ESPN: Cubs Trade Barrett to San Diego

Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Cubs have traded catcher Michael Barrett to the Padres in exchange for catcher Rob Bowen, a minor league pitcher and cash. Steve Stone, appearing on the Mike North Show (WSCR Radio in Chicago), at 9:00 a.m. local time, confirmed that Barrett was being traded, saying he (Stone) had spoken to a friend who had gotten off the phone with Barrett just minutes before. Stone also said that a source told him the Cubs had become "frustrated" with Barrett's inability to improve his defense over the past couple weeks, which led Stone to infer that the team was pursuing a deal. Stone pointed out that Jim Hendry avidly pursued Barrett during the catcher's years with the Expos and that Cubs player personnel exec Gary Hughes was also a huge Barrett supporter, having drafted him when Hughes was employed in Montreal. Mike North further reported that according to rumors that WSCR was hearing, the Cubs would be receiving Bowen and set-up man Scott Linebrink in return (different than what Olney's sources told him). Obviously, acquiring Linebrink in the swap would make the deal much more attractive from the Cubs' point of view. UPDATE (Rob G.): Olney got it right and the prospect is 19 yr old outfielder Kyler Burke, who you can read about over at "Road to Wrigley". As for our new catcher, Rob Bowen, a few scouting reports, the first from Sportsnet:
Assets: A switch-hitting catcher who excels from the left side, showing decent power. He's an above-average defensive catcher, able to block and throw very well. Flaws: He's a weak hitter from the right side and generally lacks discipline at the plate. Career potential: Good backup catcher who can be a No. 1 if needed.
And a 2004 scouting report from Baseball America I pulled off a message board:
He is solid defensively and is very agile behind the plate. He has a plus arm and has a quick release. He is also very adept at blocking balls in the dirt. Offensively, he has natural loft in his swing, which should lead to power potential. He is a switch hitter, but scouts like him better from the left side.
Essentially the Cubs are taking another shot at a raw player on the right side of 30. His caught stealing rates are pretty bad over the last few years but those can depend a lot on your pitching staff. Offensively, at least he can take a walk. At worst, we've got a much better #2 catcher as Henry Blanco's career looks in jeopardy. At best, Bowen finds his groove and we've got a relatively cheap new #1 catcher for the next three years.
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Barrett is going to a 1st place team...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6941994

The Cubs, frustrated by Michael Barrett's erratic, inattentive play, have traded the catcher to the Padres, FOXSports.com has confirmed.
The Cubs received catcher Rob Bowen, minor-league outfielder Kyler Burke and cash.The Padres, eighth in the National League in runs, have been searching for more offense. They are second in the league in on-base/slugging percentage at catcher, but Barrett would be an offensive upgrade over Josh Bard and Bowen.

Defense is another question.

Barrett, a converted infielder, had improved behind the plate in recent years but struggled with his defense and base-running this season. From that standpoint, his addition could be a risk to the Padres, who lead the NL with a 2.97 ERA.

When Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano pointed to his head in the moments leading to his brawl with Barrett, apparently questioning what the catcher was thinking, it captured the team's frustration with Barrett's play.

ESPN.com broke the initial trade story early Wednesday morning.

Barrett, 30, is batting .256 with nine homers and 29 RBIs.

Let's hope Mike North is right for a change.

SD Union Tribune reporting the PTBN is lo-A outfielder Kyler Burke.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/weblog/2...

19 year old. 35th overall pick last year out of high school. BP says he's the 9th best prospy in the Pads system.

Scout on him includes an excellent throwing arm from right-field and tremendous power. Struggling to hit pro pitching so far, though.

SD is hosting Balt., so Michael and Korey can get together and bitch tonight.

Not a terrible return, but still not in Linebrink territory. So long, Michael, and may you tan in the SoCal sun -- you certainly need it.

I think its a pipe dream that we get Scott Linebrink. i know nothing about Bowen - from his stats the guy has seen limited action. I just hope he is a very good catcher otherwise this trade is a giveaway.

Hopefully Fontenot continues to hit well into the year, and Floyd's legs don't fall off because that's the drop off from Aram and Lee now.

Cant wait to see JJ, Bowen and Neifizzy in a lineup soon.

~barf~

Jim: You take all my high-priced headaches off my hands, we'll give you a bunch of money and you don't have to give much back in return.
Kevin: I'll take your catcherand the money, but forget the rest of these bums.
Jim: In that case, can I get Linebrink?
Kevin: No.
Jim: ..... OK.

ZHL: "Michael and Korey can get together and bitch tonight."

That was uncalled for. Corey didn't bitch. Leave him alone.

Meh... I want me some Khalil.

Another important fact:

Bowen's '07 salary: $382,000
Barrett's '07 salary: $4,500,000

I doubt the cash considerations were 4 million dollars.

Carlos is greene with disgust.

As dave reported in the other thread (quoting Road to Wrigley), Colvin moving to AA. Two thoughts:

1) Tennessee is a phone call from Wrigley, as Sean Gallagher can attest.

2) Josh Kroeger plays right for Tennessee. Is he moving up, and if so, one level or two?

I love player movement! We also heard this morning that the Cubs are trying to move Izturis, which makes sense but hadn't yet been reported.

Olney is saying Burke also.

ptbnl please be Matt Bush, please be Matt Bush, please be Matt Bush...

awwww...

Okay.....big stretch on this one....but as much as TCR et al analyze the Cubs, Minnesoooooootans do the same to the Twins.

You know I just moved to Mankato, and I'm AMAZED to hear constant scrutiny of Joe Mauer.....basically copmparing him to Prior in terms of his lack of toughness. I think the term labia boy was used last night in the bar.

SOMEONE on TCR mentioned the Twins are looking to trade for Jock "Duke" Jones.

The Cubs could package JJ, a young arm (Marshall) and a pile of money for Mauer.

Let's throw THAT in Madonna's bed and see if she sleeps with it.

Joey, from Mankato

That 89 OPS will look super nice along side Izturis, Jones and the pitcher. Hits will abound!

I just scratched up some info on Burke and posted it over at Road to Wrigley

Girardi being introduced as O's manager in about 5 minutes.

The Cubs could package JJ, a young arm (Marshall) and a pile of money for Mauer.

You have to be kidding me... why aren't the Cubs asking for Santana also?

Maybe the Cubs can also trade for Jose Reyes to play SS, Beltran for CF, Utley for 2b, and Vlad Guerrero in RF?

And if we must, maybe the Cubs could make a run at Justin Verlander, Jake Peavy, and Dan Haren while they are at it.

Muskat gets her report up, speculates that Hill will become the starter.

Dave,

Not kidding you at all.......I have no clue WHAT the Cubs would have to give up, and don't really care. I'm just telling you what I heard anectdotally in the geographic area around here, and throwing something in Madonna's bed to chew on...insert pun there.

