The Rumor Mill

The general manager's meetings started yesterday in Orlando, enjoy the "GM's in Action" photos at the link. There likely won't be much news this week as teams are meeting to set up meetings for the Winter Meetings in December and teams can't talk money with potential free agents until next week. Two things we do know... - As I expected (even though I talked myself out of it in our FA Frenzy contest), Curt Schilling is poised to return to the Red Sox barring something "unforseen or outrageously odd happening." - Hendry will do everything he can to retain Kerry Wood, possibly offering him the closer role. This in turn would make Ryan Dempster expendable or a desperate 5th starter option if Hendry strikes out on plans A through F to fill that role. - The same article says the Cubs would tender Mark Prior a contract but only if they can get him to agree to a 2009 option. The team likely doesn't want to lose another year on a rehab season, plus if Prior does pitch and does it well, the Cubs don't want him walking away after just one season.  Early Vegas line is 1000 to 1 that Prior agrees to the option.
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It sort of sucks for Dempster that Schilling named his blog 38 pitches. Seems more aprapro for Ryan as that's the average pitch count it takes for him to get a one inning save.

Hendry's job just got a little tougher with no Schilling to chase.

SP is the least of the cubs worries it seems, anyway.

with schilling off the market it'll just make signing a 3rd-5th starter type moot to the point that hopefully hendry will stick with marshall/hart/gallagher (prior?) or pull off a trade rather than playing around with a market that's ready to give carlos "extremely hittable good stuff" silva 8+m a year, multiyear.

cubs supposedly have some money to spend...be interesting to see where they actually end up spending it.

Bruce Miles in the Daily Herald confirms Jake Renshaw goes to the Orioles, making the Traschel trade look like an even bigger mistake that he won't take the blame for. Also some Carl Crawford chatter.

The front office confirmed Monday the Cubs have sent minor-league pitcher Jacob Renshaw to the Orioles to complete the deal.

Renshaw, a 21-year-old right-hander, went 12-8 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) at Class A Peoria. He was the Cubs' 10th-round pick of the 2006 draft

Seems more aprapro for Ryan as that’s the average pitch count it takes for him to get a one inning save.

Thats funny, because he didn't throw more than 32 pitches in an outing this past season.

The Real Neal:
"Hendry’s job just got a little tougher with no Schilling to chase."

Yeah, and with Renteria traded to DET, that is two players who could have easily upgraded the team. The pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer.

Cubs interest in R. Ibanez?

http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/mariners...

Also, Kaz Matsui?

"The Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres have second baseman Kazuo Matsui on their radar, and the New York Mets have emerged as a legitimate suitor for catcher Yorvit Torrealba."

http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_7379873

I have a gut feeling that the Scott Moore,Rock Cherry, Jake Renshaw to Baltimore for Steve "not on the playoff roster" Trachsel, was Jim Hendry's way of saying "Thanks" to Andy McFail for
A)Giving him his big break as a GM
B)Signing him to an extention on his way out the door.

Again, I have no proof of this. It just seems to be the case.

have a gut feeling that the Scott Moore,Rock Cherry, Jake Renshaw to Baltimore ...

I have a gut feeling that Hendry thinks/knows that none of the three will be viable major league baseball players.

Don't get me wrong- I hated the trade when it happened, and adding a player now to the mix just makes it worse. But lets not pretend that any of these are highly touted prospects or anything like that.

Cubster:
"The front office confirmed Monday the Cubs have sent minor-league pitcher Jacob Renshaw to the Orioles to complete the deal."

Ouch, what a miserable trade.

I don't know what the hell we'd do in the infield with Kazuo. Play him at short? Play DeRosa at short? Matsui sure did have a great year last year, though.

Ibanez might be a nice get. 291/351/480 last year. 289/353/516 the year before.

Although, what's the point in spending that money when we've got a career 296/365/455 redhead already on the roster? I think I recall Ibanez having a pretty good arm, though. If I'm right, that might be the deal breaker.

Matsui sure did have a great year last year, though.

Not really sure this qualifies as a "great" year: .288/.342/.405

He had a decent, and surprising, year, but not great.

I also do not see what the Cubs would do with Matsui. He did play SS in Japan, so that could be what they are thinking, but in reality he would not be a huge upgrade over Ryan Theriot, especially for the cost.

Scott Moore was a fairly decent prospect. Rock Cherry had pitched relatively well in the bigs last year. Sure, we didnt trade Miggy Cabrera 2.0 for Trachsel. However it was 8-31 when we made the trade. What sort of leverage did the O's have? Were other teams beating down their doors for Trachsel? I have a really hard time buying that. All we got in return for Greg Maddux at the trade deadling was the corpse of Cesar Izturis. Baltimore gets 3 legitimate prospects for Steve Trachsel? Jim Hendry wouldnt have given Pittsburgh Clay Rapada for Trachsel.

dave:
"But lets not pretend that any of these are highly touted prospects or anything like that."

