Jacque Jones Almost Traded…Again

UPDATE #3: The Sun-Times is reporting that the Cubs sent $2 million over in the deal and repeat the previous mention that JJ is owed $5.5 MM in 2008. My guess at this point is that he was only owed a half million of his pro-rated signing bonus, not the $1.3 MM that I suggested earlier. If Infante sticks with the team and makes about $1.5 MM next year plus the $2MM the Cubs gave to Detroit, that's only about $2MM in savings for 2008 for the Cubs. UPDATE #2: The Cubs.com press release says the Cubs will send over cash considerations but no word on the amount. Anything more than covering Jacque's signing bonus and we should burn Hendry at the stake. UPDATE: SI.com is indicating it's a done deal. I assume the financials will come out later and I can only pray that the Cubs are saving a bunch of money with this move. ----------------- The Detroit Free Press (who?) and now Phil Rogers are reporting that a Jacque Jones for Omar Infante swap is nearly complete. This would jive with an earlier Bruce Levine report. First, let me say, WTF? Now that I got out of the way, let's try and see what Jimbo might be thinking with this one. Jones is due $5 MM for 2008 plus the last installment of his $4MM signing bonus which brings his total contract up to $6.3MM this year. Omar Infante is eligible for arbitration and made $1.3 MM last season. It's reasonable to expect a half million raise for a utility player with limited at-bats. If this deal goes down, and hopefully we learned our lesson last year about jumping the gun on a Jones trade, we'll see how much money the Cubs fork over to the Tigers in this deal. Hopefully, it's none at all since the Cubs are getting a nobody for a marginally useful player. This seems to be a case of a salary dump for the Cubs to hopefully make room in the payroll for our big Alex Rodriguez push. What better way to motivate going after ARod then bringing in the generally useless Omar Infante as a potential backup. ARod jokes aside, Infante is a waste of roster space, time and energy. He doesn't get on-base, he doesn't hit and he's not particulary fast if you look at his stolen base numbers. Well maybe he's fast, but he's not very good at stealing bags. He has played six positions in his career including second, short, third, center, right and left. If this deal is completed, I hope the Cubs just non-tender him and save the extra million or so.
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IS traded, per Bruce Levine @ WMVP 1000. For Omar Infante.

well hopefully this news will be washed down with a Kerry Wood resigning press release...

Boourns.

Ugh... now I know that I said on a previous thread that Infante could be a useful 25th man, but I take that back after looking into him a little further.

I don't get it. I don't get why you would trade a useful left-handed bat who plays good defense (though has a weak arm) for a crappy utility player who costs 1.5 million or so. If it is a salary dump, why take back a useless relatively expensive player? At least get some prospects in return.

And what does Detroit need another OF for?

Also, Levine speculated that the Cubs are "confident" about getting another LH bat or two, and specifically named Fukudome and Matsui.

If only ARod were a second baseman!

Hendry couldn't resist.

Uh, we got him to DH in intraleague play? He did play 2 games there last year.

Seems like Hendry has a favorite trading partner in Dombrowski. Just wish they'd send something GOOD our way.

I guess the Cubs do owe the Tigers one for the Neifi trade...

the only saving grace of this trade would be if the matsui talk were finally dead....i think it will be easier for the cubs to talk themselves out of playing infante than it would be for kaz, who has always been awful outside of coors.

either way, this is stupid. if saving 5 Mill by trading a mildly useful player shows how the money game will be played this offseason, it's gonna be ugly.

i can only hope that trading jones means they're confidant that fukudome is on his way (money saved + they now need another lefty OFer).

blech.

Hey, if this means the Cubs don't sign Matsui to play 2B this is one of the greatest trades Hendry every made! I can't believe that's even a legit rumor. Matsui is terrible, we already have DeRosa, Theriot, and Patterson, and he would cost significant money for a multi-year deal.

Infante Scouting Report #1
http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/teams/players/bio/?id=3...

Assets
A very intense and driven player, with superb defensive skills up the middle. At the plate, he'll poke the ball the other way and has occasional power. He's got quick feet on the base paths.

Flaws
Can't catch up to tight heat, resulting in too many strikeouts. Has some trouble against southpaws.

Career potential
Strong utility infielder.

Also, Infante was once a a top prospect and lost favor with Trammel, so his playing time has been inconsistant. Perhaps if he's now healthy, and coming into his prime, he might be useful? I'd still like to see Cedeno win the SS job out of spring training, but could Infante be a better option than Theriot? I'm assuming we all agree that Theriot should not be the starter....or get more than 200 AB next year.

Infante Scouting Report #2 probably a few years old...
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/playerScouting?c...

Scouting Report by Stats Inc.
Hitting
Infante has gotten stronger. He has excellent bat speed and a quick trigger, and he likes fastballs up in the strike zone. That was the pitch most of his home runs were hit on. He still is an unpolished hitter when it comes to pitch recognition. Good pitchers who mix up their offerings continue to puzzle him, and there are times when he appears utterly confused at the plate. Those times became fewer as last season moved on, however.

Baserunning & Defense
Infante is an excellent athlete with exceptional range for a second baseman. He makes the play up the middle very well. He has sure hands and his concentration level in the field, so poor during 2003, has improved. He turns the double play equally well from second or short. He also played center field a couple times last season and was more than adequate. Infante has an average arm and always seems to be fighting off some kind of sore arm. He has above-average speed, but has yet to develop a knack for stealing bases.

I can promise you jmoultz that we all agree that Infante is not a better option that Theriot...as sad as that is.

I'd take Kaz over Infante in a heartbeat...

random 3-way trade rumor, don't put anything into it..

Marquis to Mariners
Sexson to Giants
Winn to Cubs

I too would take Kaz over Infante. And probably Theriot over either of them.

Does he speak japanese?

I guess dealing for Infante Terrible can only mean one thing -- Jose Macias is officially retired.

Assets:A very intense and driven player
thanks to an ample supply of amphetamines

with superb defensive skills up the middle.
he has limited range

At the plate, he’ll poke the ball the other way and has occasional power.
because his bat is so slow it rarely catches up

He’s got quick feet on the base paths.
which is the only reason his BA isn't sub .200

booooooooooooo

He doesn't speak Japanese but he is from Venezuela. Is he a buddy of Zs brought in to help calm the beast? But even that scenario doesn't make any sense to me.

updated the post and the Cubs will send some cash to the Tigers, no word on how much.

I'm hearing on the radio here that the trade has been expanded to include Howry, Dempster and Ramon Santiago.

haha

teh suck. These are such Cub-like trades. Did anyone even bother to tell Lou. Hey, maybe Infante is trade bait...yeah that's it. Blechhhhhhhh!

Rogers opines that this move is part of the commitment to Pie in CF, as Infante will play CF against lefties. He will also back up 2B and SS.

Rosenthal reports that this move does not push Matusi off the radar, as Kaz could split time at 2B with DeRosa, who would also spell ARam and Lee and get some OF time.

ROY voting is in, I've got a post below this one if anyone wishes to discuss it...

This trade is beyond idiotic. You can't call it a salary dump because the $6.5M for Jones is high for a below average player, but not wildly so.

Infante has played 21 games in CF in his career and now we're going to rely on him for 1/4 to 1/3 of all starts there next year? Lefties? In his career, Infante has a reverse split, .245/.290/.382 against LHP and .257/.301/.387.

Alan Trammel is Lou's bench coach and managed Infante from 2003-05. I have to think they consulted Trammel before making this move if they were serious about it. Will anyone in the Chicago press find Trammel and ask him whether Infante is a CF, and if he is, why did Trammel start Nook Logan over Infante at CF in 2005?

Let's put together the last few trades with Detroit into one mega-deal. It looks like the type of trades that would be made in a fantasy baseball league that didn't have a waiver wire.

Cubs acquire: Omar Infante, Craig Monroe, Chris Robinson, Roberto Novoa, and Scott Moore

Tigers acquire: Jacque Jones, Clay Rapada, Neifi Perez, Zack Miner (beget by Kyle Farnsworth), Bo Flowers

[...] Cub Reporter [...]

