Not So Fast

It looks like they might have jumped the gun a little bit on the Marquis signing as it's being reported that nothing has been agreed upon quite yet and the years and dollar amounts are still up in the air. He still looks to be coming to the Northside, but the contract details still need to be hammered out. The same article says Daryle Ward's deal is for one year and one million with a second year club option. And that talks with Ryan Church have cooled off at this moment. (Welcome Kenny Lofton!). Unlike Jason Schmidt, Ted Lilly's former team wanted him back and this is what his former manager said about him:
"You know what, I see Ted, he is starting to come into his own. He's always been one of those guys who had the potential to win a lot of ballgames. We always saw so much more in him and last year, we started to see it. He finally got to 15 [victories], but on any given night, when he is on, he can dominate the best teams in baseball."
Well I feel better, okay, not really but I'd rather hear that than "good riddance, jerkoff", much like I'd rather hear John McDonough spout off about winning the World Series as opposed to just trying to be competitive or something like that.
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Comments

on any given night, when he is on, he can dominate the best teams in baseball.î

It's talk like this that costs the Cubs big bucks.

I agree Rob, doesn't really make me feel any better.

But hey, other team get career years out of pitchers, why can't we?

Which website lists quality starts? Preferably without having to mine through 4 clicks?

What I want to know is: who was crazy enougn to bid on Marquis that pushed the Cubs offer up to approximately 3yrs./$21mil. Was some other team really stupid enough to offer 3/$18 or 2/$15 and that pushed the Cubs to top it?

On the other hand, when I hear that the Marquis deal isn't complete, I keep hoping that it means the 3rd year is an option and not guaranteed, so that the next Cubs' GM won't be tied up for too long.

probably the same people who made eaton and wolf worth 8m a year.

"''Getting Lilly done was a relief,'' Hendry said of a deal that was closed shortly after he checked into the hospital. ''He was a priority guy for us going into the offseason. I think the signing of [Alfonso] Soriano, because they are such good friends, helped.''"

ooooooooooooooooooooooookay. file that under "learn something new everyday."

WHERE DO these "figures" emminate from?

Yesterday we had probably 10 different estimates on how much and how many years MArquis signed for. Not only do we find he was not signed, but no one truly knows anything regarding the terms.

How is this possible? Was all of this started by the St. Louis Post Dispatch with an alterior motive of some type?

Agents?

Does anyone have a reasonable theory?

weekend crap tends to go fuzzy on the numbers/years...frank thomas's deal with TOR had a few bumps up/down in numbers, but this is just crazy.

its changed in 3 unique media markets (chicago, stl, espn (national)) many times within 24 hours and after all of it we're currently at "who knows?"

go figure.

In amazing news, ESPN.com is reporting from sources that the Sox-Matsuzaka deal is pretty much dead.

Yes, I'm being facetious, but truthfully I wouldn't say it's over until the negotiating window has closed.

random question, but is matt harrington playing winter ball anywhere? is he at mesa working out? is he working the xmas rush making sure novelty candy-stuff bears are staying on the shelves in isle 8?

yah, my random question about matt harrington is kinda based on the that deal being dead.

made me think back to matt harrigton (btw, he's a money hound too, not some innocent kid who was fooled) and how tommy tanzer/s.boras pretty much put greed in the way of common sense for their client.

1- mats' team wants that 50m, not him back
2- he's got sponsorship money on the line
3- he'll be lucky to even get $8m US if he takes a contract back home

it makes no sense for him to not accept the rsox offer if money and the prospect of even more money is what matters. mats doesnt seem like the type of guy who's all oldschool go-japan-national-pride-i-miss-my-mom or anything.

guy likes the fame and the money. this is where he belongs.

"kinda based on the that deal being dead."

ASSUMED dead, i mean...

A deal will get done, it's just Boras squeezing out the money. That's his job.

now if the Red Sox don't sign Matsuzaka, do they get their $50 million back and he goes back to his team? Do they keep the $50 million and Matsuzaka goes on the open market?

wow, I'm utterly shocked to hear that Boras is dragging out negotiations and being difficult to deal with because he has no leverage. Shocked I tell you.......

Come Tuesday or Wednesday, Boras will get a call from Matsuzaka saying he would kindly accept the Red Sox generous offer.

now if the Red Sox don't sign Matsuzaka, do they get their $50 million back and he goes back to his team? Do they keep the $50 million and Matsuzaka goes on the open market?

If there is no deal, Matsuzaka returns to Japan and cannot be offered to another team until next off-season. The Red Sox would get their 51 million back.

The DRays Bay website:

http://www.draysbay.com/

has a neat off-season tracker on the left-side. That would be neat to have on TCR for future offseasons. Just a suggestion.

Is that the same former manager who got into a scuffle with Lilly last year?

Yeah...

Being that Marquis left on bad terms and that both he and LaRussa are hard asses, he'll probably feel like he has something to prove... so he'll start a beanball war.

Should be fun times in the NL central as Piniella and Larusa do their best Corleone vs Barzini (?) imitation for tough guy rights.

Earlier today, on everyone's favorite MLB Rumor website (hmm, what site could I be referring to), someone posted something I found interesting. It could be completely unfeasible, complete conspiracy theory, but it is thought provoking.

From poster "Dickey LaRue" on MLB Trade Rumors:
"Paul -- Be prepared to jump off the bridge later this week and then if you survive the fall, be prepared to come up with an alternate suicide plan when after the negotiation window closes, DMat and Boras buy his free agency from the Japanese club for around 30 million and then he signs for top dollar with the Yankees as a free agent for this upcoming season. The Yankees will refund that 30 million that Boras and Dmat put out in his contract plus Boras will be able to commission every cent of it of what DMat makes in this scenario. Boras can't commission the 51 million and he can't live with that and DMat can't live with the team getting that much money and him getting only 1/2 the salary he would get if he were a true free agent. This is what Boras has been working toward the whole time since and the Japanese club will grant him his free agency when he buys it from them. There are no rules against that."

Thoughts?

was listening to a podcast of some shows from mlbradio earlier, C.Schwartz had W.Carroll and Sheehan from BP on and this was at the point when the Marquis signing was rumored to be close. Carroll and Schwartz cracked on Marquis and noted that STL writers told them that Marquis didn't get along with anyone on the Cardinals, so add that to the myriad of reasons STL had no interest in bringing him back....you can see not getting along with Edmonds or Pujols, but how do you not get along with Carpenter,Eckstein or Rolen? So not only are the Cubs overspending for mediocrity, but apparently we're also getting a tool to go along with it.

Who would've ever thought the Matsuzaka negociations would go down to the midnight hour...I mean aside from everyone.

"Paul -- Be prepared to jump off the bridge later this week and then if you survive the fall, be prepared to come up with an alternate suicide plan when after the negotiation window closes, DMat and Boras buy his free agency from the Japanese club for around 30 million and then he signs for top dollar with the Yankees as a free agent for this upcoming season.

This would circumvent the posting system, which is not allowed.

It seems that in virtually every game I've ever watched Marquis pitch, he's always giving pissed off glares to his catcher, shaking him off repeatedly and barking foul language when he doesn't get what he wants or fails to execute a pitch. I'm sure he's a mega-dick. Unfortunately for Jason, he's coming to Chicago. It won't take much prompting for the fans to start giving him the business.

"...it would be hard to dismiss Kerry Wood -- whose contract is loaded with ninth-inning incentives."

Really? That is some good news.

I can only hope he wears #21 like he did with StL. That ought to give me even more of an excuse to hate him. On top of him sucking, I'll have Sosa frustrations to take out on him.

Doesn't matter what kind of incentives Wood has for the 9th inning if he isn't pitching good or even pitching for that matter.

I don't like the idea of any Cubs coach, manager or management suggesting Wood might be the closer. Let's actually get him healthy and pitching good and see what Dempster does this year before talking Wood for closer.

WES: That's really supportive man. You gonna boo someone before they make the first pitch for your home team?