Baseball America ranked Scott Moore #7 in the Cubs organization last year. That is pretty high.

Again... I already stated that I hated the trade then, and hate it now.

But I just don't expect any of those three to be anything more than bench/platoon players, at best.

dave — November 6, 2007 @ 9:04 am

I have a gut feeling that Hendry thinks/knows that none of the three will be viable major league baseball players.

Don’t get me wrong- I hated the trade when it happened, and adding a player now to the mix just makes it worse. But lets not pretend that any of these are highly touted prospects or anything like that.

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

Dave: Scott Moore has been both a BP and BA Cubs (and before that, Tigers) Top Ten prospect for a few years now, and was projected as a potential everyday (or at least platoon) MLB 3B or 1B. Just not with the Cubs.

Also, the Cubs have a number of RHP bullpen candidates available in the pipeline at the AA and AAA levels to replace Rocky Cherry (Hart, Gallagher, Mateo, Holliman, Petrick, Harben, Roquet, Avery, Johnson, and Berg), making him expendable just because he's replaceable.

As for Jake Renshaw, he was probably the #1 rotation starter at Peoria in 2007, and while he does have the potential to be MAYBE an MLB back-of-the-rotation starter (or at least an MLB middle-reliever), the Cubs have several other pitchers in their system with similar potential, and several more with far greater potential.

The Cubs over-paid to get Trachsel when it was just Moore and Cherry, and adding Renshaw to the deal just makes the trade more one-sided. But at the same time, Moore's only future with the Cubs would have been as a back-up corner IF-OF-LHPH (and he would have been out of minor league options in 2009), Cherry would probably never have been anything more than a middle-reliever if he had remained with the Cubs (and he would have had to compete with a number of other guys for that role), and Renshaw is a LONG ways away from the big leagues.

Actually, I think Moore and Cherry will help the Orioles in 2008, and (if he stays healthy) Renshaw could very well be a candidate for the Orioles starting rotation or bullpen by 2010 or 2011. But that's only because the Orioles suck.

Simply put, the trade didn't really hurt the Cubs at all (unless the three players could have been used in other trades to get better players), but the fact is Hendry really did WAY overpay for Trachsel to the extreme. It almost looks like the deal was partly a "good-fella pay-back" for the Cubs ripping off the Orioles when they got Kevin Hart for Fast Freddie Bynum.

Kaz Matsui? WTF?

Ibanez makes sense if you they can't get Fukodome or Crawford.

Schilling really wanted to stay in Boston, signed for only 8 MM and 2 MM in incentives.

I think E-man mentioned it already but Fukodome received 2 offers from his current Japanese team and wants offers from other Japanese ballclubs before deciding if he'll go stateside.

If he is really considering Japanese offers, it looks like he will stay there.

If he is really considering Japanese offers, it looks like he will stay there.

Or is just means that he is both keeping his options open and increasing his leverage.

Matt Williams and Jose Guillen-HGH Buyers

Williams bought from same dentist as Paul Byrd.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/...

cubster says:

Bruce Miles in the Daily Herald confirms Jake Renshaw goes to the Orioles, making the Traschel trade look like an even bigger mistake that he won’t take the blame for. Also some Carl Crawford chatter.

The front office confirmed Monday the Cubs have sent minor-league pitcher Jacob Renshaw to the Orioles to complete the deal.

Renshaw, a 21-year-old right-hander, went 12-8 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) at Class A Peoria. He was the Cubs’ 10th-round pick of the 2006 draft
-------------

Yay, I had a reputation to uphold when I said Renshaw was traded 2 days ago w/o proof from the media. :)

(Boo on the trade - the O's should have been giving the Cubs prospects to take on Trax.)

dave:
"Or is just means that he is both keeping his options open and increasing his leverage."

If he really wanted to come over here, he wouldn't even be talking to Japanese teams. There are more than enough options over here to drive up his price and I doubt any of the teams over there can pay him what MLB teams will. Of course, this is all just my opinion, but I wish I could go back and change my FA Frenzy pick for him to stay in Japan.

Navin-
Thanks for the early info...

Carlos Rubi-
I sent an email again about the Cubs Annual. Did you get it? If not, how should we go about contacting you about this?

Not really sure this qualifies as a “great” year: .288/.342/.405

Eh, you're right. Last time I checked he was hitting .300. Mind you that was in the middle of August or so. That's what I get for not paying close enough attention.

