Take This Job. Please.

In my lifetime, the Chicago Cubs organization has designated 19 different men as "manager." Those 19 include the undefeated Rene Lachemann, with a career record as Cubs manager of 1-0, and the hapless Joe Altobelli, at 0-1. There are the thoroughly mediocre records of Jim Lefebvre (162-162) and John Vukovich (1-1), which in the context of Cubs history, are actually quite impressive. When I learned in October that there would be a 20th Cubs manager in my lifetime, I began wondering, "who in their right mind would accept this professional death-sentence?" There's the whole 98-year thing, of course, but more practically, the Big Office in the Cubs' clubhouse is where managerial careers go to die. Throwing out Vukovich, Altobelli, and Lachemann, who collectively managed four games, and we have 16 Cubs managers in the last 30 years of Cubs baseball. Of those 16, 12 had prior managerial experience. They are:
Herman Franks Preston Gomez Charlie Fox Jim Frey Gene Michael Frank Lucchesi Don Zimmer Jim Lefebvre Tom Treblehorn Jim Riggleman Don Baylor Dusty Baker
The four without any previous major league experience, by the way, are:
Joey Amalfitano Lee Elia Jim Essian Bruce Kimm
Here's where it gets interesting. (At least, for me.) The collective managerial record of those 16, in their jobs before coming to the Cubs, is 4229-4282, for a .497 winning percentage. Almost perfectly average. Then, they arrived in Chicago. The record of those 16, in their tenures as managers of the Cubs, is 2256-2520, or .472.
*Only Jim Frey and Don Zimmer had winning records with the Cubs, while Lefebvre, as mentioned, came out perfectly even. *Herman Franks and Dusty Baker came close to .500, at 238-241 and 322-326, respectively *Only 2 of those 16, Jim Riggleman and Jim Lefebvre, saw their career winning percentages increase. Riggleman came to the Cubs after three years in San Diego; Lefebvre arrived after three years with Seattle. *The other 14 out of 16 saw their career winning percentages decline.
Of greater interest (or concern), managers who go to the Cubs don't get hired to be managers elsewhere, afterwards. Of those 16, only Elia and Lefebvre ever managed again. (Granted, there's still time for Baker.) And each of them was a mid-season replacement, a case of promotion from the coaching staff when the original manager was fired. Lefebvre replaced Phil Garner on the 1999 Brewers squad, and didn't return for 2000. Elia replaced John Felske during the Phillies' 1987 season. Elia, at least, was invited to start the 1988 season as the Phillies' manager, but didn't last to the season's end. (Replaced by John Vukovich, he of the lifetime 1-1 record as Cubs manager. Vukovich went 5-4 as a Philly manager) Every other manager who has come to the Cubs since 1977, including the one-or-two-gamers, ended their managerial career here. Virtually all of them were young enough that, had they wanted to/had anybody wanted them, they could have managed again. In their final season as manager, their ages were:
Franks - 65 Amalfitano - 47 Gomez - 57 Elia - 45 Fox - 61 Frey - 55 Vukovich - 38 Michael - 49 Lucchesi - 60 Zimmer - 60 Altobelli - 59 Essian - 40 Lefebvre - 51 Treblehorn - 46 Riggleman - 46 Baylor - 53 Lachemann - 57 Kimm - 51 Baker - 57
What did any of these guys do, afterward? Other than Gene Michael, not much. Zimmer became Joe Torre's hood ornament. The rest, not even good enough to get recycled. Now on the one hand, there are only 30 people lucky enough to call themselves a major league manager, and this is a case where beggars can't be choosers. If the Cubs offered, I'd accept. But at the same time, let's say that I'm an up-and-coming hotshot candidate to be a first-time manager, a guy like Willie Randolph a couple years ago. Or I'm a guy like Joe Girardi, I've cut my teeth managing the Florida Marlins and come out of that job looking better than I did going in. I'm the sort of guy who is good enough, or at least hot enough, to have my pick of a couple of jobs. Knowing that the Tribune and Upper Management have a long-standing fetish for managers with previous major league experience (the last time we started the season with a manager on his first major league gig was 1982, with Lee Elia), and knowing the history of what happens to ex-Cubs Managers, why would I take this job? We know Girardi decided to sit this year out, essentially, while waiting for the Yankee job to open up. Did he recognize that applying for the Chicago job likely would be a poor career move? (I intended to write this article before the Cubs hired another manager, but was just too busy to get around to it. I think the point is still relevant given who we hired, and the topic still interesting in its own merit.)
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Comments

PLAYOFFS:

Several of those managers fielded teams that would have made it in today's "wild Card" system.

On another note: NO CUB RUMORS or articles in three days!

What's going on?!!

It's the holiday weekend, I haven't seen jack from any of my sources, man. I'd expect business to start picking back up today.

And don't get me wrong, by "sources" I mean stuff I read on the web.

Thanks, Trans.

Just the other day, I was just thinking about Cubs managers who managed again elsewhere after their tenure.

You must be reading my mind!

3/19 for Danys Baez!?!?!

Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre might be the two most tradable players in baseball today.

Thanks CT, me and my unnatural mental powers aim to please.

Several of those managers fielded teams that would have made it in today's "wild Card" system"

Usually, Wild Card takes about 92 wins. Always, it requires finishing second in your division. In the pre Wild-Card era, going back to Franks, the Cubs won two divisions (84 and 89) and beyond that, never had a year where they won more than 84 games or finished higher than 3rd. Which of those pre-1994 teams would have been in the Wild Card?

I haven't heard anything in a few days about the possibility of the Cubs trading for Jake Westbrook or Jason Jennings. Anything new?

We'll post anything we hear... As a few people have said, it's a slow weekend for anyone who needs their rumor fix.

