Cubs Add Three to 40-man Roster

The Cubs have added three players to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), one day in advance of the November 20th deadline that requires MLB clubs to submit major league and minor league reserve lists to the MLB office. .

RHPs Mitch Atkins and Justin Berg were selected from Iowa, and RHP Marcos Mateo was selected from Daytona, and with the addition of the three, the Cubs now have 36 players on their MLB Reserve List.  

Notably absent from the list are LHP Donald Veal (the Cubs 2005 2nd round pick) and 2B Nate Spears (acquired along with two other prospects from the Baltimore Orioles in January 2006 for OF Corey Patterson), meaning both will be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft. And I would say that it's very likely that Veal will get selected, and somewhat likely that Spears will be, too.    

A North Carolina native, Atkins checks in at 6'3/220, and he just turned 23 last month. He was the Cubs 7th round selection in the 2004 Rule 4 Draft (1st Year Player Draft) out of Northeast Guilford HS in McLeansville, NC (he was signed by legendary Cubs Area Scout Billy Swoope), and he had signed an NLI to attend Elon University before opting to sign with the Cubs. Atkins has progressed steadily through the Cubs system over the past five seasons, reaching AAA Iowa via a mid-season promotion in 2008. He went 17-7 with a combined  4.00 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, allowing 155 H, 87 R (73 ER), 50/132 BB/K, and 25 HR in 164.1 IP (28 GS) with AA Tennessee and AAA Iowa in 2008. Atkins doesn't throw particularly hard, but he really "knows how to pitch." He has a full array of pitches, including a very effective cutter. He probably projects as a "back-of-the-rotation" MLB starter at this point. 

The 24-year old Berg is a native of Antigo, WI,  and was acquired by the Cubs from the Yankees in August 2005 in exchange for veteran OF Matt Lawton. A 6'3 230-pound sinker-baller, Berg was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 43rd round of the 2003 Rule 4 Draft out of Indian Hills CC in Iowa, but was signed as a "Draft & Follow" in May 2004 (just days prior to the June Draft) after spending his sophomore year at Triton CC in River Grove, IL. He was set to transfer to the University of Iowa for his junior year before opting to turn pro. The fact that the Cubs acquired Berg in a trade just a year after he signed with the Yankees probably is an indication that the Cubs had planned to draft him back in 2004 if he hadn't signed as a "DNF" with the Yanks. Berg has similar stuff as Jeff Samardzija (power sinker and slider), but has struggled mightily with his command throughout most of his career. Like Atkins, Berg split the 2008 sesaon between AA and AAA, and he was supposed to pitch for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League post-2008 (he pitched in the AFL last year, too), but plans were changed at the last minute, and he ended up in the Venezuelan Winter League instead. Basically a "two-pitch pitcher," Berg will probably be moved to the bullpen in the near future to take full advantage of his hard stuff. He really needs to work on his command, but if he can get that straightened out (as Samardzija appears to have done), he could possibly make it to the big leagues as a reliever.

Marcos Mateo is the cousin of ex-Cubs RHP Juan Mateo. A native of the Dominican Republic, the 6'1 ,160-pound Marcos Mateo was acquired from Cincinnati in September 2007 as the PTBNL in an earlier deal where the Cubs sent OF Buck Coats to the Reds, so 2008 was his first season in the Cubs organization (he did pitch in the AZ Instructional League with the Cubs post-2007, however). He will turn 25 next April. Like his older cousin, Marcos Mateo's best pitch is an outstanding slider, but he also has a fastball with some life on it, and he supposedly developed a change-up in 2008 when he was moved to the starting rotation after a promotion from Peoria to Daytona. But unless the change-up is of big league quality, his future is probably MLB middle-relief.     


Atkins and Berg really dont surprize me, but Mateo sure does!

I dont get why Veal was left off, I mean he is wild but so is Berg. I mean LHP who throw hard just dont grow on trees and Veal good as gone now as he will be a top pick and I am sure he could last as a 12th man on the staff of a lousy club anyway. Can Veal still be added tomorrow in case Jimbo and Company forgot he needed to be added or is this the final list?

Why would they leave 4 open spots? They certainly aren't going to sign 4 free agents. This doesn't make sense to me unless the are going to add a few tomorrow. I agree about Veal, they should add him.

Veal might get selected, but I have serious doubts he'll stick with a team after he walks 5 guys in a row a couple of times.

Have to agree here. You would need a team that is really punting the season to have Veal drafted. The way he's pitched lately it's in doubt whether he'd be able to finish innings. Maybe if a team is OK bringing him in when they need to walk a guy and don't want to hurt their starter's stats.

So a team like the Nats or Pirates will be a 92 loss team instead of a 90 loss team. Veal's stuff is good enough that a bad team in need of young pitching will keep him on as the 12th guy on their staff.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 3:55pm.

Have to agree here.

You would need a team that is really punting the season to have Veal drafted.


REAL NEAL: I won't say which team (although you can probably figure out which one it is because it's practically self-evident), but a scout from another organization told me not too long ago that he LOVES Donald Veal despite his struggles (because the scout thinks Veal has the best "pure stuff" in the Cubs organization), and so I fully expect Veal to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Of course that doen't mean he will be able to stick in MLB for a full season, but I will predict that it's VERY likely that he will get selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

I can see your scout owing his GM $32K next June.

