2009 Cubs Top 15 Prospects

UPDATE: Arizona Phil's much anticipated top 15 list was kind of lost in the shuffle yesterday with the Kevin Gregg trade, so I'm putting it up top for the weekend. Obviously it was done before Ceda got traded, so Phil will have to drop by with #16 and you can move everyone else up one.

I also wanted to add, and sorry if it's a repeat, that the Cubs 6th round pick of 2006 Joshua Lansford has moved from third base to the pitcher's mound as of Instructionals last month. Word comes from friend of TCR, Steve Holley at Inside the Ivy. (Rob G.)


 

Using the criteria Baseball America uses to rate their Top Ten prospects (50 MLB IP and 130 MLB AB limit, but not concerned with MLB service time), here are my Top 15 Cubs prospects pre-2009. It's just my opinion,and I'm sure many of you have your own idea of who should be where. I probably tend to place greater weight on players at the higher levels, although I do consider players further down the pipeline as well...    

1. Jeff Samardzija, RHP (2006 5th Round  - Notre Dame) - age 23

COMMENT: A star WR at Notre Dame, Samardzija got "1st round money"(and eventually a major league contract with a "no-trade" clause) to sign with the Cubs. After developing a slider and a splitter to go with his mid-90's power sinker, the Shark is now a bonafide top-tier prospect. He still needs to show better command of his pitches, but he should eventually be either an MLB closer or top-of-the-rotation starter. Baseball was essentially his "second" sport in college, but he has worked hard over the past couple of years to make himself a big league pitcher, and it looks like he has done just that. He will probably be somewhere in the Cubs bullpen in 2009, although he could end up in the starting rotation, too, depending on circumstances. If it's the latter, the Cubs might want him to be in the starting rotation at Iowa for a while coming out of Spring Training '09.

2. Josh Vitters, 3B (2007 1st Round - Cypress, HS - Cypress, CA) -  age 19

COMMENT: Vitters was the Cubs #1 draft pick in 2007, and the Cubs signed him just prior to the 8/15 deadline (Vitters had signed an NCAA LOI to attend Arizona State). But he had been sick the latter part of his senior year in high school, and he reported to Fitch Park in August 2007 weak and out of shape. He didn't look much bettter in the 2007 AZ Instructional League, and then he had hand problems (blisters and tendinitis) in Spring Training 2008 that delayed the start of his season. But once he got healthy, Vitters showed what he can do as a hitter. He hit 328/365/498 in 61 games at Boise, and was named the Northwest League's #1 prosprect by Baseball America. He has plus-power and could develop into a 25+ HR guy. He still needs to improve his defensive play at 3B (especially the accuracy of his throws), but I would profile him as a young Garret Atkins at this point. Only 19, Vitters will be the "main man" at Peoria in 2009. His older brother Christian is a 3B prospect in the Oakland A's organization.

3-A. Jose Ceda, RHP (2004 NDFA - Dominican Republic - by SD) - age 21

COMMENT: Acquired from the Padres for Todd Walker a couple of years ago, Ceda has had shoulder problems off & on in his career and he needs to watch his weight (he is 6'4 260+), but when he's in shape and 100% healthy, he is virtually uinhittable. (He threw 23 consecutive hitless innings at Peoria to close the 2007 season). Ceda throws an upper-90's fastball and a power-slider and should devlop into an MLB closer or (at least) an 8th inning set-up man. He was used as a starter at Daytona at the beginning of the 2008 season to force him to use his secondary stuff, but was moved back to closer when he got a mid-season promotion to AA Tennessee. He reminds me of a young Jose Valverde. Ceda should be the closer at Iowa in 2009 and could quite possibly get a call-up to Chicago sometime during the season if he performs well at AAA.

NOTE: Jose Ceda was traded to the Florida Marlins after I completed this post, so I renumbered the list after Ceda, starting with Andrew Cashner at #3-B, and I added Dan McDaniel as the new #15. 

3-B Andrew Cashner, RHP (2008 1st Round  - TCU) - age 22 

COMMENT: Cashner was drafted by the Cubs in the 29th round of the 2007 out of a Texas JC but didn't sign, instead transferring to TCU where he developed into the nation's #1 college closer. And then the Cubs drafted him again in 2008 (this time as their1st round pick), and this time the Cubs did sign him. Cashner was rusty (he hadn't pitched for about three months) when he reported to Fitch Park this past summer, and then he had a lot of difficulty throwing strikes at Daytona in August, but he was "lights out" in the FSL playoffs in September. Cashner profiles as a power-closer, combining a mid to upper 90's fastball and a mid-upper 80's slider. I would describe him as a young Brad Lidge. Cashner should be the closer at Daytona on Opening Day 2009, but he could get promoted to AA Tennessee very quickly if he throws like he did in the 2008 FSL playoffs. 

4. Welington Castillo, C (2004 NDFA - Dominican Republic) - age 21

COMMENT: While he's often described as a good defensive catcher, his defense is more projection than performance right now. He has a strong arm and is fairly athletic behind the plate, but he is careless/foolish with his throws and had a ton of errors and passed balls in 2008. His bat is actually ahead of his defense at this point, and he displays above-average power for a player his age. With Geovany Soto ahead of him, the Cubs can certainly afford to take their time with him, but he should eventually develop into a Flying Molina Brothers-type MLB catcher (probably more Benji than Yadier, though). Castillo will likely begin the 2009 season back at AA Tennessee, but he could easily get a mid-season promotion to AAA and a September call-up to Chicago.

5. Ryan Flaherty, INF (2008 Supplemental 1st Round - Vanderbilt) - age 22

COMMENT: Selected with the compensation draft pick the Cubs got for losing FA catcher Jason Kendall to MIL after the 2007 season, Flaherty played SS at Vanderbilt and 2B with Team USA, and the Cubs played him at SS at Boise, but he makes WAY too many errors to stay there. I would say his future is almost certainly at 2B rather than SS. He has plus-power for a middle-infielder, and if he can play corner OF, too, he might become a left-handed version of Mark DeRosa. Best case scenario is that he develops into a Chase Utley-type second-baseman. Son of a college baseball coach, Flaherty is a savvy player, too. I would expect Flaherty to get jumped from Boise to Daytona in 2009, along with a move from SS to 2B.

