I’ll have a Rapada with Cheese, and a Cherry Coke

With today being the deadline for moving players from the minor leagues to the 40-man roster, the Cubs announced today that they have added LHP Clay Rapada and RHP Rocky Cherry to their 40-man reserve list. All players still remaining on a Cubs minor league roster will remain "frozen" (cannot be added to the 40-man roster and cannot be traded) until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, which will be held on December 7th at the MLB Winter Meetings. If any player currently on a Cub minor league roster is to be part of a trade consummated sometime in the next couple of weeks, that player will have to be identified as a"Player to be Named Later" (PTBNL), and cannot be named until the Rule 5 Draft concludes. Although players on minor league rosters are now "frozen," players on major league 40-man rosters are not. Players on MLB 40-man rosters can be traded, and players on MLB 40-man rosters can even be assigned outright to the minors during the "frozen" period. Also, free-agents can be signed to minor league contracts and can be assigned to a minor league club during this period. By adding Rapada and Cherry, the Cubs would seem to now have 42 players on their 40-man roster, which (of course) is not allowed. So the only obvious explanation is that apparently Mark DeRosa and Alfonso Soriano have yet to be officially added to the Cubs roster, because no other roster moves were made today. Some of you may remember the same thing happened last year when Bob Howry was signed as a free-agent, but wasn't officially added to the Cubs 40-man roster for several days. But at least two more roster moves will need to be made in the near future, possibly by means of a a two-fer-one or three-fer-one trade for a starting pitcher. A lanky side-armin' slinger who is death on left-handed hitters, the 25-year old Rapada was THE best reliever I saw in the Arizona Fall League this year. I believe he can pitch in the big leagues right now. Signed out of Virginia State University by Cubs "bird dog" scout Billy Swoope in 2002, Rapada is notable for being a one-time "Non-drafted Free-Agent" (NDFA) who made good. Cherry, 27, was drafted by the Cubs out of the University of Oklahoma in the 14th round of the 2002 Rule 4 Draft (June Draft), but didn't sign until January 2003. He made his pro debut at Boise that season. The Rock underwent Tommy John transplannt surgery in 2005, after suffering a torn elbow ligament. A starter earlier in his career, Cherry returned to action this season, working out of the bullpen at AA West Tenn (Cherry and Rapada were an extremely effective 1-2 punch out of the DiamondJaxx pen). Like Rapada, Cherry pitched well-enough to earn a mid-season promotion to AAA Iowa. Showing a mid-90's heater and a devastating breaking ball, Rocky was supposedly about to be called up to the Cubs when he suffered a season-ending finger injury that required surgery. Among the notables not added to the Cub 40 at this time include pitchers Carmen Pignatiello, Lincoln Holdzkom, Randy Wells, and Federico Baez, catcher Jake Fox, and third-baseman Casey McGehee. Each will be eligible for selection by the other 29 MLB clubs at the upcoming Rule 5 Draft Jake Fox was Rich Hill's battery-mate at the University of Michigan, and has spent several years in the Cubs farm system. A slugging catcher who has strugggled with his catching mechanics, Fox split the 2006 season between Daytona and West Tenn. Besides his receiving problems, Fox has had difficulty making consistent contact, and has a tendency to chase pitches out of the strike zone. Still, he is the only catcher in the Cubs system with any power. It is unlikely that he will be ready for the big leagues any time soon. LHP Carmen Pignatiello has been pitching in the Cubs organizatioin since 2000, and was eligible to be a six-year minor league free-agent on October 15th. But he opted to re-up and signed a 2007 minor league contract with the Cub instead, probably after getting a "Cubs slot" in the AFL and a likely NRI to Spring Training. However, Piggy was very impressive pitching out of the bullpen for the Mesa Solar Sox this past month, and will be a very good candidate to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft. RHP Lincoln Holdzkom was one of two pitchers acquired from the Marlins at the end of Spring Training in a deal where Todd Wellemeyer was sent to Florida. Rob Dibble Redux, Holdzkom was one of the Marlins top relief prospects a few years ago (he was on the Marlins 40-man roster for about a year), before suffering a torn elbow ligament in 2004 that required Tommy John ligament transplant surgery. Like Pignatiello, Holdzkom pitched for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, and armed with a mid-90's fastball, showed flashes of brilliance offset by spurts of extreme wildness. After getting an NRI to Spring Training with the big club, Casey McGehee spent the 2006 season as the starting 3rd baseman at AAA Iowa. He is one of the most fundamentally sound players in the Cubs organization, and is capable of playing either corner infield position, McGehee has a solid line-drive stroke, and has had an outstanding last few weeks (including a 16-game hitting streak) while playing for Culiacan in the Mexican Pacific League. McGehee could be a useful (and cheap) option for a small-market and/or low revenue club looking for a platoon third-baseman, or a right-handed bat off the bench. Like Carlos Marmol, RHP Randy Wells was a one-time catcher in the Cubs organization who was converted into a pitcher. Wells started the 2006 season at AA West Tenn and pitched very well, earning himself a mid-season promotion to AAA Iowa. Wells seems to fit the profile of a MLB middle-reliever, and might be another pretty good candidate to be selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft. RHP Federico Baez is still another converted position player. A former third-baseman in the Orioles organization, the rubber-armed Baez pitched for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic last March, and has the ability to either start or relieve. As such, Baez might be attractive to a club looking to acquire a versatile (and cheap) pitcher in the Rule 5 Draft. Here are the 50 Cubs players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft on December 7th: Jason Anderson, RHP (MLFA after 2007) Thomas Atlee, RHP Federico Baez, RHP (MLFA after 2007) Oscar Bernard, RHP (6Y MLFA after 2007) Ryan Bicondoa, RHP (MLFA after 2007) Nate Bland, LHP (MLFA after 2007) Chadd Blasko, RHP Bobby Brownlie, RHP Edward Campusano, LHP Jose Caridad RHP Gary Cates, Jr, IF-OF (MLFA after 2007) Robinson Chirinos, 2B (6Y MLFA after 2007) Matt Craig, 1B-3B Mike Fontenot, 2B Jake Fox, C Alfredo Francisco, RHP Alberto Garcia, 1B-OF Cristian Gonzalez, RHP (MLFA after 2007) Luke Hagerty, LHP Koyie Hill, C (MLFA after 2007) Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP (6Y MLFA after 2007) Micah Hoffpauir, 1B Jesse Hoorelbeke, 1B (MLFA after 2007) Ben Howard, RHP (MLFA after 2007) Fabian Jimenez-Angulo, LHP Geoff Jones, LHP (MLFA after 2007) Richard Lewis, 2B (6Y MLFA after 2007) Albenis Machado, INF (MLFA after 2007) Casey McGehee, 3B Adalberto Mendez, RHP Isaac Pavlik, LHP (MLFA after 2007) Leonel Perez, RHP Billy Petrick, RHP Carmen Pignatiello, LHP (MLFA after 2007) Jose Pina, RHP Robert Ransom, RHP Tony Richie, C Alan Rick, C Carlos Rojas, SS (6Y MLFA after 2007) Issmael Salas, INF (6Y MLFA after 2007) Joel Santo, RHP Andy Shipman, RHP Jason Smith, INF (MLFA after 2007) Jemel Spearman, INF Jesus Valdez, OF Chris Walker, OF Les Walrond, LHP (MLFA after 2007) John Webb, RHP (MLFA after 2007) Randy Wells, RHP Jesus Yepez, LHP
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Comments

So, is Mike Fontenot a lock to be selected in the Rule V draft?

Great work as always, Phil. I do fear that a guy like Wells or McGehee (or both) will be selected, especially since both seem close-to-MLB ready--at least, for a small-market team like the Fish or Rays.

Otherwise, methinks that a combination of Ohman/Cedeno/Marshall/Eyre/Cotts will be donning Cleveland unis pretty soon...

Anyone else think Rocky Cherry sounds like some kind of hybrid ice cream flavor?

I'm admit I'm not real familiar with the Blue Jays organization, but does anyone else think the Jays might be interested in a deal like Jacque Jones + Cedeno + Mateo for Vernon Wells? Wells is most likely now out of the Jays' price range after the Soriano deal, and they have a need to free up some cash after signing Frank Thomas.

Thoughts?

"but does anyone else think the Jays might be interested in a deal like Jacque Jones + Cedeno + Mateo for Vernon Wells? "

They'll definetly listen to offers on Wells. He could ask for $20 mil annually next year on the open market. It might take more than Jones, Cedeno, and Mateo though. Maybe Marshall along with the three. As much as I'd like to see more offense, we need to address the pitching situation. Maybe make it a big deal and offer Pie, Marshall, Jones, Cedeno, and others for Wells and Gustavo Chacin? Just thinking outloud here.