The Twins are APPARENTLY wondering if Mauer fits in long term.

Joey

I would be completely shocked if Mauer gets traded any time in the next few years.

And if he did... it most definitely would take more than JJ, Marshall, and cash.

^ Prior

Dave,

I wouldn't be shocked if he got traded, but it's only a gut feeling.

I agree......though...that it will take something substantial to get him.

girardi orioles manager=death of career

This is apropos of nothing, but the headline picture on cubs.com shows Fonenot looking like a Lilliputian high-fiving Lee. pretty funny.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com

ZHL:
Muskat gets her report up, speculates that Hill will become the starter.

I just threw up a little in my mouth.

hope Muskat is wrong, at least Bowen gets on base....

don't know much about his defense though.

Rob... his defense has been very unimpressive in the bigs - only throwing out 3 of 31 base stealers.

And his pb rate is pretty similar to Barrett's this year.

But allegedly scouting reports say his defense is good.

nice they got a catcher who's under 30 and about 3 yrs of service time left and at least could be a #1 catcher. His power numbers should be helped by getting out of Petco as well.

interesting move to make at this point but TCR should be far friendlier. :)

get rid of JJ and Izturis and they'll be nothing to bitch about.

joey from mankato, that is the most ridiculous stuff I've read in quite some time. you had a few too many at the bar if you believe that.

maybe the barstool pundits in mankato think that way, but the twins sure as shit don't, nor do most twins fans. (if you need "local" credentials, I live in minneapolis). with hunter gone after this year, mauer will be the face of the franchise for the next few years as they move into the new stadium. he's a local kid, and one of two or three young building-block players most GMs would jump on if they had to start a franchise. don't equate some silly comments by torii hunter and musings by some idiot fans for how twins management feels.

I disagree Rob, We as TCRers will find SOMETHING to bitch about

Now we are going to bitch about how well barrett is playing in SD and how the hell did Hendry give him away for essentially nothing.

Of course... from the looks of it, we will also have Bowen to bitch about.

if we're wondering why Bowen was released twice before he reached the Padres, the Twins tried to get him through waivers and the Tigers claimed him and then the Tigers tried to do the exact same thing but the Padres claimed him.

But Rob - those teams could have pulled him back off of waivers if they wanted, right?

So he was obviously not someone those teams were too excited about.

But good to hear the Cubs could have gotten Bowen for nothing instead of for a Silver Slugger catcher.

Last night during the game they ran a promo for the upcoming "Michael Barrett Jersey Night." As I watched it I thought, "OK, now Barrett's definitely getting traded." How weird.

Will it now be "Koyie Hill Jersey Night" for 100 random winners?

I'm not a scout, but while we're on the topic of catchers, is there a reason why Soto hasn't been, or won't, be given a chance to show what he can do? I know he's not a great prospect. But he's always hit relatively decently, is hitting the ball real well this year, and I seem to recall hearing that his defense was good. He may not project to be much more than a backup catcher, but it seems like the cubs have those in spades, and getting another one in bowen seems odd.

I'll give you the passed balls, alright. Fine. Catch the baesball.

But you cannot place blame for the baserunning numbers on him. No catcher in baseball could be successful with the pitching staff the Padres have.

I don't even remember who the Twins had in the rotation when he caught all of 18 games (HUGE sample, by the way). Let's see. I bet there was a Lohse. I bet there was a Radke in there. Neither of those scream "IT WAS THE CATCHER'S FAULT!" I think there was even a Mulholland in there for a while. Throwing out baserunners is impossible when you have pitchers who don't do a good job of holding runners on. I don't even know who he caught, but that grouping of pitchers tells me that if it wasn't Santana, it was tough on him.

The scout on whether or not a guy has a good throwing arm from behind the plate is very rarely incorrect. It doesn't change suddenly. If he was good at AA and AAA, he'll be good in the bigs.

At least give him a fighting chance with a rotation of 3 lefties and two power pitchers before you write his arm off for good.

hmm, I believe he was a 40-man roster casualty at the time, that they wanted to keep in the organization but didn't want to continue to keep on the 40-man. I don't think it's irrevocable, that's an AZ Phil question though.

At best, we get our #1 catcher for the next few years, at worse we got a far better #2 catcher than Blanco who's career may be done anyway.

But Koyie Hill really sucks, please don't give him the job.

Wes — June 20, 2007 @ 8:28 am
SD Union Tribune reporting the PTBN is lo-A outfielder Kyler Burke.

19 year old. 35th overall pick last year out of high school. BP says he’s the 9th best prospy in the Pads system.

Scout on him includes an excellent throwing arm from right-field and tremendous power. Struggling to hit pro pitching so far, though.

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

WES: The Cubs are loaded with left-handed hitting OFs up-and-down their system (Colvin, Fuld, Andersen, Rundle, Camp, Leclerc, Wyatt, Sommer, and N. Perez, plus Clark Hardman if the Cubs can sign him) ,all of whom are as good or better than Kyler Burke (and I have seen Burke play, in AZL '06 and ST '07).

So I think it is VERY likely that the Cubs will assign Burke to AZL Mesa where he will be converted to LHP (he was an OF/P coming out of HS, and some teams projected him as an outfielder, while others projected him as a pitcher). The one thing that impressed me about Burke was his OF arm. Otherwise, he is a mess.

And while the Cubs do not need any more left-handed OFs, they DO need LHPs. (Of the 19 pitchers assigned to AZL Mesa, one, repeat--ONE, is a LHP).

It's not unusual for the Cubs to convert a position player to pitcher (most notably Carlos Marmol, but also Randy Wells, Federico Baez, Adalberto Mendez, Brandon Taylor, Leonel Perez, Alfredo Francisco, and Carlos Bernard, and--in EXST '07--Blake Parker), so it would not be odd for the Cubs to do the same with Burke. They may do it with Ryan Harvey (who has the best OF arm in the organization and threw in the mid-90's off the mound in HS) one of these days, too.

Does anyone else think that Hendry might have something else up his sleeve in the short term? Maybe unloading Barrett's $4 mil (or most of it presumably) gives him a bit of leeway to make a move that might add to the payroll. I'd hope for a SS or RF.

Otherwise, this does seem like a desperation move to get rid of an unpopular guy for little in return. And maybe that's really all it is.

Burke was a 1st round pick last year. It seems far fetched to think they are going to put him on the mound now? If Ryan Harvey can suck it up for 4 years in the system. I would think that Burke has at least 2 years to prove he sucks before the conversion. At least in my opinion.

In a somewhat related note. What are the TCR rules regarding the blaming of players no longer on the roster? Is it poor form to Blame Barrett while his is in San Diego?

Burke was a 1st round pick last year. It seems far fetched to think they are going to put him on the mound now?