Trans:

The Cubs would have landed the Wild Card in '67 (depending on the CHC/CIN season series) and '68, and would have won the Central in '69, if the divisions were divided as they are today.

Actually, they definitely would have taken the '67 Wild Card as the Reds had an additional loss over the Cubs (CHC: 87-74, CIN: 87-75).

Vorare,

And if the game had 22 outs, we would have made it to the World Series in 2003.

Absolutely right, Vorare. I'm referring to my original post on the Cubs managers of my own lifetime, back to 1977. The first remark on that post was that of those managers, some might have made the wild card. None of them could have. Going further back to the 60s, yeah absolutely....

Ahh, okay. Sorry, I missed the time frame.

Slow day?

Enjoy this tirade by Earl Weaver!

http://users.rcn.com/pkatcher/audio/EarlWeave...

Um, not safe for work. =)

If MLB had gone to a three division format with three division winners plus a Wild Card starting in 1969 when MLB expanded from 20 to 24 teams, and if clubs had been assigned based on geography, here is how the N. L. would have gone during the 25-year period (1969-1993 seasons):

N. L. EAST DIVISION:
MONTRAL EXPOS
NEW YORK METS
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
PITTSBURGH PIRATES

N. L. CENTRAL DIVISION:
ATLANTA BRAVES
CUBS
CINCINNATI REDS
ST LOUIS CARDINALS

N. L. WEST DIVISION:
HOUSTON ASTROS
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
SAN DIEGO PADRES
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

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

Besides winning their division in 1984 and 1989, the Cubs would have been the N. L. Wild Card team in 1969 and 1972.

1969:
EAST: NYM (100-62)
CENTRAL: ATL (93-69)
WEST: SF (90-72)
WC: CUBS (92-70)

1970:
EAST: PIT (89-73)
CENTRAL: CIN (102-60)
WEST: LAD (87-74)
WC: SF (86-76)

1971:
EAST: PIT (97-65)
CENTRAL: STL (90-72)
WEST: SF (90-72)
WC: LAD (89-73)

1972:
EAST: PIT (96-59)
CENTRAL: CIN (95-59)
WEST: HOU (84-69)
WC: CUBS (85-70)
NOTE: First week of MLB regular season was canceled due to Spring Training lock-out

1973:
EAST: NYM: (82-79)
CENTRAL: CIN (99-63)
WEST: LAD (95-65)
WC: SF (88-74)

1974:
EAST: PIT (88-74)
CENTRAL: CIN (98-64)
WEST: LAD (102-60)
WC: ATL (88-74)

1975:
EAST: PIT (92-69)
CENTRAL: CIN (108-54)
WEST: LAD (88-74)
WC: PHI (86-76)

1976:
EAST: PHI (101-61)
CENTRAL: CIN (102-60)
WEST: LAD (92-70)
WC: PIT (92-70)

1977:
EAST: PHI (101-61)
CENTRAL: CIN (88-74)
WEST: LAD (98-64)
WC: PIT (96-66)

1978:
EAST: PHI (90-72)
CENTRAL: CIN (92-69)
WEST: LAD (95-67)
WC: SF (89-73)

1979:
EAST: PIT (98-64)
CENTRAL: CIN (90-71)
WEST: HOU (89-73)
WC: MON (95-65)

1980:
EAST: PHI (91-71)
CENTRAL: CIN (89-73)
WEST: LAD (92-70)
WC: HOU (92-70)
NOTE: LAD won season series with HOU 10-8

1981 (STRIKE DURING SEASON):
EAST: MON (60-48)
CENTRAL: CIN (66-42)
WEST: LAD (63-47)
WC: HOU (61-49)

1982:
EAST: PHI (89-73)
CENTRAL: STL (92-70)
WEST: LAD (88-74)
WC: ATL (89-73)

1983:
EAST: PHI (90-72)
CENTRAL: ATL (88-74)
WEST: LAD (91-71)
WC: HOU (85-77)

1984:
EAST: NYM (90-72)
CENTRAL: CUBS (96-65)
WEST: SD (92-70)
WC: STL (84-78)

1985:
EAST: NYM (98-64)
CENTRAL: STL (101-61)
WEST: LAD (95-67)
WC: CIN (89-72)

1986:
EAST: NYM (108-54)
CENTRAL: CIN (86-76)
WEST: HOU (96-66)
WC: PHI (86-75)

1987:
EAST: NYM (92-70)
CENTRAL: STL (95-67)
WEST: SF (90-72)
WC: MON (91-71)

1988:
EAST: NYM (100-60)
CENTRAL: CIN (87-74)
WEST: LAD (94-67)
WC: PIT (85-75)

1989:
EAST: NYM (87-75)
CENTRAL: CUBS (93-69)
WEST: SF (92-70)
WC: SD (89-73)

1990:
EAST: PIT (95-67)
CENTRAL: CIN (91-71)
WEST: LAD (86-76)
WC: NYM (91-71)

1991:
EAST: PIT (98-64)
CENTRAL: ATL (94-68)
WEST: LAD (93-69)
WC: STL & SD (84-78) - TIE

1992:
EAST: PIT (96-66)
CENTRAL: ATL (98-64)
WEST: SD (82-80)
WC: CIN (90-72)

1993:
EAST: PHI (97-65)
CENTRAL: ATL (104-58)
WEST: SF (103-59)
WC: MON (94-68)

Thanks for the breakdown there. Further proof of how completely un-competitive the Cubs were after the end of that mid-60s to early-70s run. WC would have been a great help for that era, but of no help in the last 35 years...

Hall of Fame ballot released today.

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

Some interesting first-time candidates: McGwire, Gwynn, Ripken, Canseco, Saberhagen and Caminiti.

My ballot would have only Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., Mark McGwire and Lee Smith on it.

