Bradley's Contract Details and Scout.com Top 20

We finally get word on the specifics of Milton Bradley's contract from the Sun-Times:

The contract pays $5 million in base salary in 2009 and $9 million in
2010 -- with a $4 million signing bonus split over the two seasons --
with $12 million due in 2011. But a multilayered set of clauses turns
the final year into a team option (with a $2 million buyout) if
Bradley's health becomes a serious problem this season.

So $7M for 2009, $11M for 2010 and $12M in 2011 with a $2M buyout team option in 2011 if the mysterious clauses kick-in.


And looks like I missed the top 10 prospects from Scout.com, they posted them before Christmas...silly me.

  1. Josh Vitters
  2. Jeff Samardzija
  3. Andrew Cashner
  4. Welington Castillo
  5. Jay Jackson
  6. Ryan Flaherty
  7. Mitch Atkins
  8. Tyler Colvin
  9. Kevin Hart
  10. Micah Hoffpauir
  11. Esmailin Caridad
  12. Brandn Guyer
  13. Marcos Mateo
  14. Jovan Rosa
  15. James Russell
  16. Dan McDaniel
  17. Chris Carpenter
  18. Aaron Shafer
  19. Ryan Acosta
  20. Matt Cerda

 

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Comments

Typical Hendry backloaded the deal again. Good to hear the absence of a NTC and the fact that there is an escape clause for the team in the 3rd year.

Groucho: "That's in every contract, that's what you call a sanity clause."
Chico: "You can't a fool a me there ain't no Sanity Clause"

Still lacking detail, but it makes it sound as if the 2011 option can trigger due to 2009 performance. I would've preferred something based on two-year performance, such as 800 PAs in two years or something.

So it's really a 2 year $20 million deal, not bad.

Pretty much what everybody expected then.

If the contract is structured like Cliff Floyd's two-year deal with the Cubs was, the 3rd year would vest once Bradley reaches 850 PA or 200 Games Started combined in 2009-10. Hopefully the "Games Started" threshold for Bradley is more like 250 rather than 200 and the PA floor is more like 950 than 850.

Also, whether or not he got one from Hendry, Bradley will at least get an automatic NTC through 6-15-09 because he was an Article XX MLB FA. BTW, the reason Aaron Miles and Joey Gathright don't get an automatic NTC through June 15th is because they were 12/12 non-tendered free-agents, not Article XX MLB FAs.

Players who become free-agents after being non-tendered on 12/12, or after being released outright, or after becoming a minor league FA, do not get the automatic NTC. Likewise, if an Article XX MLB FA signs a minor league contract, he doesn't get an automatic NTC either. Only Article XX MLB free-agents who sign a Major League contract after the end of the 15-day MLB Free-Agency Filing Period receive the automatic NTC through June 15th, and such a player gets one even if he re-signs with his previous club.

I would be surprised if Bradley doesn't have a complete NTC through 2009, with maybe a limited one in 2010-11 where he can name a certain number of clubs (like maybe eight or ten) in advance to which he will not accept a trade.

Okay, AZ Phil. One name that I am still curious about, due to his apparent success at AA last year, was the walking enigma Dumas Garcia. Has he gone AWOL again?
Thanks as always!

from the Daily Herald

However, the Cubs do have contract protection against injury. If certain incentives aren't met the first year, the third year becomes a club option.

still unclear on the incentives, but it sounds like a combination of games played and the PA's...

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=263180

The payroll numbers for 2010 should be sobering for the prospective buyers.

Over 90 million committed already for 2011 too. These are not our father's Cubs.

Hendry was interviewed this morning on WSCR. During discussion of offseason goal to provide more LH balance in lineup, indicated that "of the 13 position players currently projected to start the season, 7 either hit left-handed or are switch hitters".

Hmmm. I currently count five at Fukodome, Bradley, Fontenot, Miles, and Hoffpauir. Apparently our new but unannounced backup catcher (Bako) will fit the profile, which leaves one more mystery LH/SH, which I suppose is Pie (even though Hendry talked about the increased versatility of his OF with both Gathright and Johnson).

He confirmed that IF coach Alan Trammell will work with Fontenot at SS in ST, so that Lou can play Fonty, Theriot or Miles at either SS or 2B at any time. Once again indicated that trading DeRosa was only viable means of adding LH hitting to lineup, despite his performance and leadership.

Hendy also indicated that he was not done with his pitching staff, but refused to talk about Peavy since Peavy is under contract and not a FA.

And no, Brian Roberts' name was never brought up.

I like the idea of seeing if Fontenot's excellent 2nd base defense can translate into good or at least better than average SS defense.

I think I must be prejudiced. All the stats say the Fontenaught was a good fielder last year, but I didn't see it. I did see him have difficulty turning two a couple of times, though. Hopefully the statistically good defense continues, but I don't see the athletic ability to play short in him.

You probably saw a lot more than a cold stat can tell you. I think defensive stats are the hardest to correlate to performance, you gotta watch the guy play. A player can handle a number of chances with few errors, but what kind of chances? And how many other ground balls never even hit his glove? Fontenot is kind of a stiff fielder, without a lot of range. I also can't see him playing short for more than a few games without hurting the team. Working him out there and getting his feet provides Lou with a little more flexibility among the three small middle infielders.
I would imagine it also means no one is counting on Cedeno being a Cub in 2009.

I watched Fontenot make a lot of good defensive plays last year. I was surprised as I hadn't thought of him as a good defender before.

To get to thirteen, you have to cross off Pie and Cedeno.

Then you have five outfielders (Sori, Fuku, RJ, Gathright, Bradley),

six infielders (Aram, Theriot, Fontenot, Miles, Lee, Hoff)

and two catchers (Soto and Hill/Bako).

Seven of these can hit lefty.

This seems like a fairly direct statement about Pie and Cedeno from the man in charge.

They're probably headed for ex-Cubland up I-95 from where I'm sitting.

Jim Callis of Baseball America was on WSCR radio yesterday to plug their 2009 Prospects handbook.

He listed BA's Cubs Top 5 as (5) Wellington Castillo, (4) Dae-Eun Rhee (despite his TJ surgery), (3) Andrew Cashner, (2) Samardzija, and (1) Vitters.

He specifically mentioned Castillo as likely trade bait for Peavy.

Submitted by Jace on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 10:14am.

Okay, AZ Phil. One name that I am still curious about, due to his apparent success at AA last year, was the walking enigma Dumas Garcia. Has he gone AWOL again? Thanks as always!

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

JACE: Dumas Garcia is signed to a minor league contract for 2009 and will battle for a relief job at Iowa or Tennessee, unless he is needed by the Colombian government for a counter-insurgency mission.

Is Dumas Garcia really Chuck Barris?

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

Az. Phil, have you heard of any minor lge FA's that the Cubs have signed? Thanks.

Hey AZ PHIL! Since you have popped up after a holiday rest (hope it was enjoyable!), can you give us the skinny on Darwin Barney? It appears as if he had a very productive AFL in Nov. Will he project out as making it to the big club by 2011?

