Not Necessarily a Minor Matter

There is a tendency for fans to write-off older players in the minor leagues. But throughout the history of baseball there have been many players labeled “4-A guy” or "career AAA player” who became successful front-line players after being given a chance. And that's still true today, as many minor league players buried in the bush leagues long for the serendipity of being in the right place at the right time.


SS Maury Wills, who spent nine years in the minors before he got a chance to play in the big leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3B Jose "Coco" Laboy, a ten-year minor league player with the Giants and the Cardinals before becoming 1969 N. L. Rookie of the Year with the expansion Montreal Expos, and 1970 N. L. All-Star OF Jim Hickman, who was left for dead & buried in AAA when the Cubs acquired him from the Dodgers along with Phil Regan in 1968, are just three examples of after-thoughts who persevered to have success in the big leagues somewhat late in their baseball lives. But one thing different between now and then is that minor leaguers like Wills, Laboy, and Hickman (and many, many others just like them over the years) did not have the right to be a free-agent. They were stuck wherever they were, forever, waiting for an opportunity that might not ever come.


But today's minor leaguers at least have hope. A light at the end of the tunnel. They have the right to become free-agents (under certain circumstances), just like their big league brethren do.


And for those of you who think minor league free-agency is an irrelevant off-season side-show, keep in mind that OF Ryan Ludwick was a minor league FA when he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals post-2006, 1B Garrett Jones was a minor league FA when he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates post 2008, OF Andres Torres was a minor league FA when he signed with the San Francisco Giants post-2008, IF-OF Brooks Conrad was a minor league FA when he signed with the Atlanta Braves post-2008, LHP Javier Lopez (now an important member of the Giants bullpen) was a minor league FA when he signed with the Pirates prior to the 2010 season, and RHP R. A. Dickey was a minor league FA when he signed with the Mets post-2009.


A minor league player can become a free-agent three ways. One is by outright release (club option), another is by virtue of MLB Rule 55 - AKA "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent" (player option), and the third is per Article XX of the CBA (also a player option).


Waivers are not required to release a minor league player, and a released minor league player receives two weeks termination pay unless he is released during the off-season before his contract is renewed by his parent club. A club can automatically renew a minor league player's contract no more than six times, so a club can unilaterally control a minor league player for no more than seven seasons (the season the player signs his first contract, plus six seasons after that) before the player is eligible to be a minor league free-agent under MLB Rule 55.


A minor league player qualifies for free-agency as a so-called "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent" under MLB Rule 55 if the player has spent all or part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league active list or disabled list (including all or parts of any season spent on Optional Assignment to the minors) and/or if the player has been previously released in his career. However, a player eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent is NOT eligible for free-agency if the player is added to an MLB 40-man roster by the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series, or if the player and his club agree to a minor league successor contract for the following season prior to the conclusion of the MLB Free-Agency Filing Period (now the first five days immediately following the conclusion of the World Series), Clubs retain exclusive negotiating rights with their own Rule 55 minor league free-agents until the conclusion of the MLB Free-Agency Filing Period.


Under CBA Article XX, any MLB player who has accrued at least three years of MLB service time and/or has been outrighted previously in his career has the right to be a free-agent if the player is outrighted to the minor leagues. The player can exercise this right upon being outrighted, or he can defer the right until the end of the MLB regular season (he is given three days to decide if he is outrighted during the regular season, and he has a week to decide if he is outrighted during the off-season or Spring Training). If a player eligible to be a minor league free-agent under Article XX exercises his right to be a free-agent immediately after being outrighted, the player's contract is terminated and the player receives no termination pay. (Because unsigned players do not receive termination pay, players eligible to be minor league free-agents under Article XX who are outrighted during the off-season before being tendered a contract for the following season always opt for free-agency immediately). But if the outrighted player accepts the Outright Assignment and defers his right to be a free-agent until the end of the MLB regular season, the player's existing contract remains in force, and the player can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. However, an outrighted player who defers the right to be a minor league free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the end of the MLB regular season. Clubs retain exclusive negotiating rights with their own Article XX minor league free-agents through October 15th.


A minor league free-agent can sign a contract with any major league or minor league club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions. A club receives no compensation for losing a minor league free-agent.


