Orioles Claim Novoa off Waivers

The Baltimore Orioles have claimed RHP Roberto Novoa off waivers from the Cubs. Acquired along with 3B Scott Moore and OF Bo Flowers from the Tigers in February 2005 in exchange for RHP Kyle Farnsworth, the 26-year old Novoa spent the entire 2007 on the DL after suffering a fractured shoulder in an off-season car crash. In his two previous seasons with the Cubs (2005 and 2006), Novoa went 6-6 with a 4.33 ERA in 115 games (all in relief), allowing 124 hits and 19 HR in 120.2 IP, with 57 BB and 100 K and a 1.50 WHIP. Because Novoa, Mark Prior, and Angel Guzman were on the DL going into the post-season, the Cubs were able to add three players to their post-season roster who were not on their 25-man roster as of 8/31 (Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Hart, and Geovany Soto), but once the Cubs were eliminated, there was no further need to keep Novoa on the DL. Players on the 60-day DL do not have to be placed back onto the 40-man roster until rosters are frozen on 11-20, but wth 2+169 of accumulated MLB service time, Novoa will almost certainly qualify as a "Super Two" for salary arbitration purposes, and so he probably would have been non-tendered by the Cubs on 12/12. And because he is eligible to be a Six-Year Minor League FA, even if he had cleared waivers today, he probably would have refused his outright assignment to the minors and would have opted for free-agency instead. So this way, the Cubs get $20,000 instead of nothing. Novoa joins a host of other "refugees" from the Cubs who are now in the Orioles organization, including (among others) RHPs Francis Beltran, Chadd Blasko, Rocky Cherry, and Jon Leicester, IF-OF Freddie Bynum, OFs Jason Dubois, Jason Fransz, Luis Montanez, and Corey Patterson, 3B Scott Moore, and 1B Brandon Sing, former Cubs President Andy McPhail, and ex-Cubs Scouting Director John Stockstill. Also, Orioles manager Dave Trembley and bullpen coach Alan Dunn are former coaches in the Cubs minor league system, and ex-Cubs RHP Kennie Steenstra is pitching coach at the Orioles Delmarva club in the South Atlantic League.
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The end of the Robert Novoa Experience.

send sound ~electric guitar~

AZ Phil,

Can we expect Trachsel, Kendall, Floyd, and Wood to file for free agency. Cotts, Prior, and Monroe to be non-tendered. Options picked up on Eyre and Floyd. Wood the only FA they try to keep? Also, how is Guzman handled? Can he remain on the 60 Day DL for the 2008 season?

Thanks for the review of Cubs cast-offs on the Orioles - I was wondering, as I read, just how many of ours they've taken in the last few years.

This has always been something that facinated me - the quirky patterns of transactions between different teams who, for whatever reason, synch up like that.

francis beltran is still playing organized baseball?

wow...sad thing is i went to like 3-4 games norfolk played in durham and didnt notice.

didnt know blasko was still out there trying to fight the good fight, too. 3 years "retired" and re-emerging in A-ball...shame his control eludes him. 10wp in 27ip...yow.

George Altman — October 16, 2007 @ 8:18 pm
AZ Phil,

Can we expect Trachsel, Kendall, Floyd, and Wood to file for free agency. Cotts, Prior, and Monroe to be non-tendered. Options picked up on Eyre and Floyd. Wood the only FA they try to keep? Also, how is Guzman handled? Can he remain on the 60 Day DL for the 2008 season?

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

GEORGE A: Yes.

I would expect the Cubs to decline their 2008 club options on Cliff Floyd and Steve Trachsel, and to exercise their 2008 club option on Daryle Ward.

Then I would expect Ward and Scott Eyre to exercise their player options for 2008 and return to the Cubs.

Then I would expect Cliff Floyd, Jason Kendall, Steve Trachsel, and Kerry Wood to file for free-agency, with the Cubs probably hoping to re-sign Wood, but not the other three.

I would expect Neal Cotts, Craig Monroe, and Mark Prior to be non-tendered on 12/12 (unless the Cubs can trade Cotts or Monroe before that), and then I would expect the Cubs to offer Prior a low base salary (plus incentives) for 2008 (like they did with Kerry Wood and Wade Miller last off-season), but then I think Prior will choose to go elsewhere instead (like maybe his hometown Padres),

As for Angel Guzman, both he and Prior have to be reactivated from the 60-day DL no later than 11/20/07 (and the Cubs will probably wait to do that until sometime after Floyd, Kendall, Trachsel, and Wood have filed for FA, because when a player files for FA, he is removed from his old club's 40-man roster).

