Draft + Follow Update

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article here about players selected by the Cubs in last June's Rule 4 draft who did not sign at the time, but who will be eligible to be signed up until ten days prior to the '07 June Draft, as long as their team is not involved in NCAA, NAIA, or NCJAA post-season play as of May 28th. These players can be signed under the "Draft+ Follow" rule, and this is the last year for the D+F. (Starting with the 2007 draft, any player not signed by August 15th cannot be signed and goes back into the draft the following June). Well, the Cubs have signed two "Draft+Follow" players they had selected in last June's draft, and they are two of my top four: 3B Jovan Rosa (Lake City CC) and RHP Jordan Latham (College of Southern Idaho). Although he was just a 22nd round pick of the Cubs in June 2006, Rosa had an outstanding year at Lake City (he was conference player of the year) and was projected as a likely Top 5 Round pick in the upcoming June Draft, so signing him is a big deal. The Cubs have also signed one "fifth year senior," pitcher William Muller (St. Thomas Aquinas College). A "fifth year senior" is any player not selected in the previous Rule 4 Draft who played four years of college ball, and who had redsirted sometime previously in his college career, either because of a transfer or an injury. These players can be signed anytime up until ten days prior to the June draft, as long as their college team's season is over. Last year, the Cubs signed five players as "fifth-year seniors," including Peoria closer Rocky Roquet (nine saves and 0 runs allowed in 15 games and 18.2 IP so far in 2007).
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Comments

utah and idaho...baseball's new hotbed of tallent.

new york? florida? california? texas?

make room for montana, suckers.

CRUNCH: Lake City CC is in Lake City, FL, but actually the Cubs have drafted a couple or three guys out of Utah in recent years, most notably LHP Mark Pawelek and OF Cliff Andersen.

aww...

leave it to me to ruin a perfectly good fresh joke.

im gonna go dust off schmidt 4/33 and play with that a while...i like my old toys better anyhow.

3/44 :(

I think Crunch needs a hug.

Thanks for the news, Phil!

I got excited when I heard Lake City. I live in Lake City (a part of Seattle)...but then I realized there aren't any baseball teams here. Then I was sad again.

Nice post Phil

crunch, lets bring out the neifi or rusch 2/6 and make a new joke about that. Or maybe a Dusty Baker 4/12 joke

in case it hasn't been mentioned Kerry Wood was transferred to the 60'day DL to make room for Fontenot.

Crunch: make room for montana, suckers.
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We must be due up here in Montana. The Big Sky state hasn't cranked out much in terms of major leaguers, especially lately. The only active player is the Marlin's Taylor Tankersley. The biggest name is Dave McNally, pitcher for the Orioles from 1962-1974.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bio/MT_born...

Cub connections: Ed Bouchee (1960-61, 210 games) and Dave Meier (1988, 2 games).

So our Cub claim to fame is a bit of a strech...that Sandberg guy played minor league ball in Helena.

The biggest news in Montana baseball continues to be the metal vs. wooden bat controversy that started here when an American Legion pitcher died after being struck in the head by a line drive off a metal bat in 2003:

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dl...

Did anyone hear that Mike Fontenot got called up before the game yesterday?

when is Kerry Wood eligible to come off the 60 day DL? Kerry needs to know, so he can get out of the hot tub on time.

I think Crunch needs a hug.
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and a spellchecker. 1 "L" in talent crunch.

and thanks for the update Arizona Phil. We can never have enough players named Rocky.

Kerry Wood will win us a ring. Guaranteed.

What I want to know is WHEN WILL FONTENOT GET HIS CHANCE IN THE BIG LEAGUES?!?!?!?!?!

The better question is this. Are the big leagues ready for Mike Fontenot?

Did you know:

At his current pace, Mike Fontenot will win the batting title with a 1.000 batting average. It would also break the all time record of .4397 set by Hugh Duffy in 1894. So there you have it.

Mike Fontenot = All time great

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/BA_...

Did you know:?

At this current pace, Mike Fontenot will break baseball's all time batting record. His current average of 1.000 projected out is 1.000. That would break the record of Hugh Duffy set back in 1897 when he batted .4397. The numbers dont lie.

Mike Fontenot = All time great

You can't stop Mike Fontenot, you can only hope to contain him.

I know Mike Fontenot!!!! He impregnated his wife, and she gave birth to a delicious 24 ounce T-Bone steak.....the afterbirth was grilled onions and steak sauce...

To Mike Fontenot!!!!!

I find the Kerry Wood move puzzling. Correct me if I'm wrong here but Mark Prior is NOT on the 60 day, right? And we know there is 0% chance of him pitching this year, right? So, we move Wood to the 60 day to make room for Fontenot. So now IF Wood will pitch this year, we would have to make yet another move on the 40 man, right? I assume at that point move Prior to the 60 day. My point being, why not avoid the middleman? Put Prior on the 60 day and IF Wood can pitch this year, then no more moves need to be made.

