TCR Monday Notes

I was suppose to post this Friday night, but life got in the way the rest of the weekend...

- Arizona Phil does what only he can do...an amazing retrospective on how the 1969 Cubs were built and his memories of the season.

- Ryan Theriot is losing fans in the Cubs organization apparently by sticking to his $3.4M demands. Bruce Miles on the radio and Bruce Levine both saying that an arbitration hearing looks inevitable. It would be the first arbitration hearing in 17 years between the Cubs and a player (Mark Grace).

- Orlando Cabrera signs with the Reds on a 3 million deal for one year with a $1M buyout on a $3M mutual option in 2011.  They then acquired Aaron Miles from the A's for Wily Taveras and Adam Rosales. As long as they don't land Johny Damon...

(Interesting twist to this story, A's DFA Taveras immediately. Also, the A's are sending a PTBNL to the Reds as part of the deal).

- Reed Johnson was offered $800K by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

- Wezen Ball relates some interesting press quotes when Andre Dawson signed with the Cubs in 1987. There's been a bit of myth perpetuated that  Dawson was dead set to
play for the Cubs at any cost. But what really happened was that he was a victim of
collusion by the owners and the blank check story was a desperate plea to find a team for '87.  To his credit though, he was a man of his word and certainly didn't sulk over the low-ball contract offer.

"I didn't think they'd make an offer, because I thought they didn't want to be the first ones to sign a free agent," Dawson said yesterday. "But since they did, I'm man enough to stick by it.

I know I'll miss Montreal . . . but you gotta do what you gotta do. I don't want to say a move was overdue, but with the problems I had the last couple years . . . I had the same salary the last six years, and then they offer me a pay cut . . .

It got so that towards the end of the season some of my own teammates told me it would be best that I make a change."

- An interview with an author of a book on how the Cubs may have thrown the 1918 World Series.

- The Xavier Nady deal was made official Friday. The Cubs will be cautious with Nady in March and April though and he probably won't see much time in the field to start the season, much like Tyler Colvin did at the beginning of last season after his Tommy John surgery. I do wonder what that will do to the bench since it means Fukudome won't have a platoon partner. They could possibly put Baker out there, but that means either Fontenot plays against a lefty or Blanco. They could also carry an extra bat at least for the first two weeks as a 5th starter isn't due until April 18th.

Dr. Hecht has some good info on Nady's surgery and expected recovery in the comments.

- Jayson Stark says the Cubs prefer to sign a reliever such as Chan Ho Park or Kiki Calero, otherwise a trade with the Blue Jays for Jason Frasor or Scott Downs is a possibility.

- Jerry Crasnick tweets that Jermaine Dye essentially turned down the offer that Xavier Nady accepted.

- Today in Get off my Lawn with your Baseball Stats Articles.

Comments

Sunday, April 18, vs. Houston is when we'll need the fifth starter.

thanks...

Reds-"As long as they don't land Johny Damon..."

They could land Pujlos, ain't going to matter.

They could land Pujlos, ain't going to matter.

I agree Pujlos is probably not a good player, Albert Pujols though would make them the favorite in the Central, especially if he wasn't on the Cardinals anymore.

medical staff was incompetent back in the day

http://baseballmusings.com/?p=46254

According to JJ Putz, the Mets did not give him a proper psychical before they acquired him in a trade, then told him not to talk about his bone spur to the press.

throw in Beltran, Johan, Delgado, Reyes and so on...

The article on defensive metrics was pretty good. It would have been better if his shining examples of how to do it right weren't also organizations that value OBP and defense...

I do think that by stacking these defensive improvements next to eachother (CF-LF and 3B-SS) the sum is going to be less than the totals of the parts for the Sox.

speaking of defensive metrics, thought this was an interesting idea to a newish approach...

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

It certainly attempts to address some of the concerns. I would actually like to see fielding preference worked in there, somehow. Since the corner guys get and pitchers shot at the ball before the Middle infielders it seems like that should be incorporated into any model. I'll have to encourage them to look at it over there.

If this goes to arbitration, Theriot will lose $$ as well as fans. I like Theriot in that he plays hard and gives all he's got. I just don't see him as being worth $3.4 million. I hope both sides will come to an agreement for something under $3 mil. If not, I like the Cubs chances in this one.

If I'm Ryan Theriot, I agrue that I've put up numbers very similar to Phil Rizzuto at this age. And he's in the Hall of Fame.

Phil Rizzuto may not qualify as a contemporary

Theriot should counter that Rizzuto was underappreciated by his contemporaries as well. He never got more than 38% of the BBWAA vote. Didn't get in until 1994 when his brilliance became clearer, 38 years after he retired.

Don't let those bastards underpay me, I'm HoF material!

he's gonna be wasting a lot of time arguing anything about Phil Rizzuto...

