Cubs Sign Jason Marquis

Paul Sulivan at the Chicago Tribune (as well as other media) are reporting that the Cubs have signed free-agent RHP Jason Marquis to a three year deal worth $28M. The 28-year old Marquis was ranked as an MLB Type "B" free-agent, so the Cubs weren't going to lose a draft pick by signing him anyway, but because the Cardinals did not offer arbitration to him by the December 1st deadline, they will not be receiving a Supplemental ("sandwich") draft pick between the 1st & 2nd round of next June's First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) as compensation for losing him. (If the Cubs had signed Type "A" FA Jeff Suppan instead of Marquis, the Cubs would have lost a 3rd round draft pick to the Cardinals--Alfonso Soriano cost the Cubs their 2nd Round pick--and the Cards would have also received a Supplemental 1st rounder). Marquis was a 1st Round (supplemental) pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 Rule 4 Draft (June Draft), and quickly became the Braves #1 pitching prospect. He was used as both a starter and reliever with the Braves 2001-2003, before getting traded along with RHP Adam Wainwright and LHP Ray King to St. Louis in December 2003, a deal where the Cardinals sent OF J. D. Drew and C-OF Eli Marrero to Atlanta. Marquis had his two best seasons while pitching for the Cardinals in 2004 and 2005, when he went 15-7 with a 3.72 ERA ('04) and 13-14 with a 4.13 ERA ('05) as a rotation starter. Marquis went 14-16 with a 6.02 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 2006, and was considered so unreliable at the end of the regular season that he was left off the Cardinals post-season playoff roster. In his best years, Marquis was--like Brandon Webb, Jake Westbrook, and Derek Lowe--an extreme ground ball pitcher. However, last season he got his pitches up and got clobbered, actually getting increasingly worse as the season wore on (he was 11-6 5.55 at the All-Star break, and 3-10 6.91 after the break). If you throw out his six-plus ERA, Marquis' 2006 G/F ratio and WHIP closely match MLB starting pitchers like Josh Fogg or Rodrigo Lopez, so if he can't rediscover his ground ball magic, that's the type of pitcher you can expect Marquis to be for the Cubs in 2007. But if he can relocate his sinker, then he could be a lot better than that. I'd like to think the Cubs know something the Cardinals don't know, but if Redbirds pitching coach Dave Duncan couldn't fix whatever ailed Marquis last season, is it realistic to expect Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild will be able to turn the trick in 2007? CUBS PROJECTED 2007 STARTING ROTATION: 1. Carlos Zambrano 2. Ted Lilly 3. Rich Hill 4. Jason Marquis 5-A. Mark Prior 5-B. Wade Miller 5-C. Neal Cotts 5-D. Sean Marshall, Angel Guzman, Juan Mateo, or Jae-kuk Ryu. UPDATE from Rob G. The Trib has changed its tune again on the money and puts it at a far more reasonable 3/21 now. Bruce Miles of The Daily Herald also pegs the contract in that vicinity as well.
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Comments

so now they have a legitimate power source in the number nine spot, marquis and zambrano are good for at least 10 homeruns

I guess the angioplasty opened up Hendry's checkbook just enough for some more unnecessary spending.

At least he makes the bench stronger.

I am very sorry to hear this... What a waste of $20 million.

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

St. Louis Dispatch says $28M. Maybe incentives disparity?

Levine reporting 3/$20-21 mildo. What a waste.

It's not my money so I don't care. He will eat quite a few innings and is only 28. He's not a great pitcher but he's not garbage. There aren't any Santana's on the market unfortunately. We should have a potent offense, so we don't need 5 aces.

Out.

Oh, and GO CUBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"He's not a great pitcher but he's not garbage." I shudder to think what you would describe as garbage.

This signing only makes sense if we make him pitch for the Cards again.

Bruce Levine is saying that the White Sox series ruined him for 2006, La Russa let him stay out there and take a beating.

He stated that until that point, Marquis was pitching really well.

He likes the signing and expects him to do much better as well as give the bullpen a rest (I'm just the messenger) and will soak up innings.

Believes the deal to be worth $6MM-$7MM/yr + incentives.

+Incentives?! Just shoot me.

And just think, every dollar wasted increases the likelihood that we can't give Z his entension.

Clearly, Hendry has to go. He has only shown an ability to do 2 things: waste money and gain weight.

No need to reach for the razor blades. This guy may benefit from a change in scenery. Not only did he pitch very well in 2004 but he was 11-6 at the all star break last year before things fell apart. To say that this guy does not have the potential to be pretty decent is unfair. Will he be? Well, as with DeRosa and Lilly and the rest, time will tell. As someone else said, there are not many Santanas available. As for talk of wasting money, give Hendry some credit. He has just had his arteries cleared out so I am assuming he is thinking somewhat clearly. He knows what it will take to re-sign Z. He would not have signed Marquis if he thought that would make it hard to sign Z. Obviously, the times have changed with the Cubs. They now are willing to spend much, much more money on ball players. Presumably that will continue when they write Z a big check.

Never trust a pitcher traded by the Mazzone/Cox Braves.

could go up to $23-24 in incentives according to Levine, should be announced (officially) Mon or Tues. Noted that Marquis' ERA rose exponentially during the Sux/STL series where the Sux scored 45 runs..left in to eat innings...regardless

Pre All Star break
11-6 5.55 ERA - .267 ba against

Post All Star break
3-10 6.72 ERA - .321 ba against

and of course left off of the post season roster.

gehhh

Yeah, fire Hendry! Guy hasn't done shit to improve this team this offseason. Where's my pitchfork?

Going into the White Sox game he was 9-4 with a 4.55 ERA. That pitcher would be worth what's reported.

My main problem is this:

Marquis 33 Starts 194.1 innings 35 HR's 1.53 WHIP 6.02 ERA
Marshall/Mateo 171.1 Innings 26 HR's 1.55 WHIP 5.52 ERA

He isn't any better than the guys we have, and he costs a lot more.

"Yeah, fire Hendry! Guy hasn't done shit to improve this team this offseason. Where's my pitchfork?"

Which GM or prospective GM in the game would not have done at least as well with the same financial resources?

20 million dollars for mediocrity. What a sweet country we live in!

I wonder what the bat boy is making? 280K?

Guess which pitcher that qualified for the ERA title had the worst OPS against in the NL last year.

You get one guess.

ESPN stats

Bynum cleared the way for Lilly I assume, but who gets dropped from the 40 to make way for Marquis, and who else for Ward if that happens as is rumored? What are the likely scenarios? Thanks.

Marquis at $20MM, in my mind, is better than all of the following:

1. Signing Zito for $110MM or more. That would be nearly $250MM on the books for two players. No thanks. That also frees up about $80MM in cash. All that provided the Cubs were ever thinking about Zito in the first place.

2. Pitching Wade Miller, Angel Guzman, Juan Mateo, or JK Ryu every fifth day. I'd probably like to have a healthy Prior and Marshall in the 4th and 5th spots instead of Marrquis, but having too many starters is a darned good problem to have.

3. Gil Meche at $11MM/year.

Marquis is probably better than anybody we've got to throw out there after the imminent Prior injury. Expensive? Si. Better than nothing? Also, si.

Here's what I am speaking about(probably going to look like crap.

Smart GMYear Total Hendry
Drew $14.00 $70.00 Soriano $17.00 $136.00
Schmidt $15.67 $47.00 DeRosa $4.33 $13.00
Durham $7.25 $14.50 Lilly $10.00 $40.00
Marshall$0.40 $0.40 Marquis $6.67 $20.00
Totals $37.32 $131.90 Totals $38.00 $209.00

Which lineup would you rather have?

1.Durham 1.Soriano
2.Drew 2. Murton
3. Lee 3. Lee
4. Ramirez 4.Ramirez
5. Jones 5. Jones
6. Barrett 6. Barrett
7. Murton 7. Derosa
8. Izturis 8. Izturis

Rotation
1. Zambrano 1.Zambrano
2. Schmidt 2.Lilly
3. Hill 3. Hill
4. Marshall 4. Marquis
5. Cast of Hundreds

As I recall there was at least one game where Marquis had to take one for the team and so his ERA went way up.

According to the Tribune, he is the pitching equivalent of Corey Patterson --- won't take advice. Duncan said he was tipping pitches, and Marquis ignored Duncan and was benched for it.

ESPN says Marquis career record is 194-137. That's got to be a MLB record for a guy with 7 seasons (a little over 27 wins/year!)
http://tinyurl.com/y2vaue

The Real Neal, what makes you think that Schmidt would have signed with the cubs for that much?

*If you throw out his six-plus ERA....if he canít rediscover his ground ball magic,....if he can relocate his sinker*

If, if, if. Sounds a lot like last offseason, and the offseason before that.

"If Prior and Wood can stay healthy"
"If Greg Maddux isn't really 49 years old"
"If Todd Hollandsworth can hit .400"
"If Nomar wasn't really a roid-induced fraud"
"If Corey Patterson finally fulfills his promise"

I'm tired of 'if'.

