My 2012 Hall of Fame Ballot

"Small Hall" ballot: Barry Larkin, Rock Raines

"There Are Worse Players in" Ballot: Barry Larkin, Rock Raines, Alan Trammell, Lee Smith, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Edgar Martinez.

"Let the Roiders In" Ballot: add Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, subtract Edgar Martinez.

I'm a bit buzzed writing this, so I'm sure I'm missing some names. I've flipped a bit on Martinez, Walker and McGriff from past years.

Have at it...

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Comments

do have to admit that I'd probably prefer Cook on a minor league deal than Sonnastine on a split deal

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/boston-red...

Seems like Wrigley would be a good fit for him. Fenway, too.

I don't believe Bagwell was ever formally associated with roids, nor did he ever test positive. Am I missing something? Not being sarcastic, just curious if there is more info out about Bags.

http://keymancollectibles.com/baseballcards/i...

I kid.

other than being around Caminitti, Clemens and Petitte at times, not that I know of...

he's on the heavily suspected list...same one sosa's on. it's not formal and it doesn't exist in reality, but the same names pop up on this "non-list."

a lot of writers are pretty damn sure and some will outright say they believed he used without a lot of fear of being called out for it.

I always thought that was BS. At the time steroids were all the rage (no pun intended) writers claim they had no idea it was going on. Now, without any evidence, they claim they have good reason to believe Bagwell (and several other players) were juicing.

I'm really starting to believe that the HOF voting should be taken away from the BBWAA. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure what system would be better, but the way things stand now, I think they get it wrong more often than they get it right.

I think Bagwell's list is different than Sosa's in that didn't Sosa test positive in the "survey" test that was supposed to be anonymous?

Correct. No such evidence for Bagwell as yet. Simply guilt by association, which is bullshit by association.

perfect list...raines needs more love.

bagwell deserves it, but perhaps he deserves to enter the debate next year with it's heavy roid-confirmed/roid-suspected class rather than getting in this year.

In order to retain the integrity of the Hall, my vote would be....

fart.

roids. :(

I would vote for Bagwell, Larkin, Martinez and Raines. If I had to bet, Larkin will be the only one to get in this year.

Why does Lee Smith not get more love? His numbers match up or are better than the other relievers in the Hall. He held the record for saves, and many of his saves came before the one inning save became popular. If Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers, and Eck are in, how can the man with more saves than any of them not be in?

Racism

Lee Smith doesn't like white people?

if they're going to let jack morris into the hall of pretty good they might as well let lee smith in. morris should be there in another season or 2 unless trends reverse.

I like that, The Hall of Pretty Good.

I'm really getting more into the idea of a Super Hall of Fame, though. Have a requirement that voters cannot be complete fucking morons...of course, all sports writers would then be ineligible. And have clear guidelines of what a Super Hall of Famer is, so everyone isn't making their own requirements (eg. he was a dick, so no. he was a showboater, so no. he gave me a rimmy once, so yes.).

Lol. Rimmy. RJ!

He sure pitched to them like he didn't - although I'll admit his stuff was just as nasty to a few black dudes

This seems to be the predominant argument against, that he was just a compiler, but the context of his accomplishments, is easy to take for granted now and maybe not fair to Lee:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/1...

Lee is borderline. He can't touch Gossage. Bad comparison. Fingers & Eck are closer, but Fingers has 400 more innings and was one of the first relief stars. Eck has the two careers thing. Lee has saves, which is sort of a silly stat to begin with. Smith compares better to Sutter, but Bruce has the split-finger innovation.

Player: Innings, ERA+, WAR per BBref:

Goose: 1809, 126, 40.0
Rollie: 1701, 120, 24.4
Eck: 789, 137, 16.6 (reliever years only)
Sutter: 1042, 136, 25

Smith: 1289, 132, 30.3

Again, borderline. I'm not a fan of relievers in the hall, so I err on the side of omission, and I wouldn't have put in Sutter. In fact, I'd probably just pick Goose.

I think many see Lee Smith as an compiler of career stats but never really a dominant player.

