Cubs Rumor Round-Up; Pineiro, Cameron, Sheets & More

Let's see here, Yankees get Curtis Granderson, Mariners add Figgins and Cliff Lee, Phillies swap Roy Halladay for Cliff Lee essentially, Red Sox add Lackey and Cameron so far and the Cubs are looking at Joel "4.4 K/9" Pineiro.

- Buster Olney is the one with the Cubs/Pineiro rumor from yesterday. Supposedly Piniero wants a four year deal worth more than $10M plus a season. Why am I afraid that didn't scare the Cubs off?

- Scratch Mike Cameron off the Cubs center field wish list, he's signing with the Red Sox for 2/15.5M to play left field of all places. I'm sure he'll get some time in center, but seems like a waste of his talent and value, which mostly comes from being an exceptional center fielder. That leaves Marlon Byrd, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel among the supposed center fielders the Cubs are interested in, with Byrd clearly being the front-runner.

- Juan Pierre returns to Chicago....the South Side that is, for 2 minor league arms(appear to be John Ely and Jon Link) and the Dodgers paying around $10M of the $18.5M he has left on his deal.

- According to Rosenthal, the Yankees are quite interested in Ben Sheets, but are in no rush to sign him.

- It seems like half the league is in on Matt Capps, with at least 3 teams willing to offer him a closer role. Considering Capps wants $3-$4M, plus a multi-year deal, I doubt the Cubs will land him, especially since it sounds like he'll be able to close somewhere else.

- I'm still trying to grasp this 3-team blockbuster deal. I believe it's Roy Halladay and $6M to the Phillies who send Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Travis D'Arnaud to the Blue Jays. The Phillies then send Cliff Lee to the Mariners and get Phillipe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez from the Mariners and are not sending any of those players to Toronto. The Blue Jays are then sending Michael Taylor to the A's for Brett Wallace. So essentially it's just three separate deals and one in which the Phillies make out like bandits. They basically got from the Mariners what they gave up for Halladay (albeit slightly inferior talent) and the Phils get $6M to pay Halladay.

- The Florida group had a party last night to raise money for their continued efforts to lure the Cubs.

- The Cubs were in attendance along with 14 other teams for Aroldis Chapman's throwing session today in Houston. The 21-year old lefty topped out at 96mph and threw a few sliders and change-ups.

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Comments

Rosenthal and Buddy say the Cubs are stepping up their pursuit of 4th outfielder Byrd.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10509588/B...

thanks.

the opposite of what my response would have been

Lot of miles on Halladay's arm.

yeah, he should quit....

glad the Cubs are in on Pineiro instead...

I would prefer Lee right now in the long run.

MHO

Halladay has been better over the last two years and the log run, as Rob mentions below is probably three years shorter with Halladay.

HOF does a profile a day on each eligible player, Dawson's turn

http://community.baseballhall.org/Page.aspx?p...

think he already turned that down....

yankees aren't going to sign him...that's his #1 destination and his dad's #1 destination.

might as well take all the loot you can snag.

What.....the Cardinals 1st born wasn't enough? He wants Pujols number?? A statue next to Lou Brock's? WTF?

I think they believe they can get Teixeria money..

Who does he think he is? Soriano?

addendum to the post about his workout today...

Rob G--

Loads of Phillies fans unhappy about the trade. I'd love to know more of your thoughts on this.

The majority here in Philadelphia is a little anxious about the prospects given up-- Drabek, Taylor, and D'arnaud are the Phillies equivalents of, say, Cashner, Vitters, and Welington Castillo, (but Drabek and Taylor are further along and Taylor's batting perhiperals project him to be a WAY better hitter than Vitters).

And Cliff Lee was a beast for Philly this past year and Hallady seems to offer only a modest upgrade at Staff Ace. Most of us in Philly wanted both Halladay and Lee at the same time and are feeling burned by this move. Right now there are a lot of Phillies fans who are looking at what they lost (Lee and three of their top prospects) and not fully seeing what they've gained yet in Halladay.

But I suspect once the season starts and Big Roy starts mowing people down for the next three years, Philly fans will forgive Amaro for this one.

Halladay >>> Lee

got all the prospects back from the Mariners that they dealt...yeah, not quite as good, but Halladay is a much better pitcher than Lee and was willing to sign an extension which Lee wasn't.

Halladay was made for that park, get him off the turf and the NL East and he could go on a Maddux/Johnson Cy Young run in the NL, especially with the Phillies offense supporting his win totals.

I think Lee will do great, especially in Seattle, but he's no Halladay.

Halladay and Lee sure would be great, but I read they couldn't afford both this year as they spent a little too much last year.

They also got $6M from Blue Jays to cover the difference between Lee and Halladay in '10.

I'll also add that I'm a big fan of Cole Hamels and expect him to bounce back next year if he's not on the DL after all the innings he's thrown.

from the AP...

"MESA, Ariz. — As Mesa continues efforts to keep the Chicago Cubs, the city is prepared to spend up to $750,000 for new batting cages at the team’s spring training complex at Fitch Park."

This news was in an article from a newspaper in Mesa and the story made it sound like the Cubs and the City of Mesa had been fighting over this for the past couple of years. The story didnm't use those words, but that's what it sounded like.

Az Phil, do you know anthing about this? Have the Cubs and Mesa been fighting over money in recent years?

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/148423

they claim they spend about that much a year on renovations to the facilities as is and the batting cages were in discussion before the Ricketts even took over...

but yeah, did sound like something the Cubs have wanted for awhile...

Philly made the deal because Lee is probably going to be asking for Sabathia money. Holliday they can keep under control for much longer.

All Philly did was swap Lee for Holliday and switch around some highly regarded prospects. What they gained was knowledge of their payroll in the future and still have some talented prospects and a staff ace. Peace of mind in essence.

Halladay not Holliday...

You know who i am talking about Rob? Good go internets.....

we already had that confusion earlier in the week, just nipping it in the bud...

plus I'm annoyed when people can't spell good players names right...odd pet peeve of mine.

Next McGuire or Woods I see gets sent to BCB

Knowing the Cubs, they will probably announce the Bradley trade (yes, it will happen) and the Byrd signing (shudder) at the same time, so as to deflect some of the attention away from the money they will eat to get rid of Bradley.

The best way to deliver bad news is to dilute it with other news, even if the other news is highly questionable itself.

I'm betting Thursday.

I'll take the part of the bet for the Bradley trade happening by Thursday.

$20M a year extension for 3 years with 4th year vesting option..