I just don't see the Jays dealing Wells. Supposedly they think they can make the play-offs next season. Besides, I don't think that package could get Wells, especially with the Angels dangling Santana and better prospects.

If we do acquire another STARTING player for the line-up via trade, I hope it's a lefty. I don't get caught up in splits as much as some people, but it would be nice to have another stick with some pop and the ability to draw a walk to bat from the left side of the plate. As much as I loathe Drew's personality and inability to play with a papercut on his ring finger, he'd be a great addition to the team.

What I haven't seen anyone really talk about is options for the bench. Unless we can find someone to take Pagan and Bynum off our hands, we're stuck with the same player (unfortunately that player is an "athletic" bench player with little power and no plate discipline). Theriot will probably come off the bench, and Hank will, too, but we don't have any left-handed power (or right-handed power, for that matter). If McGehee doesn't get picked up in the Rule V, I'd be a fan of him coming off the bench and spelling Lee or Ramirez if needed. What about Robert Fick? Holly? Any other ideas?

I'd love to have Chacin at Wrigley. But if we're willing to trade Pie (which I am...he has "bust" written all over him), maybe trade him to Florida for Olsen or Johnson? I'd prefer Olsen. Then again, I'd prefer Willis, but rumor has it that he's not going anywhere.

Our left handed bat is probably on its way in the form of Cliff Floyd. Not very excited about his glove, but he can still hit. Expect this deal to be done in the next few days.

Florida wants Pie badly, so maybe Hendry can ask for both of them for Felix. I don't think Hendry will go after young starters though. Tim Hudson is available and they probably would take Pie, with Adrew Jones likely gone after this season.

Cliff Floyd - Expect this deal to be done in the next few days.

Bruce Miles says there's interest, but nothing's gonna happen soon. Do you know of a source that disagrees?

Florida wants Pie badly, so maybe Hendry can ask for both of them for Felix.

Where did you hear that Florida specifically wanted Pie? There's no chance in hell the Marlins would trade 2 young and talented pitchers for one underperforming outfielder coming off a down season.

I don't think Hendry will go after young starters though. Tim Hudson is available and they probably would take Pie, with Adrew Jones likely gone after this season.

Again, any sources on this? I haven't heard anything on Hudson, but hopefully he doesn't come here. The guy is just too hittable.

I really hope Floyd doesn't come over. He's best-suited as a DH, and he has to know it. Baltimore is supposedly interested, also. He's an injury risk waiting to happen, is a butcher in the outfield, and probably doesn't even want to be a bench player. If we got him to simply be a lefty stick off of the bench and could sign him for 2/$10MM, I'd be okay with the move. But he's not going anywhere unless it's for more years, more money, and as a starter. No thank you.

As for Pie, if we could get Olsen and Johnson/Sanchez, I definitely would. But I doubt Florida is going to part with 2 young middle-of-the-rotation starters. Given his age and decline, I'd rather not trade for Hudson, although the Braves are supposedly trying to move him for the sake of dumping his contract. I wonder if we could rape trade with the Pirates and pick up Maholm for an OF prospect...the Pirates always make GREAT trades with the Cubs...

ESPN is reporting that Juan Pierre agrees to five-year deal with the Dodgers for $44-$45.

They are also reporting the Glavine is available as the Mets declined his option.

Az Phil:

I assume you are quite happy about the Rapada addition to the 40 man roster. I know you've raved about Lincoln Holdzkom? Anyone else that you think shoulda been added but wasn't?

Honestly, this year is doesn't seem like there is anyone I feel bad about that will be exposed to the rule 5 draft...in the past there was such a furor over losing Sisco and even Juan Mateo...I don't sense it this year. Am I wrong?

Seems like it's a waste to have Jose Reyes on the 40 man and other marginal slot is held by Adam Harben. What is the chance Miguel Negon makes it to the majors?

In retrospect the Nov 2005 40 man roster moves weren't so outrageous although I do miss Adam Greenberg (and his Rabbi)

one year ago on TCR...11/18/05

The Cubs made some moves in anticipation of the Rule V draft. And the puzzlement continues.

Added:
1b Brian Dopirak
3B Scott Moore
OF Felix Pie
C Jose Reyes
P Carlos Marmol
P Sean Marshall
P Ricky Nolasco
P Jae Kuk Ryu

REMOVED:
Mike Fontenot
Richard Lewis
Russ Rohlicek
Adam Greenberg

To sum up, Dopirak, Moore and Reyes are a waste of 40 man roster space. We have 4 catchers at the moment and unless Soto is getting moved in a trade (and why anyone would want to give up anything for him is a legitimate question) Reyes has no business on the roster. Dopirak and Moore haven't played above High A ball, and have serious contact issues, do you really think they would have stuck on a 25 man roster for a full year?

Glaringly absent are Brandon Sing and Bobby Brownlie.

Hudson had one mediocre year after putting together seven excellent years.

If the price was right I would possibly be interested in trading for Hudson. Chances are he would rebound from his mediocre season and return to his career numbers:
ERA: 3.53
WH

Of course...last year's ERA of 4.86 skews the data a bit. Which is worrisome, but I would expect it to come back down under 4.

I would be very content with an ERA between 3 and 4 from Hudson as a #2 or 3, especially with the runs that the Cubs like they will be able to produce.

Also...some confirmation to possible Hudson rumors here. But it also looks like the price would be pretty high.

They are also reporting the Glavine is available as the Mets declined his option.

He's a free agent, but he's not really available. Glavine's made it pretty clear, he's either going to pitch in New York or in Atlanta next year.

CARLOS: "Mike Fontenot" - The player with NO and NOT in his name! Says volumes - career minor leaguer.

"Where did you hear that Florida specifically wanted Pie?"

Well there is about 25 links I could give you. When we asked about Pierre last year they asked for Pie in return. Here's one link, it's only a paragraph, but if you want more I certainly can give you more:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-spmarl...

As for Hudson he was mentioned as available in mid-season this year. Olney mentioned Hudson trade to the Orioles not too long ago. Here's a link:

http://rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/play...

For Floyd he has been in "heated" discussions with Hendry. Floyd and Hendry go way back. The second Hendry offers a contract, Floyd will sign it. Unless heated means that they had a discussion in a heated room.

"I wonder if we could rape trade with the Pirates and pick up Maholm for an OF prospect...the Pirates always make GREAT trades with the Cubs..."

Hendry likes to rape the Pirates. He has a way to take their best players for next to nothing. Maholm would be fine by me but I'd rather have Duke. I don't know if Jim could rape them that bad.

Doesn't everyone want Pie? He is the Cubs top prospect, so of course teams are going to ask for him. I don't think there is any reason to think that Florida is any more interested than other teams.

Good stuff from Kap and Waddle tonight, as usual.

Among the main things of Cubs interest touched upon:
-Angel Pagan will NOT be a starter, despite one caller mildly lobbying for him. Now I can sleep easy...
-Cliff Floyd rumors seem to be gaining some steam. Kap pretty much guaranteed that another lefty bat will be added. Hopefully it's not Cliff Floyd.
-Current Cubs payroll is around $90+ million, which should leave about $15-$25MM to play with.
-Will Carroll seems to be opposed to getting Meche or Jennings. Have to say I agree with him (sorry AZ Phil...I like Jennings, but not for Wuertz, Hill, OR Pie, let alone a combo of the three).
-Cubs are probably going to add 1 pitcher via trade and 1 via free agency. Hopefully Meche and Padilla are NOT acquired. I put them with Cliff Floyd on the list of players I would be pissed to see wearing Cubbie blue.
-Angel Pagan will NOT be a starter with the Cubs, or probably with any other club any time ever.

Who thought Pagan was going to be starting? That wouldn't make too much sense...

This might be old news, not sure...

Free-agent right-hander Gil Meche, 28, tops Cubs GM Jim Hendry's pitching wish list. Meche -- who earned $3.7 million while going 11-8 with a 4.48 ERA for the Seattle Mariners last season -- is said to be seeking at least $8 million annually. Hendry also has set his sights on outfielder Cliff Floyd, 33, for left-handed help off the bench. Floyd, a Chicago native who starred at Thornwood High School in South Holland, was limited to 97 games for the New York Mets last season because of a sprained left ankle and Achilles tendinitis. Floyd made $6.75 million last season, hitting .244 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI for the NL East champion Mets. He has been a longtime favorite of Hendry's.
Full Story

Gil Meche? Really?

$8 million annually, no way. That is too much for a guy pitching in a pitcher's ballpark with a mid 4 ERA. Bone up and pay Schmidt the money and then trade for Westbrook.

Dave: Last caller of the night was making the point that he feels the Cubs are getting too right-handed. He asked what the chances were of Pagan becoming a starter, although I think he meant within the next couple of years.

Either way, give me 8 righties who can hit for power and average against RHP and LHP instead of an "athletic" switch-hitter who K's too much, walks too little, and doesn't hit for a high average or substantial power...

