A Cub Fan's Blessings & Wishes

As the holidays draw near it's time to start making lists. Even in the wake of seasons as lackluster as 2010 there are things to be grateful for. Take, for instance, the following:

1. The Cubs still don't have a mascot.

2. Most of the seats at Wrigley Field are still unobstructed.

3. Most of the events staged there are still baseball games.

4. Ron Santo still works there.

5. The scoreboard is still [literally] alive.

6. The Triple A team still plays where I live.

7. We're out from under Rothschild's contract & burdensome last name.

8. All of the other contracts are a year older.

9. Cubs are undefeated & unbeatable for another four-plus months.

10. Sunshine is a known cure for Ricketts.

Enough with Thanksgiving. What about a Christmas list?

1. A .648 winning % [aka, 24 -13].

2. A bullpen made up of one year contracts.

3. An honest year's work out of Zambrano.

4. A decent year's work out of Soriano.

5. Above average grades for the sophomore C's.

6. Another home[y] for Fukodome?

7. Hi-ho Silva! Away?

8. A pulse for Len; a muzzle for Bob.

9. A new sweater for Pat; a clue for Ron.

10. A once-in-a-lifetime season for all of us!


Instead of a pulse for Len, how about a replacement for Len?

I like Len and Bob together. I think they're infinitely more listenable than Pat and Ron or Joe Buck and anyone. They're kind of a charming duo. Len is kind of nerdy, Brenly's happily out of touch with all things modern. Nice contrast

how about the ghost of Harry? which reminds me, the wish list should have included an end to the guest celeb sing-alongs...

I like the celeb sing alongs better than the Harry Carry version... guess I am in a very small minority on that.

hopefully so...

harry's probably somewhere too busy telling a story about the time he got drunk with a golf player while watching college football to realize he's dead.

he's still trying to catch up to all those plays made and runs scored while he was talking over the game. years-long backlog...

Dunn did get offered arbitration, for those of you still holding the candle.

my appreciation for Harry is mostly posthumous - i would take him in a heartbeat over all of his successors...

Not Dave Otto. And Joe Carter was fantastic, too.

i still have no idea HOW joe carter got that job.

when he was uncomfortable or nervous behind the mic (3/4 of the time) he would chuckle and laugh through his words into the mic.

Those guys were awful. I enjoyed Drunk Mike Bielecki.

I remember one game when they were having Otto and Bielecki make their picks for the Keys to the Game. They would each pick 2-3 keys and compare after the game who might have been most accurate. It was typical boring junk. But one game Bielecki showed up in the press box with Chip (I think) and Otto. Otto went first, and one of his keys to the game was to score more runs than the other team. Bielecki appeared to have started imbibing early, and was glazed over a bit, but not enough to not turn to Otto and say, "really? your key is to score more runs than the other team?" and proceed to roll his eyes. Shortly after that he was no longer on the Cubs coverage. Lol.

Santo is the Cub mascot, unfortunately he's has a microphone in front of him.

better santo than the #$%&* phillie phanatic!

The Phanatic is a mute.

Post of the day!

i don't like his body language...

Better the phillie phanatic than lance berkman.

via ye olde world o roto:

"The Cubs could pursue free agent Lance Berkman, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.

According to Berkman, the Cubs are one of the teams that has talked to his agent, but the A's have been the "most aggressive" interested party. "

Big Fat Elvis Puma

$7 Million from Hendry

Over or under?

Guaranteed? 4 mil.

Over. No one like Hendry to be first in on a buyers' market in order to get half the player at six times the price. See Abreu and Bradley.

Yup over.

I can't wait til 2011 is over.

Hendry overpaid for Abreu?

No, but he should have, opposed to Bradley.

The point was, he overpaid for Bradley, getting half the player Abreu is.

Or that was sarcasm, and I totally friggin missed it, for which I apologize....

Break out the old 'we've got wood' t-shirts?

Apparently, Ken Davidoff says the Yanks are only offering arbitration to Javier Vasquez.


per roto...

The Yankees declined to offer arbitration to Kerry Wood.