Thoughts?

Put Prior on the 60 day and IF Wood can pitch this year, then no more moves need to be made.

Because Prior would need to get called up the bigs before he can be placed on the 60 day DL.

Prior is technically on the Iowa DL, to put him on the major league 60-day roster requires a call-up and you start his service clock again in the majors.

Whether anyone cares about Mark Prior or not at this point, there's no point in making that move until you have to.

Kerry Wood will not be pitching by June 1st, we know that. When/if he's ready to pitch, I'm sure there will be plenty of options to make room on the 40-man, such as making the Prior move.

I have posted it before but it isn't keeping.

Did you know?

At his current rate Mike Fontenot will break the all time batting record. His 1.000 average projected out over a full season is 1.000. That would break Hugh Duffy's all time mark of .4397 set in 1897. So there you have it .

Mike Fontenot = All time great

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/BA_...

Fontenot is also projected to hit 382 doubles...

And if we avoid the Prior to the 60 day move, we keep club control over his contractual rights through 2009. So if the stars align, dogs and cats get along, peace is declaired in the middle east, Paris Hilton joins a convent and Prior can remain healthy. We get to keep him an extra year at short money.

Baseball America (Jim Callis) with a draft projection (Vitters by Cubs) and some reflections on Theriot

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

Espn is projecting great things for Fontenot. 126 doubles is probably some kind of record I believe.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile...

I'll beat the Tim Wilkins to a bloody fucking pulp if he passes on Matt Wieters for a freaking high school bat.

:)

If it's true that the Cubs are considering letting Barrett walk, then they better draft Wieters over Vitters. He's a college player and he would be at a position that would be relatively open. If they're going to re-sign Barrett, fine, but make the decision. Sadly, knowing the Cubs, they'll f*** it up.

f-ing highschoolers

"And if we avoid the Prior to the 60 day move, we keep club control over his contractual rights through 2009. So if the stars align, dogs and cats get along, peace is declaired in the middle east, Paris Hilton joins a convent and Prior can remain healthy. We get to keep him an extra year at short money."

While the other explanations make perfect sense and are probably huge factors, aaronb's answer seems to be the real hidden agenda. Thanks for pointing that out.

I don't keep up on prospects very much so I had no idea, but the fact that the Cubs knew there would be a top catcher available with their pick and they STILL didn't sell high on the horrible-fielding, career-year-having Michael Barrett I just don't know what to say. Why do I love this team??? Why? Fucking why?

what did you think I meant when I said you didn't want to start his service clock?

anyway, we're going to lose club control when we non-tender him this December. I guess the "hope" is that he'll resign for substantially less with us, but we'll see how it plays out.

Well then. Let me add Rob's comment to the list of the hidden Mark Prior agenda. Sheesh Rob. Little touchy there!

Horatio, Wieters isnt in the fold yet. You still have to play to "win the games". Barrett in 2007 gives you the best chance to win. Wieters in 2009 probably gives you a better chance then.

there's no guarantee Wieters will be available, KC very well might take him.

and it's still just a prospect that might fizzle out and probably won't see the majors until 2009 at the soonest, maybe 2010.

I'd still try and sign barrett to a 3 yr extension at decent money. Depends on what he's asking.

How long is Aramis signed for? Why in the world would they take a 3B over a Catcher...who, I'm told, is awesome.

Also, yes...Fonteyes is awesome.

The name is going to catch on, I know it will. When I invented "Don't go there" people thought I was crazy, but I stuck with it. Now it's widely accepted as the greatest American expression of all time.

To be fair, Horatio, dealing Barrett at the trade deadline last year or during the offseason, probably would have been a bit premature based on Wieters alone. The rough draft order of prospects doesn't start shaking out until early to mid spring, and indeed, some changes happen after that. Thus, the Cubs would have had no way of knowing were Wieters would be. He could have had a monster year and gone higher than 3rd or he could have tanked and thus drafting him at 3rd would have been a real reach.

Besides, I don't think it's every a good idea to trade a major league starting player for the sole reason that you might draft a top prospect that occupies the same position.

Vitters is a high-schooler so by the time he's ready, Aramis would be at least 31 or 32. He's supposed to be a great hitter with a compact swing and developing power. To me, though, he doesn't seem to be any more impressive than Wieters, who mans a position we might actually have open.

"I’m sure there will be plenty of options to make room on the 40-man."

Like DFA'ing Mike Fontenot

"I’ll beat the Tim Wilkins to a bloody fucking pulp if he passes on Matt Wieters for a freaking high school bat."