Ryan:
"Current Cubs payroll is around $90+ million, which should leave about $15-$25MM to play with."

With Soriano's signing the Cubs payroll is right at, or slightly above $100 million. Looks like $120 might be very realistic. Miracles will never cease...

"Olney mentioned Hudson trade to the Orioles..."

F*^k Olney! He's got the biggest mouth that says nothing.

Give me BRUCE (Levine) anyday!

ON Espn 1000 in Chicago tonight during an update they said Levine mentioned he either things Cubs will look at Jason Schmidt or Hendry said this. I cant remember the exact words but I got real excited to hear Cubs will be considering Schmidt.

Yeah Olney is on my shit list after what he said about the Cubs not being serious contenders after the Soriano singing. If the Yanks or BoSox would've signed Soriano, he would have guaranteed a WS for them.

STEVE: I agree, and the East Coast bias, even when the White Sox were on the door step of closing out a World Series title, is profound.

I'm curious what MANNYTRILLO is reading out there in the East as well.

I dont think we can add wood's 3 million dollar buyout... I think an accountant would consider his buyout a "sunk Cost". If I remember correctly, you wouldnt add a "sunk cost" into an income statement under the current expenses column, therefore, under current expenses, and into the payroll column it where you would find Payroll

wow my head hurts now... I dont know if that is accurate... Any accountants out there?

E-Man:
"I'm curious what MANNYTRILLO is reading out there in the East as well."

It is funny that I must of heard 3-4 times from people who know I am a Cubs fan how they thought Soriano was getting overpaid by the Cubs. I found it funny as they all were either NYM, NYY or BOST fans.

The few NYM fans I talked to were not happy with the Alou signing.

Hey, E-Man, just when we thought we were going to have a problem getting good money for our tickets next year, Hendry busts open his wallet, huh? I've already had my guy from last year email me making sure I was going to sell them to him.

Cubster, Moore played for the Cubs this year and was a good addition to the 40 man roster.

MANNY: "I found it funny as they all were either NYM, NYY or BOST fans." LOL! Yeah, they have no problem when Steinbrenner goes and signs an entire roster of All Stars, but when the team from the "po-dunk Midwest town" finally trumps them at their own game - they can't handle it!

I am also pleased that we should be looking o.k. with not getting stuck with tickets THIS year (so far!).

And Pierre looks to be a Dodger. 5 years 45 million.

Also the Lugo rumor will not die.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6192462

hell, unless they plan on using j.jones' cheap price as a trade chip based on interest picked up at some point in the past i dunno if i'd take any of the CF's out there over jones (assuming soriano is playing RF).

lugo would be a nice gamble and all, but at twice the price, easily.

wonder how much dave roberts (and to an extent k.lofton) are worth with pierre getting so much.

steve:
Yeah Olney is on my shit list after what he said about the Cubs not being serious contenders after the Soriano singing. If the Yanks or BoSox would've signed Soriano, he would have guaranteed a WS for them.

Hate to be buzzkill, but he's probably right. It's not automatic the Cubs will be contenders, they still need some pitchers. It's looking a ton better than 2 weeks ago, though.

Olney's certainly right that the Cubs, right now, aren't immediate contenders. However, what is annoying reading him, Keith Law, etc. is that they assume that the Soriano deal will preclude Hendry from signing some pitchers.

From what I read in Rosenthal's column..
He paints a picture of Hendry putting Lugo in Cf until Pie is ready. If that is the case and we get Schmidt, really it sets up a trade of Jones for a pitcher and a platoon of Floyd/Murton? If anyone caught John Mac's comments today he praised both Barrett and Murton in his assesment of the team. So is that foreshadowing?

To be fair to Olney, Law, etc in their comments about the Soriano signing, they do have 98 years of history on their side. Soriano is a nice addition, but he combined with a healthy Lee don't take a team from 66 wins to the playoffs. Plus, they were initially assuming that the Soriano signing would put Murton on the bench minimizing the size of the upgrade.

This is very good news/sign from McD...

"It's the caliber of person you're signing. We already have some really good players in place. You have Derrek Lee, Michael Barrett, Aramis Ramirez, a very young and good player in Matt Murton

Sounds like they expect Murton to be a big part of the team. I certainly hope that is the case. I really like hearing that about Murton. Makes me feel a little better about his status.

Are you just ignoring the Barrett part Mike C or are you in denial?

i get the feeling that many here arent too high on felix pie of late?

so, assuming jones has more value than murton due to his left hand bat's "pop", is it possible floyd (if signed) would get more PT than the big murt if D is comparable and floyd is lefty too?

is AZ phil still high on matt murton?

BT: the quote from 11-18-05 on Moore, Dopirak and Reyes being a waste of roster space wasn't mine...it was from the TCR writeup on the 40 man roster move in front of the rule 5 draft last year (I didn't see who took credit as author).

My take is that Reyes has been wasting a 40 man roster space for 2 years but the other moves last year seem to have been reasonable in retrospect... especially Ryu, Marmol, Marshall and Moore...and that not adding Brownlie and Sing last year turned out not to be a mistake.

I really hope Floyd is here to be a PH. I can take Murton in LF because I think he'll be an outstanding hitter in a few years (already very good). Floyd will force me to resent him for stealing time from him...

A question for one of our free agency compensation experts:

As I understand it, we were going to keep our protected first round pick and instead lose our second round and sandwich picks to the Nationals as compensation for Soriano. With Pierre signing in LA, however, we should be getting another first round pick as compensation. Will that compensation pick have to be given to the Nationals instead of the second/sandwich picks, or do we get two first round picks and still lose the second/sandwich picks?

MikeC:
"Sounds like they expect Murton to be a big part of the team. I certainly hope that is the case. I really like hearing that about Murton. Makes me feel a little better about his status."

Or are the Cubs just hyping Murton up to raise his trade value? That said, with Soriano in the OF, I personally have no problem with Murton in LF.

What the hell Rob? Denial about what? I have never fully expected Barrett to be traded. I know Hendry loves his lousy defensive catcher and people get a hard on because he is a silver slugger of shitty hitting catchers.

I would love for the Cubs to dump this sorry excuse for a catcher. But I never fully expected it, because everyone thinks he is the best, which he isn't.

Well they may have 98 yrs on their side, but Law (rainman) was fired by the Blue Jays and then was belittled by his ex GM as being an official "idiot". As for Olney his ineptitude shows thatin his readings are only that with little "meat" to the subject.

I forgot to add. As long as Barrett is on the roster he is assured of being the starting catcher.

We don't know what the hell the Cubs want to do with Murton. I care more about him remaining in LF than any other thing on offense now. Just glad he seems to be mentioned along with all the other starters. That is an excellent sign.

Since I too like Murton, it's nice he got a mention but I wouldn't read much into it. Of course they think he's a good young player, he is. I'm sure they can happily live with him but I'm also sure, if necessary in Hendry's dealings, he could also definitely go. Being involved in a trade wouldn't mean they don't like Murton. It would just mean they found something they like more that he can help them land.

Since I too like Murton, it's nice he got a mention but I wouldn't read much into it. Of course they think he's a good young player, he is. I'm sure they can happily live with him but I'm also sure, if necessary in Hendry's dealings, he could also definitely go. Being involved in a trade wouldn't mean they don't like Murton. It would just mean they found something they like more that he can help them land.

I figured my thoughts on Murton were so profound they should be posted twice. Actually, I just screwed up.

#1 of 50: By Carlos (November 20, 2006 08:43 PM)
So, is Mike Fontenot a lock to be selected in the Rule V draft?

-

CARLOS: I don't think so. I think it is far more likely that the Cubs will trade (exchange) Fontenot for a different (more versatile) AAA-type player some time prior to next season.

I like Fontenot. He's a good hitter (albeit without much power). He hustles. He is a patient hitter who will take a walk. He isn't afraid to hit with two strikes. And he's a winner (he was Ryan Theriot's DP partner at LSU when the Tigers won the College World Series in 2000).

But Fontenot is the kind of player who really has to be an everyday player, except he is a below-average defensive second-baseman. He never will be a utility back-up bench guy, because he doesn't have the athleticism, versatility, and defensive skills to play other positions. So if an MLB club were to select Fontenot in the Rule 5 Draft, his value would be minimal because he doesn't provide much flexibility on a 25-man regular season roster.

In today's MLB, where teams play with a five-man bench, a premium is placed on the ability to do more than one thing. If he is on an MLB roster, Fontenot would have to be either the everyday 2B, or a backup 2B and PH. He doesn't have the skills to come in late in a game for defensive purposes, and while he's not slow, he isn't really fast enough to be used as a pinch-runner who can steal a base.