6. Kevin Hart, RHP (2004 11th Round - U. of Maryland - by BAL) - age 25

COMMENT: Hart was just a middling prospect when Cubs Assistant GM Randy Bush made the deal to get him from the Orioles for Freddie Bynum after the 2006 season, but Hart developed into a definite MLB prospect after AA pitching coach Dennis Llewallyn tweaked his mechanics and taught him a cutter at Tennessee in 2007. In fact, Hart was so successful in his transformation to prospect that he was brought up to Chicago and was added to the Cubs 2007 post-season NLDS roster. Hart struggled in Spring Training 2008 and early in the 2008 season with the Cubs, however, and was sent to Iowa, where he developed into a solid closer. He pitched a lot better with the Cubs in September, and he should be a decent MLB reliever, with the stamina to be a back-of the rotation rotation starter if circumstances warrant. Hart will compete for a job in the Cubs bullpen in 2009.

7. Tyler Colvin, OF (2006 1st Round - Clemson) - age 23

COMMENT: Colvin played most of the 2008 season with a left-elbow injury that eventually required Tommy John surgery post-2008. He has plus-speed and plus-power with the potential to hit 20+ HR, 30+ doubles, and 10+ triples, albeit with too many strikeouts and not a lot of walks. He is a dead first-ball/fastball hitter, although he worked on being more patient at the plate at AA in 2008. He is just a passable flyhawk with a below-average arm (even before the TJS). He probably hurt his elbow after being put on an arm-strengthening program in 2007 that the Cubs hoped would make him able to play RF. He was moved to LF at Clemson to take advantage of his speed and athleticism, but his "natural" position is 1B. Colvin will probably be rehabbing from TJS in Spring Training, but he could well be in LF at Iowa by May and possibly back in CF by 2010.  

8. Jay Jackson, RHP (2008 9th Round - Furman) - age 21

COMMENT: Jackson is an advanced pitcher who throws four or five different pitches for strikes, with a nasty slider and 93 MPH fastball being his main "out" pitches. He was drafted just this past June, but made it all the way to Daytona by August and started a game in the FSL playoffs. He has a lot of confidence and doesn't get rattled. Jackson was a rotation starter in college at Furman, but he also played CF when he wasn't pitching. He is an excellent all-around athlete (he was an outstanding basketball player in HS), and being able to hit and field should help him win a few more games than the average pitcher. With his basketball background, cool self-confidence, and the ability to hit (with power), he almost seems a bit like Bob Gibson. Jackson should begin the 2009 season at Daytona, with a rapid promotion to AA Tennessee in the cards if he pitches like he did in 2008.

9. Micah Hoffpauir, 1B (2002 13th Round  - Lamar) - age 28

COMMENT: At 28, Hoff-POWER! is an example of a "late-bloomer." He is an excellent defensive 1st baseman (rival managers rated Hoffpauir as the best defensive 1st baseman in the PCL in '08) and a left-handed hitter with plus-power. He had a five-hit game versus the Mets in September. Hoffpauir should replace Daryle Ward as the Cubs back-up 1B and #1 LHPH in 2009, but he could be an everyday 1st baseeman or platoon 1st baseman on some MLB clubs. I would compare him to Adam LaRoche of the Pirates.

10. Esmailin Caridad, RHP (2007 NDFA - Dominican Republic) - age 25

COMMENT: Like Alfonso Soriano and Timo Perez before him, Caridad is a Dominican who signed his first professional contract with the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese Central League. Caridad spent a couple of years at the Carp Dominican Baseball Academy before moving on to Japan and pitching in a Japanese minor league (and briefly with the Carp) in 2007. Caridad got released on a technicality after the 2007 season, and signed with the Cubs a day or two after arriving back in the Dominican Republic last Fall. He pitched (effectively) as a rotation starter at both Daytona and AA Tennessee in 2008, and he is presently pitching very with for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. Caridad is 25 years old and he's only 5'10, so there may not be much more there than what's there right now. But from what I've seen of him, he will be pitching in the big league within a year or so. He has a full array of pitches, with a solid fastball, curve, and change-up.

11. Mitch Atkins, RHP (2004 7th Round  - NE Guilford HS - McLeansville, NC) - age 23

COMMENT: Like Kevin Hart, Atkins really took off after he learned to throw a cutter. He doesn't throw particularly hard, although he does throw strikes and works hitters by using both sides of the plate and making adjustments the second and third times through the order. Atkins projects as a starting pitcher rather than a reliever, and if he makes it to the big leagues it will probably be as a back-of-the rotation starter. He will almost certainly be added to the 40-man roster by 11/20, and will be a rotation starter at Iowa in 2009

12. Donald Veal, LHP (2005 2nd Round  - Pima CC) - age 24

COMMENT: Veal started his college career at the University of Arizona where he was used as a reliever as a freshman, but he transferred to Pima CC (AZ) for his sophomore year so he could be a rotation starter. He was all set to transfer to TCU for his junior year when the Cubs drafted and signed him in 2005. Veal has a plus-curve and a fastball with movement, but he has all kinds of difficulty with mechanics. His main problem is finding a consistent release point, and he often has difficulty repeating his delivery. He's the kind of pitcher who will look like a world-beater one inning, and then the next inning he can't find the strike zone. He throws way too many pitches-per-inning to remain a rotation starter (at least if you don't want to blow-out your bullpen), but he also has the quality stuff needed to be an effective MLB lefty reliever. He reminds me of Arthur Rhodes.

13. Jovan Rosa, 3B-1B (2006 22nd Round  - Lake City CC) - age 21

COMMENT: Rosa was drafted by the Cubs out of a Florida JC in 2006, but was signed as a "Draft & Follow" in May 2007 after he signed an NCAA LOI to transfer to NC State, (Rosa was projected as a Top 5 Round pick in the June 2007 Draft). Rosa is a "doubles machine" (he led the MWL in doubles in 2008 at Peoria with 43). He has below-average speed, but he can really put the hammer on the ball and hit line-drive ropes all over the place. If he learns to elevate his swing, he could probably hit 20+ HR. 3B is his "natural: position, and while I have seen him make some spectacular stops at the hot corner, he probably makes too many throwing errors to stay there, and so he played a lot of 1B in 2008. I believe his best bet would probably be to learn to play all four corner IF-OF positions (1B-3B-LF-RF), because if he makes it to the big leagues, it's his bat that's going to get him there. He should be at Daytona in 2009, playing 3B, 1B and DH, and possibly some corner OF, too.

