an article that hints at what Ramirez is demanding. It's referencing open market values, but I doubt he's offering the Cubs much of a discount. Important bit:

Kinzer said Ramirez would be seeking "six years for a lot of money" on the open market.

"With his age, we're looking for at least six years," he said. "We'll let the market dictate (price). This is going to be a very robust market."

the aram whining is getting stupid. yeah, stupid.

there's a couple people who have already signaled his exit and calling for hendry's head and pissed a guy who could have gotten 23-25m the past 2 years "only" got 19m.

people wanna PRETEND hendry is totally off guard by the situation he's in. people wanna PRETEND aram is wanting to leave. a lotta this isnt even based on aram, but a want to pour more distracting hate on guys who wear suits and ties.

NONE of this is surprising, unexpected, or even mildly shocking. this process is exactly as expected outside of cowering to the 1st offer and handing it over. *WE* might want this over now, but the money/years on the line is very real.

aram's situation now is no different than it was last week or last month aside from some paperwork.

2 weeks...

there's other teams in this situation. the mets WANT glavine, but no one is screaming the 'sky is falling' because he hasnt signed straight up really quickly.

who's the big retention signs so far? moyer? that it?

2 weeks...

My questions:

1) To keep the key guys, whomever they are, from last year, is that gonna cost us more money next year than it did this past year? I am assuming the answer is yes, if we are gonna keep Pierre. Is there anyone else who is gonna get more money next year (other than ARAM)?

2) If we sign ARAM for $16 million per year for six years, and re-sign Pierre at more money, would our payroll next year likely be higher or lower than this year if we just put the same team back out there? If lower, lower by how much?

3) Realistically, how much above last season's payroll will the Cubs have to go to have any chance at the playoffs next year?

4) And what is the likelihood that the Tribune Company will agree to increase payroll by that much?

Thanks.

and we are rid of Maddux's contract, and are not going to exercise Wood's option,

Sorry, just skip the sentence fragment in # 133 below the thank you. My error.

ohman/prior due small raises.

Z and potentially aram due a few million.

combined for all (assuming aram) the raises they all get shouldnt be more than 10m.

ohman - 600K
prior - 3.65m
zambr - 6.5m
aram - 10.5m

ohman's due to become a millionaire...prior shouldnt get much of a raise, if any at all...Z's good for 3-4m depending on contract structure...aram due 0-3m depending on contract structure.

that's just assuming based on other contracts and general structure...dlee's was a straight contract, 13m each year, rather than being tiered and backloaded.

bottom of this artlice says Elia has been in talks to be the Cubs hitting coach...a few days old.

http://tinyurl.com/y9ge26

Arm:
"Is there anyone else who is gonna get more money next year (other than ARAM)?"

Besides ARam:
- Zambrano cost $6.5 million last year and is looking at around $10 million this year in arbitration.
- Rusch is going to cost $500,000 more (contracted raise).
- JJ is going to cost $1.0 million more (contracted raise).
- Izturis is going to cost $1.05 million more (contracted raise).
- Barrett will cost $600,000 more (contracted raise).

"If we sign ARAM for $16 million per year for six years, and re-sign Pierre at more money, would our payroll next year likely be higher or lower than this year if we just put the same team back out there? If lower, lower by how much?"

Lower by about $10 million.

"Realistically, how much above last season's payroll will the Cubs have to go to have any chance at the playoffs next year?"

I think they would need to go up to $115-$120 million, stay healthy and have Hendry spend the money properly to have a realistic shot at the playoffs next year.

"And what is the likelihood that the Tribune Company will agree to increase payroll by that much?"

Not very likely. I would say maybe 20 percent chance we see at least a $115 million payroll on opening Day. I will believe an major raise to the payroll when I see it.

Oh yeah, forgot about Prior and Ohman. They will get raises too. Yeah about $10 million in raises for players who will/should be kept.

6 years 96 mil. Pull the trigger.

Nomar put up 20HR/93 RBI in only 469 AB's last year. If (big if) he were healthy enough to get ARam's 594 AB's, we'd be looking at 25 HR's/117 RBI from 3B at about $8 mil per season on a short-term deal.

If ARam is serious about $15M/6 years, then a fall-back position of Nomar + $7M for pitching or more hitting is somewhat palatable.

If the Cubs do re-sign ARam, then sign Zambrano to an extension, and then sign 1-2 premium FA's to long-term deals to go along with DLee's deal, the Cubs may find themselves in a highly inflexible salary position for the next 4-5 years.

I'm constantly impressed with the level of knowledge of the fans here. I learn much from you. I could do without some of the name calling, but that is not important. So, thanks folks.

I know that Mr. Ram was expected the file. Yet, I find myself very, very nervous. Why would you let a 28 year old (this is key for me--prime hitting years), decent fielding, good hitting with protection guy leave over a couple of million bucks a year. It makes me wonder if we are being lied to again (whether intentionally or not). The Trib is soliciting offers from investment banks to buy the company, spilt it up, and/or sell of some parts. Yet, JohnnyMac tells the fans that we are going to see a bigger payroll/. yet, they might well be sticking to a low number. Sure, it is how things work in a negoiation, but this might be the biggest mistake of the Hendry era (Willis, etc being ignored for now). If he hits the market in 14 days, he is gone. California here he comes.

