Gathright Gone, Wells Up...Cubs Interested in Freel

The Cubs needed to make a roster move with Randy Wells getting the call-up for today's start. With MIlton Bradley's ridiculous 2-day suspension loooming and Derrek Lee in injury limbo - too hurt to play, not to hurt to be put on the DL - the Cubs are going to ask Joey Gathright to go the minors.  WIth 5+ years of service time under his belt, Gathright can refuse the assignment, but then he forfeits the remainder of his $800K contract and has to hope another team will pick him up. And him getting picked up is an unlikely scenario with a .214 batting average, being a putz in the outfield and getting caught twice stealing to just one successful attempt for a guy whose speed is suppose to be his main tool. Enjoy Iowa Gathright, I hear it's lovely this time of year. Say hi to Jeff Samardzija...and your mother.

On the rumor front (hat tip to VA Phil for the find), the Cubs are interested in utility-man Ryan Freel who seems upset with the Baltimore Orioles. Freel is owed whatever is left on his $3.3M contract this year and can play all three outfield positions along with second and third base. Once an easy bet to steal 30 bases, it looks like he's lost a step but will at least take a walk although he brings almost no power. As an added bonus, Freel also brings his imaginary friend Farney with on bus rides or when you've accidentally killed a hooker.

"Farney, what have you done?"

So those that had Jake Fox to the Orioles in your trade pools, I think the odds just went up.

In day old news (that high priest and ruler of all men "The Joe" uncovered for us after hours of laboring), Luis Vizcaino will sign a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians.


It would be nice if they could just make him the PTBNL in the Hill trade, but I don't know what type of players they discussed and how desperate the O's are to get rid of him.

Dan McDaniel...5.2 IP/9 K's in Daytona

J. Jackson...7 IP/10K's shutout CG for Tennessee...guess it rained or was shortened for some reason.

Caridad went 7 IP/2 ER for Iowa...

Thanks for not giving me credit for breaking the Viscaino story. Jeez.

can't give credit if you can't spell his name right...

lol... Maybe because of the "eat a dick" comment.

Can't? or won't?

Maybe I was completely unserious.

By the way, "eat a dick" is my new preemptive response to 3/44.

I fixed the post for u Joe...

It's perfect. It's ironic, because I was really just making fun of the fact that people get credit for discovering an internet article...but I'll take it.

I know...but not enough Joe love around these boards. Plus I'm hoping it'll get you to sweeten your trade offer. :)

Indeed. I'm glad you're starting to recognize that.

As per the deal involving your wang, I am interested. I recognize that it was broken, but I certainly used to enjoy it's company. I was a bit premature in my rejection and would like it back. I'm not giving you my wieter, though.

Very well played...

apparently your oscar meyer is still in play though...

...make me an offer, wink wink.

TCR: No Good Will Come of This.

Worry not, the deal is done.

Has Scott Eyre been informed of this change?

Looks like the Scrap Pack is actively recruiting new members.

Maybe now that Theriot's hitting bombs every other game he no longer qualifies, and Freel is going to fill the vacancy.

Does Scales become a member? Or are we limiting the Pack ONLY to scrappy players from down da' bayou?

Yes, definitely. Oddly, I think that automatically makes Scales the most senior member of the scrap pack.

Would a Freel acquisition help the team at all?

Isn't Theriot a "Freel that Can't Steal"?

Are there not any OFers in AAA that are better than Freel?

Freel is hitting .133, with an OBP of .350

- sigh -

Fucking Pie is better than that.

What kind of pie do you fuck? I prefer blackberry.

Pie has an OBP of .350?

If you want to place value on such insignificantly small sample sizes:
Pie: .158/.238/.228 OPS: .466 (64 pa's)
Freel: .133/.350/.133 OPS: .483 (20 pa's)

So yea... Pie isn't better than that.

With that said... I have little interest in Freel. The Cubs don't need a singles hitting, no longer fast, backup 1b and 3b. They already have Aaron Miles. Hell... I may even take Scales over Freel, especially if the Cubs had to give up anything for Freel.

If the Cubs are going to go after a backup IF, I would think they would go after someone who could play SS.

