Ten Moves I Wouldn't Mind the Cubs Pursuing

Before the first "the Cubs can't afford that" comment, let me preface all this by saying I wouldn't mind the Cubs making any of these moves, not necessarily all of them. And it's just a bunch conjecture and speculation and "damn, I'm bored, let's make up some stuff". I did attempt to be reasonable at least.

1. Sign Kelly Johnson if he's non-tendered and non-tender Mike Fontenot. There's not a big difference between the two, but I like Johnson better. I'm also not opposed to a trade for Johnson for some marginal low-level minor league talent.

Tigers vs. White Sox

2. If the Tigers decide to move Granderson for prospects only - as opposed to major league pre-arbitration talent - something along the lines of Josh Vitters, Darwin Barney or Hak-Ju Lee and Chris Carpenter (although you have to think Rafael Dolis, Andrew Cashner or Jay Jackson would need to be included). Welington Castillo, Sam Fuld, Tyler Colvin or Ryan Flaherty I imagine could also be of some interest to the Tigers.

Although I still think the Tigers wll only move Granderson if they can attach one of their bad contracts with him or get some early arbitration or auto-renewal players.

3. While they're talking to the Tigers about Granderson, see if adding Randy Wells and one more pitching prospect would get Edwin Jackson.  Hell, let me propose a blockbuster: Vitters, Lee, Jackson, Colvin and Wells for Granderson and Jackson. Mix and match at your discretion.

UPDATE: Just a terrible idea on my part about Jackson, apologies for even bringing it up. In my mind, Jackson had a much better 2008 than he really had and much higher strikeout totals and I failed to double check my assertions with the actual stats. Please let's forget this ever happened.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Detroit Tigers.

4. Trade Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell, suck up the 2nd year of the deal or see if adding Jake Fox into the trade could get the Rays to take some of the salary. I'm under the assumption that this is the only reasonable offer the Cubs have and it's just a matter of how much the Cubs are willing to pay at this point. I have doubts the Cubs can do any better and Hendry should learn from his Sammy Sosa mistake about waiting too long on a deal. While the Cubs would probably then have to pay someone to take Burrell off their hands, Burrell wouldn't be a terrible bench/platoon/"when Soriano gets injured" option.

5. Bring back Reed Johnson to platoon for Fukudome and possibly Granderson if the Cubs can get him. One year deal max though.

6. Offer Rich Harden arbitration. On the off chance he accepts it -which he wouldn't - there are worse things that could happen then having a guy with an ERA barely over 3 the last two seasons and 51 starts around. 

UPDATE #2: And of course, Hendry decides it's not worth the risk...No arbitration offers for Harden, Gregg or Johnson.

7. When Harden goes somewhere else, see how Ben Sheets is doing.

8. Kick the tires on the following starting pitchers assuming no Harden and Ben Sheets arm isn't working: Justin Duchscherer, Randy Johnson, Brad Penny, John Smoltz, Erik Bedard and Mike Hampton. See what a one year deal with incentives would cost.

9. Sign one of these relievers, Billy Wagner, Takashi Saito, Kiko Calero, Kelvim Escobar or J.J. Putz with the caveat that Escobar and Putz medical records and rehab give them a clean bill of health. Wagner's the only one I would go past a year deal on.

10. Give Mark Prior a tryout. I'm only half-joking, but I would love to see him make a comeback, even as a reliever. And if it means I could unretire my Prior jersey, all the better.

In the comments yesterday I suggested the following potential roster for the Cubs.

Starters: Granderson, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Fukudome, Soto, K. Johnson/Baker

Bench: Burrell, K. Johnson/Baker, Hill, R. Johnson and Miles (or Blanco if they can move Miles)

Rotation: Z, Dempster, Wells, Lilly, Gorzelanny

Bullpen: Marmol, Guzman, Grabow, Saito, Marshall, bullpen musical chairs for the last 2 spots

That's a team I could live with next year. Johnson and Burrell can platoon for Fukudome and Granderson on most days. Oh sure, the outfield defense will suck on those days, and on the other days your left-handed bench bats are K. Hill and A. Miles. but there's no such thing as a perfect baseball world. Plus, you're probably not gonna do a strict platoon with Granderson anyway. Replacing Fontentot for Kelly Johnson isn't gonna make much of a difference if that falls through. Of course, it unravels like a house of cards if the Cubs can't swing a trade for Granderson.