I can't believe that SweetLou would take the job unless promises were made. He is not Dusty, he is a smart and wise man. If they screw with him, they truly are far worse than I ever imagined. I'm happy that Dennis Fitzsimmons seems have the right message. The only way I will believe it is when the ink is dry on a big contract (even for someone else).

You want that money to keep Mr. Ram? Let Pierre go. Sure, you gave up too much for him. And Vernon Wells will cost too much, Crawford will, Pie is CPAT II, and SOriano might well be too expesnive for cheap friends. I know that spending 115 million is a lot, but you need to actually soend it wisely. And ARam is a no brainer. Maybe even literally after the pop up on the head.

I just can't trust them. I don't think they debliberately lie. Furcal surprised them and I don't blame the cubs too much.

Piere's 5 mill is more than enough for Aram to get. Pierre and his two hundred hits and his pathetic neifi like loyalty to the worst manager ever (not true) can go else where. There is your money.

Just get to it or Hendry, I'll drive your uhaul off to sacramento so you can hang out with your buddy.

"bottom of this artlice says Elia has been in talks to be the Cubs hitting coach...a few days old."

Lee Elia? My fuckin' ass!

I can't believe my Sheffield prediction still has life.
I also predict if Aram comes back for the money Crunch is talking, Pie will be your opening day centerfielder.

Lee Elia!!!!

"country c-s@ckers!!"

Any else think the 7-0 start of the Bears is a mirage? And when the real competition starts (NE, NY)...trouble comes. Or think the Bulls will win the Eastern Conference?

Or is it just 25 years of watching the Cubs?

Jesus, help./

Is this a religious blog, now?

Rob?

If we could get Huff and Garciaparra for the same $ that Aram Ram get's paid, I don't think that would be the end of the world. Huff could get starts at third and the corner outfield positions and backup another D Lee cataclysm, and Nomar can play his 120 games and drive in Lee 70 times.

Bears are good, although I imagine everyone will jump off the bandgwagon if they lose a game or two in that NY trip. They're the most talented team in the NFC, I don't see anyone close to be honest. It's just a matter of staying healthy and hungry.

Colts and Pats will be worthy foes in the Super Bowl if we get that far.

Now the Bulls are a mirage. They'll probably be good during the regular season, depth will do that for you. But I don't see them getting past the 2nd round of the playoffs with the current team. The Pistons were a nice story a few years ago but there the exception to the rule. You need a superstar or two and a 4th quarter scorer, which they are sorely lacking. They should do everything they can to get Garnett if he becomes available.

i still cringe every time i see nomar throw sidearmed.

he was still throwing sidearm when playing 1st...no one can bribe/pay/etc. him enough to change that motion it seems.

Doesn't Ben Gordon have 'Fourth Quarter Scorer' tatooed across his back?

Pass on Mr Sour Juice, Huff, his career is on a definite reverse and very very poor 3rd baseman and thee outfields not much better.

If the Bears pull one win out of that trip I will be happy.

They have the division sown up, Donald Driver said he hopes the Bears lose 5-6 games so the Pack can get back in. Pass the pipe.

As the St Louis Cardinals proved, just get into the playoffs.

mannytrillo:
Oh yeah, forgot about Prior and Ohman. They will get raises too. Yeah about $10 million in raises for players who will/should be kept.

It's criminal that Prior will get any kind of money at all. I've downgraded his status from "risky money" to "money dumpster". The Wood/Prior era is over, let's move on with our lives. Don't resign Wood, not at any price, and don't offer arbitration to Prior. A $1 mil/year contract for either is overpaying.

I will believe an major raise to the payroll when I see it.

Yeah... me too.

Ugh... my Foxsports.com Rumor feed has a headline:

Cubs eye Aramis and Crede

It's sad for several reasons, I'll let you find your own sadness in it.

"It's sad for several reasons, I'll let you find your own sadness in it"

It makes sense.

Crede can pitch right?

Jacos,

Can I send you an email? If so post your email or send me one. You can click my name to get it.

Thanks.

As far as Crede goes. IF we cannot sign Aramis, we need to find some one to play third. And IF Aram walks, I wouldn't mind Crede as plan b.

Aramis is a free agent. Man.

Painful as it may be, Hendry now has to treat this just like any other business decision. Is this the right guy to play 3B given the market and his asking price? His history with the Cubs is just that, now -- history. Aramis decided to break ties with the Cubs and end discussions 12 days before he had to, which is a pretty big statement.

Having said that, he would fill a glaring need -- the Cubs now need a power hitting third baseman! At the right price Hendry has to go get him, but only if it makes sense. I fear that it won't -- somebody is going to overpay mightily for the guy. It may make sense to overpay some for a guy like him -- but not because he was a Cub for a few years.

Like most of us I never liked this deal. I know it was a calculated gamble by Hendry -- he gave up the opt-out term to get the deal done at the salary he wanted to pay -- but it's backfiring miserably.