Every GM seems to be in love with something bad. Ed Wade, for example, has a fetish for over-priced, average-at-best middle relief pitchers.
Hendry's is average to below-average middle infielders. Maybe (hopefully) a deal is on the horizon to turn quantity into quality. But my guess is that is a long-shot.

But I do say thanks to Rob G. for mentioning the Jones prorated signing bonus. He is owed $6.33 million for 2008, not what most outlets are reporting. And there are contributors to this site that don't seem to think signing bonuses should be figured into salaries and payroll.

I don't think you can look at this trade from a pure numbers standpoint. The Cubs seem ready to try Pie in CF, and are clearly looking for more power and defense in RF; Jones was the odd man out.

Do you really want him rotting on the bench? He doesn't necessarily strike me as a "clubhouse cancer" sorta guy, but you gotta include the human element in this sort of trade. Hendry strikes me as "old school" enough to feel obligated to either trade JJ or ensure play time, especially going into a contract year.

What disappoints me is not so much what we got in return for JJ, but by how soon this trade took place. There were reports that several teams were interested in him - not that that actually means anything, but if there actually was some interest in him, then it would be nice to wait and see if this was the best deal for him, considering how early it still is. I'm cool with it if a) no one else was actually interested in him or b) this actually was the best that was being offered. If, based on the (seeming) game plan for next year, Jacque wasn't going to be playing, I'd rather he be traded for someone cheaper who is used to/willing to accept a backup role. BUT, i'm really really hoping that TB is in need of a crappy utility infielder type player.

Wild Thing, this trade obviously was not about numbers. But it is supposedly about value. And we didn't get any value other than a few million bucks.

Hendry just gave Dombrowski an OF with a highish but only one-year contract with a decent glove and bat that probably will play over 100 games next year at all three OF positions at one point or another. That is exactly what the Tigers need, because it gives them time to have Cameron Maybin ease into an everyday role.

So for 100 games of middling but occasionally effective production, the Cubs got a back-up 2B/SS/OF who will produce at a level lower than Theriot/Cendeno/Fontenot. In other words, the Cubs got absolutely zilch in value outside of the couple million dollars they save. That's penny ante stuff on a $125M+ payroll. And they give up the ability to use Jones the way the Tigers will use Jones.

If we had gotten a couple minor leaguers, at least I could have seen some value in that and in opening up a 40-man roster slot. But that's not what we got.

I am not okay with this. Any way you look at it, the Cubs have taken away an asset (it is debatable how valuable an asset Jones was, but he was an asset), and gave it away for significantly less. It doesn't matter what they are doing elsewhere. This transaction still makes the team worse, by subtracting a starter, and getting a bench player in return.

I hadn't thought of that, The Jone. Maybe a very influential scout in Tampa Bay thinks that Infante is the next Barry Larkin and the man has been keeping him down. Only a trade to TB along with Marshall for a certain left fielder is the way that his Infantness will be freed.

err, The Joe.

You can call me Jone...or Joan for that matter if you like:)

At least now we have someone to back up our batboy...

The TCR nickname possibilities--such as Infante Terrible (from Tarzan Joe), Crazy Omar, L'Enfant, and His Infantness (from Real Neal)--are the only redeeming value of this trade.

What are the chances that Infante gets non-Tendered? If that is the case than Jack Jones was traded for an expiring contract (ala NBA)

I'm just thankful that the J Jones era is over.

I’m just thankful that the J Jones era is over.
=======
anyway they worked that offseason move to replace Beernuts, it was a dead end street... as the other options were Juan Encarnacion or Preston Wilson.

I too am glad to move on. We are going to get a new starting outfielder in 08, hopefully we will be getting an upgrade.

Jones basically was out of position in RF but in LF he's back where he belongs and with Marcus Thames the Tigers are probably maximizing JJ as a platoon player, which is also where he belongs.

You're missing Trachsel there, DC Tom.

It just means Carl Crawford is closer to being a Cub.....

Looks like we save $4-5 million or so, most likely. That's not peanuts even with a $125 million payroll. That's a substantial amount. Good for Jacque, I hope he does well, and I hope he doesn't let the door hit him in the arse on the way out.

I like Soriano/Pie/Murton/Fuld/Free agent splash a whole lot better than Soriano/Pie/Murton/Fuld/Jones, that's for sure. And I don't think Infante will see enough at-bats to get in the way of anyone anyway. Nothing wrong as far as I can tell with running him out after Theriot's job and seeing if he can take it. He's 25 and might very well get better.

The Cubs are still working on a budget and if you can save $4-5MM then great, assuming it's used to upgrade the team.

The Cubs have about to month to decide what to do with Infante. Hopefully he's non-tendered and either brought in for less than a million or let go all together.

Tough to really decide on this one until we know how much the Cubs are sending over and what the Cubs do with Infante.

I wonder what Cincinnati would give us in the way of prospects for Omar Infante? He seems like the type of player they would go after.

How about "Infant Aside."

Maybe Hendry thought today was Crummy Veterans Day.

Man, you guys got Infante dude. That kid can really be a horse. He can run. He can bunt. He is aggressive at the plate. A kid like that aint gonna wear down during the season. Man, you can put him anywhere.

Or "Infant Aisle" -- which is what fans will be heading toward when he enters a game.

It was not bad to dump JJ. His value to the Cubs was essentially an option value, that he gave us insurance of sorts about whether Pie would develop. That option has value, but Fuld's play in the Fall League might have diminished that option value substantially.

I'm more upset that Hendry could not generate any value from him. The fact that JJ had little value on this team does not mean that he had no value to other teams. Detroit told us their value--the amount of JJ salary they will pick up. I would think that once the Hunter/Andruw Jones signings happened, the "losers" in that would be interested in acquiring Jones as well. But trading him for the right to non-tender Omar Infante? Omar? (we had "Neifi!", I propose "Omar?")

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?na...

please don't post the whole article but is there anything interesting in that link about Cuban?

ESPN article says: "Jones is scheduled to make $5.5 million next season in the final year of a three-year, $16 million deal. He also has a $1 million signing bonus due in January 2008. It's believed the Cubs are picking up the cost of the bonus as part of the trade."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/basebal...

latest on Miguel Cabrera...

Marlins asking for as much as 4 top-tier young players. Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Indians,Yanks, Red Sox and White Sox all mentioned.

I used Cot's and AZ Phil and it's $5MM plus a $4MM signing bonus pro-rated over three years with the last installment due Jan of '08.

Rob, an excerpt...

I got my turn, too. I asked him what's happening with the Cubs. He said, "I'm tryin'."

...

During the Q&A portion of Cuban's appearance, he said, "I'm a ready-fire-aim kind of guy."

Read that again. I thought Cuban misspoke. Wouldn't you know it, the next question from the audience was, "Mark, did you misspeak a minute ago when you said 'ready, fire, aim'?"

He smiled and said, "Let me think about that ... ready, fire, aim ... yeah. That's right." Another smile (that might be more accurately described as a #@%&-eating grin)....

And no, beyond that there's nothing interesting.

i dont understand the trade for either side.

cubs just picked up a more sure-handed version of cedeno and det. got a OF'r they didnt need.

*shrug*

i guess the "bright side" is the cubs are pretty much 100% gonna go out and sign that RF'r theyve been looking.

how bright it is will depend on who it actually is, i guess.

Ode to Omar:

Oh Man, Another Reject In Northside Fatigues, Another Nauseating Trade Ensues

Neififante?

Maybe that was the best deal Hendry could do. I mean its not like the Cubs were not trying to dump him since May.

hasn't the word been that Tigers would look for a short term LF option? jenkins was supposedly on their radar...

It seems they won't to hold of another year on Maybin and aren't sold on Rayburn/Thames in LF, nor should they be....

hate these kind of trades.

on the outside it looks like an attempt to capture 3-5m back to the potential payroll.

its hard to say much about the whole thing til its clear what they actually plan on doing with the money.

if they sign someone like jenkins...what's the point? if they sign someone like a.jones or fuko...that's another issue.

waiting...waiting...waiting...

Perhaps they see Wood heading for FA, and have allocated these $$$ for a set-up man to replace him...

or just allocating that money for Kerry...

specifically named Fukudome

That's cool. Usually it's someone specifically named Fukufans.