And now your turn to mock me in the comments...


Rob, I've been on the get-Billy-Wagner bandwagon since the season ended, he'd give the Cubs a formidable bullpen IMO. Lefty/righty mix for end of games (Marmol and Wagner), pre-setup/setup (Grabow and Gooz), and long/middle relief (Marshall and TBD). OTOH, I don't understand those that would trade the farm for Granderson, he just isn't worth it. My make-believe blockbuster is still Zambrano and Theriot to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp and Rafael Furcal. I definitely agree on arbitration to Harden, it is just plain dumb not to offer it.

BTW, one of our favorite whipping boys--the interminably insufferable Chip Caray--was just fired by TBS. Heh.

<blockquote>4. Trade Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell</blockquote> *hearts* I like all the suggestions, btw, except #1 ... not thrilled about Kelly Johnson, but whatever.

1. Seems like rearranging deck chairs. It wouldn't be the end of the world to me, but Hendry will rightfully spend time on more important issues. 2. Can't figure out what you're saying here. Barney, Vitters and Jackson? OK - assuming Bradley is really out of town and he doesn't bring back a CF. 3. Yuck. Remember how you went on about sample sizes and FIP with Grabow? Apply all those concepts to Jackson who returned in the 2nd half to be the same pitcher he's been for the last 5 years. If Hendry traded Wells for Jackson even up, he would rightfully be laughed at by his contemporaries, and lambasted in blogland. 4. This trade downgrades the offense, the defense and the 2011 payroll flexibility in one fell swoop. Pass. Keep Bradley, tell him, Pinhead and whoever else had a problem with him to grow up. 5. A right handed CF one a one-year deal would be good. I'm over the Johnson experience, but it could be worse. Maybe Fuld can fill that spot (I know he's not RH). 6. Yeah. Another FIRE HENDRY moment is coming today. 7. Agreed, though I think Sheets if he seems ready to pitch is going to get a $5 million contract. 8. Smoltz, Dustcherer and Bedard, pass on the other guys. I think Smoltz is the only guy likely to be in our price range, though. (Assuming it's like $3 million guaranteed). 9. Throw the good Soriano on this list - but Hendry has already said he's done with the bullpen. Hopefully Parker and/or the DeRosa boys are going to get it done this year. 10. Agreed, though I think Prior has some animosity towards Hendry. Maybe he'll sign with Cincinatti. Mine: 1. Trade Bradley for Harang - who will cost approximately $15 million for 2010 counting his buyout. The Reds would presumably retain then trade Gomes. 2. See if Lilly/Barney/Vitters/Fox interests the Jays for Halladay. 3. Wait until the arb deadline passes (Dec 12th?) to look for your right handed hitting CF to platoon with Fukudome.

mea culpa on that one, it would have helped if I didn't write this at 2am and looked at his stats apparently there's an Edwin Jackson that had a good 2008 and has a high K rate in the world I was living in last night when I wrote that.... no he sucks, my bad... I'm under the assumption that Bradley must go or the fabric of the Cubs universe will tear apart...at least that's what Sullivan and Wittenmyer tell me. Since I fucked up the Jackson one, I'll offer an alternative of Fire Lou and Hendry and find management that understands you can't just piss $21M away and will do what they can to help Bradley flourish in Chicago.

No Jackson because we think Wells is good? Holy Mike Bielecki batman. Think we need to look at the numbers again. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jacksed01.shtml http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wellsra01.shtml Jackson is younger, gives up less hits, K's more per 9 and played in a tougher league. Not sure why you don't make that deal?

Edwin Jackson has a career ERA of 4.66 and a career FIP of 4.72. Randy Wells has a career ERA of 2.95 and a FIP of 3.90 and he will be paid $3.5 million less. Jackson had a really good first half in 2009 and then he went back to the pitcher he's always been - 2:1 BB to K ratio and a 5 ERA. Is it possible that Jackson can regain the form he had in the first half of 2009? Sure, he's always had good stuff. Are you willing to bet a guy who's a nice #3 starter with 5 years of club control on it? I wouldn't.

