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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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

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  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

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  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.