Why is it far fetched? AZ Phil already pointed out the several other players who have been moved to the mound, but you also need to remember that Burke was also a highly touted pitcher coming out of high school. SD made the decision to have him focus on playing the OF - the Cubs could decide to have him pitch instead.

Obviously Barrett can hurt our team even while in San Diego. Just remember that every time Bowen doesn't throw out a baserunner it's Barrett's fault.

People are still blaming Neifi! and Dusty for losses around here....

You don't have to poke too deep to uncover a possible Barrett/Padres conspiracy from mere days ago. If anything, the sinister shadows around Barrett are lengthening.

Good point Dave.
I guess the main reason for questioning switching Burke is that he is only 20...it's not like he's stalled at Lo-A for 3 seasons.

Either way....meh.

AZ Phil: don't forget Jim Bullinger.

Yeah, but if you are going to change someone's position, wouldn't you do it as young as possible?

Doug D-
I was thinking the same thing about Barrett.

I nominate Dempster as TCR's undeserving whipping boy

That explains the pitcher/Burke discrepancies. That also explains why I will keep coming to this site for my Cubs news... Phil da man.

Of course we can still blame Barrett. Don't be silly.

Rob G. — June 20, 2007 @ 9:27 am
if we’re wondering why Bowen was released twice before he reached the Padres, the Twins tried to get him through waivers and the Tigers claimed him and then the Tigers tried to do the exact same thing but the Padres claimed him.

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

ROB G: Rob Bowen was out of minor league options as of ST 2006, and he was claimed off waivers by DET when the Twins tried to outright him to the minors at the end of ST that year ('06).

Then the Tigers tried to outright him to the minors immediately after they claimed him, but the Padres claimed him and kept him on their 25-man roster for the entire 2006 season and so far in 2007.

And Koyie Hill is in the exact same position right now (like Bowen, Hill is out of minor league options).

The Cubs will face a similar problem with Geovany Soto and Ronny Cedeno next ST (2008), as both will be out of minor league options at that time.

With Cesar almost definitely gone, it shouldn't be too hard to find a spot for Ronny, unless Hendry has plans to re-sign Neifi.

So we trade away Barrett for nothing, with basically no real starting cather to take his place.

Looks like they really want to keep Z happy, so bye bye barrett.

F Hendry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

updated the post with some info on Bowen...

Cubs should have traded Hendry not Barrett.

this Bowen freak isn't major league.

the cubs.com story says minor league pitcher fwiw...

no mention of Burke....

Hendry has to find another trade partner to upgrade the offense at some other position...

Even with Barrett not performing up to his last couple years, this is an offensive downgrade any way you slice it. K.Hill is not a hitting catcher, and this Bowen guy is unproven and has a relatively SMALL sample size.

There needs to be a trade involving JJones and/or Izzy to upgrade offensively at some position (SS, 2B, C, RF? although Floyd in RF is temporarily OK). Unfortunately, this will probably require packaging some young guns along with those two older pieces of trash.

So I think my theory of players taking sides after the Z/Barrett fight looks pretty right on. And unfortunately for Barrett, it doesn't look like he had much support with his teammates, especially after the Hill argument too.

former pitcher and Cy Young winner Steve Stone thinks it's a bad trade for the Cubs...Stone said this morning on a Chicago sports radio station that the Cubs didn't get enough back in the trade and that it would be very difficult to replace Barrett (and his bat).

CWTP:
"Cubs should have traded Hendry not Barrett.

this Bowen freak isn’t major league."

AMEN!!!

wtf are you talking about manny?

The tone reminds me of the reaction to trading for Barrett instead of signing PudgeRod. How did that one turn out? Honestly, the Cubs got the less productive player and paid a lot less for him too. Win for Tribune, loss for Cubs.

We're going to have to part with a lot to replace his bat Cubster...

Rob, like Phil posted, I think maybe Burke IS the minor league pitcher. I was trying to crack that nut all morning.

former pitcher and Cy Young winner Steve Stone

wait... steve stone is a former pitcher and cy young winner? who knew?

and when is the last time steve stone said ANYTHING positive a move that the cubs made?

"this Bowen guy is unproven"

I'll tell you what he's proven. He's proven that he strikes out way more often than he hits safely. If you loved KKKorey you'll love Bowen.

More like Oliver Stone when he's talking about the Northside.

Rob G.:
"wtf are you talking about manny?"

I think Barrett might of lost his teammates after the Z fight and Hill argument. Like I said, just a theory, which of course I am sure you will disagree. But this trade was not made to upgrade the team, that is obvious.

Bowen 268/371/439 age 26

Barrett 256/307/427 age 30

sure Barrett's got more going for him for the bat over the last few years and he's been warming up lately, but at the very least it's a lefty bat with some patience.

and depending on the money, which is at least over a $1 million, there's probably some room to make another deal if needed.

But this trade was not made to upgrade the team, that is obvious.

Well that depends. While I am a big Barrett fan, he is made a numerous boneheaded plays that simply do not show up anywhere in stats.

The Cubs may feel that they simply cannot deal with his mental lapses and poor defense anymore.

From all appearances, Barrett has been fine with Z and all of the other pitchers on the team. I really do no think that it had anything to do with players "picking sides" or "loosing teammates" or anything like that.

Jim Hendry continues to demonstrate he is unfit for command...top tier GMs (like Dave Dombrowski and Walt Jocketty) would never have done this trade with the Padres...I'm quite sure that the new owners of the Cubs will bring in a new GM - that might be one of the first decisions that they make.

I think Barrett might of lost his teammates after the Z fight and Hill argument. Like I said, just a theory, which of course I am sure you will disagree. But this trade was not made to upgrade the team, that is obvious.

You think that based off absolutely nothing and your theory is full of s***. How about read the parts where his teammates backed Barrett up?

and if Bowen is a defensive upgrade which he sounds like, how is it not to help the team or at the very least a lateral move that might help take on salary in July?

He's also hitting better this year than Barrett (sure in limited time) in a very unfriendly hitting environment.

Come on Rob... do you really think that is a fair comparison? Barrett has obviously slumped offensively for most of the year, but he as also pretty clearly been coming out of that slump (and you have said so yourself).

Bowen isn't nearly the offensive player that Barrett is.

Given that Jim Hendry and Gary Hughes are big Michael Barrett fans, I would think this move (exchanging Barrett for a different catcher) was something Lou Piniella requested/demanded at the clubhouse meeting with the bosses at Wrigley Field a couple of weeks ago.

Hendry probably told Uncle Lou to keep playing Barrett as often as he could stand it (to keep his trade value as high as possible), while he (Hendry) would work on making a deal.

Probably the same thing is happening with Jacque Jones and Scott Eyre.

