Cubs Don't Offer Kerry Wood Arbitration

Link.

So trading Jose Ceda because the Cubs were going to get two draft picks for Wood doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore.

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2 sandwich picks are probably worth $4 million dollars, so the Cubs trade get rid of Ceda and Wood for Gregg and roughly $2 million in savings. It's not shaping up as a good off-season for Hendry. He's going to have to pull one or two of his pattened out-of-his-ass moves to make up for it now.

meh.

lumping wood's situation with gregg/ceda isn't very fair, though. wood was destined to go anyway...though i'm surprised they didnt offer arbitration.

wood's going cuz the team doesnt seem to want to put 10m+ into a reliever. i didn't think they'd want to make this damn sure he wasn't going to be on the books, though.

when I was bitching about trading Ceda, some said we'd get some draft picks for Wood....

I understand Gregg is the fallback for losing Wood, but I think I'd rather have Wood/Ceda over Gregg, Cotts, Wuertz and Gaudin to be honest.

yeah, but the money seems to be driving the whole thing.

i'm a bit blown away by this 09 team construction being this heavily effected by k.wood's possible 10m worth scaring the team from arbitration.

it also makes me think kerry wood could have actually been serious about a desire to stay in chicago for a season.

with hendry's known wishes and this screwed up economy i can't tell if hendry has his eyes set on a high-end bat addition, has his scope pretty tightly on peavy, or there's increasingly more pressure on the team's budget. hell, i would bring "new owners" speculation, but that's even more wildly speculative than the unknown crap i listed before it.

weird situation...fan favorite...we're probably gonna be hearing about this one in the papers soon and for a while.

You hit the nail right on the head there. It seems Jimbo doesnt have a plan. If you couldnt take the chance that Wood accepts arbitration, then why even trade for Gregg or even go after Peavy when we already have as good of a rotation as anyone? He is likely to get 4 mil in arbitration and he is just an average pen arm. The likelyhood is that one of the young guys like Ascanio, Berg, or Guzman given the chance could be just as realible as Gregg for minium wage, freeing up more of our apperently limited dollars on southpawing up our lineup. Given its very likely the Brewers are going to have no Sabathia or Sheets, we are going to start the season likely 10-12 games better on paper than the rest of division given we would have almost the same roster, effectively only bascially trading Wood for a RF upgrade. It would be the perfect sitution to go with a young bullpen and see what sticks and if need be make upgrades in July and August.

Any chance this is just Jimbo trying to help Woody earn some extra money? Its not out of the realm of possibility that Hendry could do something like that.

Exibit

A)Aramis' one way player option
B)Henry Blanco's 4 million dollar option
C) NTC's in every player of Note's contract
D) The Utter fear that Hendry has shown to go to arbitration

I hope it isn't the case. But I think Jim Hendry showed he has the Nuts of a "Ken Doll" with this move.

Say you get your paycheck and it's $600, which is cool because that's enough for the week to pay all your bills. Then you're walking home and you see a $20 blowing across the street. Do you say 'good thing I got paid today, or I would pick up that $20."? No, you pick up the $20 and put it in your pocket.

It's all the same organization, it's all the same ledger. Protecting yourself from having to pay a superior player $10 million, by trading a valuable commodity (maybe a $5 million value, like Ceda) for an inferior player who you have to pay $4 million for - a player who's probably not worth more than his 2008 salary, makes a shit load less sense, if you throw away $4 million worth of prospects.

It makes even less sense if you don't make Gregg the closer, because that's going to decrease his market value for 2009, when ideally you want to get type A compensation for him as well.

well if you wanna go straight by the money you need to re-do your original cash savings to 10m rather than 2m.

it's about money and the 09 vision of the team...at least it seems that way.

No, it's about assets and liabilities. Giving up assets like draft picks and prospects, and replacing them with no value players won't make any potential owner happy.

Fuck you Hendry.

Fuck you Hendry.

+1

Wrong board for "+1" stuff...

Hendry's 2009 budget must be a lot tighter than we originally thought.

July 27, 2009
CHICAGO - Desperate to shore up a middle-relief core that's continuously failed to get the ball to closer Carlos Marmol, the Cubs today acquired right-handed relief pitcher Fernando Rodney from the Detroit Tigers for pitcher Sean Marshall, outfielder Felix Pie and infielder Micah Hoffpauir.

Scared me a little because I didnt look at the date, just got excited when i saw Rodney..then got sad when i saw what we "gave" up for him...then excited again when i saw the date. very tricky mr. beasley

This is just dumb. Really fucking dumb.

