Are Cubs Silently Waving White Flag?

You can't say that Jim Hendry isn't trying to still do his job. Reports came out today that Aaron Heilman and Rich Harden have both been claimed on waivers, Heilman definitely by an NL Team and Harden most likely by a pitching-starved NL team. Rosenthal's report says the Cubs have until Monday afternoon to complete a deal, but that seems longer than the normal 48 hour window to complete this type of transaction.

Heilman is owed about $270K on his contract this year, might as well just save it if you're the Cubs and let him go to whatever team claimed him if a deal can't be worked out. I highly doubt any team that did claim him was trying to block him from somebody, since you know, it would probably actually hurt most teams that he joined, so there must be some interest there or maybe some drunk GM'ing. Since the Cubs aren't going anywhere with Heilman on the team and they're not going to offer him arbitration this offseason, hopefully Hendry can take advantage of this opportunity and send Heilman on his merry way...where he can win a World Championship and then go broke in the offseason.

Rich Harden is owed about $1.2M on his deal, but his true value will be beyond this season. The Cubs could try and resign him to a long-term deal, although that's doubtful. With a pretty bare market for starting pitchers, Harden will likely snag some sort of multi-year deal, so offering him arbitration is a no-brainer and if he does happen to accept it, I'm sure not going to complain about getting him back in a Cubs uniform for 2010. If Hendry does work out a trade, he will have to get back something resembling two 1st/2nd round talents from whatever team claimed him and in this case, I could see the Giants trying to block the Dodgers here and they're probably not looking for starting pitching right now.

And while teams generally put the bulk of their roster through waivers during this time period, it's somewhat interesting that the Cubs waited until the end of August here to put one of their most tradeable pieces in Harden. If Hendry can squeeze out two top prospects, preferably at higher levels in the minors, he can avoid the arbitration and paperwork headache in the offseason, avoid any potential late season injury to Harden that we're always worried about and hypothetically pick up two prospects closer to the show. A prospect in the hand is worth two in the draft so to speak....

UPDATE: Bruce Levine has a source that says the Minnesota Twins put in a claim, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were awarded it. On cue,  Paul Sullivan says it was an NL team that won the claim but does not specify which team. Baseball Musings cites Andrew Kneeland saying it's probably the Rockies, but the link goes to the Paul Sullivan article which does not mention the Rockies at all, although the Rockies, Dodgers and Giants all had scouts at Harden's last game according to Levine's article.

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Comments

Heilman, eh...

will it be a 25 year old AA'r having a decent season or a kid in low-A ball who no one cared about until recently?

should be fun. wee.

him and fontenot i expected a lot more from this season...meh...

I remember me and a certain Rob G arguing about the uselessness of Hielmann during the off-season, sadly I was proven correct. I don't think we'll get anything for him, though if we do it's a nice job bluffing by Hendry.

I am not sure I agree with Rob on taking the prospects (and I guess cash) for Harden. It would depend on the prospects, I guess. When you take a guy in the first round, he always winds up on next year's top 10 list (usually top 5) for that organization, so that is where I would start as an asking price for Harden - a top 10 guy, preferably a 2nd basemen, SS or SP and then a 15ish guy or a couple of 20 to 30 guys.

If Hendry is really white flagging - he should tell Lou to put Gregg back into the closer role. Actually he should do that anyway because Marmol sucks, but he should be trying to get him a type A rating and hope someone signs him before the arb deadline rolls around.

Gregg as a type A is not a good situation, since you wouldn't even want to offer him arb. What team pays up for Gregg and gives up their first rounder?

Gregg as a type B is actually a better situation, though I'm still not sure you can safely offer arbitration.

Is this realistically up in the air now, though? I don't know the math on the Elias rankings.

Hendry also ought to be shopping Aaron Miles, Jeff Baker, and John Grabow, if only to see what can be had in return (if anything).

I thought Heilman would bounce back a bit, relievers are a fickle bunch. I also thought the Cardinals would be tough this year...

win some, you lose some

I'm with Charlie that I highly doubt anyone is going to give the Cubs a draft pick for Gregg at this point.

As for Harden, yes, it has to be for quality talent comparable to what they'd get in the draft. Where exactly they rank on a prospect list isn't that much of a concern, but I'd take two guys somewhere in the top 20 if they're closer to the majors and the Cubs scouts really like them, over a 1st round pick who by default gets put in the top 10 list even though it's more buzz and upside than performance.

 

in fairness, it says may be the team that claimed him and it's possible the source just knows that  the Twins put a claim on Harden but were not awarded it.

I find it hard to believe the Dodgers wouldn't put a claim in for example....

Articles says Cubs want legit prospects for both...good luck with that on Heilman. 

check the update on this article....Sullivan says it was an NL team that was awarded the claim.

I am pretty sure weekends don't count for the 48-hour window, so a claim on mid-day Thursday has until mid-day Monday to be resolved. Or it's a 72-hour window and Sundays don't count. I am not sure, but either way Monday should be right.

I'll call it now: Hendry pulls back Heilman but trades Harden for a couple AA ball pitchers with upside but middling results thus far. Probably sketchy control as well.

Woohoo.

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

And now, with his(Bradley's) latest comments creating an integrity issue, he has to go. You will hear some talk about a trade, but Hendry should summon the spirit of Mike Scioscia, circa 2004, or Josh Byrnes, circa 2005. He needs to punt Bradley, as Scioscia and the Angels did Jose Guillen and Byrnes and the Diamondbacks did Russ Ortiz.

These were decisive management acts -- and perhaps not by coincidence the perennially solid Angels won more games the next season and the Diamondbacks stunned the National League West (and the Cubs) in '07 before going back into hibernation.

2 years after removing Russ Ortiz the DBacks made the playoffs? Clearly they're connected...

phil rogers has passed into the retardation zone.

"My recommendation: Release him."

this guy is suggesting the cubs eat 20m bucks rather than have an at-worst (barring injury, which he'd be gone anyway if that happened) RF/CF who has a decent arm with a dependable .370+ ob% that's capable of a double/homers...

...and his reasoning behind it is pale, bland, and "recent comments" evidently is enough to push this all over the edge.

there's some real NY Post style shock-GRRRRRRRR style sportswriting going on in chicago lately.

"phil rogers has passed into the retardation zone"

Passed?

He resides in the retardation zone with a summer house in lobotmy land.

Phil also suggested releasing Z this year too.

