The Big Freeze

Monday is the last day players on minor league rosters can be traded or moved up to a major league roster. Starting next Tuesday, and until the completion of the Rule 5 Draft on December 7th, players on minor league rosters are "frozen." That is, any player on a minor league roster as of this coming Tuesday cannot be traded and cannot be added to an MLB 40-man roster until the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Players on an MLB 40-man roster can be sent outright to the minors during this period, but it's strictly a one-way highway. (Three years ago, the Cubs acquired Derrek Lee from the Florida Marlins for Hee Seop Choi and a Player to Be Named Later (PTBNL), but because the deal was made during the period between November 20th and the Rule 5 Draft, the PTBNL--RHP Mike Nannini--was not identified and could not be sent to the Marlins until the Rule 5 Draft had been completed). At present, the Cubs 40-man roster (or "reserve list") has 39 players on it, with one opening. (FAs Juan Pierre and John Mabry do not count against the Cubs 40-man roster). With the recent change in MLB Rule 5, fewer players than usual will be eligible for this year's Rule 5 Draft, but even so, the Cubs have 50 players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if not added to the 40-man roster by Monday: * bats or throws left # bats both PITCHERS (30): Jason Anderson (MLFA after 2007) Thomas Atlee Federico Baez (MLFA after 2007) Oscar Bernard (6Y FA after 2007) Ryan Bicondoa (MLFA after 2007) Chadd Blasko Bobby Brownlie * Edward Campusano Jose Caridad Rocky Cherry Alfredo Francisco Cristian Gonzalez (MLFA after 2007) * Luke Hagerty Lincoln Holdzkom (6Y MLFA after 2007) Ben Howard (MLFA after 2007) * Fabian Jimenez-Angulo Adalberto Mendez * Isaac Pavlik (MLFA after 2007) Leonel Perez Billy Petrick * Carmen Pignatiello (MLFA after 2007) Jose Pina Robert Ransom * Clay Rapada Joel Santo Andy Shipman * Les Walrond (MLFA after 2007) John Webb (MLFA after 2007) Randy Wells * Jesus Yepez CATCHERS (4): Jake Fox # Koyie Hill (MLFA after 2007) Tony Richie * Alan Rick INFIELDERS (14): * Gary Cates (MLFA after 2007) Robinson Chirinos (6Y MLFA after 2007) # Matt Craig * Mike Fontenot Alberto Garcia * Micah Hoffpauir Jesse Hoorelbeke (MLFA after 2007) Richard Lewis (6Y MLFA after 2007) # Albenis Machado (MLFA after 2007) Casey McGehee Carlos Rojas (6Y MLFA after 2007) Issmael Salas (6Y MLFA after 2007) * Jason Smith (MLFA after 2007) Jemel Spearman OUTFIELDERS (2): Jesus Valdez Chris Walker As of right now, there are 39 players on the Cubs 40-man reserve list. However, with maybe three or four players likely to be added to the 40-man roster by next Monday, and with at least one or two spots on the 40-man roster likely to be allocated to a FA starting pitcher and/or FA outfielder, probably at least three or four players (and possibly as many as five) will need to be removed from the 40-man roster. Here is the Cubs current 40-man roster: * bats or throws left # bats both PITCHERS (20): * Neal Cotts Ryan Dempster * Scott Eyre Angel Guzman Adam Harben * Rich Hill Bob Howry Carlos Marmol * Juan Mateo Wade Miller Roberto Novoa * Will Ohman * Ryan OíMalley Mark Prior * Glendon Rusch Jae-kuk Ryu Kerry Wood Michael Wuertz Carlos Zambrano CATCHERS (4): Michael Barrett Henry Blanco # Jose Reyes Geovany Soto INFIELDERS (9): * Freddie Bynum Ronny Cedeno Mark DeRosa Brian Dopirak # Cesar Izturis Derrek Lee * Scott Moore Aramis Ramirez Ryan Theriot OUTFIELDERS (6): * Buck Coats * Jacque Jones Matt Murton * Miguel Negron # Angel Pagan * Felix Pie I would say the three or four players currently on a minor league roster who are most-likely to be added to the Cubs 40-man roster by next Monday will probably come from this group (probably in this order): 1. Clay Rapada, LHP (#1 reliever in AFL) 2. Jake Fox, C (catching mechanics are still terrible, but has plus-power and a strong arm) 3. Carmen Pignatiello, LHP (stock soaring after strong showing in AFL) 4. Casey McGehee, 3B (stock rising with strong showing in MEX PAC) 5. Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP (mechanics are now all fouled-up, but he's still throwing in mid-90's) 6. Randy Wells, RHP (converted catcher, pitched great at AA, but struggled at AAA) 7. Rocky Cherry, RHP (recovering from season-ending finger surgery) 8. Edward Campusano, LHP (had season-ending arm injury) 9. Federico Baez, RHP (rubber-armed reliever, pitched for Team Puerto Rico in WBC) 10. Billy Petrick, RHP (still trying to come back from 2005 shoulder surgery) The four or five (or six, if necessary) players most-likely to be removed from the 40-man roster (via trade, release, or outright assignment to the minors) are (alphabetically): Buck Coats, IF-OF (the poor man's Freddie Bynum) Brian Dopirak, 1B (will be out of minor league options two years before D-Lee's contract expires, probably better suited to be a DH anyway) Adam Harben, RHP (now has a sore elbow, but wasn't that great a prospect to begin with) Miguel Negron, OF (outstanding arm & defense, but has no power and just average speed) Ryan O'Malley, LHP (suffered season-ending elbow-strain in August after surprise outing in Houston, probably no future with Cubs anyway) Jose Reyes, C (excellent defensive catcher, but a weak hitter with zero power) If the Cubs opt to drop one or more players from their 40-man roster via outright assignment to the minors, the player(s) could be claimed off waivers by one of the other MLB clubs, and then the player(s) could be optioned to the minor leagues by the player's new club for as many years as the player has options left. Unless it was changed in the new MLB Rule 5, players who would have been eligible to be minor league free-agents on October 15th if they hadn't been on a 40-man roster cannot be outrighted to the minor leagues after October 15th until they sign a major league contract for the following season. So if the Cubs decide to remove them from their 40-man roster, Coats, Reyes, and Negron will have to be traded or released. They cannot be outrighted to the minors at this time. Other players on the Cubs 40-man roster in this class are Freddie Bynum, Angel Guzman, Carlos Marmol, Roberto Novoa, and Michael Wuertz. And Juan Mateo can be a free-agent if he were to be sent outright to the minors because he has been outrighted previously in his career. However, because they would not have been eligible for free-agency on October 15th if they had been on a minor league roster and because they do not have three-plus years of MLB service time and have not been outrighted previously in their career, Harben, O'Malley, and Dopirak could be placed on Outright Waivers and (if they are not claimed) can be sent outright to the minors if the Cubs wish to do that. I do think that if the Cubs decide to drop Dopirak from the 40, that he is more likely to be traded someplace for somebody else's misfit than he is to be placed on Outright Waivers, because I doubt that the Cubs would want to risk losing a player to whom they gave a big bucks bonus for only the $20,000 waiver price. But the fact is, even if Dopirak develops as a power masher (and the jury is stiill out), he will run out of minor league options two years before Derrek Lee's contract expires, plus, Dope's defense at 1B is bad enough that he really should (and probably will) end up as a DH. Other players on the Cubs 40-man roster in this class (could be sent outright to the minors at this time if they are not claimed off waivers) include Ronny Cedeno, Rich Hill, Sean Marshall, Scott Moore, Matt Murton, Angel Pagan, Felix Pie, Jae-kuk Ryu, Geovany Soto, and Ryan Theriot, although it's unlikely anyone in this group will be removed from the 40-man roster unless they are included in a deal for an MLB starting pitcher or outfielder. Last year at this time, the Cubs outrighted Mike Fontenot, Adam Greenberg, Richard Lewis, and Russ Rohlicek to AAA (after none of the four were claimed off waivers), and traded Jon Leicester to Texas for a PTBNL (Leicester was out of minor league options) to make room on the 40-man roster for Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Ricky Nolasco, Jae-kuk Ryu, Jose Reyes, Brian Dopirak, Scott Moore, and Felix Pie. And then a few days later, Jermaine Van Buren (who could not be outrighted to the minors because he would have been eligible to be a minor league FA if he had not been on the 40-man roster on October 15th) was traded to the Red Sox for a PTBNL to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for FA Bob Howry. Juan Pierre was acquired from the Marlins during the Winter Meetings last December in a three-fer-one deal, with Ricky Nolasco, Sergio Mitre (who was out of minor league options last Spring Training), and Renyel Pinto (who will be out of minor league options next Spring Training) going to FLA, so packaging two or three players now on the 40-man roster--especially guys getting close to using up their minor league options-- in a two-fer-one or three-fer-one deal for a starting pitcher or an outfielder before Tuesday would help to alleviate the log-jam and allow the Cubs to protect more players. MINOR LEAGUE OPTION STATUS FOR PLAYERS ON CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER: * denotes must clear Major League Waivers to be optioned to minors NO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: Freddie Bynum Angel Guzman (see NOTE) NOTE: Because of time spent on DL in 2004 and 2005, Angel Guzman MIGHT be eligible to receive a 4th option year in 2007. A player receives a 4th option year if he has not played five ìfull seasonsî (minimum 60 days on major league or minor league active roster in each of five separate seasons) by the time his three minor league options have been exercised (4th OPTION YEAR FOR GUZMAN CANNOT BE CONFIRMED AT THIS TIME). ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION LEFT: Ronny Cedeno Rich Hill Miguel Negron * Roberto Novoa * Will Ohman (see NOTE) Geovany Soto * Michael Wuertz NOTE: Once he has accumulated 132 more days of MLB service time, Will Ohman will reach five years of MLB service time. At that point, he can refuse an optional assignment to the minors, even though he has an option left. TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: * Neal Cotts Brian Dopirak Adam Harben Carlos Marmol Angel Pagan Felix Pie * Mark Prior (see NOTE) Jose Reyes Jae-Kuk Ryu Ryan Theriot NOTE: Once he has accumulated 41 more days of MLB service time, Mark Prior will reach five years of MLB service time. At that point, he can refuse an optional assignment to the minors, even though he has two options left. THREE MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: Buck Coats Sean Marshall Juan Mateo Matt Murton Ryan OíMalley
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Comments

