Our Long National Nightmare is Almost Over

I try not to use that headline too often, but it seems fitting here. The verdict has been reached and the Boston Red Sox will get RHP Chris Carpenter from the Cubs. Cue the feigned outrage!!!!

The 26-year old righty can hit 100 mph and occassionally the broad side of a barn; 6.4 BB/9 in 45.1 IP in AAA. The overall minor league numbers are 1.384 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9 , 3.62 ERA and a history of arm problems. He's probably a good bet to have a few good major league seasons, but I doubt the Cubs have lost a key cog in the machine they're attempting to build. Carpenter will go off the Cubs 40-man leaving room for the Cubs to add LHP Gerardo Concepcion.

Oh but wait, this fiasco still isn't fucking settled.

Apparently to drag this out even longer, both teams will swap a player to be named later at some ambiguous future date because this shit wasn't complicated enough. So I'd like to say the deal seems fair, but we don't really know until we know the other two players.

Kill me now.

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"I am relieved that this process is over and particularly pleased that the teams were able to reach agreement on their own without intervention from MLB," Epstein said in a statement. "I truly hope and believe that this resolution will benefit both clubs, as well as Chris, who is an extremely talented reliever joining a great organization at a time when there's some opportunity in the major league bullpen."

Apparently to drag this out even longer, both teams will swap a player to be named later at some future date because this shit wasn't complicated enough.

WTF? So giving the Red Sox their closer of the future is not enough compensation?

probably shooting a little high on Carpenter there, although that's probably not completely out of the realm of possibilities.

Well, he did not even get much of a shot yet at the MLB level. Jury is still out, I guess. But as I said last thread, this is like Papplebon II to the Red Sox.

well I definitely don't think anyone believes him to be that good.

considering they have Melancon and Bailey, Carpenter's opportunity to close isn't coming anytime soon.

That actually makes it more frustrating that we gave Carpenter up, given that we don't have too many sure things in our bullpen over the next few years, especially without Cashner.

Cubs sure things minus Carpenter equals same amount of sure things in cubs system.

I agree and will go out on a limb and say Theo will have more of a positive effect on results over the next 5 years than Carpenter will have for Boston.

Carpenter also didn't get much of a shot as closer in the minors either. Just sayin'...

To make room on the roster for Carpenter, the Red Sox placed reliever Bobby Jenks on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from back surgery.

One major change about the new cub regime doesn't seem to have a candidate to fill the Chad Fox, Angel Guzman 60 day roster DL slot this year.

Ricketts initiative to save money on duct tape?

Cub Carpenter seemed to be the best. Maybe Theo's just more realistic about their playoff chances. :)

Levine speculate they might try to make Carpetner a starter

that is what he did before 2011, why not?

obviously some doubts if his arm could hold up

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

B. Jackson #32, Rizzo #47, Baez #61, Szczur #64,

Steadily moving up the charts (38th on last year's Top 100) like a Foo Fighters song.
No prospect made as good a ballpark move as Rizzo's in going from Petco to Wrigley.
Bat speed, Florida high school shortstop background . . . let the Gary Sheffield comparisons begin
Exciting high-risk, high-reward talent who should take off with football in his rearview mirror.

Hak-Ju Lee #44, Archer #89 fwiw.

It probably took a little bit of time because of the lack of precedent. But it certainly wasn't because of any animosity.

"We were actually looking at the people involved on the emails last night and we're all really good friends. This process clearly didn't change that. There was no animosity. It was just a process that took a long time in part because we had a lot of things going on."

Even though the above quote is from Levine's blog. On the radio with Waddle/Silvy, BL implied that the reason it took so long was because Larry Lucchino was being bitter and vengeful and was hell bent on making Theo pay as much as he could extract for leaving the sinking ship based on last season's conclusion in Boston.

I recently read the book, 'Feeding the Monster' (http://sethmnookin.com/feeding-the-monster), which is the Redsox history leading to the Henry/Werner, (Lucchino) purchase through about the 2005 season. The relationship between Lucchino and Theo has been continually strained because Lucchino tends to be paranoid when the Boston press portrays any of his 'team' (Theo) making subtle comments which he continually interpreted as throwing him under the proverbial bus. Of course that was a two way street open to interpretation when Theo felt he didn't deserve flak.

apparently this is new Bears QB coach, Jeremy Bates' brother...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKZOYZn6zPg

Just heard on WSCR that Cub ST reporter said that no one in Cubs organization knew that Marmol was working on a cutter last year.

That can't be true, can it?

they were all too busy drinking to notice.

You are going to regret that you didn't run with that juicy lead I provided you. Maybe not today, nor tomorrow but someday.

/Play it again, Sam

Actually, Bogart's character (Rick) never said 'Play it again, Sam.' He says, "You played it for her, Sam. You can play it for me; play it, Sam!"

Just sayin'

correct, I put it in there for those who are not a cinamaphile like yourself.

I just love meaningless trivia...........and TCR, of course.

redundant

...does that count as trivia?

i think that counts as trivial

He was laboring, not sure if he was working. It's well known 'back to fundamentals' was unknown, and if ever there was a throwaway season, LAST year was it!

Since if he did throw it, it looked like a bad slider I'd say it's possible no one knew.

The other part of this is that Sveum said the Brewer's pitching coach last year spotted it and told Milwaukee batters to look for it.

so it's possible that all his bad "sliders" that missed or hung last year was actually that cutter??

That was my first thought. I was wondering about it last season but wasn't ever sure.

usually, you get one of two things out of his slider. Either it moves a foot or is a cement mixer. As much as he struggled with his release point at times, I wasn't sure if he wasn't just releasing a little early and/or not getting the correct finger pressure on it. Must have been a cutter. That seems like a dumb thing to add when you have a slider like he does, but whatever.

If I were him, I'd try to add a splitter instead, but I'm not him. Maybe he has tried and can't throw one for shit.

slider/cutter R/L mix is gaining popularity, especially for pen arms...slider/fastball to righties (from righty) and cutter/fastball to lefties. it's been done before, but it seems to be getting more popular.

the cutter to a lefty is the "new changeup" for some as far as approach goes.

Maybe he wasn't.

Why the hell would he have been?

Levine tweet...

@ESPNBruceLevine: Compensation does not settle Epstein - Lucchino clash.

Fight!fight!fight!

I guess this means they won't be exchanging birthday cards anymore.

Maury Brown...

As far as the PTBNL on each side in the deal… it’s a technicality. Whenever a player is traded (and, in this odd instance, you are not counting Epstein as he’s not a player), another has to be involved. With Carpenter going to the Red Sox, another player had to be in the deal. The Cubs and Red Sox will likely swap inconsequential players in the deal just to satisfy conditions of the “trade”.

I was going to say I don't think that's true, but apparently the Marlins did get a player from the White Sox in the Guillen trade. I don't recall the Cubs getting a player for McPhail or the Rays when they traded Winn for Piniella.

http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com...

Just give them Soriano and be done with it!

"Just give them Soriano" implies that they deal with his contract. That's some gift.

Do you give a gift and expect the recipient to pay for it? Hell no!

That's fine, I just didn't know what you meant. I used to read things like, Just trade him for a ham sandwich, and I thought that a ballplayer plus a $50-70 million check was a lot for a sandwich.

I certainly agree with you if you're saying, Just get rid of him at any cost.

Randy Winn
October 28, 2002: Traded by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to the Seattle Mariners for Antonio Perez.

So a player on both sides there.

The Cubs sent Hector Trinidad to the Twins for MacPhail, but can't find any mention of the Cubs getting any player back.

Following up, I am guessing the issue is because it's a 40-man roster trade. The MLBPA wouldn't want a player on the 40-man to have to be dropped for a player coming in that was traded for a non-player. My guess is with Hector Trinidad that he was not on the 40-man, so it was just like trading a non-40-man minor leaguer to another organization for cash, with MacPhail=cash, and so no player had to go to the Cubs in exchange.

What this might mean, if I am right, is that the Red Sox will send someone to the Cubs who is on their 40-man, while the Cubs could send someone back as their PTBNL who either is or is not.

Cubs get Pedroia, sawks get Soriano. Sawks pay all of Pedroia's contract and stop singing Sweet Caroline after whatever inning they do that after.

If the words trade, Soriano, and Pedroia all actually led to something resembling reality, Ricketts should pay both salaries and Boston can sing whatever the hell they want

The Cubs could have just sold Carpenter's contract to the Red Sox for $1 if it was a matter of satisfying a "trade."

Trading a player for a PTBNL where the PTBNL turns out to be cash happens all the time, and the cash option is negotiable (and decided prior to the completion of the trade) between the two teams.

I think the most-likely reason for the dual-PTBNL in the Epstein-Carpenter deal is that the Red Sox want to have the option of returning Carpenter to the Cubs at the end of Spring Training and getting somebody else instead (like maybe Jeff Beliveau), especially if Carpenter has elbow or shoulder issues (as he had earlier in his career) or comes down with Steve Blass Disease.

