Cubs Win At Something

The little LSU engine that could was defeated by the almighty Cubs Inc. today in their arbitration case. Theriot will take home a cool $2.6M instead of $3.4M in his final year as the Cubs shortstop and probably with the Cubs.

"I've known Ryan since his LSU days," Hendry said. "He's a good kid. He'll be an important part of the club this year.
It's a matter of what side of the fence, business wise, you happen to
be on right now. We'll get through it. Ryan Theriot's going to be
playing on Opening Day here, and we need him to play well."

And Lou:

``Everything I've heard, he's a can't-miss kid. But this year,
Ryan will be our shortstop,'' Piniella said. ``Remember, Castro is
young, and there's nothing wrong with putting a good foundation under
him at AAA.''

(H/t to Wrigleyville 23 for the find and formatting)

We'll see if that extra $800K is enough for the Cubs to bring in a reliever. There was some rumors by Bruce Levine if the Cubs won the case they might be able to afford Chan Ho Park, who is still looking for $3-4M.


They should have just split the middle. Yeah it's more than he deserves, but it's not like Hendry is real thrifty with money.

maybe the Cubs thought they were being generous enough at $2.6M and weren't even offering $3M?

"We stand on our track record," he said. "I don't think anybody in that clubhouse would tell you we have not been fair to that player in the arbitration process... It was just a different type of situation."

i.e, we knew we're not keeping him past this year... shortstop.

I think the Cubs balked at paying RT more than $2.6 because his future is at second base (where he doesn't match up well against league second basemen) or the bench as a utility player. But I would be surprised if they don't plan on trying to keep him around.

why keep him around at $3.5 million when you've got Blanco, Castro and Barney who offer the approximately the same skill set at close to ML minimum?

Theriot at 2b is not a good idea...unless Castro or whomever is playing shortstop shows 10-15 HR power.

this myth needs to end.

this myth needs to end.
can he play short centerfield for the 16" team?

Well it's definitely not a "myth."

Theriot has already been told that he will eventually be moved to second base to make way for star prospect Starlin Castro. He has no qualms about the move, and said he'd help Castro any way he can.

"If I remember, my first action was in right field," he said with a laugh. "That was an adventure. I don't (have any qualms). But as of now I am the shortstop, and I've been for three years and I feel like I've done a good job. He's going to have to come get it."

the myth that it's a good idea...

What is the alternative to the Cubs saying he will move to second? Hey Ryan, as soon as Castro is ready were shipping you outta here?

Theriot's value (i.e. salary) and production (made the routine plays at SS) were fine in 2007/2008 when the Cubs had enough offensive production coming from other spots in the lineup. If we had a GM with foresight, he would be looking to seriously find another team for Theriot to play for by mid summer. It appears Castro may be ready by then and has more offensive and defensive upside than Theriot will ever have. Unless a bottom third MLB team needs and everyday 2B or even SS, his future is a $750,000 to $1.25M backup middle infielder.

Unless they form a high OBA 1-2 in the lineup/defensive keystone stars, I'm not sure how much of a 2B/SS upgrade that Castro/H. Lee would be.

It occurs to me that Ryan is a victim of his time. That 800K would be his right now if he had been born, oh, let's see...about 12 years earlier. Under the influence, he'd be at 25 HR's a year and slugging .700, and his locker would be right next to Slammin' Sammy. Yes, all that extra money we spent on watching McGuire, et. al., was well spent, eh, folks?


Are you saying that some people benefited financially from the use of performance enhancing drugs during the 90s? And that some of those people were baseball players? Is that the implication here?

Let's all us fans file a class action lawsuit against Sammy Sosa for delighting us so much that we bought tickets! Then we can give some of that cash to the scrappy, skinny guys that are screen surrogates on WGN.

Indeed. Needs more scrap.

another piece on Dempster's kid

impressive detail in the comments on the arbitrators in Theriot's case and their records.

using the 1998-2002 method (no idea the difference) and CHONE 2010 projections:

ideal lineup: Fukudome, Lee, Fontenot, Ramirez, Soto, Soriano, Byrd, Pitcher, Theriot

2nd best had Byrd and Fontenot flipped

Putting Baker in:Fukudome, Lee, Byrd, Ramirez, Soto, Soriano, Baker, Pitcher, Theriot

the 1959-2004 method (no idea): Fukudome, Lee, Byrd, Ramirez, Soto, Pitcher, Baker, Soriano, Theriot

I used the composite 2009 numbers for Cubs pitchers.