Even if he loves his arm, it's just the fact that he's likely to be totally useless which I think will scare teams off. Unles they want him to pinch run. But I wouldn't be surprised if he gets drafted. I'd be really surprised if he gets drafted and doesn't get offered back to us - unless he breaks his leg or something.

32K...most scouts wish they made that much money.

that said, playing the rule-5-shuffle don't mean anything until late march when it's time to set the rosters full time and you know if the guy is gone or not.

KC? I could see a club like that stashing Veal in the pen this year considering they trotted out Jimmy Gobble for 39 games with that sparkling 8.81 ERA and 1.96 WHIP. Plus they've now traded away 2 of their 2008 relievers in Leo Nunez and Ramon Ramirez so they'll have room. It sucks potentially seeing a great arm like that go but I mean even if he becomes the next Renyel Pinto, that's not going to kill the Cubs.

The Cubs have had a few pitchers over the last few years taken in the Rule V draft (seems like 1-2 every year). The only one we've lost that I can think of is Andy Sisco and the reasons he was let go had very little to do with his pitching ability.

Veal very well might be taken, but sticking on a roster all year is going to be tough. Most guys don't make it out of spring training.


video on Cubs' AFL prospects, nifty

took her about 10 words to get curse in though

REAL NEAL: There are several scouts that have very low opinions of the Cubs player development system (although they do think the scouting department is OK), and believe(rightly or wrongly) that all some of the Cubs pitching prospects-turned-suspects need is a chance to get some decent coaching. We'll have to see how that works out with Veal.

If they think the scouting department is OK but question player development, does that mean they question teaching methods?

Sorry if it sounds self-evident, but I've often wondered why some organizations churn out body after body at the big-league level but the Cubs' "can't-miss" prospects often do nothing but that.

I'd actually argue that the Cubs are one of the top pitching development teams out there. Injuries aside it's pretty rare that our pitchers don't pan out. Position players though... I think that's a combination of bad scouting and bad coaching. Too many athletes and not enough ball players, ever since I've been a Cubs fan... Well the Palmeiro pick was good.

Bobby Brownlie
Chadd Blasko
Matt Clanton
Luke Haggarty
Grant Johnson
Mark Pawelek

All wish to argue your point

All of those guys were injured, other than Pawelek, correct?

If these injuries are due to (1) overuse or (2) failure to correct mechanical flaws in pitching motions, then it's a player development failure. Steve Stone has argued that more pitchers develop injuries in the Cubs minor league system than in other systems. Whether that's really true or he's just speaking anecdotally, I don't know. But it sure seems like the Cubs lose a lot of promising pitchers to injury.

I don't think Michael Wuertz has panned out, although I think that's mostly on Rothschild.

Rich Hill came to the majors without any ability to hold a runner on a base. When people started running wild him, they (LR and I-don't-know-who-else) started mucking with his delivery, teaching him to slide-step, etc. The result is the Rich Hill we see today.

Zambrano has been taking one step forward, one step back for eight years. And he's a big talent.

Dempster, Lilly, Harden--they don't owe anything to Cub coaching.

Marmol is a success story, so far. Similarly Samardzija and Marshall, to an extent.

And Wood and Prior and Nolasco and Pinto and Atkins and Gallagher and Ohman, and probably half a dozen other guys I can't remember of the top of my head - Cruz.

You're right about a few of these guys. Also Blevins--he was in the Cubs' system when he seemed to figure it out in '07. Now he's in the majors. Pinto was the Cubs' minors pitcher of the year one year, so he must have made some progress under them.

Looking at Nolasco with the Cubs, he was 14-3 in 2005, so he didn't need Fla. coaching to pitch well.

Okay, my beef is with Rothschild, then. How did Ohman (and the guys I mentioned in #47) do under Rothschild?

"Major League Baseball says the deadline to submit bids to buy the Chicago Cubs is Dec. 1."

has this guy checked to see where his team's postseason revenue has come from recently?

"NEW YORK (AP) - Lew Wolff has a way to shorten baseball's postseason: Make the first round best-of-one.

"I'd make it one-game-and-you're-out for the first series," the Oakland Athletics owner said Wednesday. "It would be exciting. It would be great.""

a third of the time for the Cubs to get swept...not bad.

i just hope he was handling that question as a "fan" and not a "business man."

either way there's around a 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance of it happening.



without a Cy Young or 300 wins, I doubt it....surprised to see that last year was his first 20-win season. Did have 17 straight seasons with double digit wins.

anyone notice Maddux's 20-year streak ended last season?

start looking at stats and it opens up a whole can of worms...

Maddux hasn't received a Cy Young vote since 2000, somehow in 2002 with a 16-6 record and a 2.62 ERA, he didn't get one. His 159 ERA+ was 2nd best in the NL.

Tim Kurkjian thinks he is based on his career W%-.638, 117 games over .500, 2800 Ks, pitched his entire career with the DH in the AL EAST and in the steroid era. I think he noted that every SP who has 100 more wins than losses in his career is either in the HOF or hasn't become eligible yet. Clemens, Pedro, Glavine, Johnson. Personally if Blyleven isn't in than Moose shouldn't be either. He really should have pitched one more year. He'd likely pick up at least 15 wins taking him to 285 and he'd almost assuredly get in then. Not to mention one last shot at a ring. His postseason numbers were solid outside of the W-L, 7-9, but had a 3.42 ERA, 145 Ks in 139 IP.

