Cubs Rumor Round-Up: Halladay, Bradley

- Muskat blogged that the Blue Jays contacted the Cubs about Roy Halladay.

...there's a catch. He's owed $15.75 million in 2010, and the Blue Jays
want some of the Cubs' top prospects. No. 1, the team can't take on
Halladay's salary. The Blue Jays apparently have a wish list and Milton
Bradley is not on it. A player like highly regarded shortstop Starlin
Castro most likely is, and the Cubs don't want to part with him,
especially since they might only have Halladay for one year.

A good time to show your committment to winning Ricketts family - we're all counting on you.

- Phil Rogers tried to sell a 3-way trade of Luis Castillo to the Cubs, Kevin Millwood to the Mets and Milton Bradley to the Rangers. It was quickly shot down though by the Cubs and Rangers.

- Carlos Marmol claimed the Cubs were pursuing Pedro Martinez, but the Cubs shot down that as well.

- John Grabow's deal is official, 2/7.5M. A report from Bruce Levine said it would go up by a million in the second year, so that makes it $3.25M in 2010 and $4.25M in 2011 if that ends up being the case. Also should note that Grabow's been dealing with bone chips as well for the last three years. I'm sure that won't bite the Cubs in the ass.

- Last day to enter the TCR Free Agent Frenzy contest, I'll shut it down sometime this weekend.

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Comments

Muskat says the Cubs don't have the budget room to add Halladay, but don't you make an exception for a play like him if you can get him for the right price?

I would assume that any team that trades for Halladay would want to negotiate a contract extension with him before a deal is finalized. If the Cubs are going to take on his $15.75 million salary in 2010 and possibly give up Castro (among others), I would think they would want a guarantee of Halladay being around for more than just one year.

Who would want to trade for the best pitcher in baseball and make him just the fourth-highest-paid player on your incredibly average, incredibly overpaid team?

And they won't give up a baby shortstop to get him? Lies. The truth is: They're broke from buying the team, and there won't any money spent on anybody until there's some revenue. So in the meantime, it's only been 102 years, why not wait two or three more before we start to try?

I think it was MikeC who said on a previous thread that he has a feeling that Ricketts will want to make a splash in his first year owning the Cubs. Adding Halladay, even if it means trading Castro, would be viewed as a big splash.

I would think it would be only natural for a new owner who wants to win to make a big splash, but they've done a great job of staying under the radar if that's the case. Everything sounds like we're back to pinching pennies. I can't get that line at the press conference out of my head...the one from Rickett's brother about Hendry asking the Ricketts to eat some money to get rid of a clubhouse cancer..."Jim knows better than to come to us and ask that." That doesn't sound like owners who are going to make a splash with a big deal that costs more money.

Not the Ricketts fault that Hendry has spend like MC Hammer in a gaudy jewelry outlet over the last 4 years. Almost can't blame them for seeing what they purcased before letting the current regime mortgage tomorrow to save their jobs today.

Hendry needs oversight from somewhere. Now it's apparently present.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/press_releases/pr...

Cubs add Dolis, Gaub, Parker, Castillo, Adduci to the roster --- somewhat shocked that Camp didn't get rewarded for his strong play in Mexico

Since there are so many three way trades being rumored, I wonder if a 3 way deal with the Cubs/Rays/Braves would make sense for each team. The Rays would end up with Bradley, the Braves would get Burrell to play 1b for a year (doesn't ATL need a 1b? I haven't heard anything about them trying to resign Laroche). What the Cubs get back wouldn't really matter. I'm sure there would be some prospects going somewhere. What do you think?

Do I think it sounds semi-plausible, yes. Heck, one of the Braves blogs was talking Bradley himself (although I'm sure we were picking up the tab in that scenario). They're also hot to move D Lowe and his salary, I'd take him and hope for a bounce-back year; I loved him for Wrigley a couple years ago for his GBs.

End of the day, I think you're with me, let's not get greedy. I'd take a ham sammich and last year's program for MB at this point, if somebody else pays his salary.

yeesh...

this is a 140 million dollar team.

there's 20+ teams out there that don't have a 1-4 starting crew like the cubs and/or 3+ legit 30HR power guys on their teams.