ARTICLE XX MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2010:
Mike Parisi, RHP
Bobby Scales, INF


ELIGIBLE TO BE RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2010:
James Adduci, OF (10/29 UPDATE: Outrighted to minors - eligible to be Rule 55 FA)
Mitch Atkins, RHP
Adrian Aviles, OF-LHP
Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP
Russ Canzler, 1B
Robinson Chirinos, C-INF (10/29 UPDATE: Added to Cubs 40-man roster)
Jason Dubois, OF
Jeff Gray, RHP (10/26 UPDATE: Outrighted to minors - eligible to be Rule 55 FA) 
Mark Johnson, C
Bryan Lahair, 1B
Antoni Lugo, 3B
J. R. Mathes, LHP
Scott McClain, 3B
Mario Mercedes, C
Jonathan Mota, INF (10/26 UPDATE: Signed 2011 minor league contract with Cubs)
Alvaro Ramirez, OF
Mark Reed, C
NOTE: RHP Thomas Diamond, INF Bobby Scales, and OF Brad Snyder were on the list of Cubs minor league players eligible to be Rule 55 free-agents post-2010 prior to being added to the Cubs 40-man roster during the season (Diamond on 8/2 and Scales and Snyder on 9/7). Then Scales became eligible to be an Article XX minor league FA when he was outrighted to the minors on 10/14, because he had been outrighted previously in his career.


Of the 17 Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2010 (15 by way of MLB Rule 55 and two via CBA Article XX), Robinson Chirinos is the only one likely to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster. Orginally signed by the Cubs out of Venezuela as a hot-shot 16-year old second-baseman, Chirinos could be molded into a C-1B-2B-3B-RHPH, perhaps becoming the eventual 25-man roster replacement for Jeff Baker.


Of the 16 others, several will likely end up re-signing with the Cubs. Historically, about half of the Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be Rule 55 minor league free-agents return to the organization for at least one more season. In some cases it’s probably a comfort-zone factor, and in other cases the player might get a pay raise (maybe up from $15,000 to $25,000) and/or an NRI to Spring Training, while some players just have no place else to go.


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


PITCHER: The Cubs always sign a handful of pitchers with MLB and/or AAA experience to minor league contracts and give them an NRI to Spring Training. The ones who don’t make the Opening Day 25-man roster (and that’s usually all of them) get sent to Iowa where they hope to get a shot later in the season. This off-season I would expect the Cubs to sign two or three RH relief pitchers with MLB experience to minor league contracts who will actually be given a legitimate shot at winning a big league bullpen job in Spring Training.


CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT PITCHERS:


21-year old Adrian Aviles is an ex-OF the Cubs are converting to LHP at their Dominican Academy. He did not pitch in any DSL games in 2010. Aviles is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League FA because he was released previously in his career (by the Los Angeles Dodgers), but he probably will return to the Cubs organization in 2011 unless he gets released.


RHP Mitch Atkins was outrighted off the Cubs 40—man roster in September. It is likely that no matter where he ends up, he will get a minor league contract (possibly for as much as $75K) with an NRI to Spring Training. He could get that if he returns to the Cubs, or he could also get that from just about any other MLB organization. Now 25, Atkins was a John Stockstill draft pick back in 2004, so I would not be surprised if Atkins signs a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles.


RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League FA because he was released previously in his career (by Seattle). The 25-year old Bibens-Dirkx is the rare bird who went to Indy ball after being released out of “A” ball, and then came back, getting all the way up to AAA by the 2010 season. ABD was in the Iowa Cubs starting rotation by the end of the season and had a decent year. He is presently pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League (VWL), where scouts from all 30 organizations can watch him pitch. Like Mitch Atkins, Bibens-Dirkx will get an NRI to Spring Training and a guaranteed AAA roster slot no matter where he ends up.


29-year old LHP J. R. Mathes was a rotation starter at Iowa for the past four seasons and got an NRI to Spring Training with the big club in both 2009 and 2010, but he has never been given a chance to pitch in the big leagues, so I doubt that Mathes will return to the Cubs organization in 2011 even if he is guaranteed a job at Iowa and given another NRI to Spring Training. All 30 MLB organizations can give him that, but there should be a handful of organizations who can also give him a genuine shot at pitching in the big leagues.


