Arbitration is Going to be the End of Jim Hendry

UPDATE: MLB Trade Rumors and Eddie Bajek updated their reverse-engineered rankings from two days ago and don't ask me how they changed but they did. Gregg and Grabow as Type A, Harden and Johnson as Type B. For what it's worth, Chone Figgins has been dropped to Type B status by their rankings. Muskat says Gorzelanny and Fontenot will qualify as Super Two status and the Cubs have 10 arb-eligible players total (Arizona Phil also has So Taguchi in his list on the right sidebar). The official Elias Rankings will be out soon enough.


 

From Bruce Levine's latest:

 The Cubs will not offer arbitration to Harden, who was their top strikeout pitcher in 2009.

I had mentioned earlier in the week that it looks like Harden will be a Type B free agent meaning it wouldn't cost the signing team any of their own draft picks, but the Cubs would get a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds. If Levine's statement turns true, the Cubs are betting that no team would offer more in a multi-year deal to Harden than he could get in a one-year arbitration case coming off an ERA above 4.

There's obviously a few criteria that have to hit first, Harden would need to officially be labeled a Type B free agent and the Cubs would officially have to not offer arbitration, but if that scenario does play out where Harden is a Type B free agent (hell a Type A free agent even) and the Cubs don't offer arbitration, well let's say I won't be a happy. The Type A status would make it a little sketchy, since teams would certainly hesitate a bit more if Harden cost them a first round pick, but considering John Lackey is the only other talented starting pitcher on the market, I think Harden will still get a few decent offers.

The article also states that the Cubs would like to sign John Grabow to a 2-year deal. Earlier it was mentioned that Grabow wants a 3-year deal. Chances are that means the Cubs would offer arbitration and be content if Grabow accepts for one year. If Grabow gets Type A status as expected, I see little chance any team would sign Grabow and cough up a first round pick. The Cubs could get lucky and a team with a protected first round pick or one that already signed a higher rated free agent would sign Grabow and not worry as much about losing a second round or lower draft pick, but it's a far more unlikely scenario.

There's some Milton Bradley talk and Levine also believes the Cubs won't have to pay as much of the $21M+ of Bradley's contract as many people believe...which is all of it. One deal discussed was a disgruntled Bradley to the Rays for the statuesque Pat Burrell who was a major disappointment for the Rays this year. At least it would be a helluva bench bat for the Cubs.

There's some talk about Chone Figgins although no whispers of the Cubs interest level. And Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson should be back at the right price.

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Comments

I will be calling for Hendry's head if Harden isn't offered arbitration. There is absolutely no excuse not to, especially if he is a Type B. He is the 2nd best starter this year. He won't be next year. He would not accept arbitration, and his list of suitors would grow exponentially if the signing team didn't have to give up their first round pick.

This also begs the question, "Why didn't Hendry deal him to the Twins, then, if he had no intentions of keeping him?" We were pretty much out of the playoff race when the waiver claim took place, so if that is his excuse, it is ridiculous. We will have essentially let Harden go for nothing, when we could at least have had a mediocre prospect for him from the Twins. This better not be true.

it would be the ultimate buffoonry to not offer Harden arbitration, if they weren't planning to the whole time, and even if the Twins were offering nothing except trying to block another team, they should have just let Harden go to the Twins and save the $1M left on his deal

Not getting the Picks for Kerry Wood last year was equally inept. It boils down to Hendry's fear of facing these guys in a courtroom.

Why worry about the farm system when you can simply overpay mediocre free agents 25-50% each and every offseason?

That's exactly what I thought, why not just trade him, even if you don't get much in return? If you're from the crunch school of thought you might think the Twins never had any real interest in Harden to begin with, that it was just to block any deal between Detroit or the White Sox. You never know.

Twins probably had no interest and probably offered nearly nothing....Hendry still could have just let Harden go though and saved a $1M. Which you might as well if you're not going to offer arbitration...

it was reported serious negotiations by MIN never took place, fwiw. that's where i got that from.