The Score reports Cubs aquire Neal Cotts for Aardsma and Carlos Vasquez.

interesting lefty, could be part of setting up a trade where mr. ohman leaves.

What? Why?

The last thing the Cubs need is another bull-pen arm, unless they are planning on gathering as many relief pitchers as possible in an attempt to trade some of them.

Well they have a hard throwing right hander ready for 2007...(all together now)...Kerry Wood.

They can count on him.

Right?

Maybe they're planning on putting Cotts in the rotation? Maybe Aardsma had too many vowels in his last name?

Hmmm...I dunno?

3-4 years ago Cotts was a hot starting pitching prospect. The White Sox even talked about perhaps eventually moving him back to the rotation, maybe even this year if they dealt away two vet sp and signed a vet lefty reliever.

I'm shocked we got him, if he is on he is fantastic. To get him for Aardsma and a low minor leaguer is a great deal. Good job donuts!

Now trade for Jake Westbrook. This deal could be setting the stage for trading Eyre.

Interesting. I guess he's either headed to the rotation or Ohman is on his way out.

If this is true, at least Hendry is being active.

Always tough to judge relievers on stats , as one bad outing can kill an ERA, but Cotts has had one excellent year (2005) and two pretty lousy ones.

Still like the move -- Howry and Wuertz can anchor the RH side, but lefty help is needed, so Eyre's arm doesn't fall off.

rumor of possible manny trade for 3 prospects to CHC? Friend told me that is from Olney.

My White Sox coworker isn't happy with the trade, so I'll take that as a good sign!

Manny in CF?

Here is a nice link to Cotts' career stats, including his minor league stats as a starter...

http://thebaseballcube.com/players/C/Neal-Cot...

This might have also been a salary dump by the White Sox because I believe Cotts is due a big raise with arbitration and the Sox payroll is off the charts high (90 mil already for only 12 players).

I'd much rather have a sure thing in the rotation than gambling on Cotts, but Cotts could certainly be one of the 2 or 3 lefties in the pen. Maybe he comes to spring training and pitches so well they have to put him in the rotation, who knows.

The scouting report says he throws a low 90's fastball and a changeup and that when he keeps the ball down he does great (2005) and when he gets it up he gets killed (2004+2006). Hopefully Rothschild stresses that daily.

The Cubs aren't creative enough to think of Cotts as a potential starter. This trade is bad news for either Wuertz or Ohman.

Here's a way to add pop in the line-up and increase walks.....

sign Barry Bonds.

Soriano or Drew are going to be way overpriced.

From ESPN.com-

"Cotts made a career-high 70 appearances for the White Sox last season, going 1-2 with a 5.17 ERA. He was 4-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 2005 and earned a win in the White Sox's four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. "

oops!

Derosa was on WSCR today-
-Was "guaranteed" second base job
-will play third to give Aram a rest
-looks forward to playing for LouPa
-him and his agent "targeted" the Cubs late in the 2006 season

Interesting note the Rangers offered Derosa 2 years for $ 5.5 million total.

He will make that in his third year of the Cubs contract.

Neal F'n Cotts?????? HA HA HA

The Cotts trade could be indicative of....

the retirement of Glendon Rusch.