So it would be almost like a Rule 5 draft pick, where the Sox get to look at Carpenter up close during Spring Training so they can better decide if he's the one they want. Then if they return him, the deal is a PTBNL (Chris Carpenter) to the Cubs for a PTBNL (a different player).

If the Sox decide to keep Carpenter, then the second part of the trade can be the pre-arranged cash exchange between the two clubs in lieu of the two PTBNL.

BTW, the only restrictions on a deal involving a PTBNL are that the PTBNL cannot be on an MLB Active List (25-man roster) from the time the trade is consummated up until the PTBNL is named, and the trade must be completed within six months. Cash may be substituted in lieu of a PTBNL.

Thankyou Arizona Phil!

apparently Trever Miller isn't an afterthought

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

"[Miller] knows how to get left-handers out and that's a big asset depending on how your bullpen unfolds during the course of spring training," Sveum said.

no mention of Beliveau at all in article, earlier tweet said something about Sveum preferring 2 lefties in pen in a perfect world.

"no mention of Beliveau at all in article"

Well, Sveum didn't mention Gaub or Maine, either, and he spoke about "how your bullpen unfolds," which implies some unknowns.

Since Beliveau throws strikes and Maine and Gaub don't necessarily, I would think that Beliveau is in the running. Also the fact that he hasn't been traded or sent to Boston.

I did see Chris Carpenter throw in the AFL last October-November, and he was the second-most dominating reliever there (second only to Brad Boxberger).

Carp's fastball typically topped out at 100 MPH in the AFL, and he showed outstanding command (2/18 BB/K in 13.2 IP).

Exactly. As I said earlier today: The one power prospect arm in the org. And we have to lose him.

laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

so f'n lame.

we knew it would sting, though...well, those of us not drinking the kool aid.

laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

i was hoping it'd be junior lake or even wellington castillo...though i wouldn't be thrilled about losing welly, either.

...now onto the SD compensation.

I may be drinking the same kool-aid as Phil Rogers because I was relieved when it wasn't Beliveau or Dolis.

I agree. Carpenter doesn't seem like all that big of a loss. I like the future potential of Castillo, and Lake better as well.f

100 MPH fastball doesn't mean much if it only leads to a 7.45 K/9.

I wouldn't be surprised if his ceiling is Kyle Farnsworth redux. Not the end of the world here.

Didn't Cisco hit 100?

carpenter has a 97+mph fastball and a sharp slider. if he can get it a bit more under control it's pretty hardcore stuff that's only fully emerged in-progress the past couple seasons. it's crazy that his slider is 88+mph lately...that pairs well with a high 90s fastball when control is there.

it's not a minor loss, especially in exchange for a guy who isn't suiting up to contribute on the field.

everyone pretty much knew it'd be someone worth a damn (not counting the crazy castro/garza/etc types)...i wouldn't have though carpenter would have been on the table, myself. he's sneaky valuable given his age, tools, and years til he makes real loot.

Well, that's better than Farnsworth, who seemed to really only have a nice fastball and good tackling technique.

People really have some selective memory when it comes to Kyle Farnsworth. He has been a consistent K per inning reliever and very good set-up man for over a decade now. I think the chances are less than slim that Chris Carpenter can have a career equaling Kyle Farnsworth at this point.

2006-2009 Kyle got hit like a pinata didn't he? I'm not going to was too poetic over a middle reliever that is 39-56, with a career 4.25 ERA, and 1.3614 WHIP.

When Farnsworth was Chris Carpenter's age, he was a 4 year MLB vet with over 200 MLB appearances under his belt.

Carpenter can only dream of having as successful of a career at this point.

I would rather give up Castillo than Carpenter.

I would rather give up Carpenter than Junior Lake.

I don't think Lake has all that much time left to put it together.

Of course, Carp is 26, has an injury history, and appears to be a reliever. He's not a necessary part of the rebuilding phase (though I'm still not psyched about losing him). Both Castillo and Lake appear to have higher ceilings in terms of value, and the Cubs are likely to need a catcher some time relatively soon. Castillo only has to hit so much to be able to pass as a starter.

you think soon to be 22-year old Junior Lake doesn't have much time left to put it together?

I'm not particularly high on the guy, but he's got some decent hitting skills. Also some decent swing and miss tools.

He was signed so young that he runs out of options, soon, doesn't he?

Also, in this context I guess I meant "put it together" as merely "become marginally useful to a major league roster." Right now I don't know if he would have any value to a big league squad as a utility man.

I see him having a long way to go to becoming useful as a starting player. That strikeout rate to go with that walk rate, along with his fairly low chances of staying at SS, are not promising at all for when he gets to a level where guys have more control over their breaking stuff.

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 9:00am — Charlie

He was signed so young that he runs out of options, soon, doesn't he?

Also, in this context I guess I meant "put it together" as merely "become marginally useful to a major league roster." Right now I don't know if he would have any value to a big league squad as a utility man.

I see him having a long way to go to becoming useful as a starting player. That strikeout rate to go with that walk rate, along with his fairly low chances of staying at SS, are not promising at all for when he gets to a level where guys have more control over their breaking stuff.

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

CHARLIE: Junior Lake was just added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster last November, so he has three minor league options left.

A scout at an AFL game last fall used Ben Francisco as a comp for Junior Lake. (He liked Lake). I don't know if Ben Francisco is the right comp, but I do believe Lake will end up in the OF (probably RF).

Lake led the AFL in stolen bases last fall and showed plus power to go with his plus arm. He is still raw and might need all three of his minor league option years to smooth out the rough edges (he might not be ready until 2015), but I regard him as a definite MLB prospect. Just not as an infielder.

That changes my opinion a bit then. Thanks, Phil! I get hazy on options a lot of the time.

"I've never been that kind of guy that's been followed," he said. "It's kind of an honor. I hope it's more because of the way I play, and not because I'm a small guy. I like that people enjoy watching me play. It's cool."

it's because you're a small guy that's white, don't ever think otherwise.

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

Four-for-one: Sveum said two lefty relievers would work for him in a perfect world. James Russell will be the situational lefty, and the other must be able to throw two innings and get right-handers out as well.

throws out Beliveau, Gaub, Maine and Miller...think Russell as the situation lefty is just Sullivan guessing.

Yes, we shall miss Sean Marshall...

It's reading stuff like this:

"The new regime, they seem like they mean business," Beliveau said. "They're trying to win, and I think they're going to put guys who perform on the field, which is the way it's supposed to be. I'm pretty excited. The Rickettses, they keep talking about how they want to build within the system and go younger, so it gives guys like us an opportunity."

That makes me a) glad to be a Cub fan this year and b) wonder what the fuck was going on up until now.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been doing that for years. They're always "trying to win," and they always build from within and give the young guys a chance. too.

The previous Cubs regime also tried to win, and in fact the 2007-09 Cubs won more games over a three-year period than any Cubs teams since the 1936-38 teams.

"The Chicago Cubs: Trying to be just like the Pittsburgh Pirates."

That's disheartening...

It's a facile comparison. The Pirates never have any money, so they play cheap, young players and try to fill in with middling free agents. (How many times have they signed a big free-agent catch?) Until proven otherwise--because, you know, the Ricketts suck and are like Frank McCourt--I think we can assume the Cubs will have greater resources at their disposal.

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 10:08am — Tito New
Re: Our Long National Nightmare is Almost Over
It's a facile comparison. The Pirates never have any money, so they play cheap, young players and try to fill in with middling free agents. (How many times have they signed a big free-agent catch?) Until proven otherwise--because, you know, the Ricketts suck and are like Frank McCourt--I think we can assume the Cubs will have greater resources at their disposal.

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

TITO: I certainly agree that the Cubs have greater resources to spend than do the Pirates and should be able to put the best team possible on the field every year. Which is why it is amazing that the Cubs are choosing to operate like the Pirates.

Why isn't Ricketts willing to operate like a large market owner?

Would Mark Cuban have settled for this approach?

I don't think so.

I think an owner like Cuban would recognize that the Cubs need to put the best-possible team on the field every year AND build a strong farm system AT THE SAME TIME.

Thanks AZ Phil! This is the exact point I was making in the last thread (Where were you when I was getting beat up?)

No other large market team in recent memory has, in effect, sacrificed the big league team in an effort to build up the minor leagues. It hasn't been done because it isn't necessary. I've heard all of the arguments about the Cubs not being like other large market teams and how JedStein inherited such a piss poor organization, but none of those excuses explains why Ricketts and the front office brain trust is throwing away a season (or more) to accomplish what other teams have been able to do on the fly.

I like and respect Epstein and Hoyer. This is not some personal vendetta I have against them. I just happen to believe that they are at best following an unproven strategy (it hasn't been done by any other large market teams) or at worst they are following the Pittsburgh Pirates blueprint.