Fontenot or Byrd as the options for #3 hitter AND extra PAs for the pitcher? That's an interesting tool, there.

don't argue with the spreadsheet. it knows baseball better than any of us.

yeah, not sure where the pitcher batting 6th is a good idea, although I guess they only get up 2, maybe 3 times a game before being pinch-hit.

A long time ago when Dusty was fucking up lineups every day and I cared, I read something that your best hitter should bat 2nd, not 3rd (worked for the Cubs with Ryno for awhile)...but don't recall the articles now or the reasoning.

following your "best" hitter with fontenot or byrd is a great way for your "best" hitter to see something not worth swinging at.

these kinds of projections that treat players as if they play in a single batter vs. pitcher vacuum are flawed right out of the gate.

Byrd's not too bad, he'll be (likely) batting behind Ramirez to start the season, so we'll see.

im just saying what was spit out by that process is flawed...

i don't think byrd is horrible...i think people that thought j.jones was the worst thing since hitler won't be pleased with him, though.

i don't think him or fontenot belong anywhere near the 3 slot. it's odd something had to churn stats to arrive at that decision.

...and this...

"...Pitcher, Baker, Soriano, Theriot"

i'm not touching that.

The explanation is simple. It's broken.

The only problem, to me, with the ideal lineup is the pitcher/theriot thing at 8/9, but when Z plays that wouldn't bother me. I think the Brewers manager went with this logic but then realized that the impact to the 7th hitter wound up screwing up the spreadsheet math.

showing a 1969 game between Cubs and Phillies; Fergie vs. Rick Wise

Ed Wade extended for 2 seasons by the Astros...

college baseball on MLB Network?


well, i guess it's cool as hell if you're a fan.

*ting* *ting* *ting* *ting* *ting* *ting*

Does Starlin Castro not being in camp yet say something about the kid?

His first invite to big league camp with people saying he's going to push Theriot. And he doesn't show up early like the majority of the other players.

they most likely have a spelled-out plan for him and he did play the offseason in 2 leagues. dunno if it was up to him to report and when, but i imagine they know where he's at and why he's there.

"Does Starlin Castro not being in camp yet say something...?"

You have information on this?

There is no evidence that Castro is not abiding by Fleito's wishes at all. If he has been playing basically the whole winter, and will be playing for the next seven months without a break - than I'd WANT him to have a little R&R if I was running things.

I agree w/CRUNCH - "...and he did play the offseason in 2 leagues."

The only information I have is that he's not there - and not required to be there yet.

It may say that he is having visa issues. If he is always late to camp, I'd worry about it, but not being there early after having played for 4 teams over the previous 10 months is the definition of mountain of a molehill.

I saw Moises Alou on BBT Wednesday afternoon. He said the Cubs asked Castro to take more time off this winter, Castro asked Alou to talk to his contacts with the Cubs and ask if he could play more and not rest. Cubs said no. Based on that, I'd imagine Castro's absence is not because he doesn't want to be there.

Thanks for the information.

I hear Soriano chartered a plane for him, Castro and Ramirez. It worked so well for Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper.

That sounds like something so catastrophic that I actually believe it could happen to this franchise.

Catastrophic? Is Soriano on the plane in this scenario?

Or that Starlin Castro isn't even remotely ready for the big leagues and is young enough and needs the minor league seasoning while we already have a perfectly acceptable SS.

In other words, only a dumb ass franchise with no clue how to develop talent would rush him to the majors this season only to watch him fall flat on his face.

So maybe he will replace Theriot, and we can trade his worthless ass just like Pie for nothing. All for the sole purpose of rushing a prospect because people don't like Theriot. Some times you just got to let them develop so they won't be eaten alive in the majors.

don't forget to sign up for your fantasty team...

I'm with MikeC. My sentiments exactly, except for some of the profanity.

So Castro will be up in June?

1/8M for Damon...

Bryan - 23
E-man - 18
Michael Connors - 15
Jim Hickman's Bat - 14
JD, too - 13
Rob G. - 13
Sweet Lou - 12
big lowitzki - 12
Dusty Baylor - 11
The Stick - 10
aaronb - 4
twcoffee - 2
Ahone, Ahtwo, Athree - 2
Hippo Vaughn - 1

I'll give Dye to Opening Day to decide.