Gwynn, Ripkin, Smith. I would have to check among who was turned down from last year that I'd put in, but Gossage and Fingers, Rice and Santo all come tom mind.

"I haven't heard anything in a few days about the possibility of the Cubs trading for Jake Westbrook or Jason Jennings. Anything new?"

It would seem the Jennings trade rumors stalled or died when COL asked for Rich Hill in return, therefore Westbrook probably poses a better chance dawning a new uniform over the latter. CLEV can use some bully help, but they've already had Howry and I'm not sure Eyre or Cotts plus prospect is going to get it done. Unless CLEV is going to go with their top prospect Adam Miller to replace Westbrook in their rotation they really don't have another minor league option so I don't see how plausible trading Westbrook really is unless they're overwhelmed. Unfortunately we will probably be seeing a Lilly/Meche FA signing whenever that first agent accepts the first offer setting the SP market like Kris Benson with the Mets did 2 years ago.

McGwire won't get in on the first ballot.

Yeah, I'd vote in Mac, but I'd also make him wait 3-5 years.

His legal statute of limitation expired last month, I'm surprised he hasn't gone on the record yet to clear his name.

Bogey:
"McGwire won't get in on the first ballot."

I agree, but he should get in.

Gwynn, Ripkin Jr., Smith, Dawson.

well, even putting aside the roids, he was a one tool player...power, so even without the speculation he doesn't deserve to get in on the first ballot.

Dawson's career is getting more and more impressive, as we get a better appreciation for the differences between the offensive era of the 1980s and the one we're now living in. History's going to look more favorably on Dawson's career and numbers than what I would have guessed.

What, no Scott Brosius love out there??? Heh, I love reading who is going to fall off the ballot with no votes.

My picks, in order:
ï Tony Gwynn
ï Cal Ripken Jr.
ï Lee Smith
ï Andre Dawson
ï Jim Rice
ï Bert Blyleven

Almost for Trammell and Gossage, but just not enough. No for McGwire, Mattingly, or Garvey: to me, 1B/DH have a much more difficult bar to clear for HOF - counting stats are not enough.

McGwire is a pretty worthy 1st ballot guy. I wouldn't be shocked to see him get it on the first try.

"Bogey:
"McGwire won't get in on the first ballot."

You are probably right, but I would not be suprised that he gets in on the first.

The ballots are secret correct?

#17 of 21: By Transmission (November 27, 2006 12:59 PM)
Thanks for the breakdown there. Further proof of how completely un-competitive the Cubs were after the end of that mid-60s to early-70s run. WC would have been a great help for that era, but of no help in the last 35 years...

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

TRANS: It would appear that the "Durocher Cubs" (1967-72) were essentially (by today's standards) probably just a "Wild Card" quality team, but what is kind of ironic is that after the National League owners (and American League owners, too) decided to go with two divisions beginning with the 1969 season, the Cubs and Cardinals were supposed to be in the N. L. West Division and the Reds and Braves were supposed to be in the N. L. East. But Phil Wrigley wanted the Cubs to play most of their games against teams in the Eastern or Central time zone (to facilitate TV & radio coverage of road games and to help the two local morning newspapers get Cubs baseball stories into the early editions), so Wrigley called in markers from some of the other N. L. owners (for instance, Wrigley had given Walter O'Malley's Brooklyn Dodgers the Los Angeles market for nothing in 1958), and the Cubs (and Cardinals--because wherever the Cubs went, the Cards had to go too) were switched into the N. L. East instead of playing in the N. L. West.

But if the Cubs and Cardinals had been placed in the N. L. West and the Reds and Braves in the N. L. East beginning in 1969--EVEN WITH JUST TWO DIVISIONS AND NO WILD CARD, the Cubs would have won their division (N. L. West) in 1969 and 1972, and also would have won the division in '84 and '89 (and although they may not have necessarily won the NLCS and advanced to the World Series in each year of those seasons, at least they could not have been beaten by the Padres in '84 and by the Giants in '89).

Conversely, if MLB had decided to go with three divisions starting with the MLB expansion of 1969, the Cubs (and Cards and Braves, too) would have had to deal with being in the same division as the best team of the 1970's--the Cincinnati Reds (AKA "The Big Red Machine"), what with the Reds likely winning 11 out of 12 N. L. Central Division titles 1970-1981, leaving the Cubs, STL, and ATL vying with teams from the N. L. East and N. L. West for the Wild Card (at best).

And the Cubs, Braves, and Cards would have been handicapped in competing for the N. L. Wild Card during that period because their won-lost record would have been further depressed by virtue of playing a disproportionate number of games each year against the Reds. (The N. L. schedule probably would have had each club play 22 games versus the three other teams in the club's own division, and 12 games versus each of the other eight team in the league, for a total of 162 games).

Blyleven, Gossage, Gwynn, Big Mac, Ripken, Trammell

Dawson and Smith are really tough calls....

Why do you have to wait 3-5 years if you deserve to make it?

Bogey:
"well, even putting aside the roids, he was a one tool player...power, so even without the speculation he doesn't deserve to get in on the first ballot."

Some people get all caught up in the first ballot stuff. I don't really. Either he is a Hall of Famer or not. I do kind of understand the whole no first ballot thing, almost giving the ALL-TIME GREAT players a little extra carrot by being elected in the first ballot, but it isjn't that important to me. And yes, I have extremely high standards for the HOF.

McGwire wont get in until the third ballot.

#32 of 32: By Rob G. (November 27, 2006 01:56 PM)
Blyleven, Gossage, Gwynn, Big Mac, Ripken, Trammell

Dawson and Smith are really tough calls....

Why do you have to wait 3-5 years if you deserve to make it?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++===

ROB G: Actually, I'm pretty sure there's a rule where a player does not have to wait the five years if he dies of a disease named after himself, or if he dies while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Central America. I believe there is a third exception, but I don't know what it is because it hasn't happened yet.