That'll make him feel right at home.

What a great "fan" you are.

#28 of 29: By mannytrillo (December 10, 2006 06:14 PM)

Doesn't matter what kind of incentives Wood has for the 9th inning if he isn't pitching good or even pitching for that matter.

I don't like the idea of any Cubs coach, manager or management suggesting Wood might be the closer. Let's actually get him healthy and pitching good and see what Dempster does this year before talking Wood for closer.
---

Manny, I think the quote you were commenting on was in post #26, and if so that was stated by De Luca in today's Sun-Times, not a Cubs coach, manager or management.

Here is what the "coaches" are suggesting... I have seen absolutely nothing differing from this train of thought on Wood:

"'We are going to put him in the bullpen, build up his arm strength, bring him along slowly and we anticipate pitching him in middle relief, to start off with, and see where it goes,'' Piniella said.

To further E-Man's comment:

Wes,

I'm sure you were booing #21 when he was hitting all those homers. But whatever you Johnny-come-what-have-you-done-for-me-lately superfan.

Rule V Draftee Joakim Soria threw a perfect game last night. Nine strikeouts and all. In an extreme hitters' league. Kid's got moxie.

LNL:
"Manny, I think the quote you were commenting on was in post #26, and if so that was stated by De Luca in today's Sun-Times, not a Cubs coach, manager or management."

It has been posted on here a few times, I think by Crunch among others, that Lou has already been quoted talking about Wood closing. Guys please correct me if I am wrong.

i dont recall posting anything about wood closing.

its pretty much a given dumpster's gonna get a chance to lose the job if both hendry and dumpster (and even roths) are any indication.

hendry and pinella, i mean.

Maybe I was wrong then, not worth looking it up. I just hope they keep this philosophy through Opening Day. Counting on Wood to do anything is stupid.

Carlos: Yeah, saw that earlier. Royals could have a decent staff in 2 years or so, with Hochevar, potentially Soria, and Greinke. I'm loathe to say the words "Gil Meche" and "decent staff" in the same paragraph, though...

Poster on BCB is saying that apparently the D-Rays are making Crawford available, as well as/instead of Baldelli. I know I'm one of many fans who'd love to see Crawford on the Cubs, as he has the ability to bat in a few places in the line-up. He has the speed and prowess on the basepaths to be a lead-off hitter or #2 (his OBP isn't great for a #1 or #2, but has increased every year he's played), but also has the power to hit 5th in the line-up, also. He's a Gold Glove-calibre LF who has the range to play CF, too.

Unfortunately, I don't see the Cubs having the ability to get this done. We have a lot of really good young pitching, but as for MLB-ready pitching, not quite. If they're enticed by Guzman and Marshall or Marmol, that'd be a start, but we'd also probably have to send them a reliever or a young pitcher along the lines of Veal or Gallagher. That's a really steep price to pay. I personally think the Cubs would get raped in that type of deal, but the D-Rays aren't known for equal-value trading.

#33 of 35: By mannytrillo (December 10, 2006 06:56 PM)

It has been posted on here a few times, I think by Crunch among others, that Lou has already been quoted talking about Wood closing. Guys please correct me if I am wrong.
----

Maybe they have been quoted "talking about Wood closing" but I have never seen a quote that has done anything other than immediately talk about the goal being to "build up arm strength and go from there," etc.

It seems any suggestion that Wood will be the closer has been made by a reporter, not a member of the Cubs staff, at least from what I have read.

AZ PHIL: I am puzzled as to why the Cubs allowed Ed Campusano to become available. Not knowing much about him, I happened to find this summary on the Baseball Zealot blog:

"Campusano is a 6'4" lefthander out of Venezuela who will fit in nicely into the Detroit Tigers bullpen replacing Jamie Walker. Ed had a nifty 1.46 ERA, 25 saves, to go along with 81 K's in 55' innings of work in the minors in 2006."

Any ideas? Have you seen him pitch?

If Crawford really is available, then the DRays can have whomever they want.

JD: I'm a huge Crawford fan, but I disagree with completely gutting the farm for one player. I'm fairly certain Wilken would be against it, too, and Hendry as well. Having said that, if we could get him for Marshall, Guzman, Marmol, and a young reliever, I'd be all for it. I have a feeling we'd have to throw in Veal or Gallagher and another prospect, too. They're going to ask for the moon for him.

And with the win now attitude, why the hell would you want to hold back? Let them have Guzman, Marshall, Pie, and Gallagher (Melon Crazy). Crawford is a great bargain and he's maturing into a complete player. That would also seal the outfield for several years to come.

i read the opposite about crawford a few days ago...that while baldelli they're listening to offers to, its mostly based on their desire to keep crawford over baldelli. they have a very logjammed OF pipeline and delmon young is gonna own RF for the next 3+ years easily.

bj upton, whom they seem to want to keep, is not fit for the IF...dunno if he'll end up in CF, though.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/yjvmsj

Whether it's to the White Sox or somewhere else, the Devil Rays seem likely to trade one of their two in-demand outfielders, Rocco Baldelli and Carl Crawford.

that comes from Phil Rogers and contains no quotes or sources or anything and I have seen other papers that directly quote Drays officials saying Crawford isn't available. I wouldnt buy much into it...

I'm sure there in a "we'll only move him if you blow us away" stage. Baldellis on the other hand is being moved to make room for Upton.

Problem is, teams with better farm systems will offer up big time prospects that the Cubs don't have. We'd have to give up Veal, Gallagher, and Pie/Hill for him, which is too much.

LNL:
"It seems any suggestion that Wood will be the closer has been made by a reporter, not a member of the Cubs staff, at least from what I have read."

Fair enough...As I said, I hope it stays that way until at least Opening Day.

Feh.

On totally unrelated news, it's been a while since I checked on my personal interest pitching propsect, Jon Connolly--who some of you know I've been bringing up periodically since the Felix Sanchez trade. Connolly had a season ending injury in '05 right after Rocky Cherry and I forgot about him in all of the massive excitement of this last season (woo!).

Sadly, he was released in April. At the end of May he made a start for the Independt league Nashua Pride and was signed by the Detroit Tigers.

I think he still needs a third pitch with his velocity as low as it is, but given his amazing control, I wouldn't be surprised if we see him at some point at the major league level.

Not that anyone cares.

They can have Veal, Gallagher, and Pie. Crawford is locked up in a good contract for a few years and he's still improving. I'd like to see Pie, but only in a BEST case scenario will he be as good as Crawford. And that'll take a few years more than likely. Besides, it's the DRays. If any of those players really break out, then the cubs can just trade for 'em or sign 'em later. It's not like there won't be prospects down the road and it's not like Crawford is some guy that might be past his prime. He's entering. Which is why I think it's highly unlikely he gets traded. And it's also why the Drays will ask for a lot. If the cubs wanna win now, then make the moves to win NOW.

ESPN is now reporting on the website that the Marquis deal simply is waiting for him to pass a physical.

"If any of those players really break out, then the cubs can just trade for 'em or sign 'em later."

Well then let's get Dontrelle Willis.

thing is, they dont need Pie...or any other OF'r really.

and joel guzman they picked up...good hitter, but he's a cruddy IF'r, too, who will probally end up starting at 3rd but also moving to the OF crew if he doesnt adapt quickly.

hell, with the new japanese 3rd theyre signing, he might go back to SS in AAA. he's not very good there either.

zorb's their SS of the future it seems.

they'd want pitching...whether it be the best available package or a blown-away package....and they dont want a 3-5m reliever (dumpster/eyre/howry), most likely...

Not sure if it was mentioned, but Minor League Baseball (MiLB.com) has come out with their top 50 prospects list.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/n...

Players of note:
#26 Tim Lincecum - RHP - SF Giants (might be with my team in AA next year)
#38 Felix Pie - OF - Chicago Cubs ("It's easy to forget how young Pie is considering he's already spent a full year in Triple-A. He still needs to work on some things and will likely get another year to do so in Iowa with the acquisition of Alfonso Soriano.")