Mussina is a Yankee so that should help his case. Other than Munson (who should be in the hall) has there ever been a borderline HOF Yankee who hasnt gotten in? I guess Maris, but 2 great seasons in an other wise average at best career should not you into the hall. Had those 2 great years been for the Royals, I wonder if people would be making a HOF case for him. Hell Mussina is more worthy than Rizzuto. I doubt Mussina even cares about it because one more year would have made him a lock. He could have been at 9500Ks and and atleast 12 wins to his record and be atleast 120 games over .500 for his career.

I'd argue he had 3 great seasons from 1960 -1962: Avg/HR/RBI for those seasons -- .283/39/112, .269/61/142 & .256/33/100. Otherwise, his three highest HR totals were 28, 26 & 23 (in '58, '63 & '64) and three highest RBI totals were 80, 72 & 71 (in '58, '59 & '64) in 12 seasons. Otherwise, he failed to top 16 HR and 55 RBI in his other six seasons. Not a HOF career, in my opinion. The only question left is whether 1961 qualified as a HOF season by itself. I think not.

didn't know this existed

doesn't read like Muskat's writing...

reads a little disjointed if you're not a regular or not used to it...very casual name dropping had me lost...

"I talked to Mark on the day of the division clinch and asked him, as he was dripping head-to-toe with champagne, what fueled him for this season."

...for instance...that's the first line of the story. i guess we're supposed to assume we know they're on a first name basis with players rather than mark being their obsessed fan friend at home ruining his carpet.

good stuff, though.

just noticed it reads "Mark Huang" at the bottom of some of the posts

Mike Huang, for what it's worth.

As far as the "Mark" thing Crunch talks about, my guess is that Huang left off "DeRosa" in haste. I don't think any other posts are as informal when talking about the players.

AZ Phil,

The way I read Veal being left off the 40-man is the Cubs either (A) don't feel Veal will be good enough to make anyone's 25 man roster on Opening Day and/or (b) has no significant trade value by himself or as part of a package (e.g. Brian Roberts). Do you agree?

Also, from your top 15 list is there anyone with significant trade value except Vitters? Aren't Cashner, Jackson, McDaniel ineligible to be traded until after this year's June draft?

[edit: I intended this as a reply to Q-Ball, #28.]

I don't know about you but I'm impressed by Jake Fox hitting .423 and slugging .676 while batting cleanup for Licey. That league is not chopped liver. Felix Pie goes there every winter and hits .220, just like in the majors. A couple of his teammates last year were Miguel Cabrera and Marmol.

The Cubs have needed a righty hitter with some power off the bench. Why not Fox? He can play first and a little outfield and he's also a third-string catcher, which frees up the second-string catcher to pinch hit--so you get two pinch hitters for the price of one.

Fuld has quietly raised his average to .304 (.398 OPB) while batting leadoff for Aragua, Rich Hill's team (maybe soon-to-be former team) in Venezuela. Fuld might actually be better in the number-two slot for the Cubs than Fukudome, who has been tried there. Also, Fuld is cheap talent. This may be me, but I don't think a GM can get away with paying big bucks to four outfielders, when there are only three positions. The accountants will catch that.

Exposing Veal is a risk, but my guess would be that Fuld has a better chance of being drafted and actually sticking with another team.

AZ Phil, what does leaving off Veal say about Jake Fox and Sam Fuld? I think both of them are "fringy" at best, and very easily missed if someone took a Rule-5 flyer. Why wouldn't the Cubs just DFA one of those two, and add Veal to the 40-man? Is there something I am missing?

Burnett wants 5 years, Lowe $16M...Dempster deal already looks good.

Burnett's been a bit more consistent than Dempster obviously, but his elbow is a clicking time bomb.

Ah, the good old 'clicking time bomb'. What's that again?

It's a mouse with a explosive device in it.

Burnett has never had a year as good as the one Dempster just finished.

When the hell does the spring training schedule drop?


O. Julius to Mrs. Julius: I think it's time for us to start thinking about taking a visit to Phoenix to see your parents, don't you? How about March?

Perhaps Veal and Spears might be needed in a trade before the Rule 5 draft? If that's the case, leaving them off the list allows for a deal involving them to be done soon, rather than with Atkins, Berg, or Mateo.

From AZ Phil's article a few days ago:

Any player on a minor league reserve list on November 20th is considered "frozen" on that roster until the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, meaning all players on minor league reserve lists as of 11/20 cannot be traded to another organization or moved to a different reserve list in the same organization during that period of time. Players on an MLB 40-man roster can be outrighted to the minors during this period, however.

AZ Phil can clarify this, but reading the italicized section in Andrew's post, I would say the "minor league reserve list" is the minor-league full roster, which would mean that Spears and Veal are frozen and can't be traded before the draft; and that Atkins, Berg and Mateo can be traded, like anyone else on the major-league 40-man (unless they have an NTC!).

Trevor Miller in STL for a physical.

According to WGN, final 4 bidders have until 12/1 to get in bids.

Cuban, reportedly, is not one.

