Free Agent Rankings

If this USA today article is to be believed, and I don't know why it wouldn't, Elias has finished their rankings of players that determine their Free Agent classification. This in turn determines what other teams will have to cough up if they sign one of these players (assuming arbitration is offered) or receive if one of their players is signed. The relevant Cubs are Aramis Ramirez (Type A), Juan Pierre (Type B) and Henry Blanco (Type C). The new CBA has changed the rules on draft pick compensation but those don't go into effect until next offseason. Thus, if the Cubs lose Ramirez they'll either get a 1st round pick (if the signing team doesn't have a pick in the top 15 next year) or a 2nd round pick (if the signing team does have one of those protected top 15 picks) and a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd round. The same deal goes for Juan Pierre, although the Cubs would not receive the sandwich pick. The Cubs would get a sandwich pick between the 2nd and 3rd rounds for Henry Blanco if he signs somewhere else and is offered arbitration, the latter part being very likely since the Cubs seem to want him to stay. As for some of the free agents that the Cubs are rumored to be interested in: Jason Schmidt (Type A) Barry Zito (Type A) Alfonso Soriano (Type A) Julio Lugo (Type A) Ray Durham (Type A) Carlos Lee (Type A) Mark Loretta (Type A) Greg Maddux(Type A) Say what? Jeff Suppan (Type A) See Maddux Vicente Padilla (Type B) Ted Lilly (Type B) Adam Eaton (Type C) Randy Wolf (Type C) Elias system is based off the last two years and mostly relies on counting stats and does not account for defense in any way. I don't know what exact categories they use. The USA today article eludes to batting average, OBP, home runs, RBI's and plate appearances for hitters but I don't know if that's the complete list nor do I know the pitching categories used. The Cubs first round pick is protected though given their top 15 status.
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Comments

Your favorite website and mine has a story that Ramirez and the Cubs are reportedly close on a deal, the rumors apparently originating from George Ofman on WSCR:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com

This could be a prime example of the media feeding on itself like so:

-Media Source 1 reports potential figures, makes speculation that deal should be able to be reached.
-Media Source 2 reports deal is close to being reached.

Still, it's not bad news. Anyone else in the Chicago radio market have news on this?

I thought Ofman got canned last year for some bogus rumor...

Sure hope he's right on this one though. :)

He got a slap on the wrist but kept his job.

Perhaps that means Ofman is more cautious now in the rumors he reports? And if so, perhaps this one has some validity?

http://firejoemorgan.blogspot.com/2006/11/let...

this is too funny, a guy ripping into Greg Couch's article on Ramirez.

if you have a scout.com account, pics of the Yanks new Dominican complex

http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=260&p=2&c=585750

also heard a Score update and it was something like sources close to the Cubs say they are making progress in the Ramirez talks.

supposedly a copy of the OLD CBA

http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf

this is what teams can discuss until Nov 11th: (pages 65-70)

The following subjects are among those
which may properly be discussed between any Club and such
Player:
(i) the Playerís interest in playing for the Club, and the
Clubís interest in having the Player play for it;
(ii) the Clubís plans about how it intends to utilize the Play-
erís services (as a starting pitcher or reliever, as a designated
hitter or not, platooning, etc.);
(iii) the advantages and disadvantages of playing for the
Club including the nature of the organization, the climate of
the city, availability of suitable housing, etc.;
(iv) length of contract;
(v) guarantee provisions;
(vi) no-trade or limited no-trade provisions.

so they can talk about basically everything but actual dollar figures...

Espn 1000 Bruce Levine reported that same thing about Aram and Cubs.

Somebody should email that FireJoeMorgan article to Greg Couch. Totally true and totally hilarious.

That Couch article was total bs written by a sophmoric douche bag.

I mean between him and Rosenbloom you would think they were talking about Gary Gaietti in 1999.

Couch-
Keep to writing about the Chicago Sky(WNBA) and change your byline picture from you Junior year book picture from high school.

Your making Mariotti look like Peter Gammons.

Those rankings are whacky!

jacos:
Espn 1000 Bruce Levine reported that same thing about Aram and Cubs.

Is he usually reliable?

Wow, I'm reading the latest revised post on MLBTradeRumors. Which reader/poster here is Tim Dierkes? He seems to mimick this afternoon's discusssions here at TCR very closely.

Tim was on here once to call Crunch some bad names....

His site gets a bit of a bad wrap in my opinion. I mean it's called MLB Trade RUMORS, you know what you're getting. He does a fine job of accumulating stuff from various sources so I check those out. The ones from his own sources I tend to tune out, but are they any worse than half the crap in major newspapers?

interesting, Phils and Rowand both declined their options for next year. He still has a year of club control left, but Phils are basicaly betting he'll get less than $5 mil next year in arbitration. Either that or they have something else planned for CF.

His site gets a bit of a bad wrap in my opinion.

Aside from my "your favorite site and mine" comment, I agree. I usually check it every day just to see what might be brewing.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6124268

Rosenthal says:

- Mets and Soriano are still a possibility. His "executive" source is saying Soriano is asking for more something between 5/75 and 5/85 and an option year, with that 6th year likely being guaranteed because of the demand.

- Heilman wants to be a starter and may ask for a trade (not that he has any right to). Very unhappy out of the bullpen supposedly.

- A-rod getting traded is still out there but the Yanks want Arod and Boras to make the demands. Also Arod has an opt-out clause after next season. Very unlikely to take it, but a team would be hesitant to take him if he could just walk away.

Mariners officially out of the Matsuzaka race....

http://tinyurl.com/y7mg7r

front of ESPN has Olney saying Orioles may enter Matsuzaka race...

Ryno-
Bruce is better than Offerman(tallest midget) but its a second source to confirm that the talks are moving. Bruce was the one that said back in June the Jacques Jones had a sore shoulder coming into ST. But he also had Mark Prior pegged to be back in early June with no problems.

Don't know if this was mentioned Mota got 50 games suspension for being on the juice. And he's a FA. The bang you just heard was his agent's gun.

Also does it seem like more pitchers are getting pinched than hitters with the testing? Ted Williams always said pitchers were biggest bunch of dumbasses.

Mariners out of the Matsuzaka race. Wow!
Probably between Yanks and Mets now.

front of ESPN has Olney saying Orioles may enter Matsuzaka race...

That Olney "blog" was interesting today. He suggested that the Orioles or another team could enter the Matsuzaka bidding just to screw the whole thing up. The example he gave was the Orioles could bid say $50 million for the posting and easily win. They then could low ball Matsuzaka with a contract offer of something like $6 years / $6 million. He then could take the offer and they end up getting him for $56 million total, or go back to Japan, and they get their $50 million back. Either way, he doesn't end up with the Yankees.

The amount of bad will that kind of move would engender from the the MLB, the 29 other owners, and the entire Japanese market simply wouldn't be worth the relatively minor benefit of keeping Matsuzaka away from the Yanks.

And I also think he can be reposted if a deal can't be met with the original winning bidder.

Yeah, seems unlikely to happen. Sure would be fun though.

Also, I went back and re-read the blog, his example contract offer was $5 million / year for 10 years not $6 million / 6 years. You get the idea though.

The game is global - it's high time we draft like it is. The DRays should be the ones looking to either draft him or trade their pick, but because of this sport's archaic rules, they can't do either!

I have posted this on another thread - but - the "rumor web site" AND George Ofman

This is SO FUNNY!

Indeed, George Ofman last year was publicly humiliated when he on the air reported as fact a signing that never happened and was a rumor from his "sources". He had to then go on the air again and apologize to hosts and listeners!

Couple this with the fraud at the "rumor site" and ya got a helluva pair goin on.

Now, if, as someone pointed out, Bruce Levine comes out on the air and states this publicly, I'd give it more credibility. (he always out "scoops" the above reporter on breaking stuff, btw)

JACOS, he is really well-respected by players and management over a 30-year career and USUALLY he is on-target with breaking news & trades. If you've followed him for a while, you know what I'm talking about.

I like the rumor site. He gets as much right from 'his sources' as any of those other guys.

My understanding of the posting system is if the winning team can't work out a deal then the 2nd place team gets awarded Matsuzaka and so on.

Atleast thats what Wikipedia says....

according to BR.com, they say he gets returned to his Japanese team if he a deal can't be negotiated and I've read that other places as well.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Pos...

Doesn't mean they can't repost him or just offer him to the next bidder though.

"Thou Who Shalt Not Be Named" is getting an interview with the Padres according to rotoworld.

As for the Ofman rumor or whatever his name is, I listened to the Score for part of the afternoon and they kept repeating the Cubs made progress. Doesn't mean much, other than one side (likely Hendry) made some concessions. MLB Trade rumors just repeated what was heard on the Score....

And according to another comment ESPN radio repeated the "progress" bit.

Relax fellas....

I am sure this will disappoint many on here, but Baker is getting an interview with the Padres.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

wasn't there a third JL pitcher the Cubs were allegedly interested in?