Manny if you watched any of the White Sox season in 2005 you wouldn't be laughing. The guy was lights out. 1.94 era, 60 ip and 38 hits.

If the Jake Westbrook rumors are true, then Ohman should be going to Cleveland.

Hey guys it is OK,

I heard Cotts might be the next Steve Carlton or Randy Johnson.

UGH!!!!!

Hey guys it is OK,

I heard Cotts might be the next Steve Carlton or Randy Johnson.

UGH!!!!!

What the hell is wrong with this trade?

Cotts' numbers are weird. His HR rate just exploded last year. He even gave up a HR to J. Jones at the Cell to lose a game (most exciting Cubs win of the season), and we all know how bad J. Jones is against lefties.

I'm OK with a Howry-Dempster-Wood-Wuertz-Eyre-Ohman-Cotts bullpen. I don't like starting a season with seven relievers because of all the off days in April and because of what it does to the bench (namely Hendry valuing "versatility" over "not sucking").

Jackson:
"Manny if you watched any of the White Sox season in 2005 you wouldn't be laughing. The guy was lights out. 1.94 era, 60 ip and 38 hits."

Too bad I didn't bury my head in the sand in 2004 and 2006, years where he was HORRIBLE. The White Sox were 23rd worst in MLB in relief last year, they need bullpen help. If they thought Cotts was any good they would of kept him, since he will be pretty cheap. I thought Aardsma was coming around nice and was hoping he and Weurtz would anchor early relief for the Cubs this year. Oh well...

cotts had 2 bad months last year...and boy were they bad.

i cant imagine him going to the rotation...that's a bit too iffy for a guy with his stuff. he's a loogy, straight up.

he's got great stuff, but he opens up his delivery way too much to handle a starting-load vs. righties.

manny, is this going to be the childish reaction to every transaction this offseason? what the hell is wrong with you?

cotts is a very legit lefty. he is only 1 year older than aards. the cubs have lots of righty power arms, you just got a lefty.

it probably means that ohman or eyre is going to be part of another trade.

why in the world this trade could incite sad laughter or "UGH!!!!!" is waaaay beyond me. there are white sox fans more upset about it than you are right now, trust me.

at this point, i feel that the cubs could trade pie for wells and you would complain that hendry gave up too much.

don't take out your frustration at dusty not being here on hendry/the rest of the posters here.

LNL:
"What the hell is wrong with this trade?"

My comment was more poking fun at those people who all of a sudden think Cotts is going to be a starting pitcher. Makes no sense. But I am not a fan of Cotts. Yes, he had one very good year, but I personally think 2004 and 2006 are closer his his normal abilities.

Have you even bothered looking at his minor league numbers, Manny?

I've been pretty hard on Hendry so far this offseason, but I'll reserve judgment on this one until we see what else he does with the bullpen. It's pretty clear we have a surplus of arms in the bullpen, and it's always nice to trade from a position of strength (especially when the bullpen FA market is so weak).

Who knows, this could set up a trade of Eyre to free up a little bit of payroll and make a run at Soriano.

Nice post in #25 Green Lantern... couldn't have said it better myself.

"What the hell is wrong with this trade?"

What's wrong is that it addresses a problem we don't have--yet. Ohman and Eyre are fine for lefty relievers in our bullpen. Trading from strength is fine, but we should receive something that helps our weakness. That is, if this deal is a precursor to acquiring a starting pitcher with Eyre and a package--fine. But to get a third (fourth if Rusch is healthy) relief pitcher who was awful two of the last three years (and amazing for one) looks a lot like more Hendry pulling--and Cotts' career year wasn't even last year!

Vorare:
"Have you even bothered looking at his minor league numbers, Manny?"

Yes I did from 2002-03. 4 years ago. But I don't see him starting now.

For those thinking Cotts shouldn't be used as a starter, Rotoworld disagrees:

Cubs acquired LHP Neal Cotts from the White Sox for RHP David Aardsma and LHP Carlos Vasquez.

So not only did the crosstown rivals pull of a trade, but Jim Hendry appears to have gotten the better of it? Cotts' ERA jumped from 1.94 to 5.17 last season, but he didn't lose any stuff. It'd be great if the Cubs got him with the idea of putting him in the rotation along with Carlos Zambrano and Rich Hill. If it turns out he can't handle it, he can always be shifted back to the pen later. However, the talent is there for him to be a third or fourth starter.

Maybe this means we won't be going after Marquis. Or maybe we're not going to try after Igawa. It's certainly been an exciting offseason thus far.

Unfortunately, the trade hijacked comments from another very informative roster post from AZP. Thanks for the great info.

GL-
Sorry if you got a personal problem with me (you too LNL), but if you got a problem with the gist of what I say, please argue your point and I am sure we can have a conversation about it, but please leave out the junk about "frustration about Dusty" crap. Argue against what I am saying, not why you think I am saying it. If you can't do that cool, then it will be best if you just ignore my posts. Thanks man.

#30 of 32: By Stevens (November 16, 2006 01:20 PM)

"What the hell is wrong with this trade?"

What's wrong is that it addresses a problem we don't have--yet.
----

It's November 16th.

Maybe, just maybe, there was some thought behind what this sets up for the future.

We didn't trade Guzman, Marshall, Hill, etc. We traded David Aardsma and a minor league reliever.

I really didn't expect such pessimism over this deal when I started reading the comments. The contracts given to DeRosa and Blanco, I could understand... but not this deal.

Stevens:
"What's wrong is that it addresses a problem we don't have--yet. Ohman and Eyre are fine for lefty relievers in our bullpen. Trading from strength is fine, but we should receive something that helps our weakness."

Very well put. If this is a precurser to another trade then we can judge the trade from there. But at this point I would rather have Aardsma and Ohman in the bullpen then just Cotts.

we didn't trade aardsma and ohman manny. the trade is what it is. it is most likely setting up another trade. trading ohman would probably get us another player though, not just thin air. just a hunch.

and yes manny, in my post i argued against why you thought this is a bad trade. then i pointed out how anything that hendry does is apparently shit now in your eyes. i think that that is a valid point to make, and i'm not the only one that sees this. it is affecting points that you make left and right, so i can argue this as well.

my opinion is, your judgement is colored by how you see hendry in general, as a failure who should have been fired. i'm not saying he's a huge success story, but this is part of a crusade that goes back to "hendry and dusty should be tied together", which also made no sense.

LNL:
"It's November 16th...I really didn't expect such pessimism over this deal when I started reading the comments."

I understand your thinking and maybe some of us are a bit jumpy waiting to actually see the big changes needed on this team. It is good to see Hendry active, but being active does not mean improving the team. It is still very early though, very true!!