He had 234 saves from 1980-1989 where he was used often in multiple innings, like the closers of old. But during that 10-year stretch, he was just an All-Star twice and only received 1 Cy Young vote (leading to a 9th place finish in 1983). And he pitched in 4 post-season games, taking two losses with an ERA of 8.44. He just wasn't perceived as dominant. During the decade of the 1980s, the following closers received Cy Young Votes:

1980: Gossage (3rd, and 3rd in MVP), Quisenberry (5th and 8th in MVP), McGraw (5th), Sambito (5th)
1981: Fingers (1st and 1st in MVP), Gossage (5th), Sutter (5th)
1982: Quisenberry (3rd and 9th in MVP), Caudil (7th), Stanley (7th), Sutter (3rd and 5th in MVP), Minton (6th and 8th in MVP), Garber (7th)
1983: Quisenberry (2nd and 6th in MVP), Orosco (3rd), Holland (6th)
1984: Hernandez (1st, and 1st in MVP), Quisenberry (2nd and 3rd in MVP), Sutter (3rd and 6th in MVP), Gossage (6th)
1985: Quisenberry (3rd), Moore (7th and 6th in MVP), Reardon (7th)
1986: Righetti (4th), Eichorn (6th)
1987: Reardon (8th), Bedrosian (1st)
1988: Eckersley (2nd and 5th in MVP)
1989: Eckersley (6th and 5th in MVP), Olson (6th), Russell (9th), Davis (1st and 6th in MVP), Williams (9th)

So if you were a sportswriter in the 1980s, you would note the dominance of Fingers to start the decade, and Gossage, Sutter, and Quisenberry for the first half of it, then a couple year lull, and then the reign of Eck began in 1988. Smith was never perceived as being that dominant reliever. He was always among the top 5 or so, but there were a couple who were always well ahead of him, and then the flavor of the year (Hernandez, Mark Davis) would jump ahead too.

Beginning in 1990, with his trade to the Cardinals, he was used almost exclusively as a 1-inning reliever for the rest of his career (436 games, 456 innings). He added on another 244 saves before he retired in 1997. The last couple of years were middle relief, so he basically had 6 seasons as a modern closer, saving 31, 47, 43, 46, 33, and 37 games. He made 5 All-Star teams during this period and received Cy Young votes in three years, finishing 2nd, 4th, and 5th.

But he was competing with a new generation of closers at this point. While Smith was racking up saves, others were doing so with far more dominant seasons. 1990-1991 were solid years for him, but in 1990 Eckersley had a 0.61 ERA and Thigpen had 57 saves. In 1991, Bryan Harvey had one fewer save, but an ERA of 1.60, 101 Ks in just 78 IP, and an ERA+ of 257! Then from 1992-1995, Smith's ERA was well over 3.00 each year, and so while he was still getting saves, he was doing so far less dominantly than guys like Randy Myers, John Franco, Rod Beck, and even guys like Duane Ward and Jose Mesa. Playing for 7 teams from 1990-1997 certainly hurt Smith's image as well.

So in the end, Smith is difficult for voters to categorize. I think many think that had he pitched from 1975-1989, we wouldn't be having this discussion. He was clearly not as dominant in his time as were Fingers, Gossage, Sutter, and Quisenberry; and he wouldn't have had the easy, 1-inning saves, to pad his career totals at the end. Similarly, if he pitched from 1990-2005, we would probably see him has a John Franco, who got just 27 votes on his only year on the ballot and fell off with less than 5 percent, despite having the 2nd most saves when he retired.

His big career save totals combined with this perception that he was one of the old-school guys like Gossage and Sutter keep him in the discussion; but when a lot of voters look into it, they don't see him as dominant as the old-school guys or as dominant as the new school guys like Eck, Hoffman, and Rivera, and so I just don't see him climbing much higher than where he is right now.

Your argument is very good. But, shouldn't the fact that Smith was very good, if not dominate, for a long period of time factor into the Hall of Fame argument? Smith finished in the top 10 in saves 12 times. Led the league in saves 4 times. Was a 7 time all star. I believe that he is in the category of a very good player for a long period of time.

I'm not sure that the HoF should be for "very good" players. It should be great players.

7 time all-star? Meh.

I'm not opposed to him being in, but being "very good" doesn't make someone HoF worthy, imo.

"I'm not sure that the HoF should be for "very good" players. It should be great players. "

Too late for that.

Is it possible to keep the Hall of Fame, but nullify its importance by creating a Super Hall of Fame?

How about a Baseball Hall of Infamy? Players could be moved back and forth depending on what we think of them.