I have a question. Why aren't people talking about Andruw Jones more? Even if he wants a one-year deal to jack up his value for 2009, wouldn't it be worth it to try to sign him for the one year while Pie learns to hit lefties in AAA? We need power from somewhere in this lineup, and Jones hit 26 HR in a horrible year last year. He's only going to be 31 in 2008, while still ranking among the top defenders in the game.

I would say that Pell Mell and Mister Whipple win today's comments section. Well done, fellows.

I will say that. If Infante is on this team on Opening Day, I will be pissed. I don't see that happening, though.

either infante or cedeno seems due to change teams...hope they keep theriot for flexibility.

infante/cedeno to pitt or tb?

seems to be a buzz about the Brewers trying to swing a deal for Crawford, last incarnaction was a 3-way deal sending Sheets or Capuano to the Yanks, Crawford to the Brewers and something Yankee to the Devil Rays.

woo rumors...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071...

Hot Stove buzz...

- Braves pretty sure they'll get Glavine
- Indiands put in a offer for Lidge
- Nats want Carlos Gomez and Pelfrey from the Mets, dangling Chad Cordero
- Posada supposedly really close to resigning with the Yanks

pelfrey AND gomez?

damn.

Woo hoo finally JJ is gone.

Wes: The going rate for a less versatile utility player than Infante is around $2 million, so if he signs for $1.8 mil and can play 6 positions as the 25th man, why is that such a bad thing?

infante seems to be a "sure thing" defensive replacement compared to cedeno's streaky, but generally good, D.

infante doesnt have the power upside, but everything else seems comparable on the bat side.

hard to get stoked about a guy who's basically a more dependable jose macias.

also hard to wait to see what this shored up payroll is actually opening up.

from an organizational standpoint it opens up a slot for fuld to join muton/ward as backup OF bench.

why is that such a bad thing?

Because he sucks.

Cubs have a bunch of moves to make still so guessing on the bench is bit presumptious. Fair to say I don't envison a good bench with Infante on it.

Blanco, Ward already fill two spots.

That's three left for Fuld, Pagan, Infante, Cedeno, Theriot, Murton, Eric Patterson, Fontenot at this point. That's assuming a new starting SS and new RF too.

Cubs 40-man shows 35 players btw right now, no Prior which I assume is a Muskat oversight.

"Indiands put in a offer for Lidge"

To get traded again from the Phils?

Dave, he had set me up perfectly with that question and you stole it right out from underneath me. That ain't cool, man.

Infante is a VERY flexible player in the field. He can play lots of positions. He runs well. There are some arm questions with him that may not bode well for outfield play.

Unfortunately, he just can't hit. At all. He's a career 253/286/386. Yes, Virginia, Neifi has a clone. If I pay you $2 million, you better be able to get on base at 300 or better. Or, you better be the best defense on this planet. Infante is neither, I'm afraid.

I start the cubs bidding on Lidge with......
A shiny new Shortstop. He hit .271 last year. A whiz with the glove. Might have the skills to move Rollins or Utley off of their current positon. Or start him at 3rd and be worry free for years to come. Available for a low intoductory rate of 2 mil. His name is Omar Infante. Waddaya say Mr. Gillick?

Wes, apparently someone is interested in Omar (#52) Beauty is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

Indians put in an offer for Lidge before he was dealt.

That's all, nothing to see here.

I'm moving along.

Todd Jones gets 1 year/$7 million from the Tigers.

For the sake of comparison, Willie Blomquist played five INF/OF positions for the Mariners last year, and had offensive numbers very comparable to Infante's.

Blomquist was paid $875,000 by the Mariners.

And if we want to pay him less than a million, that's fine. I like having guys like that on the roster who can play multiple positions and do it very cheaply. That means you can pay other guys more.

2 million dollars is not cheap enough for a .286 career OBP. I'm sorry. Overpaying is overpaying. I may be splitting hairs, but I'm not paying 2 million dollars for that. He's arb eligible and maybe they can sneak him in under a million. I'd say that'd be a fair price. Anymore than that and they should cut him loose.

[...] Jones costs $5.5M (Cubs places say $6.3M) and the Cubs are chipping in some amount of cash, Jon Paul Morosi [...]

Sorry - this looks like Neifi II to me.

So now, Hendry has paid back BOTH McFail AND Dombrowski. ENOUGH!!!

I hope they are saving enough money that with the savings PLUS the use of Manny's, Cubster's, and my season ticket money (plus the rest of the 15-20, 000 folks) there will be enough to use to get some real difference makers for 2008.

I hope JH has a good explanation at Cubs Convention on Infante - this had to have been condoned by Trammel - whom I believe may have the inside track to the next manager's seat at Wrigley for the Blue.

Anyone else listen to The Decemberists? This song keeps running through my head:

"and we'll all come praise the infante"

*infanta, in the original

#90 wes-
Overpaying is overpaying.

lifted directly from the hendry family coat-of-arms.

* * * * * *

isn't jones-infante basically half a trade? opening up room in rf for fukudome, with pie in cf? or andruw jones in cf, with pie/murton in rf? or following up by packaging cedeno and marshall and wuertz for furcal? or some mixture of all of these? sub dempster for marshall, if the dodgers would do it.
as rob said, more moves to be made; hard to get to lathered up over this one.

Without JJ's second half, the Cubs don't win the division or whatever it is they did. (seems so long ago now) I've heard more than a few people advance the idea that JJ was stopping Pie from blossoming into Willie Mays. Pie was handed the job and stunk his way to the bench. Sam Fuld? Are the Cubs ready to hand the most important position in the outfield to someone who hasn't proven he can hit major league pitching and someone who has, thus far, proven he can't? Scary. Better be very strong at the seven other positions and right, second, short and catcher are anything but sure things.

tbone,

Yes.

Without JJ’s second half, the Cubs don’t win the division or whatever it is they did.

JJ had some making up to do...

let's not forget 233/294/335 in 215 AB's in the first half.

If we sign Fukodome he can play CF if Pie shows he's not ready, then you've got Murton, DeRosa, probably a few other options in right.

I doubt this trade happened with Hendry having a plan for the rest of the lineup.

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

quotage from Jimbo...

"We're happy to get Infante. He gives us another guy who is versatile and can play everywhere on the infield and all three outfield spots. ... It's good for both clubs. Dave was looking for someone to play left field with Thames. We tried to wrap it up as soon as we could. We both have other issues to address."

said Cedeno's been working in the OF and likely Pie/Fuld will battle for CF.

Said deal was wrapped up last night and any $$$ over a million I believe has to be approved by MLB, so good chance we're not sending too much cash over.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Cubs.com version seems to imply Hendry in no rush to sign Kerry, might have a meeting tonight or tomorrow.

I'd personally like the Cubs to actually show confidence (and instill confidence!) in their prospects. We know what Jacque can do (he doesn't suck as much as many say, be he certainly wasn't and isn't a savior). Yes CF is one of the most important positions, and Pie HAS proven he can play it, he just hasn't proven he can hit yet. Let the son of a bitch play and see if he can do it, but give him enough time to grow into it.

"We're going to pick the best outfielder we can between now and Spring Training," Hendry added. "But to sit here and start deciding who is going to play where [now] would be very foolish."

But it's OK to decide who the leadoff is, right?

seems like it might be part of the GM's job to, you know, decide who should play where...

HAHA great one rob....

and hendry cannot be serious about fuld being in the running to actually play in CF this year? come on, that's got to be a bluff, right??

there must be an OF signing in the offing.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! It bugs the hell out of me how when a player is no longer of use to the Cubs, Hendry seemingly dumps him regardless of the perceived value he may have to other teams.

And I would feel a lot better about this deal if I trusted the Cubs to use the saved cash on free agents. But in this environment I don't have a lot of confidence that a 100% flow-through to player payroll will happen.

I recall hearing McDonough on the radio in March justifying the just-announced deal to put the Under Armour ads on the outfield walls, saying that this kind of move was necessary to help defray the costs of the salaries of Soriano, Aram, DLee, etc. The only problem: they cut the Under Armour deal AFTER the 2008 payroll was set, so it was nothing more than a revenue grab.