Lackey get 5/82.5M, same as Burnett supposedly...

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/12/...

According to Paul Sullivan, Byrd is now the preference, but Crisp is also on the radar, moreso because the White Sox are out of that market.

I'd rather see Sam Fuld and Colvin in CF at this point...

I agree. What's the point in spending a lot of money and potentially giving a multi-year deal to a retread when guys already on the team (and making a lot less money) can provide about the same production? Byrd, Ankiel and Crisp are not the kind of guys you bring in to make a difference. They're bit players.

i was kind of kidding around, I mean Colvin has a good chance to get eaten alive in the majors and Fuld is the Ryan Theriot of the outfield with better defense, but I just don't want to give any of those guys more than a few million a year.

Byrd is possibly reasonable at around 2/$10M because even if he struggles as a starter, he's a good 4th OF/platoon option.

Interesting, to me, about Byrd is that for some reason I was assuming he hit lefties very well. Oops. Given that he hits righties better, I would think he'd be the starting CF with Fukudome moving back to RF.

EDIT: Missed the part about "struggling as a starter." If he struggles, I wonder what Plan B is.

http://thecubreporter.com/2009/11/11/cubs-pot...

his l/r splits aren't too pronounced the last 3 years, actually has more power versus lefties, but gives up 30 some pts in batting average, which could just be sample size and BABIP rather than some inability to hit the south-paws.

the home/road splits are terrifying though...

I wouldn't build a team around Fuld/Colvin, but I'd rather give them a chance than overspend for a Byrd/Ankiel/Crisp. In fact, considering the deal the White Sox made for Pierre, I think I would rather he was in CF than signing any of those guys. Does that make me nuts?

I can't agree with lumping those guys together like that. If Ankiel hits 30 HR's that certainly would be a difference maker, and Crisp has shown some interesting skills that could translate well to leadoff, a position we're lacking in.

Byrd is a really nice fourth outfielder. That's something you pay like $2.5 million for, not something you count on as a starter.

Depending on length of the deal, I wouldn't offer any of them more than $4 million. They all have big questions.

Neal -- You're correct, Byrd/Ankiel/Crisp are not interchangeable, but I still don't think any of them are the type of guy you bring in to upgrade your team.

As you said, Byrd is a 4th OFer, and from what I've read, Ankiel is going to be far too expensive (Boras is his agent, plus I'm not sure he is really a starter on a contending team). I don't like Crisp, but I guess there is an argument to be made for him.

milton bradley would be a good upgrade over all of them...oh wait, nevermind.

we pay superstar managers 3-4m a year for what now?

Muskat weighs in...Podsednik and Reed Johnson still in the picture.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091...

pods as a cub would be funny for about 10,000 different reasons.

can't believe it's even being discussed...especially as a replacement for milton.

...and of course there's a panic post by a fan who thinks getting rid of milton equals winning for some reason. some fans have a very weird relationship with milton and his impact on the cubs.

please get rid of someone and pick up an inferior talent so we can win! =p

I don't know what the commenter meant, but I took it to mean that the Cubs need to hurry up and trade Bradley so Hendry can start addressing the team's other needs. At least that's the way I read it.

I'm definitely not for dumping Bradley for a team's overpaid total stiff (like Silva), but there was something to the notion of bad juju in the clubhouse last year. I believe that stuff like bad juju can affect winning and losing, but Milton's poor attitude was one of many factors that snowballed into a crap season last year. If only dumping MB would guarantee 95 wins again!

unless Rudy Jamarillo's batting practice bat is a pez dispenser of 'roids, I'm not anticipating the 30 HR Ankiel season or even the 15 one...

650 PA's for Ankiel, at his career average is gives you 28 HR's.

color me skeptical that he wasn't roided up and a flash in the pan...

Well, you're still allowed to take HGH, so that's not a concern.

Unless Byrd signs for the league minimum, I can't find the upside of anything he'd get paid.

on a minor league deal, part of Johan trade.

J.J. Hardy, Jon Rauch, and Deolis Guerra to show for Johan...not their best move.

they waited too long to trade him...his weight and price tag really drove a wedge between him and teams who wanted to give him a big-year deal.

If they had kept him they'd have two draft picks. At least in Hardy they've got someone who's a legitimate MLB starter.

you forgot the best player they got in the deal, Kevin Slowey.

was drafted by the Twins, Kevin Mulvey was part of the trade for Johan and was the PTBNL for Jon Rauch and is now a D'Back...

doh.

Now it's starting to look like the Cubs are going to lose out on Ryota Igarashi. Damn you, Hendry. Get off your fat butt and do something...

lose out implies they were interested?

Rob -- It was a joke, and the reason it was funny is because not only did the Cubs not have an interest, but...oh, never mind

missed the sarcasm on that one...

/sulks off

Ryota Igarashi... the one that got away.

And it doesn't matter too much if they miss out... I heard a deal involving Milton Bradley is imminent.

"one that got away"...you'll hear that a lot when he demonstrates his control.

-edit-

found a good video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvwEoV0YVjE&NR

1- he throws mid-90s+, but there's not a lot of movement. he does have a high 80s sinker/slider thing that doesn't do much sinking or sliding compared to a MLB-calibre version, though.

2- a couple things jump out at me besides that...he has a hitch in his delivery similar to DMat in BOS, which shouldn't be a huge issues since he'd be relieving...and he drops his arm very low before delivering pretty much giving the batter a good look at what grip he has on the ball.

i dunno how much this level of quality will translate to MLB or how many people can fool at the MLB level. a 95+mph pitcher isn't something you see everyday over there...or a guy who's offspeed pitch is as fast as many people's fastball.

Never heard of him

found this on twitter...

According to Bill James Online, when Juan Pierre led off an inning, Dodgers avgd .52 R/inn. When anyone else led off, .53 R/inn.

"anyone else" sounds like a hell of a player. what about when pierre leads off an inning at home when the humidity is below 60% and it's after 8pm on a tuesday?

runs? really?

fun, but pointless. it's the offseason for everyone.

i wonder what the wsox want with a slowing and never-had-power pierre, anyway. if he at least had an arm that would let him cover anything but LF it'd make a little more sense.

I'd still take 2 years of Pierre at 3M and 5M v. Byrd at 3/16... As Hendry ALWAYS seems to overpay AND give up that third year (Remlinger, Eyre, Howry, Hawkins, Milton etc..)Byrd will be no different.

