Daryle Ward Back with Cubs in 2008

The Cubs have declined their 2008 club options on RHP Steve Trachsel and OF Cliff Floyd, and the Cubs and 1B-OF Daryle Ward have agreed to exercise the 32-year old Ward's $1.2M mutual option for 2008, bringing the Cubs #1 LHPH and back-up 1B back to the team for one more year. Ward is one of the top pinch-hitters in baseball, going 296/404/464 as a PH over the past three seasons, with 37 total pinch-hits (including four home runs and nine doubles) and 23 pinch-hit walks over that period of time. Trachsel, who turned 37 on Halloween, was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles on August 31st for 3B Scott Moore and RHP Rocky Cherry, but pitched poorly for the Cubs in September and was left off the Cubs post-season roster. The 34-year old Floyd was signed by the Cubs as a FA last January. Trachsel and Floyd had filed (provisionally) for free-agency earlier this week while waiting for the Cubs to decide whether to exercise their options for next season. The only issue still to be resolved regarding potential Cubs free-agents is Scott Eyre's $3.8M player option for next season. Eyre has until November 12th to file for free-agency. If he doesn't, he returns to the Cubs in 2008. The Cubs have also added RHP Adam Harben to their 40-man roster. Harben was acquired frrom the Minnesota Twins in September 2006 as the PTBNL in the Phil Nevin deal, but suffered a torn elbow ligament while pitching in the AFL a year ago. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Harben was non-tendered last December 12th, but signed a minor league contract with the Cubs that allowed him to spend the 2007 season rehabbing at Fitch Park in Mesa. He made three rehab starts for the AZL Cubs in August, and should be 100% by the time pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park in February. The last season prior to his injury (2006), the now 24-year old Harben was a rotation starter for the Twins in AA. It's possible the Cubs will bring Harben back the same way they did with Rocky Cherry after Cherry's 2005 TJ surgery, and that is as a late-inning reliever. Cherry had been a rotation starter prior to his injury, but found success as a set-up man and closer when he returned to action in 2006. Harben has two minor league options left. ===================================== Speaking of minor league options, here is the 2008 minor league option status for players on the Cubs 40-man roster who have less than five years of MLB service time (and thus cannot refuse an optional assignment to the minors). * Must clear Optional Assignment Waivers to be optioned to minors NO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: Ronny Cedeno Geovany Soto ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION LEFT: * Neal Cotts (eligible for salary arbitration) Mike Fontenot * Angel Guzman (likely 60-day DL in 2008 after TJ surgery) Rich Hill Carlos Marmol Angel Pagan Felix Pie * Michael Wuertz (eligible for salary arbitration) TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: Jake Fox Sean Gallagher Adam Harben Sean Marshall Juan Mateo Matt Murton Eric Patterson Billy Petrick Ryan Theriot THREE MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT: Sam Fuld Kevin Hart Carmen Pignatiello Jeff Samardzija
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Comments

"untouchables" is on right now!

So endeth the lesson.

Trachsel = Never Was a Good Idea

Ward is one heck of a bargain at 1.2 mill. He was one of my favorite Cubs last year, always seemed to be a good clutch hitter. He also seemed like a nice guy in an interview I heard with him, very funny and honest.

I love the keeping of Ward. I just never want to see him in the OF outside of BP. Never ever ever ever.

"ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION LEFT:
.....Felix Pie"

Time flies.

Ward actually was suprisingly competent in right field last year. If he were to lose 25 pounds he may be pretty good. He certainly wasn't worse than Floyd and looked more comfortable than Murton.

The 25lb. loss would cut down on his power. Unless replaced with muscle. And of course, think of the effect on the local restaurant economy. Not good.

I've just begun to accept the fact that Angel Guzman had Tommy John Surgery. Was there ever a guy more injury prone than him?

Sigh. At least he has a trillion arm angles...

"Was there ever a guy more injury prone than him?"

Mike Brown on the Bears, and Kerry Wood.

oh yeah, jacos's comment was because of this...

http://tampabay.devilrays.mlb.com/news/press_...

DRays changing their uni's to and name to just the Rays and Kevin Costner's band is playing the unveiling.

I had another post up at the same AZ phil posted.

Rotoworld blurb says Schilling is the Cards top pitching target.

Carlos Rubi:
"Was there ever a guy more injury prone than him?"

I was blasted on here when I stated he was injury prone a year or so ago. I think some Cubs fans just bury their head in the sand a bit longer when it comes to these types of things.

At this stage of his career, Schilling won't choose whoever offers him the most money -- I just don't see him joining a team with questionable karma and chemistry and a mediocre talent base. St. Louis has zero FA appeal right now.

Manny:
"I was blasted on here when I stated he was injury prone a year or so ago. I think some Cubs fans just bury their head in the sand a bit longer when it comes to these types of things."

I don't know if you were referring to me, but I always supported you or whoever touched the subject on his injury proneness -- the guy just hasn't been healthy for more than a year since he was in rookie ball, and even then the Royals dropped his contract because his body just wasn't built for the sport. I don't want to --and won't-- get over Guzman, because the talent he has is just so amazing, but I'm sure as hell not banking on him to be a contributor anytime soon.

Ugh, just move that team out of Tampa Bay. Spending money on uniforms rather than players won't get you far.