I don't really mind it when a team or company tries to generate as much money as it can. Just don't lie about it or pretend it's something other than it is.

ALLEN — November 12, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

But I do say thanks to Rob G. for mentioning the Jones prorated signing bonus. He is owed $6.33 million for 2008, not what most outlets are reporting. And there are contributors to this site that don’t seem to think signing bonuses should be figured into salaries and payroll.

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

ALLEN: MLB uses "prorated signing bonuses" to determine payroll for luxury tax/revenue sharing purposes. All signing bonuses are calculated this way for that purpose. This is mandated by the CBA. However, signing bonuses are normally paid in a lump sum at the time the player signs his contract, which is why it's called a "signing bonus."

For instance, over the past year, the Cubs have paid a total of $18M in signing bonuses to Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano. If these bonuses had been calculated into the Cubs 2007 payroll without "prorating" them over the length of the player's contracts, the Cubs '07 payroll would have been around $125M and they could have been at risk for a luxury tax. But by being allowed to "prorate" the signing bonuses out over the length of the three players' contracts, it only adds $3M to the Cubs "official" payroll each year for the next five weasons, and then $1M per season for the next three after that.

Although signing bonuses are usually paid in a lump sum when the player signs a contract, occasionally a club is given the option to pay a signing bonus over a period of time (like when a player selected in the Rule 4 Draft is given a major league contract and is placed on his club's 40-man roster), and in the case of Jacque Jones, the Cubs were given the option to pay his $4M signing bonus anytime between January 2006 and January 2008, and it does not have to be paid in installments of $1.33M, either. It could be paid in a lump sum, or in some other combination (TBD by the Cubs). When the Cubs actually chose to pay the signing bonus (or if they have even paid it yet) is unknown. They could still owe Jones the entire $4M.

I was going off Cot's contract, they claimed each installment was due in January of the following year, I did presume it was evenly divided though.

"isn’t jones-infante basically half a trade?"

that seems damn rational considering the $$ involved (or the lack of $$ involved on the cubs end, rather).

infante's a 25th man...live with it...we've seen it before, its not uncommon on many teams and the cubs didnt have one in their system unless they want to continue to groom theriot out of a starter's role.

i think the most important move is the next move...cuz this has done nothing worth mentioning (except for bench D which is as exciting as low-middle relief) but clear up some loot.

its not "much" in comparison to a 100-120m team, but when compared to how much the team actually has to spend it stands out.

guess its also important to note that the loss of jones doesnt leave a hole in the OF...it just pretty much assures fuld is in the mix.

that said, the team is heavily banking on pie/fuld and possibly infante to crutch on CF. one of them has to step up. one guy is a unproven kid with upside...one guy is an unproven kid with enough grit to open a sandpaper company...and infante is macias part 2 with better D and a touch of youth.

there's little room for failure in CF now that this gamble has been made.

pie...its your time. take it.

it's very possible that the $5.5 MM that ESPN.com is reporting is the actual total for JJ in 2008.

seems like it might be part of the GM’s job to, you know, decide who should play where…

Sure.... but it also seems like it may be part of the GMs job to not commit to things too early, and that a GM should leave options open.

!nfante! will not be the last move of the off-season...

dave — November 12, 2007 @ 8:33 pm
seems like it might be part of the GM’s job to, you know, decide who should play where…

Sure…. but it also seems like it may be part of the GMs job to not commit to things too early, and that a GM should leave options open.

!nfante! will not be the last move of the off-season…

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

DAVE: Infante could always be non-tendered. The Cubs don't have to keep him (although it sounds like they will).

I just think the Cubs decided at their organizational meetings here in Mesa a couple of weeks ago that Jacque Jones was not a part of their plans for 2008, and after attending the GM meetings last week, Hendry determined that this was the best deal he could get for JJ.

Ideally the Tigers would pay his entire 2008 salary ($5M), with the Cubs naturally responsible for any part of Jones' signing bonus that might still be owed to him. Then the Cubs could use the $5M in recovered '08 payroll to help pay the salaries of other player addition(s) yet to be determined. .

so we're looking at this...

1- what's next now that 4-5m has been cleared up?

2- if the cubs need 4-5m that badly...wtf is the payroll?

3- pie's the man in CF to sink/swim with 2 waterwings named fuld and infante.

someone earlier was wondering why the Cubs pulled the trigger so early....

Hendry said something to the effect that both teams wanted to get the deal done quickly and my guess would be that the Cubs wanted to know how much money they'll have to spend on the open market.

That, and any chance to get rid of JJ is a good one.

looks like Posada, Rivera and Lowell will hit the open market...

Yes, it's a salary dump but I do think that Lou legitimately likes guys that can catch the ball. Infante sounds like a guy that would pinch run, and then play the 9th inning in a defensive role. The fact he's cheap and a veteran don't hurt either.

I was surprised we didn't get more for Jones, but hell, they tried to trade him for two years...

Last but not least, Jones handled himself like a complete gentleman. Very classy. Good luck to him.

I may be one of the few people here besides AZ Phil who's actually seen Fuld play, though it was only one game last month in the AFL. That probably qualifies me as an expert, though.

He didn't get a lot of action in the field, but he had a good day at the plate, getting 3 hits (2 doubles, I think) and a walk. He stung the ball pretty good (no cheapies). I recall someone here comparing him to Podsednik, and my brother (who was at the game) and I actually commented how much he resembled him, at least from a distance. Something about his build and his strut.

Does this mean he can man the center field post for the Cubs at the MLB level? Hell if I know. He's not a big dude (as most of us saw during his stint on the big club), so he's going to have to hit the gaps to boost his slugging numbers. He's obviously a brainy guy (Philips Exeter Academy and Stanford) and his lowest OBP in the minors was .372, so he seems to have a clue about plate discipline and his own limitations. No Doug Glanville clone here (smart guy who swung at everything).

He could be a decent, cheap fallback in case Felix needs more seasoning. And he's an older guy (26 in a few days) so he may be less prone to the young-guy yips. You never know. He may be a good #2 hitter at the top of the order.

Posada accepts 4/52 (same terms as Damon and Matsui's previous deals)

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7440700

fuld...like theriot...has one major disadvantage going for him...when he's not producing he doesnt have a stack of HR/rbi's and doubles to lay back on. he's just on his own out there with his D, his plate patience, and his gap hitting.

guys like that go hero/bum real quick...hopefully he can at the very least do what he's done his entire career up to this point and just be consistently good enough.

I want to second carmen's sentiments about Jacque Jones (#116). I remember early in the summer (this year) Jacque was the post-game interview after he was the offensive hero. He had an awful first half & had almost got traded to the Marlins for nothing but there he was, standing on first base, pumping his fist into the air after driving in a key run late in the game. During the interview, he had the biggest grin on his face and seemed as excited as a kid. He also seemed to be humbly grateful and amazed that something so good could have happened to him. There was no hint of an angry reaction to his earlier fan abuse or any "I showed you" attitude. It was such a contrast to the stereotype of the entitled, arrogant professional athlete.

While he had his talents and limitations, he always played hard & tried to use his strengths to their best advantage. I frankly think his power slump may have been due to him changing his approach at the plate to increase contact and close the holes in his swing at the expense of his power. I admire that he continued to adjust and work on his game. I also wish the best for him. He seemed like a mensch (please, no disputes over the spelling/usage of Yiddish words).

"He seemed like a mensch..."

A good guy. I was truly happy for him last year that he pulled it together and stopped booing him permanently at Wrigley.

He always torched the White Sox, so may he continue to do so.

In fact he beat "Sweaty Freddy" when Garcia was pitching a no hitter with a solo shot in the 7th or 8th inning when JJ was with the Twins.

I just hope that the "talent" we received in return becomes useful in trade or on the field.

*Jesus, Mary and Joseph! It bugs the hell out of me how when a player is no longer of use to the Cubs, Hendry seemingly dumps him regardless of the perceived value he may have to other teams.*

Uhhh, "perceived value"? Jacque Jones' value was not "perceived" as nothing--it was in actuality, NOTHING.

And NOTHING is exactly what they got. At least this NOTHING is worth less money.