According to Bill James Online, when Juan Pierre led off an inning, Dodgers avgd .52 R/inn. When anyone else led off, .53 R/inn.

A couple of things out of skew with the James quote. First, it answers the wrong question: how many runs do you score when Pierre leads off, versus other hitters? The question should be, how often do you score at least one run when Pierre leads off, versus the others?

In other words, a leadoff-type hitter is not responsible for putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard. That's the job of the 3-4-5-6 hitters. He is responsible for putting "1" on the board. James is giving credit for all the runs to whoever leads off a multi-run inning.

Second, Pierre only started when the team's top slugger was stuck on the bench. Manny didn't get many chances to drive him in.

If you divide runs scored by plate appearances, Pierre (.134) was sixth on the team, behind Blake (.149), Kemp (.145), Ramirez (.144), Furcal (.135) and Ethier (.134), although he's just a tad behind Furcal and Ethier. Trailing Pierre at some distance are Hudson (.117), Loney (.112) and Martin (.107). Career-wise, Pierre's number (.133) is better than anyone's except those of Kemp (.148) and Ramirez (.160!).

So how did Casey Blake score 84 runs last year? It probably helped that he often batted ahead of Kemp (101 RBI) and Loney (90 RBI). Pierre usually batted ahead of Furcal (47 RBI) and Ethier (tops on the team with 106 RBI).

The Dodgers were fourth in NL runs last season and had run producers spread throughout the lineup, not bunched in the middle.

I love how you vaciliate between things that make sense and things that don't.

In other words, a leadoff-type hitter is not responsible for putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard. That's the job of the 3-4-5-6 hitters.

If the 4 and 5 hitters don't come up to the plate, they can't contribute to any type of inning, which is the point of having a bad OBP leading off.

Second, Pierre only started when the team's top slugger was stuck on the bench. Manny didn't get many chances to drive him in.

Correct.

Pierre (.134) was sixth on the team

Even though by your own admission, he was in the ideal place to score runs...

So how did Casey Blake score 84 runs last year? It probably helped that he often batted ahead of Kemp (101 RBI) and Loney (90 RBI). Pierre usually batted ahead of Furcal (47 RBI) and Ethier (tops on the team with 106 RBI

Would the number of HR's that the two hitters hit have anything to do with it? Also, isn't the idea that Pierre's speed makes him a leadoff hitter? He is suppossed to be getting into scoring position with his blazing speed where Furcal can drive him in. You're implying it's Furcal's fault for having few RBI's, but why isn't it Pierre's fault that Furcal has few RBI's?

first, it's from Bill James Online, so I assume it's just a stat they grabbed from his site as he has some intriguing ones you can't find anywhere else, I dont' know and don't think it actually came from him.

Second, it's just a small fact, one in which irrefutably states that the Dodgers were in no way better off over the long term in 2009 when Juan Pierre led off an inning.

that is all it says...

on a grander scale, Juan Pierre and his ilk (middling OBP guys with great speed) have been proven over and over to be overrated. Now those years when they actually have good OBP's they are a dynamic force on the field, but it's far too inconsistent to rely on...

What Bill James' figures show is Juan Pierre needs his entire skill set just to approach mediocrity.

For whatever reasons (no power being the most glaring one), JP is a below average run scorer. He had a good year last year and still only scored 1 run/7 PA's. Do the math, that meant he needed 700 PAs to score 100 runs. Then look at his career average stats, he averages only 91 runs scored per 688 PA's -- 162 games. Not exactly what you're looking from your leadoff man.

The average leadoff man last year scored 105 runs/162 games. The Dodgers scored 118!

Last year Arizona #1 hitters scored 91 runs like Juan Pierre has averaged per 162 games over his career. That ranked them 28th in major league baseball!

And that brings up the other problem with Pierre. He expects to play every game. All 162.

it's runs...it shows nothing. you need help to cash in a run. if a runner is on 2nd and manny is at bat about to smack a long single you want pierre or furcal on 2nd, not casey blake.

it's just a factoid.

Ellsbury led off for the Red Sox, had 691 PA's, hit .300, stole 70 bases and still didn't score 100 runs. So your syllogism may have a bad premise.

Isn't that the same team, by the way, that pays James a consulting fee?

Stats are manipulable, and stat-heads don't like speed. I think it's more psychological than mathematical. Something to do with why kids prefer Superman to The Flash.

GMs have grown up a little, compared to stat-heads.

"Stats are manipulable, and stat-heads don't like speed."

Statheads love Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson. Back to the drawing board for VAPhil.

"Something to do with why kids prefer Superman to The Flash."

Talk about a faulty syllogism! Kids have every reason to prefer Superman. His speed is equal to the Flash's, plus he has all those other cool powers, like homerun power and a high OBP. The Flash is a clubhouse cancer with poor on-base skills.

Okay, The Hulk versus The Flash. The Hulk would have a high OBP, like Adam Dunn, because pitchers know he's going to die on base anyway, so may as well walk him.

"Okay, The Hulk versus The Flash. The Hulk would have a high OBP, like Adam Dunn, because pitchers know he's going to die on base anyway, so may as well walk him."

I don't think pitchers walk slow power hitters more than speedy slap hitter because they know they are too slow to score. I think they walk them because the are worried about giving up the long ball.

Plus the Hulk is really fast when he wants to be.

Come to your senses man. In this case, the figures don't lie. Runs is a counting stat. Pierre is a terrible leadoff man who has a long track record of not scoring runs.

As for Ellsbury, he was actually just mediocre from the first spot this season. He may do better in the future since he's young and not underskilled like Pierre but this is what he put up leading off an inning in 2009----.264 .316 .405 .721 Pretty underwhelming.

But, more importantly, he was the leadoff man in only 117 games not 162. He scored 75 runs when starting as the number 1 hitter. That prorates to 104 runs scored if he had started every game. Coincidentally, 104 runs is what he prorates to in a 162 game season for his career as well! Compare that to Pierre's average of 91.

o_O

It does help to have these speed guys when they're young. (See Soriano, Alfonso.) His first four full seasons, Pierre scored 100 runs three times. At that point (the end of his league-age 26 season) he averaged 102 runs per 162 games.

The problem with Pierre is not his leadoff ability, but the fact that he doesn't have a centerfielder's arm. The speed positions are second, short and center. You can get a higher OBP guy for those positions, but usually he'll hurt you on defense.

"You can get a higher OBP guy for those positions, but usually he'll hurt you on defense."

