Bad News/Good News - Peter's Been Robbed/Paul's Been Paid

Paul Sullivan had a piece in the Tribune on the Fourth of July that noted the heavy lifting being done in Chicago by players who started the season in Iowa. It got me to thinking...

Pending any roster impact that Geovany Soto's obliqueness might have, over half of the Cubs' current 25 man roster came to the NL Central via the PCL American North. Granted, not all of the baker's dozen were original signees of the organization, but each of the 13 have logged significant time in Des Moines on their ways up.

Collectively, you'd have to say that they've contributed more than their fair share to this point of a teeter-totter season. Put another way, the Cubs are getting more than their money's worth from this bunch. If the same could be said for the rest of the bloated payroll, well...

Please stand when I call your name. Hold your applause until the whole group has been recognized:

1. Jake Fox - A poor man's Jim Thome?

2. Micah Hoffpauir - A poorer man's Jake Fox?

3. Ryan Theriot - Left Des Moines a few years ago and never looked back.

4. Andres Blanco - A small-baller who might be more appreciated and less of a luxury on a team where the big guns were firing properly.

5. Mike Fontenot - Are his best days in the big leagues already behind him?

6. Carlos Marmol - Wish he'd stop racking up starter's pitch counts in short relief.

7. Angel Guzman - Seems finally to be carving a niche. Could it be the Greggles he sports?

8. Jeff Samardzija - Stretch and shrink, stretch and shrink - if it's not good for fabrics...

9. Kevin Hart - Every good team's gotta have one, right?

10. Sean Marshall - Actually has only logged brief time here & that as a rehabber, but he did come through the system.

11. Randy Wells - As many wins as the $18 million dollar man-child without the seizures.

12.Koyie Hill - Stats compare favorably with MB's, unfortunately.

13.Geovany Soto - Not exactly a contender for sophomore of the year, but starting to come around. Fingers crossed on the "mild strain".

HONORABLE MENTION: Bobby Scales, Jose Ascanio and Sam Fuld.

In the last couple of years the Cubs have gotten damn good mileage out of their Triple A callups. Last year the "made guys" in the majors also did their jobs, at least in the regularly scheduled portion of the season. There's half a year remaining for them to kick in their share in '09. If they don't, well, Piniella won't have to worry about snapping [or extending] his October winlessness...MW

Comments

Gotta say I like the point about Samja stretching and shrinking.

At this point I think you just need to accept him for what he is. Put him in short relief and let him be.

Better to have a good reliever than a bad/injured starter/reliever. IMHO

Simple question, maybe the answer is not so simple:

If the Cubs released Milton Bradley tomorrow, would they be off the hook for 2011?

The $4 million signing bonus has been spent already. They would pay $11.5 million for the rest of this year and next year, but save $12 million the following year.

Bradley's role would be assumed by three cheapies, Fox, Hoffpauir and Fuld.

Unpleasant experience, but how you deal with a malignancy.

Is Samardzija a bad starter? 5-3, 3.72 ERA, 53K/20BB at Iowa in 13 games, 12 starts.

I mean, for this season, sure he's gonna be a bullpen guy, but can they rule out him getting in the rotation? Maybe the future closer?

DB,

I'm afraid it's just another example of "Square peg/round hole" that the Cubs love to play with their prospects.

Samja is really a 1 1/2 pitch pitcher at this point. Perfectly acceptable in a shortman role. However not something that an MLB starter will be able to get by with.

Unfortunately the Cubs, will force him into a starters role. Most likely to justify the fact that they gave him a huge $ signing bonus.

If his name was Julio Santiago instead of Jeff Samardzija would this even be an issue with management?

This is all not to mention Von Joshua & the magic fuzz machine...

Dr. AB - I love Julio Santiago! And your point is well-taken...

