Z and His Agent Finally Get Story Straight Plus Draft Signing Updates

If you were following the Z drama through the papers or through our comments, you would have noticed the healthy amount of spin his agent Barry Praver was putting on the situation, because there is nothing worse for an agent than losing out on the 10% commission of the $24M or so he's still owed. It went something along the lines of, he said nothing about retiring, wait, yes he did, but it was not meant for public consumption. He came back Friday and returned his stuff, no I meant Saturday...he never punched Michael Barrett, Michael Barrett fell on his fist, etc, etc...

Kapman today scored the first interview with Z and it appears they finally found the narrative they plan to go forward with. Essentially, yes Z did make comments about retiring, but they were all intended to be private (counterpoint: Cubs claim to have text messages saying "good-bye and thanks" from Z). He also tried to return to the team Saturday with his belongings, but was not allowed and naturally, does not agree with the Cubs punishment. They intend to file a grievance by the end of the day.

Anyway, the idea of Z gifting the Cubs $18M next year seems out the window, but give credit to the Cubs for seizing the opportunity to save $3M or so this year by putting him on the disqualified list. Him leaving early means nothing to me, but obviously it rubbed many of his teammates the wrong way and in the end he gets a longer vacation and Cubs fans get Casey Coleman.

And now for the rest of the story...

Big Z: "I received text messages of support from Sosa, Byrd, Ozzie, Jason Giambi, Pena, and Soriano." Also said he and Soriano are cool.

Surprised Derrek Bell didn't think to drop him a note...

Today is the deadline for the Cubs to sign their 2011 draftees. I was keeping track of all the signings and bonuses over at Wiklifield and now suddenly it won't let me edit pages anymore, only sections of pages and the bonus info isn't part of a section. Meh. Here's what I have cobbled together so far...many thanks to you guys for getting the scoops in the comments (especially QuietMan).

Round Player Bonus Comment
1 Javier Baez $2.625M and no major league deal
2 Dan Vogelbach $1.6M Callis just confirmed deal is done
3 Zeke DeVoss $500K Playing for Boise, .442 OBP, 11/14 on SB's
4 Tony Zych $400K reliever with a bit of a wacky motion
5 Tayler Scott $279,950 S. African native, also excellent soccer player
6 Neftali Rosario $150K Crushing the ball in the Arizona Rookie League
7 Trevor Gretzky $375K drafting and signing for that much a bit of a head scratcher, headed for shoulder rehab in Arizona
8 Taylor Dugas Unsigned appears he's going to U. of Alabama
9 Garret Schlecht $235K recently made his debut with the AZL Cubs
10 Daniel Lockhart $395K This was done awhile ago apparently, just waiting to be official.
11 Shawon Dunston Jr. $1.275M seems excessive....
12 Jacob Lindgren Unsigned Appears he's going to Mississippi State
13 Trey Martin $250K not doing much for the AZL Cubs so far, was to go to Kennesaw State with Daniel Lockhart.
14 Dillon Maples $2.5M just a tad less than first round pick Baez
15 Justin Marra $100K or so this website says
16 Rafael Lopez Signed doing okay at Boise so far
17 John Andreoli Signed looks like he'll play in Arizona for a few weeks and return to UCONN to finish classes
18 James Pugliese Signed Pitching for the AZL Cubs
19 Paul Hoilman Signed Striking out and hitting HR's for Boise
20 Ben Klafczynski Signed hitting poorly for Boise and now Peoria
21 Andrew McKirahan $75K Pitching well for the AZL Cubs
22 Ethian Elias Signed doesn't seem to be playing anywhere yet
23 Bradley Zimmer Unsigned
 can't find any credible whispers on this one
24 George Asmus Unsigned  can't find any credible whispers on this one
25 Rock Shoulders $294K that's about 4th round money
26 Michael Jensen $225K doesn't seem to be playing anywhere yet
27 Taiwan Easterling $200K not doing much for Peoria right now
28 Christopher Garrison Unsigned
 can't find any credible whispers on this one
29 Drew Weeks Unsigned
 can't find any credible whispers on this one
30 Arturo Maltos-Garcia Signed doesn't seem to be playing anywhere yet
31 Ronnie Richardson Unsigned
not looking good according to this
32 Pete Levitt Signed not pitching particularly well for Peoria
33 Sheldon McDonald Signed not pitching particularly well for Boise
34 Hunter Kelley Unsigned
can't find any credible whispers on this one
35 Ian Dickson Signed
6'5" righty that missed all of 2011 with injury, will report to Arizona
36 Travis Garcia Signed Was hitting decently for Boise, and then mysteriously retired
37 Steven Maxwell Unsigned 
can't find any credible whispers on this one
38 Casey Lucchese Signed doesn't seem to be playing anywhere yet
39 Ricky Jacquez Unsigned Decides to go to Texas
40 Patrick Francescon Signed nice strikeout and walk rates for Peoria
41 Austin Urban $100K that's around 6th/7th round money I believe
42 Brad Zapenas Signed hitting poorly for Boise
43 Jay Calhoun Unsigned 
Appears he'll be going to Dallas Baptist instead
44 Kenny Socorro Signed hitting poorly for Boise
45 Tanner Kichler Unsigned 
can't find any credible whispers on this one
46 Scott Weismann Signed doesn't seem to be playing anywhere yet
47 David Ernst Unsigned 
appears he's going to North Dakota State
48 Sam Howard Unsigned 
seems he's headed to Georgia Southern
49 Antonio Gonzaeles Unsigned 
can't find any credible whispers on this one 
50 Cody Edwards Unsigned 
can't find any credible whispers on this one 

If you stumble across any bonus information, let me know. I had to get back to work, but will try to hunt down more info before the day is over.


