Santo Exhumed; Goes 15/16!

Amputation of the heels he so famously used to click wasn’t enough, not even on top of an assortment of other ailments that included the diabetes through which he played his entire career.

A long stint as the Cubs’ ambassador to a whole new generation of fans wasn’t enough either.

And clearly the impressive resume he amassed as a player wasn’t enough by itself.

No, Ron Santo finally had to pony up his very life to get what he deserved and so craved; induction at Cooperstown. After he paid that price too, the contrivance known as the Golden Era Committee finally, belatedly in my view, did the right thing and let the man in. Now, after almost exactly a year in purgatory since he died on December 2, 2010, Santo can move on to the HOF; proof positive, if you need it, that there is such a thing as life everlasting.

I knew it would happen this way if it was ever going to happen at all. I bet Santo couldn’t pronounce the word ‘posthumously’ any better as it’s written than Harry Caray could backwards. But he sure as hell knows what it means. It means that he won’t get to celebrate with his family until such time as they’re all ever in the same place at the same time again, by whatever mysterious means such a thing might ever be accomplished.

I listened to Santo play on the radio with my dad. My own kids got his autograph when I took them to Wrigley Field. I was there the day his #10 was retired and I was there the night they unveiled his statue outside the ballpark. I toyed with the idea of going to Chicago for his funeral, just as I’m toying now with the idea of making my first ever pilgrimage to the Valhalla of baseball for his induction next summer. By then I expect I’ll have come to my senses – probably.

Understand that I feel obliged to write this. And I appreciate a forum on which to post it. Please indulge me and do not engage in a statistical dissection of his worthiness or lack thereof - enough of that already. Just let it be.

Too bad he didn’t get in while he was still alive but at least he did while I still am. I can check that item off of my Cub bucket list. Let’s see; there’s only one thing left…

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Comments

Theo made this happen to take our minds off the winter meetings.

LaHair at Winter Meeting luncheon today to collect Joe Bauman Home Run Award. Met Epstein and Hoyer. In reference to his recent hitting funk in Venezuela, says "I'm just tired"--which seems like a good excuse to me. Says, though, that his team has convinced him to go back for a few more weeks.

On a related Caribbean note, Junior Lake played two games for DWL Estrellas de Oriente (Eastern Stars?) about ten days ago, in which he hit a home run and stole three bases. But he came out of the second game late and hasn't been in the lineup since. I haven't seen anything about the nature of his injury.

Fun fact: in his second game, Lake batted second, just ahead of Felix Pie and Jake Fox. Pie seems to be solving DWL pitching better than he used to.

- Hanley seems to have already agreed to move to 3B without making much of an issue about it, although Beinfest wouldn't comment on specific players being there on Opening Day.
- Dodgers and Harang nearing a 2-year deal.
- CJ Wilson allegedly has a 6-year offer (Nats, Angels the most interested so far with RSox, Marlins and Rangers in the mix)
- Rays making serious run at Josh Willingham
- Chapman likely to start 2012 in pen
- some Rollins to Brewers buzz

on that note, would adding 2 of 3 out of Aramis, Rollins and Pena be better than retaining Fielder for Brewers?

depends on the deals of course, but say 3/39 range for Ramirez and Rollins and 2/16 for Pena??

I would vote none of the above.

If Epstein can get an inkling that DH will be in NL by 2013 or 2014, I would go full tilt boogie for Fielder.

Sorry, I meant that as a route for the brewers to go?

For cubs, they would just be interested in fielder out of that group.

my bad, misread.

Hanley at 3B has the potential to be just as big and issue as Hanley at SS if he doesn't show significant dedication on learning to be a good fielder at the new position. He'll also need to hit a lot more than he did last year to be considered a good producer there.

"Epstein anticipates patience with Cubs fans"

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

hope he means that in relation to this offseason...more than a handful of teams would love to have 20m+ free this season and 50+m in 2013.

If they are going to do it the right way and not settle for in-house mediocrity, then- absolutely.

cubs linked to cj wilson (via rosenthall) as a new interest...also, someone out there has already offered him (today/yesterday) a 6year deal for undetermined money.

Nats are/were the "someone"

-edit-

...and the Nats are denying they're the "someone"...or at least they didn't make that offer.

hanley ramirez making noise about not wanting to move from SS, but vowing to be professional about working it out...

...countdown til FLA signs pujols and trades h.ramirez + g.sanchez starts now

also, via twitter...