I'm not going to argue for Dawson, mostly cause smarter people than me can do it better. But the lack of Alan Trammell love is pretty apalling in my opinion. A very good defensive shorstop with some serious pop from that position before the Jeter/Arod/Tejada/Nomar days. He just didn't do backflips....

You just get no love if you played in the 80's.

I was referring to the first ballot "carrot" as Manny called it, as if only the real good HOF'ers can make it on the first ballot. The rest of you have to wait a few years.

I think McGwire will get in, because McCovey and Banks are in. Both McCovey and Banks had some really clunker seasons in there before the age of 35 - McCovey's 1964 and 1972, and Banks' atrocious 1963.

But compared to somebody like Killebrew, McGwire isn't even close.

love the picture links Trans, although some are broken links.

I'm not sure Girardi is sitting around waiting for the Yanks job, he can't be that dumb. Supposedly he got himself fired for the Cubs openings and then didn't get the gig, so I don't see why he'd pass up some other good gigs waiting for another "perfect" job. He's gettting paid the next 2 years no matter what, I'm sure he's going to wait for a good job, not necessarily just the Yankees job.

"Why do you have to wait 3-5 years if you deserve to make it?"

Because he made an ass of himself and the sport in front of Congress, period. That honor should be reserved exclusively for elected officials.

Rob G.:
I'm not sure Girardi is sitting around waiting for the Yanks job, he can't be that dumb. Supposedly he got himself fired for the Cubs openings and then didn't get the gig, so I don't see why he'd pass up some other good gigs waiting for another "perfect" job.

We should consider the possibility that no team looking for a manager wanted to hire him.

Speaking of Trammell, how about Lou Whittaker? He dropped off after his first ballot, but can someone explain to me why Sandberg is a HOFer and Whittaker couldn't even stick around for a second ballot?

Well the Nats wanted Girardi, pretty badly apparently as they supposedly asked him to reconsider a couple weeks after he dropped out. But the Nats are a complete mess right now with one decent pitcher who can't stay healthy in John Patterson, I don't think it's a big mystery why Girardi bowed out.

There big offseason moves so far were to let Soriano go for nothing but a 2nd round and sandwich pick and sign 100 minor leaguers.

At office now, but will work to fix broken links when I get home. I'm glad SOMEBODY noticed the joke links I put in there....

I would be absolutely stunned to see McGwire get in on the first try, especially with altar boys like Gwynn and Ripken on the ballot. McGwire may get in, but not this year. The steroid issue is just too close to him right now.

http://students.cs.tamu.edu/cpolitz/media/ima...

You should have used this for Jim Frey.

Although I do love Futurama, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is probably the greatest show....ever. And I don't like to exaggerate.

I actually never really got into ATHF. I saw one show that I really liked, and the rest never did anything for me.... But Frylock as an image, yeah, good idea...

Olney was just on ESPN Radio noting that the SF & BOS trade is a real possibility and may go down this coming weekend when the JD Drew signing should get done. Could involve just prospects...(which would be pretty surprising because the Giants have almost none outside of Lincecum)...perhaps Viquel included. Also the Angels are trying to put together a package to entice Epstein as well. SF would then waive bye bye to Baroid Bonds. Olney also notes McGwire may never get into the HOF and "many writers are leaning that way"...fwiw Olney stated he's going to vote for him.

by SF & BOS trade I of course mean for ManRam.

one would have to imagine that Epstein would then use the ManRam, Nixon, Foulke money to sign Drew, Lugo and Matsuzaka.

There is only one reason why guys like Dawson is not in the HOF. They allow people like Phil Rogers to decide who gets in and who doesn't. When they stop allowing writers who think they know the game better than anyone else to decide who belongs in the HOF, then maybe some deserving players can get in. How can you call it a HOF with out the best players of certain generations not in? Dawson, Santo, Smith? Can anyone make a good argument for any of these guys not being in the HOF? And in my opinion, Pete Rose should be in the HOF. He was the one of the best players EVER. Too bad he wasn't a drug addict or a wife beater then he would be in the HOF already. Just another example of how this system doesn't work!

wolf(LAD) and eaton(PHI) are getting 8m a year, eaton for 3 years.

padillia/lilly are destined to bank 10+m now.

Sportswriters shouldn't be allowed to vote for any HOF, it should be retired players and coaches only.

On another note, ESPN has a story up saying the Red Sox are getting closer to dealing Manny Ramirez, likely to the Dodgers, Padres, or elsewhere, by the end of the week once they sign J.D. Drew.

So they are going to replace Manny's shorter countract and superior offensive production with injury prone and attitude boy Drew, who will get a giant contract. That makes no sense. If I were a Yankee fan I would be loving this. Sure, they'll improve another position or two by picking up something for Manny, but it better be a huge improvement because Drew will miss at least 20 games or much more with hangnails and emotional issues. Especially when the Boston fans start booing him.

Eaton going to Philly is going to make that Eric Milton/Reds signing a few years ago look good. Eaton will get destroyed in that park.

What is the world coming to when guys who have era's over 5.00 are signing for 8 mil per year?

Any decent sp who has a track record of era's under 5.00 are easily looking for 10 mil+ per year now, probably closer to 12 mil. This is getting out of hand. Baseball moves in cycles, colluding against salaries, then going nuts, then realizing spending like this loses money, and colluding again. All it takes is one donut eating GM to start handing out giant contracts to setup men to start a new arms race.

Interesting that some of the "Tier 2" FA pitchers are signing now. The conventional wisdom (?) was that their agents would wait to for Zito and Schmidt to sign, and thus set the market.

Looks like the agents are now advising their clients to "get while the gettin' is good".