I guess if some team is looking for an everyday 2B, Fontenot could be a contender for the job. Or Fontenot could be a good Plan "B "option at AAA for some club, playing in the minors and being available in case something happens to his club's first-string 2B. But that isn't the type of player clubs acquire in the Rule 5 Draft.

A club considering Fontenot for a possible starting 2B gig or as a Plan "B" available at AAA would prefer to get Fontenot in a trade, where they could send him back & forth to the minors, which they can't do if he is a Rule 5 selection. And if Fontenot were to be placed back on an MLB 40-man roster, he still has two minor league options left.

Well if the difference is a broken down expensive Cliff Floyd on his last legs (literally and figuratively) over Murton, please do the right thing, keep Murton.

Cliff Floyd is a band-aid, Matt Murton is a fix for LF. It is great we got Soriano, but the Cubs could revert back to "stuck on stupid" at any moment.

#12 of 54: By cubster (November 20, 2006 09:36 PM)
Az Phil:

I assume you are quite happy about the Rapada addition to the 40 man roster. I know you've raved about Lincoln Holdzkom? Anyone else that you think shoulda been added but wasn't?

Honestly, this year is doesn't seem like there is anyone I feel bad about that will be exposed to the rule 5 draft...in the past there was such a furor over losing Sisco and even Juan Mateo...I don't sense it this year. Am I wrong?

Seems like it's a waste to have Jose Reyes on the 40 man and other marginal slot is held by Adam Harben. What is the chance Miguel Negon makes it to the majors?

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

CUBSTER: Yes, I was VERY happy to see the Cubs add Clay Rapada to the 40-man roster, not just because I believe he can pitch in the big leagues right now, but because if he had been left off the 40, he probably would have been the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft and there is no way the Cubs wouold get him back. He would be an ideal Rule 5 pick, because he is a LOOGY, and any MLB club (even a team like the Yankees) can always find opportunities to use a guy like that. Plus I love to watch lefty hitters try to hit his side-arm funk.

I was also very interested and pleased to see the Cubs place Rocky Cherry on the 40-man roster. I doubt they would have done that unless they were convinced that Cherry has recovered completely from his season-ending finger injury. If his finger is indeed 100%, such that he can still throw his breaking ball with the same degree of effectiveness as he did prior to the injury, he could be a very good MLB reliever. The velocity on his fastball jacked up about 4-5 MPH to the mid-90's after he returned from TJ surgery and was moved to the bullpen. Cherry can be everything that David Aardsma was, but with three minor league options available instead of having just the one option left like Aarsdsma had.

As for who I believe should have been added but wasn't, I would say Carmen Pignatiello was the main one. I have seen Pignatiello pitch at Fitch every Spring since 2001 (and last year, as an NRI in Spring Training with the big club), but seeing him pitch in the AFL this year, I was surprised to see the extent to which he has matured as a pitcher and evolved into a quality reliever. He consistently throws strikes, and he does it with a tight dinky slider. I will be absolutely amazed if Pignatiello is not selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Lincoln Holdzkom looked fantastic and was unhittable the first half of the AFL season, mixing a mid-90's fastball with a hard slider. But somewhere around the time manager Pat Listach extended him past 50 pitches, he lost his release point and his mechanics got all messed up. And he never got 'em straightened out. But the very same thing happened to David Aardsma in the AFL last year, and he was able to get himself back on the beam and had a pretty good 2006 season between AAA and the Cubs. Holdzkom is one of those pitchers where you see how hard he throws, and wonder why he can't throw strikes consistently, because sometimes he does throw strike-after-strike, and when he does, he's unhittable.

I certainly agree with you about Adam Harben and Jose Reyes. And Buck Coats and Ryan O'Malley have no future with the Cubs, either. And Brian Dopirak will be out of minor league options two years befor Derrek Lee's contract expires, so Dope is another player on the 40-man roster who probably has no future in the Cubs organization (not to mention the fact that his best defensive position is DH!), although I suspect the Cubs would much prefer to trade Dopirak rather than risk losing him for $20,000 by placing him on irrevocable outright waivers.

As for Miguel Negron, IF he ever does make it to the big leagues (and he has one minor league option left), it will probably be as a "4th outfielder." He has one of the three best OF arms in the Cubs minor league system (the other two belong to Ryan Harvey and Felix Pie), and he is a very good defensive OF and can play all three OF positions (which is a pre-requisite to be a 4th OF). But although his hitting improved a lot this past season after the Cubs claimed him off waivers from TOR, and while he is hitting up a storm right now in Puerto Rico, there is a question about whether he will hit enough to play in the big leagues. He has just gap power, and he is not a fast runner. Which is not to say he isn't any good, just that he would project as an Angel Pagan-type 4th OF, with a better arm than Pagan's, but otherwise without Pagan's speed & power combo. And Negron is a left-handed hitter, while Pagan bats both. So I'd take Pagan over Negron. Even though he was one of Tim Wilken's boys (one-time Blue Jays 1st round draft pick), if the Cubs need Negron's roster spot, he's a goner. And anyway, he will be out of options in 2008, and he has yet to play above AA.

At this point, Murton only should be moved for us to land a #1/#2 starting pitcher type. Hendry has done his job upgrading the offense, now it is time to focus on pitching.

#43 of 56: By CUBBY (November 21, 2006 02:41 AM)
i get the feeling that many here arent too high on felix pie of late?

is AZ phil still high on matt murton?

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

CUBBY: I for one still like Felix Pie a lot, and I believe he will be an oustanding major league player. He is an excellent defensive outfielder right now and has one of the three best OF arms in the organization. Working with Bobby Dernier, Pie has learned how to steal bases without getting thrown out (unlike Corey Patterson, Pie is actually coachable), and his power is developing. However, he is not, and never will be, a lead-off hitter. Pie is the Cubs best trading chip right now, especially if the Cubs target Jason Jennings (the Rockies need a CF), or a Marlins pitcher (because the Marlins also need a CF).

And I still like Matt Murton very much, too. With a young player, I am always interested to see if the player can re-adjust after MLB pitchers make their initial adjustment to him. Murton did that, and so I believe he will continue to progress as both a hitter and as a slugger. I really do not want to see the Cubs trade Murton, because I believe he is the Cubs LF of both the present and the future.

BTW, you didn't ask, but I don't think Ronny Cedeno is a lost cause. I believe spending the 2007 season playing SS at Iowa (he has one minor league option left) would do Cedeno a world of good. He's young enough that he can still be a quality MLB shortstop. He just needs to get his confidence back.

The fact is, the Cubs cannot hope to fill all of the holes on the club by signing a free-agent or by packaging three prospects in a trade for an established major leaguer every time there is a need. Even with a $115M or $120M budget, the Cubs will still need to develop players and pitchers who can become major league position players or major league pitchers. It's fine to use a young player or pitcher as a trading chip to acquire a key missing part of the puzzle, but it's even better when you can solve the problem from within the organization.

Just because some highly-touted prospects flopped, the Cubs should not give up on developing MLB position players and pitchers from within their own farm system.

Hey all, just catching up. AZ PHIL-- great to get your thoughts, as always, thanks for all you do.

What are anybody's gut feelings on the OF next yr? Is Lou really gonna play sori in CF? Is there more to come? Murt-Sori-Jones doesn't look (too) bad (defensively), but could we somehow swing Murt-(insert here-maybe v wells)-sori? Does felix play a role, or is he strictly trade bait now?

personally, I deal jones+ to get a decent 2/3/4 starter, keep murt, and give felix the shot in CF for the defense, but is he ready yet?

"personally, I deal jones+ to get a decent 2/3/4 starter, keep murt, and give felix the shot in CF for the defense, but is he ready yet?"

I might have agreed with that if the Cubs had brought Pie up in September. I thought it was pretty strange that they didn't. Kind of seemed like a slap in the face to their best prospect who has been toiling thanklessly in the minors/winter leagues for a few years now.

Anyone have any insight as to why they didn't give him a shot as a call-up? Just to keep him away from Dusty's anti-Midas touch?

might have been. they kept saying "he wasn't ready", but that may have been dusty giving the company line. I like what I hear about his D, it sounds like the bat isn't there yet.

Just read the official site, and hendry a) told soriano he absolutely would be leading off (apparently with lou's agreement) and b) he'd be in the OF, but not where, which tells me there's hope for CF (even if Jacques ends up there, I think his OF exp will do better than soriano)

BUT... I'm truly wondering if ol' jimmy boy ain't got one more ace up his sleeve, turn say jones+mateo+marmol+whatever into a more viable defensive option in CF.....

regardless, I'm impressed by Hendry's action, and not a single swinging one of us can sit here anymore and say he isn't doing $#!% to try and make the team better...

ben maller is saying that the Cubs may still be interested in Gary Matthews Jr.

He wouldn't be a bad option, and brings a great glove, but the price tag would seem to be way to high.