Then again, it worked for the D'backs.

Carlos:
"I don’t know if you were referring to me, but I always supported you or whoever touched the subject on his injury proneness "

No, I absolutely was not referring to you. I really wasn't referring to anyone in particular.

"I don’t want to –and won’t– get over Guzman, because the talent he has is just so amazing, but I’m sure as hell not banking on him to be a contributor anytime soon."

I know what you are saying. Between Guzman, Patterson and Prior, us Cubs fans have been seriously dick-teased.

Hey, off the topic, did you get my emails about the Cubs Annual??

"If he were to lose 25 pounds he may be pretty good."

welcome to 1998...or 2002 if you wanna be picky.

...about the injury prone thing...though guys like rondell white have made a career out of the 'injury prone' tag...unless you got specifics to deal with or you're about to sign a guy to a payroll strangling long term deal, its just a "yellow light" on his career that means very little.

unless you can predict a dude's next injury and state why all you got is incidents.

guzman's had a lot of injuries that have delayed his career over and over...but he's bounced back from every one of them with his stuff intact. that's a lot more than you can say about guys like blasco and brownlie.

And, Brownlee has to be one one the most disappointing MiLB pitching busts the Cubs have had in a long time (along with Ben Christensen - thanks Ed Lynch, you tool).

the drafting of blasco/bradley/hagerty/clanton was seen as a nice coup for the cubs at the time.

almost every outlet liked 2+ of the picks as great things.

5 years later...damn. only 1 out of the 4 even made it to AAA. blasko/haggerty didnt make it outta A ball.

rich hill was drafted in the 4th in 02, btw...mark holliman round 41 for those tracking him...

Yeesh, the " I was blasted" routine is tired....especially if it never happened.

mannytrillo is probably referring to my comments, which were right on the mark, that rather than "injury prone" Guzman showed up INJURED from the first day the Cubs acquired him.

Here's what I wrote back in June
___________________________________________

cubswinthepennant says:

June 6th, 2007 at 11:31 am

Looking over Guzman’s record, it doesn’t seem to me he’s injury prone, it’s more a case of him being damaged goods from the start and the Cubs not being honest about the elbow injury. Kansas City released him in 1999 because of arm problems.

————————————————————————–
March 4, 1999: Signed by the Kansas City Royals as an amateur free agent.

June 24, 1999: Free agent signing by the Kansas City Royals voided.

November 12, 1999: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.
————————————————————————–

Angel Guzman (has) been complaining about forearm tightness for years… well that’s a classic symptom of TENNIS ELBOW.

For some damn reason the Cubs have been saying that his forearm tightness is because of dehydration (2006) or “mysterious” (2005). In fact, the Cubs apparently shut Guzman down in 2005 so he could lift weights, hoping that the fifteen pounds of muscle he put on would alleviate his arm problem............

"blasco/bradley"

blasco/brownlie....that should read.

Yo, Az Phil.

Just wanna say thanks for the great stuff you've been putting up the last several days.

AZ PHIL: Keep us pimped on the Jose Ceda watch! We need a 95+ power reliever. Its been too long since Farnzie left!

I know it was mentioned that Rusch is considering a comeback, but it looks like he has actually thrown for scouts from a whole bunch of teams. Luckily the Cubs weren't one of them, as we have seen more than enough of him.

Here is a nice fluff piece on Rusch..

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-rusc...

CWTP:
"mannytrillo is probably referring to my comments"

No, I wasn't referring to those comments.

"Hey, off the topic, did you get my emails about the Cubs Annual??"

Nope, but I've been having serious Gmail issues. Maybe it got lost in the junk folder. I'll check now.

well...Sun-Times rumor mill answers one of my questions about what their OF plans are...at least how F.Pie fits into it anyway...

"And center field could be as key a position for the Cubs this winter as it is for the other team in town, depending on how prospect Felix Pie's winter progresses. Hitting coach Gerald Perry is in the Dominican Republic working with Pie, and he and manager Lou Piniella have devised a winter baseball plan for Pie, after which the organization will re-evaluate him."

depending on how prospect Felix Pie’s winter progresses

Is there really an chance that Pie will be able fix his hitting problems? What's the likelihood that this can happen at this point?

This is a serious question by the way, I'm not being snarky.

Carlos-
I just sent you a new email. Let me know when you get it.

"Is there really an chance that Pie will be able fix his hitting problems? What’s the likelihood that this can happen at this point?"

that's the thing...sometimes you never know when that "thing" will click and push the player over the top. sometimes it doesnt happen.

pie made some serious strides in contact last season, but i dunno if he'll ever be anything but a free-swinging guy who's not gonna walk much. too much of his batting game is swinging. it's probably gonna be the quality of contact that's gonna determine his future...esp. translating his fast swing into some slugging.

what was the issue with billy ptrick showed real
well and then disappeared ,obviously
must have been injury?

CWTP:“mannytrillo is probably referring to my comments”-No, I wasn’t referring to those comments.

Well then, it's a mystery what you're upset about. Nobody slammed you for LOUDLY suggesting that Angel Guzman was injury prone in the thread I was talking about>>>>>

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:345RrdhdA...

But I'll say it again. Angel isn't injury prone, he's been suffering from the same chronic injury for ten years.