I would not worry about that because Hendry loves Georgia boys, especially ones that have been Yellow Jackets (Nomar, Murton, and the Patterson Brothers, Cpat did sign a letter of intent with them but backed out of it to sign with us.).

"To me, though, he doesn’t seem to be any more impressive than Wieters, who mans a position we might actually have open."

But is Wieters going to be a catcher by the time he is called up, or he is another one of those great hitting catchers who cant field.

Wardosaurus is going to take the world by storm. All the PHer groupies of north america will be sporting Wardosaurus T-Shirts this summer.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/event...

Vitters draft profile (with video) doesn't even sound that great.

here's Wieters
http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/event...

no video and note that they do these profiles based off the one game they see them so they're far from complete.

It doesn't really make any sense to send a player down in order to save service time just to non tender him the next offseason.......at least it doesn't to me.

Don't mention "service clock" to Prior. He'll probably start crying about how he'll never be able to conceive a child.

I blame Barrett if Wieters cant stick behind the plate.

"Besides, I don’t think it’s every a good idea to trade a major league starting player for the sole reason that you might draft a top prospect that occupies the same position."

It wouldn't have been my sole reason. I just like to sell high in general. I will go out on a limb here and say that Barrett will NEVER duplicate his 2006 season. We should have traded him. I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

It isnt a foregone conclusion that the cubs Non-tender Prior. They will probably look at his rehab progress and make a decision come December.

Wieters has the arm to be a catcher and seems to be lauded for his leadership skills. Right now his issues seem to be with his footwork and setting up targets and some of the smaller nuances.

I'm pretty much completely against drafting for positional need in the MLB draft, the prospects just take too long to develop. But Wieters could easily shift to 1b, 3b or the OF if they deem his catching ability unworthy.

So why not draft the more polished catcher who could move to 3b possibly or 1b or the of instead of the raw 3b who might have to move to the of?

And we're already went through Montanez and Harvey who were considered pretty good picks at the time. I just don't care for high school hitters who aren't consensus #1 picks like Griffey Jr. and A-rod.

who would have replaced Barrett if we traded him? If you can get better trading someone. You do it. But trading Barrett to open up a slot for Hank White doesnt make any sense. It would be like dropping Jessica Alba because Britney Spears is getting out of rehab.

"who would have replaced Barrett if we traded him?"

If you're the last place Cubs, you don't worry about it. You sell high, draft smart, stockpile talent, and get better.

Sorry aaronb, but your argument doesn't hold up.

Hank White is clearly much better looking than Britney Spears.

For what it's worth, Kevin Goldstein of BP thinks that the Cubs should take one of Wieters or Vitters, leaning towards the latter because Wieters is going to ask for twice the money Vitters will go for:

Charles (China): Top 5 college hitters (draft eligible)? Top 5 prep hitters (draft eligible)?

Kevin Goldstein: College: Matt Wieters, Beau Mills, Matt LaPorta, Julio Borbon, Todd Frazier.

High School: Josh Vitters, Mike Moustakas, Matt Dominguez, Jason Heyward, Kevin Ahrens

and...

JWR (Somewhere between Chicago and Dekalb, Illinois): If you were the Cubs, would you take the college catcher or the high school third baseman? Which guy SHOULD the Cubs take with the third pick in the upcoming draft?

Kevin Goldstein: I'd probably take the high school third baseman, assuming you mean Josh Vitters. I think they're pretty even talent wise, but Wieters might cost twice as much, and he's not twice as good.

Uh, where did my comment go?

if I recall this correctly, they can only cut his pay by 20% if they don't non-tender him. No matter how well his rehab is doing, that's still about $2.8 mil I think. No way they should pay that for Prior.

And to answer Jason's question...

Even though he'd be non-tendered, he's only a free agent until someone resigns him and whoever he signs with still owns his rights until he passes 6 yrs of major league service time. So after the 2008 season, whoever he signs with can once again decide whether to offer him arbitration or non-tender him once again. The Cubs, I'm guessing, are going to gamble that they can non-tender him and get him to resign for substantially less with plenty of incentives but once he resigns they still have his rights through 2009 I believe.

And if it becomes obvious that he won't resign with the Cubs and take a much lower pay base than by buying an extra year of service time this season, he becomes a bit more attractive in a possible trade. Pretty unlikely he'd get traded coming off surgery but might as well raise what little value he does have if that scenario plays out.

Everything I've heard about Wieters is that he's a solid catcher. He's not perfect defensively but he definitely has the tools and the body to stay behind the plate. And his bat is sick.

and Vitters is twice (roughly) as likely to flame out....

That's f-ing great logic. I guess Izturis is 8 times better than Theriot. Stupid Cubs.

