Cubs Invite 21 to Camp; Sign Michael Wuertz

The Cubs signed Michael Wuertz for $1.1M today, thus avoiding any ghastly arbitration cases with any of their players. Not including auto-renewals - which Arizona Phil on the right sidebar estimates at around $3.5M total -  the Cubs payroll for 2009 is at $134.1M, so they still have a few million in wiggle room.

They also released their NRI list for spring training.

Catchers

Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger, Mark Johnson

Infielders

Darwin Barney, Andres Blanco, Bobby Scales, Luis Rivas

Outfielders

Doug Deeds, Jason Dubois, So Taguchi

Pitchers (* indicates a lefty)

*Ed Campusano, *J.R. Mathes, *Matt Smith, *Mike Stanton, *Jason Waddell, *Bill White, Esmailin Caridad, Andrew Cashner, Chad Fox,
Ken Kadokura, Rocky Roquet.

Yeah, that's right...Jason Dubois!!!!!!! I look forward to the Hollandsworth vs. Dubois debates rekindling.

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Comments

We don't need any bastardized French names. Come back when it's Doo-bwa.

Doobie doobie doo..

Was that a Wizzo reference? Man, I used to love me some Bozo Show. I would have dominated the buckets.

Frank Sinatra. Used to put that on parachat for the rare Dubois home run.

And I guess Wizzo said it too.

Wizzo of course was/is Marshall Brodine.

"tap one card and they all turn to queens!"

I got to play extinguish-candles-with-a-water-gun. With typical Cubbery, I dominated in the exhibition and choked in the broadcast competition.

I thought everyone was happy that Doo-bwa is out of the White House?

That's Dub-ya. And yes, everyone is happy...including himself. Now, no more politics.

on January 21st, these Type A free agents are still out there...

Bobby Abreu*, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Adam Dunn*, Orlando Hudson, Oliver Perez, Andy Petitte*, Manny Ramirez, Ben Sheets, Russ Springer*, Jason Varitek

* means they were NOT offered arbitration

for those that were, that's some great advice they got from their agents to not take it.

Especially Varitek. This looks like the off-season when Boras is going to lose a little luster.

Interesting post, I looked up their salaries last year to see how stupid they were (IIRC, if you offer a player arbirtration, you MUST offer at least 80% of last year's pay)

Cabrera: $9 mil (he won't get that)
Hudson: $6.25 mil (Maybe not per year, but he can get more)
Varitek: $10 mil (uh, no)
Juan Cruz: $1.8 mil (He'll get more than that)
Ben Sheets: $10 mil (one year flier?)
Manny: $20 mil (shouldn't have torn up those options)

Oliver Perez figures to get a multi-year deal from the Mets or similar.

So, I would only really say Varitek will pay for this, and Cabrera, Manny, Sheets may pay.

you're going by a faulty premise that they would have lost or taken a paycut if they accepted arbitration...

considering they were all Type A free agents, and assuming the figure they put in for the arbitration case was reasonable, every one (except maybe Varitek) would win their cases. At the very least, they'd make the same as last year, but I would guess that each one of them would get a raise if it went to arbitration.

the only team that is going to sign Juan Cruz is the DBacks, no one wants to give up draft picks for him. Maybe the Yanks will if they have the room or $$ since they already gave up most of their draft picks.

Do they all share an agent with Jody Reed?

Hollandworth's number's last year:

http://www.scorebook.com/P000153547?WEBEVENT+L602E...

Roy Hobbs, dude.

Only the catchers have an outside chance to make the team, since the Cubs are still deciding on a backup, and the competition is Koyie Hill and Paul Bako. Bako's lifetime BA is .231, which looks good only next to Henry Blanco's .227 and Mark Johnson's .218.

The Cubs seem to like Clevenger's (lefty) bat, although it hasn't produced much in the way of doubles and HRs yet. Even without pop, he gets to play a fair amount of first base and DH when he's not catching. A .306 hitter over three seasons, he hit .302 in the AFL; but he hasn't established himself at the AA level yet, so he's quite a long shot, although an interesting one.

Well Stanton and Kadukoro aren't showing up to camp for the free hot dogs.

Other than Gregg, Marmol and the loser of Marshall v. Smartypants for 5th starter, there's not any guarantees in that bullpen.

Gaudin, Vizcaino, Wuertz can't be optioned though, and at 7-figure salaries figure to make it no matter what.