14. Brandon Guyer, OF (2007 5th Round - U. of Virginia) - age 22

COMMENT: Guyer played 3B in high school, but was pushed to LF at the University of Virginia because Ryan Zimmerman was his teammate there. Guyer had an elbow injury in 2008 that kept him at Fitch Park until June, but once he was assigned to Peoria he started to display his developing power stroke to go along with his plus-speed. He plays a "crash & burn" style of defense (he was a football star in HS), and reminds me a lot of Eric Byrnes. The Cubs played Guyer in both CF and RF in the AZ Instructional League post-2008, but he has a below-average arm and (like Etic Byrnes) probably is a "true" left-fielder. But with Alfonso Soriano likely to play LF for the Cubs through 2014, Guyer (like Tyler Colvin) will probably have to try and turn himself into a passable CF if he wants to make it to Wrigley Field as a Cub. Guyer should be at Daytona in 2009 (with Flaherty-Guyer-Rosa hitting 3-4-5).

15. Dan McDaniel, RHP (2008 14th Round - Chabot JC) - age 20

COMMENT: McDaniel fell to the 14th round only because he told everybody he was transferring to Oklahoma State and didn't want to sign, but the Cubs drafted him and signed him anyway. I saw both Cashner and McDaniel pitch this year, and although McDaniel doesn't throw quite as hard as Cashner, I really like McDaniel's mid-90;s fastball and hammer breaking ball. McDaniel will probably be the closer at Peoria in 2009, and as is the case with hard-throwing minor league closers, he could move up the pipeline very quickly.

Return to Homepage

Comments

I assume you won't mind Phil, but I'll bump this up to the top of the site tomorrow. I know people have been waiting for this from you.

i totally missed this thread between all the clutter.

a rather fast and furious morning...

Thanks for your propsect rating AZ Phil. I've been
hoping for a report from you about who looked good in the instrucitonal league this fall. Any special surprises or disappointments?

Thanks, Phil.

Thanks Phil...Awesome info. I was particularly interested in your current thoughts on Mitch Atkins.

How far fetched is it to think one (any) of the younger gun pitchers: Jackson, McDaniel or Cashner will be seen in middle relief around the all-star break for the mlb club in 2009?

Great list.

Who the heck is going to be in the AA rotation?

Are you comparing Cashner's slider to the one Lidge had when he was closing with the Astros, or the one he has now or just a general look comparison?

AZ Phil, you are the man. I look forward to your postings more than anybody's.

Some noticeable names are NOT on your list. Can you comment?.....

RANDY WELLS (Most interesting name off IMO)
TONY THOMAS (Took a step back it seems)
BLAKE PARKER (Impressive first full season as P)
CASEY LAMBERT (The next Paul Assenmacher?)
NATE SPEARS (Nice season as 2B, though we have a few of those)
RHEE and CHEN (Supposed to be good)

Plus, are these guys now officially dead to us?

JAKE FOX: Taking up space on the 40-man.
RYAN HARVEY: Maybe Markakis would have been a better pick? Not that we need a LH bat.
SAM FULD: Came out of nowhere to be a prospect, and seemingly went back there. At least he has a good education.

Whoops AZ PHIL, one more name to ask about.....

JOSE ASCANIO

He's on the 40-man, and has a live arm. Very nice year at Iowa in 1st half, but I think his brother died or something, and he fell apart after that.

Submitted by Q-Ball on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 8:26am.

Whoops AZ PHIL, one more name to ask about..... JOSE ASCANIO

He's on the 40-man, and has a live arm. Very nice year at Iowa in 1st half, but I think his brother died or something, and he fell apart after that.

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

Q-BALL: Jose Ascanio's brother was killed in a car crash in Venezuela during the season and he missed some time because of that.

I would project Ascanio as an MLB middle-reliever, which is fine, but not good enough to make a Top 15 list.

Nice list, Phil.

Since the Cubs are always looking for left-handed power, outside of Hoffpauir and Colvin I would mention these two: Josh Kroeger, who I believe plays a respectable right field (although he's strictly playing first in winter ball) and Blake Lalli. Lalli played about 20 games at catcher for Peoria, Daytona and Tennessee. When not catching, he played first and DH. I don't know if he projects as a catcher, but if he does, his lefty bat could get him promoted quickly. He also relief-pitches occasionally. Interesting undrafted signee.

A couple of shortstops not on your list:

Darwin Barney graduated college in 2007. In 2008 he hit .407 in the FSL playoffs, and he's around .370 for Mesa in the AFL, so he's starting to progress quickly. He hits a fair number of doubles. I also like 20-year-old Nate Samson after his solid year hitting at Peoria. Samson was called up to Iowa toward the end of the year, which means that the Cubs have taken notice of him.

Based on their winter-league performances, Kroeger and Jake Fox have to be optimistic going into spring training. Fox is demonstrating to Felix Pie that it's possible to put on a Licey uniform and hit the effing ball. Maybe Pie will take the hint before Licey rotates him out of there.

I think you recently listed Kroeger as a minor league free agent. So is he still a Cub?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 11:15pm.

Great list.

Who the heck is going to be in the AA rotation?

Are you comparing Cashner's slider to the one Lidge had when he was closing with the Astros, or the one he has now or just a general look comparison?

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

REAL NEAL: As things stand right now, the Opening Day AA Tennessee starting rotation will probably be RHP Esmailin Caridad, LHP James Russell, and RHP Billy Muldowney, with RHP Grant Johnson (if he doessn't get released), RHP Todd Blackford, RHP Marco Carrillo, RHP Hung Wen Chen, RHP Alessandro Maestri (if his shoulder is OK and if he's not moved back to the bullpen), LHP Jeremy Papelbon (if he isn't moved back to the bullpen), and RHP Marcos Mateo (if he's not moved back to the bullpen) the primary candidates for the other two slots.

I didn't rank Russell (son of former MLB closer Jeff Russell) in my Top 15, but he is #16. And Muldowney should be 100% back from 2007 TJS in 2009 and so he should be ready for a full-season workload (150-170 IP), so we'll have to see how he handles that. I had Muldowney in my Top 15 in 2007, before he hurt his elbow.

As for Cashner, I compare him to Lidge mainly because of his high 90's fastball/power slider combo. There are probably other closers and set-up guys with similar stuff, but for whatever reason, when I see Cashner pitch, I think of Lidge.

My only concern about Cashner is command. When he throws strikes, he is unhittable, because he can put hitters away with both his fastball,and his slider (pick your poison). 

Thanks.

