Cubs Sign Chad Tracy

A busy day for Jim Hendry as he's now inked Chad Tracy to a minor league deal. He'll get a chance to compete for a bench spot in spring training.

Tracy hasn't played a full season since 2006 due to a number of maladies,  including microfracture surgery on right knee in 2007. He's also had oblique, groin and back problems. You wonder if he can even play third base or the corner outfield positions anymore.

His OPS+ and wOBA numbers since 2004:

Year OPS+ wOBA
2004 90 .325
2005 132 .385
2006 98 .342
2007 100 .342
2008 82 .313
2009 76 .296

Nothing too exciting here, but it's a minor league deal and Tracy may be more than willing to go to Iowa if he doesn't make the team out of spring training to try and jumpstart his career back to life.

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including microfracture surgery on right knee in 2007. He's also had oblique, groin and back problems.
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The MLB equivalent of an Orthopedic Annuity

Worth a shot. I'm also on board with the Nady signing.

Iowa seldom gets to use a DH. Not sure where he fits with Hoffpauir and Marquez Smith on the corners?

My guess is if he doesn't make the cut in March, they don't really care where he goes.

Twins sign JI

JIM THOME to a deal, reportedly 1.5 plus incentives.

I like this deal at least as much as the Nady deal. The upside is nearly the same.

I'm actually mildly excited at these signings. Mildly. Good upsides with little money.

video interview with John Gaub on cubs.com site...

http://www.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id...

http://cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2010...

cubs.com has this interesting medical tidbit on Tommy John surgery and Nady...

Nady would have to prove he's healthy from the second major elbow surgery of his career. He underwent the procedure in early July, meaning he will be just nine months removed from it by Opening Day. A number of Web sites have lists of baseball players who have gone through Tommy John surgery, a procedure in which a tendon from a different part of the body is used to replace a turn ulnar collateral ligament, but Nady and catcher Vance Wilson are the only position players listed as having the surgery twice.

Wilson had his procedures back-to-back in the summers of 2007 and '08. He signed a Minor League contract with the Royals for '09 and batted .270 in 59 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Wilson didn't play his first game in '09 until June 19 and caught only 18 games, appearing mostly as a designated hitter.

here's the Wiki list of ballplayers with TJ surgery including those with repeat surgery. There are only three with three-peats...Chad Fox, Jose Rijo and the immortal Matt Riley

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_John_surge...

Submitted by Cubster on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 10:53pm.

here's the Wiki list of ballplayers with TJ surgery including those with repeat surgery. There are only three with three-peats...Chad Fox, Jose Rijo and the immortal Matt Riley

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

CUBSTER: Scott Williamson had two TJS, too.

Scott Williamson had two TJS, too.
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yes I noticed some of the lists were incomplete, I saw one where Tony Womack wasn't on it and realized the list probably needs a more thorough going over.

list of Cubs I've found so far

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Tommy_Jo...

I'm sure AZ Phil can fill in some of the minor leaguers for me.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

$900K if he makes the big league roster, up to 525K if he gets to 450 PA's and some award bonuses including $100K for comeback player of the year.

If he makes the roster, who do you drop? Fontenot can't love this news.

Edit: And I'm already assuming Hoffpauir is gone from the 25-man with the Nady signing.

I think that is correct. My guess on the 5 man bench is

Baker/Fontenot
Koyie Hill
Blanco
Nady
Chad Tracy

Honestly, that is probably the best bench the cubs have had in a long long time.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 10:49am.
I think that is correct. My guess on the 5 man bench is

Baker/Fontenot
Koyie Hill
Blanco
Nady
Chad Tracy

Honestly, that is probably the best bench the cubs have had in a long long time

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

DR AARON B: If so, then here is the likely Iowa Cubs 2010 Opening Day lineup:

1. Sam Fuld, CF
2. Darwin Barney, SS
3. Brad Snyder, RF
4. Micah Hoffpauir, 1B
5. Bobby Scales, 3B
6. Tyler Colvin, LF
7. Chris Robinson, C
8. Matt Camp, 2B
9. Jeff Samardzija, P

BENCH:
James Adduci, OF
Robinson Chirinos, C-INF
Steve Clevenger, C-1B
Jonathan Mota, INF

PROBABLY NO ROOM AT THE INN: 1B Russ Canzler, C Mark Johnson, 1B-OF Bryan Lahair, INF Matt Matulia, and 3B Scott McClain.