Sounds like he doesn't like his players being to uppity because he votes for Harold Baines every year for the HOF.(true)

Who has the authority to send Rogers back to Logic 101 to learn the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc? Hmm. Maybe the problem is that he learned it, but thought that it was a sound rhetorical/logical tactic? Your average 12 year old can identify this logical fallacy 75% of the time. Okay, I made that percentage up. I can't convince any legit researchers to do that study, because they consider it unnecessary.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090827&c...

"I'm always the story, whether I hit .500 or hit .100," Bradley said. "Somehow, someway, everything revolves back to me. I guess I'm kind of a big deal or something. People like talking about Milton Bradley. Not to my face, always behind my back."

Reading all these Bradley quotes make me want to give myself brain damage.

Reading all these Bradley quotes is already giving you brain damage.

Reading all these Bradley quotes make me want to give myself brain damage.
---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EFRSjBSeZc

is probably the most exciting thing left for the Cubs this year...if it is the Rockies...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2008/12/17/696067/c...

(remember those are from the beginning of the year, things change quickly)

Jhoulys Chacin seems like the most legit pitching prospect, 21 years old, good year in AA...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cg...

I doubt they'd give up Fowler...maybe we can get Matt Murton back? Casey Weathers was a big name until TJ surgery knocked him out this year. Eric Young Jr. might be neat, I think he can play 2b/CF (don't ask me how well) and a leadoff type guy.

but if they just want to throw in Troy Tulowitzki and call it a day, I'm good with that...we'll sacrifice Theriot if we have to....

I say the Cubs acquire Pujols in a complicated, 8-player, 6-team deal that ultimately sends Koyie Hill to Japan.

Fowler would be optimistic. Cubs probably don't get shit and that's okay.

reading up a bit, looks like Young's defense at 2b is his problem and Rockies have been playing him in CF since they just called him up. He did play mostly 2b at AAA this year though...

I know there's a month left, but I for one have no problem with them waiving the white flag if it can better posture the organization going into the off season. Of course, you don't want to just do shit for no reason, but I think most of the core fans understand it's over.

I don't trust Hendry to pick up good prospects.

I don't know why. I just don't.

So a Harden fire sale, while apparently necessary, is not gonna thrill me.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/17393...

The Royals? Hmmmm. They have Gil Meche for two more years, Zack Greinke coming off a breakout season and at one point this year thought they might be moving up in the AL Central. They probably could use an outfielder and definitely need a hitter as the worst-hitting, worst-slugging and lowest-on-base-percentage team in the AL among teams Bradley hasn't played for. Maybe.

The Blue Jays? They would seem to have room in the outfield. The fans like their beer as much as fans at Wrigley, but there are far fewer of them and they generally don't care enough about baseball to focus or put pressure on a single player.

And considering how badly he seems to want out of Chicago, what better destination than another country?
POSSIBLE DESTINATIONS
KAUFFMAN STADIUM: ROYALS NEED A HITTER
ROGERS CENTRE: BLUE JAYS FANS DON'T CARE

yeesh...while everyone wants a f'n Cal Ripken Jr. to roll up into chicago and give everyone pep talks and high fives...some of us enjoy a player that's not all gee-shucks-golly (or hopping in the OF...or jogging to 1st watching long doubles/triples turn into singles/doubles...etc). everyone's bitching about milton except his teammates. milton bitching isn't doing it any good at this point either, but whatever...he don't own a newspaper or get a 500+ word column...he plays baseball.

the 70s were full of them...the 80s, too. sometime in the 90s+ being some Captain America baseball hero who "does the right thing" and rah-rah's everything in front of them brings tears to some fan's eye.

even with this shit season bradley loosely projects to be a near-30 double, 18+ HR guy with a .370+ ob%. god knows he's got upside beyond that even if he's a mid/high 20s homer guy at best. his D and arm are good even if he forgets how to count to 3 occasionally.

a little loose with that doubles projection there...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?play...

i meant on whole, not in an abbreviated-by-injury season or the remainder of this season. i was clear as mud about that, though.

if he showed up next season with 18-25 homers, 30-ish doubles, and a .370+ ob% i wouldn't be shocked...hell, it's pretty much what i expect.

stay healthy and quit driving the ball in the ground milty.

...annnnnd we're assuming Milton can stay healthy for a full year based onnnnnnnnnn......?

2008 and 2009?

Really 2008? 126 games? Call him Iron Man!

Maybe Washington sat him unnecessarily too. Anyway, I assume crunch means 140 games when he says 'a full season'.

I believe MB suffered from quad and ribcage injuries last season...I'll have to look it up..but I seem to remember a ribcage..oblique...something like that.

With the year he had in Texas, he should never have sat if he was healthy.

2008: Bradley only played 20 games in the outfield because of leg injuries, and down the stretch he was so banged up he only played in half of the September games. He played in 126 games, just 77% of his teams games. And those other 40 games or so were games he was too hurt to even DH. If he had an identical season health-wise in the NL he'd miss even more time.

Reality:

August 15, 2009 - Missed 1 game (hip injury).
August 14, 2009 - Hip injury, day-to-day.
June 6, 2009 - Missed 2 games (calf injury).
June 3, 2009 - Calf injury, day-to-day.
April 27, 2009 - Missed 2 games (groin).
April 25, 2009 - Groin, day-to-day.
April 24, 2009 - Missed 1 game (groin).
April 23, 2009 - Groin, day-to-day.
April 18, 2009 - Missed 1 game (groin).
April 17, 2009 - Groin, day-to-day.
April 16, 2009 - Missed 2 games (groin).
April 13, 2009 - Groin, day-to-day.

September 19, 2008 - Missed 2 games (left wrist injury).
September 16, 2008 - Left wrist injury, day-to-day.
September 12, 2008 - Missed 2 games (wrist injury).
September 6, 2008 - Wrist injury, day-to-day.
August 18, 2008 - Missed 2 games (illness).
August 16, 2008 - Illness, day-to-day.
August 10, 2008 - Missed 5 games (strained left quadriceps).
August 5, 2008 - Strained left quadriceps, day-to-day.
August 4, 2008 - Missed 5 games (quadricep injury).
July 30, 2008 - Quadricep injury, day-to-day.
July 12, 2008 - Missed 1 game (left knee injury).
July 11, 2008 - Left knee injury, day-to-day.
June 24, 2008 - Missed 1 game (strained left quadriceps).
June 22, 2008 - Strained left quadriceps, day-to-day.
June 20, 2008 - Missed 2 games (quadricep injury).
June 18, 2008 - Quadricep injury, day-to-day.
May 31, 2008 - Missed 1 game (dizziness).
May 30, 2008 - Dizziness, day-to-day.
May 16, 2008 - Missed 2 games (right shoulder injury).
May 13, 2008 - Right shoulder injury, day-to-day.
May 2, 2008 - Missed 1 game (hamstring).
May 1, 2008 - Hamstring, day-to-day.