And further, the only way it would be worth is is if Jones (and not Murton) could be traded for starting pitching.

Yes to everything you say, dave.

I was just messing with you on the Barrett thing Mike C, my bad.

As I understand it, we were going to keep our protected first round pick and instead lose our second round and sandwich picks to the Nationals as compensation for Soriano. With Pierre signing in LA, however, we should be getting another first round pick as compensation. Will that compensation pick have to be given to the Nationals instead of the second/sandwich picks, or do we get two first round picks and still lose the second/sandwich picks?

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/askba/26...

it looks like BA has changed it's tune and the new draft pick compensation goes into effect this year. That means the Cubs only get a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds for Pierre (type b) and will lose their 2nd round pick for Soriano. Nats will also get a sandwich pick for Soriano and Rangers will get a supplemental pick for Derosa.

Essentially, Cubs get the 3rd pick and moved up their 2nd round pick to a sandwich pick. That's not so bad. Of course depending on who else gets signed, it could still change.

I am sorry to Rob! Shirtless hugs for everyone!

Cliff Floyd is a Type "A" free-agent, so if Hendry signs him to be a platoon LF, back-up 1B, and LHPH (as has been reported to be a distinct possbility), the Cubs will lose their 3rd round pick (Soriano has a higher Elias rating than Floyd), unless Hendry signs a Type "A" FA starting pitcher with a higher Elias rating than Floyd, in which case the Cubs would lose their 4th round pick for signing Floyd.

as I mentioned yesterday and it's repeated in Miles article today, the talks are hardly heated between Cubs and Floyd.

Mets free agent Cliff Floyd is an option to play part time, but the Cubs probably wonít look at him until later this off-season.

for those that listen to Levine, did he report that the Cubs offered Schmidt 3/45? I found it on another board, wanted to confirm.

Just some stats for whether Soriano should hit 1st or lower. He has stated he feels more comfortable hitting #1.

#1 - 2052 AB's - .291 BA, .340 OBP, 121 HR, 281 RBI
#3 - 602 AB's - .264 BA, .313 OBP, 29 HR, 91 RBI
#5 - 575 AB's - .271 BA, .316 OBP, 34 HR, 107

Despite his lower average and OBP hitting lower in the lineup his power numbers remain consistent. But he is a much better hitter at the #1 spot. Plus he gets to utilize his speed more at the top of the lineup.

Rob--can't find anything on the net to support, I've been wondering the same.

MikeC-- thanks for the numbers, I'll quit clamoring for him to NOT lead off now. I'm sitting here corrected.

I've written an excellent piece on the Soriano signing. I think all Cubs fans should read it. Please leave me a comment sharing your thoughts on the signing and the Cubs chances next year.

Article:
http://tinyurl.com/yy2v7u

when you sign for 8/136 you get to bat wherever you want. This isn't even worth discussing, he's going to bat leadoff. Is it the best use of his skills? certainly not, probably cost him 20-30 RBI's over the course of a season, doesn't mean those runs aren't getting driven in by someone else though. He also scores a ton of runs and the way our offense is shaping it up, it shouldn't be a problem. I just hope he doesn't go through the one year new contract slump that many FA's seem to go through when they sign their big deal.

I also hope he returns to the stolen base efficiency he had at Texas.

#69 of 70: By Rob G. (November 21, 2006 01:41 PM)
for those that listen to Levine, did he report that the Cubs offered Schmidt 3/45? I found it on another board, wanted to confirm.

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

ROB G: I can't answer your question, but it's certainly not a bad plan. As long as McDonough and Hendry are printing money in the basement anyway, might as well throw some of it at Jason Schmidt, too. Heck, why stop at 3/45? Just ask Schmidt what he wants, and give it to him!

wsox added carlos v. to their 40-man...guess they really like him. jay marshall is almost a sure thing rule-5 loss for the wsox with that move. he'll have fun taking sisco's role in KC when sisco moves to the rotation. =p

please tell me that's not really Jeff Passan trying to sell his work on our board. I mean it can't be, right?

Am I the only one who didn't really find that piece even remotely funny?

The NY Post is saying Morneau and Jeter have tied for the MVP award.

Just a rumor guys.

Espn1000 reporting a Foxsports article that the Cubs have Lugo in the crosshairs and LouPa wants him.

And now for some light reading-

Carol Slezak, well known Sox homer, proves once again why she is this state's leading asshole.

Do you know how hard it is to make Carrie Muskrat look like Gatland Rice?

I read this article as I imagined her voice-shreeking and loud

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/slezak/143729,...

My favorite-

"Oh, for such a demonstrated commitment to winning after the 2003 season, when the Cubs, because of Baker's magic, came within five outs of the World Series."

It's only been three years and her memory is shot of the acquistions of Lee, Maddux, Walker, Hawkins and Nomar have left her bird like mind.

Idiot.

Yes the do pitching, but do you spend money on the best bat on the market, or questionable(fly ball Zito, injured Schmidt)?

Moron.

Don't worry honey, there will be plenty of seats at the Cell next year for the "Bring your Dog to the game" day so you and your German Shepard and the jar of peanut butter that you covertly apply to your thighs ,should enjoy the game.

Jeff Passan eats diarrhea soup. He must be a hell of a kiss-ass... I can't see any other reason that Yahoo puts up with his lame-ass jokes and annoying metaphors.

well schmidt will get a better offer in years at least, I'm not sure in average salary though. $15m was about the top I'd think he'd get, just depends how much security he wants and if he's intrigued by the Cubs spending.

I'd throw in a 4th yr optiion that kicks in with an incentive clause like maddux (400 some innings or something).

Man, get Schmidt and just trade for any decent league average, innings eater and I'll actually start thinking Hendry knows what he's doing. :)

passan is the next-gen of "national image" sportswriters.

he's being fasttracked the past couple years in visibility and support it seems.

his rickey henderson piece from pre-season was nice.

like any guy you got the hit/miss and some of his pieces are fluff, but he does pull off some unique quotes for his articles that don't seem to be the usual press conference sound-bites that makes it into 3/4 of sportswriting.

I was listening to ESPN 1000 no mention of Schmidt. Just going after Lugo.

I have been listening to ESPN 1000 off and on again this morning and I haven't heard any specifics about a contract offer. They have said that Schmidt might be Hendry's next target but never any numbers.

"please tell me that's not really Jeff Passan trying to sell his work on our board. I mean it can't be, right?

Am I the only one who didn't really find that piece even remotely funny?"
---

That guy doesn't actually get paid to write that, does he? That was possibly the least funny, least insightful piece of internet garbage I've ever read (and I just read a transcript of Michael Richards' stand-up routine over the weekend).

I love the self congratulations..."I've written an excellant piece."

I'll be the judge of that. Um, nope you didn't.

Am I the only one who didn't really find that piece even remotely funny?

No...you are not the only one. It was actually very unfunny.

As for Schmidt...I would be shocked if he took a 3 year deal. But the way the Cubs are spending money, I would be somewhat surprised if they were only willing to offer him three years. If they are willing to pay him 15/year, you would think that they would be willing to add a couple of years to that deal.

I can't imagine that was actually him or even one of his interns. Weird.

Did the writers just pull out the RBI list for the MVP award or something?

Somewhere Mike C is smiling, so much for East Coast bias.

PS - There's no way the real Jeff Passan is using the Tiny URL link. That had to be someone ironically posting a link to an "excellent" article written by that colossal bag-o-dicks.

I am damn happy Morneau got it.

This is what won it for him...

After June 8, Morneau had the best batting average in the Majors (.362). In that stretch, Morneau also had the most hits in baseball (145) and the most RBIs in the AL (92). And it doesn't take much to link the Twins' turnaround to Morneau's emergence, as the club was 25-33 through June 7 before going 71-33 the rest of the season, the best record in the Majors during that span.

4 months of pure domination is what got him it.

ROB G-

If you click on Passan's name it goes to his home page. I imagine anyone can pass it off though.

Funny, I was thinking the writer's myopic way of never looking beyond RBI's got him it, but whatever, they turned the MVP into a joke a long time ago.

Stop using big words like myopic.

Rosenthal says Cubs still after Lugo even after DeRo and Soriano signing...where he'd play is what I don't understand (short centerfield?)

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6192462

Is short centerfield a new position that I am unaware of?

Is short centerfield a new position that I am unaware of?
----
it is when the players wives get together for 16" softball...and from what I've heard, Lugo's wife is one tough cookie.

signing lugo would mark the end of murton's starting gig (unless they trade 5m jones away to pay lugo twice that much).

hell, just get the stupid lefty bench option for a couple million and let murton start in LF...imo...

hell, just get the stupid lefty bench option for a couple million and let murton start in LF...imo...

Craig Wilson

Sweet. I love the softball fundraiser. Kerry Wood's wife is one of the reasons I want him to stay. Mark Prior's wife, though, I can do without.