Guzman out of options, but cheap

Hill out of options but......

unless Vizcaino gets traded, his $3.5M might be tough to swallow if they cut him. Both Marshall and Samardzija have options, I think either one could be sent to Iowa if they lose out to keep getting starters innings. 

Wuertz, Gaudin, Guzman and Cotts are all out of options though so they certainly all have the edge to stick with the team if they aren't horrible in spring training. Otherwise (and of course quite possible) Jimbo is going to be busy trying to trade them for minor league talent.

 

they haven't signed Bako...

(What I meant was that only the catchers among position players had a chance.)

Aardvark traded to Seattle for a single-A pitcher named (Fabian) Williamson with even worse stats than our Hank

(Williamson, 20, had a 4.10 ERA and a 67/27 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings in the Appy League last year)

Submitted by Q-Ball on Tue, 01/20/2009 - 5:22pm.

Interesting post, I looked up their salaries last year to see how stupid they were (IIRC, if you offer a player arbirtration, you MUST offer at least 80% of last year's pay) Cabrera: $9 mil (he won't get that) Hudson: $6.25 mil (Maybe not per year, but he can get more) Varitek: $10 mil (uh, no) Juan Cruz: $1.8 mil (He'll get more than that) Ben Sheets: $10 mil (one year flier?) Manny: $20 mil (shouldn't have torn up those options) Oliver Perez figures to get a multi-year deal from the Mets or similar. So, I would only really say Varitek will pay for this, and Cabrera, Manny, Sheets may pay.

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

Q-BALL: The minimum 80% of previous year's salary (and minimum 70% of salary from two seasons ago) rule does NOT apply to Article XX MLB free-agents who accept 12/1 arbitration offers, and it also does not apply to an arbitration-eligible player who received a contract the previous year through the arbitratioin process (went to a hearing) where the player received more than a 50% raise. For these players, the club must offer at least the MLB minimum salary ($400K), but otherwise there are no resrictions.

Auto-renewal players players must receive a salary which is at least the MLB minimum ($400K in 2009) and must be at least 80% of their previous year's salary, and their minor league "split" salary (which is what they get if they are optioned to the minors) must be at least 60% of what the player was actually paid the previous season. So last year, the minor league split for Rich Hill and Matt Murton was about $250K, because both spent the entire 2007 season in the big leagues and so both actually were paid somewhere around $400K (of which $240K is 60%) in 2007.

Otherwise the minor league split minimum in 2009 is $32,500 for players who are on a 40-man roster for the first time (Atkins, Berg, Mateo, Stevens, and Patton), and it's a $65K minimum for all others. 

Thanks AZ-Phil! I wonder if the Player's Union is going to want that draft pick compensation changed at the next collective bargaining agreement.....it's obviously having an effect on player salaries

Luis Rivas signed to minor league deal and NRI'd to spring training. He convinced Lou and Hendry that he could be the slugging switch hitter they need on May 25th, 2008, when he hit two homeruns. The stout second baseman took Ted Lilly deep in the first and third innings, both solo shots. Rumor has Lou Piniella considering him as a leadoff hitter, which is where the biggest slugger in the lineup belongs.

Said Jim Hendry of the 29-year-old middle infielder, "We like the kid. We think he can hit, and we think he can play short. We're gonna give him a good long look." Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot have been looking into apartments in the Baltimore area.

Apparently Ryan Howard has asked for $18 million in his second year of arbitration. The Phillies should have just declined him and signed Dunn.

Ken Kadokura pitched for the Yokohama Baystars from 04 to 06 and then went to the Yomiuri Giants as an FA in 07 and remained in 08.

in 05 he was 11-8, 3.37, 197IP (177K/76BB)
in 06 he was 10-9, 4.84, 154IP (114K/51BB)

an FA after the 06 season he tried to negotiate for more money over several years, but yokohama being cheap as they are let him walk. it turned out to be the wise choice for them...

in 07 he was 1-5, 5.97, 31IP (26/14)
in 08 he was 0-2, 3.55, 12IP (16/6)

what the hell he's doing with an NRI to cubs camp i have no fucking idea.

Always appreciate your Japan-side information.

i think i saw somewhere that he was a former teammate of Fukudome....don't quote me on it

"...he was a former teammate of Fukudome" - Rob G.

I heard this too, though. I wonder if they've talked to him and ask if he would appreciate some buddies or if he's just going to show up at ST and say "What the jigoku are these guys doing here?"

you quoted me...you are now banned.

Wow. You're quite the dictator.