I'll have to agree with Stoney on this one, but it was only slightly in the San Diego Madres favor. By now Barrett should be thought of as a rental and he hasn't really added a lot of value to the Cub's this year anyways.

If Bowen is an upgrade over Barrett, why were the Cubs also able to get a prospect and salary relief?

From an outsider's point of view this seems to be a straight dump of Barrett, which may not be such a bad thing.

Bowen isn’t nearly the offensive player that Barrett is.

This year? no...

Going forward? Bowen's 26 with patience, chances are his better years are coming. Remember where Barrett was when we traded for him? I wouldn't be suprised if Bowen/Barrett hit about the same over the next 3 years.

dave:
...plays that simply do not show up anywhere in stats.

I'm so proud of you!!! :)))

"Bowen 268/371/439 age 26

Barrett 256/307/427 age 30

sure Barrett’s got more going for him for the bat over the last few years and he’s been warming up lately, but at the very least it’s a lefty bat with some patience.

and depending on the money, which is at least over a $1 million, there’s probably some room to make another deal if needed."

C'mon Rob, how dare you look at this trade objectively, with number and stuff...

I think it is clear that Barrett's miscues were quite a drag on the team. We get a better defensive catcher, with much better patience at the plate, along with a prospect that has a chance of contributing a few years down the line. While this does, no doubt, hurt the Cubs offensively, I do think that it puts them in position to make other moves without adding to their payroll. I would like to see those moves made soon, though.

I keep hearing references to Bowen's patience at the plate, but the scouting reports say he has poor plate discipline.

I'm not thrilled with the trade or anything, but obviously the organization was fed up with Barrett's boneheaded plays just like most fans and were definitely not planning to resign him.

Might as well get something and it's not like the rest of the league isn't aware of Barrett's deficinies (sp?). They all get Sportscenter.

I’m so proud of you!!! :)))

Thanks... glad you approve.

But while I like stats and find them incredibly valuable for evaluating players, I also have never denied that there are other issues - things like dropped foul pop-ups, base running blunders, etc that often cannot be measured by stats.

Not sure why you imply otherwise.

I use stats to evaluate what can be tracked by numbers, or when others make claims that are blatantly opposite to what the actual facts (stats) say.

he's not drawing a ton of walks but his OBP has been consistenly 100 pts better than his BA in the minors and majors.

The Trib is reporting that the Cubs will pay most of what's remaining on Barrett's contract. As a Hendry supporter, (there aren't many of us on this board) this deal doesn't make any sense to me unless they're setting up another trade.

Rynox I noticed that in the other thread. I think the good plate discipline reaction comes from the differentail between his average and OBP in his ML plate appearances. Nice OBP for what a crummy average he's had.

Rob:

Where are you getting the patience thing? The scouting report I read said he had poor plate discipline, and he's struck out roughly one in four at bats through his minor league career. His OBP in the minors is in the .320 range -- not exactly stellar, especially when matched with a sub .400 SLG.

I keep hearing references to Bowen’s patience at the plate, but the scouting reports say he has poor plate discipline.

Hmmm... not sure where the scouting reports get that, as he has always shown patience:
Minors (ave/obp): .238/.324
Majors:.206/.298

A 90 point difference in ave/obp shows good patience. Of course, patience isn't so helpful when you are hitting .206, or even .238.

dave:
"…plays that simply do not show up anywhere in stats."

Anyone know if there's a stat somewhere that shows the relative importance of defensive miscues? Kind of like an ERA for errors or something?

For example, Barrett's throw into leftfield before the fight would be weighted more heavily than a throwing error to first with 2 outs and no one on base that led to 0 runs scored.

If something like that exists, I'd love to see it.

There's a genius poll on ESPN.com. Who is most to blame for the Cubs problems? Barrett is one of the choices.

Rob G.:
"You think that based off absolutely nothing and your theory is full of s***. "

Well, thanks for your theory...

dave:
Not sure why you imply otherwise.

I'm not implying anything... I just like to bust your balls because you like the stats and I only like stats a little bit. I meant it in a fun-spirited way, I hope you weren't offended.

I think the team will be better just with the subtraction of Barrett's poor defense. It doesn't matter what the catchers hit, as long as they can field at average or above average levels this is an improvement. That said, Bowen's career stats for throwing out runners in the majors is horrible, 5 for 50.Hopefully that's because the SD pitchers never held anyone on, but he did have similar poor stats throwing out only 11% of runners when he was in Minnesota. Bowen has seemed to hit well against us.

My biggest bitch with Barrett, besides his erratic throwing, was his pitch location. Even if the bench was calling some of the pitches, which it's been clear they have since Barrett arrived, Barrett's location he offers with his glove is often completely bone-headed, and that's something the coaches on the bench can't call. Barrett was good for at least two baserunners a game advancing to second base that shouldn't have happened. So if we just have average defensive catchers that should be an improvement. I don't look at Bowen as any long term answer, nor Hill. I don't think either is a stud defensive catcher. Hill himself said on Santo's pregame show a couple of weeks ago that he's always been considered an offensive catcher and he gets here and everyone is calling him a defensive catcher.

I suspect that the Cubs wanted, they could find a top defensive catcher who can't hit and is stuck in someone's minor leagues, just like there are normally a handful of great glove, no-hit shortstops stuck in the minors.

Rob G, just an FYI you have him listed as Tyler Burke in your post, and it is actually Kyler Burke

There’s a genius poll on ESPN.com.

Damn... I thought I could take the poll and find out if I was a genius...

I meant it in a fun-spirited way, I hope you weren’t offended.

Nope... not offended.

I saw that poll too, Horatio

- Barrett
- Z
- Lou
- Injuries

Any chance I can just pick Bristol, CT? Mo-rons...

My mind is off on a tangent...I have a stat question and wonder if anyone has done the research.

Is reaching base via error a skill? I mean, do some guys (for instance, fast guys or guys who hit lots of grounders) get on via error more often than guys who don't? Or are errors pretty much randomly distributed.

Levine says the Cubs will pick up appx half of what remains on Barrett's contract this season.

RobR:
"From an outsider’s point of view this seems to be a straight dump of Barrett, "

Exactly!!!

Cubnut:
"Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Cubs have traded catcher Michael Barrett to the Padres in exchange for catcher Rob Bowen, a minor league pitcher and cash."

"Rob G.:
"and depending on the money, which is at least over a $1 million, there’s probably some room to make another deal if needed."

Hey guys, ESPN is reporting that we are sending the Padres money, not them sending us money.

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

"The Padres also will receive cash considerations from the Cubs"

On paper this is a very bad trade, a clear dump of Barrett.

I was puzzled at the time and even more puzzled now that the Cubs didn't draft the catcher from Georgia Tech. I don't know when they decided to get rid of Barrett, but either way, with the lack of good catching prospects in the organization and Barretts pending free agency and now trade, Weiters should have been the pick.