OBP and speed are not mutually exclusive. To be a good leadoff hitter, getting on base is the #1 factor. Speed is #2 and working the pitch counts is #3, but that usually goes hand-in-hand with #1.

I know you're not listening but 100 runs is below average. Pierre has scored more than 100 runs only once in his entire career. Just terrible.

The average leadoff man last season:

AL 107 Runs
NL 102 Runs
MLB 105 Runs

Worst performance by leadoff men. Mets:88 Runs

What the NL average composite leadoff man did last year Vs Pierre's career averages per 162 games:

102R 186H 36doubles 8triples 12HR 59RBI
91R 188H 22doubles 9triples 1HR 44RBI

So, a mediocre leadoff man, not a good one, totals up ~ 70 more extra bases than Pierre does. Maybe if JP could steal 100 bases every year and not get caught stealing he could make up for it.

Note that Pierre's 11 run deficit in Runs scored (and his RBI deficit as well for that matter) corresponds directly with his home run deficit of 11. All his base stealing does is make up for his lack of doubles power, not his lack of home runs.

I'm certainly listening and I think your numbers are interesting. I did notice that you didn't provide SBs for your composite NL leadoff man.

I know Pierre doesn't hit home runs. When I look at the league leaders in stolen bases, the two at the top are Bourn and Morgan, who don't hit homers and didn't score 100 runs. (Morgan was injured, and his runs do extrapolate to exactly 100 in 162 games.) Are they as good as Kemp and Hanley Ramirez and Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson? No, of course not, but they are serviceable leadoff men, as is (was?) Juan Pierre.

Here's where I'm coming from. Only a guy who steals bases can start an inning with a scratch hit and ultimately score without a walk or a hit behind him. Starting from first base, the slower guys on the Cubs need a combination of at least two walks/hits behind them to score. It's not surprising that the Cubs have a big inning, and then go cold for long stretches. It's not surprising that a game seems lost when the Cubs are down by a run against good pitching in the 7th inning. These are characteristics of teams that lack speed.

Here's a statistical question, maybe you can point me to the answer. I know that power-hitting teams score more runs than speed teams. But who scores runs in more innings? Sometimes you just need one lousy run to keep the thing alive.

"I know that power-hitting teams score more runs than speed teams. But who scores runs in more innings? Sometimes you just need one lousy run to keep the thing alive."

If all we are looking for is a player who can help us score one run for those limited times when a team only needs one run, it sounds like speed guys (with limited other skills) are best suited to pinch hitting or better yet a pinch running.

Kenny is making 'ol Jimbo look real bad lately... hopefully Ricketts is taking notice as to what a loser Hendry really is.

First, Kenny swoops in and swipes Peavy right from under Hendry's nose. (even though it was shot down initially)

He lands JJ Putz before the Cubs even look at him and deals for Teahan.

Most importantly, every time Hendry has an eye on somebody, he calls the fucking beat reporters and leaks it to the web for scrutiny and it seems to drive the prices or the FA/trade candidate. Kenny, on the other hand, doesn't leak shit, flys in under the radar, and completes his mission. And it always seems to be the move the Cubs were "supposed" to make.

Hendry has fucked this team from behind for too long and his fat ass can't even give us the courtesy of a reach around. Wake me when this nightmare is over...

putz? teahan? news leaking conspiracies?

meh...

...well running around the winter meetings proclaiming Milton WILL be dealt! obviously didn't recruit many buyers. All it really did was scare off a couple prospectives probably cost him to eat a few more million.

No reach around? Burn in hell, Jim

you're upset the Cubs didn't trade their best prospects for an injured Peavy, and didn't get Jones, Teahan, Putz, Pierre or get saddled with Rios's contract?

yeah, Williams, he's a sly one...

Regarding CF, I'm tempted to root a little for an Ankiel signing for a few reasons.

1. None of the other options make me wet my pants
2. If he reaches the potential he had when he came up for the second time it would be a blast to watch him beat up on the Deadbirds
3. He's got a cannon arm and no matter where the ball was hit in the OF third base coaches would pretty much have to bring a stop sign to work.
4. If he, as Real Neal predicts (just kidding RN), hits 30 homers for the first time in his career, it would add some much needed power to the OF.
5. The new superstar batting coach should add about 70 or 80 points to his OPS. No, really. No, not really, but we all know that Jaramillo will improve everyone's hitting to the point where Ankiel will just be another cog in the Big Blue Machine and all that batting luster will rub off on him in ways we can't predict yet.
6. Oh, and he's white. So if he sucks and he starts getting booed and having beer tossed on his head Milton can finally get some therapy. Hopefully The MB therapist will give Milton a Todd Hundley baseball card.

If you look at his statistics, though, he also shows promise of being pretty miserable as a hitter out there, with an under .700 OPS last year and 99 strikeouts in 372 at bats. But his previous two years were pretty good. Not the 1.xxx that I want my right fielder to have, but not bad.

In other words, he regressed quite a bit last year and his prior reputation and some of that decent OPS from the two years before may have been built on a couple of hot months. I sort of seem to remember a couple insanely good months from him that skewed his numbers some but I could be wrong.

So it's a shot in the dark, really, and just a fun hunch on my part.

Coco Crisp sort of interests me, too, if we're not interested at all in power.

I have a feeling Rickey Henderson is still probably playing baseball in some netherland, too. Did you guys know he was born on Christmas? That's cool. I just saw that while screwing around looking for okay leadoff hitters.

Also, if you've been elected to the Hall of Fame, can you come back and play a year for the Cubs?

My last option for CF is Fukodome, with Milton in right. Unlike most here I've always kinda had some sympathy for Milton. I don't remember the details but I think his family history wasn't too good, and I honestly don't need to google it because HIS PARENTS NAMED HIM MILTON!!! WTF was wrong with those people?

Bradley. Milton Bradley. Even if his parents didn't beat him, I bet it was tough to get a girl to take him seriously before he got famous.

So as a third option, I say re-sign the fucker and the Ricketts can hire a blue wall of Chicago Cops to stand in front of the beer throwers just behind the basket and hire Dr. Phil to talk to him after each game.

Sorry for so many comments and long ones at that. I spend a lot of time reading and not much time arguing. I love to argue but time doesn't work so well for me for that, and, besides, my baseball knowledge is about 1/10th of most of you dudes.

I love it, I do the same thing sometimes......

And I was thinking some of the same things about CF. Wait out Ankiel for a bit, let the price drop some, sign him for 2/3 yrs., preferably incentive laden and not ungodly expensive... Re-sign Reed Johnson to platoon/fill in, again if we can pull off the cost. I'd take a Johnson/Ankiel (or just RJ if Ankiel blows) platoon in CF for the price of Cameron. Or we could just sign Cameron......