Pie was the only Cubs (and Giants) player in the Top 50.

Wow. You guys are awesome. It was a joke. Calm down. Chad & E-Man, you're being awfully sensitive for a couple of folks who have been known to be a bit critical on a few different occassions. Take it easy, will ya? It's the holidays, after all.

And no... I'm not a johnny-come-lately or WTF ever you called me with a dozen hypens. I'm sorry my joke landed somewhere on the wall behind you.

Rob G: If it was from Rogers, I don't see it happening. Much like any trade rumors he proposes/"hears about."

Big John Stud: You can't give up all of your best prospects for one player because baseball is a team sport and no one player will put you over the hump. Even though the Cubs are in a "win now" mode, they really don't have dominant enough pitching, unless Prior comes back. If the Cubs give up Pie (who the Rays probably don't even want), Marshall, Gallagher, Veal, and Guzman, not only will they be out of their top couple of options should someone in the rotation get injured or completely suck (*cough* Marquis *cough*), but what trading chips will they have if they're in contention at the deadline but need another piece of the puzzle? And if they gamble and fail this year, what trading chips will they have for the off-season of '07? And while I think Crawford is great, he's not a guy like Tejada or A-Rod (prior to his stint with the Yankees) who will put up offensive numbers capable of carrying a team for short stretches of time. We'd trade away our best young talent for a very, very good young player, but then IF we couldn't win in '06, it'd probably end up looking like a foolish move. Then again, if you think this staff is good enough, then I see why you may want to consider making that move. I personally would not.

Crunch: They also have a couple of other OFs who could play in LF instead of Crawford, though. I think from an organizational standpoint now might be a good time to move him, since there really are no other players of his calibre available in this year's market. There are also a couple of teams in desperate need of help that are probably willing to knowingly over-trade to get a player like Crawford right now (Angels, Padres, White Sox, possibly Cubs).

Steve: Very true. Cubs cannot afford to lose Hill, whereas the Angels would almost definitely move Santana; even if they are satisfied with their OF, they could spin him to the Sox for Crede, who they supposedly covet.

#39 of 49: By The E-Man (December 10, 2006 07:11 PM)
AZ PHIL: I am puzzled as to why the Cubs allowed Ed Campusano to become available. Not knowing much about him, I happened to find this summary on the Baseball Zealot blog:

"Campusano is a 6'4" lefthander out of Venezuela who will fit in nicely into the Detroit Tigers bullpen replacing Jamie Walker. Ed had a nifty 1.46 ERA, 25 saves, to go along with 81 K's in 55' innings of work in the minors in 2006."

Any ideas? Have you seen him pitch?

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

E-MAN: Yes, I have seen Edward Campusano pitch. He really isn't just a LOOGY, he is pretty tough against right-handed hitters, too.

If Campusano hadn't suffered a season-ending elbow injury in August, he probably would have been added to the Cubs 40-man roster along with Clay Rapada and Rocky Cherry last month. Until he went down, Campusano was likely on the same track as Clay Rapada--closer at AA for half a season, then maybe a mid-season promtion to AAA.

The Cubs did not release any information regarding the extent of Campusano's injury, so without knowing that, I can't really say whether or not I would expect Campusano to be in the Tiger bullpen in 2007. If he is healthy, he certainly could be.

AZ PHIL:

Do you see Scott Moore somehow becoming an effective SS, so he can replace Izturis in 2008?

WES: Sorry - b/c it is a blog and we can't hear or see you, if you are intending a joke that is not obvious (and it wasn't from either of our perspectives, obviously) you may want to consider using the usual tounge-in-cheek symbols using your keyboard.

So you won't boo him for at least 60 days? 90? :)

Scott Moore's not even an effective 3b....

#56 of 56: By Carlos (December 10, 2006 08:04 PM)
AZ PHIL:

Do you see Scott Moore somehow becoming an effective SS, so he can replace Izturis in 2008?

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

CARLOS: I think the Cubs would consider moving Scott Moore back to SS at Iowa ONLY if Ronny Cedeno isn't there. Otherwise, I believe Moore will play mainly LF in 2007.

As you know, Moore is a natural SS, but when he played there earlier in his career, he struggled with his defense, and that affected his hitting. If Cedeno is at Iowa, or if Cedeno is not there but it's obvious Moore can't hack SS, then he will probably play mostly outfield at Iowa in '07. He has the speed to play there, that's for sure. I'm not sure he might not even be able to play CF, but that's not going to happen (with the Cubs).

With Aramis Ramirez the Cubs 3B and Derrek Lee the Cubs 1B through (at least 2010), Moore's days as an everyday 1B or 3B in the Cubs organization are probably over for now. He could morph into a Geoff Blum-type IF-OF-LHPH, though, but I don't think he will play 3B or 1B much next season at Iowa. I think he'll probably play mostly LF, because if he stays withn the Cubs, that's where he would have the best chance to get some playing time in the next couple or three years.

Or, he could get traded sometime in '07. He certainly is expendable, and a good year at AAA would make him a valuable trading chip in a trade with a team looking for a cheap, young corner infielder with power and speed.

Don't worry about it Wes, Chad is the resident Sosa apologist of TCR, so whatever you say about him whether it's sarcastic or not is going to get inside Chad's head. People seem to forget that not all Cubs fans were Sosa fans even in his 60+ juiced up home run years. Some of us were excited when he was about to get dealt to the Yankees back in the day. So feel free to speak out for us non hokie Cubs fans/Sosa apoligists.

#58 of 60: By Rob G. (December 10, 2006 08:13 PM)
Scott Moore's not even an effective 3b....

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

ROB G: His throwing is erratic, but he is otherwise a very good fielder (in terms of making spectacular stops).

Please respect us Sosa apologists like we respect you, Sosa rumormongers.

HA.....

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6258894

Lofton close to signing with Rangers on a 1 yr deal...

Another dodged bullet.

really? if we land Ryan Church or Jacque stays, maybe. If it means Darin Erstad or Steve Finley, I'd rather take that bullet.

Carlos:
"Another dodged bullet."

So have we dodged more bullets this offseason than got hit with? I have lost count.

"So have we dodged more bullets this offseason than got hit with? I have lost count."

Gil Meche, 5 years, 55 million. Vicente Padilla, 3 years, 37 million. Juan Pierre, 5 years, 47 million. Lil' Sarge, 5 years, 50 million. The Cubs repotedly had interest in each one of those players. Have we been shot yet? Marquis is a scrapheap signing updated for this crazy market.

which bullets hit us?

I would have taken Padilla over Lilly, but your point remains.

rotoworld did speculate that it might mean the odds of Wilkerson getting non-tendered rise, so add him to the CF's I would prefer over Lofton as well.

Hopefully we don't get hit by the Cliff Floyd bullet.

Depending on the contract, Floyd probably won't bother me much.

Carlos:
"Have we been shot yet?"

DeRosa and Marquis are bullet wounds in my book. And neither have to do anything with money.

But my statement was bit a joke as of course there will be more people we don't sign than do sign and there are so many "bullets" out there this offseason.

Who else would be going after Wilkerson besides the Cubs, if indeed they are interested? SF got Roberts, Dodgers got Pierre, Angels got Sarge, Texas is close with Lofton, so who else needs a CF?

Does anybody else share my feelings that we may have too much pitching?

We've got three lefties in the pen, and 8 starters or so. Z, Hill, Lilly, Marquis, Prior, and Miller are all staying with the big club. I reckon that Marshall, Mateo, and Guzman probably go down to Iowa. AZ Phil could probably clean that mess up a bit more than I ever could.

The pen stands as Ohman, Eyre, Cotts, Howry, Wood, and Dempster. With the six starters I listed, that's 12 pitchers. No Wuertz there. I also didn't count Glendon. Probably need to get out there with Congress and George Clooney and solve that thing over there before we speculate too much.

Injuries obviously play a part, but in an ideal situation where everybody is healthy, that's a bit overboard, isn't it?