That top 20 List does not get me too excited - whoever buys this team is going to have to really throw some cash at rebuilding the farm system.

If we trade Vitters, we have NOTHING left. May as well empty the cupboard I guess.

AZ Phil -

Looking at this list of prospects, do you see any impact players (All Star Caliber) beyond Vitters? The list, outside of the top 3, looks like a bunch of possible role players instead of people you build a franchise around. Thoughts?

Submitted by Hagsag on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 10:36am.

Az. Phil, have you heard of any minor lge FA's that the Cubs have signed? Thanks.

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

HAGSAG: The only minor league players the Cubs have for sure signed from outside the organization so far are AA LHRP Jason Waddell (6Y minor league FA ex-SF), AA RHRP Angel Castro (released by DET), and veteran MLB C Mark Johnson (Article XX-D minor league FA who was up with STL in September).

Also the Cubs did re-sign Rule 55 minor league FA SS Andres Blanco, OF-1B Doug Deeds, and C Danny Fatheree (who is actually a coach assigned to Fitch Park), and Article XX MLB FA RHP Chad Fox to 2009 minor league contracts.

And I believe Rule 55 minor league FAs IF-OF Bobby Scales, IF-C Robinson Chirinos, LHP Carmen Pignatiello, RHP Adam Harben, and RHP Billy Petrick have been re-signed, too, but the Cubs haven't announced those signings so they cannot be confirmed at this time.

Submitted by The E-Man on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 10:38am.

Hey AZ PHIL! Since you have popped up after a holiday rest (hope it was enjoyable!), can you give us the skinny on Darwin Barney? It appears as if he had a very productive AFL in Nov. Will he project out as making it to the big club by 2011?

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

E-MAN: Darwin Barney is a stable, reliable, fundamentally-sound SS, but I don't know how much he will hit in the big leagues. At worst he should be an MLB utility middle-infielder. He is a smart player, too. I would compare him to somebody like Chin-lung Hu (LAD) or maybe Brendan Ryan (STL).

Also for Mr. Az Phil...any idea about Nate Samson? I saw him a couple times at Peoria...semed to hit the ball hard, had good range at SS.

He's going to be 21 this year...seemed like he had some potential.

Nate Samson--that reminds me, Neal, if you're listening, here are two other interesting shortstops in addition to Flaherty, Lee, Castro, Lake and Barney.

Nate Samson hit around .300 for Peoria and was called to Iowa, if I remember correctly, late in the season. He did commit around 25 errors at Peoria.

Then there's Marwin Gonzalez, who recently clicked in a Venezuelan winter "rookie" league (Liga Paralela), leading the league in BA and doubles, second in SLG, stealing 15 bases.

Gonzalez, who turns 20 in March, plays short and third, which suggests that he may be gravitating away from short.

I read all.. mostly.

Thanks. The only SS in the system who I think right now projects to be a starting shorstop in the bigs is the kid from Korea and he's a long ways off. Flaherty's bat seems like it will be good enough, but I would guess that he gets moved, and then his bat may not be good enough. Everyone else...

Of course I hope I'm wrong.

Submitted by Dusty Baylor on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 11:07am.

Also for Mr. Az Phil...any idea about Nate Samson? I saw him a couple times at Peoria...semed to hit the ball hard, had good range at SS. He's going to be 21 this year...seemed like he had some potential

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

DUSTY BAYLOR: Nate Samson can play SS OK, but he's better at 2B. I would project him as a back-up middle infielder at the MLB level, but Barney is the better SS prospect.

I miss that heinous photo of eddie munster. would it be possible to add him beside Milton? there's a very convenient blank space beside him.

How would you rate Samson and Barney in the SCRAP category Mr. AZ Phil? Scale of 1-10

Submitted by Cubs Win on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 10:49am.

AZ Phil - Looking at this list of prospects, do you see any impact players (All Star Caliber) beyond Vitters? The list, outside of the top 3, looks like a bunch of possible role players instead of people you build a franchise around. Thoughts?

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

CUBS WIN: I posted my Top 15 here at TCR a couple of months ago, but I would say RHP Jeff Samardzija, 2007 1st round pick 3B Josh Vitters, RHP (closer) Andrew Cashner (2008 #1 pick out of TCU), 21-year old Dominican C Welington Castillo, 2B Ryan Flaherty (2008 Supplemental 1st round pick out of Vanderbilt who was the compensation pick the Cubs selected for losing Jason Kendall), 2006 #1 pick OF Tyler Colvin (who is rehabbing from TJS and will likely start the 2009 seson as the DH at Daytona), and/or RHP Jay Jackson (2008 9th round pick out of Furman) could be impact players.

Seems a bit on the high side for Milton-Freaking-Bradley, but I guess that's just how contracts go these days.

I can think of about 5-6 guys who were supposedly "available" that I would have preferred the Cubs go get instead of Bradley. Can MB play CF?

I neglected to mention that Hendry, in the context of discussing players with injury histories, also mentioned that he would be pleased to get 25 "terrific" starts from Harden, with Marshall picking up the other 10 or so starts.

That put to rest any concerns I had about Marshall being part of a Peavy package. Hendry went out of his way to praise Marshall, Reed Johnson and Fontenot as players who have not received the credit they deserve for their 2008 performances.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 11:24am.

How would you rate Samson and Barney in the SCRAP category Mr. AZ Phil? Scale of 1-10

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

DR AARON B: Neither are particulary scrappy. Darwin Barney likes to pattern his play after Derek Jeter, so he doesn't show much scrappiness. More savvy than scrappy.

And Nate Samson is more smoothy than scrappy.

Sam Fuld, Matt Camp, Tony Thomas, Josh Harrison, Jose Made, Tony Campana, David Macias, Kurt Calvert, Matt Cerda. and Dwayne Kemp are probably the Top 10 scrappiolas in the Cubs system.

Brandon Guyer has some scrappiness in him, too, but it's more like the hyperactive, crash & burn, outside linebacker style of Eric Byrnes,.rather than pure scrappiness per se. Cliff Andersen and Ryan Flaherty play like that, too.

Semantics, maybe, but I think of scrappiness as a guy trying to make the most out of the itty-bitty singles that he hits; a guy trying to compensate for an inability to drive the ball. Theriot and Gathright are obviously scrappy, but I've challenged Mike Fontenot's scrappy designation on TCR several times.

I'd like to raise the same challenge with regard to Sam Fuld. He was apparently injured last summer, but in the AFL the year before, and also in Venezuela currently, he has had very impressive on-base and slugging percentages and few if any steals. So where is the scrappiness?

You've seen his AFL numbers in '07: .402/.492/.626. Here are his recent VWL regular-season numbers: .322/.425/.513 in 199 at bats. He's hitting .375 in the VWL playoffs.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 11:44am.

Nate Samson--that reminds me, Neal, if you're listening, here are two other interesting shortstops in addition to Flaherty, Lee, Castro, Lake and Barney.

Nate Samson hit around .300 for Peoria and was called to Iowa, if I remember correctly, late in the season. He did commit around 25 errors at Peoria.