Chad — May 16, 2007 @ 12:58 pm
I find the Kerry Wood move puzzling. Correct me if I’m wrong here but Mark Prior is NOT on the 60 day, right? And we know there is 0% chance of him pitching this year, right? So, we move Wood to the 60 day to make room for Fontenot. So now IF Wood will pitch this year, we would have to make yet another move on the 40 man, right? I assume at that point move Prior to the 60 day. My point being, why not avoid the middleman? Put Prior on the 60 day and IF Wood can pitch this year, then no more moves need to be made.

Thoughts?

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

CHAD: The reason why the Cubs wouldn't want to recall Prior from Iowa and place him on the 60-day DL has already been explained, but by the time (if and when) Woody is ready to pitch, Wade Miller will probably have already been traded or released, and that will open up a spot on the 40. .

But if Miller is somehow still around, Juan Mateo could be transferred to the 60-day DL, because he's out indefintely.

Or the Cubs could recall Roberto Novoa (who will be out of action at least another 6-8 weeks) from Iowa and place him on the 60-day DL.

Or the Cubs could always just DFA Buck Coats or Brian Dopirak, neither of whom have a future in the Cubs organization. .

BTW, if the Cubs decide to go back to 12 pitchers at some point and Mike Fontenot is the odd man out, he will have two minor league option years still available, so it would be no problem for the Cubs to option Fontenot to Iowa at that time.

that was Goldstein's opinion, not the Cubs. I posted this earlier in the week, but here's another story on Wieters and there's a quote from the GT coach about how much the Cubs like him.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070...

Holy Shit. Today's White Sox lineup features:

Darin Erstad .258
Juan Uribe .245
A.J. Pierzynski .248
Paul Konerko .195
Jermaine Dye .205
Rob Mackowiak .197
Joe Crede .208
Tadahito Iguchi .216
Ryan Sweeney .229

I cant help but laugh a little at the fans who are pining for Wieters to get drafted. Yet these same folks cant wait to run Barrett out of town on a rail. Apparently a 30 year old catcher who is a top 5 offensive force and struggles with defense from time to time needs to be benched and traded. Yet a 21 year old college catcher who struggles with defense, but projects to be a good hitter is the 2nd comming. Logic be damned!

And why is money an issue for the Cubs? They have never not drafted a guy because of the cost, have they? I know they haven't recently.

ARIZONA PHIL:

How's our boy Dopirak doing in AA this year?

Rain in NYC.

for the record, I think they should draft Wieters and keep Barrett. When Wieters is ready he'll let us know.

money really hasn't been an issue for the Cubs drafting but who knows what Trib's doing these days.

Baseball America (Jim Callis) with a draft projection (Vitters by Cubs) and some reflections on Theriot

If Callis, and his ilk for that matter, had any class he would admit he doesn't know what he's talking about half the time---- with Ryan Theriot being a case in point.

thanks phil.

also:

"The Cubs, I’m guessing, are going to gamble that they can non-tender him and get him to resign for substantially less with plenty of incentives but once he resigns they still have his rights through 2009 I believe."

But here's a thought. The Cubs and Prior can agree on a one year deal outside of arbitration. So maybe they would have to offer 2.8 mil or something in arbitration, but only if it comes to that. Can't they just offer him a very small one year deal and if doesn't like it, then non-tender him. He'd probably take the bird in the hand at that point. While I'm sure someone would take a chance on him, I don't think anyone is going to offer 2.8 mil.

Holy Shit. Today’s White Sox lineup features:

WRONG BLOG!!!

I don't get your scenario Chad...

The Cubs have until Dec 1st (I believe) to either offer arbitration to Prior or non-tender him. If the offer him arbitration then they're on the hook for $2.8 mil at least if I understand it correctly because while you can sign a contract before you go to the hearing, Prior and his agent know that he can't get more than a 20% paycut so they obviously wouldn't take less.

Now the Cubs can try and get him to agree to something before Dec. 1st (or whatever the date is) and maybe Prior will feel the need to pay us back for all the money he's cost the Cubs but I don't see that. But once he's non-tendered, he'll naturally play the field for the best offer.

There's also the Todd Walker route, go through arbitration and cut him later I guess but that's pretty rare.

Carlos, this is the wrong Phil answering, but Dopirak and Harvey are both on the shelf.

Re the draft, does Wilken usually go for sluggers who don't run well? I notice that Tyler Colvin has eight stolen bases, in 11 tries.

If the cubs went the Walker arbitration route with Prior, they would only have to pay his April salary. It might be a legitimate gamble in Prior's case. Especially if Z leaves as a free agent. Assuming 2.8 million arbitration #. The cubs would only be on the hook for 460K to take Prior through Spring training and see how he looks. That could be a bargain if he is rounding into shape(stop laughing).

All this talk of Wood and Prior is fascinating.