Z also said he didn't throw at Chipper, the ball got away.

He's such a lying sack of dung. The sooner he is released/bought out the better for everyone. I don't want this crap to drag out a month or even a week, get rid of him today. Sell his contract the most out the way team you can find, I don't care if we have to pay the full deal, make his life miserable. Have fun in the Siberian Penal League, asshole.

It's a sad state about just how much velocity big Z has lost on his fastball when he can't drill Chipper Jones on 2 attempts... it's not like Chipper has cat-like reflexes!

That's probably why he stormed off - he was thinking, "Eff it, not only did I just give up 5 taters but I'm so terrible that I can't even drill an old guy with 2 tries! I better retire!!"


Callis says Vogelbach deal done, 1.6 mil.

"Surprised Derrek Bell didn't think to drop him a note..."

he's probably in a jail cell somewhere and out of quarters. his life has gone downhill badly...should be dead via meth abuse any year now.

thnx for the chart/list, btw...nice stuff.

Yeah, nice work on the chart, Rob.

20 unsigned so far, which seems rather low already by historical standards for the Cubs and there are sure to be a few more that sign before the deadline.

just how fast is devoss? is he really that speedy or is he just eager with enough speed to pull it off?

AZ Phil put out an Eric Patterson comp recently, seems like EPatt had a little power though, at least in the minors.

Figured if he was Michael Bourn fast, he'd be playing CF.

ROB G: Zeke DeVoss is an Eric Patterson clone, right down to the below-average defensive skills at 2B.


same issue with Tony Thomas if I recall correctly, that didn't work out either.

Garry Meier of WGN Radio awarded Z the annual Lou Piniella Award for the Cubs personnel who quits before the season is over.

+1 as the kids like to say

How can anyone spin this other than another Hendry snafu (see - Sosa, Bradley) where an overpaid contract with NTC makes the guy un-moveable under 'normal GM' circumstances. Once again, behavior forces a less than ideal move from Hendry.

My take would be to tell Paver that he can accept a number between $1 and $23 million that is less than 8 digits. OR..........Z will be the highest paid middle relief pitcher in MLB for the 2012 season, and good luck getting a big multi-year deal as a starter next off-season.

i dunno how Z would do anything but start.

he's not the same 97mph pitcher he was before he re-invented himself, but his re-invention...though not as awesome as it was...is still MLB serviceable stuff. he's still young, too. he's someone's #3-5 pitcher.

Take him out to the middle of Lake Michigan and push him overboard.

Get over it.

Get over it.


Nope. I had enough of his crap last year. He's the poster boy for a franchise that doesn't give a crap.

I disagree; I see him as the only one who does seem to care. His shit is getting old, I'll give you that, but mainly it's because of his frustration over their/his suckitude.

He can't handle failure. That might be appealing in theory, but we're not talking about Steve Jobs or some genius businessman who uses that as motivation, this is an athlete who needs to get along with the other 24 players on the team. Every one of his tantrums/blow ups has come when he gets rocked in a bad game.

The bottom line is what we as fans think or want doesn't matter. The only thing we need to know is that Z's teammates publicly criticized him and not a single one stepped onto the field to defend him after all of the Braves ran on the field. That's how his teammates feel about him.

No successful team is going to put up with that type of crap. Do you think the Yankees would give him another chance after this if he was a Yankee? No. Nor would the Phillies or Red Sox, or any sane team or business. He can live his life however he wants, but he has major anger/anti-social issues and it's not the responsibility of an employer to give a person 85 opportunities to change.

I have to agree. "Oh, he's the only one who cares", etc etc.

Then get better or quit. Stop being a dysfunctional jackass, it doesn't help the situation.

That's long rebuttal of something I didn't assert. Nowhere did I defend him. I'm just disagreeing with your premise that he doesn't 'give a crap'. He does give a crap, he's just doesn't know how to channel it.

I took it more that he's the poster boy because he's still here, indicating that the organization doesn't give a crap.

Just sayin'.


more of Z snafu for not being the pitcher he was suppose to be

keeping a disgruntled Z all season is probably more trouble than it's worth...

Z handled his interview pretty classy, imo...didn't call anyone out or blame anyone (including himself)...calm...owned up to talking about retiring and said something to the effect of he really did feel like retiring after a crappy outing.

ROB G: Excellent summary of the 2011 draftees.

Just two minor things (I'll let you make the changes):

Jacob Lindgren is a Mississippi State (not Ole Miss) recruit, and Schlecht made his pro debut today for the AZL Cubs (played LF and went 1-5 with a single and three K).

Also, four Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) were signed by the Cubs after the draft:

1B Ryan Durrence (Bethune-Cookman) and C Taylor Davis (Morehead State) are playing for the AZL Cubs, and RHP Nick Johnson (U. of Cincinnati) and C Pat Terry (U. of Santa Clara) have not been placed on an Active List.


Martin $250K
Jensen $225K
McKirahan $75K

Submitted by QuietMan on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 5:16pm.
Martin $250K
Jensen $225K
McKirahan $75K


Q-MAN: Although he is not quite as fast, I would describe Trey Martin as a younger, less-polished version of Evan Crawford... which is to say slash hitter, long-stride, plus-range in the OF.