CWTP:
"Well then, it’s a mystery what you’re upset about. Nobody slammed you for LOUDLY suggesting that Angel Guzman was injury prone in the thread I was talking about"

Who said it was in that thread? I don't remember exactly when it was or who the posters were. But it was at least last offseason, before he got injured again this season. I have been saying he was injury prone for awhile now. I think John Hill might have been the first to argue that point with me. *moment of silence for John Hill*

"But I’ll say it again. Angel isn’t injury prone, he’s been suffering from the same chronic injury for ten years."

And you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. I think it is a bit of semantics, but whatever. The point is the guy is always injured and will likely fall into the what might have been category with Prior, Patterson, Wood.

I think that Pie will get better with more experience. He's most likely always going to be a guess hitter with that current swing, but a little confidence, learning the pitchers and situations etc should help. If he hits .260 .300 .420 he's a useful major leaguer considering his defense, and I wouldn't put that out of the realm of possibilities based on what we saw last year. He was also a good basestealer with the Chi-Cubs.

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

Stuff for Hendry to kick the tires on meetings, based on:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

"The Devil Rays are looking for a defense-oriented shortstop and a veteran starting pitcher"

We have Marquis and Cedeno. TB would be the kind of situation Cedeno needs to get established in. That we be a bit much to give up for Baldelli, but if it could be expanded into a trade for the much covetted Crawford, he could play center with Pie in Right for a couple years until it's time for Soriano to play 1st, or try to move Soriano to right.

"Look for the White Sox to dangle pitching - Jose Contreras and/or Jon Garland "

I think Contreras has shoulder problems, but if the Cubs are convinced he's healthy, him and a wad of cash for Murton would give us more pitching depth if we entertain trading Marhall, Hill or Marquis.

"The Twins could be the most active team, at least listening to offers for Santana and then trying to replace Torii Hunter."

Pie, Marshall and Ceda or Roquet for Santanna? I'm a little scared by his increasing HR rate, it could be that he's getting a case of the Viola's, or maybe it was just an off year. If we don't re-sign him, he brings back most likely a late first round and a 2nd round pick (from either the NYM or NYY).

The A's might blow it up and rebuild, which would make righthanders Joe Blanton and Dan Haren available... The A's farm system is thin and they need to replenish.'

Murton has always been considered ab good fit for the A's, but with him hurltling towards arbitration himself, that may not make a match. The Cubs pride themselves on drafting the guys that the A's don't like, but Gallagher, Hart, Roquet and Ceda would all interest them I imagine.

"The Marlins will likely field offers on Dontrelle Willis and Cabrera." Not a match on need for the Cubs there, but hard not to at least see what they are looking for.

"In the NL Central, the Cubs would love to add a lefthanded-hitting right fielder who can play defense and get on base (J.D. Drew?)" Interesting for the same reason it was last-off season, but cheaper. Think that he and $20 million could be had for Jones and a low level prospect.

"while the Padres need a center fielder and a second baseman. " We have a bunch of 2nd basemen!

Latest SI has this BP blurb from Joe Sheehan on some goood potential mmoves -
"Indians trade SS Jhonny Peralta to the Cubs for OF Matt Murton and RHP Sean Gallagher. Rather than move Peralta to second or third base to make room for Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland should trade him near the peak of his value for a much-needed corner-outfieder bat. The Cubs make do with fan fave Ryan Theriot at short this year, but Peralta, 25, is a clear upgrade. His below average defene with the Tribe wouldn't be as mucch of a liability with the Cubs' high-strikeout, fly ball staff."

PS - Hope I didn't 3/44 myself!

crunch — November 3, 2007 @ 4:03 pm
the drafting of blasco/bradley/hagerty/clanton was seen as a nice coup for the cubs at the time.

almost every outlet liked 2+ of the picks as great things.

5 years later…damn. only 1 out of the 4 even made it to AAA. blasko/haggerty didnt make it outta A ball.

rich hill was drafted in the 4th in 02, btw…mark holliman round 41 for those tracking him…

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

CRUNCH: Mark Holliman was indeed selected by the Cubs in the 41st round in 2002, but that's a bit misleading.

He was selected in the 41st round in '02 ONLY because he was considered a "tough sign" at the time, and that's because he was believed to be a virtual lock to go to college (which is exactly what happened).

The Cubs signed 24 of their first 28 picks in 2002, but only one of their last 22 (and that was a college catcher named Randy Wells, and he was later converted into a pitcher).

Ten of the twelve players the Cubs drafted in rounds 39-50 in 2002 (including Holliman) were HS players who were known to be strongly committed to attending college, and NONE of them signed.

Clubs often will use draft picks in rounds 31-50 to take a flyer on a kid who has made it clear that he wants to go to college, just in case the youngster's life situation changes during the summer and he changes his mind about going to school.

Anyway, the Cubs drafted Holliman again in 2005 after his junior year in college (that was the next time he was eligible for the draft), but this time he was a THIRD ROUND pick. The Cubs signed him at the last minute (8-16-2005) just before he was about to return to college for his senior year, so he did not make his pro debut until the following season (2006), and he was good enough that he made his pro debut at Daytona, skipping Boise and Peoria entirely.

Holliman was a highly-regarded pitching prospect throughout his amateur career, first in high school in Germantown, TN, and then later as the ace of the Rebel pitching staff at Ole Miss.