I think most Cubs fans would be pleased if Baker were to manage all of the other 15 teams in the NL.

I think Rogers threw out some names and one of them is Kazumi Saito, never heard anything else about him since.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?i...

more on Matsuzaka and they also say he gets returned to Seibu if an agreement can't be reached. Also, if he pitches in Japan next year, he can be posted again next offseason because he can't become a free agent until 20 days into the 2008 season.

Kazumi Saito is signed for 2 more years and I don't see anything about him being posted on the web.

I wonder if signing Matsuzaka will help the Cubs sign one of the other free agent Japanese FA's to fil in the 4th starter slot. Kei Igawa is rumored to become MLB available free agent for 2007.

http://www.japaneseballplayers.com/en/

I honestly think Rogers heard Hendry say there a couple of Japanese pitchers they're interested in and then looked up the ERA leaders from last year and then wrote the article.

I thought I read that Igawa might get posted, fwiw.

So the Dodgers might get a 1st round pick if Maddux signs elsewhere? And they dumped Izturis on the Cubs? Not too shabby on Colletti's part.

Oh yeah and he got the Cubs to pay $2 million of Maddux's remaining $3 million salary.

Dodgers might, but I can't expect in this universe that they'd offer arbitration to Maddux meaning they wouldn't get compensation if he walked. You don't get too many paycuts in arbitration and it's pretty unlikely Maddux is leaving there anyway.

#27: Indeed, George Ofman last year was publicly humiliated when he on the air reported as fact a signing that never happened and was a rumor from his "sources". He had to then go on the air again and apologize to hosts and listeners!

As I recall, the consequence of that incident was that Ofman was removed from the baseball beat, and returned to just doing updates. So if people are now saying "Ofman on the Score says X," I don't think they're referring to him reporting his findings after conferring with sources; they heard him read something that, presumably, somebody else dug up.

Not sure if this article's been posted yet, but here's Ozzie talking about Piniella. Found on Foxsports, Ben Maller.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen endorsed the Cubs' hiring of Lou Piniella as manager and doesn't mind sharing some of the spotlight with him. "You can bring Lou, but you have to bring somebody to play for Lou," said Guillen, adding the Cubs should benefit from a healthy Derrek Lee. "If they bring Lou Piniella to the Cubs organization, that's a team you have to be careful with next year if you play in that division. "At least the media won't talk about me every day. That's something I'm excited about. In Chicago, I think people are going to focus a little bit more on Lou than Ozzie, and it's something I was looking for. Lou will do a tremendous job there. "I have respect for the guy who left (Dusty Baker). But I don't think they'll play the way they played last year ever again."

Full Story

E-man-
Agreed, Levine is the top guy in Chicago, Ofman butchers names on updates-
"Cubs named Anal.. Alan Trammell coach.."

The best was when he gave the Astro's lineup and announce "Mike Lamb at first" he said was in a rush and it sounded like "My Clam at first" a caller on the show now goes on as "George's Clam at first"

Ozzie nice backhand at Dusty. And unless Ozzie's jaw is wired shut next year he will still get the majority of the press.

I am sure this will disappoint many on here, but Baker is getting an interview with the Padres.

Other than Padre fans, I don't know who would be disappointed by that news. Dusty's going to get another managing job somewhere, at some point.

I just hope its sooner, rather than later, and in the National League, preferably the NL Central.

Be careful what you wish for Bleedingblue, with the luck of a cub fan Dusty would win the WS with the pirates. LOL

What was the signing that Ofman announced that got him in trouble last year?

ROB G: In case you missed this on the last thread - Re: Jim Hendry

ROB G: "3 years of bad decisions? What did I miss in 2004? Beyond Miggy, was there some reasonable deal to be made that we missed out on?
And even with Miggy, do we even know there was room in the payroll for him?"

Not just "deals" Rob, it was the "broken eggs in the basket" and lack of assertiveness that has been constantly in play under his "guidance:

Wood, Prior, Rusch, Dempster (now signed to big money and he can't find the plate), Neifi, Neifi, Neifi, Macias, Womack, Grissom, DuBois, Gerut, Williamson, Mabry, waiting on CPat too long, blowing Furcal, etc., etc.

He MISSED, when they were FA's and signable on Soriano, ARam, Weaver, Rodgers, and perhaps could have gotten a better young talent for Greg Maddux than Izturis. Oh - he should have FIRED Dusty at the END OF LAST YEAR or at half-time, this year

I am sure he has done a couple decent things over during the last three years, but based on all of the negatives above, not too many.

I didn't see this mentioned by anybody above:

Matsuzaka was officially posted yesterday.

http://tinyurl.com/ts3c8

Bidding win end on Sunday. We should know by Monday morning, I think.

will... end. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself.

That's kind of like blaming the CEO of McDonald's for that jerk that got my order wrong.

It's been almost documented that Dusty asked for specific guys on the roster, i.e. Macias, Perez, etc. You can't blame that on Hendry.

You can't blame poor performance on Hendry either.

If you blame anything on Hendry, blame him for depending on Wood and Prior again this year, when he knows they should have been plan B. You can also blame him for always going after guys with health problems:

Miller, Izturis, Nomar, etc. or if you want to talk about young guys, Guzman, Grant Johnson, etc.

The day McDonough was hired as interim CEO, he said health should be a consideration in the hiring process... I hope hope hope that is true from now on.

I know one thing, it is going to take cajones to pay $70 million for a pitcher who has never recorded an out in an MLB game. Maybe he is the next sliced bread, but for the Cubs I think that money should be spent on safer investments.

Teflon Jim!!!!!!!!

E-Man,

"He MISSED, when they were FA's and signable on Soriano, ARam, Weaver, Rodgers, and perhaps could have gotten a better young talent for Greg Maddux than Izturis. Oh - he should have FIRED Dusty at the END OF LAST YEAR or at half-time, this year."

Dusty was a boob, but Patton and Vince Lombardi's love child couldn't have (or should I say couldn't of?) gotten last year's team to win 75 games.

Last time I checked, Soriano and Ramirez are still free agents and haven't signed with anyone. Weaver, who I also favored bringing in, was a complete disaster and less valuable than Sean Marshall (at 25 times the price).

I can't disagree about Izturis, but didn't he trade Neifi after picking him up? He's got a hard-on for no hit good fielding shorstops, he isn't the only GM in the game who does.

I am on a being mean sabatical, but really that post shows very little comprehension of what has been going on.

It's been almost documented that Dusty asked for specific guys on the roster, i.e. Macias, Perez, etc. You can't blame that on Hendry.

Sorry, but that absolutely needs to be blamed on Hendry.

Yes, I'm sure that Dusty wanted those guys, but it was Hendry who actually went out and got them. If he disagreed with Dusty, he could have stood up and said so and hired other players, or better yet, he could have simply shown Dusty the door.

Teflon Jim!!!!!!!!

Of course, if you spent the past 4 years saying how great Dusty was, and even during the past season said you still had confidence in Dusty's abilities, its more than just a tad bit hypocritical to bitch and moan about how bad Hendry is for going out and getting the guys that Dusty wanted.

Or he could have yelled 'Orf with der heads!' and invaded Poland. Maybe, just maybe I am saying, good managers don't make every single decision by themselves, they internalize input from their subordinates, colleagues and superiors.

It's also hypocritical to praise the Phillies for trading $22 million and Jim Thome for a good field no hit centerfielder and demand Hendry's firing for turning Maddux and $2 million into a good field no hit shorstop, but fanaticism and logic rarely go hand in hand.

NEAL: "I am on a being mean sabatical, but really that post shows very little comprehension of what has been going on."

I disagree NEAL. I have TOTAL comprehension of a GM that DID NOT HAVE a plan B or C in place when "PLAN A" FAILED, AGAIN, and AGAIN.

This is more than giving you soggy fries at your local McDonald's and blaming the CEO.

The GM MAKES THE PERSONNEL decisions, and also is paid in part NOT to be the "Swami", but to be prepared well when things do not go as perfectly planned.

To NOT be prepared THREE YEARS in a ROW, is a failure, that he has admitted to.

The lack of comprehension is yours, REAL NEAL.

Not just "deals" Rob, it was the "broken eggs in the basket" and lack of assertiveness that has been constantly in play under his "guidance:

I was specifically asking about the period after the 2003 offseason until the end of 2004 that would qualify Hendry for that statement about 3 years of bad decisions.

The Real Neal:
"and demand Hendry's firing for turning Maddux and $2 million into a good field no hit shorstop,"

And where did I "demand" Hendry's firing because of that one bad trade? That was just one piece of an ugly puzzle Hendry has tried to put together.

rumor mill is slow today

all I've dug up is some interest in Gary Matthews Jr. although the Angels seem really interested.

And Soriano wants a full no-trade clause and the Phils aren't really interested in that.