I really hope Crumbs is doing his best to throw together a deal to get Westbrook. I'm also surprised Schmidt hasn't been heavily courted yet. Maybe he's just waiting to see what Padilla gets and then he'll make his demands more clear?

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

breakdown of Eaton's deal, has a 4th yr mutual option.

Too bad, I truely think the Cubs should have been going after Eaton.

#54 of 59: By jackson (November 27, 2006 05:25 PM)

Eaton going to Philly is going to make that Eric Milton/Reds signing a few years ago look good.
-

Making the Milton deal look good??? Impossible !!

http://preview.tinyurl.com/y2xqgr

Disregard any rumors linking right-hander Jake Westbrook with the trade market. Indians GM Mark Shapiro told the Plain Dealer that he doesn't have much interest in trading a starter for bullpen help. The newspaper also mentioned that the Indians have Angels reliever Scot Shields on their radar screen, and could be competing with the Phillies, Orioles and Athletics for outfielder Trot Nixon.

"Crumbs" belongs to Jerry Krause.

Manny may have health on Drew, but attitude?

Ever hear of "manny being Manny", Manny's anual demand to be traded?

And I hope the Giants/LA get Manny to play LF, he will make Bonds look like Torii Hunter.

Manny seems to be liked in his clubhouse, though. Have you noticed how Drew's team reacts to him? His attitude is even more lackadaisical(sp?) than Manny's. Drew is a punk. A very talented punk, but a punk nonetheless.

Manny seems to be liked in his clubhouse, though. Have you noticed how Drew's team reacts to him? His attitude is even more lackadaisical(sp?) than Manny's. Drew is a punk. A very talented punk, but a punk nonetheless.

Sorry for the double post.

I FEEL THAT STRONGLY ABOUT IT! ;)

I was hopin PAdilla would be wearing blue pins.

The options are dwindling fast...

without pitching, I fear we'll become Texas Rangers, North.

Gotta get the PITCHING Jim!

PLEEEEZE!

Who did WSCR say the SOX would get for Crede and Garcia?

David Delucci, $13MM!!!

In a quick comparison with Mark DeRosa, it seems as if the Cubs did o.k. with this signing?

I was hopin PAdilla would be wearing blue pins.

Has Padilla signed? Not that I've heard. I agree that Hendry (and the rest of the GMs in the market for pitchers) are waiting to see where Igawa lands, and then they'll move fast.

According to Rotoworld, the Indians signed Dellucci to a 3-year/$11.5m deal. Looks like they won't be needing Jacque. So much for Westbrook, I imagine.

Who did WSCR say the SOX would get for Crede and Garcia?

Chone Figgins & another player...forgot who

#61 of 71: By Rob G. (November 27, 2006 06:49 PM)
http://preview.tinyurl.com/y2xqgr

Disregard any rumors linking right-hander Jake Westbrook with the trade market. Indians GM Mark Shapiro told the Plain Dealer that he doesn't have much interest in trading a starter for bullpen help. The newspaper also mentioned that the Indians have Angels reliever Scot Shields on their radar screen, and could be competing with the Phillies, Orioles and Athletics for outfielder Trot Nixon.

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

That presumes the Cubs would not offer a starting pitcher (like Sean Marshall) back to the Indians as part of a deal for Westbrook.

Trading a rotation starter who will be a FA after next season (that would be Jake Westbrook) for a younger rotation starter (Sean Marshall) who will not be eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2008 season and who won't be a FA until after the 2011 season might interest the Indians, especially if a decent lefty MLB reliever (like Will Ohman) and maybe a third more long-range starting pitching prospect (like Mark Holliman, Scott Taylor, or Mitch Atkins) is included in the deal.

How about we just keep Sean Marshall?

the guy had no business being in the majors last year and certainly showed he can handle it, even if it was far from spectacular.

I think a year in AAA would do Marshall a lot of good. But with that said, if we could get a solid number two or three guy for him in a package, do the deal. But if he's going to be a throw in as a sweetner, don't trade him.

Marshall was very far from spectacular. He was a replacement level starter at best. If you intend to win in the next year or two, Westbrook would be a better choice. The SP market looks costly. Rather than pay $10-$12 mil. for Padilla or Lilly, I'd plan on Mateo filling a rotation spot and look to upgrade in a trade by July, depending on how the rotation shapes up. I guess getting Meche or Batista might not be such a bad alternative if it comes down to paying 10+ mil for 4-5 years of Padilla & Lilly.

It's almost an impossible scenario, but Prior being healthy would sure change the outlook for this team.

Z
Hill
Meche
Miller
Mateo/Prior/Guzman/Marmol

That's not very encouraging, is it?

And Westbrook isn't a replacement level starter? And what makes Mateo any better than Marshall?

yes, a #2 or 3 starter for Marshall and bullpen parts sounds great, Westbrook is back of the rotation filler.

I heard that Petitte was gonna sign with the cubs instead of Houston.

I heard that Petitte was gonna sign with the cubs instead of Houston.

I heard that Petitte was gonna sign with the cubs instead of Houston.

what the crap is wrong with my computer today?

well, if you heard it three times it must be true, even without a link.

anyone hear anything about pettite/cubs?

Nope on Pettite news but for us Wells fans-

Toronto Star : "Meanwhile, the Jays control Vernon Wells for the 2007 season, but will have an extremely difficult time fitting him into their budget if they are to extend him in a multi-year deal. Wells should attract several teams in 2008 willing to pay him between $16 and $18 million per season. The most attractive of those opportunities should come from the Texas Rangers"

Westbrook pitched in the toughest division in MLB last year and posted a 4.17 ERA. That would probably equate to a 3.90 ERA in the NL. He's also a known innings eater.

Marshall is already having injury issues and his 5.59 ERA was over 1 point higher than the NL average. That is replacement level.