You know how sometimes you buy something, say a new wardrobe piece, and later realize it's just not you, but you're too proud to admit it so you keep trying to fit it in & you end up walking around looking like somebody you're not? At first people snicker behind your back & then they start booing! The Cubs have spent themselves into the corner of having to keep wearing nasty looking outfits like AS & MB...fashion is too trendy for long-term contracts

Nice change of pace from the reputation this organization otherwise has earned. Even a former All Star and a few guys with AS potential on the list.

Rob, I don't know how that "latest results" gadget works, but the Cubs are 3 games out, not 3.5 out.

We need all the help we can get here.

not sure where it's pulling its info from, but I'm sure it'll fix itself...hopefully.

Its fixed! The world is now a better place.

Sullivan reporting that Soto's MRI showed some damage to the oblique, and that we will be out at least through the all-star break. The hits just keep on coming....

Plus, we don't play any games in California until mid-August, which I presume is the next time Soto will be able to fill his prescription.

I'm sure he can do just fine in Chicago.

Also not to mention Casey McGehee's work in Milwaukee, Ronnie Cedeno's roster-filling in Seattle, Felix the Cat's late-inning defensiveness and/or Rich Hill's capriciousness [or the former I-Cub media relations director's front office work] in Baltimore...

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 9:20am.
Simple question, maybe the answer is not so simple:

If the Cubs released Milton Bradley tomorrow, would they be off the hook for 2011?

The $4 million signing bonus has been spent already. They would pay $11.5 million for the rest of this year and next year, but save $12 million the following year.

Bradley's role would be assumed by three cheapies, Fox, Hoffpauir and Fuld.

Unpleasant experience, but how you deal with a malignancy.

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

COUSIN: If the Cubs were to release Milton Bradley now, they would be on the hook for the balance of Bradley's contract at least through 2010 minus the MLB minimum salary (pro-rated in 2009, then $400K in 2010) that would be paid by whatever team signs him after he gets released.

However, the 2011 vesting option becomes guaranteed as soon as Bradley plays in 75 MLB games in 2009 (and he's played in 68 games so far, so seven more games played and the 2011 option will vest), regardless of whether all 75 are played with the Cubs or a combination of the Cubs and some other team after he gets released, so meeting the 2011 vesting option is almost a given unless he suffers a season-ending injury in the next few days before he has a chance to play in 75 games.

So if the Cubs were to release Bradley now, and he signs with another club and plays in 75 games in 2009 (thereby causing the 2011 option to vest), the Cubs would APPEAR to save about $1M through 2011 (about $200K in 2009, then $400K in 2010 and $400K in 2011), except Bradley's slot on the 25-man roster would be taken by another player making at least the MLB minimum salary (or a bit more) like Jake Fox or Micah Hoffpauir, so the Cubs actually wouldn't save anything by releasing Bradley. And if he were to decide to not play in 2010 and 2011, the Cubs would owe 100% of his salary in both of those seasons PLUS the salary of whatever player ends up replacing him on the 25-man roster.

Therefore, the most-likely way the Cubs will move Bradley (if they do) would be via trade, probably to an A. L. club like Texas, Seattle or Detroit where he can DH, with the Cubs either taking back some equally unatractive high-end contract (like Nate Robertson or Dontrelle Willis from DET or Carlos Silva from SEA), or else with the Cubs paying a significant portion of Bradley's remaining salary in 2009-11.

Thanks, Phil.

Looking for a loophole . . . Oh, well, I guess we'll just have to teach that guy how to play baseball. The only thing he seems to be good at is helping the ump call balls and strikes.

By the way, I wrote a letter to MLB's game-records dept., suggesting they change the last out in yesterday's game to a called-third strike, since by the time Bradley swung at the pitch the game was over.

Might as well keep him.

I was always a proponent of signing Milton in years past.

However I was veihmently opposed to giving him 3/30. Guys like him are always best to have in contract years with heavy player motivation.

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  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 53 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 3 hours 11 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 26 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 6 hours 44 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 6 hours 49 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 52 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 12 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 17 hours 53 min ago view
  • How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.

    billybucks 17 hours 57 min ago view
  • Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.

    2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.

    Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.

    billybucks 18 hours 45 min ago view