This is contrary to previous reports and it's unclear why New York changed its mind. Wood is a Type B free agent and would have netted the Yankees a draft pick if he signed elsewhere, but perhaps the club was afraid he'd accept the offer and stick them with a tab around the $10.5 million he earned this past season. The 33-year-old turned in a stellar 1.23 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in 26 innings this year for the Yankees and is hoping to spin that success into a multi-year contract and a ninth-inning job.

Source: Ken Davidoff (Newsday) on Twitter

So the link that says twitter.com/kendavidoff is from who again? ; )

Kenda Vidoff

Count me in the camp of wanting the Cubs to sign difference makers over PR stunts.

Can we ount you in the camp that didn't notice the bullpen's ERA was 4.72, 2nd worst in the majors as well?

Overpaying for injured mid 30's relievers will certainly help that out.

So will playing a DH at first.

without dunn, castro doesn't have a shot at the SS season-error record.

119 isn't an easy number to match.

I'm not saying it has to be Dunn (though he will be the cheapest acceptable option)

Adrian Gonzalez, Price Fielder, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols

Take your pick out of that group?

It still doesn't change that its beyond bad roster management to go cheap at First, so we can bring Kerry Wood back to pitch the 7th.

I surely hope we aren't falling back into the days of letting the marketing dept shape the personnel moves of this franchise?

Timothy Geithner... Jim Hendry:

Still have jobs. I'm still befuddled.



agonz, fielder, pujols?

marketing department? is sandberg our manager?

Why else would we be hearing this KW talk then? What does KW provide to this franchise that 30 other available cheaper relievers couldn't?

We've got 10-15 Legitimate MLB prospect pitchers who are within a year or two of helping the MLB staff.

We've got exactly 1 bat on the horizon. And he's more a projected 7th place hitter who will be in AA this year.

All I am saying is allocate the resources where they will do the most good. Signing a viable long term First Baseman ACCOMPLISHES THAT. Signing a washed up former local icon doesn't.

This ain't rocket surgery people

i dunno what kerry wood has to do with dunn.

...and it's not like the cubs are the only club out there going "well, he's not much of a 1st baseman."

hell, the cubs have at least been in contact with dunn.

we got a hell of a shaky-D SS on the club and the 1st base market is rarely horrible...hell, next year it gets better barring teams handing out extensions.

like it or not there's just not a lot of desire for dunn coming from anyone this early and the cubs seem to be exploring other options at 1st. i really don't think it has anything to do with trying to accommodate signing kerry wood, myself. hell, outside of speculation i haven't heard any cubs/wood links yet.

"What does KW provide to this franchise that 30 other available cheaper relievers couldn't?"

10 K's per 9.


Any other questions?


I like the idea of Woody, actually if for no other reason than he may be the one player I don't think Hendry would overpay for, otherwise we'd have overpaid for him 2 years ago instead of risking the negative fan sentiment of letting him walk.

That and I've just always had a man-crush on Kerry Wood. There, I admitted it.

While we're at it why not pick up Mark Prior as well....
His fastball is supposed to be back in the low 90's.

or is that his towel? I forget.

It's funny how people get all worked up over the Cubs hypothetically overpaying for ex-Cubs, instead of actually thinking about who's most likely to provide the best bang for the buck.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 11/24/2010 - 7:04pm.
It's funny how people get all worked up over the Cubs hypothetically overpaying for ex-Cubs, instead of actually thinking about who's most likely to provide the best bang for the buck.


REAL NEAL: Of the FA RH set-up guys with closer experience who wouldn't cost the Cubs a draft pick, I'd go after Dan Wheeler, but I wouldn't have a problem with the Cubs signing Kerry Wood, either. The main thing is to find a decent candidate who understands the situation (Marmol is the closer, except on days when he's not available, or if he gets hurt). It probably will requuire a two-year contract with a base salary around $5M per year plus another $2M in performance bonuses each year based on GF in case Marmol gets hurt.

Wheeler would be OK, but it doesn't quite have the swing and miss stuff I'd like to see in a guy we could throw into a fire type situation.