AZ PHIL: What's the Deal with Veal? Same # K's about as IP - 131 - but 74 BB! IS he a "keeper" in the org.? Will he just move on to Med school?

It seems, from looking at all of the Minor league prospects, we would have 5-7 guys who, due to control problems, or stamina issues, are really better suited for late-inning work, rather than starters. Who, in your opinion, are the ones that will make it?

No thank you on Peralta. No thank you on Baldelli.

If we could use Cedeno and Marquis as the first part of a package to talk about Crawford, I'd be ecstatic.

Good idea about Cedeno for Tampa for one year, because they have a shortstop coming in one year named Reid Brignac, you'll have to throw in something different for Marquis becaus he makes too much money and Tampa can't afford that.

How does Tampa keep a team? Is this purely an "acquire-and-hold" deal for the investors? Is there a "plan" in-place ala Rockies? Any "Tampa-savvy" TCR folks out there?

"And, Brownlee has to be one one the most disappointing MiLB pitching busts the Cubs have had in a long time..."

I blame Hendry for taking a flyer on this guy - his arm problems were already apparent before the draft, and it was unclear whether surgery would restore his velocity to it's previous level. I don't know where Hendry's affection for sore - armed pitchers originated, but it seems like a weird aberration for a GM to have.

Mike C. will be happy...

Cubs interested in Fukodome and Kuroda...

Cubs insiders said their scouts like both players, but Hendry said he didn't want to talk about either until they declared.

The E-Man — November 4, 2007 @ 8:59 am
AZ PHIL: What’s the Deal with Veal? Same # K’s about as IP - 131 - but 74 BB! IS he a “keeper” in the org.? Will he just move on to Med school?

It seems, from looking at all of the Minor league prospects, we would have 5-7 guys who, due to control problems, or stamina issues, are really better suited for late-inning work, rather than starters. Who, in your opinion, are the ones that will make it?

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

E-MAN: LHP Donnie Veal was at the AZ Instructional League last month trying to fix his mechanics (stop squatting and pitch tall!) and release point. Some days he looked great, other days he looked not so great, and went 3-2 on every hitter.

My own personal opinion is that Veal will end up as a reliever (closer, set-up, or LOGGY TBD), because he is basically a five-inning pitcher as a rotation starter, and guys like that will kill a bullpen.over a season. But he has MLB-quality stuff (fastball and breaking ball) and would.probably make a fine lefty reliever.

Lefties often-times will take longer to harness their control than right-handers do, so I suspect the Cubs will give Veal as much time as they can. He will need to be added to the 40-man roster after next season, and then he can be optioned out in 2009, 2010, and 2011 (if necessary) before the Cubs will need to make a final decision on his future.

So I would expect Veal to repeat AA next season and continue to work as a starter just so he can get more reps, and then go to AAA in 2009. By that time it should be more clear what his future will be (starter or reliever).

If I had to bet right now, I'd say it will be the bullpen for Veal.

As for other notable pitchers in the organization, RHP Jeff Samardzija (Notre Dame) needs to improve his secondary pitches if he ever hopes to be more than an MLB middle-reliever. He can get away with throwing a mid-90's power sinker and "pitch to contact" if he goes once through the order, but he can't be an MLB rotation starter until he improves his slider and change. He does have the potential to be another Derek Lowe if he can, though.

RHP Mark Holliman (Ole Miss) probably projects as an MLB middle-reliever at this point. He throws 91-93 and has a good breaking ball, but he has worn down each of his first two seasons in pro ball, so there is a question still to be answered about how many innings he can throw in a season before he begins to reach the point of diminishing returns.

RHP Kevin Hart (Maryland) is a horse, and adding a couple of MPH to his fast ball and developing an effective cutter makes him a candidate for either the back-end of an MLB starting rotation or an MLB bullpen, wherever he's needed. I believe Hart will be a member of the Cubs Opening Day roster in 2008, but I just don't know if it will be as the #5 starter or long-reliever (still TBD). Thanks should go to the Orioles for sending Hart to the Cubs for Fast Freddie Freakin' Bynum last off-season.

RHP Sean Gallagher is throwing 94-95 consistently out here in the AFL, and his curve has been outstanding. The opposing scouts LOVE him. Like Hart, Gallagher has the stuff and the stamina to start or relieve, but he seems to throw harder out of the pen, and so his immediate future may be there rather than in the rotation, especially if the Cubs need him there. He also has the "bulldog" personality that translates well to the bullpen. However, he is probably also a good candidate to be used in a trade at some point in the near future (possibly this off-season), because (right now) he is the Cubs best pitching prospect closest to the big leagues.

If he can come back 100% from TJ surgery, 24-year old RHP Adam Harben probably has the stuff to be an MLB rotation starter, although the Cubs may decide to move him to the bullpen, as they did with Rocky Cherry when he came back from TJ surgery a couple of years ago.