Westbrook is hardly "replacement level".
He's more likely a #3-#4 innings eater, especially in the NL. He'd provide similar stability to Maddux... except with better results.

Wonder what Big Z is thinking, seeing these middling SPs get $10m per year?

Westbrook is hardly "replacement level".
He's more likely a #3-#4 innings eater, especially in the NL. He'd provide similar stability to Maddux... except with better results.

Agreed. He's certainly not "back of the rotation filler", Rob, at least not in the NL. With his extreme groundball/flyball stats, I think he could do quite well at Wrigley.

"Wonder what Big Z is thinking"

I wonder how much it would cost to hire a typist to do my instant messaging?

Westbrook's makeup is perfect for this ballclub. With the front office making it clear they are building for the short term, its a no brainer to offer a generous package for a guy that can make 30 starts and win atleast half of them in the NL.

E-Man:
"In a quick comparison with Mark DeRosa, it seems as if the Cubs did o.k. with this signing?"

I think most of the people who had a problem with the signing, like myself, were complaining about the player getting a starting gig, not the money.

Here is an interesting '07 projection over at rotoauthority on Felix Pie.

"145 G, 69 R, 15 HR, 80 RBI, 23 SB,.276/.337/.476"
That line will get much better in 2008 and beyond as he gains experience and brings down him K:BB rate, which stood at 2.74 in AAA Iowa last season."

I, for one, would take those stats in a heartbeat. Though I strongly disagree that this is an accurate projection, I would be thrilled to have a guy with his defensive capabilities and speed with that line in our 7 or 8 slot.

Does anyone think this line is anything close to realistic?

85 games, 31 runs, 8 HRs, 42 RBIs, 9 SBs, .262/.324/.431. I can see him hitting a lot of doubles.

"145 G, 69 R, 15 HR, 80 RBI, 23 SB,.276/.337/.476"

so...they're moving him batting outta the #1 slot and moving him to the...i dunno where slot?

68r/80rbi?

projections are fun.

So the Sox are going to get Figgins? Damn that sucks.

New Cubs story up from the Trib...

http://preview.tinyurl.com/y7fw3e

Among other things, speculation that Hendry will wait until the Winter Meetings to decide what route to take regarding Free Agent Pitching.

new trib article with a few gems by dave "check out my sources, baby" van dyck:

"I think Jim Hendry is not sure whether he wants one big [free-agent pitcher] or two lesser ones," one player agent said.

#70:According to Rotoworld, the Indians signed Dellucci to a 3-year/$11.5m deal. Looks like they won't be needing Jacque. So much for Westbrook, I imagine.

Yahoo!'s MLB site is running an AP report that says Dellucci was given the starting LF job. It quotes his agent basically saying that that sealed the deal. That would seem to eliminate a Murton-for-Westbrook deal, wouldn't it?

Maybe they'll take Pagan for Westbrook. (arf arf)

Scenario: Angel Pagan is the runner on third base with one out...Mike Lamb steps to the plate. Lamb hits a fly ball to deep center field, Pagan tags and scores. Would they score this as a "Pagan Sacrifice".

wins.

Actually, I think Lamb should be on third and Pagan at the plate. (Sacraficial Lamb)?

Re: #32

(Re HOF voting) Dawson and Smith are really tough calls....

_____________

Rob, I have a hard time understanding why Dawson is a tough call. Since I don't know how old you are, I'm wondering if you were a baseball fan throughout most of Dawson's career. While he was playing, he was pretty much viewed as THE Game's best center fielder in the 80's, winning 6 of his 8 Gold Golves there in that decade. He was a true 5 tool player who beat you with all five of them (e.g., he averaged 10 assists a year from the outfield over 16 years - compare to Jim Edmonds who has averaged 7.15 per year), played smart and played with a burning intensity to win. During his career, there was little doubt that he would be a HOFer.

Bill James has stated that the main consideration for HOF membership should be whether a player was considered to be at the top of his position for an extended time period of time (say, 10+ years). Dawson played at that level in all phases of the game for 15 years. Judged against his contemporaries, he was one of the elite players of his era. His legacy has suffered from the inflated batting stats of the last 10 years and the short memories of sportwriters & fans. Having watched him (mostly as an opponent), I cannot believe that it has taken this long to vote him in.

The Sox will regret trading Crede. Even if Chone is involved. As a closet Angels fan, adding Crede's bat would offset the horrible Sargito signing.

Although the site this rumor comes from (mlb traderumors) has been maligned around here a lot, the poster of the following rumor is Jeff Sackmann, the guy who runs Brew Crew Balland minorleaguesplits.com...

Manny to the Cubs for Murton, Veal, Gallagher, and Howry. Apparently a source emailed Sackmann that the Cubs made this offer. Given Olney's talk on this recently, a deal could be in place as soon as this weekend, pending Manny waiving his no-trade clause.

Before people ask, Manny's owed $38 million over the next 2 years with two club option years at $20 million each, and gets a $1 million bonus if traded.

If true, wow.

well if the cubs are truly working on a budget, I don't see how they can afford to make this deal.

As for Dawson, the bulk of his greatness was before I hit double digits in age. I'm sure if he was a Cub his entire career, I'd be driving the bandwagon. His career numbers don't seem to overwhelm you though, but I certainly wouldn't call it a travesty either way.

This Crede/Figgins thing is just a rumor right?

Agreed, Rob. If the Cubs have any sort of budget and make this deal, they're planning on either out-slugging their competition or hoping their young pitchers will all come through.

An OF of Soriano, Jones, and Ramirez would be absoultely brutal in the field, but the lineup we'd put together would be terrifying.