But then Guzman could be placed back on the 60-day DL anytime after 3/1/08 (whenever the Cubs need his slot on the 40-man roster). He could then spend the entire 2008 season on the DL while rehabbing from TJ surgery, and believe it or not, he still would have one minor league option available in 2009 (that's that 4th minor league option he still hasn't used), because he spent only 19 days on optional assignment to the minors in 2007 (one day short of burning his final option) and because he still has not spent five "full seasons" (90 days) on an active minor league or MLB roster in his career.

So the Cubs can place Guzman on the DL while he rehabs at Fitch Park in 2008, and then option him to AAA in 2009. And unlike Novoa, Guzman is nowhere near close to being eligible for salary arbitration, so don't expect the Cubs to drop Guzman anytime prior to 2010.

I swear I read Bo Flowers was playing football at Illinois this year.

I'll bet Baltimore will take back Hart for any of those players mentioned now!! Thou the turnaround value for Patterson could be close to being equal.

Thank you God for getting rid of Novoa. Now we need to dump Mateo.

Bo Flowers is indeed playing football at Illinois this year. He signed on with Coach Zook after he flunked out of Indy League ball. I had him on the team I worked for in '06.

Good news for Bo is that quarterbacks won't ever throw him a curveball.

didnt bo flowers play for the rockford riverhawks?

chicago tribune september 20th

(flowers blooming once again)

bo flowers defensive back illinois

How did the Cubs acquire Kevin Hart??

traded for freddy bynum...

ok. late to comment but i was just thinking.

I'm glad to see stories like todd helton. Regardless of it not being my team, its still makes me happy for someone who has been around so long for so many non-playoff teams. It was like when Grace won a WS with Colorado. Just brings good feelings to ones soul.

grace won world series in az. unfortunately

"Robert Novoa Experience"

Is this anything like the "Randy Disher Experience"?

What will Monroe cost about? The 2007 version was a bust, but his old numbers with the Tigers suggest he might have some value at the right price.

LOL @ the Orioles' ex-Cub factor ... speaking of which, what if the World Series comes down to Borowski vs. Hawkins?

AZ -

How much will Prior make if the cubs don't non-tender him? My thinking is this - why pay him to rehab from shoulder surgery and then allow another team to take him? Wouldn't it make more since to give him one more year and if it doesn't work out then just let be a FA? Even if they sign him to a low base salary, how much will they really save?

Yes, rokfish.

Flowers played for two Frontier League teams in 2006. He started the season with the Windy City ThunderBolts before he was released. He signed on with the Rockford RiverHawks and finished the year on their bench.

Bet we pick up the option on Floyd.

Where is Craig Monroe?

Speaking of Grace winning the WS. I was happy for him initially, but the way he chose to slam the Cubs just after he won the WS really irked me. I guess I can forgive him for it but I'll never forget it. True there was a huge rift between he and McPhail and he was treated badly and he was obviously very bitter about it...I was just troubled and confused as to how at the moment of the crowning achievement of any player you choose to slam another organization rather than celebrate your current one.

Ginto,

As far as people taking the moment of a World Series victory to slam the Cubs - look no further that many fans of the Cards and White Sox. But you do expect more from a professional ahtlete than a shirtless, mullet-wearing drunk.

Wrigley's Believe It Or Not — October 17, 2007 @ 6:16 am
What will Monroe cost about? The 2007 version was a bust, but his old numbers with the Tigers suggest he might have some value at the right price.

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

WRIG: If the Cubs tender a contract to Craig Monroe on 12/12 (and thereby agree to offer him salary arbitration), the very least he could make in 2008 (if he were to get the maximum-allowable 20% cut) would be $3.82M. And I just don't believe that the Cubs will want to pay Monroe that kind of money to be a 4th OF and RHPH.

However, it is possible that the Cubs will non-tender Monroe on 12/12 and then try to re-sign him for a lot less money. But that would depend on whether Monroe wants to return to the Cubs, and whether the Cubs want Monroe back in '08.

someguy — October 17, 2007 @ 6:26 am
AZ -

How much will Prior make if the cubs don’t non-tender him?

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

SOMEGUY: If the Cubs tender a contract to Mark Prior on 12/12 (and thereby agree to offer him salary arbitration), the very least Prior can make in 2008 is $2.86M, and that's ONLY if he gets the maximum-allowable 20% pay cut

And I just can't see the Cubs guaranteeing Prior upwards of $3M for 2008 if they're not sure he'll be 100%. Which is why I think the Cubs will non-tender Prior, and then offer him a contract similar to the ones Kerry Wood and Wade Miller got last off-season, that being a low base salary with incentives.

But to do that, the Cubs would have to non-tender Prior on 12/12, and that makes Prior a FA. And while Kerry Wood and Wade Miller were happy to return to the Cubs on the Cubs terms, I doubt that Prior bleeds Cubs Blue.

