The Untouchables

The Yankees get Curtis Granderson, the White Sox land Jake Peavy, the Cardinals traded for Matt Holliday, the Phillies are in on Roy Halladay, the Mets acquired Johan Santana and Cubs fans get....

(Click on the image for the full size version)

This was all Real Neal's idea, I just cleaned up the Photoshop. Happy weekend everyone!


Keith Law is on a Jason Kendall comedy roll.

Rich Hill, Felix Pie...


So Hill, Pie, Shark (NTC). Who are the others? I zoomed in but the names of the featured actors still list Costner, etc. Couldn't update the details, eh Rob? (jk, nicely done)

yeah, I got bored with it to update the credits, 2 hours was enough time spent

It's Castro, Vitters, Cashner, Shark and Hill and Pie are the retro ones...

The idea was actually inspired by a comment 'Chuck' made this week. And Rob's taking too little credit, I sent him a MS Paint thing I threw together in 10 minutes on lunch break - with none of the editing.

I think it's very nicely done.


Very, very nice photoshop work ROB G!

Again no time to read, but am i the only one so pissed i can't see straight that NOTHING happened at the meetings??

3 months til pitchers/catchers report...

Well if the Cubs are only willing to pay 4-5 million they got laughed out of any serious meeting about trading Bradley.

If they really want to move him, they are delusional in thinking that people actually want Bradleys lovely attitude, Iron-Man like playing ability, and all-star numbers.

No one is gonna touch Bradley with a ten foot pole unless the Cubs make it a non-risk for a franchise. Because his new team will want to be able to cut Bradley at anytime and owe him nothing.

The Cubs paid for the risk, and they will pay for that risk to another team.

well that 4-5m isn't just some "you pay all of this, give me prospects"...they're probably willing to take on someone else's overpriced junk to help reach that 4-5m mark.

they'll probably have to cough up 6-7m, though...working it in around that 7m a year mark for the team taking on bradley.

I'd be willing to leave my wife and kids and head down to Chicago to be Bradley's best friend for 6 months if that's what it will take. I'll hold his hand, coddle him and tell him what he wants to hear. Any butt-sex will have to be done by another TCR regular, though. Any volunteers?

Seriously, these are all grown-ass men. Let's let bygones be bygones and have Bradley out in RF next season. It will have been 6 months by Spring Training, so why can't we just call it growing pains and work this out? I think it beats trading for some piece of crap like Carlos Silva, who is not going to help us ever. Everyone needs to get in a room, suck it up and apologize, and see if we can mend fences. Perhaps if we don't look so absolutely desperate to move Bradley, someone will have a tad more to offer.

I hate being an eternal optimist...

hell, i wouldn't mind him staying.

a lot of fans probably won't, though. that's a huge problem with shifting him. bradley lets people get to him and the fans seem to love trying to get to him. guy put in one hell of a home performance last season only to get his ass ridden like it more important than the game on the field.

manny can "be manny" in BOS/LA with people bitching at him because he could care less. bradley for some f'n reason does care. that's why bradley can probably never play in BOS/NYY/NYM and a few other teams for starters...not to mention the other teams he wore out his welcome with.

hendry seems to really want to work something out where he can shift bradley and put a somewhat comparable player on the field. he needs the loot to do it. whatever...meh.

Again Crunch, it's not like fans don't see the absolute craptastic season he had on the road. baseball-reference's comps to Bradley?
Jeffrey Hammonds
Ivan Calderon
Ben Grieve
Marty Cordova
Ellis Valentine
Ron Northey
Todd Hollandsworth...BWHAAAHAAAAAAAA!!!
Alexis Rios
Eric Byrnes
Chet Laabs

Fans were quick to jump on him, and yes, unfairly at times. However, Bradley stunk. Period.

This fucking team...

You can't even trade this guy + $5,000,000... brilliant. Fuck the Cubs.

What I'm hearing, Crunch, is that Jimbo is going to have to eat the balance of what Bradley is owed. TB wants the Cubs to take Burrell and send the difference to them for 2011. That's pretty much any other trade partners will also demand.

"Only 3 months until Pitchers and Catchers report"

Sounds better when you say 90 days...

Jeez guys. Pitchers and Catchers (and injured players) are allowed to report on February 18th. Since it's December 12th today, that is more like TWO months, not three! It's about 65-70 days depending on what date the Cubs specifically pick.

LOU LOU LOU!! You can reform, redo, reconcile and push the reset button for MB. Lou, start now, call him and meet with him, you and Rudy. SHOW the baseball world you are a WORLD CLASS manager, a WORLD CLASS organization and OUR guy is capable of Comeback player of the year. I beg you, LOU...we all knew you would not be another Dusty. We have faith in you LOU. Make love to Mrs Lou, and after, while you are smiling...give Milton a call. Gravitas, Lou. You are strong. You are the Notre Dame Kelly of da Cubbies. If Lou can't do it, nobody can. Have some Juicy Fruit, watch "It Happens Every Spring" and help him become an all-star, MVP, and Dempster's roomie on the road. We truly Love you, Father Lou. Put the WGN booth in RF so no one can shout bad things to Milt. Come up with a new nickname for him: Brad, or just call him by his number, like Ocho Cinco. SELL him on his On Base Percentage. It's gonna happen. I can feel it, Lou. You can do eet...We love you, Lou. L-o-v-e, it's a wonderful thing.