September 24, 2007 - Torn ACL, sidelined indefinitely.
September 21, 2007 - Missed 12 games (right oblique muscle strain).
September 11, 2007 - Right oblique muscle strain, day-to-day.
August 8, 2007 - Missed 4 games (hamstring).
August 4, 2007 - Hamstring, day-to-day.
July 7, 2007 - Missed 8 games (oblique injury).
July 1, 2007 - Oblique injury, 15-day DL (retroactive to June 21).
June 20, 2007 - Missed 16 games (calf injury).
June 8, 2007 - Calf injury, 15-day DL (retroactive to June 3rd).
June 3, 2007 - Calf injury, day-to-day.
May 30, 2007 - Missed 14 games (hamstring).
May 23, 2007 - Hamstring, 15-day DL (retroactive to May 15th).
May 22, 2007 - Hamstring, day-to-day.
May 19, 2007 - Missed 4 games (hamstring).
May 17, 2007 - Hamstring, day-to-day.
May 11, 2007 - Missed 15 games (hamstring).
April 23, 2007 - Hamstring, 15-day DL.
April 20, 2007 - Missed 6 games (hamstring).
April 13, 2007 - Hamstring, day-to-day.

September 1, 2006 - Missed 1 game (ankle injury).
August 30, 2006 - Ankle injury, day-to-day.
July 14, 2006 - Missed 20 games (shoulder injury).
June 20, 2006 - Shoulder injury, 15-day DL.
June 19, 2006 - Shoulder injury, day-to-day.
June 6, 2006 - Missed 36 games (right knee injury).
May 7, 2006 - Right knee injury, 15-day DL (retroactive to April 27th).
April 27, 2006 - Right knee injury, day-to-day.

October 2, 2005 - Missed 38 games to the end of the regular season (Torn left Patella Tendon).
September 2, 2005 - Transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL (torn left Patella Tendon).
August 25, 2005 - Torn left Patella Tendon, 15-day DL (retroactive to August 23rd).
August 23, 2005 - Knee injury, day-to-day.
July 23, 2005 - Missed 47 games (finger injury).
June 3, 2005 - Finger injury, 15-day DL (retroactive to May 30).
May 31, 2005 - Finger injury, day-to-day.

August 13, 2004 - Missed 1 game (hamstring).
August 12, 2004 - Hamstring, day-to-day.
June 1, 2004 - Missed 2 games (ankle injury).
May 31, 2004 - Ankle injury, day-to-day.
May 4, 2004 - Missed 3 games (ankle injury).
April 30, 2004 - Ankle injury, day-to-day.

August 29, 2003 - Missed 46 games to the end of the regular season (back injury).
August 15, 2003 - Back injury, 15-day DL.
August 10, 2003 - Back injury, day-to-day.
May 8, 2003 - Missed 12 games (strained right hamstring).
April 26, 2003 - Strained right hamstring, 15-day DL (retroactive to April 23).
April 23, 2003 - Strained right hamstring, day-to-day.
April 19, 2003 - Missed 1 game (hamstring).
April 18, 2003 - Hamstring, day-to-day.

August 30, 2002 - Missed 16 games (appendicitis).
August 14, 2002 - Appendicitis, 15-day DL (retroactive to August 12th).
June 4, 2002 - Missed 29 games (eye Contusion).
May 2, 2002 - Eye Contusion, 15-day DL.
April 17, 2002 - Missed 4 games (right quadricep).
April 11, 2002 - Right quadricep, day-to-day.

Thank you Crunch, for knocking some sense into the discussion! For some reason, TCR wants to get in on the Bradley bashing roller coaster. Soto didn't have a part in the demise? He's OK just because he smokes weed in the WBC then goes out and has his eyes in the headlights and is over weight? I know Gregg is part of the discussion but Ramirez has injuries, OUR BEST HITTER is out for half the season and you want to fire sale MB?

Fukudome had a reasonable season but not clutch. Theriot is worn to a frazzle with a month to go. And you step right up to the blame Bradley bandwagon? Stupid, just stupid.

If you had the privilege of watching most of the games, Brenley pointed fingers all over the field to one man, yet didn't say his name (to keep his job). That man was Lou Pinella, my friends. Lou should have pulled Soriano in June, Lou should have had Fox and Fuld (as soon as beard went down) playing in June, and Lou should have rested Theriot when Miles was healthy and should have played Blanco while he was hot in the field. That's just some of the bad moves on the field and in the lineup. This last west coast trip proved Lou was done. He got out managed by Bud-Freaking Black and Joe Torre. I didn't see much of the Nats series, did Riggleman do the same? All I know is that putting Bradley on the bench early made fans believe he was the problem. Whether I live to see another season (I have heart problems) or don't, I hope Hendry keeps Bradley so ya'll detractors can watch him hit .350, hit 30 and 120 RBI's next season.

Instead ya'll want him to have anxiety DL problems. Would that make you feel better?

"I hope Hendry keeps Bradley so ya'll detractors can watch him hit .350, hit 30 and 120 RBI's next season."

So much for sense in the discussion.

Bradley has 13 doubles and 11 HR's. He has not hit more than 5 doubles in a month, or 3 HR's in a month this season. He had better get red hot to get 30+ doubles or 18 HR's.

He has 30+ double 2 times, and 18+ hr's 2 times in 9 seasons.

ESPN projects him to finish with 18 doubles and 15 HR's.

I don't want rah-rah Ripken jr..I want a guy who will take some accountability for sucking the first half, and then remembering to STFU when the team is going bad and not blaming it on racism. Most fans in the bleachers at Cub games are drunken idiots anyway, so take their comments in that spirit. If some drunken idiot is yelling at me on my way home, I'm not crying about being called names...I go on with my life.

You know, there are a lot of stupid things said on this board, but and I don't want to try to get too far into your head, but I am going to hazard a guess that if there were 100 people standing 40 feet away from you at work yelling "You suck!" for two hours a day, you may be bothered by it.

Nah...you get used to it....

As with most true assholes, Milton's never the problem -- it's always everybody else.

Gosh, he was so well respected everywhere he has played, this has been a total surprise.