RHP Mike Parisi has already filed for free-agency through CBA Article XX, but could return to the Cubs organization in 2011 because he has a long-standing working relationship with Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins going back to when both were in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Parisi was selected by the Cubs from the Cardinals in the Major League Phase of the 2009 Rule 5 Draft, but was outrighted to AAA at the end of Spring Training. The 27-year old Parisi had the right to be a free-agent after being outrighted because he had been outrighted previously in his career, but he deferred his right to be a FA until after the end of the 2010 regular season. Parisi spent most of the 2010 season on the AA Tennessee Smokies Disabled List with a sore shoulder.


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


CATCHER: The Cubs are loaded with catchers at the higher levels (with Welington Castillo, Robinson Chirinos, Steve Clevenger, and Chris Robinson all contending for jobs at Iowa in 2011, and with Michael Brenly ready to be the #1 backstop at AA), but they lack depth at the Daytona/Peoria level where Luis Flores is probably the only catcher currently in the organization likely to begin the 2011 season at Daytona. So either Mark Reed and/or Mario Mercedes could return to Daytona in 2011. The Cubs also might sign an experienced free-agent catcher out of independent ball to compete for a job at Daytona.


CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT CATCHERS:


24-year old Mario Mercedes is very likely to return to the Cubs organization in 2011, because he is considered a mentor for the younger Latin players, and because he probably will have an opportunity to remain with the organization as a manager, coach, or scout once his playing days are over.


24-year old Mark Reed (the younger brother of ex-MLB OF Jeremy Reed) was a 3rd round draft pick of the Cubs in 2004 and has good receiving skills, but he has not been able to master the art of hitting. If Reed returns it would probably require a guarantee that he will be at AA in 2011, even though he probably would be needed more at Daytona. Reed could get the AA guarantee from the Cubs, but he also might want to try his luck with another organization that is not so deep at catcher at the AAA/AA levels, especially if he can wangle an NRI to Spring Training out of somebody.


35-year old MLB veteran LH catcher Mark Johnson served as a “player-coach” at Iowa in 2010, spending most of the season on the Disabled List with a “sprained ankle” and getting reactivated for short periods when the I-Cubs needed an extra body on the bench. Then after the end of the PCL season, Johnson served as a Catching Instructor (and Game Manager the last week) with the Cubs AZ Instructional League team at Fitch Park. Look for Johnson to return to the Cubs organization in 2011 as a full-time instructor or manager.


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


INFIELD: The Cubs will probably sign a free-agent SS with MLB experience to a minor league contract during the off-season to compete with Darwin Barney for the Cubs middle-infield gig at Spring Training, with the loser being the starting SS at Iowa.


CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT INFIELDERS:


24-year old Russ Canzler had a very good year at AA Tennessee in 2010 (287/372/566 with 21 HR), but it took him seven seasons to get there. He is a “natural” first-baseman, but has played 3B, LF, and RF in recent years. Canzler is one guy who probably would really benefit from a change of organization, maybe go someplace where he can get an NRI to Spring Training and play AAA ball in 2011. The Cubs would probably not be able to give him such a guarantee should he opt to re-up with the Cubs for 2011.


1B-OF Bryan Lahair fits the profile of the Garrett Jones model to a "T". And while he had another good year at AAA in 2010 (308/385/557 with 25 HR and 30 doubles at Iowa), he probably is not a fit with the 2011 Cubs. Unlike fellow I-Cubs lefty sluggers Micah Hoffpauir and Brad Snyder, Lahair REALLY struggles against LHP, so he would be (at best) a LH platoon 1B and/or LH PH at the big league level. With LH hitting Matt Spencer the likely #1 1B at Iowa in 2011 and with LH hitting Steve Clevenger also probably getting some PT there, the 27-year old Lahair will probably opt to try his luck elsewhere, hoping for some Garrett Jones-type serendipity.


Scott McClain signed a Minor League Uniform Player Contract with the Cubs for 2010, but served as a “player-coach” at Fitch Park. The 38-year old 3B-1B had knee surgery post-2009 and never really recovered enough to be placed on the Active List at Iowa. If he returns to the Cubs organization in 2011, it will probably be as a coach.


23-year old Jonathan Mota is a career minor league utility infielder, but he learned the art of catching at Extended Spring Training this past Spring, so he can also be a 3rd string catcher, too. That’s especially valuable on a AA or AAA roster where the 24-man limit puts versatility at a premium. Depending on where Nate Samson and Marwin Gonzalez end up, there will be room for Mota at either Iowa, Tennessee, or Daytona. (10-26 UPDATE: Re-signed with Cubs for 2011)


22-year old 3B Antoni Lugo spent the 2010 season in the DSL, playing with both the with DSL Cubs #1 and DSL Cubs #2. He hit 294/382/472, and was third in the league in HR and 9th in OPS. He is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League FA because he was released previously in his career (by the Chicago White Sox). He will probably return to the Cubs organization in 2011, unless he believes he will never get an opportunity to play in the U. S. if he remains in the Cubs organization.