Oh, wait. Fuck you Jim Hendry.

I am too old to get emotional about it. I really defer to these (you) guys to figure this all out. I am hoping Ricketts does too.

If he is a fan he will, but if he's over his head, we are so fucked

I sorta liked the "Fuck you Jim Hendry." bit

He totally deserved riding on the Aramis and Lee trades. Those were nice.

But, umm, those were like 30 centuries ago? We're talking Roman times.

As the dudes I hung out with on the south side would say (and I got punched in the face a lot btw). Eat me.

Maybe Hendry is looking at how he keeps grabbing guys early in the off-season, then sees better deals on players late and has realized that he doesn't have to spend all his money by December 1st.

Or maybe Hendry's hands will be tied with the Bradley deal all off-season and he'll be forced to take the last CF'er on the market who will be so desperate that he'll accept a cheap deal.

Bingo.

Unfortunately, that is it for 2010.

"Rhodes Scholar Hendry" almost cannot give MB away, which is being demonstrated as the single most costly stupid-ass mistake of his Cubs career.

He has no recourse except to just wait...and wait.

And, I will be back to buy tickets once more.

What a fool.

"cannot give MB away"

Sorry, E-Man, I can't let that pass.

Why hasn't it sunk in (not referring to you, specifically, but to fans in general) that you're peddling a contract, not a player?

Of course they can't give a two-year, $21 million contract for Bradley away, because whoever accepts the hot potato has to pay the money!

In principle, any time you outbid other teams for a player, you end up with a contract that you can't give away, for the time being at least. Obviously, the Bradley deal is much worse than normal.

This isn't actually correct. There are plenty of FA contracts that can be traded and you get value back. Ever heard of Mark DeRosa?

However, this often does happen, but it doesn't mean that you won't necessarily at some point be able to trade Bradley and get prospects back. A good recent of example of that is Manny Ramirez who was put on waivers at least once, but I think twice during his Boston days and no one claimed him - but when he reached the end of the contract he had some value.

It's a function of performance, salary and years remaining on the contract. You can't just make the blanket statement "all free agent contracts have negative value".

Although you'd like to believe the former, just because it shows enlightenment, I'm terrified it's the latter....

But I'm sure if MByrd has to get overpaid, Jimbo'll put down the donuts long enough to do it.

Incidentally about the whole Bradley/hands tied thing. I read somewhere (I believe it was Muskrat) that Ricketts and Hendry specifically worked out that they allowed him to go over budget short-term as long as he fixed it by opening day.

I think the point was that MB shouldn't hamstring him from FAs or other deals...

PErhaps that is correct. We will see soon enough (or maybe...not that soon).

I don't think that bit about Hendry not having his hands tied makes any sense.

If the best offer he has gotten was to take Burrell and pay $7 million of Bradley's '11 salary - how can he guarantee that after he signs Byrd (ugh), creating less leverage for himself. that he will be able to unload more of Bradley's salary later in the off-season? To me it's the exact opposite. The only way he could definitively say that is by throwing in prospects to the Bradley deal to make the other team pay more of his salary?

Won't take Bradley? OK, what about Bradley, Vitters and Jackson?

at some point it's gotta be worth keeping him.

bradley is weird and volatile, but he's not stupid and his on-field contributions aren't the biggest issues the cubs have.

that said, i wonder if hendry has some fantasy where he can shift bradley, sign someone new for OF, and somehow offset enough loot out of that to help him sign that "other reliever" or starter he seems to want. who knows...meh.

You may have discovered the Secret, crunch, but I recommend you stick to those DVDs that are going around.

Agreed. I think I'm at the point of just keeping him. If I'm Ricketts I have MB, Lou, AND Jimbo sit down and have a long talk. I tell them to work it out and get back to business.

Of course, the problem is more the fans. Fucking Cubs fans.

milton needs to learn to deal with the fan's crap...thing is he's never been able to without a lot of work from others patting him on the head and telling him he's going to be just fine.

I say keep Milton and let it ride. Maybe Lou could talk to some of his previous managers that he got along with. I know he had a good relationship with Ron Washington (who I like as a manager). I'm sure there are others that managed to deal with him well enough.

Then the question changes from "does Lou know what to do with Milton?" to "will Lou do what it takes to manage Milton?"

For all the credit Lou gets as a manager, I don't think he can do what it takes. He seems to have such a short fuse with players that once you fuck it up, it's over. Weurtz, Eyre, there are others. I don't know exactly what that says about Lou except he's lost the drive to be the best. He seems to go to his known bag of tricks (kick dirt, get kicked out) and if that doesn't work, call out the players.

If I recall correctly, Lou is the one who very publicly called Bradley a piece of feces.

Lou may have been 100% correct in his assessment, but to suggest that Old School Lou and Hyper-Sensitive Milton can sit down and reconcile this broken relationship is the stuff of fantasyland.

Milton and the Cubs are done. The only question that remains is how expensive the divorce is going to be.

If that's true, why should Milton be the one to go instead of Lou?

Because Lou is 5% of the problem and Milton is the other 95%. MIlton is also sitting on a guaranteed $21 million and has zero motivation to change his act.

Bringing him back would be catastrophic. The tension in the clubhouse would be so thick you could cut it with a knife, and the Chicago media would have a field day. Every day, everyone in the organization would be walking on eggshells, waiting for the inevitable explosion.

Like it or not, keeping Bradley is by the worst of all available options. Because the distraction level would be so high that it would prevent the other 24 players from focusing on their individual and team perfomance.

Signing Milton was a risky proposition, and it has blown up badly. Cut your losses as best you can and move on before any further damage is done.

Exagerate much?

Nope, just painting a picture.

I think Jimbo has himself in a bind. As long as there are options out there better and cheaper than MB, then why would another GM trade for him? I think the only chance of trading MB, and it is slim, would be before spring training when another team in the midst of a bad offseason might have to go with their plan C or D. By that time there will be no way to get an upgrade in the OF.

I think this is the only way to rebuild MB's trade value.

