Missed It By That Much

Those Jake Peavy talks will probably heat up again once the Ricketts take over the team or Rich Harden hits the disabled list, but just how close were they to completing the trade over the winter?

 They were so close, in fact, that Peavy's side had begun the process of negotiating how much of his salary would be deferred. I's were being dotted, t's were being crossed.

Buster Olney makes it sounds like they were in the middle of the press conference before the red phone rang from Sam Zell to put a stop to the deal. I guess we may never know, but Padres general manager Kevin Towers certainly thought a deal was just about in place, so there's probably more truth than fiction to that story.

The other newsworthy item is that USA Today pegs the Cubs total payroll at $134,809,000. That's the third highest in baseball behind the Mets and Yankees and well ahead of the fourth place Boston Red Sox ($121,745,999).

NL Central Payroll

 Cubs $ 134,809,000
Astros $ 102,996,414
Brewers $ 80,182,502 
Cardinals $ 77,605,109
Reds $ 73,558,500
Pirates $ 48,693,000 

 

By USA Today's numbers, the Cubs increased their spending by $16.5 million from last season and are outspending their closest division rival by nearly $32M. 

Division
Teams
 Difference Rounded
NL East Mets over Phillies $36M
NL Central Cubs over Astros $32M
NL West Dodgers over Giants $18M
AL East Yankees over Red Sox $80M
AL Central Tigers over White Sox $19M
AL West Angels over Mariners $15M

 

Well, it's not quite the Evil Empire, but I think it's safe to retire the Cubs don't spend enough clichés. And while you still have to make the right decisions with that money, the Cubs and Jim Hendry are working at a decided advantage...a $32 million advantage.

Comments

http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/...

press release w/o all the actual names....great work.

I forget; can you recap for us who was supposedly headed to SD in that deal?

I remember Marshall for sure, plus maybe Josh Vitters, but can't recall exactly. Need a refresher.

I don't think anyone knows exactly, Marshall was supposedly off the table though.

Supposedly a 3-team deal with DeRosa to the Phils (possibly) for some pitchers who would go to San Diego along with Vitters, Hart and Marquis and probably some cash. Padres would look to flip Marquis of course.

http://thecubreporter.com/archive/all/2008/12/9 

also this
http://thecubreporter.com/2008/12/11/no-peavy-deal...

Over to the right of me as I post lies Arizona Phil's updated estimated payroll and there are some glaring discrepancies , e.g. USA Today has Ryan Dempster at $9MM and AzPhil has it at $12MM.

http://content.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salari...

As for the so-called spending advantage, there's spending and then there's spending. Hendry just blows money out his ass. Backloaded contracts, guaranteed contracts for chumps who get cut before the season starts, long term contracts for total busts, etcetera, etcetera..... ad infinitum.

some of those they're not counting bonus money...

some of them are higher though, so I don't know the reason for the difference. Most of it was grabbed by stories when the contracts were signed and Cot's Baseball Contracts.

The difference is because of Dempster's $4 million signing bonus he got this year. USA Today only is showing his base salary which isn't showing the whole picture.

And don't forget Hendry giving out no-trade clauses to everyone except Jose Macias...:)

I always liked the one way player options. Those were neat!

Most likely he got the signing bonus last year, to dodge some of the expected tax hikes.

Very possibly true, but it would still likely count against this years budget/payroll.

further investigation...

they have the salaries at $1M higher for Zambrano, Ramirez, Soriano, Fukudome, and Lilly. They have $250K higher on Lee.

$3M lower on Dempster (which is weird, because it should be a $4M bonus)

they also don't seem to be counting any payments for Marquis, Bako, Blanco or Gaudin.

Cubs have been a playoff team two years in a row and look like they're headed for a third so I'm going to lay off the management team. My new whipping boy is Corey Fukudome, the Cubs' bakayaro!

Hendry sucks, spending 30% more than everyone else in a weak sister division doesn't make him Billy Beane.

Blind squirrels find acorns. Ed Wade GM'd a team to the World Series for chrissakes.

Ed Wade GM'd a team to the World Series for chrissakes.

He did? 

Hendry doesn't suck, and saying it hundreds of times doesn't make it true.

Ed Wade GM'd a team to the World Series for chrissakes.