Pete Rose first inductee into the Hall of Infamy.

Super-villain Hall of Fame you mean. Pete the Black Rose we'll call him.

would there be a Saturday morning cartoon to go along with it?

That would be cool.

Lee's top 5 comps from BBref:

Jeff Reardon
Trevor Hoffman
John Franco
Roberto Hernandez
Doug Jones

All between 1000-1300 innings, all with 120-135 ERA+ (except Hoffman in the 140s), all with about 20-30 WAR. All players that fit the definition of very good for a long period of time. Closers, to be sure, and more important than middle relievers, but in the end, still relief pitchers.

The HOF is a subjective exercise, so each voter draws their own line. I think Hoffman stands above this group (over Smith), but I think Smith is better than the rest of those comps, but not considerably better. Part of the reason I didn't want Sutter; he lowered the standard below where I prefer.

We probably wouldn't consider a position player below 60 WAR for his career, but we'll have lengthy conversations about relief pitchers with half that. Now, a position player cannot do what a closer does, and there's value there. And it should be considered in context with how peers perform.

But I'm not sure how much to consider saves. A pitcher can put together 3 innings, give up 2 runs and get the same credit another pitcher receives for one pitch. It's just kind of a goofy, created stat, like pitcher wins. Maybe like "wins", "saves" is more meaningful over a career, which helps Lee. For my part, I'm just not convinced of that.

But Sutter WAS dominant. There was a good period of time that he just went out and made good hitters look stupidly bad over and over again. Bruce was so good that he scored the Cubs the Cardinals' top position player prospect (Leon Durham), an All-Star 3rd baseman (Ken Reitz) and another player thrown in (Ty Waller). 3-for-1 trades rarely happen for relief pitchers.

Mind you, I think I understand what you mean about Sutter "lowering" the standard. But he was a supremely good closer for a nearly a decade who changed how baseball viewed the value of a fireman/closer. Personally, I'm fine with Sutter being in the Hall. I got to watch him throughout his entire career and, for me, he passed the eye test.

I agree wholeheartedly, and the eye test was even more impressive. He was damn near unhittable when the split finger was on. I've never seen anything like it before or after. I suppose a good knuckler might make players look as lost, but Sutter' split dropped OFF the table and disappeared. He did change the game.

I guess but why overanalyze somebody who was so fun to watch? It is the kind of discussion that reminds me why I don't care about it.

I think Lee Smith really didn't have that fear factor or star quality that other relievers that made it do. Switching that many teams hurts him too.

For me, retiring with the saves record and having it for quite a few years earns the nod.

Juan Gonzalez? Really?

My ballot: Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire

EDIT: I have no rational reason to exclude Palmeiro; it's petty, I guess. I just don't like him.

So your dislike of Palmeiro evidently has nothing to do with 'roids, given you voted for McGwire.

Precisely. I don't care about roids. Well, I don't think they should be used, and they should be tested for. But I also don't think the HOF should exclude players of this era because of them. The hall is a history museum. The great players of the 90s and beyond are an important part of baseball history.

My objection to Palmeiro is the feeling he hung on for his HOF magic numbers, kind of like Biggio. But Biggio played premium up-the-middle defensive positions. So even though Biggio was atrocious at the end (worse than Raffy), I'd still vote for Biggio.

Also, if I'm honest, there's Cindy Sandberg and that godawful mustache. Plus, even though I don't care about the roids, his goofy finger wagging testimony doesn't help.

My problem with excluding suspected roid users from the hall is that it is yet another way to lay all the blame on the individuals players and erase the complicity of the managers and owners (and the writers and the fans).

The juiced ball/juiced player era does mangle any attempt at stat comparisons between players from different times, though.

Yup - perfectly said. We should have an asterisk next to cy Young's name for playing in an era where feared bitters could barely get out of bed in the morning.

The Ron Santo argument, great peak, short on overall numbers. His 10 year run was pretty amazing.

Santo had a claim as one of the top 10 players all time at his position, though. I don't see that for Juan Gone.

Hasn't the lid been kinda blown off the fact that PED's are extremely prevalent?

To me you need to vote guys in based on the context of the Era in which they played. If a guy like Bonds and Sosa were among the best of their generation. You have to put them in according to that.