And this crap about how Larry Rothschild is gonna fix Marquis--give me a f***ing break! Larry Rothschild can't even continue the education of the guys we bring up here from AAA! When has Larry Rothschild ever made any pitcher better?

And you dips saying "Well, now we can trade [insert young unproven pitcher here] for [insert superstar outfielders name here]"--you are delusional.

Dont get me wrong, Im fine with the Marquis signing. He is tradable, even at that salary. You can never go wrong with servicable arms or too many starters. I think the Yankees got hammered for having 7 starters a couple of years ago and they ended up seeing several significant injuries and were prepared. I personally think Prior will be fine this year and Miller too. If they are fine, then its a wealth of arms and a much better problem than having to trade for a starter.

Besides, Marquis might make a fine closer. Or Prior. Or Lilly. Cant be worse than Dempster.

Mediocre signing. Good because it's one less question mark. Cheap. He'll be out there pitching every 5 days, which is more than what can be said about Mark Prior.

5-A. Mark Prior
5-B. Wade Miller
5-C. Neal Cotts
5-D. Sean Marshall, Angel Guzman, Juan Mateo, or Jae-kuk Ryu.

Hate to be pessimistic, but it's quite possible that of this group, they'll all either be A. injured, B. not a starter (in the case of Cotts... he only has 2 pitches), or C. suck too much for even the #5 slot. Then again it wouldn't make sense to sign another #5 guy. Let's hope Angel Guzman hits his stride next year like Hill did in '06.

The Real Neal:
I am looking at this now like the Cubs will be the Texas Rangers of the NL.

Fortunately for the Cubs, they don't have the Angels or Oakland in their division. I agree, though, I'd rather seen the Cub's put together a pitching & defense-type team.

For approximately $16M, Hendry gets somewhere between 340 and 400 IP from Lilly and Marquis.

Or, he could use the same money on Schmidt, and get around 200.

And in addition to the extra IP, he also has a young pitcher he can deal to fill another need.

It's a lot longer on quantity and shorter on quality, but that's the market we are in. It's also not a perfect arrangement, but let's get off the ledge, OK?

*Pitching Wade Miller, Angel Guzman, Juan Mateo, or JK Ryu every fifth day. I'd probably like to have a healthy Prior and Marshall in the 4th and 5th spots instead of Marrquis, but having too many starters is a darned good problem to have.*

It's not a "good problem" if the "too many starters" you have all "suck".

Marquis better figure out quickly whatever it is that makes him suck because he isn't going to be a very welcomed addition to the team when he gets his first home start. Your looking at public enemy #1 now.

First real bummer move, but at least no prospects were moved to acquire Marquis. I suppose that wraps up the SP phase of the offseason moves -- guess that leaves the CF/J Jones situation to be addressed. Also, why get both Ward and Floyd unless they really are considering a murton/floyd platoon in LF? Assuming they keep J Jones and after signing Ward, wouldn't having another power righty bat off the bench like a Phil Nevin be more valuable?

I'm with AZPhil, if Dave Duncan wasn't able to turn Marquis around Rothschild sure as hell can't.

Well, now we can trade Marshall for Vernon Wells.

That was for you, no ;)

*Marquis better figure out quickly whatever it is that makes him suck because he isn't going to be a very welcomed addition to the team when he gets his first home start. Your looking at public enemy #1 now.*

He can sit in the dugout with Jones and complain about the "racist" fans after the dudes sitting by the bullpen pepper him with matzos during his warmups.

What are prospects for if you're not going to trade them or use them? Maybe that is where all this money is coming from, the Cubs are just going to sell their minor leagues.

Ryno, the correct form for your post would've been "Now we can trade Marshall/Ryu/Mateo/Hill/Guzman/Christensen, Jones and Izturis for A-Rod"

You know, cuz we've got soooooo many stud AAA pitchers. That's why we win the AAA championship each and every year.

Oh, we don't?

Well Eric, we haven't gotten Floyd yet (unless I missed something in the last hour), and I'm inclined to believe he would be mostly a bench guy based on the comments made by Piniella and Hendry about Murton.

*What are prospects for if you're not going to trade them or use them? *

Yeah, let's trade this year's Dontrelle Willis to this year's 2003 Florida Marlins so that they can beat us in this year's NLCS.

And actually I like the 5 options, call me an optimist but I think that Sean Marshall can hold down the 5 spot for a couple months and then Prior will *finally* get healthy and pitch well (better than Marquis anyway).

On a side note, my friends and I had a running joke last year that the reason Prior spent so much time on the DL was because...well, who in their right mind would want to hurry back to pitch for the team the Cubs put out on the field last year? Might as well cash your checks and relax on the DL.

We need a CFer now. All those extra arms should be able to get one.

I can't imagine we are going to fix this team completely through free agent signings. The Cubs should have a few trades up their sleeve.

*Yeah, let's trade this year's Dontrelle Willis to this year's 2003 Florida Marlins so that they can beat us in this year's NLCS.*

Yeah, maybe Donald Veal will be the first ever rookie of the year while playing his entire season for the Iowa Cubs. Good catch.

#21 of 39: By WiscGrad (December 9, 2006 12:23 PM)
Bynum cleared the way for Lilly I assume, but who gets dropped from the 40 to make way for Marquis, and who else for Ward if that happens as is rumored? What are the likely scenarios? Thanks.

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

WISCGRAD: Unless a two-fer-one or three-fer-one deal is in the works or imminent, I would think Buck Coats and Jose Reyes are the two most-likely candidates to get dropped from the Cubs 40-man roster. Adam Harben is another possibility.

It's also conceivable (although less-likely) that the Cubs will just release Glendon Rusch and eat the $3.25M he's owed in 2007. However, in the aftermath of his angioplasty, Hendry may have been placed on a strict diet that does not allow him to eat contracts.

But they're so delicious!

If you look at Marquis's BR page the follwing guys are in his top 10 comparables:

Jake Westbrook
Jason Jennings
Gil Meche
Ted Lilly

All of those guys are/were avalible this off-season at either:

A. 10+ mil a year
B. the same salary as Marquis plus 2-3 pichers through trade.

So in terms of value Marquis's deal isnt that bad and I would rather have him instead of Meche at 10 a year and Jennings at the cost of 2 of Guzman/Marshall/Wuertz.

*Yeah, maybe Donald Veal will be the first ever rookie of the year while playing his entire season for the Iowa Cubs. Good catch.*

If he plays for the Chicago Cubs, he will suck.

If he gets traded to [insert team] for [this year's Lance Johnson] he will win 18 games.

Don't you know how this works by now? How long have you been a Cubs fan?

#46 of 48: By The Real Neal (December 9, 2006 01:15 PM)
Why isn' Rusch on the 60 day DL?

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

NEAL: A player cannot remain on the 60-day DL past November 20th, and then the player cannot be placed back on the 60-day DL again until March 1st.

"If he gets traded to [insert team] for [this year's Lance Johnson] he will win 18 games."

I was a Cubs fan way back in 2003 when they won the division and almost made it to the World Series. The pitcher who had the last win of the season for the Cubs was named Matt Clement. 3 guesses where we got him from.

Let me know if you need to know anything else about the Cubs prior to 2004.

"#14 of 47: By servais (December 9, 2006 12:07 PM)
Never trust a pitcher traded by the Mazzone/Cox Braves."

Like Jason Schmidt?

I don't know why you guys are all in a tizzy about this. Its not a big contract and its not a big deal.

Completely unrelated, but I was reading about the Gil Meche signing and this made me laugh:

Neil deMause, Baseball Prospectus: "One co-worker of a BPer quipped, 'This is like a family on welfare buying a plasma TV that doesn't work.'"

"NEAL: A player cannot remain on the 60-day DL past November 20th, and then the player cannot be placed back on the 60-day DL again until March 1st. "

OK, so if he doesn't have insurance on his contract, and he is unlikely to pitch next year, what exactly is he still doing on the roster?

Nice post in #47, Chifan. Makes me feel a little better about this signing.

Marquis is just as good as Meche. And for four million less it's a better deal. If he can get his act together, he could be a solid starter. But that is a huge if. He is a better option than Miller or any of the rookies from last year. I wonder if Hendry is still looking at another starter.

About #52.

I think the BP people are sort of clueless on this one. The Royals have a few pieces and in 2 years they're going to have two perenial all-stars in their lineup. Meche will be around then. What do they want them to do, become a playoff team in 1 year, or never sign a free agent?

#53 of 55: By The Real Neal (December 9, 2006 01:21 PM)
"NEAL: A player cannot remain on the 60-day DL past November 20th, and then the player cannot be placed back on the 60-day DL again until March 1st. "

OK, so if he doesn't have insurance on his contract, and he is unlikely to pitch next year, what exactly is he still doing on the roster?

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

REAL NEAL: It's possible that Glendon Rusch might retire (or worse), and if so, the Cubs won't owe him anything.

"Duncan said he was tipping pitches, and Marquis ignored Duncan and was benched for it."