I believe Prior will (unlike Wood and Miller) take the opportunity of the non-tender to boogie out of Wrigleyville, even if the offer he takes from another club is no a better than what the Cubs offer

Ideally, Prior will probably want to sign a deal with his hometown Padres.

I can't stand Grace. I always took Sammy's side in the Sosa-Grace feud. As big as Sammy's ego was, Grace's was even bigger to even think he was close to the player Sammy was when they were here at the same time. Saying things like (paraphrasing) "sometimes I'd rather just hit a single to keep a rally going than hit a home run and give the pitcher a clean slate..." is absurd and stupid and is tinged with bitterness and jealousy. Grace was a league-average hitter for a first baseman with a good glove who just lasted a long time. Compare him to his contemporaries and it's kinda embarrassing: Thome, Thomas, Bagwell, McGwire, McGriff, Helton, even Will Clark. He's not close to that list. He rates a whole lot more like Wally Joyner or Hal Morris than any of those guys.

I call Mark Grace the most overrated Cub of all time.

Az Phil -

What is Prior's recovery schedule looking like this year? Personally, $3MM for the the upside of Prior seems like a decent bet to make for 2008....that being said, I'm not sure if he's scheduled to be ready for spring training.

Prior should be ready for throwing off a mound by spring training as long as he doesn't have a setback. He will be about 10 months postop at that point and the issues at that point will be:

1) is he pain free and has he regained full extension and external rotation
2) how strong is his shoulder, this will improve with throwing
3) expect his endurance to be limited but will improve with more throwing on schedule

His ability to effectively compete in the spring will be iffy but if he's not having problems with the above, then I expect he could be able to compete effectively by the time warmer weather occurs in Chicago. Of course this is tough to predict this early.

JF — October 17, 2007 @ 9:37 am
Az Phil -

What is Prior’s recovery schedule looking like this year? Personally, $3MM for the the upside of Prior seems like a decent bet to make for 2008….that being said, I’m not sure if he’s scheduled to be ready for spring training.

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

JF: I have not heard any timetable for Prior's return to the mound. It is unclear if he will be ready for Opening Day 2008.

Generally speaking, TJ elbow ligament transplant surgery recovery is usually about 9-12 months, while recovery time for shoulder surgery (labrum or rotator cuff) usually runs 12-18 months.

Prior had his surgery on April 24th, so it would be truly a "best case scenario" if he is ready to pitch on Opening Day 2008.

Yes. What Cubster said.

and now that Mark O'Neal is not just "head" trainer but is the director of athletic training...he can work on Mark's shoulder as well as his psyche.

Thx Phil.

djchi: I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Grace. First, 16 seasons is not really a long time. Its not like he played 22 seasons or something and padded his stats. Check out Will Clark's stats, his and Grace's are almost exactly the same. With regards to your other comparisons. Sure, he was not as good future Hall of Famers like Thomas. But I don't really think he is rated as such. I don't hear many people say he was as good as Thomas. McGwire is a hard comparision being that he had 800 less hits and hit 40 points worse and couldn't play defense, yet had greater power numbers - not the same player. And seriously Hal Morris? Hal Morris of the 500 career RBI and Runs and 1200 hits?

The most comprable players to Grace list includes: Keith Hernandez, Enos Slaughter, Al Oliver, Bill Buckner, etc. Good, solid players, but not Hall of Famers (with the exception of Slaughter). I think in general that is how Grace is viewed. Even his biggest fans, of which I am one, don't think he should be in the Hall and don't think he was better than Sosa. But we do think he was a solid player that hit for average, played great defense, avoided injuries, and came through in the clutch.

But Craig Monroe isnt listed on the roster anymore? Where did he go?

one more Oriole with ex-Cub ties just added to their nest...

Orioles named Rick Kranitz pitching coach replacing Leo Mazzone.
(saw that on rotowire)

I expect Francis Beltran and Jon Leicester will be hosting the reception.

WISCGRAD, my issue with Grace is that he thinks he was as good as Sammy.

"Speaking of Grace winning the WS. I was happy for him initially, but the way he chose to slam the Cubs just after he won the WS really irked me."

for what that's worth grace spent a long time in chicago and NEVER got more than 1-year contract his entire tenure. he even took pay cuts vs. market to stay in chicago.

his relationship with jim hendry was stressed and andy mcphail was disasterous. since, him and hendry have made some kind of public peace, but grace taking things out on the club was more of a reflection on how mcphail/hendry treated sosa vs. how they treated him...and of course the whole showing grace the door thing at the end of his career.

at least things are better now...him singing the 7th this season rocked, imo. very emphatic 'root root root for the Cubbies'

not to mention that over the last couple years you can add at least Traschel, Sosa, and Palmeiro to that list...this might explain why the orioles are having such a tough time...

They would have won in 2001 if they would have had Grace instead of Stairs playing 1B and Shane Andrews or whoever else they had.

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