Cubs Extend Fleita, Wilken Possibly Next

Over the weekend, Tom Ricketts had the audacity to spend his own money on a guy he seems to believe is good at what he does. Someone whom the Detroit Tigers and possibly a few other organizations believed in as well. Some folks reacted as you might expect...with uninformed opinions.

Why is that stupid? Because that’s one of the prime positions that general managers want to fill. That’s not a position that a Fanboy Owner should be filling, and certainly not a Fanboy Owner who doesn’t seem to understand much beyond bison dogs and urinals.


So, now the situation in the Fanboy Owner’s search for Jim Hendry’s replacement is this: The new guy will have to take Fleita if he’s going to take the job.


Which means the situation is really this: The Fanboy Owner can forget about the top-shelf candidates he blathered on about hiring. Or maybe he already has. Maybe he was wrong or lying about that. Maybe he found out that what he’s offering is a joke as long as Clown Kenney remains his team president and no one else can get that title.

Rosenbloom seems to be actually using the term "Fanboy Owner" as a derogatory term, becaue we all know how much better it was with "Non-Fanboy Corporate Owner" in charge.

Nonetheless, Fleita's position as farm director and head of international scouting is an important one as is Tim Wilken's and rumors are that he may be next in line for a deal. With a new GM to soon be in place, there is worthy concern that you'd want that new GM to have some input there, as well that one of the bigger names would be upset that he doesn't get to bring in his own guys.  But let's do some reading....

Like Fleita, Wilken will have a number of teams interested in his services. If the Cubs decide to make a further commitment to Wilken, the next general manager will have two vital positions in place when he takes over. There will, however, be some flexibility for Ricketts and his next general manager to make changes to those spots in the near future. Fleita’s deal (and a possible one for Wilkens) will be structured creatively with buyouts and options to benefit both the team and the executives.

So essentially Ricketts takes all the risk with his own money on a couple of guys he believes in and then leaves the option in there in case a new GM decides he wants his own guys in there. Oh the tragedy...


Now the actual wisdom of extending two guys, one of which has been in place since the turn of the century can certialy be questioned. Fleita may have a lot of admirers in the baseball world, but I don't think many of them are Cubs fans, although our own Arizona Phil has had mostly good things to say about him. It's not like the Cubs are well-renownned for their ability to develop young players and certain promotions have left me scratching my head. But I can firmly grasp that I have no idea the scope of what Fleita does and I presume, possibly on a faulty premise, that Ricketts did some homework and knows what he has and doesnt't have in Fleita and what other folks in baseball think of him.

As for Wilken, well I think Levine summed it up best..

Darwin Barney, Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Jeff Samardzija, Tyler Colvin and farm-system jewel Brett Jackson are just a few of the Cubs’ signings since Wilken took over the amateur and pro scouting job in December of 2005.

I think Levine is trying to write that sentence as a positive? That in 5 years worth of drafting, Wilken has managed not one superstar player, well except for the "crown jewel" that is certain to be manning center field for a decade with a trophy case of awards despite striking out more than Adam Dunn did in the minors. You could have wrote that same sentence about Stockstill, couldn't you?

Ryan Theriot, Mark Prior, Sean Marshall, Rich Hill, Ryan Harvey and farm-system jewel Geovany Soto are just a few of the Cubs’ signings since Stockstill took over...

Anyway, I know I'm actually pretty disappointed in Wilken at the moment, although I do appreciate his out-of-the-box thinking. Well let's hope it was the cash flow that was truly holding him back. Time will tell...

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One time Cub prospect/minor leaguer Nate Spears called up by the Red Sox.

Spears was part of the return from the Orioles in the K Pat trade.

wow...i didnt know he was still around.

...i also didn't know he was only 26...i thought he was 2-3 years older.

neat...he played everywhere in AAA this season...2nd/3rd/RF/LF...even 4 games at SS...supersub-spot starter.

Mike Fontenot Lite, if that's possible. That was what he looked like in the Cubs organization at least. Don't know when he learned to drive the ball, but 20 HRs in AA last year probably went a long way towards making him interesting to someone.

might be better to judge Wilken on this year's draft class when he knew that the purse was available to sign whoever they wanted.