Advice point #1 - stop constantly telling everyone you're making $30 million. That just pisses them off.

Hm...well if I was making $7 million a year...I might just deal with it.

In this scenario, can I blame any issues on umpires, media, or racist fans?

His teammates were bitching about him earlier in the year. Soriano, who almost never has anything bad to say about anyone, spoke up to say that Bradley had better start playing hard and be part of the team or he could hit the road (I'm paraphrasing).

Honestly, what happened with Bradley this year has to be close to the worst case scenario the Cubs faced when they signed him. He had run-ins with umpires, fans, the media, his manager, and his teammates, he can't stop saying stupid stuff, his performance has been far below what was expected, and the only way he has stayed healthy is by being benched a ridiculous number of games. Short of killing someone, things couldn't have gone much worse.

There's nothing to like about having Bradley on the Cubs going into the future. I don't know how it will happen, but I hope Bradley gets moved this off-season.

Right... because Soriano has so much credibility in talking about playing hard or being a team player.

Soriano should also STFU.

IMO, Soriano is 25th out of 25 players on the roster in terms of effort. Have you watched him in RF this year? He makes Manny Ramirez look like a hustler in LF.

And his refusal to sit even when hurt has hurt the team. And his refusal to use a lighter bat has probably hurt his performance at the plate.

BL -- I can't argue with you about Soriano, but you kind of miss the point. Crunch said that Bradley's teammates haven't complained about him. I was simply pointing out that Soriano did have something to say about him.

Say what you will about Soriano, but he's not the kind of guy that runs to the media to air his thoughts. IIRC, the articles indicated that while Soriano spoke out to the media, other team members grumbled about Bradley in private.

Again, I was simply responding to what Crunch had to say. Maybe Soriano doesn't have any business complaining about Bradley, but the fact is that he did.

can we trade him for a hanley ramirez?

that would be nice.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog?post=44278...

the tame RF bleachers...might have wanted to pick a more interesting opponent

Don't you know the northside racists are all to blame?

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?colum...

The reading the lies and double standards in that article actually twisted my stomach. Do they pass out crack rocks as you enter the right field bleachers nowadays?

Things you learn from that article. Bradley, who's been pretty damned good all year at Wrigley sucks, even though he's hit HR's two days in a row. Soriano is treated the same way because one person made a comment about him, even though the RF bleacher fans were yelling at Milton as he was at home plate. Bradley never interacts or throws balls into the stands, even though his most famous play of the year was a result of him interacting with the fans and throwing the ball into the stands. It was only on TV probably 50 times, but this guy who's gone to 26 ball games has never even heard about it or seen it.

If it's not racism, what are the alternative explanations? Where people yelling at Jeormy Burnitz from the bleachers while he was at home plate? I think not. Does Bradley have a long history of getting abused by home field fans? Again, I think not.

The alternative explanations (one person's guess):

1. His past and many people not wanting him signed
2. Having only 34 April ABs and getting only 4 hits in those ABs
3. He's been healthy (for him), but had only those 34 ABs in April, so people were probably like, "What the hell?"
4. Not producing, overall (despite the OBP), the way people thought he might/should/was expected to (depending on what their expectations of him were)
5. The umpire thing ("Oh, here he goes again")
6. Bleacher fans having the reputation of douchebaggery

In all my years going to Wrigley, I've never heard anything racial. I've heard a lot of stupid, vulgar stuff, but never anything racial. I haven't sat in the bleachers in years. I've only been to one game at Wrigley this year. So I'm not the one to ask, then, but I'm guessing the reason he's ragged on doesn't have much to do with his race.

Thanks.

He's not the only one who's been upset with an umpire on the team, or got ejected for it. He's not the only one who had a bad start to the season. Fountainout doesn't get booed no matter where he goes, for example, and he's been more useless after being handed the job replacing a quite popular player in DeRosa.

It smacks to me more like excuses to yell at the Uppity N-word than anything else. There's no way to do a control on the experiment, but I can't believe a white player would be singled out like Bradley has been by the fans.

None of the players you mention come with Bradley's baggage.

Do you know that he's been called the N word?

I think a white player with a sketchy past who performed below expectations would definitely be singled out. Hopefully we'll never get the opportunity to find that out.

Well we do know it's been used in the past towards our right fielder, and towards our manager etc... but no I haven't heard anyone call Bradley that name, and it's beside the point anyway. You don't have to say that word to be a racist, you have to treat people differently based on their ethnicity, which is what I believe is happening here.

Obviously you can be racist without using the N word. But you brought it up, so I was wondering if you knew of specific instances where it had been used at Wrigley toward Miltie.

Well, this is his 7th team in 10 years, so something's up with him. As far as racism -- ask Todd Hundley about white guys getting booed. Rex Grossman might have an opinion about Chicago fans as well.

The problem with Bradley was/is expectations -- he was supposed to be the lefty middle-of-order guy. The man has never driven in 80 runs in a year in his entire career. He may not drive in 50 this year. Lou seems to have figured out that he is a #2 guy -- good OBP, moderate speed. We already have that in Fukudome.

Of course, Jeromy Burnitz complained consistently about fans, media, umpires....had a history of going after teammates...managers...

Wait...no...he didn't.

But he did suck, and all these dickheads are admitting to is that they boo Bradely because he sucks. Obviously that's not it. Is it that they want him to just shut the hell up and play? Great, morons, take your own advice.

Sullivan's "game story" today was all about Bradley purportedly continuing the controversy, with nothing about the actual game. I really think Sulivan should switch to writing a gossip column for the Tempo section of the paper. It's beautiful how he fans the flames and then blames the player for continuing the controversy. Bradley is an idiot, but still....

I read that article Rob.....fans are now being thrown out of the ballpark who yell "Bradley Sucks" ???!?!?! Talking about a franchise going over board to protect the biggest panzy/prick in baseball.

I would like to hear the entire stadium scream that at Bradley and watch the Cubs throw them all out as well. Then Bradley can feel safe to play 9 innings and go home without anyone telling him the the truth.

Thats embarrasing the franchise is doing that.

"fans are now being thrown out of the ballpark who yell "Bradley Sucks" ???"

no.

Milton Bradley is a nice distraction to the bullshit baseball the Cubs have played this year as a whole. If they don't solve the bullpen problem and a find legit shortstop it doesn't matter if Milton Bradley stays or goes.

I would keep him and try to impress on him the importance of PR in baseball. The problem is I assume Milton Bradley doesn't care. Just a hunch.

