More Ivy at Wrigley?

With yesterday's trade for Matt Garza, the by-product that caught my eye is the fact that the Cubs seem to have cornered the recent market on Ivy Leaguers. Fernando Perez studied creative writing and received a degree in American Studies at Columbia and now joins the exclusive Cub club of four.

Perez has published in Poetry Magazine.

Perez says he turns to poetry when he's "after displacement, contrast" from the game of baseball. "The thick wilderness," he continues, "of, say, late Ashbery can wrangle with the narrowness of competition."

From his Poetry Magazine article, titled: Para Rumbiar

Like poetry, baseball is a kind of counter culture. The (optional) isolation from the outside world (which I often opt for); the idleness about which—and out of which—so many poems are written or sung: I see this state of mind as a blessing.

...and if you haven't seen the Fernando Perez You Tube video on "The Working Poor" here's the link.

"nobody talks about the Fernando Perez(s), Jason Nix(s), Emilio Bonafacio(s), all these great players, playing for the minimum, that keep these guys (the stars like ARod) afloat."

Growing more Ivy, after the break...

We all knew Mark DeRosa was a Penn grad, Ivy League starting Quarterback and received a  degree from the Wharton School of Business. DeRosa's exit from the Cubs, in a 6 degrees of separation way, is related to Fernando Perez getting here. The Cubs received Chris Archer from Cleveland and now Archer goes to Tampa.

Doug Glanville also graduated from Penn and right from the get-go was one of the most scholarly ballplayers ever. His Penn senior thesis was a study of the railways surrounding a potential new Phillies stadium...and that thesis has been added to the collection of historic documents at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He was a first round draft choice of the Cubs from the 1992 amateur draft and patrolled the OF for the Cubs in 1995-6 before an offseason 1997 trade to the Phillies for Mickey Morandini. He's become quite a celebrated author, publishing as a columnist in the NY Times and now has a book out titled, "The Game from Where I Stand". Here's a link from Chicago Magazine.com including an interview with DG from Wrigley Field reminiscing on his Cub experience and moving back to Chicago as his current home. I love listening to him and this is a great Chicago ramble.

I'd forgotten that Mike Remlinger was a Dartmouth grad. He lead the NCAA with a 1.59 ERA in 1986. His legacy as a Cub?  I'll always remember him for the weirdest disabled list injury...breaking his throwing left hand little finger when it got caught in a reclining chair.

The most famous Ivy Leaguer (but alas, not a Cub) is Lou Gehrig. Gehrig's college prowess was as a pitcher and he held the Columbia career strikeout record from the 1920's until 1978! Lou, Lou, Lou.

I say, Collect 'em all...and here's my invite to Fernando Perez to do some creative writing on TCR.

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Comments

Sun-Times, Gord Wittenmeyer's Saturday article on the trade.

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

Garza, whose $3.35 million 2010 salary could nearly double in arbitration this winter, doesn’t fit the space Hendry had left in his payroll budget for 2011, which suggests that ownership consent was necessary and that a trade or two could follow to shed salary.

Pitcher Tom Gorzelanny already has been rumored to be on the block for the past month.

here's Fernando Perez' article in Poetry magazine...not a poem but he has a flare.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/journal/artic...

I write from Caracas, the murder capital of the world, where I’ve been employed by the Leones to score runs and prevent balls from falling in the outfield.

Like poetry, baseball is a kind of counter culture. The (optional) isolation from the outside world (which I often opt for); the idleness about which—and out of which—so many poems are written or sung: I see this state of mind as a blessing.

(I'm adding this link and quote to the TCR article)

"We are the disappointment-makers and we are the spenders of money."
O'Shaughnessy

Thanks for the Ivy Update CUBSTER.

AZ PHIL: Apparently Hayden Simpson is throwing again after a debilitating Mono illness. He was s'posed to start pitching in your 'hood.

Have you seen him yet? What kind of stuff does he have?

Also, since the Cubs believe obviously that they have more talented MiLB depth, and since it has been reported that the team chose to hang on to Trey McNutt over Archer, how would you compare the two pitchers?

Did you believe that they are equally talented? Or, did McNutt's control and speed inevitably win out?