That way the Cubs would have one player who can play SS.

Again... very well played.

Double thanks. Just trying to pull my own weight around here towards intelligent dialogue.

Enough with all this Joe love. *Gag*

Sorry to make you gag on my 'Joe love'.

You should be. Eat a dick.

Clearly, eat a dick was taken pejoratively. I only intended it as a joke and meant no harm to anyone.

Yeah, so was I. Probably should have put in an [end sarcasm] note.

Damn internets.

Oh cool. Then it's all good like wood.

What the...

Yeah, so was I. Probably should have put in a

Damn internets.

Gives new meaning to "eat a dick".

When did Joe become Carlos?

Shucks. I'm sorry.

My mind's in a muddle. Like in a thick fog. I can't make sense to myself, sometimes.

Wow, a Glen or Glenda reference? I take it back. We need a lot more of The Joe around here.

Sweet! Joe-day has been nice. I'll be in severe withdrawal tomorrow.

I really don't mind Freel. Always did a pretty good job of getting on base. Can run fairly well. 75% success rate stealing or so. He plays all those different positions and does a pretty good job of it, too.

Not exactly the piece(s) we're missing right now, but always good to have a couple league average hitters that can play multiple positions well laying around. Freel's a career 90 OPS+, which isn't exactly average, but I'm generalizing.

Right now we've got two guys (Miles and Scales) who aren't league average hitters and can't play all the positions Freel can play. Although, having all 3 (or 2 of the 3) is fairly redundant.

I think what needs to happen is this:

At the next MLB GM Ice Cream Social, someone needs to make sure Jim Hendry puts himself out there and mingles with the other GMs instead of just chatting in the corner with Andy MacPhail.

That way, when he discovers we have a need at the big league level he'll be able to pull out his rolodex and call some of the other GMs in the league and ask if they have any players he might be interested in.

The only deals he makes with the O's are for someone to take out the Cubs trash. I'm too lazy to look it up, but Hendry has made trades with almost every GM in the league...although I recall a blurb that Minaya was tough to deal with. Off the top of my head...

Beinfest (FLA - and the GM before Beinfest), Gillick(PHI), Colletti (LAD), Towers (SDP), Sabean (SFG), Dowd (Rockies), Cashman (Yanks), Epstein (BRS), MacPhail (O's), Friedman (Rays), Dombrowski (Tigers), Williams (White Sox), Shapiro (Indians), Ryan (Twins - maybe new guy too), new Mariners GM, Beane (A's), Daniels (TEX)

past deals with Pirates and Jocketty when with the Cardinals and the Astros before Wade too, but you expect less inter-division trading.

only GM's I can't think of deals with are Nationals (new guy anyway and they did make a minor league deal when Bowden was there), Braves since Schuerholtz left, Byrnes (ARZ), Riggins (Angels), Royals and Minaya and most of the NL Central. And I could be forgetting some deals.

That being said, I'm sure certain GM's work better together and are easier to deal with...McFail, Beane and Towers are probably high on Hendry's list.

Obviously he's made deals with other GMs besides MacPhail. But, it really seems like a disproportionately high number of trade rumors center around the Orioles.

I am fine with Hendry going to the Orioles. Let's take a look at the balance sheet.


Sammy Sosa
Mike Moriarty
Corey Patterson
Freddie Bynum
Scott Moore
Rocky Cherry
Jacob Renshaw
Felix Pie
Rich Hill


Jerry Hairston
Mike Fontenot
Dave Crouthers
Nate Spears
Carlos Perez
Kevin Hart
Steve Trachsel
Garrett Olson
Henry Williamson

Now, Crouthers retired, Perez is out of baseball, Trachsel sucked, and Hairston wasn't good either. But Fontenot is our starting second basemen, Spears is in AAA, Hart is in AAA and has contributed to the big league team, Olson was turned into Heilman, Williamson has talent in the lower minor leagues, and we are still owed a player for Hill. All of that for a complete steaming pile of crap. Baltimore has to HOPE that Pie and Hill SOMEHOW work out or they have ZERO for all of the deals with Hendry.