*[Jones] seemed like a mensch *

Mensch, smensch. Give me 25 guys who are complete arseholes who deliver a World Series victory. 100 years of nice-guy losers is enough.

So, have we handicapped our chances at Fukudome yet?

Cuz we just got rid of the only actual outfielder on the team, technically speaking.....

Oh, c'mon, it was supposed to be a joke....

And nobody will probably ever read this, but can I just say thanks Rob for the you tube thing? I just watched like 8 minutes of Harry and Steve, and the Hawk hitting homers. Damn, some days 1987 looked so nice....

This is a flat-out downgrade. Jacque is underrated, probably because of the stats he puts up.

JoePepitone:
...While he had his talents and limitations, he always played hard & tried to use his strengths to their best advantage. I frankly think his power slump may have been due to him changing his approach at the plate to increase contact and close the holes in his swing at the expense of his power. I admire that he continued to adjust and work on his game. I also wish the best for him...

*clap clap clap clap...* Well said, JP.

AP article dated 11/12, quotes Hendry as saying he's going to be aggressive this winter. Wants to field a team next year that's significantly improved and WILL have the money to pay for two or three key acquisitions including a pitcher and LH hitting OFer.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-cubs...

"Mensch, smensch. Give me 25 guys who are complete arseholes who deliver a World Series victory. 100 years of nice-guy losers is enough."

I'm with you there, Blargh (or is that Mr. Blargh?). I'm not advocating convicted felons, though Rick Vaughn would look pretty sweet at the back of the 'pen, but I don't mind those guys with a bit of a mean streak. We have enough character guys, kind of like the Bulls. Now get some guys who will be ruthless about getting it done. I don't recall too many Bulls fans "tsk-tsking" Rodman when he was getting into guy's heads and pulling down 20 boards. And, this just in, he was kind of a scumbag.

Infante seems to me like an older version of Cedeno, flashes of defensive quality, and not living up to his offensive ability.

WILL have the money to pay for two or three key acquisitions including a pitcher and LH hitting OFer.

hey, how about one piece in Arod instead?

The team was 8th in the NL in runs, a LH hitting outfielder and speed isn't going to put it in the top 3-5 offenses.

well dlee and aram both hit 48 homers combined...those are guys you can conservatively count on for 60+.

j.jones contributed his big ol' 5 homers...murton/floyd/ward combined for 20, total.

even coming "back to normal" for expected player production it should pop a few more runs up there unless the cubs totally screw up their RF pick or injuries screw the big guys (lee/aram/soriano).

Arod is still the only remaing free agent who would be a significant upgrade.

If we sign the Fukudome, expect him to hit .280 .340 .400 - just about the same production we got from Murton/Floyd last year, but with a better arm, which will very marginally improve our defense. Hopefully Soto didn't just imagine himself good for on year and he'll be an upgrade to the offense and defense. If we bring back Wood to close and he's healthy, he should be an upgrade to last year's bullpen.

In total, if the team stays healthy, which they did pretty well last year, with the exceptions of Soriano and Ramirez, we're looking at about 3 or 4 more wins.

Need to do something better than that. Colvin, Cedeno and Veal for Tejada would be a start.

considering their ages, the only one I would reasonably expect better numbers from is Aramis among the big three and not much of one to be honest. At least that's all Hendry should be counting on as he starts pursuing players. Expecting any improvement from Theriot, DeRosa, Pie, Soriano or Lee would be dumb and short-sighted.

A full year of Soto if last year and the last month weren't a mirage would certainly help a bit. But I wouldn't count on that either.

What I would count on is Arod to hit 35 homers and get on-base 40% of the time.

This deal was about $$$ more than baseball talent. Hendry saves somewhere around a minium of 4.5 million. Infante will be tendred a contract, but if he cant beat out Cedno and Fontenot in Mesa he can be cut and if the CBA provisions are the same, I believe they will only owe him 800 k. Hopefull AZ Phil can confirm or deny this.

updated the post, Cubs sent over $2 MM in the deal.

Words fail me on this one...

chifan3887 — November 13, 2007 @ 2:38 am
This deal was about $$$ more than baseball talent. Hendry saves somewhere around a minium of 4.5 million. Infante will be tendred a contract, but if he cant beat out Cedno and Fontenot in Mesa he can be cut and if the CBA provisions are the same, I believe they will only owe him 800 k. Hopefull AZ Phil can confirm or deny this.

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

CHIFAN: For MLB players tendered standard one-year contracts on 12/12 (including arbitration-eligible players), a club owes a player 30 days pay (which is 1/6 of his salary) if the player is released no less than 16 days prior to the start of the regular season, or 45 days pay (which is 1/4 of his salary) if he is released less than 16 days prior to the start of the season.

However, a club can't release a player during Spring Training just to save payroll. If a player gets released he'll almost certainly file a grievance, and then the club would have to show that another player or players actually outplayed the released player during Spring Training and took his spot on the 25-man roster.

And If the club can't show sufficient proof, they would owe the released player 100% of his contract for that season (minus the prorated portion of the MLB minimum to be paid by any club which might sign him after he is released).

Omar Infante in Venezuelan Winter League:
284/359/314
114 PA
0 HR
11 RBI
4 2B
12 BB
9 K
4 SB (1 CS)

Ronny Cedeno in Venezuelan Winter League:
305/380/415
91 PA
1 HR
8 RBI
6 2B
8 BB
11 K
3 SB (0 CS)

Henry Blanco in Venezuelan Winter League:
154/302/212
61 PA
0 HR
2 RBI
3 2B
9 BB
8 K

Also, after missing the 2006 and 2007 seasons with a knee injury, ex-Cub OF Jody Gerut is back in action and playing winter ball in Venezula, and is leading the VWL in BA, OBP, and SLG (427/505/615). He's a FA at the moment, but the way he's hitting in Venezuela, he'll likely get a shot with somebody in 2008.

Felix Pie in Dominican Winter League:
200/238/300
42 PA
0 HR
2 RBI
4 2B
2 BB
10 K
4 SB (0 CS)

Juan Mateo in Dominican Winter League:
4 G
3.2 IP
5 H
0 R
0 BB
2 K

Jose Ceda in Dominican Winter League:
3 G
2.2 IP
7 H
7 R (5 ER)
3 BB
4 K

Pitching in only three games and with those numbers, I wonder if something might be wrong with Ceda's shoulder again.

I too like to see prospects get a shot. But if Fuld and Pie tank, it's also nice to have someone who you can at least count on to play a decent center field and hit .270. Unless I was getting a better deal then they got, I've had held on to JJ. I'm glad Fuld hit decently in the AFL but I have taken those stats with a massive grain of salt ever since Luis Montenez looked like the second coming of Honus Wagner there.

From the Detroit News:

"Although he never found a regular position in Detroit, his ability to play three infield positions -- second base, shortstop and third base -- as well as the outfield makes him an easy choice for Cubs manager Lou Piniella. Infante's versatility is particularly geared to the National League, where pinch-hitting for pitchers creates frequent double-switches -- that's when a position player moves ahead of a pitcher in the batting order when two players are inserted into the lineup.Infante is a strong right-handed batter whose defense prevented him from becoming a regular fixture here."

Writer stated that he had arm problems. Wasn't clear on if it is still an issue.

So far - Trammel is 0-1 with his player "blessings".

What "pop" does Infante have?

tbone — November 13, 2007 @ 7:36 am
I too like to see prospects get a shot. But if Fuld and Pie tank, it’s also nice to have someone who you can at least count on to play a decent center field and hit .270. Unless I was getting a better deal then they got, I’ve had held on to JJ. I’m glad Fuld hit decently in the AFL but I have taken those stats with a massive grain of salt ever since Luis Montenez looked like the second coming of Honus Wagner there.

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

T-BONE: Luis Montanez never played in the AFL, but a lot of current MLB players (like Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury, Yunel Escobar, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Hunter Pence, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Travis Buck) played in the AFL last year, and Sam Fuld is doing better than any of those guys did when they were there.

What “pop” does Infante have?

He did strangely hit 16 home runs back in 2004.

But every other year he has shown VERY little power. His minor league SLUG was .347. His major league SLUG is .386.