What say ye, PHIL?

Submitted by The E-Man on Sat, 01/08/2011 - 10:46am.
AZ PHIL: Apparently Hayden Simpson is throwing again after a debilitating Mono illness. He was s'posed to start pitching in your 'hood.

Have you seen him yet? What kind of stuff does he have?

Also, since the Cubs believe obviously that they have more talented MiLB depth, and since it has been reported that the team chose to hang on to Trey McNutt over Archer, how would you compare the two pitchers?

Did you believe that they are equally talented? Or, did McNutt's control and speed inevitably win out?

What say ye, PHIL?

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

E-MAN: I haven't seen Hayden Simpson yet.

As for Chris Archer versus Trey McNutt, to me Archer is Carlos Marmol with a change-up, and McNutt is more like a young Mark Prior.

The big issue with Archer is control. Nobody hits him, because he has a mid-90's fastball that has movement, together with an unhittable high-velocity hard-breaking slider, and an OK change-up. But he struggled with control at Peoria in 2009, and then after going to Instructs post-2009 and working on pitching to contact to help improve his control, he threw strikes consistently the first half of last seson at Daytona, but then he lost it when he got promoted to AA. He needs to throw strikes more consistently.

McNutt throws just as hard as Archer, but his fastball is more pure heat than the running gas Archer throws, and his breaking ball is very good and he gets swings & misses with it, but it's more of a curve than Archer's a hard-slider. Right now McNutt has better command of his stuff.

But if Archer throws strikes he is a #1 starter or he could be (like Marmol) an unhittable lights-out closer. Of the two, I would say Archer (barring injury) has the higher ceiling, but also is (of the two) the one more-likely to flame out due to control issues.

I always wondered what it would be like for a truly intelligent and intellectually curious person to be on a professional sports team. I'm sure you can find a couple of guys who aren't utter prats but some of the meat-headed behavior must get pretty old pretty fast.

I'm no genius but even traveling to the south for a few weeks with my college baseball team got pretty old. Only so many farts can be lit, beers consumed and balconies climbed before tedium begins eating at your brain.

I once read a hilarious humor piece about Durocher's NY Giants - how each guy on the team was reading a book - Faulkner, Tolstoy etc... and literature is all they would talk about in the dugout and bullpen. Don't remember where I read it and I've never come across it again.

You are not only describing the typical jock, you are also describing the typical teenage frat member, and most teenage college students.

Fuld is no dummy either. Maybe not a guy who gets into Stanford without baseball, but he can at least be articulate.

fwiw, Perez was on XM radio and gushed about what a great group of guys the Rays were and how much he loved hanging around all of them. He said him and Garza will likely share a place in Mesa.

He seemed extremely comfortable with the baseball culture.

"Johnny always says 'you can only drink SO much and screw SO much'..." - Swoozy Kurtz in Slap Shot

Not saying it can't be done. Don't even know how smart Perez is. Just that his apparent intelligence reminded me of something I've wondered about in the past.

Admittedly, you do get something out of being part of a team that is different than intellectual stimulation.

And while the antics of my college baseball teammates was youthful foolishness, I was also once in the Cincinnati Reds locker room when an attempt at fart ignition was attempted to the laughing until crying reaction of most of the team. Many pro athletes are frozen in a sort of pre-adult state. Hot foots and bubble gum on hats aren't exactly the Algonquin Round Table.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_s...

Either way you are not worth four of our juiciest prospects!!!!

I'm sure general manager Jim Hendry did his due diligence and got the right guy. Although, there is a resemblance — in facial hair — between Garza and former Cubs right-hander Matt Clement. Ah, it'll all be sorted out in spring training.

----
I see dead Brillo pads

What's funny is I was thinking that too....

Does Ricketts own a hidden closet somewhere of fake Clement-beards that he can now sell to pay Garza's salary??

via ye olde world o roto:

"According to MLB.com's Peter Gammons, the Rangers were willing to send Derek Holland, Frank Francisco and outfielder Engel Beltre to the Rays for Matt Garza.

They were also trying to get Robinson Cirinos from the Cubs to use in the trade, though the Rays ended up getting Chirinos directly."

