Elias Rankings for Cubs Free Agents

The official Elias rankings are out and they don't differ too much from the reverse-engineered list that MLB Trade Rumors was putting out (courtesy of Eddie Bajek).

Type A - John Grabow, Kevin Gregg

Type B - Rich Harden

Reed Johnson didn't make the cut and even if offered arbitration, the Cubs would not get any draft picks if he signed with another team.  The Cubs weren't going to offer Gregg arbitration as is, since the chances of a team signing him and giving up a draft pick are between zilch and none and the Cubs don't want him back. Grabow may get offered arbitration because the Cubs would prefer to have him back in 2010. Rich Harden should be offered arbitration because he's one of the two most talented pitchers available on the market and even with his arm issues, a one year deal is pretty low risk even at $10Mish a year. Plus Ted Lilly is broken.

In case you forgot the rules, a  Type A free agent - if offered arbitration by his previous team -
nets a first round pick and a supplemental pick for his previous team if he signs with another club. That first round pick comes from the signing team but it could be a second round pick if that team has a draft pick in the upper half of the draft. It could also be a second round or lower pick if the signing team signs multiple Type A free agents.  A Type B free agents nets a supplemental pick for the player's previous team but costs the signing team nothing.

In terms of some players the Cubs might have some interest in and who might get offered arbitration.

Type A - Chone Figgins,  Billy Wagner, Johnny Damon, Placido Polanco

Type B - Mark DeRosa,  Mike Cameron, Randy Johnson, Randy Winn



Cubs pitcher Rich Harden was listed as a B free agent, which means the
Cubs wouldn't receive any compensation should Harden sign with another


"If we could salvage something here and get a good ballplayer after
what has happened, I think it would be a good thing," Williams said
Monday. "I am going to continue to try to talk to him and give my
opinion on what he should do and what he shouldn't do. I know that he
listens and he will tell me a lot of things."

Williams was one of the few people who maintained a steady dialogue with Bradley throughout last season.


Williams is right. He's costing us $21 million, so salvage Bradley instead of giving him away--at least keep him next year.

I think Milton is an over-emotional guy who just can't stop losing it. He's a basket case but now that the meltdown is over he could settle down and have a great year in 2010.

Except for batting average and slugging, Bradley actually had an above average year for him. In his 11 year career here's how 2009 stacks up.

108 OPS+ 6th best year/ out of 11
.378 OBP 4/11
66 BB 3/11
124 Games 3/11
473 PA 3/11
61 Runs 3/11
101 Hits 4/11
17 2B 5/11
12 HR 6/11
40 RBI 5/11
11 HBP 1/11

Well that's a pretty mediocre stack of stats but you can see it was above average. Nice OBP though thanks to taking one for the team 11 times.

But he hit well by any measure at Wrigley Field 246 PA, .296 .407 .485
and he handled LHP much better than Alfonso Soriano did which opens the possibility of a platoon in LF. If it were me, I'd do just that in April and May 2010 and bat him second where his OBP would be useful.

yeah, but if williams is the only guy willing to put in the work to manage the baby then what's the point?

and yeah, he did nice at wrigley...and some bleacher fans responded by pissing on him as if it's part of the price of admission and what a baseball game is all about.

his "real" manager doesn't seem to like him and he got in a fight with a coach end-of-season.

he seems destined to find a new home.

the cubs, who need help hitting, are going to pay another team to take their .370-.400ob% hitter with a bit of pop who can play CF/RF away from them because 5-6m worth of managers and coaches can't make it happen.


The Cubs have inquired about Chapman, but seem to be going in other, cheaper directions.

Good. The numbers being thrown around for a guy who isn't very good are ridiculous.

You've got a conjugation error on I think the second sentence after the jump.

I had advocated for Polanco prior to the Tigers getting him. McFail did not want to do it as we were so "stacked at 2nd" at the time.

Now though, I wonder if he is past his prime?

For those of us not fortunate enough to have seen the Castro Show Live, here is a little IF practice video:


glad to see one out of the three ground balls we see him take is fumbled

also, I'm hardly an expert in the field, but he appears very loose and i'm not a fan of the 3-minus arm slot

"According to our records, Derek Jeter only had 58 walks in 1993 in the South Atlantic League. (As further corroborating evidence, the league record for walks drawn in a season is held by Jeff Gardner, who had 142 in 1985 with the Columbia club)." - Eric Krupa, South Atlantic League

thanks, BR hasn't gotten back to me...

mea culpa...

Castro for PRESIDENT!!! (wait)

nice footwork. thanks for sharing.

Re Castro, CRUNCH?

Screw Jeter and Castro, how can the Cubs get that Jeff Gardner guy.

