Paul McCartney's Wrigley Field Playlist

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latest on Fuk to Tribe...

Cubs to pay half of the $4.7M remaining on his salary. Deal should be finalized by Cub-Brewers game time.

2 prospects, one upper level, one lower level

I'm thinking it's the Wacker Drive Trade, with Hendry the one sleeping in a box.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1331/856540905...

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/681...

"Tyler Colvin will be with the team in Milwaukee in case the deal is completed before game time, according to sources. Colvin is expected to get most of the playing time in right field the rest of the season."

I'll believe it when I see it.

Wait a second, aren't we right in the thick of things? Why are we trading our leadoff hitter.

I hope they hit Castro #1 from here on out.

Levine's story says it's an outfielder and a pitcher.

enough season left for him to go 0/200.

That's not a bad deal for the Cubs at all, I don't care what minor leaguers they get back. To save $2 million plus on a deal involving Fukudome this year is a win.

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/7/24/2291376/mlb...

It seems that the Cubs will be paying the vast majority of Kosuke's remaining salary, so the prospects are kind of important.

If it's the vast majority, then yes, one decent prospect in return would be nice. If it's half the salary, they can both be fringe-y or rule v draft types.

According to @hoynsie, Indians only paying $775K of estimated $4.7 million still owed Fukudome this season.

That's good news.

I'm sure at least one of the people coming over is from the Indians 40 man roster. Simply to make room for Kfuk.

Hopefully these pieces are useful at some point?

One of the things to bitch at Hendry about - he hasn't really ever gotten anything for any of his deadline trades.

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2011/07...

Yep, the long and winding road was on the list. So was Helter Skelter.

How did I not do helter skelter?
There's probably 90 others that would work...

Corey Patterson is now a Cardinal. Does this automatically raise his batting average?
McCartney song/Cubs joke: "Live and Let Die."

I was thinking in refernce to Quade's (God willing) short tenure, "Hello/Goodbye".

I'm going to guess Nick Weglarz is the outfielder coming back to Chicago. Along with a borderline pitching prospect (Sickles grade C, but not in the top 20) from Low A ball.

I'm told its Carlton Smith & Abner Abreu

Abreu struck out 130 times last year.

what?

On the bright side.......Both guys play football in their spare time!!!

Not a bad guess, but I was expecting a crappy AAA pitcher to be the higher guy, based on our AAA starter "prospects" performance this year.

If the Cubs manage to deal a bunch of veterans between now and mid-August, let's say Fukudome, Johnson, Pena, and Grabow, and they let Ramirez walk at the end of the season, and they release DeWitt or at least leave him as a bench player, who plays for the Cubs for the rest of the year and next year? Are we looking at a team like this in 2012:

1B LaHare/Baker (Fielder?)
2B Barney
SS Castro
3B Baker/LeMahieu/Flaherty/Smith
LF Soriano
CF Byrd
RF Colvin
C Soto/Castillo/Clevenger

Bench
DeWitt
Marwin Gonzalez?

The Cubs have almost no one in the minors to replace starters or bench players. Flaherty stopped hitting upon his promotion to AAA, LeMahieu has been doing nothing but providing an empty batting average, Marquez Smith is 26 and only putting up an .802 OPS in the hitter-friendly PCL (a league where Welington Castillo puts up a .950+ OPS and LaHare is over 1.000). I count myself one of the resident prospect-philes here, but in the second half of this season, there has been little in the minors to get very excited about for 2012. The most promising pitchers are hurt, struggling, or both, and the best position player prospects are a year or more away probably; Flaherty seems to take a long time to adjust to each next level, Szczur probably won't arrive until 2014-ish, LeMahieu needs to add power/patience to his game, and Jackson's season following the hand injury has been disappointing. Castillo is the only bright spot as he shows tons of power, but even so that's in the PCL and he has significant defensive lapses--and we don't need a starting catcher right now.

It sure would've been nice if the Cubs had a vet or two having a career year and not weighed down by excessive salary--because they need to stock up on near-ready prospects or dependable, low-salary players for 2012.

What is an acceptable OPS? I realize your comment on Marquez Smith is related to PCL being a hitter's league, but I hear people bitch about only 800 ops all the time (or maybe it just seems like it).

Right now there are 64 players in MLB with an OPS over 800. The Cubs have only Aramis on that list, although Reed Johnson misses it because he doesn't qualify based on AB's (same is true for Zambrano, by the way).