E-Man:

I still don't get how the Cubs were "unprepared" for 2004. Hendry upgraded Choi/Karros to Derrek Lee. Harris was upgraded to Ramirez. Miller was upgraded to Barrett. Todd frickin' Walker was brought in as backup to Grudzielanek. Shawn Estes was replaced by Greg Maddux. The best setup man available at the time, Latroy Hawkins, was added to the pen. Halfway through the season Gonzo was upgraded to Nomar Garciaparra.

In what world is that "unprepared"??

That was just one piece of an ugly puzzle Hendry has tried to put together.

Its good to see that (just as I predicted) Manny is still bitching about Hendry trading Maddux, when just hours before the trading deadline Manny was bitching that Hendry needed to trade Maddux for "anything."

Why do I have a feeling that when Hendry goes and following Manny's advice of doing whatever it takes to resign ARam, that we'll be hearing Manny bitch about Hendry giving ARam a bad contract.

Speaking of LaTroy Hawkins, I just saw that the Rockies were intersted in him. Doctored baseballs or not, can you imagine how far those homerun balls he serves up would go if he were to pitch regularly in Colorado?

Permanent chiropractic will be needed for the snapping of his neck at the crack of the bat.

2004 team, on paper, should have been light years better than 2003's team.

There were injuries, and some off the field bitchiness that blind sided that team.

E-Man,

Wether you disagree or not is really irrelevant. These are the facts, you said '"He MISSED, when they were FA's and signable on Soriano, ARam...' .

The word 'missed' is past tense for 'miss'. Aram and Soriano have never been free agents in the past, only in the present. So when I say you don't comprehend the situation it is because, well, you don't seem to realize that those two players are free agents right now and Hendry could not have 'missed' on signing them because they haven't been signed by anyone.

When you show confusion about what is going on right now, in my mind it casts doubts about your ability to acurately recall the events of the past. When you follow that up by naming Jeff Weaver of the 5.76 ERA as another 'miss', well, I hope you can see how a reasonable person wouldn't think you know what's going on. You may as well have ripped him for trading Todd Hundley or letting Maddux go as a free agent after he won the Cy Young.

Vorare, I agree with all of that, but if you isolate Hendry's record since the Nomar trade ... all I can say is yikes.

I agree, WPZ, but I think Hendry's 02-04 record was good enough that he deserves an opportunity to show what he can do without Dusty and without the ridiculously bad luck we've had the last two years.

Just read through RotoWire that the Matsuzaka sweepstakes winner will likely be announce 11/9, one week from today. They said Yankess, Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Rangers are considered to be the serious candidates at this point.

I hate to bring the gloom, but is there any word on Lee being 100% for 2007 ST?

"Hendry's record since the Nomar trade ... all I can say is yikes."

When did Lou P win this World Series title again?

The major problems Hendry has had since the Nomar trade are: Nomar getting hurt, Baker trying to use Hawkins as a closer, Wood and Prior getting hurt, Nomar getting hurt again, Ramirez getting Hurt, Rusch and Williams collapsing, Lee getting hurt, Dempster losing his control, Wood and Prior getting hurt again.

There's a recurring theme there, and it would be nice if the Cubs had not built Wood, Williams, Rusch and Prior into the '06 plans, but I haven't seen a single person in the entire world wide web that came up with reasonable plan that would have put the Cubs into the playoffs in 2006. Without two of those four pitchers being effective startrs the Cubs weren't going anywhere. Without any of them being effective and Lee missing the essentially the entire year the Cubs were a bad team. The End.

much like a lotta GMs you can paint good and bad on hendry...compare him to his predecessors in the Cubs organization and he doesn't look bad at all.

the 05 bullpen and LF situation, the lack of pop on the bench in favor of "swiss army knife" multi-position players, and his weird call-ups from AA/AAA are the only issues ive had with him that spring to mind.

there's other stuff like the resigning of neifi/rusch/macias i dont really dig on...giving dumpster 3 years rather than 1-2...

ultimately, though...im a lot more pissed at the constant injury and lack of suitable mlb-ready replacement rather than the starters the GM picked to field the club.

whether anyone likes it or not...cuz its very much a reality with real impact...the past 2 years have seen *MAJOR* players not stepping up to deliver, and its mostly due to injury not laziness or declining skill.

#68 of 68: By WPZ (November 2, 2006 01:35 PM)
Vorare, I agree with all of that, but if you isolate Hendry's record since the Nomar trade ... all I can say is yikes.

Logic like this is dangerous. You might as well say, "if we ignore all of the good stuff, he is a lousy GM"

In the time that he has been here, the good far out weighs the bad. Barrett, Lee, ARam, Nomar, Lofton to name just a few. And if you look at his managerial hirings, at the time, they have looked pretty good. Dusty was considered the best manager available in 02 and Lou was the best avaialiabe this off season. Has he made bad moves, sure, but at the time of the deals, most have looked pretty good.

What was the signing that Ofman announced that got him in trouble last year?

I think he announced that we were signing Furcal as a done deal. I could be wrong though.

"Baker trying to use Hawkins as a closer"

when is using your best reliever as a closer a downside? i still dont buy into this one.

for all those screaming about "but, he's a setup man who has mental breakdowns as a closer and cant pitch cuz of magic mental reasons"...they've been disproven in the years since. yes, his fastball is just as straight and fast in inning 8 as in inning 9 and it gets hit just the same.

hendry wanted dumpster, dustbag wanted hawkins...

to flip it...hendry wanted hairston, dustbag wanted t.walker...

the 05 bullpen SUCKED...bad...top to bottom. a few had a glimmer of good for a week or 2, but it was mostly crap.

and besides...hawk was the closer for what...a month and 1/2 in 05? there wasnt some hero he was cockblocking there.

I looked around a bit on that Offman thing and what I believe got Offman in trouble was reporting some "inside" info on Furcal negotiations that he wasn't supposed to...

http://whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/arch...

Bleeding Blue:
"Its good to see that (just as I predicted) Manny is still bitching about Hendry trading Maddux, when just hours before the trading deadline Manny was bitching that Hendry needed to trade Maddux for "anything.""

You are absolutely right I did say that. But much like the Walker trade which Hendry did fine with, I, as was most Cubs fans, was expecting him to just dump Maddux for a low level prospect and save some money on maddux's salary. Instead he trades for Izturis, basically Neifi light. If LAD had Neifi or Rusch and he traded Maddux for either one of them, should we be praising Hendry for that trade too?

You can focus, and try and pick apart every word I say, but that doesn't change what Hendry has done, or hasn't done.

In the funny stories deparment:

Zambrano is up for Players' Choice NL Pitcher of the year: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...

The voting was done before his back injury and crappy last few starts ruined his Cy Young chances, but I sort of figured Zambrano was #2 most disliked player after Punching Bag Pierznyski... well and Biggio too, but he is almost dead.

nothing like rehashing an argument from 2 years ago....

Anyway I think more people were upset about bringing Hawkins back as closer in 2005 after the disaster he was in that role in 2004. Trying him in the first place in 2004 wasn't such a big deal.

Yeah, things have been ugly since the Nomar signing, but how much of that is attributable to injuries? Weak free agent/trade markets? Captain Toothpick?

My view is that Hendry did enough good between 2002-2004, and so many of the team's problems since were beyond his control, that he deserves the benefit of the doubt moving forward.

Getting back to something Rob G mentioned, it's been reported on the wires that:

AARON ROWAND declined a $3.25 million player option for 2007, and the Phillies then declined a $5 million team option. He made $3.25 million this year. The move does not make Rowand a free agent; instead, he will be eligible to go to salary arbitration.

Does JIM HENDRY construct contract options in this way as well, with the player option lower than the team option? If so, who on the Cubs has this kind of mutual option?

Why would anyone care if Hendry saved money on the Maddux trade? The money was already spent for the year and it sure doesn't seem like the Cubs are ever allowed to rollover their savings from one year to the other? You got stock in Tribco or something?

Izturis is a whiz with the glove and is still young enough with a skillset that could see him improve tremendously. Obviously he's only been able to translate into about a season and a half of good offense, but at 26 or 27, it's not like he's done. Scouts sure seem to like his swing and some of his peripheral numbers indicate that he could breakout. Get nothing or get something, I'll go for something.

It amazes me Hendry still has so many supporters/apologists/excuse-makers. If he has another dreadful offseason hopefully that convinces more people to see the real Jim Hendry and not "Teflon Jim". But even more important, I hope the Cubs organization finally sees it.

the issue with hawkins in 05 that i see is...who else?

the only other guy besides fox anyone was really interested in was a guy who's 03 performance was 6.54/1.76 era/whip before having his arm cut open and who's 04 stink with the cubs outta the pen was giving up 16h/13bb in 20.2ip.

i really dont see it that hard of a stretch to insert hawkins in as closer for 05 after his 04 end-year performance vs. anyone else on the team.

