Winter Meetings 2011 Day 3

The same deal as yesterday, keep the rumors flowing and check the twitter box on the right.

The news from the Cubs is that Carlos Pena has declined arbitration, although Levine indicates he may return on a free agent deal. If he signs elsewhere, the Cubs will get a compensation pick between the first and second rounds of the draft. Aramis hasn't formally declined, but obviously very unlikely he would accept since he declined the Cubs $16M option already, unless he misread the market and a multi-year deal isn't really out there, but that seems unlikely. My guess is he goes to the Brewers.

- Talks continue on Ian Stewart with names like Blake DeWitt, Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu being mentioned.

- Albert Pujols had 10-year offers from the Marlins and Cardinals and it appears he's headed back to the Cardinals. The Cubs were in the mix somehow, but don't appear to be a real threat to land him. Marlins may move on to Fielder or focus their dollars on pitching.

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Comments

Ian Stewart...blah. He made $2.2 mill last year....
Do we really want the Cubs to pay upwards of that for .236/.323/.428?
It doesn't seem like he's an amazing defender looking at the stats...
Ugh.

The Ian Stewart who played with the Stones was actually a far more interesting reading on Wikipedia than the Ian Stewart who plays for the Rockies...

I loved his work on "Boogie with Stu" on Physical Graffiti.

I also learned that Brian Jones had fathered about six kids out of wedlock before he was in his mid-20's. Ahh, the 60's...

The things you learn while waiting for the Cubs to actually do something...

Everything I have ever learned falls into that category.

Maybe. Is he a reliable defender? Will the lineup rely on Stewart to produce RBIs or is he going to bat 7th or 8th. It really just depends.

Ian Stewart is a career .229/.309/.427 hitter in 727 plate appearances away from Coors with a strikeout every 2.8 at-bats.
TweetDeck • 12/7/11 1:46 PM
Retweeted by Jason1Goff

ian stewart with 2 strikes.

nuff said.

the guy is a mistake hitter who swings at stuff 5 miles outside of the plate and can't see inside pitching.

fwiw... 818 PA - .207 ob% - .218 slugging with 2 strikes

I heard he's good at changing the plane of his swing for different situations, though

at least wait until i repeat something before doing your thing. you're getting way too broad in scope...i even added new info with only the 'mistake hitter' part repeated.

don't be lazy about it if you're going to do it. TCR has higher standards. scoff.

I never said anything until some recent flareup about being repetitive, and when it came to me I went with it. Being perfectly honest, when I read the first half of the post my mind started filling in the rest - when it wasn't there, I had to type it. No offense intended. I appreciate the layolty of commenters like you and TRN who keep the site full of stuff to read.

i'm just screwing around and playing off it...no offense taken or attempted to be returned...

"at least wait until i repeat something"

Won't be a long wait. :)

at least wait until i repeat something.

fuuuuuuuuuu..........

Mark Buerhle to Marlins 4/58

http://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/statuses/144...

he's no Theo-dor Roosevelt Lilly though.

That's a helluva' lot of money for a guy who's probably not going to be much better than a league average pitcher. But the Marlins sure seem to have a helluva' lot of money.

I wonder if this means they know they aren't getting Pujols. They'd know before we would. Even in a town with Phil Rogers on the beat.

it means cj wilson is going to be richer than expected if boourlee is worth nearly 15m for 4 years.

j.johnson/boourlee/a.sanchez/nolasco...volstad/leblanc...sanabia lingering in the background...nice options.

Rosenthal said the Cubs were in on the Pujols talks but the extent of their involvement wasn't clear.
----
Pujols using the clear? Looks like StL gets to overpay.
----
JKraznick tweet...
Agent Dan Lozano has called the Marlins and told them they are out on Pujols, says source

WSCR saying three teams left in hunt for Pujols.

My guess
Cards
Angels
Bjays

Interesting review of Rule 5 Draft candidates in advance of tomorrow's draft...

http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/12/5/2572470/r...

wow...BOS left c.cabral exposed again. that's gambling.

he's a lefty kyle mcclendon-type...useful pen, imo...still young, maybe too young.

i dunno what the BOS 40-man looks like, but that's an odd guy to leave exposed.

Cubs might get lucky and pick up a #5 starter candidate to compete with Coleman and the soon-to-be-re-signed Rodrigo Lopez.

As light as our roster is, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see us take two guys, maybe even three, if there's a 3rd basemen out there they find interesting. Unless they changed the Rule V draft rules, it's a ridiculously cheap way to grab some talent.

cubs snag cabral and trade maine away for i.stewart.

awesome. =p

When some here were moaning about potentially losing some Cubs prospcts that were not added to the 40-man, I had intimated that with Hoyer and Epstein at the helm, they for sure would know about talent from both their former teams at minimum.

I will continue my staying out on the limb that they will be able to pick up talent equal or better than they potentially could lose.

myself, i dont understand why they're not keeping r.flahtery while shopping b.dewitt...

maybe the interest in him isn't as much as some (and me) think there is... *shrug*

My hypothesis is that they might be counting on Flaherty's usual long adjustment period to each level to prevent him from sticking on the 25 man roster of any team that isn't just willing to stash him for a full season--they may even be hoping that a first taste of the majors via the Rule V will help to prepare him for a second visit to the majors without dulling his shine for his hometown or costing the team any wins in 2012. But, even if that's the case, if they are willing to risk him they must not value him terribly highly right now.

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 8:02pm — Charlie
Re: Winter Meetings 2011 Day 3
My hypothesis is that they might be counting on Flaherty's usual long adjustment period to each level to prevent him from sticking on the 25 man roster of any team that isn't just willing to stash him for a full season--they may even be hoping that a first taste of the majors via the Rule V will help to prepare him for a second visit to the majors without dulling his shine for his hometown or costing the team any wins in 2012. But, even if that's the case, if they are willing to risk him they must not value him terribly highly right now.