Do you think Wells will sustain the sucess he had in his first year? I for one do not. I think that Edwin Jackson has more upside, although the dollars would be concerning.

Counting on Wells to be a "Nice #3 Starter" reeks of signing Glendon Rusch to a 2 year extention because he had a nice year as a utility pitcher. Wells really doesn't have anything special going on. He was never really considered anything other than a C level prospect. As a low cost #5 starter/utility pitcher (The Marshall Role) then no problems at all. Counting on him to slot between Dempster and Marshall in place of the injured Ted Lilly? Woody/Prior should have already taught us that lesson.

Which is why there should have been no issues dishing out an offer to Harden. I have a hard time believing that Wells will be able to maintain anything close to his numbers last year.

agreed, Worst case is you get a free top 50 overall draft pick.

I love how you just arbitrarily pick names to prove a point. I think that Wells is just like Ryan Dempster. (Not really but I just want to throw out an arbitrary find that Hendry made that proves everything I say). There was an article during the season that went over the quality of Wells's slider, which I know Rob G linked. If he adds a run to his ERA - he's still a solid #3 starter. Wells, was just underrated. Look at his Minor league numbers before he got to Iowa. Then in Iowa you can see he was a victim of bad defense, .354 BABIP in 2007 and .316 in 2008 despite giving up 64% pop-ups and ground balls. For your reference, Rusch, at one time was considered probably a top 5 starting pitching prospect, and Corey Patterson was considered a top 3 prospect in the game.

fwiw... http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/features/at100.html Rusch hit the 80's, makes him about a top 30 pitching prospect, top 5 lhp though. Jackson went from #99, to #4 to #30 Patterson went #16, #3 to #2.... you can find all the Cubs prospects here as well http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Baseball_America_Major_League_Rankings

There's something wrong there because Rusch was their #1 prospect, yet he comes out behind Pittsley in their top 100.

noticed that a few times with the Cubs prospects as well... I would guess different writers make the lists at different times during the offseason and clearly BA isn't worried about coordinating it too well.

I used to always get a magazine called... Spring Training Annual or Guide which did a top 100 list which was pretty good. It would be fun to track down that publisher and compare their lists to BA's. Unless, of course, they just took theirs from BA. There's some really funny ones on BA's. Hard to imagine Rusch being ranked so low coming off a 1.74 ERA as a 20 year old in High A.

2008 - Fukudome hadn't signed yet I'm guessing so not on Cubs top 10 but 30th and top Cub on major league rankings. Ceda was ranked between Colvin and Gallagher, but not in their top 100, Colvin was 75, Gallagher was 82 2002 - they flipped Nic Jackson(68) and Zambrano(80), but Z is 6th and Jackson is 7th 1996 - they flipped Wood(16) and Kieschnick(47), but Kieschnick is #1 for the Cubs...

trading Wells isn't the hang-up for me, my mistake was thinking Jackson is any good though.... He has nothing going for him but a couple of decent first halves, his BABIP of .281 last year and Comerica pretty much tells it all. I apologize for even bringing it up.

Pitcher A will be pitching 2010 in his age 26 season. Career: 38-39 4.66 era 6.34 k9 4.02 BB9 1.51 Whip Pitcher B will be pitching 2010 in his age 33 season. Career: 87-90 4.44 era 7.57 k9 4.28 bb9 1.47 Whip

Dempster has a 3.61 ERA as a Cub since 2004, seems a little more relevant than what he did as 21-24 year old.

His 2008 HUGE career outlier skews that. He has been a high 4's bullpen arm most of that time. His and Jackson's 2009 season's are almost identical. Only Jackson was 25 and Dempster was 32. Not saying Dempster is junk. He just isn't anything other than yet another Cub making 25 to 40% more than he is worth. Also that Jackson and Dempster and very strong comps.