Ooh... please do tell. What team was that?

Unless, of course, you mean when Wade traded Lidge to the Phillies, giving the Phillies the closer they needed to win the World Series...

Excuse me, Dan O'Dowd

I got my shitty GM's confused.

Beat up on Hendry if you want, but I truly believe most GMs rely on their managers to tell them what they need. It's no coincidence Lou has had better tools to work with than Dusty had. I'm also convinced Fuku is perfectly capable of being an impact player. It's too soon to write him off.

Hendry isn't some GM genius, but he's no Littlefield, either.

Yeah, I am sure Dusty told Hendry, don't spend the extra $30MM and leave the payroll at around $100MM.

No no, you can't just post a snide comment and think you made your point. Tell me how you think the coversations went between Dusty and Hendry. Or do you suppose they just never talked? I'm really confused.

This is the manager who would routinely field Neifi Perez when better (albeit not much better) options were available.

Of course another $30 mil would help, but who cares. Dusty wasn't going to get it done.

I have absolutely no clue how the conversations between Dusty and Hendry went, nor do I know how they go between Hendry and Lou. I would think it would be a collaborative effort to decide what they need and who to get. But I do think they did talk, as I am sure most managers/GM's do, most likely daily.

All you need to know is that Dusty stole ABs from TheRiot and gave them to Neifi...anyone who steals from TheRiot in a dream better wake up and appologize.

I think replacing Derek Lee's bat with Neifi Perez's was a sign that Dusty is just too stupid to manage a cub with serious aspirations.

seriously?

Farnsworth time for KC with a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 8th...

I'm going to go set-up my lawn chair to watch this fire burn.

burn, burn, burn

1st/3rd with one out....

makes Carlos Quentin look silly though...2 outs with Thome up

and up in smoke it goes...

3-run HR Thome....

Farnsworth is a waste.

Beat me to it.

I came on to make fun of the Farns.

Good call Rob.

Just beautiful.

Kyle being Kyle. What a bad contract.

Farnsworth closing for the royals today?

...why

not closing...bottom of the 8th.

yeah...I both didn't look at the posts directly above me annnnnnnd mistook an 8 for a 9 on gamecast...well done

Count me in with the Hendry is decent, not great crowd. He's done a real nice job of getting the free agents that he wants. He's used his minor league talent to engineer a lot of trades that helped the big league team. And he's relied on his scouts to resurrect several players from the scrap heap and get useful play out of them (Dempster, Barrett and Edmonds come to mind).

His biggest dings are that he is not as fiscally sharp as he should be, the Cubs big wallet covers up some sloppy decision making at times. And he has the most maddening fetish for overpaying for fringe players, I don't know that I've ever seen anything like it. $5MM deals to Neifi, Blanco and Aaron Miles, huh? A million bucks and trading a warm body for Jose Macias? Weird.

Overall, I'd rate Hendry's tenure a solid B.

Good point Jim! And when his payroll was well below $100MM, the sloppiness really showed.

Does Lou make that much more money than Dusty did?

I think they make about the same.

Concur Jim

you concur that he deserves a B, but that he sucks?

C+/B-

Does he suck as bad as Ed Lynch of Andy McFail? NO

Is he Billy Beane,Theo Epstein,Josh Byrnes or Walt Jocketty? NO

I suspect that even a total Dud like Dave Littlefield could have backed into a couple of 90 win seasons if Pirate management had let him outspend everyone else in the central by 30%

It's like beating a 10 year old kid in basketball, then claiming your NBA ready.

this year they're outspending the Astros by 30% or so, but it hasn't been anywhere close to that before...

2008 - 19% over Cardinals

2007 - 10% over Cardinals

2006 - 2% over Astros

2005 - Cardinals outspent Cubs by 6%

2004 - 9% over Cardinals

2003 - Cardinals outspent Cubs by 5%

but Jocketty is incredible... 

Jocketty was GM in St. Louis from 95-2007.

7 post season's
2 pennants
1 ws win
9 winning records in 12 years spending less than than the cubs almost every year.