The Cubs seem to not really understand the arbitration process or at least don't understand that the risks of arbitration can yield rewards.

Fire this clown NOW!!!!

I'm convinced that Jim Hendry pays full retail price, when he goes to Garage Sales. Seriously, NO GM in Baseball is worse with Player and Contract leverage.

The guy literally acts like he is scared of any and all confrontation. This has to be how Milton got 30 Million from Hendry. He simply asked for it.

I called this before the trade deadline and to be honest, I don't understand the outrage. Maybe I'm missing something.

Also, my long-time man crush on Pat Burrell's approach in the batter's box is no secret. An approach that drove Philadelphia and opposing pitchers nuts with his near-refusal to swing until he gets two strikes.

He had a wretched year based on the numbers, but well... those are just the numbers. I'm definitely on board with a Bradley for Burrell trade if TB covers the right amount of Milton Bradley money. Hell of a bench bat... sure, but can he play RF? Why not start him? Flame away.

I'd love to trade Milton for Burrell. More Soriano to RF and put Pat the Bat in left.

However it reeks of pure speculation at this point. TB signed Pat weeks before we signed Milton. If they really wanted Milton, they could have gotten him for 2/16 you'd think?

I know, but any time Pat Burrell or David DeJesus come up in conversation I just get so excited.

If they really wanted Milton, they could have gotten him for 2/16 you'd think?

Ouch.

The Rays wanted Bradley but didn't want to offer three years. The Cubs did offer three years, so Bradley chose them. The deal wasn't officially signed until after the DeRosa trade and figuring out how much we'd have to pay some team to have Marquis win 15 games, but as the dominoes fell it was Bradley, then Burrell.

If you don't count defense and hitting and probably baserunning, that would be a great trade for the Cubs. There's probably some Rays fans lunatics who blame the Rays failures this year on bringing in Burrell.

so Milton's 370-400 OBP, overly patient batting style is bad Burrell's is good? Neat...

at least Bradley can play defense...

Burrell does have more power at least and no he can't play RF, or LF for that matter...or anything besides DH to be honest.

that being said, the Cubs aren't going to have a lot of opportunities to move Bradley, might as well take a shot at Burrell and see if he can recoup some power he lost from leaving Citizens Bank Park.

Not that HR's matter however, top 5 HR season's from:

Burrell
37
33
32
30
29

Milton Bradley
22
19
14
13
12

So obviously Milton is the superior player. Because of his RF defense and Lefthandedness. (No sarcasm whatsoever)

not sure I said Bradley was superior, at least not significantly...

I think they're about the same player in overall output...

both started in 2002, Bradley's career WAR is 22.8, Burrell's 20.7 (WAR is cumulative btw), OPS+ is 116 for Bradley, 115 for Burrell

Burrell gets on-base, has more power (his park sure helped), been healthier, doesn't seem like too big a jack-ass and has no business playing defense

Bradley gets on-base, has less power, has had significant injury problems, is a total ass and plays solid defense in RF and could play CF and LF.

if they can make the deal work and not have to pay too much for Bradley, might as well pull the trigger...there's a good chance both will have much improved years next year.

Must have missread your post then Rob.

My point is that People actually LIKE a patient approach. Especially if it is acompanied by 30+ HR Power.

my response was to Ryno's saying he liked how Burrell worked pitchers, but Ryno has consistently been saying that Milton's OBP means nothing. I was amused by the dichotomy.

I think it's clearly been shown by my other post that minus jack-ass issues, Bradley and Burrell basically have outputted the same amount over their careers...

and this is where someone brings up Burrell's RBI totals (which btw kind of suck for a guy with 30 HR power and in the phillies lineup)

my response was to Ryno's saying he liked how Burrell worked pitchers, but Ryno has consistently been saying that Milton's OBP means nothing. I was amused by the dichotomy.