Rob -- That really is the trouble with the batting stats from that era. For example, Dawson's '83 Avg./HR/RBI +(league rank) was .299(10th)/32(3rd)/113(2nd) - he won his 3rd (of 4) Silver Slugger. At the time, they seemed like monster numbers - seriously. In fact, his Silver Slugger HR numbers in '80, '81, '83, & '87 were 17, 24, 32 & 49. Back then, the number of players with over 20 HR in a season was more comparable to players with over 30 HR today. People like Kirk Gibson won the '88 MVP (and SS) with .290/24/76. In an era like that, career numbers don't look very good, just like the numbers in the 1910's look anemic compared to the mid-1920's through the mid-1930's. When you look at Dawson's entire record (hitting, baserunning, fielding, throwing) and compare it to other players of the same era, it becomes more clear how dominant a player he was. One should remember, lower numbers in an era doesn't mean the players weren't as good as now - just the conditions were different.

well your not going to get much of an argument from me, I'm the one sayng Trammell is being overlooked cause he played in the 80's. I was just kind of on the fence with Dawson, consider me now convinced.

Well I know I shouldn't of looked at crazy rumor guys page. When he said Murton, Howry, Gallagher, and Veal wasn't enough to get Manny I nearly went into diabetic shock.

If the Redsox can get that much for Manny and his large contract then more power to them. That would be more than I ever thought they could get.

The reason I looked in the first place was because of an interesting thought. Maybe the Cubs are weighing their options? Does it make sense to plop down 20 million for 2 so-so #3-4 starters in your rotation on contracts of 3 or more years? Or does it make more sense to invest in Manny Ramirez for the next 2?

MikeC:
Well I know I shouldn't of looked at crazy rumor guys page. When he said Murton, Howry, Gallagher, and Veal wasn't enough to get Manny I nearly went into diabetic shock.

It's the ol' fantasy sports effect. People cook up crazy trade ideas and forget that you're not just trading the player, you are also trading the contract.

Truth be told, as great of a professional hitter as ManRam is, I wouldn't give up that much for him, even if Boston helped pay for some of his contract.

I like Murton; if dealing him helped us get a really good SP, I'd be okay with it. But I'm not inclined to deal a hitter with his potential, who shows great plate discipline and patience at such an early stage and has the potential to develop much more power.

I'd be fine with dumping Howry, but again, it'd have to be for a starting pitcher. Howry is a damn good set-up man, and by default may be a part-time closer next season, if Dempster can't get it together.

As for Veal and Gallagher, no way in hell. Veal is something special. He may have been the steal of the '05 draft. I know it's early to say time will tell on that one. He is a young lefty with very good stuff who needs to refine his command. I'd expect him to make an appearance on the Cubs' 25-man roster at some point in 2008. Gallagher is probably our best RHSP prospect in the minors. I'm in no hurry to lose him, either, as he'll probably be ready by '08, too. And there's no shot in hell that I'd be willing to deal BOTH of them in the same deal, especially when it lands us another RH slugger--something that really shouldn't be Hendry's priority right now (even though Manny is one of the greatest hitters in MLB).

Starting pitching, Jim. Go ahead and make a couple of moves to improve the bench, but you NEED to get us GOOD starting pitching. Not Meche and Padilla, either.

If the Cubs are willing to pay Soriano $17 million per year for 8 years, it would be a no brainer to pay Manny $19.5 million per for the next 4 years.

I would love to have Manny, but this team need pitching and every last dollar the Cubs have should be focused on the mound.

Does anyone think the Cubs have any chance of getting Kei Igawa? I thought they were making a bid on him.

If the Manny deal goes through the Cubs traded Alex Gonzalez for Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez.

;p

The Sox-Angels rumor is Crede/Garcia in exchange for Figgins/Ervin Santana.

Crede is represented by Boras, and Kenny Williams may well take a pass on trying to negotiate a new deal with Crede and simply plug in Josh Fields at 3B.

Getting Santana back in this deal would allow them to deal another starter to get Michael Young from Texas or Crawford from the DRays.

Manny,

While i agree that Manny's one can consider Manny's contract properly valued in the current market, i still don't think the Cubs should take it on. The reason is, they still have to get starting pitching. Assuming they only have $125-130 to spend, i'd rather the $20 million per season go towards pitching.

I also am weary of trading prospects for aging talent. I have no problem with trading away Veal and Gallagher, but if you're going to do it make it part of a deal that brings young talent back, like Vernon Wells.

Investing the money left in ManRam instead of Meche or other over-inflated starting pitching isn't a horrible idea, as MikeC points out in #106. It would be THE most fearsome lineup in the NL since maybe the Big Red Machine if everyone is on and healthy.

Of course, it means, once again, that Hendry WOULD (whether he states it publicly or not) be counting on Prior and Wood in order for this team to be successful.

IMO it also guarantees the Cubs a playoff spot and also means they probably won't win the pennant. Isn't that the Trib's goal all along?

Just compete, baby.

"would be THE most fearsome lineup in the NL since maybe the Big Red Machine"

Which had more than one left handed bat in the lineup.

They need pitching.

Is it June already?

Thanks for cherry-picking my comment!

Lost in this article is the little blurb in the last paragraph. Funny no reports in Chicago about this...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/...

The new rumor is Dempster is part of a possible Westbrook trade. Oh please make that be true.

And that supposed Whitesox trade doesn't sound right with Ervin Santana included. It is almost like trading inexpensive talent for expensive talent and getting the same talent in return, only older.

Crede is due a huge raise, and Garcia will be making 10 million next season.

Where's that Dempster rumor from?

RYAN: Re: Padilla - I don't know, man.

Be a little more open-minded at least on this guy. He has some nasty stuff and is still relatively young. Also, he's certainly thrown a nice amout of innings during the last couple of years.

MORE RUMORS, GUYS!!! Aaarrrggghhh!!

I'm getting anxious! Anything?!

It is off Foxsports rumors.