With the Caveat that I haven't looked into this calculations at all (but it does not factor in BABIP), this converter comes up with these lines for the three guys mentioned:

http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mlecalc.html

Smith .233 .293 .355 (.648) (Ramirez .852)
Castillo .260 .312 .461 (.773) (Soto .736)
LaHair .275 .341 .517 (.858) (Pena .774)

Matt Szczur's A ball OPS this year........780

My dissatisfaction with .800 is entirely based on the environment and comparison to the performances of other players around Smith. If I thought Smith could come up and produce a .750-.800 OPS at league minimum, I'd be absolutely fine with giving him a long look. He'd have to produce a .750+ OPS to have any value at 3B, though, especially considering his defense isn't very strong. Right now, I don't think he's a better hitter than Jeff Baker. He'd probably be better than LeMahieu, though.

the ".800 OPS" standard can screw over some types of players...especially the types you tend to see at the front of lineups.

rickey henderson had a .780 OPS in 1982...he also stole 130 bases and walked 116 times.

if you're not a slugger, but you have speed or ob% skills you can get punished by OPS.

I agree, and I don't weigh every player's value based on their ability to produce an OPS of .800 or higher. Smith does not walk much, doesn't steal bases, and is not a plus defender, though. I was really making a point about Smith, not position players in general.

yeah, i was going off on an unrelated-but-related tangent.

Gotcha. I agree with you. (I thought maybe my post implied a general application of an .800 OPS standard--that's the only reason I responded.)

i should make it clear im doing that when i do that anyway...i'll try to remember that when piggybacking on a discussion in progress.

The other choice seems to be to retain Fukudome, Johnson, Pena and Grabow and have another season like this one. Personally, I would prefer to lose with Lemahieu/Flaherty/Smith getting time at the majors and Brett Jackson not far behind. Let Jay Jackson and a healed Cashner pitch at the majors and see how they do.

I think the prospects we received for Fukudome were fair compensation and neither will probably be extremely productive major leaguers. But I will take the promise of Abreu and the hope of some serviceable relief from Smith while figuring out if Colvin (or someone else) can be useful at the major league level than retaining another season of underperformance with veterans.

The other choice seems to be to retain Fukudome, Johnson, Pena and Grabow...

Well, they could use their salaries on a different, hopefully more productive group of FA players next year.

The real question is whether the $$ savings they get this year, and whatever C prospects they scrounge up are worth more than the marginal revenue they'll lose by playing inferior guys this year.

True, and I'm not saying the Cubs shouldn't dump salary, nor am I saying they should try to retain a bunch of vets that are clearly not taking them anywhere positive. I mostly just feel despair. I'm hopeful that some of the prospects will rebound/adjust and then I can look forward to 2013.

in dishonor of Hendry's Scottish ancestry...

"Mull of Kintyre"

Smith (58 of Indians top 100):

http://www.indiansprospectinsider.com/2009/02...

Welcome back, Felix Pie!

Abreau (22 of Indians top 50):

http://www.indiansprospectinsider.com/2011/02...

Abreu did not live up to his promise last season as he had one of the most disappointing years of any prospect in the Indians’ system. From a power and defensive standpoint, he is still one of the most exciting players in the system, but his struggles at the plate with making consistent contact and avoiding strikeouts is a huge concern and will be the determining factor of what he becomes as a prospect.

Clearly the Cubs' minor league coaching staffs are well-equipped to coax maximum performance from his potential.

per Jim Bowden...

http://twitter.com/JimBowdenESPNxm/statuses/9...

Chicago Cubs source has confirmed that the Cubs have acquired OF Abner Abreu, P Carlton Smith from the Cleveland Indians for Fukodome & cash

Well, Abreu looks like he has some potential as a hitter, especially given that the Cubs' farm system has such a storied past of straightening out hitters that strike out all the time (HA!). The pitcher looks more or less like a spare part that will spend most of his time at AAA... Just first impressions... At least they got something for K-Fuk, and they're not going to be dramatically worse playing Colvin there. I can't say that it looks like Colvin has earned another shot, but neither has anyone else...

Colvin can't be any less productive than Fukudome at driving in runs.

Submitted by Cubster on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 10:06am.
per Jim Bowden...

http://twitter.com/#!/JimBowdenESPNxm/statuse...

Chicago Cubs source has confirmed that the Cubs have acquired OF Abner Abreu, P Carlton Smith from the Cleveland Indians for Fukodome & cash

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

CUBSTER: RHRP Carlton Smith will be a Rule 55 minor league FA (6YFA) post-2011 if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by the 4th day following the World Series. He was drafted out of HS in 2004 by the Indians, but did not sign right away. He instead attended Okaloosa-Walton CC in Florida, and then was signed as a "Draft & Follow" in April 2005. He was converted to a reliever in 2009. Smith will probably be tried as the closer at Iowa and then will get called up in September and pitch in middle-relief for the Cubs.