I'm starting to think that Slick Jimmy has something else up his sleeve. I can always hope there's a Wells deal in the works.

Wilkerson can play any of the OF spots plus 1b, so I don't think it's limited to teams in need of a CF.

A's, Phillies, Orioles, Pirates come to mind....

But I think the Cubs could outtbid any of those teams if they wanted to, problem is I bet they wouldn't be interested.

you can't have enough pitching and the surplus has a way of working itself out in spring training and April.

Wes,
You can never have too much pitching:)

"The pen stands as Ohman, Eyre, Cotts, Howry, Wood, and Dempster. With the six starters I listed, that's 12 pitchers. No Wuertz there."

why no wuertz?

he's one of the best young arms the cubs have produced in years.

when he works low in the zone he's deadly. his wildness works against him, but its tame more than wild out there.

Wes:
Does anybody else share my feelings that we may have too much pitching?

Nope, let's talk in mid-April when there are two SP on the DL.

Wuertz still has an option year left, right?

as it stands now barring any trades or DL stints, the team would likely be...

Z, Hill, Lilly, Marquis, Prior

Miller, Cotts, Ohman, Wood, Eyre, Howry, Dempster

Trades are certainly a very distinct possibility, but as long as guys have options left, no reason to force a deal I say. The more depth, the better.

agreed, wuertz is the most expendable as far as organizational shuffling.

i wouldnt give much of a chance of ohman sticking around another 2 months, but hey...i can pray for dumpster going.

I left Wuertz out because off the top of my head, I don't believe any of those other guys have options left. That's with exactly 0 research, however.

Can't carry 13 pitchers. Guess he's kinda the odd man out.

Ryno, that's when it would come in handy. However, if that don't happen, it could be what some people call a "logjam." I think that's what they call it. It may be logyam... it might be a soft "j".

I've been critical of Hendry in the past, but I can't fault him for the moves he has made this off-season. Like any team, the Cubs have a limited budget (although it doesn't seem like it at times) so they may not be able to afford every player they covet. Plus, the player has some say in where he's going to go. I would have preferred Schmidt over Lilly, but Schmidt's price tag was quite a bit higher and he preferred to stay on the West Coast. There's not much Hendry could do about that.

Likewise, I would have preferred Suppan over Marquis, but my guess is that Suppan would have been more expensive and he may not have been interested in the Cubs. Even if he was, other teams are also interested in Suppan, so Hendry doesn't have the ability to sign everyone he likes. And Suppan may not sign for another month or more, so Hendry had to chose between getting Marquis now, or passing him up and then potentially losing out on Suppan (or someone else) down the road.

This isn't fantasy baseball. Just because you want a certain player doesn't mean you can just add them to the team. Other factors play into these decisions in the real world.

I donít foresee a logjam. I expect Prior to start the season on the disabled list. If Miller can't get his velocity up, he could join Prior. Cotts is the swingman who might join the rotation in this scenario.

"#65 of 88: By Carlos (December 10, 2006 08:51 PM)
Another dodged bullet"

Yet we still have no centerfielder.

WES: All pitchers on the Cubs 40-man roster have options left and have less than five years of MLB service time (so they can be optioned to the minors without having to give their permission),

EXCEPT:

Ryan Dempster
Scott Eyre
Bob Howry
Ted Lilly
Jason Marquis
Wade Miller
Glendon Rusch (will likely spend '07 on 60-day DL)
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano

Everybody else has minor league options left, including Hill, Ohman, Cotts, Wuertz, Novoa, Marmol, Marshall, Mateo, Ryu, Harben, Rapada, and Cherry,

AND Prior (but only up until May 13th, which is when he will hit five years of MLB service time and gets the right to refuse an optional assignment to the minors),

and PROBABLY Guzman--who should get a 4th option year in 2007 because he used up his three options before spending five "full seasons" on an MLB or minor league roster

However, even though they have options available, Prior, Cotts, Ohman, Wuertz, and Novoa must clear Major League Waivers in order to be optioned to the minors in 2007. That's because each of them has spent parts of three seasons on an MLB regular-season roster. However, getting a player through Major League Waivers is pretty much just a formality (they are revocable, so other clubs have no motivation to make a claim unless one GM wants to "get even" with a fellow GM for some reason) during the waiver period that runs through the 30th day of the regular season and the one that runs from the 31st day of the eeason through July 31st. Beginning with the waiver period that starts on August 1st, it's a lot harder to get a player through Major League Waivers because that's how trades are made after July 31st.

NOTE (about Guzman): A "full season" is charged when a player accumulates 60 days active on an MLB or minor league roster in a given season, and Guzman spent most of 2004 and 2005 on the DL, so he APPARENTLY has accumulated only four "full seasons"--2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006. The reason I can't say for sure whether Guzman gets a 4th minor league option in '07 is because I do not know exactly how many days he spent technically "active" with the VSL Cubs in 2000, because rookie leagues like VSL, DSL, and AZL have 35 man "active" rosters, and so they rarely put guys on the DL, even when they can't play.

I'm intrested to see if we obtain Floyd and a CF what we trade Jones for? Pitcher? doubt it.

Dempster will be gone by the All-star break if Wood can handle bullpen duty.

Wood is going to be groomed for the closers role. And if Dempster can show any semblance of being decent he should fetch a decent player in return in an area we have a weakness in.

as much as i'd hate to see murton lose ab's it'd be hard to complain about having any combo of 2 of floyd/ward/murton available off the bench.

been a while since there were 2 solid power options off the bench regularly and healthy (im not gonna count blanco if ya dont mind).

i dunno why floyd would want to almost literally end (or severely delay) future chances as a starter and the loot that comes with it, but maybe he's gonna finally listen to his body.

Trade tidbits...Rosenthal is chok full of little nuggets today, including implications for several teams...here's the main cub nugget:

Now that the Cubs have lost free-agent center fielder Kenny Lofton to the Rangers, they could revisit trade talks for Nationals center fielder Ryan Church rather than pursue free agent Steve Finley. The Cubs want an inexpensive stopgap in center until top prospect Felix Pie is ready to assume the position full-time.

http://tinyurl.com/ycono4

also...can anyone update me in better detail on just how broken down Darin Erstad is? If he still has a bad ankle, I suspect he's not a CF option.
...and if they do sign Cliff Floyd it would make the bench lefty heavy.

He only played in 40 games ((95AB's) in 2006.

Briefly I saw he wan on the DL from 6-23-06 for an ankle injury and didn't come off the DL until Sept 1st. Apparently Erstad had his ankle scoped in early October.

from ESPN archives...The surgery, done at Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center in Los Angeles, revealed no major structural damage, Dr. Phil Kwong said. Erstad's ankle was placed in a hard cast and he will begin rehabilitation in about two weeks.

as to Steve Finley...just say NO.

I hate the idea of Finley. If for no other reason, whenever I hear his name I remember the geekiest call by a play-by-play announcer in Cubs history: After Finley belted a homer out of Wrigley (I believe in early '04, while he was a member of the D-Backs), Chip Caray responded that Steve Finley was Darth Vader with cleets. Part of me died that day.

Man, I thought after last season (only winning 66 games with a $90+ million payroll) we couldn't become more of a laughing stock. But the national media and NY media are really laughing it up at our expense. Mike & Mike and even Dick Vitale were poking fun at our signings this morning.

It would be nice to finally have the last laugh, but 98 years of history tell me not to get my hopes up.

#96 of 96: By mannytrillo (December 11, 2006 09:01 AM)

Man, I thought after last season (only winning 66 games with a $90+ million payroll) we couldn't become more of a laughing stock. But the national media and NY media are really laughing it up at our expense. Mike & Mike and even Dick Vitale were poking fun at our signings this morning.

It would be nice to finally have the last laugh, but 98 years of history tell me not to get my hopes up.
-

If the Red Sox or Yanks had made our moves everyone in the media would be loving it.

Soriano to the Sox? Bring on the stories about another ex-Yank crossing sides in "the best rivalry in sports."