So let me get this straight we have Patton and Fox in the bullpen who both suck and we released Luis Vizcaino? Vizcaino isn't the greatest in the world but he is easily more valuable than having those 2 knuckleheads.

For all the hate Wuertz got he could atleast keep a sub 4.00 ERA, we will be lucky if Patton or Fox can get it below 6.00. And yet some how our Cubs bullpen is better off without Wuertz. Hmmmm weird logic that is.

Some pretty strange and dumb decisions regarding the bullpen over the last 6 months.

FWIW, it looked to me like Chad Fox was wayyy too amped up last night. Let's see him pitch a little bit more before we write him off.

trading Wuertz was kind of dumb, but it seems pretty obvious Vizcaino was released for something other than how he pitches...

Patton's last 3 outings have been scoreless, nice breaking ball and 11 K's in 11.2 IP (okay, 8 BB's)...but I see why the Cubs are trying to keep them.

if there's anything that I don't really get, it's why does Aaron Heilman pitch so little? He had one bad game versus Florida, that was as much his defense's fault as his own, but he's looked pretty good. 11 K's, 8 BB's in 13 IP, is a bit high...but he's been getting the job done.

I was not a fan of getting rid of Wuertz, I'm with you there. He was sneaky-good for us for a couple seasons.

Too early to write off Patton or Fox. Patton obviously has way more upside, worthwhile gamble.

Vizcaino was released for being late and being kind of an all around jag, not pitching ability. I have no problem with Lou and Hendry taking out the trash on Vizcaino. Sends a good message.

You mean like "Sure, we'll blow $3.5 mil to axe a league average reliever we acquired three months ago even though we whined in the offseason about not having cash to spend"? That kind of message?

I don't understand the Wuertz trade that much either, other than A) Hendry over-estimated the talent in the bullpen and/or B) Piniella just didn't seem to like him.

(and it's not like Wuertz was costin' a lot of dough, so this seems extra baffling).

His career ERA is 3.47 in 277.1 IP over 279 games. His career ERA+ is 130, with EVERY season above 100-- his worst season was his rookie year in 2004 (101 ERA+) in only 29 IP. Every other season has been b/w 116 - 123 (2.66 - 3.81).

Wouldn't that be nice right now?

His WHIP is a little higher than you'd expect for that low an ERA, but I wonder if there's just something the organization didn't like about him-- remember in 2006 when Wuertz was CLEARLY better than some of the bullpen parts and he stayed in Iowa for most of the season?

Also-- Wuertz's career line includes this season so far at Oakland:

14 G, 15.0 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 13 K,

1-1, 1.80 ERA, 2 SV

Who did we get for him? Richie Robnett (who will likely be a career minor leaguer-- his numbers in AA right now are really bad) and Justin Sellers, who we traded for a PTBNL.

I think Wuertz musta been fucking somebody's mom.

he was out of options and not left-handed and the Cubs got an offer for him that I guess they liked more than what they were getting for Guzman (or they liked Guzman more)....

that all being said...would have tried to figure out a way to keep him. article

seems to infer that Joey Gathright might be the player going back to the O's...maybe they just want out of the contract. Although it just seems to cite the Rosenthal article.

Some other teams are apparently interested too and McPhail has a quote that there should be some sort of resolution soon with Freel.

Freel in Wrigley should last about a week before he kills himself on the brick wall.

Freel for Gathright would be a great deal!IMHO

Saves the O's some cash. Gives the Cubs a 25th man upgrade, who can play multiple positions to boot.

Plus Farney would be like a 26th man on the Roster!!!

Can we trade Gathright, straight-up, for Farney?

so the cubs let go a drunk reliever and pick up a pill popping drunk in freel.

hope this one works out.

One piece of good news--the chip on Milton Bradley's shoulder now gets a playmate in Ryan Freel's Alter Ego. The stories they can tell each other in the clubhouse, the black helicopters, the vast right-wing conspiracy, ooohh it'll be fun times.