3.92, 3.13, 4.80, 4.72, 2.96, 3.64 so by most of the time you meant less than 50% 2009 ERA's were identical except for K and BABIP rates... when I thought Jackson had a higher K rate, I liked him, but when you're under 7, you have to be a pretty extreme groundball pitcher for me to have any interest. Jackson doesn't have the K rates that Dempster showed as a youngster, so I don't see a comparasion.

Since 2004 he's had two years with ERA's over four, and four years with ERA's under four - including his two years as a starter which account for the majority of his innings. There's no way to reasonably look at that six years of work and come up with "He has been a high 4's bullpen arm most of that time." That's either a flat out lie, or a gross misinterpretation of the facts.

Lie or misinterpretation of facts? 3.92 in 2004, bullpen arm off of TJS Pitched 20 FNing innings. 2005. had a career resurgence in the Bullpen and got a new 3 year contract 2006 1-9 4.80 era in the bullpen 2007 2-7 4.72 era in the bullpen 2008 career outlier that skews 2005-2007 2009 decent year, which was almost identical to what Edwin Jackson did. Except he did it in a much easier league.

Lie. You said, and I quote: <blockquote>He has been a high 4's bullpen arm most of that time. </blockquote>The "most of that time" referred to the time since 2004. Your "high 4's bullpen arm" wasn't a misinterpretation of facts. Actually, it wasn't an interpretation at all. It was a statement of fact that was blatantly untrue.

Also that Jackson and Dempster and very strong comps. --- Oh great. We can get Jackson for his "tommy john surgery" out of baseball years, then bring him back as a closer until he wants to be a starter at age 31. the comp is strong with you, i see, young jedi...

fwiw, Dempster shows up #6 on Jackson's comps with a trending downwards icon top 2 are Livan Hernandez and Steve Trachsel... top 4 for Dempster are M. Moore, D. Stieb, B. Witt, D. Stewart

top 4 for Dempster are M. Moore, D. Stieb, B. Witt, D. Stewart --- the fat guy who makes movies about Roger & George? oh wait, it's probably Melba Moore...yep, thought he threw like a girl.

So Jackson is a Dempster clone. I'll pass.

Hah, if Jackson was a Dempster clone, every GM in the game would be after him.

Like every GM has been after him his entire career? A 1.47 career whip is not good. It sucks. Just because he's had a couple acceptable years as a starter doesn't change the fact that he sucked Donkey Balls for 10 big league seasons before that. He's a Michael Barrett clone - likable when you hear him interviewed but a shitty player with little talent. He needs to go, instead Jimbo the Donut Bimbo gives him a 4 year, $52 million deal after a fluke career year. Hendry and Dempster can share a taxi to the airport.

<i>Like every GM has been after him his entire career?</i> Why don't people realize that recent years are more relevant than career stats? Dempster has been a different pitcher (read: much better) since moving back to the starting rotation two years ago. And Dempster has "little talent?" Seriously?

did dempster kick your dog? Top 20 in ERA last year (which technically makes him a #2 starter), had some rather legit personnel issues to begin the year as well. The last two years, he's pitched like a #1 or #2 starter and you think $12M a year is too much?

You were probably against the A's re-signing Dennis Eckersley after '87, huh? Here's a list of pitchers who have 6+ years of MLB experience (AKA reached free agency) and had a better ERA+ and a lower salary than Dempster last year: Javier Vazquez

Good point. That guy's team is trying to dump him. ;)

-If you indeed trade Milton for Burrell, then I move Soriano to RF and play Pat the Bat in LF. -Reed Johnson isn't really needed. Give Sam Fuld the 4th/5th OFer job. -Keep Jake Fox to back up 1b/3b/lf/rf -Absolutely look into trading Wells and a Tyler Colvin type prospect for Edwin Jackson -Offer Arbitration to Harden -Kick the tires on the Non-Tender, non-arbitration pitcher list

Burrell, Soriano, and Fukudome? Our pitchers numbers would look like hell at the end of the season.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/book-excerpt-evaluating-baseballs-managers-1876-2008-dusty-baker/#When:10:15:04Z don't have time to read it right now, but excerpt from "Evaluating Baseball Managers" on Dusty Baker...