"LoMoMarlins Logan Morrison
Just to clear up any confusion, I will be playing SS for the Marlins next season..."

lulz.

peter gammons says garza will (emphatically) be traded...live @winter meetings MLB Network

"there's a rumor you met with pujols's agent" - chris rose
"he's also rodrigez lopez's agent." - theo

“[Lozano] also represents Rodrigo Lopez, so if you see somebody going into someone’s room, it’s not always to talk about the Big Kahuna,” said Epstein, who admitted he was hoping to bring Lopez back to the team to add depth to a paper-thin starting rotation. “But yeah, we met with Danny.”

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

Levine also links Colvin to Rockies and James Russell to Padres in some trade chatter.

Talks have stalled over the Rockies’ unwillingness to take Blake DeWitt in return (for Ian Stewart). Sources say the Rockies are more interested in left-handed relief prospect Scott Maine and promising infield prospect DJ LeMahieu.

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

I have a hard time believing Scott Maine is holding up any kind of trade talks for a player the Cubs actually value. He's got upside as a reliever, but he also has significant control issues, and the Cubs have plenty of lefty relievers.

What does holding up a trade for a player of value have anything to do with Ian Stewart? I wouldn't trade them even up. Stewart's going to get paid $2 million next year. I would rather just go with the winner of a ST throwdown between Flaherty/Vitters/LeMahieu and Smith and keep Maine.

That's what I'm thinking. If the Cubs aren't willing to trade a lefty reliever with control issues who is not particularly young, then they obviously don't value Stewart very highly--and it looks like they probably shouldn't.

Seems like the hang up would actually be LeMahieu rather than Maine.

Ian Stewart was a top 10 MLB prospect and a guy who has a 900+ ML OPS.

I'd deal Flaherty,Vitters or LeMahieu for him today if it seals that deal.

Would rather have Chase Headley instead though if he could be had for anything close to similar as what Stewart would cost.

Not really opposed to trading for both guys. Best case is that they both thrive in Wrigley and you can fill the 3rd and 2nd/LF spots with them as well.

One good thing about Stewart is that his home/road splits aren't outrageous. One bad thing about Stewart is that both are mediocre.

True, however even with the total loss that 2011 was. He still has a MLB career OPS of 751

For comp sake. Here is the career MINOR LEAGUE OPS's of the rest of the suspects to fill the job in house.

Vitters .758
LeMath .753
Flaherty .809

Not to mention that Stewart has been a little better than average with the glove and neither of the 3 guys we have can field 3rd at all.

Bottom line is we need SOMEBODY to fill that spot from outside. Might as well be a young guy who has the upside to fill it for several years. The next guy who looks like a real prospect played SS ball this year.

I'd be OK with Stewart, especially if the price is only DeWitt.

All that being said I'd rather have Chase Headley. I'd absolutely give up Vitters, DeWitt and Jeff Russell to get him here.

"Not to mention that Stewart has been a little better than average with the glove and neither of the 3 guys we have can field 3rd at all."

Not sure where you get your info. AZ Phil has seen LeMahieu a fair amount in Arizona and has praised his glove (and his hitting). LeM had zero errors at third in 61 games at Tenn and Iowa last year.

Josh Vitters is a pretty bad defensive 3B and Ryan Flaherty isn't much better (although he is versatile), but D. J. LeMahieu is a good defensive 3B (better than 2B).

It's just that LeMahieu still hasn't developed the HR power most teams look for at 3B, but he did show improved patience in the AFL (he was also 2nd in the AFL in stolen bases, behind only Junor Lake), and he is the Cubs best pure hitting prospect.

I also believe Josh Vitters will hit and hit with power in the big leagues, but it won't be at 3B (much more likely 1B, LF, or RF).

While it's true that Ian Stewart is a former Rockies #1 prospect and a one-time BA #4 prospect in all of baseball, he had a season at the plate last year that rivaled Tyler Colvin's.

Stewart is still only 26. and while he would probably have to be considered somewhat of a reclamatiion project, he does have a track record pre-2011 that would at least make him more a more-attractive option at 3B than Blake DeWitt. But I would not give up Vitters or LeMahieu to get him.

I would consider trading LeMahieu or Vitters in a deal for Chase Headley, though.

As would I.

I just don't see any way that LeMahieu can be a full time Third Baseman anywhere with that bat of his. Just don't see guys holding that spot on MLB rosters with hollow batting averages without Power or On -Base skills. At least not since the mid 80's.

