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

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.