His first half (312/350/466) was WAY better than his second half (267/335/353).

Jacos said:

Matt Williams and Jose Guillen-HGH Buyers

Williams bought from same dentist as Paul Byrd.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....;type=news

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

Read the comments to the article. They attack the writers, defend Bonds and take Matt Williams' earlier quote--that steroids don't help hitters--as scientific fact.

HGH isn't a steroid is it?

Apparently the Indians weren't too worried about Byrd's usage since they picked up his option.

Moore is never going to be a quality MLB player in my opinion. It doesn't matter what BA ranked him before the season started, or really what they ranked him at all. If we go back and look at the #7 prospects according to BA for the last 15 years, theirs not a lot of MLB players, and probably no position players.

I agree it was a dumb trade to get Trachsel. Also agree that the three guys that were let go had only marginal MLB value anyway, and would probably be 40 man roster casualties at some point anyway, maybe this off-season for Moore. I do seem to remember Trachsel winning a game in Houston for us down the stretch.

"Thats funny, because he didn’t throw more than 32 pitches in an outing this past season."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke

I didn't really like the Traschel trade either, but at this point I'm willing to give Hendry and his advisors the benefit of the doubt. I know he is often not really well liked here, but looking at trades involving prospects - he has done pretty well. Have any of these prospects Hendry traded away or sold become anything?: Hee Seop Choi, Mike Nannini, Justin Jones, Francis Beltran, Brendan Harris, Sergio Mitre, Renyel Pinto, Ricky Nolasco, Jason Dubois, David Noyce, Gary Johnson, Matt Bruback, Bobby Hill, Travis Anderson, Juan Cruz, Steve Smyth, Todd Wellemeyer, Tom Evans, Santiago Perez, Cody Ransom, Nate Teut, Jason Fransz, Ray Sadler, Emmanual Ramirez, Wilton Chavez, Andy Pratt, Travis Ezi, John Koronka, Ryan Gripp, Derrin Ebert, Mike Moriarty, Jose Nieves, Oswaldo Mairen, Mike Fyhrie, Jon Leceister, Jermain Van Buren, Felix Sanchez, Damian Jackson, Jimmy Anderson, Phil Norton, Ronald Bay, Aaron Rifkin.

Brendan Harris had an ok year in 2007 for Tampa, Mitre is a weak 6-13 for Florida since the trade, Pinto had some good success in the bullpen, Nolasco is 12-13 for Florida, and Juan Cruz has had some solid bullpen years mixed in with some terrible ones (7.44 ERA in 2005, 3.10 last year).

I'll leave the analysis of prospects Hendry has obtained over the years to Arizona Phil, but certainly guys like Murton, Fontenot, Hart, and even Novoa have turned out much better than most; not to mention the veterans the Cubs obtained in a lot of those trades such as Derek Lee.

One thing for sure about Hendry, he thinks the team with the most mediocre second basemen wins.

But Kaz Matsui? Ignoring the obvious incumbent Cubs 2B'er, we also have a guy who played himself onto the active roster at 2B in 2006, Ryan Theriot, and dittos for Mike Fontenot this year.

(mlb career #'s)
THERIOT
.276 .341 .379

MATSUI
.272 .325 .387

FONTENOT
.275 .341 .398

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/deluca/636707,...

some randomness that Cards may try to sign Arod...just writer speculation.

AZ Phil,

Great job on the salary recaps for 2008 and beyond. I noticed from the AFL transactions that Roquet was taken off the Mesa active roster...what's up with that?

Also WSCR-AM Chicago reporting Cubs talking with Rays about Carl Crawford and trying to agree on which 'young' pitching prospects the Cubs would give up.

other rumors...

Rangers interested in Kerry
Cards interested in Izturis, J. Wilson, Eck or Tejada for SS

I did receive your e-mail, Manny. Thanks. I'll reply to it shortly.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7413882

Rosenthal says Cubs are looking at Cameron and other right-handed hitting outfielders even though their preference would be to trade for a left-handed hitter.

btw, according to XM radio this morning Schilling's deal was 8MM with 5MM in incentives...

Boston Herald lists Cubs in on Coco Crisp talks...

Levine may have said that there are some teams interested in Marquis.

George Altman — November 6, 2007 @ 12:13 pm
AZ Phil,

Great job on the salary recaps for 2008 and beyond. I noticed from the AFL transactions that Roquet was taken off the Mesa active roster…what’s up with that?

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

GEORGE A: Rocky Roquet had surgery for a sports hernia.

one of the NY papers saying Rivera and Yanks closing in on a 3/40 deal...

from the Rosenthal article:

Boras is seeking Gil Meche/Ted Lilly money for free-agent right-hander Kyle Lohse, executives say...
=======
The Federal Reserve board of governors are ever vigilant for signs of inflation. They need no further to look beyond the above if such a contract happens.