I mean that without a hint of sarcasm. I hate sarcasm. And the devil. Well, I guess I don't really hate the devil. Jesus said to love my enemies. Therefore I love the devil. Sarcasm is also my enemy, therefore I love sarcasm. I sarcastically find this talk fascinating.

Fonteyes was awesome last night. Remember that?

Goddamn stupid Cubs. If you have the choice, a run-producing catcher (who is a proven college stud) is infinitely more valuable than a hot-hitting HIGH SCHOOL 3B.

Not that I think it matters, I don't see KC passing on Wieters anyway, I've been calling that since last fall. John Buck is not The Answer, no way they let Wieters fall to us.

So Vitters by default, lovely. If that was the choice I was given and I were Wilkins, I might still take Brackman on upside alone.

NO MORE HIGH SCHOOL 1ST ROUND PICKS PLEASE.

Re the draft, does Wilken usually go for sluggers who don’t run well? I notice that Tyler Colvin has eight stolen bases, in 11 tries.
.......................................................................

Wilken is a scouts scout. He likes toolsy athletes who play up the middle (SS,CF). His thinking is that they are the easiest to move to another position if the need arises. You can't argue with his track record. He sent 12 consecutive 1st round picks to the Majors when he was in Toronto and did the Devil Rays drafting before he came to Chicago. High picks aside, Tampa is regarded as having the best ML system in Baseball right now. Hopefully the new owners are smart enough to keep him around and give him money to reach for some signablility/Latin/Pacific Rim players in the future.

for the record, I think they should draft Wieters and keep Barrett.

As do I, for the record.

"Not that I think it matters, I don’t see KC passing on Wieters anyway, I’ve been calling that since last fall. John Buck is not The Answer, no way they let Wieters fall to us."

You're wrong, there's no way Price and Porcello fall to the Cubs at 3rd, Wieters is the third choice of both teams.

And if TB takes Price and KC takes Wieters, I'd be more than happy to see the Cubs getting Porcello with the 3rd pick.

Macias can catch.

Goddamn stupid Cubs.

I love how everyone is getting pissed at the Cubs because some talking head things that the Cubs should take the high school 3b.

You all realize that the Cubs have not drafted anybody yet, right? And that we have no idea what the Cubs scouting department/Wilken/Hendry are thinking, right? And that you are getting pissed at the Cubs because of a talking head saying what he would do, right?

You all are unbelievable...

Brackmann's really fallen far on draft boards. He's a bit of a headcase apparently. Not sure I'd spend the #3 pick on an "upside" guy.

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/event...

Porcello's draft profile...

DRays and Price are a no-brainer, he's not even represented by Boras.

Royals will be interesting. Moore said the pitching in the system is dreadful and said he'd make that priority #1. And Wieters is a Boras client although they didn't have too many problems getting Hochevar signed.

"If the cubs went the Walker arbitration route with Prior, they would only have to pay his April salary."

Why would they do that though, if as you suggest.......he's rounding into form? Even if its just serviceable pitching, with the likelihood of Zambrano not being around........dumping pitchers isn't a wise move.

BTW, Eric, John Buck is hitting .298/.398/.619 with seven homeruns in just 84 ABs. Looks like the Answer got off to a really hot start this year.

Quick, name the last Chicago Cubs player drafted out of HS in the first round (position player only) to make an impact (solid everyday starter) in the ML?

P.S. Corey Patterson does not count.

Answer: Shawon Dunston, 1982.

Unless Tim Wilken has achieved 'genius' status, I'd think more than twice about Vitters.

What is Mateo's injury?

If Prior is rounding into form, obviously you keep him. I am saying that you can offer Prior arbitration. Take him to spring training to compete for a job. If he loses or gets hurt again. You can cut him at the end of spring training and only have to pay him 460K. That seems like a totally reasonable gamble to take.

I'm a bit confused about how all of you are talking about the MLB draft as if teams get players that will contribute immediately.

Do any MLB teams draft needs for they are missing at the major league level? Most, if not all, draftees are at least a couple of years away from the bigs. So unless you are drafting a player that is read in the next year or two, and would in turn be blocked by someone with a long term contract, you draft the best player available, regardless of positional need.

Of course... if your minor league system is stocked at certain positions, that may change things. But even then, prospects are exactly that - prospects. Most prospects do not become major league baseball players.

yeah I don't really buy that Hendry would do that though (assuming he's still around), seems to pride himself on treating guys fairly and being a man of his word.

Except that the Cubs have no viable catchers in the system and no one long term options (unless Barrett does stick around) in the majors.

Rob G. — May 16, 2007 @ 3:21 pm
yeah I don’t really buy that Hendry would do that though (assuming he’s still around), seems to pride himself on treating guys fairly and being a man of his word.
......................................................................