...not to mention the "support" crew guys like fukudome/theriot/etc.

the cubs have done a lot more with a lot less compared to last year, but this isn't some hopeless crew of misfits.

You don't usually strike me as the upbeat one.

All I see for 30 HR power are Lee and ARam at this point; who's the other 1+? Soriano and Soto together maybe?

And who's the 4th starter that 20+ teams don't have? Or do some other teams actually have a capital-A Ace, so they don't give a shit about their 4th starter? The one thing we've had the last few years that other teams don't is Ted Lilly. Look, I love Randy Wells as much as the next guy, but let's look at the sterling careers of big Cub rookies not named Greg Maddux or Kerry Wood.

The Cubs have definitely done more with less, but unless you didn't watch any games this year, they played EXACTLY like a hopeless crew of misfits. Combined with that price tag, easily mistaken with, oh, the New York Mets.

I'm usually the one full of hope and excitement for anything Cubs, but I'm getting fucking sick of this. With the few obvious exceptions, this team played shitty and got hurt last year, period. If my name were Tom Ricketts, I wouldn't just fire sale. I'd look at what I just paid, I'd ask D Lee, and maybe Marmol to step outside and then light the sonuvabitch on fire and watch it burn.

...

Okay, I've taken a deep breath. But seriously, saying their not a "hopeless crew of misfits" is letting the players off easy IMO. I wouldn't consider ANYONE untouchable at this point.

im pretty sure soriano is safe to lump in with the 30hr power crowd.

if you don't like all 4 starters...fine...20+ still don't have a Z/dumpster/lilly.

3 guys who are legit power hitters...fuku/theriot/bradley-replacement...soto/2nd...

hell...to me...you run the SAME team as last year out there and they'd have a hard time doing as bad as they did last year if most stay healthy.

if only Lilly didn't just have shoulder surgery...

yeah, but im crossing mark prior's fingers hoping lilly can put in most of a season.

on our starters...

i don't think wells is the next big thing, but he seems to be a decent enough 3-4 slot pitcher. he'd be a solid #2 or 3 starter on many teams out there.

on the flipside...any of Z/dumpster/lilly would be solid #2 starters on a lot of teams with true OMG aces. i like the combo of guys more than any of them individually. it's a crew of 4 guys would could be #2 or 3 starters...

And you're exactly right about that. But just because 2+2+2 = 1+2+3 doesn't mean that #1 doesn't bring something a little extra to the table, again something the Cubbies haven't had in a while.

I want to believe, I do. But we also need to face facts.

DLee turned 34 in September. I love the guy, but would also be surprised to see a repeat of last year ever again by him.

Soriano turns 34 in January. Legs aren't what they used to be, nagging injuries, bit of a head case, etc. Hasn't played more than 135 games (2007) since he's been here, and hasn't seen 30+ since then either. He's been miraculously healed?

Aram will be only 32 in June. Again, I like him, I do think he tries, and I've seen him become more clutch, which is awesome. Having said that, he hasn't been north of 30 HR since 2006, and despite his torrid start this past year it would have taken him 164 games and 612 AB to hit 30 based on the 15 he did hit.

You want someone to hit homeruns? I begged and cried for Adam Dunn last offseason. Say what you will, but Adam Dunn is a power threat, period. The guys we have now, excepting (on some days) DLee and ARam, are not.

Waiting for "bounce-back" years out of players is getting real old; remember the Wood/Prior sagas?

The coaches have changed, many of the players have changed, now ownership has changed. As much as I hate to admit it, Jim Hendry is the last ass to pin the tail on. I think he's good, and I've defended his decisions at times (Soriano for instance) but he flat fucked up last offseason, and everybody but him knew it. He's leaning too hard on paying people for one year (Dempster, Bradley, Miles, etc) and it's not paying off.

If I'm Tom Ricketts, I keep my mouth shut until about the A/S break next year, and if I'm not pretty damn happy with my new pet by then, Jimbo hits the streets.