GM's voted to recommend replay on home run calls....

Final vote likely to take place during Winter Meetings.

last word on Schilling, $3MM in incentives based on innings, $2MM if he meets weight requirements.

btw, heard Glendon Rusch on XM Radio this morning....
Threw for 10 teams last week in Pasadena, was around 84-87 mph on his fastball. He's been on the mound twice a week since the end of August.

...although Lohse pitched like his hair was on fire on April 15th at Wrigley Field.

Kuroda did in fact file for free agency on Monday.

Rob:

interesting transition...mentioning the Schilling contract has a weight provision, then going into a Glendon Rusch infomercial.

:D

*http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..;type=news

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

Read the comments to the article. They attack the writers, defend Bonds and take Matt Williams’ earlier quote–that steroids don’t help hitters–as scientific fact.*

It's a SF paper, so any type of asinine comment can be expected from a town full of loons. I haven't been and won't go there, but please--tell me how few comments it took them to mention or blame George Bush and/or Dick Cheney?

interesting transition…mentioning the Schilling contract has a weight provision, then going into a Glendon Rusch infomercial.

Well as soon as I heard weight provision, I immediately remembered the Glendon Rusch interview I heard. Funny how that works...

"btw, heard Glendon Rusch on XM Radio this morning….
Threw for 10 teams last week in Pasadena, was around 84-87 mph on his fastball. He’s been on the mound twice a week since the end of August."

ROB G: I hope the Brewers, Cards, or Dusty signs him.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/636572,CST...

Donald Trump still interested in buying Cubs...

Eman-
I wouldn't be suprised if Dusty went after him, he relied on Rusch alot.

Donald Trump still interested in buying Cubs…

A Trump/Cuban bidding war would be fun! :)

There is a real dearth of FA pitching out there right now, both rotation starters and closers.

With the hapless Pirates willing to trade for Matt Morris at the 7/31/07 trading deadline and accepting nearly $14M in guaranteed salary for two months of Morris in 2007 and then through the 2008 season, I would think there must be several MLB clubs out there who would seriously consider acquiring Jason Marquis (owed $16.25M over two years 2008-09). The Cubs probably wouldn't even have to eat any of his salary.

Same goes for Ryan Dempster (owed $5.5M plus $800K in incentives through 2008) for any club desperate for a proven closer (and there's several of those), and Jacque Jones (owed $5M through 2008).for any club looking for a veteran left-handed hitting LF or CF (and MIN or SD sound like potential trade partners on that one).

The Cubs might not get much back in terms of talent, but trading Marquis, Dempster, and Jones would at least free-up about $16M in 2008 payroll and $9M+ in 2009 payroll that could be directed elsewhere.

And again, I really don't think the Cubs would necessarily have to eat any salary to move Marquis, Dempster, and Jones. They just probably wouldn't get anything much of value back for them.

to speculate..

Cubs supposedly offered Kuroda a deal last year which he turned down for personal reasons. Plan B (or C or D or whatever) was then to sign Jason Marquis.

With Kuroda available this offseason, it's possible the Cubs sign him and try to trade Marquis and get the guy they wanted in the first place.

List of teams that I think might have some interest in Marquis:
Royals
Padres
Reds
Astros
Mets
Phillies
Nationals
Rangers
Mariners
Twins
Blue Jays

Most of thoe AL teams I don't know what there plans are except the Royals who said they want to add 2 starters.

I have no idea what the Giants are up to but it seems like Dempster and Jones might be some use to them. Dempster could definitely be of use to the Reds bullpen or rotation.

I can't understand why all those teams would be interested in Marquis but the Cubs are not. Even if we sign Kuroda, were better off trading Marshall, who would net us a much better player.

This trade Marquis thing makes so little sense to me.

well who knows how many teams actually are interested....

AND
Marshall>>>>>>Marquis

I know folks think for some reason we just can't have 3 lefties in the rotation but it doesn't matter at all. It certainly didn't last year.

And who knows if Marshall wouldn't be part of another deal. Maybe it's sign Kuroda, try and trade Marquis, let Marshall, Gallagher, Hart and some others battle for the 5th spot.

Dempster might be part of that rotation mix as well...

Chad — November 6, 2007 @ 1:02 pm
I can’t understand why all those teams would be interested in Marquis but the Cubs are not. Even if we sign Kuroda, were better off trading Marshall, who would net us a much better player.

This trade Marquis thing makes so little sense to me.