But they're not following the "Pirates blueprint." The Pirates rarely spend any money.

I guess I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they'll spend money when it's wise to spend money. Personally, I never thought signing Fielder, Pujols, Wilson, etc., would've been the way to go, and I'm glad they didn't do it.

I wouldn't have minded A-Ram coming back, and even Zambrano. But if they had and, as many people have pointed out, won 10 more games than last year, who cares?

It is hard to argue in the abstract. What to you think the Cubs should have done to give them a reasonable chance to win this year?

There's a lot of agreement on this board with what y'all are writing. I just don't think they are done. As much as we all would like to see Pujols, for example, at Wrigley all season long, now is the time to be wary of aged veterans and long term contracts. That's Hendry's way, and we are still suffering because of those. They are not done, but they don't know what they have yet - other than an error-prone infield and a plethora of middle (1-2 innings) relievers. It ain't opening day, the score is 0-0 and the Central Division is tied 0-0.

They have added some intangibles that seem, on paper, to be stabs in the dark. Soto AND Soriano say they have changed their off-season approach.

But I will offer you a reply, to tell us how you would have done things differently up to this point?

the Cubs are choosing to operate like the Pirates

or at worst they are following the Pittsburgh Pirates blueprint

I'd like to see if this comparison is as apt over a 2-3 year period as it appears over the current 2-3 month period.

Because it seems pretty myopic to me right now to make such a parallel.

The point isn’t who they could have/should have signed. JedStein entered the off-season with the expressed plan to NOT field the best team they could for the 2012 season.

I agree with everyone else that Pujols and Fielder signed for too many years, but that doesn’t really matter. The Cubs were not going to sign them no matter how many years they signed for. The Cubs plan was to sacrifice the 2012 season (and maybe longer) in order to build up the minor league system.

My only point in all of this is that it is a plan without precedent. It may work, but if it does, it will be the first time a large market team has done this.

No one comes into a season planning to field the best team possible that year. If they did, everyone would trade away all their prospects for vets.

Epstein came into the year knowing that there was no reasonable way to make this team a championship team this year. So they did what Dallas Green did in 1981, and what just about every new management has done when faces with a poor current team. they started to build for the future.

That isn't "throwing away a season". That is just common sense.

I think you may be mis-remembering what Dallas Green did when he became GM in 1981. While preparing for the 1982 season, Green signed a 39-year old Fergie Jenkins, traded for a 36-year old Larry Bowa, and during the season, he signed 36-year old Jay Johnstone to a FA contract. The next year he traded for a 35-year old Ron Cey. Not exactly a youth movement.

The fact of the matter is that neither Dallas Green nor any other big market GM has given up on a season to build the minor league system. In fact, just the opposite was true of Green. From the time he took over the team, he began to build the big league club. The fact that he also added some younger talent (most notably Ryne Sandberg) doesn't change that fact.

I'm sure Jedstein consider adding Stewart, Volstad, T. Wood and Maholm and DeJesus on long term deals as building the major league team.

The difference was that Dallas Green's moves were designed to win now, not at some point in the future.

Again, all I'm doing is pointing out that what JedStein is doing now hasn't ever been done before. Large market teams do not throw away entire seasons without at least making an effort to win. The Cubs will have some warm bodies on the field in 2012, but what they have done to build this team is hardly their best effort.

The plan might turn out to be brilliant, but if it does work, it will be the first time.

you catch a big wave by getting on before anyone else, so saying it's unprecedented as if it's a negative is kind of lame.

But if precedent is what you need, try the Red Sox teams under TheoCorp or the farm system the Padres built in 2 years under McLeod and Hoyer. I'm thinking they know a thing or two more about baseball than any of us.

I'm sure anyone looking at the moves of the 1982 Cubs weren't particularly thrilled with their direction for that year or the front office effort.

And Epstein signed 32 year old David DeJesus, resigned 37 year old Roderigo Lopez, signed 29 year old Paul Maholm, signed 38 year old Trever Miller and signed 33 year old Edgar Gonzalez

And one of your signees is rather ingenious. Then brought in Bowa because they were trading their 28 year old shortstop for a 20 year old prospect, and needed a body to fill in for a while.

None of the guys you mentioned were thought to be anything other than bodies to fill in for a while. Dallas Green had made the season a throw-away year, as anyone would in that situation. He didn't make meaningful additions to the big league club until two years later, when he brought in the package from the Phillies and then traded Carter for Sutcliffe.

Of course MLB wasn't set up where the Cubs could spend 150 Million dollars on MLB payroll back in those days either.

...resigned 37 year old Roderigo Lopez , signed 29 year old Paul Maholm, signed 38 year old Trever Miller and signed 33 year old Edgar Gonzalez

Lopez (to a NRI)
Maholm (a decent 5th starter when compared to the likes of Lopez and the Wade Millers of the world)
Trever Miller ("signed" camp roster filler)
Edgar Gonzalez (NRI)

No, this is not the same. The Cubs invited 19 NRI to Spring Training for jack shit. You are using the term "signed" a bit loosely to support the argument.

Maholm has an option year ... if he's solid in 2012, then he can be useful going forward, too.

maholm has been around for quite a while. Are there no restrictions on the ability of the Cubs to option him to the minors?

I think JB was refering to the Cubs signing Maholm to a contract for 2012 with a club option for 2013.

But if you follow AZ Phil's link at the top of the page you would see Maholm does have "options" remaining. But because of his service time Maholm would have to give his permission and clear optional assignment waivers to be sent down. (Assuming I read AZ Phil's info correctly.)

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 12:10pm — QuietMan
Re: Our Long National Nightmare is Almost Over

I think JB was refering to the Cubs signing Maholm to a contract for 2012 with a club option for 2013.

But if you follow AZ Phil's link at the top of the page you would see Maholm does have "options" remaining. But because of his service time Maholm would have to give his permission and clear optional assignment waivers to be sent down. (Assuming I read AZ Phil's info correctly.)

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

Q-MAN: Yes. Exactly correct.

Fergie Jenkins was coming off a 1981 season with the Rangers in which he went 5-8 with a 4.50 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, and a -1.0 WAR, essentially his worst season. His ERA+ was 77. In 82 he put up a good year with a 118 ERA+, then in 83, his last season, sported a 88 ERA+.
Larry Bowa was coming off a 1981 season with the Phillies in which he hit 283/331/339/670 (176/176/235/412 in the playoffs). His OPS+ was 88. For the rest of his career he would not top a 650 OPS.
Jay Johnstone was coming off a 1981 season with the Dodgers with a line of 205/267/349/616. His OPS+ was 76. In 82 with the Dodgers he had a line of 077/316/154/470 before joining the Cubs.
Ron Cey was coming off a 1982 season with the Dodgers in which he hit 254/323/428/751. His OPS+ was 111. He went on to put up OPS+ of 118, 107, 94, 138 before leaving the Cubs.
In summary, all the guys he picked up before 1982 season were either shitty or coming off a shitty season or both. After a year, he picked up a good FA signing, quite possibly after accumulating some other good young players. I’m not going to go research all that, but if this is your evidence that Green had a win now mentality in 1982, I’d say you’re making more of an argument for what Theo is doing than you think.

a 111 OPS+ with 24 HR and 79 RBI is shitty? For 1982?
Bowa hit .283 and stole 16 bases. For the early 80's at SS, wasn't that pretty decent? (looking back not good, but then?) Johnstone was a back-up with the Dodgers.

I didn't say their 82 seasons were shitty, but that the were coming off of shitty seasons. Green bought low, as Theo is buying low. As noted, Cey came a year later.

So you think Green signed and traded for relatively high priced players (including a future Hall of Famer) because he was just trying to trot warm bodies out onto the field ala Theo and Co.? I guess it's open to interpretation, but that interpretation seems pretty weak.

It seems to me that a much more common sense interpretation was that Green added vets who had proven themselves previously in the hopes of winning quickly. It would be odd to sign a bunch of expensive veterans if all you are going to do is sacrifice the season. It makes it even more odd if to do it again the next year if all you are doing is trying to build up the minor league system. I don't believe that was the plan.

If you don't want to look it up, that's fine, but a better argument would have been to show some actual proof for this youth movement you claim Green undertook. I went to the trouble of showing who the veteran players were that Green added when he took over as GM. Maybe you could do the same type of research before you claim I'm wrong.

My point was the guys that he picked up came off of shitty 1981 seasons. No one could have signed them to win now - and if they did it was with a clear thought that they were buying low. That's what Theo is doing this offseason.

If Theo signed the collective group you mentioned nobody would understand why. Everyone would say, "if he's going to sign a bunch of washed up losers I'd rather just go young."

Keep in mind that I'm really just trying to address the exact player you mentioned, and that each of their 1981 seasons was awful.