Bobby Scales was outrighted to AAA last week, and was eligible to be a free-agent immediately per CBA Article XX because he had been outrighted previously in his career. And Scales did indeed opt to be a free-agent, and so now he is free to pursue a AAA gig and NRI to Spring Training with some MLB club in 2011. (Scales is 33 years old and has spent all or parts of the last eight seasons at AAA).


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


OUTFIELD: The Cubs might sign an outfielder to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, but if they do it probably will be only if they trade Sam Fuld and/or Brad Snyder during the off-season. Otherwise, the Cubs are already three-deep at all three OF positions going into ST. (Soriano-Guyer-Adduci in LF, Byrd-Fuld-Camp in CF, and Fukudome-Colvin-Snyder in RF).


CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT OUTFIELDERS:


Veteran OF-1B Jason Dubois was signed by the Cubs to a minor league contract last off-season to give the Iowa Cubs a veteran RH 1B-OF power bat on a team loaded with LH sluggers (Hoffpauir, Lahair, and Snyder). The 31-year old Dubois hit 300/385/632 with 20 HR for the I-Cubs in 2010, but it’s very unlikely that Du-bee will return to Des Moines next season because the 2011 Iowa Cubs won’t have Hoffpauir, Lahair, or Snyder on the roster (Hoffpauir and Snyder are out of options and Lahair is a Rule 55 FA and is unlikely to return).


Alvaro Ramirez is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League Free-Agent because he was previously released in his career (by the New York Yankees). The 24-year old Ramirez had a good year at Boise and Peoria (combined 322/350/429), and he could return to the Cubs organization next season as long as he believes he will be given a legitimate chance to make the Daytona Cubs Opening Day roster. He does fit the profile of a minor league 4th OF.

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Comments

For those "Free Bobby Scales" posters out there, you got your wish.

that's cold, yo...that's cold...

Still annoyed that Chirinos didn't get up to the majors, so we could watch more Koyie Hill fail to hit and allow baserunners free trips to second.

so we could watch more Koyie Hill fail to hit and allow baserunners free trips...
---
solution: Koyie Hill for bench coach, could he add 5 mph to the bench?

Rotoworld says Ted Lilly's contract is 3/33, guess he's no Jason Schmidt in Ned Coletti's eyes.

http://twitter.com/kengurnick/status/27881769445

Colletti paying more per year than Hendry did for a declining pitcher...

always good to know there's someone dumber out there than you

Submitted by Rob G. on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:52pm.
Colletti paying more per year than Hendry did for a declining pitcher...

always good to know there's someone dumber out there than you

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

ROB G: Maybe not dumber, it's just that Ned Colletti began his career in pro baseball working in the Cubs front office, so what else would you expect?

Zing!

Texeira severely pulls a proximal hamstring in the 5th, Pop goes $20+ million. Houston we have a problem, calling Lance Berkman.

Sergio serving meatballs.

Girardi to be named Cubs bench coach Thursday?

*rimshot

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/david-kaplan-...

Hendry says Sandberg welcome back to manage Triple A, Sandberg says it's first he's heard of it and that he'll consider but would prefer manager job somewhere else or at least major league coaching job.

Sources tell Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale and pitching coach John Farrell and Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. are finalists for the Blue Jays' managerial job.

sandberg managerial job

vs.

how quickly quade/cubs fill out the MLB coaching staff

Were I Sandberg, I'd feel lucky to get an MLB coaching job in someone else's organization--that's the next step if he really wants to manage.

I really doubt there's any GM who would want him as a manager right now. This season and his PCL Mgr of the Year award are his high points, and his team did okay in 09. But his 08 and 07 teams do little for his resume apart from general experience.

The other way to spin this, of course, is to say he's shown improvement over the course of his 4 years. That's something, but I can't help but think other candidates will have better stories to tell.

My bet is he takes Hendry's AAA offer or takes the year off from baseball.

http://withleather.uproxx.com/2010/10/the-cub...