"He's leaning too hard on paying people for one year (Dempster, (Dempster, Bradley, Miles, etc)

He's paid Dempster $31.2 million for $51 million in value (including $4.4 million in the black last year) so far according to fan graphs - which underestimates late inning relievers value. If you look at those three players, Hendry is in the black, according to Fan Graphs and probably also according to more sophisticated analysis.

While I'm sure that's true, riddle me this:

True or false, Demp got his contract based in large part on market value for a guy with a sub-3 ERA. True.

True or false, He won't ever do that again. Obviously conjecture, but I think, True.

True or false, Bradley got signed to 3/30 after his .999 OPS season and 20(? or so) HR to be the left-handed threat in the lineup (while Abreu was still available). True.

True or false, he won't do that again either, especially in a Cubs uniform. True.

Miles got paid for a career year as well that he won't repeat.

My point is, guys like Abreu and Ibanez were out there last year, models of consistency, something it seems the Cubs have a hell of a time grasping, and Hendry continues to go get the "career year" guys.

Your first one is false. Guys with sub 3 ERA's get $20 million + contracts.

The second one. He's unlikely to do that again. He'll probably pitch about like he did last year. That according to Fangraphs - and I'm not crazy about how they have come up with all their valuations but for a starting pitcher who was a FA after 2008 it's probably close enough to use it as a basis - Dempster's season last year was worth $16.4 million. Had he not broke his foot in a freak accident he would have been 'worth' more. He got paid $12 million if you count the signing bonus.

On Bradley's contract. You left out the other corner outfielder in your evaluation who actually has led the AL in OPS. Manny Ramirez got $25 million. Bradley was the best defensive player of the five options - only Abreu could nominally claim that he could play right field. $10 million a year is not market value for someone who gives you an OPS of 1, even for 500 PAs.

Again on Miles, yes he had a career year, but he certainly didn't get paid like a switch hitter who could play middle infield and hit .317. Orlando Hudson got paid what, $6+ million during the last off-season?

Guys with a 1.468 career WHIP don't get $52 million dollar contracts, unless Jim Hendry falls in love with you. The rest of the guys with WHIP's like that bounce from team to team and out of baseball.

The 10 pitchers who Dempster's career stats most closely resemble, from Baseball-Reference:

Matt Clement, Doug Davis, Mark Gardner, Omar Olivares, Mike Lacoss, Pete Foytack, Brett Tomko, Tom Underwood, Cal Eldred, Vic Sorrell.

Any of those guys worth $52 million over 4 years? I'd rather have a healthy Matt Clement than a healthy Ryan Dempster. Dempster is a great guy, but he's a journeyman pitcher that our genius GM is paying like a star thanks to one completely out-of-the-blue career year.

Seriously, what are you talking about?

Star pitchers make $20+ million a year. That's what Santanna and Sabathia got and that's what Peavy's contract runs to and that's what Halladay will get. Dempster makes $13 million a year. That's $3.5 million less than AJ Burnett got. He was worth more than that in 2008, and he was worth more than that in 2009.

Read this: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-demps...

I have no idea how BR comes up with their comps, but the #1 comp pitched 65.2 innings during his 31 and 32 year old seasons. Dempster pitched 406.2 (with about a 140 ERA+). How are those two pitchers comparable for age 31 to 34 seasons (the length of Dempster's contract)?

Nothing I said is not a fact, the only thing disputable is the valuation of Dempster's performance - but there's no way it was worth $8 million or whatever you think he should have been paid last year.

BR.com comparable players is a simplistic formula that basically compares guys at similar age and counting stats. BP's comps for Dempster are

Mike Moore, Stieb, Witt, Stewart, Gross, Clement, Hooton, Millwood and farther down the line Appier, Krukow, Morris, Gooden...

Dempster was an okay closer, been a great starter especially considering what he went through to start the year...

If they stay healthy and produce anywhere near their career norms, they should be right in the race. The staying healthy part is the kicker. I told a couple of friends before last season that they were probably due for some injuries after two mostly injury free seasons. Unfortunately that turned out to be true.

The bullpen as-is still scares me a bit, but you'll never know if Caridad can mature unless you let him show you. I love Guzman, but he's so injury prone, you just have to expect he'll get injured every year and hope he doesn't blow out his elbow again.