Chuck over at Ivy Chat had some interesting things from his source, who has been fairly accurate with information about the inner workings of the Cubs....

1) Hendry negotiated the Soriano deal directly with Soriano. Supposedly, Soriano had ranked his possible destinations from one to six. Alfonso had the Cubs ranked sixth. Hendry closed the deal by meeting one-on-one with Soriano and telling him to call current and ex-Cubs to ask about Jim's reputation as a boss. Soriano made those calls and came away impressed. The deal then closed quickly.

The real interesting on is this one...

3) There is a reason Larry Rothchild was so awful the last few years and still was able to get offers from both Jim Leyland and Lou Pinella. The reason is that Larry wasn't able to teach the style he wanted to teach due to Toothpick Interference. Call this page optimisitc if you must, but Larry probably deserves one year to see what he can do in the absence of Dusty Baker.

exactly how in the hell does dusty dictate what's going on with training and molding pitchers? he's a hitter's manager.

wouldnt it be dick pole (snicker, snicker, laugh) that would be a guy in more of a position to influence that? and he could have very easily been the pitching coach under baker if he wanted it badly enough.

I'm utterly shocked that Dusty could possibly have a negative influence on a team in any way...

Does beg the question on why Larry would choose to stay last year if Dusty was getting in his way...

btw, roths had an out last season...for more money...if he was truely being kept from doing his job as he sees fit.

"for those that listen to Levine, did he report that the Cubs offered Schmidt 3/45? I found it on another board, wanted to confirm."

No, I have all of his excerpts over the last 2 days and never once have any specific contractual terms been addressed...just that Hendry is after him and Lugo and/or perhaps Meche.

yeah, im not trying to "shoot the messenger" here, but i dont really buy into that rothschild being held down by dusty thing.

The Joe:
Is short centerfield a new position that I am unaware of?

Rover.

MikeC: I heard the 1-6 ranking discussion last night on WGN radio with Dave Kaplan spo. Apparently Soriano's agent told Hendry he was ranked 6th of 6, based on Soriano wanting to come to a winning situation, so Hendry just asked for a chance to present what was going on with the Cubs in front of them...the phone calls, reference checks then deal closure according to Kaplan, was as you described.

as to your #3...are the towel drills ol' toothpicks idea? I'd love to hear details as to what the interference was.

Doug Dascenzo wrote:

"I might have agreed with that if the Cubs had brought Pie up in September. I thought it was pretty strange that they didn't. Kind of seemed like a slap in the face to their best prospect who has been toiling thanklessly in the minors/winter leagues for a few years now."

Paul Sullivan wrote at the time that the Cubs would not call up Pie in September because that would make him a free agent one year sooner.

Here's a URL that still works:

http://www.topix.net/content/trb/100968048535...

If true, this suggests that the Cubs have long-term plans for Pie, which is fine with me. GMs don't get enough credit for the trades they don't make, like the ones Hendry didn't make for Rich Hill a year ago.

(I remember that typo in the Sullivan piece, 2113 instead of 2013. I remember laughing at the time, thinking that by 2113, Pie will have rewritten the record books.)

AL MVP

Morneau
Jeter
Oritz
Frank Thomas
Jermaine Dye
Joe Mauer
Johan
Hafner
Vlad
Carlos Guillen

Morons...

crunch:
yeah, im not trying to "shoot the messenger" here, but i dont really buy into that rothschild being held down by dusty thing.

I agree. I think Dusty's a tool as much as the next guy, sans mannytrillo, but that sounds like a lame excuse for Rothy.

cubster:
Rosenthal says Cubs still after Lugo even after DeRo and Soriano signing...where he'd play is what I don't understand (short centerfield?)

Anyone understand the fascination with Lugo?

"hell, just get the stupid lefty bench option for a couple million and let murton start in LF"

Larry Bigbie? The Cards waived Bigbie today and you know how much Hendry loves kids from the area(Hobart) and/or attended college in Indiana(Ball State)...had a nice 2004 season with the O's .284/.341/.427...injured most of the past two seasons...should come cheap though.

that Lugo story is at least a day old, maybe two, fwiw. They just changed the time on it and I think he added some info on Matthews Jr. in there.

From what Miles said over at NSBB, they really don't plan to spend much more on offense at the moment.

Hendry was on ESPN radio earlier and mentioned there is no set position for Soriano right now in the OF...so Soriano in RF is still speculation. Clearly a lot is going to depend on whether Hendry signs Lugo.

the left handed bench (or possible bench in cases like burnitz/p.wilson/lofton) options are wide open and numerous at least.

i just hope hendry picks a guy with promise. hell, i'd settle for jose cruz jr as a watermark.

Just some fun with math.

Soriano will make as much money in 7 games next year, as the 2006 NL and AL MVPs made all last season, combined.

I can't wait to get into the car amd listen to sports talk in NY cry about Jeter not getting MVP.

oops...preston's a righty =p

"yeah, im not trying to "shoot the messenger" here, but i dont really buy into that rothschild being held down by dusty thing."
----

I'll buy it. Dusty was such an arrogant bastard that even if it wasn't his fault, let's just say it was.

Good for Morneau. Jeter had an outstanding year, but he also had an all-star supporting cast.

Hopefully some other team swoops in and signs Lugo in the next day or two. The one and only way he should be considered is to play SS.

Rob G-

Who do you think should of have been AL MVP?

Come on...Mourneau had a great year, but was not even the best, or most important, player on his team.

My vote would have been for either Jeter or Mauer.

Dave-
Please explain how Mauer was more valuable than Morneau?

Who do you think should of have been AL MVP?

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

Morneau was the third best player on his own team.

Does anyone care about defense and the position you play on the diamond anymore?

Please explain how Mauer was more valuable than Morneau?

Okay...here you go:

2005 VORP in the American League:
1. Derek Jeter
2. Travis Hafner
3. David Ortiz
4. Grady Sizemore
5. Joe Mauer
6. Carlos Guillen
7. Manny Ramirez
8. Miguel Tejada
9. Jermaine Dye
10. Vladimir Guerrero
11. Jim Thome
12. Vernon Wells
13. Justin Morneau
14. Alex Rodriguez

2006 Win Shares:
Mauer: 31
Morneau: 27

Morneau: .321/.375/.559
Mauer: .347/.429/.507

Offensively they were very close, with nearly identical OPS numbers. But Mauer's defense, at a much more difficult and important position, was far superior.

"2005 VORP in the American League:
1. Derek Jeter
2. Travis Hafner"

uh oh...looks like BP will have to reformulate VORP.

they cant have hafner finishing 2nd!!! the world would stop spinning.

Also...Jeter has 33 win shares, with Mauer being second with 31. See Hardball Times for the complete win shares list.

Batting Average, VORP, Win Shares, Runs Created/27

Mauer - .346, 66.9, 31, 8.23

Morneau - .321, 52, (unknown), 7.92

Jeter - .343, 80.5, 33, 7.58

Travis Hafner - .308, 79.7, 25, 10.77

I can't find Morneau's win shares because I don't have a premium/fantasy account at BP, maybe someone else knows?

That said, Morneau does have a significant advantage in home runs, although Hafner has 42 homers and 117 RBI (8 more homers and 13 less RBI) in 28 fewer games.

BJS:
"Good for Morneau. Jeter had an outstanding year, but he also had an all-star supporting cast."

And Morneau didn't? 3 of the top 7 in MVP were Twins.

Allow me to chime in that in times of a close call the player that plays on a team that is expected to win should get more credit. i.e. no one cares if Minnesota ever wins a game. Therefore there is no pressure to play. Jeter has the most pressure packed spot in all of sports and he does exceedingly well at it.

I can't find Morneau's win shares because I don't have a premium/fantasy account at BP, maybe someone else knows?

You can get win shares at Hardball Times. Morneau had 27.

Thanks Dave!

Win Shares can be found for free at Hardball Times...

Warp is BP's all-inclusive stat and you can find them for free on each player's page.

Once again with feeling, I sized up all the candidates using most of the decent metrics and conventional stats earlier in the month.

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

anyway, Howard and Morneau were both about 4th or 5th if I made a list.

Jeter and Pujols should have been the MVP's, but it's not like the writers haven't screwed it up before.

Okay Mauer for MVP.

Got it.

"Jeter and Pujols should have been the MVP's, but it's not like the writers haven't screwed it up before."

a.belle 95...

Howard and Morneau both got hot down the stretch. That's factored in. If you don't believe in clutch hitting, then you're probably not gonna like them recieving the awards.

Fuck Derek Jeter!!!!

If he goes down, the Yankees have:
Jorge Posada, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Robinson Cano, and A-Rod to pick up the slack.

Morneau goes down, he has Mauer, Torii Hunter, and Mike Cuddyer, who may have had a career year.