Tennessee:

1. Tony Campana, CF
2. Starlin Castro, SS
3. Tony Thomas, 2B
4. Matt Spencer, RF
5. Marquez Smith, 3B
6. Welington Castillo, C
7. Ryne White, 1B
8. Ty Wright, LF
9. Jay Jackson, P

BENCH:
Marwin Gonzalez, INF
Brandon Guyer, OF
Blake Lalli, C-1B
Mark Reed, C

MAY BE OUT OF LUCK: C Luis Flores, OF Jason James, 2B Jake Opitz, and 2B Nate Samson

Daytona:

1. Brett Jackson, CF
2. D. J. LeMahieu, SS
3. Kyler Burke, RF
4. Josh Vitters, 3B
5. Ryan Flaherty, 2B
6. Rebel Ridling, 1B
7. Jovan Rosa, DH
8. Nelson Perez, LF
9. Michael Brenly, C
Chris Archer, P

BENCH:
Junior Lake, INF
David Macias, OF-IF
Mario Mercedes, C

Peoria:

1. Hak-Ju Lee, SS
2. Logan Watkins, 2B
3. Runey Davis, LF
4. Bobby Wagner, RF
5. Richard Jones, C
6. Charles Thomas, DH
7. Justin Bour, 1B
8. Matt Cerda, 3B
9. Jose Valdez, CF
Jeffry Antigua, P

BENCH:
D. J. Fitzgerald, IF-OF
Jae-Hoon Ha, C-OF
Alvaro Sosa, C

TIME RUNNING OUT - PROBABLY GONE: 1B-C John Contreras, OF Francisco Guzman, INF Dwayne Kemp, and OF Kevin Soto

FEW ARE CHOSEN (PROBABLY BACK TO FITCH PARK): INF Robert Bautista, C Sergio Burruel, 2B Ping-Chieh Chen, SS Wes Darvill, C Jose Guevara, 3B Derek Helenihi, OF Dong-Yub Kim, INF George Matheus, IF-OF-C Brandon May, OF Jesus Morelli, OF Kyung-Min Na, INF Jordan Petraitis, 1B Greg Rohan, OF Cody Shields, OF Blair Springfield, and OF Sean Williams.

MOST-LIKELY DSL CUBS PROMOTIONS TO FITCH PARK (POSITION PLAYERS): INF Arismendy Alcantara, 3B Joel Altagracia, RF Xavier Batista, IF-OF Vismeldy Bieneme, C Miguel Gonzalez, and 3B-1B Juan Pena.

Do you really think giving Scales a starters spot would keep Smith in AA and Vitters in A? Wouldn't it make more sense to push him to the bench in a role that he's more likely to play in the majors? Maybe someone (Denier?) can even teach him to play outfield before he gets recalled an Lou costs us more games by playing him out there.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 6:22pm.
Do you really think giving Scales a starters spot would keep Smith in AA and Vitters in A? Wouldn't it make more sense to push him to the bench in a role that he's more likely to play in the majors? Maybe someone (Denier?) can even teach him to play outfield before he gets recalled an Lou costs us more games by playing him out there.

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

NEAL: I keep going back & forth with Vitters. My present belief is that Vitters will begin the season in the middle of the Daytona lineup and will be asked to work harder on his defense, and then he will be in-line for a mid-season promotion to AA if all is going well. Same goes for Marquez Smith and Tony Thomas (mid-season promotions), I think.

I thought Thomas and Smith were locks for Iowa.

Is Matt Camp really a legit prospect?

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 10:11am.
I thought Thomas and Smith were locks for Iowa.

Is Matt Camp really a legit prospect?

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

DR AARON B: Tony Thomas and Marquez Smith could make the Iowa Opening Day roster, but it wouldn't be a surprise if they bgin the 2010 season back at AA and then get a mid-season promotion to AAA.

Matt Camp is a big league utility prospect, his best attribute being an ability to play 2B-CF-LF-PR-LHPH (he's sort of a Sam Fuld/Mike Fontenot hybrid) as well as SS-3B-RF in a pinch, which could allow the Cubs to keep Chad Tracy on the bench as their ace LHPH and 1B-3B back-up AND a player (Camp) who can be a legitimate back-up at both 2B and CF, a late-inning defensive replacement for Soriano in LF, and a PR or a LHPH leading off an inning. So Camp provides more versatility than Fuld or Fontenot, if extreme versatility becomes an issue.