To me this shows once again that Hendry reacts to things that happen rather than being capable of any strategic planning and that is a main reason we are where we are.

I still think K. Hill can hit (although R. Hill can't), but in any case, the number eight slot in the batting order was made for catchers. Ask the Cardinals, who won the Series last year with a catcher who batted .216 during the season. (But it was bittersweet, because what they really wanted was the Silver Slugger trophy.)

When Aramis comes back, DeRosa will have to move to short, since Fontenot isn't going to budge. The batting order one to seven will be solid.

I've seen Bowen catch enough to know that he is at least solid fundamentally behind the plate. I have seen high school catchers with better mechanics than Barrett. I could never understood why Barrett could not or would not work to develop basic catching fundamentals.

I am no Hendry fan but I believe it is the best deal he could have made..

Barrett was good for at least two baserunners a game advancing to second base that shouldn’t have happened.

Seriously? Don't make things up...

Barrett has had 32 runners steal on him this year, in 54 (51 starts) games. That is much less than one a game.

So while Barrett has been down right bad throwing out runners this year, it doesn't help your argument to make up stats that are not true about the guy.

It's not a dump. It appears that Lou (like many around here, note) felt Barrett's glove hurt more than his belt helped and so he wanted a young, glove-first catcher. That's exactly what the Cubs got in return, plus a prospect.

Now whether or not that kind of trade is a good idea is a completely different matter, and one I happen to disagree with, but this wasn't a dump.

I have only been bitching for the last couple years how Barrett can't block pitches in the dirt and low and behold that is one of the reasons he got his ass traded out of town.

It might have been fine to have a shitty Catcher on Dusty's teams but not on Lou's. I am happy and I am sure our pitching staff is happy as hell to see him gone. One of the worst defensive catchers i will probably ever see, he makes Piazza actually look like a gold glover behind the plate.

Any chance I can just pick Bristol, CT? Mo-rons…

Seriously... how can a poll be about the Cubs struggles without even mentioned in the bullpen.

DeRosa will have to move to short

Not sure why you think DeRosa would move to SS, being that he has not played there once all year.

Hendry on conference call:

* Happy with Koyie Hill
* We needed to "shuffle the deck"
* Bowen's going to be with us for a while
* Starter decided on daily basis by Lou
* Not worried about there being a hole in lineup
* Scoring "will take care of itself"
* Barrett tries too hard, leading to defensive lapses
* Excited about Tyler Burke (enthusiastically reminds us about his status as a former sandwich pick)
* "All of us thought Michael would be able to take one more step forward this year"
* No pitcher said "I don't want Barrett catching."
* Been in works 3-4 days.

Good luck with that.

I've used this before here, but on occasion as a manager of personnel, I've ended up in a situation of making a less-than-ideal change. On those occasions, I have described it as "A bad idea, whose time has come."

I read here several partially-explaining rationales for today's trade, all of which by themselves don't entirely hold water, but collectively...maybe so.

Lou would have had a pretty strong argument for pressing Hendry for this change, as in, "Are you kidding me? The guy is in national headlines for dugout arguments, has shown that he'll track down a teammate in the clubhouse," etc and definitely would not be wanted in the toolbox of a first-year Lets Turn Things Around manager. I'm not sure at what point positive offensive contribution could have compensated for the negatives.

* I am going to go eat my doughnuts now, so leave me alone
* And after that start slowly packing my bags for is we don't make the playoffs again, a new owner will see I am incompetent.

I like Barrett, but I had resigned myself to the idea that due to his recent slump and his continued poor defense, he wouldn't be back next year. I personally think Hendry probably could have got more for him, especially if he waited a few more weeks, but the negative attention recently surely limited his trade value. I wouldn't be surprised if this a setup move for a bigger trade, especially since the Cubs now have a surplus of very young quality minor league outfielders. I also wouldn't be surprised if this is just a pure dump, exchanging the poor defense, high salary, and above average offense of Barrett for the average (or even plus) defense, low salary, and average offense of Bowen.

I would be surprised though if the Trib picks up most of the rest of Barrett's contract. That would clearly lessen the merit of this move.

* Mmmmm..... Sandwich Pick..... drool......

If anybody here with access to mlb.com game archives has any doubt about the importance of pitch selection, I urge him to watch the Dempster meltdown in Atlanta on June 10th with Barrett catching, followed by Dempster's save the next night against Houston with Hill calling the pitches.

Speaking of Slider Mike, what was he thinking last night on the pitch that Kinsler tagged for his second home run? Or, to paraphrase Z, was he out of his effing mind?

Piniella did the right thing: yanked the pitcher and traded the catcher.

Dave-"Seriously… how can a poll be about the Cubs struggles without even mentioned in the bullpen."

That would require research and thought.

This was a dump of Barrett. Lou is wielding some power over there unlike previous management that would go into a coma and blame the media and umpires and hot weather.

I'm hoping Hendry has something else up his sleeve, like I said I wouldnt mind Pierzynski here if they want to win this year.

and if the Padres end up representing the National League in the World Series with Barrett behind the plate how will the Cubs feel...? It's possible that Hendry will have helped send a missing piece of the puzzle to a National League contender (and we're paying for most of Barrett's salary too)....hmmmm....does this really make sense...??

Another Manny theory - thanks but no thanks!

Hendry's first gift to young Rob Bowen to help him build his confidence... Kameron Loe at Arlington.

especially since the Cubs now have a surplus of very young quality minor league outfielders.

Not sure that Burke fits under "quality," nor am I sure that the Cubs have a surplus of said quality minor league outfielders.

* Excited about Tyler Burke (enthusiastically reminds us about his status as a former sandwich pick)

You mean... the pick that the Cubs could have gotten next year because they didn't re-sign Barrett?

Bogey said: Levine says the Cubs will pick up appx half of what remains on Barrett’s contract this season.

Once again, one of our bargain players turns out not to be such a bargain.

Not true, L.A. ... we all know Milwaukee will win the Series this year... Boston, White Sox, St. Louis... just follow the pattern of "Whose World Series victory will most infuriate Cub fans?"

Well, now here's the problem. We've got our three or four headed catching conundrum, and these possibilities for 2008:

Jorge Posada (36 years old)
Ivan Rodriguez (36 years old, has a club option)
Paul Lo Duca (36 years old)
Jason Kendall (34 years old)

I took Barrett off that list. Didn't figure he counted.

Barrett not behind the plate alone is an upgrade to the Cubs. Anyone else we recieved in the deal is a bonus!

If anybody here with access to mlb.com game archives has any doubt about the importance of pitch selection,

I don't think anyone doubts the importance of pitch selection. But what some of us DO doubt is the importance of the catcher in pitch selection. Pitch selection is a team decision - made by the pitcher, catcher, and the pitching coach, with the final decision on the shoulders of the pitcher.