Of the other likely 2008 rotation starters at AA and AAA (Juan Mateo, J. R. Mathes, Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, and Joel Santo), Mathes (a soft-tossing lefty) and Atkins (who has three average pitches but no one true "out" pitch) would seem to project as starters, while J. Mateo, Berg, and Santo all have OK fastball/breaking ball combos that would probably be more-likely to land them in an MLB bullpen rather than starting rotation (and again, that's if any of them get that far!), although of the three, Santo (acquired from SD in 2006 in the Scott Wiliamson deal) probably has he most-upside. He's been pitching very well in the Dominican Winter League and he MIGHT be added to the Cubs 40-man roster (outside chance) or else maybe get himself selected in the Rule 5 Draft if he isn't (the Cubs probably don't have room for him on the 40 right now).

25-year old RHP Rocky Roquet (signed as a 5th year senior NDFA out of Cal Poly in 2006) has rocketed up through the Cubs system over the past two seaons, and he has the stuff to be an MLB reliever (middle-relief, set-up, or perhaps even a closer). RHP Matt Avery (the closer at Daytona in 2007) should have the "right stuff" (fastball and sweeping curve) to eventually pitch out of a big league bullpen.

2004 #1 draft pick RHP Grant Johnson (Notre Dame) has pitched much better working out of the bullpen, as has RHP Billy Petrick (who spent some time in the Cubs bullpen this past Summer), but both would probably be considered strictly middle-relievers at the MLB level. Johnson was supposed to pitch in the AFL, but he got shut down just prior to the Southern League playoffs with a sore shoulder.

24-year old 6'8 280 RHP Jesse Estrada is a mountain of a man and he throws hard, and he appeared to finally put it together the latter part of 2007. He could emerge as a quality AA reliever in 2008. Likewise 25-year old Venezuelan (and ex-Mets prospect) RHP Rafael Cova, who still throws in the mid-90s's (he got a ST NRI with the Mets in 2006, but got himself suspended and then released later that season). Cova pitched for Tijuana in the Mexican League in 2007, and is a sort of "reclamation" project.

LHP Jeremy Papelbon (Jonathan's brother), Italian RHP Alessandro Maestri, RHP Marcos Mateo (Juan's cousin, and the guy the Cubs got from the Reds for Buck Coats), and lanky 24-year old side-slingin' "ROOGY" Matt Maradeo (like Rocky Roquet, another NDFA 5th year senior signed by the Cubs in May 2006) should join 20-year old 6'4 240 power-closer RHP Jose Ceda (23 consecutive hitless innings at Peoria to close the 2007 season) as members of the Daytona Cubs bullpen in 2008, and all have the stuff to advance up the pipeline, although how far is yet TBD. Ceda (acquired from SD for Todd Walker in 2006) is a Lee Smith clone. 24-year old 6'9 260 Dominican RHP Miguel Cuevas (who as one of agent Gus Dominguez's proteges, pitched a couple of years of college ball in the U. S.) is another Daytona bullpen candidate (if he can stay healthy!).

Among the pitchers currently in low "A" ball, diminutive LHP Casey Lambert (2007 #6 pick out of the University of Virginia) is a power closer a la Billy Wagner, while teenaged RHPs Robert Hernandez, Chris Huseby, Larry Suarez, Alberto Cabrera, Oswaldo Martinez, and Ryan Acosta would appear to project as rotation starters (at this point). But they are a LONG ways away from the big leagues.

I haven't seen 17-year old Dominican LHP Jeffry Antigua yet, but he was supposedly the #1 pitching prospect at DSL Cubs in 2007, and he should be at EXST and then pitch for the AZL Cubs in '08.

18-year old Korean RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (who signed for "1st Round money" this past August) has excellent control and a killer splitter "out" pitch that could allow him to work out of the rotation or the pen. He wowed the opposing scouts with his both his stuff and his poise at Instructs.

2007 11th round pick LHP Chris Siegfried was strictly a reliever in college (U. of Portland) and last year at Boise and Peoria, but he was moved to the starting rotation at the AZ Instructional League last month and looked good in that role. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him in the starting rotation at Daytona in 2008.

2007 Rule 4 Draft college pitchers James Russell (Texas), Arik Hempy (South Carolina), and Dustin Sasser (East Carolina) are three more potential lefty starters presently down in Boise/Peoria land, and any of the three could perhaps emerge eventually as MLB rotation LHP starter candidates somewhere down the line (still TBD). All three will probably be in the Peoria starting rotation in 2008. And I suspect 2005 #1 draft pick LHP Mark Pawelek will eventually end up in the bullpen.

One possible dark-horse who could emerge as a reliever in 2008 and move quickly up the pipeline is 24-year old Colombian RHP Dumas Garcia, who pitched for the South Georgia Peanuts (indy) in 2007. He has a funky delivery where he cocks his head to one-side as he's slinging his 94 MPH heater or excellent change-up (his complimentary "out" pitch), and he had some very impressive moments in the AZ Instructional League (at least when he threw strikes). He looks like he's throwing darts when pitches. Nobody knows much about him or his background. He just kind of showed up at Fitch Park, a la George Plimpton's "Sidd Finch" (Sidd Fitch!). Somebody at Fitch said he might be pitching under an assumed name, but I doubt that.

A host of minor league rotation starters were shut-down at various points during the 2007 season, and some underwent elbow or shoulder surgery while others are rehabbing with rest and prayers. This group includes (among others) Angel Guzman, Chris Shaver, Todd Blackford, Billy Muldowney, Jose Pina, Rafael Dolis, Jake Renshaw, Taylor Parker, Kitt Kopach, and Francisco Acosta.

random rumors...