Go figure the Braves pick up Brandon Beachy as a NDFA ... who was the last draft-eligible, NDFA of similar consequence signed by the Cubs? I don't know the answer, just throwing it out there.

update from Mayo that's a bit oudated, but labels Dunston Jr. as "very likely" to sign. Cites "ongoing dialogue" with Baez but nothing imminent.


watched a lot of baez video after he was signed...he's got a weird stutter setting up after he fields a ball, even on the run. it seems he's trying to adjust mechanically to get himself in proper position to throw, but he adds an extra stutter...almost a 1/2-clutch...to his fielding before he throws.

maybe that's why they think he'll end up playing 2b...

delmon young HR 1st tigers AB...

Just a reminder that because he has no college eligibility left, the Cubs will retain the exclusive negotiating rights to 2011 37th round draft pick RHP Steven Maxwell (TCU) until one week prior to the 2012 June draft.

All other unsigned 2011 Cubs draft picks are removed from the Cubs Rule 4 Negotiation List as of midnight (EDT) tonight.

updated the chart a bit, 47th and 48th rounders David Ernst and Sam Howard are no's as is 43rd rounder Jay Calhoun.

from that Kendall Rogers fella

Source: On #Cubs 14th-round pick Dillon Maples. "It's not about if it will get done, it's more about when." FWIW. #mlbdraft #MLB #UNC

be 3 first round-ish talents if it happens, depending on your view of Vogelbach.

excited about vogelb, myself...system needs a true power option even if it looks like he might be K-prone.

hopefully he can "figure it out" if he hasn't already and people just don't know...his power is as legit as the 20lbs. or so he needs to lose. =p

also, maples is interesting...

he pitched in a weak-competition league and had the advantage of having a pro coach his whole life...his dad, former minor league pitcher.

he's also old(ish)...turned 19 recently. he lost a year of schooling somewhere along the line...dunno what's up with that.

hard to argue with a mid-90s fastball and a low 80s curve, though.


Brewers turn a triple play

Castro with a smooth play from the hole to get a very fast Bourgeois.



Trib story on Z's mea culpa

Asked if he would to remain in a Cubs uniform, Zambrano said, "Of course, man. Hey, the Cubs have been my family ... I want to keep pitching for the Cubs. It was a moment of frustration Friday night and I (felt) so bad that I wanted to quit, I wanted to retire."


Ramirez responds appropriately to Hollandsworth's BS...

"They change when they work in the TV or media," he said. "Go ask Barney or Castro. I'm not going to get into a war with Hollandsworth over that kind of stuff. I've got too much class for that. I wouldn't trade my career for his. But I do wonder why he never said that to me as a player."

My guess is because Hollandsworth SUCKS a fattie!!

"Pitch better!!"

I'd like to know what Hollandsworth said about Ramirez that wasn't true. Maybe not something a player wants to hear, but here's and idea, Ararmis - try hitting like this from Opening Day to June 15th.

Since this team is going nowhere for the next couple of years, I'd rather watch Blake DeWitt at 3B with his .650 OPS than pay $10+M/yr to watch Ramirez do whatever it is he does. I'd just like to see Ramirez play with some consistency before his team is out of contention.

I'd like to know what Hollandsworth said about Ramirez that wasn't true.


Thome goes yard twice, reaches #600. Does he make the HOF? Does he get an HBO special?

Curious why Thome is considered squeaky clean in the age of roids? If you look at footage of his first home run vs. 5 or so years later when he started really picking up the pace, his body has changed pretty dramatically from thinnish (not quite Bonds thin, but not too far off) to hulking. How do you do that naturally? Is he given a pass because he's such an aw shucks, midwest humble guy??

Thome is 6'3". His first HR came when he was 20 years old. He came up at 210 lbs or so, and probably has plyed most of his career around 240 or so, especially since transitioning to 1B.
The difference in your body from age 20 to 25 is significant, especially if you're a pro athlete with a large frame.

He didn't go from 200 lbs, to 228 in one offseason at age 35.

ok, thanks. I didn't make any effort to research weight gains, ages, etc., was just going off a "whoa he got real big relatively fast" take form the pix this morning. It just seems odd that certain players are constantly assumed to be chemically enhanced while others are always considered beyond suspicion.

He's always been a possibility to me. We talked about it here a year or two ago. When he first came up he was compared to Wade Boggs, not Lou Gehrig. He never slugged .500 in the minors until he hit AAA (after he spent some time in the bigs with another couple of suspected guys) and all of the sudden, boom, he's bashing HR's all over the place.

Palmeiro was always a sure fire clean guy, until he wasn't. There's no knowing. If the Thomes, Bagwells and Biggios of the world didn't want that association, they had 15 years to lobby the players and the players union to implement drug testing, and never did it. They made their bed.

I think it's all about how he looks. Dude looks like he's straight out of the golden era.

I went to HS in Peoria, and got to see Thome up close as he decimated our varsity team 17-2. He hit a bomb over the fence in RF that hit a house across the street. He was a big guy, but still thinner of course. He was listed as 6'3", 200 lbs at age 17.
He came up through the minors, and didn't show a lot of power at age 20...hitting only 7 HR's between AA and AAA. He broke out at age 22, hitting 25 HR's at AAA, and 7 more with Cleveland.

Again, the difference in your physical strength and maturity, from age 17...to 21...to 25..there's a pretty big jump involved at each age. His power jumped at age 22, not 29 or 30, and it's not like he did it for a couple seasons, and then reverted back to form....or suddenly showed up 25 pounds lighter.

Could he have taken steroids? Sure. I can't rule out 100% on anyone. I would be absolutely shocked, and would need a heckova lot of proof to believe Thome was juicing.

He's nice and he's white. It ain't pretty, but that's the real reason.

Please see Bagwell:Jeff for the because he's white. Ask him how his HOF vote went due to being tainted by steroids.