Weird off-season. Weren't the scores in the 60's and 70's last year?


78 was the winner last year..

Who is "bryan"?

Is this a ringer?

Bryan is Carrie Mustache's real name.

The Cubs' team may be quite different in 2011. In addition to a replacement for Theriot at shortstop, the Cubs may need to replace Ted Lilly, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Ted Lilly and Derrek Lee will be free agents after then 2010 season and and Aramis Ramirez could opt out of the last year of his contract and become a free agent after the 2010 season.

Even if Lilly, Lee and Ramirez are re-signed, their ages and injury histories make it unlikely that they will all be productive players in 2011 and beyond.

I used Baseball Reference to identify players with comparable statistics through the same age. Then I examined how productive the comparable players were in future years.

Derrek Lee will be age 34 during the 2010 season. He has experienced neck and back problems since 2006. Three comparable hitters through their age 33 seasons are Kent Hrebek, Fred McGriff and Will Clark. Hrebek played one final season at age 34 in 1994, playing 81 games with 53 RBI’s. McGriff was productive through age 38 during the 2002 season when he played for the Cubs. Will Clark had a fine season in 1998 at age 34 with 102 RBI’s. In 1999, he played in only 71 games with 29 RBI’s. His last season was 2000, when he had 70 RBI’s in 130 games.

Aramis Ramirez will be age 32 during the 2010 season. In 2009, he had a reoccurrence of shoulder problems. Three comparable hitters through their age 31 seasons are Scott Rolen, Greg Luzinski and Gary Sheffield. At age 32 in 2007, Rolen had 58 RBI’s in 112 games. Subsequently he had 50 RBI’s in 115 games in 2008 and 67 RBI’s in 128 games in 2009. Luzinski had 95 RBI’s in 1983 at age 32 and 58 RBI’s in his final season at age 33. Sheffield was very productive through 2005 when he had 123 RBI’s at age 36.

Ted Lilly will be age 34 during the 2010 season. He is recovering from 2009 knee and labrum arthroscopic surgeries. Last year, at age 33, Lilly was 12-9 with a 3.10 ERA in 27 starts. Comparable starting pitchers through their age 33 seasons are Kevin Tapani and Shane Reynolds. In 1997 at age 33, Tapani was 9-3 in 13 starts for the Cubs with an ERA of 3.39. At age 34, his ERA increased to 4.85, but he was 19-9 in 34 starts. At age 35, he was 6-12 in 23 starts with an ERA of 4.83. At age 36, he was 8-12 in 30 starts with an ERA of 5.01. In his final season at age 37, he was 9-14 in 29 starts with an ERA of 4.49. At age 33 in 2001, Shane Reynolds was 14-11 in 28 starts with an ERA of 4.34. At age 34, he was 3-6 in 13 starts with an ERA of 4.86. At age 35, he was 11-9 in 29 starts with an ERA of 5.43. In his final season at age 36, he was 0-1 in one start with an ERA of 4.50.

Will Derrek Lee be productive through age 38 like Fred McGriff, or will he decline more rapidly like Kent Hrebek and Will Clark? Will Aramis Ramirez be productive through age 36 like Gary Sheffield or decline more rapidly like Greg Luzinzki or Scott Rolen? Will Ted Lilly make 29 starts at age 37 like Kevin Tapani or will he decline more rapidly like Shane Reynolds? I think it is unlikely that Lee, Ramirez and Lilly will all be productive in 2011 and beyond.

that's great info..thanks. one of the big worries with the team in 2010 is their age, at least for me.

one thing I'll say is that ref index isn't as good as the BP one imho.

Top 6 BP Comps:

Lee: J. Torre, J. Olerud, E. Karros, B. Watson, F. McGriff, J. Adcock
Ramirez: M. Lowell, D. Money, B. Robinson, S. Bando, B. Melton, G. Gaetti
Lilly: F. Bannister, J. Koosman, Gary Peters, Chris Short, George Brunet, R. Guidry

Should note that BP hasn't gotten around to updating their comps through the 2009 season yet.

yeah, that is a good note...

How old will Jim Hendry be after the 2010 season?

Luzinzki was a DH in 1983

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