And $40 million for Lilly from the Yanks would have been OK simply because they are the Yanks and they always spend like crazy.

Don't get sucked into that East-Coast Media Bias.

LNL-
Oh I won't, but when I agree with much of it, I won't blame the East Coast or national media. And just an FYI, BOST has been killed here in NY/CT and even by the BOST media for the Drew signing.

"Man, I thought after last season (only winning 66 games with a $90+ million payroll) we couldn't become more of a laughing stock. But the national media and NY media are really laughing it up at our expense. Mike & Mike and even Dick Vitale were poking fun at our signings this morning.

It would be nice to finally have the last laugh, but 98 years of history tell me not to get my hopes up."

Yeah but it's amazing how quickly they all change their tune when things start to go the right way for the who ever they're bashing. Dick Vitale...he sure knows a lot about baseball.

Just in case anyone still thinks we made the right move by avoiding signing Furcal, he was the 3rd best offensive SS in the NL last year. Yay Hendry!

Horatio, come on man haven't you heard? That was not Hendry's fault as to why the Cubs did not sign him. It was MacPhail's. Get with the program...:)

People like to bash the Cubs and other teams for giving a league average pitcher $10 million per year, but the truth is that league average pitchers are hard to find. Every year, a few of them come for bid, and every year, if you do not pay the market rate for them, they do not end up on your team. The market rate might be higher in some years than others, but the fact remains, there is a limited supply of a valuable commodity and the only way to control it is to pay the market price. This happens every year, so I'm not sure why it doesn't sink in. Signing old guys or injured guys might be a separate issue, but simply overpaying an average guy to make sure your team controls him isn't that big a deal in my view.

Manny, I'm as critical of Henrdy as anyone, but there really might be something to that. Dusty's gone, and all of a sudden the floodgates open. But nothing happened when Baylor went, or Riggleman so was Dusty's departure really what did it? The one major difference between those times and now is that McPhail's gone. It's certainly something worth considering.

Horatio:
"The one major difference between those times and now is that McPhail's gone. It's certainly something worth considering."

Oh absolutely it is worth considering. And in fact it might be the main reason. But Hendry has said many times that whenever he needed more money and has gone to McPhail/Trib, they have never turned him down. But more importantly, he has had a payroll that was more than enough to be able to win year in and year out and hasn't. So I don't care if the payroll goes to $200 million, if he is not spening it properly, they won't win.

i think a lotta the new money might have more to do with recent renovations, the 10-15m last year saved by dumping talent, and the embarrasment of a last place NL team in a market that could collapse to the WSox if futility continues.

an extra 20-25m investment into the product isnt really radical, though its nice.

the revenue streams to cover these moves have been mostly addressed the past couple years leading up to it.

sorry i dont wanna wrap it around a conspiracy of big bad andy mcphail not wanting to spend money cuz he owns the tribune instead of just being a 3rd generation baseball man. oh, he dont own the trib? there's no reason for him to be concerned with how much money he can get from the trib? oh yeah...well i guess hendry owns the trib. oh, he dont? interesting...

"After Finley belted a homer out of Wrigley (I believe in early '04, while he was a member of the D-Backs), Chip Caray responded that Steve Finley was Darth Vader with cleets"

He said that about Austin Kearns too when the Reds came to town at the end of the 2004 season to end the Cubs Wild Card hopes.

If they are counting on Wood to be the closer for the whole 2007 season, you will be wishing for Latoya Hawkins to be back.

"But Hendry has said many times that whenever he needed more money and has gone to McPhail/Trib, they have never turned him down"
-

I have heard the above from many posters and I simply can't understand how naive people can get.
If Hendry's bosses turned down his requests for more money, what was he supposed to say to the media? that they turned him down? can he keep his job after those comments. Either way Hendry or any one in his position will say that his boss never turned his requests down. There is nothing more to his comments than the above.

cubby78

Fox Sports:Now that the Cubs have lost free-agent center fielder Kenny Lofton to the Rangers, they could revisit trade talks for Nationals center fielder Ryan Church...until top prospect Felix Pie is ready to assume the position full-time.

Right or wrong, I think Hendry is counting on Pie being ready in ST. Still, that leaves out a certain very tradable OF character:

LF Murt/Floyd
CF Pie
RF Soriano

I ask again...why sign Daryle Ward if you are going to get Cliff Floyd??

Floyd is a better option, but having both? It makes no sense.

LF Murton
CF Jones
RF Soriano

Fine.....we'll wait for Pie I guess...

Crunch:
"i think a lotta the new money might have more to do with recent renovations, the 10-15m last year saved by dumping talent, and the embarrasment of a last place NL team in a market that could collapse to the WSox if futility continues."

Good points...

Also, with TV contract $$$$ and other revenue streams picking up, it all adds up to more money being spent MLB-wide, not just the Cubs.

All of the speculation on Floyd has been that he will be Murton's platoon partner. I know both Piniella and Hendry say Murton will see plenty of playing time, but honestly I don't see another role that Floyd would fill. They aren't going to give him $5m to sit on the bench.

I doubt it would be a straigh platoon if we sign Floyd, I bet they split the AB's by the end of the year....

Ward's is going to be PH, once a week starter, no more.

#111 of 113: By mannytrillo (December 11, 2006 10:56 AM)

Crunch:
"i think a lotta the new money might have more to do with recent renovations, the 10-15m last year saved by dumping talent, and the embarrasment of a last place NL team in a market that could collapse to the WSox if futility continues."

Good points...

Also, with TV contract $$$$ and other revenue streams picking up, it all adds up to more money being spent MLB-wide, not just the Cubs.
----

Which all have absolutely nothing to do with Hendry not being "aggressive" in previous seasons.

Slow news day, so here you go...

From the Miami Herald:

Just when you thought you had heard the final word from Joe Girardi on the Marlins comes this unusual revelation: At a recent Dolphins Touchdown Club luncheon, the ousted manager told host Jim Mandich he was uncomfortable with the Marlins' scantily-clad Mermaids performing at games.

''We have a 7-year-old daughter going to the ballpark,'' he said. ''I don't want to teach my daughter to dress like that or shake her body like that.'' (The Marlins knew about Girardi's sentiments.)

Of his firing, Girardi told the audience, ''I'm still bitter and I'm still angry and that's probably why I'm not managing. It's hard to fire the Manager of the Year for what he did on the field, so you have to say something else'' to discredit him.

Full Story

I believe I read that in 2001 MLB made $ 2 billion, and in 2005 they made $ 5 billion.

So they are not hurting.

LNL:
"Which all have absolutely nothing to do with Hendry not being "aggressive" in previous seasons."

Yep, I don't think anyone blamed Hendry as the ONLY reason why the Cubs were not aggressive in past seasons. We just listed a few other reasons.

Jacos:
"I believe I read that in 2001 MLB made $ 2 billion, and in 2005 they made $ 5 billion. So they are not hurting."

No they are not...

They are like kids in the candy store. Once they get that money, they have to spend it.

But more importantly, he has had a payroll that was more than enough to be able to win year in and year out and hasn't.

Amen, Manny.

I ask again...why sign Daryle Ward if you are going to get Cliff Floyd??

Agreed

isnt a veteran non-40-year-old left handed power bat off the bench for 1m bucks a deal...or at least reasonable?

he's primarily being counted on for backing up d.lee...if his fat ass loses some weight he might play some LF, too.

Ryno, I agree that the outfield will probably be Murton/Floyd, Pie and Soriano. Patterson is a longshot for center and then there's Theriot, who will make the team in any case and should compete with Pie.

There are posters who say that we need a CF because Pie may not be ready. It would be difficult to find a guy who won't be in Pie's way in '08 but is better and readier than Theriot today.

You mention "a certain very tradable OF character." Can we still say that Jones is very tradeable? We couldn't get a starting pitcher for him. He'll end up being traded for a prospect or two.

#120 of 121: By Horatio (December 11, 2006 11:50 AM)

I ask again...why sign Daryle Ward if you are going to get Cliff Floyd??