He should be matured by now.


talked with Rangers, Mets, Angels, Rays and Blue Jays about Bradley
Harden and Gregg aren't coming back...

Priority is bullpen help, leadoff man, center field and vet middle infielder...


Figgins probably too expensive,

nothing too close on Bradley,

Hendry speaks highly of Castro...

Blue Jays get M.Bradley
Mets get Overbay
Cubs get Luis Castillo



ARZ wants overbay pretty badly, fwiw..."supposedly"...it's on day 3 of being a hotly talked about, but not shot down rumor.

yep a rumored Chris Snyder for Overbay deal, but the Jays were pessimistic about Chris Snyder's back so they broke those talks off. Unless the Jays are taking Byrnes' contract off the D-Backs' hands there really isn't another dead weight contract match for those two teams.

Is AZ still high on Drew?

Yes, he's a mid-30s, single-hitting second baseman with limited defensive ability who's signed for two more years at $6M per.

But his OBP is respectable, he steals bags at a nice clip, and more importantly, this would allow the Cubs to dump Bradley and move on with the other important pressing business of the offseason.

And if the Cubs don't have to throw in much/any cash, all the better.

I wonder if the Mets would do that deal straight up and take Bradley instead of Overbay. Not that it would really matter from the Cubs' end, but Rosenthal said Toronto might not bite.

"And if the Cubs don't have to throw in much/any cash, all the better."

I agree wholeheartedly - but doesn't Suck-Ass Aaron Miles fill the same "void"?

Castillo's good days are far, far behind him now.

And, IIRC he is oft-injured - right?

Not sure what the cringe is for... you were expecting Chase Utley back in a Bradley deal? The guy fits three 'needs', he's on a short contract, he's a lead-off hitter and he plays second base.

i don't think he's cringe-worthy, either...but meh...i'd rather see jeff baker out there than Mr. Singles and his declining speed.

perhaps the cringeworthyness may be as a result of acquiring a singles hitter with a UZR/150 of -12.0 and -9.3 the last two years. Or that his .302 avg last year was largely supported by a .342 BABIP, which hasn't been anywhere near that high since his 'prime' of '03. In house, Baker on the other hand has posted a UZR/150 of +2.3 in 101 games at 2B over the last couple years and you know, actually offers at least a little something of upside at the plate. James projects Baker at .280/.347/.460 in 322 ABs for 2010.

that's (yet another) player example i wouldn't be using UZR to compare.

there's not much wrong with castillo's D when he's not slipping on stuff in the dugout injuring his leg, fwiw.

You're not bothered by the .361 BABIP that Baker put up last year? Before you start looking at his career numbers, keep in mind a big hunk of that came at Coors field where the ball falls 6% faster, which boosts BABIP. Not sure how these projections go, but unless that's a straight platoon projection for Baker, I'll bet a pair of Cubs tickets on each of the unders for the slash stats.

That's pleasantly surprising about Baker's defensive statistics, though. He doesn't look very good.

Remember way back in 2008 when we thought that Mike Fontenot could handle 2nd base based on a partial season and some good results in defensive metrics?

Let Tommie Harris follow Milton around and go into the bleachers while he's playing outfield in case any fans act like idiots. One way or 'tother Cubs should get their moneys worth and MB 'nother chance. But if Lou can't get better results from his players it's going to be at least one more long, difficult summer. So far the only thing I've heard about new owners is the hot dogs will be served faster with a smile and stainless urinals will be polished.

When will TCR post the spring training countdown?

the Rosenthal article says there isn't much legs to it fwiw

says Rays are the heaviest pursuers but want Cubs to pick up most of his 2011 contract...

-9.3, -12.0 UZR/150 over the last 2 years...

hasn't touched average in Rate2 since 2005, 84 and 94 the last 2 years...

but he takes walks...

Throwing to Lee will make him a better second baseman.

we can only hope...

But is that not true of practically all potentially available second basemen? So how does that help us figure his value in comparison to others? Would he especially benefit from Lee's presence (that is, do his troubles stem particularly from an erratic arm rather than a lack of range)?

Well, people are comparing his defense to Baker's, so if you're going to compare apples to apples, you would need to evaluate how Castillo would do playing with an actual first basemen instead of next to a DH or an outfielder.

When you can pretty much throw any old thing towards firstbasish, like the Cubs infielders can and not get charged with errors, that's going to allow you to make throws that you wouldn't attempt otherwise, and turn some of those into outs.

hey, Ryan Theriot comes out as a perfectly passable shortstop by most rankings, so there must be something to it :)

UZR is a shit stat.

ask tiexera or elsbury about it...hell, you see guys with 10+ point swings over a single season.

bobby abreu had a -25 uzr a while back.

it's sketchy...

from what I understand, it takes 3 years worth of defensive opportunities to equal one year worth of offense in terms of sample size...

if you break down a player by every 2 months of their offensive stats, you'll see some some wild swings there too...

that being said, it's measuring performance, not talent....and anyone can have an unlucky year with the bat or glove...