Then there's Marwin Gonzalez, who recently clicked in a Venezuelan winter "rookie" league (Liga Paralela), leading the league in BA and doubles, second in SLG, stealing 15 bases. Gonzalez, who turns 20 in March, plays short and third, which suggests that he may be gravitating away from short.

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

VA PHIL: Happy New Year, cousin!

Marwin Gonzalez is a versatile switch-hitting infielder with power potential who can play all four infield positions and could probably play OF, too. 3B is his best position, though. He reminds me of Geoff Blum.

Cubs Scouting Director Tim Wilken compares Starlin Castro to Tony Fernandez, and while that might be a bit much, Castro is a very good all-around SS who showed tremendous improvement in the AZ Instructional League. He will probably be the starting SS at Peoria in 2009.

Junior Lake is tall & lanky with a long stride and a plus-arm. He also plays 3B. He makes a lot of mistakes in the field and on the bases, and he bails out against RHP. But he murders lefies. Lake is VERY raw and will probably start the 2009 season at EXST before getting assigned to Boise.

So glad you are back Mr. Az. Phil.

Az Phil-- Great to see you back, as always.

Ryno-- A quick look at the articles about Bradley will tell you that one theory is he can play all 3 outfield positions. Another is the fact that he played something like 20 games in the outfield in all last year, so anything out there could be expected.

And as for the other people we could have gotten, we flat couldn't afford them. That simple. I was leading the Adam Dunn charge in every Cubbie conversation I had with friends and family, and was extremely disappointed when we didn't get him. Then I read TODAY that he's still looking for $12-14 mil per, and could get it.

Hendry had to trade DeRo and Marquis to make room for Bradley. Third/final year of DeRo's contract, coming off a career year and turning 34; as much as I hate, hate to admit it, trading him was the right "baseball decision" thing to do, and I figured it was coming, I just figured more/better would be coming in return. As for Marquis, "the best fifth starter in baseball" actually would be #3-4 on some staffs, and Hendry got out from under (most) of that backloaded back end, but not because we didn't need or want him on the team.

Bottom line, Jim actually did a pretty decent job with what he had to work with, and there wasn't really any way to make more payroll room (Soriano, Fukudome) without hurting the team (ARam, DLee).

Granted, he had a big hand in making the bed he's lying in, but I don't think he anticipated Kenney closing the purse quite so quick this year. (just my pure speculation...)

As Hendry acknowledges, signing MB is a risk-reward scenario, and he certainly is taking on a lot of the former. Sometimes they have paid off for the Cubs. But, I am looking for how many "busts", and how many "winners" there were.

Just off the top of my head, I came up with this list of players that were signed with an injury history during Hendry's tenure - personally, I am giving him a bit of a break for signings during the McFail era). Feel free to add to the list:

K.Wood
N. Garciapara
R. Dempster
C. Fox
Uncle Cliffy Floyd
Mark Prior (does this count?)

Johnson
Edmonds
Miller

But some of these guys had more $$ risk (Wood, Bradley and Garciaparra) than others.

Does RonDL White count?

Or Alou?

Wade Miller

And wasn't Lieber coming off something when we signed him?

Random, but Rosenthal's case for the Hawk:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9049532/Forget-...'s-still-a-Hall-of-Famer

Excellent article by Rosenthal. Dawson belongs in the HOF. His only weakness (if you want to call it that) is his OBP, and it's only weak if you compare it to today's standards. Dawson's game did not stress OBP, nor did baseball as a whole stress it at the time.

Tha Hall includes players like Brooks Robinson, Ozzie Smith, and others who were defensive wizards, but nothing special offensively. How can you deny Dawson because of his "average" OBP when he did everything else so well? The guy was ROY,league MVP, won eight gold gloves, and was one of the most feared hitters of his time. He deserves to be in the HOF.

except his MVP selection was one of the worst picks of all time.

And this:

"Excellent article by Rosenthal. Dawson belongs in the HOF. His only weakness (if you want to call it that) is his OBP, and it's only weak if you compare it to today's standards. Dawson's game did not stress OBP, nor did baseball as a whole stress it at the time."

is just asinine

Want to provide some support for those assertions?

Considering that there were 3 right fielders alone that had better seasons than Dawson (Gwynn, Strawberry, and Dale Murphy), I would say yeah, his MVP was one of the worst. And that doesn't include Ozzie Smith or Jack Clark who were also better.

Its not a very good pick when he was the 4th best right fielder, although Justin Morneau being the 3rd best player on his own team was pretty bad also.

Thanks.

Vince --

Calling someone else's opinion "asinine" is pretty weak (and cowardly) when you don't provide any evidence of your own. If all you want to do (or are capable of) is calling names like some punk kid, then just ignore this. But if you want to back up your opinion with some facts like an adult, then please let us all know why you feel the way you feel.

I am not defending Vince or casting aspersions on Sweet Lou....just presenting a point of reference. I always thought it provided more perception to compare a player's stats with those of his peers, or at least the league norms, when trying to figure out his performance in a particular era. A simple example is Babe Ruth's 60 homers in 1927 compared to Barry Bonds' 73. How do those number compare to other players-teams in the era?
A good source is www.baseball-reference.com. Taking Andre Dawson as an example, look at the SPECIAL BATTING section, which shows his OBP versus the leagues averages for each year (lgOBP). He exceeded the average 7 out of 21 seasons, and for his career was .323 versus a composite league average of .332. His OBP was more than .020 lower than average during 11 seasons, including the final 4 of his career. This does not paint the same dire picture that Keith Law might, where Law claims Dawson made too many outs. His runs created stats are pretty impressive too and I think support the contention that he was one of the most feared and productive hitters in the NL for at least 10 seasons.
I do agree it's necessary to present some facts when using a strong term like "asinine" though..

I love internet tough guys. Turn down the testosterone.

Just because there weren't blogs dedicated to the obsession of OBP, doesn't mean teams didn't realize that making outs was bad, and not making out was good (Call Earl Weaver and ask him)

So to say Dawson should be let in because OBP wasn't valued in the 80's IS asinine. And the notion that Dawson would have had a .400 OBP if people "valued it" is also asinine. Why doesn't Soriano have a .400 OBP? It is clearly valued today.

And just for the record, I think he a borderline HOF'er. As a cub fan I would like to see him in. If I was a neutral voter, I would probably leave him off.

Congratulations! You made an argument using facts and opinions. I may not agree with you (I don't), but at least you dropped the adolescent name calling and made a coherent argument.

As for being a Internet tough guy, I'm not the one who logged on and insulted someone I don't know. I believe that was you. All I did was point out your actions.

weak
cowardly
punk

so either you know me (which then by your standards is ok to call me those names), or those aren't considered insults to you. Just so my clear in the future, which was is it?

Actually Vince, you're right. I should'nt have used those words and I regretted it after I did. My apologies.

I just get tired of the insulting way people come on here and denegrate another person's opinion by using a word like "asinine" without giving any evidence to the contrary. I also get tired of people who are so sure of their opinion that they completely disregard contrary opinions, even when those opinions are held by a large percentage of the population.