I think I made it very clear not to quote me on that one...

Cuz tha boyz in tha hood are always hard.

Because he figures he can beat out Mike Stanton?
Hendry said on the radio last week that they would invite more players than usual to camp because of the WBC. If I'm not mistaken the Cubs are playing more exhibition games (outside WBC) than they ever have before. Someone has to throw all those innings I guess.
I know that some of the free agents who were offered arb (like Cabrera) will cost their prospective new employers a draft pick. Does anyone know if there is a limitation on this? Could Dunn, for example, sign after the season starts and not cost a pick? Maybe a stupid question, but I wonder if it's just possible that a guy would not get signed at all during a season because he's not worth that first or second rounder.

Dunn won't cost a pick. He was not offered arbitration.

I have a feeling that the economic downturn in our country as a whole is hurting Non-Yankee free agency. At least as much as Draft pick compensation.

The list of guys who were not offered arbitration, was more robust than every before. Who'd have wagered that Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn would be Non-Tendered 6 months ago?

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Tue, 01/20/2009 - 5:06pm.

Only the catchers have an outside chance to make the team, since the Cubs are still deciding on a backup, and the competition is Koyie Hill and Paul Bako. Bako's lifetime BA is .231, which looks good only next to Henry Blanco's .227 and Mark Johnson's .218.

The Cubs seem to like Clevenger's (lefty) bat, although it hasn't produced much in the way of doubles and HRs yet. Even without pop, he gets to play a fair amount of first base and DH when he's not catching. A .306 hitter over three seasons, he hit .302 in the AFL; but he hasn't established himself at the AA level yet, so he's quite a long shot, although an interesting one.

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

VA PHIL: Steve Clevenger played SS in college and 2B his first year in the minors, but he is kind of "bottom-heavy" for a middle infielder. The Cubs moved Clevenger to catcher a couple of years ago, and from his first day as a catcher at Fitch Park, you could tell he was made for the position. (Oneri Fleita can spot a catcher a mile away, even if the guy plays another position).,

Clev is a tireless worker, and the young pitchers love to throw to him because he has a high baseball IQ and he really understands the game, so he really knows how to work hitters. He will probably be a manager some day.

I don't know that Clevenger will ever be a good mechanical catcher (Mark Reed is a better all-around defensive catcher and Blake Lalli has a better arm), but he should be at least good enough to be a back-up C-1B-LHPH in MLB.

Clevenger is a pesky line-drive hitter with a controlled stroke (he tries to "hit 'em where they ain't" a la Wee Willy Keeler) who doesn't strike out much (he watches the ball into the catcher's glove), but then he doesn't have any HR power, either, because his stroke doesn't lend itself to driving the ball for distance.

Can he play 3rd? Does he have enough speed to play some corner outfield? I would think those things could make him even more valuable as a bench player.

Cool info on Clevenger, who I rarely hear much about except that he's a catcher converted from ss.

Submitted by Charlie on Tue, 01/20/2009 - 7:24pm.

Can he play 3rd? Does he have enough speed to play some corner outfield? I would think those things could make him even more valuable as a bench player. Cool info on Clevenger, who I rarely hear much about except that he's a catcher converted from ss.

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

CHARLIE: As a former SS-2B, Clevenger SHOULD be able to play 3B, although he plays 1B when he doesn't catch.

The Cubs want all of their minor league catchers to learn to play 1B. In fact, Geovany Soto played a lot of 1B at Iowa the year he was the PCL MVP, and so he could play 1B on days when he's not catching, although that would take D-Lee's bat out of the lineup and replace it with somebody like a Koyie Hill.

Having all the catchers play some first makes sense, especially with a guy like Soto. Sure, taking Lee out to make room for Hill in the lineup doesn't make much sense, but if Lee goes down you could put Soto in at first and play him pretty much every day.

But with a guy like Clevenger, who doesn't have tons of offensive upside, having him play as many positions as possible will help him make it to the majors. I guess that's the same idea they had with McGeehee, though.

Kadokura was drafted 2nd by the Chunici Dragons in 1995 where he remained until the end of the 1999 season (traded to Kintetsu Buffaloes).

Fukudome chose to sign with Chunichi in 1998, so they were indeed teammates for 2 years in Nagoya.

I can't seem to find anything that mentions they were particularly friendly though.

I did read that the Cubs were impressed by his showing at a tryout. Maybe he served sushi in the bullpen.

Eating raw fish during the game = good idea.