The whole sanctimonious nature of the BBWAA just gives me the feeling that they are a bunch of blowhards and out of touch dinosaurs.

Yeah. Marlon Byrd's strength&health coach, VICTOR CONTE, thinks 30-40% of MLB players are using. There are plenty of options available that clear out of the body so quickly they are usually undetectable.

http://deadspin.com/5869473/victor-conte-says...

if the HOF kicked everyone out who was on amphetamines we'd have no HOF'rs from the 1950s+...amazing more people didn't die and it's a shame how many people end their careers and find themselves addicted to speed.

speaking of...

"Giants' minor league catcher Drew Stiner was suspended 50 games for testing positive for amphetamines."

kid's barely 19...recently drafted. it's as much a part of the culture all the way back to the highschools as smokeless tobacco is part of the culture.

Who got addicted to speed from mlb?
Just asking can't remember hearing about a mlber struggling with that addiction.

You would think there would be alot more.

derek bell and neifi perez somewhat recently both left baseball with speed addictions in tow...a few minor leaguers and role players people don't hear from.

luckily...or not...these days the kids prefer adderall, which isn't as harsh as some of the past favorites.

There are always drug addicts in life - the only ones that matter to me are the roid users and nothing will take away the joy of me watching Barry Bonds launching bombs into the cove. That was the era, and every cubs fan thrilled to it when they watched Sosa. I don't get my ire up often but when a society creates a hero worship mentality and then hates on those heroes for latching onto things that the industry baically prescribed, that is not cool.

oh yeah, totally...i don't even draw a comparison between the two...i'm just glad baseball is getting that drug out of it's culture.

some people do consider amphetamines PEDs, but it's not like they're going to make you pitch 10 more pitches a game, more mph, etc...hit for power, hit more, etc...

really glad baseball is cleaning up it's drug issues...

Dude did u try speed as a kid? It was good stuff, and I still make jokes to my peers about how sometimes id pay for an amphetamine sandwich during the 2:30 narcolepsy hour

never regularly and not since my late teens, but yeah...it works as advertised.

it starts for a lot of ball kids getting into the zone and getting focus (especially the ones that like adderal)...then for the kids in the minors or summer leagues it turns into a help for travel/day games/party-hangover-helper...for some older guys it's a way to get them back into the excitement/feel/focus of their youth in a game they've been grinding at for a huge chunk of their lives.

and a lot of this "starts" because it's been part of the culture of baseball for too many decades.

it's not all dexys/greenies/etc anymore...and coke gets all the headlines. when they started testing for it in 05 (i think 05) it was a pretty important change to the culture of the game, imo.

Ya just experimented myself - could see getting addicted to that. More than any others. I never understood downers tho, who wants to be down??

Ya just experimented myself - could see getting addicted to that. More than any others. I never understood downers tho, who wants to be down?

And I don't mean to trivialize drug use among kids - I just am like, itthis happens, and I kept my eye on mine, but as an observer. I was lucky Cu's my kid's biggest interest. Was girls

EDIT - This new kindle is not so good for forums

Levine posted late last night that KWood may not be getting signed by the Cubs?

Considering he gave the team a well-below market deal last year, and is the team's most popular remaining player, I wonder what is going on here?

Imo, it would be pretty shitty if they can't get a deal done.

They don't want to pay him $4m? He's not worth it considering his injury history. Just because he gave a sweetheart deal last year, doesn't mean they should overpay this year. $2 to 2.5m with a games finished incentive sounds right.

And no one buys a ticket to see a set-up man possibly pitch.

Yeah, I get that.

No one really mentions the fact that Hendry signed him to a lucrative deal before he got "shut down" for good parts of seasons.

I guess he's thinking its his last deal.

I like the guy a lot and he still can pitch - but biz is biz to a point.

My speculation: maybe Wood is watching vets get dealt, wants a no-trade clause and isn't getting one.

Maybe he's not as attached to the team now that the guy who paid him (Hendry) is gone and they are obviously going with a youth movement. The way the Cubs are changing personnel lately, team allegiance gets boiled down to allegiance to a uniform.

That's a very good bet. I do think though that from a Cubs fandom standpoint, you overpay. If you can throw away multimillions to get rid of Z, you can spend an extra 2 on a guy fans love. Some of that should play into the thinking, even for number crunchers. Or should I say, especially for number crunchers, who seem to be putting together, for next year at least, a very average team with zero hitting.