I respect the fact that you have an opinion on Andre Dawson that differs from mine, but I don't think it does anyone any good to offhandly dismiss another's opinion by calling it "asinine" and then moving on as if you've made some astute point. You hadn't and I wanted you to back up your opinion rather just call names. However, I shouldn't have done the same insulting thing I railed against you for.

K. Wood-Long time Cub. Had at least pitched 2001-2004 in full seasons before breaking down again.

Nomar: The 2 previous seasons, he had played 156 games each, and before an injury riddled 2001, played in 153,143,135,140 games.

Dempster: Cubs signed him cheaply coming of TJ surgery. $300K in 2004, $ mill in 2005, then 4.3,5.3,7.3 million. He played the full season each season.

Chad Fox. Please...how much did they sign Chad Fox for? $575K Was he the piece they needed to get to the World Series?

Cliff Floyd: $3mill. Another guy who looked great when healthy. Still played the 4 seasons prior, 108,113,150,97 games. A one year signing

Prior. Wow....no comment.

Thanks Dusty, Neal, etc.

I keep forgetting Miller. Well...b/c he's pretty forgettable on the Cubs landscape. Leiber had some useful moments at least. Also, IIRC, Hendry did not give him a big contract either...

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:05pm.

Semantics, maybe, but I think of scrappiness as a guy trying to make the most out of the itty-bitty singles that he hits; a guy trying to compensate for an inability to drive the ball. Theriot and Gathright are obviously scrappy, but I've challenged Mike Fontenot's scrappy designation on TCR several times.

I'd like to raise the same challenge with regard to Sam Fuld. He was apparently injured last summer, but in the AFL the year before, and also in Venezuela currently, he has had very impressive on-base and slugging percentages and few if any steals. So where is the scrappiness?

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

VA PHIL: I would describe "scrappiness" as a neutral characteristic rather than a negative one. It doesn't mean the player has no talent, although some do and some don't.

Sam Fuld doesn't steal bases like he did prior to his sports hernia surgery a couple of years ago, but he still operates like a lead-off hitter. There's nothing wrong with that. The biggest problem with Sam Fuld is that every season going back to his junior year at Stanford, Fuld has suffered a significant season-ending or season-interrupting injury, usually as the result of playing too hard. He just can't seem to stay healthy. BTW, Fuld will probably win the VWL MVP Award.

AZ Phil - What is the likelihood Fuld and Jake Fox stay on the 40 man? You've mentioned Fuld's inability to stay healthy in previous posts, and with 8 outfielders on the roster, i can't imagine him fitting into the big picture for the Cubs any time soon... so why keep him on? Also, what are your thoughts on the addition of Brad Snyder? Thanks for all the insightful info.

Wade miller...ugh....gonna have to get THAT taste out of my mouth now...
$2.5 mill over 2 seasons. Lieber, $3.5 mill for one season.

The Padres paid the bulk of Edmonds' salary, and it was a one year deal.

Reed Johnson got $1.3 mill for one season. Before 2007, he'd played in at least 114 games in the previous 4 seasons.

Anyone else think Dusty Baylor is arguing against some point no one made?

wasn't Lieber coming off of something...
-------
Yes, Lieber had peroneal tendon (foot) surgery in July 07 when with the Phillies.

Cliff Floyd on the list details:

...he was coming off of Achilles tendon surgery.

Thank you Ken Rosenthal.
That is a great point:What was the average OBP in the NL during Dawson's career:from .319-.328. So Dawson was average to just below average is that stat. One stat.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/01/odds-and-end...

Two players expected to attend the Brewers' open tryout this month: Randall Simon and Mark Bellhorn.

Mark Bellhorn

2003 Opening Day third baseman for your Chicago Cubs.

Did Hendry sign a previously injured Bill Mueller, or Mark Bellhorn? I remember Mueller's horrendous tarp injury, and don't remember clearly if Hendry took a shot on him the next year...

He traded for both guys.

Tim Worrell I believe for Mueller from San Fran, and "Top Prospect" Adam Morrisey for Bellhorn from Oakland.

Need more minor trades like those.

He traded for Mueller, he had the tarp incident, and then they traded him back to the Giants the next year.

Mueller then signed with Boston and hit .326, while flirting with .400 for most of the season. All the while saying he wanted to come back to Chicago, before signing with Boston.

for leaving Rickey off his ballot

http://deadspin.com/5127313/ancient-journalist-apo...

but not really...

And that's the rest of the story... on how these guys don't get 100% on their ballot.

I'm not a violent man, but if I find someone who says "I was never really a Maddux guy", I just may pop him one.

Maybe borderliners like Rice and Dawson need to start buying some of these voters bottles of wine and boxes of chocolate. Pretty obvious how a lot of these guys tick.

I'm guessing he had run ins with Rickey in Phoenix during ST when he was with the A's.

I don't really like the Bradley signing, and who knows if he can play the OF for a full season.

That being said the reason he was a DH most of the year last year was because the previous season he tore his ACL and it wasn't fully healthy.

If you really believe Milton Bradley will stay in one piece during the year go to RotoTimes Milton Bradley page and look at the Player News.

http://www.rototimes.com/mlb/player/2178/notes/2008

Look at 2008 and all the injuries he went through.

September 17, 2008
Milton Bradley was out of the lineup for the ninth time in the last 11 games on Wednesday night. He is sore from a cortisone shot in his left wrist according to the AP. Manager Ron Washington expects Bradley back by the weekend

September 13, 2008
Our View:This marks Bradley's fourth ejection of the season. Bradley was in the lineup for just the second time in seven games due to his strained lower back.

August 21, 2008
Milton Bradley returned to the Rangers' lineup Wednesday after leaving Tuesday's game with soreness in his left knee, according to the Star-Telegram.

Our View:He continues to battle a quad injury and has also been forced out of the lineup over the past week with a sinus issue and back stiffness. He went 2-for-3 with a homer Wednesday against Detroit. He will remain an injury risk the rest of the way, but should remain active in lineups.

August 11, 2008
Milton Bradley returned to the starting lineup Sunday after his bout with a strained left quad, but he was unable to finish the game due to a stomach virus, according to the Star-Telegram.

Our View:Manager Ron Washington indicated that Bradley will return at some some point during a three-game series at Boston, which starts Tuesday.

July 12, 2008
Milton Bradley sat out his third consecutive game on Saturday as he continues to rest his ailing knee, according to the Star-Telegram. Manager Ron Washington said, "The important thing is that Milton gets healthy. It’s not like he’s fatigued. We’re talking about his legs, and we don’t want him favoring one leg over the other."

July 11, 2008
Milton Bradley is out of the Friday lineup for the Rangers. He left Sunday's game with tendinitis and is considered day-to-day.

Thats only his second half injuries for 2008 while being a DH. He is either the biggest pussy on the planet or he is made of glass.

I dare anyone to go look at 2007 and 2006. Its one injury after another non-stop all year long....every year. Compare him to a normal player on Rototimes where most of the talk is centered around the good games said player has had during the year. Milton Bradley's is like 80% injury news.