So how did these teams do while waiting for their prospects?

Pardon the long answer, but you asked...

That’s a good question. When we were discussing this the other day, you mentioned the Yankees, Braves and Phillies as examples of teams that built around a young group of players. So what did these teams do before their young prospects were ready to contribute at the MLB level?

The Yankees started building through trades and free agency in the years leading up to 1995 when they started their run of 13 consecutive years making the playoffs. For instance, they signed Wade Boggs and Jimmy Keyes as FAs and traded for Paul O’Neil and Jim Abbott in 1992 (prior to the 1993 season). This was before Jeter, Rivera or Posada were ready for the big leagues. Bernie Williams was starting in CF, but the rest of the prospects were still toiling in the minors.

The point is, they continued to field a competitive big league team (or at least they tried). They didn’t shut down the big league operation in order to build up their minor league system. They kept making trades and signing free agents.

The Braves are a little different story. In 1990, they finished in 6th place in the NL West with a record of 65-97. They did so with home grown stars like Dale Murphy (who was traded during the season), Ron Gant, and David Justice in the field, and Tom Glavine and Steve Avery on the mound. They famously went from worst to first in 1991 when they added Sid Bream, Rafael Belliard and Terry Pendelton via FA, and Otis Nixon via trade with the Expos.

The Braves made the post-season in 15 consecutive years beginning in 1991 as they began to promote prospects like Brian Hunter (first full season: 1991), Javy Lopez (first full season: 1994), Ryan Klesko (first full season: 1994), Chipper Jones (first full season: 1995), Jermaine Dye (first full season: 1996), and Andruw Jones (first full season 1997). They also added free agents like Deon Sanders, Greg Maddux, Andres Galarraga, Walt Weiss, and Brian Jordan, and they traded for Marquis Grissom, Fred McGriff, and Kenny Lofton.

The Braves did not wait for their prospects to blossom. They took the team they had, added players via free agency and trades, and added prospects as they became ready.

Finally, the Phillies have been in the post season every year since 2007. There’s no doubt they started with a core group of players like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, and Cole Hamels. But those players didn’t all come up together. Rollins started playing full time in 2001, Utley in 2005, Howard and Hamels in 2006 and Ruiz in 2007.

But here’s the important point. The Phils were competitive before they became fixtures in the post-season and before many of their prospects hit the big -time. Five out of the six seasons before they started their post-season run, they had a record that was above .500. The Phillies teams that were competitive in the seasons prior to 2007 included home grown players like Pat Burrell and Scott Rolen, but they also included players that were obtained through free agency or trades like Bobby Abreu, Aaron Rowand, Jim Thome, Curt Schilling, Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Cory Lidle, Billy Wagner, and Jose Mesa.

The bottom line: None of these teams took off a season or more in order to build up their minor league system. To be sure, the minor league system for each of these teams was producing talent, but none of the teams sat back waiting for their prospects to burst onto the scene. The front office of each organization continued to field a competitive team via trades and FA signings, all the while developing players and plugging-in a prospect at the big league level when they were ready.

By no means am I opposed to building up the minor league system and developing prospects for the big league. My argument all along has been that it is unnecessary and unprecedented for a large market team to sacrifice one or more seasons in order to improve the minor league system. If the three teams listed above are any indication, giving up on one or more seasons is completely unnecessary.

What moves would you have made to make this team "competitive"?

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 2:35pm — Tito

What moves would you have made to make this team "competitive"?

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

TITO: Competitive for 2012? I don't think the Cubs were as far away from being a contender as their 2011 record might have tended to indicate.

The Cubs were short one bat in the middle-of-the-order in 2011 (somebody who should have played RF), but what really killed the Cubs last season (besides Marmol leading the league in Blown Saves) was no viable fall-back options when Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner went down in April. One of the biggest mistakes Jim Hendry made last off-season was trading Tom Gorzelanny after he acquired Matt Garza.

I think most Cub fans (myself included) presumed the Cubs would sign either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder after last season. Whether Hendry stayed or was fired and replaced by somebody else, I definitely expected that to happen. Signing either Pujols or Fielder was practically a given.

Once Epstein was hired and said he would not sacrifice the future for to put a contending team on the field in 2012, I expected him to still go after Fielder with a back-loaded deal, because Fielder is both a short-term and long-term solution at 1B. Fielder has not spent one day on the Disabled List in his MLB career, and he's only 28.

Likewise, I expected Epstein to sign Yoenis Cespedes, even if it was a contract like the one he got from Oakland, because it wouldn't have cost the Cubs a player or a draft pick, and it would have provided the Cubs a 28-year old multi-tool RF whose contract expires when he's 32 (which is actually a good thing). I also would not have been unhappy if the Cubs had signed somebody like Josh Willingham, Carlos Beltran, or Michael Cuddyer to play RF, since all three could be had for two or three-year deals. The main thing the Cubs needed in RF was a middle-of-the-order run producer (which Kosuke Fukudome and David DeJesus are not).

I also expected the Cubs to re-sign Aramis Ramirez if they were unable to acquire an established younger 3B like Chase Headley. A-Ram was the best FA 3B out there, and the contract he got from MIL (3/$36M with a $6M salary in 2012) would have fit into the Cubs 2012 payroll.

I thought the Sean Marshall deal was OK given the new CBA compensation rules and the fact that the Cubs got a potential #5 starter (Travis Wood), a cost-effective 4th OF (Dave Sappelt), and 2B prospect with a "live" bat (Ronald Torreyes), and because the Cubs had other LHRP ready (or near-ready) for MLB (Gaub, Maine, and Beliveau) and other potential set-up guys (Samardzija, Cashner, Dolis, and Carpenter).

Signing Paul Maholm and Andy Sonnanstine (but to a minor league contract not a Major League contract) in addition to acquiring Travis Wood in the Marshall trade added needed depth to the starting rotation, and I even don't have a problem with getting Chris Volstad back for Zambrano.

Selecting Lendy Castillo in the Rule 5 Draft was a waste of a 40-man roster slot, because Castillo has yet to progress out of Low-A (equal to Peoria), and there is no way he makes the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster. (By comparison, David Patton had two years of Hi-A experience and had pitched in the AFL when the Cubs selected him in the Rule 5 Draft, and even he wasn't ready for Prime Time).

I guess what I mainly expected out of any post-Hendry regime was a GM who could sign free-agents without bidding against himself (as Hendry often did), and one who would not automatically trash Cub prospects once he joined the organization just because they are Cub prospects.

I just don't see how trading D. J. LeMahieu and Andrew Cashner, losing Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 Draft, and giving up Chris Carpenter as compensation for signing Theo, fits into a long-term Player Development plan. It seems counter-productive to me.

One of the biggest mistakes Jim Hendry made last off-season was trading Tom Gorzelanny after he acquired Matt Garza.

while I agree about the strategy, Gorzelanny threw 105 innings last year of 96 ERA+ ball. Don't think he would have kept the Cubs in the race.

I think most Cub fans (myself included) presumed the Cubs would sign either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder after last season. Whether Hendry stayed or was fired and replaced by somebody else, I definitely expected that to happen. Signing either Pujols or Fielder was practically a given.

mostly agreed, although not sure about a given, since a few teams would want those players. Besides 2007, the Cubs have never been able to sign the top free agent and that took McDonough and Kenney doing something really stupid, much like Moreno and Illitch had to do something really stupid to sign Pujols and Fielder.

less stupid is generally a good long term strategy.

Likewise, I expected Epstein to sign Yoenis Cespedes, even if it was a contract like the one he got from Oakland, because it wouldn't have cost the Cubs a player or a draft pick, and it would have provided the Cubs a 28-year old multi-tool RF whose contract expires when he's 32 (which is actually a good thing).

Believe he's 26 and a CF'er for now, but obviously can move to RF. I certainly think he would have made some sense. I don't think it was money that kept the Cubs from signing him though. They probably wanted him for 6 years. At some point you have to agree as an organization what a player is worth and stick to it, especially if you're not on the doorstep of contending.

The main thing the Cubs needed in RF was a middle-of-the-order run producer (which Kosuke Fukudome and David DeJesus are not).

the Cubs needed a lot more than that to improve their offense and team.

I just don't see how trading D. J. LeMahieu and Andrew Cashner, losing Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 Draft, and giving up Chris Carpenter as compensation for signing Theo, fits into a long-term Player Development plan. It seems counter-productive to me.

I'm sure they believe Stewart, Weathers and Rizzo are better long-term bets than LeMahieu, Cashner and Flaherty. Carpenter is obviously its own thing. I doubt they wanted to give him up, but they had to give up something to satisfy the deal that was vaguely agreed upon when Kenney and the Cubs approached the Red Sox.