1) Tell Lou his only chance to be rid of Milton is to get him to produce in the first half
2) Tell Milton that you're calling off all the trade talk and that he's a Cub again
3) Tell Milton that if he really wants to win or just be somewhere else he's going to have to keep his outbursts under control (out of public eye, less severe, etc)
4) Find some players who will be his friend (Lee would be the obvious choice)
5) Get Jaramillo to be a mentor to Milton. The two had success in Texas and he seems to have the authority and patience to offer it to Milton
6) Tell Lou to let the guy out of his doghouse if all of the above produces some results

And if all that works, who knows, maybe we would just decide to keep him....
nah, fuck that, trade the SOB when his values up and go back to being a normal clubhouse.

Submitted by Sweet Lou on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 2:27pm.
This news was in an article from a newspaper in Mesa and the story made it sound like the Cubs and the City of Mesa had been fighting over this for the past couple of years. The story didnm't use those words, but that's what it sounded like.

Az Phil, do you know anthing about this? Have the Cubs and Mesa been fighting over money in recent years?

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

SWEET LOU: The Cubs have had some issues with the City of Mesa regarding facilities over the past few years. Batting cages are just one of the issues.

Because of the relationship Pat Patterson & the HoHoKams (Mesa politicians and business owners) have had with Cubs ownership over the decades, the City of Mesa has had a tendency to take it for granted that the Cubs would stay in Mesa forever, so they have not been partuclarly responsive to complaints about seemingly minor things like batting cages. Now they're scrambling.

I still think the Cubs will end up at Wild Horse Pass (Gila River Indian Reservation). The location is ideal (intersection of the I-10 and Loop 202 freeways), the Tribe has boat-loads of casino money to spend, and the Cubs would have more control over facilities, security, parking, concessions, et al there than they have had with the City of Mesa and the HoHoKams.

There are still large tracts of open land on the res, and so it could easily be turned into a virtual "CubsTown" with all the extra stuff Ricketts apparently wants at a Cubs Spring Training site.

Thanks, Phil! I had heard rumors that for the past few years, Mesa has taken the Cubs for granted. They seemed to love the money the team brought into the community, but didn't want to part with it to upgrade things for the Cubs. It's pretty bad when the team has to fight for "a couple of years" to get the city to spend a little money on them.

Don't be suprised if Jermaine Dye becomes a Cub.

I think Dye has been branded not fit to play the field anymore by most of the league, I'm not too worried he'll be joining the Cubs.

He's pretty much looking for a DH job with Vlad.

I agree.

BUT...

Dye has said he will not sign to be a DH.

So the scenerio is Dye is around until late January, Cubs finally get rid of Bradley, you fill in the rest

don't worry, Scott Podsednik will still be around to sign

Yeah him too.

/puts gun to his head

I would like Dye's bat, but that doesn't solve the CF problem resulting in a below average OF defense. I just looked up Marlon Byrd on Baseball Reference and the most comparable player is Reed Johnson! With Cameron gone, I would hope for Ankiel, because at least he has some possibility of a big upside, i.e., 30 HR's.

With Dye they would move Fuku to CF.

Not advocating for the corpse of Dye to play for Cubs, but that would fit the Hendry type.

Yuck.

If Hendry is up to something, he is tight lipped about it, which he should be. Look at how many incorrect quotes from sports writers and bloggers that TCR'ers have brought to this forum. The business needs to be behind closed doors because they are talking millions of dollars of fans' money and support. This makes for a lot of speculation and frustration, but Hendry is dealing with men, checking with Lou and Tom and thank the good Lord he's not consulting Muscrat and the like. All this shooting Hendry in the backside is doing is making Cards fans very smug. This after 3 winning seasons and 2 divisional titles. Relax. Can't wait for ST to start!

The business needs to be behind closed doors because they are talking millions of dollars of fans' money and support.

Can you elaborate on that sentence? I would think the exact opposite, unless of course this is just sarcasm I am missing, in which case NM.

"Behind closed doors" as opposed to an open debate in the media. You see what a frenzy this off season has caused because of the Nothing. One little word about the Something, and the Nothing becomes Everything, yet is actually the Neverending Story. Isn't this fun?

The strange thing, in my opinion, is we have not heard a peep from the "bad boy" himself. In this day of Reedblogging, etc., MB is being very good and very quiet, at least according to my sources.

I suspect that his agents have told him to keep his mouth shut if he wants out of Chicago. Hendry has enlisted the agents (Levinsons?)to help facilitate a deal.

It's not like Bradley is a publicity hound. He doesn't want to give interviews and people whine. He gives interviews and says what he thinks and everybody gets upset. Here's an idea, if you don't want him to tell the media what he thinks - don't have him do interviews.

Not saying that I see a better option out there right now, but these murmurs of Ankiel possibly throwing up 30 HR's is a pipe dream. He's obviously got a cannon and is super athletic, so it'd be great to see him out there defensively. But last year he struck out 99 times versus just 26 walks. That's horrific.

I've pretty much joined the 'just keep MB' club by now, seeing as his trade value can't possibly get any lower and the parts we'd get for moving him certainly aren't holding us back from a WS.

But...but...we have RUDY now, kmokeefe!

He is the "Dave Duncan" of hitting prowess!

Rudy's the Rod Marinelli of baseball!

Oh, wait...

HAHA
LOL

"they are talking millions of dollars of fans' money..."

I hate to put too fine a point on this, but it's important to remember that it's not the "fan's" money. True, the fans buy tckets, concessions, etc., but that's like saying that if you shop at and support your local hardware store, then the money the store spends is your money. It just doesn't work that way.

And for what it's worth, I'm starting to point the finger of blame for the off season so far on Tom Ricketts. It was no secret what he was getting himself in to when he and his family purchased the team. Leaving Hendry in charge, but not giving him the financial support to dig his way out of this mess (the mess that Hendry created) was a recipe for failure.

Ricketts is being smart. How can you blame a guy who has had controll of his team for roughly 3 months? The guy has barely had enough time to figure out how the operations work. He wants to put money into things that will help develop players which will cost less than shelling out $100 million contracts for guys like Soriano who will just go and train in the Dominican in the offseason. Then the team has the cost and responsibility of going to check on them during the offseason to make sure they are not in a dead sleep with empty Modelo cans and buckets of KFC (regardless if it is the grilled). So you cut Hendry, eat his contract and add the additional dilema of scrambling to find a new GM during the offseason while trying to dump Bradley and improve the team? That will just cost more money.

I can't argue with Ricketts' approach to building the farm system. My problem with him is that by not increasing the payroll for 2010 (or just increasing it slightly), he is guaranteeing that, barring a miracle, the 2010 Cubs are going to be mediocre. I just don't think that's the way the new guy should kick off his tenure as the new owner.