Quade has some solid street cred and this might be a good hire for the Cubs, but I have to admit that I’m distracted by Hendry still having a job. I mean, who is going to co-host Baseball Tonight with Omar Minaya now?

someone doesn't like quade much...

"But nobody guessed it right, because Cubs GM Jim Hendry has announced that Piniella’s replacement is the team’s interim manager Mike Quade. Wait for it… wait… wait… QUAAAAAAAAAAAADE!!!"

really? =p i guess cards fans get a pass on other team's manager searches, though.

QUAAAAAAAAAAAAADE!!! reference is to Total Recall...

yeah, i should have pasted the whole paragraph where he talks about quade not being on the radar or expected.

I prefer Chuck Norris is Lone Wolf McQUADE!!

While I like the Total Recall reference, is this a bad time to point out that it's pronounced "Kwa-dee"? (It's a midwest thing, I went to high school with a couple Quades)

yeah I know, the Cardinal fan that wrote it though didn't even know who he was, so what do you expect?

As soon as you said Cardinal fan? Not much... ;-)

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?...

Sherman thinks Girardi would take $5M+, Quade should be under a million a year

A little too much
*********
speculation and conjecture
*********
for my taste in a "business" article.

given the size of the market, media, and payroll i wouldn't be surprised to see quade bring in 1m+...be nice if it's 500-800K or whatever, though.

Great overview, AZP.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101...

said it would be a "unique situation", but said everyone is on the table and an opportunity could be there if Sandberg doesn't get anything else.

It's like the old vice president rule. 2nd place gets to be 2nd in command. I like it.

Agreed, but the question is whether Sandberg will accept that, and whether Quade actually wants him on his staff (I don't think the two know each other well?).

My guess is whether or not Sandberg is in the org next year depends on how much and what level of interest he gets over the next month or so (and then what jobs are left with the Cubs, ie maybe he would have been the 3B coach but that's taken so he ends up back in Iowa)

.

well said.

"."

I'd like to use that if it's okay with you "."

Aw man, c'mon, punctuation? That's what I get?!?! ;-)

(Hell, I think I'd have taken a fart noise...)"."

"According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, "many expect" former Tigers manager Alan Trammell to end up as Kirk Gibson's bench coach with the Diamondbacks."

If Tram leaves we should hire Lou Whitaker to be bench coach.

the crap thing is trammell was/is important to castro's transition according to reports.

then again, castro got a good enough taste in the bigs of things to help himself along.

meh. for the most part bench coaches are minor players on the coaching part of things unless they specialize in something.

Over at Baseball Reference former Cubs shortstops Ryan Theriot, Cesar Izturis and Ronnie Cedeno all made it into the final 8.

Why am I not surprised....

http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archiv...

every team should get a SS who can hit .350 ob% and slug 20+ homers.

i don't understand why they don't. go figure.

Didn't we determine that all good SS are dominican, light-hitting and good fielders?? =P

Gammons says John Farrell will get Blue Jays job

Brewers down to 4, none of which are Sandberg (Cora, Listach, B. Melvin, Wallach and Roenicke are among the 8 that were interviewed).

quade piece from some newspaper in central IL...nothing new, just commentary.

http://www.pantagraph.com/sports/baseball/pro...

"Mike Quade’s hair began to fall out as a 3-year-old. That cinches it. He’s been prepping for this job all his life."

ha.

with a raise according to Heyman

probably what Hendry and Co. were told and why they finally announced Quade this week.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers...

Levine or Hendry, whomever wrote this article, explaining how Hendry didn't disrespect Sandberg, that he's still a Cubs employee until Dec. 31st and could use some major league coaching seasoning.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

says Dodgers and DBacks may interview him for a job somewhere

I don't know... I really wanted to Lou. After having him, I'm kind of like "meh" when it comes to managers. Maybe we should just get some good ball players on the team.

After listening to CRUNCH for 6 years, I am finally seeing (some of) the light on managers effectiveness/wothrlessness.

I "wanted" Dusty. He brings in Veres to stem the Prior Game 6.

I "wanted" Lou. "Demp deserved to pitch to Loney there, especially after walking seven guys to that point."

Now we have "eager" Mike.

The team will be fortunate to win 75 games next year.

I am feeling totally ambivilent about managers - except for a handful of 'em.

The team will be fortunate to win 75 games next year no matter who the manager is.

I'll take the over.