I continue to be amazed--AMAZED--at the money Jim Hendry squanders on fringe players. Were I the owner of the Cubs, I'd be damn pissed. Now the Cubs swap out Joey G for Farney, and Hendry takes on ANOTHER $2.5MM in salary for ANOTHER fringe player. Amazing.

I certainly don't dispute the trade based on talent--such as it is with these two choads--but my gawd, Hendry wastage is up to $10MM now this year, that's a third of Florida's entire payroll!

Hendry couldn't keep his job with a mid-market team.

I'm certain Hendry wouldn't make those moves if he were working with a mid-market payroll. He does this because he can afford to. It's a very nice luxury to have, honestly.

I've always liked Freel for his scrappy factor, but

...his next team is more likely to include Corey Koskie, Mike Matheny and Jim Edmonds.

no wonder he hears extraneous voices

after a 5th of liquor he probably hears whatever he wants. let's just hope he doesn't listen to it too much.

Huh? What is with your alcohol/pills references with Freel?

notorious drunk...problem drinker...downtime and injuries.

he's supposedly over it...or at least i'm guessing based on a 2m+ contract.

-edit- oops, he got a 2 year deal from the Reds that gave him his loot this year. he hasn't been arrested or banned from anywhere in a year, though. hehe...

Deal Done. Gath for Freel. WSCR 670 AM is my source.

Seriously??? That all he costs the Cubs? Just Gathright??? Given that the source is WSCR, I gotta think there's another component that they're missing...
Baltimore Sun with same story...

Good deal, in my opinion.

Absolutely! I was happy when I thought they had just CUT him. Getting anything for him would have been a bonus. Freel is at least potentially useful...


/Joke about how good of a deal it is because Hendry got 2 for 1.

/laugh about said joke.

Thanks a lot.

Yeah, a good deal if it's just straight up. Maybe the O's play Gathright in LF? You know you suck, Felix, when Joey G shows up to replace you.

You know you suck, Felix, when Joey G shows up to replace you.

Didn't that already happen? They essentially traded Pie away and brought in Gathright.

the video on Rob's post #37 should have had the Dean Martin song "Ain't that a kick in the head" as background music.

Like the fella once said,
Ain't that a kick in the head?


From Rosenthal just a little bit ago:

"The deal is cash-neutral, according to one source. The Cubs will pay the balance of Gathright's $800,000 salary for 2009 with the O's paying the balance of Freel's — about $3.3 million."

How does HEndry take on $2.5MM here of salary?

Am I missing something?

Wow... cash neutral? With the O's paying the rest of Freel's salary?

If that is true, Hendry deserves some major kudos for this deal, even though I don't like Freel.

Wow, then I love this deal.

Original news release didn't say it was cash neutral, hence my comment--the salary differential between the two is $2.5MM. If it really is just the Cubs keep paying Joey, the O's keep paying Freel, then obviously I am not as annoyed with JH--in fact, it's a pretty good trade. Good Ol' McSweaterVest keeps paying dividends.....

Gathright for Freel still needs some timing touch to roster moves. Freel won't get activated until tomorrow (I believe he was on the Orioles DL)

Dave Kaplan/WGN also confirms the deal

Anyway - Freel will be this years' Edmonds without the power.

Freel at 800K? me likee...

A little HGH and we're talking DeRosa with a headache.

lol! Nice comment.

I'm going to go ahead and say this deal is a sort of "favor returned" for the Pie deal.

Maybe the O's play Gathright in LF?
Gathright reports to AAA Norfolk. I expect a shuttle car will be available for both of them although Gathright probably can just go jump from Norfolk to Baltimore.

New thread up, btw.

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    jacos 5 hours 24 min ago view
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    Rob G. 5 hours 49 min ago view
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    billybucks 6 hours 36 min ago view
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    crunch 7 hours 14 min ago view
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    rvimpeny 8 hours 18 min ago view
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    Transmission 8 hours 21 min ago view
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    crunch 8 hours 35 min ago view
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    jacos 8 hours 52 min ago view
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    jacos 8 hours 53 min ago view
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    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
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    Carrie Muskat [email protected]
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    crunch 9 hours 14 min ago view
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    Rob G. 9 hours 17 min ago view