Lou even comments about how he'd like another bullpen arm, so why would you ever turn down the opportunity for first round draft picks when the "downside" is having to bring back your (now ex)closer for one year?

just fucking dumb

Lou not only wants a reliever, but experience matters. Wood only has 10 years of that.

This makes no sense at all. Losing Wood and gaining nothing while also still needing an effective relief pitcher.

$$$$$$$$$$

He's cutting salary in the wrong places. Marquis is the guy we can replace, not Wood.

Plus--trading Ceda for Gregg costs an extra $4 million or so. Combine that with Marquis's salary and acquiring Gregg and keeping Marquis costs about $13 million, whereas signing Wood and keeping Ceda would cost a little over $10 million, probably.

Hendry is handcuffed by Lee, Ramirez, and Soriano's salaries, but Marquis is probably tradeable (if he doesn't ask for anything but salary relief in return) and Marquis is also replaceable (Marshall, Gaudin, Samardzija, etc.). It's a really poor use of the team's resources.

Sure, he's tradeable but not in late November. Marquis will be of much greater interest once the FA pitchers start signing and teams find out where they are. To trade him now, you'd have to eat half his salary and then what's the point of doing it? Wood's situation as a FA and Marquis' as a signed pitcher are completely different.

They're different but they're also interdepent - or rather they were.

Right. Unfortunately Wood's situation was always going to have to be resolved before Marquis' otherwise the story might have played out completely differently.

Since Crunch is apparently asleep at the wheel, I'll step in.

Marquis is an excellent #5 starter. People that believe we need to jettison him are valuing him incorrectly.

I'm sorry, but I disagree with the Hendry bashing on this one. He simply could NOT risk the chance that (a) Wood accepts arbitration, and (b) gets $9-$10MM in the hearing. That would destroy Hendry's budget, and it sure seems like he wants to go after a Bobby Abreu or maybe Jake Peavy.

I love Woody, but closers just aren't worth the money they are paid for pitching 60 innings a year. That kind of money is much better spent on an everyday position player or a starting pitcher. I agree they now need a setup man, but those cost a fraction of what Wood will get.

BTW, Yanks did not offer arbitration to Abreu, so you see it cuts both ways. That would seem to be an even bigger no-brainer than Wood.

Indeed - John Smoltz was not offered arbitration, either. Yep - he was injured that last half of 2008, but the Braves will certainly offer him less money on a 1-yr deal.

I wonder if this is completely out of the question with Woody, in light of the current economic conditions now?

Is the 'no play until May' deal still in effect? That would probably have less impact on Smoltz than Wood.

think they got rid of that...

If the Cubs are running out of room in their 2008 budget, who's fault is that?

In 2007 they spent, what, $7 millon on Wood, and another $6 on Howry and Eyre? Howry and Eyre are gone, so where is that money going to? Well it's going to Dempster, Gregg and Marquis and a to be determined LH hitter. It's not Wood's fault that Hendry struck out on Fukudome, or that he gave Marquis that backloaded contract, or that he traded for yet another $4 million setup man.

Fred Mitchell apparently talked to Baker who said he'd like to have Wood on the Reds.

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

"There has been speculation that Cubs manager Lou Piniella became exasperated with Wood last season when he missed about a month with a blister on his right hand."

Haven't heard that one before.

that's a big IF, but F U Lou if it's true....

Also--why risk Wood and his injury history getting $10MM in arbitration when you can simply sign Trevor Hoffman on a 1-yr deal for half the price?

Or here's an interesting name: Juan Cruz, the Sequel? If he costs no more than Eyre/Howry type money, he'd look good in that 7th inning role.

Or what about Todd Jones? He would probably be our closer for about $1 million!

Cruz is a type A free agent.

Neal,

I had a source in the Cubs front office (who's now left the team). Let me put it this way about Juan Cruz: he has relationship and chemistry issues that would almost certainly be a concern to team management making his re-acquisition highly unlikely.

I know he was close friends with Z and I don't think anyone else is left from when he was here before, coaches included with the exception of Larry Rothschild. Who could he have relationship issues with?

My source indicated that Juan Cruz is the relationship issue. He is the catalyst for new 'chemistry' problems.

"new 'chemistry' problems"

Flubber?

The person who was with the Cubs organization when Juan Cruz played here said Cruz does not play and work well with others. He is the source of 'chemistry' problems with the team. He is the instigator. He's a putz. Does that clear it up?

