TCR Friday Notes

A little under the weather and mourning the end of the Bears season, so some brief notes to hold you over for the weekend.

-  To add fuel to my "they better offer Rich Harden arbitration" fire, the Seattle Times suggest the Mariners have some interest in Rich Harden as I imagine a few teams will.

- Our pal Alex Eisenberg at Baseball Intellect has a new premium article scouting left-handed pitcher James Paxton (drafted by the Blue Jays in the supplemental round in the 2009 draft). The video in the game is against LSU and there's three at-bats of D.J. LeMaheiu which he does a little breakdown of. 

- Congrats to Carlos Zambrano on his third Silver Slugger award. I know Z gets a lot of heat for his Babe Ruth like swings and not worrying enough about his pitching, but I suggest if you have a problem with that you should go follow an AL team. Players like Carlos Zambrano is what makes the National League more fun.

- On the Curtis Granderson rumor front, MLBTR has a link up saying the Angels and Tigers have been talking...Granderson would presumably patrol left field.

- And now the greatest 4:30 minutes you'll watch this weekend, hat tip to Big League Stew for the find.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Comments

watched this when you first linked to it, Rob.... Absolutely hilarious, love it

cco has a nice page with you tube videos of cubs minor leaguers including Castro, Castillo, Vitters, etc.

http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2009/11/cubs...

nice collection.

also, damn...jose iglesias (BOS) puts on a nonchalant slick fielding display in his field work with s.castro...it's almost like he's bored to be there.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/11/angel...

A source close to the Cubs said today that general manager Jim Hendry is "absolutely'' interested in offering a prospect-heavy package of players if Dombrowski decides to trade the Illinois-Chicago product. Offers have not been exchanged and the source said any potential talks could extend through the winter meetings Dec. 7-10 in Indianapolis.

Baseball
America's Jim Callis thinks Cubs have inventory to do a Curtis
Granderson trade w/Hak-Ju Lee, not Starlin Castro, as the SS dealt.

http://twitter.com/ChiTribRogers/statuses/5686671520

Noooooooooooo!

damn...eric gagne ready to come back as a SP for 2010 via Yahoo Sports, Tim Brown.

MLBTR says 102.2 innings pitched in 17 starts last year with a 4.65 ERA, don't think that means he'll be an SP for sure in 2010, Brown's reaching there. They link to the original report as well.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/11/eric-gagne-w...

http://diamondleung.tumblr.com/post/243021587/eric...

the M's just gave jack wilson a 2yr/10m contract.

why exactly did they feel the need to replace GMs if they're going to do crap like this?

Jack Wilson has been worth, on average, just under $8M a year since 2002. 2/$10 isn't unreasonable.

i am just a severe jack wilson hater...i mean, i understand wanting a guy who can play nice defense, but the guy is neifi perez with a starting job and a dozen more walks a year.

Hell, Jim Hendry will be paying almost twice that for Grabow(a loogy) and Aaron Miles.

If Jack Wilson was a lefty who knows what we would be offering him right now. (NTC?Player options?personal hitting coaches?)

grabes isnt a loogie...he's an inning guy. he's actually got an out pitch vs. righties and everything.

Is $8 per year his Fangraphs number? Those are absolutely off the wall. It's like they do massive amounts of narcotics and make up numbers. Fangraphs claims Mark Teixera was worth $421 million last season. The only guy who believes that is Scott Boros.

Fangraphs claims Mark Teixera was worth $421 million last season.

Or $23M, which sounds pretty accurate to me.

Curtis Granderson is exactly the type of speed/power combo player Jim Hendry and Gary Hughes love. If he is available, I believe Hendry will go after him, even if it costs the Cubs Starlin Castro, Andrew Cashner or Jay Jackson, and a third pre-arb auto-renewal guy (like maybe U. of Michigan alum Jake Fox?).

