Cubs Sign Six Minor League FA

The Cubs have signed their first batch of minor league free-agents. Minor League FAs signed prior to 11/20 are normally the ones most in demand, and so they often get the best deals, including more money and usually an NRI to Spring Training. The six minor league free-agents signed recently by the Cubs are: Cory Bailey, RHP - Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 15th round of the 1991 June Draft out of Southeastern Illinois College and rated at one time by Baseball America as one of the Red Sox Top Ten prospects, Cory Bailey has had a long, LONG pro career. The now 36-year old Bailey logged 172 games (9-10, 3.96 ERA, 207.0 IP, 208 H, 116/150 BB/K, with a 1.57 WHIP) in the big leagues over the years 1995-2002 with BOS, STL, SF, and KC, before signing a two-year deal with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants (NPB Central) in 2003. After spending two seasons in Japan, Bailey pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPL) in Taiwan in 2005, and then returned to the U. S. and pitched for Long Island in the independent Atlantic League in 2006. The Cubs scout independent leagues more extensively than most MLB clubs, and they signed Bailey to a minor league contact for '07 (albeit without an NRI to ST). The veteran rubber-armed right-hander had a nice 2007 season at Iowa as a reliever and spot starter (5-3, 2.86 ERA, with a 1.27 WHIP), but did not re-sign with the Cubs prior to the end of the minor league FA filing period. However, he ultimately decided to come back to the Cubs organization, probably after getting a raise plus an NRI to ST. Bailey is pitching very well right now as a rotation starter in the Venezuelan Winter League, which probably gave his stock a bit of a boost. They will have to cut his uniform off with a blow-torch when his career is over. Andres Blanco, SS - The now 23-year old Blanco was signed by KC as a highly-regarded 16-year old out of Venezuela in 2000, and was rated by Baseball America as one of the Royals Top 10 Prospects both in 2003 and 2004. A switch-hitting shortstop with a slap-stroke, Blanco was compared (defensively) to Omar Vizquel back when he was a teenager. He eventually logged 78 MLB games with KC over the 2004-06 seasons, going 252/296/314. Blanco's last minor league option was spent in 2007 and he was outrighted to AAA Omaha by the Royals after the season, becoming a six-year minor league FA last month. With his MLB experience, Blanco will certainly get an NRI to ST with the Cubs in '08, but with Ronny Cedeno out of minor league options, and with both Joe Simokaitis and Carlos Rojas yet to prove themselves over a full-season at AAA, Blanco would appear to be the leading candidate to be the #1 SS at AAA Iowa in 2008. J. D. Closser, C - Signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks after being selected in the 5th round of the 1998 Rule 4 Draft out of Monroe HS in Alexandria, IN, the now 27-year old Closser was traded by AZ to COL in January 2002 along with OF Jack Cust for veteran LOOGY Mike Myers. Closser has considerable MLB experience (160 games with COL over three seasons 2002-04), and in those 160 games (about equivalent to a full MLB season) the switch-hitting Closser hit 239/320/387 with 10 HR and 48 RBI. Of course, that was in the pre-humidor days at Coors. He was claimed off waivers by the Brewers in 2006 and spent the 2007 season in AAA, first with MIL, then with OAK, and had a poor season at the plate. Closser will likely battle Koyie Hill and Tony Richie for one of the two backstop jobs at Iowa, and if he can hit like he did in Colorado in 2004, he could get the "first call" to Chicago if Henry Blanco isn't 100%. Danny Fatheree, C - Kerry Wood's catcher at Grand Prairie HS back in 1995, Fatheree spent his entire minor league career in the Astros organization. Now 29, he missed the last three seasons with shoulder surgery and a life-threatening blod-clot disease that killed two of his uncles. A light-hitting right-handed hitter with no power, Fatheree has only 42 games of AAA experience, and has yet to spend one day in the big leagues. Of the six minor league FAs signed by the Cubs, Fatheree is the one who probably won't get an NRI to ST, and he will have an uphill battle with Closser, K. Hill, and Richie for a job at Iowa. His best-case scenario might be back-up catcher at AA Tennessee in '08. Methinks perhaps signing Fatheree was done as a personal favor per the special request of one Mr. K. Wood? Mike Smith, RHP - Selected by Cubs Scouting Director Tim Wilken back when Wilken was the Toronto Blue Jays scouting director, Smith was a 5th round pick of TOR in the 2000 Rule 4 Draft out of the University of Richmond (where he was a teammate of ex-Cubs OF prospect Nic Jackson). The now 30-year old Smith was once considered one of the Jays better pitching prospects (he was rated the Blue Jays #13 prospect by BA in 2002), but he ran out of minor league options as he bounced around AAA for the past five seasons while serving as a reliable every-5th-day AAA rotation starter with TOR, PHI, MIN, and STL. Rotation starter at Iowa is his probable destiny in 2008. Andres Torres, OF - A native of Puerto Rico, Torres played JC ball at Miami-Dade CC before signing with DET after getting selected in the 4th round of the 1998 Rule 4 draft. He was rated by Baseball America as one of the Tigers Top 10 Prospects in both 2001 and 2002. A "toolsy" switch-hitting CF, the now 29-year old Torres is a veteran of 89 MLB games over the years 2002-05. (He played for Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell when Trammell was the Tigers manager). However, he hit just 210/258/276 in his MLB opportunities, leading the once-promising Torres to eventually run out of minor league options and bounce around AAA from DET to TEX to CHW to MIN over the past few years as an annual minor league FA, before returning back to DET (AA and AAA) in 2007. He smacked 20 triples in the minors in 2007, so apparently he still has some electricity left (albeit probably just the "4-A" kind). The most-similar player to Andres Torres on the Cubs roster would be Angel Pagan, but Pagan is faster and a better hitter. Torres will almost certainly get an NRI to ST as part of his '08 FA deal with the Cubs, but his ultimate destination will probably be minor league camp at Fitch Park, where he will likely compete for the 4th OF gig at Iowa with Chris Walker. Besides Bailey, A. Blanco, Closser, Smith, and Torres, others likely to get an NRI to ST with the Cubs in '08 include RHP Randy Wells, LHPs Les Walrond and Geoffrey Jones, catchers Koyie Hill and Tony Richie, 3B-C Casey McGehee (reporting to ST with the pitchers & catchers), 1B Micah Hoffpauir, and outfielders Josh Kroeger and Tyler Colvin.
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Comments