Damn it's hard being right all the time... I am getting used to it, though.

you have a lot in common with sarah palin if that's a victory for you.

The Cuba finalized the Matt Garza trade on Saturday, and will receive minor-league right-hander Zachary Rosscup as the third player in the deal.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2011/01/...

Zach Rosscup

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

84.2ip 0hr....damn.

i dunno crap about the guy, but the numbers look decent. looks like a contact ground ball guy...or lucky.

He's certainly not an Ivy Leaguer.

"reading is lame... why read when we have tv"

http://www.myspace.com/zacisback

Sounds more like a Farnsworth.

"Im Zac. im a very nice and very fun person who is very outgoing and up for anything. i will do anything to have fun at any time."

bro-rific.

Give him IVY credit. His 2009 season was spent at Princeton. According to B-R.

...only if he can spell it.

too bad there's no Princeton Pilsner.

While the page is douchetastic, what really troubles me is that he still uses MySpace.

Cubs.com has a writeup...so the deal is official anf has been finalized.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110...

Ptbnl is Zack Rosscup as noted above.

XM hosts this afternoon, Jeff Nelson and Grant Paulson love the Cubs side of the deal...although GP does like Lee a lot.

NFL should change its rules this winter. Winning a division should not guarantee a home playoff game. Playoff entry - yes - but not a home game. What a gas.

I think the opposite. NO wasn't good enough to win their own division, they shouldn't host a game.

Well played. Although I'd get a kick out of the Bears beating either team:

Smug Pete Caroll

or

the Ex-Bears 1985 Ball Boy Sean Payton and summersalting Reggie Bush

If you give up 41 to Seattle on the moon, you shouldn't be in the playoffs.

so I have to root for Green Bay now? ugh

mlb network guys diss the Garza trade...and Bowa trades Z to Yankees

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?co...

i dont get all the hate from this trade....then again, i like garza and his club control.

lee is a great SS prospect, but he doesn't really project til 2013 and even then people are still wondering if he's even 10hr/30double capable.

archer is a great pitching prospect, but the cubs have similar or better.

chin/b.g. both had good years, but both are old and the cubs have an answer to both guys in their system.

if you don't like garza it's a slam-dunk "bleh" trade, but i think the guy is a solid #2/#3 type.

...also i think the MLB Hotstove breakdown is a bit overblown on their statement of how it empties the system. imo, the only guy that hurts to give up is lee. ...the Z to NY talk is a bit ahead of themselves.

Chironos, Guyer, and Fuld are no big loss. Lee is going to have to turn into a very good hitter with some power to make his loss hurt. Otherwise good field no-hit shortstops are a dime a dozen. He might have more speed than your Rey Ordonez, etc., but dealing him for a good to very good starting pitcher is a no-brainer.

Archer we obviously sold high on. Maybe he continues to improve, or maybe in a year he's no longer considered a top prospect, but the more I think about the deal, if Garza stays healthy we should come out on top. The only way we don't is if multiple guys we gave up become productive big league starters, or Archer becomes Roger Clemens (and he'll need some syringes to do that).

Anyone know more than just stats on the other pitcher we got back? His stats are nice, but is he a power pitcher, finesse guy, etc?

Garza is overrated and a flyball pitcher that may struggle during Chicago summers. 24 is not old for AA, so I think Guyer's age should not be considered a downgrade on his viability (though his lack of top prospect production prior to 2010 should).

Hate for the trade comes from the fact that the trade gives the Cubs more certainty in potential gain, mainly a #2 pitcher. Maybe he will improve and be a #1 for the Cubs, but he likely won't be great. And most likely, the Cubs will not make the playoffs with or without Garza. So we acquired certainty for potential....the players we gave up potentially will never make the majors or potentially all become major league regulars, and Archer and Lee might be perennial all-stars.

If we are not going to make the playoffs with the certainty, I would rather have the potential upside.

Garza is overrated and a flyball pitcher that may struggle during Chicago summers.

I just want to know if you said this about Ted Lilly. You did when Hendry signed him, didn't you?