Just read it, you guys will be F'n amazed at how injured one guy can be during the year.

There's been a perception, correct or not, that Bradley does not play in pain, and that that accounts for much of his absences. MikeC's rundown above may be comprised of a few such hurts, but I won't pretend to think I know what the injuries felt like or how severe they really were. Just bringing up the part of Bradley's rep that I've heard about. If Piniella feels he is not playing with a minor hurt, there will be a disagreement between them.

Don't confuse us with the facts.

To give our newest Cub the benefit of the doubt, he looks pudgy in the highlight films that are floating around mlb.com. Because of his surgical knee, he was DH'd before his time and probably told not to run. So he ate a lot and got out of shape.

In other words, it may be that he had back pain and various tweaked muscles because of DH'ing, not in spite of DH'ing.

Maybe he'll get trim and healthy with the Cubs like Aramis did eventually.

Ummmm yeah your wrong. Look at RotoTimes player news from 2007, 2006, 2005 etc.

He gets injured no matter what. Fat, Skinny, Old, Young it doesn't matter the Milton Bradley he finds his way to the DL and gets injured. It is not going to suddenly disappear just because he slaps on a Cubs uniform. Its nice wishful thinking but I will be surprised he makes it of Spring Training uninjured.

If Milton Bradley was a lotto ticket I would bet the farm he gets injured in Spring Training. You can pretty much mark that down in stone in my opinion.

Would you give me 10,000-to-1 odds on my $1?

I said maybe, benefit of the doubt, etc.

The Cubs probably feel they have a track record in converting an injury-prone player like Ramirez into something more durable.

With Soriano, they just forgot to strengthen and loosen the muscles he uses to do that cute little hop.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090109&c...

goes over his injury and his offseason workout regimen

The Cubs sent athletic trainer Mark O'Neal to California for two days to examine the outfielder, and Bradley passed all the tests. Doctors have told Bradley the right knee is now stronger than the left one.

"I've taken to a workout regimen unlike anything I've ever done," Bradley said. "Mark O'Neal can attest to that. He's seen the program I've gone through, seen the strenuous workout I have scheduled. My health is not an issue."

Bradley, who has dropped 10-15 pounds from a year ago, has focused this offseason on strengthening his entire body. He has been on the disabled list 12 times in his career but today, he's fit

MIKE C: That is very depressing. - Sigh -

The best possible scenario if for Fuku to really get it together with his offense this year. IF he can, MB becomes our "position player HArden". IF he cannot, and MB returns to form - we're kinda fucked.

Speaking of dumb Hall voters, Pedro Gomez of ESPN says no to Blyleven and Raines but yes to Dave Parker and Jay Bell.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof09/news/story?id=...

Jay Bell!?!?!?

My head just exploded.

Dear God.

Jay Bell!?!?!

The shit in Pedro's head must be effecting him after having it up Bonds' ass all those years.

JAY BELL!?!?!?

That's worse then leaving Rickey off the ballot.

Seriously, what the fuck. I don't understand how they pick these guys. What the fuck has Pedro Gomez ever done for baseball other than follow Barry Bonds around like a dog for ESPN before he broke Aaron's record? And why the fuck does Corky Simpson get a vote when he writes for the Green Valley Times, a retirement community paper in suburban Tucson?

Fuck.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3821795

not official, but no Cubbies so far with DeRosa gone...

so far it's just Fukudome for Team Japan I believe...

Puerto Rico does not want the ROY catching for them?

http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/news/article.j...〈=1

shrug, don't know yet...

Assuming reigning National League Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto plays
-- he wasn't initially sure if the Cubs would approve -- Team Puerto
Rico could potentially feature a catching tandem of Soto, Yadier Molina
and Ivan Rodriguez, a lethal combination of offense, defense and
experience. Rodriguez took most of the reps behind the plate in the
inaugural Classic, batting .238, and this time could be something of a
mentor for the younger backstops.

They should just take all the Molina brothers.

Are they all from Puerto Rico? ;-)

And take Jay Bell too.

I always thought 'tandem' meant two.

would it have to be a tri-dem ?

triumvirate, trio or troika?

Brick killed a guy. With a tri-dem.

Brick, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for awhile because you're probably wanted for murder.

Who knew?:

Tandem is a Latin adverb meaning "at length" or "finally". In English, the term was originally used for two or more draft horses harnessed one behind another as opposed to side-by-side. By extension the term now refers to any team (of machines, animals or people) working together one behind another.

By extension the term now refers to any team (of machines, animals or people) working together one behind another.

gayest baseball team ever....

Rusty Staub agrees

non-Cubs related trivia. Rusty Staub was the only player who compiled at least 500 hits for 4 different teams.

And Rusty Kuntz is famous for having the worst name ever.

worse than Bum Ho Kim? Not if you live in the UK

Puerto Rico has a number of high-quality backstops to talk to, some of whom are also first base or DH possibilities:

Geo
Jorge Posada
Ivan Rodriguez
Yadier Molina
Bengie Molina

Then some second (or third) tier guys, or catchers who are old:

Javy Lopez
Javier Valentin
Benito Santiago (how old is he now?)

Me, I'd take Geo, Yadier, and Posada.

Is there not a third Molina?

Or am I thinking of the Hudson Brothers?

Jose Molina, the lost Molina brother

Meant to list him with the second batch (since I don't think he has near the value of either Bengie, Yadier, or the others in the first group) but I forgot.

Mets sign Tim Redding for $2.25M, looks like they expect to sign Oliver Perez and Derek Lowe. Except for Santana, color them beatable (including Pelfrey)

http://blogs.denverpost.com/rockies/2009/01/09/red...

Yep, Cubs have never had any problem beating Derek Lowe. =|

Cubs have never had any problem beating Derek Lowe. =|
------
ah, but not the new improved, leaning to the leftist revolutionary Cubs...

of course when all the lefty's are on the DL, I'll be crying in my beer.

Viva Los Cubs!

http://geekswithblogs.net/Lance/archive/2005/12/05...
If any of you have not seen this yet, it is worth a read. I laughed so hard I couldn't really see for a little while...

That is so funny it should come with a warning label.

"These cmdlets are the New-SSHRunspace, Remove-SSHRunspace, and Invoke-SSHExpression cmdlets. The first two are used to create and remove SSH protected runspaces, and the latter is used to execute PowerShell commands over that connection and receive PSObjects back from the PowerShell Server."

I think he stole that line from an old Robin Williams bit.

Cubs involved?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Braves blog discussing the Braves efforts to signing Lowe
---------
http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/...

The Braves were expected to make an offer today, but they’re in lockdown mode right now regarding comments about potential targets, after so many pursuits this winter already blew up in their faces. They want Lowe, and badly. The Braves know they probably need him and another, lesser piece or two added to their current roster to have any shot of competing for a playoff spot out of a tough division.

Would four years at $15 mill per year get it done? Not sure. But it just might, considering no other offers have surfaced for Lowe. But if the Braves wait around for long and allow, say, the Chicago Cubs to get involved after their ownership situation is resolved, then the price could certainly rise.

