Nightmare Fuel: Bradley to be Traded for Carlos Silva
This hasn't been confirmed yet, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times is reporting that Carlos Silva will be traded to the Cubs for Milton Bradley. Earlier in the morning, "Monsters of the Midway" (I believe that's Mike North and Dan Jiggetts) said a trade of Bradley to the Mariners was going to happen as well. I also heard Larry Stone on XM radio on my drive in and he said the same thing and that the deal should be announced today or tomorrow.
Seattle always made sense as a possible destination for Bradley, low key media market, opportunity to DH, need some OBP help and they had a terrible contract they wanted to unload. The question was would they take on the Bradley headache and would Hendry be desperate enough to take on Carlos Silva. And apparently he is...
Silva is owed $11.5M in 2010 and $11.5M in 2011 with a 2012 mutual option of $12M with a $2M buyout...that's $25M total compared to $21M owed Bradley, so I would assume they would split the difference or at least get the Mariners to pay the buyout. According to Cot's, Bradley is owed $9M this year and $12M next season, which means if it's a straight up deal, the Cubs added $2.5M to their 2010 payroll. We don't know the full details yet though, so I'm hoping Hendry worked it somehow that it wouldn't further hamper the Cubs 2010 efforts.
There's nothing good to say about Carlos Silva. He's absolutely terrible. When the Mariners signed him two years ago, all of us stat nerds thought it was one of the dumbest things on the planet and that's exactly what it turned out to be. Silva - playing in the very pitcher friendly Safeco - has had ERA's of 6.46 and 8.60 his two seasons there. He did miss most of 2009 with shoulder issues, and althought he avoided surgery, he missed from early May to late September and then made just two bullpen appearances, giving up runs in both games. His career numbers are 60-64 with a 4.72 ERA, a 1.41 WHIP and a laughable 3.8 K/9 rate. He tops that off with a 11.0 H/9 rate (yes, more than a hit an inning and over 12 H/9 the last 2 years). If you thought Jason Marquis was a problem, wait till you see Carlos Silva.
I really don't see why the Cubs just didn't release Bradley rather than wasting roster space and time on Silva. I think the odds are close to 75% that they just end up releasing Carlos Silva in 2010. For the time being, if he isn't on the DL, I assume Silva will compete for a rotation spot in spring training and eventually be the most expensive bullpen arm of the Cubs.
UPDATE: Well everyone is confirming this is happening now...Muskat, Heyman, Tim Brown, Kapman...Merry Effin Christmas Cubs Fans.
UPDATE #2: The Cubs are getting $9M from the Mariners according to Sullivan, so they have that going from them. I would assume it's coming in installments over the next few years rather than one bulk sum in 2010, but we'll wait and see. If by some minor miracle it's all coming in 2010, then the Cubs would be paying just $2.5M for Silva in 2010 and Hendry just found himself $9M under the sofa cushions to throw at Marlon Byrd and Matt Capps or Kelvim Escobar. I'm not sure that's any better.
UPDATE #4: Hendry speaks and takes responsibility for the signing not working out. Cubs play at Seattle in the middle of June next season during my birthday...just in case you wanted to get something for your favorite Cubs blogger.
UPDATE #5: Bradley was apparently owed $22M, not $21M, so the Cubs are saving $6M as has been reported. $25M they owe Silva-$9M they're getting from Mariners = $16M. $22M - $16M = $6M in savings.
UPDATE #6: Cubs will get $3M each year over the next 3 seasons, net savings in 2010 will be $0.5M.
UPDATE #7: Wittenmyer says the Cubs are getting the $9M over two seasons with $5.5M coming for 2010.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.