That doesn't mean Marquis was actually tipping pitches though. Tony LaRussa is obsessed with worry about "tipping" the other team. He's pathological about it. It's why he wears tinted glasses even in the dark. He's sure the other team can tell his moves by the expression in his eyes.

Claiming that Marquis was tipping his pitches and was uncoachable certainly takes Duncan off the hook.

AZ Phil,

So essentially they're waiting for him to die. That's nice.

Those groundball pitchers you listed have much better G/F ratios than Marquis ever has, and in the instance of Webb, better K rate as well. K's are the best thing, GB the next best, 'air' balls the worst, in general, so when statisically evaluating a pitcher most start with K rates.

Which brings up the question, now that Pierre is gone, will the Cubs let the infield grass grow high again? If so how much will that hurt Jacque's BA?

Re #57:

Who the hell is ATIZONA PHIL?

#47, you're right ChiFan, Marquis actually has more wins(42) over the last 3 seasons than
Zito(41)
Peavy(39)
Jason Schmidt(41)

However, as with most of those type of comparisions the info is skewed(how much value simply goes to wins). I don't think anyone will debate that Marquis' peripheral numbers aren't anywhere close to the others. Marquis vs. a Gil Meche signing is essentially a wash to me, Meche probably has a little higher ceiling but a greater risk of injury...but I was against a Meche signing anyway. Personally I would just rather see Sean Marshall or Angel Guzman get a shot instead of wasting $20-24m on a #5 or 6 starter. Too much $ thrown out this season will leave little to none next off-season when the FA class is much greater.

The Real Neal:
Which brings up the question, now that Pierre is gone, will the Cubs let the infield grass grow high again? If so how much will that hurt Jacque's BA?

IMO, Jacque isn't in the lineup for his BA. He's there for his HR v. RHP.

I guess the good news is that Jacque doesn't have to leave now. We have a new person to hate and he's actually worthy of it.

Maybe this was Hendry's way of getting Jacque off the hook. Hendry promised Jacque that if he stayed, he'd sign someone the fans hate so much, that they'd forget Jacque was even around.

RANKING PITCHING "IFs", 2005-2006:

2005 - ...if Kerry Wood comes back strong from his surgery
...if Wade Miller recovers and regains his form
...if Prior overcomes his 2004 year

2006 Marquis: "If he can get his act together, he could be a solid starter. But that is a huge if. He is a better option than Miller or any of the rookies from last year. I wonder if Hendry is still looking at another starter.

When has Larry Rothschild ever made any pitcher better?

From DeJesus Freak on BTF:

"I'm not a Rothschild fan either, but that's harsh. Zambrano, Clement, Borowski, Ohman, Hill, and Dempster have all had their best years under Rothschild."

#59 of 66: By The Real Neal (December 9, 2006 01:42 PM)
AZ Phil,

Those groundball pitchers you listed have much better G/F ratios than Marquis ever has, and in the instance of Webb, better K rate as well. K's are the best thing, GB the next best, 'air' balls the worst, in general, so when statisically evaluating a pitcher most start with K rates.

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

NEAL: Maybe not absolutely AS good a G/F ratio as Webb, Lowe, and Westbrook in 2004, but I would say Marquis was in the same ballpark.

why the hell did we give him 3 YEARS???????????????!!!!!!#!#!#!?????????

And what the hell are we going to do if Miller and Prior are healthy at the start of the season????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!##???????

Cherish the moment, because it won't last long.

My sources are telling me that Prior has scurvy and smallpox.

To Elaborate a bit.

Cubs Best 6 Starters if healthy
Zambrano
Prior
Hill
Lilly
Marquis
Miller

Players that the Cubs will be able to trade at the start of the season.

Zambrano
Prior
Hill

Unless I am mis-understanding the rules, or there was some change in the CBA, if the Cubs have too many starters and have to trade one, they have to trade one of their best 3. I guess they can option Hill to the minors, but optioning Hill to the Minors so Lilly, Marquis and Miller can pitch, doesn't get you closer to the WS.

BJS, I think he's got a case of rickets too.

In this market, a 6 ERA doesn't scare people away, teams are looking for innings. Hey, we've had "stuff" guys for a long time that can't get on the mound.

Neither Lilly or Marquis thrill me, but the alternative is hope that Miller and Prior are healthy and if not pitch kids like last year. Maybe 2 of the kids would have developed and pitched better in 2007 than Lilly and Marquis, but all I know is I hated last year and wanted to see the Cubs try something different and they did.

And why would anyone be concerned about what to do if Miller and Prior are healthy? Let's hope that's the case and deal with it when it happens.

The Cubs filled their 2 rotation holes with Lilly and Marquis, now let's see how Houston and St. Louis filles their 2 holes. Maybe those teams will do better but maybe not.

"In this market, a 6 ERA doesn't scare people away, teams are looking for innings."

NOT THE WHITESOX. Ozzie says they dealt Garcia away to get some guys who could smoke it, something the Cubs have a stockpile of -- guys who can strike you out. Which begs the question, why isn't Garcia a Cub right now?

What is the Cubs Pen gonna look like this year. I for one am glad they are not throwing away good young arms for crud veterans this year. Let's see how Weurtz, Marshall, Mateo, Guzman, Marmol develop and how good they can get. Of that group, I wouldn't mind trading Guzman, because I don't think he'll ever put it together physically and mentally, but keep the rest.

What the Cubs are doing and have done remines me of a few teams of the past that took players with bad years, or not great stat's. But they seemed work together well. The Tigers 05-06,
Arizona, won the world seires, Against another highpower team. Boston Red Sox, Remember Bellhorn? We look alot better now then we did in August. Even if on Paper 2003,04,05,06 the Cubs had the best Pitching staff. Give them a chance, who knows maybe I'll see one or two of you guy's rooting for them and saying I told you it was a good deal.

MDog,

The Pen is likely to start out as:

Dempster
Howry
Eyre
Wood
Weurtz
Ohman
Novoa or Cotts

The rest of you guys mentioned look bound for Iowa (as well as Novoa or Cotts), if everyone is healthy.

#70 of 74: By The Real Neal (December 9, 2006 02:25 PM)
To Elaborate a bit.

Cubs Best 6 Starters if healthy
Zambrano
Prior
Hill
Lilly
Marquis
Miller

Players that the Cubs will be able to trade at the start of the season.

Zambrano
Prior
Hill

Unless I am mis-understanding the rules, or there was some change in the CBA, if the Cubs have too many starters and have to trade one, they have to trade one of their best 3. I guess they can option Hill to the minors, but optioning Hill to the Minors so Lilly, Marquis and Miller can pitch, doesn't get you closer to the WS.

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

NEAL: Under the old CBA, free-agents who sign contracts after the conclusion of the Free-Agency Filing Period receive an automatic "no trade" through June 15th of the following season.

I don't know if this remains true in the new CBA, but if it does, only Lilly and Marquis have an automatic "no trade" through June 15th. Miller does not, because he re-signed with the Cubs a couple of days prior to the conclusion of the filing period. (That is, unless the Cubs gave him a "no trade" as part of his new contract).

Also, if Mark Prior is healthy but ineffective, the Cubs can option him to the minors out of Spring Training, or any time prior to May 13th. (Prior has two minor league options left, and is 41 days short of five years of MLB service time, which is the point when he can refuse an optional assignment to the minors).

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

says deal is 3/21 and that Cliff Floyd will likely decide next week between Mariners and Cubs.

Yes the W sox are starting to dump their rotation so they get something before they allturn FA's in 2007..why couldnt we make a deal with, them anyone they give us would be beter than what we bought...
Man this is a scary starting staff... wheres the #2 sure stopper we need...(NOT on this staff yet)... would u rather play baseball with 2 guys who are just average or only have one who is great? the great guy wins more games for u then the 2 mediocre guys combined ever could....Thats our pitching staff MEDIOCRE AT BEST(thats optimistic)

Our rotation is Mediocre at best, possibly being saved by Prior.

Our bullpen is good at worst, and is a Wood or Dempster as a solid closer away from being the ML's best. Signing these two crappy starters makes the bullpen better, and hopefully they will be able to reciprocate.

"Also, if Mark Prior is healthy but ineffective, the Cubs can option him to the minors out of Spring Training, or any time prior to May 13th. (Prior has two minor league options left, and is 41 days short of five years of MLB service time, which is the point when he can refuse an optional assignment to the minors)."

Two things:

a) That would be a hell of a wake up call.
b) Expect many sellout crowds in Iowa.

"Our rotation is Mediocre at best, possibly being saved by Prior."

What time is it in Europe? Cuz Zambrano certainly isn't mediocre.

"The Cubs believe pitching coach Larry Rothchild can fine-tune Marquis and make him a more consistent pitcher."

Why do I get the mental image of turning to the grease-stained mechanic surrounded by rusting hulks in the junkyard, to fine-tune the luxury car? As someone said about the war in Iraq, "Hope is not a strategy."

This is some really out of the box thinking (out of the box and after several beers), but with all these arms that project to be good relievers....why not start Z, Lilly, and Hill and then run out everyone else for 2 innings at a time the other 2 days? That's mostly a joke, by the way.