Granderson is signed through 2012 with a 2013 club option, but he only gets $5.5M next season, which would probably be a million or two less than what Marlon Byrd or Mike Cameron would want per year. Then when Granderson's salary increases to $8.25M in 2011 and to $10M in 2012, the Cubs will have contracts coming off the books that would offset the Granderson salary increases at that time.

Also, with Mike Fontenot having been designated as an arbitration-eligible "Super Two" (thanks to the Twins optioning Glen Perkins to AAA on September 2nd), I think it's now fairly likely that Fontenot will get non-tendered on 12/12, and as a result, I believe it's also more likely now that Matt Camp (who is presently tied for 2nd in doubles and tied for 4th in SB in the Mexican Pacific League) will be added to the Cubs 40-man roster at the end of next week. Camp is primarily a 2B-CF, but he has the IF-OF versatility and pinch-running/base-stealing skills that Fontenot lacks, although Camp does not have Fontenot's occasional power.

And as I mentioned on a previous thread a couple of days ago, Milton Bradley to TB for Pat Burrell (with the Cubs & Rays splitting Bradley's 2011 $12M salary) and then Burrell to the Mets for Luis Castillo would be a three-way deal that would help all three teams jettison unwanted flotsam, while adding a player who would (at least marginally) help fill a perceived need and/or (in the case of the Mets) open up 2B for Orlando Hudson.

Dr. Phil,

If you were running things, would you offer Castro in a Granderson swap?

Would you offer arbitration to Harden and Grabow?

Would you pick up comp draft picks if they happened to be easily available?

Thanks in advace

Aaron B

Matt Camp--ugh. He's a .271 minor-league hitter with zero power and Fontenot-type speed. He's doing a nice job hitting leadoff for Mexicali, but last night he stole his 9th base and was caught stealing for the 5th time. A guy like that will be discouraged from running in the majors. Piniella doesn't like guys who lack pop and don't steal bases, even if they have so-called speed. See Felix Pie.

I much prefer Robinson Chirinos, who seems to have figured it out, hitting-wise, at the age of 25. Chirinos is playing in Venezuela, where he is out-hitting his teammate Dopirak, who was just added to Toronto's 40-man. (Chirinos: .365/.423/.730/1.153. Dopirak: .283/.381/.496/.876.)

Chirinos is turning into a power hitter: 6 HRs in 63 at bats. He's the guy who hit two grand slams in a game last year. Historically, he's a middle infielder, although they turned him into a catcher in 2008, probably because he doesn't have middle-infielder speed and he wasn't hitting the ball with authority. He is now. A guy who can catch and play second and third and hit could be more useful than Matt Camp.

I'd be interested to hear what AZ Phil has to say about Chirinos. His A-ball and winter league number pops, but he has yet to impress at AA and hasn't sniffed AAA.

Seems like the main difference between him and Camp is that Camp has put in a little time at AAA (without impressing offensively), can play CF, and has a little speed.

Chirinos hasn't played any AAA but has similar numbers at AA to what Camp does (in fewer PAs), has more recent pop, less speed, and plays C but not outfield.

According to AZ Phil's Rule V list, Matt Camp appears to be Rule V eligible and Chirinos does not, which means Chirinos has a little more time to season in the minors and become a more complete bench player (meaning probably experiencing some offensive success at at least the AA level, perhaps some at the AAA level as well).

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Fri, 11/13/2009 - 11:19pm.
Dr. Phil,

If you were running things, would you offer Castro in a Granderson swap?

Would you offer arbitration to Harden and Grabow?

Would you pick up comp draft picks if they happened to be easily available?

Thanks in advace

Aaron B

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

AARON B: I would offer Castro in a deal for Granderson, and I would offer arb to both Harden and Grabow.

The Cubs have other SS prospects besides Castro (although Castro is the best one), and I doubt VERY much that Harden would accept arbitration if it was offered, and offering arb to Harden would not keep another club from signing him.