I understand Ricketts not rushing out to spend more money. Hendry has been throwing money around like donuts the last few years, and those backloaded contracts are tightening around Jimbo's neck. The sad thing is if it doesn't work out and Hendry ends up being fired in a year, he's not the one who has to deal with paying Soriano until he's 39 or 40.

I am not on board with this. Why get good players when marginal players are available?

I have no interest in marginal players unless we can significantly overpay for their services.

one of my main goals in life is to push len kasper into a mud puddle followed by pointing and laughing.

...and btw, it's cool len did answer his questions for his interview and took the time to formulate some good replies for the dude's article.

Not sure where you're going with that, but I met Len in the Phoenix airport last March and without question he is the nicest "public figure" I've ever met.

i am just amazed at some of the uber-mega-ultra nerdy stuff he says and has said/done earlier in his life.

i think he's a great guy and hope he stays on the announce crew for a very long time. he's amusing.

What ultra-nerdy things did Len say/do earlier in his life? More importantly, how do you even know about them?

bob sometimes gets so choked with laughter over len's nerdiness he has to kill his mic to laugh.

one of my fav's is when len was explaining playing roto baseball in college on weekend nights with buddies...for obvious reasons.

Wow, convincing evidence for amazement there.

len is nerdy, was nerdy, and will continue to be nerdy.

live with it.

Right, just like I'll have to live with yours.

dude, it's just len.

if you've listened to the booth at least a handful of times a year you have to have witnessed the nerdiness.

hell, it's part of len/bob's comedy in the booth.

the example i gave bob literally had to turn off his mic while he laughed at college-len sitting around on a friday night playing roto baseball on paper in his dorm.

Can't blame the jays for approaching the cubs-they sur don't want him w the yanks or red sox, leaving the cubs, phils, mets or dodgers as the most likely to afford him. The dodgers and mets don't have any good prospects, so that leaves the cobs or phils. No one wants to make the phils that powerful-so bring on the cubs. Getting Halliday would be a terrific move

i All I see for 30 HR power are Lee and ARam at this point;

With only two guys that can hit 30 home runs, they probably will be as bad as other teams that only had two guys that could hit 30 home runs.

Like the Yankees.

well if Aram is 30 HR power then so is Soriano...

whether either plays enough games is another story...

... Rob G's new black.

Len's homerun call sucks though..."it will goooo!" = gay

I am not really sure how a home run call could be attracted to the same sex.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gay

"3. often used to describe something stupid or unfortunate."

Both uses of the word "gay" are slang. To imply that everyone who uses it is acting in some sort of homosexual bashing activity isn't too cool. Do you go around and tell homosexuals to quit referring to themselves as "gay" or "gays"?

At most college institutions we teach students not to use the word "gay" in class or in their writing to describe things that they simply dislike or disapprove of. The consensus within most departments is that we should do this because it essentially says homosexual=bad, being that the primary use of gay these days is to describe a person (usually a man) as being attracted to someone of the same sex, and the second most common is to describe something with perceived negative qualities.

I prefer to think, however, that we teach them not to use the word "gay" in that manner because it makes them sound like they are in the fourth grade.

Do college students really have to be taught not to use slang like that in writing? That's sort of scary in itself. Even the term "gay" is stereotyping homosexual men as effeminates who happily prance around. Unfortunately to the community it has taken on a "pride" aspect so they won't get rid of the word and it has become self perpetuating. They would probably be better served not using it anymore.

Unfortunately, it is a guideline that occasionally has to be explained to college students, especially freshmen.

The word "gay," of course, has developed some cognitive distance from its traditional meaning happy, exuberant, etc., in that we rarely use it that way anymore. Instead we use it to denote men who are sexually attracted to other men. The connotation of flamboyance and exuberance is obviously still there, but not to such a strong degree (my opinion) that the homosexual men who are otherwise typically "masculine" can't claim it as well. In fact, I think that the more it used to apply to homosexual men who display few typically "feminine" traits, the less the term will be associated with femininity. Words are funny like that--they can lose associations just like they can gain them. If you're looking for an innocuous word to attach to the entire "gay" community, good luck. Homosexual has problems all its own, and LGBTQ is clumsy (and still misleadingly categorical, even if it offers more categories).