I don't know what time it is where Neal's at, but it's about quarter to 11 pm here in Ukraine.

speaking of our rotation, why does everyone think Ted Lilly is our #2?

Are we all just afraid of counting on Rich Hill? Is there really any doubt he's a better pitcher than Lilly? Not that I even care too much for the whole slotting of pitchers, just get 5 good pitchers and they'll figure out amongst themselves who's the best.

Not thrilled about this one...I'm with Rob, I just don't get the 3 yr commitment. Wade Miller type contract I'd be fine with.

The only positive is Hendry's track record for getting good stuff off the scrap heap: Grud, Dempster, Barrett...

This has all the ear marks of plan E... Jennings, Meche, Westbrook, Padilla all took a dump.

I do like how Lou is handling the Prior situation. Saying how he can come in a "compete" for a spot. I think the past 3 years the management treated him like the franchise. Lou's painting him in a corner.

Out of all our bullpen guys, I would say Michael Wuertz has some pretty high trade value. I, for one, however, hope the guy who goes is Novoa...

My concern with Lilly is that he may become our Eric Milton :the Red's flyball pitcher who was essentially pitching BP. Yes, he did better last year than his miserable 2004 ,but yikes! The Marquis signing makes me uneasy as well. Seriously, if Leo and Duncan can't fix the guy, I would be shocked if anything Rothschild says works. Now, when are we getting Steve Stone back? Len & Bob bore the shit out of me. I think we are a step above mediocre and that ain't winning.

at least we'll have plenty of left-handed hitting options late in the game. :)

so can we assume that if Marquis chokes it up next year that Rothschild loses his job? He seems to be the one vouching for him and claiming his problems are fixed/fixable.

""Our rotation is Mediocre at best, possibly being saved by Prior."

What time is it in Europe? Cuz Zambrano certainly isn't mediocre."

My bad, I hadn't realized Zambrano was starting 162 games for us next year. That should get him a helluva contract!

Az Phil - can you tell me when teams typically start non-tendering players? I'm wondering if the Cubs are interested in Brad Wilkerson and want to see if the Rangers cut him loose before exploring trade options.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/yh7qar

Is this old news?

Marquis got a head start on a possible Cubs connection by meeting with pitching coach Larry Rothschild after the Cardinals' successful World Series.

"Jason called me shortly after they got done with the World Series and asked me if he could come down and throw," Rothschild told WGN Radio on Friday night. "He'd talked to [Greg] Maddux during the season and [Maddux] recommended that if he had a chance to let me see him."

Maddux and Marquis were teammates in Atlanta. Marquis threw once for Rothschild, and the two talked pitching mechanics.

so one of the greatest pitchers ever, seems to tell one of his friends that he should talk to one of the worst pitching coaches ever (according to some here) and see if he can help him with some problems. Interesting...

The arbitration deadline has already passed.

Dec 12th is the new deadline I believe....

Wlkerson would be awesome for CF, assuming his shoulder woes are fixed and they were the reason behind his power loss the last 2 years. Certainly worth a shot though....

"My bad, I hadn't realized Zambrano was starting 162 games for us next year. That should get him a helluva contract!"

Smartass. The comment was in reference to your assertion that Prior, of all people, saved our rotation.

deadline for offering arbitration and accepting it for free agents has passed (Dec 1st and Dec 7th), the deadline for non-tendering players still under club control is December 12th..

From the article Rob G posted:

'As for Lilly, Rothschild told WGN Radio that the left-hander could be on the "upswing of his career." The pitching coach was waiting for videotapes so he could get a head start analyzing the pitcher.'

I don't know, but I was sort of thinking they should consult the pitching coach on signing any pitcher to a 4 year deal.

Getting back to Rob's point about how bad Rothschild is. Are there any pitchers who flourished after leaving the Cubs? Cruz did for a year in relief, then couldn't cut it with the A's. Anyone else?

Whats the word on Kenny Lofton? Are the cubs still talking to him or are they going after the nationals player?

"Smartass. The comment was in reference to your assertion that Prior, of all people, saved our rotation."

If Prior pitches 220 innings and has an 3.00 ERA that will make the rotation look much better than 190 innings of Miller at a 4.70 ERA, no? Zambrano is a given. Without him or a healthy Prior the rotation will be a disaster. No one else seems to struggle with that concept.

Pitchers after the Cubs. 8 of the 12 top closers came from or played for the Cubs. Jon Lieber did great with the Yanks, Maddux is still playing

Re #59 Which brings up the question, now that Pierre is gone, will the Cubs let the infield grass grow high again? If so how much will that hurt Jacque's BA?

It might hurt Jones's throws, more. Or save the earth from divots.

I don't recall many of them making it to the infield anyway.

Jones is Gone its just who offers the best deal for him. the O's or the Nationals

he started in 2002 here, right?

well Matt Clement has been doing real well...oh wait

Borowski has had some success but he was actually better here

Farnsworth has kept with his Jeckyll & Hyde routine

Hawkins, Jerome Williams, Alfonseca, Fassero, Mahay, Lieber, Remlinger, Mercker are all I can think of who have come and gone.

lot of nobodies like Leicester and Koronka as well...

The Real Neal:
"Our rotation is Mediocre at best, possibly being saved by Prior."

I agree...

The only thing that makes sense to me this offseason is if Hendry is just buying every live body he can and hope they put together a career year, so he can save his job. Because after spending like $250 million this offseason in contracts for this year and the future, and have a 2007 payroll of around $125 million, this team had better AT LEAST make it to the playoffs. If not, I truly can't understand how someone can defend Hendry keeping his job AGAIN.

I think Lieber had one year under Rothschild in 2002 before he went under the knife for TJ surgery and it was just about as good as his Yankee year and 2005 in Philly. He was pretty bad last year.

#91 of 97: By Jman (December 9, 2006 04:09 PM)
Az Phil - can you tell me when teams typically start non-tendering players? I'm wondering if the Cubs are interested in Brad Wilkerson and want to see if the Rangers cut him loose before exploring trade options.

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

JMAN: As ROB G said, the new deadline for tendering contracts is next Tuesday (December 12th). So there should be a few decent players eligible for salary arbitration who will get non-tendered (as happened with David Eckstein a couple of years ago).There may even be a significant trade or two involving a player who will be eligible for salary arbitration made on Monday or Tuesday (Jacque Jones for Brad Wilkerson?).

Most clubs would rather trade a player and at least get SOMETHING back (as the Cubs did with Corey Patterson last off-season), but it is possible that the Rangers will non-tender Brad Wilkerson if they don't think they can get a reasonable return in a trade and don't want to take the chance that Wilkerson might get too much through the arbitration process.

BTW, Tuesday is when you may see the Cubs make the roster moves necessary to make room for Ward and Marquis. The Cubs might just non-tender the two guys they intend to drop from the 40-man roster (probably Buck Coats and Jose Reyes), and then maybe re-sign them to Minor League contracts for "split contract" money ($60,000), with an NRI to ST. Technically, the Cubs cannot outright Coats or Reyes at this time (they can release them or trade them, they just can't outright them), because both were eligible to be Six-Year Minor League FAs on October 15th if they had not been on a 40-man roster, and they are not signed for 2007.

Yeah, the year he won 20.

Lieber won 20 in 2001, Rothschild got fired very early in 2001 as manager of the Drays. I don't know when exactly he got hired by the Cubs but I'm assuming to start the 2002 season.

ROB G: Oscar Acosta resigned as Cubs pitching coach on October 3, 2001, Jim Hendry was named "VP - Player Personnel" on October 12th, and Rothschild was hired as Cubs pitching coach on October 26th.

BTW, the following month, Hendry acquired 2B Mark Bellhorn from OAK, and then at the Winter Meetings in December, acquired SS Alex Gonzalez from TOR, and later that month, signed FA OF Moises Alou (Hendry's first FA signed from outside the Cubs organization, although MacPhail almost certainly had to give approval, since Hendry wasn't GM yet).

thnx, so as I thought, 2002 and after you have to look at for Rothschild's influence.

"Hendry acquired SS Alex Gonzalez from TOR,"

For a variety of reasons, this was the worst move he ever made. (IMO)

oh boy, are we back to Hendry doing all the moves for this team before he was actually named GM in 2002? Let's be sure about all that before we assume all those moves were Hendry's. I know he was pretty much behind the Clement trade in early 2002.

Spend away...whatever, just get some pitching depth. I'm happy with this...I'd much rather be in our situation than the Cardinals' situation....who are their starting 5?
Carpenter
Reyes
Kip Wells

Sweet.

#113 of 113: By Rob G. (December 9, 2006 04:55 PM)
oh boy, are we back to Hendry doing all the moves for this team before he was actually named GM in 2002? Let's be sure about all that before we assume all those moves were Hendry's. I know he was pretty much behind the Clement trade in early 2002.