Jim Hendry GM from 2002- now

1 90 win season
4 winning records in 7 years

You can't even compare the track records

if the USA today numbers are correct and Jocketty was the GM from 1995-2007 (not bothering to look it up): Cards outspent the Cubs from 1996-1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005. (a few of these season the 2 teams were only a million or two off either way).

so by spending less than the Cubs almost every year you must have meant spending more than the Cubs more than half the time....it's opposite day. 

And Hendry was named GM half-way through the 2002 season....

Is he Billy Beane,Theo Epstein,Josh Byrnes or Walt Jocketty? NO

Is someone actually making this claim? What frustrates me about the Hendry hate is the presumption of Hendry love. Who is claiming him to be the best GM in baseball? I mean, did we all see the cock-up that was his 40-man roster management this year? That said, he's gotten more big things right than wrong.

I agree that B- is about right on JH.

GOOD:
Big wins on a few obvious big trades. Successfully re-signing players like Wood and ARam to home-town discounts. Scrapheap recovery for Dempster/Borowski. Getting his free agent targets once the purse strings were unleashed by McDonough

BAD:
As mentioned, goofy roster management. Trading prospects and players at their lowest value. VERY frustrating reliance on marginally useful stats for evaluating hitters, like hitting with RISP. The Juan Pierre trade. Awful team OBP until Lou showed up.

Division champs for 2 years in a row and 3 of the last 6 is still pretty good. I will dance in the aisles when the Cubs take it all, but I've always maintained that I can be happy if this team is consistently and highly competitive. Jim Hendry has given me that. I give Lou a lot of credit too, but Jim's the boss. He deserves credit with his blame.

is it worth mentioning that beane is overrated vs. his results...especially when you look at them longer than just a few years past his projects being drafted or hitting the bigs?

last season's team was beyond an embarrassment full of 1-dimensional players...$300 million team or $30 team.

they were 49-41 before they traded Harden, 3.5 behind the wild card with a payroll in the bottom 5. They're almost always in the bottom half of the payroll and had a run of 8 straight winning season from 1999-2006. Probably would have been over .500 last year before the fire sale.

I would have pegged them to contend with the Angels this year before the pitching injuries.

harden couldn't help the pile of crap they've had there the past 2 years. the bats last year were inexcusable.

this year is looking just as pathetic, imo.

he had a great run, but things are looking stagnant and the once strong pitching is looking trashy.

harden couldn't help the pile of crap they've had there the past 2 years. the bats last year were inexcusable.

What the hell are you are talking about? Sometimes you say some really strange shit.

Lets repeat what Rob said. When Harden was traded, they were 49-41.

That is the best smelling pile of crap that I have ever smelled.

maybe you should look at the pile of bats they called a team there...it was on par with the 06 cubs.

harden getting traded didn't cause the team to tank..the team caused it, itself.

Very simply question... how is a team that is 49-41 a pile of shit?

Oakland's offense was bad last year. There is no question. But that doesn't mean that Beane didn't still put together a team that could win.

And, btw, if you think this year's Oakland team's offense is similarly a "pile of shit," then I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you somewhere in Alaska.

You don't need a bridge up there. I heard the Gov. can see Russia from her house!

"Very simply question... how is a team that is 49-41 a pile of shit?"

1- because they play 162...they lost 12 games out of 1 pitcher and they go toilet?

2- http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/OAK/2008.s...

they also traded Blanton...

Duchscherer and Gallagher also went to the DL...

they did have a very poor offense though....

(stifles laughter)

somehow this is his 4th Opening Day start...maybe there's another Jeff Suppan I don't know of...

I find it really funny that some of the same people who complained a couple years ago that Hendry never signed big name free agents and only kept people if he got a hometown discount are now complaining that he sucks because he spends too much money and/or spends it wastefully.

If you have a veteran team like the Cubs, and you've got a quality roster like the Cubs, you're going to have to spend money. The Cubs don't let people go or trade them near the end of their contract because they get too expensive, and the payroll numbers show it.

I think you can say that Hendry probably paid more than he needed to this past offseason for Dempster and Bradley, but that's only because he was agressive and went after the players he wanted before it was quite so clear that the market for player salaries had fallen off so dramatically.

In hindsight I think it was probably McFail who put the handcuffs on Hendry spending.

Why can't we have some sort of happy medium?

Sitting at a poker table with McFail and Hendry would be like sitting between a guy who folds each and every hand and a guy who pushes "all in" every hand.