With Grabow, offering him arb would probably keep other clubs from wanting to sign him (because signing him isn't worth losing a 1st or 2nd round pick), so he would probably accept the arbitration offer, and then (if necessary) I would gladly go to arbitration with Grabow, because a one-year deal (even slightly inflated) is better than a two or three year deal with easily attained performance incentives.

Even though Grabow is a LOOGY?

the only issue grabes has vs. righties is building to changeup out pitch vs. righties before throwing too much wild stuff.

fastball, slider, change...fastball is 93+mph, slider is lights-out vs. lefties, and the change is good at fooling righties.

he's got the pitches when his control is there. he's not a loog...

You're mistaken. Here's a quote: "Hell, Jim Hendry will be paying almost twice that for Grabow(a loogy) and Aaron Miles." Next thing your going to tell me is that 2.5 + 3.5 >< 2*5.

yeah, i didn't even want to put my fingerprints on that one...

SABREMETRICS 101

Introduction to Sabremetrics by Michael Jong

http://fanhuddle.com/statistics/2009/10/01/intro-t...

From Mike Silva's blog, via Rotoworld:

Carl Crawford is reportedly "livid" the Rays picked up his $10 million option on his original four-year deal signed in 2005 and wants out of Tampa Bay.
The report is from Mike Silva's NY Baseball Digest, which is a fine New York baseball blog, but take it with a grain of salt. Says Silva's source: "He had a handshake agreement with management that they would renegotiate the contract instead of picking up the option and they went ahead and did it anyway. He’s pissed beyond belief." It's highly unlikely Crawford is moved during the offseason, but he'd be prime trade bait if the Rays fall out of the race early. We have trouble believing this report, because Crawford agreed to the option. Why include the option if there was an agreement to rip it up? Additionally, he didn't seem to have a problem with the 2009 option being picked up. Crawford is widely expected to command at last $15 million annually once he hits the open market.

I agree it sounds a little fishy, but hey Tampa, if there is trouble, we'd love to help....

Brewers didn't want Doumit or Capps for Hardy, asked for Maholm or Duke, says the Robothal.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10357594

I'm all for Hendry making moves to better this team, but why get excited with the first girl to ask you to prom, when your trying to get lucky! If Hendry is willing to give up a boat load of really good prospect why not try to get the most value you can. Don't just settle for the ugly girl. This team needs so tweaking and I think Wilkins has done a good job in making the minor league system better than the previous regimes.

Is Granderson the "ugly girl" in this scenario?

I think Hendry is the ugly girl, but if he makes Castro or Lee available, his dance card will be full at the winter meetings.

Oh, I get it. You're talking about the other team not wanting the "ugly girl," meaning you think they can get more than Hendry's first offer from either Hendry or other GMs.

Bored...

http://www.sporcle.com/games/53banks71/CubsOPS8009

Cubs OPS leaders, 1980-2009, minimum 100 PAs.

Half the quiz is easy, a third of it is really tough.

It took me many tries to get 2006 correct.

There are a lot of "who?"s on that list.

100 PA cutoff is lame, the qualified leaders were...

2009 & 2005: Lee

2008-2006 & 2004: Ramirez

2003-1998 & 1996-1994: Sosa

1997 & 1995: Mark Grace

1992-1990  & 1985-1984: Sandberg

1989: D. Smith

1988: Dawson

1987: Mumphrey

1986: Matthews

1983-1982: Durham

1981-1980: Buckner

I would have still missed Mumphrey, but gotten the rest. Otherwise I missed Servais, Hansen, Villanueva, Lopes and Bosley

Thanks for saving me the homework, I must've typed in 'grace' 8 times going WTF?!?!

Submitted by Charlie on Sat, 11/14/2009 - 6:03pm.
According to AZ Phil's Rule V list, Matt Camp appears to be Rule V eligible and Chirinos does not, which means Chirinos has a little more time to season in the minors and become a more complete bench player (meaning probably experiencing some offensive success at at least the AA level, perhaps some at the AAA level as well).