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

CHAD: I think the fact that Lou Piniella seemed to totally lose confidence in Jason Marqus at the end of the season is the main reason he will be moved. But that doesn't mean other MLB clubs desperate for starting pitching wouldn't see him as an upgrade.

Rob G. — November 6, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

Maybe it’s sign Kuroda, try and trade Marquis, let Marshall, Gallagher, Hart and some others battle for the 5th spot.

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

ROB G: And I suspect that is probably Hendry's Plan "A," at least as far as the starting rotation is concerned.

I think the Cubs really want to establish their presence in the Pacific Rim, and while Steve Wilson has signed players out of Australia, Taiwan, and Korea, he has yet to sign a Japanese player. So getting a foot in the door in Japan could be an important secondary factor in the Cubs wanting to sign Kuroda, Fukudome, and/or Iwase.

"I know folks think for some reason we just can’t have 3 lefties in the rotation but it doesn’t matter at all. It certainly didn’t last year."

Did you do any research to see how they pitched after following another lefty against the same team?

Also I think the Cubs had a pretty pitching friendly season in Wrigley last year. Sometime soon global warming will catch up to Wrigley and then Marshall, Lilly and Hill may have a really rough summer.

I think that the logic in trading Marshall rather than Marquis is that you're more likely to get something back. Tejada or Teahan are not coming back in a trade for Marquis.

Did you do any research to see how they pitched after following another lefty against the same team?

Did you? You seem to be implying that Rob is wrong, and that "research" says something different.

"Did you? You seem to be implying that Rob is wrong, and that “research” says something different."

Sorry, dave. After every post I will now put the disclaimer 'dave, take the statements in the post literally' or 'dave, this post was a joke'.

I was just curious, because Rob G seemed pretty confident in his statement, and I am wondering what he based that one.

dave, take all the staments in this post literally.

Sorry, dave. After every post I will now put the disclaimer ‘dave, take the statements in the post literally’ or ‘dave, this post was a joke’.

What the hell? You can't handle being asked about something you stated? Your question implied that Rob was wrong. I was curious if you knew more than what you stated in the post.

Shouldn't have been too difficult of a question to answer.

The Cubs might not get much back in terms of talent, but trading Marquis, Dempster, and Jones would at least free-up about $16M in 2008 payroll and $9M+ in 2009 payroll that could be directed elsewhere.

There is a real dearth of FA pitching out there right now, both rotation starters and closers.

Seriously...How will three significant new holes in the roster plus $16 million with no one to spend it on make us better next year??

Seriously…How will three significant new holes in the roster plus $16 million with no one to spend it on make us better next year??

I am not so sure that it would create "holes."

For one, it frees up signficant payroll to fill one or more of the holes.

Two, I would argue that the Cubs already have players in place to replace Dempster (Marmol, Howry, possibly Wood) and possibly Marquis (Gallagher, Mart, possibly others) and Jones (Pie, Murton).

Trading Dempster makes the most sense to me as you have fairly obvious and reliable replacements. I am actually a Jones fan, but if the Cubs want Pie to play center (and I am not sure if that is the case), I believe that Murton is an very viable option in RF. Marquis is a little harder to replace - I like Hart and Gallagher, but I am not sure that either of them are ready to start in the bigs.

But again, if the Cubs WERE able to trade away those three and not taking any of the payroll, it would free up money to get a SP or OF.

no I didn't... guilty

2nd best starters ERA in the NL though, I'll stick with that. Over the course of however long Marshall was in there, the long term effect of having 3 lefties and 2 back to back didn't do anything at all to hurt the team's pitching.

Would anyone care if there were 2 righties back to back?

If we're getting a better pitcher, great, if we're just switching handedness because on the surface three lefties seems like too much, that's just silly. Because even if you showed that against the same team, Marshall pitched worse after the teams saw Hill or whatever the rotation was set at, it apparently didn't happen often enough to really matter.

Anyway, I do think we need to upgrade our pitching and I do think some of our pitchers will take a step back next year. I just wholeheartedly disagree that we need to swap a righty for lefty just because it seems unnatural to have three lefties in the rotation.

dave,

I can handle anything. What I get tired of is writing something and you thinking I am implying something or not meaning what I am saying. I say what I mean, you don't have to read anything between the lines.

dave, take all the statements in this post literally.

cubswinthepennant — November 6, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

Seriously…How will three significant new holes in the roster plus $16 million with no one to spend it on make us better next year??

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

CWtP: I'm not saying that moving Marquis, Dempster, and Jones would or would not make the Cubs better, just that it sounds like something Hendry would do in an effort to put together a team that HE thinks would be better.than the 2007 version.