Thome is nice...he happens to be white, and he's been a big, strong guy who started hitting bombs at age 22, and never stopped...not a guy who started at 29, and stopped suddenly at 32...or jumped up 10 HR's a year at age 35....

Bagwell. McGwire. Canseco. Giambi. Clemons. etc. etc. etc.

No idea about Bagwell's demeanor, but the rest are or were flaming douchebags for the most part, Clemens not being satisfied with baseball douchebaggery, demanding to take it to perjury levels.
I think there's some validity to the "he's a nice white boy and let's not start rumors" angle. Not saying I believe he did, but just surprised he's got immunity from the suspicion.

thome's been in everyone's shadow so long people barely knew he was going for 500 HR...or 600 HR, sadly.

even in his peak he was always overshadowed...the years he was putting up 40-50 HR and .400-ish ob% while still playing 1st (not DH'ing) he couldn't even get a respectful amount MVP votes.

He was also very bulky to be a 3b, even at a young age, and that's the main reason he was moved across the diamond by the Tribe.

this seems recent, report that Vogelbach is denying a deal is done


Looking at the time when the article was first posted and checking the times on Rogers and Callis' tweets, I think he's deniying earlier reports not the latest.

(Rogers had him signed on Saturday night)


Ricketts announces that he'll announce something within the next 10 days...

Cullerton did confirm that Ricketts will be addressing some major issues of interest to Cubs fans very soon.

can't wait to see what Ricketts considers major issues

Green Toilet Paper!

"Me and my siblings will attend TWICE as many games next season and will be available for photo ops for only $10 a pop."

"Stainless steel Gatorade coolers to be installed in the dugouts."

"Hendry given 4-year extension, fans given the finger."

It's obviously going to be an extension for Hendry.

And Quade, Z, Rammy and Carlos Pena!!!! Keeping the core intact!!!

If he uses the phrase "stay the course", I will seriously become a Pirates fan.

Geez...that is so depressing guys...

Not funny.

[sad, pathetic face]

jimcallisBA Jim Callis
#Cubs sign 11th-rder Shawon Dunston Jr. for $1.275 million. Calif HS OF, son of Shawon, projectable athlete, plus runner

That seems excessive, hope that doesn't mean vogelbach or maples backed out

keithlaw keithlaw
Disagree. You're light on him. RT @consigliari51: Can we go ahead & say no one will make a worse decision than the Cubs giving Dunston 1.25?

That's it - I'm officially dusting off my homemade Shawon-o-Meter!!

You'll have to go to Mesa in 2012 to use it.

Ricketts says the park is a dump


There's the big forthcoming announcement.

We're completely revamping Boise!!

Aren't you glad I'm such a fan AND the owner?!?

conorglassey Don't think this is a surprise, but #Cubs aren't getting RHP Ricky Jacquez. He'll take his 95 mph fastball and hammer CB to #Texas

The Cubs did a great job though...the fact that they were trying to sign Jacquez (and went significantly over slot to sign similar late picks) is very impressive. Even with Jacquez, I am sure they offered him something similar to some other over-slot signings and he felt he could do better.

Overall I am very impressed with Ricketts/Hendry on this draft, at least as it looks on paper.

I can't think of anything that Hendry could do at this point to impress me, but the system desperately needed some high upside impact bats, and they look to have added two of the best three or four HS bats in the draft.

I am really excited at least until June of next year when they're both striking out once every three at bats and not walking at all.

callis says Jacquez heads to texas

jacquez_ricky Ricky Jacquez
Can't wait to be on campus on Thursday and become a Longhorn!
7 hours ago

KendallRogersPG Kendall Rogers
The #Cubs signed 14th-rdr #UNC signee and pitcher Dillon Maples for $2.5 million.



Sullivan and sun-times says Baez has signed, as has vogelbach.

sullivan claims baez signed...

PWSullivan Paul Sullivan
Cubs have signed nine of their first 10 picks, including first-rounder Baez and second-rounder Vogelbach tonight. Shawon Dunston Jr. too.
3 minutes ago

jimcallisBA Jim Callis
#Cubs get 1st-rder Javier Baez for $2.625 mil, 14th-rder Dillon Maples for $2.5 mil spread over five years

jimcallisBA Jim Callis
My mistake earlier ... Dillon Maples' impressive $2.5 million deal not a two-sport spread

Thanks guys for all the updates.

The only bad thing about the signings is that it certainly doesn't sound like the work of an out-going GM, does it? Did they really spend $11 million?

and not a single mlb contract attached in sight...woo.

...not like many HS guys get those contract, though...tired of seeing them passed out to anyone but the total elite.

Going to be a fun couple of weeks for AZ Phil, though. I wonder if the Cubs set a record for $$ to high schoolers.

The Dunston and Gretzky signings are a nice little microcosm of the Cubs self-delusion. They never develop high school hitters, especially raw ones. I think Soto is the only one they've developed since Dunston Sr, who they really didn't teach anything to either.

"never develop high school hitters, especially raw ones."

I doubt that Castro went to college.

If you say that Castro didn't need help from the Cubs, then what exactly do you mean by developing hitters?

You mean the kid that walked onto a DSL team and hit .300 and then did the same everywhere he played until he jumped to the majors at age 20? The only way the Cubs developed Castro was making sure he got enough protein to put some muscle on. It's like giving the Expos credit for developing Vlad Guerrero, some people just have the God given ability to hit what they swing at.

Developing hitter is teaching them the strike zone, teaching them what they can, and cannot do. Turning physical ability into major league productivity. There's no organization in baseball worse at it than our Chicago Cubs.