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

CHARLIE: Robinson Chirinos is a Rule 55 minor league FA (AKA "Six-Year Minor League FA"). The 13 Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be Rule 55 minor league free-agents can be found on the right sidebar and in my "40-MAN" file (see "AZ PHIL'S CORNER"), but any of the 13 could theoreticaly re-sign minor league contracts with the Cubs for 2010, and if any of them do re-sign with the Cubs prior to next month's  Rule 5 Draft, they immediately become eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.

Chirinos has been a Rule 55 minor League previously (the first time post-2007, and then again post-2008), so it's possible he might re-sign with the Cubs again, or he might decide to try his luck with a new organization, since he has already spent nine seasons in the Cubs organization without ever playing above AA, and it's unlikely he would get promoted to AAA Iowa next year, either, because Welington Castillo, Chris Robinson, and Steve Clevenger will likely all be vying for playing time behind the plate with the I-Cubs in 2010. 

Chirinos was converted to catcher last year because Oneri Fleita (who was a catcher in his playing days at Creighton and in the Orioles organization) can spot a catcher a mile away, and Chirinos understood that being able to catch as well as play other positions would give him a better chance to continue his playing career past 2008 (the year he was converted to catcher). The Cubs like Chirinos because he is a mentor to the younger Latin players (he's a Venezuelan version of "Crash" Davis) and a loyal "organizational player" who does whatever the Cubs ask him to do without complaining, bitching, or whining, and I believe he will probably eventually end up a coach or a manager in the Cubs organization.

As for Matt Camp, I know for a fact that he is very highly regarded by the Cubs Player Development people. They like his versatility, speed, and athleticism, and hitting 333/390/447 (so far) in the Mexican Pacific League with nine stolen bases and a league-leading ten doubles certainly won't make them like him less.

Whether Camp will be added to the Cubs 40-man roster on 11/20 or just get an NRI to Spring Training (presuming he doesn't get selected in the Rule 5 Draft) is still TBD, but if the Cubs plan to non-tender Mike Fontenot (now that they know he is eligible for arbitration as a "Super Two"), Camp's chances of getting added to the 40 increase. That doesn't mean Camp has a good chance to be on the Cubs 2010 Opening Day 25-man roster, though. That is unlikely. But the Cubs absolutely, positively want Camp at Iowa in 2010 as roster insurance, and if they believe he will get selected in the Rule 5 Draft (and there is a fairly good chance that he will get picked if he isn't added to the Cubs 40-man roster), the Cubs might decide to add him to the 40 just for that reason.

Phil--the interesting thing about Tim Wilken is that even his less-than-inspired draft picks have a shot, because they are versatile two-way players, even if their hitting is not quite major league. So people like Matt Camp, Ty Wright, Marquez Smith and Tony Thomas are able to hang around, hang around, hang around, waiting for a break. Reed Johnson is another example of a middling Wilken draftee, and he's done okay. If rosters had four or five twenty-fifth spots, they would all be major leaguers.

Camp, by the way, ran into his 6th caught stealing last night, versus 9 steals. His Mexicali teammate Brad Snyder, meanwhile--a Shoeless Joe Hardy type we never talk about--has 11 steals out of 13. He also stole 10 in a very abbreviated season at Iowa.

Well..I agree...but it's not like these are all 28-29 year old guys hanging around for a shot. Thomas and Wright have 2 full seasons, Smith has 2 full seasons..

Brad Snyder...nice! Maybe worth a look in ST as an extra OF...had a solid season going in AAA until the injury.

Charlie,
Exactly, I think Hendry could get a better deal for Castro, Lee or Vitters. Giving up those type of prospects with high ceilings I think Hendry could do better than Granderson. Though contracts will play the main part in any deal with the Cubs.

Count me against trading all of those guys for Granderson.

The more I think about it. The more that Dan Uggla sounds like a cheap/reasonable alternative to some Outfield power.