Yeah, I get the Ted Lilly comparisons. I believe Garza is our ace, but I still don't believe we have a team that can contend; I'm hoping to be proved wrong.

i'm still trying to figure out how STL did so crappy compared to how they should have last year with pujols/holliday + those 3 starters.

baseball's a funny ass game.

I don't believe the team will contend, either. This whole thing is a head-scratcher. Greg Maddux loved Garza and I'm sure this had some influence. He's also worked with McNutt, apparently.

I think that Hendry is trying to win to save his gig, and certainly, as per usual, he gets a deal done right before the Convention.

The revenues have been declining. Maybe Ricketts wants to get the team in-line with "Project .500" to suck more fans and advertisers in?

You have to field a team.

If the Cubs went into z and dempster at the top of the rotation they were looking at 65-70 wins. They probably won't win much more than that with Garza but they couldn't go into the season after a bad season with all the Lou bs from it without making bigger addition then Carlos Pena.

The Cubs are in the same boat as Yanks and Red Sox, they are never going to get away with fielding a minor league team and tell the fans to be patient.

Agreed. We certainly do not seem to have a one-two punch like Linci-Cain, Halladay-Lee, Carpenter-Wainright.

If you built a team from scratch with clones of the above, a decent GM could somehow manage to field a team that is seriously in the hunt for the Playoffs, at least.

The Giants had this formula with a break-through year for a rookie catcher, and had career years from other guys - several "wash-ups" included. One even was WS MVP!

Man, baseball is a strange sport, isn't it?

I don't think we can contend either, but crazier things have happened. I think our offense has too many holes. I also think that while our pitching staff looks much better on paper than last year's team, we still don't have a real knockout pitching staff. Dempster could be a .500 pitcher with an era around 4, or maybe he rebounds to all-star form now that his daughter is doing better. Z could be anything. Those are the two main problems, what kind of seasons do we get from those two guys?

A couple of other points. As much as I get on Hendry at times (most of the time), he has the guts/motivation/team payroll to go out and get guys that our previous GM's just never did. I think it goes beyond Hendry just having more payroll than McFail and Lynch, etc., he makes aggressive moves to try and win. It's kind of funny that we are complaining to each other about our GM trying to make the team better by trading for a good pitcher and not giving up anything off the major league roster.

The other point that I think we have to consider is that Hendry apparently looked past 2011 and realized that Garza was the best pitcher we had any legitimate chance of acquiring in the next two years, so strike while Garza was available and we had the goods to get him.

The major league roster needs an upgrade at catcher #2, and we just traded that to the Rays. In fact, just going by last year's numbers, the gap from Gorzellany (+1.1 wins) or Silva (+.5) to Garza is probably less than from Hill to Chirinos (1.7).

In Hendry's defense of the trade - it's his farm system. It's not really fair to Hendry to bash him for trading a guys from a farm system that he built, after we bitch for years about the farm system not being worth anything.

Another blurb from Cameron on the trade and the value of Chirnos.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/why-...

Curious, how is the 1.7 win for Chirinos computed being he doesn't have big league experience? Seems counterintuitive that upgrading from Silva to Garza has less impact than changing who is the back up replacement level catcher.

Well if you click that link there, Cameron estimates Chirinos at about 1 win, and Hill came in at negative .7 wins last year. If you just do a straight major league equivalency to Chirinos's '10 stats, you'd probably get even more than a win.

He also estimates that Chirinos is the back up plan if backup Shoppach is injured or underperforms from his previous .4 WAR (.196 avg .308 obp .342 slg). I think this says more about how lacking Koyie Hill is than about any potential Chirinos has. I agree that Hill needs to be replaced, but it seems reactionary to fret over losing an unproven 26 year old, double A, possible league average catcher in order to obtain a 27 year old proven number 2 starting pitcher who is an innings eater, under club control and also has a ALCS MVP and a no hitter to boot.

we can't use both w.castillo and chininininiros...one was expendable.

nice to have that luxury.

Castillo would have been fine at AAA while Chirinos got us the same 2 wins in MLB, while further building his trade value.

Exactly. That's what irks me, too. What is it with worthless bench players that so fascinates Jim Hendry? Lenny Harris, Rey Rey, Gabor Bako, Jose F-ing Macias, Koyie Hill, it never ends. There's a "pet" on every year's team it seems.