Here's the quote Brian got from that SF article:

"All has been quiet on Jason Schmidt's potential return to San Francisco, and this might be why: According to one source, the Cubs have offered Schmidt a three-year deal worth $44 million."

For me that's a no-brainer. I'd prefer two with a mutual option but in this market forget it ... we'd have to go to $20 a year.

...we'd have to go to $20 a year.

I got a 20 dollar bill, someone write up the paper work and get Schmidt in Cubbie Blue. And if he signs by the end of the day, I will throw in an extra 10 bucks.

George Offman on WSCR reports Cubs offer Jason Schmidt 3/44.

MIKE:

I'll add my $20...

Ok...but it's George Ofman....can we believe that hack?

Pitching... that's a sweet idea.

Offman's report is originating from the SF Chronicle...

*As for Veal and Gallagher, no way in hell. Veal is something special....Gallagher is probably our best RHSP prospect in the minors. I'm in no hurry to lose him, either, as he'll probably be ready by '08, too. And there's no shot in hell that I'd be willing to deal BOTH of them in the same deal, especially when it lands us another RH slugger--*

This is the same kind of pie-in-the-sky garbage 'net-savvy Cubs fans have been spewing since the beginning of the WWW. We've heard it all before a thousand times with the names Sisco, Guzman, Christiansen, Ryu, Brownlie, et al, instead of these latest supposed wunderkinds. Notice the amazing lack of follow-through on all of these "prospects". If the Red Sox want to take a couple of future flame-outs in return for an overpriced future Hall-of-Famer, why not?

That said, didn't the Red Sox have trouble GIVING Manny Ramirez away FOR NOTHING a couple of years ago? I guess the market has caught up to his contract.

I don't know if Seattle can match that offer with big money invested in Sexson and Beltre. Is Ichiro a fa after 2007?
If so they probably want to reup him too.

I just booked my flight to AZ for Spring Training.

Oh, baby!

Schmidt & Injuries:

I may be the contrarian here, but didn't Jim Hendry state unequivically that he would seek players with a strong bill of health?

Does Schmidt fit this description?

Was he on the DL last year, too?

Would the money be better spent on the "best" of the second-tier pitchers?

E-man-

Do you doubt the wonder healing of the towel?!?>!?!

E-Man:

The injury issue for Schmidt is probably overstated. He's thrown 200+ innings two of the last three years and he's made at least 29 starts per season for the past five seasons. I'd be more worried about the drop in his overall effectiveness. His K rate dropped quite a bit last season while his HR and H rates went up.

Still, I think he has a better chance to be effective over the course of the next three seasons than a guy like Gil Meche.

I heard the Offman report on WSCR echoing the SF Chronical Article suggesting the Cubs offered Schmidt 3/44. I found it both funny and ironic that directly after that report it went back to the Mulligan and Hanley show... their bumper music was, no shit, "Fake Tales from San Fransisco" by the Arctic Monkeys.

lol

Schmidt 3/44? So I guess Hendry has no budget. Where was this spending the past few years?

Interesting, from Roto:

Dodgers signed LHP Randy Wolf, who had been with the Phillies, to a one-year million contract with a vesting option for 2008.
No official word yet, but it's believed Wolf will make $7.5 million next year and the option will vest at $9 million if he throws 180 innings. If the option doesn't vest, the Dodgers could buy him out for $500,000. According to the Los Angeles Times, Wolf turned down three-year deals in the $21 million-$24 million range from the Cardinals and Cubs to head home to Southern California. The Diamondbacks were believed to have a similar offer on the table before they acquired Doug Davis. Dodger Stadium should be a nice place for Wolf to pitch, so he could be a potential bargain on draft day.

Also, Kei Igawa announcement should come today.

mannytrillo:
Schmidt 3/44? So I guess Hendry has no budget. Where was this spending the past few years?

The cool thing now is to blame McPhail.

"Does anyone think the Cubs have any chance of getting Kei Igawa?"

well reportedly the Cubs did put in a bid before yesterday's deadline so I guess we'll be finding out pretty soon. However, not sure if we should be getting real excited as I recently read Bobby Valentine tabbed Igawa as a back of the rotation starter, FB reportedly tops out around 89-90. Former Yankee 3B Mike Pagliarulo, who scouts in Japan, compared Igawa to Kaz Ishii so for the reported $10+mill it's going to cost not sure it's really worth that...sounds like a #4 starter or at the highest ceiling a #3. Also keep in mind that the baseball in Japan is a little smaller than the ball used here in the states. We'll see how that affects Matsuzaka's vaunted "gyroball".

Thank you to all for the good rumors.

It was getting a little stale around here with more insults and odd tangents than usual!

Keep 'em coming, boys!

as it stands...in 09 = 44.5m and 10= 46.5m

Z's contract should be interesting.

so should any pitcher they sign to a deal for more than 2 years.

team's easily looking at appx. 60m tied up into 4 players in 09/10 unless Z's deal gets really creative...

NO: We also heard a lot about Carlos Zambrano, and it's a damn good thing we didn't throw him into a trade for an offensive player who, while great, lacks good defense or speed, when our primary and secondary needs are both starting pitching and more starting pitching. Veal and Gallagher aren't Zambrano, but they aren't Ryu, either...

E-Man: I know Padilla has filthy stuff, but the going rate for him is supposedly 4/$40MM...no thanks, especially since he's banking off of one really good season (and since I've heard that there's a lot of fear about him not lasting through a 4-year deal...)

*NO: We also heard a lot about Carlos Zambrano, and it's a damn good thing we didn't throw him into a trade for an offensive player who, while great, lacks good defense or speed, when our primary and secondary needs are both starting pitching and more starting pitching. Veal and Gallagher aren't Zambrano, but they aren't Ryu, either...*

I don't recall hearing much about Zambrano, oddly enough. Everyone was too busy drooling over Juan Cruz.

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