Great news! Our offseason is over, as all the pieces are in place!

Andres Blanco was a solid acquisition.

Az Phil,
I am planning another trip to Fitch in the Spring. Can you tell me when the minor lge players will report? I know they report in seperate groups. Also, when will the minor lge games begin? Thanks.

Hagsag — November 23, 2007 @ 6:19 am
Az Phil,
I am planning another trip to Fitch in the Spring. Can you tell me when the minor lge players will report? I know they report in seperate groups. Also, when will the minor lge games begin? Thanks.

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

HAGSAG: The minor league ST games (versus other organizations) should start on Saturday March 16th, with two of the four minor league "groups" (AAA, AA, Hi-A, annd Lo-A) being home (one at Fitch Park Field #2 and the other at Field #3) and two on the road most every day. They usually start the games at 1 PM, but sometimes they start earlier without advance notice. The Cubs minor league road games are usually played at either the Scottsdale Indian School Park Complex (SF), the Tempe Diablo Park Complex (LAA), or the Phoenix Papago Park Complex (OAK), but last year the Cubs made one road trip out to the Phoenix Maryvale Complex (MIL). The Cubs minor leaguers don't play ST games versus the teams that have their bases in Tucson, Peoria, or Surprse, although the big leaguers do.

Sometimes the Cubs minor league groups will play intrasquad games with one another (the AAA "group" versus the AA "group and the "Hi-A group" versus the "Lo-A" group) instead of playing games versus another organization, but if they do that, it would most-likely be on a Saturday (3/23 and 3/30) and the games would be played at Fitch Park, probably with an early start time. There will also probably be intrasquad games at Fitch Park on Thursday March 14th and Friday March 15th, too (a day or two prior to the first minor league ST games).

Az Phil,
Do the minor leagers report March 1 ?

There was a comment by Crunch about two threads ago at http://mvn.com/mlb-cubs/?comments_popup=1284#... -- Comment # 41, I believe -- regarding the Cubs center field situation next year:

"pie/fuld/infante…scarey given pie’s winter…a little less scarey given fuld’s winter…"

I recall that Bill Madlock had a tough time in the Dominican Republic winter league (played for the Santiago team, I believe) the year prior to his rookie year with the Cubs -- and ended up batting .313, .354 & .339, garnering two batting titles before getting traded for having the temerity to demand.