Crede for Damon trade mentioned..

Fukodome may still stay in Japan..

Padres will try to trade for a CFer, although they'll offer Cameron arbitration and may offer Andruw Jones a one year deal. Talks about Felix Pie for Khalil Greene swap.

Padres will add 2 pitchers and Clement and Prior are mentioned as possibilities.

Boston paper floats that JD Drew would be a good option for the Cubs.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20071...

Padres link..

Crede/Damon was from Olney

AZ PHIL: - sigh - well, as I surmised, you have speculated that perhaps 90%+ of the prospects you mentioned are more suited for bullpen than as starters. I have no idea if this is typical, or not, at other organizations.

ROB G: Thanks. This was interesting: "The Padres were rebuffed when they asked about Cubs center fielder Felix Pie in May – talks that, had they progressed, likely would have included shortstop Khalil Greene."

Would you have done this deal?

The writer claims the Pads are also interested in Prior (or, Prior interested in them), and Giles wants them to sign Kendall - but management is leery as he is a "poor hitter".

E-MAN: The Cubs drafted Khalil Greene in the 14th round of the 2001 draft (after Greene's junior year at Clemson), but he opted to return to school for his senior year (he was "disappointed" in the Cubs offer), and he ended up being named National College Player of the Year and a first-team All-American. .

With the Cubs known past interest in Greene and their on-going "Clemson Tiger Connection" (OF Tyler Colvin and 3B Marquez Smith)--and with the Baha'i Temple located right up Sheridan Road in Wilmette--I would be shocked if the Cubs would turn down a chance to acquire Khlali Greene, even at the cost of Felix Pie.

In fact, if there is any deal that just sounds like it makes sense on the surface of it, it's the Cubs acquiring Khalil Greene from SD.

And of course I have been saying for a long time that after the Cubs non-tender Prior on 12/12 (and they will), that he will say "no thanks" to their generous offer of a $1M base salary plus incentives and sign with his hometown Padres. That's a lock. But Prior could be part of a Khalil Greene deal, too, if it were to happen before 12/12.

Likewise Ronny Cedeno (to replace Greene at SS). Cedeno is hitting 300/364/360 in Venezuela right now. And maybe San Diego native Jacque Jones, too (to play LF and balance off the contracts).

Greene is 28 years old. He made $2.25M in 2007 (his first year of arbitration eligibility) and he is eligible for salary arbitration (again) right now and will certainly be getting a significant raise (probably to somewhere up around $6M). And he will be a FA after the 2009 season, so the Pads have him under control for only two more seasons.

It could happen. It's just the type of deal Hendry makes, and Greene is the type of established pre-FA player Hendry tends to pursue (like A-Ram and D-Lee in 2003).

No thanks on Kahlil Greene. Yeah, he hit 27 HR last year, But he hasn't had a BA of higher than .254 in 4 years. Also in 2 of the last 3 years he had an OBP less than .300.

Now as for Peralta, I am in, If all we had to give up was Murton and Gallagher, I say do it now. Peralta is signed thru 2011. He will make $2.25MM in 2008, $3.4MM in 2009, $4.6MM in 2010 and a teal option of $7.0MM in 2011.

Have to agree with Manny on the Shorstops. Peralta, despite having little range makes lots of plays at short and is a more complete hitter. That contract is very reasonable too. The Indians would be relatively confident they'd be buying low on Murton, and if Gallagher was really chucking it up there at 95 in the AIL, the two of them may be enough to fetch Peralta. Defensively they've been down on Peralta at shorstop for a while. Amazing that such a good organization doesn't figure out what makes pitchers like Cliff Lee good.

Gallagher reminds me of a young Trachsel, without the insomnia creation. Really nice to have, but replaceable.

*************************************************

AZ Phil, what do you think abou the Cubs pitching prospects? Really nice write up, thanks.

Greene=Alex Gonzalez

I don't mind him, but not for Felix Pie.

Story on Greene was that he told teams he wouldn't sign if he wasn't drafted before the 10th round (or something like that). The Cubs did offer well over slot money at the time but not enough to change his mind.

after josh barfield fell flat on his face and considering peralta's cost i dont see why the indians would want anything from the cubs for him aside from some mixture of theriot/cedeno and a prospect SP that's worth mentioning.

peralta's a bit of a stiff...imo...

Peralta statistically is a lot closer to a non-MVP year Ripken than a stiff, imo.

peralta's got a hacky swing with gap power.

he blamed his high-K totals and streaky hitting on bad eye sight and that turned into an 07 of much the same. his D can be frustrating. his arm accuracy is questionable and his range is iffy...he's a little slow on reaction.

he's better than what the cubs have, but he's got a lotta minor flaws to his game. he's also got a few good pluses. i wouldnt complain, but like greene, i wouldnt consider it a major team upgrade...an upgrade, nonetheless, though.

"on bad eye sight and that turned into an 07 of much the same."

...which he got fixed...got lasic...etc etc...not much change in his plate game.

Peralta statistically is a lot closer to a non-MVP year Ripken than a stiff, imo.

How so?

Peralta has had one year with an OPS over 771. Ripken had a better OPS than 771 in 9 of 15 years.

Perata has had 128 or more strikeouts in each of the last three years. Ripken never had more than 97, and that was in his second full year.