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

CHARLIE: Not protecting Rule 5 eligibles like Ryan Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez, and Dae-Eun Rhee would maybe make sense if it wasn't that the Cubs have FIVE slots open on their 40-man roster, with another one or two slots likely to open up next Monday when Koyie Hill and (possibly) Marcos Mateo and/or Blake DeWitt are non-tendered.

I understand that when a new baseball operations/management team is hired it is typical for the new guys to undervalue the new team's farm system and overvalue the former team's players, but to risk losing Flaherty, M. Gonzalez, and Rhee (plus perhaps Jay Jackson and Ryan Searle, too) in the Rule 5 Draft when a number of roster slots are available is just piss-poor roster management.

"We’re looking for assets. We’re going to scratch and claw and do everything in our power- in the draft, internationally, small trades, waiver claims. We need to build assets because we don’t have enough of them. We’re not going to look past one that might be sitting right there in our organization.” - Theo Epstein - yesterday

I don't know... I really feel like this is the year that Koyie Hill turns the corner.

It's pretty obvious they took all the input from the existing player development personel, wadded it up and threw it in the waste bin on those three guys.

Really? People are upset that the cubs might lose Ryan Flaherty? I'm sure they can find another guy to play a couple positions in AAA if they lose him.

left handed, 2nd/3rd bench with a touch of power...you can bring it through your system or pay 700K-1m+ elsewhere.

it wouldn't be a major loss, but not having to think about that bench slot for 4+ years is a nice luxury.

his fielding isn't top notch, but he can actually field 3rd and 2nd adequately enough to be a decent option off the bench for both...for a starter, he's best left at 3rd, though he's got a lot to prove to find 500+ ab's there.

but yeah, the club has about 1/2 dozen more important issues to clear up before "that guy would be good bench" becomes an important decision.

You just described Mike Fontenot. I think Flaherty brings a little more upside to the table than Fontenot's actual production at the major league level. He's a guy who's shown that he's willing to take a walk and that he has the power to hit the ball a pretty long way. There's also been some sentiment that given his size, Flaherty might be collecting the mechanics of his swing a bit slower than many of his peers.

It's not unreasonable to think Flaherty could form the long side of a powerful third base platoon with a Jeff Baker/DJ LeMahieu type that could actually be very productive, if Flaherty and/or LeMahieu get their shit together.

It's unreasonable at this point, because he's probably going to be playing for someone else next year.

Like crunch said, it's not a tragedy, but it's a head-scratcher.

just a thought, the current existing player personnel department are the ones that chose LeMahieu over Flaherty for a promotion during the year and felt Junior Lake was the prospect worthy of going to the AFL and then he was protected.

I think the new braintrust is listening plenty to the old regime that's still in place.

-edit- do not mistake that comment for me agreeing with leaving Flaherty unprotected. Whomever pushed that through probably made a mistake...I'm just not so quick to assume it's the new guys ignoring the incumbents.

well he was hitting .350+ with 15 doubles in 50 games at the time...and he's a better defender.

it did weird some out at the time, though. i'm not much of a leM fan, myself.

They did, however, promote Flaherty to Iowa, so it's not like he was considered a red-headed step child. Same with Gonzalez.

"to risk losing Flaherty, M. Gonzalez, and Rhee (plus perhaps Jay Jackson and Ryan Searle, too) in the Rule 5 Draft when a number of roster slots are available is just piss-poor roster management."

I'm going to give Epstein & Co. the benefit of the doubt on this one, and probably the next few times they open themselves to criticism.

Maybe their rule of thumb is that you don't protect players who will not be competing for positions in spring training. Flaherty and Gonzalez are pretty far down the depth chart for second and third base. The theory might be, if we're not eager to see them compete, chances are another team won't be any more eager.

I'm skeptical that there are jobs in baseball for prospects who project as bench players (just as I'm skeptical that there are jobs for players like Jake Fox who project as DH's). There are bench jobs and DH jobs and pinch-hitting jobs, of course, but they go to players who were once viewed as something more than niche players, and got their early breaks accordingly.

If they don't get drafted today, they're easier to trade since they don't have to be put on the 40-man till next December. I tend to see a couple of these guys going to Boston in the next couple days, although I may be getting in the middle of an argument between Rob and crunch with that prediction.

I had thought that these two guys would be in contention to be at least the utility IF off the bench?

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 5:26pm — crunch
Re: Winter Meetings 2011 Day 3

wow...BOS left c.cabral exposed again. that's gambling.

he's a lefty kyle mcclendon-type...useful pen, imo...still young, maybe too young.

i dunno what the BOS 40-man looks like, but that's an odd guy to leave exposed.

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

CRUNCH: I suspect the Cubs will select Cesar Cabral with the #6 pick if he's still there.

I know there was talk somewhere about the Cubs selecting Cabral and then he would return to Boston as a PTBNL in the Epstein Compensation Package, but the only way the Cubs and Red Sox could make sure to get Cabral back to the Red Sox after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft is if the Cubs select Cabral and keep him on their 25-man roster next season (with at least 90 days on the Active List), and then send him back to the Red Sox post-2012 only after the Rule 5 restrictions have been removed. Otherwise, the Cubs would have to first place Cabral on waivers, and any club could claim him for the $25,000 Rule 6 waiver price (and assume the Rule 5 roster obligations) before he could be offered back to the Sox.

So the idea of the Cubs drafting Cabral for the Red Sox doesn't make sense. And if the Red Sox valued him that much, they would have just added him to the 40-man roster on 11/18.

But I do think the Cubs will select Cabral (if he is still available), but it will be for themselves, and he will not be part of the Epstein compensation.

My interest in the Cubs has officially bottomed out. Ian Stewart? David Dejesus? Maybe I'll check back in 2014.