Yeah, I see what you're saying. In fact the last two years Milton Bradley has had a far better OBP than Pat Burrell:

Milton Bradley Pat Burrell
2008 .436 .367
2009 .378 .315

But it's a game of nuance and OBP isn't quite the same as "making a pitcher work". Just one example is NP/TPA:

Milton Bradley Pat Burrell
2008 3.99 4.19
2009 4.05 4.05

How can that be when Milton Bradley has the superior OBP? I assume it's because MB takes so many close 2-strike pitches where Pat Burrell fouls them off. And we saw it in '08 how long at bats and making the opposing pitcher work helped the entire lineup.

So my Pat Burrell-love is half in jest, but also founded on the belief that a single batter that makes a pitcher work can help an entire lineup hit better.

...And thanks for letting us create html tables now.

How can that be when Milton Bradley has the superior OBP?

My guess would be it is because Bradley is more likely to put the ball into play and Burrell is more likely to miss or foul off pitches.

I've never looked for it, but I would bet that someplace keeps fouling off pitches data.

Edit* - I pulled a Navigator.

that's a hell of nuance since they saw the same # of pitches this year. Burrell has shown a more consistent approach to taking pitches over his career though. Anything over 4 p/pa is considered excellent though and that's where Bradley's been the last 3 years.

I don't think it's fouling off pitches as much as Bradley tends to swing at first pitches a little more often. Burrell also strikes out at a higher rate, hence suppressing the all powerful RBI totals.

No, MB's 370 OBP offset by his generally shitty attitude, inability to drive in runs or stay healthy is bad.
Burrell: .254/.363/.475, .838 OPS. Will drive in 85-100 runs a season.

If they get him...I'd guess put him in LF and Soriano in RF.

I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out how you AREN'T outraged by this moronic move by Hendry. You offer arbitration to Harden and the worst possible scenario is that we have a very good pitcher on a 1 year, $10 million deal. Best case scenario, we offer Harden arbitration, he declines, signs with someone else, and we get another top 50 pick in the draft, something that would greatly help replenish our farm.

But the real kicker is why he didn't just deal him to the Twins if he knew he wasn't going to offer arbitration. Was Hendry delusional and thought that we still had a reasonable chance at the playoffs at the time? This fat, waste of space needs to go.

They don't want to pay $10 million for a fifth starter. I can see that. Hendry's got to get on the wagon, anyway, in terms of not overpaying people.

Agreed

Jim Hendry doesn't have time for 1/10 for Harden. He needs to work on an extremely backloaded 5/55 for Jason Marquis.

for me at least...

it's not that I'd be upset if they cut ties with Harden and don't want to risk the $10Mish payday, although I think they should risk it, because he's probably going to get a multi-year deal somewhere. The issue more is why they didn't just drop him on the Twins if they weren't sure they were going to offer arbitration. And no they weren't stil in it on August 31st...and nothing that happened in September regarding him sitting should have been a suprise to the Cubs.

With the exception of last year and 2003, Burrell has had generally decent OBP numbers.

http://deadspin.com/5365138/the-forgotten-man-of-m...

http://deadspin.com/5375605/the-forgotten-man-of-m...

great comment btw by one of their readers...
Kind of ironic that a movie about Moneyball spends $10 mil with zero return on investment

If the Rays bailed on talented headcase Elijah Dukes and drug troubled Josh Hamilton, why should I believe they would take on Uncle Milty's act? I thought they changed policy to no longer try straightening out troubled souls.

Seems like the Nats are the one team cornering that market...which if you follow that ass-u-mption, leads to...Anno Domini

Jim Bowden took on the troublemakers for the Nationals, he's been canned...

Resigned amid allegations that he was skimming bonus money off Latin American players.

I see Hendry eating the $20+ million and exploding...like in that Monty Python movie.

That will solve the problem.

We can offer them Sean Marshall and Randy Wells for JJ Hardy.

The Brewers have no interest in helping the Cubs getting better offense and defense from SS, in return the Cubs have no interest providing Braun and Fielder a decent pitching staff.

you sure are high on J.J. Hardy...