OF Abner Abreu was signed as a 16-year old in October 2006, and will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time post-2011. He is hitting 352/405/831 with 8 HR in 21 games in July at Hi-A Kinston (Carolina League) and has 19 SB (3 CS) in 91 games, so he appears to be the type of toolsy guy with too many K and not enough BB favored by the Cubs. He has played both CF and RF after being moved to the outfield from INF in 2009, and has spent the last two seasons at Hi-A, so I would think he will probably go to Daytona and replace Matt Szczur in CF, with Szczur going on the DL (dislocated finger). Or he could be moved up to AA Tennessee, with Matt Spencer or Ty Wright moving up to Iowa, as Tyler Colvin gets recalled from Iowa to replace Fukudome. Evan Crawford, Michael Burgess, and Nelson Perez are also possibilities to get moved up to AA from Daytona.

http://www.indiansprospectinsider.com/2011/07...

High-A Kinston outfielder Abner Abreu did it again as he was once again named the Carolina Player of the Week for the period from July 18th to July 24th. It is his second Player of the Week honor for the month of July, his second in three weeks. For the week he hit .522/.560/1.087 (12-for-23) in six games and had 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, and 7 K. He had at least one extra base hit in five of his six games, and was propelled by a big weekend on Friday and Saturday where he went 7-for-8 with 2 HR, 1 3B, and 7 RBI.

Abreu, 21, was also named the Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week for the same period last week.

------------------

Around the Farm: July 23 (Abner Abreu...Again)
9:59 AM JIM NO COMMENTS

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday's performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday's game.

Could the Indians' organization be witnessing the blossoming of one of their biggest talents, right before their eyes? Might the Indians have a power-hitting, five-tool, right-handed hitter residing at High A Kinston? Abreu has tantalized the Tribe brass and faithful before, and was rated the #5 prospect right here at IPI in 2010. Is this the real deal, or just a blip on the radar?

Abner Abreu: RF, Kinston: 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K:

That's right, Mr. Abreu remains in the spotlight for his second straight game, after a big 4-4 night on Friday. He followed up with another near perfect game, and has been absolutely raking over the past month. He's 7-8, with four runs, two homers and seven RBI in the last two games, and has a ten game line of .424/.487/.909. I know the old adage, 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me," but this is the kind of talent that keeps showing up with Abreu. If he was consistent, he has the tools to be the top prospect in the organization. He still remains a project, however, but his selection seems to be getting better. At 21, he still has plenty of time to become a special baseball player.

...and Rickie Weeks is put on the 15 day DL after his severe ankle sprain last night vs the Cubs.

supposedly they are looking at Jamie Carroll from LA.

Awful injury - I can't believe it wasn't broken.

Probably Castro's most productive defensive play of the year.

:)

from jim callis

Abreu has bat speed/pop, Smith has arm strength. Org types more than prospects. @l2uff: who are abner abreu and carlton smith #cubs #indians

aren't we all excited now about the Cubs making deadline deals?

anyway, what's a better deal for Cubs, getting a decent prospect for Pena or saving the $5M next year?

also

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2011/07/cu...

Abreu's best current tool is his arm, which rated as the best in the Cleveland organiztion per Baseball America. His defense in general is a big plus. Although, he's said to have a nice, smooth swing, it's offense that has been the question mark with Abreu. Lately, he's been answering those questions with his bat.

.244 with a .298 OBP, which are very close to his career numbers. The guy is a stiff.

I think your question is moot. They won't do either.

good point

and the analysis we're all waiting for...Phil Rogers

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

"Triple-A reliever Carlton Smith is a guy."

that's a real quote

"Triple-A reliever Carlton Smith is a guy."

Chromosome testing in the drug screening agreement?

I expected they wouldn't get anything of value for Fukudome, but after including cash to cover virtually all of his remaining salary, that's supposed to help bring real prospects back. Abreu? Classic Jim Hendry Player. He doesn't hit for average, doesn't walk. He does hit HR's.

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

This is exactly why Jim Hendry shouldn't be allowed to make any more trades. 398 strikeouts to 80 walks in his career. Another "prospect" who has no clue of the strike zone.

And Carlton Smith? C'mon, he's had ERA's over 4.00 everywhere he's been in the minors.

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

So let's sum up, I didn't expect to get anything for Fukudome but they could have saved over $4 million, but Hendry included cash to get prospects, but the prospects aren't guys who will ever do anything here.

maybe if fuku played against lefties or had more power he'd be worth more.

hell, reed johnson will probably command more...he can at least play CF.

My only problem with the deal is, they didn't dump salary and they didn't get anyone back with a small iota of a chance of doing anything in the majors. If you're going to trade vets for nothing, at least save some cash. Jim Hendry has rocks for brains.