Oh, I recall this because I remember a mid-70's article in Baseball Digest on Madlock where he mentioned his reaction to getting booed by the local fans. He responded by forcefully thrusting his left arm, bent at the elbow, into the air - a move he referred to as "the Santiago salute". He also said that he was tempted early on to give the same salute to booing Cubs fans in his first year but resisted the temptation. Evidence that Jacque Jones' treatment wasn't entirely unique to this era of Wrigley Field fans. There's just more of them around to do it nowadays.

The Dominican Republic's website confirms Bill Madlock played there (http://www.dominicanaonline.org/Portal/englis...) but they fail to make any mention of his "Santiago salute".

Sorry for the late follow up -- busy with the family on Thankgiving, etc.

No "Buck" in ST this year. - sigh - Always a crowd favorite.

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

lefty Joe Kennedy passed away this morning...cause unknown.

Hagsag — November 23, 2007 @ 9:54 am
Az Phil,
Do the minor leagers report March 1 ?

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

HAGSAG: Yes. The minor leaguers report to Fitch Park on or about March 1st, about a day or two after the major league club moves up to HoHoKam Park.

' "...a move he referred to as “the Santiago salute” '.

Don't forget about the immortal Larry Bowa giving one fan behind home plate the middle finger, clearly in view of everyone in the ballpark. Hilarious, and the guy ragging on him basically shut the hell up for the rest of the game.

Bowa could also tell quite a few stories about the "great" fans in Philly, no comparison to the Cubs crowds - and yes, they did actually boo Santa Claus one time.

In other news:
*Cincinnati Reds close to signing free agent closer Francisco Cordero *

Dusty's probably salivating at blowing this guy's arm out, dude. Hope the Reds' team surgeon is well-skilled.

Hard to blow out your closer's arm when he doesn't ever have save situations.

Dr Tim Kremchek, who did Kerry Wood's shoulder labrum repair, is the Reds team doc. I'm sure he's "glad" to have Dusty in charge of the local team's pitching staff

I remember a story about Dick Allen (then known as Richie) scratching out the f you phrase at third base while in Philly in response to the fans there. I don't actually know if it's true or not, just the story being told.

Re : 6

...before getting traded for being a black man and having the temerity to demand a big raise and a multi-year contract. Owner P. K. Wrigley didn't cotton to assertive black men on his baseball team. Ironically, he was traded for Bobby Murcer, a white player who was given a contract very similar to the one Madlock demanded but who was a HUGE disappointment.

Cordero just signed w/reds

4/46 on cordero...shame about j.kennedy.

"Dusty’s probably salivating at blowing this guy’s arm out, dude. Hope the Reds’ team surgeon is well-skilled."

list of arms dusty's blown out...

1- r. nenn
2- ???
3- can we count prior? we can't? we sorta can?

so there's a reliever and a maybe on prior. maybe we can count chad fox and kerry wood for no reason.

...file under "the Illuminati did 9/11"

Rumors?? ANYTHING???

Church? Fuku? Crawford? Matsui???

4/46 is unbelieveable for Coco Cordero...no way he's worth that. Meh.

it's wild how the market for relievers has changed...2 yrs ago when Hendry paid Howry and Eyre for 3/9-10 and Dempster for 3/15 it was wildly overpaying. Linnebrink 4/19 and Cordero 4/46?

What's next Paul Reuschel's moustache and glasses for 5/25?

hell, who thought soriano would become a "market value deal" in just 1 season.

if you're not a top 1/3rd spender things are gonna get freaky for any team wanting to keep 1-2 marquee players past 4-5 seasons. they break em in, the top 1/3rd take advantage.

I tend to agree that Reds overpaid. Probably in the wrong place, too.

$11m per is a bit much for a guy who had a 6.55 on the road.

His home ERA was 1.09. That's going to be awfully tough to duplicate in that ballpark.

reds commiting 1/10th of their payroll to a guy who's gonna throw 60-75 innings says a lot.

great closers are like great hitting C/SS/2nd...butter to compliment the main meal and side dishes. meh.