Sorry, never heard Juan Cruz has ever been a problem with anyone besides Dusty Baker and the way he was jerked around. He got tired of being called up, then sit and do nothing for weeks and then get sent back down. Or he might get 1 inning of work and Dusty would be shocked he wasn't effective. Meanwhile Shawn Estes sucked for the whole year and not a complaint was ever thrown his way.

For Juan Cruz's reward he was traded to the Braves for Andy "I couldn't find the fucking strike zone if you payed me 10 billion dollars" Pratt and a light hitting 2nd baseman named Richard Lewis.

Wait a minute. George, is your source Dusty Baker?

Juan Cruz will also likely be going to his 5th organization by the time he hits 30, despite pretty solid numbers, so I think George's source might be on to something.

Rob G. does bring up a good, supporting point -- 5 organizations in 8 years is usually a pretty good indicator there's some sort of problem (can't match talent with results, uncoachable, attitude, etc.). I can say my source was not in direct baseball operations, but was a front office employee who spent a great deal of time in the clubhouse the years Cruz was with the Cubs.

Add to that Cruz's dishonesty about his age -- he claimed he was younger than he was with a false birth certificate -- 2 years younger, IIRC. This came out while he was with the Cubs. Just another item falling on the wrong side of the ledger.

adam dunn (who?) not offered arb. by ARZ.

now that makes even less sense than the cubs/wood thing...imo...

that is a bit weird, I know Arizona can't afford him, but there's just no way he won't get a multi-year deal from someone...

after this...wood...abreu...and a few other odds/ends (though i could see an arguement about not including abreu in this list...though i do have to say "NYY payroll") i wonder how much of an economic factor is playing into all this.

we're talking about 1-year risk being passed up in favor of more GM control over the 09 team construction...we've not seen much of that stuff in a while from larger market teams. it's not like the downside of taking these guys on would be multi-year burden.

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/dec/01...

Some close to Peavy have expressed doubt that he would OK a trade to Atlanta, saying he would prefer the Cubs.

The Padres have discussed a 5-for-1 deal with the Cubs that would bring them several pitchers, including an Orioles pitcher, but Towers said the Cubs'recent signing of pitcher Ryan Dempster for $52 million might make it difficult for them to afford Peavy.

“With them signing Dempster, it's going to take some creativity on their part financially,” Towers said. “I think there's still a chance with Chicago, but I think it's probably going to be difficult with them as well.”

Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis is due nearly $10 million. If he is dealt, Chicago would have more room for Peavy, whose salary next year is $11 million.

5-for-1 seems insanely excessive unless Vitters isn't involved...which is definitely possible.

Let's get Burrell. Then I'll be happy. Ok maybe not. Fuck I'm still pissed about Wood. He showed loyalty, how about a little back at him Hendry? Fuck.

I don't think it's about loyalty at all Joe. Like crunch said, it's all about dollars. Woody deservedly will get $9-10m next year, maybe more, and probably on a multi-year deal. For various reasons, the Cubs couldn't really afford the possibility of any of those things happening and keeping with their offseason plan, which I think they do have. Sure they could bring him back at that price for one year but they'd be basically the same team as last season. You might think that's fine, but Hendry's been pretty clear about getting a LH hitter and possibly improving the rotation. I don't think Hendry would even allow Woody to come back for one year at a much cheaper price, say, $3-4m cuz this is his chance to make some money.

Now, why didn't Hendry and Woody, apparently on good terms, set up a gentlemen's agreement so that the Cubs could get a few picks? Good question. Maybe Hendry and Woody aren't on such good terms as we thought. Maybe the Cubs know something about his health. Maybe Woody just really, REALLY, fuckall wants to be on the Cubs next year. Because of the above reasons, that's not something Hendry can afford right now. It's one thing to be loyal to an organization as a player, but it's entirely different and much, MUCH harder to be "loyal" to a player as an organization.

Um, that's my point. It's not about loyalty. I want Hendry to show loyalty.

Okay. I want Hendry to win. I think that's why we're all fans in the first place.

Loyalty is nice but it doesn't really have a role in building a winning team. As I said, it's much harder to demonstrate as an organization than as a player because ultimately it's the organization's responsibility, not that of the individual player, to win. A player can re-sign with an organization that he feels he owes something to, as Woody did. It's much harder for an organization to do the same because its primary goal is not to be loyal.

The argument can be made that the Cubs have been VERY loyal to Woody over the years and that this decision, ulterior reasons notwithstanding, is in Woody's best interest (financially, that is) and thus "loyal". Hendry as GM determined that it's better to improve the rotation or add another bat than to bring back a one-inning good but not great reliever on a double-digit contract. Letting Woody go is about dollars and Ws not about disloyalty.