Of course, it's easy for me to say. It's not my money, but I would have liked to see him increase payroll by $10-15 million. It would have given Hendry room to manuever and, provided he spent it smartly (that's a big if), improve the Cubs.

By the way, I do think that a payroll of $140 million should be enough to build a competive team. Unfortunately, it was misspent prior to the upcoming season, so at least for now, it's not enough to fix the problems the Cubs face.

I think Ricketts is smart in standing pat with his Payroll.

I think he rightly has some reservations about letting Jim Hendry spend to keep his job.

Another terrible offseason of heavily backloaded deals can cripple this franchise for many years to come.

I have to agree...

give Hendry $10M more this year and he's signing more multi-year deals that will just hamper the team next year and beyond.

Best to keep the flexibility they'll have after 2010 when there's a much better FA class.

If there's so little trust in Hendry, then he should be shown the door.

Of course, I'm assuming that the goal is for the 2010 team to be better than the 2009 team. If that's the goal, then as owner, you have to give the guy building the team (Hendry or his replacement) the tools he needs to get the job done. If that's not the goal, then just keep doing things the way they are being done.

It doesn't make sense to me to spend $140 million for a mediocre team when you can throw a little more money at it and improve it. Whether or not you trust the guy spending it is a different issue. I assumed Ricketts trusted Hendry to fix his own mess when he kept him around. If that trust doesn't exist, then it was foolish to keep him.


when you can throw a little more money at it and improve it.

two different things. at least, in hendry's case. seems like he haas only been able to improve things by throwing buckets full of money. ricketts, properly, has hendry on a tight leash this winter.

dc60124 -- That's my point. Either you trust Hendry or you don't. If you trust him, you give him the tools (money) to fix the situation. If you don't, then why keep him around?

These are really two separate issues. The first issue is, what will it take to build the 2010 Cubs into a World Series contending team? I'm assuming that is the goal.

The second issue is, who should be leading the charge to build a World Series contending team?

I assumed Ricketts believed that Hendry was the man for the job when he decided to keep him as GM. If that's the case, then support his efforts. Set him up to succeed in reaching the organizational goal. Don't tie his hands at the very time he needs some room to manuever.

I think you are being over-presumptive in thinking that Ricketts backs Hendry because he hasn't fired him.

1. Rickets just closed the Cubs deal last month

2. Hendry is the guy who has inked 140 Million dollars of mediocre players.

A good executive doesn't guy a business and clean house on day 1.

He keeps close watch on what is going on and makes backup plans in the case that changes need to occur.

2010 is the roster that Jim Hendry constructed. If it's a winner then he will probably continue as GM. If it fails like 2009 then a new GM will probably be named.

ricketts has already seen what hendry can do with a big stack. hendry is now auditioning for continued future employment by demonstrating what he can accomplish under tight constraints.

going forward, hendry will not have the bottomless bank account he had the year mc phail left. and the relative freedom he had under zell's watch. time to show the new boss what can be done with little to no wiggle room. is hendry closer to walt jocketty or omar minaya? this winter will tell the tale, and determine hendry's (and more importantly the cubs') future.

some commenters around these parts believe this club is very very similar to the crowd that won 97 in 2008. others see it as a club on the eve of destruction due to age, or injury, or lack of depth. whichever way your pleasure tends, that is how you'll probably see hendry: if only a minor tweak or two is needed, hendry has the money he needs. if you think some major pieces need moving/replacing, 2010 is already gone, and then hendry will be gone, also. either hendry the architect is only off by a brick or two, or the wall needs to be knocked down and begun again.

i'm not sure who is better in the central than the cubs, but so what? how do they beat the phillies? or the dodgers? or maybe even the d'backs, rockies, braves, or mutts? will the cardinals repeat their 2009?

the cubs are going to pretty much mirror 2009 with their 2010. putz along, a few streaks of both types, end up outside looking in. central champions, 1st round exit, been there, done that. then bye bye lou. bye bye hendry. bye bye crane kenney. and derrek lee. and ted lilly. fukudome will have 1 yr left, and be movable to seattle or l.a. or san fran. and the next guy will come in with a slightler cleaner slate on which to write.

wait til next year.

I hear what you're saying, but I'm having trouble buying that standing pat for the 2010 season is going to accomplish anything.

If you're Ricketts, you just spent $845 million to buy the team and you're on the hook for a $140 million payroll in 2010. At that point, would you say, "I'm done spending. Let's ride out 2010 and focus on 2011?" or would you say, "I just spent a boatload of money, but to do this right and properly usher in the 'Ricketts era,' I need to spend just a little more to give the team the best chance of competing in 2010?" I don't think there is an absolute right answer, but I tend to lean toward the latter.

If you lean toward the former, wouldn't it make sense to focus completely on 2011 by moving some big contracts (if possible), adding prospects, and dumping payroll? If you're throwing in the towel for 2010 and focusing on 2011, that seems reasonable (I obviously feel that the team, as currently structured, can not compete). Doing nothing seems to be the absolute worst thing that can be done.

The way Ricketts is approaching this off season is interesting, if nothing else. I guess you could say he is showing Hendry some tough love (i.e. "It's your mess, you clean it up and there won't be any more of my money to work with."), but I just feel it is a recipe for failure. I suppose it's possible for Hendry to fix the mess he created, but without some manuevering room (i.e. some extra money), I think it is highly unlikely.

Good points

I think Ricketts is thinking, "I just spent $845M to buy a team with huge or backloaded contracts to...
Bradley - 2011 - who must be traded
Dempster - 2012 - good pitcher, just backloaded
Fukudome - 2011 - mediocre compared to expectations
Grabow - 2011 - not an awful signing but could have been 1 yr
Ramirez - 2012 - backloaded, player/club options
Samardzija - 2013 - huge contract for draft pick & NTC
Soriano - 2014 - already declining or just an awful year
Zambrano - 2013 - great pitcher, but needs to mature

...and I'm not 100% convinced that this is the guy I want spending my money."

Lee and Lilly are nothing to complain about as they were the best hitter/position player and starting pitcher signed to big contracts. Ramirez and Dempster aren't going to hurt like some of the other contracts listed above.

Looking at Ramirez's contract information, he has a player option to opt out after 2010. His 2011 and 2012 salaries are 14.6M and 16M (club option, 2M buyout).