Hendry also has his prototypical players he likes, and he's shown he can't win with them. He never learns. He's like Tom Hanks on those old SNL skits, Mr Short Term Memory. "Hi! I'm Jim Hendry, who are you?"

someone up there believes one of these two guys...or both...might be worth having.

i dunno crap about either besides their #s are unimpressive.

It's hard to speculate how the negotiations played out. I wouldn't be surprised if the best they could get was two mediocre prospects and paying KFuk's way. It would certainly be interesting to know what the competing offers were, if any.
I guess if I was Cleveland's GM I would probably start by saying we want him if you pay his salary.

Also with the caveat that we don't know how negotiations went, I don't understand why you'd try to get one minor leaguer in return with a shot at helping the big-league team, instead of two nobodies that no one's ever going to hear from again. Why trade a starter for, essentially, nothing?

We received a reliever who throws somewhat hard but hasn't put up great numbers and a very toolsy player who could develop into a good major leaguer, but is more likely to not make it. All minor leaguers are crap shoots, as most don't make it. One of these players has a very high ceiling, but lower chance of reaching it than higher prospects.

I think this is a pretty good return for Fukudome, a RF with no power who is notorious for being a terrible player in later months of the season.

Pretty fair article. Of course, if there's any organization that makes decisions about minor leaguers on too-small sample sizes, it's our Chicago Cubs... makes you wonder if we could have gotten a real prospect.

"Fukudome is a useful-enough player, so it fits that his return was one interesting-enough prospect."

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/7/28/2300568/cub...

Any truth to the story that Carlos Pena's contract isn't $5 now +$5 jan 1st but actually looks like this:

$3 Million signing bonus
$4 Million paid during 2011 season
$3 Million to be paid 1-1-2012

I read that the first $3M went onto last years payroll in some kind of accounting shenanigans. Then $2M this year, and $5M next year, not sure what day

I just can't square this accounting BS with Ricketts saying Jim has all the money he needs.

Jim needs another fifty million a year to fix this club.

I could believe that during the offseason Rickett told Hendry you can spend X during the offseason and we'll save Y to spend during the season if we're in the hunt. Maybe all that Y money is going to sign overslot kids, since depending on where you read the Cubs will be signing several overslot picks

from an earlier post on fuku...

only plays vs. righties...doesn't have much power left...plays RF/LF...not very fast

even if he makes 500K a year what would you expect to get for that?

cleveland is buying 2 months of a corner OF with doubles-power that rarely plays against lefties...he gets on base, but his speed is average.

Fukudome's actually been hitting better against lefties this year... it may be because he only got to face the crappy ones, but .273 .333 .455 (38 PA's) isn't bad at all.

im a long standing supporter of fuku playing more against lefties, but lou and quade both put him in a role.

i dunno if CLE will let him see more vs. lefties, but he hasn't had much situational hitting vs. them on a regular basis.

If the Cubs trade Carlos Pena to the Pirates at the deadline as rumored, can he fly with the Cubs to Pittsburgh Sunday night or does he have to fly by himself?

Weird either way.

Fuku was a very good defensive right fielder and a patient batter with no power that couldn't hit lefties - his skills were worthless to marginal at best. If the Cubs received a broken bat and a bucket of balls for Fuku it doesn't matter. What matters is that Colvin or Campana should be playing everyday to determine if he has a future with the Cubs.

How about a couple used infield rakes and some simoniz?

Hoilman hit his 10th last night. That was quick. LaHair hit his 29th. (Also quick.)

carlton smith's motion off the mound...if anyone cares...fast/compact legs, long arm movement...

supposedly throws low 90s, btw.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9nzJT4bWzw

Can he play right field?

ask colvin...cuz it's his to take in 2012 along with j.baker as a support/backup and maybe platoon...or a FA/trade addition if colvin doesn't work out.

You guys are all so damn fussy. What's to worry about as long as we have Blake DeWitt around to play in the outfield and maybe even bat cleanup once in awhile?

he probably will be around in 2012, too...at least he shouldnt cost much, he gets his first ARB eligable deal this year...shouldn't break too far above minimum wage

And if Qball is still around, we'll have the cheapest clean up hitter in the league.

As Fukudome held his goodbye press conference in the clubhouse, Marlon Byrd shouted over: "Take me, too."

Sorry, Marlon. You're on Hendry's untouchable list.

But the Chicago Effing-Media makes Z out to be a bad guy while Marlon is Mr. Goodbar.

Ironically, only two of the songs you mentioned (The Long and Winding Road and The Fool on the Hill) were songs Paul sang. On the other three songs, John sang lead vocals. So Crane would probably be luck for at least those three.

Sorry to get all Beatles geeky on you there.

Guys who will never be asked to sing the seventh inning stretch...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEyFgLj0nTc&pl...

The song shows pretty good baseball & Cubs knowledge. Pretty funny and, unfortunately, accurate.

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