Not sure that Burke fits under “quality,” nor am I sure that the Cubs have a surplus of said quality minor league outfielders.

Considering that Burke is 19 years old, the 35th pick last year, and raked in high school, I think he's at least marginally "quality." As for the surplus, see AZ Phil's list of our OF prospects in the lower minor leagues.

Once again, one of our bargain players turns out not to be such a bargain.

No... that is not necessarily what picking up some of the salary means. It simply means the Padres were using the negotiating power (i.e. the cubs really wanted to get rid of Barrett) to extract the most possible.

According to BCB, Levine apparently reported that the deal originally was for Khalil Greene and Bowen in exchange for Barrett, Izturis, and Jacque.

jacos:
"I’m hoping Hendry has something else up his sleeve,"

He does..... a twinkie!!!

If you're going to look at this trade "rationally" you have stop cherry picking stats. Here's the real Rob Bowen

Minor League Career 1655 AB's
.238 .324 .391 strike out rate 25%
Major League Career 213 AB's
.230 .327 .376 strike out rate 32%

Dave Said:

Barrett was good for at least two baserunners a game advancing to second base that shouldn’t have happened.

Seriously? Don’t make things up…

Barrett has had 32 runners steal on him this year, in 54 (51 starts) games. That is much less than one a game.

So while Barrett has been down right bad throwing out runners this year, it doesn’t help your argument to make up stats that are not true about the guy.

---------------------

Maybe you don't understand, it's not only his horrible career 23% rate of throwing out baserunners (18% this season), but also his 8 passed balls this season (30 in 4 seasons as a Cub), and by his poor pitch calling AND location calling, guys get hits that shouldn't. Look at some of the comments above about the difference in Dempster with Barrett catching and with Hill catching.

BTW, in 3 1/2 seasons with the Cubs Barrett allowed 263 stolen bases.

More than half hate the trade, but did anyone actually want to resign Barrett for 3/27 this offseason? Or you all just wanted him for three more months and a sandwich pick?

Plenty of teams will give him 3/27 in December... none of them will admit it in June.

VA Phil:
"Once again, one of our bargain players turns out not to be such a bargain."

Yeah, Todd Walker was supposedly a bargain. Also, JJ is considered a "bargain" , but i am sure when he is dumped we will be paying some of that salary too.

Who would we have to bitch about if Barrett, Izzy and Jacque all got traded at once? That would have really been disorienting...

Another Burke scouting report, courtesy of Brewerfan.net:

You don’t find players that are more exciting all around than Kyler Burke. Entering the season as a high average hitter with a disciplined eye, he has added power to his game, approaching single-season marks for home runs in the state of Tennessee. He has incredible offensive potential, and is a true five-tool athlete who also has good speed and a strong throwing arm from the outfield. He also has made a name for himself on the mound as a left-handed pitcher, touching 93 on occasion and consistently working in the 88-90 mph range with a promising breaking ball. Burke’s commitment to Vanderbilt may scare some big-league clubs away on draft day, but his talents on the field won’t.

Obviously, this was before he hit .209 last year and .211 thus far this year.

Mike Murphy on WSCR right now. Love him or hate him, usually interesting Cub broadcast...

Direct quote from NOW: "If you don't like this trade, you don't like Lou Pinella. You like the old regime."

Andrew-

Ohh!! That would have been good!

Maybe you don’t understand ...

No... I understand. You are making something up (i.e. Barrett allows at least two runners a game to advance to second) in order to bash a player, even though what you are making up has little connection to facts. You are simply making it up.

Pudge Rodriguez will retire with the Tigers - he loves the Manager and the owner and has worked well with their young pitching staff. Pudge also makes about $10M/yr.

I can't believe the Yankees will let Posada go as he has performed very well for them...with the Yankees payroll they can keep any player they want to sign.

Not sure what the Cubs will do next year...depends on the new ownership, a possible new GM, and the payroll that is set for 2008.

OK,

Here's my bet:

Michael Barrett catches more post season games than Hill and this newest scrub combined. Any takers?

Zambrano, you better keep the 1 hitters going, or guess what, you're next.

dave said: Pitch selection is a team decision - made by the pitcher, catcher, and the pitching coach, with the final decision on the shoulders of the pitcher.

Larry Rothschild said this a couple of days ago:

“Years ago it was different. In today’s world, for whatever reason, pitchers don’t shake off catchers a whole lot."

In other words, if you want the right pitch in the right location, better talk to the catcher.

#128 Frisco..............Stolen bases are not the only mark of a bad catcher. Barrett just has bad mechanics.

Oh Frisco, if you only knew that pitchers shake off pitches they don't want. Especially catchers they don't have a lot of confidence in. A catcher's sign is a suggestion for almost every ballclub at every level. It's not mandatory unless it comes from the dugout.

"Barrett just has bad mechanics."

I don't care if he stood on his head when he caught, what the hell does 'bad mechanics' have to do with anything?

Sure he hit 54 home runs last year, but that's an ugly swing.

This whole 'he calls a bad game' thing is a pile. VA Phil the other day was stating how Hill was a genius for standing up when calling for a high fastball, this is a move if Barrett didn't invent, he's pretty much trademarked.

Dempster, Lilly, Zambrano all said they like him. Maybe you think it's a grand conspiracy theory, or maybe, just maybe, you don't know what you're talking about.

I get to work and I'm told the news by a Cub fan employee. I come here and there are already 139 posts. WOW.

I don't know if its been said before here but this is just the first trade of a big move coming. We just lost a bat and our offense needs more bats. So? So expect Migeul Tejada to be in Chicago before 7/31.

Mark it down.

I associate myself with E-Man and Murphy in #133. The Cubs are trying to fix what's broken.

They're actually getting better, day by day. A few weeks ago they were sinking. Now they're treading water. Maybe at some point they'll start swimming or sailing.

and where the catcher sets up isn't that big of a deal, either. If he isn't setup where I want him, I step off the rubber. He comes out and we talk about it.

Don't excuse poor pitching on poor pitch calling and where the catchers setup. Pitchers make the decision.

Might be right, Chad. I like that thought. A lot.

I'm hedging my bet there or on the Griffey for Jacque & Gallagher/Marshall deal. I think Krivsky would be stupid to trade away the only thing selling tickets (Jr's chase for 600), but if he wants to dump, he'll dump anyway.

Maddux also said he liked or didn't mind Barrett catching him, and Maddux is notoriously picky about his catchers. I'd also wager that the Pad's GM ran this by Maddux before he made the deal.

Maddux may have said that....but who ended up catching Maddux most of the time? Actions speak louder than words.

Nice try though.