...then again its not like they can address their main issue with $$...SP.

still, its not a 1-2 year deal.

btw...the coverage of joe kennedy's death has been a joke.

im not looking a media circus, but how about a media presence.

this is a guy who signed autographs, talked to fans, was supposedly a good teammate, and was all-around accessible to people all over the game.

maybe if he died after drinking a bottle of scotch leaving a strip club people might care more about this "baseball player".

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/

front page story? no, johan santana's 2-day old news is.

top story? nope...santana followed by a fluff piece on h.aaron followed by a 2+ day old story about Bonds' friend testifying against him.

----

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/index

front page story? no, its a roid story with no new "news"

top story? kinda...he gets his own notice in the middle column with story. that's something...

-----

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb

front page story? no...bartolo colon and others are "risky business" though...along with 3 other stories and opinion pieces.

top story? yeah.

-----

espn/espn-news TV

blurbs.

O&B,
I remember seeing a photo of then Dick Allen in the on deck circle at Connie Mack Stadium having just written the word "Boo" with the handle of his bat in the dirt of the on deck circle. Maybe he later worked blue as well but I don't remember that.

O&B,

Just googled Richie Allen and boo and found a picture of him playing first where he has scratched the word "Boo" in the dirt with his spikes. Maybe this is the picture I remember or maybe he did it with a bat as well.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pWY8BP...

latest results on FA frenzy contest...

cubster in the lead

dave... seriously...

You picked Cordero to the Reds? Were you on barbituates at the time?

Cordero to the Reds is a win-win for the Cubs. Cincy would have been better off using that money on a 3/4 rehab starter (Clement, Colon, Garcia) and a set-up guy for Weathers. Granted if Jared Burton can pitch in 08 how he did in August and September they might have a really strong back end of the pen, but in 40% of their games that wont make a difference because their starter will be hit hard. The Brewers now have to turn to Mota or Turnbow to close and both of them are about as mentally stable as Heather Mills.

Fox Sports says that the Angels may be close with the Fish for Cabrera.

Ben Maller says it's Willits, Kendrink, and C Jeff Mathis. The Marlins want AA RHP Nick Adenhart, which is the sticking point.

http://msn.foxsports.com/rumors/mlb#1

Too bad... Cordero would have looked great as our closer.. Better the Reds then Mil for sure...

I've always hated the Sox, but I thought Dick Allen was a great player, and usually watched their games whenever he came to bat. The man had all the skills, but took no sh-t from the baseball owners, which effectively curtailed his career in the end.

You picked Cordero to the Reds? Were you on barbituates at the time?

Reds needed a closer. Brewers were not going to pay Cordero. Reds made sense.

Too bad… Cordero would have looked great as our closer..

Haha... if you say so.

And the FA frenzy... how do we know that Bonds is going to go unsigned?

Man, just saw on si.com rumor section how the Red sox are going to make a run at aquiring Santana from the Twinkies. If they get him, just pencil them in for another title right now.

Damn, I think i did my contest wrong. I thought we wanted the lower number for the ones we were most sure of...oops.

Hmm, the Yankees making an about face on A-Rod really screwed me. Got the A-Rod signing wrong, got Lowell as replacement wrong and the Angels giving Hunter that crazy offer, I guess because they rather spend $18 million on the games 50th best player than $27 million the the best player (smart!), probably wouldn't have happened had they signed A-Rod.

"And the FA frenzy… how do we know that Bonds is going to go unsigned?"

Dave,

Because no team is going to sign a 40+ year old who is limited to being a hitter that is a pre- maddona and facing a federal indictment and when the feds win something like 85 percent of their cases. I have a bigger problem with Arod being counted as signed, when he describes his contract negoations in the bottom of the 5th. Even though I think he will end up their.

Well, if he REALLY wants to play, perhaps some semi-pro league team will sign him, ala Canseco.

He is through in MLB.

Finito. 86-ed. Done.

Looks like the Brew Crew will trade for their new closer:

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=6...

I think Bonds broke into the Majors well after Madonna became a star.

Maybe the Brewers will offer us Braun for Ace Closer Dempster. They can have Murton too, since I am feeling generous. I don't believe they'll go with Turnbow, though. I think Melvin realizes that you need as sure a thing as you can get in the 8th and 9th if you want to contend.

here is my latest vote for Bond's team on 2008.

"Pre-Madonna" hahahaha.

Sorry, had to do it. And kudos to Neal for the awesome joke.