Were you expecting much different?

It's early December. Patience.

Point being its dumb to evaluate activity and performance of the offseason in December.

Last year the Cubs lost two players in the Rule 5 Draft, LHP Casey Lambert (Cubs 2007 6th round draft pick out of UVA) and RHP Ronny Morla (one of the players the Cubs got from OAK in the Jake Fox deal).

Both Lambert and Morla were chosen in the AAA Phase (selected off the AA Tennessee Reserve List) for the AAA Phase draft price of $12,000.

Lambert spent the 2011 regular season at the Orioles Minor League Base at Sarasota, rehabbing from TJS that he underwent while with the Cubs, but he did pitch in the AFL for the Mesa Solar Sox post-2011 (where he was reunited with one-time Cubs minor league teammates Chris Carpenter, D. J. LeMahieu, Junior Lake, Trey McNutt, and Josh Vitters).

Morla pitched well for Savannah (the Mets "A" affiliate in the SAL), but was ineffective at Hi-A St Lucie.

Since players selected in the AAA Phase do not have to be offered back to their orginal club if they fail to make a AAA Opening Day roster, they are gone if selected.

A maximum of 38 of the 50 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft can be protected on the Iowa Reserve List (the AAA Reserve List roster limit is 38), but in reality it's probably more like 35 because clubs always leave two or three slots open on their AAA reserve lists for free-agents signed to minor league contracts after 11/20 (11/18 this year) and/or players who might be selected by the club in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

So if 35 of the 50 Cubs Rule 5 eligibles are on the Iowa Reserve List, there are about another 15 who are either on the AA Tennessee or one of the Class-A affiliates' reserve list.

And those 15 would probably be:

Adrian Aviles, LHP (ex-OF)
Dan Berlind, RHP
Smaily Borges, OF (player-coach)
Justin Bristow, RHP
Manolin DeLeon, RHP
Carlos Figueroa, INF (player coach)
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Miguel Gonzalez, C (player-coach)
Yohan Gonzalez, RHP
Gian Guzman, INF (player-coach)
David Macias, IF-OF
Jon Nagel, RHP
Jake Opitz, INF
Ramon Reyes, RHP
Carlos Romero, C
Jose Tineo, RHP

Of this group, Berlind, E. Figueroa, Y. Gonzalez, Macias, and Opitz are the players most-likely to get selected in the AAA Phase, if they are indeed on the AA Tennessee reseve list. (Two other who might otherwise have had some value probably do not anymore, as 2008 5th round draft pick Bristow quit baseball last May, and Nagel went home after suffering a torn labrum at EXST).

The 6'7 Berlind pitched OK as a late-inning reliever at Peoria after being acquired from an independent league team and finished the year with short stops at Tennessee and Iowa, the 23-year old E. Figueroa had a decent year working in middle-relief at Peoria and Daytona, the 21-year old Y. Gonzalez was a one-time Cubs Venezuelan bonus baby who struggled out of the Peoria bullpen, Macias (Cubs 2008 19th round draft pick out of Vanderbilt, where he was a teammate of Ryan Flaherty) is a versatile switch-hitting utility player who can play anywhere in the infield & outfield (and he learned to catch at Extended Spring Training a couple of years ago, too), and Opitz (drafted by the Cubs in the 12th round out of Nebraska in 2008) is a LH hitter who can play the 3B-2B-1B-LF slot.

Both Macias and Optiz would be useful players on a 24-man AAA or AA minor league roster, where versatlity is valued because teams play with a four-man bench, but neither would appear to have much of a future with the Cubs (although Macias fits the profile of a future coach or manager).

Also, some players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who are not on the AAA roster are placed on Class "A" reserve lists, and can be drafted in the AA Phase for $4,000.

Players taken in the AA Phase are most-often players who have not progressed out of the Latin academy teams, so it's possible that DSL Cubs like Aviles (an OF who was released by the Dodgers and then converted to a LHP by the Cubs), M. Gonzalez (who is a player-coach), R. Reyes, and/or Tineo (a former Dominican bonus baby who missed most of the last two seasons after undergoing TJS) could possibly be selected in the AA Phase.

ESPNChiCubs Bruce Levine
Rangers and cubs conversations on Matt Garza for top prospects . No match yet

"According to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, the Astros have hired Jeff Luhnow as general manager."

helped build the STL farm system...*shrug*...evidently a pretty nice hire according to rotowurld.

Supposedly Yu Darvish gets posted tomorrow. From a tweet by an agent that represents several Japanese players

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

https://twitter.com/donnomura/status/14465859...

They were saying this on hot-stove after work yesterday. They finally figured out you want to get posted before everyone spends their money.

Among the players who will be available for selection in tomorrow's Rule 5 Draft are 139 out of the 142 minor league free-agents who have signed minor league contracts for 2012. (To protect them from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, INF Matt Antonelli was signed to a Major League contract & added to the the 40-man roster by the Orioles, and LHP Jose Quintana and LHP Donnie Veal were signed to Major League contracts by the White Sox & added to their MLB 40-man roster).

In the old days (before free-agency), veteran players with MLB experience were the most-common type of Rule 5 draft pick.

Of the 139 recently-signed minor league free-agents who are eligible for selection this year, there are probably about a dozen with MLB experience who could conceivably be selected:

Jason Bulger, RHP
Jared Burton, RHP
Sean Henn, LHP
Dallas McPherson, 3B
Zach Miner, RHP
Juan Miranda, 1B
Pat Misch, LHP
Brandon Moss, OF
Matt Palmer, RHP
Scott Podsednik, OF
Adam Russell, RHP
Brandon Wood, 3B

While these players all have "warts" (so does Ian Stewart, BTW), a club could pick-up one of these guys for just $50,000, especially if the club is "rounding up the usual suspects" to fill a particular hole (like the Cubs at 3B). And if the player doesn't make the Opening Day roster, you're only out the $50K draft price (or $25K if the player is later claimed off waivers or returned to the club from which he was drafted).