Len Casper gets video interviewed on mlb.com after the Garza deal.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?co...

One of the shooting victims in Arizona yesterday was Dallas Green's granddaughter.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_28c8e...

Dallas Green's 9 year old grand daughter among the murdered victims at shooting of AZ congresswoman yesterday.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_s...

I just got goosebumps and teared up.

So senseless and vile...

what a society

I agree on senseless and vile, but I also don't think one 22 y/o POS = "a society"

Buster Olney solicits opinions of several scouts ("talent evaluators")...and opinions are like bellybuttons ("everyone's got one")

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olne... (subscription required)

From an NL evaluator: "I actually kind of like the deal from the Cubs' standpoint. They have a weak system and Archer is arguably the top prospect, but in most systems he'd be the third or fourth best prospect. People are really mixed on Lee -- he can fly, has tremendous range at shortstop and a plus arm, but zero power, and there are questions if he will be an every-day player. Guyer came out of nowhere last year, but he's a legit every-day outfield prospect and he's probably the second player in the deal for the Rays. Like Guyer, Chirinos came on last year and could be a low-end regular.

"low-end regular" = 85 octane?

"low-end regular" = 85 octane?

haha

Rick Morrissey has a column on Sosa in Hall?, A Thousand times No:

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

Sammy Sosa will be eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame beginning in 2013.

It means nothing. It’s like John Mayer hoping to get into the Celibacy Hall of Fame.

That is the worst joke I've ever heard. Get bent, Rick Morrissey.

Especially when he had Tiger Woo as a better punchline.

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/...

St. Pete Times article on Garza trade with video interview of one of their sportswriters. Nothing really groundbreaking.

"...Garza may have another no-hitter and a 20 win season in him"

Thing that bugs me about the article is the fact checking. How can so many writers and reports not know that steroids were in fact banned in MLB during the 90's. They weren't tested for, but they were banned.

Bruce Miles article after Garza visits the friendly winter confines yesterday:

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110108/s...

note that Fernando Perez is only hitting right-handed after his dislocated left wrist injury from 3-10-09. I believe it's a variation on the same injury that Brian Uhrlacher had. Perez had his wrist scoped in AZ (Dr. Donald Sheridan) and had pins inserted to stabilize the carpal (wrist) bone alignment while the ligaments healed. Although DLee's injury was a fractured wrist and was treated with casting (no surgery), we all saw the impact on his hitting for almost a year after that. Wrist injuries affect bat speed and in Perez' case, he was in AAA all of last year. So he should be closer to his normal hitting skill-set this year.

“He's one of the fastest guys in the game,” Hendry said. “He's a flyer. He was well on his way to looking like his career was going to take off after the World Series run, and then he had the severe injury to his hand and wrist. He's much healthier now that he's only hitting right-handed.”

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/mar/22/ferna...

Wait until some B-Level pitcher hits him on the same wrist.

David Weathers, for example.

Nice ESPN article on Matt Murton

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5...

Thanks for posting that. I'm happy he's found some success.

Good for him.

I have a buddy who scouts for Tigers and was going to meet with Murton in June 2008. He couldn't because the day they were to meet Murton was traded for Rich Harden.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Muskat article/interview with Hak Ju Lee, plus video interview with Chris Archer

I graduated from Northern Illinois and am considered a dope by most of my peers

HA!

I'll do you one better, I was considered almost genius-level smart in hs, 34 on the ACT, all that....

And recently finished my online BS from TUI University!!

(special shout out to comic books, women, and booze for making it all possible)

nice. In which order? If you don't say women I'm gonna have to do some hard core critiquing.

from the "oh, that's why" department...

grant balfour and his stellar numbers hasn't been signed or showed up on the rumor-signing/pursued radar because of velocity concerns.

also, scott "the state of arizona illegally sealed my cokehead wife's records" schoeneweis is out there looking work.

I know I should know from reading the posts from you guys, but I have no idea who scott "the state of arizona illegally sealed my cokehead wife's records" schoeneweis is.