I'd be all for signing Mark Prior if he's in the 90's again and has his nasty curve back.

Kevin Gregg may make sense now that Rothschild and Pinhead are gone, speaking of former Cubs.

My point really is that there are a lot of guys out there that can fill that role, and I wouldn't rule out former Cubs because of some built up angst from 2006. I wouldn't offer $5 million guaranteed, either. Something like $3 million with a vesting option for a second year at a little more guaranteed. The Cubs just aren't in a place where paying $5 million for setup men makes sense.

Kerry has also taken hometown discounts in the past. I'm not sure if he would accept less than market value now, but he is more likely to do so than other pen righties out there. At least it's worth a conversation with Cubs brass.

The Cubs shouldn't let their pen affect their 1B choice, however. Big market team, and all that. Hopefully they don't forget it.

Agree on the hometown discounts from Wood, but what really is the market for RH setup men at this point? If memory serves, there's more than a few out there...

Submitted by Tony S. on Thu, 11/25/2010 - 11:38am.
Agree on the hometown discounts from Wood, but what really is the market for RH setup men at this point? If memory serves, there's more than a few out there...


TONY S: RH set-up man Joaquin Benoit got three years/$16.5M ($5.5M per year) from Detroit last week.

i thought the scenario for 2011 was that the cubs are a big-market team with a small-market amount of discretionary income?

hence the need to contemplate colvin, or soto? or both?

or, perhaps hendry can rope-a-dope until the july 31 trade deadline and pull off a magical 4-team trade netting them adrian g from san diego for some of the nearly ready aa and aaa rosters?

Not a huge deal, but Davidoff has Kerry's WHIP and ERA backwards.

Just sayin

"A .648 winning % [aka, 24 -13]."

As long as we're asking Santa, a .648 winning % as in 104 - 58!!!

Happy Gobble Gobble!

Soriano falls short for the Martinez award.


Of infinite more interest to me, than Soriano slams, is that the last Ranger to win the best DH award also won a Golden Glove the same year.


Bruce Miles comments on all things Cubs...


j.garland 1yr/5m with LAD.

nothing special, but nice pricetag coming off of 200ip and decent numbers (even if in SD).

NL West slut.

a.sisco minor league deal, yanks

via rotowurld:

"The Cubs are in talks with free agent Brandon Webb, sources told AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price."


Cubs should skip all those mediocre free agent SP's. We already have 5 starters, plus 2-3 bp guys who can start, and the kids on the farm, and we're not going anywhere, so why spend the cash?

If we didn't have any veterans and it was just kids, sure, sign a vet or 2 to mentor the kids and eat some innings, but we have the opposite.

Here's the fanhouse article on Webb and the Cubs...


MLBTR via ESPN: Cubs have 'shown interest' in Bonderman, Harang, Millwood, Vasquez, and Padilla, as well as Garland before he went off the market; however, Vasquez appears headed to either FLA or WAS.

gwah...i hope all this "need for SP" that seems to exist for the cubs doesn't result in r.wells for c.davis.


/end speculation

That said, if C. Davis works out and R. Wells is the next R. Hill, that might not be all that bad....

wow...money isn't everything to some...

"The contract between the Marlins and Javier Vazquez will be worth between $6-7 million, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal."

sure, he wasn't due for 15m or anything, but he probably could have held out for something closer to 10m.

wonder if there's incentives attached...

Well, apparently he REALLY wanted to play in Florida. I say good for him.

"The contract between the Marlins and Javier Vazquez is worth $7 million and includes a full no-trade clause, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal."


So, if Lou endorses Quade as the skipper, does that mean we should start searching for his replacement now...?

"According to FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi, the Cubs are showing interest in free agent first baseman Carlos Pena."

f'n meh...just meh...

I'd rather give the job to some 4A scrub like Brian LaHair over Pena.

Guess we better keep First base open for that big minor league bat that hasn't been in this system since 1985.

cubs system has pitchers, OF, middle IF...3rd and C if you're a fan of a couple guys...

power hitting and 1st are deficient in the system.

it would be nice to have a legit power threat work his way up through the system...haven't seen a developed power bat work it's way up in a long time.