Only if it's Florida's starting pitching.

Only if it's Florida's cheerleaders.

...
...
...WHAT?

Really nice work. Impressive show.

Mmmmmmmmmm... Florida's cheerleaders... *drools*

the thing is...it's not obvious satire.

the main problem with the piece is it lacks any humor or obvious tip. the only thing it has going for it is it's just not a likely scenario. the premise isn't absurd enough to make it on it's own, imo.

i got it...i can understand how some wouldn't get it, though.

that said...having the link there and no one questioning it is kinda weird.

I agree with Crunch. Not very obvious, and not very good either.

There are a lot of great posters on NSBB but there are quite a sizable number of idiots too. when you read something like that, you check it out before believing it. hello google!

Next thing you know, they'll be debating again if NASA really landed men on the moon.

There are NO good posters at nsbb. At all. Sorry, Manila.

"Next thing you know, they'll be debating again if NASA really landed men on the moon."

Which of course we all know they didn't.

;-)

dude, you totally have to watch Mythbusters!

Yeah as satire, it's a pretty bad piece of writing. The fact that one of the proposals is in effect i.e. the auctioning of those CBOE seats, makes it pretty confusing.

Not sure if I would have realized it was satirical had I not known. I would think that I would, you know, look for confirmation before flying off the handle. It's not like Cubtown is reknowned for breaking stories.

no wonder our April Fool's Joke worked for the most part...

suckers.

"if you have to explain your joke..."

NSBB runs on the concept of post counts. The more post counts you have the more valid your opinion is even if your a complete idiot.

You may be totally correct but NSBB will then turn around and ban you for disrupting the message board because you dare challenge one of their gods.

Al Yellon runs his site on the same concept, banning people who don't follow group think. In the end the gene pool gets filtered down until you get a bunch of "yes" men Cubs fans who can't think for themselves. A very depressing place which is why i don't visit those sites anymore.

Are you serious?

I find his posts tedious and interminable and the comments read like a printout from a java chatroom in hell, "hi" "go cubs" "yea!" "who's leading off, Soriano?"

What do you have to do to get banned by Al, say something that's actually interesting?

What do you have to do to get banned by Al, say something that's actually interesting?

Pretty much... or have the nerve to question Al.

Disuccsing such ideals as bringing the infield in to cut off a run or ignoring a handedness matchup when the numbers dictate shall never be spoken of over there. Automatic ban.

Never bring the infield in. Always match up based on handedness. Always. Yellon law.

i'm a fan of his "i was there, i saw it, you were not, shut up" views.

it's not 1960.

we have replay...we have multiple camera angles...unless it's right in front of the bleachers (and i mean right in front) no one out there has a better angle than someone at home unless the cameraS miss it.

There's a certain poster here who likes to fall back on that argument as well.

Yellon probably means well, anyone that goes to that many games for that many years has my respect to a degree--if for no other reason that he has a job that is apparently so lenient in terms of, you know, doing actual work.

But yeah, he's a douche--and many of the posts there are either are from children, blabbering morons, or both. I feel dumber every time I look at that site.

Alone among the Cubs blogs, his site DOES at times have some sweet photos, I do appreciate that at least.

NSBB is a total waste of time, good gawd. Just awful, everything about it.

Thank you for TCR, our discussions here mirror the kind of Cubs talk I have with my buddies. I'd like to think we're pretty informed fans and all of us were players at one time.

And AZ Phil is priceless.

I'd definitely take another shot at Cruz, particularly at the expense of Wuertz. Glad to see Harden skip the Team Canada invite - assuming no Jake Peavy deal the Cubs must have two starters in line in case Harden or Z falters. Marshall should be one, now we need a fifth starter and somebody to wait in the wings.

Jason Marquis?

Cruz was offered arbitration, no?

Yes - type A.

The Cubs have the history of bringing back players only when they are well past their prime. So, Cruz fits that model.

Cruz had a prime?

I am not gonna look this up now, but didn't he have one or two good seasons with AZ (in the WS year particularly)? And one in Atlanta?

That was his "prime", I guess...

2004 in ATL (first season after being with the Cubs) All out of the pen: 6-2, 72 IP, 70 Ks, 2.75 ERA, 1.21 WHIP. Little under 9Ks/9
nothing worth mentioning in 05,06.
2007 in ARI: 6-1, 61 IP, 87 Ks, 3.10 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 12.83 Ks/9
2008 in ARI: 4-0, 51 2/3rd IP, 71 Ks, 2.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 12.38 Ks/9

Not bad years, and nothing to suggest he's past his prime. Would much prefer him over half the current Cubs pen...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cruzju02.shtml Link, not that everyone couldn't find it for themselves, i just like citing my sources is all.