That said, Camp does not have Fontenot's HR power or Fuld's plus-defensive skills and plate discipline, but he does have above-average speed, and he has improved his hitting over the past year (he hit 329/400/448 with 18 doubles in 59 games for Mexicali in the Mexican Pacific League). So Camp's chance to make it to MLB with the Cubs in 2010 probably would be tied to Piniella wanting to keep Chad Tracy on the roster as a 3B-1B-LHPH.

Thanks Phil. It wouldn't shock me if that comes to pass. Really Smith is the guy that has earned the promotion moreso that Vitters, unless you really buy into his abortive AFL season. If Smith is going to become a Randa/Pendelton type, I hate to see his progress retarded so we can give good soldier PA's to Scales.

100% agreed Neal.

Especially since Smith is going to be 25 this year.

That Daytona lineup could be vicious.

Yeah, that team would win a lot of games.

imo, the cubs would probably be wise to trade either baker or fontenot if they choose to keep tracy.

they could make s.castro the "guy in waiting" who would/could(maybe) be the injury backup shuttling up/down majors/AAA if baker-or-fontenot/blanco get injured.

they seem to want to introduce castro to the majors in 2010, anyway.

I think it makes more sense to make Barney that guys, since he doesn't really have that much bat to be developed in AAA.

Thanks for taking a stab at this, Phil. Very interesting to read and ponder. A lot of good young players climbing a few greasy poles.

A couple of quibbles:

Obviously I like Robinson C. better than C. Robinson.

Jay Jackson got a disciplinary demotion to high-A last season, but at the end of August he got a start at Iowa (and performed nicely). He finished at AAA, so it would be a demotion to start lower.

Wright and Smith had fine years for a near-champion at Tennessee. Their manager got a promotion, they will too.

Guyer was a little old for Daytona, but he hit .347 and will start for Tennessee, probably in left field, which Wright will have vacated.

Hak-Ju Lee should do what Castro did last year and skip Peoria; but there are too many middle infielders already at Daytona. Something has to be done at the ML level to free up positions lower down. I have several ideas about what may happen and should happen, but that's a different topic.

I think, as of now, Fuld probably makes it ahead of Tracy. They need someone to backup in CF. Assuming Baker is the starter, I think Tracy's best bet is beating out Fontenot.

Tbh, I think the signing is a nice gamble, but I think it'll probably be similar to the Koskie signing in some respects.

Fukudome played center field last year and Nady in theory can do it as well, but as of right now, Fuld is probably the favorite for the 5th outfielder spot.

Even if he doesn't get much playing time at 3B or 1B, Chad Tracy is one of the best left-handed pinch-hitters in baseball (276/364/621 and tied for second in MLB in PH HR in 2009, and 400/471/667 in 2008).

99 career PH PA's...I wouldn't get too excited about it, but at least it doesn't appear to mess with his psyche too much.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/spl...

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/01/...

a non-existent franchise rejoices....

(tis the right choice though)

A good call. Trying to make a case for Dawson as a Cub is a case where evidence must be cherry-picked to support the conclusion.

He actually might have been better in '81 than '87, but thanks to the strike, Mike Schmidt and the the near-anonymity of Montreal, few ever noticed.

Terrible decision by the Hall of Fame. Gutwrenching. Dawson believes his years with the CUBS is what got him into the Hall. I think MAYBE he might just know what he's talking about.

If Dawson had played in Montreal like he did in Chicago, he may not have even gotten to the second year of voting. If you go by WARP3 (or any other position based total statisic really)
Montreal: 43.7 Wins
Chicago: 18.1 Wins
Others: -2.2 Wins

There's no coherent argument to support Dawson as a Cub in the HoF, other than "I am a Cub fan and I want him to go in as a Cub."

The HOF is making the right choice. He played 10 seasons in Montreal, 6 in Chicago.

I'd have liked to have seen Dawson in his prime in Chicago.

Win.

no one on this site

Marshall is signed according to whoever MLB trade rumors linked.

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