I had forgotten about Muldowney, who really should be a tip of the cap to the scouting department. Caridad, if I recall is a guy who may wind up at the back end of someone's MLB rotation as well, so things won't be that bad in Knoxville. Some of the guys you had listed as likely Daytona bound, I had expected to be in AA to start, but seems like they'll need to fight for a spot.

re Caridad, this is from a "Winter League Update" on the Iowa Cubs site:

Cubs' Farm Director Oneri Fleita was quoted in an article earlier this fall saying that Caridad was ticketed for Triple-A and the Iowa Cubs in 2009.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 9:47am.

Nice list, Phil.

Since the Cubs are always looking for left-handed power, outside of Hoffpauir and Colvin I would mention these two: Josh Kroeger, who I believe plays a respectable right field (although he's strictly playing first in winter ball) and Blake Lalli.

Lalli played about 20 games at catcher for Peoria, Daytona and Tennessee. When not catching, he played first and DH. I don't know if he projects as a catcher, but if he does, his lefty bat could get him promoted quickly. He also relief-pitches occasionally. Interesting undrafted signee.

A couple of shortstops not on your list: Darwin Barney graduated college in 2007. In 2008 he hit .407 in the FSL playoffs, and he's around .370 for Mesa in the AFL, so he's starting to progress quickly. He hits a fair number of doubles. I also like 20-year-old Nate Samson after his solid year hitting at Peoria. Samson was called up to Iowa toward the end of the year, which means that the Cubs have taken notice of him.

Based on their winter-league performances, Kroeger and Jake Fox have to be optimistic going into spring training. Fox is demonstrating to Felix Pie that it's possible to put on a Licey uniform and hit the effing ball. Maybe Pie will take the hint before Licey rotates him out of there. I think you recently listed Kroeger as a minor league free agent. So is he still a Cub?

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

VA PHIL: Howdy cousin!

Kroeger is eligible to sign with any MLB organization starting today (clubs retain exclusive negotiating rights with their own minor lesague free-agents through the MLB free-agency filing period), and with the way he's been hitting in Venezuela, I would expect Kroeger to be in some demand as a potential left-handed bat off the bench and part-time or back-up LF-RF-1B. But I doubt that he will re-sign with the Cubs again, although he could.

An itinerant minor league FA like Kroeger will usually only spend two years (max) with any one organization before looking elsewhere, and Kroeger spent the last two seasons with the Cubs without getting brought up to the big leagues. Kroeger is still only 26, so he still has some potential. If the Cubs wanted to be sure of keeping Kroeger around at least through Spring Training they could have added him to the 40-man roster up through the day after the end of the WS, but they didn't do that.

Blake Lalli was signed as a 23-year old 2005 NDFA 5th year senior out of Gardner-Webb prior to the 2006 draft (back when clubs could do that), and the signing was basically a matter of providing minor league "depth" (AKA "roster filler") because he can play 3B-1B-C-DH (with 3B being his "natural" position). But Lalli turned out be a pretty good hitter, and I could see him surfacing in the big leagues as a back-up 3B-1B-C-LHPH at some point. He'll be 26 next season, so he really needs to show what he can do at AAA. He isn't a bad catcher, either. While he doesn't catch a lot, when he does his CS % is usually above league-average. He could get an NRI to ST next year as an extra catcher.

Darwin Barney has looked very good in the AFL. He is a polished minor league player. But I don't rate him too high because he has just average speed and not much power, and I'm still somewhat skeptical about how much he'll hit in the big leagues. But he is a smart player who can make big stops on defense.

Nate Samson is playing SS but his best position is 2B. Like Barney, Samson has just average speed and very little power. so I would project him as more of a middle-infielder utility player as he reaches AA/AAA. Of the two, Barney will be the better everyday player.

AZ PHIL:

Thanks, as always, for all the wonderful information.

An interesting question:

Is it possible that Josh Kroeger could be a better all-around RFer than Fukudome?

Submitted by Q-Ball on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 8:24am.

AZ Phil, you are the man. I look forward to your postings more than anybody's.

Some noticeable names are NOT on your list. Can you comment?.....

RANDY WELLS (Most interesting name off IMO)

TONY THOMAS (Took a step back it seems)

BLAKE PARKER (Impressive first full season as P)

CASEY LAMBERT (The next Paul Assenmacher?)

NATE SPEARS (Nice season as 2B, though we have a few of those)

RHEE and CHEN (Supposed to be good)

Plus, are these guys now officially dead to us?

JAKE FOX: Taking up space on the 40-man.

RYAN HARVEY: Maybe Markakis would have been a better pick? Not that we need a LH bat.

SAM FULD: Came out of nowhere to be a prospect, and seemingly went back there. At least he has a good education

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

Q-BALL: Randy Wells suffered a stress fracture in his right arm just before the end of the regular season, but when healthy he projects as a "rubber-armed" spot-starter/long-reliever, the ideal "12th man" on a pitching staff.

Tony Thomas doesn't have the versatility to play other positions, so either he makes it as an everyday 2B or he is a bust. He is below-average defensively, so he has to hit and steal bases if he is to progress onward to MLB, and he showed signs of struggling at Daytona in 2008 and more-recently in the Hawaiian Winter League. To regain top-tier prospect status, Thomas needs to have the kind of year at AA in 2009 that Nate Spears had last year.

Like Jose Ascanio, I wouldn't rank RHP Blake Parker and LHP Casey Lambert as Top 15 prospects, mainly because both project as middle-relievers, and I don't rate a potential middle-reliever as a Top 15 guy. But both had good years in 2009 (Parker is a convetrted catcher), and they could get to MLB eventually. Lambert has an outstanding curve ball, BTW, and he could be a decent LOOGY. Paul Assenmacher is a good comparison, except Lambert is only about 5'10, while Asenmacher was tall and gangly.

Nate Spears has looked pretty good in the AFL and he's a virtual lock to be added to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline. A left-handed hitting 2B, he was drafted by the Orioles as a high school player (5th round in 2003), so he's still only 23. He has generally moved steadily through the minors, first with the Orioles and more-recently with the Cubs (he was one of the players the Cubs got back from BAL for Corey Patterson), although he did have to repeat High-A, but since then he's progressed nicely. Like Tony Thomas, Spears projects as an everyday 2B rather than a middle-infield utility guy, so he has to establish himself at AAA in 2009. He is just OK defensively, and so I would compare him to somebody like Mike Fontenot, but without Fontenot's power. He also has just average speed.