I understand your thinking and maybe some of us are a bit jumpy waiting to actually see the big changes needed on this team. It is good to see Hendry active, but being active does not mean improving the team. It is still very early though, very true!!
-

Fair enough....

And I just noticed the post above. No personal problem here Manny... just don't agree with the seemingly constant negative attitude toward any move that is rumored/made.... maybe the same way you don't like the way I probably come off as rubber stamping all Hendry moves (which isn't true, although this offseason has been so far so good IMO.)

Thats all.... no big deal.

Does anyone feel that Aardsma has soon-to-be-realized potential as a flame-thrower ala Bobby Jenks?

On a couple of occasions I saw him, he was in the upper 90's. Yes, he's still a young pitcher, but is there more upside than Cotts.

Shit, I just remember when we traded Garland...for another Sox pitcher.

"If it turns out he can't handle it, he can always be shifted back to the pen later"

Like Glendon Rusch?

I'm hoping this leads to another deal for a real starter.

cotts has just as much "prospect power" for the future as aardvark in the eyes of baseball.

his control and longball issues mirror aardvark.

cotts isnt just a "sly" lefty with a 88mph fastball and a changeup or anything.

Shit, I just remember when we traded Garland...for another Sox pitcher.

I love this attitude.

"Oh know...once, we traded an average minor league prospect who ended up being pretty good to the White Sox. We better hate all trades of minor league pitchers to the White Sox now."

a 90mph fastball i should say...works that 88-92 zone easily.

cotts has just as much "prospect power" for the future as aardvark in the eyes of baseball.

crunch...I would say, based on 2005, that Cotts has a greater likelihood to perform well at the major league level. He was lights out in 2005. He has shown that he can pitch successfully in the bigs.

Aardvark has shown potential, but has not put it all together yet. With that said, I have really like him since he arrived in the Jerome Williams trade. Not a bad move for Hendry, but probably not a difference maker.

What it really means is that another trade is in the works.

by the way...there is a new thread up on the cotts trade.

LAST TEN POSTS FROM PREVIOUS THREAD:

#250 of 259: By the E-Man (November 18, 2006 05:30 PM)
"He also strikes out a lot of hitters too. Negates the walks."

Yeah, in 2003.

Last year, 19 hits in 19 innings, Chad.

I does not "negate the walks" anymore.

And, no one knows just WHAT he's going to resemble as April 3 rolls around.

#251 of 259: By Little Nate Lewis (November 18, 2006 05:47 PM)
3 year - $14 Million for Alex Gonzalez????

Someone want to explain how DeRosa's contract is above Market Value???

Thanks.

#252 of 259: By dave (November 18, 2006 06:03 PM)
LNL...I don't think that you can really make that argument at this point.

The better argument would be that the DeRosa signing set the market value, and now other teams are responding and other players are gaining the benefits from it.

#253 of 259: By steve (November 18, 2006 06:08 PM)
"Last year, 19 hits in 19 innings, Chad."

He said negate the walks not negate the hits. He gave up 19 hits in 19 innings. You can't base a guy's performance on only 19 innings and when he pitched most of them not 100% healthy.

#254 of 259: By the E-Man (November 18, 2006 06:59 PM)
That's my point. Most Everyone here has already nominated Wood closer when in fact, Chad or you STEVE, do NOT know how his rehab for the 4th time is gonna go this time around. Also, his high percentage of walks is passable over the span of nine innings when you have the time to come back. But in the 8th or 9th innings, your odds of closing games out when the closer walks people in a tight game go down dramatically I would think. PArticularly when facing the better ofensive clubs.

#255 of 259: By MikeC (November 18, 2006 07:32 PM)
Well the difference between Wood and Dempster is like comparing night and day.

You know why I think Wood is going to be our closer (if he is healthy)? It is because of what he did, while injured, in 2005.

12 IP, 4 hits, 17 SO's, 5 BB

He doesn't have to hold back and pace himself for 100 pitches. He just comes out dealing filth. The Kerry Wood as a starter and the Kerry Wood as a reliever are two different animals.

Those of us who watched when Wood came into games in 2005 as a reliever saw how the opposing teams moods changed into "This isn't fair, what the hell we have to face him?!?!?!?" We saw but a brief glimpse what a terrifying relief pitcher he can be, and he wasn't even 100%.

#256 of 259: By Yoo Kyoo (November 18, 2006 07:33 PM)
The translation in post #227 is hilarious. Some examples are below. I was able to figure out some of them, but others befuddle me ...

"As soon as the Yankees (good, the manager-general, Brian Cashen) demonstrated to interest by the receiver White Henry, the Puppies (good, manager-general Jim Hendry), hurried to sign it by five million for two years."

"Henry, of 35 years, is considered best the second receiver of both great leagues. He burst to 15 of 39 runners who left to the east robbery year to him."

#257 of 259: By steve (November 18, 2006 07:33 PM)
I don't know what Wood will do after his rehab. His velocity might be lower than usual or it may be as good as it was. He might develop pain or he might not. I would really like to see him as our closer but then again I would really like to see anybody but Dumpster as our closer. The guy has never been asked to close before in his career and it was a dumb idea in the first place. Dusty thought it was a good idea to try him as a closer when indeed it was not such a good idea. He had a decent year in '05 but it was probably a fluke. He might have been hurt this year and that's why he sucked. He lacks the determination to get the batter out and you need that to be a closer. He's not a big strikeout guy which doesn't help matters. For him not be demoted for his horrid pitching last year is just not fair. I say give Kerry a shot. He intimidates people with his velocity and his big hook. But if Lou decides to use Howry or Eyre, I'm all for it. I really believe that the first blown save Dempster gives up will be the last save opportunity he gets. I like Dempster, as a starter, not as a closer.

#258 of 259: By MikeC (November 18, 2006 07:41 PM)
Actually Dempster as a starter is worse than Dempster as the reliever.

#259 of 259: By Bleeding Blue (November 18, 2006 07:47 PM)
Due to that, the Cubs are pretty much forced to sign their back-up through free agency, and most likely your options are a guy like Blanco at $2.5 or Bako/Javier Valentin at $1.5.

Again, on what basis could you possibly conclude that some other backup catcher, like a Bako or Valentin would cost around $1.5 million dollars, when only 3 backup catchers in all of baseball cost more than a million dollars in 2006.

Do you really think that every team in baseball is going to give their backup catcher a raise of more than 50%?

#259 of 262: By Bleeding Blue (November 18, 2006 07:47 PM)

Due to that, the Cubs are pretty much forced to sign their back-up through free agency, and most likely your options are a guy like Blanco at $2.5 or Bako/Javier Valentin at $1.5.

Again, on what basis could you possibly conclude that some other backup catcher, like a Bako or Valentin would cost around $1.5 million dollars, when only 3 backup catchers in all of baseball cost more than a million dollars in 2006.
----

Haha, Valentin signed an extension for $1.3 million with the Reds.