I respectfully disagree on Mussina, Rob.

Saying without 300 wins or a Cy Young a pitcher doesn't deserve to get in is kinda like saying "Well...without 3000 hits or 500 HR's, player X doesn't get in."

270 wins, 2800 K's, an ERA+ of 123. He top comparisons from Baseball Reference include Juan Mariscal, David Wells, Curt Schilling, Jim Palmer, Carl Hubbell, and Jack Morris.

Is it his fault he pitched in a league with Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, etc?

I have never been a fan of HOF guys were were good for a very long time, but never great. Don Sutton comes to mind. Mark Grace, perhaps.

Craig Biggio

Precisely. Biggio was never thought of as one of the top players in the game, which is what the HOF is all about. But, he was good for a long time, reached a milestone, and will probably get in.

Bah. HOF should recognize greatness, not goodness.

I don't care about any of that, but that's what the voters do...

his only really strong arguments are playing in the AL East his entire career and an extremely good win percentage. But he's going to have a hard time getting in if Blyleven can't get in, imo.

I'm not sure where I stand to be honest.

Does anyone think he gets helped by winning 20 in his last career season? Five years from now he might score points for "going out on top". Baseball Writers tend to eat that crap up.

Think along the lines of Barry Sanders in Football.

Here's the thing I can't remember any time thinking he was one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball in any given year. Same as Biggio for players.

Barry Sanders was considered the top running back of his time, even when he was in the league with the eventual all time rushing leader.

Bad comparsion.

The thing that will help Mussina will be NY press, if they love him enough he will get in, although not winning a WS will not help.

Barry Sanders, to any who watched him, is unquestionably one of the 3 best RB and probably 10 best football players in the entire history of the sport (fyi Jim Brown, Walter Payton).

Mussina was very good for a very long time, but I don't think anyone's going to say he's one of the 3 best at his position anytime soon. Robert Smith would be a much, much better football comparison, if we're talking about going out on top (career wasn't nearly as long-lived). That being said, I'd probably lean towards yes for Mussina on the HOF.

Completely off topic, anyone else ever hear this Barry Sanders story? His terrible defense somehow managed to get an interception, and Sanders wasn't expecting this, obviously, as he was asleep on the sidelines. Brett Perriman walks over and wakes him up, says hey dude we have the ball, Sanders gets up groggy, eyes red, puts his helmet on and runs on field. Sweep right, 60+ yard TD. Walks back to bench, goes back to sleep. I have no idea where I heard this except it was on TV at some point, so take it with a grain of salt maybe, but the fact that I'm not convinced it didn't happen shows how good that guy was.

a Chad rant is me on this one.

Where did Robert Smith go to college?


Oddly I didn't pick him solely based on that - he was the first guy to come to mind.

Not that I mind :D

Giving the ball to Barry Sanders was like throwing a bomb down field on every play.

Most times it will go incomplete but the times that it works, scores 6 and looks great in the stats.

Sanders was the opposite of what I would ever want in a running back. I want a guy that i can give the ball to that you know will give you 4 yards a pop. While Sanders stats may average out to that, it merely shows the flaw in averages.

When you run 30 times for 150 yards and 2 TDs, it looks great. But when you take out the 75 yard run and you ran 29 times for 75 yards, not that great.

Give me Emmitt Smith every time over Sanders.

Okay I will step into this bee-hive-

What if Sanders had Smith's line and QB?

I believed he had to run the way he did because of the offensive team he was anchored to.

"Here Emmitt -- take the ball and run through that gaping hole that our All Pro offensive line opened up for you, while the linebackers and safeties worry about our All Pro QB throwing to Irvin and Harper. Enjoy your 5-yard gain."

"Here Barry -- take the ball and don't worry about the fact that the entire defense is monitoring your every move, that there are already 2 defensive lineman in our backfield, and that they have at least 8 men in the box on every play."


I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the way you guys are implying that Scott Mitchell wasn't awesome.

He sure wasn't a Rodney Peete or Andre Ware.

i hear the same BS every time. Except that is how Barry Sanders always ran his entire career. Even back in college.

They guy is/was a phenomenal athlete. He had blazing speed, ridiculous quicks and fantastic vision. But he was undisciplined as hell and was always going for the home run kill shot. he was never happy with a 4 yard run. He was happier taking a run for a loss.

If i had a way to look it up, i would. But he didn't make first downs. He didn't control the clock and forced more 3 and outs with his style of play.

Walter had to do some of those zig zag runs early in his career because of Rebie Sorie and Noah Jackson falling on there fat asses.

I think both camps are correct.

Had Barry played for the Cowboys, he would have run for more yards, eniticed by those huge holes that Smith was able to take advantage of.

He would have also continued to turn a lot of 1 yard losses into 4 yard losses, with the occasional big gain in there.

I think we can all agree Smith is probably the most overrated player in NFL history.

Chad, your version of Barry Sanders sounds like the football version of Alfonso Soriano.

Just so you know how totally untrue this whole post is...

Barry Sanders only had fifteen 50yd (and you are saying 75yd TD runs) touchdown runs in his career, but had 25 career 150yd games.

Just so you know...

Emmitt Smith wasn't in the same category as Barry Sanders. He said it himself.

barry sanders is 3 times the athlete that smith was. But Sanders was a home run hitter.