Since it looks likely that Harden is done with the Cubs, I was thinking about that trade last year. As much as I sometimes scratch my head at Hendry, that trade was a very good one for us; Josh Donaldson is a good prospect, but the only one we really gave up, and in return Harden has given us 1 1/2 very good seasons. He has pitched beyond expectations, in terms of quality and durability. This was a good trade, just couldn't overcome problems elsewhere.

Wrong. Everything Hendry does is stupid.

Those two ESPN articles fail to even mention the Cubs' utter lack of production at second base as any kind of factor for this season's results. When you have four of the nine hitters on any given day (Soriano, Fontenot/Miles, Soto, and pitcher) that are almost automatic outs, you are really giving the other team a break.

You know, and while the media is certainly not innocent here, if given the stuff Bradley said, they're going to write about that rather than focus on the game.

Bradley's past has a lot to do with it, whether he, or anyone else, likes it or not.

The only thing I've seen so far that really went over the line was the Sun-Times story on what teams would want him. Otherwise, Bradley's to blame for this becoming a story. The media's not going to hear him say what he said and ignore it.

Submitted by WISCGRAD on Thu, 08/27/2009 - 8:49pm.
I am pretty sure weekends don't count for the 48-hour window, so a claim on mid-day Thursday has until mid-day Monday to be resolved. Or it's a 72-hour window and Sundays don't count. I am not sure, but either way Monday should be right.

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

WISCGRAD: You are correct.

Harden and Heilman must have been placed on waivers on Tuesday (2 PM EDT), so that the 47 hour "waiver ride" ended at 1 PM EDT yesterday (Thursday), at which point the MLB office advised the Cubs that the players were claimed.

The Cubs then would have two business days (and Saturday and Sunday are not MLB business days except during Spring Training)--until 1 PM EDT Monday 8/31--to decide whether to either trade the player to the claiming club (but ONLY to the claiming club), or allow the claiming club to have the player for the $20,000 waiver price, or withdraw the waiver request (pull the player back off waivers). 

BTW, if a player is claimed off revocable waivers (Trade Waivers or Optional Waivers) the request is automatically withdrawn by the MLB office after two business days unless the player's club advises the MLB office otherwise. So if the Cubs say nothing, Heilman and Harden automatically remain with the Cubs.  

If a Trade Waiver request is withdrawn, the player cannot be placed on Trade Waivers again for at least 30 days from the date the waiver request is withdrawn, and the second time a player is placed on Trade Waivers in a given season, the waivers are irrevocable.

Also, any player acquired prior to midnight Monday night (8/31) is eligible to play in the post-season, which is why the Cubs put Heilman and Harden on waivers on Tuesday, to maximize the negotiation period (extending it over this weekend, but not past midnight Monday 8/31).

Maybe the Cubs will get Nick Punto for Harden. Won't help the lineup, but he's a legit shortstop and I think he'd be decent at Wrigley.

Ryno...I like your thinking, but Nick Punto is only "good" every other year. He's a good fielding shortstop, and could play 2B and 3B as well.

However... .209/.312/.257 isn't going to help much, no matter how good a fielder he is.

Anyone else we might get for him?

I predict a "happy" .250 average for Nick Punto at Wrigley.

Question: If Harden doesn't get traded, should the Cubs try to re-sign him if his demands are reasonable?

I've always been fascinated by Harden even before he was a Cub, just based on his stuff. (Wait, this isn't sounding right.)

I guess I'm saying I wouldn't mind him returning if the price was right.

One thing I remember about Burnitz is that right off the bat, he said he didn't like talking to fans.

"I've never really been fan-interactive,'' he said.

I think I'd have like Burnitz more if the Cubs had got him at 30-31, not at age 36.

Whoops.

I don't know how eager I'd be to give Harden up. If there is a very good deal, maybe. I get frustrated with his injuries, sure, but his stuff is so dominant. He seems to like it here, so it may not be as much of an ordeal to sign him as it could otherwise be.

I would guess he gets 4 years and $50 million, unless two wealthy teams get in a bidding war over him. The Cubs just don't have the payroll space to pay for him, unless they move other contracts (Lilly?).

I have no idea what the free agent market is going to be like this year. It would not surprise me if teams decided that they did not have as much money to spend, but you never know. If we could get him for 3/36 I might do that.

I would be reluctant to move Lilly's salary, given that he's been such a reliable innings eater (this year notwithstanding). Was Lilly's deal originally 4/50? I seem to recall it escalating in terms of salary in the later years. So can Harden command in the open market what the Cubs gave Lilly two years ago? And can the Cubs afford it if the can? I guess I don't know.

Ted Lilly:
2009: 9-8, 3.40 ERA, 116K/27BB, 1.111 WHIP, 135 IP
2008: 17-9, 4.09 ERA, 184K/64BB, 1.226 WHIP, 204 IP
2007: 15-8, 3.83 ERA, 174K/55BB, 1.140 WHIP, 207 IP

Rich Harden:
2009: 8-7, 3.99 ERA, 143K/52BB, 1.250 WHIP, 124 IP
2008: 10-2, 2.07 ERA, 181K/61BB, 1.061 WHIP, 148 IP
2007: 1-2, 2.45 ERA, 7 starts
2006: 6 starts

I agree that Harden's stuff is amazing, but his injury history and inability to make a full season of starts kinda scares me.
Will he be worth that kind of money for missing 10 starts a season?

I don't know.

The Harden situation will be an interesting test case for the new owners.

He is a very talented, potentially dominant starting pitcher (and seems to be a good guy) but is also a big injury risk.

How "big market" are the Cubs? How urgent is the desire to win? Are they willing to roll the dice on Harden?

Vedddddy interestink....

If the Cubs do trade Harden to the club who was awarded the claim, I would think they will want a couple of prospects similar in quality to what they would hope to get with the draft picks they would have gotten if they had kept Harden, he filed for free-agency, and the Cubs offered him arbitration on 12/1 (a couple of draft picks from the 1st-Supplemental or 2nd round range).

If it's the Twins (and for the Twins to be awarded the claim, all of the N. L. clubs, plus all A. L. clubs who were below the Twins in the standings as of the end of play on Wednesday, could not have made a claim), I would think Anthony Swarzak and either David Bromberg or Blair Erickson (or Shooter Hunt if they want a project) would be what the Cubs would want back.

If it's the Rockies (and for the Rockies to be awarded the claim, the Giants could not have made a claim) I would think the Cubs would want one of the Rockies top three pitching prospects (either Jhoulys Chacin, Esmil Rogers, or Christian Friedrich) and a second lesser prospect TBD.