And if you're wondering why a player who was a minor league free-agent a month ago would be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, it does happen occasionally, usually because a club wanted to sign the player but the club was outbid by another club, or the player wanted to sign with a certain team and so the 29 other clubs never had a chance to sign him.

The most-recent example of a Cubs minor league FA signee getting selected in the Rule 5 Draft was when INF Jason Smith was signed by the Cubs as a minor league FA in November 2006, and then got selected less than a month later by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rule 5 Draft. Smith then spent the entire 2007 season in the big leagues, first with Toronto, then moving to AZ after getting claimed off waivers in May, and then getting claimed by KC off waivers in July. (Smith was non-tendered by KC on 12/12/07, because the Royals didn't want to offer him salary arbitration).

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111...

BA guy on twitter thinks Jiwan James (OF from Phillies) or Flaherty could be the Astros #1 pick.

more info about Darvish getting posted

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/08/...

OK, I go to YouTube to watch a couple of vid clips of Darvish. Filthy off-speed stuff, whoa. Anyway, YT gives you the "related videos" links of course, and looking at a couple raises a question:

What's the deal in Japan baseball with hot pixie chicks throwing out the first pitch? Is it the Japanese version of the Cubs' lame "guest conductor" business? I gotta say, some of those girls are really overboard on the cute scale.

all i know about japan is thanks to the internet i no longer want to go there and i would fear for my life and/or sanity if i had to spend significant time there.

also, they make good baseball gore/horror films...as if there's any competition from anyone else.

All I know about Japan I learned from the movie Enter the Void. Brutal.

By the way, I give that movie 4 out of 10 stars, but I give the opening title sequence a 9 out of 10 stars.

They corner the market on weird (my friend told me he found a store which sold used panties and let's not forget Fukkakedome's namesake), but there's also a lot of talented and creative artists in literature and film...some of my favorite authors and directors. Let's not paint them with such a broad brush.

Never been to Japan, but I hear baseball is similar to Korea. People love the sport and really get into the games. We've got cheerleaders and a cheer-leader. Every single player has their own song which fans have memorized. It's pretty cool to hear the Kim Dong-ju's song being sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

Actually... i went to a Yomiuri Giants/Hashin Tigers game at the Tokyo Dome and it was one of the coolest "stadium" experiences I’ve ever had (better than the 2001 Super Bowl!). The fans split the stadium with the Giants fans only sitting to the right of the batters eye in center down to home plate with the visitors on the other side, they sing songs for every player in the lineup(alternating between the batting team), do various chants, run up and down the isles with flags, and the fans of the winning team stay 20 minutes after the game to sing and celebrate with the players who are gathered in front of the stands. It was much closer to being at a Man U/Chelsea match than a North American baseball game. After 2 weeks in Japan, it was one of my best memories and gave me a new appreciation for Japanese baseball.

Japanese culture in general has a very respectful and knowledgeable fan bases when it comes to sports.

If you ever watch Dream, or the old Pride MMA shows from over there and compare to the drunken boo happy fans in North America. You can really tell a difference in attitude and respect of the athlete in general.

Fans are split here too. And, I don't think I've ever heard a boo.

So, on postings, and yeah I know I can look it up but the info here is actually better than my own research probably, since I'm at work and don't have much time - if I remember right, they are sealed bids, right? And the winner gets exclusive rights? Or is it more like an auction?

Your memory is correct.

Thanks!

Olney just tweeted the "sources" say Pujols to the Angels is "done."

Duquette/Bowden....10/250 ANGELS

Woo!

Pujols to angels for 10/250-260, full NTC

Link in the tweet box

Yeah it's on MLBR, too. That's really the best possible scenario I could possibly have hoped for. I don't generally like seeing the American League getting better, but in this case, let them. It's good for Pujols, too, because of the DH, assuming the AL doesn't go retro someday.

Sounds good. Hopefully that puts Fielder in a mind to accept a 4 year $100 million deal from the Cubs.

Cabral goes to KC in rule 5

Surprise, surprise...orioles take Ryan Flaherty in rule 5.

Cubs take Lenny Castillo from phillies.

Apparently it's Lendy Castillo, and there's not a lot out there on him. Converted outfielder, helped their minor league team win Gulf Coast League championship with 0 walks, ten strikeouts. Odd, cuz it's a rookie league, but he was put on the 40 man last year.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 9:22am — Old and Blue

Apparently it's Lendy Castillo, and there's not a lot out there on him. Converted outfielder, helped their minor league team win Gulf Coast League championship with 0 walks, ten strikeouts. Odd, cuz it's a rookie league, but he was put on the 40 man last year.

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

O&B: Lendy Castillo is a 22-year old converted SS, has been pitching only two years, and hasn't pitched above "A" ball.(SAL), so even Daytona would be a promotion for him.

thanks, AZ.

Marwin Gonzales goes to Redsox in rule 5

From the organization that said all our prospects were worthless.

Glad to see Rhee survived the gauntlet, assuming that list below is the complete thing.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 9:58am — The Real Neal

From the organization that said all our prospects were worthless.

Glad to see Rhee survived the gauntlet, assuming that list below is the complete thing.

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

TRN: Dae-Eun Rhee could be part of the compensation going to either SD or BOS.

Since Rhee passed through this year's Rule 5 Draft without being selected, neither team would have to worry about adding him to their 40-man roster until after next season, when he will very likely have a full-season of AA under his belt.

And now Gonzales has been traded to the Astros.