Of course I said the Cubs would win 90 this year.

and if the season would have run through thanksgiving, you woulda been right.

i just dont want the "superstar paid" types...it was nothing against dusty or lou besides their perceived price tags.

i simply don't believe in the 3-4m+ manager unless they become an institution to the team and the market drives the keeper price for the guy into that realm. i don't think there's a hired gun manager out there who can come freshly onto a team and a system that's new to him and get that value back.

Yeah done with the name managers.

Especially when they still think this a low pressure job where the fans just come out to get drunk and don't care.

Which I know Lou felt, and Dusty later learned.

I think they're probably a 75 win team next year regardless of the manager. Still a lot of holes on this team, and what should be some declining vets.

from the 1991 vote with expected BP bitching and ultimatum statement...and indirect humor in retrospect...

"When Barry was informed that he captured this award for the second year in a row he promptly proclaimed, "Screw off". It's this reporter's opinion that he's never going to be a good player if he can't learn to be a team leader and good influence in the clubhouse. He could learn a thing or two from Bobby Bonilla and Andy Van Slyke, who are both fine young men."

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/david-kaplan-...

some agent, not Dunn's, thinks he'll sign with Cubs in the 3/40 range.

it's as good as done....

i could live with that...i got a feeling he'll try to get 5+ years out of someone, though.

Hendry'fied structure

$4M the first year
$8M the second year
$28 the third year with a full NTC of course

3/40 would be reasonable, good luck on that though

I'm guessing more in the 4/52 range

I'm guessing more in the 4/52 range
---
Look for the signature on that one and you will find...Ryan Dempster's name at the bottom?

at least Dempster can bunt.

The Dunn rumors are an annual Cub fan tradition. I'm going to make a prediction: Dunn isn't a Cub at the beginning of the 2011 season.

That's COLD ROB G.

he he

But unfortunately true.

Add both teams in Texas to the list with both teams in Florida and Colorado, Canada and Arizona since 1945.

Hurry up Seattle and Las Vegas and win theirs so Cubs turn will come up.

teams that have never made the World Series...

Congrats to the Rangers...

Since 1979 (we are family!) every team has won a pennant except those two.

And...

cocaine = managerial performance enhancing drug

What's Dusty's excuse?

Speaking of which, NL Central postseason losing streak at 12 (and counting)...

Haha!

You rat!

Girardi taking the Iowa job? Sandberg takes over the Yankees reins. Now that would be Cubbery. D'Oh!

Sign Dunn then trade him for Roberts and Peavy in a 3 way deal (WSux get Dunn, O's get Hendry and Sandberg)

I can see Cubnut's "updated" diagram for this one...

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2008/03/16/grea...

cubs and sox combine to sign to 4 year contract.

first two playing first for cubs then he becomes sox dh.

Can this contract be drastically backloaded?

Can this contract be drastically backloaded?
---
sure it can, if the contract is drawn up by JH...

Last yr at ONE Billion dollars

http://www.google.com/m/search?site=images&so...

ken griffey jr. is getting paid off his contract til like 2024 or 2025...something crazy like that.

on Bruce Levine's Talking Baseball show, this tidbit:

BL said his "sources" have told him Quade's 2011 salary is in the $800K-$900K range

(of course, in the Hendry tradition, the 2nd year could be heavily back loaded)

A's pitcher Dallas Braden has filed a malpractice suit against the orthopod who took out a cyst in his foot but injured the deep peroneal nerve at the level of the surgery.

Apparently he has numbness in two toes as well as pain and fatigue in his foot which is what happens when a this nerve is injured, past the ankle. At this level it does provide sensation to big and 2nd toe and motor function to some small muscles that help extend toes. When the peroneal nerve is injured more proximally it can lead to a complete dropfoot problem as it's motor function is responsible for foot dorsiflexion (particularly the anterior tibialis muscle, dorsiflexion translates to raising the foot up).

Didn't seem to bother him when he threw his no-hitter last year.

The A's have dropped use of the surgeon's ortho group as well. The malpractice case will follow California's malpractice laws (MICRA, which has a $250K cap). These situations vary state by state.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101...

Deep Peroneal nerve anatomy, schematic drawing:

http://tinyurl.com/3angl79

Wikepedia:

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

California's MICRA:

http://www.californiahealthline.org/Articles/...

California's Legislature passed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, or MICRA, in 1975.
The law imposes a $250,000 cap on the amount plaintiffs can receive in non-economic damages for "pain and suffering." It does not limit the amount plaintiffs can seek for other costs such as lost wages, medical expenses and punitive damages.