Daily Herald speculates if the new owner is Ricketts, a Peavy deal is more likely (along with a payroll bump)
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=262867

HBT article on Milty
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-milt...

Thanks for the link but that HBT article is 5 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.

Let me save anyone else the trouble: "Bradley is a good hitter whose OBP skills have been climbing, but he has trouble staying healthy."

I would just like to ask anyone, who they thought should have been Texas's DH last year while Bradley was playing the outfield.

"but Bradley has trouble staying healthy"

the new 3/44

I hear Bradley has also had a checkered past...anyone else hear this?

I think he lead the AL in OPS last season, but I think that was buried somewhere in an article, can't remember...

wish someone would uncover these things for us...

Blalock

Here's a list of the All-Star's that Blalock was blocking while playing first base.

Jason Botts (.699 OPS)
Ben Broussard (.493)
Frank Cattalanto (.741)
Chris Davis (.880, actually pretty good but didn't come up til late June)
Max Ramirez (.715)
Chris Shelton (.663)
Ramon Vasquez (.795)

Vasquez, Davis and Blalock (.846 OPS), played the corners.

not that I disagree with you on this one, but wasn't Nelson Cruz kind of wasting away in AAA?

think Bradley played DH so much because he was still recovering from his ACL tear...

Bradley was signed to DH. People get all worked up that he played 20 games in the outfield. How many games did David Ortiz play at 1st? Therefore Ortize would not be able to play first base without getting injured - the logic is flawed.

Can Cruz not field? They had Hamilton, Byrd... that fast left fielder who's name I forget, and when the Boggs kid first came up he hit really well.

I think you really need to look into it. Maybe the nagging injuries he had this year were caused in part by him not knowing how to stay loose while not playing in the field. Maybe not, of course, but it's a possibility.

David Murphy is the other OFer who had a good year...

but not sure what I have to look into, I was perfectly content with him DH'ing...someone has to.

It was a general 'you' not directly at you.

I just dont think people really understand how injured Bradley gets every single year.

I think people think its just one problem each year that derails him when in fact its every part of his body that ends up injured at some point and requires him to miss games.

He may have hit the DL 12 times but he has tons of injuries which havent warranted a DL trip that has cost him time just in the last 3 years.

Get used to him not being a consistent part of the lineup. Without the DH spot last year he would of been lucky to get 100-200 AB's. We might be lucky if he even reaches that in the NL.

Sounds to me like Aramis Ramirez.

http://www.rototimes.com/mlb/player/2164/notes/2005

September 21, 2005
Since Aramis Ramirez still isn't able to run full-out on his strained left quadriceps, it appears unlikely he will return this season, according to the Daily Southtown.

September 17, 2005
Whether Aramis Ramirez will be able to return from his left quadriceps strain this season remains in doubt, according to the Chicago Tribune. "

September 9, 2005
Aramis Ramirez is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday but still is rehabbing his strained left quadricep and has yet to take batting practice or run at full speed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

August 28, 2005
The Cubs are considering holding Aramis Ramirez out for the remainder of the season, rather than bringing him back the last two weeks to make a run at 100 RBI, according to the Chicago Tribune. A decision likely won't come until next week.

August 27, 2005
An MRI revealed that Aramis Ramirez has a moderate-to-severe strain of his left quadriceps, according to the Chicago Tribune. While Ramirez vowed to return this season, Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal won't estimate how long the third baseman might be sidelined until the swelling goes down over the next 7-10 days.
August 26, 2005
The Cubs placed Aramis Ramirez on 15-day disabled list with a left quadriceps strain, according to the AP.

August 25, 2005
An MRI last night revealed that Aramis Ramirez suffered a moderate-to-severe strain of his left quadriceps while running out a double-play ball yesterday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

August 24, 2005
Aramis Ramirez left Wednesday's game against the Braves with a strained left quadriceps muscle, according to the AP.

August 11, 2005
Since Aramis Ramirez still has a problem with his strained right quadriceps, manager Dusty Baker has told the third baseman to not put unnecessary stress on the muscle, according to the Daily Southtown. "

July 29, 2005
Aramis Ramirez, who didn't start Friday's game because of a strained right quad, singled in the game-winning run as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. He is expected to start on Saturday.

July 28, 2005
A right quadriceps injury knocked Aramis Ramirez out of last night's game, according to the Daily Southtown. He hopes to play today.

July 10, 2005
Aramis Ramirez left Saturday's game after he fouled a ball off his left big toe in the sixth inning, according to the AP. X-rays were negative, and Ramirez is listed as day-to-day. His status for Sunday's game is not known at this time.

July 2, 2005
Aramis Ramirez returned to the starting lineup Saturday after leaving Thursday's game when he was hit in the left shin by a pitch, according to the AP. Ramirez went 1-for-4 with a RBI in his return.

June 1, 2005
Aramis Ramirez didn't start on Wednesday because of a sore right ankle, according to the AP. He was injured while running out a single in the ninth inning Tuesday night. The Cubs hope Ramirez can return to the lineup on Thursday.

May 17, 2005
Aramis Ramirez was back in the starting lineup for the Cubs after missing Sunday's game with tightness in his back. The Cubs did not play on Monday.

May 15, 2005
Aramis Ramirez missed Sunday's game because of tightness in his back. He missed Wednesday's game with back spasms.

May 11, 2005
Aramis Ramirez missed Wednesday's game with back spasms, according to the AP. He was forced to leave Tuesday night's game in the seventh inning when his back began to bother him and is day-to-day.

April 28, 2005
The Cubs held Aramis Ramirez out of Wednesday's game as a precaution because he had a sore groin, according to the Chicago Tribune.

April 13, 2005
Aramis Ramirez started the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader but was not in the starting lineup for the second game. He has a tender groin and was scratched from Tuesday's game before it was rained out.

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

Then Aramis played 157 games in 2006.

Javier Valentin or Paul Bako?

Catchers who aren't any good for $300, Alex.

Valentin, though, would be preferable. So would Zaun, for that matter.

Can koyie hill be worse than those guys? I'd just assume we keep koyie on the roster just for the extra 5mph he adds to our pitching staffs fastballs.

Rob -

How about a poll on how people feel about the MB signing? It seems like it's incredibly negative around these parts (or maybe just a few loud voices).

I'm not exactly buying my WS tickets now, but how can anyone be so extremely negative about this guy? Anytime you have a chance to get a guy who led his league in OPS the previous year without giving away anything but a little bit of dough, it can't be that bad, right?

It's a low risk deal. Fuck the poll. Ask the Bradley haters who would have been better out there. The comparisons:

Dunn (tempting just for his power, but wow, his defense -- what do sites like fangraphs say about that? I have no idea because I'm not obsessive compulsive re:MLB)

Abreu: Too old, power numbers dropping faster than gas prices in December.

Burrell (sp?): C'mon, seriously?

Who else? Any takers?