Peralta has a career OPS+ of 100, and that includes a huge outlier year. Ripken has a career OPS+ of 116, but that includes his aging years.

Now... on the face, their overall standard numbers look fairly similar (Ripken: .276/.340/.447 Peralta: .266/.336/.425), but when you factor in the eras I don't think they are even comparable.

noticed this from a sullivan article posted last night...

"The Cubs already had decided to seek a younger, more athletic right fielder to play alongside Jacque Jones or Felix Pie in center..."

so it looks like CF isnt a focus as much as RF when it comes to the questionable slot at this point in time...if that's to be believed.

not gonna venture into the "younger, more athletic RF" part. internal solution? FA solution? trade solution? *shrug*

Also adding on to the Az Phil's comment on #42, it will be good to get a healthy Campusano (special thanks to the Tigers for paying for his surgery) back on the mound. Also adding to Az Phil's # 48, the connection to Clemson goes way back directly when Wilken was an area guy for the Blue Jays, he signed Jimmy Key in 82.

Not sure Fukudome is the answer for RF. His Japanese numbers are close to Iwmura and he was a simlair hitter to Floyd last year:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/i/iwamuak01...
http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/floydcl01...

Also Peralta would be a nice gamble at SS. Working with Trammell seemed to do wonders for Theroit so I imagine he he be benifical for Theriot as well.

No sure on Fukudome. His Japanse nubers are very simliar to Iwmanura's and his 07 numbers look alot like Floyd's. Also on Peralta, Tramm seemed to do wonders with Theroit defensivelly so if he can Peralta into an average SS the bat will be an improvement on Theroit.

Cubs are mentioned as a contender for Carlos Silva.

Apparently, the Cubs at least inquired about Silva over the summer.

http://www.startribune.com/twins/story/152597...

silva would have been a great step 1...or step 2...or step 20 before they "landed" trash-hell.

he's been pursued before by hendry, but with his pricetag its probably a longshot. he's looking a marquis-like contract as it is...only with 3-6 more million involved over the 3 years.

from the article linked by wes...and more reason to be happy the cubs are set better than a lotta clubs for SP...

"Throw out older free-agent pitchers who likely sign for one year (Tom Glavine, Curt Schilling) and pitchers who are injury risks (Kris Benson, Jason Jennings, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon) and what's left is a group that includes Silva, Livan Hernandez, Kyle Lohse, Josh Fogg, Jeff Weaver and Kip Wells."

ew.

[Fukudome's] 07 numbers look alot like Floyd’s.

He was injured this year, which caused the drop in his numbers. But even so... how does this look anything like Floyd's numbers this year: .294/.443/.520? He had just 13 home runs, but in only 348 at-bats (because of the injury).

He is also supposed to be MUCH better defensively than Floyd.

I would expect his power to decrease in a move to the U.S. though. But if he could maintain a .400 OBP,
hit 15-20 home runs, and play excellent defense, I would be pretty excited about that.

I've seen it mentioned in a few places that on top of Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry, RHP Jake Renshaw - the best pitcher at Peoria last year - was also sent to the Baltimore Orioles for Steve Trachsel. Apparently if the Cubs made the playoffs, another minor league (Renshaw) would be included in the trade.

where that mentioned?

nothing on the minor league transactions blotter on baseball america.

I’ve seen it mentioned in a few places that on top of Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry, RHP Jake Renshaw - the best pitcher at Peoria last year - was also sent to the Baltimore Orioles

Like crunch... I would like a source. Something like this would typically be able to be found somewhere on the great 'ol internets.

Interesting about Silva. It's cute to start AAA pitchers in your rotation, but I'd rather they just found a big-league pitcher for your big league team. I find it interesting the Cub's may be looking for one.

well... I don't really really see how Silva is an upgrade over Marshall. So unless Marshall or Marquis are getting traded, I don't see how Silva is an upgrade.

"[Fukudome’s] 07 numbers look alot like Floyd’s."

I was comparing Floyd's numbers to Iwmanura's numbers last year. From what I have read on the web Fukudome and Iwmunara had simlair numbers over threre. Here is the numbers dump:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/floydcl01...
http://www.baseball-reference.com/i/iwamuak01...
http://www.japaneseballplayers.com/en/player....
http://www.japaneseballplayers.com/en/player....

It actually looks like Iwamura was the better player over there.

It's an upgrade when one of the 5 jokers in our rotation get injured.

where that mentioned?

nothing on the minor league transactions blotter on baseball america.

----

I've been mentioned on NSBB by two different people - one by a poster who is extremely reliable when it comes to minor league stuff (he has a connection with the Cubs somehow). Take it for what its worth but I trust that guy and IF he is right, it'll be up on the Internet in a week or so.

"[Fukudome’s] 07 numbers look alot like Floyd’s."

Dave,

I was comparing the 07 numbers of Floyd to Aknori Iwamura. Iwamura and Fukudome's japanse numbers are simlar so that is why I was using him as a comparsion. I had links to prove my case, but wordpress keeps eating it so just go to BR and japanseballplayers.com

Err, in that last sentence what I meant to say is I'm guessing that it might take a week to get up on the Internet.

Again, nothing on the big time web sites and whatnot, but the poster who made mention of it is very reliable. Take it for what it is worth.