Agreed
--

Why not, if he is used in the appropriate role?

''We have a 7-year-old daughter going to the ballpark,'' he said. ''I don't want to teach my daughter to dress like that or shake her body like that.''

Joe, I don't think ANYONE wants to see your 7-year old daughter dress like that or shake her body like that.

As someone who has not seen Ryan Church or Brad Wilerson play much 1) who is the better defensive outfielder and 2) who has the better bat?

Anyone?

Ok....let me refine my statement. I do not agree with platooning Murton and Floyd. I am fine with him being the back-up OF-1B, lefty PH.

This sounds a lot like Daryle Ward, albeit, a much more accomplished one.

"The Pirates and Royals are both prepared to make significant offers to free agent Jeff Suppan."

via the world or roto...

heh...wonder what suppan is going for...10m? 11m?

crazy crazy ass market and unless everyone's 8+m gambles fall flat on their face next year pitching 4.50+era ball, its probably gonna remain a somewhat crazy market.

more rotoworld stuf..

Manny Acta called Ryan Church on Friday and told him he's in the teams plans in 2007... probably after Bowden couldn't land Felix Hernandez and Adam Jones from the Mariners for him. :)

and Miguel Batista to the Mariners for 3/24

Rocco Baldelli news via Fox Sports Rumors...

Hendry already has said he doesn't plan to go long-term with an outfielder and block the path of Pie, but a trade could be his best bet. Tampa Bay's Rocco Baldelli, being pursued by the White Sox, Atlanta and Baltimore, is one of Piniella's favorite players.

Piniella gave Baldelli his chance when he managed the Devil Rays, and though Baldelli has battled knee and elbow surgeries the last two seasons, he hit .302 with 16 home runs in 92 games after returning in 2006. He is owed only $750,000 in '07 and is signed through '09, with two option years after that.

Atlanta already has been turned down by Tampa Bay despite offering three top prospects, including shortstop Yunel Escobar and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the Cubs would be hard-pressed to come up with a better package.

Still a long shot, but Piniella has had some pull in getting some talent on this squad. I am sure he is lobbying hard for the Cubs to work out a deal for him.

The DRays are impossible to deal with, until they hold on to a player too long and then get crap.

MikeC:
"Still a long shot, but Piniella has had some pull in getting some talent on this squad. I am sure he is lobbying hard for the Cubs to work out a deal for him."

The way things ended in TB with Piniella and ownership, I don't see them trading a player to Piniella without the Cubs having to give up the world. Like you said, a long shot.

Jacos:
"The DRays are impossible to deal with, until they hold on to a player too long and then get crap."

Yep...they paid the price for not trading Huff earlier.

I ask again...why sign Daryle Ward if you are going to get Cliff Floyd??

Considering The Riot will be on the bench...it's a Helluva lot better than a bench trio of Mabry/Neifi/Hairston or Hollandsworth/Macias/DuBois

at least theriot is the backup CF...or should be...or it seems its leaning that way, anyway.

hendry/pinella should expand his range more. hendry's always had this weird thing for the kid for a while now and pinella loves his mark mclemore-types.

Absolutely Cubster...that is undeniable!

So the bench is:
Blanco
Theriot
Pagan
Ward
Floyd

Only 1 guy who can play the infield?

the team will probally have another IF'r in there...im still not sold on the whole cedeno-to-AAA thing, honestly.

he gets a new hitting coach and manager this year along with his AAA manager with him in the bigs and he's not expected to be a starter. be plenty of time to work with him, but i guess it depends on who else they sign/promote/trade with.

Consider that Cedeno, if not traded will probably be a phone call away at AAA or sitting on the far North end of the bench. Also DeRosa can play SS/3B if ARam/Izturis gets a day off so there is some versatility...and (chuckle) Soriano deep deep down, really wants to play 2B (just to remind us of the departed Fast Freddie Bynum's glove).

Crunch:
"hendry's always had this weird thing for the kid for a while now and pinella loves his mark mclemore-types."

I don't think they love him too much considering they went out and signed basically a career bench guy to be the unchallenged starting 2B. I also think Hendry is a bit gun shy after the failures of DuBois and Theriot. I do wonder if/when DeRosa starts to struggle how long Piniella waits to give him the hook.

Derosa, Theriot, Izturis really, I mean they all can all probably play 2b, 3b, SS, I don't think you need much else.

Pagan's got to go and get a right-handed thumper...

"I don't think they love him too much considering they went out and signed basically a career bench guy to be the unchallenged starting 2B."

there's more roles to a team than starter.

hendry has on many occasions, including ones where a pitcher goes down and you'd expect a pitcher to be brought up, brought up theriot.

something about theriot really interests hendry for quite a while. this didnt just start in july 2006.

i honestly think next year this time we'll be talking about theriot the way reds fans talk about freel...only with a different hitting approach and less steals and not as strong of an arm and better SS and blah blah blah, you know what i mean...

it seems like they're not really giving a toss about a backup CF and i dunno if they got pie in their plans as a starter, but i do feel theyre leaning toward having theriot being the backup CF'r as of now. hell, they're still trying to figure out who's the main CF'r.

Ok...in a game you ph for Izturis, and put Theriot at 2b, move DeRosa to SS.....DeRosa gets hurt. Who moves where? Theriot to SS, Soriano to 2B, and Floyd to OF? Pagan to OF? Ward?

CRUNCH: I hope you're right, man.

I have heard him interviewed and he said he was a SS all through HS and College.

But on the few times I've seen him, his arm was not too zippy.

At least he is being favored before Cedeno, now (whom I was so excited about prior to last year's season starting).

There's also the possibility that another of the bullpen arms will be moved (likely Ohman) and Piniella will break camp with 11 pitchers and a 6 man bench. I think that's feasible given the strength of the bullpen and the more reliable arms in the rotation this season.

Okay, questions about Church and Wilkerson from a Nats fan...

Church is a better hitter, both contact and power. Wilkerson walks a ton and has better speed. Church has a slightly better arm and Wilkerson is slightly better in the outfield.

Neither can play CF well. Neither play through minor injuries. Both of them strike out too much. Thats why the Nats want to unload Church so damn badly.

The Cubs are better off sticking Jacques Jones in CF than wasting a prospect on Church, who will stub a toe trying to make a catch in the ivy (all the while having the ball land seventeen rows up in the bleachers) and go on the 60-day dl.

Church, who will stub a toe trying to make a catch in the ivy (all the while having the ball land seventeen rows up in the bleachers) and go on the 60-day dl.

when that happens, I'll light a candle...

Hendry is a bit gun shy after the failures of DuBois and Theriot.

Theriot? failure??!!

CWTP:
"Theriot? failure??!!"

Nice catch...

I am SHOCKED nobody else called me out on that...:)

I meant to type DuBois and Cedeno.

"Neither can play CF well."

Wikerson might be a bit of a liability, but I wouldn't say the same for Church. He played CF 67 games last year and committed only 2 errors. Plus if he gets more at bats, he could put up 30 homers.

Rob G.,

There's an article at the Baseball Analysts that favorably compares Rocco Baldelli to Vernon Wells. Considering you haven't been impressed much with Baldelli, thought you might be interested:

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2006/12/...

re Vorare's "possibility that another of the bullpen arms will be moved (likely Ohman) and Piniella will break camp with 11 pitchers" (#143):

Z, Hill, Lilly, Marquis, Prior, Miller, Cotts, Wood, Howry, Eyre, Dempster--that's eleven already without considering Novoa, Wuertz and Ohman, not to mention Marshall, Rapada, etc.

I KNEW you couldn't mean Theriot, mannytrillo.

###################################################

Carrie over at Cubs.com just reported that there is no truth to the rumor that JACQUE JONES asked the Cubs to trade him.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ydp32c

I'll go out on a limb, #150, and say there will be less than 30 games this season that feature Miller, Prior and Wood all on the 25-man roster.