It's sad because:

1. He's no longer a Cub, they can only 'eye' Aramis.
2. It's not rational, but I have a thing against former WSox.
3. There's a real good chance the Cubs end up with neither... and instead we get Pedro Feliz.

Pedro Feliz actually wouldn't be a bad idea, he's almost reached 'wiz' status with the glove, but the Cubs would need a lights-out pitching staff... and at this point I fear the Cubs will only improve the starting rotation enough to be mediocre.

The team needs an identity... are they going to be pitching/defense, or put together several big bats?

"The team needs an identity... are they going to be pitching/defense, or put together several big bats?"

The team doesn't need an identity. Just spend money on good players regardless of where they play and fill in the rest with whatever youngsters can do the job.
Can everyone live with Theriot now? Especially if it means keeping Aramis and getting the top-of-the-rotation pitcher the Cubs need?
I'll pass on the Durham's and Loretta's. Use Theriot instead and spend the saved money on a better player like Schmidt or Soriano.

Doesn't Ben Gordon have 'Fourth Quarter Scorer' tatooed across his back?

I'm not a big Gordon fan. He's certainly our best scoring option late in games and really the only guy who CAN takeover a game, but honestly he's not that much better than Jamal Crawford. Low 40% shooters just don't cut in the NBA, not if you want to win a championship.

Man 2 picks away from Dwayne Wade, what could have been?

Deng's is probably the best player on the team and still a spry 21 that he could develop into something special.

I don't see Nomar as a solution of any kind for the Cubs. Isn't the guy just a trainwreck waiting to happen? Saying what Nomar's stats would project out to over a full season if he stayed healthy is sort of like saying that if Wood can stay healthy next year he could win 20 games. Didn't we learn our lesson with Nomar. If ARAM is gone for good, and I fear he may be, Nomar is not the answer. If Hendry is serious about fielding a contending team, then we may have to put a serviceable guy at third and stock up at other positions. I don't think Hendry should drag this out though. If ARAM won't sign with the Cubs by December 1st, then forget about him, move on, and go after other players. The last thing we need is waiting and waiting for ARAM, only to not get him and watch other players we have interest in sign with other teams.

When would you guys cut the cord with ARAM and go to plan B? I just don't think we can wait for this guy to make up his mind if it is not going to happen until late December or into January.

Cubs eye Aramis and Crede

Is there a link on that? When I pull up foxsports rumors (ben maller actually) the only mention of Crede is with the Angels in a swap for Chone Figgins if they can't land Ramirez. Just curious if the RSS thing is out of whack or something...

"When would you guys cut the cord with ARAM and go to plan B?"

Easy you cut the cord on him the moment he signs with another team or tells you that he does not want to be a Cub under any circumstances.

Right now, Hendry (probably) has an idea of whether or not he will be able to re-sign ARam. Let's face it, if ARam wants to be a Cub, he will be. If he doesn't, no amount of money will change that. The only bad part would be if he leveraged us just to up the offer from another team. Hopefully, if he wants to be a Cub, he will give them the right of last refusal. Get the best offer out there and tell the Cubs to match it. Unless someone goes berserk, and I don't think they will, the Cubs should match it.

The cord has already been cut with Ramirez. He cut it yesterday by filing for free agency.

As with any other free agent, it is a big mistake to but your emotional and financial eggs in one basket. He's one of many free agents out there right now. Until yesterday it made sense to focus on resigning him, but the game has changed.

He's not going to be in a hurry to sign with anyone anyway, so it's time to move on. He should remain on the Cubs' radar screen of course -- he would fill a glaring need -- but the Cubs have to move on and focus on other priorities in the meantime.

"The cord has already been cut with Ramirez. He cut it yesterday by filing for free agency."

Not true at all. the free agency period doesn't even start til, what, december? He just wasn't going to pick up his option and no one expected him to.

filing for free agency doesnt make you a free agent.

hell, he cant even talk to other teams for 2 more weeks.

ARam can talk to other teams. He can talk to them about everything but money.

OK, Jan Brady.

Manny, that's what makes me wonder about the reports from the O's on what Soriano is looking for. Clearly Soriano and the O's discussed years AND money. Do the Nationals have a case for tampering?

Me like Nomar. He good and try hard. I like Nomar for Cubs in 07 and forever. No-mah!!!!!!!!

Rob G.:
Is there a link on that? When I pull up foxsports rumors (ben maller actually) the only mention of Crede is with the Angels in a swap for Chone Figgins if they can't land Ramirez. Just curious if the RSS thing is out of whack or something...

Yeah, that's the right article. The RSS feed gives a short title for each of those articles and the title for that one was "Cubs eye Aramis and Crede".

I thought once you file, you can talk to anyone. You can only sign with your own team until FA starts, but I think you can start talking to anyone.

Good. Let him talk. Let him get a good idea of how much he could get on the open market, yet be unable to sign a deal and let him tell JH that figure and let JH say, OK.

Yeah, that's the right article. The RSS feed gives a short title for each of those articles and the title for that one was "Cubs eye Aramis and Crede"

So it's really "Angels eye Ramirez and Crede" then.

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