Thats the basis I could "possibly conclude that some other backup catcher would cost around $1.5 million dollars."

#252 of 259: By dave (November 18, 2006 06:03 PM)
LNL...I don't think that you can really make that argument at this point.

The better argument would be that the DeRosa signing set the market value, and now other teams are responding and other players are gaining the benefits from it.
---

My original response to this got lost in Cyberspace during Phil's edit, but no big deal.

Reports of Valentin's resigning with the Mets surfaced the day before DeRosa signed, so if your argument is true, all critics of the DeRosa deal should blame Minaya for setting the market value and not blame Jim Hendry???

Makes perfect sense to me!!

DeRosa's signing is at market value. It's been proven by subsequent signings and numerous "experts" have asserted the same. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand for some, but it's the truth.

Haha, Valentin signed an extension for $1.3 million with the Reds.
Thats the basis I could "possibly conclude that some other backup catcher would cost around $1.5 million dollars."

HaHa, the Reds signed one of most used backups in baseball to a $1.3 million dollar extension.

That does a whole lot to your argument that it would take $1.5 million to sign "some other backup catcher."

If anything, It does even more to show that Blanco, making essentially twice that of Valentin, is getting an outragous amount of money for a backup catcher.

But LNL, I will applaude you for tripping me up by using Valentin and Bako together like they were of similar talents and abilities who deserve similar contracts.

I wasn't paying close enought attention, and you did get me there.

And because I apparently can't finish a thought in one post...

I previously mentioned that only 3 backup catchers (not including DH/C Jopez) made more than a million dollars in 2006.

Valentin was one of those 3! He's getting a raise of 150k as part of a one year contract.

Blanco was one of the other 3 backup catchers making more than a million dollars, he's getting his salary doubled as part of a 2 year contract.

The 3rd highest paid backup gets a 150k raise, which still puts his salary below 1.5M. That's great evidence that it would take 1.5M to sign "some other backup catcher."

BTW, if Mirabeli resigns for the BoSox for a slight raise from his current $1.5M salary, that won't be evidence that "some other backup catcher" would cost $1.5 million either.

#255 - Mike, I really hope Woody is successful. The 2005 bullpen version was pretty cool.

He is certainly someone who has given it all for the team - not that he hasn't been well-compensated, mind you.
We'll all see in 4-5 months!

#50 of 53: By Bleeding Blue (November 18, 2006 08:35 PM)

Haha, Valentin signed an extension for $1.3 million with the Reds.
Thats the basis I could "possibly conclude that some other backup catcher would cost around $1.5 million dollars."

HaHa, the Reds signed one of most used backups in baseball to a $1.3 million dollar extension.

That does a whole lot to your argument that it would take $1.5 million to sign "some other backup catcher."

If anything, It does even more to show that Blanco, making essentially twice that of Valentin, is getting an outragous amount of money for a backup catcher.
---

So now you are pissed that Blanco is getting about a million or so more than other Free Agent back-up catchers?

If you just want to be pissed off at Hendry Blanco the man, thats cool. Hell I wish I could make over a million dollars more than people with similar roles in my profession.

However, this original discussion was started on the premise that contracts such as these were wasteful because they limited the Cubs ability to sign Soriano, etc.

Blanco is familiar with our staff, Zambrano loves him, etc. There are benefits of keeping him over a guy like Valentin when the difference is $1.2 million of a budget expected to be in excess of $110 million.

Even if those benefits mean nothing to you, I guess we could have signed a guy like Javier Valentin for $1.3 instead of a guy like Hendry Blanco for $2.5, but I dont think that extra $1.2 is the difference between signing a top Free Agent or not.... which was your and DD's original point.

Derosa + Blanco = at best $2 million over market value... and thats being very liberal. If that $2 million costs us a top Free Agent, I'll be pissed also. But again, I think these signings were made with the #1 goal of signing a Soriano, Drew, Lee, etc. firmly taken into consideration.

#52 of 54: By Bleeding Blue (November 18, 2006 08:54 PM)

I previously mentioned that only 3 backup catchers (not including DH/C Jopez) made more than a million dollars in 2006.

I responded to this earlier, and it got caught off in the edit so I'm not sure if you saw it, but I think that situation is probably because other teams have a young catcher that is MLB-ready to be a backup catcher.

Unfortunately, the Cubs aren't in that situation and thus they are forced to acquire their backup catcher through Free Agency. Other teams, such as the Reds, have to do the same. Hell the Reds have 3 catchers on their roster (Larue, Valentin, and Ross).

Regarding the Blanco situation, it's not that I love having to spend the $2.5 per year on Blanco. It would obviously be better to have a young, cheap catcher so we weren't in the position of being forced to sign Blanco.

However, we are not in that position. Personally, I'm more upset about the lack of our minor league system being able to produce a #2 catcher then I am about Blanco's contract.

Hendry's gotta take some heat for that also though.... no doubt about that.

Mets close to signing Alou.... 2 years around $8 million per year.

Obviously, this would make Cliff Floyd more available. Not that thats a great thing.

If you just want to be pissed off at Hendry Blanco the man, thats cool. Hell I wish I could make over a million dollars more than people with similar roles in my profession.

Yeah, that's exactly what I've said. (sarcasm) Christ, are you going out of your way to be dense?

I hate Henry Blanco the man because he makes a million dollars more than any other backup catcher? Nevermind, I've said that Blanco is a good backup catcher. Nevermind the whole point is that when you overpay for backups and other mediocre players it means you have less money available for real impact players.

I'm sure its real easy based on those positions that the "real reason" that I don't like this move is because of some personal issue with Henry Blanco.

I guess we could have signed a guy like Javier Valentin for $1.3 instead of a guy like Hendry Blanco for $2.5, but I dont think that extra $1.2 is the difference between signing a top Free Agent or not.... which was your and DD's original point.

Again, are you intenionally trying to miss the point? I think I've made it pretty clear by now.

Using Valentin, the 3rd highest paid backup catcher in baseball, as an example of what the Cubs would expect to pay for any one of the numerous free agent backup catchers that are on the market every year is just flat out dishonest.

Needlessly spending an extra $1.5 million on a backup catcher means you've got $1.5 million less to spend on a impact player to fill one of the many legitamate holes that exists on the Cubs. And of course, as has also been said on many occations now, its now just overpaying $1.5 million for one player, its the cumlative effect of consistantly paying top dollar for low impact position - especially backups.

I think that situation is probably because other teams have a young catcher that is MLB-ready to be a backup catcher.

Nice try, but Simply not true. Most backup catchers have actually been around the league for a few years, with quite a few of them being young players who run out of options before earning a 2nd string job (Josh Paul, Rob Bowen, and even your precious Valentin all got their chance this way) and become free agents. There are plenty of free agent backups available every year any of which would be perfectly capable of playing backup catcher and all of them make under $1 million a year.