Chrstian Friedrich is from Evanston and went to Loyola Academy, FWIW.

Edit* I am a retard.

Anyway, there's no chance that all the NL teams let Harden go, especially with the recent injury to Cook in Colardo. I would say look at the Braves and teams ahead of them in the standings if you want to speculate on trades.

Lilly was 4/40, I think.

Wasn't this thread about Heilman and Harden?

As for who might have claimed Aaron Heilman, I remember watching a Marlins-Cubs game earlier this season, and on the Marlins feed, their announcers gushed over how Heilman had dominated the Marlins when he pitched for the Mets, and the announcers couldn't understand why the Cubs didn't know that and they couldn't understand why Piniella didn't use Heilman more often against the Marlins. So perhaps the Marlins claimed Heilman.

According to WSCR "upto three other Cubs" have been claimed off waivers.

Guessing Gregg, Bradley, and don't know.

Right... wscr... Up to three, maybe as few as zero....

I thought it was fairly common for teams to put a lot of guys on waivers. The Cubs can just retract the waiver, right?

That's why I thought it was odd WSCR was making a big deal out of it. Maybe they just need AZ Phil as a consultant on baseball rules? :)

The Cubs, however are a team full of underperforming players who have expensive deals and no trade clauses. If there were five players they could get rid of, they just may do it.

Submitted by jacos on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:18pm.
According to WSCR "upto three other Cubs" have been claimed off waivers.

Guessing Gregg, Bradley, and don't know.

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

JACOS: If Bradley was claimed, the Cubs can just let him go via waivers, and the claiming club gets Bradley for $20,000, but they also assume 100% of what remains on his contract. So I doubt that Bradley was claimed.

If three others were indeed claimed, two of them were probably Kevin Gregg (by the Phillies or the Marlins) and John Grabow (lots of clubs could be interested).

Well let the boos begin Milt...tough play, but not a great effort.

Submitted by Ryno on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 12:23pm.
I thought it was fairly common for teams to put a lot of guys on waivers. The Cubs can just retract the waiver, right?

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

RYNO: It's common for contending clubs (the "buyers") to put all of their best prospects and young players on waivers ASAP right at the beginning of August, in case they need to trade a couple or three of them for veteran parts during August. They need to know who they can trade and who they can't

It's also common for the also-rans (the "sellers") to place their veteran players on waivers ASAP at the beginning of August, so they know who they can trade and who they can't.

But the Cubs probably considered themselves to be contenders (and "buyers") until very recently (this week), so they hadn't put their vets on waiviers yet. That's why guys like Harden, Heilman, Grabow, Gregg, et al weren't placed on waivers until just this past Tuesday. (Clubs can place a maximum of seven players on waivers per day).

Players with "no trade" rights can be placed on Trade Waivers, but if they are traded or acquired off waivers, they can refuse to go. So there really isn't much point in placing D-Lee, Ramirez, Lilly, Soriano, Dempster, Fukudome, or Zambrano an waivers, unless they have agreed to waive their NTC.

Silently waving a white flag is OK with me.

Waving a Silent Towel would be a bad thing.

maybe the RF bleachers should go over to LF a while to yell at the guy who does things his own way team-be-damned rather than the guy who hustles. oh, but you GOT to sit in the RF bleachers...that's why you show up hours before hand to sit there with your crew and enjoy talking to each other. there might be a game, too, if you can be bothered to watch it between screaming at a professional athlete as if he owes you something besides top effort in the game he's playing for the team you're rooting for.

what's the main difference between RF and LF players...hmmm

oh yeah, 1 guy is nice to the OF fans and 1 doesn't give a damn about them. one guy is totally failing at his expectations and the other is performing a bit below expectations in the power department.

so we got a bunch of butt-hurt fans who think they're owed some back/forth and a social experience rather than...oh...a baseball game.

cute.

We can list Soriano's faults for a while...but in addition to being fan-friendly (though he certainly does get booed), he at least contributed to two playoff teams before slumping most of this year. Bradley came in with a bad reputation (we can argue how much it was deserved all day) and has done nothing to disprove it, in addition to falling well short of expectations (not "a bit" below).

You can’t defend Milton Bradley by pointing out how poorly other players have played. It has no relevance to the year that Bradley has had. Bradley must be judged on his own actions, not excused for those actions because another player had a bad year.

Tito is correct. Bradley came to the Cubs with a bad reputation and his actions this year have only served to reinforce that reputation. Just about everything that Bradley's detractors feared would happen if the Cubs signed him have come to pass.

If you want to focus on Soriano's lack of hustle or Soto's pot smoking or Aaron Miles' lack of being good, that's fine, but they are separate issues.

"Just about everything that Bradley's detractors feared would happen if the Cubs signed him have come to pass."

Can you list those things? The main things Bradley detractors complained about here were:

1. His inability to stay healthy
2. His poor defense

Neither of those things came to pass. Now he did get in one argument with one umpire, who frankly deserved it, he made one bonehead play and he got chewed out by Lou once, where he had to be the voice of reason.

Lou and others have yelled at umps and been ejected. Theriot makes bonehead plays, not regularly, but certain more often than Bradley, and it was well known that people were kicking the shit out of the dugout before Bradley's fit.

It's really just a case of people wanting to be simplistic and blaming all the team's woes on one player.

TRN -- I think you're being a bit naive if you think that the only thing Bradley's detractors were afraid of was that he wouldn't stay healthy and that he was a poor defender. For instance, I think they/we were afraid:

1) He would continue allowing the fans to get into his head
2) He would continue arguing with umpires
3) His 2008 performance in Texas was an aberration
4) His personality would become a clubhouse cancer

Point 1 - Bradley has had a bad habit of jawing with fans all year. I've mostly noticed it at Wrigley, but it's happened on the road as well. And I'm not talking about good natured ribbing. Although the exchanges have not involved yelling and screaming, they have been confrontational.

Point 2 - We all know Bradley bumped an ump and got suspended. But it's more than that. He has a habit of showing up the ump every time a call doesn't go his way. He has done it in the past and he continues to do it now. Is it any wonder the umps don't seem to give him a break?

Point 3 - His offensive performance has been far below expectations. You can say that those expectations were unrealistic, but apparently the Cubs had the same expectations when they signed him to be a middle-of-the-order run producer. True, Bradley's history didn't suggest he'd be that guy, but the "experts" thought he'd be, so our expectations were set high.