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

ROB G: Well, he WAS "Director of Player Personnel" effective 10-12-01, wasn't he? Which to me would mean he made trades, signed FAs, and moved guys back and forth off the 40-man roster, albeit with the approval ("OK" or DENIED") of MacPhail. And as GM, MacPhail was still in direct charge of deciding who the Manager would be, as well as who the Director of Scouting and the Director of Player Development would be, at that point.

Chad:
"For a variety of reasons, this was the worst move he ever made."

The worst??? Man, the list is sooooo long, I wouldn't even no where to start.

Napalm:
"Spend away...whatever, just get some pitching depth. I'm happy with this...I'd much rather be in our situation than the Cardinals' situation"

Yeah, it would suck to be in the Cardinals position. I am sure they are having a tough time deciding on what ring design to have the jewelers make up.

But just because we have a high quantity of starters, does not mean we have a high quality of starters. At this point, even though we have spent over $250 million dollars, the Cubs have done very little to actually improve the team.

Hell, Marquis over the past 3 years is about as good as Glendon Rusch.

Rusch: 18-18, 4.69 ERA, .288 BAA and 1.49 WHIP
Marquis: 42-37, 4.60 ERA, .277 BAA and 1.42 WHIP

So in adding Lilly and Marquis, basically we added Maddux and Rusch.

anyone seen a report saying its a 3/15.5 deal with incentives?

well I guess I'm confused, was he the VP of player personal as you wrote in #110 or the "Director of player personal". Seems to be a difference....

Even so, as long as Macphail was technically the GM, the buck stops with him, much as now that Hendry is the GM, the buck stops there. I'm certainly not going to try and figure out which moves Gary Hughes is responsible for right now versus Hendry.

I'm still hopeful the Cubs try to work out a trade for another starter. Before the Winter Meetings, most Cubs sources thought they were going to pick up Marquis and 2 other starters. Well, we got Marquis and Lilly...hopefully we can trade for another starter.

Failing that, I'd have to assume our new CF will come via trade. I don't see how Ohman can be on this team next year, and if there's a market for Cotts or Eyre, I'd expect one of them to be dealt, too. Novoa is another superfluous bullpen arm. Then we have to decide what to do with Marshall/Marmol(probably least likely to be traded)/Ryu/Guzman/Mateo. And then we still have to decide what to do with Double-J...someone mentioned Wilkerson, and his OBP and versatility in the OF would make him an attractive option, as would his ability to bat 2nd or 6th and be a left-handed presence in the line-up. I'm still holding out hope for Crawford, though. We have plenty of young arms, and that's what the D-Rays need. We'll probably just end up with Church and call it an off-season, though...

I thought I'd make the first press conference here on Cub Reporter because, well, there won't be an official one on tv, and I'm not good, in front of the cameras, the media, or, on the mound for that matter.

Thank you Chicago for signing me, thank you for finally spending Yankees money in free agency, but especially for not taking good notes on how the Yanks pay big money for big talents, or else I wouldn't be here!

In closing, I want everyone to also know that I am a big hothead, sometimes over-react to the most miniscule things in life leading me to get barraged by 6-10 runs in one game all because I was pissed to give up a hit or a double to the opponents pitcher. Some say I should realize that even the worst players get a random hit every now and then, but I think the best way to show them up is by blowing up, and letting them score a ton of runs and tiring them out by running all over the bases! That'll fix 'em!

You will probably hate me by mid-June, but then, who cares, my contracts guaranteed, and I heard Hendry/Rothschild ONLY SIGN 'PROJECT' PITCHERS, AND HATE STEADY, HEALTHY, PROVEN, CONSISTENT, RELIABLE PITCHING TALENT LIKE JEFF SUPPAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GUESS THAT'S WHY YOU HAVEN'T LOCKED UP CARLOS ZAMBRANO TO A LONGTERM CONTRACT EITHER, BECAUSE HE'S NOT ON THE DL ALL THE TIME, OR ERRATIC?!

GOOD LUCK, AND WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR...2008, THAT IS.

Thank you kindly,

Jason Marquis

aka Jason BattingTee

Marquis is pretty healthy and reliable.

christ...someone went through the trouble of actually typing that?

oh no...guy had 1 bad 1/2 season and he's 27...he must be dead.

no crunch, question though is where did you read/see a report for that?

i have no report, just a rumor from a friend.

he's got nothing to point to.

from what im told this was pretty much a done deal earlier in the week, it just got held up cuz hendry had to go to the hospital.

was wondering what anyone else had. the numbers are all over the board, but mostly floating around 20.

roth's reputation is riding on this signing if i may go out on a limb here...

Gotta love Cardinals' trolls.

CWTP: I don't know how long you have been a Cub fan, but if you know anything about current Cubs-Sox affairs you will know that one thing that WILL NOT HAPPEN is Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf making the Cubs BETTER.

That's why Freddy Garcia, or the rest of their starters, are not/will not be Cubs.

Oscar Acosta... I admit I wouldn't know who is and who is not a good pitching coach, but I loved this guy. You may recall once during his final season that WGN aired an interview with him (I don't recall if it was a rain-delay or just a leadoff man thing), but he exploded at the notion that all you have to do is throw gas. Said something to the effect of "it doesn't matter how God damn hard you throw the God damn ball if you can't locate." Now that's a baseball man!

MANNY: C'mon man - I know that they didn't sign Santana - but the team on paper is right now 12-16 games better, in my view.

20 games better gives them what the Cards did last year.

The young Cub arms really need quite a bit more seasoning at AAA so they can lear more than 2 pitches, and how to go past 4 innings.

Maybe there is still another move coming...?

i hope the cubs next move is a phone call to j.jones easing him off this trade wish thing.

his espn interview he very clearly wanted out, but he wasnt whining or in distress and not demanding.

he seems to kinda just wanna leave without a big fuss and it seems hendry is trying to accomodate this.

there might be deeper stuff to it, but if there isnt i'd love to see j.jones on TV the next couple weeks saying how he "talked to hendry/pinella" or whatever and looks forward to playing CF next year in chicago.

maybe a bit of wishful thinking, but hell, i sure wouldnt mind him in CF next year for the cubs.

its people's right to heckle and its a player's right to have a response to it. looks like some drunken idiots wanted him out and they might get their wish.

E-Man:
"C'mon man - I know that they didn't sign Santana - but the team on paper is right now 12-16 games better, in my view."

The only thing they have done so far this offseason to improve the team was add Soriano in my opinion. Now that was a big move, no doubt, but unless you are counting getting Lee back from injury as improving the team, I just don't see the 16 games, maybe 10 wins.

And even if you count the 16 wins better, that only gets them to 82 wins. For a team with a $125 million payroll, I personally would expect more.

"Maybe there is still another move coming...?"

I sure hope there is for a top tier SP...

#119 of 136: By Rob G. (December 9, 2006 05:16 PM)
well I guess I'm confused, was he the VP of player personal as you wrote in #110 or the "Director of player personal". Seems to be a difference....

Even so, as long as Macphail was technically the GM, the buck stops with him, much as now that Hendry is the GM, the buck stops there. I'm certainly not going to try and figure out which moves Gary Hughes is responsible for right now versus Hendry.

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

ROB G: Ed Lynch resigned as VP - GM on July 19, 2000. MacPhail then assumed the duties of GM. At that time, Hendry was Director of Player Development & Scouting (combined).

Hendry was named "Assistant GM" in August 2000, at which time Oneri Fleita was named Director of Player Development, and John Stockstill was named Director of Scouting.

Hendry remained "Assistant GM" for more than a year (working under MacPhail, learning the ropes) until he was promoted to the position of "VP - Player Personnel" on 10-12-01, presumably in charge of... well, PLAYER PERSONNEL (like trades, signing FA, moving players on and off the 40-man roster, negotiating contracts, etc). However, MacPhail was still the "President & GM" at that time.

Then Hendry was named "VP - General Manager" on 7-5-02, at which point Hendry controlled not only Player Personnel, but also was the boss over Oneri Fleita at Player Development and John Stockstill at Scouting.

As for Gary Hughes, he really isn't "responsible" for anything as far as the organization is concerned. He is one of several individuals who hold the title of "Assistant to the General Manager," and they perform various scouting and special assignments for Hendry. Others who served as "Assistant to the GM" in 2006 were Ed Lynch, Randy Bush, Keith Champion, and Ken Kravec. Bush scouted the Cubs own farm system for Hendry. And before he was named manager of the Dodgers, Grady Little was another "Assistant to the GM."

I don't want to call them Hendry's "cronies" or drinking buddies, but I can't help but picture Elvis Presley and his Memphis Mafia (Red West, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Lamar Fike, et al) riding around Disney World in an electric blue '59 Cadillac.

RED: Elvis, you need to get yerself to the hospital, man.

ELVIS: I can't, Red, I gotta sign Lilly before those Damn Yankees get him.

Sarge Jr has a career year, but everyone (except the Angels) seems to realize that it is one of the blips you often see in baseball.

I think/hope Marquis' 2006 is the same deal -- he's not great, but he's probably not as bad as his 2006 numbers, either. Hendry/Piniella/Rothschild must have seen something. Please?

wow...now the trib is saying its a 2/28 deal.