Is there any team that has drafted high school hitters as high as Montanez, Vitters, Patterson and Harvey and gotten so little productivity out of them?

Your examples are weak. If I wanted to show that the Cubs didn't know how to bring out the best in hitters, I would look for hitters who scuffled with the Cubs and then got better when they changed teams, even over time--even over lots of time. Is that true of Montanez, Patterson, Harvey? Dubois, Dopirak? They were crappy to begin with and they stayed that way. That was a drafting issue, not a development issue. There's a difference. It's an importance difference today, because the drafting problem has been fixed.

Here are names of two hitters who got straightened out when they left the Cubs. Lou Brock. Casey McGehee. Got any others?

I didn't realize that Lou Brock and Casey McGehee went to Low A when they went to their new teams. Do you not know the difference between major league hitting coaches and minor league instructors?

Were those guys that the Cubs took in the top six considered reaches at the time? No. Why not? Because they had elite physical talent. Why did they not turn that elite physical talent into MLB production? Because they weren't shown how.

The top ten picks in the June 2000 draft:

Adrian Gonzalez (Marlins)
Adam Johnson (Twins)
Luis Montanez (Cubs)
Mike Stodolka (Royals)
Justin Wayne (Expos)
Rocco Baldelli (Rays)
Matt Harrington (Rockies)
Matt Wheatland (Tigers)
Mark Phillips (Padres)
Joe Torres (Angels)

The Phillies drafted Utley at #15, so they must have better minor-league coaching.

The mistake the Cubs made with their pick is that Montanez didn't project as a major-league shortstop or any type of infielder. When Montanez was 22, they sent him back to Boise for 58 games to learn to play the outfield, and he never played an inning of infield again. That's usually the kiss of death to a major-league career. Imagine the Cubs saying to Barney, We don't think you have the glove for middle infield, so we're going to try you in left.

By and large, shortstops and second basemen drafted by Wilken have not had to move to the outfield, as Montanez and Eric Patterson had to. Flaherty and LeMahieu have both played a little shortstop this year and still project as second- or third-baseman. Logan Watkins played second when Hak-Ju Lee was around but has played 42 games at short this year. Josh Harrison is still a second baseman. Tony Thomas may be the one exception to the rule. Clevenger was converted to catcher immediately, so he was drafted for that position.

Anyway, the high minors are littered with former first-rounders. Cub fans should not get so hung up about their prospect busts. Many are called, few chosen. Until recently not many Cubs were called, so practically none were chosen.

Here are several recent Cub players who brought with them the scent of first-round failure from other teams: DeWitt (Dodgers), Diamond (Rangers), Moore (Tigers), Snyder (Indians), Burke (Padres), Fontenot (Orioles), Heilman (Mets), Barrett (Expos), (Jerome) Williams (Giants), Grieve (A's).

Mike Barrett had a good mlb career.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 9:50am.

The mistake the Cubs made with their pick is that Montanez didn't project as a major-league shortstop or any type of infielder. When Montanez was 22, they sent him back to Boise for 58 games to learn to play the outfield, and he never played an inning of infield again. That's usually the kiss of death to a major-league career. Imagine the Cubs saying to Barney, We don't think you have the glove for middle infield, so we're going to try you in left.


VA PHIL: I saw Luis Montanez when he first arrived at Fitch Park in 2000 and then at Instructs post-2000 and post-2001 & at Minor League Camp for several seasons after that, and he was definitely projected as an infielder for at least four or five years. Maybe not a SS, but certainly a 2B (an offensive-first 2B).

What caused him to be moved to the outfield in June 2004 was that he had been the starting 2B at Daytona for the first two months of that season (and that was his third year in a row at Daytona) and he was really struggling both in the field and at the plate, and he was actually regressing as a hitter to the point where he was a candidate to get released.

So the Cubs decided to try him in the OF to see if playing there might help to clear his head so that he could develop as a hitter, and in fact that's exactly what happened, although he became a six-year minor league FA (and signed with BAL) and left the Cubs organization before he became an established AAA (or 4-A) OF.

There's another VA Phil who has been opinioning all season long about how Vitters was going to have to move to 1st base.

Yes, all teams have first round busts. All teams do not have them as consistently as the Chicago Cubs, I looked it up, no team had more than two busts from guys take in the top 6 when the Cubs had their streak of guys I mentioned - and I didn't go back to the Cunningham days.

Please, please don't go back to the Cunningham days.....(shaking his head)

"Yes, all teams have first round busts. All teams do not have them as consistently as the Chicago Cubs."

I have no reason to disagree with that. Before Wilken, the Cubs had no ability to identify a quality positional player. Above Wilken's pay grade, they still can't identify a decent player. Blake DeWitt? And I'm almost ready to add Marlon Byrd, with his 22 runs batted in, to the string of free-agent outfield busts.

My point about first-round busts was that every team can't have bad coaches.

Castro isn't what anyone would really call an "advanced hitter". He has god given contact ability and quick wrists. He doesn't work counts or change approach to situation very adeptly.

That's because (a) he's really young and (b) A-Ram's not doing enough to help him get better.

And Hollandsworth goes wild!!!!!!!

according to Callis, Maples deal is a straight up $2.5M, not spread out over 5 years as he was a 2-sport star.


Bubba Starling ended up getting $7.5M spread over 3 years.

doesn't look like the Cubs really cheaped out with the Baez pick either. Joe Ross got a little more from the Padres at #25 as did their pick at #82, Austin Hedges. There were the Matt Purke, and Josh Bell deals as well. I'm sure there were a few more not listed there that surpassed his $2.625M. But for the most part the guys right below Baez got slightly less as expected and Lindor got just a little more.

i dunno what's more "woah..."