LeMahieu had a .386 OBP in a half-season at Tenn this year, .371 in the AFL, .353 career in the minors. It's a short career, just two full seasons.

Bill Mueller is a fairly recent example of a non-power-hitting third baseman, and one that is familiar to Theo Epstein.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 3:40pm — Dr. aaron b New
Re: Santo Exhumed; Goes 15/16!
As would I.

I just don't see any way that LeMahieu can be a full time Third Baseman anywhere with that bat of his. Just don't see guys holding that spot on MLB rosters with hollow batting averages without Power or On -Base skills. At least not since the mid 80's.

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

DR AARON B: Playing home games in San Diego Caverns is probably the best possible place for LeMahieu, because he isn't a HR hitter and it's not a HR hitter's park.

I could see the Padres taking LeMahieu back in a Headley deal, playing him at either 3B or 2B, hitting him in the #2 hole, and being happy with his game.

Wow -- Stewart's 2011 season was truly Colvin-esque -- .156/.243/.221 with a .464 OPS and an OPS+ of 21. ~shudder!~

That's was after having 2 1/2 pretty decent seasons. Really -- wha' hoppin'd?

no more greenies

rather than looking at useless numbers how about looking at him swing a bat.

pure
mistake
hitter.

he swings the bat through a single plane almost every time he swings a bat.

Hey Mike:
Nice one.

Thanks, CB!

Theo made a $$$ bid for Albert

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/profe...

I am assuming that Cubs offer will act as the floor and will just keep everyone else honest. I guess we will see.

My first reaction to this is- strange. SOMEone will overpay mightily for Pujols, and overpaying mightily for free agents, it seems, is not the Epstein MO. On the other hand, sometimes a guy will take a lower offer to play in the city of his choice and, who knows, maybe the pooh holes loves Chicago or something weird like that. So why not put a respectable offer on the table a let it play out. After thinking it over (with absolutely no details) I guess putting an offer on the table for Pujols can make some sense.

Agreed. No harm in making a "reasonable" offer. I am sure we will received a lot of disagreement on what a reasonable offer is for the Cubs.

I'm starting to like this idea more and more, even though the Cubs are supposedly not contenders in 2012, for several reasons.

1) I don't think a major market team with the kind of money the Cubs have should ever bail out on a year. Ricketts bought a major market team, and he knew about the bad contracts. He still has to play with the big boys. Thinking small is no way for this team to forge ahead

2) Fielder is still young, and despite his body type, has fared well and had very little downtime. It seems safe to assume (ugh, I know, but there it is) that there will be an NL DH, and even if there isn't, if he works hard and stays in shape, he should be able to play first base for a long time. I can't believe he isn't working hard now, despite his body type. If he wasn't, he'd be injured more than he is.

3) The team needs a player or three it can build around. The guy is a masher. Perfect candidate for Wrigley.

4) He takes away wins from the one of the division contenders.

5) The Cubs currently don't have a first baseman. I like LaHair's chances, I really do, but I don't think he'll be putting up Fielder-like numbers, and he's actually a couple years older already, I believe.

If it doesn't happen, I'm not gonna piss and moan about it. But the idea intrigues me a lot more than it did a few months ago.

Re: 2) Plus, if Fielder continues to hit the way he has, he might actually be tradeable to an AL team in the future if for some reason he can't play 1B anymore (unlike, for example, Soriano).

Re: 5) As Rob G. has said a few times, LaHair could always still platoon with Soriano in LF (or just play there full time if the Cubs manage to ditch Soriano somewhere along the way).

I'm to the point now where I wouldn't be particularly upset if the team decided to give Fielder a shot. Makes more sense than most free agent signings for the Cubs.

On number 5, yeah, that might work. If only MacFail was still with the Orioles, I might believe there was some meat to the Phil Rogers tweet in the tweet box about Soriano@Orioles. That would be sweet.

All of those except No. 2 also implicate Pujols, and in fact No. 2 in a sense also implicates Pujols, not on the 'young' part, but if you assume the Cubs will have a DH by 2016 at the latest, which I say is 80 percent likely.

Edit: Pujols makes a stronger argument for No. 4 also, as you take wins away from a division contender that has a realistic chance of re-signing the player.

I completely oppose of the Cubs signing the best player in baseball.

:)

Of course, the issue, as always, is getting good value for the money. It will be difficult to get good value from Pujols for the money he will command.

Debunked St. Louis Dispatch report by Muskrat's unnamed Cubs front-office source. Cubs saying it is untrue.