RHP Dae-Eun Rhee was signed as an 18-year old to a big bonus contract by the Cubs out of South Korea a year ago August, and he looked VERY good in the post-2007 AZ Instructional League and at Minor League Camp this past Spring. He has a devastating slider that acts like a splitter (I call it a "slide-splitter"), and a lively fastball. As a result, I projected him as a closer rather than a rotation starer, with the possibility that he could be a starter when & if he can master a 3rd pitch. But then he hurt his elbow at Peoria and underwent TJS, and he probably won't be back until late or 2009 or maybe 2010, so we'll have to see if his slide-splitter is still there when he comes back. If it is, he will probably be in my Top 15.

RHP Hung Wen Chen was signed as a 21-year old college player out of Taiwan in 2007. He tried out for the Chinese Taipei Olympic Baseball team earlier this year but missed the final cut. Unlike Rhee, Chen is a fairly polished pitcher, and he could progress to the big leagues eventually, probably as a middle-reliever. He is a rotation starter right now, though.

Jake Fox has one minor league option left, so he needs to prove himself at AAA ASAP. He should be the starting LF or RF at Iowa in 2009. While he has mastered AA, he has yet to do the same at AAA. He has as much pure power as anybody in the Cubs organization, but he isn't a very good hitter (he strikes out too much, and doesn't take many walks.). He also is below-average defensively no matter where he plays. Just because of his power potential, I had him rated in my Top 15 a year ago (I rated him #11), but that was before he flopped at AAA. I was surprised that the Cubs dropped Casey McGehee from the 40 but kept Fox.

Sam Fuld hit over .400 and was named MVP in the AFL a year ago, but then he suffered a thumb injury while making a diving catch in a Spring Training game this past March but didn't tell anybody until he got cut and was optioned to Minor League Camp. He then spent a couple of months trying to play through and rehab from the injury, but never got going and was sent to AA Tennessee when Felix Pie was optioned to Iowa. When he's healthy he is a very good all-around player, and I had him rated in my Top 15 a year ago, but he is a train wreck waiting to happen. He just can't stay healthy. I expect him to be the evetyday CF and lead-off hitter at Iowa in 2009, but even if he stays healthy for the full seaon and has a good year at AAA, he probably has no future with the Cubs.

A former #1 draft pick and HS teammate of ex-Cubs 1B prospect Brian Dopirak, Ryan Harvey has one of the top OF arms in the organization (he is the prototypical RF), and he has tremendous power. But he is a very poor hitter (he is a strikeout machine) and a dead first-ball fastball hitter who won't take a walk. And he has a history of hamstring and back problems that land him on the DL for long periods of time ever year. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets released at Minor League Camp next March, but even if he makes the AA Tennessee Opening Day roster, he will be a minor league FA after next season. He has zero future with the Cubs, although I guess he he could still get traded somewhere (maybe to TOR where he would be reunited with Dopirak, or possibly his "hometown" TB Rays) . Harvey was a RHP in HS, and he has an outstanding arm, so I kept waiting for him to get converted to pitcher, but the Cubs won't do that unless the player agrees to it, and apprarently Harvey just doesn't want to be a pitcher.

Thanks AZ Phil!

They are not prospects, but I wonder what ANGEL GUZMAN will do next year.

I also wonder if RICH HILL could be converted to a LOOGY. Lefties could never hit him, and if he could regain some control, might be better in the 'pen.

Nice Dopirak mention, speaking of former top prospects.

At this point it's pretty much a lock that all Rich Hill can be converted to is another religion. Rich Hill is driving a high performance sports car without a steering wheel. He sure does perform nicely but he's moments from being declared a flaming wreck.

Submitted by Cubster on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 9:23pm.

Thanks Phil...Awesome info.

I was particularly interested in your current thoughts on Mitch Atkins.

How far fetched is it to think one (any) of the younger gun pitchers: Jackson, McDaniel or Cashner will be seen in middle relief around the all-star break for the mlb club in 2009?

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

CUBSTER: I doubt that Mitch Atkins will ever be anything special, but I also think he can be an MLB back-of-the-rotation starter. He has a starter's array of pitches, and knows how to work hitters and how to work a game. It will be interesting to see how he handles experienced AAA hitters over a full season. One thing I do know about him is that he is a smart player and he is very coachable. Too bad Greg Maddux isn't still around, because I think he would really like Atkins. The kid does ask questions and he will listen. I expect him to be the best Mitch Atkins he can be, whatever that is.

As for Jackson, Cashner, and McDaniel, I doubt that the Cubs will rush any of them, but sometimes a guy just pushes his way upward and can't be stopped. That could happen with any of the three. They are the ones to watch.

It will be interesting to watch Jay Jackson once he gets to AA, where pitchers can hit. He is a very good hitter with plus-power, and he is a tremendous athlete, cat-quick off the mound, a fifth infielder. I don't understand how he fell to the 9th round, but it might be because he was a P/OF in college and sometimes that confuses scouts.  

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 11:12am.

re Caridad, this is from a "Winter League Update" on the Iowa Cubs site:

Cubs' Farm Director Oneri Fleita was quoted in an article earlier this fall saying that Caridad was ticketed for Triple-A and the Iowa Cubs in 2009.

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

VA PHIL: With Kevin Hart, Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, Randy Wells, J. R. Mathes, Mark Holliman, and Donald Veal (and any minor league FA the Cubs might yet sign) likely to be competing for spots in the Iowa rotation, there may not be room for Caridad there, at least at the start of the season.

Of course Hart, Berg, Holliman, and/or Veal could end up in the Iowa bullpen, or Caridad himself could end up in the Iowa pen, although I think the Cubs want him to accrue as many innings as possible before they decide whether to try him as a reliever, and he needs to remain a rotation starter in order to accomplish that. And I do think he could be an MLB rotation starter, although like Kevin Hart, (but unlike Mitch Atkins, for example), Caridad does have the type of hard stuff that could translate to the bullpen.

Caridad is 25 years old, so while he has limited experience at AA and only one year pitching in the U. S., he does need to move up to AAA ASAP.

Submitted by Q-Ball on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 11:23am.

Thanks AZ Phil!

They are not prospects, but I wonder what ANGEL GUZMAN will do next year.

I also wonder if RICH HILL could be converted to a LOOGY. Lefties could never hit him, and if he could regain some control, might be better in the 'pen.