• Outfielder Josh Bell (No. 61) signed with the Pirates for $5 million, a record for a player outside the first round—$2.25 million more than any other bonus for a non-first-rounder in draft history.


• Righthander Dillon Maples (No. 429) signed with the Cubs for $2.5 million.

....PIT splashed $13m on 2 players...cole/bell...ka-ching.

Well, that seems obvious. The Pirates suck but everyone in the world wants to play for the Cubs.

The Cubs have Wrigley. The Cubs have 5 1/2 retired numbers. The Cubs wear the Red, the White and the Blue. The Cubs have Wayne Messmer. The Cubs have tradition and shit.

When I walk down the street and see a Cubs hat, I say "Go Cubs," and am met with a smile and "Go Cubs," in return. Then a third person on the street thinks, "What a couple of fucking losers."

Go Cubs. fart.


And then groaned because it's true.

And Wayne Messmer.

I probably like the Maples signing more because $5 million is an awful lot to give to someone who's not a sure-fire major leaguer. It's not like they're going to sign Jason Heyward or Mike Stanton as free agents though, so you can see why they did it. $2.5 mil is a lot to give a high school pitcher who needs work and "should have" been drafted in the supplementary round.

Sorry if this has already been posted.


Reminds me of the time that Randy Johnson threw a slider that almost hit Kenny Lofton. Lofton who was at the peak of his career, hit the dirt, got up barking, and Johnson just yelled back "It was a slider!"... next pitch, 98 MPH fastball at Lofton's shoulder... "That's a fastball!" Johnson yelled as the benches cleared.

Thanks for posting that. Interesting to me that the Braves say "we would never do that." Almost more of a stab at the Cubs than Z, perhaps it's appropriate

They're big fat liars. Remember a couple years ago when one of their players (Furcal I think) punched Fontenot in the face while sliding into second? There was no better tribute to Bobby Cox than playing dirty baseball and getting ejected, two of his specialties.

It was Edgar Renteria. That was also the same Cubs/Braves series that saw Ted Lilly get thrown out after hitting Renteria with his first pitch ... with Renteria punching Fontenot that same game.

I do remember something along those lines. I think it was 2007 or 2008. Renteria came into 2nd base spikes up or way out of the baseline? I remember it was cheesy as hell. Lou came out of the dugout raising all kinds of hell.

I want to say it started with Soriano posing after hitting a Homer to start the game?


apparently it started the day before with Soriano getting drilled on the first pitch of the game and went from there.


"Parachat recap"


That's funny, nowadays Soriano only poses for doubles.


Bob Brenly approves of this comment

It was a series in Atlanta in June '07. Soriano hit three HRs in the Friday game, then (in Cox's mind) stretched a single into a double in his last at bat. Leading off the game on Saturday, Soriano took one in the back. On Sunday, Lilly retaliated against Renteria, and that led to the mugging of Fontenot.

The following June 11th, Soriano got hit in the hand by an Atlanta pitch and was out until July 23rd.

I remembered this series of events when Hendry apologized to the Braves' organization and to Cox the other night. I'm sure Cox is highly regarded among his friends and his players and among fans of the team. To me he seemed like a clever, mean SOB on the order of LaRussa. Piniella had more class than either of those two.

all kinds of holier than thou shit in that article...

I don't really agree. Granted, I'm not saying the f'ng Braves are above or below any other organization, but I recall reading more than once about Schuerholtz (sp?) focusing on character a lot in acquisitions.

I also have always gotten the feeling that Chipper kind of runs their clubhouse, be it good bad or otherwise. I certainly don't think he's a boy scout (hookers and blow for all my friends), but I've always believed he was an 'unwritten rules' kind of guy, and I think he enforces that to some extent, a la 'will be dealt with swiftly'. I think Chipper'd actually back that up.

Smoltz, on the other hand, does strike me as a little extra sleazy and full of himself, so yeah, nevermind. There is some holier-than-thou in there. Although I agree with him re: accountability, just come out and say what you're trying to say, "The Cubs should have released/traded/pummeled him years ago" instead of beating around the bush, or don't fucking say anything at all.

The "tribute" to Cox thing was fucking bullshit. He's an opposing manager, if the Cubs are paying tribute then they've got their priorities screwed up.

Wow, take some Midol for the cramping and bloat.

Bobby Cox was around for years and a successful manager. Nothing wrong with, oh I don't know, not being a fucking jackass during such a thing as the visiting team.

On a side note, the Cubs usually do have their priorities screwed up, but that's a different argument...

I'm going to see how many arguments I can get into.

I've got no problem with Cox. They should respect him...hell and everyone for that matter. But I don't understand why they would be 'paying tribute' to him. Was it Bobby Cox bobblehead day and I just missed it?

Um, they retired his number, added him to the Braves hall of fame, brought back a bunch of old Braves players...

So yeah, ya missed it.

BUT...was it bobblehead day?

LOL, not sure, ya got me.

Anyway, I don't really have a problem per se with the 'tribute'...it's the fact that Hendry is so quick to save face with the rest of baseball, yet is just as quick to throw his own players under the bus.

"I've got no problem with Cox."

lol. snicker. laugh. lulz. etc.

I love you.

at least i didn't continue and talk about "bobbleheads"

I also love bobbleheads. My Hee-Seop Choi one is my favorite.

Anyone else having trouble with the firstinning link along the right sidebar?

I haven't been able to access firstinning.com since yesterday by any means. It's not just you.

Thanks. I couldn't get there yesterday either.

Pena and Ramirez currently project as type B free agents.