And I would like to see how many first downs Barry made vs. other players. If you know where I can find those stats, please let me know.

Who gives a fuck about Barry Sanders?!

You can find those stats for Sanders here:

Sanders gained a 1st down on 18.7% of his runs compared to Emmitt's 21.8%. Despite having 1,500 less rushing attempts, Sanders still had more 20+ yard runs (113-94) and 40+ yard runs (42-17!). It should also be noted that they didn't keep those stats for Sanders' first two years and Smith's first year in the league, so the difference is greater. Sanders also only fumbled 19 time compared to Smith's 38. Also, Sanders only had one 75-yard run in his career.

Also, just doing some quick math estimates. If you were to subtract the long runs of Sanders (20+) from his overall stats, his average per carry would be a bit over 4 yards, just as Smiths. So the difference in the yards per carry between the two is Sanders' homeruns, but minus that, his average per rush is still as good as Emmitt's.

and one key stat i doubt i will every be able to find is carries for loss. I once heard that he had as many carries for loss as he did gains. that could be bs.

Yeah, that's BS - you don't need to look it up.

Despite having 1,500 less rushing attempts

Fewer rushing attempts . . . . (Sorry.)

I don't copy edit my comments. Feel free to do so for me though.

"Feel free to do so for me, though."

"I don't copyedit my comments."

Go fuck yourselves.

^No edit needed.

Go fuck your elves?

That ^ (comments 123-124, 128, 135-136 & 138) was damn funny!

I totally disagree about Biggio, he was the top 2nd baseman in the game for a long period of time. You wanted a little power with your stolen bases at a notoriously weak position, he was your man. Him in Roberto Alomar were the best of the best.

His overall stats easily make him one of the all-time greats at the position.

I really don't understand why Cubs fans got to knock the accomplishments of rival teams great players. He was a great player and he is more than deserving to be a HOFer, 1st ballot even.

It has nothing to do with him being an Astro, on my part.

He batted over .300 4 times in 20 year period, was not a MVP threat and would say he was considered second best player on team for most of his career (Bagwell, Berkman).

He's a very good player, but not HOF IMO, but he will get in.

He was in the top 5 in the MVP voting twice and top 10 three times. During Biggio's career only 1 2B won the MVP award (Kent in 2000.) So what your saying is the only 2B who should be in the hall that played from 88-07 are Kent and Sandberg since they have MVP awards.

gotta disagree on Biggio, a definite HOFer in my book, well before he got 3000 hits. No that leadoff man is a position, but he's one of the best there ever was and he was an All-Star catcher before becoming a second basemen. Plus he put up most of his numbers in the grand canyon of baseball - the Astrodome.

The problem in my mind with Biggio and Bagwell is the same problem with Sosa and McGwire. A lot of it is going to come down to how many writers are confident they were juicing.

I would say there were seasons when Mussina was considered one of the game's top 3 pitchers. Definetly one of the AL's top three pitchers. You can't punish these guys too much for having played in the same era as Maddux, Johnson and Martinez.

agreed. I'd bet my car that Bagwell was using PEDs, and since Bagwell and Biggio were so tight there is a little doubt on Biggio but his numbers alone are certainly hall worthy. In his prime he posted 4 .400+ OBP years. He was an elite leadoff hitter for 11 years.

I always thought the same thing about Bagwell. I got totally flamed by John Sickels for stating as much a couple years ago. Who else can you think of that went from 15-18-20 Homers a year to a perennial 40ish guy without some sort of major speculation?

Or in Biggio's case 40 XBH's per year to 70 XBH's per year. Biggio's power surge started in 1993 at the age of 27. Bagwell's 1994 at 26. Tenron didn't open until 2000.

The New York Post is speculating that David Dejesus will be shopped, now that the Royals have Coco Crisp. I wonder what they will want for him....

Check out this article about a friend of mine who's son has optic nerve hypoplasia and is going to China for stem cell therapy. Ryan Dempster and his wife made an unsolicited and unexpected donation to help them make the trip. I don't know what his ERA+ will be in 2012, but the guy is definitely a class act.

Biggio has better overall numbers than Sandberg. So by your logic if you play for a shitty organization that doesn't develop or sign any good talent (ala the Cubs for much of its existence) your a more qualified HOFer than a player who played with an organization that had a clue?

I am sorry that has always been one of the least defenseable arguements people try to use around this site and many others.

The fact is it doesn't make Biggio less deserving if he had Bagwell and Berkman around him. He just had a better organiztion to play for, and it still doesn't erase his over-all stats at the position and how he ranks with the all-time greats.

You go to and it shows the players with stats comparable to Biggio. Here is the list....

Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Cal Ripkin, Roberto Alomar, Brooks Robinson, George Brett, Lou Whitaker, Ivan Rodriguez, Ryne Sandberg.

But hey when you got better over-all numbers than guys like Joe Morgan and Ryne Sandberg there really isn't a question about his HOF creds.

Having more closely examined the stats, I have changed my mind -- Biggiois a HOF-er.

I was probably distracted by the recent memory of his hitting under .270 for 6 of his last 8 years. That ain't HOF material, in any league.

So who plays 2nd for the USA in the WBC?