I don't think Wells will repeat 2009 either, but that's selling damn low on a guy with a low 3.00 ERA.

JJ Hardy is selling low for Wells and Marshall?

I suspect Marshall is more well regarded among baseball people than Wells. I suspect Wells is Kent Bottenfield 2.0

Better to sell high for the 1st time in 6 years than sell low for the 483rd consecutive cubs transaction.

JJ Hardy is selling low for Wells and Marshall?

yes, is there a different JJ Hardy w/o a career 94 OPS+? I think he'll bounce back somewhat next year, he had awfully low BABIP, but his power disappeared as well. 

I'm all for trading Wells in the right deal, but the concept of sell high is to trade him for more than he's worth. You're trading two good, albeit unspecactular pitchers(let's say average) for one mostly average to below average shortstop, who will probably be more expensive.

And I think the Cubs already indicated they're not looking for a shortstop, nor would I expect a deal of young players between division rivals.

It always surprises me how some people on the team get a pass around here. Marshall is one. Reed Johnson is another. Both are "pluggers" but have no discernible talent. Johnson was released by the Jays. I doubt that Marshall has any suitors.

If I had to say three good things about Marshall, I could only come up with one: his curve ball has a better-than-average drop to it.

let's at least get a gauge of harden's health before we lament not offering him arbitration.

lowest he could get paid if he accepted arb. would be 5.6m (i think).

the guy threw 12 innings in Sept. before being shut down 2+ weeks ago.

cubs are also trying to pay someone to take a perfectly good hitter off their hands while trying to pick up a "power bat" to boot.

the team probably needs every penny it can snag. maddux stinging ATL years ago still sticks in some people's head. maddux actually accepting and taking his arb. case forced ATL to start making trades.

cubs have 4 starters to begin with at least...Z, lilly, dumpster, wells (ha...wells...amazing).

let's at least get a gauge of harden's health before we lament not offering him arbitration.

why? Cubs could have just let Harden go to Twins and saved a $1M on August 31st, even if the Twins offered absolutely nothing.

well, i think...don't know...that the harden issue was pushed in Sept, not at the trade deadline.

also...for the milton bradley double standard lovers...rich harden shut himself down mid-sept, not the coaching or medical staff. WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!?! yeah, he did. don't you guys remember the 100 threads about how selfish of a player he is? ...me either.

where's the Harden info coming from? What i recall reading was that the team was going to shut him down for the rest of the year, then it was just one start and then after a side session decided not to go anymore...seemed mutual.

Yes crunch because a pitcher suffering from arm fatigue and being shut down like dozens of other pitchers is the same as Milton Bradley in Texas faking injuries to not play in the middle of a pennant race, and faking injuries in Chicago to come off the field in the middle of games and refusing to pinch hit.

They are so similar that they have nothing in common.

what pennant race?

your faking injuries thing is getting old, but you need something to cover your view on the "lazy" issue.

Its not old crunch, its just the truth. And whats the lazy issue? I know the man is a lazy piece of shit. You can listen to all of his bullshit about how great he thinks he is, how awesome of shape he is in every year. But when push comes to shove the man is either the most frail man on planet earth or the biggest pussy in baseball.

The man doesn't give one crap about winning baseball games. And if you think he does, you don't know Milton Bradley. Money is his top priority, getting respect is next, and so on. At about step #20 he might care about giving it his all for the team.

He will walk over anyone and anything to get what he wants. But none of it has to do with a desire to win baseball games.

you call things "truth" that you're speculating on...you also seem to be convinced you have his personality profiled in an interesting manner that ignores what he does with his free time. you seem to have him confused with a gun toting rap star.

Did Milton admit he didn't want to play in games in Texas to preserve his stats? And because they didn't commit money and years to him? I think he did crunch.

He faked injuries to preserve his stats. Thats a given fact crunch admitted by Bradley himself.