Raffy Palmeiro is the last one I can remember? Before that who knows?

Geovany Soto, and then Colvin this year.

Palmeiro came up as a doubles hitter, like Grace.

Soto has shown to be legit. Colvin still seems really flukey to me though. Bad ML numbers. Mediocre this year past May. Seems like a guy who parlayed 35 early season games into WAY too much cubs fan goodwill.

yeah, soto is fair given his position, f'sure.

Or for AGonz next year? Or we give it to Pena for 3 plus an option and hope Rudy J can bring his avg up?

There aren't any perfect answers for damn sure, and on a team, let's be honest, not 'intent' on winning this year? There are worse answers. I'll take the HR and vet 'leadership', although I think his D is getting blown out of proportion...?

*edit I'm not smart on UZR or UZR/150, but his haven't been positive since 08, and he's a 32 y/o 1B

It should bring us right back to the fundamental question of which is Better.

Dunn at 3/36 or Agonz or Fielder at 8/160?

This is eerily similar to the Beltran and Furcal misses of years past.

First, I don't think 3/36 gets Dunn.

Second, I don't think Dunn's worth his asking price anymore.

Third, I like AGonz at that contract, not Fielder, don't think his body will hold up. Now, Fielder at 5/110 or the like? Absolutely. Still think Gonz is a better idea.

And what these questions boil down to, do the Cubs want a new franchise player? Are they willing to pay for that? The last attempt was Soriano, and we're still reeling from that one. Also, need to look at it from fan's view vs. owner's view. We can sit around and bitch about Soriano, they've gotta pay him $18m for shit, that's going to make you a bit gun-shy. I think AGonz is a guy you can build around, absolutely. But for Dunn, we had a better team two years ago to slap his bat into the middle of, now it'd just be a f'n waste. Pitching and defense, friends, pitching and defense. And this team hasn't had defense in a long time.

I know the Cubs are rumored to have major interest in Adrian Gonzalez, but I can't picture Ricketts giving the OK to sign him to that kind of a deal. Plus we would have to have a very competitive bid since the Red Sox have long been expected to go after him.

And personally, I'm just not interested in signing anyone, even Latin superstar Jesus Christ, to a $20 million or more per year deal. We've seen firsthand how these big deals handcuff teams.

Those big deals only handcuff teams who don't set their payrolls appropriately to their revenue. If the Cubs were a $160 million payroll team, they could handle a contract or two like that - just like the Red Sox could handle Manny's contract, and the Yankees won with Arod, Sabathia, Jeter, Riviera and Texeira.

I don't see how the Cubs could do another $20 mill-ish a year contract while they other guys vastly underperforming their current large contracts (Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano, Silva/Bradley). Seems to me that if you screw up a few very large contracts, or screw up a few large contracts very badly, that you are in a very tough position until those contracts are up--and that trying to patch up during that time, instead of developing the minor leagues and waiting it out--makes throwing good money after bad very likely.

You run the risk of being over reactionary in saying you WON'T do any more big contracts though. The Cubs biggest advantage in the Division is their much greater financial resources. I don't want it to be acceptable for ownership to go cheap. Rest assured they won't pass the savings back to the fans.

It would be nice to have a steady supply of ML talent coming up through the system. I just don't believe its all that close to actually happening.

All of the Yankees players you mentioned contributed to their team, they aren't bad contracts in the sense that the player is significantly under-performing their salary and can't be traded due to their massive contract and poor play, forgetting about any no-trade clauses.

My being gunshy is from the Cubs/Hendry not making a huge contract that has worked out very well for the team. I don't know if it's Hendry or what (yeah, it's probably Hendry), but the Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano, deals haven't looked too good. To be fair, the Z deal was the market rate at the time, and Fukudome had other teams bidding similar or even higher prices (I think the White Sox offered more money than the Cubs). Soriano was a case where we outbid everyone to land a star player and make a splash that turned out more like a dribble.