"and besides...hawk was the closer for what...a month and 1/2 in 05? there wasnt some hero he was cockblocking there."

Except we're talking about 'post Nomar trade' which was for the '04 season. You may not recall, but Dempster and Farnsworth were in the bullpen at the time that Hawkins was blowing saves quicker than Jim Kerry can cost his party house seats. I don't know where to get the stats, but I would be willing to bet a pair of Cubs tickets that Hawkins's record holding 1 run leads in the 7th or 8th was much better than for the 9th in his tenure with the Cubs.

a couple of other rumors from Ben Maller....

Mariners may go hard after Zito along with Angels

something about the Angels making Aramis there top priority this offseason

Cleveland and San Fran as possible Sheff targets

some Yank blurb about going after Schmidt instead of Matsuzaka

Lee Elia resigned from the O's but says he's not really interested in a job that takes him on the road and wants to spend time with his family. He may take a scouting gig or something...

It amazes me Hendry still has so many supporters/apologists/excuse-makers.

Gee, we wondered the exact same thing about your Baker supporting till the very end.

I can't see how this can possibly amaze you....

"It amazes me Hendry still has so many supporters/apologists/excuse-makers. If he has another dreadful offseason hopefully that convinces more people to see the real Jim Hendry and not "Teflon Jim". But even more important, I hope the Cubs organization finally sees it.'

Too bad you're not like the rest of us Cubs fans, who hope every move Hendry makes this off season is golden and they win three consecutive World Series. To each his own I guess.

How many times we have to go over this Crunch..

Hendry pushed Dempster all off-season as closer, Dusty and/or Larry decided to give Latroy another shot when Joebo went down in spring training. It was stupid, let's move on....

Here I'll make a counter-point so we can put it to rest, Hendry took far too long to deal Sosa that offseason and got stuck with Burnitz. Great, everyone's a moron in this organization.

Rob G.:
Lee Elia resigned from the O's but says he's not really interested in a job that takes him on the road and wants to spend time with his family. He may take a scouting gig or something...

The original quote wasn't reported, but this is what he actually said:

F*** all this coaching s***, it's B.S., I want to get into f***ing scouting those b****es and I want to do that s*** at home. F***.

"Jim Kerry"

Typo or pun?

Nice Ryno.

Schmidt is pretty much a lock for either Seattle or if the D'backs want him.

He nearly signed with Seattle before he went to the Giants, and still would love to there. He has also has a home in Az, which is a major draw for free agents. All Az has to do is show interest and they can snag him up. As of yet I haven't heard much about Az getting involved.

The X factor is always the Yanks who can sway anyone with dollar bills. With that offense a mediocre pitcher can win 10 games easy, pitchers with a clue will win 15-20 games easy. Randy Johnson had the worst season of his career and still won 17 games.

Typo or pun?

Brain fart.

I'm hesitant to call anyone a lock yet at this point for any gig, we still don't know all the suitors at this point. Mariners may go hard after Zito instead of Schmidt, Schmidt's agent already said that whole West Coast bias thing is kind of BS (of course he wants to encourage as many suitors to drive up the price). Who knows really?

God knows what the Astros are going to start throwing out there this offseason as well. A lot of teams, a lot of money out there. Hope Hendry and Tribco have the cajones for it and don't think everyone's getting signed up for 2004 prices.

Rob G.-
Just a heads up it looks like the pools are closing in our fanstasy league.

"Hendry pushed Dempster all off-season as closer, Dusty and/or Larry decided to give Latroy another shot when Joebo went down in spring training."

i already said: "hendry wanted dumpster, dustbag wanted hawkins..."

but i could really care less about hendry vs. dust's role in the whole thing aside from the "who else in the pen" question.

a guy performed like dumpster did in 04, i have no idea how he even made hendry's wish-list for closer...but he saw his lack of people getting power hits off him or something i guess. i wouldnt even fathom putting a guy with his control in a closer's spot.

i have a hard time understanding how anyone would want dumpster to break with the team closing and i have a harder time trying to figure out "who else?"

I will agree, now that I look at it, I'll give you guys, and HEndry his Mulligan in 2004. This was the year the starters graced SI's ill-fated cover.

"On Paper" we looked good.

We had a lead going into the last two weeks of the season. And, what went wrong there? Who was to blame?

Then - since then - for TWO FREAKIN' years, Hendry is unequivically responsible for player acquisitions and lack of acquisitions. And under that scenario, with the payroll he had coupled with knowledge of previous injury to his pitchers, HE HAD NO PLAN B.

Further, how many of you Hendy apologists remember what JH was saying in Feb. and MArch? "We're gonna get Woody back by first week of May" NOT. "Mark's making great progress" NOT.
"Miller should be ready in late May or June" NOT.

Should I go on about the players added in the LAST TWO YEARS (other than Jacque Jones and Juan Pierre whom we game up THREE pitchers for as a soon-to-be-rental).

Maybe you can compare Jim Hendry's lack of preparedness regarding injured players with that of the annually upper echelon teams and their records: Walt Jocketty, Cashman, Epstien, Kenny Williams, Sheurholz (sorry in advance for spelling), and others. They ALL have had major players - including pitchers - yet they are always managing to have their teams at or near the top (except the Braves after 12 division titles in a row, slipped)

All I'm saying witha ll of this is personally I have lost complete confidence in this GM of a team I spend a small fortune on for season tickets, and believe he has lost his magic touch that he had for a fleeting moment.

I want the "window" opened again, and don't think this guy is the one to get it open again.

Please, PLEASE, I hope he proves me wrong.

The Real NEal:
"Too bad you're not like the rest of us Cubs fans, who hope every move Hendry makes this off season is golden and they win three consecutive World Series. To each his own I guess."

I can say that about many of a Cub fans concerning Baker over the past couple years.

But I have never said I hope Hendry continues to screw up, unlike a few posters who last year flat out said they hope the Cubs lose so Baker can be let go. I just have no confidence that the Cubs can win with Hendry. But I will continue to watch as many games and cheer them on like every year.

I saw on Fox News this morning that the Trib plans to sell off some holdings. Probably out of state stuff, but there most valuable piece is probably the Cubs.

Rob G.:
"Here I'll make a counter-point so we can put it to rest, Hendry took far too long to deal Sosa that offseason and got stuck with Burnitz. Great, everyone's a moron in this organization."

You forgot to add that Hendry sold Sosa out, thus making his trade value all but nothing.

"but there most valuable piece is probably the Cubs."

la times, chicago tribune, and their baltimore newspaper are worth WAY more...not to mention their syndication unit, WGN, and the slew of WB stations (and part of WB network) they own.

some juicy info from Bruce Miles at Northside Baseball on media relations and the Aramis situation.

http://www.northsidebaseball.com/Forum/viewto...

start here and look for the "Bruce Miles" posts, I'll try and summarize some stuff...

- Miles and Hendry have a very good relationship

-Jim has no interest in "smearing" Ramirez, in large part because he wants him back and needs him back.

- Ramirez's bad image has to do with several factors. First is public relations. Aramis is not good with the media _ I've seen him blow people off who want to do nice stories. Sammy (1998-2003) got a break because he dealt well with the media. Mark Grace learned early on to be nice.

Now the fun stuff on the negotiations...
- Says the Score report yesterday doesn't jive with his sources and his people tell him it will likely go down to Nov 11th. Stresses the whole, 2 sides to the negotiation and that Kinzer and Co are going to milk this for everything it's worth.

- Kinzer is part of Adam Katz's agency and last time they signed Aramis, Katz swooped in the last minute with a lot of changes and sweeteners.

- Cubs are warming up to OBP and weren't too thrilled with Pierre's showing.

- Out clause was a Macphail creation at the last minute

- Hendry probably trusted Ramirez and agent's desire to stay a little too much...

-

As far as being a 'Hendry Apologist' I am not. I ripped the Maddux trade, the Rusch and Neifi signings, the going over market value for Howry and Eyre etc.

The difference between being a GM and a manager, however is that the decisions involve differing levels of uncertainty. Counting on 25 starts from Kerry Wood in '06 had a high level of uncertainty. It could have happened, it didn't. Batting Neifi Perez 2nd 280 times in 2005, well there's no two ways about it, it is the wrong theing to do. Leaving in Will Ohman to face Lance Berkman is always a bad decision even the one time every other year when he strikes him out. The manager also has much more opportunities to make decisions. 162 times a year he gets to set the lineup. Your sample size is much larger for managers. GM's make fewer decision in a year than a field manager makes in a week. If you don't allow GM's to experience some trial and error, some on the job training, it's extremely difficult for them to be successuful.

The best organizations also have continuity in their GM positions. It certainly can be argued about cause and effect, but no organization has been successfull in the long term replacing their GM every 2-4 years. Therefore I think Hendry should be given this last off-season.