Point 4 - To say Bradley is a clubhouse cancer may be overstating things. None of us knows for sure what goes on in the locker room. But the fact that players (most notably Alfonso Soriano) were complaining about him during the first half of the year and that he and Piniella got into a verbal altercation is good evidence that Bradley is not a good influence in the clubhouse.

These were the things I was talking about. His health was a concern and he has stayed relatively healthy, but that's about the best you can say about him.

Hell, soriano wasn't really complaining about him.

and all those people who sit by him on the bench and the jokey weird stuff they do on the bench looks like he's pretty integrated.

lou pinella called him a piece of shit and he had the classiest comeback ever.

THAT matters.

those idiots in the bleachers who think they are OWED a social experience don't.

1. According to the ESPN article he isn't talking to the fans at all, but that doesn't keep them from screaming at him. He was having a good time, obviously a little bit too much of a good time with the fans the day he threw the ball into the stands.
2. Who cares? Arguing with umpires when they fuck up is a good thing.
3. Going by his BABIP that was likely, what likely wasn't an aberration was his plate discipline.
4. One player said one thing, and it was the one player who probably should have kept his mouth shut the tightest. Going by what evidence there has been over the years, and what you can see in the dugout, this is probably 5 times as likely to be due to the higher level of scrutiny that Bradley gets than any tension he causes in the clubhouse that's greater than other players.

1) I'm not sure what the ESPN article said, but we've all seen Bradley talking to the fans in a less-than-friendly way this year. The most recent example happened in San Diego last week.
2) If you think arguing with the ump is a good thing, that's fine. I was simply explaining that people who opposed signing Bradley were concerned with the relationship he has with umpires and how that would affect him with the Cubs. So far this year, it has resulted in a suspension and a lot of disagreements between Bradley and the umps. And because of these constant disagreements, Bradley doesn't get many calls going his way, which ultimately hurts the team.
3) You are correct. Bradley showed good plate discipline before he joined the Cubs and he has continued to show it this year. Some would say that he looks for a walk too often, but that's an arguement for another day.
4) Perhaps Soriano should have kept his mouth shut, but he didn't. So the fact is, at least one player complained about Bradley publically and IIRC, others were complaining about him in private. In addition, Bradley got into the now famous verbal altercation with Lou Piniella. You can blame Soriano and Piniella for this, but the common denominator is Bradley. You are probably correct that Bradley gets a much higher level of scrutiny than other players, but that is a burden he has brought on himself. Bradley was known for his bad behavior more than his on-field preformance before he joined the Cubs. The added scrutiny is comes along with all of his other baggage.

It is true that other players have gotten suspended, and other players have argured with umps, and other players have said silly things to the press, and other players have had poor offensive years, but there's only one player who has done all of these things.

"It is true that other players have gotten suspended, and other players have argured with umps, and other players have said silly things to the press, and other players have had poor offensive years, but there's only one player who has done all of these things"

Zambrano?

No, Zambrano has had a good offensive year.

To be more serious for a second, Zambrano is a head case. He needs to grow up and get control of his emotions. However, Zambrano has been a valuable member of the team for sometime and has helped the Cubs become a legitimate playoff team. It's a little easier to overlook his sins (although it's getting more difficult) than it is to overlook Bradley's. Bradley has done nothing but help turn the Cubs into a horribly underperforming team.

"Bradley has done nothing but help turn the Cubs into a horribly under performing team."

My calender says August 29th, I think yours is still on May 15th.

You were expecting Bradley to do what, exactly, Tito?

To be more productive than he's been. I wouldn't say I was *expecting* this, but while I was against his signing, I was hopeful that the people on this board who were in favor of the signing were correct and that he would come close to, or exceed, his '08 production.

Quite frankly, his ability to stay on the field health-wise has been a surprise. I expected him to miss more time due to injuries.

And in no way am I blaming the Cubs' poor season solely on him. He's played a nice part in it.

They certainly should go yell at Soriano after that...piss poor attempt to catch a pop up....oof.

Gregg vs Francour....seems familiar.

~sigh~

Funny how Bradley and Soriano proceed to be players of the game. Too little, too late, but if we could actually get the four big bats and dare I dream Soto going, the Cubs might be able to make like they're in the WC race for a couple more weeks, at least.

they felt my disappointment...

I've come to the realization that none of this really matters. The Cubs baseball operations side of the team sucks from the top (Hendry) to the pitching coach in the Dominican Summer League. Bradley is an idiot and makes and has made every team he's ever played for worse. I could give a crap what his OBP/OPS/OPCrap is. Bradley was acquired to make the team more 'left-handed' and produce runs in the middle of the lineup. How's that worked out? They sure as hell didn't give him $30 million to be a #2 hitter. For God's sake.

Let's look at Hendry's decisions in constructing this team:

GOOD - Lilly, Dempster (probably), Zambrano (if he had a manager who would manage him), Ramirez/Lee (really a no brainer trading for them), and Fukudome (a good CF who hits .275+ with a good OBA - too bad he overpaid him by about $5-6M/year).

BAD - Bradley (he negotiated against himself and gave him 3 yrs guaranteed when NO ONE would have given him more than 1 year), Soriano (8 years NTC - really?), Theriot (Cubs player development screwed with this kid to the point of delaying his career 2 years), Gregg, Miles (this was hilarious), and the beat goes on.

Name one player Hendry's player development staff has made better? What kills me is there's baseball organizations out there (Angels, Braves, Twins, Cardinals, D-Backs, Rays) that spend significantly less in player salaries than the Cubs who are better, more competitive, and 'manage' their players to perform like.....well, ballplayers.

As a life-long Cubs fan as most posters here, I hope to God Ricketts is paying attention to the circus that has been playing here for the past decade, and has a different model for Cubs baseball operations in his future vision. The examples are certainly out there for him to copy.

I was encouraged earlier this week when rumor had it that Ricketts was talking to Sandy Alderson and one of Theo Epstein's lieutenants was considered to replace Hendry, then Lou would take the buyout. Now the week ends with Craig Kenney/Hendry being around here for the next 3 years. OMG. A smart man once told me the fish stinks from the head.

Lol..and Bradley and Soriano combine to put the Cubs ahead....

Gregg in line for the W kind of makes me sick.

Looks like the left handed version of Harden got pretty far up the waiver wire:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9998032/Source:...

didn't see any of the game, but I see 3/3 from bradley and soriano, plus the GW HR of course...