Major League Phase
HOU: Rhiner Cruz, RHP, Buffalo (NYM)
MIN: John Doyle, RHP, Charlotte (CWS)
SEA: Lucas Luetge, LHP, Nashville (MIL)
BAL: Ryan Flaherty, 2B, Iowa (CHC)
KC: Cesar Cabral, LHP, Pawtucket (BOS)
CHC: Lendy Castillo, RHP, Lehigh Valley (PHI)
PIT: Gustavo Nunez, SS, Toledo (DET)
ATL: Robert Fish, LHP, Salt Lake (LAA)
STL: Erik Komatsu, OF, Syracuse (WAS)
BOS: Marwin Gonzalez, SS, Iowa (CHC)
ARI: Brett Lorin, RHP, Indianapolis (PIT)
NYY: Brad Meyers, RHP, Syracuse (WAS)

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111...

After losing both Flaherty and Gonzalez, LeMahieu can't be dealt to Rox for Stewart.

uh why not? If you think Stewart is a starter, you make that deal. I'm not saying you do it or you don't, bu if the Cubs FO decides that Stewart is a possible starter and LeMahieu's power won't develop, then it's a gamble you make. A utility guy is only oh so valuable.

God I am really hoping STEWARTMANIA passes soon.
1400 PA's and .236/.323/.428...and he's making almost $3mill a year.

Ugh.

That OPS is still almost exactly what DJ LeMahieu has put up in the Minor Leagues.

I'd much rather have had Chase Headley.

Still, he seems like a totally reasonable buy low, change of scenery guy with some upside.

What's the buy low part? $3 mill for crap? If this team is rebuilding?

The upside is that Stewart was a top 4 Overall prospect, who is 26 and hit 25 Homers in 2010. If he can rebound and turn into what he should have been. We are likely looking at a bridge to the Baez/Jeimer Candelario era of Cubbie 3rd Basemen.

Those are the only guys in the system who could legitimately be MLB starting 3rd basemen at some point.

It surely isn't a case that Stewart would be blocking anyone. And if he sucks, you non-tender him next year.

If we are interested in guys who had one really good year in low A a long time ago, why not Corey Patterson?

One good year in Low A ball? Are we talking about Matt Szczur?

Stewart put up MLB OPS's of .804-.785-..781 consecutively from 2008,2009 and 2010.

Along with slightly better than average defense spells out that he is a MLB averag-ish 3rd baseman with some upside. Not a guy you build your lineup around. Not a guy who stops you from getting a Longoria or David Wright if they become available.

Just a reasonable placeholder 3rd baseman.

.676, .839, .771 three consecutive years for C-Pat with a 24 HR year tossed in there, without Colorado altitude to boost his numbers.

We could trade Byrd and use the saved salary to bring in Patterson at $3 million to play CF every day. It's a probably defensive upgrade too!

Maybe we win on or even two more games if we traded for Stewart, assuming we don't give up any major league pieces and run LeeMayWho out there. Maybe he's in a free fall and he's done and we flushed $3 million and a prospect we could have used on a better player.

The year Stewart hit 25 HRs, he hit a grand total of one more at home, in slightly fewer plate appearances.

If he can. If.
What did he show last year that he could? If he was cheap I'd see it....if his 2010 was last season, I'd see it...
If he gets non-tendered, I can see it. Otherwise, blah.

He had an awful year last year in Colorado. However he did seem to rebound once he got sent out to AAA.

I would understand going with in house options if we had an in house option who put up a .950 OPS in AAA last year (like Stewart did). Unfortunately we don't have anyone above SS ball who looks like any kind of infield prospect at this point.

Let's put Vitters or LeMahieu at Colorado Springs for a season, and see how they do.
Of course LeMahieu doesn't have Stewart's power...but I bet his numbers would be just as inflated.

you really should look more at the guy's swing.

how much inside pitches he misses..and more shockingly...how little he swings at it...he either doesn't like it or can't do anything with it.

how much he swings at outside pitching...a lot...even far outside the zone...and misses.

how he's dead in the water if you get 2 strikes on the guy because you can serve him junk he can't do anything with.

he's a horrible mistake hitter.

"Those are the only guys in the system who could legitimately be MLB starting 3rd basemen at some point."

Maybe that's true, maybe not. A while ago I cited the three Cub 3B prospects who were in the top 10 in hits in the AFL. The list didn't include Flaherty.

Duquette said Flaherty is very similar to recent free-agent signee Matt Antonelli. Baltimore will use him primarily at third and to support its depth at second base, a position that has some uncertainty given the health of veteran Brian Roberts.

In any case, he'll be another Wilken draftee getting starts in the majors.

has to survive spring training first...

Who is the other Wilken dreaftee?

Barney? Colvin got some, Josh Harrison....I'm missing a few.

Is there ever going to be a scouting director who doesn't at least graduate some guys to the AAA/MLB back and forth shuttle?

Why do people always insist at placing the Tim Wilken bar at an ankle high level?

there was a question, I answered it...I don't think anyone was trying to start another Wilken walks on water discussion.

"In any case, he'll be another Wilken draftee getting starts in the majors."

VA Phil

I give VA Phil crap all the time, but that's a pretty innocent statement and true.

I don't think he spoke to the quality of them.

VA Phil is cool. I'm really just busting chops a little bit here. I just kinda feel that Wilken has been a disappointment thus far in the 6 years he's been here.

Obviously there could be other mitigating factors that may have hamstrung him. Still he just seems to be from the Hendry school of "drafting to cover yourself if a football game breaks out in Wrigley". I wish he showed a little more inclination to modern baseball trends.

You're cool, too. And you predicted a rough second season for Colvin, correctly.

I would just say that six years isn't a long time in the life of a scouting director. Josh Vitters was 2007, Wilken's second draft, and we still can't tell much about 22-year-old Vitters.

Wilken did get a shout-out from Hoyer today:

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer credited scouting director Tim Wilken and special assistant Dave Littlefield with their work in scouting Castillo.
[Muskat]

As he let first round supplemental pick Flaherty go for $65K...