Even if he blows, there's still a good chance Fuku will find a way to rally. You cannot look as good as Fuku looked early and simply be as bad as he was after May. That dude knew he was getting smoked. You could see it burn in his eyes. Don't underestimate this guy. He's not as bad as a bunch of people think he is. Shorten the stroke on outside pitches, that's pretty much it. And keep on that instinct of the strike zone. That was a beautiful thing to watch, while it lasted, even if it did only last a month or so.

As an older Cubs fan who has suffered through some absolutely incredibly incompetent regimes, I'm sort of gung ho for this Bradly guy. And, because of my suffering over the years, my vote should count for five points for every one point from anyone under 40.

So, if you want a poll, start with me.

5 votes.

Abreu and Burrell are both way better ball players than Bradley. imo

Why? Because they play a few more games? Are there game per game stats for these guys? If not, let's go on instinct, which is my favorite evaluation. Abreu can't play the Wrigley Wall, and has lost his agility. I don't know if Bradley has or not, but I trust him to play the wall more than I do Abreu, and if you don't think that counts in Wrigley, well, gosh, I am shocked and saddened by your moniker.

Still. I am not an expert enough to judge Abreu's outfield play in general. How does he react to the ball? So, let's grade them all on the FukoMeter.

Abreu? On the FukoMeter? I say, 4.

Burrell on the FukoMeter? 4.1

Bradley? Maybe 6.8/7.

Then, we have hitting, on the Bradley Meter. Now, understand, this is an Old and Blue thing, not a Bill James thing.

Abreu? Very nice. 8.0. Would do better but is aging like a Clint Eastwood enemy.

Burrell? 7.0. Can only hit one way.

Any questions?

How is Burrell's fielding .1 better than Abreu's on your "FukoMeter"?

Just out of morbid curiosity, how is Burrell better than Dunn?

Ya, not sure how Burrell rates over Dunn. Although, it must be said that Dunn's outfield play is amazingly bad. But I would take his bat over Burrell's any day.

burrell can barely play LF and abreu's RF days are close to done if not done already.

when/if healthy bradley is still in good enough shape to play all 3 slots with a decent arm to boot...something neither burrell or abreu have left at this point. abreu's arm isn't too bad...burrell's is crap.

Rays signed Burrell to be DH.

If health is not the issue(I know if the queen was king) Bradley is a far better ball player then Dunne and Burrell.

could we go with eleven pitchers first 2 weeks and keep pie on
the roster so we have him IF one of our outfielders get hurt
early in year (johnson, bradley , soriano ) have all spent
time there last 2 years

http://cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090109&...

9 spring training Cub games on TV (6 WGN, 3 Comcast), including 3-27 vs White sox (WGN)

11 spring training games on WGN Radio, including spring home opener 2-25 vs Dodgers

(WGN Radio also will carry the Feb. 26 game vs. the Brewers, March 4 vs. the Indians, March 6 vs. the Dodgers, March 14 vs. the Angels, March 16 vs. the Brewers, March 20 vs. the Padres, March 21 vs. the White Sox, March 28 vs. the Rockies, March 30 vs. the Royals and April 4 vs. the Yankees.)

I'm must tired of hearing the bitching. He's a Cub now. Deal with it.

Touché.

Not trying to pick on you ryno, but Touché?

You're one of the reasons I replied, and I don't reply very often. Explain. If it's a few beers, hey, fine.

1- bradley can't stay healthy historically
2- bradley, when healthy, is a hell of a hitter
3- the contract he got vs. his possible payoff = nice for the cubs, imo
4- ???
5- profit

Imagine the moment. Fireworks exploding over Wrigley. That idiot from the Cards broadcast booth that I hate with a passion and can't remember his name right now but is always doing the broadcasts for Fox or whoever (sorry, I'm too old to follow that kind of shit). He says, "Bradley swings!!!!!! Fukodome scores!!!" (Fuko walked, of course). And then, this.

"Wait, America. This is CNN. The Belgian Brewery formerly known as The St. Louis Cardinals has been torn asunder. Nobody knows what that means, but, wait...."

"This is Wolf Blitzer reporting from Wrigleyville. Word has just come in that Cubs fans have taken over a brewery in the St. Louis area. Shots HAVE been fired. So far, we cannot report on loss of life but..."

"...Yes, it's a dude named Ricketts that will own the Cubs. Yes, a name familiar with anyone aware of 1940s type diseases. Ricketts. Perfect for this team. For this story, let's ask our Sanjay Gupta about the meaning of this development... Sanjay..."

"I'm here in Chicago, Wolf, listening to the pulse of this town. And I have to say, so far, they're not happy with the Milton Bradley singing."

"Well, who would be? He has a terrible voice, and it's been known to cause a raucus among dugout fans."

That idiot from the Cards broadcast booth that I hate with a passion and can't remember his name right now
============
Joe Buck. When the family moved to Stl from Japan, the last name was Fukudome but they shortened it and Americanized it.

http://awfulannouncing.blogspot.com/2008/07/joe-bu...

Or could be Dan McLaughlin, originally just the local FSN play-by-play guy who replaced Buck but who now has gotten some national exposure as well. Ugh.

Bruce Levine's blog has some discussion of the new ownership vs a Peavy deal but also ends with some speculation of a Aaron Heilman (Mariners, former Met) for Ronny Cedeno trade. I think he's just speculating (and not reporting a rumored deal) using the logic that the Cubs have shown interest in Heilman before and the M's need a middle infielder. I'm sure the Cubs would make such a deal in a minute if it were possible.

I'm sure we'll get to hear him discuss this idea more on his Talking Baseball show Saturday (ESPN, 10-12 Chicago)

http://stations.espn.go.com/stations/espnradio1000...

Heilman is neither good nor cheap.

Hmmm...you may be selling him a bit short. Three of the last four years he's been pretty effective -

http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/heilmaa01.shtml

ERA - 2005 3.17; 2006 3.62 2007 3.03

ERA+ of 130, 120, 140, respectively

WHIP - 1.14, 1.16, 1.07

Last year was a clunker - it happens - but I'd take him. I'd certainly take him over Wurst, Vizcaino or Kevin Hart

LOL

He also said on his show today that if the Cubs do not get back into the Peavy talks that Randy Wolf is still a possiblity in Hendry's mind. Which makes sense because it's not like you have a better and cheaper option already in house.

Can we throw in Vizciano too!

"Can we throw in Vizciano too!" Yes. him too. C'mon - I'm still waking up...

iPhone/Mac Users out there:

If anyone has a link to the 2009 Cubs Schedule in iCal format, I'd appreciate it very much. Thanks.

yahoo has it, but they don't have 2009 up yet

Comparing Bradley to Aramis Ramirez is helth issues is just hilarious. Seriously weak.
From 2001-2008 Ramirez has played in 1165 games. Bradley in 775 games. They are nothing alike.

Besides, Bradley is much faster. (joke, just a joke)

Being that my point is that the Cubs staff knows how to keep guys like him on the field, I find it difficult to find your point.

The all-unemployed team, courtesy of Buster Olney.