It was Hendry who low-balled Kerry Wood and he's gone. TheoTrio owes him zip.

There is still a concept of players that fans love. Even if he is half ass he is just a middle reliever who can do little harm and still has upside for a late career surge.

Rosenthal tweeting that Maholm close to being a Cub.

meh...

Is this rotation insurance for T. Wood/Volstad or is this the move that preceeds a Garza deal?

Randy Wells is the one that should be worrying at the moment.

Yeah, Wells has a whole lot of competition now.

Yeah, now we have a whole staff of Wells.

Looks like some of those guys slotted to begin at Iowa (McNutt, Cabrera, Rusin, Raley, Carillo) are going to get pushed to AA by the likes of Coleman and Sonnanstine. The organization is definitely building up a surplus of #5's and swingmen.

Jay Jackson better take note and realize he is officially on notice.

If he's going to take that step forward, now needs to be the time.

"now needs to be the time"

How about Nov and Dec in the Venezuelan Winter League?

In 22.2 innings, Jackson had a 5.56 ERA with a 1.76 WHIP.

(In case he was hoping that nobody noticed.)

Yowch

Word is a 1 year incentive laden deal

No 1 year deal is bad. Worst case he stinks and the Cubs win 68 games instead of 70. Best case he exceeds expectations and he's flipped for something useful at the deadline. And if this means that Casey Coleman doesn't start another game for the Cubs, well, all the better.

That's interesting, because Maholm was quoted earlier this offseason as saying that he would essentially go to the highest bidder, and there are reportedly multiple teams interested in him.

With the shortage of SP's on the market, I would think he could get 3/$25 million pretty easily, and stick it to the Pirates who refused to exercise his 2012 option.

I thought the same thing. However he did get shut down at the end of last year with a shoulder injury.

So he might be more of an injury concern than originally thought.

If they do sign Maholm, it will be the first time the Cubs have 2 lefties (assuming Travis Wood is pitching too) in the rotation since 2008, Rich Hill and Ted Lilly

another worthless factoid

I think I've heard this comment before, but has anyone ever seen Maholm and Gorzelanny in the same room? Not sure what the former offers that the latter didn't. Seems like another meh deal to me.

Yeah, that was me a couple of days ago. I'm not sure they look all the different, either...

Have they been seen in the same room as Sloth?

but has anyone ever seen Maholm and Gorzelanny in the same room?
---
Shhhhh. Bruce Wayne is really Batman.

(and Gorzelanny is really Alfred the Butler)

Barry Larkin 495 (86.4%), Jack Morris 382 (66.7%), Jeff Bagwell 321 (56.0%), Lee Smith 290 (50.6%), Tim Raines 279 (48.7%), Edgar Martinez 209 (36.5%), Alan Trammell 211 (36.8%), Fred McGriff 137 (23.9%), Larry Walker 131 (22.9%), Mark McGwire 112 (19.5%), Don Mattingly 102 (17.8%), Dale Murphy 83 (14.5%), Rafael Palmeiro 72 (12.6%), Bernie Williams 55 (9.6%), Juan Gonzalez 23 (4.0%), Vinny Castilla 6 (1.0%), Tim Salmon 5 (0.9%), Bill Mueller 4 (0.7%), Brad Radke 2 (0.3%), Javy Lopez 1 (0.2%), Eric Young 1 (0.2%), Jeromy Burnitz 0, Brian Jordan 0, Terry Mulholland 0, Phil Nevin 0, Ruben Sierra 0, Tony Womack 0.

I might have thrown Burnitz a vote for the most entertaining swing in baseball.

You never met the astounding Cubs first base prospect, Pat Bourque, apparently, who had a hitch in his swing so giant I sometimes thought he'd fall over backwards.

goodbye Juan Gonzalez, Vinny Castilla, Tim Salmon, Bill Mueller, Brad Radke, Javy Lopez, Eric Young, Burnitz, B. Jordan, Mulholland, Nevin, Sierra and Womack.

Walker deserved some more love imo...I understand the Coors effect, but one of the best defensive RFers of all-time. You can't just look at his road numbers because the NL West parks are all pitching friendly, not to the extreme Coors was for offense, but still.