Let's see if he can get some OBP into the lineup. Let's see if he can bring in some starters who will make 32 starts and have a 4.00 ERA instead of hoping guys make 25 starts with a 3.00 ERA.

Make no mistake, I think Hendry has made some exceedingly stupid decisions. Unlike Dusty though, he at least makes different mistakes year to year. He also publically takes responsibility for the Cubs lack of success, but doesn't try to hog the limelight when they do well (Dusty, Theo, Billy I am looking at you). I think he is intelligent enough, humble enough and hard working enough to get the Cubs back on the right track. If he re-signs Pierre for 4 years, I'll be asking Ted Kaczynski for some tips.

yeah I closed the polls Manny, I'll look at them later.

yes, really who cares that our GM saw a potential undervalued talent in Dumpster who might have the makeup to be a closer and the pitches. It's really unimportant to the discussion...

it's far more important that Dusty and/or Larry stuck with a guy that repeatedly failed in that role.

"- Cubs are warming up to OBP and weren't too thrilled with Pierre's showing.

- Out clause was a Macphail creation at the last minute

- Hendry probably trusted Ramirez and agent's desire to stay a little too much..."

1. Thank freaking God
2. Idiot clause, and as I said before it was just mimicing what the Dodgers had done with Drew.
3. I think that as Ramirez got hotter and hotter in the 2nd half, with his little agent whispering in his ear, his memory of his conversations with Hendry may have began to fade.

"yes, really who cares that our GM saw a potential undervalued talent in Dumpster who might have the makeup to be a closer and the pitches. It's really unimportant to the discussion..."

i covered that, too: "the only other guy besides fox anyone was really interested in was a guy who's 03 performance was 6.54/1.76 era/whip before having his arm cut open and who's 04 stink with the cubs outta the pen was giving up 16h/13bb in 20.2ip."

what screams "closer" about that besides the 1hr given up in that performance in 04? seriously, i'd be a lot more concerned about that.

i'd take chad fox at that point in time before i even considered letting a guy that wild close down games.

good for you crunch, that's why GM's get their gigs and have scouts around him. Is it that hard to fathom that a starter who can strike out guys could just rely on his 2 best pitches and become an effective reliever? My lord, where do these crazy ideas come from?

funny thing is I'm not even that big a Dumpster fan, but you have to be an inbred moron to keep trotting Hawkins out there...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Dempster was the first pitcher in the history of the major leagues to go from a decent-under performing expectations starter to a very good closer? Oh wait there was one other guy... Gagne, oh and Mesa and Eckersley and Sutter and Farnsworth and Wagner and blah blah blah.

Crunch, I am pleased that you are using some stats, but just for your referrence. 16 hits in 20 2/3rds innings isn't a lot (.205 BAA) and you've got some sample size issues.

Most of baseball and even the stat-heads agree on the concept of 'closer mentality', even if you don't want to lend it any credence.

Here's a link on the Tribco story...

http://losangeles.bizjournals.com/losangeles/...

If Rothschild can get Dempster back to his '05 - early '06 form, pounding the bottom of the strike zone with fastballs and sliders he'll be a premier closer again, and at 60% the going rate for them.

Dombrowski signed an extension through 2011 with the Tigers if anyone thought that was a possibility... (via rotoworld)

"Inbred moron"?

What are you saying here Rob?

How 'bout jus plain 'ol, "Stubbon as a tired mule."

as lucky as Dempster was in 2005, he was just as unlucky in 2006. He walks far too many folks for my tastes and I don't see Piniella having very much patience with him to be honest. But the guy pitched in a save situation like once a week, tough to stay sharp.

If he struggles in spring training, I doubt he'll even start '06 as the closer.

didn't mean to offend anyone, "thou who shalt not be named" brings the worst out of me. Stubborn mule suffices....

Manny: Instead he trades for Izturis, basically Neifi light

Come on Manny...lets be fair. Neifi lite? Neifi has been shown to be the worst active hitter in baseball.

By no means do I like Izturis, but Izturis is at least as good as Neifi defensively (though probably better), and looking at the numbers, I don't think you can say that Neifi has been a better hitter:

Izturis: .259/.295/.336
Neifi: .268/.298/.376

Remember...Neifi was helped out with a few Colorado seasons, where each year his OBP was a decent amount over .300 and his Slug was a decent amount over .400 (with one exception).

Izturis also has 59 SBs in six + seasons to Neifi's 57 SBs in 10+ seasons.

One more thing...Izturis is also entering the "prime" of his career while Neifi has long left it.

So while I don't like Izturis, at worst you could say that that they are equal players. But Izturis is younger and faster. While I know that your man-love for Dusty clouds your judgment of Neifi, lets at least be a little fair to the new weak hitting, great glove shortstop.

"Gagne, oh and Mesa and Eckersley and Sutter and Farnsworth and Wagner and blah blah blah.

Crunch, I am pleased that you are using some stats, but just for your referrence. 16 hits in 20 2/3rds innings isn't a lot (.205 BAA) and you've got some sample size issues."

gagne and eck and wagner??? WHAT?

dude, you're gonna lump dumpster in with them? he isnt in their league, never was...not even the same pitchers, same style, nothing.

when did walking 13 guys in 20ip after coming back from arm surgery mean "oh yeah, that guy is closer stuff!"

this alarms no one? this is a good idea? this isnt worthy of comment of it being a bad idea? is it really that open/shut to doubt or not doubt dumpster?

and its not the numbers, but what he was doing to get them. he's wild. its not 1 pitch, not a bad changeup or something...its all wild. he gets a lotta his strikes off people missing foolishly on his movement and hitting his stuff weakly when they do make contact.

"You forgot to add that Hendry sold Sosa out, thus making his trade value all but nothing."

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

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not. I can only hope so! The theory that Hendry controls every bit of information that leaves the Cubs organization is pretty dillusional, especially when he was working under a very hands-on President. Hendry must spend many a night, burning the midnight oil, writing scripts for the peanut vendors and ushers at Wrigley.

I will chime in briefly with the Hawkins thing...

I will defend Baker on that move. You had a choice between Hawkins, who at the time was the best setup man in baseball probably, and your 2nd choice was a guy coming off Tommy John Surgery and never pitched as a reliever.

Yeah, I am probably going to go with Hawkins over Dempster if those are my only two choices.

However, Hawkins did have a history of melting down in the closers role. Just like Kyle Farnsworth can't do it either.

Bob Howry is kind of similar to Hawkins and Farnsworth as well. Just seems to have a gift of blowing saves when put into that role. Leave him alone as a pure set up guy and you will not pull out your air trying to figure out why he can't close out games. Yes he is the best candidate, yes it seems logical that he should be given the next shot at the closers role if Dempster continues to suck.

But should they? I still maintain that Wuertz should have been groomed for the closers role in 2005, not Hawkins, and certainly not Dempster. Leave Hawkins where he is, let Dempster pitch for a couple years in relief to see if he isn't a 1 trick pony. Leave pitchers in their comfort zone, others may disagree on that though.

If you have a guy with a track record of blowing saves when put in that role, he should probably not be your #1 choice for the closers role if your looking for a new guy. Skip him and go to the talented young pitcher. Atleast that way you won't be completly destroying your pen if you move up your dominate setup guy to the closers role and he suddenly becomes pure crap. Not only do you not have a closer, but you also lost you setup guy in the process.

So yeah I can see why Baker did it, and I don't have a problem with it. I don't know if I would make the same choice because I was well aware of Hawkins troubles trying to close in Minn. Dempster or Hawkins, neither was a brilliant choice to become the next closer.

"Aramis is not good with the media "

Which probably explains Rosenbloom and Couch, Rosenbloom admits that most teams in town can't stand him and Aram probably wiped his nose on Couch's nifty neck tie.

"Cubs are warming up to OBP"

Welcome to the 20th century.

I think the point your missing here crunch is that all the following players should have been closing ahead of Hawkins in 2005.

Dumpster
Wuertz
AAA nobody
AA nodody
Darren Baker
My dog
My unborn kids at the time
Manny
Chad
Real Neal
Ruz
AZ Phil
etc, etc...

Crunch,

"dude, you're gonna lump dumpster in with them? he isnt in their league, never was...not even the same pitchers, same style, nothing."

Um, fill me in Mr Omniscient one. What pitches did Eckersly throw? What about Farnsworth? What does Dempster throw? Thanks for clearing that up.

Oh yeah, I can remember that wicked Farnsworth knuckler, and remeber that big yacker Eck threw to Gibson in the '88 series!

Those walls still moving in when Theriot comes u to the plate, Crunch?

Re Jacos in #44

Good thing is was Mike Lamb, and not Mike Hunt. Or is that the same thing?

"Dempster or Hawkins, neither was a brilliant choice to become the next closer."

That's funny, I've got a consecutive saves record that begs to differ.