Rotoworld says 2 botched defensive plays by Soriano and one by Bradley and that Bradley was booed "mercilessly". Did they boo Soriano as well?

There's replay of the three 'botched' plays on mlb.com. Bradley and Soriano Suck, I think is the title. Bradley's main problem seemed to be he didn't want to run into Baker - no error and had Baker peeled off earlier he may have made the catch. 1st Soriano one is an error, he didn't hop, so he dropped a ball. 2nd is a ball against the wall that goes off the tip of his glove, he picks up and gets an assist.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=20...

ugh, that's some cringe-worthy baseball right there...Bradley seems to take his eye off the ball on his, probably worrying too much about Baker and just misses it. Soriano continues to give all the effort of someone who doesn't give a fuck.

whomever that Mets pitcher was that served up the HR to Soriano is either really bad or really stupid...

0-2 count and puts a breaking ball right over the plate...

we got a lot of bradley coming up, esp. with soriano barely still hanging in there, so the bleacher idiots better start learning to cope.

it seems sori might actually shut himself down with his knee thing. fuku/bradley/fuld/fox...

reed johnson's not even running yet even though his broken foot timetable is nearing it's end...

After catching a routine fly and getting a Bronx cheer in the seventh, Bradley—who earlier in the week criticized the “hatred” being spewed by Cubs fans—bowed to the crowd.

“It’s entertainment,” he said. “You enjoy it. When you win, you really enjoy it.”

----

bradley needs to chill the hell out. just like that incident where he showed class to lou when lou said something stupid...bradley is just getting out of control.

It's a love-hate relationship. You feel bad because the press goes overboard in their persecution, but on the other hand he's just ridiculous.

I have a bona fide inner struggle when it comes to Bradley.

What's his OBP at Wrigley now, .450? Maybe if he takes $1,000,000 to the game and hands it out to people in the stands they can cut him some slack.

Oh yeah, his Wrigley numbers are just great (April aside), but the antics annoy me. Soriano's antics annoy me and so do Zambrano's and I also bitch about them. Don't tread on me.

Didn't see you at the last NRA meeting Ryno.

OBP OBP OBP OBP OBP OBP OBP OBP OBP OBP

Three things that make this comment foolish.

I pointed out OBP because he was on base every time he came up, for the second time in three days and the 'fans' stilled booed him.

If all the regulars on the team had a .393 OBP we would be talking about setting up our post-season rotation right now instead of talking about trading our hottest pitcher.

He's now batting .317 and slugging .530 at home to go with his .432 OBP.

Cubs fans - Dumbest in baseball?

It's a shame they that teams have to go on the road.
Road: .208/.354/.298

MB is having a really good second half, and I hope that he carries it over to next year, and the he hits second.

So Cubs fans are booing Bradley for what he did 7 days ago, instead of that day. I think that plays into the Dumbest Fans in Baseball theory nicely.

No, real Cub fans know that MB, while having a good second half, stunk most of the first half. I hope that Bradley performs in 2010 like he has the second half this season.

So does this comment.

Levine updates the waiver rumors...

Giants apparently claimed Heilman. Heaven help them with Heilman/Howry in the back end of games

Still says it's the Twins who claimed Harden

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/story?i...

bah, Paul Sullivan fail then...

(from the update link)

National League clubs have claimed Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman off waivers, team sources confirmed Thursday, and the Cubs have until Monday either to pull them back, let the claims stand or work out a deal.

Cubs aren't gonna get shit from the Twins I'm guessing. They probably want the Cubs to pay part of his salary and aren't gonna give up any of their top prospects. I think we had a much better shot with Giants, Dodgers or Rockies. 

....which also begs the question of what the hell are those teams thinking not putting a claim in?

on WGN/Kaplan's show tonight he had Bruce Miles/Gordon Wittenmeyer and Paul Sullivan discussing all things Cubs

Sullivan said Lou's the one who called Bradleys hand signal after his HR "the muppet sign"

...sullivan said he calls it "the garfield goose sign" (a more chicago style reference)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Jojz9cBuYj8/RrdekUUCiAI/...

also they said the 2004 Cubs were a much more unlikeable group than this years team... particularly dislike expressed for Alou, Mercker, McFail

Stone had an agenda with his criticism whereas Brenly is critical without an agenda. Merker was really hostile to Stone for a long time...so Stone really hated that team.

...and why are we supposed to care how the press corps feels about how easy or hard the players make the press's job, again?

hehe...those guys. ...and some people complain the umps want too much of the game. =p

Are you new to watching-listening to sports media, crunch? :)

In all seriousness, though, I'd have to agree, the 2004 bunch were worse.

Submitted by Cubster on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 7:26pm.
Levine updates the waiver rumors...

Giants apparently claimed Heilman. Heaven help them with Heilman/Howry in the back end of games

Still says it's the Twins who claimed Harden

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

CUBSTER: The Giants have three lefty reliever prospects at the AA level that I have seen out here over the past couple of years (the Cubs minor league clubs play the Giants minor league clubs more than any others), and if the Cubs can get one of the three for Heilman, they should go ahead and pull the trigger even if they feel they're still in contention: 1) Joe Paterson (teammate of Darwin Barney at Oregon State), 2) Dan Runzler (UC-Riverside), and 3) Ben Snyder (younger brother of Iowa Cubs RF Brad Snyder, also played college ball at Ball State).

And if the Cubs do decide to move Harden to the Twins by the Monday deadline, apt-named closer prospect Anthony Slama (U. of San Diego) and Notre Dame alum Jeff Manship (who got brought up to Minnesota earlier this month) are a couple of other names to add to the ones I previously mentioned.

Cubs 6.5 games behind the Rockies, just 5 behind in the loss column, 36 games left to play, and the calendar still says August. Too early to pull the plug just yet?

I'll give them until next weekend before I turn to the Bears, and if the Cubs can make up a game and a half this coming week, there may still be some hope. In the end, I wouldn't be surprised if 86-87 wins is enough to take the wild card this year.

Well, if we trade Harden to one of the teams we're chasing, that surely won't help. However, if the Giants claimed Heilman, that's one team we should be able to catch.

I'd like to see the DeRosa boys in the pen.

Now that Bradley seems to have his act together and Baker is doing a passable imitation of a 2nd basemen who can hit, if Soriano or Soto would just get going, the Cubs offense could get them on the 10 of 12 streak they need to get into WC contention.... oh yeah, then there's the bullpen, and what seems to be a tired Wells. Never mind. Let's go Bears!

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