Agree on Walker, but he's got 14 more shots at this thing. I wonder if the upcoming glut will help or hurt him.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

appears Cubs will be 12th or 13th in BA's farm system rankings

What was their last ranking?

16th

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

BA was the highest on them though, most had them much lower.

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_Org...

Give it time, all you impatient fools, give it time.

I find this remarkable.

Ryan Flaherty ranks 7th in BA's Top 10 Orioles prospects.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

Says a lot about the Orioles

price was right for him...still don't get leaving him exposed...

wtf does tim raines have to do?

yeah, walks aren't sexy, but not only did he have an ungodly amount of SB...almost as important is his CS%. ...and all that .400-ish OB% stuff. if he stole 800 and got caught 300+ times i wouldn't be as impressed, but the guy got on base then pushed himself over on his own for quite a large chunk of his career.

Walks are still looked down upon by a lot of people. Batting average, home runs and steals (without taking into account CS%) have been the standard for a long time.

All the more reason why these old bastards that vote need to be replaced. Game has passed those guys by.

Fernando Martinez - the danger of holding on to your prospects.

nonetheless, not a terrible guy to take a flyer on...still just 22.

Shush, we've done enough of that already. Just another joke opportunity. I'm in trust mode with the JedStein clan for now. Until mid summer at least.

More talk of Garza to Tigers. Turner, Smyly and Castellenos are their big 3. Could Team Theo actually coax two of those three from Detroit? That would be impressive.

if DET is stupid enough to trade turner i would be about it...

"Kevin_Goldstein Heard Tigers are open to talking Jacob Turner, but far more reticent when it comes to 3B Nick Castellanos."

nick castellanos is neat and all, but do the cubs have 3 years to cash that gamble in with a SP crew of 3-5 starters?

also, check out goldstein with one of them there fancy words...reticent...i'm pretending it means "kickass alien robot" even if the context is wrong.

Gotta cash in Garza for as much pitching as Jedstein can get. Let the Tigers keep Castellanos and go for Turner and 3 other hot pitching prospects, even if a couple are at AA or below.

The full 40-man roster situation is interesting, as presumably the Cubs would like to add Maholm, Wood and 1-2 of the prospects gained from a Garza deal, but only Garza would come off the roster in this scenario.

I'm sure there would be some DFA if these things happen. Maybe some guys would make it through waivers.

On another site there was some chatter about sending some others from the 40-man along with Garza. I believe it's all speculation, though.

Uh...I think f the Cubs asked for Turner, AND 3 other pitching prospects, the Tigers would politely tell the Cubs to fuck off.

Mmm, no... Not politely.

LMAO!

I don't understand why Garza must be traded.

Post of the year for the definition of reticent.

+1

Wood to sign by Friday, just not sure with who..

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post...

We went to the Hall of Fame in 2010, and it was a lot of fun. I highly recommend it. And the Cooperstown area is cool, too. Really interesting place.

We were there during peak season, so it was VERY crowded. The HOF facility itself was smaller than I thought it would be. The Hall of Fame plaque area on the 1st floor is open like a museum, but the second floor (where the various displays are located) seemed a bit cramped.

Since going there, I have come to the conclusion that I'm really happy that there is a baseball Hall of Fame, but I don't really care whether one player or another is there. I know it's important to the player and his family, friends, and fans, but ultmately whether Player "A" should be there and Player "B" should not be really doesn't matter that much.

As long as they have the game's absolute very best players in there, that's enough for me. I don't care one way or the other about the ones on the borderline.

Good point and I bet it was nice. The borderliners are of no interest to me

So Ron Santo and Andre Dawson, and their HoF status, were/are of no interest to you?

reticent

I thought this references how much they are paying the Bears offensive coordinator

Kerry Wood was on WGN's sports night program with Kaplan, Brian Noonan and Andrea Darlas...KW was there to promote his charity function coming up this friday (Kerry Wood Foundation). The hosts, reading between the lines felt that Wood's body language made it sound like he's unlikely to get a deal done with the Cubs.

A bit premature but...sigh.

http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-01...

his Winter warmup goes on concurrently with the opening of the Cubs convention...

http://mlb.mlb.com/players/woodfamilyfoundati...

Maholm signs, per Twitter.

>>Maholm signs, per Twitter.<<

Marcos Mateo hardest hit. Bye Marcos.