That's an interesting read, Rob, thanks for the link.

No arb for Harden is official according to Kaplan. http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/david-kaplan-chicago-sports/2009/12/arbitration-decision-on-harden-coming-on-tuesday.html Somewhere, Theo Epstein is smiling.

"Rich Harden did a really good job for us. We wish him the best going forward. We just couldn't risk him accepting arbitration. Especially when we are working on substantial long term contracts with Marlon Byrd, Juan Uribe and Craig Counsell. You only have so much room in a payroll. Obviously you can't keep everybody." Jim Hendry

Juan Uribe and Craig Counsell? Long term? I hope this is not an actual quote. It's one year when we will likely need another starter to contend anyways. Counsell, Uribe, and Byrd will likely not be able to contribute as much as Harden even if he HAD accepted arbitration.

sarcasm on aaronb's part...

Sorry. Didn't catch that. Makes more sense now. Boy I feel stupid :).

lol. I was laughing at the docs comments, not sb's. Just to clarify.

I f'ing hate you right now, but only because this is something JH could actually say..... Well done



1. Not a bad idea though it will likely make little difference in the long run. 2. I don't think it would be a very good idea to trade everything away for Granderson. His only real plus to me is he is signed to a decent contract but everything else has been getting worse. He can't hit left handed pitchers and strikesout too much. His defense is good but he is not a guy who is going to change the cubs lineup and put them back into serious pennant contention so why give up the farm? 3. I'm not sold on Wells. But, I'm not sold on Jackson either. It's a toss-up for me here. 4. Pat Burrell is really the only market for Bradley right now. I would prefer just to have him on the roster again but that won't happen so Hendry needs to take what he can get. 5. Bring back Reed if the price is right. 6.This one is a no-brainer. I think everyone see it the same way EXCEPT Hendry. The back end of the rotation is going to be unpredictable without Harden... 7. Eh. Worth a shot. 8. Agreed. Need a veteran 4th or 5th starter though I could easily see Hendry leaving that alone. 9.The bullpen needs some help but its not a priority. The other holes need some work but if you can get some of those guys at a good price then can't go wrong. 10. I wouldn't mind. Still feel bad for the guy. I have accepted that the Cubs need some work. They had a window and they may have just missed it but they have a decent farm coming up and can still contend for the playoffs each year in a division where I cannot fathom the Cardinals being as good as they were last year.

One move missing from this list is the strategic move of hiring the mob to kidnap Aaron Miles and put him on an island in the middle pacific for the next two years. When he doesn't report for spring training, we can use his salary to pay an actual Major League player.

Kidnapping Aaron Miles proves hazardous to your health: http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/1360470,CST-SPT-cub04.article

Ouch..didn't know about that New Idea: send him a nice Christmas card and ask him not show up to Spring Training.

One thing you can get out of that article is that if his career stats hold true, he will not repeat last year. Hopefully.

Crossed out the E. Jackson section and updated that Harden, Gregg and Johnson will not be offered arbitration.

This thread could just as easily have been titled, Ten Moves Hendry Won't Make.

A terrible decision. Sigh. I guess i should be getting used to this..

FIRE HENDRY I think that's the first time, I've definitely said it. But I'm done with him. The Harden deal cinches it.

I'm guessing statements like, We couldn't risk Harden accepting arb, mean Ricketts' tight wallet had more to do with it than any grand planning by Hendry.

This site needs a hot chick of the day, like the British newspapers do, except with better teeth.

if the Tigers are inclined to move Granderson for prospects, I would think Barney or Lee Vitters Jackson, Cashner or Carpenter would get it done. They may also have interest in Castillo, Flaherty or Colvin as a replacement for one of those 3 or maybe tacked on instead of having to give up Jackson or Cashner. It's a steep price for a guy that should be a platoon player and they probably should hold on to their prospects, but besides Vitters, the Cubs are trading away mostly excess prospects.

Except there is no way they platoon Granderson if they give up all that to get him. It will be like Jack Jones 2006. Everyone but the Cubs will realize he should be platooned.

a strict platoon wouldn't happen, but a lot of strategic days off could go a long way. I'd also expect better numbers getting out of Comerica.