Wrong forum much? Yes. Yes, indeed.

most words that has "bad" connotations is connected to a specific demographic

gay, lame, dumb, retarded, etc. the point is they start with a specific target and move to a general one

Len doesn't have a signature homerun call, if you listen closely.

It is 4:30 in the a.m. and I keep having night terrors of Soriano's contract. 2014 seems like light years away. It completely disgusts me how anyone in the organization at the time thought this was a good idea. The best transaction for the Cubs this year is the sale of the team and the ballpark. Tony S. is right when he said, “If I'm Tom Ricketts, I keep my mouth shut until about the A/S break next year, and if I'm not pretty damn happy with my new pet by then, Jimbo hits the streets".
I think Ricketts is going to sit back and not jump in and seem like an over zealous owner.
I would love to see Ricketts ask Steve Stone to over see baseball operations for the Cubs; Stoney has said he would be open to explore opportunities to over see player development and such. Corporate ownership and ideologies has been the downfall of the organization for many years. If the Cubs had baseball guys who fully understand how to properly sustain a good baseball team, Hendry would not have been allowed to offer that ridiculous contract for Soriano.

In general the "TCR community" thought that the Soriano contract was a necessary evil at the time. The Cubs needed an infusion of talent, and that give or take $10 million was the price that it cost to get the best free agent hitter onto the roster. No one, probably not even people in the Cubs organization thought that the contract would "end well", but Soriano just wasn't interested in signing a 3 or 4 year deal.

Unfortunately the wheels seem to have come off quicker than we hoped. Personally I haven't given up all hope that he can return to his 2007 form - a competent defender and and in stretches a dangerous force at the plate.

Man, you had me right up until "competent defender" ;-)

Indeed, I was one of the people that applauded it at the time, and still defend it. Yes, it's an albatross. It was also Hendry's first huge FA signing, letting people know the Cubs had serious money and were becoming players in the FA market. It was questionable, sure, but you're also talking about the guy who got traded for ARod.

My Christmas Wish list:
Dear Santa (aka Rob G),
All I want for Christmas,
1. Soriano's contract off the books
2. Milton Badley off the team and if you have time, his contract as well!
4. Steve Stone
5. Carl Crawford
6. Chone Figgins
7. Some bullpen help and a 200 plus inning top of the rotation pitcher
8. And for the entire 2010 Cubs to be injury free!

I'm not asking for much and if you could expedite this it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Southpaw (aka Loogy)

you lost me at "3."

You win sir!

my bad!

Rob:

If we haven't done one already, how about a "Milton Bradley Destination" poll? The one who comes closest to picking (a) the team who gets him (b) the player(s) the Cubs must take back in return and (c) how much money the Cubs have to eat, wins.

Though some moves have already been made, I was thinking sort of a "off-season" prediction contest like the regular season one would be cool. Bradley's and Miles' destinations, first FA signed. Biggest FA signed. "Surprise" player traded. Rotation from the season opener. Center fielder on opening day. etc.

NY Post side of the 3 way btwn Mets (Castillo), Cubs (Bradley) and Rangers (Millwood) says the deal isn't happening because...

Though the Mets are eager to part with Castillo, who has two years left at $6 million per season, sources say the deal isn't happening because the Rangers aren't interested in giving up Millwood so easily.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/mets_can_ditch...

Southpaw, shit in one hand and wish in the other.

Dude, I have no personal stake in the degree of Len's nerdiness. I think if you asked Len if he was nerdy, he'd agree. I just found the way you presented it a little odd. You've not provided anything that is amazing in its nerdiness. That's all. I watch the games, too. I'm pretty aware of what Len says.

heard..it's no biggie.

i just assumed his nerdiness was a given. i like picking on nerds... hehe.

One might argue that posting on a Cubs blog has a certain level of nerdiness to it. I'm not arguing that, of course...

No way, everyone here is cool as penis.

My penis gets REALLY cool (damn near numb) when I go bicycling on these late fall days. TMI?

Go on . . .

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