@paul_maholm paul maholm
I hope to get to continue some things when I visit during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career

Is this a poem, or just illiterate?

wait until you hear a chris volstad interview.

Oh boy, looking forward to that crunch.

Mr. maholm: try not to repeat non-descriptive words (or any words for that matter) in a two line poem. Even if you are just shooting for Hallmark cards. Or if it's a riddle, make it kinda hard to figure out. Oh, and use some punctuation or verse markers:

"I hope to continue some sweet shit, when I visit throughout the year / and commence some cool crap once I start my Cubs' career."

You know, something like that . . .

volstad speaks in simple/direct terms with a ton of "uhh" and "umm" thrown in every 10 seconds for good measure.

i wouldn't call him stupid or slow, but he gives a really blank and nervous interview.

This is a good thing. Second in athlete interviewee skills only to mastering the cliche.

This post won because the poster showed up to post today but the other posters were great posters too and anytime you can write a post replying to those great posters you have to give all praise to God. Really all you can do is take it one post at a time and through hard work and determination and giving all praise to God hope you can continue to reply to all those other wonderful posters. Finally I'd like to apologize for using illicit ampersands. I let all my fans down and I am working hard to repair all the hurt I have done.

+1

I'm just here to try and help out the blog. Anything I can do to help and learn from the other posters is what I want to do.

I'd like to announce I'm taking my talents to BCB.

Does he wear women's underwear to deal with his baseball superstitions, too?

in my dreams he does. my therapist is very disappointed in me over this issue.

looks like we'll have to wait til tomorrow to get the maholm terms.

confirmed done, though.

i imagine 3-5m a year base...wonder if it's multi-year...

Sun Times story on Maholm says they expect to bring Rodrigo Lopez back.

Maholm made over $6m last year, can't imagine he'd sign for less than that.

if they're going to pay him that kinda loot, hope it's a 2-3 year deal...not much to be gained out of 6m+ of the guy for a 1 season the way this team is shaping up.

i could live with 1 year w/ incentives if his base is 3-5-ish...

twitter...paul maholm

Looking forward to seeing the fans at Cubs convention this weekend and getting to know all the guys. It's gonna be fun.

twitter...thekapman/David Kaplan

The Cubs just signed former Pirates left hander Paul Maholm. He will be at Cubs Convention on Friday.

Hoyer will be interviewed by Kaplan Tues 5pm on CSN Hot Stove...

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post...

and from yesterday, somewhere out there in the twitterverse...

http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg618/scaled.php?t...

from BP's John Perotto's list of the 10 best remaining free agents:

#8, just ahead of Bartolo Colon and Jeff Francis (but behind retired Javier Vasquez). Carlos Pena is #5...

Free agent: LHP Paul Maholm
Scout's view: "He was asked to be a No. 1 in Pittsburgh, and that just wasn't fair. On a good team, he's a No. 5, maybe a No. 4. I'd take a shot on him for the back end of the rotation. He has a good idea of what he's doing on the mound and makes up for not being overpowering by getting guys to hit the ball on the ground. Put him on the right team in the right park with the stars aligned just right, and he might win you 15 games."

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Maholm signing needs a matching 40 man roster move.

And a follow up tweet...
@MLBInsideNews: Don't be shocked if Cubs get Turner and Smyly +

It's been said elsewhere that the Tigers could use a bench guy like Baker or an arm like Russell/Samardzija. I'd package Baker and Smardzj up with a bow to balance out a 3-4 player return from Detroit.

Can't imagine what the Tigers would be willing to add to the package for those two.

Baker/Russell would even up a deal if Detroit felt like they were giving up too much.
All speculation of course, not even mine

Maybe we can throw in a Marmol or Soto to extract a little more?

Valverde and Avila still play for the Tigers?

Yes.

maybe that trade doesn't make sense then...

Forgot about Avila in Detroit. Just thinking out loud Rob.

I think the cubs do have to clear an extra spot or two on the 40-man, if they can nab Turner, Smyly then I would happily toss them those three, or even Byrd or (God, please) Soriano with his 2012 salary paid ...

Bruce Levine reporting that Maholm contract is 1/4.25m with a 6.25m option for 2013 and a 500K buyout.

https://twitter.com/ESPNChiCubs/status/156730...

So essentially a 1 year $4.75 or 2-year $10.5 million dollar contract, whichever the team decides it wants. Not too bad considering he made $5 million in 2010 and $6.25 million last year.