Pedroia, Kinsler, Roberts, Phillips, Uggla ...pick one.

speaking of the WBC...

piece on the Puerto Rican team...says Soto is unsure if Cubs will let him play. 

It wont be Kinsler, MLB has already said it wont get insurance for anyone who ended last season on the DL.

Dan Uggla is American, right?

Uggla does well in these spotlit exhibition games.

Biggio is a HOF'er, he was a great player for a long time. That's the definition of Hall of Famer.

However, I see Mike C still can't have an adult discussion and instead turns to insults when someone disagrees with him. How old are you, Mike? Do you still want to tell me how great Fukudome is?

I didn't take it as an insult.

In fact it's one of the most articulate arguements I've seen on this board, recently.

We just disagree.

I use 10 all-star games as a quick and dirty on who should be a HoF'r. How do Biggio and Mussina do on that?

7 for Biggio, 5 for Mussina

how many players have 10 or more ASG appearances?

I don't know, but typically when I think a guy is a HoF'r and then I look at his BR page he's got 10 or more ASG's.

You have to play for 10 seasons to be a HoF'r, so if you're one of the best two or three at your position or the most worthy candidate on your team 10 times - you're in. ASG's maybe moreso in the past than today, are a big way to build your national 'fame' level.

seems like a tough standard in today's climate, especially with pitchers.

As great as Ozzie Smith was, he made ASG's it helped there wasn't a shortstop worth a damn besides Barry Larkin and he didn't show up until the late 80's.

on a sidenote, Larkin made 12 ASG's...would have never guessed that.


McGwire made 12 All-Star teams.

Mike Piazza-10
Pudge Rodriquez-11

more HoF'rs.

Fukudome has been an A/S in every MLB season...

Biggio played in the 'Dome, but also the Juice Box.

9 to go!

Soto's got 9 to go too.

10 may be a little high for pitchers, just due to their variability. I also wonder if there is an example of a first half player like LaDouca who would throw my rule of thumb into disaray.

championship game is Saturday, Mesa Solar Sox are in can watch it at

After which you should proceed directly to:

and register yourself.

damn, hoping it was a real site

maybe we should start it up to fill the gap left by

According to WSCR who reports that Towers said he spoke to Hendry yesterday.

I believe that Steve Garvey had 10 or more all star games. You never hear his name mentioned as a potential HofF. I don't think he should be, but there is a bit more than 10 all star appearances. Someone once asked me how many home runs a player needed to get into the hall of fame and I told him one more than Fred McGriff.

Garvey did until he tried to single handedly populate Southern California.

according to Joe Sheehan

Kerry makes an appearance.

comparing lowe to that's an interesting leap.

i do like how sheehan goes about explaining his logic, though. i agree with most of it, but that which i don't he at least goes through the trouble of explaining why he believes what he believes.

white sox win the dayan viciedo sweepstakes (cuban defector superstar kid)...supposedly it's gonna cost them an 11m major league contract.

via rotoworld who claims the chicago tribune as a source.

Sox really enjoy getting all those commies.

Is this the fat kid who can't play anymore?


MLB breaking gentleman's agreement with Japan amateurs?

Is MLB really worried about US college players going to Japan?


So.... has anyone heard any Chad Fox rumors lately?

I haven't seen any mention of him via Rosenthal or MLBTR.

Cubs are hoping he can fill the 1b/corner OF/Backup catcher role in Iowa this year.

Sign Chad Fox, let him be on the MLB roster for three days, then put him on the 60 day DL - instant september callup on your playoff roster. It's really quite clever.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 3:30pm.

AZ Phil can clarify this, but reading the italicized section in Andrew's post, I would say the "minor league reserve list" is the minor-league full roster, which would mean that Spears and Veal are frozen and can't be traded before the draft; and that Atkins, Berg and Mateo can be traded, like anyone else on the major-league 40-man (unless they have an NTC!).


VA PHIL: The November 20th roster deadline is more about minor leaguers being "frozen" than it is about a club's MLB reserve list (40-man roster).

Players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) are NOT "frozen" during the period between November 20th and the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft (December 11th this year). Players on the 40-man roster can be traded, outrighted to the minors, or released, and free-agents can be signed, too, just like any other time of the year, so the Cubs can trade Atkins, Berg, and/or Mateo today or next week if they were so inclined.

But players who are on minor league reserve lists (Iowa 38-man roster, Tennessee 37-man roster, and Daytona, Peoria, Boise, Mesa, and DSL Cubs (split into DSL Cubs 1 and DSL Cubs 2 during the DSL season) 35-man rosters as of November 20th (like Veal and Spears) CAN'T be traded or added to a 40-man roster until the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. That's what happened when Derrek Lee was acquired from the Florida Marlins for Hee Seop Choi and a PTBNL on 11-25-03. RHP Mike Nannini was the PTBNL, but he couldn't be immediately "named" because he was on a minor league reserve list when the trade was consummated, and the deal was made during the so-called "closed period" between November 20th and the Rule 5 Draft. Nannini was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft, so he was sent to the Marlins as the PTBNL very soon after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft (in fact I believe it was later that same day).