I agree Rob, but as much as the cubs have paid him to sit on the DL. It only seems fair to be able to hedge your bet. Ideally he accepts a lower base contract. If he is a dick and refuses to do such. The cubs do have recourse in the manner discussed. Its not like it would be unfair to Prior. He gets to be a free agent and gets another 460K as a lovely parting gift from the cubs.

If he is a dick and refuses to do such.

Come on... what would you do in Prior's situation?

Would you seek the best contract you could? Or would you settle for less money?

In other news, According to Jim was finally cancelled. That show was like Shawn Chacon, Tike Redman and Neifi: it kept getting renewed despite how bad it had become.

despite how bad it had become.

that implies that at some point it wasn't bad....

aaronb — May 16, 2007 @ 2:55 pm
If the cubs went the Walker arbitration route with Prior, they would only have to pay his April salary. It might be a legitimate gamble in Prior’s case. Especially if Z leaves as a free agent. Assuming 2.8 million arbitration #. The cubs would only be on the hook for 460K to take Prior through Spring training and see how he looks. That could be a bargain if he is rounding into shape(stop laughing).

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

AARON B: Cutting a player in ST and owing him 30 days pay (if released at least 18 days before the start of the regular season) or 45 days pay (if released at least four days before the start of the regular season) only applies to "auto-renewal" (pre-arbitration) players, and arbitration-eligible players where a salary is awarded by an arbitration panel (as happened in Todd Walker v. the Padres).

If an arbitration-eligible player and his club agree to a contract prior to a hearing (even if it's just minutes before the hearing), the club's right to release the player in ST and only owe him 30 days or 45 days termination pay does not apply.

Also, in order for the Cubs to cut Prior more than 20% (and offer him less than $2.8M for 2008), they would first have to non-tender him in December and then try and re-sign him. But as a FA, he would be free to sign with anybody, and as ROB G pointed out, whoever signs him gets him for as many years as Prior has left until free-agency, even if he signs a one-year contract for 2008. That's AS LONG AS Prior remains on the Iowa DL until at least August 22,

If Prior is recalled from his optional assignment (like to put him on the 60-day DL) anytime before August 22nd, he will get to five years of MLB service time by the end of the 2007 sesaon, and thus he would be eligible to be a Type XX MLB FA after the 2008 season.

But until he gets five years of MLB Service Time, he can be optioned to the minors without his consent (he will have one minor league option left as of 2008). So depending on how it goes, Prior could theoretically spend all of 2007 and all of 2008 on optional asignment to the minors, and if that were to happen, he would not be eligible to be a FA until after the 2010 season. That's unlikely, though, because the the Cubs would have to pay him at least $2.8M in 2008 and about $2.4M in 2009 (a player can be cut 20% the first time, but not more than 30% over a two-year period).

It's far more likely that the Cubs will just non-tender Prior on December 12th and take their chances that they can re-sign him for around a $1M base salary, plus incentives. My guess is if he gets non-tendered, he will take that opportunity to go elsewhere (like maybe to his hometown Padres). .

My guess is if he gets non-tendered, he will take that opportunity to go elsewhere (like maybe to his hometown Padres). .

I predict a Dave Duncan rehab project in St. Louis.

And naturally he'll turn it all around once he gets there.

"that implies that at some point it wasn’t bad…."

I gotta say I enjoyed a couple of Bears/Cubs episodes.

AZ Phil, If the cubs take Prior to arbitration, then a panel WILL decide the figure. Cubs can go with the 20% rollback (2.8 million) and Prior will go with another number you have to assume. I do agree that the cubs would probably non-tender him. But if someone bought the team that ran it like a business ( ie, not promising starting jobs to 3rd tier free agents,Not promising Jack Jones he wont be a platoon player, Not Promising a leadoff role for Soriano) and not like the Country club that is Chicago Cubs baseball. Then they would have some options in regards to Prior's future. I have to assume that there is at least SOME discussion of this type going on. If there wasnt then why even bother keeping Prior on the Iowa DL at this point?

That would be a perfectly fitting end to the Prior saga for the Cubs. Having him sign with the Cards, and be a thorn in their side for the next 10-15 years. Sounds pretty likely to me...

Rick Wilken = Cubs next GM

"a run-producing catcher" Uh oh! Another dirty phrase here at TCR.

Rob,

Correct me if I'm wrong here but the Cubs don't have to offer arbitration. The Cubs and Prior can agree to terms before it comes to that. What I'm saying is that if the handwritting is on the wall, they may agree to take less than 2.8 because they Cubs may cut him and he would get 0. 1 million is a lot more than 0.

Cubs may cut him and he would get 0

No... Mark Prior will not get "0" next year, even if the Cubs cut him. If the Cubs cut him he will be able to negotiate with all teams and have teams bid against each other.