For a while Rosenbloom was filling in for Mully and Hanley, and he used the "Fanboy Owner" term incessantly. He has such venom for Ricketts that it makes me wonder what Ricketts did to personally offend or hurt Rosenbloom's feelings. It also make me discredit anything he has to say about Ricketts. I can't believe he uses the terms in print, too

I got two e-mails asking if players called up in September accrue MLB Service Time, and the answer is yes, players accrue MLB Service Time anytime they are on an MLB Active List, Disabled List (7-day concussion, 15-day, and/or 60-day), Bereavement List, Paternity List (new in 2011), and/or Military List during the course of the 182-day MLB regular season.

So (for example) Bryan LaHair will accrue 27 days of MLB Service Time in 2011 (he was called-up on September 2, and the MLB regular season ends on September 28), and Brian Schlitter (who spent the entire 2011 season on the Cubs MLB 15-day and then later the 60-day DL) will accrue one full year of MLB Service Time in 2011.

Also, a player accrues MLB Service Time for all days spent on the Designated List (Designated for Assignment), so therefore Robert Coello accrued six days of MLB Service Time this year despite not ever being on the Cubs 25-man roster because he was DFA'd prior to getting outrighted (the Cubs needed Coello's spot on the 40-man roster immediately, and it takes two business days to secure Outright Waivers).

Coello was technically recalled from his Optional Assignment on Friday 5/27 to make room on the 40-man roster for Rodrigo Lopez, and then was immediately Designated for Assignment (placed on the Designated List). He was placed on Outright Waivers on Monday 5/30 (the first chance the Cubs would have to do that, since Saturday and Sunday are not considered "business days" during the MLB regular season), and then was outrighted to AA Tennessee on 6/2.

Fucking idiot Quade, why didnt he pinch run campana or at least coleman for soto. Fire him tonight please.

You'd have to fire a lot of managers for not using their emergency catcher in a non-emergency situation.

Is Koyie Hill hurt?

Jackson hit his 20th this afternoon--his 10th for Iowa--in their final game.

LOL on that Stockstill list, Rob, the way you had to scrape the bottom of the barrel for that third position player behind Soto and Theriot. Harvey played eight seasons for two teams and never got out of double A.

Wilken may not draft superstars--who does?--but here are thirteen Wilken non-pitchers who have advanced higher than Harvey: Colvin, Donaldson, Guyer, Flaherty, Jackson, Campana, Barney, Wright, Harrison, LeMahieu, Clevenger, Camp, Smith. More to come.

LOL on that Stockstill list, Rob, the way you had to scrape the bottom of the barrel for that third position player behind Soto and Theriot.

you have to for Wilken right now too

Wilken may not draft superstars--who does?
Rays, Rockies, Red Sox, Dodgers to name a few...

-but here are thirteen Wilken non-pitchers who have advanced higher than Harvey:

is that the standard? here's from Stockstill era

Dwaine Bacon, Brendan Harris, Matt Craig, Micah Hoffpauir, Adam Greenberg, Chris Walker, Jake Fox, Casey McGehee, Eric Patterson, Sam Fuld, Joe Simokaitis, Soto, Theriot

anyway, everyone knows the MacPhail era marching orders were to draft pitchers over position players, from those years, at one point the Cubs had the most pitchers in the league that they originally drafted.

Wilken may not draft superstars--who does?
Rays, Rockies, Red Sox, Dodgers to name a few..

How do the Brewers get Weeks, Fielder and Braun again?

By getting #2, #5 and #7 picks.

Wilken has had one top-ten pick, Vitters at #3, and while we have our doubts, we still don't know about him.

That Wilken list looks like the underside of the St. Paul Saints roster. You can find utility guys with NRI's to spring training. Wilken has been dedicating his whole draft to finding them.