Maybe Buster Olney is right when he says player agents are starting to drop prices to get their clients signed. I'm good with the Maholm contract deals.

Cheaper than I thought, how fucked up is his shoulder?

http://t.co/JmA1LVjq

Kaplan saying Cubs and Kerry Wood soon to part ways

Kaplan's source...

"Woody wanted to be here despite the rebuilding process but while the Cubs were saying they wanted him back they were unwilling to pay him the market value for a solid set up man," he said. "He has heard from a number of teams that are World Series contenders and they are all willing to pay him a very fair salary to strengthen their bullpen. The Cubs expected him to pitch for another hometown discount. He has already done that for them a couple of times before. There is no reason that he should have to do that again."

Kaplan's conclusion...

Will Theo Epstein ride to the rescue and save the day? If he plans on it time is running out so he better move quickly.

As much as I like Kerry, a $4m reliever who always ends up on the DL is a waste of money. So much for the Cubs or retirement...guess it was the Cubs as long as they pay me top dollar or maybe another team.

Agreed,

I always thought it was funny that the same people who are glad we are slashing payroll and playing kids are upset at the prospect of KW leaving.

I'm not unhappy that KW is leaving. I don't see any point in paying him his market value, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

To put a finer point on it, I am not happy we are reducing payroll. I am glad that we no longer spending money on short term Band-Aids in a misguided attempt to give the appearance of competing.

Muskat article on Maholm and a Wood update too

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

"Depth has been a focus of this winter," Hoyer said on Friday.

Wood quotes...

"This organization is family to me," Wood said of the Cubs. "I get a chance to build a new relationship with the Ricketts family. I plan on being around. I'm raising my kids here, the whole family is going to be here.

"As much as they want me around, I'd love to be a part of the organization," he said. "I'm not saying it's going to be broadcasting, I'm not saying it's going to be radio, I'm not saying I'm coaching, managing, any of that stuff. I'd like to be around and be a part. All in good time. I still feel like I have another year or two left."

from Bruce Miles twitter acct...

BruceMiles2112
Cubs 40-man technically at 41. Waiver move coming to clear space. No correlation with any possible Garza trade and Maholm signing.

I like the signing. He's a solid back rotation guy with a little bit of upside.

He created some controversy here in Memphis back when I was a Freshman in College. He and another kid transferred from a private school in Mississippi and joined a Germantown team that was absolutely LOADED. Don't remember all the details off the top of my head. But that team ended up winning state. I believe that Ben Johnson, Malholm and former Cub prospect Mark Holliman were all on that squad. While Matt Cain was across town at Houston high.

twitters from Jordan Bernfield at the Hoyer conference about Maholm signing...

http://twitter.com/jordanbernfield

(in reverse chronologic order)

Maholm: "I had known for a few days, yesterday I passed the physical, kinda tough not to be able to say anything." on Twitter breaking.

Also mentioned Sveum and Bosio as factors for signing here.

Maholm: "Being in the NL, traveling through the city, seeing the passion of the fans...seemed like it would be a good fit."

Hoyer: "We both understand the history of the organization and which players mean the most to the fan base and Kerry is one of them."
Hoyer: Going to prepare Samardzija as a starter in spring training.

Hoyer: "We've added control and youth to the pitching staff over the course of the winter." Says it's good for the future and present.

Hoyer: "Talent was the overriding factor not the knowledge of the division." (Maholm)

Hoyer: "We continue to want Kerry back in Chicago, we've offered him a substantial raise and we hope it gets done."

Hoyer: "This is deal is not a precursor to anything." In reference to Garza rumors.

Hoyer: "I think we're very comfortable with the names we have. A huge priority is building depth. You can never have enough pitching."

Hoyer: It's important to have a mix, you don't want to have a homogenous pitching staff...in general, LHP more efficient than RHP."

Hoyer: Says the physical looked good and they're confident he'll be ready to go next year. Tried to pitch thru shoulder soreness LY.

"He really wanted to be a Cub and wanted to pitch in Wrigley Field, which really means a lot to us."

"We're excited to bring Paul on board. Paul's been a quality left hander in this division for the last 6 years."

good look at the Tigers system

http://baseballinstinct.com/2011/11/29/detroi...

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