Chances are he would get more money on the open market than he would get if he solely spoke with the Cubs.

yeah I'm still not understanding the scenario you're trying to paint there Chad...

if the Cubs don't offer arbitration to Prior, they will non-tender him and he will be a free agent. They can offer him arbitration and then cut a deal before the actual hearing for any amount, but once they offer him arbitration they're on the hook for at least $2.8 mil because 20% is the biggest paycut he can get.

I'm sure they'll talk before the date to offer arbitration and as I mentioned, Prior may feel some sort of obligation to sign here, but I doubt it. But chances are he'd rather just go to free agency and test the waters.

Sorry, Dave.

I actually missed the part where it says the guy works for BP or BA or BO or something. I was skimming and I missed it.

maybe this is why we're all upset Dave. :)

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070...

another mock draft with Vitters going to the Cubs and Wieters not even in the top 10.

All indications are that the Cubs are looking for a bat here, and it seemed like Matt Wieters would be a good fit. But when you hear something over and over, eventually it sinks in. And what I've been hearing is that the Cubs really like Josh Vitters, the top high school bat in the draft class. He's a rare breed: a prepster who entered the season with all eyes on him and actually lived up to that hype, showing the ability to hit for average and power. And he did all of that while battling with a bout of pneumonia. If the Cubs decide to shift gears and go with an arm, they are fond of Indiana prepster Jarrod Parker.

I heard somewhere that Wieters was having a terrible season at Georgia Tech -- is that true? I'm too lazy to go dig for college statistics; actually, I don't even know if they offer them to whoever wants 'em.

wieters is far from a catcher...welll, he is in college...but well, that's college.

vitters AND wieters might as well be 3rd basemen.

wieters is a bit raw behind the plate and if it wasnt for luke murton (dont worry, you'll hear about him this winter if he doesnt baloon to 300lbs. or some weird crap...he's a big boy) he'd probably be at 1st base by now. his arm could put him at 3rd, but that's more than just a few weeks work to move him there.

whoever drafts weiters will probably put him at C..much like bj upton was put at SS...much like patterson is at 2nd...etc etc...but right now the only thing weiters has "down" as an above average skill is his arm strength. hell, he's still not even great at getting out of the crouch behind the plate to actually use the arm.

too early to chalk him up at a failed catcher...way way too early, but he's not a guy you can count on to stay in that position and advance to the bigs really quickly as a catcher.

time will tell.

btw...yes, luke is matt's brother...

just to get that out of the way.

"whoever drafts weiters will probably put him at C..much like bj upton was put at SS…much like patterson is at 2nd…etc etc…but right now the only thing weiters has “down” as an above average skill is his arm strength. hell, he’s still not even great at getting out of the crouch behind the plate to actually use the arm."

Sounds like Neil Walker, Pirates former C prospect, who moved to 3B this spring.

I posted Wieters stats a few days ago...

http://mvn.com/mlb-cubs/2007/05/13/anomaly-wh...

Thanks, Rob! Looks like he's having a monster, monster year at Georgia Tech.

aaronb — May 16, 2007 @ 3:48 pm
AZ Phil, If the cubs take Prior to arbitration, then a panel WILL decide the figure. Cubs can go with the 20% rollback (2.8 million) and Prior will go with another number you have to assume. I do agree that the cubs would probably non-tender him. But if someone bought the team that ran it like a business ( ie, not promising starting jobs to 3rd tier free agents,Not promising Jack Jones he wont be a platoon player, Not Promising a leadoff role for Soriano) and not like the Country club that is Chicago Cubs baseball. Then they would have some options in regards to Prior’s future. I have to assume that there is at least SOME discussion of this type going on. If there wasnt then why even bother keeping Prior on the Iowa DL at this point?

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

AARON B: Prior was originally optioned to Iowa back when he claimed his shoulder "felt fine:" but was just not getting good results.

I don't think the Cubs would have a problem with recalling Prior from his optional assignment and placing him on the 60-day DL if they need his roster spot, since that would be giving Prior the chance to be a FA after the 2008 season (as he had always expected), and that's probably the only way the Cubs would be able to stay in Prior's good graces should they decide to non-tender him and then offer him a low base salary with incentives for '08..

BTW, the only way Prior can be cut more than 20% for 2008 is if he gets non-tendered (essentially released). If the Cubs offer him a deal for '08 in September or October not connected to an offer to go to arbitration, they still can't offer him a contract in which his salary is cut more than 20% for 2008.

80% chance of T-storms tonight in NY, won't clear until Midnight. Raining right now.

Braves sale approved.

let's note the timeline here....

deal was agreed upon in February and wasn't approved until mid-May and that was only because both parties insisted that the deal be in place by today because of changes in the tax law tomorrow.

still no lineups which makes me think this game is going to get cancelled.

Rob, let's try this again.