If Vegas was arranging, the number would be much lower than 30.

Is there a picture of Leon Durham from the 1984 playoffs where the ball trickled between his legs?

Just doing a small power point for my comp class and just wondering.

no offense to Rich Lederer, a very bright fella, but one full season of Wells vs one half season of Baldelli, not to mention a huge difference in their peripherals and career numbers.

Wells has hit for power his entire career and he keeps his K:BB rates at below a 2:1 average compared to Baldelli's 3:1 ratio. He also keeps his K's south of 100 which, um, is very, very good for a power hitter.

Now his point that Baldelli at $6 compared to Wells at $20 mil, now that's a good point.

If he really thinks they'll be the same player or even close the next 5 years, I respectfully disagree. But hey, that's why they play the games....

FWIW, I agree, Rob. I like Baldelli, but he's not in the same class as Wells. I'd love to see the Cubs go after Wells next year. Maybe Hendry will feel like blowing another $120-140 million.

I guess no word today on the Marquis deal being finalized?

MikeC, not exactly what you're looking for, but here's the next-closest thing.

http://www.mitsawoket.com/Cemeteries/Manship%...

Sorry that the years are a little off.

Brad Wilkerson actually has his own web site, and reports that the surgery on his right shoulder was successful, that he is rehabbing and should be ready for ST.

If Acta promised Church that Church was in the Nat's plans for 2007, then Wilkerson might be non-tendered. If so, I think that he becomes our leading option for CF.

LNL:
"I guess no word today on the Marquis deal being finalized?"

No news is good news in this situation...

If Acta promised Church that Church was in the Nat's plans for 2007, then Wilkerson might be non-tendered. If so, I think that he becomes our leading option for CF.

I don't see how they are related since Wilkerson has been on the Rangers for a year.

Wilkerson would be a great addition to the Cubs and probably can be had cheaply since we have heard rumors the Rangers are considering non-tendering him.

Interesting, Leon Durham's 1993 teammates included Kevin Millar and a pot-bellied pig...

http://www.nlfan.com/stpaul/cards/

I don't see how they are related since Wilkerson has been on the Rangers for a year.

True, but the signing of Lofton does make it more likely that Wilkerson is non-tendered.

Yes, signing Lofton might influence Wilkerson being non-tendered. But the manager of a DIFFERENT team telling Ryan Church he's in their plans has absolutely nothing to do with Brad Wilkerson.

Marquis fun fact...yeah, he had a huge ERA last year, but that was driven by the 2 games (White Sox and Braves) where LaRussa left him in and he gave up 25 runs in 10 innings. If you take out those 2 starts, his ERA drops to...ah...5.13.

Never mind.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the .220 hitting CF that plays so-so defense, strikes out a ton, and has been getting worse the last 3 years will soon be patrolling centerfield for the cubs.

I'm giddy just thinking about it.

lofton is getting 6m/1yr...yow...texas.

got his asking price, go baseball....

Wilkerson has been suffering from that shoulder injury for 2 years that he finally got surgery for, that's probably where his power went. At least that's the theory...

If a 1 yr stopgap is the plan, as good as anyone at this point. Hopefully jones just stays....

Who started the unfounded rumor that Jones asked to be traded?

My bad on the Wilkerson/Nats/Rangers.

asked, didn't ask, blah, blah, blah. He obviously doesn't want to be here, if you saw the ESPN News interview, that was pretty obvious. He's saying all the right things that he intends to honor his contract and obviously didn't effect his performance last year, but it's still his life and if he's unhappy here and regrets signing here, he certainly has the right to voice his displeasure or desire to get out. No matter how much $$$ he makes, doesn't mean he has to be miserable going to work most days. He's not pulling any Manny or Sheff trade demands it seems like, but I'm sure he'd be open to the idea.

Let's hope LouPa and Hendry can talk him out of it, cause I'd feel a lot better about our offense with him in it over stopgap vet CF on the decline.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the .220 hitting CF that plays so-so defense, strikes out a ton, and has been getting worse the last 3 years will soon be patrolling centerfield for the cubs.

I'm giddy just thinking about it.

Wilkerson has been hurt and had surgery and supposedly is going to be healthy. Yes his average has never been anything to get excited about, but he has power and a very good obp other than last season (when he was hurt).

He had 3 straight years in Montreal with obp between .370-.380. His career obp is .358, even with the bad seasons figured in. That's higher than anyone on the Cubs except Derrek Lee.

I don't think there are any other CF'ers out there who have career obp of .358 who can be had. Especially cheap.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/wilkebr01...

#168 of 169: By cubswinthepennant (December 11, 2006 05:35 PM)

Who started the unfounded rumor that Jones asked to be traded?
--

www.mlbtraderumors.com

It's the place for today's hottest baseball rumors. If it's whispered, they hear it!!!

Actually, an article in the Courier News attributes the Denver Post to reporting Jones "formally requested a trade after the season ended."

http://preview.tinyurl.com/tj4me

If you read the comments by Hendry about JJ recently, everything was in the past tense. That's another clue, besides JJ himself being a moron on ESPN News and taking 10 seconds to hem and haw and finally not answer the question directly. If he didn't ask for a trade he would have simply said no.

There was a report initially by Paul Sullivan saying a Cubs source said he asked. Then there was a report online somewhere, ESPN maybe, quoting a fellow GM who said the Cubs were trying to deal him to every team at the winter meetings.

I think the more recent reports that he didn't ask for a trade are more likely the Cubs trying to CYA and not let his trade value go down to nothing.

"#161 of 170: By Jackson (December 11, 2006 05:06 PM)
Interesting, Leon Durham's 1993 teammates included Kevin Millar and a pot-bellied pig...

http://www.nlfan.com/stpaul/cards/"

Yeah, his name is Dur-HAM.

(ducks)

seeing the espn interview i gotta agree with rob, 100%.

no matter what you read or who says what its very obvious jones wants out, but he's not gonna make it a temper tantrum, a show, and seems reserved to "honor his contract" if he has to.

hard to gauge just how badly he wants out, but its not enough to hold the team hostage or go bitching to the media. seems like his ideal circumstance is a quiet/fast exit.

now that the market has dried up maybe his desire to win will override a want to spend his next 2 years on a team that wont have z/soriano/aram/dlee/etc. around.

maybe he really does want out and just got sick of his (not unique, but too much for him) abuse from fans.

Here's the most revealing stuff about JJ wanting out...

"Cubs general manager Jim Hendry wouldn't deny Jones wanted out.

"I don't get into that," Hendry said. "If guys really, in the long run, don't want to be in a certain place, I try to accommodate them."

Was Jones happy as a Cub? Hendry skirted the question.

"I had a good relationship with Jacque," he said. "Obviously, he had some tough times earlier in the year. The Cubs were very supportive of him."
---

Notice all of the past tense - i.e. I had a good relationship, the Cubs were very supportive. He's gone in Hendry's mind.

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

I think the more recent reports that he didn't ask for a trade are more likely the Cubs trying to CYA and not let his trade value go down to nothing.

Well, given the way the Cubs handled the Sosa and Patterson situations the last 2 offseasons (in which they seemed determined to drive down both players' value in preparation for trade), that would be progress.

I think he's as good as gone too, but hey, people change their minds all the time. With Lofton off the board, and the Ryan Church trade price seemingly too high, the other options suck. I doubt Wilkerson gets non-tendered, not like Texas needs to cut him for budget reasons or Lofton is a staple of good health that he won't find playing time there. Just not a lot of good options at the moment for CF at a reasonable price...

#124 of 178: By Old and Blue (December 11, 2006 12:02 PM)
''We have a 7-year-old daughter going to the ballpark,'' he said. ''I don't want to teach my daughter to dress like that or shake her body like that.''

Joe, I don't think ANYONE wants to see your 7-year old daughter dress like that or shake her body like that.