The E-Man — November 13, 2007 @ 8:32 am
So far - Trammel is 0-1 with his player “blessings”.

What “pop” does Infante have?

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

E-MAN: Omar Infante hit 16 HR in 2004 when Trammell was the Tigers manager. Of course, Infante hasn't done anything close to that since.

So how many player personnel decisions has Hendry made that didnt pan out in the last 4 years?

-Alfonseca
-Hawkins (i dont blame hendry)
-Burnitz
-Izturis
-Pierre (gave up 3 pitchers and let him walk)
-Rusch
-Neifi (resigned)
-Jacque
-Barret (He wanted him)
-Kendall?

ND: Juan Pierre was a Type "B" FA who was signed by the Dodgers prior to December 1st a year ago (and we can thank Ned Colletti for that!) which netted the Cubs a "sandwich" pick between the 1st and 2nd round of the 2007 Rule 4 Draft that they used to select catcher Josh Donaldson out of Auburn, and Donaldson is (in my opinion) the Cubs #1 prospect right now. He has more power than any prospect in the Cubs system. He's a young Paul Konerko.

Maybe some fool will sign Type "B" FA Jason Kendall before December 1st this year and the Cubs can get themselves another "sandwich" pick in the 2008 Rule 4 Draft.

If you HAD to go there, prior to 2007, this is a bit more comprehensive:

Holly", Jody Garut, DuBois, Neifi, Macias, Grissom, Mabry, Rusch, Womack, Hawkins, Williamson, Hairston, Cedeno, Burnitz, ROrdonez, Grieve, Kelton, EWilson, SMcClain, Lawton

I'm not sure you can put Barrett in that list; his 3 above-average years outweigh his horrible 4th year.

So how many player personnel decisions has Hendry made that didnt pan out in the last 4 years?

Barrett didn't pan out? Are you serious?

And Cedeno? Cedeno is still very young. I am not really sure how you can call Cedeno a flop yet. It also wasn't really a Hendry "personnel decision."

Also, then how many did pan out?

Lee, ARam, Barrett, Lilly, Marquis, Soriano, DeRosa, Ward, etc.

Almost all of the players listed are/were role players - even if they "panned out" they would not have had a significant impact.

The E-Man says:

November 13th, 2007 at 8:32 am

So far - Trammel is 0-1 with his player “blessings”.

What “pop” does Infante have?

Mr. Pibb?

And I would also say that both Jacque and Kendall "panned out."

Jacque had a good year in 2006, and ended up having a decent year in 2007 (though without any power).

Kendall played much better than could have been expected for the Cubs.

Hendry did fail to sign

Tejada
Guerrero
Beltran
Furcal

When they were available and could have put us over the top post 2003

But in fairness to him. He did get

Nomar
Burnitz
Jack Jones
Neifi

In their places. So he has that going for him.

Hendry did fail to sign

And how do you know that they (other than Furcal) were interested in playing for the Cubs? And how do you know that it was Hendry's fault and not budget/upper management's fault?

Hendry did fail to sign

And how do you know that they (other than Furcal) were interested in playing for the Cubs? And how do you know that it was Hendry’s fault and not budget/upper management’s fault?
.......................................................................................

If you pay them...... they will come. Each and every one of those guys could have easily fit into a cubs budget. Unfortunately Hendry has a bad habit of vastly overpaying 3rd tier free agents and running out of money for impact guys. (expect for last year, when McDonough saw the sept 06 empty seats and mandated huge backloaded deals to drum up business) Hendry is a lower tier GM and far too many people continue to give him a free pass.

If you pay them…… they will come.

That is not always true.

And why does McDonough get the credit for the good stuff (i.e. spending money) but Hendry gets bashed when he didn't (or possibly couldn't) spend the money?

OCTOBER 2001:
Jim Hendry is appointed Assistant VP/Player Personnel Director on 10/12/01.

FREE-AGENTS:
Ron Coomer, 1B-3B
Delino DeShields, IF-OF
Ricky Gutierrez, SS
Matt Stairs, 1B-OF
Kevin Tapani, RHP
Todd Van Poppel, RHP
David Weathers, RHP
Rondell White, LF
Eric Young, 2B
(only FA re-signed is Delino DeShields)

NOVEMBER 2001:
Acquired INF Mark Bellhorn (who was out of minor league options) from OAK for INF Adam Morrissey.

DECEMBER 2001:
Acquired SS Alex Gonzalez from TOR for LHP Felix Heredia and INF Jim Deschaines.

Acquired LHP Jesus Sanchez from FLA for LHP Nate Teut.

Signed FA OF Moises Alou to three-year contract with club option for 2005 (after HOU did not offer Alou salary arbitration).

Traded OF Michael Tucker to KC for RHP Shawn Sonnier.

JANUARY 2002:
Signed FA OF Darren Lewis and IF-OF Chris Stynes.

Signed FA RHP Alan Benes, RHP Pat Mahomes, and LHP Donovan Osborne to minor league contracts. (Osborne is added to 40-man and 25-man rosters prior to Opening Day, Mahomes in May, Benes in August).

MARCH 2002:
Acquired RHPs Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement from FLA for RHPs Julian Tavarez and Jose Cueto, LHP Dontrelle Willis, and C Ryan Jorgensen.

JUNE 2002:
Traded C Robert Machado to MIL for OF Jackson Melian.

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

JULY 2002:
Andy MacPhail fired Manager Don Baylor on July 3 & Bruce Kimm is appointed interim manager.

Jim Hendry is promoted to VP/General Manager

Acquired OF Chad Hermansen (who was out of minor league options) from PIT for OF Darren Lewis.

AUGUST 2002:
Traded RHP Tom Gordon to HOU for LHP Russ Rohlicek, RHP Mike Nannini, and RHP Travis Anderson.

Traded LHP Jeff Fassero to STL for RHP Jared Blasdell and RHP Jason Karnuth.

SEPTEMBER 2002:
Traded 3B Bill Mueller to SF for RHP Jeff Verplancke.
NOTE: Verplancke was subsequently returned to SF as “damaged goods,” and was replaced by RHP David Cash

Fired Interim Manager Bruce Kimm at the end of the season.

OCTOBER 2002:
Declined 2003 contract options on RHP Jon Lieber (rehabbing from August ’02 TJ surgery) and 1B Fred McGriff.

NOVEMBER 2002:
Hired Manager Dusty Baker.

Acquired C Damian Miller from AZ for LHP David Noyce and OF Gary Johnson. (Miller is then signed to a two-year contract).

Acquired C Paul Bako from MIL for OF Jackson Melian.

DECEMBER 2002:
OF Jason Dubois selected by TOR in Rule 5 Draft (Dubois is returned to Cubs during ST 2003).

Signed LHP Mike Remlinger to three-year contract (2003 2nd round draft pick lost to ATL).

Traded C Todd Hundley and OF Chad Hermansen to LA for 2B Mark Grudzielanek and 1B Eric Karros.

Signed OF Troy O’Leary and LHP Shawn Estes to one-year contracts.

JANUARY 2003:
Signed FA RHP Dave Veres, LHP Mark Guthrie, and INF Ramon Martinez to one-year contracts. (Guthrie club option for 2004).

Signed FA RHP Rod Beck, IF-OF Lenny Harris, and OF Tom Goodwin to minor league contracts. (Harris and Goodwin are added to 40-man & 25-man rosters prior to Opening Day; Beck goes to Iowa, where he is given his release on May 31 so that he can sign a major league contract with SD).

JUNE 2003:
Acquired IF-OF Jose Hernandez from COL for INF Mark Bellhorn and RHP Travis Anderson.

Traded LHP Phil Norton to CIN for LHP John Koronka.

JULY 2003:
Acquired 3B Aramis Ramirez and OF Kenny Lofton from PIT for IF-OF Jose Hernandez, 2B Bobby Hill, and RHP Matt Bruback.

Acquired OF Doug Glanville from TEX for OF Jason Fransz.

AUGUST 2003:
IF-OF Lenny Harris is released. (Harris subsequently signs with FLA).

Acquired 1B Randall Simon from PIT for OF Ray Sadler.

Acquired INF Tony Womack from COL for RHP Emmanuel Ramirez.