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

Q-BALL: Angel Guzman is healthy, he is pitching well in Venezuela, and he could very easily win a spot in the Cubs bullpen next season. He was throwing 94-95 MPH in September.

As for Rich Hill, I don't know what the Cubs plan to do with him, but I do know he is out of minor league options, so sending him back to Iowa is probably not an... option.

I guess the Cubs will have Hill come to Spring Training and everyone will try to pretend that 2008 never happened and hope that Hill can regain his 2007 form. If he does not do that, the Cubs will probably trade him, and I'm sure somebody (like the Orioles, for instance) would be more than willing to see if he can benefit from a change-of-scenery, not to mention being reunited with one-time minor league pitching guru Alan Dunn (who is an Orioles coach).

If Rich Hill regains 2007 form, he makes the rotation in front of Marquis doesnt he? It seems beyond short signted to trade a guy under club control for 4 more years,in lieu of sending Marquis to the pen.

Just my opinion.

Probably, but too soon to tell what the rotation looks like next year.

I think the Cubs could trade Marquis if they wanted to, he wasn't that bad really, and given the cost of starting pitching these days, $9.5 mil for one year isn't that out of line.

Even if he has a lights-out spring, I think you would need a backup plan for Hill, in case he regresses again. He's lost the feel for his curve before and gotten shelled, so kind of a touchy pitcher. That's why it wouldn't surprise me if he starts out in the pen to build trade value.

If Hill returns to form and if Marquis is still with the team, as his competition for the 5th starter, that would seem to make sense. Those are two pretty big if's though.

The Cubs need to proceed as if Hill has a case of Steve Blass disease. If Hill rights himself, great. But if he doesn't -- and his winter ball stats aren't exactly encouraging -- they can't risk being caught an arm short.

Arizona Phil, could you comment on some of the young players that played in Arizona this past season. I read an article about the S. Castro kid and it sounded like Wilken was very high on him. Also,Lake, Cerda, Watkins and J. Jones.

It seems like when Hendry was running the draft we were able to have a nice minor league system. Stockstill not so much. So how is Wilken's young talent shaping up? I will give him a pass on his first draft because he didn't have to many pics and still landed Shark in the 5th and they took some flyiers on some kids late.

Always enjoy reading your reports! Thanks

I think I just heard on ESPN 1000 that the Cubs have offered CC 5yr/$140 million. Did anyone else hear that?

Didn't hear it, but that was probably the Yanks. They've been reported to have prepared an offer for that amount.

probably Yanks, rumor be they'll top Johan's deal

http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/... 

might throw $$ at Lowe and Burnett as well as CC

rotation of Wang, CC, Lowe, Burnett, Hughes or Joba

fuck

If your Hendry what do you do, float a rumor that your interested in CC or Lowe in an effort to encourage Dempster to come back for a reasonable contract, or do you fear that talking about a $150 million contract to a player will inspire Dempster to look for more $$?

Hopefully Hendry and Dempster are both smart enough to avoid a Maddux/Hines repeat.

The Yanks have a lot of money to spend this winter, but they also have more holes than just their rotation. So even if they make offers to all three, I can't see them signing CC, Lowe and Burnett. Landing two of those three is possible.

Thanks, Arizona Phil.

I was wondering if you saw Korean SS Hak-Ju Lee and RHP Jung-Soo Min when they were at instructs earlier this fall. If you did, what did you think of them?

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

"It's bittersweet," Wood said. "Obviously this was my first choice. I wanted to stay here, and it was the best choice for me and my family… (but) it was good to hear it out of his mouth, the honesty. It’s a rarity in the game."

and a solid wtf moment from Hendry...

While Wood was understanding about the Cubs' decision, which Hendry said was made in the best interests of Wood and his family, he did say he would've been amenable to staying and "would have done anything" to stay a Cub. The Cubs told him to go get a three- or four-year deal for more money, but Wood said he would've agreed to a one-year deal to stay.

"That was an avenue we kind of approached," he said. "But they’ve got some issues they've got to take care of, and at the end I wasn't as important as lot of other aspects of the team. (Carlos) Marmol, we all know what he's capable of doing… it is what it is."

What the fuck?

What issues do they have to take care of that require more than $10 million? They're in dire need of a few more houses? Do the Woods need to fund research of a terminal disease in order to save one of their family members?

Fuck. FUCK!

This is by far the stupidest thing I've ever heard of Hendry doing, even if it is a selfless move.

Edit: Also, might Wood be better off on a one year deal? If he could stay healthy and be a free agent after 2009, there might be fewer pitchers available and thus his value might be higher.

WTF indeed.

I tend to agree with crunch that paying a closer $10m+ (he would have deserved a raise) is not really a good use of money, esp with this team's other needs and the money it will likely take to fill them.

Still, I don't know if you don't give Woody another 1-year deal if he's willing to take it, esp. if they're going to make another push at a WS. Winning a title will be a little less sweet if Kerry Wood's not on the team.

Jim, if you or your cronies read this blog, reconsider this please. Oh, and, get Peavy.

And now! Looks like the Braves weren't kidding about their Friday deadline. They're moving on.

http://hotstove.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/11/brave...

best news I've heard all day...knew they'd shoot themselves in the foot.

Sometime this weekend Hendry needs to call Towers add an extra piece like Ceda (oh fuck, wait) and call it a deal.!

Okay, I'm oversimplyfing and Padres will probably just keep Peavy now, but it's marginally encouraging news for the Cubs. 

If Towers keeps Peavy after all this, he truly is a fuck up and should lose his job. Either man up and do the deal or keep your mouth closed to the press. It'll probably drag out until January and then he'll be traded to the Cardinals or Braves.

yeah, wood would sign a 1yr deal...for 12-15m, probably.

it sounds nice, but it also sounds like a big pile of crap.

Submitted by soonercub on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 2:04pm.

Arizona Phil, could you comment on some of the young players that played in Arizona this past season.

I read an article about the S. Castro kid and it sounded like Wilken was very high on him. Also,Lake, Cerda, Watkins and J. Jones.

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

SOONER CUB: 18-year old Dominican infielder Starlin Castro is a good defensive player at SS, 2B, and 3B, and he is also a good hitter with occasional power. He has very good range and a strong arm and he turns the DP very well. He also has above-average speed. Of all the players at AZ Instructs post-2008, Castro showed the most improvement from beginning to end. In the Cubs 2009 Projected Depth Chart I posted here a while back, I have Castro the #1 SS at Peoria in 2009, and I still feel that way, although I suspect he might eventually be more of a utility infielder than everyday player at the higher levels (AAA and MLB). We'll see. I wouldn't call him a Top 15-type prospect (yet), although he probably is the Cubs #1 shortstop prospect (which isn't saying much).