Anyone else find it funny that Casey McGehee is above Aram in these rankings????

Funny, depressing, sad, dispairing... you know... the typical emotions.

Dempster A and Wood B, for completeness. I didn't look up Johnson, but I assume that's a B as well. Ramirez sort of surprises me - he didn't really seem close to type A.

Aram's listed as a type B

I think Neal's point is that arguably the bset hitting 3B in baseball is not a type A

He's got to jump over eight players to be a type A.

I always thought the rankings were a bit silly, but seriously Placido Polanco is the 2nd best infielder in the league? Time to take that shit back to formula.

Seems like a good thing to me. Teams will be more likely to give up a pick for a type B than A for Aramis, right?

i would be shocked if aram didn't end up with a 2-3yr deal from the cubs, honestly...unless some other team wants to throw some loot at him.

it's thin pickings and nothing in the minors that's ready.

if they can manage to snag him for just 1 year at a reasonable price i wouldn't complain...i don't mind a 2 year deal...don't wanna see 3...

if they choose to build the bats elsewhere with their loot, i hope they staff up properly at 1st/RF.

As bad as he has been sometimes, I'd actually be sad to see him go. That slow bastard is a likeable guy.

I would be shocked if he did. Hendry doesn't understand that you can sign 2-3 yr deals (unless you're overpaying for middle relief), he thinks they're illegal for position players.

Here's what I think is going to happen.

ARam and ostensibly his agent have already decided that if Rammy is going to get paid, it needs to be after this year (turned 33 in June). That's the real reason behind the chicken bones or whatever has him hitting this way--It's a contract year.

The Cubs will want to retain him at $16M for next year, which he will most likely void based on his agent testing the waters and the response he gets. If he voids it, the Cubs get out of the $2M buyout.

Who signs him? Angels, 5/65.

Byrd, Bradley, & DeRosa got 3 year deals from Hendry. Perhaps more possition players, that's just off the top of my head.

Not saying Ramirez should get 3 years.

Jacque Jones too?

Pretty sure DeRosa pitched once...

*kicks dirt

Still say ARam goes to LA

Pena, Floyd, Burnitz...


I didn't think getting paid in 3 separate years was the same thing...


I'd like to see them decline his option and offer him arbitration. Worst case is you lose him for a comp pick. Best case is you get him back for slightly less than he is making now.


Not sure if his arbitration reward + $2 million will be less than $16 million, but that is probably what I would do as well. Maybe you get burned for a million or two, but maybe (more likely) you get a 2nd round supplementary pick.

Good point Neal. I'm just wondering if it'll even be worth having him at $12-14 million. Since the Cubs are so good with him this year, why spend that money on him for next year so the Cubs can go 75-87? I know that it'll never happen...I know.

Sigh....Go Cubs in 2013!!!

Repost of an article about the draft and how slotting "works" - good to see the Cubs finally said "fuck it".


There seems to be two types of organizations that are consistently going over slot: Smart ones, and rich ones, not that the two are mutually exclusive. Four teams that immediately come to mind are the Tigers, the Angels, the Red Sox and the Yankees. Go look at the standings, and then go look and the amount of elite-level young talent in each system. It’s not a coincidence.

seems the Pirates and Nationals have caught on as well...

Cubs nabbed Ian Dickson as well yesterday


6'5" RHP who missed most of 2011 with injury, will report to Arizona.

Appears they signed 34 of 50 with Steven Maxwell still a possibility.

I count up $11.85M in known bonus money handed out, but that's just 17 of the 34.

rivals the top money spent over the years, although nothing compared to what Pirates and Nationals spent this year


This guy's stats are certainly not impressive... 1-4 with 3 saves and a 7.00 ERA is two seasons at Lafayette College, missed all last year with injury... Scouts must have seen something...

Quade's probably considering him for the rotation.

being 6'5" might have a lot to do with it, then things like arm action and so forth. You know, scouting.

it's a 35th round pick, and doesn't sound like one of those dropped cause of money demands.

Does that total amount include the ridiculous $395K given to Daniel Lockhart? Apparently the Cubs see something in him that I surely don't.

it did not, cause I hadn't heard of it yet....

He's the son of the Cubs Georgia & South Carolina Area Scout Keith Lockhart. That had to have played into his bonus.

Scout Keith Lockhart
I remember Lockhart as a Brave. .260 bench guy on some good teams though.



11 trade ideas for Z

Figgins and Roberts are the only ones that make sense for the Cubs imo.

Well a few of them make sense for the Cubs, like Dunn or Burnett, but the other teams aren't going to throw in the amount of money listed. The writer should have put a little more effort in there.

I think the Rowand trade is one of the more likely ideas. It's not a terrible idea.

Not seeing why the giants would want a pitcher and what the cubs need with rowand


"[ ] so this draft class has to be a bright spot for eternally suffering Cubs fans."

that remains to be seen


remains to be seen if it is a bright spot

I'd argue its a bright spot right now...all one can do is maximize value based on today's valuations. Spending overslot to improve our draft definitely is a bright spot for the future, particularly if this becomes a trend.

Wrong again. You must not know what the phrase means.

ROB G: Terrific chart. Very nice.

You mentioned an agent's take as 10%.

On the entertainment side, the figure of 15% is usually the one I hear most about. Is 10% the common figure (maybe the Jerry McGuires make more?)

BTW - did you see Moneyball yet?

Anyone attend a screening here?

I saw somewhere earlier that the agents get 4% on these signing bonuses, and that unless you were going to get over $100K, you shouldn't bother getting one...