I don't care what Milton does in his free time, I care what he does for the team and the organization to win games. I warned about his attitude before and after he was signed, hoped he would finally turn over a new leaf (a small hope), but i never confused him with what he was. A pure grade A Asshole in the league of a Terrell Owens, but without any history of being a productive player.

He is going to say whatever you want to hear to get what he wants in life but he is never going to change who he is. On top of that he will use race to excuse his actions at every turn to play the victim.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=1574709&ty...

An old ESPN story from 2003, has anything changed in 2009? I havent seen anything change in Miltons attitude over the years despite all of his claims of the latter.

Bradley makes no apologies; changing his personality would be like taking a jungle fighter's knife. Call him arrogant. Never let him live down two of his most notorious incidents in the minor leagues, when he poked one umpire in the mask and spit his gum at another. Make fun of his name, which even his friends don't know the ugly story behind. To Milton Bradley, it all just adds coal to his furnace. His personal mantra, "I like it hard," might as well be carved on his forehead for all to see.

"I don't play this game to make friends," Bradley says. "I didn't always follow the rules. I didn't always do it the way it's supposed to be done. But I did it."

And yes he has been lazy his whole career....

The old, combustible Bradley exploded himself when he didn't take to Murray's suggestion that he hold the bat differently, and "went off on me," in Murray's words. "He just doesn't get it," says Murray, a Hall of Famer with 504 lifetime home runs to Bradley's 19. "You can't put up with the way he treats people and the way he treats me." Even Burks has some misgivings about Bradley. "The only thing I would like to see Milton do a little more is hustle," he says. "Other than that, Milton has everything it takes to be a superstar in this game."

"He faked injuries to preserve his stats. Thats a given fact crunch admitted by Bradley himself."

no, it isn't...you keep saying it, though.

he's also lazy based on some stuff you like to attribute to laziness for some reason.

not listening to others isn't laziness...it's being a stuborn baby.

at least you didnt call me a "statfag"...thanks for that.

I hate to get in the middle of this lovefest, but I wanted to share the following quote from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

Bradley got along well with his teammates, and Washington still wishes he had a hitter with the plate discipline Bradley showed last year. But opinions cooled some in March, when he told Gil LeBreton that he could have played at times last year but opted to sit out to make his stats look better for potential suitors. That didn’t sit well some players and management, especially when Young was playing with broken fingers on each hand. Bradley pushed himself way down the wish list with those comments, and probably pushed himself off it completely.

http://www.star-telegram.com/284/story/1634376-p2....

I'm not taking sides. I just figured as long as the information is available out there on the Internets, we might as well use it.

Nice try, but that quote proving in his own words that Milton Bradley takes himself out of games to make his stats look better has been posted more than once before.

General manager Jim Hendry said he expected Harden to pitch again when he was skipped in the rotation last week, but ultimately left it up to Harden.

"If you want to pitch, we're going to pitch you," Hendry said he told Harden. "If you don't, you don't have to."

Harden said it was "kind of a mutual decision.

"It'd be a lot different if we were in it and they needed me to pitch," he said. "I'd be out there in a second and I'd be fine. I'm still healthy, feeling good and took that as a positive for this season."

-----

...this from a guy who's last appearance in a cubs uniform was one of his ugliest outings. that said...if his medical checks out, arb. his ass.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

thanks.

yeah, i don't care either way, but if you're gonna bitch about Bradley taking himself out, that sure does sound like someone trying to preserve some free agent clout.

just bringing up a minor point. if i felt like driving it as a "thing" i would have brought it up long ago.

i wonder what his real health is, honestly.

i know the cubs payroll has to be a major concern in the issue vs. what changes they want to make to the team...and the whole 4-good-starters-already-here thing...but i wonder how much his health is playing into it, too.

i seriously don't think his decision to shut down early plays any, if much, issue into why he may not be offered arb.

I actually thought it was a bad move by Harden, unless he was hurting so bad he knew he couldn't make a passable start - in which case he shouldn't have been pitching. When you've got a history of arm trouble you don't want to go into Free Agency effectively on the DL.