We'll agree to disagree about the Cubs being just a middle of the order bat away from contending. A 3 year downward trend in their wins says otherwise. The team and organization were fundamentally flawed.

not to distract too much from the bulk of this post...i dunno how anyone expects weathers to do anything. he's that bad.

forget what i think of stewart...keep your own opinions, and then weigh what was given up by the cubs to get their side of the deal. weathers was probably a toss-in COL didn't have much use for at this point.

I don't expect much from Weathers, but I don't expect much from LeMahieu either.

He's got a good arm obviously, just absolutely no control. I'm sure the Cubs scouts saw something they might be able to work with in him.

plus fastball (mid90s) and plus slider...never shown at any level (except during the olympics) of having control over either.

turns 27 mid-season and hoping to pull a borowski (well, not that extreme)...g'luck to him, etc.

Sounds alot like Chris Carpenter.

Carpenter's nowhere near that wild, upside is probably comparable, but Weathers if far more a work in progress.

As I mentioned, Marmol leading the league in Blown Saves, not having viable 4th & 5th starting pitcher options when Cashner and Wells went down, AND not having a middle-of-the-order run producer playing RF, were the main reasons (in my opinion) the Cubs finished where they did in 2011.

Since Gorzelanny did not go on the DL (elbow) until the end of May, he would have been a better 4th or 5th starter option than Casey Coleman or (especially) James Russell while Wells was on the DL:

GORZELANNY (THRU 5/23/2011):
9 GS
53 IP
45 H
26 R (25 ER)
20 BB
48 K
4.25 ERA
1.23 WHIP

The Cubs just gave game-after-game away in April and May by having to start Coleman and Russell (especially Russell). Gorzelanny would have been a viable SP option while Wells was out, except he was pitching for the Washington Nationals at the time. (Gorzelanny actually went on the DL the day Randy Wells was activated).

they had a winning record all of one month in 2011, don't think one or two wins in April or May would have saved their season.

their offense was 8th in the league in runs scored at 654, league average was 668 and 7th place was the Phillies at 713. One guy wasn't going to boost them by 60-70 runs to make any kind of dent there. For 2013, throw in that Byrd, Soriano and Ramirez (if he resigned) would be a year older in the wrong direction.

(IMO) they needed 2-3 impact bats, at least one other ace/top of the rotation starter and significantly improved defense to compete this year. And I don't think that was available on the free agent market for what the Cubs could reasonably spend . At least without handing out really stupid deals (such as Yu Darvish, Fielder or Pujols got).

Honestly I couldn't disagree more on almost all points. Most vehemently I disagree with 1.) bringing backy Aramis, and 2.) never for one second did I think the Cubs were gonna sign Fielder or Pujols.

I can only speak for myself but I am shocked that anyone would want to watch those same players from 2011 (and before) run around MLB stadiums again this year. I've really appreciated Aramis but he symbolizes for me a certain era dying, a recent lack of effort, a 'cubbie' comfort that won't get the job done, and general sense of 'been there and done that and mission incomplete.

I suppose I identify with the segment of cub fans who would have been disappointed and disheartened if Theo didn't change the culture and roster. Completely.

"A-Ram was the best FA 3B out there, and the contract he got from MIL (3/$36M with a $6M salary in 2012) would have fit into the Cubs 2012 payroll."

Ramirez doesn't play third base very well. Looking at a few guys the Cubs acquired who have excellent gloves (DeJesus, Sappelt, Jaramillo) and another who is supposed to be pretty good (Stewart), I would guess that Theo et al. didn't view the aging Ramirez as a viable 3B. In other words, it wasn't his bat and it wasn't the money.

I guess it all depends on whether one considers 3B an important defensive position; but haven't you been saying that Vitters doesn't project as a 3B? When did Ramirez ever project as anything other than a DH?

If Stewart puts up .230/.325/.420 He'd better be fucking Brooks Robinson at third base..

He ain't Brooks or Frank. He's more Swiss Family, from what his comps say.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 10:57am — VirginiaPhilNew
Re: Our Long National Nightmare is Almost Over

"A-Ram was the best FA 3B out there, and the contract he got from MIL (3/$36M with a $6M salary in 2012) would have fit into the Cubs 2012 payroll."

Ramirez doesn't play third base very well. Looking at a few guys the Cubs acquired who have excellent gloves (DeJesus, Sappelt, Jaramillo) and another who is supposed to be pretty good (Stewart), I would guess that Theo et al. didn't view the aging Ramirez as a viable 3B. In other words, it wasn't his bat and it wasn't the money.

I guess it all depends on whether one considers 3B an important defensive position; but haven't you been saying that Vitters doesn't project as a 3B? When did Ramirez ever project as anything other than a DH?

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

VA PHIL: Josh Vitters does not project as a 3B. He will likely end up at 1B or in LF.

While Aramis Ramirez is a below-average defender at 3B, Vitters would have to improve a lot to be as good (bad) as Ramirez is at 3B, but if Vitters can be that good (bad), he could play 3B at the big league level.

so you're calling trading for Stewart, Volstad, Wood, signing Kerry, DeJesus and Maholm, "Operation Shutdown"?

I'm sure Jedstein disagree. The Cubs did everything that people are calling for last year and sucked terribly*. Why does anyone think it would be better this year if they followed the same plan?

*(and many people were calling for a rebuild last season which I resisted, so kudos to you. I still don't mind the Garza trade because they have him for 3 years and besides Lee, I'm not high on the other guys).

I think the Cubs made moves that made sense in the long term and the short term this offseason. They filled the holes they perceived without committing to any long term albatross contracts or deals that were obviously bad bets (Ramirez, Beltran, Fielder, etc). Is it a real gung-ho effort to win it all in 2012? Of course not, but they're deals that can help more in 2013 and beyond and certainly not hurt if they want to go another direction.

The Yanks are their own entity, trying to emulate or compare to them is on par to people citing Greg Maddux whenever they want a pitcher to be good that doesn't strike out a ton of guys or comparing a hitter to Ichiro and one of the few guys that can maintain a BABIP over .350.

The Yankees can absorb bad contracts like no other team and I might add it's one thing to try and compete every year when you're already around a .500 team or trending upward, another when you're trending down for 3 straight years. Read the tea leaves...

As for the Phillies, they already had a core of Rolen, Abreu, Burrell and then Rollins. I don't see a big acquisition between 2000 and 2001. Once they started winning, they added and subtracted appropriately until they got the right mix.

As for the Braves, they had sucked for 3 years by that point and had already had Smoltz, Glavine, Gant, Justice developing for a few years. I really don't think anyone thought the additions you mentioned were much different than the Cubs adding Maholm and DeJesus this year. Pendelton had a career year in 1991 that other career years look at and go, "we wish we were that good".

If the Cubs went all in this year, I'm sure I'd be fine with it, but I'm gonna give the new guys the benefit of the doubt. It's certainly worth trying something new from the old regime. And it certainly makes sense with the deals still left on the books to not throw more stupid money at the problem.

I know we all fancy ourselves at experts, but these guys get paid way more and spend way more time worrying about how to win than any of us. I always tried to see what Hendry was attempting to do, but after 9 years, obviously it wasn't working. I certainly believe Jedstein know how to build a winning team and if this is the course they're choosing, I'm happy to go along on the ride. In a couple years, we'll see where we're at.

I think the bigger story is in all this is that ownership seems to be resetting fans expectations of what ownership is expected to spend on payroll.

Payroll was 145 million when the Ricketts bought the team.

They have continually hinted that they wanted to stay closer to the 100 million dollar threshold. And low and behold...... Here we are.

It will be interesting to see if this is where things stay going forward. Especially since

a) The ability to outspend the competition is the franchises greatest competitive advantage

b) Obviously the revenue is there to spend 150 million dollars on MLB payroll if ownership chooses to do so.

continually hinted

????????????????

I think the bigger story is in all this is that ownership seems to be resetting fans expectations of what ownership is expected to spend on payroll.

Anyone add up the major league payroll this year with draft expenditures, international signings, scout and executive pay from this year and compared to previous years? Probably not since we don't have all those numbers...

Since the new CBA is designed to drive down the cost of Draft and international expenses. I'm going to assume that they are going to be less than previous years.

we were talking up to this point though, right?

they spent nearly $12M last year on the draft, I believe that's $7-$8 more than in the last few previous years. Pretty much makes up for the major league payroll disparity without even factoring in any international signings that I don't do a good job of keeping track of.

If you want to talk about the future, slot recommendations are significantly higher now, I think it's close to a 50% jump. The Cubs bonus pool money for the first 10 rounds next year is nearly $8M, they only spent $6.5M in 2011 on the first 10 rounds. Add in the next 40 rounds (100K limit) and it should be more in the $10M range next year.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/201...

I can't find the link at the moment, but Cubs were near the bottom of draft bonuses before 2011 and I believe they were in the $4-5M range if not lower.

international cap doesn't apply until mid-June I believe, plus all the other expenditures I mentioned and the ones no one knows about.

It's still a $120M major league payroll at this point I believe.