This continually goes to my point of the hopelessness that is the 'Hendry Administration'. Allegedly, the Tigers want to move Granderson and others to bring down salary. Admittedly on this board, Granderson can't hit LHP well enough to play everyday. Then why the hell give up possibly 3 of your Top 10 prospects for a platoon player? I don't care if they trade all the Top 10 prospects, but for heaven's sake, how about getting legitimate everyday players in return? This, again, begs an answer from Hendry -- 'What is your plan to reach the World Series?' Really, what can the Cubs do with $135M committed to these virtual roster locks: Z, Lilly, Dempster, Samardzija, Grabow, Guzman, Marmol, Marshall, Wells, Gorzelany, Soto, K. Hill, D. Lee, Theriot, A. Ramirez, Baker, Soriano, Fukudome, Bradley, and Miles. All you're going to do with Bradley is swap salary - no payroll $$ gains. No one is going to take Miles. OK, cut Baker, Fontenot and save $2-3M but then have who to take their place - J. Fox and A. Blanco? Hendry has $7-9M left to spend for 2010. Yeah, good luck with that. I fear 2010 is a write-off season with nothing approaching a workable salary situation until 2011 when D. Lee, Lilly, Samardzija, and Miles salary comes off the books.

Didn't get offered arbitration according to this guy: http://twitter.com/beckjason/status/6243888084 via mlbtraderumors For those of you have a hard-on for Polanco.

Anyone with a hard-on for Polanco must have some weird forehead fetish.

I wonder which Cub executive fed Van Dyck this line... <blockquote>Harden ($7million), reliever Kevin Gregg ($4.2 million) and outfielder Reed Johnson ($3 million) will play elsewhere next season. If they had been offered arbitration, they could have accepted and played next season for whatever an impartial arbitrator decided. The Cubs felt none of them was worth the almost-certain raise that would be coming.</blockquote> http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/12/cubs-wont-offer-arbitration-to-harden-gregg-johnson.html

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/3003 <blockquote>The other question I've been asked is why the Cubs didn't trade Harden to Minnesota after the Twins claimed him on waivers in August. From what I've been told, there would not have been much in the way of prospects coming back, and the Cubs weren't ready to quit on the season at that point.</blockquote> well that makes Hendry about 1/12 on prognosticating how 2009 would go... http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/12/121_arbitration_update.html <blockquote>New Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has said the payroll will only go up "slightly" in 2010, and the Cubs have to factor in raises to arbitration eligible players such as Marmol, Marshall, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, and Jeff Baker.</blockquote> by all means Cubs really need to make sure there's money for Fontenot, Baker and Theriot and let an actual talented player go... for everything that went right in 2008, it all went wrong in 2009.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2009/12/red_sox_owner_j.html <blockquote>Red Sox principal owner John Henry is calling for Major League Baseball's revenue sharing system to be overhauled and replaced with a "competitive balanced payroll tax" in an effort to create competitive balance in baseball.</blockquote> and Neyer's takedown of it... http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/1551/john-henry-argues-for-change

Valverde offered arbitration, Tejada, Hawkins were not...

Hudson and Wolf are free men, no arbitration offered...

that's going around this offseason...FLA and NYY also didn't offer arb to any of their FA's (LAD also didn't offer arb to any of their other FA's). dodgers must be hurting-for-loot/scared to not offer to wolf.

so far... Scutaro (A), Barajas, Pavano, Marquis, Betancourt(A), Rodney, Lyon, Valverde(A), R. Soriano (A), M. Gonzalez (A), Byrd, Bay (A), Wagner (A), Holliday (A), Pineiro, DeRosa, Zaun, Shouse, Figgins (A), Lackey (A) http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/2010-mlb-free-a.html

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/12/florida-governor-makes-pitch-to-woo-cubs.html <blockquote>"It's really about getting the best facility," Ricketts said. Kenney said if the move is made, the team likely would relocate its Class A Florida State League team from Daytona to the new stadium </blockquote>

"Tom Ricketts and president Crane Kenney were among those meeting with Christ" --- Jebus...ROFL. Now that's what I call pulling out all the stops to woo the team to Fla (is this gonna be a Crismas present?) too bad it's a typo... http://www.charliecrist.com/

Oh, c'mon! I just moved to Florida. Well, I guess that would give me a couple years to enjoy some Hi-A Cubs before they move.