OCTOBER 2003:
Declined 2004 club options on 2B Mark Grudzielanek, 1B Eric Karros, and LHP Mark Guthrie.

NOVEMBER 2003:
Acquired 1B Derrek Lee from FLA for 1B Hee Seop Choi and RHP Mike Nannini.

DECEMBER 2003:
RHP Jason Szuminski is selected by SD in Rule 5 Draft (Szuminski is returned to Cubs after Opening Day 2004).

Re-signed FA 2B Mark Grudzielanek and OF Tom Goodwin to one-year contracts, and signed FA RHP LaTroy Hawkins to two year contract (with player option for 2006) and LHP Kent Mercker, OF Todd Hollandsworth, and 2B Todd Walker to one-year contracts.

Acquired IF-OF Jose Macias from MON for RHP Wilton Chavez.

Traded C Damian Miller to OAK for C Michael Barrett (who OAK had just acquired from MON).

Non-tendered 1B Randall Simon and C Michael Barrett, then re-signed Barrett as FA.

JANUARY 2004:
Signed FA RHP Ryan Dempster (rehabbing from TJ surgery) to one-year contract with club option for 2005.

FEBRUARY 2004:
Signed FA RHP Greg Maddux to three-year contract.

Signed LHP Jimmy Anderson to minor league contract.

Signed RHP Kerry Wood to three-year contract with mutual option for 2007, and signed 1B Derrek Lee to three-year contract.

MARCH 2004:
Traded RHP Juan Cruz and LHP Steve Smyth to ATL for LHP Andy Pratt and 2B Richard Lewis.

Signed FA LHP Glendon Rusch and INF Damian Jackson.

MAY 2004:
Signed FA SS Rey Ordonez.

Traded INF Damian Jackson to KC for INF Gookie Dawkins.

JUNE 2004:
Traded LHP Jimmy Anderson to BOS for RHP Andy Shipman.

Traded LHP Justin Jones to MIN for 1B Doug Mientkiewixz, and then traded Mienkiewicz, SS Alex Gonzalez, RHP Francis Beltran, and INF Brendan Harris to BOS for SS Nomar Garciaparra and OF Matt Murton. (BOS then trades Gonzalez, Beltran, and Harris to MON for SS Orlando Cabrera).

AUGUST 2004:
Signed FA INF Neifi Perez.

Acquired OF Ben Grieve from MIL for LHP Andy Pratt.

Acquired C Mike DiFelice from DET for a PTBNL or cash.

OCTOBER 2004:
Declined 2005 options on OF Moises Alou and 2B Mark Grudzielanek.

DECEMBER 2004:
Re-signed FA LHP Glendon Rusch to one-year contract with player option for 2006, 2B Todd Walker to one-year contract with club option for 2006, and INF Neifi Perez, SS Nomar Garciaparra, and OF Todd Hollandsworth to one-year contracts, and FA C Henry Blanco to two-year contract.

LHP Andy Sisco is selected by KC and LHP Luke Hagerty is selected by BAL (then traded to FLA) in Rule 5 Draft. (Hagerty is returned to Cubs during ST 2005).

JANUARY 2005:
Signed FA RHP Scott Williamson (rehabbing from TJ surgery) to one-year contract with club option for 2006, and RHP Chad Fox and 1B-3B Dave Hansen to minor league contracts (Fox is added to 40-man and 25-man rosters prior to Opening Day, and Hansen is released during Spring Training).

FEBRUARY 2005:
Traded OF Sammy Sosa to BAL for 2B-OF Jerry Hairston, Jr, 2B Mike Fontenot, and RHP David Crouthers.

Signed FA OF Jeromy Burnitz to one-year contract with mutual option for 2006.

Traded RHP Kyle Farnsworth to DET for RHP Roberto Novoa, INF Scott Moore, and OF Bo Flowers.

MARCH 2005:
Acquired LHP Cliff Bartosh from CLE for RHP Bear Bay.

Signed FA OF Ben Grieve.

APRIL 2005:
Signed 3B Aramis Ramirez to four-year contract, with player option for 2007, and mutual option for 2009.

MAY 2005:
Signed FA INF Enrique Wilson.

Traded RHP LaTroy Hawkins to SF for RHPs Jerome Williams and David Aardsma.

JUNE 2005:
Traded OF Jason Dubois to CLE for OF Jody Gerut.

Traded OF Jody Gerut to PIT for OF Matt Lawton.

AUGUST 2005:
Traded LHP Mike Remlinger to BOS for RHP Olivo Astacio.

Traded OF Todd Hollandsworth to ATL for RHP Todd Blackford and RHP Angelo Burrows.

Traded OF Matt Lawton to NYY for RHP Justin Berg.

OCTOBER 2005:
Exercised 2006 options on 2B Todd Walker and RHP Scott Williamson.

Re-signed FA RHP Ryan Dempster to three-year contract and LHP Glendon Rusch and INF Neifi Perez to two-year contracts.

Declined to exercise 2006 club option on OF Jeromy Burnitz.

NOVEMBER 2005:
Traded RHP Jon Leicester (out of minor league options) to TEX for LHP Clint Brannon.

Signed FA LHP Scott Eyre (ex-SF) to two-year contract with player option for 2008.

Signed FA RHP Bob Howry (ex-CLE) to three-year contract.

DECEMBER 2005:
Traded RHP Jermaine Van Buren to BOS for OF Matt Ciaramella.

RHP Juan Mateo selected by STL in Rule 5 Draft (Mateo is returned to Cubs during ST 2006).

Acquired OF Juan Pierre from FLA for RHP Sergio Mitre (out of minor league options), RHP Ricky Nolasco, and LHP Renyel Pinto.

Signed FA OF Jacque Jones (ex-MIN) to three-year contract.

JANUARY 2006:
Traded OF Corey Patterson to BAL for 2B Nate Spears and LHP Carlos Perez.

Signed FA RHP Wade Miller (rehabbing from shoulder surgery) to one-year contract, and signed OFs Marquis Grissom and Michael Restovich and INF Augie Ojeda to minor league contracts.

Claimed OF Angel Pagan off waivers from NYM.

MARCH 2006:
Traded RHP Todd Wellemeyer (out of minor league options) to FLA for RHP Lincoln Holdzkom and LHP Zach McCormack.
NOTE: McCormack was subsequently returned to FLA as “damaged goods,” and was exchanged for 1B-OF James Adduci).

Acquired IF-OF Freddie Bynum (out of minor league options) from OAK (via TEX) for LHP John Koronka and a PTBNL.

APRIL 2006:
Signed 1B Derrek Lee to five-year contract.

MAY 2006:
Claimed OF Miguel Negron off waivers from TOR.

Signed FA INF Tony Womack.

Traded IF-OF Jerry Hairston, Jr to TEX for 1B Phil Nevin.

JULY 2006:
Traded RHP Scott Williamson to SD for RHP Joel Santo and LHP Fabian Jimenez-Angulo.

Traded RHP Greg Maddux to LAD for INF Cesar Izturis.

Traded INF Todd Walker to SD for RHP Jose Ceda.

AUGUST 2006:
Traded INF Neifi Perez to DET for C Chris Robinson.

Traded 1B Phil Nevin to MIN for RHP Adam Harben.

SEPTEMBER 2006:
RHP Jerome Williams is claimed off waivers by OAK.

OCTOBER 2006:
Fired manager Dusty Baker.
:
Hired manager Lou Piniella.

NOVEMBER 2006;
Acquired LHP Neal Cotts from CWS for RHP David Aarsdma and LHP Carlos Vasquez.

Signed FA OF Alfonso Soriano to eight-year contract, IF-OF Mark DeRosa to three-year contract, and re-signed 3B Aramis Ramirez to five year contract, C Henry Blanco to three year contract, and RHP Kerry Wood to one-year contract.

DECEMBER 2006:
Traded IF-OF Freddie Bynum to BAL for RHP Kevin Hart.

OF Josh Hamilton is selected from TB (and then traded to CIN for cash considerations), and LHP Edward Campusano is selected by MIL (then traded to DET), RHP Lincoln Holdzkom is selected by HOU, and INF Jason Smith is selected by TOR in Rule 5 Draft (Holdzkom is returned to Cubs in ST 2007 but then is released, and Campusano is returned to Cubs in October 2007).