"Maddux also said he liked or didn’t mind Barrett catching him, and Maddux is notoriously picky about his catchers"

Than why did he have Blanco catch for him for the majority of his games?

I wonder if one of the "silent" beneficiaries of this trade is Scott Eyre. If Eyre's problem was "no confidence" rather than a sore arm or bad mechanics, a catcher who knows how to call a game and put his mitt in the proper spot just might make him useful again...naw, probably not...what the hell am I thinkin'

There is also this nugget from a Yahoo article...

Barrett also was involved in a heated discussion with starter Rich Hill in the dugout during the fourth inning of a loss to the Seattle Mariners on June 12.

I must of missed that. Michael Barrett making friends left and right on the team! Good riddance to the mental retard.

You know your catcher is stupid when he starts getting hated by the starting rotation. Ummm Michael if you make them all your enemies, they aren't going to trade the staff, they are gonna trade you. *shakes head* Wow, what an idiot.

Uh, check the splits. Other than '04 where Bako caught Maddux almost exclusively, Barrett caught the majority of Maddux' starts.

And the Hill/Barrett thing, for the 1000th time, is bullshit. Everyone involved said afterwards that Hill was yelling at himself about making a bad pitch.

But hey, who gives a shit about the truth.

Andy MacPhail hired by the Orioles.

Welcome to 10 more years of losing Orioles fans. If you absolutely need a player....Andy will never get him.

But hey vorare who gives a shit about Barrett being a lousy catcher. Obviously Lou cares, cuz he aint on the team anymore.

Maddux may have said that….but who ended up catching Maddux most of the time?

Than why did he have Blanco catch for him for the majority of his games?

Sorry to trouble you guys with things like facts, but Barrett actually caught the vast majority of Maddux's starts as a Cub last year.

Blanco only caught 8 of Maddux's 22 Cub starts in 2006, and 3 of those were during Barrett's suspension.

Maddux got a personal catcher in 2004, but Barrett did most of his games in 2005 and 2006.

and when is the last time steve stone said ANYTHING positive a move that the cubs made?

I believe he really liked the Izturis trade... A year before he was really talking Cesar up...

Take that for what it's worth...

dave — June 20, 2007 @ 9:43 am
Burke was a 1st round pick last year. It seems far fetched to think they are going to put him on the mound now?

Why is it far fetched? AZ Phil already pointed out the several other players who have been moved to the mound, but you also need to remember that Burke was also a highly touted pitcher coming out of high school. SD made the decision to have him focus on playing the OF - the Cubs could decide to have him pitch instead.

..........................................................................

Dave and Phil, I would say that it would be far fetched because the kid was a 1st rounder LAST year. If the cubs were looking to get a pitcher out of the deal they would have gotten one instead of this guy. SD invested 950K and a 1st rounder in this kid less than a year ago. One has to assume that they would part with a further advanced AA type guy before cutting bait with Burke.

MikeC:
"You know your catcher is stupid when he starts getting hated by the starting rotation. Ummm Michael if you make them all your enemies, they aren’t going to trade the staff, they are gonna trade you. *shakes head* Wow, what an idiot."

Hey, Rob G. you care to comment on this?? :)

Why does it seem like Jim Hendry is the master of selling when a player is at his lowest value?

One of the funniest things about this is that Barrett's "pitchers hate him" reputation started in '04 when Prior pitched better with Bako than with Barrett. Prior was still the Golden Child at that point, so group of Cubs fans decided that his struggles were all Barrett's fault. Good thing Gabor got him turned around, eh?

Hey if you love Barrett so much go be a Padre's fan now. I am happy as hell to get rid of the 3rd baseman trying to impersonate a catcher.

I stand corrected.

I agree with AZ Phil that the origin of this move goes back to Lou's meeting with Cubs upper management 2-3 weeks ago. I've been expecting a similar announcement on Jack and Eyre since then.

But let's take a moment and review what Lou has accomplished in less than 70 games, that Dusty couldn't or didn't want to try for 4 years:

Eyre couldn't get anybody out - moved to garbage time in the pen, recall Marmol. (Trade pending).

Murton couldn't play OF or run the bases - enjoying the summer in Iowa.

Izturis couldn't hit water falling out of a boat - watching Theriot play SS more than he starts while Fontenot plays 2B at least 3-4 starts a week.

Barrett couldn't catch rain behind the plate and wasn't hitting .305 anymore - traded for the best C available AT THIS MOMENT.

Jack Jones couldn't play OF or hit a bull in the ass with a broom - Pie recalled to catch everything in the black hole between Soriano and Cliffy.

A couple of other observations, Lou is going to suffer fools who can't field a position, run the bases, or throw balls everywhere but over the plate.

Also, let's face facts on Barrett - Hendry gambled (and lost) that MB could make the next adjustment in his game and/or still hit close to .300 - he didn't. He's a free agent after the season and some idiot team will give him the 6-8MM he's looking for - thank God it won't be the Cubs. Bowen and Kyler Burke is about what you get in return from a guy who'll be a FA in less than 4 months.

Also, wasn't Barrett's ERA with starting pitchers something like 1.5 runs more than Blanco/Bako/et al? You better be hitting more than .300 and driving in 75+ runs if that's really true.

I like the moves Lou has been pushing fo.

# 161 -- MikeC:

Exactly. Some people are putting out the argument that a catcher hitting for power is a rare and wonderful thing. Of course, the problem with that argument is that Barrett is NOT a catcher.

It takes more than catcher's gear and the ability to squat to call yourself a catcher.

anyone out there have an idea about how long it might take for a new catcher to adequately learn his pitchers in order to catch them effectively?

George Altman -- 163:
Also, wasn’t Barrett’s ERA with starting pitchers something like 1.5 runs more than Blanco/Bako/et al? You better be hitting more than .300 and driving in 75+ runs if that’s really true.

Sure, Maddux and other Cubs pitchers said nice things about Barrett. I'll do what I usually do: Ignore what baseball players say and look at the facts. IMO, the differential in ERA of Cubs pitchers based on who is catching is a damning stat for Barrett.

There wasn't a difference last year in catcher ERA. Actually, Barrett was slightly lower. We had this discussion in the offseason. That is a misconception that you are perpetuating.

wasn’t Barrett’s ERA with starting pitchers something like 1.5 runs more than Blanco/Bako/et al?

No.

This is from one of Manny's comment a way's back:

2006:
Barrett - 4.57 CERA and .191 CS%
Blanco - 4.98 CERA and .429 CS%

2005:
Barrett - 4.45 CERA and .231 CS%
Blanco - 3.58 CERA and .487 CS%

2004:
Barrett - 3.88 CERA and .250 CS%
Bako - 3.53 CERA and .294 CS%

2003:
Barrett - 4.26 CERA and .385 CS%
Schneider - 3.75 CERA and .529 CS%

2002:
Barrett - 3.75 CERA and .289 CS%
Schneider - 4.37 CERA and .435 CS%

2001:
Barrett - 4.58 CERA and .195 CS%
Schneider - 4.03 CERA and .500 CS%

He freed Willie Horton ... he nailed Donna Rice .... eats babies.... =)

Of course... it is absolutely necessary to point out that CERA is a worthless stat that tells us VERY little.