Other big $$$ Hendry deals, DLee turned out pretty well, but he didn't approach $20 mil per. ARam was mostly a success, despite the frequent injuries. The Bradley deal was awful. But again, those 3 contracts are not in the ballpark of what $$$ A Gonzalez will demand, or Cliff Lee, etc.

How many $20 mil per year deals can you point to in baseball that work out well for their teams long term? Very, very few. A player might give them 2-3 years of good production, but these guys all seem to be in their 30's when they sign these 7+ year deals and as soon as they start their natural decline, or suffer an injury that speeds up their decline (Soriano's legs), the deals look awful.

Well, you're changing the point that you initially stated. If you said "paying Adrian Gonzalez $21 million for seven years will cripple the team when he ages poorly", that's a defensible arguement. Just saying "The Cubs cannot afford $20 million contracts" isn't. The Cubs can afford those contracs, if they choose wisely. No one anywhere thought the Soriano contract was a wise one, most people considered it a necessary evil, at best. That being said, with two playoff appearances and another competitive year, at this point, fiscally it probably wasn't a bad deal. The remainder of it though...

The Bonds contract didn't cripple the Giants, the Maddux contract worked out OK for the Braves, the aforementioned Ramirez deal got two World Series for the Red Sox. There are examples, Hendry just hasn't figured out where to find them yet.

It just shows the flaw in what the Cubs value when evaluating players. They are/have been a stone aged, scouting based franchise.

Soriano was flashy and "5 tool". He looked good in a uniform. Lets target him. Same can be said for Bradley as well.

You can absolutely win by paying guys market rates. It just needs to be the correct guys. And market rate doesn't have to mean 20% OVER market rate.

I never said the Cubs can't afford $20 million contracts. Go read my original post.

Someone is hacking you and wrote:

And personally, I'm just not interested in signing anyone, even Latin superstar Jesus Christ, to a $20 million or more per year deal. We've seen firsthand how these big deals handcuff teams

You should probably get your virus software updated.


Bonds had 1 year deals once he hit the $20 million range. Maddux never made $20 million a year.

I thought you could have time and market adjusted their salaries. Replace $20 million with "Highest Paid Free agents."

The Giants, for example, paid Bonds $15 million in 2002, which made him the 2nd highest paid player in the league and accounted for 19% of their payroll. A $20 million player would only account for 14% of the Cubs 2010 opening day payroll (according to Cot's)

In addressing the comment that the Cubs may/may not be gun-shy about taking on another big-ticket contract long-term, I think that this becomes more likely when a couple of things happen:

1. The Cubs get a "cash-cow" subscription-only cable package, ala the YES Network, or,

2. The team starts winning consistently.

It seems as if since #1 will be at least a two more year wait when their CSN contract expires, this would mean #2 would need to happen for this guy to spend big money on a team where he barely afforded it.

At this point, most people believe that the Cubs at current have the #4 starting pitching staff in the Division!

And, when comparing it to what's going on in Philly, SF, or even Cincy, we have a long way to go to match up with the likes of Randy Wells, Tom Gorzo, Fat-Ass, Thomas Cloudy-Diamond, et. al.

We will see how this develops after the Winter Meetings, and as Spring Training gets going.

Ricketts, as others have pointed out, is "house poor" right now, and cannot afford to re-do the plumbing, or add new appliances in the kitchen.

It will be a difficult, "low-expectations" year in 2011, and I would be shocked if the Cubs took on any long-term, big-money deals on at all. But - I was pretty shocked when the Cubs signed Soriano.

Anyway, how can anyone complain when we have new troughs to pee in?

I mean, just what are your priorities here?

In my post I was saying I am gun-shy about taking on new big $$ contracts. I doubt Hendry is gun-shy. Hendry loves credit cards, but his Sugar Daddy cut him off.

What is amusing though is how Ricketts claims the team is so broke. They're in the top 5 teams for revenue, don't give us that crap. The team sucks because it was poorly assembled and given over-market contracts to many players, not because of any revenue problems.