Just out of curiosity, Southpaw, which player, Lee, Castro or Vitters are you sure is going to hit 30 HR's in the majors while playing, at least, average defense?

I don't see the Tigers wanting any of those players as a centerpiece of a Granderson trade, because they're going to need someone they can show to their fans from day one, but you're either vastly overrating prospects or underrating Granderson here.

I agree with Dr. Aaron and Southpaw. If we trade one of our top three prospects-Castro, Cashner or Vitters, it better be for Adrian Gonzales, Hanley Ramirez or Roy Halliday.

We don't want Juan Pierre part deux...

That said, I'd like to think a package of Tyler Colvin, Jake Fox and a pitcher would get it done.

How about Jeff Samardzija straight up for Curtis Granderson? If I'm Detroit that deal makes more sense.

The economics have finally tilted in our favor. Detroit and Michigan's overall economy is in the crapper. There is no way they'll increase attendence in 2010. The Cubs, however, should be back at 3Million. And by paying the money to sign their prospects, they have plenty of chips to work with.

The Cubs are in a position to re-tool and compete at the same time. Which is why they should set their sights on Adrian Gonzales. He's lefthanded and entering his prime. Make a subsequent deal of DLee and this team could be re-built for the next 3-4 years. I'm confident the Red Sox would love to have Derrek Lee.

Let me give you guys some idea of what Adrian Gonzales would cost:

Vitters
Cashner
Carpenter
Gaub

Hanley Ramirez? Throw Jackson and Marquez Smith on that list.

It's great that you guys are excited about Cubs prospects, and to some extent you're right if you think that pre-arbitration players are going to be in demand - but what is going to be in demand right now is Major League players who are pre-arbitration. Teams are having payroll problems in 2010 not in 2014, at which point it's assumed the economy will be recovering. Guys who just finished seasons in A and AA aren't going to be hot commodities, because they can't play in MLB in April.

I would absolutely deal Vitters in an Adrian Gonzalez deal. I just think that Granderson is wildly overrated. Not enough contact/on base, who really should be a platoon player.

I say you let this year play out. Get the comp picks for DLee after this offseason, then trade Vitters and Co. for Adrian Gonzalez next offseason.

Here's a list of Center fielders who hit more HR's than Granderson:

Here's a list of Center fielders who walked more than Granderson:

Mike Cameron
Fukudone

You're getting all worked up over a bad BABIP season... is it that you don't understand the concept?

Yeah. If you check out his fangraphs page, you can see that the only other drastic difference was that his GB% dropped and his FB% went up, but he hit the same percentage of homeruns per fly ball. His line drive percentage was actually higher in 2009 than in 2008. He had significantly fewer infield hits, probably in part due to hitting fewer ground balls, and it looks like more of those fly balls got caught than in years past. Probably bad luck more than anything else. The Ks and BBs are right on what he did in 2008.

And in 07 and 08 his OBP was just fine. Not impressive, but .360+ which is fine. Can't imagine Wrigley would have a negative effect on any of those numbers, nor would seeing the Pirates and other NL Central competition.

the only real problem with Granderson is that he is a platoon player, but the Tigers rightfully aren't going to give you a discount for it...

Samardzija for Granderson. Please put away all hallucinogenic drugs before posting.

I'm glad that people are acknowledging that the Cubs have good prospects. That's step one.

Step two is letting them grow up a little bit to increase their value--have them at least do well in AA (as Colvin and Castro have done), in line with what Neal said.

Step three is looking for redundancy at positions (like shortstop) and KEEPING THE ONE YOU LIKE BEST.

or just use the komani code for unlimited prospects and trade them away

My first thought was "There's an Ayattolah code?". Then I realized you meant Konami.

doh...