By the way, if you count up the reserve list (roster) limits for the Cubs and their minor league affiliate, you might note that the Cubs have a maximum of 290 roster slots available in the organization. The time when the most players are signed to contracts with the Cubs is the start of Spring Training in February, and the Cubs had 260 players (major leaguers and minor leaguers) signed as of last February 1st. So while the MLB, AAA, and AA reserve lists are usually full or nearly-full, the reserve lists at the lower levels are never full.  

Submitted by Q-Ball on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 8:22pm.

AZ Phil, what does leaving off Veal say about Jake Fox and Sam Fuld? I think both of them are "fringy" at best, and very easily missed if someone took a Rule-5 flyer.

Why wouldn't the Cubs just DFA one of those two, and add Veal to the 40-man? Is there something I am missing?


Q-BALL: The Cubs had room on their 40-man roster if thy had really wanted to add Donald Veal. Apparently the Cubs did want to "reward" Veal's poor performance in the AFL with a promotion to the 40-man roster, except the same could be said for Justin Berg. He has pitched very poorly in the VWL, and has the same problem as Veal (stuggles with command & control), but he was added to the 40.

Submitted by George Altman on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 7:46pm.

AZ Phil,

The way I read Veal being left off the 40-man is the Cubs either (A) don't feel Veal will be good enough to make anyone's 25 man roster on Opening Day and/or (b) has no significant trade value by himself or as part of a package (e.g. Brian Roberts). Do you agree?

Also, from your top 15 list is there anyone with significant trade value except Vitters? Aren't Cashner, Jackson, McDaniel ineligible to be traded until after this year's June draft?


GEORGE A: I would think Donald Veal has more trade value and more potential than Justin Berg or Marcos Mateo. If the Cubs had left Berg and Mateo off the 40-man roster, or if the 40-man roster was full (or nearly-full), leaving Veal off the 40 might have made more sense.

Besides Jeff Samardzija and Andrew Cashner (who can't be traded), Josh Vitters and Welington Castillo probably have the most trade value, but both are a ways a way from being ready for MLB (Vitters is at least three years away, and Castillo is probably one or two years away), and I would think a team like the Padres (for instance) would want MLB-ready type prospects back iin a deal for Jake Peavy.

Sean Gallagher would have been perfect, but he was already used in the trade for Rich Harden. Sean Marshall would ordinarly probably be OK, too, except he will be eligible for salary-arbitration after next season, and the Padres probaly want MLB-ready guys who are as far away from arbritration eligibility as possible. So when Padres GM  Kevin Towers talks about the Cubs needing to include a third team to make a Peavy deal work, I would think he's probably saying the Cubs need to exchange Marshall for a similar-type pitcher or Ronny Cedeno for an infield prospect, but ones who are further away from salary arbitration than Marshall and Cedeno.

Thanks, Phil.........that fills in the blanks. A lot of trades (e.g. B. Roberts, DeJesus) sound great for the Cubs, but I just don't think they have that much on the 40-man roster or prospects most teams would want. The exception being the O's having interest in players they drafted when they ran the Cubs minor leagues.

Phil, I'm afraid if you say "Vitters is at least three years away" you play into the hands of people who say, Trade him--we can't wait that long.

Some guys are fast-tracked. Maybe Vitters is one of those. Maybe he's a better prospect than the Cubs have had before. I just looked over Justin Upton's history. He did A ball in his first full season with Ariz. at age 18, while Vitters did short-season Boise at 18. But Upton hit .263 with a .413 SLG, while Vitters was .328, .498. At 19, Vitters will start out at Peoria, low A. At 19, Upton did A+ and AA and got a September call-up to the majors. At 20, Upton had 61 AAA at bats and 356 ABs in the majors.

It's not pie-in-the-sky (vitters-in-the-sky?) to say that Vitters might get a September call-up in 2010 and then report for duty in early-to-mid 2011, a year ahead of your prediction.

Justin Upton also has great speed, and a strong arm--so his 107 OPS+ was absolutely fine this year. Of course, since Vitters will likely be playing a below average 3B or he'll be at 1B or in the outfield, he will have to hit--he doesn't have speed or defense to fall back on.

I personally think Justin Upton has been rushed and than a little more time in the minors could help him be a better player, but Arizona management apparently thinks he'll develop just fine while playing with the big league club.

Other phenoms have been rushed to the majors too, often with little success. BJ Upton made it to the majors at 19, had some success, then didn't do much in the majors until his age 22 season in 2007. Corey Patterson also comes to mind.

Prospects have value even if they aren't ready for the majors and won't be for two or three years. We all say we want to win now, but I'm sure we'll want to win in 2012, too.

Anyone know where to find the Cubs minor league reserve list? The Cubs site doesn't show accurate minor league rosters over the Winter (and half the time in the Summer).

According to Bruce Levine Cubs are in talks with Royals for Tehan.

Also Mets trying to get Vazquez and Jenks from Sox.(very early)

Given that KC has dealt away some cheap relievers, I imagine one of Wuertz, Guzman, Ascanio will be in this deal. The only thing I can hang my hat on is that Jimbo has a nack for getting guys right before they blassom offensively (Aram, Barrett, Dlee).

The number of LH hitting RF's is actually pretty limited, and ones who are available and fit into the Cubs current budget constraints even further reduces the pool of candidates.

Teahen, though no world beater, fits the profile and even adds some versatility with his ability to play 3B and 1B.

