The Jim Hendry Way to Build a 40-man Roster

My latest little pet project at Wiklifield after completeing the team-by-team transactions is to put together player pages on the entire Cubs organizations from the majors to the minors. I got through the basic info on the 40-man roster this weekend and have discovered with some very simple coding, that I can start putting together some interesting lists. One such list is how the Cubs' 40-man roster was put together, so I thought I'd share.

So here's the breakdown from the Cubs' 40-man roster found at Wiklifield (not to be confused with the 40-man roster maintained by Arizona Phil):

Amateur Free Agent Signings (5): Esmailin Caridad, Welington Castillo, Rafael Dolis, Angel Guzman, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano*

Drafted (10): Mitch Atkins, Tyler Colvin, Sam Fuld, Micah Hoffpauir, Sean Marshall, Blake Parker, Jeff Samardzija, Geovany Soto, Ryan Theriot, Randy Wells

Free Agents(5): Marlon Byrd, Ryan Dempster, Kosuke Fukudome, Ted Lilly, Alfonso Soriano

Minor League Free Agents(2): Andres Blanco, Koyie Hill

Rule 5 Draft(2): Mike Parisi, David Patton

Trades(13): James Adducci, Jeff Baker, Justin Berg, Mike Fontenot, John Gaub, Tom Gorzelanny,  John Grabow*, Jeff Gray, Derrek Lee*, Marcos Mateo, Aramis Ramirez*, Carlos Silva*, Jeff Stevens

The * indicates players that were originally acquired via some other method than free agency, but then were either signed to extensions before hitting the open market or resigned once they did. There's also the case of Carlos Silva who was traded for a player signed through free agency and then basically a swap of big and bad contracts. That's 4 players that although originally acquired on the cheap, eventually cashed in big time with the Cubs and make it 5 with Silva who already cashed in with the Seattle Mariners.

So for this exercise, you could give a half credit for originally acquiring Lee, Grabow, Ramirez and Zambrano through cheaper methods than free agency, but were eventually paid free agent bucks (or close to it) by the Cubs. Silva you might as well call a free agent. So doing a little fuzzy math gets you 7.5 via free agency, 4.5 through amateur free agent signings and 10.5 via trades. That still means Hendry has certainly earned his "Trader Jim" moniker.

Of course, the next thing to do is compare this with other clubs, first in the division and then by payroll to see how Hendry compares to his peers. Breaking down the entire league would probably take more time than I have, but I did go through the St. Louis Cardinals. Here's what I came up with:

Drafted(23), Free Agents(9), Rule 5(1), Amateur Free Agents(2), Trades(3).

A lot of the free agents are bullpen arms which aren't going to break the bank and Chris Carpenter was signed on the cheap originally as a rehab project and then cashed in, very similarly to Ryan Dempster. I counted Ryan Ludwick as a free agent signing although I guess he could be considered a minor league free agent signing if you wanted to. Pujols was originally drafted and of course cashed in since then.

What does it all mean? I'm not sure other than I found it interesting and there's probably a 100 different ways to build a better mousetrap.


This is an interesting concept, but in order to make it a useful tool, you're missing an awful lot of info, IMO.

Eventually, you'd want to look at all teams across a number of years to try to identify correlations between how rosters were constructed (relative to expenses available) and on-field performance.

Also, I think "trades" is definitely too broad of a category. Aramis Ramirez as a Cub and Bobby Hill as a Pirate are not really comparable. Even though both players were acquired via trade, the circumstances were so polar that they almost deserve to be coded as separate categories. That creates another problem - the subjectivity of whether a certain player's trade was a salary dump (Ramirez) or a shrewd move by management (Dontrelle Willis).

I like the idea that you've touched upon here, but there's a lot of missing information before this could be a useful tool.

more an exercise of interest than anything...didn't mean to imply anything least not without going through the rest of the rosters.

BP had a neat article recently that I can't seem to find the link to, breaking down the number of wins each team got from premarket and postmarket players.

Eric Byrnes released:

At least he as a TV career.

Kinda eye-opening to see the Cards have outdrafted our 40 man roster 23-10.

You never really think of them as having top notch Minor league systems.

what's interesting about the Cards is they seem to have absolutely no presence in Latin America, their 2 amateur free agent signings are Francisco Samuel from the D.R. and Josh Kinney who they signed from independent ball.

of course you need a more robust examination of the entire system, but thought that was intriguing.

The difference between the two is explained almost entirely by drafted and traded. If the Cubs trade the guys they draft, which they do, then they wind up with fewer drafted players and more traded players.

Brewers, 1/4.25M with 6.5M option and 1M buyout

Looks like Carrie Muskat was weighting for everyone else who wanted to write about Geo Soto "losing" 40 lbs before she finally weighed in with this, Soto slims down prior to season .

An article about how Geo has slimmed down has turned into a rite of spring for Carrie. She wrote basically the same thing last year and the year before that and the year before that.

Last year's column, which you may have forgotten about, was called Soto maintains aggressive approach and even though Geo was around 20 lbs heavier than the year before at that time it didn't stop Carrie from writing this

2-12-09 Pitchers and catchers report on Friday. Soto looks as if he's lost weight, but says that he's at his playing weight.

"I just tried to do the same thing," Soto said of his workout program. "You have to prepare for the season for eight months. You might as well go to the track and the field and work on what you need to work on. When you're down [weight-wise], it's easier to keep it down."

But then Geo went off to join the WBC Puerto Rico team where he ballooned another 20lbs up to around 250.

4 springs in a row, same news about Soto. He's in great shape when he shows up. So, I'm just guessing but it looks to me like Geo's problem isn't showing up in great shape, it's keeping the weight off once he starts playing baseball again.

heath bell empathizes.

thanks to Carlos for the heads up to get us included

You know who would make a lot of sense as a RH setup man who could step in if Marmol continues to implode? Kevin Gregg.

Kevin Gregg is steadily mediocre.

You're right. I retract my suggestion of Kevin Gregg, and put forth Mariano Rivera as the reasonable target for an 8th inning reliever.

lol I can see The Real Neal and I are both ready for the season to start already.

Pssh. The season's over. At least there's always 2011.

It will be heaven in two thousand eleven.

Angels seem to be his top choice

probably makes Mets more interested in Sheets unfortunately

cubs sign scott mcclain to a minor league deal...lulz.

needed there Jason Dubois AAAA'er for the year...

signed C Mark Johnson as well

Clay Rapada signed with Rangers

entered negotiations, he wants 2 years, Cubs offering 1

that took long enough to leak...wonder how long the years thing has been a sticking point.

Two year deal for a guy coming off rotator cuff issues, is Jim Hendry smart. He does K a lot of people though. Plus he has his own intro song:

Calero made $500,000 last year with the Marlins, and his highest salary ever was $1.6 million with the A's in 2007.

If Hendry offers $1.5 million (perhaps some incentives for games finished) on a one-year deal and signs Nady/Dye for around %3.5 million, the roster should be finished at close to $137 million.

Nady and Dye are two of the most liked and repsected players in the game, and either one would bring substantial intagibles to the clubhouse.

Los Lobos is probably my favorite band, and Kiko is probably their best album.

According to Fox News in Phoenix: A source close to the Ricketts family says they want to keep the Cubs spring training in Mesa.

The price of TCR stock just jumped in after-hours trading.

Did you just call bullish on Arizona Phil? : )

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.