I think it's closer to 100 flat.

sure it's not $70M?

anyway, you're missing (per usual) Pena's $5M, and the rest of the 40-man roster (auto-renewals, Samardzija, split contracts, etc).

But I was a little high on $120M, think it's closer to $110-115 range.

Levine seems to think $120M.
http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Pena's already been paid. No reason he should count again this year unless it's to prove ownership isn't cheap. Which they are. I'll wait for Cots to update their list and refer to that going forward. Either way it's not a positive development that new ownership has cut payroll 40 million-ish since they took over. No matter how people choose to spin that.

How much payroll have they cut? They're still paying for Zambrano. And $5 million of Pena is on this year's books. They're still paying Soriano, Byrd, Dempster, Garza (a salary increase), Marmol, Soto, etc.

Apart from A-Ram's salary, how much is really missing? Are you really counting not having to pay Fukudome $12 million as a negative?

Pena 10 mil
Aramis 14
Marshall 3
Fukodome 12
Grabow 5
Is 44 million off the top of my head. We replaced that money with about 9 million combined in DeJesus and Maholm. Volstad and Z are a financial wash.

$17 million of that is Grabow and Fukudome and you're actually counting that as a negative to bolster your case?

Pena gets $5 million for 2012 whether you want to admit that or not.

The Cubs are paying Zambrano's salary, which is significantly higher than Volstad's. Don't get how that's a wash. Then again, I don't get your numbers in general.

I'm not saying that the money has always been spent well. That still doesn't somehow equate Ricketts putting that money in his pocket is good for the Cubs in the long run.

We finished with less wins than the Pirates last year. Does that mean I want the Cubs to be run like the Pirates going forward?

(The Volstad/Zambrano salary is a wash, because the Cubs are paying the difference in salary between the two players. So its a 0/0 financial ledger transaction.)

imo, the big picture seems to be theocorp collecting short-turnover talent in the offseason trades.

they're doing crap-all-barely-anything in 2012, but if enough gambles come through in 2012...then 2013 might not be so bad.

what i'm afraid of is...what the plan is if enough 2012 gambles don't work out? more wheel spinning and fringe/washup collecting...or using the money as a tool...

Cots shows 100M right now, before auto-renewal guys. There will be 8-10 of them to add, including Samardzija who gets at least $2M.

The Yanks are their own entity, trying to emulate or compare to them is on par to people citing Greg Maddux whenever they want a pitcher to be good that doesn't strike out a ton of guys or comparing a hitter to Ichiro and one of the few guys that can maintain a BABIP over .350.

The Yankees can absorb bad contracts like no other team and I might add it's one thing to try and compete every year when you're already around a .500 team or trending upward, another when you're trending down for 3 straight years. Read the tea leaves...

In all fairness, you brought up the Yankees as an example of a team doing what the Cubs are doing. I was simply refuting that notion.

As for the Phillies, they already had a core of Rolen, Abreu, Burrell and then Rollins. I don't see a big acquisition between 2000 and 2001. Once they started winning, they added and subtracted appropriately until they got the right mix.

I'm not sure what your point is. In the years leading up to 2001 (when the Phils started to win consistently), they still were in business, signing/trading for higher profile players like Bobby Abreu, Curt Schilling, and Gregg Jeffries.

Again, you brought up the Phillies. I was just pointing out that they never punted a season while waiting for their prospects to be ready.

As for the Braves, they had sucked for 3 years by that point and had already had Smoltz, Glavine, Gant, Justice developing for a few years. I really don't think anyone thought the additions you mentioned were much different than the Cubs adding Maholm and DeJesus this year. Pendelton had a career year in 1991 that other career years look at and go, "we wish we were that good".

It's important to remember that Smoltz wasn't home grown. He was obtained from Detroit in a trade in 1987 and was pitching for Atlanta in the big leagues in 1988.

But your point about Glavine, Gant, and Justice is a good one. They had a core group of young players that they eventually built around, adding vets via trade and free agency, as well as adding other prospects as they became ready.

But I don't think at any point prior to 1991 when the Braves started winning did anyone in their front office come up with a plan to be crappy for a while until their prospects were ready. If that happened, I certainly never read about it anywhere. I think their suckiness had more to do with a crappy owner. Once Ted Turner turned the reigns over to baseball people in the late 1980's, the team turned around.

I'd have to disagree with you about comparing Pendelton to DeJesus or Stewart (although Bream might be a good comparison). Pendelton had won a couple of gold gloves up to that point in his career and had a pretty good career going. The Braves signed him to a long-term deal for what at the time was pretty big money. I think it's fair to say he was one of the better third-basemen at the time. Nobody is making a similar claim about Stewart or DeJesus.

Also, keep in mind that the Braves had been signing big tickets free agents in the years prior as well.

Ozzie Virgil
Graig Nettles
Ken Griffey Sr.
Darrell Evans
Charlie Liebrandt
Nick Esasky
Jim Presley

Were all brought in for substantial at the time money. Not all of those guys panned out as big time contributors. However ownership was at least spending the money to try and compete.

and sucked for the most part right and none of those guy besides Liebrandt helped much when they got good?

so how about skipping the step where you overspend to suck?

crazy thought I know...

I'm not sure what your point is. In the years leading up to 2001 (when the Phils started to win consistently), they still were in business, signing/trading for higher profile players like Bobby Abreu, Curt Schilling, and Gregg Jeffries.

you're calling a trade for a 23-year old Abreu for Kevin Stocker, high profile? What's the difference between that and trading for Anthony Rizzo? I think the trade in 2000 to the Dbacks of Curt Schilling is the very definition of rebuilding.

It's important to remember that Smoltz wasn't home grown. He was obtained from Detroit in a trade in 1987 and was pitching for Atlanta in the big leagues in 1988.

That is important, like the Cubs trading for Volstad.

I'd have to disagree with you about comparing Pendelton to DeJesus
slightly higher profile, but I don't recall it being viewed with a whole lot of fanfare.

But I don't think at any point prior to 1991 when the Braves started winning did anyone in their front office come up with a plan to be crappy for a while until their prospects were ready.

I'm pretty sure if you ask Jedstein, that's not their plan either.

but my point is, the Cubs are still doing business, just not the business of putting lipstick on a pig that people seem to demand. And certainly not in the business of handing out bad contracts that they'll regret.

You're comparing Chris Volstad to John Smoltz? That's a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

I'm tired of writing, so I won't argue anymore. The only point I have been trying to make all along is that a big market team should never have to sacrifice a season to build up their minor league system. You seem to think that is not what the Cubs are doing. I think the fact that the team as currently structured is projected to win 70 games is the very definition of sacrificing a season. We will have to agree to disagree (although I do always enjoy the conversation)

You're comparing Chris Volstad to John Smoltz? That's a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

I'm comparing acquiring prospects or long term assets. Obviously I have no idea how good Volstad will be (although he was certainly expected to be good once upon a time). No on expected Smoltz to be that good. I don't think trading Doyle Alexander at the time was trying to compete, although it was a mid-season trade.

I think the fact that the team as currently structured is projected to win 70 games is the very definition of sacrificing a season.

so no big market team has ever been projected to win around 70 games?

hmmm...

I've got the Cubs projected for 70 wins last year by PECOTA, Angels for 76 wins in 2010, Astros for 66 wins and Mariners for 70 in 2009.

Not sure what the definition of a high payroll is for you (I'm saying top 10).

I'm sure I can find more examples if I could find more links.

but maybe those teams tried to compete in your mind, just were obviously not good at it.

I digress, the Cubs are obviously not making a huge effort to win this year. But they're not giving up either. They added pitching depth and possibly some better defense. They just weren't going to hand out dumb deals to get it done because they obviously weren't at that point of the success cycle where it made any sense to sacrifice any long term goals for short term gains. They aren't that close and overspending would just hurt them in the future. And there's no way they were going to compete this year without overspending.

Given how much dead wood is on the current roster, IMO the Cubs are better served by putting their resources into long term assets in the form of either young major leaguers or minor leaguers, and if this means the 2012 team will suffer so be it.

How does it make sense to spend a ton of money to try to add to what was a terrible ball club last year?

I have said this before, but it would appear that there is a plan in place and the plan is going to be followed. Sometimes you have to tear down the bad before you can build up the good. I am willing to give Theo time to see what he does. Bringing him in meant a change in philosophy, not just trying to spend our way to a title. (which worked so well the last few years).

THANK YOU!!!!!

Well last year the cubs tried to put the best possible team together and tore apart their farm system (a move I did support). I don't think they're as mutually exclusive as people want to believe.

Anyone add up the major league payroll this year with draft expenditures, international signings, scout and executive pay from this year and compared to previous years? Probably not since we don't have all those numbers...

There's also the DR academy and the spring training complex.

Maybe we should check that before calling the Cubs cheap.