"Didn't seem to bother him when he threw his no-hitter last year."

Do you mean the cyst? The no-hitter was in May, the surgery in August.

Do you mean the cyst? The no-hitter was in May, the surgery in August.
---
Nope. Surgery was before the Perfecto. His 2010 DL stint was for a sore left elbow. Odd to note that the 2009 Left foot DL stint is listed for a foot rash.

http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_ga...

Braden has permanent nerve damage in his left foot related to an August 2009 procedure

Braden's Perfect Game was May 9th, 2010.

Braden was definitely in the A's rotation thru the end of the 2010 year (pitched 5 games in Aug and 6 in Sept, 1 in Oct)

Braden's DL history:

08/08/09 Oakland Athletics placed LHP Dallas Braden on the 15-Day disabled list retroactive to August 1, 2009. rash on left foot

09/11/09 Oakland Athletics transferred LHP Dallas Braden from the 15-Day disabled list to the 60-Day disabled list. rash on left foot

11/05/09 Oakland Athletics activated LHP Dallas Braden from the 60-Day disabled list.

06/23/10 Oakland Athletics placed LHP Dallas Braden on the 15-Day disabled list. left elbow stiffness

07/20/10 Oakland Athletics activated LHP Dallas Braden from the 15-Day disabled list.

at least with the season ending soon and the yanks out i don't have to watch andy pettite try to sell me Dove soap for a while.

do PEDs, get caught, get more mlb contracts, get product endorsements...and people still want barry bonds to have a f'n * by his records.

the public outrage isn't enough and it's too late now. the lost generation of stats doesn't need a * if the apathy is this large.

Remember that season where Pettite won 46 games, and broke Cy Young's win record? Me neither.

hey, some people were better with their cheating and keeping kids who do it honest from getting a job than others.

i wasn't surprised or shocked when all this PED crap came out, but i was a bit outraged at how easy everyone got off. standing O's, silent complacency, and forgiveness all around as long as they're playing for the right team.

i think howard bryant (espn) put it well in this recent tweet..

Fans chanting "you took steroids" to A-Rod after cheering a pregame montage featuring Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro. -about 21 hours ago via web

all this roid talk got me thinking about roberto alomar (he showed up on the initially leaked "list" which was a fake, btw)...i totally missed this from a few weeks ago...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/wife_ta...

woah.

Texas vs SF instead of NY vs Philthydelphia....Fox TV Executives seen jumping out of windows.

Conspiracy theory: FOX paid off the UT football team to lose to Iowa State in order to improve WS ratings.

Little Mikey Fontenot going to the series.

yep the World Series featuring, Fontegod vs Andres Blanco (and Clay Rapada)

Random anecdote. Met Fontenot's godfather (no joke) during bp @ Houston a few years back. Nice guy. I'd've maybe thought it was bs, but as F was heading into the dugout, this guy holds up his beer, points to it and smiles, and Fontenot smiles huge and says "save me one."

Reason I mention it? He told us Fontenot HATES being called 'Mikey'. I just thought it was funny (little sensitive about something, are we??)

Rick Morrissey, with a heartwarming Quade article:

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/morrissey/2821...

Wittenmeyer with a...well a nice anecdotal story on Quade, also discusses his issues with A's Billy Beane when he was with the Oakland organization.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Twice in Class AAA managing stints in the 1990s -- for the Montreal Expos, then for the Philadelphia Phillies -- he clashed with organization brass over disciplining touted prospects for loafing and wound up without a job at the end of each season.

One was Phillies prospect Rick Holifield, who didn't bother running on a pop-up and was taken out of the game by Quade, who got a phone call from the front office the next day telling him Holifield had to be in the Scranton lineup every day.

Quade felt that was the wrong message and refused.

Guy seems like a problem child. So the guy he stuck up for with GM didn't want him on his own staff? That doesn't really speak well about him as a professional.

Yeah, because I consider Ken Macha to be the ultimate evaluator of talent. It strained their relationship which they've since patched up, is what it said. And you don't think Billy Beane didn't tell the new guy "No Quade?"

It's just like now, Hendry probably isn't putting too much pressure on Q (I hope), but if he's got a recommendation, like, say, Ryne Sandberg on the coaching staff somewhere, I guarantee Quade's going to listen to his boss... Unless, as was stated, it is something that becomes a matter of principle.