Carol Slezak today,

You don't find a kid in the Dominican Republic, sign him as a 16-year-old, nurture him through his teenage years, watch him light up the minor leagues at every level, then jerk him around for two years and dump him. It makes no sense on any level -- personal or business.

amen, Carol

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/slezak/1386744,CST-...

I agree with the above quote, and even agree that the Cubs may have failed Pie, but much of the rest of the article was pretty lousy.

I mean... saying that he can hit MLB pitching because he hit .400 in his first week?

Or that we should like him because he won four minor league championships?

And if Pie's "attitude" is proof that he has that "sixth tool," shouldn't he be able to better handle getting "jerked around?"

Don't get me wrong - I still like Pie, and think that he will be a decent/good major league player. And the Cubs may have failed him. But Slezak sure didn't go a great job backing that up.

not to mention the kid refers to himself as "super baby" and had a few behavioral mishaps

Fact is, Baseball scouts as a whole were never "super high" on Felix Pie to begin with.

If Felix hadn't been fed into the Andy McFail hype machine like a certain other 5-tool CF phenom. Then most people would care less that he just got dealt.

True Story:

I watched an Iowa game in Memphis against the Redbirds AAA. People sitting around me
(who weren't aware of who Pie was) commented about how ugly his swing was.

Thing is, they were absolutely right. Not fluid, choppy, low contact, struck out on a face high fastball AND a splitter in the dirt. He just wasn't/isn't a good baseball player.

And I have yet to see anyone praise him for actual baseball exploits. It's always that.

1. He's fast
2. He's young
3. He's got lots of tools

I will praise his baseball exploits in this instance:

I was at Wrigley when Pie came in later in the game or a double switch, perhaps. I believe I was at this game with CUBSTER.

Anyway, on a ball hit to medium-deep single to CF, Pie charges and ON THE FLY nails a runner trying to score from 3rd base. It was incredible, and an arm I have not seen displayed in the OF since Sammy or Hawk in their primes - and I saw them both live many, many times.

You would have had to seen it to appreciated it - which you obviously did not. However, I still stick to my opinion that of the "5-tools" he's got 3.5 now. But how long - if ever - until Snap On arrives with the truck?

"seen it to appreciated it..."

Err...seen it to have appreciated it

he can put a bat through the zone (speed wrists/hands) better than a chunk of people in the game.

too bad it's not very accurate.

his ceiling is very realistically a soriano-type...then again so was/is c.patterson. so...

Have to strongly disagree there crunch.

Soriano had 40 Homer power and speed coming up, and still does today to a degree.

Felix Pie has never put up more than 15 Homers ever. And most years he was in the 9-11 Homer range. At this point Felix has the ceiling of a Ronny Cedeno. Except he isn't a SS.

And to further my point.

At least Corey Patterson showed 25-30 Homer Power and speed.

HIS CEILING was more like that of Soriano.

Felix Pie's ceiling was more that of Jay McGwire's to Mark McGwire's

im explaining what a scout saw in him.

not what he did.

the guy's swing is VERY fast. too bad it's not shown up to do much yet.

stats are nearly useless with kids these young.

When did Alfonso Soriano demonstrate more power than Pie has so far? Not until 2001, his age 25 season, when he hit 18 homeruns in 574 ABs with the yankees. Then in 2002 he turned into the hitter that excited some people: he hit 39 homeruns in 696 ABs (while also striking out 157 times and walking only 23 times). That was his age 26 season. How old is Pie? 24.

So, what about before 2001.
1996, Hiroshima: 0 homeruns, 131 ABs. 20 years old.
1997, Hiroshima: 8 homeruns, 257 ABs. 21 years old.
1998 I haven't been able to find any stats for. Sorry.
1999, 1 Rookie League homerun, 15 AA homeruns, 2 AAA homeruns, and one Big League homerun. That's 19 in a total of 470 ABs. Arguably more power than Pie has shown, but not significantly. 23 years old.
2000, 12 AAA homeruns, 2 MLB homeruns, total of 509 ABs. 24 years old.