6 years isn't long enough? I disagree, after 6 years our farm system should be stocked with great talent and instead it is a barren wasteland of suck.

6 years ago our farm system was crappy, 6 years later its still crappy. No progress at all has been made and i could argue the system is in worse shape now than it was 6 years ago.

Six seasons after his first draft, Stockstill non-pitching recruits (specifically Brendan Harris) had played in 23 major-league games. The same number of seasons after Wilken's first draft, his draftees have played in over 600 games. Six hundred to twenty-three--does that sound like a tie to you?

Unfortunately, Epstein and Hoyer seem, like you, to have bought into the Boston Globe/Boston Herald complaints about the Cub farm system, with the depressing results that we saw yesterday.

As far as I can see, the Cardinals haven't drafted an elite position player since Pujols and Molina ten years ago, yet they seem to put together competitive teams every year. Maybe Wilken is doing his job by feeding major-league-caliber prospects into the system, and other people in the organization need to do their jobs.

Name our Albert Pujols type player over the last 30 years? Even shitty farm systems can produce an elite level player over that time span but the Cubs have not.

I love Mark Grace but he doesn't hold a candle to Pujols.

And Colby Rasmus, Allen Craig, David Freese, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Ryan Ludwick, in the last couple years pretty much blows out of the water our Castro, Wells, Soto, Marmol group. So its not just about Pujols its about quality and productive major league talent. And like it or not the Cardinals even after Pujols are still better than the Cubs, a younger team, and in better position to win over the next 5 years than we are.

Fri, 12/09/2011 - 8:00pm — MikeCNew
Re: Winter Meetings 2011 Day 3

Name our Albert Pujols type player over the last 30 years? Even shitty farm systems can produce an elite level player over that time span but the Cubs have not.

I love Mark Grace but he doesn't hold a candle to Pujols.

And Colby Rasmus, Allen Craig, David Freese, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Ryan Ludwick, in the last couple years pretty much blows out of the water our Castro, Wells, Soto, Marmol group. So its not just about Pujols its about quality and productive major league talent. And like it or not the Cardinals even after Pujols are still better than the Cubs, a younger team, and in better position to win over the next 5 years than we are.

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

MIKE C: Adam Wainwright and David Freese were acquired in trades, and Ryan Ludwick was signed as a six-year minor league FA. Even Chris Carpenter was signed as an Article XX-D minor league FA, after refusing an outright assignment to the minors while with Toronto.

**Name our Albert Pujols type player over the last 30 years? **

How many teams have produced an Albert Pujols type player over the last 30 years? Because I'm not sure how many top ten players of all time have been produced over the last 30 years.

Don't get me wrong - the Cubs farm system is mediocre. But don't try and make your argument with something so absurd.

Geo Soto is a Stockstill draft pick. So is Sean Marshall FWIW.

"Soto, Marshall, Theriot," etc.

Those names are only relevant when you don't close the book on Stockstill six seasons after his first draft. I was responding to MikeC's question, "Six years isn't long enough?" Not if you want to include Soto, Marshall and Theriot in the comparison betwen Stockstill and Wilken.

I hear he swings on a plane, which is pretty dangerous to other passengers.

Just one plane though, so once he finishes them all off, it should be safe for the rest of us on other planes.

What's worse? Bats on a plane or snakes on a plane? What if the bat is Ian Stewart's hands(he's a terrible mistake hitter)? What if it's a vampire bat? What if it's one of those pink Mother's Day bats? I'll take my chances with Ian Stewart and his bat on a plane, thankyouverymuch. At least Ian Stewart only swings on ONE plane! I can just get on a different flight! Snakes can be ANYWHERE!!!!

So much win in that comment.

the punchline is ian stewart is a cub.

per Muskat...
Cubs select 3B Ricky Alvarez from Angels roster in AAA phase of Rule 5

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

Well, he did have a 1.080 OPS in his 16 plate appearances for Rancho Cucamonga.

Scratches head.

According to Baseball Reference, Alvarez played mostly 1B and DH last year in A Ball, and only batted .292/.388/680.

Does this guy get converted to pitcher?

Hmm..
I see on baseball-reference .257/.292/.388 for a .680 OPS......great?

He's a LeMahieu clone!

Ricky Alvarez is a 22-year old RH hitting 3B from Mexico (by way of Otay Ranch HS in Chula Vista, CA), who was originally drafted & signed by the Mets. The Mets released him at the end of Extended Spring Training 2008, and he signed with the Angels a few days later.

Alvarez was eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA post-2011 (as a previously-released player), but he opted to re-sign with Angels prior to being declared a FA. .

He hasn't played above Class "A" (MWL).

Unlike Lendy Castillo, Alvarez was selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, so he doesn't take a slot on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster, and he can be assigned to any affiliate the Cubs see fit after Spring Training.

He probably will be the starting 3B at Daytona next season (since the Cubs identified him as a "third-baseman" when they drafted him).

BTW, 3B at Daytona was one obvious gap in the organizational "pipeline" going into 2012.

traded to a team in Mexico for cash...who knew the new brain trust was into human trafficking.

Muskat tweet...

per mlbtr...

Royals take Cesar Cabral from Red Sox; traded to Yankees for cash.

Astros trade for Gonzalez, so Cubbie fans will be able to watch him play some next year. Pretty much a black hole at short for the Astros if they don't bring back Barmes.

Barmes already signed with Pirates for 2/$10 mil earlier this offseason.

Well there you go. Nice pickup for the Astros.

Red Sox take back P Marco Duarte from Astros, who put up an uninspiring 1.75 WHIP in Mexico last year...

wow did we ever think the day would come when a Cubs fan would say:

"Pujols is an Angel"

Anyone hearing Soriano to Orioles talks heating up?