UZR doesn't even measure performance.

UZR could care less how well a middle IF'rs footwork is or what he does with a ball after he handles it. it is also pretty notorious for coming to flakey conclusions with 1st basemen and what players who play deep/close can do to UZR.

also, part of what the stat is based on...error runs...is a horribly ill-weighted stat, imo.

UZR could care less how well a middle IF'rs footwork is or what he
does with a ball after he handles it. it is also pretty notorious for
coming to flakey conclusions with 1st basemen and what players who play
deep/close can do to UZR

the basics of any defensive metric are going to be how many more or less outs the player gets than his peers, how he goes about doing it, is going to be of no consquence...play deep or shallow, or ugly footwork are left for the scouts like we leave if a guy can handle a slider or not even though he hit a ton the year before....

also, part of what the stat is based on...error runs...is a horribly ill-weighted stat, imo.

how so? don't know enough about it myself...

RngR (range runs): The number of runs above or below average a fielder is, determined by how the fielder is able to get to balls hit in his vicinity.

ErrR (error runs): The number of runs above or below average a fielder is, determined by the number of errors he makes as compared to an average fielder at that position given the same distribution of balls in play.

well I know the definition, was curious why they were ill-weighted?

it's not a quantitative thing except for the fact it's actually considered...i worded it incorrectly.

i consider it to be an even worse part of the stat mixture than the range part, basically. i'm just not a fan of the stat on so many play positions that i don't consider it a good stat.

My biggest beef with UZR is how it divides hits 'Through the hole(s)' between the infielders and that it ignores catching line drives for infielders. Fix those two aspects and it would probably be pretty decent.

cruch, do you have a defensive metric you prefer?

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  • Phil, have you heard anything about the condition of Oscar De La Cruz's elbow? Has there been talk of a time table? Is he throwing?

    K Dub 3 hours 13 min ago view
  • i was distracted for most of the game and also missed the first few innings.

    but yeah, any time he makes a good fielding+throwing play on D it's worthy of praise and a trip to pizza hut for a personal pan pizza and $1 worth of songs on the juke box.

    seriously, i'll take it.

    crunch 5 hours 18 min ago view
  • BTW, CRUNCH, Lester made a nice bh pick-up and toss to Bryant. Did you catch it?

    He's been workin' on the D!

    The E-Man 7 hours 14 min ago view
  • j.urias didn't have a good debut...

    2.2ip 5h 4bb 3k...3 r/er...1 wp

    81 pitches. yow.

    crunch 9 hours 58 min ago view
  • Ach - I really only saw it quickly and thought that's where it it. No matter - he crushed it and the video board people did not have to repair the panels from what I saw!

    The E-Man 10 hours 10 min ago view
  • Totally agree with that re Soler, whereas Bryant seems to get the close call (so far) this year.

    Good to see Baez get a couple knocks today - been awhile

    Eric S 10 hours 17 min ago view
  • that works too...there wasnt a good CSN replay...was going off whatever len or jd (dont remember) said.

    crunch 10 hours 22 min ago view
  • I was there. From what I saw it was upper third of the scoreboard

    The E-Man 10 hours 25 min ago view
  • No I have been thinking actually that he seems to lead the Cubs with balls called strikes all year. He really shouldn't be expanding his zone to swing at many of those either because it wouldn't lead to anything good. He's seeing the ball well though so hopefully it'll even out.

    johann 11 hours 23 min ago view
  • So why don't the umps like Soler, or am I just imagining it?

    Rob Richardson 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • Yeah, but he kills lefties.

    billybucks 13 hours 39 min ago view
  • wow...instant hardcore rain.

    rain delay.

    crunch 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • it was massive...hit off the bottom of the LF scoreboard.

    crunch 14 hours 18 min ago view
  • Projected at 461 ft, with a 108 mph exit velocity - longest Cub HR this year by 20 ft (I think Arrieta had the longest?)

    Eric S 14 hours 26 min ago view
  • this team is full of horrible walkup music...rizzo uses 'marky mark and the funky bunch' more than he should...which is any at all.

    d.ross uses alphaville 'forever young' because lulz.

    lastella was using (still might be) 'oh what a night' by the four seasons.

    turrible turrible stuff.

    crunch 14 hours 27 min ago view
  • ROSS #100!

    cubs lead 1-5, bottom 4.

    crunch 14 hours 44 min ago view