Players drafted by John Stockstill during the five years he was making picks (2001-05) include future major leaguers Ryan Theriot, Mark Prior, Ricky Nolasco, Casey McGehee, Sean Marshall, Geovany Soto, Sam Fuld, Rich Hill, Randy Wells (drafted as a catcher), Micah Hoffpauir, Eric Patterson, Brendan Harris, Sergio Mitre, Sean Gallagher, Jake Fox, Jerry Blevins, Andy Sisco, Mitch Atkins, Rocky Cherry, Billy Petrick, and Adam "Moonlight Graham" Greenberg, plus Khalil Greene, Micah Owings, Matt LaPorta and Tim Lincecum (who were drafted by Stockstill but did not sign). Stockstill also drafted several highly-regarded pitchers (Prior, Petrick, Sisco, Chadd Blasko, Bobby Brownlie, Luke Hagerty, Justin Jones, Matt Clanton, Grant Johnson, and Donnie Veal) who had their careers derailed by arm problems.

What really stains Stockstill's record as Cubs Scouting Director is the crappy 2005 draft, but he did pretty well over the four years prior to that.

What I would say about Tim Wilken is that even if it turns out that he did a better job as Cubs Scouting Director then did John Stockstill over a similar period of time (Wilken 2006-11 vs Stockstill 2001-05), he has yet to come close to matching the work he himself did in Toronto.

Who did Wilken draft when he was in Toronto?

I think this is the list: Derek Bell, Chris Carpenter, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Freel, Shawn Green, Roy Halladay, Steve Karsay, Billy Koch, Josh Phelps, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Michael Young.

List seems much less impressive since he was only in Toronto from 1996 on.

Best write-up I could find.

Chicago Cubs
Scouting Director: Tim Wilken (Drafts run: 2006, Devil Rays 2005, Blue Jays 1996-2000)

Best Player Produced: Vernon Wells (1st round, 1997) or Michael Young (5th round, 1997)
Best Prospect in Minors: Jeremy Hellickson (3rd round, 2005)
Notable Steals: Reed Johnson (17th round, 1999), Jay Gibbons (14th round, 1998), Orlando Hudson (43rd round, 1997), Mark Hendrickson (20th round, 1997)
Five-Round Strategy: 34 total picks. 44.1% college, 44.1% high school, 5.9% Latin, 2.9% junior college.
Strategy in a Nutshell: Landing Wilken as scouting director was a coup for the Cubs, as he's long been considered one of the best talent evaluators in the business. Hitter or pitcher, college or high school, Puerto Rican or American, it’s hard to spot biases in the way Wilken drafts. Whoever he has evaluated as the best player available, he will take. Wilken does evaluate differently, as he's made as many scratch their heads in the past over a pick like Alex Rios as they do now with Jeff Samardzija. But look for Wilken’s legacy to grow with the Cubs, as a bigger pocketbook should lend to more late-round steals.
2007 Draft Crystal Ball: While I have not used inside info in this section before, our own Kevin Goldstein has called Wilken's affinity for Josh Vitters the "draft's worst-kept secret." This doesn't necessarily defy his previous selections, so barring a late interest in Matt Wieters if he drops to the Cubs, we'll project Vitters here.

While Wilken was national cross checker, he signed Shawn Green, Shannon Stewart, Roy Halladay, Steve Karsay, Chris Carpenter and Ryan Freel.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Tim...

2006 Evan Longoria, Desmond Jennings, Mike Minor (DNS)
2005 Jeremy Hellickson, Tommy Hunter (DNS), Ike Davis (DNS), Casey Coleman (DNS)
2000 Busto
1999 Rios, Brandon Lyon, Skinny Dick
1998 Felipe Lopez, Jay Gibbons
1997 Wells, Young, Hendrickson, Orlando Hudson, Brad Hawpe (DNS), Chad Qualls(DNS)
1996 Koch, Casey Blake, Josh Phelps, Hudson (DNS)

Not too bad.. what was he doing in the four missing years?

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/press_releas...

That one also at least implies he ran or took part in the 03 and 04 Rays drafts:

2003 Delmon Young, Andrew Miller (DNS), Billy Buckner(DNS), John Jaso, Kris Medlen (DNS)
2004 Jeff Nieman, Reid Bregniac, Wade Davis, Fernando Perez, Daniel McCutchen (DNS)

VP of baseball operations and assistant to the GM in his "lost years" on your list.

i dunno why people complain about the guy. he's not going to be unemployed for as long as the guy actually wants work. woo suits.