"Um, fill me in Mr Omniscient one. What pitches did Eckersly throw? What about Farnsworth? What does Dempster throw? Thanks for clearing that up."

uh what?

and you seriously think dumpster is comparable to gangne, eck, and wagner?

maybe you should check out what they throw and how effectively they throw it. just cuz a guy is a pitcher doesnt mean he's comparable to every pitcher. these guys dont even throw the same way or in a similar manner for obtaining outs.

you cant compare roger clemens to roger salkeld cuz they are right handed starters who were drafted high...there's only so many valid ways to lump similarities in lifestyle/role to how they perform in there.

crunch,

"and you seriously think dumpster is comparable to gangne, eck, and wagner?"

it has been said before, and because your retention factor is so low, i imagine i'll have to say it again in a few months.

almost all relievers are failed starters. so are they comparable? yes, all of those guys became closers because they were more effective at it than as starters. in general you're a closer because you don't have the endurance, concentration or repitoire to be a starter. 'dumpster' as you like to call him was a capable starter (he went to the all star game and chad tells me that it makes you an all star for life, at least in the baseballreference sense of the word) and probably would have been the nl's best closer in 2005 if not for some ill concieved notions by baker or rotheschild or whoever.

man, it is hard to type with no caps. do you only use one hand?

you're still ignoring the fact that you're comparing guys based solely on the fact they're ex-starters.

you've giving no weight to what they throw, how they throw it, how theyve historically thrown it...the things that make the players the people they are.

i can point to a lot of failed starter/closer roles and where does that leave us? no where.

you cant compare a player's possible worth on that faith statement, alone. its not a valid way to judge possible performance.

...and you don't gotta insult me because you don't get it.

"Dempster or Hawkins, neither was a brilliant choice to become the next closer."

That's funny, I've got a consecutive saves record that begs to differ.

That's funny because I counter with Dempster's career.

I do remember warning that baseball has a way of evening out luck. 2005 was a fluke, what you saw this past season was the real Ryan Dempster. He wasn't getting every single lucky break in the book to tight rope out of games anymore. The same Ryan Dempster who pitched in 2005, pitched in 2006. Nothing changed, he didn't get better or worse. He is just an average to below average pitcher who is extremly inconsistent.

In the middle of his little streak, I maintained the same line of thinking. He can't keep pitching like that and expect to survive. And he didn't. No one can.

Is there a cub contract expert in the house?

"You forgot to add that Hendry sold Sosa out, thus making his trade value all but nothing."
--

Since someone has to remind you every few months...
This was a calculated smear tactic and face-saving move by the organization. Are you so dumb to think that Hendry instigated all of this? That he went above everyone's head and ran to the media with this story? This is the kind of decision a CEO makes, Hendry just dealt with the media frenzy.

I suppose you'll still blame Hendry for giving Aramis the out-clause even though a reputable writer has now confirmed that it was chickenshit McFail's doing?

I'll have to disagree with you on that one Mike C...

Dempster's FIP (Fielding Independant ERA) in 2005 was 3.11

A number on hardball times that is a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded

This includes his time as a starter.

In 2006 his FIP was 3.74, nowhere near as bad as his actual high 4 ERA.

As far as I can tell, there isn't much else in his numbers that changed.

I hardly think he's great, but he's no freakin' worse than Todd Jones, that's for sure. And I'll repeat that I'm not sure how anyone can give reasonably judge him last year when his save opportunities were sporadic. When he got regular work in April, he was just as good as in 2005.

for fun, a list of those that wer hurt most and helped most by their defense last year on the Cubs..

Unlucky Group
Dempster
Guzman
Maddux
Prior

Lucky Group
Miller
Novoa
Wuertz
Eyre
Z
Hill

depends on the question cubswinthepennant?

Dave:
"So while I don't like Izturis, at worst you could say that that they are equal players."

Ok, I will give you about equal, but we are paying Izturis much more than Neifi, for basically the same shitty hitter.

Crunch,

"...and you don't gotta insult me because you don't get it."

Really, what I am doing is omitting the comments that are so idiotic they don't require a reply. Dempster isn't as good as 1990 Dennis Eckersley? Thanks for filling me in, I had no idea. I am right handed but I am not as good a pitcher as Greg Maddux? News to me! Does that make you feel better?

The point is, and it was so obvious that I didn't think I had to type it out like this, is all of those guys, just like Dempster were not very successful starters, with the notable exception of Eckersley before he found the bottle.

Mike C,

I don't know what to say. I watched Dempster in 2005 and I watched him in 2006. It was different pitchers. In 2005 sure he missed, he missed down. In 2006 he had no idea where the ball was going. In my opinion if you don't realize that, you haven't been watching the games. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I have selective memory, but the statistics support me. So when I have personal observation, backed up by statistics, I am pretty confident in my conclusions. Is a 2.5 GB/FB ratio possible to maintain over the long run? I don't know. If you can do it for 60 innings, I supposed you can do it for 80 innings, but I could be wrong. Well Derek Lowe did it for 12 consecutive seasons so I think I may not be wrong.

there's a lot of folks who's faces aren't buried in a stat sheet that think there's more to Izturis's bat than we've seen. We'll see if that's the case though.

"The point is, and it was so obvious that I didn't think I had to type it out like this, is all of those guys, just like Dempster were not very successful starters, with the notable exception of Eckersley before he found the bottle."

you're still saying nothing about what the pitchers are doing, how theyre doing it, and what they dropped/added to their "stuff" to make the conversion...your point is still only that theyre ex-starters and that is it.

i can point to lots of failed instances.

there is no weight to your evaluation.

BJS:
"This is the kind of decision a CEO makes, Hendry just dealt with the media frenzy."

Oh yeah I forgot, either it was McPhail's fault or Dusty's fault. Who is he and his supporters going to blame this year? I feel bad for McDonough and Lou. Go Teflon Jim!!!

CWTP:
"Is there a cub contract expert in the house?"

I am pretty up to date an all the Cubs contract situation, what do you need to know?

One more comment I should have added Crunch.

All of them were unsuccesful starters and a GM, Manager or Pitching Coach said 'Hey, let's make this guy a reliever' and the rest of the organization said 'Ok'. They didn't say, 'but you see he walked 13 in 20.67 innings last year, let's release him', or 'We have this guy who choked us out of the Playoffs last September as closer already'

... and the FIP that Rob G noted doesn't break down the starter/reliever numbers for dempster in '05.

It would be interesting to see how many people who referred to CP as 'Korey' refer to Dempster as 'Dumpster'. I bet it's alarmingly high.

well I say Korey and Dumpster at time, I'm just having fun though.

although I really did despise Korey at the end....

neal...you're still saying dempster is comparable to gagne/wagner/eck based solely on he's a former starter.

its more apt to compare him to kerry wood to dempster before you even go near guys who can actually control what they're pitching in both accuracy and deception.

just because dumpster had 1 good year as a closer and he's a failed starter doesnt mean they're similar players in anything but name/role...that's the only thing they share, ex-starter who's a closer.

these guys are not similarly tallented...one is not like the other. dumpster isnt in their class in any way but name of role...not results, or the way they get them.

of course crunch is focusing on 3 guys while Neal is talking about nearly every reliever ever to pitch in baseball. But otherwise, yeah, he's skirting the issue. :)

Rob G.:
"there's a lot of folks who's faces aren't buried in a stat sheet that think there's more to Izturis's bat than we've seen. We'll see if that's the case though."

I guess we will see, but I have NO CLUE what they are looking at.

Besides that one season in 2004, he hasn't had a season batting average higher than .269 nor an OBP of higher than .302. And thats over 2,437 AB's in his ML career (a more than enough sample size).

And if you look at his 6 year minor league career numbers, he had a batting average of .262 and OBP of .297, with 2,106 AB's. Those number are right in line with his career MLB numbers of .259 AVG and .295 OBP.

So over 12 seasons and 4,500+ AB's he has had Neifi like batting numbers. UGH...

"of course crunch is focusing on 3 guys while Neal is talking about nearly every reliever ever to pitch in baseball."

-rob

---

"Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Dempster was the first pitcher in the history of the major leagues to go from a decent-under performing expectations starter to a very good closer? Oh wait there was one other guy... Gagne, oh and Mesa and Eckersley and Sutter and Farnsworth and Wagner and blah blah blah."

-neal

im doing what now, rob?

I'm not holding out a lot of hope on Izturis myself, but he's got some decent peripherals (sees a lot of pitches, low K:BB rate) and I've read a few scouting reports that all seem to think he's better than what he's shown with the bat.

For a year and a half or so in 2004/2005 at a very relatively young age he was more than passable for an all-glove SS. We'll see...

We've already got Miggy and Arod rumors floating so I don't think the Cubs are locked into him at SS, even though he'll likely be the Opening Day starter.

"you're still saying nothing about what the pitchers are doing, how theyre doing it, and what they dropped/added to their "stuff" to make the conversion...your point is still only that theyre ex-starters and that is it.

i can point to lots of failed instances."