Cowley on Wscr now says marlins and Pujols are working on details for trade clause after year five.
They will be meeting again tomorrow

They should have an attendance clause because I doubt they'll have 20K+ in that stadium after 5 years. Not because the stadium is no good. Florida fans just don't seem to go to baseball games for some reason.

Maybe because they play in a shadeless uncovered football stadium?

We'll see what happens with the new digs.

Stay away from that one O&B. That argument seems to bring out the worst in some people.

Sounds like the pre- '84 Cubs.

10/5 rights kick in, so not sure what they're working out. Sure it's not the first 5 years?

See my comment about after year five.
Rumor is it is a 10 year contract, now meeting today.

Right...and after 5 years he gets his 10/5 no trade rights, so Rob (and me) dont understand what they could be working on after the first five years.

as far as I know 10/5 rights aren't anything negotiable, but I could be wrong...

my understanding is Marlins have a NTC policy and Pujols wants one for the first 5 years, the other story I read was that he'd be willing to not have one, but their major incentives in his deal if he was traded.

https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/statuses/14...

Right, duh on my part.

He would agree to certain teams in year 6 and then more as contact went on, was what Cowley said.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 12:13pm — Rob G.
Re: Santo Exhumed; Goes 15/16!
as far as I know 10/5 rights aren't anything negotiable, but I could be wrong...

my understanding is Marlins have a NTC policy and Pujols wants one for the first 5 years, the other story I read was that he'd be willing to not have one, but their major incentives in his deal if he was traded.

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

ROB G: Per the CBA, 10/5 "no trade" rights are usually automatic full NTC, with one exception.

A 10/5 NTC is negotiable (in advance) for any player signing a contract that extends beyond when the player would normally hit 10/5.

For instance, if the Marlins (or Angels) sign Pujols for six years or more, Pujols could agree in advance (as part of the contract) to waive his 10/5 (which would kick-in after the 2016 season), and then the Marlins (or Angels) could trade him after he hits 10/5 with them. But Pujols would first get to name no fewer than 14 teams as "no go" (the exact number is negotiable, but it can't be less than 14).

However, a player cannot waive his 10/5 NTC in advance if he already is a 10/5 player and re-signs with the same team. So if Pujols re-signs with the Cardinals, he cannot waive his 10/5 rights in advance like he could if he signs with FLA, LAA, or ???. (If he had not yet reached 10/5 status and then signed a contract extention with STL he could waive the 10/5 NTC in advance, but not now).

And of course a player can always agree to waive a 10/5 NTC (or any other "full" NTC) if asked, but it would almost certainly mean the player agrees to go to just one team in particular. For instance, Derrek Lee (who had 10/5 rights) OK'd the deal to go to Atlanta in August 2010, but he might not have agreed to a trade if it had involved a different club.

I think the (rather bizarre) implication is that they are working out ahead of time under what circumstances he would be willing to waive the 10/5 no trade rights? That would be the anti-Hendry contract, but have to imagine it would come with promises of loot. Or maybe I am also not understanding.

He'll have a no trade protection after five years. He'll need NTC for the first five years, but the Marlins aren't giving those out.

WSux trade closer Sergio Santos for Nestor Molina (AA pitcher). Anyone know about that prospect?

Buster_ESPN Buster Olney
The numbers of Nestor Molina, the pitcher acquired by CWS today in Santos deal, are other-wordly: 16 walks/148 Ks in 130.1 IP in Class A/AA

Anyone that likes Ian Stewart should LOVE Colvin. they are pretty much the same player at a different position.

Other than the fact that Stewart was considered a real prospect, has always maintained at least a 10% to 5% BB advantage, plays a much tougher defensive position and has maintained a 120 Point OPS advantage through the minors. They are indeed almost and nothing like the same player.

In the same way that Lyle Overbay and Price Fielder are the exact same player.

A guy who can play RF-CF in a pinch, is about the same defensive value as a 3B-2B in a pinch.

Stewart's minor league stats were really great his first two years, he's pretty much gotten worse every year since.

Except Colvin had awful Minor League numbers. His major league numbers have been equally pedestrian except for a hot 6 weeks to start 2010.

Nobody outside of Cubby-land has ever thought of Colvin as an equal prospect to Ian Stewart.

Colvin played the majority of his minor league career with a torn UCL, and put up an .859 OPS in the SL after it was repaired, that's power production Stewart hasn't matched.

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