Isn't he a milk distributor in Chicago?

scott s's wife died a few years ago. it was tragic, really...kids left behind and all. she struggled for years with a coke habit.

when she died the state sealed (illegally) her records, but someone who thought that was screwed up leaked it to the media anyway. scott didn't want it all out in the public and protect his kids from the info and etc etc etc...

it took a state appeals court to actually "legit" release the records...according to state law.

it's nothing against scott or his wife, it's the government giving him special treatment because his family is evidently more special and important than the rest of the state.

oh I was thinking of Oberweise from chicago milk fame.

Well that sucks. Let's talk about something else. My niece is actually all bummed about about the AZ killings. Which is good I guess since I always assumed she didn't care about such things.

heh.

outside of this incident...which could have happened in any state...

i'm pissed i can't move to AZ because their economy and job market is wrecked so badly. people are leaving the state in droves and it's not opening up jobs, it's taking the jobs with them because so many are leaving. those that are left can't spend enough money to support businesses that are more safely established. the horrible reputation the state has is driving tech jobs (aka, high paying jobs) away because of the state's national image.

my only offers are in Yuma, AZ and that's a bit too much "arizona heat" for me.

hell, i wish i could find work in AZ. they're practically giving away houses there.

Yanks GM Brian Cashman comments on the high price Tampa wanted from any Yankee offer for Garza

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/ya...

"We never got off the dime, but strong impressions were that it would be something that would cost us more because we are in the division, kind of like Roy Halladay," Cashman said Saturday. "We like Matt Garza and I had a conversation early in the winter and it was clear that what it would take would be more significant than I wanted to do. And there was also reluctance from them to trading within the division."

from Rangers blogster (Jamey Newberg, see item #2).

http://www.newbergreport.com/article.asp?arti...

First time I saw Dollis' name involved in the Garza related talks.

Newberg makes it sound like Chirinos was the key for Tampa (whether they took the deal from the Cubs or Rangers). Note the part where he says Texas included Chirinos in their offer? Sort of odd. Once Carlos Pena signed and Kerry Wood fell in Hendry's lap, Texas offer of first Davis, then O'Day became of little interest. Really would have been a sucker punch if Garza wound up in Texas and Chirinos still wound up in Tampa.
------------------

According to Peter Gammons (MLB.com), the Rangers offered Derek Holland, Frankie Francisco, Engel Beltre, Cubs minor league catcher Robinson Chirinos, and cash to Tampa Bay for Matt Garza

snip...

The Chirinos component to the Rangers’ offer obviously meant he was a key for the Rays and that Texas attempted to get the Cubs involved in its own effort to acquire Garza

snip...

...the Rangers and Cubs were in talks that might have involved Chris Davis (and possibly Darren O’Day) on the Texas side, and Chirinos (and possibly righthander Rafael Dolis) on the Chicago side.

I suspect the Rays are hoping they will be able to flip Chirinos (or that Chirinos will become good enough to allow them to trade one of their other catchers). Just a thought. But if Chirinos continues his success in the minors and/or has a little success in the majors, he could become a hod commodity by the middle of the year, and then the Rays could trade Chirinos (or one of their other catchers) to a team whose primary catcher suffered an injury. Then again, I'm probably thinking too far ahead for baseball--too many other things could happen in the meantime. Maybe they just really like the guy, like his swing or whatever.

I suspect that the Rays realized the Cubs had a commodity that they undervalued and took it off of them for a song.

A guy who hit like the 4th best catcher in MLB last year, as well as being the Cubs best defensive catcher in the minors... ahead of Bob Brenley's kid. That's what the Rays got.

MILB article on the trade, focusing mostly on the Cubs prospects traded.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110...

The Cubs certainly undervalued Chirinos when they exposed him to the Rule 5 draft in December '09; but then so did the Rays, who could have grabbed him then.

I'm not unsympathetic to your view that by waiting a year or two, the Cubs could have gotten a lot more for Chirinos and Lee, if they didn't intend to keep them.

At this point, I'm hoping that Archer and Lee are flops, but I'm still a fan of Chirinos and Guyer, I guess because they didn't start out as top prospects. They're self-made.