Tomorrow, or August or any time before the day the arbitration figures are due, the Cubs offer Mark Prior a deal for $1,000,000. (just making up figures). This would then avoid all of arbitration. As far as I know they can offer him anything they want. IF it goes to arbitration, then arbitration rules apply. Thus making the Cubs offer at least 2.8 million. But what I am talking about would happen long before they need to submit arbitration figures.

Why would Prior take this deal? He would if he was afraid that he would get non-tendered. Thus, taking the bird in the hand.

At this point I don't even care what the answer could be, I just want you to understand what I am trying to (horribly) get across.

from a new yorker...not me...the rain is letting up around shea...havent looked at the weather forecast, though...dunno what's coming or if this is it...etc.

I love the "Lou Piniella Show" on WGN. He barely lets Ron get a question in...it's mainly the Lou Piniella Monologue.

okay chad, I think phil and I explained why that's not going to happen. Phil even pointing out that the Cubs can't offer him less than 20% until they non-tender him.

but I get it now....

But anyway, unless Prior feels some obligation to the Cubs, if the threat of non-tendering is out there, he'll just test the waters I'm sure. If the Cubs are willing to offer him anything, then someone else will too.

Oh yeah. Piniella said same lineup as yesterday.

Damn you MVN!!! Let's see if this one goes through:

Same lineup as yesterday, sayeth Lou.

Sorry. There they all go. I feel very adamant about the Cubs going with the same lineup. Tarp on the field, though.

|I just don’t care for high school hitters who aren’t consensus #1 picks like Griffey Jr. and A-rod.|

Yeah, that Barry Bonds pick was a real bonehead move. Not to mention, Michael Barrett, Scott Rolen, Cliff Floyd, and Eric Chavez just off the top of my Tuborg addled brain. Oh yeah, ever heard of Chipper Jones? Todd Van Poppel was the consensus #1 when the Braves took him.

Chad, However if Prior choses not to take that deal. The cubs can take him to arbitration and will surely get their figure 2.8 million. Then if they wish they can go to ST with Prior to see if he can pitch. If he can and they keep him. It costs 2.8 million. If they deem him not healthy,effective or whatever. They can release him and only have to pay him 460K. That sort of leverage may make it worthwhile for Prior to accept less money.

FWIW, unless Barry was selected very high out of high school and still decided to go to college, he was drafted out of ASU.

And was Van Poppel drafted by the A's.

"They can release him and only have to pay him 460K. That sort of leverage may make it worthwhile for Prior to accept less money."

This sort of gets at what I was saying. That maybe a totally different reason than I gave, but yet another scenario where he accepts way less than 2.8.

CHAD: "As far as I know they can offer him anything they want..."

ANYTHING? Gino's East pizza? Malnati? How about Prior PAYING the Cubs for all the DL time?!

As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather thave the team not spend ONE ounce of rehab energy on this guy, nor ONE dollar. A "great" talent that will unlikely not realize it fully. The odds of him making it back and being a dominating pitcher again are not great. I would think CUBSTER would have a more educated opinion on this matter but, my guess is that a very high percentage who go under the knife for shoulder surgery do not make it back to the MLB again. Those that do, I would surmise, rarely recover their former dominance.

Its ENOUGH with this guy already!

Yeah, that Barry Bonds pick was a real bonehead move. Not to mention, Michael Barrett, Scott Rolen, Cliff Floyd, and Eric Chavez just off the top of my Tuborg addled brain. Oh yeah, ever heard of Chipper Jones? Todd Van Poppel was the consensus #1 when the Braves took him.

Really thought that one out didn't you? Don't recall Van Poppel being a hitter either.

And Chipper Jones was the #1 pick.

Keep drinking.

and I obviously need to clarify for you in BIG, FRIENDLY LETTERS.

WITH A TOP PICK IN THE DRAFT, LET'S SAY TOP 5, AND THE CHOICE BETWEEN A COLLEGE OR HIGH SCHOOL HITTER WITH NEARLY THE SAME CEILINGS, I"LL TAKE THE COLLEGE HITTER 10 OUT OF 10 TIMES.

you guys are totally dropping the ball here...the most famous college #1 draft pick ever...

mike fontenot.

stupid cubs took mark prior, but jim hendry worked his magic to get fontenot.

now if you'll excuse me i gotta go masterbate.

[...] And as I mentioned over at TCR, the Cubs have signed two “Draft + Follow” players from the 2006 June Draft, Lake City (FL) CC 3B Jovan Rosa (a 22nd round pick of the Cubs in ‘06) and College of Southern Idaho RHP Jordan Latham (Cubs 29th round pick in June ‘06). Rosa was named his conference’s Player of the Year, and was expected to go somewhere in the first five rounds of the 2007 draft. [...]

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