If Sandberg is on the staff the press and fans start clamoring for his promotion to manager right around Tax Day. Hendry's a stupid fuck, but he's not that stupid.

Quade has a long history of getting fired. He's only really been promoted three times in his 25 year career, two of them by the aforementioned dumb fuck. How many teams interviewed him for their managerial opportunities, despite him having all the contacts he should have made in his long career? Think there may be a reason for that?

At least Bradley isn't around anymore.

judging my the peanut gallery comments on mlb.com/cubs.com it seems there's more than a few that are outright f'n raging pissed sandberg didn't get the job.

it's just a manager. the players seem to like quade. meh...

i'm not sure what sandberg brings to the table over quade.

Look TRN, I'm not saying you don't have a point, I just don't think Quade's that shitty.

And never underestimate Hendry's stupidity. Seriously. (Bradley alone was indefensible)

I know this is crazy, but I think that if you've been around baseball for 30 years you should have picked up that you don't bat your best hitter 6th,7th or 8th.

Soto had the highest OPS+ on the team by a wide margin, he also was hit into the two fewer double plays than an average hitter and was the second best RBI guy among the regulars.

Quade assimilated that information through his bald pate, and came up with 8th.

He's going to make the team play worse, not better.

Soto was just batting in Koyie Hill's spot when Hill had the day off.

Soto batted 8th four times between August 23 (Quade's first game) and September 5. After that date, in his remaining nine games Soto batted 4th twice, 5th once and 6th six times.

I would say Quade tried a lot of different things, and generally moved Soto up in the lineup. The slowest guy on the team isn't going to get too near the top of the order. Soto only hit .238 in September.

Yeah, good call. You and Quade would have batted Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz what, 6th and 7th or 8th and 9th? I mean, they're slow, right?

Meanwhile the burners Aramis Ramirez and Xavier Nady got plenty of time batting nearer the top of the order.

Leave aside players like Ramirez and Ortiz, who have been in the MVP hunt numerous times.

In a good year, Soto is the rough equivalent of Brian McCann. Where does McCann, the catcher, hit in the Braves' batting order as opposed to, say, Prado, the second baseman?

I can't justify Nady getting all those at-bats in September, but I think it was AZ Phil who pointed out that the Cubs seemed to be helping him reach all his contract incentives. If that's what they were doing, it was probably not the manager's idea.

In a good year, Soto is the rough equivalent of Brian McCann. Where does McCann, the catcher, hit in the Braves' batting order as opposed to, say, Prado, the second baseman?

McCann spent most of his time batting 4th, a little bit batting 5th this year. Prado hits at the top of the lineup. McCann had a total of 13 PA's batting lower than fifth. Soto, and obviously Quade wasn't the only reason for this, had 302.

I don't get this criticism of 4D. Maybe he was just trying to ease him back in to the lineup. Soto was hurt. He sprained his shoulder Aug. 7 sending him to the 15-day DL. He came back on Aug. 23 when 4D took over as manager. A week later he hurt his knee and couldn't play for a few days. Then on Aug. 20 his shoulder sent him back onto the 15-day DL.

From here it looks like Soto had a questionable shoulder and a bad knee for most of the time the Quad had him around.

I don't get the objection. He's healthy enough to play, but not to out-hit Nady and Soriano?

"promoted three times"

For Montreal, two managerial promotions to get from Midwest League to IL.

For A's, promoted twice to get from Midwest League to PCL.

(So he did the Sandberg sequence twice.)

Cubs promoted him twice, from AAA manager to ML coach, and then to interim manager.

I count six promotions, not including the most recent one.

Quade does look a little strange, probably because of the lack of facial hair including eyebrows, making him look like someone with a very high fitness level undergoing chemo. He sometimes speaks Stengelese. But I'm intrigued by the idea that he might be very good at managing.

why do you subject us to Thom Brenneman?

They should know that's a recipe for disaster!

(ESPN radio 1000 T. Brenneman drop-in reference)

10/26 UPDATE: IF-C Jonathan Mota (who was eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA) has re-signed with the Cubs for 2011, and although he almost certainly will initially be assigned to the Iowa squad in Minor League Camp, I would expect him to end up at Daytona as the back-up infielder and #3 catcher (and mentor to the younger D-Cubs Latin players). By signing a 2011 minor league contract at this time, Mota will be eligible for selection in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft.

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