You Gotta Know When to Fold Them

The Cubs rumor mill is starting to churn and the vultures are circling over the Cubs carcassas.

- Bruce Levine writes that teams are already sendng scouts to follow the Cubs and a bad road trip could mean the Cubs start selling. That might just be wishful thinking by the other teams, but losing 7 of 8 to the Pirates (so far) will send out a bad stench.

- Depending on who you want to believe, the Angels seemed to be interested in some of the Cubs first basemen. Dave Kaplan and Fred Mitchell are saying it's Derrek Lee.  The L.A. Times says it's Xavier Nady and Gordon Wittenmyer agrees. The L.A. Times also lists all the other first basemen in the league that the Angels could go after which includes Adam Dunn, Lance Berkman, Paul Konerko, Adam LaRoche, Ty Wigginton or Russell Branyan. It'll come down to which teams are quitting their season the first and how little the Angels will have to give up. It should also be noted that the Angels are hoping Morales returns by September, so a more versatile and cheaper option like Nady may make more sense for them. Nady does have no-trade rights until June 15th and Lee has them for the rest of the season of course thanks to 10/5 CBA rights.

- As for other matters, Z will likely pitch some time this weekend, although not necessarily Friday.

- Wednesday night's rainout will be made up on Monday afternoon although both teams have a day off tomorrow. Why such stupidity? Because technically if the Pirates play tomorrow it would be 21 straight games which is against CBA rules, although they didn't play tonight. So now the Cubs will have traveled to Pittsburgh, then to Houston, then back to Pittsburgh on Monday and then to Milwaukee, rather than just take care of all of it tomorrow.


Matt Spencer acquired in the J. Fox deal hit his 8th HR, tied for the Cubs minor league lead with Ty Wright.

[quibble deleted--you're right, 8 HRs for two teams]

Problem is, this is the worst selling team I can imagine. For one thing, I don't see the Cubs getting much for Lee right now. Nady, it's hard to say, but it's not like teams were lining up at his door during free agency. Soriano is an immovable object. Marlon Byrd is really just an average MLB outfielder so I don't see why anyone would go out of their way to offer much in return. Mr. April is worthless as trade bait with that contract.

That leaves pitching.

They do have some pieces there. Everybody wants pitching.

I have this fantasy that Lou will throw up his hands and resign, saying nobody can get these jerks to play good baseball.

I want this team blown up, but I don't trust Hendry to rebuild it.

Things are pretty much about as bad as a lot of people here were saying they were going to be.

Problem is, this is the worst selling team I can imagine. For one thing, I don't see the Cubs getting much for Lee right now. Nady...

I would agree with you, but when a team is on the bubble and looking for that piece to put them over the top, they'll make irrational moves. No way Soriano is immovable. Get a desperate-enough team and get Soriano with a 280 batting average and you might not even eat any of his contract.

Unfortunately, Lee is the last of the regulars that I want to see traded. I'd prefer Lee retired a Cub in about 5 years. Okay, maybe that's wishful thinking.

I want this team blown up, but I don't trust Hendry to rebuild it.


Lee is already treading in league average territory now at 35.

Do you really want him blocking 1st base for another 5 years?

I am not trying to be a smart ass, but how can someone say "I don't trust Hendry to rebuild" and follow that up with "But keep Lee around for ol' time's sake"?

I wonder if we had a Logan Morrison or Justin Smoak in the minors, if the Lee sentimentality would remain.

You are mischaracterizing my comments. It's not sentimentality or "ol' time's sake", it's his superior defense. Without Lee we would discover that our infielders don't throw nearly as well as we think they do. And, Aaron B, yes I know 5 years is wishful thinking. Maybe another 3? I don't know, but I want him to retire a Cub.

I just don't have the same sentiment for DLee that you do Ryno.

I'd much rather his spot be filled with Price Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez by 2012.

If you can get a prospect or comp picks for him in the next 6 months. You need to do it and move along. JMHO

I'd much rather his spot be filled with Price Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez by 2012.

Well geez... on this point we agree. Of course. Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez are a couple of the game's best hitters.

Throw out 2009 on Lee's career arc, and tell me what you come up with for the next three years. He better catch a lot of throws to make up for that

I'm not saying Lee would be an RBI source, in fact I expect him to decline at the plate. That doesn't mean he's not a net plus for the team.