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Sun, 11/15/2009 - 11:01am.
Phil--the interesting thing about Tim Wilken is that even his less-than-inspired draft picks have a shot, because they are versatile two-way players, even if their hitting is not quite major league. So people like Matt Camp, Ty Wright, Marquez Smith and Tony Thomas are able to hang around, hang around, hang around, waiting for a break. Reed Johnson is another example of a middling Wilken draftee, and he's done okay. If rosters had four or five twenty-fifth spots, they would all be major leaguers.

Camp, by the way, ran into his 6th caught stealing last night, versus 9 steals. His Mexicali teammate Brad Snyder, meanwhile--a Shoeless Joe Hardy type we never talk about--has 11 steals out of 13. He also stole 10 in a very abbreviated season at Iowa

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

VA PHIL: Brad Snyder should get some major attention starting next Friday, when he is free to sign with another MLB club (after the end of MLB Free-Agency Filing Period). Snyder could be next year's Garrett Jones (a Rule 55 minor league FA out of the Twins organization who was signed by the Pirates last off-season, and then became a contender for the 2009 N, L. Rookie of the Year Award after finally getting a chance to play regularly at the big league level).

I think the reason the Cubs Player Development people like Matt Camp so much is that he has continued to show improvement every year. He doesn't strike out much, he hit .282 and went 18-21 in SB attempts at AAA Iowa in 2009, and he has the versatility to play several different positions (2B-3B-SS-LF-CF-RF) so that he could replace two players on a 25-man roster. That's not true with Tony Thomas (strictly a 2B) and Ty Wright (strictly a LF).

Marquez Smith is an interesting player (I had him "just missing the cut" at #19 in my Cubs 2010 Top 15 Prospects), because (like Casey McGehee before him) he has been "hidden in plain view" while moving steadily through the Cubs system. He hit 278/337/457 with 15 HR and 35 doubles (ccmbined) between Daytona and Tennessee in 2009, after going 278/354/475 with 17 HR and 27 doubles (combined) between Peoria and Daytona in 2008. He will very likely be the starting 3B at Iowa in 2010. I believe he is a legitimate MLB prospect, although he will have to prove he can hit at AAA. While he is primarily a 3B, M. Smith can also play 2B. He was a college teammate of Tyler Colvin at Clemson.

Marquez Smith, Kyler Burke, Darwin Barney, Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer, Tony Thomas, Ty Wright, and Chris Huseby are the biggest names (right now, anyway) who become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time a year from now, so the Cubs will be evaluating them even more-closely in 2010 than they did previously. Look for M. Smith, Guyer, Thomas, and/or Wright to get slots in the AFL next year to help the Cubs decide whether to add them to the 40-man roster. (Barney is a virtual lock to get added, and will probably get brought up to Chicago before the end of the 2010 season). Whether Burke and Huseby get consideration depends on whether they can do at Daytona in 2010 what they did at Peoria in 2009, and Archer getting added to the 40 post-2010 will depend a lot on how he throws at Daytona, with his chances to get added increasing if he can improve his command without losing velocity (something he was unable to do at Instructs last month). 

Archer seems like a guy who, if he can't make marked improvements in his control, might get traded at the deadline in 2010 when the Cubs try to pick somebody up from a team like the Pirates. A non-contender would have an easier time making room for him on the 40-man than would a contender, and he's got enough upside to be worth taking a chance on.

obviously we have little idea what the Tigers want at this point or like in our system, but Dombrowski has an affection for hard-throwers....

A shame we don't have Felix Pie anymore, he'd make a good piece to move...

I would guess maybe Barney, Cashner or Jackson, Guzman and Wells would be decent starting point...

Samardzija could be of interest, but I have this feeling the Cubs are just going to see that one through and not ask him to waive his NTC.

and that's of course if they even have any interest in Wells. Maybe they like Fuld or Colvin....

I do Barney, Cashner, and Guzman, but I hesitate to send them an MLB ready starting pitcher because the Cubs have a shortage of them now that Lilly will be on the DL. I'd also gladly make Fuld, Colvin, Hoffpauir, and Fox available.