And now we are all caught up. How are they not comparable? They both have unconventional swings, high strikeout totals, low walk totals, and lots of speed. Pie was never a SS or 2B prospect, but he is now a great defensive center fielder while Soriano is an average-ish defensive left fielder. You know what Pie has that Soriano doesn't? A track record of high batting averages before the age of 24 (but he played in different leagues, so maybe that doesn't compare well). So I think we can say he has a similar ceiling to what Soriano had. That says little about his probability of reaching that ceiling, though.

and they both swing a bat so damn fast through the zone it makes you go "damn"

just like being able to run really f'n fast or being able to hit 450ft. towering shots in BP...it's stuff like that people were looking at for both soriano and pie when they were being courted.

a personal handicapper of talent may care less that someone is fast, but that doesn't take away it's a unique part of the person's game that can be used as an advantage if it develops properly. that goes for almost any unique talent. a guy with pie's frame that can swing a bat that hard/fast...a scout is seeing him with those tools 20+lbs. of muscle and a growing spurt later...

nothing's a sure thing...if it was we'd see a lot more drafted players coming up from minors to majors quicker than we do. as it is, we barely see 1/2 the 1st/2nd round kids even get a taste, much less playing for a living.

Soriano had 40 Homer power and speed coming up

Huh?

___

EDIT: Oh wait... Charlie already dealt with this.

40/40 power and speed.

Corey Patterson put up 24 Homers and 32 steals with the cubs in 2004 at Pie's age. Felix Pie has shown the ability to do neither. If Baltimore wasn't Chi Cubs Jr, I doubt we get as much as we got for Felix. If we hadn't been hearing that Felix was the "Next big thing" since 2005. Then most people would care less about him being dealt. Nobody cared when Kevin Roberson was sent packing. And as of right now, Felix Pie is Kevin Roberson 2.0.

No.

You said that Soriano showed 40/40 power and speed coming up.

Charlie already addressed this pretty well. Soriano showed VERY little power up until the same point that Pie is at in his career.

Yankee stadium is notorious as a drag on RH power hitters.

And what about Japan? And his minor league numbers?

Did he only play in parks that were "notorious as a drag on RH power hitters?"

PLUS... he didn't even START playing in Yankee Stadium until he was 24, and that was only 50 at-bats. Pie hasn't even turned 24 yet.

Good points Dave,

Maybe Felix turns into a star at some point. I wish him the best of luck.
I'm not really trying to argue. I just think some people have/had unrealistic expectations of what Felix CAN become.

If not for the McFail/McDoughough hype about him. I don't think anyone would think much of him. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Tyler Colvin is another guy with a similar skillset. He is another guy who I don't think will pan out.

Guys that cannot control the zone, just don't sustain success at the MLB level. Maybe Felix can refine his game to the point that he can have some Corey Patterson level success. But to think he turns into Fonzie Soriano is akin to planning on winning the lottery.

Obviously just my opinion.

Look... I don't think that Pie is going to become Soriano. But I understand the comparisons.

I just don't think that you should make things up to make your point.

Not sure what exactly I made up?

Sickles prospect retro

Soriano

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2006/11/19/23729/442

Pie

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2008/2/16/16476/4956

You claimed that Soriano showed 40/40 "coming up," even though he showed nothing (or very little) of the sort.

To an extent, I agree. Pie has been so far both a beneficiary and a victim to all the hype he received at a young age. I'm really not sure why he was talked about so much, except that he was drafted by Jose Serra, who also drafted Sosa. I think that was a big part of it--young, toolsy guy with a big smile who seems to love playing baseball. They wanted him to be in the Ernie Banks, Sammy Sosa mold--flashy and sunny--and they wanted to make him out to be that sort of offensive performer.

The Pie : Soriano comparison works I think, but only up to age 24. Does that mean Pie will follow in Soriano's statistical footprints? No. The Pie : Corey comparison works too, to a degree. I think Pie has actually shown more plate discipline to this point than Patterson did, but he does not show the base stealing ability. The Pie : Colvin comparison doesn't work as well as the others. Pie has better speed and defense than Colvin, and actually has shown more willingness to walk to--Colvin really, really hasn't been able to take a walk. Colvin took more walks in the first half of this season and his batting average was uncharacteristically low. Then his batting average went up, but, guess what, he stopped walking--Colvin is very Jacque Jones-esque.