I agree completely with those points, Rob, especially about 'non-2012 25-man player payroll' expenditures.

I get everyone on the 'You can rebuild AND put a competitive team in 2012' points. What I don't get is who should have Theo traded for/signed? I also don't see how you can say Theo purposely decided to not field a competitive team in 2012.

I may be in the minority (not the first time) here, but I'm not convinced Theo isn't building something to compete here. There's more starting pitching depth, increased bullpen options, more bench/role players, and potentially a better defensive team than 2011. You're also playing in a division without Pujols & Fielder this year. By mid-season they might have Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, and Welington Castillo ready to contribute.

I've watched what Z, Ramirez, DLee, Dempster, et al could do over the last 5 years, and color me not impressed. Again, I'm not ready to pull the yellow ejection seat ring just yet.

"the 2007-09 Cubs won more games over a three-year period than any Cubs teams since the 1936-38 teams."

I always have to be the bad guy who points out that they were 0-6 in the playoffs.

I don't recall too many of the wins, but I remember the playoffs, and how they lay down and quit like dogs.

So maybe we do need a different kind of team.

Yes, I get it. You think Cubs are acting like the Pirates.

The point of my reference was not to bring up your vendetta against Theo's strategy, but merely to highlight the point that a player actual implies that they doubted that performance was going to earn them a promotion.

Who is that to?

Yeah, guess it's a long way up. It was in response to Phil.

made my point, no one remembers.

;-p

Andy Cisco Crisco

Question:

Cub Carp was slotted as a favorite for the 7th inning RH pre-setup role in the bullpen, a job usually filled by Ninja last year. With Carp gone, and the Cubs talking up Ninja for a starting slot, who will be the 7th inning RH guy on this year's team? Corpas? Mateo? I'm not seeing a lot of possibilities here unless Ninja gets put back in the bullpen where he belongs.

The LH pre-setup slot will almost surely be Russell, taking over for Sean Marshall. I'm guessing Gaub, Maine and Beliveau battle it out for the LOOGY job to replace Russell.

Am I missing someone here?

Tue, 02/21/2012 - 11:54pm — Jim Hickmans Bat

Question:

Cub Carp was slotted as a favorite for the 7th inning RH pre-setup role in the bullpen, a job usually filled by Ninja last year. With Carp gone, and the Cubs talking up Ninja for a starting slot, who will be the 7th inning RH guy on this year's team? Corpas? Mateo? I'm not seeing a lot of possibilities here unless Ninja gets put back in the bullpen where he belongs.

The LH pre-setup slot will almost surely be Russell, taking over for Sean Marshall. I'm guessing Gaub, Maine and Beliveau battle it out for the LOOGY job to replace Russell.

Am I missing someone here?

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JIM H: Besides Corpas and Mateo, Rafael Dolis would be another candidate for the 7th inning role. Maybe Blake Parker, too.

Besides Gaub, Believeau, and Maine, Trever Miller has a shot to be the #2 lefty.

Don't forget Lendy for the 7th inning.

Dolis is a similar pitcher to Carpenter. It may be that he moves into the 7th inning role.

I would much prefer that there WERE no 7th inning role. Wasting three pitchers in three innings is a massive waste of resources. It is time that we start using relievers for at least 2 innings when appropriate.

Just noticed that the Red Sox added Rich Hill to their 40-man along with Carpenter yesterday.

top 150

http://baseballprospectnation.com/2012/02/22/...

no idea who that is, but they have decent scouting reports on the players

Brett Jackson
http://baseballprospectnation.com/2011/12/07/...

Jackson #34, Baez #91, Maples #98, Rizzo #114, McNutt #119, Castillo #125

Anyone read Cafardo's reaction to the Compensation? I have not looked. What a tool the guy is. I was hoping - just to spite the blowhard - that DeWitt was the guy sent over.

This sums it up, "After four months of angst, the Red Sox really came out of it no better off than when they entered it, while the Cubs got their head of state and surrendered only a marginal player."

He also seems to think Selig had something to do with the deal even though, reportedly, he didn't.

Thanks NAV.

Let's hope we do not have to hear from this - ahem - writer - anytime soon.

Keith Law's take on the Theo Compensation and Carpenter.

I read somewhere that in someone's ranking scheme Carp is now ranked the #8 prospect in the Red Sox system. So if he was ranked around #13-14 in the Cubs system, that says something about where the Bosox stand. I think Law had the Cubs at #20, Red Sox at #18. Hmmm.

Carpenter -- this one, at least -- has a tremendous arm, working 96-100 mph in one-inning stints and still sitting mid-90s when he's stretched out to two innings. He'll show solid to above-average offspeed weapons, including a hard mid-80s slider, although his changeup can come out more like an average fastball that's just doing hitters a favor. He's already 26, and has a long history of injuries dating back to his freshman year at Kent State; he has never shown he could hold up under a starter's workload, while his command is consistently below-average, ruling out any kind of return to the rotation. In relief, however, he should miss plenty of bats, but whether he's a 9th inning guy or just a middle reliever depends on whether he can throw quality strikes. He's good inventory, but not an elite prospect.

For the Cubs, this is probably a relief, no pun intended (OK, pun intended). They gave up a prospect outside of their top 10 in exchange for an executive who, with the front office team he's brought in, should add more wins to the Cubs over the next five years than Carpenter will likely produce in his whole career. The Red Sox can stash Carpenter in Class AAA and bring him up whenever they need a relief arm in the big leagues, with the hope that eventually he improves his command, or at least his control, enough to be trusted with high-leverage work.

Another Boston crabby-appleton, WEEI, Kirk Milhane

http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseb...

Theo 1 Red Sox 0
That’s the score after the ridiculous, embarrassing, how the hell did it take this long compensation drama finally had its conclusion on Tuesday afternoon. It’s done, and from a Red Sox perspective this was bungled from the start.

(insert long-ass whiney-crap with violins in the background)

So the Cubs got exactly what they wanted when they wanted, and the price was an underwhelming prospect. For the Red Sox, it was an opportunity inexplicably wasted.

Believe he's 26 and a CF'er for now, but obviously can move to RF. I certainly think he would have made some sense. I don't think it was money that kept the Cubs from signing him though. They probably wanted him for 6 years.
----
Cespedes signed for 4/36. Bruce Levine said he heard the WSux offered 6/28 and the Cubs offer was also 6 yrs but even lower $$ (as they were more interested in Solar)

Gorzelanny would have been a viable SP option while Wells was out
---
The mlb ready backup depth at the start of spring training should have been Gorz and Silva. Gorz was traded to save $2M (I guess there was a budget issue). Carlos Silva would have started for sure with any injury and they were paying him anyway. Of course, Silva was blocking Cashner from getting innings and he was pissed off at ARam in an inning Silva gave up 6 runs on 3 Cub errors and 2 Silva HR's...and that was one of Silva's better spring training outings.

Silva, who by several accounts started the scuffle by jawing about the errors behind him in the first inning — including a dropped pop-up by Ramirez

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/41039...

I read somewhere that in someone's ranking scheme Carp is now ranked the #8 prospect in the Red Sox system. So if he was ranked around #13-14 in the Cubs system, that says something about where the Bosox stand.
---

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/wat...

Sorry I was thinking the Carpenter #8 was Keith Law but it turns out it was Jonathan Mayo at mlb.com.

it turns out that Carpenter had been ranked as high as #5 in Mayo/mlb.com's Cub team prospect rankings. He's now ranked #8 in Boston's mlb.com ranking. (you can switch teams from the link above to see each team's list, Carpenter was just added to the updated list)

here's the Mayo writeup with Carpenter in Boston:

After three years as a starter in the Cubs’ system, he opened eyes when he hit triple digits pitching in relief in the Arizona Fall League in 2010, and he stayed in that role in 2011, making his Major League debut last June. He was the top prospect sent from the Cubs to the Red Sox in February as compensation for Theo Epstein. The life on his fastball has long been a blessing and a curse, as he’s struggled with control and command, walking 84 batters over the past two seasons. He pitched better back in the AFL and he could be ready to make a full-time contribution to a big league bullpen this year.

and the updated Cub list without Carpenter is:
Rizzo, Jackson, Baez, Szczur, Maples, McNutt, Dolis, Whitenack, Golden, Lake (10)

Vitters, Torreyes, Wells, Vogelbach, Candelario, Amaya, Hernandez, Sappelt, Chen...and Zack Cates got added at #20.

If you follow Cubster's link and watch the video for Dolis, you will get to see "The Pitch"--a 95-mph sinker that Dolis threw in his one appearance with the Cubs against SD in the final series last September.

95 MPH sinker? I could dig some right-handed version of Jonny Venters in the Cubs pen for sure. *I'll take the lefty version as well since Marshall has left town.

that's probably a cutter...even though he's a "fastball"/slider/change pitcher.

he throws a high-80s slider, but 95mph...that's almost physically impossible to continuously repeat.