I would think that he was probably assisting the GM in amateur scouting, at least in part, since that's where his background was, and they had him take it over later.

I'm not too worried about it. For the most part he seems to know what he is doing. The Colvin pick he just saw the guy as the best guy on the board that wouldn't be around for the 5th round, and the same with Simpson (earlier second pick last year).

Fans who want the Cubs to use BA's top 200 to draft from should just quit following the draft.

hell, i wouldn't mind him being the GM as long as he continues to have a high input on the scouting operations.

that said, i have no idea of his pencil pushing qualifications in the area. all i know is the guy has a wonderful scouting reputation and supposedly works well with others while doing it...that's one skill more than paul d. had with OAK/LAD. =p

The Blue Jays had more than one VP of baseball operations back then and as you point out they reported to the GM who was a "Senior" VP and sat on the BOD. The GM also had an Asst. GM who was above Wilken on the organizational chart.

It should be noted that VP Wilken got canned.

Wilken was in Chicago for the 2006 draft.

Dwaine Bacon, Brendan Harris, Matt Craig, Micah Hoffpauir, Adam Greenberg, Chris Walker, Jake Fox, Casey McGehee, Eric Patterson, Sam Fuld, Joe Simokaitis, Soto, Theriot

Ryan Theriot, Mark Prior, Ricky Nolasco, Casey McGehee, Sean Marshall, Geovany Soto, Sam Fuld, Rich Hill, Randy Wells (drafted as a catcher), Micah Hoffpauir, Eric Patterson, Brendan Harris, Sergio Mitre, Sean Gallagher, Jake Fox, Jerry Blevins, Andy Sisco, Mitch Atkins, Rocky Cherry, Billy Petrick, and Adam "Moonlight Graham" Greenberg . . .

You guys are cheating, you're comparing an 11-year period for Stockstill with a 6-year period for Wilken.

Stockstill's first draft was 1999, his last was 2005. Wilken's first was 2006, his most recent, 2011. That's six drafts for each.

We're looking at where Wilken's picks are today, in 2011. For Stockstill, the equivalent year would be 2004. Where were Stockstill's picks at the end of the 2004 season?

Not in the majors. Only one of Stockstill's non-pitchers had played a game in the majors by the end of 2004. It looks like the Cubs called Brendan Harris up in September of 2004, and he got into 23 games, hitting .169.

The season is far from over, but as of Sept. 6, 2011, six Wilken draftees--Colvin, LeMahieu, Barney, Campana, Guyer and Harrison--have played a total of 521 major-league games.

The comparison will get worse, much worse, not better, for Stockstill in the coming years. Try looking ahead, not backwards.

All six of Wilken's draftees that have made the majors are marginal roster filler to total crap.

Well, that's a little extreme Dr.

Five Wilken draftees were on the opening day roster: Cash, Sammy, Russell, Barney and Colvin

That is doing your job. It is cut and dried, and there is no argument.

Now, if you want to argue "quality", or "impact player", that's something else. Some of that, as ROB G alluded to, is luck, or taki g some risks.

This year's draft, I like the direction. We'll see how it pans out. But, the odds of getting a player from A league - to a major league roster are very slim for any player. Used correctly, Russell and Sammy have done well. Colvin still sucks. Still early. We'll see on Cash. The injury couldn't have been predicted, though.

I am not as enthused as I was a couple years ago about Wilken, but not as negative as MIKE C is.

I suppose the arrow is pointing in the right direction is all...

I don't think he's awful or anything. I just don't think he's done anything to warrant the advanced hype attached to him upon arrival. I liked the direction of the 2011 draft. I just wish the 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010 drafts he oversaw were more like the 2011 drafts.

I felt better about most of those drafts the year that they happened too. It'll be a few more years until we really know how productive even the earliest Wilken drafts have been/ will be.

I just wish the 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010 drafts he oversaw were more like the 2011 drafts.

so you hoped Wilken spent $5-6M of his own money?

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