Probably not. Just EpHoy looking for a sucker.

http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2011...

That won't mean the Cubs are stuck with him. Nobody is worried about saving Hendry's face any more. They're worried about saving Ricketts's money, but what's another $9 or $10 million to just release the guy?

I can't see Soriano still on the team on day one of the Epstein era.

Angels get CJ Wilson for 5/75

big day for the AngelFan Wife...

I know there are some doubters on Wilson, but I like that contract better than the Beuhrle deal, and seems like something the Cubs could have afforded (assuming the home town discount wasn't much).

What are the Rangers doing with all their cash?

allegedly trying to extend hamilton and kinsler for one, wilson to angels may inspire them to get Garza.

I was just wondering the same thing about the Cardinals.

The Cardinals will probably sign Fielder.

They've already got their replacement first basemen in house.

It'll probably be Fat Elvis, with Craig taking over in RF

See... Real Neal and I can agree on something.

Wilson basically got the same $/year that Buehrle got, but Wilson got an extra year. And Wilson should be a much better pitcher than Buerhle over the course of the contract (though Wilson is older than I thought he was).

BTW - what are the gun laws in CA? They can't be much better than IL, right?

not sure if that's current...

http://crime.about.com/od/gunlawsbystate/p/gu...

Wilson was from Newport Beach and still loves the area.

hell of a pitching staff Angels got going....

you can't buy every gun in the world in CA (like you can in TN), but there's tons of places to shoot them.

Wouldn't you want Morales to DH and play 1b to give Albert a break? LH and Rh power combo. Trade Trumbo although he's trying to learn 3b.

I didn't know Trumbo was trying to learn 3rd. Right now they essentially have 7 starters for 5 positions with Pujols, Trumbo, Morales, Abreu, Hunter, Boorjoos, and Wells. Someone's gotta give.

Also, they have Mike Trout....so 8 for 5

It's like a Who's Who of bad outfielder contracts. Too bad the Pujols signing precludes 40-40 man Soriano from joining the fold.

40-40 man Soriano

hehe

Damn, Abreu is still there...jeebus. I count 6 positions.

Pujols - 1B/DH
Morales - 1B/DH
Trumbo - 3B/DH
Hunter, Abreu, Bourjos, Wells - 3 OF spots

Scioscia sat Wells a lot last year and Abreu needs breaks, no reason not to do it again.

Trout will start the year in Triple A unless there is a trade of an OF (and only one would be Bourjos, but they love his defense). Don't think they're sold Morales will be healthy to start the year. Hunter and Abreu are gone next year, doubt they want to rush into moving guys they need next year.

If anyone is tradeable but expendable, it's probably Hunter with them eating a few bucks. But I wasn't counting 3B. I think it's a leap to say Trumbo can play there, right?
Anyway, one of the tweets in your sidebar said for the time they're not planning to move anyone. They're probably waiting to see how Morales comes along.

Hunter has some no trade protection, not sure if it's a full NTC. I know he loves it here.

I think they go after Beltran and/or Rollins.

The Twitter box above is all atwitter about Fielder@Cubs

Pujols going to a different league is a nice, early Christmas present. In just one day, the St. Louis Cardinals become a much different, crappier team.

if anyone owned Pujols in an NL-keeper league, my apologies...

ChiTribRogers: DiPoto says #angels were discussing many options. One LAA source says #cubs' Alfonso Soriano was discussed before Pujols was a focus.

Come on, Angels - Soriano would have been cheaper!

Fuck me.

I'm sure Soriano would oblige you. He fucked the Cubs bigtime already.

Can somebody pass a hat?

"Cubs lack cash to sign Fielder"... Gammons tweet

http://twitter.com/pgammo/status/144845962077...

you have to be fucking kidding me? This is not goddamn Pittsburgh, for Pete's sake.

Totally agree,

Much of the Ricketts goodwill from getting Epstein will be squandered if he starts running the Cubs like he's Frank McCourt.

His comments last year about not needing to spend on guys when you can sign guys like Carlos Pena cheap when they are coming off of poor seasons was really troubling. Hopefully that isn't what we see going forward with the DeJesus, Stewart, Overbay, Brad Hawpe type of offseason.

All of the goodwill, at least from me. The Cubs are in a 3 market scenario of competitors, or at least they should be. Boston, Yankees, and the Cubs. If he can't play in that market, he shouldn't have bought the team. Fielder is actually a decent investment, unless Boras is pimping for an 8/9 year contract and nothing less.

His comments that a 3 year contract doesn't really help anybody indicate that maybe he'd go five, though.

Either way, I'm going to try to be hopeful and hope that they make a run at somebody. I would think Darvish would also be a candidate, because he, too, is very young.

I am willing to give a one-year pass and see how the "Paralel Front" Plan works out. I have been waiting since 1968, and I figure I will be around for hopefully another 30 years or more.

There is no way in hell that Hoy-Stein would have taken these jobs if Ricketts wasn't commited to $$ long-term.

As much as I want to see them sign a big fish, I also do not want to see them commit to 8 or 9 years for "Bob's Big Boy" Fielder, as O&B states.

Money they don't give to Fielder or Pujols can be used to move Zambrano or Soriano or improve the prospects they get in return for eating more of the salary (assuming they are willing to waiver their no trade rights).

In any event, the money will still be available when the team is actually in a position to compete.

Only problem with that line of thinking is that our Minor League system is NOWHERE near ready to provide the core of a contender.

If we plan on competing we HAVE to do it almost exclusively through trades and free agency.

That or wait 5 years and hope the draft classes of 2011 and 2012 are as good as you hope they are.

Chicago market and old stadium usual put Cubs at 6th in revenue fwiw. Haven't checked to verify though.

alright I checked, looks like 5th.

Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers are ahead with Phillies and Angels nipping at them.

Why blow cash on Fielder when there are franchise changers like Dejesus and Dunston Jr to be had?

Maybe they are saving all they have for a bid on Darvish?

last i checked the cubs had the loot to sign anyone on the market and with 2013 looming they could sign 2 or 3 guys (not like signing 2-3 of these marquee guys would be wise).

lame.

still early...talent fading, though.

2012 offseason FAs (2013 season) highlights...

1st
James Loney (29)
Mike Napoli (31)

2nd
Robinson Cano (30) - $15MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Ian Kinsler (31) - $10MM club option with a $500K buyout
Brandon Phillips (32)

3rd
Mark Reynolds (29) - $11MM club option with a $500K buyout
David Wright (30) - $16MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Kevin Youkilis (34) - $13MM club option with a $1MM buyout

OF
lot of older guys, some short-term 1st eligible at this point in their careers...highlights of some "younger" guys include Josh Hamilton (32), Curtis Granderson (32) - $13MM club option with a $2MM buyout, Andre Ethier (31), Carlos Quentin (30)

SP
tons...lots of extensions/option-pick-ups should be handed out to thin it out.

IMO...imo...get in on prince fielder...that is all.

I see very few of of those club option guys hitting the fa market next year. Assuming no big injuries, the only I see who would possibly be available be Mark Reynolds.

same....could be worse, though

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i121/halfde...

It's hilarious reading Cardinal fans trashing Pujols for leaving. They act like they're shocked he wanted more money and wanted to play in southern cal. Wow....

The $100 million he saved them in not going year to year for the last 8 years wasn't good enough for them?

That should put the last nail in the "Best fans in baseball" coffin.

I remember his pastor a while back basically saying he would be a bad Christian if he left STL for more money. By the way, his pastor is a Cards fan.

per Rosenthal...Newest Brewer shortstop:

Alex Gonzalez (not Alex S. Gonzales)

http://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/statuses/144...

Ba ha ha ha:

Jon_Heyman Jon Heyman
the #cardinals are likely to nontender ryan theriot. Versatile player with good stick. May interest mets atl cin hou tor kc etc

He can play bad defense at several places.

Good stick?

I thought that was some Cardinals circle-jerk ritual I didn't want to touch.

it'd be nice if the new cuban toy someone's gonna give 50m+ to would get his residency so clubs can tip/talk that they're actually pursuing him.

there's 30 clubs, 20 nations, 2 distant planets, and 1 other dimension that's interested in the guy.

first "the former leo nunez" gets non-tendered from the 2012-2015 world series champions this offseason...now...

"Juan Carlos Oviedo was arrested on Thursday in his native Dominican Republic and will be brought to trial on charges of using a false identity."

cold.

charges dropped...released...warrant was "expired"

whatever.

the latest every-12-hours cubs/i.stewart "same thing we've been saying for weeks" rumor update just rolled in...

"According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, trade negotiations between the Cubs and Rockies involving third baseman Ian Stewart are "still fluid.""

the hotel lobby @winter meetings has been more than dead all day.

seems things are wrapped up and a lot of people are already gone...was dead during the rule 5 draft, too.

it's been off the hook busy days before this.

yeah, another dead session for Cubs fans hoping for changes they can get excited about, unless Ian Stewart rumors give you chubbies.

But honestly my expectations were pretty low. Theo and Hoyer can't know the personnel all that well, and they don't have a Jonah Hill sitting in the office with them telling them whether or not the stats justify a move as they're working the phones.

i'm holding back until the chips are off the table...i don't have much of an idea of how to handicap this group's vision going forward.

i know what they're saying...and i'm not a huge fan if they literally mean it...but at the same time if i heard they signed p.fielder to a 5-8 year deal i wouldn't be shocked, either.

I don't know, either. I just want my championship winning team next week. I have zero patience. It obviously has not mattered over the years.

I am pretty certain that this bunch will not be as bad as Hendry was during his last few years.

(@TroyRenck) Rockies have sent ian stewart and Casey Weathers to Cubs for Tyler Colvin and DJ Lamehieu

...who is weathers?

Wow. 48k 48bb in 45ip. With a solid 1.75whip. 26 years old in AA.

Poo.

holy crap...didn't know his control was that awful last year. yow.

no control fireballer (mid-90s), future closer type if he can get his stuff together.

also, f'n puke...ian stewart.

at least it's a low-cost gamble $$-wise.

now sign a real player.

What an awful trade. DJ is easily the best of those 4 players. And Theo gets to pay $2MM for Ian Stewart to boot? Cripes on a stick, early returns on the Theo Era are not positive.

Weathers: already has had arm surgery. 2011--48 BB in 42 IP. LOL.

/World Series!

not a big LeM fan, but him and flahrety gone in the same day...looks like dewitt and j.baker return next year unless there's other trades or low impact signings are coming.

What pisses me off is that you pay what, $2MM to $3MM for Baker and DeWitt. You (likely) get the same production or perhaps better from Flaherty and LeMahieu for the ML minimum. Hard to justify such profligate ways, but then it ain't our money I guess.

3rd base is bare/non-existant for at least a couple of off-seasons, but i really don't like this gamble.

i would consider it a victory even if stewart puts up a "lame" 20hr season while he puts up a .330 ob%...i don't think he's capable of it, though...but whatever, we'll see, evidently.

no worries. The Sveum is on it!

we also have "whatshisface"...god's gift to hitting coaching.

he seemed a lot more relevant at the time of signing =p

We have whatshisface and soandso, the pitching coach.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Well ROB G and others got what you wanted.

Ugh.

What a piece of crap trade.

Makes me long for the good old days of him hiring his buddies.

LOL. Fucking Cubs.

Seriously, what is wrong with Kouzamoff if you want solid defense, 20 HR's and no on base skills?

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