Archer and Guyer were both 5th round picks...

Yes, but . . .

Archer was 20 in February '09, when I read this in Scout.com:

But it was the acquisition of Archer that prompted phone calls from four clubs who offered congratulatory messages to Chicago Scouting Director Tim Wilken.

"They thought this was the whole key to the deal, Chris Archer,” says Wilken.

I don't recall anyone suggesting Guyer had a shot at the majors until his 2010 double-A season at age 24. Try to locate him on a prospect list for 2010.

http://cubs.scout.com/a.z?s=260&p=8&c=1&nid=4...

Mentioned in a top 20 article from 2009 and described with "unique combination of power and speed" in an article from december of 2008.

Good job, Neal, you found somebody besides me who liked Guyer. Number 12 in Inside The Ivy's ranking for '09.

More typical, though, is Guyer's near invisibility on this page.

a guy who projects as a reed johnson type isn't gonna get too much hype.

great 4th OF type or even a weakish starting CF (there's a lot around mlb).

he hits well, but it's aggressive and he don't look at a lot of pitches.

That's a pretty good comparison, Guyer to Johnson. They both hit about the same number of homers in the minors. Like Guyer, Johnson stole a lot bases in the minors. But then he stopped stealing in the majors. One reason might be the mediocre SB/CS ratio, 68/27 versus Guyer's 93/19. If Guyer runs like that in the majors, he can be better than a fourth OF.

He was irrelevant to the Cubs, though, with Soriano and Byrd monopolizing the outfield and Brett Johnson coming along to bump one of them.

Edit: Who's Brett Johnson?

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 1:11pm.

I don't recall anyone suggesting Guyer had a shot at the majors until his 2010 double-A season at age 24. Try to locate him on a prospect list for 2010.

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

VA PHIL: Brandon Guyer was on my Cubs Top 15 prospect list post-2008, post-2009, and post-2010.

I meant outside TCR.

Rob didn't have him on his list, so you guys canceled each other out.

I would say Brandon Guyer is just about at the point in his career where Reed Johnson was when he first came up with Toronto or Eric Byrnes was when he was a rookie with Oakland.

I wouldn't be surprised if Guyer makes the Rays 2011 Opening Day roster, and and I could see him playing RF and hitting lead-off. The Rays have several holes in their projected lineup, and Fuld and Chirinos should get some decent PT, too. This was a great trade for the careers of Guyer, Fuld, and Chirinos. All three of them were blocked in Chicago.

Sounds good, I hope you're right.

Was any thought ever given (this is the Cubs so I'm guessing no) to teaching Soto to play first which would have opened up the catcher spot? Or were they just dead set on spending millions on a come-back player of the year candidate?

more thought of giving Colvin a shot than Soto.

probably not gonna hand C over to a guy with 62 AAA PA's and probably don't think Castillo is ready either

I think Soto already knows how to play first base, anyway.

From Baseball America's write up on the Garza trade:

"...Rosscup is a physical 6-foot-2, 205-pound lefthander notable for solid athletic ability and a projectable fastball in the upper 80s that scrapes the low 90s. He also throws a curveball and changeup and has impressed more for his ability to throw consistent strikes at this stage than for his pure stuff."

Not that I'm doubting AZ Phil, but they say Fernando Perez is out of options.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/majors/t...

Submitted by QuietMan on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 9:41am.
From Baseball America's write up on the Garza trade:

"...Rosscup is a physical 6-foot-2, 205-pound lefthander notable for solid athletic ability and a projectable fastball in the upper 80s that scrapes the low 90s. He also throws a curveball and changeup and has impressed more for his ability to throw consistent strikes at this stage than for his pure stuff."

Not that I'm doubting AZ Phil, but they say Fernando Perez is out of options

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

Q-MAN: Fernando Perez was added to the Tampa Bay 40-man roster for the first time in November 2007, was optioned to the minors (and thus used an option) in 2008 and 2010, but he spent Opening Day through 8-31-2009 on the Rays DL (15-day then later moved to the 60-day), and was reactivated on September 1st. So he got credit for one full-season of MLB Service Time in 2009.

I'm not great at math, but wouldn't that mean he has one minor league option left?