Him having a 'serious' shoulder issue is the only way you can possibly justify not offering him arbitration. Even if he accepts you go to arbitration and lose and he gets his $10 million - wait until the first contending starter tears his UCL in March and trade him.

Offer him arbitration, Hendry. This is how you make a good organization.

Marshall
Gorzellanny

Bradley was not a good hitter this year crunch. No matter how you spin it.

We know. No one has denied this.

But do you really think that this year is more indicative of his hitting abilities than the rest of his career numbers?

Burrell career: .254/.363/.475...162 game avg. of 31 2B, 30 HR, 101 RBI, 79 runs
Bradley career: .277/.371/.450...162 game avg. of 32 2B, 20 HR, 76 RBI, 86 runs

Bradley is a better fielder. Burrell will actually play a full season.

I think that MB is better than he showed last season. If he could ever play 145 games or so at his potential, he would be a very good player.
Throwing out last year, and the year before in Texas, I think you get MB: A .275 hitter...gets on base really well around .360-.370...slugs around .450 or so..and struggles to play in 100 games in a season.

Hendry chowing down the last of Marquis 3/21 as we speak

http://apps.wbez.org/blog/?p=6549

haven't listened to it, but the description says something about '84 being the first time folks used the rooftops to watch games. I'm 65% sure that is untrue. I'll have to check my Unauthorized Wrigley Field biography, but pretty sure it started before that.

"We won 97 games and we lost six consecutive playoff games," Hendry said in his season-ending news conference. "I think I did what you people would expect of me. Or (what) the people, the great Cubs fans that we have, (expected). I tried to find a solution to get us to the championship level. Obviously the things I thought would work better, and (make us) hit better than we did. ... We didn't. At the same time, the day I stop trying to go for the whole thing, I shouldn't be sitting here.

Basically admitting he shot his wad for a more balanced playoff lineup and forgetting you have to get there first.

Offer arbitration to grabow and harden

trade Milton for dontrelle

trade for hermida

trade for jj hardy

should be a playoff contender next year

ain't that hard

they were a playoff contender this year...

and when has pulling off a trade ever been easy?

Oh my...

You want Dontrelle, Hermida, and Hardy? And you think that this would help the Cubs how?

trade Milton for dontrelle
---
right now Matt Clement's fake beard has more value than D-Train

Not offering arbitration to Harden is absolutely asinine, I am sick of the fat moron Jim Hendry. Get fired. Please.

Can we talk about getting rid of Fukudome? Huge disappointment.

Please, no Pat Burrell. I'd just as soon take a flyer on old man Jermaine Dye before I went the Burrell route.

Dick Stockton and Chip Caray. Why?

One other thing, what is Heileman's status for next year, are the Cubs off the hook?

check the right sidebar, but Heilman is arbitration eligible

Dye is a FA I believe, can't trade Bradley for him...

Fuku playing CF does wonders to his value imo, not a $12M player, but definitely improved on 2008. His monthly splits are fascinating...

1052, 830, 507, 926, 904, 624

he goes from All-Star to bust, with very little in-between

Yeah, I knew Dye was a FA, I meant signing him (and dumping Bradley on whomever) would be preferable to trading Bradley for Burrell. Dye has always been streaky, he had an awful 2nd half this year, but he's pulled that before in his career, too. I could see him having another bounce-back year, but given his age, I'd sure like to figure out a better option. Why didn't the Cubs like Abreu last year? /grimace

Dome just isn't a run producer, and when he's cold, he's ICE cold. A waste of money that I'd like to see the Cubs somehow recover and spend elsewhere.

Not being able to trade Bradley for free agents is really going to tie Hendry's hands on this. *snark*

The problem with offering Harden arbitration, and why I never thought Hendry intended to offer him arbitration is there's a high likelihood Harden would just accept it.

I agree that the one concern with offering Harden arbitration is that he accepts the offer and receives a one year, $10 million award. Clearly, that does not seem to be part of management's vision for 2010.