3/28

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

there's the link to the updated trib piece

MANNY: I was having a good day - now I'm depressed.

Well, at least we'll have the best PH in the NL last year on our 2007 squad.

- SIGH -

I'm OK with this. YEah, he had a very poor secdond half of the 2006 season, but prior to that, while I wont say Im impressed, I'm Ok with his numbers. Plus all his intangibles are good, hitting, fielding, baserunning, team player, ect. Seems like he and LaRussa had some personal problems, but, go figure. Should have something to talk about with the bullpen fans, huh. Only question I have is if he'll pitch on Yom Kippur (kidding, Mr. Whipple).

some will say money is money and its not ours and blah blah blah, but if they just locked up marquis for 9m a year...geez...who the hell were they competing with on that contract?

yeah, wolf got 8 and eaton got 8...but damn.

worst part is we'll probally have to wait til mon/tue before anyone puts a real number and year total on this contract.

Yeah, I don't really get what people are trying to get across when they say that it's not our money. No it's not our money, it's our team's money and it's money that could have went to someone better.

I wonder if Marquis had a contract from anyone else. I doubt it, and if so I doubt it was for $9mil annually.

#88
Hear Hear! I will say that Bob Brenly isn't the disaster inthe booth that Joe Carter was, but withthe kind of loo they are throwing around, what's the ish with a three man booth? GET STONY BACK WHERE HE BELONGS TODAY!!!

Des Moines news outlet is saying 3/20.

I'm awaiting Rob G's source in Casper, WY to confirm.

I mean everyone thinking this rotation will be mediocre, then that will put them light years ahead the crap they trotted out in 2006.

O'Malley
Jae Ku
Williams
Rusch

I just threw up in my mouth.

My God, they signed real ML starting pitchers. Remeber two weeks ago people were wondering if Cotts was going to be a starter? Relax, they have the money none of the precious youth was traded.

This organization is not the Florida Marlins, there will be no fire sales in a couple of years.

Speaking of.... the Trib today said the Astros may repackage players and go for Garland again.

Phil or Rob ( or anyone),
could you explain the difference between not offering arb and non-tendering a player? Are they like a free agent then, or is there something like a waiver order? Also, why do you think that the cubs wouldnt go after MGiles if he's non-tendered? Hendry has already proven his first allegience is the Chicago Cubs, not anything he may have told a particular second sacker.
Thanks

as much as no one wants to count on prior, you still cant count out prior.

that said, the sting has been so bad the past 2 years its hill/prior/w.miller/cotts breaking with the team going for 2 spots and everyone's expecting all 4 to be healthy come april (as of now).

I really cant believe everyone is getting on Hendry about this deal. You all bitch about how we dont have reliable pitching and then we sign someone who is a reliable pitcher and suddenly its the worst signing ever. He is a number 5 pitcher. Who gives a shit. You only take 4 into the playoffs anyway. He is a grounball pitcher and reliable. That is all we needed in the 5 spot. The mets had a worse pitching staff then this and they did just fine last year.

Everyone shoudl also remember that our division is really terrible. The cardinals are worse the stros are worse. We got a lot better. I know we all want to belive Prior is long one but there is a chance that he can come back and if he does that would be amazing. Lets not forget that wood was injured for a couple of years prior to 2003 and had a terrific year that almost got us into the playoffs. Marquis, although not great was nessecary.

sub playoffs for *world series

sub playoffs for *world series

"#116 of 147: By mannytrillo (December 9, 2006 05:06 PM)
Chad:
"For a variety of reasons, this was the worst move he ever made."

The worst??? Man, the list is sooooo long, I wouldn't even no where to start."

My thinking here is AGonz's bobble in game 6 then being the reason that we weren't able to get Migel Tejada.

I read a lot about Hendry and that he made a big mistake in signing 2 pitchers. But if you look back at what we had. we should of won the division 3-4 years in a row. But we did not. Baker and Baylor can not handle a pitching staff. Dusty was one of the First managers to be fired after going to a WS. Baylor had some luck in Denver because of the air. So if blame should be made, it should rest on thier backs, not Hendry. They wrecked Priors arm and Woods arm, and Lieber, Look for 3-4 years our relievers were pitching more innings then anyone else in the league.

#144 of 145: By da-krone (December 9, 2006 07:29 PM)
Phil or Rob ( or anyone),
could you explain the difference between not offering arb and non-tendering a player? Are they like a free agent then, or is there something like a waiver order? Also, why do you think that the cubs wouldnt go after MGiles if he's non-tendered? Hendry has already proven his first allegience is the Chicago Cubs, not anything he may have told a particular second sacker.
Thanks

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

DA KRONE: Any player on a 40-man roster not already signed for 2007 who is not tendered a 2007 MLB contract or offered salary-arbitration by Tuesday immediately becomes a complete, total, unrestricted free-agent and can sign with anybody, with no compensation for his former club. No waivers are involved. If he so desires, a non-tendered player can also re-sign with his old team at any time (either a major league or minor league contract).

As for whether the Cubs would sign Marcus Giles if the Braves chose to not offer him salary arbitration, I doubt it very much. Hendry reportedly told Mark DeRosa that he would be the Cubs second-baseman in 2007, and I doubt that Hendry will change that plan right now.

I also think it's unlikely that the Braves would not offer salary arbitration to Giles. Even if they feel like they can't afford him, I would think they could probably get at least one decent prospect back for him in a trade, from a club looking for an upgrade at 2B (like TEX or SD, maybe), but you never know. I didn't think the Angels were going to let David Eckstein go for nothing, either, but they did.

The dollars and the years make me queasy, but I think Marquis is going to be a useful pitcher for the next few years. In fact, I'd wager he'll put up numbers comparable to the $10MM+ crowd from this offseason (Meche, Lilly, Maddux, etc.).

#150...That would be under Riggleman's watch that Kerry's arm was injured ('98).

Assuming the Cubs sign Floyd as all indications are leading and Jones is not moved, here's a guess of how the 25 man roster will look come May with 12 pitchers on active roster and factoring in health histories:

SP: Z, Lilly, Marquis, Hill, Marshall
RP: Dempster, Wood, Eyre, Howry, Cotts, Wuertz, Ohman
IF: Barrett, Lee, Derosa, Ramirez, Izturis
OF: Murton/Floyd, Jones, Soriano
Bench: Blanco, Floyd/Murton, Ward, Theriot, Pagan

Remainder of 40 man roster as currently identified on Cubs MLB site
DL: Prior, Miller, Rusch (60 day for Rusch)
Optioned to AAA
SP: Ryu, Guzman, Marmol, Mateo
RP: Novoa, Rapada, Cherry
IF: Soto, Dopirak, Moore, Cedeno
OF: Coats, Pie

Removed from the 40 man roster: Jose Reyes and Adam Harben

caveat: I'm not advocating this, just a guess on how it may play out.

Mark it down. Cubs make the playoffs in 2007.

Phil, thanks for the info, but I'm still a little unclear. As I understand it, the arb date has already passed (dec1?), but the non-tender date is coming up (dec 12?). Maybe Im just an idiot, but what exactly is the difference offering arbitration (which I thought I understood, but htenh they changed the rules this year) and tendering a contract (which I'm definitely fuzzy on)?

I also consider it very unlikely that the Braves would give himup for nothing, when they were just entertaining rumors of getting Linebrink for him, but if they do, i think the Cubs should be all over it. I'd look at it kind of like the Walker situation last year, although DeRosa did just sign a three year contract, where Walk was playing out the final year of his deal.

Thanks.

Jason Marquis will become the ninth Jewish player to play for the Cubs.

The other eight:

Cy Block
Hy Cohen
Ken Holtzman
Art Shamsky
Steve Stone
Dave Roberts
Jose Bautista
Andrew Lorraine

Hanukkah starts December 15th.

With 8 days of Hanukkah, Does this mean Marquis' nickname should be "Shammus"? (see below)

Here are some other recent/active Jewish major leaguers:

Brad Ausmus C
John Grabow P
Shawn Green OF
Gabe Kapler OF
Mike Lieberthal C
Scott Schoenweis P
Kevin Youkilis 1B

and in a category of his own:
Adam Greenberg, aja the Jewish Moolight Graham.

http://www.jewishmajorleaguers.org/

The only religious observance related to the holiday is the lighting of candles. The candles are arranged in a candelabrum called a menorah that holds nine candles: one for each night, plus a shammus (servant) at a different height. The shammus is lit first and used to light the other candles corresponding with which night of Hanukkah it is.

unless you are counting getting Lee back from injury as improving the team, I just don't see the 16 games, maybe 10 wins.

How can you not include having Lee when looking at how many more wins could be expected next year when compared to last seasons record?

I'm not a big fan of this mythodology, but getting Lee back should be at least 5-7 or so wins over Neifi/Mabry. Through Soriano over Pierre, and that's at least a 10 game difference, minnimum.