Actually, if I were the Brewers, I'd at least attempt a trade for Dempster. There just aren't that many available closers in the open market -- they could easily offer a couple of C+ prospects and to pick up the remainder of Dempster's contract and Hendry would deal him to them.

Pipe dream. But doesn't Hart for Dempster and Murton sound sweet?

And the FA frenzy… how do we know that Bonds is going to go unsigned?

educated guess....

probably should just make Bush their closer, I believe he came out of college as one and seems to be overextended as a starter.

Way too much $$$ indeed. Some more lookin' at F. CORDERO

As we all know, he had severe Home/Away splits last year but he also was pretty damn mediocre pitching in non-dome stadiums like his new one Great America Park.

IN DOMES

16 Saves/16 Save Opps, 0.44 ERA, 6 hits in 20.2 innings

NON DOME

28 Saves/35 Save Opps, 4.22 ERA, 46 hits in 42.2 innings

Considering the trouble Cordero had with the Cardinals (11.57 ERA) and Cubs (6.23 ERA) --two teams the Reds need to beat--- and the fact that this year he will be facing the Brewers instead of Reds (3.86 ERA) it's hard to envision Cordero having the same kind of year he had in 2007or being much better than David Weathers (33/39).
Last year the problem wasn't Weathers, it was the rest of pen. The only other pitcher with a save was B. Bray and he had 1. Ten other Reds pitchers combined to go 0/22 in save situations last year.

On the other hand, the Brewers are going to get some "what goes around comes around" when the Reds play them in Milwaukee.

Cordero is going to be 33 next May. Prior to being traded by Texas to Milwaukee he had already started to look like a guy heading to the downside of his career.

Last three seasons or partials with Texas

2004 -- 2.14 ERA
2005 -- 3.39
2006 -- 4.81

..the switch of leagues in 2006 seemed to restart the clock

2006 -- 1.69
2007 -- 2.98
2008 -- 4.00?

I think this trade really helps the Cubs. It weakens the Brewers and if Cordero has anything less than a stellar year after shaking them down for that fat contract the boobirds will be out in Great America Park.

Four year 40+ million deal for a closer in a middle-market team? It's a bad deal no matter who it is. Anything above two years at say $8 million per for Coco was loco.

We can discuss how Cordero is overpaid all day long, but the fact is, if the Reds can find another SP, they are a contender in the Central.

This news definitely helps us out with the Brewers, but I sure felt better about the Reds when David Weathers was their closer, rather than 8th inning set-up man.

initial diagnosis on j.kennedy points to an enlarged heart.

that got my dad at age 38...he wasnt fat...and he wasnt on roids. =p

you'd think it'd be something they'd catch, but its not so simple. plus, guys dont go in for intensive chest xrays a lot.

shame.

lifestyle can lead to it...diet...chemicals you put in your body...etc.

From Star Tribune today-

"The Twins want at least three premium young players for Santana, and they hope to address their gaping holes at third base or center field."

http://www.startribune.com/twins/story/157028...

heeeeeeey AZ Phil...you dont get enough questions so i got one for ya.

Alessandro Maestri...aka Aless...Alessand...Alessandro Ma...Mae....ummm...BIG A&M!!!

anyway...seen him? according to BA he's got the slider-du-jour of the team. blah blah numbers look good blah blah...

anyway²...if youve seen him...what's he got besides the slider? velocity?

well damn...

carrie muskrat-love comes in handy sometimes...and drops the ball...she tells us everything about the kid except what he throws, how he pitches, etc...

still, some interesting info in there...

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

Man is that article old. He's too short but throws a nifty slider.

In a totally unrelated story, but still interesting, maybe Sampras really was good:

http://msn.foxsports.com/tennis/story/7482976

re 56: do we have what it takes? I don't think so.

I think the Cubs can get Santana, as long as we're talking about a) Carlos and b) singing the seventh inning stretch.

Otherwise, fuggedaboudit.

on par with tallent...without taking in account want MIN actually wants...

it'd probably take something like r.hill, f.pie, and a toss-in like murton/soto/colvin/gallagher/veal...

...then you pay him 20-25m a year...heh...

you dont get many santana-type tallents in baseball playing at one time, though...and he's the top of the crop.