-edit- zoomed in on the video and damn...that's a slider grip. he dialed that in.

it's a power sinker

most people throw their slider with the same motion as a fastball so it's not impossible to dial up a slider like that...but actually getting a timely break throwing a slider that hard is unreal.

if he was throwing a cutter or sinker his fingers would be further apart, most likely in a 2-seam grip.

it's a power sinker

Dolis has two plus pitches in his arsenal: a slider with late break and a heavy fastball

Dolis is a traditional righty reliever with a plus sinker/slider combination.

His 2.83 GO:AO mark matches scouting reports regarding his power sinker.

it's getting into that "what a pitcher/coach/writer calls what he actually does" area.

a sinker and a slider are 2 different/non-similar grips. some people's cutters are "sinkers", though. that pitch he's throwing in that video is very much a traditional slider grip with the 2 joined fingers to the left of the right seam. there would be distance in the grip if it was a sinker or cutter.

it's a power sinker

Note: I've edited this about 15 times...

Not necessarily. Some guys throw the cutter with the fingers together. The 4 seam cutter is a little easier to sink because your fingertips aren't on the seam. The 2-seam cut breaks more horizontally because you're able to pull on the seams and make the ball spin.

Again, not the same for everybody. While that video is pretty inconclusive to me, the bottom picture isn't a sinker grip. It's possible to get that sink, but it would be damn tough. Typically the grip goes with the entire index finger sitting on the inside seam. Some guys (like Z) throw a sinker with the middle finger parallel to the OUTSIDE seam, but it's still parallel. That grip in the Indians pic makes the seam grabs your fingertips and makes it really tough on you to get the ball to sink. It's far more likely to stay flat than sink with that grip.

That picture of the Indian is more of a slurve grip than anything because his fingers aren't parallel to the seam. I guess he COULD throw a 2 seam fastball from there, but it would break weird. It would end up being slurvy anyway. Now we're arguing about what guys are calling pitches, which isn't ever going to get resolved.

We're splitting hairs here. I suppose anything is possible, but if I were to guess, Dolis is getting a ton of sink out of a cutter grip.

thanks for your insight, always appreciated

if you click on the picture it's allegedly jake westbrook and some ex-Cub minor leaguers website explaining how to throw a sinker

on a general note, a pitch that goes 95 mph and goes down regardless of the grip should be called a power sinker and that's obviously what everyone else is calling it. I don't get the point of confusing the issue about what grip he's using...just common sense for us baseball civilians.

the "kevin brown sinker" is a lost art. not many throw it these days.

Justin Berg throws the same pitch.

they coincidentally have remarkably similar peripherals

Berg in 8 seasons: 1.495 WHIP, 9.1 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 4.3 BB/9, 5.6 K/9

Dolis in 5 seasons: 1.405 WHIP, 8.1 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 4.5 BB/9, 6.9 K/9

Maybe Dolis will learn to throw strikes soon? Otherwise maybe the Cubs should deal him while he's still a prospect.

Basebal Prospectus' Ben Lindberg's take on the Carpenter transaction (in his usual transaction analysis column):

Acquired RHP Chris Carpenter and a PTBNL from the Chicago Cubs for a PTBNL as compensation for allowing the Cubs to hire Theo Epstein. [2/21]

After months of waiting and wondering—or in some cases, not particularly caring—we finally know what Boston’s compensation for Theo Epstein will be. Sorry, Sox fans, it’s not Starlin Castro, Matt Garza, or Brett Jackson. The good news is that it’s not a total nobody, either. It’s the NL Central’s lesser Chris Carpenter. And that is good news, since any hopes that the Sox would score a major-league regular or a top prospect were unrealistic from the start. Theo is paid very well by baseball executive standards, and his marginal value as a general manager probably can’t hold a candle to that of a player more promising than a bullpen prospect. What’s more, the Sox didn’t have a lot of leverage—once your GM gets a more attractive offer, you either let him go or risk making the man in charge of building your team mad, which might not be the best idea.

Carpenter is a big, 26-year-old, right-handed reliever who throws really, really hard. He pitched only 9 2/3 innings for the Cubs last season, but in those innings, his fastball averaged 96.5 miles per hour, making it the 10th-fastest pitch in the majors. The list of pitchers with faster fastballs than Carpenter’s includes Jordan Walden, Daniel Bard, and Joel Hanrahan. It also includes Jeremy Jeffress and Mark Lowe. Throwing hard is a good thing, but not a guarantee.

Carpenter used to be a starter, but his secondary pitches aren’t finished products, his velocity is even more impressive in shorter outings, and he hasn’t always been healthy—he had a couple elbow surgeries, including Tommy John, in college—so the Cubs made him a full-time reliever last season. That didn’t go especially well, as he walked nearly seven batters per nine innings in Iowa and Chicago. When a hard thrower is still getting his stuff under control, an excess of walks is often the price a team pays for strikeouts. In Carpenter’s case, though, the strikeouts weren’t there—he fanned just over seven per nine across two minor-league levels and added eight more punchouts in his Cubs cameo. That’s discouraging, but he was dealing with a strained oblique that may have impaired his control, and he recovered to strike out 18 batters against only two walks in the high-offense Arizona Fall League (which, to be fair, he may have been a little old for).

According to my recently-arrived Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2012 (which ranked him 13th in the Cubs organization, compared to a 14th-place finish in Kevin Goldstein’s Top 11), Carpenter “had trouble adjusting to the routine of a reliever, and he started overthrowing and lost consistency with his mechanics.” By the end of the year, he’d reportedly settled into the relief life and tightened his slider, so he’s back on a developmental track that might lead to the late innings, assuming the Sox don’t see him as a starter.

The dueling players to be named later were included in the deal because the unusual circumstances demanded that this be a player trade. Their identities will be determined by April 15th. The Cubs still owe the Padres a prospect for raiding their front office for Jed Hoyer, but that prospect won’t be as promising as Carpenter, possibly because Hoyer's hair can't compete with Theo's.Acquired RHP Chris Carpenter and a PTBNL from the Chicago Cubs for a PTBNL as compensation for allowing the Cubs to hire Theo Epstein. [2/21]

After months of waiting and wondering—or in some cases, not particularly caring—we finally know what Boston’s compensation for Theo Epstein will be. Sorry, Sox fans, it’s not Starlin Castro, Matt Garza, or Brett Jackson. The good news is that it’s not a total nobody, either. It’s the NL Central’s lesser Chris Carpenter. And that is good news, since any hopes that the Sox would score a major-league regular or a top prospect were unrealistic from the start. Theo is paid very well by baseball executive standards, and his marginal value as a general manager probably can’t hold a candle to that of a player more promising than a bullpen prospect. What’s more, the Sox didn’t have a lot of leverage—once your GM gets a more attractive offer, you either let him go or risk making the man in charge of building your team mad, which might not be the best idea.

Carpenter is a big, 26-year-old, right-handed reliever who throws really, really hard. He pitched only 9 2/3 innings for the Cubs last season, but in those innings, his fastball averaged 96.5 miles per hour, making it the 10th-fastest pitch in the majors. The list of pitchers with faster fastballs than Carpenter’s includes Jordan Walden, Daniel Bard, and Joel Hanrahan. It also includes Jeremy Jeffress and Mark Lowe. Throwing hard is a good thing, but not a guarantee.

Carpenter used to be a starter, but his secondary pitches aren’t finished products, his velocity is even more impressive in shorter outings, and he hasn’t always been healthy—he had a couple elbow surgeries, including Tommy John, in college—so the Cubs made him a full-time reliever last season. That didn’t go especially well, as he walked nearly seven batters per nine innings in Iowa and Chicago. When a hard thrower is still getting his stuff under control, an excess of walks is often the price a team pays for strikeouts. In Carpenter’s case, though, the strikeouts weren’t there—he fanned just over seven per nine across two minor-league levels and added eight more punchouts in his Cubs cameo. That’s discouraging, but he was dealing with a strained oblique that may have impaired his control, and he recovered to strike out 18 batters against only two walks in the high-offense Arizona Fall League (which, to be fair, he may have been a little old for).

According to my recently-arrived Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2012 (which ranked him 13th in the Cubs organization, compared to a 14th-place finish in Kevin Goldstein’s Top 11), Carpenter “had trouble adjusting to the routine of a reliever, and he started overthrowing and lost consistency with his mechanics.” By the end of the year, he’d reportedly settled into the relief life and tightened his slider, so he’s back on a developmental track that might lead to the late innings, assuming the Sox don’t see him as a starter.

The dueling players to be named later were included in the deal because the unusual circumstances demanded that this be a player trade. Their identities will be determined by April 15th. The Cubs still owe the Padres a prospect for raiding their front office for Jed Hoyer, but that prospect won’t be as promising as Carpenter, possibly because Hoyer's hair can't compete with Theo's.

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

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