If he trades Marquis, Dempster, and Jones, I suspect it would probably be predicated on his belief that he can redirect the $16M in 2008 payroll (plus some of the additional funds he has available) to a couple of Japanese FAs (like Kuroda and Fukudome), plus Kerry Wood.

Hey guys, it's been awhile but just weighing in on Hot Stove talk...what do you think it'll take to get Carl Crawford from TB? The guy's going to be a 26 year old 2-time Allstar who hits LHP and RHP almost equally well. Since TB needs pitching, it looks like a Juan Pierre-type deal. I want to say Marshall and some combination of Dempster or if TB wants it cheaper, a couple of the other good relief prospects we have coming down the pike, should get it done. They can have Ronny Cedeno too if they need an infielder. But it just seems to make sense--a team with an uncertain CF situation and a lot of trading chips at pitcher, matched up with a team with extra outfielders and almost zero pitching.

Sheffield/Cornelia — November 6, 2007 @ 2:07 pm
Hey guys, it’s been awhile but just weighing in on Hot Stove talk…what do you think it’ll take to get Carl Crawford from TB?

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

SHEFF: Carlos Marmol, Sean Gallagher, and Sean Marshall.

Anecdotally, it seemed that Hill had most of his struggles after Marshall became a full-time rotation member. Wrigley traditionally isn't really a great place for left handers to pitch. It could have been that the Cubs would have been better off with a third competent right hander.

Now that Schilling is off the table, none of the available free agents would be an improvement to Marshall or Marquis and most of the rumored trade targets are left-handed anway. We'll see what Hendry can shake loose, but the 2008 rotation most likely will look a lot like the one that ended the '07 season, except Trachsel will be with the Cards.

That much?! I figured with the Rays desperate for pitching beyond Kazmir and Al Reyes, that the price wouldn't be that high. I know Marshall would be a starting point and I'd be ok with throwing in Gallagher and maybe Dempster and paying for at least part of his salary, but there would have to be a way to do the deal without giving Marmol away.

As I have said earlier - dealing with Tampa Bay is worse than trading with Keyser Soze

I like Kuroda a lot. Good solid hard-throwing righty. There'd certainly be a VA Philgasm over the guy.

Throws about 95-97, good hard slider, a fork, and the same little backup slider (shuuto) that Dice K throws down and in to righties.

His problem has been that he's fallen in love with the fastball occasionally, and that's when he gets rocked. 97 is not good enough to think your going to throw it by japanese hitters, let alone major league hitters, if that's all you throw them.

Anecdotally, it seemed that Hill had most of his struggles after Marshall became a full-time rotation member.

Well... so did Jason Marquis. And Z pitched better once Marshall became a full-time rotation member.

There’d certainly be a VA Philgasm over the guy.

Only if he throws a change-up. And Koyie Hill is catching.

Warning: Potential 3/44 ahead.

Bruce Levine reported this morning that the Cubs have decided to move Dempster out of the closer's role and stretch him out for starting in 2008.

Guess they can offer it to Kerry if it'll make him stay.

Is Ryan Dempster REALLY going to be more effective in the rotation than Jason Marquis was? Really? We really think this, Cubs mgmt.? I mean, how does this make sense?!

Bruce Levine reported this morning that the Cubs have decided to move Dempster out of the closer’s role and stretch him out for starting in 2008.

Interesting... I would think that this means the Cubs are planning on trading one of Marquis or Marshall (or possibly Hill).

And no, I don't think it was a 3/44, at least nothing semi-official on this.

cubswinthepennant — November 6, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

Seriously…How will three significant new holes in the roster plus $16 million with no one to spend it on make us better next year??

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

CWtP: I’m not saying that moving Marquis, Dempster, and Jones would or would not make the Cubs better, just that it sounds like something Hendry would do in an effort to put together a team that HE thinks would be better.than the 2007 version.

If he trades Marquis, Dempster, and Jones, I suspect it would probably be predicated on his belief that he can redirect the $16M in 2008 payroll (plus some of the additional funds he has available) to a couple of Japanese FAs (like Kuroda and Fukudome), plus Kerry Wood.
..........................................................................

Personally, I would be happy if the cubs paired that 16 million off of the 2008 payroll and redirected it to the draft and 16 year old latin american signing period this year. That sort of scratch should net the org. somewhere in the neighborhood of 20so legitimate prospects. That seems better to me than a redirect to Kyle Lohse or Raul Ibanez, FWIW.

last word on Schilling, $3MM in incentives based on innings, $2MM if he meets weight requirements.

Per Schilling himself...

8 million base, 2 million in weight incentives, 3 million in IP incentives, 1 million if he receives one cy young vote.