Crunch, you're on to something. Ball player deaths get more coverage during the season.

yeah...i mean, he was a journeyman pitcher who once had a bit more promise. still, it was a slow/no baseball news day and he was getting beat in coverage by stuff that's been discussed for days prior.

he might have never been a cy young candidate and he wasn't mother teresa, but he was an accessible player and a great ambassador to the game for those sick of the "rock star" type. yeah, there's other players out there like that, but a guy drops dead at 28 on a slow news day and still cant grab the top story.

Lidle was nothing special, but look at the hoopla he received. Would be improper to start pulling stats of dead pitchers and comparing the coverage with the stats? Yeah, it probably would... nevermind.

Lidle was a Yankee who smashed an airplane into the side of the building in NYC, If anyone did that it would be at least a big local news story. If a not famous 28 year old dies of a heart attack, it wouldn't make the news.

One major league star, multiple prospects and a seven-year, $140 million contract.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7480346

supposed asking price for Johan and he'd veto any trade without an extension. Rosenthal mentions Cano or Reyes in the "one major league star" category. I don't think Rich Hill qualifies for that..

I wonder if Ted Lilly would qualify as a "star" yet?

The Real Neal:
Lidle was a Yankee who smashed an airplane into the side of the building in NYC, If anyone did that it would be at least a big local news story. If a not famous 28 year old dies of a heart attack, it wouldn’t make the news.

Fine, then... Josh Hancock.

crunch — November 24, 2007 @ 5:56 pm
heeeeeeey AZ Phil…you dont get enough questions so i got one for ya.

Alessandro Maestri…aka Aless…Alessand…Alessandro Ma…Mae….ummm…BIG A&M!!!

anyway…seen him? according to BA he’s got the slider-du-jour of the team. blah blah numbers look good blah blah…

anyway²…if youve seen him…what’s he got besides the slider? velocity?

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

CRUNCH: Alessandro Maestri is a lot like Michael Wuertz, in that he has a plus-slider that he uses as his "out" pitch, with a 91 MPH fastball that is more of a "show me" pitch.

I would say that if he stays healthy, Maestri (like Wuertz before him) has a definite future as an MLB middle-reliever. He can pitch two innings at a time, he throws strikes, and he can pitch just about every day.

BTW, I don't know if Maestri's slider is necessarily the best one in the system, but it's very good.

I have seen some reports with Maestri getting his fb up to 94, mostly 90-93 and average about 91-92 with a good slider like they said in Baseball America.

J. Santana is another pipe dream as far as coming to the Cubs. We don't have any stars that aren't under no trade clauses and I doubt the Cubs prospects aren't enough compared with what the Yankees and Dodgers have to give.

Hendry needs to sign Fukudome or engineer a trade for Crawford that wouldn't cost Hill or Marmol. Besides, the team they leave Arizona with won't be the team they have at the trade deadline or Sept. 1st anyway.

Peter Gammons is reporting that the Twins will want Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson in a package for Johan Santana.

probably means that they're asking for more than that...

Cabrera is a really nice outfielder, but the hitting... not so much. I'd be suprised if people in ML organizations covet him as much as the average sportswriter thinks they do.

If the Rays are really talking about moving Young, Hendry should try to get in on that, even if he does stand at the wrong side of the plate. 10 years of Pie and Young in the outfield would be fun.

mlbtraderumors - Brewers looking at Percival

"mlbtraderumors - Brewers looking at Percival"

YAWN...

chifan3887
Re: # 34 --

"Mota (and) Turnbow ... are about as mentally stable as Heather Mills."

Wow. Another Beatles reference (Paul McCartney's soon-to-be ex-wife, who won't have a leg to stand on in divorce court. Tee hee).

Oh JoePepitone,

Can't you just Let it Be?

Words of wisdom, Chad.

Phil Rodgers said:

"Kerry Wood seems unlikely to re-sign with the Cubs, who then would pursue a proven reliever to replace him. "

This makes me sad in two ways. First, he's still my favorite Cub and as a fan I don't want to see him go, even though as a GM I wouldn't give him a 3 year $15 million deal. This is a guy who was one throwing session from retiring last year. The second thing is that we don't need to replace him. With Weurtz, Howry, Marmol and probably Dempster and a couple of minor leagures waiting in the wings we have enough right handed late game options.