Pointing out their error AZ Phil. Not doubting you.

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/245586...

claimed off waivers from Red Sox who claimed him from Rangers

Minors
http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

Majors
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/r...

will be 26 next year, must of gone off the juice the last 2 years, Sickels had him as a B and #9 heading into 2009, then C+ into 2010. Sickels likes his bat, not his glovework so much.

he was going to go to Red Sox for Mike Lowell before last year

apparently there was a thumb injury somewhere along the way, defense seems to be not liked by anyone

Rob, it was Mike Lowell who had the thumb injury nixing the trade. I can't find any record of Ramirez being injured.

That was my recolection as well...

Anyway he hits .217, so that should add about 6 MPH to the pitching staff's fastballs when he's catching.

they probably mixed that up in the first article I was reading.

It does look like there was a wrist injury actually.

http://joyofsox.blogspot.com/2009/12/lowell-t...

http://projectprospect.com/article/2010/02/23...

-edit-
http://rangers.scout.com/2/880209.html

Because Ramirez has battled right-wrist soreness and left-wrist tendinitis, it may be for the best to write this season off and not completely hold it against him. Many Rangers fans will remember what a nagging wrist injury did to ultra-talented first baseman Adrian Gonzalez—he hit just five home runs while playing a full season in 2003

so he's either going to get healthy again and this is a steal or a complete lost cause. The Red Sox immediately dropping him after picking him up suggests it's a lost cause.

I read that and get out of it that Ramirez is going to hit 40 HR's next year.

How is it possible that ROB G and Seamhead both posted at exactly the same time.

IS this accurate?

I mean who "broke" this story anyway??

where the fuuuuu...do you put max?

he's AAA or bigs...so is welly...

i have a feeling he's gonna play 1st for AAA (even though he's too short, imo, but that's another discussion).

Maybe Quade pointed out that Koyie Hill can't hit...

after/during spring k.hill could be cut and made a coach somewhere in the system.

this is pure speculation, though...i dunno what they plan on doing with max, but AA isn't a proper option for him or welly, imo.

Before The Trade, Chirinos was slotted as splitting time with Castillo at Iowa, so doesn't that explain the acquisition of Ramirez--he will back up Castillo at Iowa? I don't think Brenly is ready for AAA yet, and I dunno, the Cubs don't seem to think much of Clevenger from what I can tell.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 4:54pm.
Before The Trade, Chirinos was slotted as splitting time with Castillo at Iowa, so doesn't that explain the acquisition of Ramirez--he will back up Castillo at Iowa? I don't think Brenly is ready for AAA yet, and I dunno, the Cubs don't seem to think much of Clevenger from what I can tell.

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

JIM H: While the Cubs will likely try to get him through waivers and send him to Iowa if he doesn't make the Cubs Opening Day roster out of Spring Training, the Cubs are well-covered at catcher at the AAA and AA levels, even if they are unable to send M. Ramirez to the minors.

Welington Castillo and either Chris Robinson or Steve Clevenger will probably be at Iowa (and they will probably go with three catchers at Iowa if M. Ramirez ends up there), and either C. Robinson or Clevenger, Michael Brenly, and Blake Lalli (C-1B) will likely be at Tennessee.

The problem is at Daytona (Micah Gibbs and Chad Noble look to be the backstops at Peoria), where Luis Flores, Jonathan Mota (also SS-2B-3B-OF), and Jose Guevara presently look like the catching staff. (Micah Gibbs might jump to Daytona, but his bat probably isn't ready for Hi-A).

Brenly could end up back at Daytona again, but if he makes the Tennessee roster, the Cubs will probably have to bring in a free-agent catcher to add depth at Daytona. Long-time Cubs minor leaguers Mark Reed and Mario Mercedes were Rule 55 minor league FAs post-2010, but neither has signed elsewhere yet, so maybe one of them will re-sign with the Cubs and get assigned to Daytona with Flores.

So the Cubs' solution to the LH SP problem (if they trade Gorz) apparently is James Russell and a prayer.

help*%@!

dump/garz/z/silva/wells-gorz

i wouldn't worry too much unless wells and gorz both go.

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