And interestingly, Schilling calls Maddux one of the top 3 pitchers of all time.

well Dempster in the starting rotation is basically Marquis minus the health. I guess Marquis is the better trade prospect out of the two since he at least has shown he can stay healthy in the rotation. And when Carlos Silva and Lohse are looking at three to four years at 8-10 million, should be able to get something for Marquis even if we have to chip in a little cash.

Could/would Dempster be a .500 pitcher/5th starter?

Me thinks not. Control. Control. Control.

Dempster in the starting rotation is basically Marquis minus the health
=======
that is an "oblique" reference if I ever saw one!

Wes:
"Bruce Levine reported this morning that the Cubs have decided to move Dempster out of the closer’s role and stretch him out for starting in 2008."

If we needed any more reason to know Hendry is absolutely clueless. AMAZING!!!!!

in this market moving dumpster up to starting might not be a bad move, esp. considering how little he's paid and how flakey he is as a closer.

that said, even though his stamina is much improved over marshall, it doesnt solve the issue that dumpster is probably a 5-6 inning pitcher at best. the tax on the pen is similar in that respect.

Its November 6th. No matter what Bruce Levin is saying. Nothing is ironclad at this point. Lets lay off the Hendry bashing until he actually makes a move. That being said. If Glendon Rusch or Neifi Perez are brought back. Fire away!!!

"If we needed any more reason to know Hendry is absolutely clueless. AMAZING!!!!!"

this is a market where carlos silva, joel pinero, etc. are gonna get paid millions more than dumpster to put up, at best, a similar performance.

there's very little to worry about dumpster starting except for his workload habit of 15-25 pitch innings, imo.

he's got stuff...he's just gonna throw a lotta pitches to get it done.

my most immediate concern about his past performance comes with comparing sept. 07 to his year and 5/6ths before that september. he was giving up the longball on an extremely alarming level compared to his past performance and was seen/hit extremely well.

It seems most of these player moves (Marquis, Dempster, Jones) depends on signing/trading for the players who will replace them. Case in point, Kuroda seems to have upside where Marquis is what he is ( a .500 pitcher with a 4.60 ERA for 185 IP). Fukudome and Crawford would be excellent replacements for Jones, Murton, and Pie if Hendry could pull that off. Dempster is more than replaceable by Howry, Wood, and Marmol if they can move him. That $16M plus the additional 2008 budget funds should more than cover Fukudome, Kuroda, and Crawford (and maybe a another bullpen arm).

I would like to see a lineup with the OBA potential Lee, Ramirez, Fukudome, Crawford, and DeRosa would provide. Soriano, Crawford, and Theriot could provide some good movement on the bases too.

A non-maximum effort Dempster may be less prone to hurting himself in the rotation. Hopefully he'll be more prone to throwing strikes with his fastball, not trying to muscle it up there at 95. Seems odd to announce he's going to be a starter with five starters on the club already (not counting Hart and Gallagher) and Wood not signed. Even if they're going to trade one of the three tradeable guys, why lower your bargaining power by letting teams know that now?

crunch:
"there’s very little to worry about dumpster starting except for his workload habit of 15-25 pitch innings, imo."

I worry about Dempster's numbers as a starter:
51-58
4.99 ERA
1.63 WHIP
.272 BAA
1 HR every 8.1 IP

They are much worse than his reliever numbers which haven't been that good for a closer the past 2 years.

a .500 pitcher with a 4.60 ERA for 185 IP

...which is the current definition of a "quality starter"

30 starts
6 IP per start
3 earned runs per start
ERA ~4.50

i wouldnt be surprised at all to see marshall on the mound for someone next year. hopefully it'll be in LA/TB for a RF/CF type worth actually having...

CWTP:
"…which is the current definition of a “quality starter”

quality or average?

"I worry about Dempster’s numbers as a starter"

those #s are ancient. dumpster now is dumpster now.

its like assuming arod is still a GG shortstop cuz he played there 4 years ago or being stoked cuz of what he did in 2000.

even with dumpster's horrid sept. people dont hit him like they used to when he was a starter and his sinking slider is a whole lot more effective since he can keep it down with more regularity compared to his florida days.

quality or average?

Quality... technically.

A quality start is 6+ innings, 3 or less runs. Or in other words, a 4.5 ERA.

crunch:
"those #s are ancient. dumpster now is dumpster now."

So his last two years his numbers have been basically:
3-16
4.77 ERA
1.42 WHIP

And to be honest, i have a hard time seeing him being as good as a starter as he was a reliever, so IMO those numbers will get worse and closer to his career numbers as a starter.

weeeee....

dave:
"A quality start is 6+ innings, 3 or less runs. Or in other words, a 4.5 ERA."