These guys agree. Say agents ask for 3-6%.


wonderful site for reading...lot of right-on info you rarely see written or discussed.

I'm sure TRN disagrees

10% is just a number I heard, as you can see below, it obviously varies.

The Cubs interviewed Scott Sanderson some time ago. Sanderson was working as an agent at that time. He stated that the average agent percentage in baseball was about 3 %, with Boras and one or two others getting 4 %. He knew of no one getting more.

Random and sad observation.

When Michael Wilbon (who I love), a self-proclaimed 'Zambrano guy', says it's over for him on the North Side, it's over.

PTI video in Levine's blog (sorry if 3/44)

Wilbon actually looks just sad over the whole thing, which I agree with.

Also pissed, mind you, but mostly just sad.


From today's chat:

"Hendry or whoever is in charge will have to make trades."

"I don't expect Zambrano or Soriano to be with the Cubs."

"dan (texas)
bruce, whats the first thing you would do, to turn around this franchise?

Bruce Levine (1:23 PM)
I would hire Pat Gillick, Bobby Cox or Terry Ryan to oversee the entire baseball department. Hendry could work well with any of those guys and none of them want to be a GM anymore. You couldn't find three better guys to begin with."

(In a follow-up, Levine called for rainbows and world peace.)

A lot can change on a ball club in one or two years. If Hendry is still around, however, you'll just have different overpaid, free swingers, and weak defense players.

Or you could hire one of those guys as President. Then THAT GUY could hopefully pick a competent guy to be the GM.

The never ending excuse parade for Jim Hendry sickens me as a fan.

Tyler Colvin sucks

he got his average above .130 again...lighten up.

too bad he can't take a walk or hit twice as many homers.

Colvin's BABIP this year is absurd. What a mess he's been--that BABIP cannot just be bad luck.

Here's to hoping he figures it out enough to be at least a .250 hitter again.

he was pretty horrid in AAA, too...it's been a sad year for the guy aside from a few monster homers that reminds you there is 20-30 HR in the guy somewhere.

his D has been good in RF, imo...still, that bat needs more consistancy.

sweet...tyler colvin's 2 run homer (already had the lead) gets the play of the game over aram's "wtf woah" shot directly onto the tracks. he's getting some love from the booth tonight.

Anyone got colvin's numbers since the fukudome trade?

1-7 in july (0bb 0xbh)
8-39 in august (counting this game) 3hr, 3 double, 1 triple, 8k, 2bb

Well, I guess it was a little fucking premature anyway, huh?

f'ng marmol. Ugh.

AND Koyie Hill was behind the plate. Who'd'a thunk it???????

he's become dumpster's preferred catcher this year...he likes him for some reason.

Do guys with ERAs that high get 'preferred' catchers??

Recent comments

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  • Friday's games will be in Washington, Chicago, Arlington, and Cleveland or Boston. Someone's game is starting laaaaaaaate - 50-50 chance it's the CDT Cubs.

    John Beasley 1 min 16 sec ago view
  • Meh, I messed that up. Mets are in. 

    Cards and Giants can still tie though.

    Rob G. 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • Kershaw gets hurt by his defense and gave up 2 more runs. Blach has 8 shutout innings.

    Mets already won as did Cards.

    tomorrow is gonna be helluva fun if Giants hold on. We're all rooting for a 3-way tie I presume.

    Rob G. 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • good news is now 5 K's for Lester through 4 (in a quest for 200 for season). Bad news is he's already at 86 pitches.

    Rob G. 1 hour 53 min ago view
  • be curious how long Maddon sticks with Lester to try and let offense get back into it and get him the win (4-2 as I type, was 4-0)

    Fwiw, he needed 2.1 IP to cross 200 for season so he got that at least. He also needs 9 K's for 200K's on season and he has 4 through 3.

    Rob G. 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • cubs score 2 runs thanks to predictable reds pitching and horrible CIN defense...cubs only down by 1 now. heyward even got a gift 2rbi double out of an easy popout. neat.

    crunch 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • something named Ty Blach has outpitched Clayton Kershaw through 6 innings (1-0 Giants).


    Rob G. 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • not that finishing 2nd place will matter much nor did this game, but have to think if Hendricks pitches well tomorrow, he could leapfrog Lester in Cy Young voting. Don't see anyway Scherzer doesn't win it regardless and it doesnt' look like Lester has any incentive clauses that matter. Also might give Cueto some votes.

    Rather remarkable how many teams have really good 1-2 options this year.

    Nats: Scherzer and Roark (and Strasburg was great before injuries)

    Cubs: Lester and Hendricks (and Arrietta is still damn good just not as consistently lately)

    Rob G. 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • pretty much what I'm gathering from this thread is that it doesn't matter who you play in  5-game series, but no one wants to have to deal with Cardinal fans if we end up losing.

    I can respect that.

    Rob G. 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • first game for lester giving up more than 2 runs since july 24th. hell of a run.

    crunch 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • doh, yes...dunno what happened there. jake arrieta is all "bro wut?"

    crunch 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • lester going for #20...cubs haven't had a LH (thanks jpep for the correction) 20 game winner since d.ellsworth in 1963.

    crunch 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • fwiw, all the games are free on mlb.tv

    crunch 3 hours 19 min ago view
  • Short rest for MadBum would be 2 days. WC game is Wed., Games 1 & 2 are Friday/Saturday.

    billybucks 3 hours 37 min ago view
  • A left-handed one...

    JoePepitone 5 hours 29 min ago view
  • J-Hey not finishing with an offensive onslaught.

    If Geoff Blum could be a Playoff hero, there is hope still...

    The E-Man 9 hours 18 min ago view