"Lineup
SS Orlando Cabrera
2B Orlando Hudson
RF Bobby Abreu
DH Manny Ramirez
LF Adam Dunn
3B Joe Crede
CF Jim Edmonds
1B Sean Casey
C Jason Varitek

Rotation: Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Oliver Perez, Jon Garland, Paul Byrd, Randy Wolf, Mark Mulder

Bullpen: Brandon Lyon, Juan Cruz, Dennys Reyes, Will Ohman

Bench: Garret Anderson, OF; Brad Ausmus, C; Eric Hinske, 1B/3B; Kevin Millar, 1B

Extra Hall of Famers, just in case: Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez"

That's a second=place team in the AL West.

Singing the National Anthem- Tony Orlando

Thats a fairly decent defensive team especially on the infield and even with Adam Dunn, lol.

You left out Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa.

Completely unrelated to everything Cubs, but it made me laugh out loud.
JB interviewing Pacman Jones with his lawyer. Quote/Semiparaphrase:

JB: "You had a problem in a strip club, the league told you shouldn't be hanging out in strip clubs. What is it about strip clubs that you just can't stay away?" --seriously, he asked that.

Pacman: "I haven't been in a strip club in 2 years, almost 2 years, 3 years, whatever it is...I like-a-the strip clubs"

Nice.

Abreu had 10 assists and 2 errors in RF last season. His rand factor was 1.87, league was 1.83. Per inning he was 1.92 with a league avg of 2.15. I'd still have taken a chance on him. He is consistently productive, and if he's not a gold glove RF, oh well, as long as he's not a butcher out there, which he's not.

Bradley's the man now, so oh well.

Submitted by ddp33 on Sat, 01/10/2009 - 3:32pm.

AZ Phil - What is the likelihood Fuld and Jake Fox stay on the 40 man? You've mentioned Fuld's inability to stay healthy in previous posts, and with 8 outfielders on the roster, i can't imagine him fitting into the big picture for the Cubs any time soon... so why keep him on? Also, what are your thoughts on the addition of Brad Snyder? Thanks for all the insightful info.

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

DDP33: While their long-term future with the Cubs may be uncertain, I believe Sam Fuld and Jake Fox will likely remain on the Cubs 40-man roster in 2009. Both will almost certainly be starters at Iowa (Fuld hitting lead-off and playing CF and Fox playing 1B and hitting 3rd or 4th), and Fuld would provide depth in case something happens to a left-handed hitting outfielder (especially if Felix Pie gets traded and with Tyler Colvin rehabbing from TJS) and Fox would be available (at least as a short-term option) as a RH platoon partner at 1B with Micah Hoffpauir in case D-Lee goes on the DL for a short stint.

Brad Snyder, however, is a different matter. Snyder is out of minor league options, so unless he makes the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster, he will have to clear Outright Waivers before he can be sent to the minors.

What is puzzling (to me) about the Snyder waiver claim in September isn't that the Cubs claimed him (he was a perennial Indians Top 10 prospect 2004-07 and the Cubs probably scouted him pretty heavily when Snyder played college ball at Ball State with Luke Hagerty), but that the Cubs did not immediately place him back onto Outright Waivers right after they claimed him. (BTW, Snyder has plus-power, he runs well for a big guy, he has arm enough to play RF, and he can play all three OF positions... he just isn't a good hitter, mainly because he strikes out a ton and doesn't walk much). 

When Snyder was claimed off waivers by the Cubs, the Cubs had the second-best record in MLB, which means at least 28 other MLB clubs would have had to pass on him, and unless the Angels put in a claim, EVERYBODY passed on Snyder. So that would have been the perfect time to put him back onto Outright Waivers. And since no other MLB (other than the Cubs) was interested enough in Snyder to claim him off waivers for $20,000, it's VERY unlikely that any club would have selected Snyder in December's Rule 5 Draft for $50,000 two months later.

Snyder was not eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA (Six-Year Minor League FA) post-2008, and he hadn't been outrighted previously in his career so he couldn't refuse an outright assignment, either, so if he had been outrighted in September-October, he would have had to accept the outright assignment. And then the Cubs could have invited him to Spring Training 2009 as a Non-Roster Invitee (NRI), and if he were to have a big ST, the Cubs could have sent him to Iowa for the 2009 season without having to get him through waivers.

The way things stand now, if Snyder performs poorly in ST, the Cubs should be able to outright him to the minors, and he can play RF at Iowa in 2009 and if he has a good year in AAA, the Cubs can add him back on the 40-man roster in September or after the 2009 season. But if Snyder has a really good ST and then the Cubs try to outright him to minors, he will almost certainly get claimed off waivers. So why didn't the Cubs just place him back on Outright Waivers right after they claimed him and send him outright to the minors in September?

I don't get it.

As to who would be the likely candidates to get dropped from the 40-man roster if slots are needed in the next few days or weeks, Brad Snyder is still the most-likely candidate to get outrighted, and Koyie Hill could get dropped if the Cubs sign a back-up catcher like Paul Bako. The Cubs also might just trade Ronny Cedeno someplace for a PTBNL, and that would clear a roster slot. Or the Cubs could sign Bako initially to a minor league contract (as the Reds did this last year), with the promise that they will add him to the 40-man roster sometime prior to Opening Day.

When looking at the 40-man roster, remember there are certain players who can't be outrighted right now:

1. Players selected in the Rule 5 Draft (David Patton) can be traded but can't be released or outrighted to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to Opening Day;

2. Rule 5 Draft-Excluded players (Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, Marcos Mateo, and Jeff Stevens) can be traded or released during the off-season but can't be outrighted any earlier than 20 days prior to Opening Day;

3. Players eligible to be Rule 55 minor league free-agents (Jake Fox, Angel Guzman, Micah Hoffpauir, Felix Pie, Geovany Soto, and Ryan Theriot) can't be outrighted during the off-season until they have signed a Major League contract for the 2009 season, so players in this class often won't sign until almost the last minute (right around the etart of ST) or a couple might even get their contracts automatically renewed by the club the first week of March;

3. Players who have accrued at least three-years of MLB service time (like Ronny Cedeno, Neal Cotts, Joey Gathright, Chad Gaudin, and Michael Wuertz), and players who have been previously outrighted in their career (like Koyie Hill and Randy Wells) can't be outrighted to the minors (anytime) without their permission.

So the only guys the Cubs can unilaterally outright to the minors right now (presuming they don't get claimed off Outright Waivers) are Jose Ascanio, Mike Fontenot, Sam Fuld, Kevin Hart, Rich Hill, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and Brad Snyder, and obviously Fontenot, Marmol, Marshall, and Samardzija aren't candidates to get outrighted, so that leaves just Ascanio, Fuld, Hart, R. Hill, and Snyder, with Snyder being the #1 candidate.

Az Phil, Thank you very much for the thorough response! GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

To me this Milton Bradley contract seems a Employment Contract rather than a contract which is normally sign for a player or a team. The players have to now play with full dedication and there is no way they can breach this contract.

To me this Milton Bradley contract seems a Employment Contract rather than a contract which is normally sign for a player or a team. The players have to now play with full dedication and there is no way they can breach this contract.

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