The key word being "start". A 4.60 ERA, which was the original number mentioned, is basically the average ERA of all starting pitchers in the NL this past season (4.65), so thus average, IMO.

Kazuo Matsui had OBP of .365 and .389 in the two years before he put up a .330, .300, .315ish OBP in the majors. Fukudome has been a little better than that - .388 career, with a .438 in '06 but he's going to loose respect walks in MLB. I think he's a safe bet for a .330 OBP, but I wouldn't count on anything much better than that.

Hideki Matsui had two consecutive seasons of .463 OBP in Japan before putting up a ..353 and .390 in the states.

its not about whether dumpster is gonna be great or some surprise or etc...

this is a market where if hendry wanted to go out and sign a guy like dumpster he'd be spending 1.5-2x more than dumpster is getting paid now.

its about the use of existing resources and applying them sanely.

go out and spend 8-10m on a carlos silva type for 3-4+ years...or let the 5m guy with a healthy arm take a shot at the #5 slot with 2-3 known backups ready in the wings.

dumpster fails...boo hoo...bring on gallagher...bring on hart...bring on marshall if he's still here.

this is a totally sane approach given the market, what slot dumpster would be taking, and the backups.

A 4.60 ERA, which was the original number mentioned, is basically the average ERA of all starting pitchers in the NL this past season (4.65), so thus average, IMO.

Well... your 4th or 5th starters are average, you are in good shape.

quality or average?

closer to average

I think sportswriters have misinterpretted the concept of "quality starts" . As many have pointed out when a pitcher does throw a quality start he pitches more than six innings on average and gives up fewer than 3 runs. (~2 !)

dave:
"Well… your 4th or 5th starters are average, you are in good shape."

But it is a clear downgrade as we had only 1 average starter last year (the others being above average).

CWTP:
"I think sportswriters have misinterpretted the concept of “quality starts” . As many have pointed out when a pitcher does throw a quality start he pitches more than six innings on average and gives up fewer than 3 runs. (~2 !)"

Agreed 100%.

But it is a clear downgrade as we had only 1 average starter last year (the others being above average).

Manny... the original comment was about the 1 average starter last year - Marquis. So I am not really sure what you are referring to.

Marquis had 33 starts, 190 2/3 IP which averages out to 5.8 IP per start. Hence, slightly below average which was my point. Marquis has performed badly the last two Aug/Sep which begs the question - coincidence or trend? Projection for future results -- bad.

Kuroda - probably could be signed for less than the $16.25M owed Marquis for 2008-09. Could/would his performance in 2008-09 be worse than Marquis' in 2006-07. Possible? Yes. Likely? Probably not.

If the Cubs don't have to trade Marshall, Gallagher, and Hart to fill SS and RF/CF for next season, then 1 of those should be able to join Z, Lilly, Hill, and Kuroda in the rotation. Even if Dempster is traded (hopefully), Howry and Marmol project as decent closer options.

dave:
"Manny… the original comment was about the 1 average starter last year - Marquis. So I am not really sure what you are referring to."

You said in post #103: "Well… your 4th or 5th starters are average". I thought you were referring to next year the Cubs would have Marquis and Dempster as starters who would be average.

I said 4th or 5th because many considered Marquis a #4, even though Marshall was better. But I was referring to Marquis and the original comments made about him. Marquis is/was league average, and when your worst starter is league average you are in good shape.

Got it dave, thanks for the clarification!!

GG winners...

AL
Johan
Pudge
Youklis
Polanco
Cabrera
Beltre
Hunter, Sizemore, Suzuki

NL
Maddux
Martin
Lee
Hudson
Rolins
Wright
Beltran, Jones, Francouer, Rowand (Francouer and Rowand tied)

One other point for the baseball off-season: I wouldn't view any player in the Cubs system as 'off-limits' if trading him could make this team more likely to make the playoffs in 2008 and in years to come.

Right now, the Bulls should be trying to trade for Kobe Bryant because their existing mix of players are good but will never win a ring. Kobe would be an impact addition that could more likely get them to the NBA Finals. And I'm not talking a trade that guts the Bulls.

That's what I would hope Hendry/Pinella are doing right now. They've got $10-20M more in the budget already for 2008, and if they move a couple of big contracts they could have another $10-15M to spend on upgrading the team thru trades/FA's. I think we all hope they're smart enough to be able to do that.

put a post up on the Gold Glove winners and about Dempster fwiw...

AJ Burnett available

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3...

has an opt-out after this season

man... 12 million a year is a steal for burnett.

"man… 12 million a year is a steal for burnett"

I remember when I said Burnett was going to get a 5 year $55 million deal and was just about laughed off the board. Pass on Burnett though. Too many injuries.

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