Congratulations. You have an opinion. You needn't want to Hendry to show loyalty. That's fine. I do. Then again, I'm not a utilitarian.

I said I wanted Hendry to show loyalty. You countered that it wasn't about loyalty. I said that I wished it was. Why do you feel the need to correct desire?

"...its primary goal is not to be loyal." What the fuck does that mean?

And no, I'm not a fan because I want Hendry to win. I want the Cubs to win. Wood is a Cub. We're not talking about dropping a has-been who no longer has value. He's still an excellent pitcher and could be a valid piece to this team.

I said I wanted Hendry to show loyalty. You countered that it wasn't about loyalty. I said that I wished it was. Why do you feel the need to correct desire?

I'm not trying to "correct your desire" as I said in a post farther down. I think I understand your sentiment and why you have it. I was merely trying to point out that I don't think the primary issue for Hendry or the Cubs is about loyalty to Wood. We agree on that, I think.

"...its primary goal is not to be loyal." What the fuck does that mean?

My point is that an organization can't, by its own nature, be "loyal" in the same way that a player can be "loyal." The goal of the organization is to win -- not, as I said, to be loyal. If, in order to win it means the organization has to say goodbye to some of its greats, it should. (I'm not saying I necessarily agree with the decision to get rid of Wood, but merely that if Hendry thinks it's the best thing for the Cubs, he has to do it, loyalty be damned.)The situation is a little different for a player, especially in situations where a player may seemingly owe something to a team. The reason for this is that the relationship between player to team is never an equal one -- the team always takes precedence. Sure, the player contributes something valuable to the team and sometimes even contributes something valuable to the organization as a whole (Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Kerry Wood perhaps) but the team/organization is always the primary player. The good of the players always comes second to the good of the team and never the other way around. Thus, in my estimation, wishing Hendry to show loyalty is a fundamental misunderstanding of his job as GM.

Obviously, when I said I want Hendry to win, I meant to make the Cubs win. And you know it. You've always been a fairly level-headed guy but I can see this has you riled. I'm not trying to provoke you and I don't really enjoy you treating me like a fucktard.

Yeah, sorry, I'm kind of in a shitty mood. My bad, didn't mean to fucktardify you.

I thought you were challenging what I wasn't arguing.

I think that a team can show loyalty. I recognize that they don't, but I wish they would. The Cubs have a history, in my eyes, of not showing loyalty. Maddux comes to mind. But also, under the Hendry regime, of ruining the reputations of the guys prior to getting rid of them. What they did to Sammy, for instance (and I never even liked him). I don't like the way that they treat their players and it really pisses me off that Hendry is trying to pass this off as what's in Wood's best interests. He's not his agent, that's not his job. Kerry wants to stay in Chicago, and is a millionaire, so it's ridiculous for anyone other than him to decide what is in his own interests.

"Obviously, when I said I want Hendry to win, I meant to make the Cubs win."

I didn't mean my response to be facetious. What I meant was that, for me, the Cubs are the players, not the management. It's not just the logo. For me, Wood exemplifies what it means to be a Cub. If there is any way of keeping him with the team (meaning, if he is still productive) I think you do it. I respect your position that the team must do whatever is in its best interests to succeed, but I am doubtful that a few million dollars saved is going to really make that difference. Dumping a player who has taken a hometown discount and was willing to sign for less years again (along with Ceda) for Gregg and a few million dollars doesn't seem worth it to me.

I have to make a correction here.

Being loyal to a player can be in the best interest of the organization, in that it engenders loyalty from that player (which may save you money down the line) as well as with other players, which again may save you money.

How many times have you heard a player refer to a 'class organization'? Those things are the type of soft factors that play a part in a players decision to leave or join an organization, and they do have value.

I'm with The Joe on this one. A player sticking with his organization because of loyalty costs just as much in money as an organization sticking with a player. It's not just about being loyal to Wood, either; it's also about loyalty to the fans as well. Fans identify their team with certain players; otherwise, as they say, cheering for a team is like cheering for laundry. How many people (myself included) are still in denial that Michael was ever a Washington Wizard? The day Chelios was traded to the Red Wings (the Red Wings!) was the day I gave up on the Blackhawks. And cutting ties with Wood feels like a betrayal.

Yeah, I understand that. But rooting for players and not laundry is fantasy sports. Look, Woody's one of my favorite Cubs ever. Probably 2nd after Ryno. And yeah, it's going to be REALLY hard to see him in another uniform next year (though I suppose there's a small chance he returns after everything shakes out). But, in the current situation of this team, it just wasn't in the Cubs' best interest to bring him back for the salary he'd command. I'll continue to root for him to do well but I know why they had to do it.