But, with his history of injury, I think Harden may be adverse to a one year deal despite the minimal salary increase he may receive by accepting arbitration and emerging successful. Pitchers are particularly sensitive to the injury risk inherent in one year deals, especially ones carrying injury baggage. If offered, I think he may very well decline arbitration and seek a two or three year deal which provides a small degree of insurance against significant injury. Considering the free agent SP market, I would be shocked if Harden couldn't find one or more suitors willing to go two or possibly three years.

To me, Harden qualifying as a Type B FA was an absolute godsend. Harden is far more likely to receive a multi-year deal now that the signing team doesn't have to walk away from a first round selection. That fact will most certainly not be lost on Harden, or his agent, in determining whether to accept arbitration.

To me, it seems the decision to offer Harden arbitration has been gift wrapped for Hendry. There appears to be little downside and a significant amount of upside. Also, as several posters have mentioned, if Hendry knew he wasn't going to offer Harden arbitration, he should have simply let Minnesota have him and saved $1 million. Hendry will establish a new height of stupidity if he fails to offer arbitration to Harden!

If we're going to trade with the Rays to dump MB and get Burrell, can't we maybe try to get Crawford along with him? A Burrell/Fuku platoon would be expensive but very effective.

Theriot
Crawford
Lee
ARam
Fuku/Burrell
Sori
Soto
Bake

The only downside to that is that might involve moving Sori back and forth from left to right, which might make him dizzy or nauseous, like me when I watched him try to hit this year.

Oh offseason, it's fun to live outside of reality.

The reason I've made the suggestions I have is because of the likely budget limitations, the cubs face. Signing top shelf free agents just ain't happening this offseason. Too many backloaded deals paying the piper.

However trading Milt for Dontrelle gets us out of year 3 of miltons 3/30.

Trading Marshall and Fontenot in deals for Hermida and Hardy is swapping arbitration guys, and keeping monies close to the same.

None of the guys being picked up will require big deals. None of these guys will be under contract past 2010.

Tons of options

because we know for sure that the other teams may want Fontenot and marshall...

didn't detroit and leyland already say they have no interest in bradley whatsoever....

and hardy is in his 3rd year of arbitration and made $4.65M last year, and you almost never get a paycut in arbitration, at least not a significant one. The Cubs could not offer him arbitration and hammer out a cheaper deal but then he's a free agent. And the Brewers would probably never trade him to us.

Hermida made $2.65M last year in his 1st year of arbitration. Rumor once upon a time was the Marlins were asking a lot for Hermida...that can always change. At minimum I guess the two make $6M next year if not a little more...

Font/Marshall in their first year will (my guess) be in 2.5 to 3M range.

Non-Tender Koyie Hill. Save a million there. Non tender Fontenot if you can't move him in a deal.

My point is that 2 upgrades for 3 million dollars is more in line with what we need to be expecting.

Signing Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa, and trading Milton Bradley for Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria is probably not what we should expect.

I'm totally speculating. If someone has some better ideas then lets hash em out.

Who else is available and cost realistic?

I'm totally speculating. If someone has some better ideas then lets hash em out.

Bradley to Wash for Christian Guzman. Cubs pay Bradley, Wash pays Guzman.

Nats already have like 30 outfielders, don't they?

oh sorry for not being clear, where's the upgrade?

you seem convinced they are, I think it's maybe 30/70 that either of those 2 players improve the team...and the Cubs aren't looking for a shortstop.  Should they be...yeah probably, but they're not...

I'll speculate when I get an idea of the payroll for next year and what they end up having to pay or take on for Milton...a little too vague right now to come up with any real plan. 

Cubs should have their Arizona offseason meeting soon enough where they usually cement their offseason plan.