Junior Lake is another 18-year old Dominican infielder who was at Fitch Park this summer. Lake is tall and rangy with a long stride. He has a VERY strong arm (maybe they'll make him a pitcher eventually?) and he sometimes double-clutches on purpose to make the play closer at 1st so he can show off his arm. He also has plus-range. However, while Castro plays smooth and effortlessly, Lake is more herky-jerky in his style, which is why he plays as much 3B as he does SS. Lake also will frequently bail-out against right-handed pitchers, but against lefties and occasionally against righties he shows a real nice stroke with gap power. I figure Lake will start out the 2009 season at Extended Spring Training (EXST) and then get assigned to Boise. I would say Lake is more of a natural talent, while Castro is more polished and seems more coachable.

Matt Cerda is 18 years old and was the Cubs 4th round pick in last June's draft out of Oceanside, CA. He played SS in HS, but Cubs Player Personnel Director Oneri Fleita worked him out at catcher prior to the draft (Cerda was the catcher on the Oceanside LLWS team a few years ago), and liked what he saw. So Cerda has been working with mentor Danny Fatheree (Kerry Wood's catcher in HS) at Fitch Park to learn the finer points of the position. As a hitter, Cerda reminds me of a young Craig Biggio, except Cerda hits left-handed. He has outstanding knowledge of the strike zone and rarely gets fooled. He's also a smart base-runner with surprising speed. He'll probably spend next April-May at EXST working with Fatheree before getting assigned to Boise.

Logan Watkins is 19, and was the Cubs 2008 21st round draft pick out of Goddard, KS, where he was the star QB on the football team and the star SS on the baseball team. A real BMOC. The Cubs gave Watkins around $600K (essentially 2nd round money) to give up his scholarship at Wichita State and turn pro. The Cubs worked him at 2B, LF, and CF at Fitch Park, mainly because he doesn't have the arm for SS or RF (he was an option QB in HS, not John Elway). So he does have the athleticism to play IF and OF, but I suspect he will eventually play mainly 2B. Watkins is (like Cerda) a left-handed hitter, but Watkins is a faster runner than Cerda. I like Cerda more as a hitter, though. Watkins will probably start the '09 season at EXST before getting assigned to Boise.

Jericho Jones is 21, and was a combo RHSP/RF at Louisiana Tech, but the Cubs drafted him as a RF (2009 20th round). He had a sore arm this year, but when it's healthy, he is supposed to have a rocket arm. He is a big right-handed hitter who lumbers around the bases, and I have yet to see the power you would expect from a kid like that. That said, I suspect Jones will be assigned to Peoria to start the 2009 season, where he will play LF and RF, splitting OF time with Drew Rundle, Cliff Andersen, and Kyler Burke. Jones will need to hit HRs if he wants to advance past A-ball.

Do you think Cerda is going to hit well enough to play anywhere other than catcher? I know you said Biggio, but Biggio had sort of two careers.

Submitted by Raisin101 on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 2:16pm.

Thanks, Arizona Phil. I was wondering if you saw Korean SS Hak-Ju Lee and RHP Jung-Soo Min when they were at instructs earlier this fall. If you did, what did you think of them?

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

RAISIN: I saw Hak-Ju Lee DH a few times in games and take some infield. He's a left-handed hitter, tall and thin, not much power, sort of a slap hitter, strong arm, good range at SS, but otherwise there isn't much to report on him (yet). I did not see Jung-Soo Min.

Submitted by Romero on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 3:03pm.

AZ PHIL: Thanks, as always, for all the wonderful information.

An interesting question: Is it possible that Josh Kroeger could be a better all-around RFer than Fukudome?

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

ROMERO: While Kroeger might be a better hitter than Fukudome and with more power, Kosuke is definitely the faster runner and the better outfielder with the stronger arm.

Personally, I think the Cubs should have added Kroeger to the 40-man roster when they had the chance (prior to the end of the WS). They could always place him on Outright Waivers if he doesn't make the Opening Day 25-man roster.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 4:28pm.

Do you think Cerda is going to hit well enough to play anywhere other than catcher? I know you said Biggio, but Biggio had sort of two careers.

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

REAL NEAL: If he doesn't stay at catcher, Cerda might hit well enough to play 2B or maybe CF, but that's about it.

He's got to get out of the nursery (Fitch Park) before we'll know just how good a hitter he really is. I think he's a good all-around player, though, even if he were to end up at another position.

 

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8795106/Braves-...

The Cubs, the other team in the heaviest pursuit of Peavy, remain interested in acquiring him, sources say. The team is intent on adding one starting pitcher, whether it's trading for Peavy, re-signing Dempster as a free agent, or finding another pitcher. Left-hander Randy Johnson is one of the free-agent pitchers in whom the Cubs are interested.

So then Jim Hendry is not going to offer Kerry Wood salary arbitration if Woody doesn't sign with somebody by 12/1? Because if Wood doesn't sign with somebody else by 12/1, the only way the Cubs can get the two compensatory draft picks for losing Wood (who is a Type "A" FA) is if they offer Wood arbitration on 12/1, and if they do that and if Wood is cool with a one-year deal, why wouldn't Wood just accept the offer? Or does Hendry just not care about the draft picks?

Can't imagine that's right, but I'm pretty confused.

if the cubs wanted to offer (and wood was seriously considering) a 1-year deal there's just about no way under the sun they wouldn't offer him arbitration unless saving 5-6m really is THAT important to the team.

myself...i just dont buy the "would have taken a 1-year deal" talk got anywhere serious. i got nothing to base this on, though...it just doesn't make a whole lotta sense for wood to be looking a 1yr deal or hendry not finding it attractive.

I think Jimbo would have done a 1 year 7 million dollar offer (the money amount Wood and Howry), but I think Wood wants 10+ mil a year in a deal. Given their relationship my guess would be they have a handshake agreement that Woody will decline arbitration.

I'd be surprised if Wood has to make a decision on arbitration.

although certainly a concern, Wood and Hendry seem to get along as friends. I think one call from Hendry if he's not signed yet saying they're offering arbitration to get the draft picks, please don't accept it is all it will take.