Then again, selling high on Wells might be a good idea. I really like the guy, though.

fine, no Wells, Marmol or Soto then...maybe you get to keep Guzman though if one of them are included.

I'd be okay with selling high now on a guy like Wells in order to pick up a talent like Granderson (who also fits a big roster hole). I just don't know where else they are going to pick up starting pitching without spending money that they don't seem to have. If they can free up the money, I'm okay with it. (Even though I really like Wells.)

I'm not attached to Guzman anymore. He seemed to be fairly lucky this year and his injury history really worries me.

I would absolutely not sell low on either Marmol or Soto right now. A year ago we would've been talking about Marmol + a middling prospect, or Soto straight up for Granderson (I think), and in another year they might be just that valuable again.

Wayne Messmer is Father Damien

http://www.pioneerlocal.com/evanston/entertainment...

"Lord please let me know if it's time...TO PLAY BALL!!!!"

from CCO, reporting on the Bruce Levine taling baseball show from Saturday...

Bruce Levine mentioned the "personal problems" Aaron Miles had to deal with again last season ... and the fact he could not shake them, Levine did not go into specifics and has hinted in the past that is was a difficult divorce. Levine said the personal problem was not a death in Miles' family or a health issue.

Levine said the Cubs must move Aaron Miles and his $2.7 million contract this winter.
---

http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2009/11/cubs...

I thought a more interesting quote from that link was:

"Jeff Joyce asked about Milton Bradley. Wells said, "Milton is Milton." He mentioned the fact he cannot speak for Bradley and described him as a great guy and a really good teammate.

That thing Levine said about Miles makes 0 sense. I hope he had some sort of context that they didn't relay, otherwise it's just mouthbreather stupid.

Thought there was a Sullivan (or some other Tribster) piece at the end of the season that finally confirmed that it was a difficult divorce.

...but moving Miles, that's a new angle to me. I thought the consensus was that the Cubs were stuck with him. Now that would be a difficult divorce.

Call me a pessimist, but I don't really feel that we have the combination of players and budget room to win more than 85 games next year. Regardless of what moves we make.

How many spots do you comfortable with next year? Even with Soto and Soriano bouncing back, which I do believe they will, we still have way too many holes to make a playoff run.

I say you hold on to these prospects right now and rebuild a bit. I'm a huge Lee fan, but if we can move him now I think it'd be a smart move. His production will start to decline soon if not now.

team has 4 legit SP and 3 legit sluggers with support crew like theriot/fuku/soto.

...and the milton replacement.

the cubs have done a lot more with a lot less.

Assuming Soriano is your third "legit" slugger, that's a bold label in my eyes. I'm sure I'll eat some stats, but he's too streaky to be counted on for production.

And I agree with the SP for sure...but even that looks a lot different when it probably has no Harden and maybe has no Lilly for a little while. Does that leave Wells at 3? ... ...

We've definitely done more with less, but I think I can more assuredly say we've done less with more. (see: 2009)

yeah, soriano...the guy who hits 30+ homers and 30+ doubles a year who for some reason has been wasted as a low-ob% leadoff guy for a few years while he tries to get more RBIs than extra base hits.

now that he's no longer being wasted in the leadoff spot he needs to quit missing 30+ games a year.

Pessimist.

Seriously though, you want to re-build on the fly, like you're suggesting. The model should be the Red Sox, where the system provides enough pre-arb talent to afford the occasional elite free agent signing. Unfortunately, the model has been the Yankees -$65 million in payroll.

Also, the Red Sox have that whole competent GM thing working for them

it was a really quiet sunday on the baseball rumor front, yuck.

Rookie of Year announcement monday, yawn.

Here is a Detroit based article on the Granderson as this offseason's BRob/Peavy.

http://www.freep.com/article/20091115/COL22/911150...

seems to somewhat confirm that if they move Granderson they want players that will help them win immediately...

For your lunchbreak viewing pleasure - CHONE projections are now out.

http://www.baseballprojection.com/

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