Crunch,

It's an interesting tactic, trying to expand and expand your argument until you don't actually have an argument, but unfortunately I pre-empted this bit of drivel. Print out post 128. Take it someone sober, have them explain it to you and then get back to me. Jesus, I even took out the capitilization, man. I can't do much better 'crunch speak' than that.

Starter 3-4 times facing hitters on other teams
Reliever 1 time facing hitter on other team
Starter conserve strength
Reliver throw as hard as you want
Starter remember previous at bat against hitter
Reliever No previous at bat against hitter

The truth remains that despite your protestations you have no evidence, you have provided no evidence that Dempster is not one of the pitchers who benefit from changing from a starter to a reliever.

1. There are pitchers who are better as relievers than starters
2. Dempster has pitched better as a reliever than a starter
3. Crunch's conclusion: There is no way to determine who these pitchers are going to be. Although there is no way to determine who they may be, there is a way to determine who are not candidates for this, and Dempter is not one of them, despite the acutal evidence to the contrary. I know it so well that I cannot even share it with you, other than to point out his WHIP the year he went for TJ surgery, and the fact that I thinnk a .202 BA against is high.

Read comment #128 crunch, Neal threw out a few examples in #111 and then clarified further in numerous posts. Did you stop reading?

"It's an interesting tactic, trying to expand and expand your argument until you don't actually have an argument, but unfortunately I pre-empted this bit of drivel."

what a pile of crap...here...lemmie spell out this WHOLE THING for you...

"Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Dempster was the first pitcher in the history of the major leagues to go from a decent-under performing expectations starter to a very good closer? Oh wait there was one other guy... Gagne, oh and Mesa and Eckersley and Sutter and Farnsworth and Wagner and blah blah blah."

- neal

"dude, you're gonna lump dumpster in with them? he isnt in their league, never was...not even the same pitchers, same style, nothing."

-crunch

"Um, fill me in Mr Omniscient one. What pitches did Eckersly throw? What about Farnsworth? What does Dempster throw? Thanks for clearing that up."

-neal

"and you seriously think dumpster is comparable to gangne, eck, and wagner?

maybe you should check out what they throw and how effectively they throw it. just cuz a guy is a pitcher doesnt mean he's comparable to every pitcher. these guys dont even throw the same way or in a similar manner for obtaining outs."

-crunch

"almost all relievers are failed starters. so are they comparable? yes, all of those guys became closers because they were more effective at it than as starters."

-neal

"you're still ignoring the fact that you're comparing guys based solely on the fact they're ex-starters.

you've giving no weight to what they throw, how they throw it, how theyve historically thrown it...the things that make the players the people they are."

-crunch

"The point is, and it was so obvious that I didn't think I had to type it out like this, is all of those guys, just like Dempster were not very successful starters, with the notable exception of Eckersley before he found the bottle."

-neal

"you're still saying nothing about what the pitchers are doing, how theyre doing it, and what they dropped/added to their "stuff" to make the conversion...your point is still only that theyre ex-starters and that is it."

-crunch

----

that is right above this post.

that's everything.

and you've insulted me more than a handful of times while trying to make your point that has absolutely no substance.

ive said WHY i dont think he's a good choice for a closer and in your last post you go on about how ive said nothing.

that's interesting since you've still said nothing but he's qualified cuz he's a failed ex-starter. and no, that holds no substance.

"Oh yeah I forgot, either it was McPhail's fault or Dusty's fault."

Use some sense, if that's possible. No company, especially one as image-conscious as the Trib, would let a mere employee like Jim Hendry run wild and break the Sammy story just because he wanted to. He was carrying out an order.

Just because someone chooses to see the reality of this, doesn't mean they have blind-support for Hendry. We know you're crying for attention with all of the constant Hendry shouting.

Stop being a little girl... Dusty is gone.

"neal...you're still saying dempster is comparable to gagne/wagner/eck based solely on he's a former starter."

Crunch and Rob G,

Do you not know what the word 'comparable' means?

Let me help you out.

"In grammar, the comparative is the form of an adjective or adverb which denotes the degree or grade by which a person, thing, or other entity has a property or quality greater or less in extent than that of another."

"A comparison is an evaluation of similarities and differences."

Re-read that, because I know you just skimmed it and didn't read it for comprehension.

OK, comparable includes a propery greater or less than in an extent than that of another.

Eckersley and Dempster.
MLB Pitchers
Former Major League Starters
Former All Star level starters
Major League Closers
Performed at a All-Star level as closers

These makes the two of them comparable. The differences is that Eck was better and was able to maintian that high level for a significant period of time.

It's bad enough I have to teach you baseball, but you guys are going to have to start paying me for the English lessons.

Now Crunch, this is the argument you seem to be presenting. Dempster is not the exact same person as Eckersley, therefore it was impossible for Hendry to predict that he would be able to make a similar conversion. It's a poor argument, and it was proven wrong by Dempster's 2005 and first month of 2006, but I guess you're entitled to it.

Fin for one night.

Where's the Matthews vs Pierre debate?

chill there BJS...."little girl" comment was unnecessary

as were all the other previous insults earlier by others. Should have put a stop to it sooner. So let's chill a bit....

BJS:
"We know you're crying for attention with all of the constant Hendry shouting. Stop being a little girl... Dusty is gone."

And how is anyone to take any of your posts seriously when you make childish comments like that? Grow up man...

why was that "comparable" thing directed towards me?

""you're still saying nothing about what the pitchers are doing, how theyre doing it, and what they dropped/added to their "stuff" to make the conversion...your point is still only that theyre ex-starters and that is it."

-crunch

This is of course from the person who cited Dempster's stats while injured and recovering from injury as reason he couldn't be a closer. Nice copying and pasting, have a toke for me.

Rob G,

I misinterpreted #146, apologies.

neal...

"you cant compare roger clemens to roger salkeld cuz they are right handed starters who were drafted high...there's only so many valid ways to lump similarities in lifestyle/role to how they perform in there."

i mean...would you accept from me an arguement that glendon rusch or russ ortiz would be a good closer cuz they're a failed starter?

you gotta have a starting point when comparing guys to each other.

"Now Crunch, this is the argument you seem to be presenting. Dempster is not the exact same person as Eckersley, therefore it was impossible for Hendry to predict that he would be able to make a similar conversion."

and no, that's not the arguement im making.

im talking about YOU comparing dempster to gange/eck/wagner. if you wanna lump them as comparable in any way, my roger(s) comparision is also valid. valid or not, its too loose to be taken seriously.

and for god's sake...can you stop insulting me every time you type something. its getting annoying as hell to pretend you're a grown man acting like that.

MANNY: "...So over 12 seasons and 4,500+ AB's he has had Neifi like batting numbers. UGH..."

I had seen IZZY in LA and was defending him on this blog.

But watching him when he came over I was kinda disappointed that he couldn't hit a lick.

If we had 7 other players that could hit, I'd be fine with it. The Cards had Ozzie Smith for twenty years, but surrounded him with pitching and offense (usually).

I think his range is better than Neifi and he has a better arm, for sure.

Its just - his hitting is bad!!

for those on the b.y. kim wishlist hunt for a bottom rotation guy, colorado picked up his 2.5m option.

who was on that wishlist? cause if you were, I'm banning you. :)

j/k obviously....

"And how is anyone to take any of your posts seriously when you make childish comments like that?"
---

I was having fun at the idea that you can't get over Dusty's departure and the way you keep shouting about Hendry like you have a vendetta to carry out. Wipe your nose if you can't take a joke.

Many posters here seem to make "childish" comments towards you. You're constant whining is so endearing though.

You should be the one with concerns about being taken seriously... with your unsubstantiated claims in an attempt to have a point. Like the recent Ryan Howard/Jim Thome comment that Neal called you out on, and the Maddux/Izturis trade that BB called you out on.

Christ, someone put these two out of our miserys. Sending out an SOS to Arizona Phil or Transmission for some substance, intelligence and maturity to this board please.

hehe...the only "junk" low-price types i was really interested in was lilly/meche...

dunno how much lilly will demand, though...but i wouldnt complain if he came at 5-6m or less.

Sorry about the insults I am trying to shock you into focusing and paying attention. It's difficult to pretend you're a grown man for me as well. You come off as a 9th year college junior who's bong can be manipulated with one hand, so he has one hand free to type. I am not saying that is what you are, but with your writing style, occasionally meandering thoughts followed by dogmatic focus on one mis-interpreted point, that is what I think of when I see your blog handle.

"im talking about YOU comparing dempster to gange/eck/wagner."

These were just guys off the top of my head, you'll notice I never said Dempster is going to the hall of fame, nor did I say he was as good as any of them. They are examples of the same type of success that Hendry may have happened upon with Dempster. You're the one who said took the conversation off on a tangent... "gagne and eck and wagner??? WHAT?"

Twice I described some of the factors that go into the difference between being a starter and a reliever and as Rob G pointed out, you ignored the first and as I am now point out, you ignoring the second.