Quite simply, The Cubs were not in any way shape or form "Forced" to sign Henry Blanco. It was a thought out decision -and a typical one by Jim Hendry- to pay a price that is well beyond a reasonable or market value price to keep "his guy."

#57 of 57: By Bleeding Blue (November 18, 2006 10:25 PM)
ìIf you just want to be pissed off at Hendry Blanco the man, thats cool. Hell I wish I could make over a million dollars more than people with similar roles in my profession.

Yeah, that's exactly what I've said. (sarcasm) Christ, are you going out of your way to be dense?î
-
I was just joking around with that comparison... comparing baseball salaries to a real world profession is obviously a pretty smartass suggestion. By not picking up on the ridiculousness of the comparison, are you going out of your way to be denseÖ or are you just content on being an ass? (sarcasm)
---

ìNeedlessly spending an extra $1.5 million on a backup catcher means you've got $1.5 million less to spend on a impact player to fill one of the many legitamate holes that exists on the Cubsî
-

Iíve said before, I think Blancoís move was made with signing an ìimpact playerî firmly taken into consideration as the #1 goal.

I still think what would prevent us from signing a top Free Agent is either: 1) they didnít want to come to Chicago or 2) the organization had a pre-set limit they were willing to spend and another team went over it (see Rafael Furcal), not budget constraints brought on by earlier acquisitions such as Blancoís contract.

If I'm wrong on that I'll be just as pissed as your are currently.... even though not using Blanco's money to "fill a legitimate hole" is yet to occur. It's November 18... lets not act like we know exactly what is going to happen over the next few months.

---
ìI think that situation is probably because other teams have a young catcher that is MLB-ready to be a backup catcher.
Nice try, but Simply not true. ì

Thatís fine.... I'll take your word on it. In my original post on the subject (as if that statement is not enough to show how ridiculous this conversation has gotten), I said this:

ì#175 of 266: By Little Nate Lewis (November 18, 2006 12:44 AM)
I would guess most minor league systems have a catcher more highly regarded than Soto ready to step in, although I am not familiar enough with most organizations minor league systems to back that up at all.î

By no means am I going to act like I know it allÖ. Iíll leave that up to you.

I have also stated:

ì#167 of 266: By Little Nate Lewis (November 17, 2006 11:26 PM)
I do see your point with Blanco.î

But if you want to keep bitching about this, thatís fine. I have said I see your point, I wish our minor league system could develop a backup catcher, etc. etc. etc.

This can all break down on whether to construct a top-heavy roster or a roster with salary more spread-out throughout all 25 men. Obviously we differ on the best way to construct a rosterÖ both have been proven to win at different points.

Simple difference of opinion. I really donít see this going anywhere, unless you want to keep rehashing the same arguments over and over. No big deal to meÖ Iíve gotten to be pretty good at using my cut and paste.

And even though I don't have the time or patience to research this topic myself, I found an abstract from a 2004 article in the "Scottish Journal of Political Economy" entitled "Productive Efficiency and Salary Distribution: The Case of US Major League Baseball" that states the following:

"We investigate the relationship between payroll inequality and production using US Major League Baseball data. Employing panel data methods, this study finds that salary inequality has a significantly negative effect on team success."

The entire article requires a subscription, which I don't have. I'm going to search Lexis and Westlaw to see if I can hunt it down. If it's there, I'll expand on their research, methods and conclusions.

*You know why I think Wood is going to be our closer (if he is healthy)? It is because of what he did, while injured, in 2005.

12 IP, 4 hits, 17 SO's, 5 BB*

Wow, that's great. Way to cherry pick 12 innings of Wood's entire career to prove some gut feeling you have.

But you did put that all important caveat "if he is healthy", which might as well read "In an absolutely perfect world where nothing could possibly go wrong--and Nomar resigns with the Cubs to play SS and gets 700 ABs and hits .340 with 40 HRs and Mark DeRosa hits .400 and Jock Jones hits the cutoff man on one hop and Felix Pee-ay wins the ROY".

Jeebus.

It is not cherry picking innings, it is all I got to work with.

And yes it is a gut feeling. Nothing wrong with that.

It is no secret I have said Wood should have been in the bullpen heading into 2006. That he should have been on the John Smolzt plan of working out of the bullpen for a few years to gain back strength while at the same time being an asset to his team. It is just the Cubs, and Wood, are finally figuring this out. It is what is best for him and his career. I wish they figured it out a year earlier though.

He could very well come up lame again. I am not counting on anything from him. But he certainly has a real chance of being our teams dominate lock down closer.

I have also found this Article:

ìTeam payroll and team performance in major league baseball: 1985−2002î by Frederick Wiseman and Sangit Chatterjee of Northeastern University.

The summary includes this:

ìThe results indicate that owners with a fixed payroll who build a more evenly balanced team as measured by the individual salaries of its players do better than owners who spend a large percentage of its payroll on only a few highly paid superstar players.î

Here is the link for the entire article, including graphs and the equations used to calculate the statistics used in their conclusions:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ua26o

I have yet to find a research article advocating that top-heavy payrolls are the best. If you can find one, I would love to read it Bleeding Blue, but the first two I have read definitely do not support the proposition.

Until then, your top-heavy approach that is against ìconsistently paying top dollar for low impact positionsî just doesnít seem to have much support from people who have researched the topic thoroughly.

It seems clear a roster mixed with high-salary players and so called ìBî Free Agents is the most effective. But if you still view having guys like DeRosa on your roster ìa waste of money, pure and simpleî thatís coolÖ. the data just doesnít appear to back you up.

That's great. Only the point isn't to have a .550 winning percentage, it is to win it all.

You're going to run into cause and effect issues also if you just look at payroll distribution. It may be that the better organizations tend to have more evenly distributed payrolls due to the fact that they develop and retain thier own talent. If you have to gamble big on the FA market, odds are you don't have a full roster of homegrown talent. Are these top heavy teams bad because they signed free agents, or did they sign high dollar free agents because they're bad?

#63 of 63: By The Real Neal (November 19, 2006 08:02 AM)

That's great. Only the point isn't to have a .550 winning percentage, it is to win it all.

You're going to run into cause and effect issues also if you just look at payroll distribution. It may be that the better organizations tend to have more evenly distributed payrolls due to the fact that they develop and retain thier own talent. If you have to gamble big on the FA market, odds are you don't have a full roster of homegrown talent. Are these top heavy teams bad because they signed free agents, or did they sign high dollar free agents because they're bad?
--

Obviously you aren't going to believe it unless you read it yourself..... the cite is there.