While arguably true about the contracts, Ricketts is going to use the revenue to recover from the purchase, while using some to address the real concerns on Waveland, the facilities themselves (like new troughs to pee in).

The good news about those tacks is that with a) Ricketts better off financially long-term and b) better facilities for the team, etc., the Cubs have a better chance of becoming a winning franchise, not a one-time winning team.

It just (most likely) won't start in 2011.

What is amusing though is how Ricketts claims the team is so broke

is that what they're claiming?

if they're keeping the payroll in the top 3 or 4 in the NL, I don't know how they could be claiming that. That's what they usually are in revenues in the NL behind the Mets, and around the Dodgers and Phillies and that's where their payroll should be.

4th best starting pitching...in the division? Um...certainly not worse than Pittsburgh or Milwaukee? Houston? Are the Reds starters that much better?

Yeah, I can see you saying 3rd, but which of those teams other than the Reds and Cards could you say is better than the Cubs?

From Bruce Levine's blg today:

"Unless ownership changes its mind, the Cubs will have to make their additions with as little as $5 million-$7 million in available payroll. Even before the Ricketts family took over the Cubs in October 2009, payroll had been flat since December 2008, when the Tribune Co. declared bankruptcy and owner Sam Zell told team executive Crane Kenney and general manager Jim Hendry that spending money on any free agent or trade was done.

Hendry was a half day away from obtaining Jake Peavy and his $60 million contract from the San Diego Padres before Zell pulled the plug.

Since that day, Hendry has had to make trades -- like the Mark DeRosa deal and Milton Bradley transaction -- on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The only way he's been able to add players is trading money in order to spend it.

He adds: "bottom feeders" are two words that describe the Cubs this year. Ugh.

Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald also has a new post on his blog today. Nothing much new, except that Padilla is not under consideration...


A question for anyone on either side of the Dunn fence:

We all know his defensive shortcomings and what he brings to the table offensively. So, will his D cancel out his strengths on offense? Will he produce more runs or cost more runs?

OK, that's two questions, I guess.

I posted this in the previous thread.

#41 Re: The Color Purple
Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 12:26pm.

According to fangraphs Metric ratings. Dunn was 16th out of 22 qualifying First Basemen. I'd figure with time he will be at least average.


If that's UZR (which I think it is) it does not count catching throws from infielders, and it used to not include line drives (MGL thought catching line drives by infielders was total luck), though not sure if that's been added.

It's not totally useless, but it's not very good either. Just sort by WAR to see where Dunn would stand, based on last year to incorporate offense and defense, I guess.

The Fangraphs guys do a lot of interesting things, but their logic and reasononing ability is substandard compared to their "competition".

Those are the overall aggregate ratings of all qualifying 1st basemen. Not terrible though, especially since it was his first year at the position.

I think too many people are holding his LF defense against him. It isn't germane to his glove work at First.

if there's 6 worse 1st than dunn that metric rating needs some heavy work.

hell, if there's 2 worse...etc...

no range, no glove, no arm, no reach...haven't seen enough of him trying to dig balls on throws...

he's a man without a position.

the guy hits 40hr a year and once again no one gives a damn. coming out of CIN he was a man without a position who had a flippant attitude toward the game who took a 2yr/20m deal with a non-contender. after 2 years he's still a man without a position and the buzz on him seems to be as tame as 2 years ago.

If you go by the standard aggregate he is 15th out of 22


yeah, i wouldn't go by any aggregate. this is an easy one. if you've seen him at 1st for more than a few games (if necessary) it's painfully evident how clumbsy he is there.

heck, he can't even play LF anymore.

...and besides all that. i'd like to know what's up with him besides his D shortcomings that produces so little interest in the guy.

a few months ago i'd say he was due for 15m multi-year...now it seems no NL teams want a piece of him and he's not being linked to hardly anyone. the #1 power hitter on the market and guys like VMart are getting 12m to fill a DH role for a contender. sure, he can "emergency/backup C" but his D there is pretty cruddy.

So metrics are only valid if they prove your own existing opinion? Are you really Gary Hughes?

i'm going to take the high road here and call you a retard.


what's the logic that Dunn will get better with time at age 31?