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a 100% sure upgrade. However we can safely speculate that

1. The Cubs are going to be up against it payroll wise

2. Milton Bradley CANNOT return this club in 2010. The suspension killed that

3. Any upgrades will have to come on a shoestring.

JJ Hardy- Plus defensive SS. Moves Theriot out of SS full time. Averaged 25 HR 77 RBI in 2007-2008. 2010 will be his age 26 season. Great Buy Low opportunity

Jeremy Hermida- Fair defensive Rfer, Lefthandedness that Lou insists upon, moving out of Fla ballpark should help his power numbers. 2010 will be his age 26 season. Excellent buy low opportunity

Plus, both guys will be under club control for 2010 and 2011. So we could go year to year with each guy. Much better scenerio than Jim Hendry backloading another deal to a 30 something Proven vet in decline.

Who else is out there?

that's if Hermida is a buy low opportunity, you don't think the Marlins know he has talent? Last offseason they were sure still asking for a lot supposedly.

And I'm all for taking a flyer on Hardy, but the Cubs aren't looking for shortstop supposedly and the Brewers are probably not gonna deal him to the Cubs.

Your pulse on the trade market though is rather remarkable.

Marlins are supposedly AGAIN looking to slash payroll. Uggla,Cantu,Hermida and a couple of pitchers are all arbitration eligible.

Hermida has been mentioned as a non-tender candidate. So he should come cheap (Tyler Colvin cheap)

Hardy will probably require a bit more. But the Brewers best prospect is a SS in Escobar. They have tight payroll and are looking to add 2 starting pitchers. Hence the Marshall,Wells ideas.

It's not having a pulse of the market. It's just reasoning the situations.

well reasoning the situation would come to the conclusion that J.J. Hardy is probably not gonna get traded to the Cubs. It's one thing when the Pirates who are obviously in rebuilding mode make a deal within the division, another when the teams involved  think they're just a few players away on both ends.

also reasoning the situation would be the few reports saying the Cubs aren't looking for a shortstop.

Hermida is worthy buying at a good price and not relying on him to be a starter.

Fair enough,

If you remember last offseason. I was a big proponent of getting Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen from Florida.

If we'd have done that instead of the direction we did, we could have avoided Milton and the trading of Marquis and DeRosa all together. 20/20 Hindsight.

Olsen had a great year...um...wait.

Willingham had a brutal April, I wonder if he would have gotten boo'd? May-July were pretty awesome though. I'm a pretty big fan of Willingham myself, but not left-handed enough last year. :)

Rob,

Do you trust Jim Hendry or Lou for that matter to have a good handle of "What this team really needs?" at this point?

I have serious doubts.

no I don't particularly trust them...

and no, it doesn't matter if I do or don't...

ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY ARBITRATION:
Jeff Baker, 2B-3B-probably him or Fontenot
Mike Fontenot, 2B-probably him or baker
Tom Gorzelanny, LHP-offer
Neal Cotts, LHP-non tender
Angel Guzman, RHP-offer
Aaron Heilman, RHP-borderline
Koyie Hill, C-non tender
Carlos Marmol, RHP-offer
Sean Marshall, LHP-offer
So Taguchi, OF-non tender
Ryan Theriot, SS-offer

think Baker and Fontenot come back, Fontenot will be pretty cheap as a Super-Two and a bad year and has an option year left...

Heilman is definitely not worth offering, and Koyie I would venture a 99% guess that he'll be back in a negotiated deal that won't involve ever sniffing arbitration. The rest I probably agree with...

Gorzelanny should be fun to watch, he's out of options for next year and ultimately still stunk for the Cubs as he did with the Pirates.

Have to disagree on Gorzellany, looks like he had 5 good starts out of 7 which is pretty much all you can hope for from a bottom of the rotation guy.

Agreed, Especially with the usage pattern that Lou had him on.

I wish Lou would just let Marshall and Gorz take a regular turn in the rotation every 5 days. If Randy Wells earned that opportunity then so should these guys.

Can't completely fault a guy for inconsistency, when his role is that of inconsistent usage.

nonetheless, he's still out of options and sketchy to earn a rotation spot and didn't do much out of the bullpen either...

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