VORP, WARP, eQA...all great stats....
Morneau was more valuable (or less easily replaceable) to the Twins than Jeter to the Yankees.
Santana is a pitcher, and we know that he wouldn't win it. He may have been truly most valuable.
Mauer had a higher batting average/OBP, and is valuable on defense.However, he also hit fewer HR's, had a lower SLG, and drove in 46 fewer runs.

Jeter is a great player, not the most valuable this year.

VORP, WARP, eQA...all great stats....

If you think they are great, why do you ignore them?

And why do you punish a great player who had a great season simply because he was on a better team?

I knew he wouldn't win, but if anyone can explain to me how Johan Santana isn't "More Valuable" to his team than any other player in baseball, I'd love to hear it.

Ok Dave..
I'm not punishing Jeter, I'm saying that Morneau was more valuable to the Twins than Jeter was to the Yankees this year.

I don't understand putting Mauer ahead of Morneau either. I understand that the is a great defensive and offensive catcher. I am saying that Morneau was moe valuable this year.
Long term, I'll take Mauer, as you can find a 1B to replace Morneau's stats...but the Twins didn't have one this year.

I'm not ignoring those stats, but they are not the end all to decide who is a better player.

Good for Howard and Morneau getting hot down the stretch, so did Thomas. But I don't why you get bonus points for being hot in Sept over April or June, especially if your team still made the playoffs and had the spot sewn up pretty early. Yeah, Cards had to hold off the Astros but they had built a pretty decent lead before that, same for the Yanks.

whatever, Howard and Morneau gets some contract leverage, Jeter gets to go bang Jessica Biel.

"I knew he wouldn't win, but if anyone can explain to me how Johan Santana isn't "More Valuable" to his team than any other player in baseball, I'd love to hear it."

Cause he only plays in 35 out of 162 games a year. A pitcher winning MVP is a crime. Hell, even a DH shouldn't ever win.

"#136 of 138: By Dusty Baylor (November 21, 2006 04:07 PM)
Fuck Derek Jeter!!!!

If he goes down, the Yankees have:
Jorge Posada, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Robinson Cano, and A-Rod to pick up the slack."

And to be surrounded by that talent pool and still out perform them all and be the team leader and have the hardest job in baseball (probably all of sports) then dammit, he's the MVP.

1984 mvp/cy in the AL...the height of reliever-mania that continued even into the early 90s.

oddly, after reliever-love wore off some they started to get paid huge. whatever...

Allow me to chime in that in times of a close call the player that plays on a team that is expected to win should get more credit.

But Chad, you should love Morneau's selection as MVP. Look at those HR and RBI totals!

Jeter didn't even have 100 RBI, how can he be the Most Valuable Player if he doesn't have 100 RBI?

a starting pitcher has to have some sort of late 90's Pedro-esque year of absolute pure dominance in 30+ starts to be even considered. A starting pitcher plays in less than 25% of his teams game.

And Liriano was arguably having a better year until he went down.

adam dunn should have won AL CY anyway...and MVP...and manager of the year...

Chad-
Derek Jeter led the Yankees in AB's, runs, hits, BA, SB and OBP.
He was 2nd in doubles, tied for second in triples, 6th in HR, 3rd in RBI, 6th in SLG.

Morneau led the Twins in AB's, hits, HR, RBI, and SLG.
He finished 2nd in runs, 2nd in doubles, 2nd in avg, and 2nd in OBP.

Jeter had a great year. Morneau's was more valuable to the Twins.

Dusty Baylor...you are not proving anything by your numbers. You are simply listing two different players' stats and then saying, "Morneau was more valuable."

You cannot punish a player simply because they are on a better team.

"But Chad, you should love Morneau's selection as MVP. Look at those HR and RBI totals!"

As far as evaluating him as a player, I love those stats. Damn fine player. Would love for the Cubs to have a guy like that (oh wait we do. Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez). But as far as MVP, uh, no.

I guess this is a crazy theory I'm just making up, but I'm thinking it's a little easier to find someone to step in and play first base and put up some okay numbers than it is to find a catcher or shortstop to put up the numbers that Mauer and Jeter did. Wild idea of mine...

Unless of course the manager is Dusty and he puts Neifi/Jerry Jr. in to replace your slugging first basemen.

But why not Chad?

Is it only because he plays in Minnesota?

If the AL MVP has become the best non-DH, position player on the Yankees or Red Sox, then Yes, Jeter should be the MVP.

But When Morneau dominates Jeter in HR and RBI, and is not too far behind in Batting Average, then how can you say its even close?

Great line on espn.com about Pierre getting $45MM/5 years from LA:
- If Pierre loses a step over the next few years, you've got the equivalent of Neifi Perez in CF, but without the glitzy power numbers.

And, to think -- we had 'em both!!

Another interesting comment by a guy named Rob over at Baseball Musings:

Player 1: 566 AB / 30 2b / 35 HR / 113 RBI / .313 BA / .381 OBP / .551 SLUG / .932 OPS / 135 OPS+

Player 2: 592 AB / 37 2b / 34 HR / 130 RBI / .321 BA / .375 OBP / .559 SLUG / .934 OPS / 140 OPS+

Both are First Baseman from 90+ win teams who were the 3rd best players on their team. Player 2 won the MVP with 320 pts, the other received 3 points in the MVP race.

Player 1, by the way, is Paul Konerko.

"Good for Morneau. Jeter had an outstanding year, but he also had an all-star supporting cast."
--

"And Morneau didn't? 3 of the top 7 in MVP were Twins."
--

Manny: this is dumb.

You can't even begin to compare the Twins to the Yankees. Morneau was surrounded by all-stars?

The Yankees' lineup is literally stacked with all-stars. If they lose a guy, they take on a Bobby Abreu and his entire contract without hesitation.

"And to be surrounded by that talent pool and still out perform them all and be the team leader..."

Jeter's leadership intangibles are so great that there have been clubhouse division issues ever since A-Rod joined the team. I think the Jeter leadership stuff is so friggin' overblown. It's a virtual all-star team. It's not like he has to rally a bunch of underdogs to an unlikely victory.

I think the Jeter leadership stuff is so friggin' overblown.

I completely agree. A real leader would have stepped up during the A-Rod fiasco and told the fans to back off.

This whole argument just depends on how you define "Most Valuable." If you define it as the best player, then Jeter (or Mauer) probably wins as they play much more difficult and important defensive positions than Morneau.

If you define it as the player most responsible for a team's success, then you have to give it to Mauer or Morneau. Regardless of Win Shares, I just can't believe the Yanks would have won 30 fewer games with Jeter out of the lineup. The Twins might very well have won 30 fewer games with Morneau out of the lineup.

There should be two awards: Most Outstanding Player and Most Valuable Player. The definition of the latter is just too vague.

Manny: this is dumb.

You can't even begin to compare the Twins to the Yankees. Morneau was surrounded by all-stars?

Crap, guess I'm dumb too.

Morneau was good for 30 wins? Makes Baker's comments about Lee being good for 10 wins seem tame.

Regardless of Win Shares, I just can't believe the Yanks would have won 30 fewer games with Jeter out of the lineup. The Twins might very well have won 30 fewer games with Morneau out of the lineup.

Doug...go read up on win shares. 3 win shares are equivalent to 1 win.

according to another board, this is from Aramis's press conference, I assume paraphrased:

"I'm happy with the way they're handling things right now signing Soriano...we didn't have a very good year and it's just great to see the kind of work they're doing after last year...I jump up and down when they signed Soriano, one of the great players in baseball now, doesn't argue, just goes about his business...if we get everybody healthy it's gonna be a great lineup...I just want to be healthy and the numbers will be there, I just want to get to the playoffs and get a World Series...I didn't think I was gonna leave, I told Paul (Kinzer) 'try to get it done'...I've got a lot to prove here, we came real close to a WS in '03 and it wouldn't be fair to the fans to leave and i know we're going to win here...I haven't talked to lou yet...feel responsibility to perform up to level of contract, just win games is bottom line"

Hasn't talked to Lou? Interesting...

Don't you think that both the new manager and the player who may leave would be interested in talking to each other before a contract was signed?

If a team gets superlative offense from a player on the far left end of the defensive spectrum, that is the definition of value.

If your catcher leads the league in hitting, it allows you to play Nick Punto at third base and still be very competitive.

I liked Mauer.

Hendry on ESPN radio media tour again just now..."having Aramis re-up helped get Soriano to town"..."roster could look different in a month so no position set for Soriano"...wouldn't drop any specific names on the pitching front. "we're looking at some FAs...and may have to get creative with some trades"...mostly the same innocuous drivel regurgitated earlier.

From that SI in September it looked like Giambi was more a leader.

"I've got a lot to prove here, we came real close to a WS in '03 and it wouldn't be fair to the fans to leave and i know we're going to win here.."