For example... if you are looking at CERA - Barrett went from handling pitchers worse than Schneider, to better than Schneider, to worse than Schneider, all within 3 years. Crazy, eh?

Mike, I don't even like Barrett that much. I do think he's a net positive, but I would much rather have a guy like Mauer, Martinez, or even Martin.

I just can't freaking stand the way he's made into a scapegoat for this team. He doesn't injure pitchers arms; he doesn't make rookies or aging middle infielders get on base at a sub-.300 clip, he doesn't make relievers forget how to pitch, he doesn't make star players suffer freak injuries, etc. ad nauseum. Getting rid of him isn't going to be some magic shot that fixes this team.

And the flat out misinformation is also incredibly fruestrating as well. Just look at how much bullshit there was in this thread. Ugh.

I predicted the Cubs would trade for Bowen, except I thought it would be Jones for Bowen...

I predict Murton and Gallagher to go next.

The question we need to ask ourselves is...

Will Bowen punch AJ when the time comes?

carmen of the trumpet: since you were right on who the cubs got but not who they gave up...

why not make your next prediction for who they get, not who goes in the trade?

Re #159 "Why does it seem like Jim Hendry is the master of selling when a player is at his lowest value? "

Doesn't it make sense that you wouldn't trade a player at the highest peak of his value because he's performing his best at that point? Players on any team become tradeable when they aren't performing well (or if they demand to be traded). The trick is what you get on the other end of the deal.

In 2005, Barrett was tied for lowest catcher ERA in the NL:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/...

ugh, Bill Hall grand salami in the first inning off another hundred million dollar pitcher gone bad.

Anyone know what hotel the Beermakers use in Chicago? They'll be in town next weekend.

I ... um ..... want to get Suppan's autograph.

“All of us thought Michael would be able to take one more step forward this year”

what a flippin moron.

Vorare-
" but I would much rather have a guy like Mauer, Martinez, or even Martin." You mean you'd like someone like the top catchers in the game?
Lol....that is funny dude......reminids me of how Costanza schemed to get Griffey and Bonds for the Yankees.
Just busting your chops a bit....I know what you meant.

For this team to improve it needs to have a culture overhaul and that means getting rid of guys who cannot play the game smartly. I like Bowen. He is a above average defensive catcher, who is improving offensively. I have also heard he has plus speed for a catcher. Coming from the Twins organization, I am assume (of course Jacque disproves this) he is a fundamentally sound player.

Anyone know the most recent scoop on Saltalamacchia's availability? He seems like a bit of an extra on that Braves team...

barrett for bowen...got my ideal wish. sweet.

bowen/blanco-hill-soto...works for me.

got to the party late...182 posts to skim...wee.

I heard Steve Stone say one-two months ago that the Braves are keeping both Salty and McCannics.

Guess who's been catching Marquis, Hill and Lilly this year when they have done very well? That'd be Barrett.

Revisionist history is such a ridiculous thing. People are determined to dislike Barrett, so they see what they want to see, which is why stats are good, because they counteract emotion.

The fact is we got rid of a proven offensive player who was starting to come out of his slump for a potentially backup catcher who has never shown he can hit, who has done a poor job throwing out baserunners and stopping pitches, and we haven't created much financial flexibility because we're paying much of Barrett's contract.

Maybe this catcher is going to be decent in the future, but isn't Lou here to win this year? How is getting a prospect going to help that? This team is such a mess with its combination of aging players with backloaded contracts and young prospects. There is simply no real plan right now.

Either we are supposed to win this year, which means having proven players, or we're trying to rebuild, which would mean young prospects. You can't do both.

Jordan, Dave, et al:

If you throw in ALL the other Cub catchers' CERA against Barret's CERA, Barrets' was significantly worse from 2004 to the present with the exception of 2006.

Call it a worthless stat if you like, but there it is in black and white, from ESPN.com.

Also, CERA aside, don't try to tell me that Barrett is anything but awful behind the plate and on the bases once he finally gets on base.

wow..once again a hate for things other than the players being considered has worked its way into the evaluation of the trade.

who wants to pay barrett 8-10m to catch for the cubs next year?

who thinks bowen sucks?

that's 2 pretty fair outcome questions to this...we could speculate if more could have been had, but there are also those that think the only thing keeping tejada from becoming a cub the last 2 years is a phone call.

Call it a worthless stat if you like, but there it is in black and white, from ESPN.com.

Sure... there are the numbers, in black and white. Unfortunately the numbers tell us very little. CERA is only worthwhile if you can compare two catchers in similar situations - i.e. catching the same pitchers against similar teams.

don’t try to tell me that Barrett is anything but awful behind the plate and on the bases once he finally gets on base.

Who tried to tell you that? No one is saying that Barrett is good defensively. But catcher's ERA sure as hell doesn't prove it.

i mean, hell...bowen is "boring".

he's most likely gonna be a non-factor at the plate compared to the rest of the lineup, but he's gonna be cheap and reliable behind the plate without being a flaming do-nothing at the plate.

no i-rod here...no mcann here...but hell, there's only 2 teams i know of with an irod/mcann...victor martinez is a pimp, but no one knows how much longer CLE will let him catch.

Oh... and 2007 CERA, since those in Urbana seem to like it so much as proof that Barrett sucks:

Barrett: 4.04
Blanco: 4.17

There is very little difference there. And their CS%?

Barrett: .179
Blanco: .167

Seems like decent deal to me.

Career:
Barrett .267 .325 .431
Bowen .268. 371 .439

Why in the hell are people whining?

My two cents about the trade comes from an email my friend just sent me.

'I don't know about anyone else, but I'm just excited at the prospect of not hearing "the ball gets by Barrett!! the runners move up to second and third!" followed immediately by "ahhhJEEZ!!!"'

CERA...

paul f'n loduca's 03 year is all you need to know about cera...believe that's an all-time top-10 performance.

loduca out there making pimps of nomo, brown, ishii, and one of the best bullpen's ever.

its gotta be loduca, not the pitchers.

Wild Thing - maybe you should take a look at Barrett's numbers over the last three years.

Do you really think that Barrett's season numbers are indicative of what we would expect from him the rest of the season?

And look at Bowen's career numbers, both in the minors and the majors.

Both players seem to be have exceptional years. And we traded away the player who revert to the mean and get better for a player who should revert to the mean and get worse.

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