Throw out 2009 on Lee's career arc, and tell me what you come up with for the next three years. He better catch a lot of throws to make up for that - or are you expecting Fountainout and Castro to combine for 60 HR's next year?

On the 21 games thing, they showed up at the park on time, did their workouts, sat around for three hours waiting for a game to start, probably started to warm up again around 8:00, so they probably feel a lot like they played a game even though they didn't.

I may be misremembering, but I believe I've heard in the past that teams can vote and overrule this provision. In other words, it may have been the case that the Cubs approached the Pirates about making it up on tomorrow's off-day, but the Pirates, within their rights, declined. And it makes sense. They are at home the entire time anyway, and they may get a Cubs team jet lagged from traveling.

my guesses are that lee will not be traded [or re-signed], lilly will be & soriano/zombie, alas, cannot be...fukodome could be movable given the duration of his deal

MLB at least considering reversing call, although think that would make for a bad precedent they don't want to get into.


Seriously, though, what bullshit. I could understand if it was REALLY close, but it was only kind of close.

Muskat says all the trade talk is B.S.

Z will start tomorrow.

I wonder if the Rangers would trade Justin Smoak for DLee and Lilly if the Cubs paid the difference in Salary? To me that is the kind of deals Hendry needs to be aiming for.

Rangers would have huge improvement this year, and two type A free agents at seasons end.

Cubs get a blue chip prospect to plug a huge organizational hole.

Type A free agents aren't really that valuable if you are afraid to offer them arbitration.

I wonder if the Rangers would trade Justin Smoak for DLee and Lilly if the Cubs paid the difference in Salary?

so that would be all the salary?

and no, they wouldn't trade him, maybe Chris Davis

I'd trade DLee for Chris Davis if I were the Cubs brass.

what's the point?

25 homers and 200Ks. dude can't even run. it's singles, deep doubles no one catches, and a few homers.

we got jason dubois who can do that.

right after that, they should resign Ryan Harvey.

What purpose does DLee serve after 2010?

If you can take a chance on a 24 year old Lefty slugger that can play 3rd or 1st. You should seriously think about it. Davis is WAY too young to give up on as a prospect. Especially if DLee isn't going to get an arbitration offer after this year.

What purpose does DLee serve after 2010?

about the same as Chris Davis will

I wouldn't be against offering Lee arbitration myself, just not a multi-year deal.

Most of Lee's peripherals are decent, he's certainly not been the .230 hitter that the results show.

That 24% strikeout rate doesn't look too decent to me, nor does the 6 HR's in 227 PA's.

23% for his career and in 20% range the last few years. Doesn't look alarming to me, looks like a slump.

Aramis K rate is alarming.

I could live with 25 HR's out of him myself and is HR/FB% is a bit down. His line drive rate isn't bad either.

He's slumped, he doesn't look lost imo. I don't want to sign him for 5 years or anything, but I don't think he's a lost cause either.

OldHossRadbourn: I just thought I'd tweet in advance about how angry I am over B. Selig's decision, no matter what that decision actually is.

if selig reverses that call it will be a headache for all of baseball, imo.

it's open season on everything from the important (games that rely on a call) to the un-important (like a call that won't effect a win/loss).

it's already "crazy" enough when official scoring errors/hits get reversed both on the batter and pitcher.

ps- how the george brett pine-tar incident was handled by MLB was total crap, imo.

I don't know the rules about playing a game under protest, but it seems to me that if they could have, the Tiger should have made such a declaration last night after the play. It would be very weird, and I agree a bad precedent, for MLB to come in and change the outcome of a game based on what the replays showed on one play, but MLB has to rule on any games played under protest. In that case, the could have made them replay starting from that batter at a later date like in the Brett game. Not sure I would like that either, but would at least be more procedurally fair than MLB reacting to cameras and acting unilaterally.

Gallaraga ought to just live with the 1-hitter that *everyone* knows should have been a perfect game. May get him more attention in the long run than if there hadn't been a blown call.

I hear more from milt pappas then len barker and tom browning combined.

The way he handled the blown call will go down in history. He acted very professional.

sell some land and raise the bed tax

Recent comments

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  • 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.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?