Still Florida, just Naples instead of Daytona...

I just posted that comment to demonstrate that I don't actually read the articles linked to, I just respond based on what I think they are about. (I thought we were talking about the Cubs trying to get new facilities built in Arizona.) Reading is way too much work.

And on cue, Red Sox are interested in Hardin. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10357594/Latest-buzz-from-the-MLB-offseason

Tom Ricketts to do list: 1) buy Cubs before Thanksgiving (check) 2) meet with Christ before Christmas (check) 3) Acquire Roy Halladay before...

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/2009-12-01-3245947328_x.htm He also mentioned he'd prefer a team with playoff considerations. http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4702773&name=olney_buster&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fespn%2fblog%2findex%3fentryID%3d4702773%26name%3dolney_buster

Okay, Harden not offered arbitration. Not surprising (at least not to me), but the logical question now is: Why the f*** didn't Hendry trade Harden at the deadline for... well... anything? Anything would be better than nothing. It's not like Harden was going to be the Cub's key to a miracle comeback in September.

See Comment #55

Is it unreasonable to assume that the Cubs know more about Harden's physical condition than anyone else does and that they knew a trade was actually not feasible because of the physical exam that comes with all trades?

it was a waiver pick-up, they could have just let him go to the Twins for nothing and saved a $1M+. if his shoulder is really a problem, it'll show up when these teams are vetting him and then he will indeed get a deal for less than $10M(my arbitration guess) and just one year, if that happens, I'll give Hendry a break. My guess though is he gets a 2-yr deal at $15M with incentives...

it's worth mentioning that harden was actually healthy at the time and if he didn't break down end-of-season he might have been offered arb...i got nothing pointing to this, just seems like it'd be more of an option. it's kinda "under the bus" to defend that point from the cubs point of view, though...

fwiw, Miles says the Cubs knew by mid-season they weren't planning to offer him arbitration

Then it was doubly smart! Do you suppose they'll take the $1.5 million in wasted salary for Harden and Heilman out of Hendry's salary? Why did he put them up for waivers, anyway?

Random thought. I'm happy that Texas offered Byrd arb, right? That means we won't pay him a gajillion dollars to suck next year, right? Or does it mean he'll turn it down because he already knows we're going to... Come on Santa Rob, pleeeeeease??

My fear..... Marlon Byrd signs with us for 4/38 5 million in 2010 11 per year 011-13 Full no trade clause

Byrd was a Type B, doesn't cost the signing team any picks, Rangers just would get a supplemental pick, so doubt it matters much...

I guess my point/hope is that there will be peace and goodwill and happiness between Byrd and Texas for years to come....

Anyone see where Halladay gave Toronto an ultimatum to trade him before spring training, or he would veto any attempted deal thereafter? Olney reported it on Sportscenter. Sorry if it's old news. I hadn't heard it.

B Wagner to ATL pending physical tweets Robothal

we'll see how bad Gonzalez and Soriano want to be closers, otherwise Braves could have one very unexpected expensive bullpen if they both accept arbitration.

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  • Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
  • Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
  • No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
  • solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
  • Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
  • un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
  • Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.
  • Just about to type the same thing.....Augh!
  • 5 times in the last 3 games, Cubs have taken the lead or tied the game in the bottom half, only to give up runs in the top half.
  • <p>I'd like to see stats on opposing pitcher batting average. It's probably not real, but seems like we give up hits all the time to f-ing pitchers.&nbsp;</p>
  • Tony Four Sacks # 27
  • Hammel has k'd Votto twice. /baseball
  • Sore Ribs doesn't worry me too much. Getting a "precautionary MRI" has me assuming he is going to be out at least a few days, possibly more.
  • Maybe he got injured diving for the ball in LF? I really hope it's not code for a "strained oblique"....