I love to hear this. It may be only lip-service but hey, at least he's saying it.

I still don't see myself buying an ARam jersey (I have Sosa and a Wood) but he is my favorite Cub by that much more now.

"Crap, guess I'm dumb too."
----

Yea, it is dumb to compare the Twins to the Yankees. The Twins were major underdogs. They were expected by everyone to finish behind the Sox and Indians. They won their division - the toughest division in the league.

The Yankees (as always) were expected to win.

I also liked Mauer for MVP, but based on the Twins over-achievment in the most competitive division, I don't care who won, as long as it was a Twin. I don't give Jeter any extra points for playing SS, because he's an average defender at best. Jeter also has a superior SS playing 3rd base on his team.

So I guess we're handing out MVP's based on pre-season predictions now? Cool...

"Doug...go read up on win shares. 3 win shares are equivalent to 1 win. "

OK, so 30 wins is probably ridiculous, but my point still stands. I believe Morneau was worth more wins to his team than Jeter, simply because Jeter had a much deeper team.

Win Shares are a fine stat, but I don't believe they can really tell you exactly how many wins a player was worth.

From the wikipedia article you cited:
"The formula itself is extremely complicated and contains many arbitrary numbers and educated guesses."

I'm generally pretty stats-oriented, so I don't completely discredit the idea of Win Shares; I just take it with a grain of salt. I believe Jeter had the better year, but Morneau was more important to his team's success. If you want to quote Win Shares and VORP on this one, that's a perfectly logical argument. I'm just basing this one on what I believe to be true.

Or, to put it another way: if you replaced Jeter and Morneau in their teams' lineup with Neifi Perez, which team would be better off? Regardless of Win Shares or any other stat you can quote, I personally believe the Yankees would be better off, thereby implying that Morneau was more valuable to his team's success than Jeter.

I don't understand Win Shares. That little stat can kiss my grits.

I believe Morneau was worth more wins to his team than Jeter, simply because Jeter had a much deeper team

Really? Who plays SS? A-Rod? Then you have a huge hole at 3b. It is a lot easier to replace production at 1b than at SS.

Question...do you think Morneau was more valuable than Mauer?

Win Shares has some issues, like any stat, it's not the end all, be all, but it at least takes into account offense and defense and position. BP's WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player) does the same I believe.

Nobody has actually shown once yet that Morneau was better this year than Jeter or Mauer (or quite a few other guys). Everyone basically is showing all the stats, then saying, regardless of the stats, Morneau was the MVP.

The post above with the comparison to Konerko should be the end of the argument, but of course, it won't be........

It is a lot easier to replace production at 1b than at SS.
-
In Toothpicks world it's equally easy to replace production at 1B-SS...you use Neifi Perez to replace either spot.

"So I guess we're handing out MVP's based on pre-season predictions now? Cool..."
----

I guess we're ignoring the fact that Jeter wouldn't be missed from the Yankees lineup as much as Morneau would from the Twins.

The Twins can't fearlessly take on a player like Abreu and the millions he's owed, plus the guaranteed $16 mil. option when one of their players goes down.

The Twins wouldn't have won that division without Morneau. Maybe not the WC.

The Yankees would have shuffled A-Rod to SS, picked up a 3rd baseman somewhere and still won the division.

The very fact that everyone argues about this shows how subjective the award is. The truth of the matter is that no one can really know beyond a shadow of a doubt what player was the most valuable to his team. Was Morneau the very best choice? Who cares? I think Neifi Perez shoulda won the AL MVP because he really saved the Tigers' season when he got over there, dudes.

In 10 years, relatively very few people outside of Ryan Howard's and Justin Morneau's families will remember who won the 2006 MVP award.

Maybe, maybe not. Rather not hand out my MVP's on what might have happened if someone wasn't playing. Otherwise Derrek Lee should have gottens some votes this year.

Jeter played and he played better than anyone else on the field and, regardless of city or surrounding cast. The rest of the arguments are just guesses on how a team may or may not have performed if a certain player was or wasn't there. Leave that crap for the BCS and whatifsports, I'd rather see the MVP be rewarded for what someone actually did while playing the game.

For all of you think signing Fonzie was a poor choice for the Cubs lets look at it this way----our ss-cf combo makes 21 million, Fonzie @ 17, Isturis @ 4million---Dodgers ss-cf combo makes 22 million, Furcal 13m and Pierre 9m----which combo would you want? The choice to me is very clear----our combo gives us power, speed, gold glove @ ss, etc, etc---great move by JH

BJS,

I guess since you can see how their teams would do if both players got injured, I will bow to you and say Morneau was more valuable than Jeter, but then how do explain how Morneau was more valuable than Mauer, who last I checked didn't play on the Yankees, and who also had a better offesive and defensive season than Morneau?

Hey Rob G., I'm Earth...have we met?

Vince or "NO", start reading from the top of this thread until you get to the post where I said I liked Mauer for MVP. Or just skip over them and hope you find it. If you don't, just start over again. Do that for a whille, you'll find it.

If you want to go off hardcore stats Rob....Morneau still crushes Jeter.

And MVP voters don't give a damn about defense. Never have, never will. This crap that because he plays SS somehow means he is better than more productive players is just that, crap.

Hell I just traded for Jeter in our keeper league, and I still don't think he was worthy of MVP.

If you want to go off hardcore stats Rob....Morneau still crushes Jeter.

If you want to go off "hardcore stats," you for David Ortiz.

That should say: "you VOTE for David Ortiz."

Being a playoff team gives players extra brownie points.

Oh...and what do you mean when you say "hardcore" stats. I would assume that you mean these, as they are typically what non-stat heads refer to:

Jeter: .343, 14 HR, 97 RBI, 118 R, 34 SB
Morneau: .321, 35 HR, 130 RBI, 97 R, 3 SB

I see a higher average, more runs, more SBs for Jeter. I see more homeruns, RBI for Morneau.

Not sure that Morneau "crushes" Jeter. I would say that it is at best a push between these two based on these stats.

And MVP voters don't give a damn about defense.

What's your point? That doesn't make it right. Most GM's still don't give a crap about OBP, should I never mention it again?

I already gave you I-rod's MVP and Larkin's anyway. Neither of them got it for having the best offensive year.

and #179 was lame, if you want to insult me or take a cheap-shot, man-up or at least be marginally creative.

Sorry BJS, you sure were getting pretty defensive over Morneau over Jeter. My bad. Chill out

BTW, I'm not "NO"

Go Internet

I am just telling you how the award has been handed out since its inception. A few exceptions that prove the rule slip in from time to time, but 99% of the time its cold hard power numbers and a players over-all worth to his team.

Neither of which Jeter had in his favor. There is just nothing that stands out about Jeters season among his peers or against any other player. He isn't even the best SS or the best player on his team.

"Most GM's still don't give a crap about OBP, should I never mention it again?"

That would make me feel better.

Thanks for the history lesson Mike. I had no idea.

Your last paragraph makes me question your sanity.

Just for the record Rob I am not getting mad at you.

We both look at each others comments and go, "What are you on crack?" And it annoys the hell out of both of us, lol.

I meet you in the middle....Neifi for MVP.

I meet you in the middle....Neifi for MVP.

Crap, MIkeC is really Dusty in disguise. Who knew?

I agree though, I'm done with this.

Over at the Nationals' site, there is quite a bit of trashing of Soriano, ie, he says he wants to win and he signs with the Cubs and he says he does not care about the money and it has to be all about the money with him to go to the Cubs.

What do you guys think? PR aside from this guy, do you think that Soriano seriously believes that he has a realistic shot at getting to the world series with the Cubs? I mean, yeah, we have three big hitters now, virtually no starting pitching and, of course, history seems to be against us. Does this guy think this team can win in a serious way or is it all about the money with him?

Just throwing this out there....Barry Bonds starting LF for the chicago cubs in 07...doesnt this fix all the lineup problems?

Just throwing this out there....Barry Bonds starting LF for the chicago cubs in 07...doesnt this fix all the lineup problems?

it was about the money, but he wasn't going to win anything with the Nats anytime soon.

There not even trying right now...

Let's have him platoon with Sam-Me. I could stop watching the Cubs by May.

If 2006 didn't make me stop watching the cubs, then I don't think anything could. Sign Bonds!
Not that I think it would ever happen.

how sick would this lineup be
soriano
izturis/derosa
bonds
lee
ramirez
jones
barrett
derosa/isturiz
I dont care if he's a jerk he is still an on base machine and could have murton spot him when he is hurt/tired. It is just wishful thinking anyway, I dont actually believe there is any chance of it happening, but if it did it would be amazing.

Very sick, Izturis batting second... disgusting.

Bonds is still an OBP machine. Unfortunately, runners wouldn't be able to make it through the basepaths to score with Bonds cloggin' them up every other at-bat.

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