Signed LHP Ted Lilly to four-year contract. RHP Jason Marquis to three-year contract, and 1B-OF Daryle Ward to two-year contract.

JANUARY 2007:
Signed OF Cliff Floyd to one-year contract.

Released LHP Glendon Rusch.

FEBRUARY 2007:
Traded RHP Jae-kuk Ryu to TB for RHP Gregory Reinhard and OF Andy Lopez.

JUNE 2007:
Traded C Michael Barrett to SD for C Rob Bowen and OF Kyler Burke.

JULY 2007:
Traded SS Cesar Izturis to PIT for a PTBNL.

Acquired C Jason Kendall from OAK for C Rob Bowen and LHP Jerry Blevins.

AUGUST 2007:
Released RHP Wade Miller.

Signed RHP Carlos Zambrano to five-year extension.

Acquired OF Craig Monroe from DET for LHP Clay Rapada.

Acquired RHP Steve Trachsel from BAL for 3B Scott Moore, RHP Rocky Cherry, and RHP Jake Renshaw.

Traded OF Buck Coats to CIN for RHP Marcos Mateo.

OCTOBER 2007:
Exercised 2008 option on 1B-OF Daryle Ward.

Declined 2008 options on RHP Steve Trachsel and OF Cliff Floyd, and Trachsel, Floyd, C Jason Kendall, and RHP Kerry Wood file for FA.

NOVEMBER 2007:
Traded OF Jacque Jones to DET for IF-OF Omar Infante.

AZ Phil, what's the deadline for the Cubs to non-tender Mark Prior?

great rundown AZ Phil. What is your opinion of the job performance of Hendry to this point, if I may ask? Was it really Dusty,McFail,Crane Kenney,Bruce Kimm,Wendell Kim,Larry Rothchild,Don Baylor,Mack Newton,Mark O'Neal at fault? Is Hendry culpable for anything?

http://www.startribune.com/blogs/christensen/...

Cubs about to trade Craig Monroe for a PTBNL to the Twins

Navin — November 13, 2007 @ 10:15 am
AZ Phil, what’s the deadline for the Cubs to non-tender Mark Prior?

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

NAVIN: Cubs players who are eligible for salary arbitration (Mark Prior, Neal Cotts, Omar Infante, Craig Monroe, and Michael Wuertz) have to be offered salary arbitration on December 12th or else they become "non-tendered free-agents." Likewise, auto-renewal players must be tendered contracts on 12/12 or else they become "non-tendered free-agents."

As for Article XX free-agents, in order to get compensation draft picks (other club's 1st or 2nd round pick plus a "sandwich" pick) for losing a Type "A" FA or a sandwich pick for losing a Type "B" FA, an Article XX FA has to either sign a contract with a new team prior to December 1st, or the player's old club must offer salary arbitration to the player on 12/1 (there is no 20% cut limit for these players, and the player need not accept the offer in order for the club to receive compensation draft picks). Article XX free-agents who are offered salary arbitration by their old club on December 1st and have until December 7th to accept or decline the offer.

The Cubs have no FA rated as a Type "A," and the only Cubs FA who is rated a Type "B" is Jason Kendall. It's VERY unlikely that the Cubs will offer salary arbitration to Kendall, but it's possible that another club might sign Kendall prior to December 1st, since the compensation pick is a "sandwich" pick between the 1st and 2nd round and the new club wouldn't lose a 1st or 2nd round pick. This is how the Cubs ended up with the compensation "sandwich" pick they used to select Josh Donaldson last June. If Pierre had been rated a Type "A" FA, the Dodgers probably would have waited until after December 1st to sign him, since signing a Type "A" FA would have cost the Dodgers their 2007 #1 draft pick.

Dr. aaronb — November 13, 2007 @ 10:19 am
great rundown AZ Phil. What is your opinion of the job performance of Hendry to this point, if I may ask? Was it really Dusty,McFail,Crane Kenney,Bruce Kimm,Wendell Kim,Larry Rothchild,Don Baylor,Mack Newton,Mark O’Neal at fault? Is Hendry culpable for anything?

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

DR AARON: I think Hendry has done OK. I believe Andy MacPhail was the main culprit, because he's a notorious bean-counter and All-American jag-off who didn't seem to be as concerned with the Cubs winning as he should have been.

Every GM makes mistakes, but Hendry now has old high school buddy Tim Wilken as Scouting Director, and that should help the Cubs develop more MLB talent than was the case before he was hired, because Wilken is great at picking out future MLB talent. While the Cubs have some fine area scouts, the actual draft picks made by previous scouting director John Stockstill (who is now with the Orioles) weren't too good. Stockstill picked WAY too many pitchers with his high draft picks, and didn't pay enough attention to Latin America and paid zero attention to the Pacific Rim.

A lack of MLB-ready minor league prospects (especially position players) has really hurt the Cubs over the past few years. Hendry is NOT a scout (his background is in player development), so he has to rely on somebody else to do that job. The Cubs have some highly competent regional scouts and Wilken is a good guy to make decisions and run the Rule 4 Draft (1st Year Player Draft), and the Cubs also have some able professional scouts to scout the minor leagues (as evidenced by the acquistions of Matt Murton, Scott Moore, Roberto Novoa, David Aardsma, Kevin Hart, Jose Ceda, Kyler Burke, Adam Harben, Angel Pagan, Justin Berg, Joel Santo, Chris Robinson, Greg Reinhard, Marcos Mateo, et al in waiver claims or deals involving MLB guys), but the Cubs Major League Scouts (Ken Kravec, Gary Hughes, and Paul Weaver) are far less reliable.

For instance, it was Kravec's glowing scouting report on Steve Trachsel that supposedly sold Hendry on Trax (leading him to overpay to get him), and Kravec should be (hopefully) held accountable for that mistake.

fwiw, something I heard on XM radio was that Billy Beane and Ken Williams are the only 2 GM's to ever play in the majors.

new post up btw...

Hill + EPat = Crawford...JUST A RUMOR RIGHT NOW...

AZ PHIL: WOW! I ADMIRE your quest to get it right! From the very comprehensive list you cited, I would say a C or C+ grade, when all is said and done - to this point - would be fair, imo.

Wow our pitching is gonna be...um, well the hitting will be good.

Hendry's background is in player development? So that should make him good at developing players, right? Um...well...

Sheffield/Cornelia — November 13, 2007 @ 12:10 pm
Hendry’s background is in player development? So that should make him good at developing players, right? Um…well…

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

SHEF: I didn't say Hendry was especially good at player development, but that was his background (college baseball coach, minor league manager, and player developmemt director) before he became a GM. He's actually a much better GM than he was a Player Development Director, in my opinion.

Oneri Fleita is a better Player Development Director than Jim Hendry was, although that's one area in the Cubs organization that could still stand an upgrade (major league scouting is the other one). I do like the Cubs roving minor league instructors, though, especially Bobby Dernier (outfield/baserunning), Dave Keller (hitting), and Casey Kopitzke (catching). And Buddy Bailey is a VERY good AAA manager, and AA pitching coach Dennis Llewallyn is VERY good and would probably make a good minor league pitching coordinator. So there has been some definite improvement in player development over the last year or so. They have hired some good people.

I really appreciate how honest you are in your assessments. Dr. Az Phil

Looks like Monroe is gone. Hendry is cleaning house in the OF.

Murton, Marshall, E Pat for Crawford....Yeah, I'm dreaming

Would you like to place a Wager on that Pete?

Yes I would!

Az Phil -

I'm loving Fuld's production in the AFL....as you indicated, the young studs (Braun/Tulo/Pence/etc) did not put up the level of stats that he's tearing off right now............I'm 100% sure that Fuld is not of the caliber of those mentioned above, but his performance seems to make a case that the kid is a serious option for CF. If the cubs in fact make a play for a middle of the lineup bat like Fukudome, I see no reason why they wouldn't be able to carry/play a guy like Fuld in the event Pie is not ready. Thoughts?

[...] The Cub Reporter was sceptical of the deal being finalized but is less than impressed. - (source) [...]

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