But here is the explanation about how they come to the conclusion that top heavy rosters are not the most effective:

"ìIt is a negative relationship indicating that the lower the Gini coefficient (the greater the equality of individual salaries of a team), the greater the number of games won. Table 3 shows that while there was no relationship between the Gini coefficient and team performance from 1985-1990, a relationship has existed since 1990. This relationship was strongest in the 1991-1997 time period when teams that had the greatest degree of equality of salaries won, on average, 9.3 more games than those teams whose individual salary distribution had the greatest amount of inequality."

The method used to comput the "Gini coefficient" is found within a paragraph in the study.

And Neal, if you have a problem with the study, thats fine. It's not like I came up with the calculations, research, etc.

But I'd still enjoy to read a study that comes to a different conclusion. I posted excerpts from 2 articles that said top-heavy rosters aren't the most effective... but I'm not necessarily saying this is 100% correct.

But I would love to read a counter-argument that uses data, calculations and analytical research similar to those 2 studies.

Post it on here when you find one.... until then any argument that top-heavy rosters are the most effective way to construct a roster just doesn't appear to be supported in the same manner the alternative is.

I like Carmen Pignatiello, Fox, Wells and Rapada for the 40 Man. The rest of the guys aren't very good (McGehee and Holdzkom) or are hurt, which makes them less likely to be snatched up. Campusano is the only one I would worry about losing, depending on the status of his mystery injury.

"Post it on here when you find one.... until then any argument that top-heavy rosters are the most effective way to construct a roster just doesn't appear to be supported in the same manner the alternative is."

Nate, if you were to read what I wrote you would notice that I never said that it did. What I said (and which is still correct, no matter what study about the 1991 season you bring up) is that there are recent examples of both top heavy teams and more evenly distributed teams winning it all. The only way to change that is to change history.

Nate,

Also unless he has put it in some other part of the article that I don't see he has normalized Gini Coefficient results with the total payroll results. There is some mention of regressions, but he doesn't explain them. His 'Super Gini' team for instance, the 2001 Mariners (who didn't win a title), had an opening day payroll over $11 million higher than the 2002 champion Angels.

That study is compiled using payrolls from over the course of 18 seasons.... not just the 1991 season.

Of course there is going to be exceptions to cherry-pick when you are looking at conclusions derived from data compiled over 18 seasons that took into account payrolls of 26, 28 and 30 teams (depending on expansion) over that time. But I would think it would be hard to argue with the general conclusions derived from an analysis of 498 teams over 18 seasons !!! That is, unless "just a hunch" works better for you than statistical data.

And the variables used in regressions analysis were stated:

"Regression analyses were also conducted for the three time periods. Here, the dependent variable was the percentage of wins for a given team and the independent variables were a team's average salary and its Gini coefficient."

Notice "team's average salary"..... that should help take into effect the difference of a teams "total payroll."

Again, I by no means are saying this article, or the article quoted in Post #59, are 100% correct. I don't know enough about this subject to even pretend like I know it all.

However, I think it is hard to argue with the conclusion that top-heavy roster construction is not the most efficient until I read a study quoted that comes to a different conclusion than the two studies I have cited. And attempting to poke holes in the studies methods of analysis doesn't rise to the level of a full analytical study to the contrary, at least to me.

And also Neal, this whole argument really doesn't have much to do with you. I realize you never stated that top-heavy roster construction is the ultimate way to go. This goes back to a discussion I and others have been having with BB and DD over the last few days.... basically saying that Hendry should ignore so-called "B" free agents and their cumulative effects on total payroll and simply use all of that money on high-priced free agents.

And again, as these articles show, over the course of time, that thinking has not proven to be the most efficient method of roster construction.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/deluca/141249,...

De Luca thinks the Cubs' offer for Soriano could easily reach $120 million.

The four second-tier pitchers he names are Westbrook, Padilla, Meche and Marquis.

If it came down to the Cubs and Phillies for Soriano, which team would he choose? He says he'd like to stay in the eastern time zone for some odd reason but he might like hitting at Wrigley. I'd like to have Westbrook and Padilla but not Meche or Marquis. Westbrook's sinker would work nicely in Wrigley and Padilla could be the perfect guy to compliment Big Z.

Reds add more bullpen help in Stanton

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6188014

Steve, I couldn't agree more with your analysis of the four pitchers. Some moron is going to give $8-$10M per year for multiple years for Meche... I really hope it's not our moron. =)

speaking of odd rumors from rotoworld...

- Cubs are still pursuing Lugo for CF/leadoff

- Rockies asked for Rich Hill for Jason Jennings apparently

Speaking of odd rumors/trade ideas.... I posted this accidentally at the end of the last thread, instead of hear:
--

Prospect Insider is a very good Seattle Mariners minor league blog, but this is one of the poorer ideas I've read so far this offseason (from PI)

"With the Cubs in the market for starting pitching, they have approached the Florida Marlins about Dontrelle Willis, and have asked the White Sox about Freddy Garcia, who thrived under Lou Piniella in Seattle.

The Marlins say Willis isnít going anywhere, but they really ought to just take the best deal they can get, which is probably a pretty good haul. Iíd think the Cubs would toss Rich Hill into a package that includes Felix Pie and others."

You're right, Hill for Jennings would be very odd on both sides.

...if we sign Marquis, he'd be their best pinch hitter and LouPa's mandate is to upgrade the Bench.

Jennings is not worth Hill. I wouldn't even give Marshall for him. O'Dowd is going to get laughed at asking that much for Jennings. I also heard the Mets contacted him and he asked for Lastings Milledge, I'm sure Minaya hung up shortly thereafter.

I have no problem with Lugo, if he's not asking too much. But I see Lugo as a clone of Izturis. I want to see Sarge Jr come back instead.

on the last thread E-Man asked about the Bruce Levine Baseball 365 radio show...I heard the 1st hour so here are a few notes:

11/18-Baseball 365 with Coppock/Levine:

Caller asked if sale of the Cubs; would cause McDonough/Hendry to go? Levine said to expect no Cub front office changes for 2 plus years through Hendry's contract.

more on Baseball 365 show...

Levine/Coppock discussed Aardsma Kotts deal. Levine said it helps both teams. Ken Williams has established a bullpen with young guys with power arms that can shorten the game without much money going toward them. Jenks is under control for 1.5 yrs before any big $. McDougal/Thornton are arb eligible. Aardsma salary is minimal. WSox avoid arbitration with Kotts to save $. WSox add young power arm for the bullpen. Piniella told Levine at the GM meetings that he may use his setup men in the 6th inning and if it's a game changing situation/save situation he will.

Caller asked about Juan Pierre being offered $30M over 3 yrs by the Giants. Levine said it's the Giants, Dodgers and Cubs who are after JP, the Cubs being recently back into it. The question mark is the OBP of .330 and low run scoring total and can one live with that.