That being said, we have a good team and I am really optimistic.

"In hindsight I think it was probably McFail who put the handcuffs on Hendry spending"

I have no proof of McFail handcuffing Hendry, but I believe he did also.

From the stories of Mark Grace annual resigning being seen as a free agent signing to McFail wetting his pants when he offered Mike Hampton the biggest contract in Cubs history I could see it being true.

Personally, I applaud Hendry for not sitting on his ass in the offseason. We won 97 games last year, so it would have been easy to just phone it in and say that we were good enough to win again this season, but he made some moves to try and make us better. Not every free agent signing and trade gets a gold star, but Hendry helped to perpetrate rapes on both the Pirates and Marlins to get Ramirez and DLee, and Soriano was far and away the best offensive free agent on the market when he was signed, and he is by no means a bust.

I know some of the moves made this past offseason were questionable, like trading DeRosa and signing Miles, but I've said it before and I'll say it again (and it was reiterated in this article) - my belief is that those moves were made (along with obtaining Garrett Olson) in anticipation that the Peavy deal was going to get done. Something obviously changed, and I'm guessing either Hendry changed his mind about not wanting to pay the ridiculous price Towers was asking, or Towers wanted to up the ante a bit more. I guess we'll never really know, but my point is that Hendry is always looking to try and make the team better. It doesn't always work out, but hindsight is 20/20 and I'll take back to back playoff appearances any day...

Following up on our Olympics discussion from last night...

http://www.reason.com/news/show/132714.html

no offense, but can you remove the 6mb image at the top left of the page?

I was wondering wth was going on... thought it was my computer.

Other than Dallas Green he is the best Cubs GM of our/my lifetime. He isn't terrible. He's just a middle of the road GM with a top 5 payroll.

Brian Cashman with less foresight.

At least he isn't Larry Himes or Ed Lynch.

At least Himes got us Sosa.

and cost us Greg Maddux

Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Bradley , Ramirez, Johnson, Soto, Fontenot, Dempster

vs

Matsui, Rodriguez, Berkman, Lee, Tejada, Blum, Pence,  Bourne, Wandy

Very pleased to see Fontenot in there against the lefty. If he can be marginally productive against LHP early in the season, we may not see much of Miles beyond a strictly utility IF role--a role for him that I can certainly live with.

250 PAs for Miles: OK. 400 PAs for Miles: not OK.

Submitted by navigator on Tue, 04/07/2009 - 1:08pm.
Over to the right of me as I post lies Arizona Phil's updated estimated payroll and there are some glaring discrepancies , e.g. USA Today has Ryan Dempster at $9MM and AzPhil has it at $12MM.

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

NAVIGATOR: This comes up every year.

USA Today prorates (averages) signing bonuses over the lenghth of a player's contract when determining players salaries & club payroll even if the signing bonus is paid in a lump sum when the player signs a contract (as is usually the case), while the numbers I provided on the right tab here at TCR are what the Cubs are actually paying out in payroll in 2009 (which commences with the end of the 2008 World Series), including lump sum signing bonuses, buy-outs, termination pay, and other pay-outs (like the Cubs paying a portion of Jason Marquis' salary), and also includes guaranteed salaries or minor league split salaries for players on the 40-man roster who are optioned to the minors.

Allowing clubs to calculate payroll by prorating signing bonuses is part of the CBA and it's done to reduce club payroll when determining revenue sharing & luxury tax.

Clubs consider post-season contract buy-outs, lump-sum signing bonuses for players signed after the conclusion of the World Series, termination pay for released players, and any agreement to pay a portion of a traded player's salary (as is the case with Jason Marquis), as a part of the next season's payroll, although that type of accounting is not reflected in the USA Today payroll numbers.

The only post-season payments that clubs consider to be a part of the previous year's payroll are performance bonuses that are earned by players who have incentives in their contracts.  

Recent comments

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 32 min 42 sec ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 35 min 16 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 45 min 7 sec ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 6 hours 13 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 15 hours 55 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 18 hours 53 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 19 hours 5 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 19 hours 14 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 19 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 19 hours 38 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 20 hours 14 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 20 hours 32 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 20 hours 33 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 20 hours 51 min ago view