Pie has proven nothing at the major league level, neither that he is a bust nor that he is a superstar. But, like the Dude has been saying, he's got some tools that make your eyes pop. Players have succeeded with stranger swings. For Pie we got Garrett Olson. Who brings what to the table? Pie brought great defense, great speed, and offensive upside, but no options. Olson brings terrible MLB performance, pretty impressive minor league numbers, moderate upside (from everything I've read), and two options. Fair trade? The options are the only thing that make it close in my mind--but I guess they have to be considered.

If Felix Pie had put up 24 HR's and 32 SB's in 194 PA's they'd be clearing a space for him in Cooperstown right now. Going into the season that Patterson did that, CP had 1167 regular season PA's. To this point Pie has had 287.

The vast majority of Patterson's minor league success occurred at the lower levels. Pie has had success in each level.

Try to compare apples and apples.

...rediculous how the Cubs are through with Pie and consider him a bust after just 177 ABs in 2007 and 83 ABs in 2008 when they really never gave him an honest shot... at least not without someone looking over his shoulder(jock, edmonds, reed)... it's too bad they didn't give him a whole season and let him play through his bumps in the road... The kid is only 23 and yet all we hear is how he's failed... yet Colby Rasmus(who's 22)is heralded as the next Mickey Fucking Mantle with shittier minor league numbers than Pie to boot...

It would have been nice if Pie showed some clue at the plate. Get 2 strikes on him then drop the curveball and it was over. Wash rinse repeat enjoy the .220 average.

He was getting toyed with by scrub major league pitchers is what was sad. He had no business being in the majors in the first place.

He showed no flashes of anything except how to strikeout as fast as you possibly can.

please vote in the fantasy league about a draft time...

carry on

thnx.

Thanks guys. Now it's even again. Where's Hammerin' Hank?

says he introduced him to 'roids.

http://deadspin.com/5136177/mark-mcgwires-one+eyed...

"Mark is a man I think most would like to forgive because his reason wasn’t nefarious—it was for survival. My bringing the truth to surface about Mark is out of love. I want Mark to live in truth to see the light, to come to repentance so he can live in freedom—which is the only way to live. "

Mark would you prefer that you love him by shutting the fuck up.

I don't know that McGwire ever gets in the hall of fame, he was such a one-dimensional player. Yeah, the HR totals are impressive, but nothing else. The steroids cloud just makes it that much easier to ignore him in the voting.

Prediction: he never gets in with the regular voting, but with the passing of time, the Veterans Committee eventually lets him in.

Sammy I'm not so sure, he's an easier choice to vote in based on baseball performance, and he has never been linked as strongly to roids as others. But man, that corked bat is his downfall. Deal killer for many.

I don't know that McGwire ever gets in the hall of fame, he was such a one-dimensional player. Yeah, the HR totals are impressive, but nothing else.

Huh? He had a career .396 OBP, and a career .588 SLUG. His OPS+ is 162!!!

That isn't just homeruns.

What a douche. People like him give Christians a bad name. Calling someone to account out of love means doing so privately and asking him to come out with the truth. You don't do it for him, you ass.

"My bringing the truth to surface about Mark is out of love."...oh yeah, and to make money off a book deal.

yeah that book deal pretty much puts a cloud over jay's integrity too.

Daily Checklist
----------------
* Hop on TCR
* Did the Cubs sign Peavy yet?
* No?
* Wait til tomorrow.
* Repeat.

You might just wait a couple of years until he becomes a free agent, then. It'd save you a lot of time.

I understand that Pie failed in his brief chance in MLB with the Cubs.

Wan't Pie rated the Cubs top prospect by BaseballAmerica?
Corey Patterson gets 1500 at bats...Pie gets 260..so he's the same?

Pie produced at every minor league level. After struggling at Iowa after his demotion, he ended up in 85 games with .287/.336/.466, with 10 HR and 55 RBIs, 20 doubles, 5 triples. It's not like he hit .220 at every level and was brought up for no reason. His career numbers in the minors are .299/.355/.470...Patterson's were .284/.340/.499..not too far off, except Patterson's best season was in single A Lansing.
His first go around at AAA was .253/.308/.387.

They are not the same player.

All numbers aside, Corey Patterson has a much better swing than Pie. If Pie exhibited some willingness to sacrifice power for contact, I might be more excited about him (or depressed about losing him, rather), but unless he tweaks his swing big-time, he'll end up being a bad-ass AAA hitter and nothing more.

Felix Pie was just another so-called five tool player with a swing like a windmill. I can't understand why our scouts missed that with both he and Patterson - we should have given up on both of them earlier when they had more trade potential.

I don't know about this.