Because it was his first year playing the position.

well first full year, but he didn't show any improvement ever in the outfield, what makes you think he'll try to get better at 1b? And more likely whatever he does learn, he'll give back by just getting old.

and what makes you ignore that the people who get paid to watch him, don't think he should be playing the position?

anyway, Cubs are obviously not spending unless they move some contracts, so it's all becoming moot.

So is it a GOOD thing that the Cubs are apparently going cheap? If it's the case it will sicken me as a fan. Shades of the Frank McCourt "plan" of raising ticket prices and slashing payroll in LA.

way to deflect the questions I posed.

I think it would be wise to not let Hendry sign anyone for any longer than they think he'll be around.

Not sure what question I dodged? Most reports were that his defese at first was acceptable. Except for an "anonymous scout" who crowed about his defense after he turned down the Nationals extension offer.

I'm not advocating putting the guy at Short or Center. First base is a place you can stash a marginal glove. To me it's worth the gamble to fix a bottom 10 offense in 2011.

Just my opinion.

Most reports were that his defese at first was acceptable. Except for an "anonymous scout" who crowed about his defense after he turned down the Nationals extension offer.

so you're theory is that all the other teams in the league, particularly in the NL, are passing on him because of an anonymous scout that was paid or urged by the Nats to bad-mouth him?

anyway, here's another "advanced metric" that doesn't like his defense.


Thanks for posting that article. So far, it's the only direct answer to my question.

Yes, it is much better for them to go cheap than waste money that handcuffs the team later.

Thought this was 3/44?

dodgers giving juan uribe 3/21


will play 2base

bye bye riot


With Andy LaRoche having cleared Outright Waivers and elected free-agency, I could see the Cubs trying to sign him to a 2011 minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training.

The idea would be for the Cubs to send LaRoche to AAA with the promise that he would be brought up no later than September 1st (or sooner if Aramis Ramirez is traded or goes down with an injury), and if he is added to a 40-man roster prior to the end of the season he would be eligible for salary-arbitration post-2011.

And then if he can re-estasblish his bat at AAA, LaRoche would be a candidate to replace Aramis Ramirez post-2011 if A-Ram leaves as a FA.

LaRoche was dropped from the Pirates 40-man roster now mainly because he is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time post-2010, but also because he is out of minor league options. So if the Cubs do sign him, he needs to be signed to a minor league deal so that he would not have to get through waivers if he doesn't make the Cubs 2011 25-man Opening Day roster out of Spring Training.

LaRoche was a BA MLB Top 100 prospect four seasons in a row (2005-08), and he hit a respectable 258/330/401 with 29 doubles and 12 HR in 150 games with Pittsburgh in 2009 after being acquired from the Dodgers in the LAD-PIT-BOS Manny Ramirez three-way deal in 2008. But then he struggled at the plate in 2010 and lost his startting job to Bucs #1 prospect Pedro Alvarez. However, LaRoche is still just 27 years old and could possibly resurrect his career in 2011 with a full-season of regular playing time at AAA.

Marquez Smith is presently projected as the starting 3B at Iowa, but the fact that the Cubs did not add him to the 40-man roster would seem to indicate that they aren't completely sold on him as an MLB prospect, and wouldn't be overly disappointed if they lose him in the Rule 5 Draft.

Like Marquez Smith, Andy LaRoche does not really have the versatility or atleticism to play other positions, so what you would be getting is an everyday 3B, not a utility player or bench guy. It's just a question of whether he can fulfill the tremendous potential he showed coming up through the Dodgers system, or if he has gradually morphed into a 4-A guy.

I like it. I don't see much reason not to give it a shot.

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  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 7 hours 53 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 13 hours 11 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 13 hours 12 min ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 13 hours 25 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 13 hours 25 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 13 hours 33 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 14 hours 19 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 14 hours 23 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 14 hours 35 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 14 hours 54 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 15 hours 14 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 15 hours 15 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 18 hours 15 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 18 hours 28 min ago view