So after 2010, Aram is guaranteed 16.6M for 2011 and buyout. He'll be 32 if he goes to the open market compared with 34 if he plays out his contract. I would think that 32 would be a good age to get that one last 4-5 year contract. It seems like it would be a lot harder to get 4-5 years when he's 34. So if I was Aramis, I would strongly consider opting out after 2010, even if he just renegotiates with Hendry/replacement GM.

sweet lou-
my belief is that hendry has been given some wiggle room for 2010. and nothing can happen nor will happen until he learns how much of his wiggle room must be sent air mail along with bradley to a new city.

ricketts would appear to be too bright to just let hendry off the leash. from the outside looking in (me, not ricketts) hendry appears capable of 2 behaviors:
1. fleecing another gm of a soon-to-be-too-costly player (choi for lee, hill for aram).
2. over-investing both time and dollars in free agency (soriano, fuku, dempster, bradley, et al)
i really don't recall what sort of money got pushed around the table when nomar arrived in 2004, but the people hendry shipped out of town did not carry large price tags.
hendry must now, for his own job security, demonstrate a 3rd behavior: cut current overhead/expenses before acquiring new ones.
so far, that has eluded him. i hope it changes, quickly. but as a guy who generally sees the cubs glass as half empty, color me doubtful. surely for 2010, doubtful indeed.

"terrible offseason of heavily backloaded deals can cripple this franchise for many years to come."

Too late!!!

Don't you mean:

"terrible offseason of heavily backloaded deals can cripple this franchise for many years to come."

Too soon!!!

in Lee/Halladay manuevers...seems to be one of the minor leaguers.

heard him on XM radio, said Cubs was his #2 choice because of Lou and then he really quickly mumbled something to the effect that he had to wait for them and was already on to his next point.

Also said he still wants to play CF and that hasn't been decided.

Red Sox working hard to get him and some tweet that he expects to be a Red Sox within 10 days.

http://twitter.com/jorgearangure/status/67364...

so the team that makes the playoffs last year is looking to add Lackey, Cameron and possibly Gonzalez (along with Victor Martinez mid-season) while subtracting Bay

The Cubs who won 83 games and did not make the playoffs are looking to dump Bradley and pay for it, lost Harden and looking at Byrd, maybe Pineiro and some bullpen arms.

Most thrilling offseason yet....

Thanks ROB G.

That just made my day.

Fire Hendry?

signed.

I can't believe Manny isn't around these days to see the cause he's fought so hard for finally gaining massive support.

I've been on the bandwagon since the Izturis trade.

the trade that brought him to chicago, or the one sending him away?

The Maddux for Izturis when we already had Cedeno and Neifi on the roster.

Wasn't he a gold glover?

/ducks
/where's Chad been?

Cesar Izturis is an All-Star player. Chad's never been a big off-season guyuy.

I'm scared to see what will happen if Hendry is still around next off season

He'll have some dough to throw around with some big holes to fill...being an idiot right now may ruin next season for us, but the long-term damage is pretty minimal. Next season could be some serious trouble though.

http://twitter.com/GordonEdes

fwiw, Edes says Padres want Buchholz and Ellsbury and thinks Red Sox will go with Kotchman at 1b and Youklis at 3b, no Holliday or Beltre either.

Figured the Pads would want 6 year team control guys for Adrian Gonzalez

Bucholz/Bowden
Ryan Kalish
Lars Anderson
A 4th Starting Pitching prospect

Is what I figured it would take to get him.

How can the Cubs get involved and get Ellsbury for CF?

Derrek Lee?

Maybe Lee and Grabow for Kotchman and Ellsbury?

Ellsbury with sub 100 OPS+ and sketchy CF defense?

hell yeah, let's get him

Is he really that bad? I didn't check before I asked. I've always thought of him as an average/above-average hitter with plus defense.

average hitter, little power, not great walk rates, obviously great baserunner

defense is arguable, his full season in CF last year didn't rate very well.

Speed usually translates though to good defense, especially in the outfield, so maybe he'll come around. I've read he gets bad reads and bad jumps on the ball, so maybe it's something he'll figure out.

I've heard that he was one of those guys that the stats and scouting didn't agree on. The plan is for him to stay in center and Cameron to play left, at least according to various articles.

He sounds like a young Juan Pierre!

fwiw, Cameron was on XM radio this morning and said nothing has been decided about CF and he very much still wants to play there.

He also added in that before he signed, he wanted to make sure someone asked Ellsbury if it's okay and if Ellsbury would be willing to move, so I got the sense that Cameron was thinking he's going to play CF.

He also made some GG jokes, and basically had a tone of why the fuck would I be the one moving.

press conference transcript fwiw

http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseb...

basically dodge the question, but say nothing has been decided. Cameron says he's willing to move but still very much thinks of himself as a center fielder.

Lack of power hurts his OPS no doubt.

Surely he is a worthwhile guy to have 70 steals on 11 CS would add a nice dimension. Assuming his CF defense improves.

Under club control for 4 more years.

I'd trade DLee for him if the opportunity arose.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/E/Jaco...

I'd trade DLee for him if the opportunity arose.

and that would be dumb.

How so?

Dlee is in the final year of his deal at 13 mill and will be 35. Surely you don't want to extend him long term at this point.

Ellsbury will be 26 and under club control for 4 years. Even if he's the lesser player now. He won't be the lesser guy over 4 years.

cause you can have Scott Podsednik or Juan Pierre for a lot less than trading Derrek Lee...

my opinion of Ellsbury isn't very high, so that's why I think it's dumb.

Lee's been a 3-7 win player over the last 5 years, unless the Cubs are planning a full out rebuild in 2010, in which case trade Ramirez, Lee, Lilly for as many prospects as you can.

Rob's pretty far off base here. Last year Ellsbury was essentially as good an offensive player as Lee was in 2008 and he played a premium defensive position, while doing it for $500K. For whatever reason he had some bad lucking defensive metrics, but that doesn't match his reputation or his previous track record. His ISO is holding steady while his walks are going up and his K's down, and he's the game's premier base stealer.

Yeah..I'd hate a CF hitting .301, OBP of .355, 70 steals, 27 doubles and 10 triples. Please...no...don't.

Cubs aren't getting him anyway, so the question is moot.

Yeah..I'd hate a CF hitting .301, OBP of .355, 70 steals, 27 doubles and 10 triples. Please...no...don't.

that would be great, but not at the cost of Derrek Lee, which is what this little thought experiment was about

on the other hand, I'd dump Soriano's contract for him in a heartbeat.

According to BP's weekly notes, the cubs (and dbacks) are reported to have made an "aggressive offer" to Capps.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

link. I'll put this up on the new post as well.

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