And I apologize for saying Renshaw was traded as fact when it clearly isn't yet. And I also apologize for continuously posting!

info's info...and you backed it up with what you got...we'll all find out where it lands eventually. thnx.

"Peralta has a career OPS+ of 100, and that includes a huge outlier year. "

When your sample size is 3, it's impossible to have an outlier year, dave. Was your outlier '06 or '05?

From '86 to '88 Ripken's average WARP3 was 9.8
Peraltas WARP3 for his three full MLB seasons averages 9.0. On a per game average that's almost identicle.

Last year, crunch, Peralta struck out less, walked more and hit more home runs than he did in '06. He raised his BA .013, his OBP .018 and his SLG .045 . How did you look at that and say it's not an improvement? (I hadn't heard the lasic story, just curious),

For example.

Ripken played 20 years. He had 7 years where he had an OPS+ over 120, those are his outlier years. He had 7 years when his OPS+ was between 119 and 95 and 6 years when his OPS was

grr, 94 or less OPS.

Peralta has essentially the same ratio.

I also qualified the comparison as 'Non MVP Ripken' so throw out his '83 and '91 seasons when you compare them.

I also qualified the comparison as ‘Non MVP Ripken’ so throw out his ‘83 and ‘91 seasons when you compare them.

So we should throw out Ripken's best years, but not Peralta's? Interesting...

Al's double super secret inside source says the Cubs are making offers to both Fukudome and Kuroda this week. Might have deals done next week.

That's Al, mind you. So take it or leave it. I'll likely leave it.

Has Al ever had an accurate story that he "broke" from one of his super duper secret sources?

Fukodome and Kuroda btw have yet to declare for free agency stateside and I believe they would still be under the same rules that you can't talk money till FA period begins. I could be wrong about the 2nd part though.

McPhail said he'd definitely listen to offers for Bedard, but it'll certainly cost a lot.

No, dave. We pay attention to what I said, than trying to argue with a strawman.

No, dave. We pay attention to what I said, than trying to argue with a strawman.

No Real Neal... it just doesn't make sense. That would be like saying something like Felix Pie reminds me of Sammy Sosa's none good years. It might be a true statement, but it is a pointless comparison.

Saying that Peralta reminds you of Ripken when you take out his best years is just odd and disingenuous.

Yet even so, I don't buy the comparison. Peralta has had one good year, one mediocre year, and one bad year. Ripken wasn't mediocre.

Short words for you, dave.

Ripken had a few really good years. Quite often he was around a league average hitter playing at a valuable position, with people saying stupid things like 'He's too big to play short. He doesn't have first step quickness'. That's what Peralta is. A league average or slightly better hitter, playing defense that doesn't look good, but when all is said and done, is a lot better than most realize.

Disagree with it all you want. It won't make you right, but it's certainly your perogative to do so.

Now onto the Sammy Sosa comment. That's also wrong. There are players who are more consistent than others. Sammy, actually, wouldn't fall into that category.

Mark Grace = very consistent.
Brady Anderson = not consistent

Am I not allowed to compare a player to Brady Anderson and throw out his one 'outlier' year? Or is he permantley off the 'comparable players' list you have in your head, unless I am looking for a guy to go from 15 to 50 HR's in a single season?

I don't have any problem if you want to argue about something but try to do the following.

1. Argue with what I said, not what you think I meant or what you would like me to have said.
2. Make sense, and don't throw out arbitrary terms without understanding how they should be applied

Short words for you, dave.

Thanks for the short words - I appreciate it. Anytime you can bring your incredibly brilliance and intelligence down the rest of us it is appreciated. I am sure that inability to make a logical point without making personal attacks is somehow connected to your obviously superior brilliance.

Look - we just disagree on the comparison. I don't see it. I don't think that Peralta is nearly as good as Ripken was. You do. Oh well.

And I never said you shouldn't compare players and factor in their "outlier" year. But I don't think that you can throw out a player's best years but not do the same with the player that you are comparing him to. But go ahead and do that if you want. At least it supports your argument.

Ah... typos...

Anytime you can bring your **incredible** brilliance and intelligence down **to** the rest of us it is appreciated.

I liked "incredibly brilliance" better.

Well dave, if I you can avoid making me repeat myself, making me explain the concept of a conditional statement, and explaining to you basic precepts of statistical analysis, I will be happy to quit condescending to you. Or you could just read and think before you pick an argument with me. Either way.

I will be happy to quit condescending to you

Doubtful... you have never quit doing to this to anyone on here before.

And I don't need your basic stats lessons. Any basic statistical analysis that includes dropping data from one sample but not the other wouldn't be passing Stats 101.

Thanks though.

"Last year, crunch, Peralta struck out less, walked more and hit more home runs than he did in ‘06."

and we're talking about how many Ks, how many walks, and how many HRs?

6 less Ks...5 more walks...

8 more HRs (3 less than the 24 he hit in 05).

"How did you look at that and say it’s not an improvement?"

how did you look at that and say its worth mentioning?

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[...] Daryle Ward Back with Cubs in 2008Baseball - … the Cubs that allowed him to spend the 2007 season rehabbing at Fitch Park in Mesa … that’s the thing…sometimes you never know when that “thing” will click and … We pay attention to what I said, than trying to argue with a strawman. dave says … [?] Share This [...]

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