I haven't had a chance to comment on the recent news coming from the North side of Chicago. I was on a 10-day Panama Canal cruise (don't take Princess Cruise lines unless you are 55+) and then Thanksgiving, so it has been awhile and I am sure you all are chomping at the bit to hear my takes and rip them, so here they are:

- McDonough Leaves the Cubs - We hardly knew ya. Oh well, not a big loss, as from what I have read, Crane Kenney was the guy making all the real decisions anyways. McD was just a figurehead to appease Cubs fans to make them feel like a "Cub" was in charge after McPhail left. But the BEST thing to come out of McD leaving is that Hendry is now out of buddies to continue to let him slide. That means that very likely this will the last year for Hendry, if he even makes it that long. Woo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-White Sox land Orlando Cabrera for Garland - Nice trade for the White Sox. That's the second top tier SS to be traded this offseason that we could not land. And we had a cheaper, yet basically equal version of Garland in Marquis that we could have traded.

- Hendry finally dumps JJ - But we get stuck with another no hit middle IF and have to pay almost half of JJ's salary next year to boot. It is good to see that Hendry finally admit we couldn't get anything for JJ and he just wanted him gone and dumped him, but this move doesn't help the team any. Let's hope there are some trades that happen at the Winter Meetings or this offseason could be a pretty bad one.

Garland = Marquis?

hmmm.

Career averages:

Garland: 207 IP, 4.41 ERA, 1.368 WHIP, 106 ERA+

Marquis: 188 IP, 4.56 ERA, 1.421 WHIP, 96 ERA+

Garland is most definitely the better pitcher, especially when you factor in the league differences.

Now... I am not sure that he is 5+ million dollars better (their salary differences in 2008), but he is better.

Don't worry Manny, I had your back while you were gone.

http://mvn.com/mlb-cubs/?comments_popup=1281#...

Yes, Garland is a slightly better pitcher, but when you look at the money (Garland will be making $5.625 million more in 2008 than Marquis), it makes them very close.

Garland: 92-81 (.532), 4.41 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, $12 million 2008 salary then FA.
Marquis: 68-61 (.527), 4.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, $6.375 million 2008 salary and signed for $9.875 million in 2009.

Unfortunately it doesn't amaze me anymore BB, but the good thing is all of Hendry's buddies are gone and now he has to stand on his own. Hopefully new ownership sees the light and finally gets rid of him.

"Garland: 92-81 (.532), 4.41 ERA, 1.37 WHIP [ ].
Marquis: 68-61 (.527), 4.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, [ ]."

This of course ignores the impact of the DH, which would make Marquis worse.

Robr:
"This of course ignores the impact of the DH, which would make Marquis worse."

In 2007, the average ERA in the AL was 4.51 and 4.43 in the NL. So it is a minimal difference.

WOODY SIGNS: Levine reports ESPN 1000 1/4MM

You're welcome Rob.

Unlike the other young often injured pitcher, Wood is a class act.

Great news..... any mention of incentives?

MLB Trade Rumors Report:

"According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio 1000, the Cubs have signed Kerry Wood to a one-year, $4MM deal with no options. Wood apparently had four other offers for two years worth $5-6MM. The Padres, Brewers, and Red Sox were among them."

In 2007, the average ERA in the AL was 4.51 and 4.43 in the NL. So it is a minimal difference.

Manny... that doesn't prove your point. Similar ERAs do not mean that there is no difference in the quality of offense you are facing.

thnx for the info, new post up...

“According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio 1000, the Cubs have signed Kerry Wood to a one-year, $4MM deal with no options. Wood apparently had four other offers for two years worth $5-6MM. The Padres, Brewers, and Red Sox were among them.”

Ha... so much for 3/15.

I still don't get how anyone could believe that Kerry Wood, who has pitched a total of about one healthy month in the last few years, would get a 15 million dollar deal.

Good news for the Cubs though - it is a low risk, high reward move for a guy who at least appears classy and loyal to the team that has stuck by him.

unfortunately there's not a GM in baseball that think Marquis and Garland are the same or even similar...

*Because no team is going to sign a 40+ year old who is limited to being a hitter that is a pre- maddona *

Jose Canseco was pretty good "pre-Maddona"*.

/rim-shot.

* And even that joke hardly works because even *that's* spelled wrong.

I still don’t get how anyone could believe that Kerry Wood, who has pitched a total of about one healthy month in the last few years, would get a 15 million dollar deal.

He had TWO healthy months last year.

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