This site is great. I'll tell my friends.


Apparently the Padres are giving away Kevin Corriea this weekend. Hendry should get in on that to add his bullpen arm or 4th starter.

I don't care if he never gets hurt for the rest of his career. This guy cannot throw 200 innings in a season when it takes him 20 pitches to go through an average inning.

Obviously has great stuff, but all this talk about him becoming Texas' ace in a joke, in my mind. The dude got up for 26 games last year and only logged more than 6 IP on five occasions.

Nevermind the injuries, THIS is why he can never be an ace.

If I was Harden I'd look into seeing if there was a way to condition myself into being a closer (although the walks are a problem for closers). I read somewhere it takes him about 12 hours to warm up for a start so he'd need to figure out a way to fix that. The guy was fun to watch when he had a good game, especially the year before last, but it was frustrating seeing his name in there and knowing he'd go six on a good day.

But he passed his airport screening, I mean physical...

There was a great article going over how the Texas pitching coach and Nolan Ryan don't believe in pitch counts, and how pitchers today are babied more. They have set out to condition their top prospects and make their pitchers work deeper into games.

I think at the time of the article Texas was leading teams in average IP by their starters, and complete games. And Harden will likely be put into that system to make him more durable. Nolan Ryan and Maddux will be drooling over testing their philosophy of creating more resilent pitchers on him.

I agree with that philosophy whole-heartedly, btw. C'mon, 4-man rotation!!

Calling somebody untouchable is a marketing ploy. Saltalamacchia was untouchable until they traded him. The Braves knew what they were doing, too, just as the Yankees probably did with Austin Jackson. In theory, it's the player's own organization that understands his strengths and weaknesses. The Cards traded supposedly their best prospect for Holliday, but he was a marginal third baseman who will probably have to get in a long line to play left field somewhere, just like the guy the Brewers traded for Sabathia.

I don't recall the Cubs turning down offers for Samardzija. Untouched is not the same as untouchable. Nor as far as I know did the Cubs refuse to trade Cashner for Granderson. If Cashner is considered untouchable right now, he won't be for long if he doesn't start missing more bats. But the Cubs should pretend he's untouchable for as long as they can get away with it.

Four or five Cubs should be untouchable because of their youth: Castro, Lee, both Jacksons and LeMahieu. You just don't know what you have yet. You don't sell a stock when it is rising every day.

edit: I would also hang on to Vitters for a while, since Wilken doesn't draft too many 40-HR types.

Samardzija has a NTC - when they gave him that, it essentially made him "untouchable". The Cubs wouldn't trade Vitters in the Peavy deal, Hill for Tejada, Pie for Santana or Castro for Granderson.

It's rumors that you hear from sportswriters that label players "untouchable", it's not a marketing ploy. Explain how excluding Vitters fro a Peavy trade made the Cubs money.

and it was a joke...

Hill for Tejada: I remember Prior for Tejada, and I find this from late December 2005:

According to reports on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Bruce Levine is reporting the trade that would send Mark Prior, Corey Patterson and Rich Hill to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada is on the table and the Cubs are waiting for a reply from the Orioles.

It's true that leading up to the 2008 season, the Cubs did not want to trade Hill, but he was going to be in the starting rotation.

Pie for Santana: That's a new one on me. I'd like to see a mention of a trade for Santana that the Cubs nixed because of Pie. There are some vague rumors in November '07. Pie hit .215 for Piniella in '07. He did start the following season in center but didn't last long. Maybe Pie was untouchable a year or two earlier than that, but the Cubs needed a CF--they still do--and they thought he was ready.

Summing up: Pie and Hill were untouchable in the brief period when trading them would have opened a hole in the active roster. Samardzija was untouchable in the sense of having an NTC--maybe a prerequisite for signing him--but not in the sense of anybody else wanting him or trying to pry him away from the Cubs.

Castro should be untouchable. The Cubs need a shortstop. Trade Castro if you think Lee will be better, but it will be at least another season before you can come to a firm opinion about Lee.

Trade the lesser of two guys when you have duplicates, like the Braves with McCann and Saltalamacchia.

As for Vitters, like I said, he's the only power prospect in the org. Wilken doesn't like to draft 1B-LF-DH types, and there aren't too many power prospects up the middle.

I don't recall anything about Santana and Pie, my recollection was the Cubs didn't pursue it much because they thought Santana wanted spring training in Florida.

Pie did hold up the Brian Roberts deal though.

So, summing up, everyone in the picture was untouchable with the possible exception of Cashner - but in Cashner's case the first off-season he's eligible for being traded on the Cubs aren't looking to take on payroll.