So what is Teahen worth to the Cubs in trade? The Royals definitely need to replenish their bullpen, having traded off two young arms since the end of the season. They might also want a middle IF. Does Ascanio get us Teahen?

If Coco Crisp is worth Ramirez, then Mike Wuertz should be plenty for Mark Teahan. I'll be generous and give them some additional minor league fodder like Ryan Harvey, too.

methinks you're definitely overestimating Teahen's value.

Looks like Pie walked home on ball 4 to Fox with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Good picture of Felix, who is photogenic, you have to admit. He must be a tiger cub.

Pie's 2 for 2 lifted his average 65 points to .292. (Just 24 at bats.) Come on, Sport, it's later than you think.

The Cubs added three minor-league pitchers to their 40-man yesterday: Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg and Marcos Mateo. One surprising name left off the list was lefty Donnie Veal, who now is eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 draft. That may well happen, but it’s hard to see the erratic Veal sticking with a big-league club all year. I still remember the hue and cry a few years ago when the Cubs lost lefty Andy Sisco to the Royals in the Rule 5. As it turned out, that didn’t hurt the Cubs at all. Atkins was the minor-league pitcher of the year. Mateo passed Jose Ceda by, allowing the Cubs to trade Ceda for Gregg. Speaking again of trades, the Cubs almost have to trade righty Jason Marquis, especially with lefty Sean Marshall pushing for a full-time job and with the Peavy talks not dead yet. No doubt the Cubs will have to eat some of Marquis’ $9-plus million salary for 2009.

not sure if Miles is guessing that or it's info from a source of his...

I asked Bruce about it and he said that part about Mateo was something that was relayed to him by someone within the Cubs organization.

Here's an idea that won't happen, but makes sense for both teams, an expanded Cubs-KC trade idea:

Cubs get: Mark Teahan, Jose Guillen, and $3MM cash in 2009
Royals get: Jason Marquis, Mike Wuertz, Ronny Cedeno and Koyie Hill

Explanation: The move would be salary neutral for both teams in 2009. Royals get a starting SS, allowing Aviles to move to 2B full-time; a much-needed 7th inning reliever with ML experience and success; a backup catcher (they are giving the starting job to Olivo and are ready to trade John Buck); and a 5th starter with ML experience, allowing Kyle Davies to move to the bullpen. Royals could use some combination of Maier, Butler and Jacobs at 1B, RF and DH as they see fit.

Cubs would get their new RF w/o taking on salary, allowing them to make an all-out push for Rafael Furcal at SS. Lou could platoon Guillen and Teahan, or give the job to Guillen most of the time and allow Teahan to be his bench super-sub. Since Teahan can play 1B (and bats LH), Micah Hoffpauir becomes trade bait. The #5 starter job opens up for a March competition between Marshall, Atkins and perhaps Samardzija.


If the Royals want to give Hill an MLB job they could just sign him.

Who are the royals going to play in right field? How does the trade make the Cubs any better? Who replaces Cedeno?

I'd rather steal Aviles from the Royals than get Guillen and go for Furcal.

i would be all for marshall being
a cub next year.

You raise a good issue regarding Marshall. If we give this guy a chance to lock down the #5 starter spot, he could well win 10-13 games a year for the next 5 years or more. One thing you almost NEVER do in baseball is trade good, young, cheap, lefthanded starting pitching. Certainly he should not be included as a throw in to any trade.

If the Cubs add Teahan and Gullien, who makes the team as outfielders next year? Now you have Soriano, Johnson, Fukudome, Pie, who would take the place of Edmunds on the roster. Assuming Ward's uselessness in the field and PH duties are taken by Hoffpauir, what roster moves would be made to add Teahan and Gullien? Send Hoffpauir to the minors and trade Pie?

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  • lulz, MIA with a 5-0 lead after 2nd.

    crunch 12 sec ago view
  • d.gordon leads off MIA inning with a HR...came up to bat wearing j.fernandez's helmet.

    he barely made it back into the dugout after crying his way around the bases.

    i can't watch this game anymore. it's too much...too real.

    crunch 19 min 59 sec ago view
  • FLA really doesn't look like they're mentally/physically prepared for this game. never seen anything like's not just a few people in the dugout still feeling it large, it's pretty much everyone.

    i doubt it will lead to some kinda error-filled little league quality game, but everyone looks drained and still draining.

    ...and onto the cubs game. go #100.

    crunch 26 min 59 sec ago view
  • The Marlins organization is obviously affected deeply by this. I feel for the people there. And I understand circumstances have changed.

    But retiring his number. Wow. Literally a week ago the rumor mill was fast and furious about how Fernandez was going to be traded this winter, with the front office in response doing almost nothing to deny it. And to turn around and retire his number, just like that, when they obviously felt the organization would have been better long-term without him, just reeks of insincerity.

    John Beasley 1 hour 4 min ago view
  • jose fernandez's number is going to be retired by FLA.

    there's custom jerseys on their way to tonight's game (and hopefully will make it on time). all the marlins are going to wear #16 tonight.

    this still sucks.

    crunch 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 7 hours 32 min ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 9 hours 27 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 10 hours 20 min ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 11 hours 44 min ago view
  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 19 hours 39 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 19 hours 51 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 20 hours 47 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 21 hours 31 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 21 hours 38 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 22 hours 11 min ago view