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

I think R-Kelly might want to differ with you (ouch!)

personally, i think jones stays. the worst of it came during the lean weeks (being generous with
"weeks") but by years end his offensive numbers were quite good and the whole "theyre alienating jones" uproar had subsided, though the damage was done. i dont see a grown man wanting to leave a team like this (spending to win, looking for redemption, relatively winnable division, etc) because of name-calling and crank calls. i dont
see hendry saying "oh, you want out. suuuuure! consider it done", i imagine him saying "dont be ridiculous. from a team standpoint we need you, and youre gonna want to be here if you just trust me." or something to that effect.
again, unless he's gonna hold a grudge in spite of our possible future, and hendry is a moron, JJ stays, thank god. (rake me over the coals when he's gone if you will)

If Jim trades Jones, he better get value for him. If it means that we get a lousy utility player from the Orioles, forget it. I hope Hendry has the sense to say no to that. Jones has to realize on some level that the racist comments were made by a very, very, very small minority and is not representative of real Cub fans. The other fans that booed Jones, well, I think Jones brought some of that on himself with the attitude I perceived. All he had to do at the start of the season when he slumped was smile and say, you know, I am trying as hard as I can and I know I need to do better and I will and I am as frustrated as the fans are. A comment like that would have gone a long way. But instead what I saw was Jones lumping the racist fans in with the fans that were frustrated with his play. I think that alienated a lot of fans when he did not have to do that. If Jones steps back and looks at himself he might realize that he made mistakes, too, and that giving it another shot is worth it. I wonder if at some level Jones is frustrated that he signed for $5 million when, if he were out there now as a free agent, he would surely do better.

If we were to trade Jones, what do you think we could get for him? What is the Cubs biggest need? What teams would want Jones?

Bob: The Cubs biggest need is a #2 starting pitcher. I don't think we can get that for Jones, unless we sweeten the pot, so to speak. As for what we could realistically get for him, probably 1 very good prospect and a mid-level prospect. In terms of MLB-ready players, we could probably get a 4th outfielder (and prospect) or a couple of relievers, which we don't really need at all.

What I'd love to see (although I know it won't happen) is pouncing on Marcus Giles if the Braves non-tender him. I know DeRosa was guaranteed the opportunity to start, but Giles is a pretty impressive young 2B. He could also push DeRosa back into the super-sub role where he belongs. It'll never happen, though.

JACKSON: "Notice all of the past tense - i.e. I had a good relationship, the Cubs were very supportive. He's gone in Hendry's mind."

You can interpret this any way you see fit. He (Hendry) does NOT have to trade him. Nor should he unless, and only if, it truly makes the team better.

There is not anyone out there who can bring in 25 HR's, is at least somewhat athletic, hits from the left side, AND was signed at a bargain price by today's scale.

Hendry is not stupid when he has Pinella close by. I'm hopin' he stays and there is no compelling reason to trade him yet.

And personally, I'd rather have JJ than Ryan Church.

Who will the Cubs pick up to compliment Theriot as a utility infielder?

None other than Switch-Hitting Infielder Alfredo Amezaga from the FLorida Marlins for Geovany Soto and Adam Harben.

"You can't give up all of your best prospects for one player because baseball is a team sport and no one player will put you over the hump. Even though the Cubs are in a "win now" mode, they really don't have dominant enough pitching, unless Prior comes back. If the Cubs give up Pie (who the Rays probably don't even want), Marshall, Gallagher, Veal, and Guzman, not only will they be out of their top couple of options should someone in the rotation get injured or completely suck (*cough* Marquis *cough*), but what trading chips will they have if they're in contention at the deadline but need another piece of the puzzle?"

Thanks, I wasn't sure whether baseball was a team sport. I didn't propose that package anyway. I proposed Guzman, Marshall, Pie and Gallagher. I'd keep Veal. Yes the D-Rays would take Pie because he could be used to fetch another pitching prospect from a team like the Marlins who want and need a young CF'er.
Of those 4 prospects, let's say you were guaranteed that just 1 of them would become the caliber of player that Crawford is, but you have to release the other 3 prospects for that to happen. You'd be a fool not to do it. A 25% success rate of turning prospects into stars would be fantastic. I'd say the only one of that bunch who who looks to have even a chance of being as productive in the MLB as Crawford is Angel Guzman. They could all be good someday, but it's extremely unlikely. Pie's best case scenario could end up similar (production-wise) to Corey. It's too early to project Gallagher for any MLB role right now. Marshall's absolute peak ceiling would be Ted Lilly. Guzman could be great. If he stays healthy, I think he'll be an ace. He's had significant injury problems already.

Crawford was 24 last year. He posted an .860 OPS and has been more productive each year. His power has also increased each year. If he develops the abilty to take a few more walks each month, he'd be similar to Carlos Beltran. If you make that trade, you'd have an OF locked up for the next 4-5 years.

Obviously Crawford doesn't have Beltran's power now, but a younger Beltran. Crawford looks capable of reaching the 25-30 HR territory in the next year or two.

The BEST case scenario for Pie is Corey-like production? Has the definition of "best" been changed? Why didn't I hear about it?

heheh...from 2000, opening day...dunston hanging out with grace pre-game during warmups showcasing his vocabulary.

unfortunately the audio is cruddy and you gotta crank it, but its pretty damn candid/fun stuff if you can overlook the 10,000 F-bombs thrown by almost everyone on the field. boys being boys...hehe.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Wy9EgampFHU

yeah...a link might be useful...

Trust me...even though Church only had 2 errors, he's not a CF...he's a LF or RF.

Just a reminder - to TCR bloggers - once again, this is the "E-Man STIFFS LIST" for the last 2 years, courtesy of Jim Hendry:

"Holly", Jody Garut, DuBois, Neifi, Macias, Grissom, Mabry, Rusch, Womack, Hawkins, Williamson, Hairston, Cedeno, Burnitz, ROrdonez, Grieve, Kelton, EWilson, SMcClain, Lawton

So - what has he replaced these with so far?: DeRosa, Soriano, Lilly, Ward, Marquis*, Izturis

That is kind of why I am intrigued with Rocco Baldelli. I really don't want to see Jones and his rubber arm in CF. Sure he might be able to handle it, but I don't think it will be pretty.

I would feel much more comfortable with a proper CFer covering in between Murton and Soriano.

Bob Roooohhrrman:
None other than Switch-Hitting Infielder Alfredo Amezaga from the FLorida Marlins for Geovany Soto and Adam Harben.

Please tell me this was a joke.

It was Harben, Soto, and McGehee, I thought.

Just kidding!

Bautista Signs?

"Batista is a lifetime 68-79 pitcher with a 4.46 earned run average as mainly a starter, but also a relief pitcher." 3/24MM

If this is true - how d'ya like me now, Marquis?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/...

also worth mentioning he'll be 36 in mid-april.

crazy offseason and a crazy market.

Switch-Hitting Infielder Alfredo Amezaga from the FLorida Marlins or my name isn't Bob Rohrman.

BJS: You advocated "not holding back." For Tampa, "not holding back" would almost certainly include Veal (if not Hill) in addition to Guzman and Marshall/Marmol. Since we agree that it is a team sport, please explain to me why the Cubs organization should willingly gut its farm system for a player who, while great and cheap and young, doesn't address their main need to "win now?" I love Crawford, but not enough to put all our eggs in his basket. The current pitching staff probably isn't going to be good enough, unless we have a healthy Prior and Miller, and even then, it may need a boost at the deadline. If we give up the lion's share of our best young prospects, not only are we ensuring that we'll have to overpay in the FA market every year, but more importantly, we're killing our chance of dealing for more pressing needs. Crawford is great, but he's not going to help the Cubs pitch better. That's why, in my opinion, if we could get him without having to sell the farm, I'd be all for it. But he alone will not make this a WS champion team.

As for Pie, I doubt they'd want him. They have a glut of young talent, and Pie probably doesn't have the market that we as Cubs fans seem to think he has.

The Cub's were going to get him, but they were afraid Rusch would get confused and eat him. Then he would eat a certain CF prospect for desert. That would be the shits.

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