While I do not like what Hendry has done with the pitching staff, and I think Marquis is the single worst contract he has ever handed out, its also really foolish to say there is no improvement there.

For example, If you want to say that Lilly equals Maddux, fine. But Maddux was not on the Cubs for the 2/5th of the season, so theres at least a few wins worth of improvement there.

You've also got the development of young players, most importantly Murton and Hill. Based on how they improved over the course of last season, one would expect their contributions in 2007 to be greater than in 2006, leading to another win or two.

On paper, I don't see how the Cubs are at least 16 wins better than their 2006 record, and thats using rather conservative estimates of how the on field talent has changed. And that 16 win improvement estimate doesn't even include the handful of games lost due to the mis-management and boneheaded strategies of the departed Dusty Baker.

Is it me or does the media jump on us for wasting money with Soriano and Lilly or even Marquis, but no one seems to say anything about Pettitte?

I mean, come on, he is an older Lilly and he makes 60% more. If that ain't fleecing, I don't know what is.

sulivan changing his tune yet again...this time to 3/21

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

I hate to go the "well, the rest of the division sucks donkey" route, but, well, the rest of the division sucks donkey. We're upset about signing Marquis, but the Astros are looking into trading their best young pitchers for Judy Garland or Javier "4 innings" Vazquez, and the Cardinals are so desperate that they're looking into getting Fogg (if non-tendered) and Pavano. I mean, we have a mediocre rotation, but at least we aren't THAT desperate.

Hendry still can pull off a trade and move Miller to the bullpen. There's also the possibility of Prior being healthy. I doubt he will be, but if healthy, we'd be looking at Z, Prior, Hill, Miller, Lilly. Or if Miller doesn't return to form, it'd be Z, Prior, Hill, Lilly, Marquis. There's also the possibility of Marshall or another minor leaguer "putting it together" and coming up if need be. Our surplus of pitching would also make young arms available at the deadline if a deal to help this team get over the hump were to arise.

So, even though I think Hendry dropped the ball in regards to acquiring a #2 and a #4 (he got a #3/#4 and a washed-up has-been), the team is still much better than it was last year, and has the potential for more moves before the season or before the trading deadline (which is when Jimbo's best work gets done). The sky isn't falling just yet...

Hmm, interesting that Sully claims payroll is at $100MM after this signing. My count has it closer to $119MM. Anyone else keeping track?

lotta guys getting 1/2 their paycheck and racking up on bonus loot.

with the newest 3 year deal, once everything is settled, check out the impact of this 3-month period on the year 2009.

this team is set to move into the 110-120m payroll area to stay for quite a while barring some weird youth tallent explosion.

#156 of 163: By da-krone (December 9, 2006 09:11 PM)
Phil, thanks for the info, but I'm still a little unclear. As I understand it, the arb date has already passed (dec1?), but the non-tender date is coming up (dec 12?). Maybe Im just an idiot, but what exactly is the difference offering arbitration (which I thought I understood, but htenh they changed the rules this year) and tendering a contract (which I'm definitely fuzzy on)?

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

DA KRONE: The December 1st date (formerly December 7th under the old CBA) is the new deadline for offering arbitration to Type "A" and Type "B" free-agents in order for clubs to receive draft choice compensation if the player signs with a new team. Then Type "A" and Type "B" FAs who were offered arbitration by their old clubs on December 1st had until December 7th (formerly December 19th under the old CBA) to accept or decline the salary arbitration offer.

The only free-agents who accepted offers of salary arbitration from their old clubs were Todd Walker (SD) and Tony Graffanino (MIL), so those players are no longer free-agents, and they go back on their old club's 40-man roster and proceed onward to salary arbitration.

The December 12th deadline (formerly December 20th under the old CBA) is for players who are NOT free-agents, that is, players on a club's 40-man roster who are either eligible for salary arbitration (at least three years--but less than six years--of MLB service time, plus players with less than three years of MLB service time ranked as a "super-two"), or so-called "auto-renewal" players (less than three years of MLB service time and not ranked as a "super-two"). Clubs must tender contracts to auto-renewal players or offer salary arbitration to players eligible for salary arbitration by December 12th.

For what it's worth, LaRussa "sacrificed" Marquis to save the pen twice last year. On June 21st following a 6-20 loss to the White Sox, Marquis was left in for 5 innings to give up 13 ER, and then again after a 3-15 loss to Atlanta, Marquis was left in the next day for five innings to give up 12 ER.

If you subtract those two horrible starts from his record, his ERA for the season drops to 4.86. Not great, but certainly not washed up (he's 28!) or Glendon Rusch territory.

With the Marquis signing of $7 million per I have the payroll at $119.19, so I am right there with you Vorare.

I updated the bottom of the post to reflect the 3/21 deal and the AP report seems to say the same thing.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6255034?CM...

ohman/z/prior arent on the payroll yet...that should bring it closer to that 119m

Our Red Sox brothers are reporting that Gagne may sign with the Giants on a 1/6 deal with incentives. Boston Globe reported that an "unamed" team had that kind of offer on the table so there might be something to it. Maybe A-B.com broke a story....

http://preview.tinyurl.com/y6fepr

Cards starting to kick the tires on Pavano....

You know I have been looking for anything positive to bring from the Marquis signing and I couldn't find it till I found this little blurb from Rothschild...

He pitched deep into ballgames, so he can give you innings, which is important for us.

I was like ehhh? Huh? But I went back and looked and was surprised.

He had 8 starts where he went atleast 6 innings and 12 starts where he went atleast 7 or more innings. For a total of 20 quality starts in 33 starts.

It isn't like he is just barely getting to the 6th and giving way to the bullpen. I really like that he managed to make it to the 7th inning that many times.

Looked over his game long and he puts out some stinker games once a month or so, but for the most part he keeps his team in games. And I think that is what the Cubs were looking for.

I am not a fan at all of the signing of Marquis, but I want to win next year and this guy is on the team now and expected to contributed a lot. As long as he keeps us in games most of the time and hands off to what is shaping to be a stellar bullpen and a good offense, only good things can come from that.

so it looks like all that's left is the possible floyd issue and CF...and the wait on if Z will get a multiyear or just arb-and-wait (seriously, it cant hurt either way, can it? he's the top cat on the FA market next year and will demand next year's money now reguardless).

z/lilly/marquis/hill/prior-w.miller-cotts

nice depth and the unknown-role kids (guzman, mateo, marshall, marmol, ryu, etc) havent been addressed yet.

and yeah, is not sexy as much as it is servicable.

you got the ace, Z...but after that you got guys who are pretty much #3/4 starter going down the line hoping 1 or more step up to deliver.

prior has the talent to do it and a 3.** performance from lilly or marquis wouldnt be a world stopping occurance, though it'd probally be a high 3.** performance.

here's hoping for health...and that soriano can be somewhat worth his pay for years to come...

I swear no one likes Rich Hill around here.....

im really iffy on hill.

ive seen his good days, but when you got 2 pitches you throw so much you gotta have both.

thing is, the second time around i saw a guy who when he lost both he started throwing more efficiently for outs...like, almost a different approach from when he had his curve and fastball going.

ive seen this weird low 80s slider/sinker thing he's thrown a few times and a changeup a few times.

im really interested to see if any of those have gotten any better come march.

Man I wish I could have some of your guys optimism...

But saying that, if we can get 2 to 3 starting pitchers to play above their heads, Lee returns to playing close to what he did in 2005 and we can actually stay healthy, I think we can realistically compete for the division title at this point.

Lots of ifs, but this is still the Cubs, right?

ive seen this weird low 80s slider/sinker thing he's thrown a few times and a changeup a few times.

it's a cutter, or at least that's what he calls it.

he needs to work on his change, but honestly he just needs every once in awhile to throw a hitter off..

2 to 3 pitchers?

just how bad do you think lilly, marquis, prior, and hill are?

hell, im not doing cartwheels over lilly/marquis/hill but i see them as 4.00-4.25era types at worst. i'm not even gonna get into my thoughts on prior, but i'll just say i'd like it if he could go 200 innings this year.

overpaid, yes...but useless, no.

Strangely I am satisfied with the rotation now.

The only thing I am concerned with now is the Jones situation, and if he is gone finding a new CFer.

I really don't like the idea of Jones in CF. I would prefer trading some talent for a guy like Baldelli who can really play CFer. Or somehow getting Rowand.

Crunch:
"just how bad do you think lilly, marquis, prior, and hill are?"

I think Lilly is comparable to the current version of Maddux, Marquis is comparable to Rusch and Hill and Prior are big question marks and nobody really knows what to expect from them.

like there's any certanties in baseball....

2005 White Sox had (descriptions are what you'd say about these guys before the seasons started):

Buehrle (above average, but not great 200 IP guy)
Garcia (above average, can be great 200 IP guy)
Contreras (complete failure to that point but great stuff)
Garland (average innings eater)
El Duque (anceint, coming off a horrible year and injury prone)

2006 Cardinals had:
Carpenter (ace with shoulder problems)
Mulder (above average, injury prone)
Suppan (average innings eater)
Ponson (fat tub of lard)
Marquis (average innings eater)

Mulder goes down and Ponson performed like expected. Replaced by young prospect Reyes who performed below league average and Weaver who also pitched below league average.