Discussed Beane looking at Bonds. Does Oakland have the cash? Levine says the question is will it help draw fans to lame duck Oakland site. Marketing wise it makes sense. Bonds as DH makes sense. The Giants are dying to move on past Bonds without alienating their fan base.

Caller asked about Soriano coming to the Cubs. Levine said the Cubs are in it but question is can they outbid the Angels and Artie Moreno. Dodgers, Angels, Astros and Cubs all in the mix for Soriano. Levine is being told the Cubs are in it all the way.

If I'm giving up Pie and Hill I want Willis and Miguel Cabrera. Maybe we include Marshall, Cedeno, Murton and they throw in a decent prospect and the deal is done. Put Miggy in left and have a fearful lineup along with Willis and Z topping the rotation.

That's a lot closer to my thinking, Steve.

Fox's Cub Roster Report (from yesterday)

http://tinyurl.com/ygho86

this tidbit (hoping Rusch is relegated to fetching donuts for $3,25M next yr)

LHP Glendon Rusch (blood clot in his right lung) will not be able to pitch in a game until he is off blood-thinning medicine he began taking in mid-September. He said he would be on the medicine at least until March and possibly until September 2007.

and there goes the relief FA market.

j.speier 4/18 angels.

I can certainly understand the Rockies ASKING for Rich Hill in return for Jason Jennings, but I can't believe Hendry would give up Hill for a pitcher who can be a FA after next season. What the Rockies really need is a CF, and so I would counter-offer Felix Pie, Angel Guzman, and a third prospect TBD (probably a pitcher), and if the Rockies don't bite, so be it. Fine. Then go after a FA starter like Padilla.

The other starting pitcher likely available in a trade who I would like to see the Cubs pursue is Jake Westbrook. A package of Sean Marshall, Will Ohman, and third prospect TBD would seem to be a pretty decent return for the Tribe for a pitcher who will be a FA after next season. Again, if the Indians aren't interested, then (and only then) would I pursue a FA starter.

But ideally, I'd like to see Hendry acquire both Jennings AND Westbrook, because I believe both are better-suited to pitch for the Cubs (and be successful) than the second-level FA starters out there (Lilly, Padilla, Suppan, Meche, Marquis, et al).

And I would also like to see Hendry sign a rubber-armed FA "swingman" like Miguel Batista, who has the aptitude to be used as either a starter (he was a rotation starter for the D'backs last year) or a reliever (he was the Blue Jays closer in '05), depending on the health and performance of Miller & Prior in the #5 slot.

A Zambrano-Westbrook-Jennings-Hill-TBD (Miller/Batista/Cotts) rotation, with Prior (if he is healthy enough to pitch), Mateo, Ryu and--if he develops fast--Sean Gallagher waiting in the wings, and a bullpen of Dempster-Eyre-Howry-Wuertz-Cotts-Batista-Wood (with Rapada/Novoa/Marmol/Pignatiello/Ryu/Mateo as seconday alternatives) would work OK for me.

And although Kerry Wood could possibly end up being the closer (and I would love to see that happen), he would need to first prove he is physically able to handle to rigors of the job before he gets the gig, and that might take a while to determine (like somewhat beyond Spring Training).

Speier's good, but 4 years? The money, 18 million, isn't actually that bad. But 4 years?

I guess all the predictions that this would be an insane FA market are proving accurate.

This should work to the Cubs' favor, as an inflated FA market will inspire more GMs to look to trade. And Hendry is far better at that game...

speier is *THE* relief FA market...he could have probally gotten 5+m if he held out, honestly.

the next in line as "big guy" FA is borowski, baez, or gagne depending on how you gauge history vs. health.

"I guess all the predictions that this would be an insane FA market are proving accurate."

BP did some number crunching which came up with expected FA salaries to be up 27% or 28% from last year.

Now that Speier has signed, that should give Hendry a bit more leverage with trading one (or two?) of his bullpen options.

How about Pie, Murton, Marshall, Guzman, Cedeno, for Jennings and Matt Holliday? Maybe a bit much on our part but I'm a big fan of Holliday.

colorado might actually be open to trading holliday for the right package because of how awful he is in the field...esp. in coors.

dunno if they'll do it while he's still making next to nothing, though.

#82 of 87: By cubster (November 19, 2006 12:30 PM)
LHP Glendon Rusch (blood clot in his right lung) will not be able to pitch in a game until he is off blood-thinning medicine he began taking in mid-September. He said he would be on the medicine at least until March and possibly until September 2007.

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

CUBSTER: For persons who have had a pulmonary embolism, isn't it advisable to avoid taking long trips in airplanes, as professional baseball players must do?

And aren't athletes who are taking blood thinners at a greater risk for potentially life-threatening injuries because of the increased likelihood of severe bruises and cuts that can be sustained in the course of competition?

I predict a season-long vacation on the 60-day DL for Mr. Rusch next season. I hope he invests the $3.25M wisely, because I doubt that he will see that kind of money ever again.

Blood-clots are likely career ending, exactly because the blood-thinners lead to lingering recovery problems from bruises and cuts, and because any remaining undiagnosed blood clots pose a grave danger to the athlete: A sudden collision or awkward move could jar loose a clot, with catastrophic results. (As I mentioned when this first came up with Bynum and Rusch, this ended the career of the Greatest College Football Player Ever, Tommy Frazier)

The Cubs should get some of that money back in insurace, so theoretically that frees up $3 million or so (and saves them the possibility of paying incentives). I hope he has a speedy and complete recovery, I am just saying...

they took insurance out on rusch's contract?

yeah, that supplemental stuff, so that it doesn't hurt to miss work, if you miss work by being hurt. What was its name again?

is Yogi Berra the insurance consultant to Cub management?

"they took insurance out on rusch's contract?"

Dunno. I heard the rule of thumb was $3 million dollars, but that was a while ago.

Fox Sports.com reporting Cubs on the verge of an 8 year deal with Soriano yeah MF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6188248

Great news.... I will feel a lot better once that "verge" word gets taken out of the sub-headline.

But hell ya!!

8 years? That won't come back and bite us in the ass or anything. the guy is 30. OY! Im all for 17 or 18 mil per but for 8 years?

I was about to report that, but 8 yrs is nuts.

i'd still rather have 3-4 years of drew, but its hard to complain if they're gonna pull the trigger.

17m a year...damn...that's a lotta f'n money.

new post up btw on this

Soriano---checked out fox.com

yahoo sports is crediting the report to ESPN1000...

8 yrs at $135 million

http://tinyurl.com/y7ayg5

Wooooooo! 8 years is a lot but he Soriano is a Cubs baby! I guess Hendry likes doing deals on Sunday.

How do you like paying Soriano 17 mil when he's 38? ... and are the cubs going to re-sign zambrano and prior? and how will soriano play now that it's not a contract year? Wow, big money.

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