It was the Orioles insistence on including Hill that killed the Tejada/Bedard trade, regardless of what Levine says.

My recollection, for what it's worth, is that it was originally Prior for Tejada. The Orioles asked for Hill, the Cubs said fine, throw in Bedard. The O's said no. (That more or less agrees with Levine.)

Rob is right, though, that the Cubs could have had Roberts if they were willing to include Pie in the deal. That would have been a good trade, obviously. I was opposed to it at the time.

In retrospect, for an untouchable, Pie was always high-maintenance. He always had dedicated hitting coaches, baserunning coaches, etc. His only tools that weren't works-in-progress were catching and throwing.

College pitcher Jordan Reid tweeted yesterday that he worked out at USC with Tom House, a few other pros and scouts and...Mark Prior.


Not me! That's 10Man's great work (from 2005)...

astros - b.lyon 3/15

pointless, yet america @ the winter meetings.

that was funny as hell, i lost it during the toaster part

k.johnson and non-tendered by the braves because jim hendry is the worst GM in history and couldn't find a trade for anything rather than letting them walk. what a loser.

Ryan Dempster is trying to unload one of his Lakeview mansion houses. Just why he thought he needed two enormous houses on the same street, I dunno.

Johnny Gomes non-tendered. Can cries of collusion be far behind? And will they be justified?

I've seen him pitch dominantly before, but since it was against the Cubs, I guess I shouldn't be too excited.

All this hand wringing over not getting a platoon cf is making me sick. How much did the Yanks pay for him? They sent a strikeout-prone cf and a sore armed pitcher and a couple loogies. They did not give up much of anything. The Cubs could have been in it if they had a cf to offer back, and no, Sam Fuld was not the guy they wanted.

Enough already.

The non-tenders are interesting. How about a Gomes/Church outfield platoon? Both guys kill against the favorable pitching side, Gomes has nearly a 900 career OPS against LHP, Church is over 800 OPS against RHP. Can Gomes play CF? I'm sure he can play RF, so I guess you could always leave Fukudome in center in that case.

Not sure why the Cubs tendered Fontenot, he ain't worth no $2MM. Kelly Johnson looks like a better option to me for the same $$, he can't hit the ball out of the park like Fontenot but he brings better defense, speed and plate discipline to the equation. A Johnson/Baker platoon at 2B could be workable.

Eh, who I am kidding. Fat Man is busy obsessing over Milton Bradley, so nothing will get done and the Cubs will trot the same sorry group of underachievers out there again next year.

You can get away with playing Gomes in a corner outfield spot, but his best position is probably DH. Imagine Jake Fox with more outfield experience, and that's pretty much Gomes.

Gomes is a liability at best in the OF, more of a DH option but better than Jake Fox in the OF.

He is on my list of cheap fixes for the OF that have the ability to put up big numbers. I want him on the Cubs and maybe even starting in RF.

There is no doubt he kills LHP, but he has legit power against RHP as well the only mystery is where his average will be. But an inexpensive power option for a team with budget problems, he pretty much needs to be a must have player.

I would take a flyer on Church as well, another cheap option that can probably produce more than anything from our minors.

A Soriano, Fuku, Gomes, Church OF would be alot better than getting Pat Burrell or flipping him for Luis Castillo for 2nd.

We should be looking at whatever cheap fixes we can find at this point... your moves sure make sense to me.

And what's with all the spam? Rob, do you go in and clean these up post by post, because I haven't seen too many. What is the world coming to?

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 6:24pm.

Not sure why the Cubs tendered Fontenot, he ain't worth no $2MM. Kelly Johnson looks like a better option to me for the same $$, he can't hit the ball out of the park like Fontenot but he brings better defense, speed and plate discipline to the equation. A Johnson/Baker platoon at 2B could be workable.


JIM H: As a "Super Two" with mediocre numbers, Fontenot will be lucky to get $1M.

The only Cubs arb-eligbles who should get more than $1.2M are Marmol and Theriot, and neither is likely to get more than $2M.

I would say it will probably end up like this:

Theriot - $2M
Marmol - $2M
Guzman - $1.125M
Marshall - $1.125M
Baker - $1M
Fontenot - $1M
Gorzelanny - $1M
K. Hill - $750K
Cotts - Non-tendered with minor league contract offer ($150K while he rehabs, with a pro-rated $900K major salary if he gets added to the 40-man roster).

Brian Anderson was non-tendered by Boston...just another inexpensive option who plays good defense in CF and might finally get it one day offensively

D.J. Carrasco was actually a very valuable pitcher for the White Sox last year, and could provide some of the bullpen help Hendry is seeking.

Matt Capps non-tendered, certainly be a guy I wouldn't mind the Cubs grabbing along with Kelly Johnson. But since they tendered Fontenot, that looks unlikely.

Jose Arenando (misspell) was non-tendred by the Angels, I know he is going to have TJS after the new year but this would be a good buy-low injury case.

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