Not that we should be following these models, but it demonstrates what it can take to win it all.

So what will the Cubs have....

Z (ace)
Hill (you never know right? but at worse l'd say league average innings eater, at best above average 200 IP guy, even potential ace if he pitches like he did the last 2 months the entire year)
Lilly (Average)
Marquis (below average innings eater)
Prior (stud in waiting)

of course the Cubs think they've solved Marquis's problems or are solvable and he'll be at the very worse average. And if Prior goes down you go to Miller who's probably just average at this point and more of the load goes to Hill and Z.

Do I like these moves? Not particularly, but I hardly think we're doomed or the Cubs can't win with them or some guys have to pitch way beyond their capabilities.

"If you subtract those two horrible starts from his record, his ERA for the season drops to 4.86. Not great, but certainly not washed up (he's 28!) or Glendon Rusch territory.

Posted by: vorare"

I'm not sure how you did your math but earlier today I came up with an ERA of 5.13 for Marquis if you subtract his two meltdown performances. (105 ER/184.1 IP)

Yeah Rob, like I said above, I wish I could have that kind of optimism. The way the team is put together, they could possibly win 92 games, but just as likely 72. But to me there are just way too many question marks and not enough quality guarantees or improvements.

Of course none of us will know for certain until they start playing the games for real. I am just not all that excited yet.

Marquis = Rusch is pretty weak.

First off, Marquis has "stuff" that Rusch just doesn't possess including mid to upper 90's fastball and a nice low to mid 90's sinker (or 2 seamer).

Marquis has had 5 seasons of 100 IP or more, his ERA relative to the league has been at or above average 3 of the 5 times (twice considerably above leage average)

Rusch has had 8 seasons of 100 IP or more before 2006, only in which 2 were at or above league average.

Not to mention Marquis is basically being handed a rotation spot, Rusch was forced into one by injuries.

Rob G.:
"Marquis = Rusch is pretty weak."

Yes it is if you look at careers. I was looking at the past 3 years from 2004-2006. And as the stats I posted earlier in this thread, they are pretty close.

scouting reports on Marquis:

From Stats
Marquis has always had the equipment to be a successful major-league starter. However, until he took the advice of Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan and started using a two-seam, sinking fastball, he had always been inconsistent. Marquis throws the sinker in the low to mid-90s, along with a four-seam fastball and a cutter. He mixes in a decent curve and change. Marquis has always been stubborn about taking advice, and that remained the case late in the season when he ignored suggestions that he might have been tipping his pitches.

From TSN.ca
Assets - Marquis has smoking 98-mph heat and is able to keep the ball in the park by inducing ground balls with his biting slider. He handles hitters equally well from both sides, keeps runners close, and doesn't let that leadoff man do any damage.

Flaws While his pickoff move may keep runners from stealing, base-runners seem to preoccupy him. He loses focus on the batter and gives up an uncharacteristic number of walks when he already has runners aboard.

If the Braves thought enough of Marquis to make him a 1st round draft pick, and if Maddux thinks enough of him to recommend him to Hughes, then there must be some glimmer of hope to Marquis at least being a serviceable #5. He ain't worth no 3/21, but the 200 IP will be a welcome help.

Jason--just keep your head in the game and give us a 110 ERA+, we'd be perfectly content with that.

As someone pithily noted elsewhere, on days that Zambrano and Marquis pitch, does that mean Izturis bats 9th??

When was the TSN.ca scouting report written? Keeps the ball in the park?? They must not of noticed him giving up 29 and 25 HR's the past 2 years.

Should be: 29 and 35 HR's the past 2 seasons.

187 comments on a Saturday, in the middle of the offseason, about a mediocre pitcher. That's got to be some sort of record or accomplishment for TCR, don't you think.

Yes it is if you look at careers. I was looking at the past 3 years from 2004-2006. And as the stats I posted earlier in this thread, they are pretty close.

Still very, very weak. Rusch has had 2 below average season and one good season, while Marquis has had 2 average to good seasons and one poor season, not to mention a significant age difference. Plus there's 250 innings separating them....

The comparision isn't even close anyway you want to attempt to manipulate the numbers. Might as well compare Contreras pre-2005 and Rusch.

when gil meche gets 11m a year...or is even talked about getting 10m a year in a market that isnt a craphole like he ended up in...7m a year for marquis isnt the worst thing in the world only if roths really does think whatever made last year a bad season was either a fluke or is corrected.

we've been hearing about how well that workout went for weeks now and it finally got a signing...a hell of a gamble, too. high-risk/high-reward on guys like williamson/w.miller is one thing, but 21m contracts with a 3 year commitment is another.

Guys:

How many Cubs won 14 games last year and pitched that many games? If he gives us 14 wins in the 4th spot, I'd be thrilled.

To the original posting: It will come down to #1 really pitching well for the entire year. And either 5-A or 5-B pitching a complete year.

If those three factors prove positive, then #2 and #3 need to take the ball every 5th day and win 10-12 each and we have 85 + wins with the hitting line up.

Hey, the key is to win the weak division ... and the defending division (and World!) champ had a robust 83 victories last year and have done nothing to improve so far.

Guys:

How many Cubs won 14 games last year and pitched that many games? If he gives us 14 wins in the 4th spot, I'd be thrilled.

To the original posting: It will come down to #1 really pitching well for the entire year. And either 5-A or 5-B pitching a complete year.

If those three factors prove positive, then #2 and #3 need to take the ball every 5th day and win 10-12 each and we have 85 + wins with the hitting line up.

Hey, the key is to win the weak division ... and the defending division (and World!) champ had a robust 83 victories last year and have done nothing to improve so far.

manipulate? :)

My point is that I won't expect anything more from Marquis going into the 2007 season than what I would of expected from Rusch going into the 2006 season. Thus why I say they are a wash. You might think he will do better than I think, I guess we will see.

probably written before the year...

Among pitchers with 150 innings last year in the NL, only Eric Milton gave up more homers per 9 innings last year. 44 pitchers threw 150 or more innings in the NL last year.

In 2005, he was 14th worst in the NL out of 52 with the same criteria, 9th happened to be Prior, 16th was Maddux. Eric Milton still led.

In 2004, he was 15th worst out of 47 in the NL, Milton led once again., Maddux ws 6th.

but I agree, quite incorrect to imply that he's good at keeping the ball in park...

187 comments on a Saturday, in the middle of the offseason, about a mediocre pitcher. That's got to be some sort of record or accomplishment for TCR, don't you think.

Hmmm, I don't know. You guys almost set a record for "unique visitors" for a day to the site this week, 6293 on Wednesday when I was mad-blogging and LIlly signed. The record is 7650 on the day we traded for Pierre.

I imagine if Soriano didn't get signed on a Sunday that we would have set a record, but we did nearly double our normal Sunday visitors that day.

"Our Red Sox brothers are reporting that Gagne may sign with the Giants on a 1/6 deal with incentives. Boston Globe reported that an "unamed" team had that kind of offer on the table so there might be something to it. Maybe A-B.com broke a story..."

To be their closer?

I like Rich Hill.

I like that I'm not going to have to come here to find out what pitcher was called up to pitch a game in May.

They will win this division, and they will win it going away.

*narrows eyes*

With a little help from his front-office friends, the rehabbing general manager will try to get Cliff Floyd under contract to platoon in left field with Matt Murton and find a stopgap center fielder before the marketplace closes.

motha flippin fasfsdfjasfnjsdf.

Why Hendry Needs to be Fired
***********************************************
Chapter 3

You have two players, neither are switch hitters.

The Lefty bats .234 .261 .416 .677 against lefty pitchers
The Righty bats .295 .356 .426 .782 against right handers.

You're going to bring in 1 platoon partner for one of these players, which should it be?

Obviously the righty! The guy you want to bring in has the following #'s vs righties
.266 .342 .423 .765

Worse across the board than the guy you are benching for him.
******************************************

That all being said, I don't think we're talking a straight platoon, maybe 20-40 starts for Floyd, and Floyd and Ward can be usefull PH for Izturis and Howry late in games. I still think Craig Wilson is a better fit:
.278 .347 .496 .843 vs LHP and can backup Lee and Blanco. Maybe the thought is that Theriot will start at 2nd and DeRosa moves to right against lefthanders, so we don't need a platoon mate for Jacque, but I don't think anyone wants DeRosa playing center...

Red Sox and Matsuzaka are not close to a deal:
http://redsox.bostonherald.com/redSox/view.bg...

It would be pretty cool if he goes to the 2nd highest bidder, and that bidder is the Cubs.

Marquis deal is not done
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Dollars and years are still up for negotiation. Hopefully it is not a lot of guaranteed money, for one year and the rest is mutual or team options.

Floyd only comes to the Cubs if they dump Jones.
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/deluca/167049,...

So maybe Hendry can keep his job for a bit.

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