These hearing are a high/low affair. Each side will have an hour to argue their side, and 30 minutes to rebut what the other side has to say. However there are a few rules guiding what kind of argument can be made. These include:

• The Players contribution to the team in terms of leadership as well as performance
• The Club’s record and its attendance
• Any of the players special accomplishments IE Golden Gloves, All Star appearance
• The salaries of comparable players in the players service class, and of players with less than five years of service, and the salaries of the players from one class in front of the player

The sides cannot reference other offers already made, salaries of players in a different sport, team finances, or statements from the press.

After the arguments are heard the panel gives the player a one year non-guaranteed contract at either the high figure or the low. If that player is cut within 16 days of the season opener he is entitled to just 30 days termination pay. If he is cut during spring training, but after 16 days before the season opener he is entitled to 45 days termination pay.

http://www.examiner.com/x-2566-Sports-Busines...

I was joking, but the arbitration criteria is interesting.

e.g., What are the salaries of comparable players?

~edit~ oops, I see we have one, Stephen Drew.

Any of the players special accomplishments IE Golden Gloves, All Star appearance

Golden gloves? The player has to know how to box?

When asking for money, it never hurts that the other party thinks you know how to throw a mean hook.

as AZ Phil pointed out, Stephen Drew just got $3.4M from the Dbacks, he'll need to argue that he's been as good or close to as good than that.

Theriot has more hits, runs scored, OBP, BA and stolen bases then Drew in similar number of PA's, but lower OPS, OPS+, home runs, rbi's, and xbh's.

Assuming they won't get into anything too advanced, they have the same fielding percentage. If Theriot can convince them of UZR, he'll get a boost there.

Theriot actually has a decent case. Drew has 5.7 career wins by WAR, Theriot 9.3 (or 6.5 WARP1 to 9.0 WARP1)

Interesting. Also, this:

"The Players contribution to the team in terms of leadership as well as performance"

I had no idea about that clause. How do you quantify leadership in specific dollars and cents? Does scrappiness count?

get some quotes from players or managers I would guess...

probably one of the reasons teams don't like going to arbitration because of the negative stuff that can come out of it.

Like a 2 minute video of Theriot's baserunning gaffs to the sound of The Sting's theme song?

More like "Yakety Sax", better known as the Benny Hill theme.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

Oh man, I would pay money to watch Theriot baserunning gaffe's to the benny hill theme. That and caught stealing.

Gold.

A's DFA Taveras right after making trade.

be pretty amusing if Reds then DFA Aaron Miles...

they also DFA'd Dana Eveland to make room for signing Gabe Gross.

"be pretty amusing if Reds then DFA Aaron Miles..."

Over Dusty's dead body.

I like Dana Eveland. His big league numbers are pretty awful, but he's still just a 26 year old lefty with some good stuff.

Had some injury issues throughout his AA and AAA years. I don't think this team has the space to let another youngster figure it out, but somebody just might get him for a steal.

I was thinking the same thing. I am sure someone will pick him up. Hopefully not us, though.

I was looking at Michael "In Lou's Doghouse and GONE for No Apparent Reason" Wuertz's Baseball Reference page. And lo and behold the pitcher most similar to him... Kiko Calero.

Oh the irony!

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

any interest as a 5th outfielder?

nothing more than defense and speed, but that's one more thing than Gathright had going for him.

PASSSSSSSSSSS

your other options are Sam Fuld or Tyler Colvin...

since the 5th outfielder isn't the place to try and develop someone, I don't think Colvin is really a good option.

I would take Fuld over Taveras myself but was wondering what others thought.

Fuld.

Let Colvin hit in Iowa until we find significant playing time for him or can get value for him in a trade.

I'd probably prefer Taveras. I don't have any faith that Fuld can stay healthy and Taveras is a better defender and probably a better base stealer, and can get hits out of sac bunts if his legs are right.

Tevaras is a month younger than Fuld, too.

Fuld

Costs being equal, Taveras just seems like a better fit for the team and the role.

But he'll probably be looking for at least a 4th OF job, though I guess there aren't many of those left now.

Taveras is probably looking for a starting job, but he's not gonna get that either.

He wouldn't exactly be stuck behind Ruth,Mantle and Williams with the Cubs.

agree about taking a flyer on taveras.

Have read 'The Original Curse' based on the premise that the 1918 WS was crooked. It's well-written & makes a good circumstantial case that the Cubs were screwed long before the billy goat was booted from WF. It would make a good read between now & the arrival of P's & C's at Phil's place...

Cubs sniffing around Kris Benson, according to the latest rumors from The Pope over at Foxsports.com

They are probably just sniffing around his wife, and he happens to be in the same place... Yikes!!

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  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 3 hours 35 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 7 hours 13 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 8 hours 26 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 8 hours 49 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 8 hours 54 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 12 hours 54 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 13 hours 42 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 14 hours 15 min ago view