Our scouts missed that he can't hit, but he had higher trade potential? In other words, our scouts should have seen what other scouts couldn't see?

Everyone is watching the same player. He was valued by the Cubs for the same reason he was valued by every other organization.

guys that get a bat through the zone as quick as he does don't grow on trees...especially with his frame.

when you're looking at 16 year olds to sign you have nothing BUT tools to go on. felix pie wasnt a 16 year old in a baseball camp staring down 14-16 year olds with plus curves, sliders, and changes.

a guy who gets the bat through the zone that quickly is going to draw a lot of attention...having speed and 3-OF-slot capability helps, too.

patterson's in a similar boat, though his swing isn't as fast.

In my opinion, best case scenario, in the majors Pie plays gold glove centerfield, hits .285 with 30 2B, 12-15 HR, 12-15 SB, 75 Runs, 55 RBI - or thereabouts. If he could steal a bit better he would look a lot like Devon White http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/whitede03.shtml

It would of course be nice to count on a player like that in CF for the next 5-10 years, but there is of course no guarantee that he reaches that potential and it is quite likely that he will fall somewhat short of that type of player. In any case, I don't think we are trading a Griffey or anything like that, and Pie would likely be of marginal value this year whereas Olson or someone he is traded for might help us win it.

McGwire couldn't stay healthy, and had a perenially low batting average, and he walked a bunch of times. He won a Gold glove in 1990. Magically, at age 32, instead of hitting 30-40 HR's, he hit 52, 58, 70, and 65 HR's.
He went from walking 80-115 times a season, to walking162 in 1998, and 133 in 1999.

Becasuse generally, injury-prone players hit age 31, and suddenly hit for more power than ever, and walks 30% more than usual. Magically...like Bonds...Sosa...yep...

mark mcgwire became an enemy of sportswriters and left the game without looking back...no interviews...no help...no support for anyone...he just clocked out.

all that and "taking the 5th" tanked him before his brother even opened his mouth.

one could say he blew it...but one could also say the guy that almost walked away from the game in 93/94 made 10s of millions thanks to his cheating.

either way, his HOF chances are pissed away before anyone looks at the numbers.

I do agree with this point.

If Mark McGwire was a more "Media Friendly" guy. Then he'd be in the fall of fame right now.

Notice that Tony Gwynn was always recognized in the media as a 1st ballot HOFer. Ask any pitcher from their generation who they would rather pitch to, what's the answer?

This is what bothers me about the HOF conversation: different rules for different players. McGwire was a one dimensional player, yet many people believe he should be in the HOF because he hit a lot of homeruns. Yet, many of those same people believe that Andre Dawson doesn't belong in the Hall because his OBP wasn't high enough. Dawson was twice the player McGwire was, but because of his HRs, McGwire tends to be thought of as more HOF-worthy. To me, McGwire was just Dave Kingman on steroids.

One less douchebag in the league....

"One less douchebag"

Worry not. There's a never ending supply.

I will be happy to be seeing much less of his mustachioed face, though.

NOW, who's gonna be my second baseman?

Kelly.

Kelly Kent or Kent Kelly?

Woody Boyd's Kelly. How did that song go again?

BWWAHAAAAA-HAAHAHAHA!!!!

Henry Blanco goes to Padres for 1 year
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=385018...

How do we not sign Hank White for 750K? Did he want a starting gig?

I was thinking the same thing. MLBTR says he'll back up someone.

If MLBTR said it, it's as good as gold.

Has our search for balance in the lineup seriously gone to our backup catcher? Let's keep Bako off of this team. I'm sure we all remember his last Cub at bat.

it's a good time to be a cubs fan if "who's the backup catcher" is even worth bitching about.

140m will get you a hell of a team. heh...

agreed

Even if there is only 100 million dollars of talent on this roster.

Blech, I'm still bitter about the '08 playoffs. I mean seriously...

wtf?

The Tigers may still be looking for relief pitchers. Anyone want to begin a Wuertz (or any of our other optionless relievers) to the Tigers rumor?

Wuertz or cotts for porcello sounds about right

I prefer Curtis Granderson, but whatever.

The cubs can trade wuertz for a bag of batting practice balls and
some photos of the detroit skyline in my view he is one player i
would not miss and i think lou would probally agree.

what if we trade him for a used infield rake and a half empty can of simoniz?

Throw in a bag of dirt for the bullpen mounds and it'll be a signed deal

whatever happened to the half can of simonize?

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