Read the entire posts. Articulate clearly by saying "Are you saying you think Dempster is as good as Gagne?" instead of "gagne and eck and wagner??? WHAT?", because you may think people know what you are saying, but there's a reason that the concepts of punctualization and capitalization were invented, and it wasn't to sell more type face.

Tim K,

I have an itnernet link you may want to check out.

www.

"These were just guys off the top of my head, you'll notice I never said Dempster is going to the hall of fame, nor did I say he was as good as any of them."

nor do i care about that...

btw, you appologized for insulting me then proceeded to insult me.

"Twice I described some of the factors that go into the difference between being a starter and a reliever and as Rob G pointed out, you ignored the first and as I am now point out, you ignoring the second."

no, i didnt ignore you...i just told you its a piss poor way to evaluate talent that holds no water. i thought i made that pretty clear.

i could use that same set of evaluation to make a case for russ ortiz to be the cubs closer. would you feel comfortable with that?

Lilly won't be had for less than $6 mil. Now that he's a post-season hero, Suppan will probably get 4 years at $9-$10 mil. easy. This SP market looks like it will be similar to the 2004 market where any league average innings eater gets $8-$9 million per.
I doubt the Sox will do it, but I'd like to see a trade for Garcia. They're looking for relievers and the Cubs have plenty.

BJS-

Freddie loves the sunshine.

BJS:
"Like the recent Ryan Howard/Jim Thome comment that Neal called you out on, and the Maddux/Izturis trade that BB called you out on."

Yeah my example about the Howard/Thome situation wasn't the best, but my point was clear that teams shouldn't not sign top FA's just because they think maybe in a year or two a player might be ready to take that position. More often than not, especially for the Cubs, that future starter isn't the answer. Go get the best player you can right now and worry about IF the minor league player deserves the playing time later.

And as for the Maddux/Izturis thing I explained myself more than enough on that. But if people have no interest in hearing the explanation because of some kind of vendeatta, that's their problem.

All I can say is I hope the Cubs win the World Series soon (or at least the Bears win the Super Bowl) so we can all start being nice to each other...

Vegas Brian:
"All I can say is I hope the Cubs win the World Series soon (or at least the Bears win the Super Bowl) so we can all start being nice to each other..."

Come on what is TCR without a few childish characters calling people names just because they have a different opinion.

"i could use that same set of evaluation to make a case for russ ortiz to be the cubs closer. would you feel comfortable with that?"

If he could do the job, I wouldn't care. Have Rick Sutcliff be the closer. I think you have a facination with scouting, whereas I have an interest in it but a fascination with quantifiable results. From this particularly thread, I get the idea that if Ortiz had a flawless season as the Cubs closer you would prefer we bring in someone with a 98 mph fastball. I could throw as hard as Doug Jones, but he was a solid closer for a long time in the majors essentially with no out pitch.

"no, i didnt ignore you...i just told you its a piss poor way to evaluate talent that holds no water. i thought i made that pretty clear."

Well, pretty much you just exposed yourself as doing what Rob G and I said, because I didn't list any talent evaluation method in this thread at all. I am not sure if you're skimming or not understanding, but it seems other people can understand it, so I am not going to lay the fault on me.

"btw, you appologized for insulting me then proceeded to insult me."

I don't know you from Eve. For all I know you could have said to yourself, 'man, i wish i was still in college' when you read that. I just said that is what my perception of you is. I am sorry if it bothers you, I suggest you take corrective action or get over it. I guess you could send me your resume if it would make you happy.

I could try to not condescend to you, if you would try to read and understand my posts before you go off on tangents.

"Come on what is TCR without a few childish characters calling people names just because they have a different opinion."

Well said, Manny!

I don't think I called crunch any names, did I?

btw, you appologized for insulting me then proceeded to insult me.

----

I was laughing at that too Crunch. "I didn't mean to insult you but....." oh and by the way you sound like a bong addled stoner with no comprehension skills to me. Perhaps you can add some class and civility into your handle Neal, and maybe the rest of us will be able to comprehend your self-imposed level of vast intelligence you seem to think you have even though you routinely mis-spell simple words, btw, Internet is supposed to be capitalized.

And as for the Maddux/Izturis thing I explained myself more than enough on that. But if people have no interest in hearing the explanation because of some kind of vendeatta, that's their problem.

That's right, make up some BS excuse for contradicting yourself, and then accuse anyone who doesn't buy it as having some personal grudge.

how, what's the word, CLASSY?

BTW, your BS "explanation" is particularly funny since in this very thread you praise Colletti for acquiring Maddux because he's a class A free agent that could potentially bring a first round pick. Considering that "right" would be given to any team that Maddux was traded to, one might be given the impression that you were trying to imply that Hendry was foolish for ever trading Maddux in the first place.

Of course, Manny, with your stellar record of standing on prinicple, and never bashing Hendry even if he does exactly what you say he should do, I'm sure that you would ever do something like that...

The Real Neal:
"I don't think I called crunch any names, did I?"

Nah, you were a perfect gentleman.

"Kumbaya, my Lord"

Re: Are there any Contracts Experts in the House?

Rob G, Manny T, please see #82 last paragraph. Any insight you might have into Hendry's use of mutual options with different $$ limits for the player vs. the ball club would be appreciated.

Crunch, Thanks for the link!

is it vandetta or vendeatta? i'm confused.

hey neal...do you really need to dehumanize and state untrue things like you 'needing to teach me about baseball' and my intelligence and what im doing in my spare time to make your point?

guess you do if you have no point.

and quit dragging rob into it...stand on your own feet, make your comment, and quit acting like i pissed in your sandbox.

all this cuz i dared to say gagne/eck/wagner arent the same type of pitcher as dempster.

you lump 4 of them together..ask 100 people 'which doesnt belong and WHY'...you'll be the only one going "well, theyre all the same."

Sorry Dave,

Why don't your and crunch's mom give mine a call and we can set up a parent-teacher conferrence?

I have learned one thing, though. Pretty much never correct anyone's spelling or grammar on the internet. Sometime's I'll have a go at Manny because he likes to say 'could of'. I am no expert, but I try to make an effort. People who make no effort get on my nerves. People who try to tell me how to spell words while using run-on sentences make baby jebus weep.

If you were to actually re-read the thread, I think my frustration with crunch would be evident. If you were to re-read the last two years worth, even more so.

btw, figure out the Internet usage for 'Handle'.

#145

i congratulate crunch for one post using Dempster instead of Dumpster.

CWTP:
"Does JIM HENDRY construct contract options in this way as well, with the player option lower than the team option? If so, who on the Cubs has this kind of mutual option?"

He doesn't have any contract right now set up that way and I don't recall any in the past couple years.

Right now the only players who have a player and/or team options are:
1) Scott Eyre - $3.8 million player option for 2008.
2) Cesar Izturis - $5.45 million team option for 2008. (note: that Hendry did not do this contract)
3) Aramis Ramirez - $11.0 million mutual option for 2009. (note: firstly, that contract is now voided, but both options, player and team, were for the same amount)

So to answer your question, no Hendry doesn't really do contracts with option years like the one for Rowand with the team and player options different amounts.

crunch,

I may be an ass. I am not a hypocrite though. You have said on this board to me 'pay attention,and you'll learn something' to me, so you'll have to forgive me if I am not going to feel sorry for you.

If you ask 100 people which of these four doesn't belong:

Eckersley, Wagner, Gagne and Dempster here are some possible answers.

Wagner, he throws left handed
Gagne his best pitch is a change
Eckersley, he's retired
Gagne he only played for one team
Wagner he never started in the majors
Dempster he never won a Rolaids award
Eckersley he never had arm troubles (I guess he did, but someoone may say that)

I commend you for arguing a point on never made though, you've put up like 10 posts on it.

I truly am sorry if I said anything you feel is dehumanizing. Not sure what that was, but I am sorry, regardlss.

In fact I did read most of the thread Neal. I actually thought Crunch was wrong so it's not like I was trying to come to his aid. I was simply pointing out the hypocrisy of your previous post which Crunch eluded to. I know handle means one's user id in Internet speak so I don't need to figure that out, nice try though. I guess I'm not intelligent enough to "comprehend" what relevance that has to the discussion either.

"guess you do if you have no point."

Just to be clear. Jim Hendry knows more about Ryan Dempster than you do. If he thinks he would make a good closer, I am going to go ahead and take his word over yours. The fact that he was correct, should maybe cause you to reconsider your opinion.

Is that a clear enough point for you? Maybe you would like to tell me about Kent Tekulve?

Just as an FYI...

All 6 Cubs who could file for Free Agency have now. That includes: Blanco, Mabry, Miller, Pierre, Ramirez and Wood.

yeah, this is over. I'm closing the comments on this one. New post is up and do not bring the baggage from this one over there.

THANKS!!!

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