Honestly though it sounds like the Cubs didn't want to commit to Wood until they figured out their rotation and offense. If he's still out there when those are settled, I'm not 100% sold he won't come back.

But I doubt he'll be out there...just hope he passes on the Brewers and Cardinals. 

yeah, wood would...
---------
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

about 3/44?

http://www.getodd.com/stuf/stupid/woodchuck.html

"Winning a title will be a little less sweet if Kerry Wood's not on the team."

Winning a title? How about winning a playoff game?

i suppose winning a title will also be a little less sweet without these guys on the team.

Gabby Hartnett, Hack Wilson, Charlie Root, Billy Herman, Charlie Grimm, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg.

if right now we dumped the roster and brought in 25 brand new players and won the world series, would you still feel the same?

I wouldn't

I'd be happy but it wouldn't be the same. If you don't care who is on your team then you root for laundry.

I agree with Chad. *sigh*

After listening to Kerry's conference call on Cubs.com, I can't help but be a bit pissed off at Hendry. Kind of puts some context to the quotes in Sullivan's story.

Hendry can spout off all he wants about how great it will be for Kerry to sign a multi-year deal to help his family, but it is clear that wasn't a priority to Wood.

He should have found a way to work around his budget and get a deal done.

Towers = Angelos.

Towers isn't the owner...or even the president.

Rosenthal says that the Padres may turn to the Yankees and Angels to satisfy their Peavy wants. I guess he means the same Yankees who didn't trade Hughes for Santana and the Angels who never trade anyone ( I realize they traded for Texiera, but they didn't trade any good prospects for him).

"Towers isn't the owner...or even the president."

I'm fully aware of that - but the behavior seems to be remarkably similar regarding trades.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122669655570129309...

Nov 27th was suppose to be the deadline for new bids, but Zell is backing off of that.

with all the pen crap going around let's not forget angel guzman going into the pen projects as a pretty high-end prospect addition for a guy who's grown out of his prospect tag via injury/time.

marmol (who seems to be the favored closer candidate), gregg, samninja...guzman, cotts, and wuertz...marshall/marquis...

personally, i like guzman...im also a cotts and wuertz fan...

i hope they pick a good starter to fill it all out. wonder who/where that yearly "left handed bad we need" is gonna be.

Randy Johnson...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

Hendry was unavailable for comment, but club sources confirmed the team would be interested in Johnson if Dempster left and their bid for San Diego's Jake Peavy was rejected, which appears likely.

agent says they're interested in Cubs because of Lou and being in the NL

I love how the "which appears likely" is just dropped in without reason or explanation. I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with that, but the Cubs' chances should certainly have been improved after the Braves bowed out. Stupid unaccountable journalism.

Wow, yeah. These things never seem to come true though. If Towers is as much of a putz as I'm starting to think he is, he'll just decide they're keeping him and Peavy'll be glad to keep his family in SD. What a fucking debacle.

I don't get how that makes Towers a putz. Sounds like it makes him a smart GM. He can't just trade Peavy anywhere because the dude has a NTC. So if Peavy's telling him he'll only accept a trade to the Cubs or Dodgers, and neither of those teams are offering fair value, then why not hold on to him until at least the trade deadline.

By then, there may be more teams in the playoff hunt that Peavy would be willing to go to. Or, the Pads could be contenders in the pitiful NL West, or the owner might miraculously reconcile with his wife.

It's not like it's urgent that Peavy be traded right now, especially for some mockery of a package like Cedeno, Marshall, whoever else.

It'd be fine if Towers had never opened his big mouth to the media. Just talk to the teams and to Peavy and his agent and leave the media out of it. This whole nonsense about "the train has left the station" is just stupidity. Now, Peavy would look silly to want to be where he's not wanted anymore. It's not necessarily Towers' GM tactics but his media tactics that I question.

Interesting story. For what it's worth, there was a Nike tour in Puerto Rico during this time frame:

"Hoffman, 41, has 554 career saves. He was in Puerto Rico on a Nike tour and wasn't available for comment, Thurman said."

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/ny-spbase12...

Peavy also wears Nike shoes, so that part seems feasible.

However when you get a slightly tipsy 26 year old in a conversation, he may be prone to act like he has more knowledge and control than he really has. For all we know he had the same conversation with a Yankees and Braves fan - maybe he's got a need to be liked.

But Peavy has COMPLETE CONTROL over where he will be next season. That's what a NTC is for.

No he doesn't. He can't force a trade.

Exactly the point. He doesn't want a trade. He wants to stay in southern california. For the Padres to take him away from where he wants to be, they would need his approval. Jake Peavy has complete control over where he will be next year.

No, he told that guy allegedly he wanted to be with the Cubs, but he hasn't been traded to the Cubs, nor at this point does it look like he will be traded to the Cubs, therefore he does not have complete control over where he will be next year.

He actually supposedly told that guy he wanted to stay with the Padres. He said if he was traded, he wanted to go to the Dodgers, but didn't think that would happen. And if he couldn't go there he wanted to go to the Cubs.

So I agree with 10Man. He is in control because he wants to stay in Southern California or go to the Cubs And if neither happen he will be where he wants to be anyway.

Towers and co. certainly seem to be intimating that they will keep Peavy if they don't get the right deal. I doubt that -- their comments are probably just gamesmanship. That would seem to point to him going to the Cubs although I doubt that the Braves are actually out of this thing either. Unless Hendry finds a third and possibly fourth team in the next, say, month, I bet he still ends up with the Braves.

http://www.firejoemorgan.com/

Saw that. Sad day.

They'll be back in some form or another. Seems like they were just a bit burnt out considering they've only been posting like once every couple of weeks lately.

But those dudes obviously enjoy writing/making fun of people way too much to just give it up.

Sucks. That was one of my favorite sites. One time I was sick with some kind of awful bronchitis/pneumonia and I read through the entire FJM archives up until that point and laughed myself sicker than I already was.

MAJOR GRAIN OF SALT ALERT

My boss has an inside guy in the San Diego Padres front office. Says the deal is done. Just waiting on the announcement.

I will say that a few things that my boss has tipped me off on in the past came true.

sweet....

Where's Greene going?

thread is up with this and the NSBB guy's story...

Phil - I may have missed it, but I don't recall mention of Casey (Joe) Coleman. I talked to a scout in September who had quite lot of good things to say about him. Did you see enough of him to form an opinion?

X
  • Sign in with Twitter