"But rooting for players and not laundry is fantasy sports."

Actually, merely rooting for those with the best statistics, or trying to pick out the guys with the best statistics, is fantasy sports.

If I just wanted to root for a winner I'd decide who I'm going to root for in late August when I could pick out the team with the best record that has a roster that should perform well in the playoffs. Instead, I root for the Cubs--some combination of personnel, venue, and laundry. Wood counts for a lot more on the personnel side than Hendry does.

"But, in the current situation of this team, it just wasn't in the Cubs' best interest to bring him back for the salary he'd command."

I agree with this one to a degree, but I would like to say that I think Wood will probably be more worth his salary than however else the organization ends up spending that money. And that's not taking into account his history with the team.

Hendry is supposed to be tight with Kerry Wood so you'd figure that there would be a gentleman's agreement that the Cubs offer arb to Kerry and then he turns it down so the Cubs can pick up two draft picks. However, I think what's going on here is Hendry doesn't want the public perception/opinion out there to be that Wood technically turned down arb and he's the one who left the Cubs for more money. So whereas the Hendry/Wood friendship helped us keep Kerry the last time, it hurts us in this instance.

Remind me, please, the last year Kerry Wood played an entire season without time on DL or finger owwie. I love Kerry Wood. I will never forget his rookie season or when he and Prior were our two lions, chewing up Atlanta Braves for October snacks. But $10MM is a lot to risk on such a fragile frame.

I remember this list cursing Wood during his long string of rehab assignments. I remember how the tone changed when ESPN did a video piece on Wood's rehab so we all got to see how hard he was working to come back. Now, this list curses Hendry for letting him go to free agency. I actually take Hendry at his word when he says Wood ought to go get a multiyear contract somewhere. I also wouldn't be terribly surprised if Wood signed for a year taking a salary haircut to have a shot at a Cubs world series.

The bottom line is the Cubs have had a better shot year-in year-out at the playoffs with Hendry on board than at any time prior to Hendry during my lifetime. He's taken big risks, engineered some very promising trades, brought on two highly regarded managers, and had his share of bad luck. We'll miss him when he's gone.

Just because Hendry has been a more comptent GM than the bumblers who ran things before him (and part of that is that Hendry has also had higher payroll than other GMs before him) doesn't exempt him from criticism when he does exceedingly stupid things like trading for Juan Pierre and and turning two high draft picks and Ceda into Gregg.

Maybe the Cubs know something about Wood's health that they're not disclosing (whaa?!?!), and Hendry is trying to do Wood a solid by not mentioning it.

"Let's get Burrell. Then I'll be happy. Ok maybe not. Fuck I'm still pissed about Wood. He showed loyalty,.."

I agree w/HIPOLITO above in that last year was the first full year the Cubs got out of Woody since 2003. And how many innings did he throw?

I distinctly remember the Ghost Christmas Past for Kerry when the Cubs and McFail, eager not to repeat the Maddux mistake, signed him to the Big contract, and then he proceeded to blow out his arm. And, for 2006 and 2007, pitching 72 innings, he earned $21.5 Million Dollars. Almost $300,000 for every inning - of ineffective baseball.

I'd say the Cubs were pretty "loyal" too.

Hendry is not above criticism, but perhaps WISCGRAD should re-post his total achievements once more so we all do not have knee-jerk reactions to every controversial move.

Loyalty isn't a yearly thing that wears off. Either you're loyal or you're not. If Wood wanted to be a Cub for life and was willing to take a one year deal just to stick around, that is loyalty. Sticking with Wood through his injuries, then, when he finally comes out healthy and productive, refusing to sign him in order to save a few million dollars (salary less Gregg's), is not loyalty...in my opinion. Take it for what it's worth, my main problem is that I wanted Kerry to be a Cub for life.

It's pretty hard to argue against what someone wants to happen so I won't. But is wanting Wood to be a Cub for life really what's best for him or the Cubs at this point? If the answer is no on either account, then he should go. I think I made some points above on why it's not in the Cubs' best interest given their current situation. As a result, at least from a financial point of view, it's not really in Wood's best interest either.

I think it's likely that Kerry Wood desperately wanted to remain a Cub for life (if possible), and would have been more than willing to take advantage of an offer of 12/1 salary arbitration to get a return ticket punched for 2009.

And since Jim Hendry knew that Woody really wanted to return in 2009, he wasn't willing to take a chance that KW would accept salary arbitration and possibly bust up the Cubs Grand Payroll Plan for 2009.

Perhaps if the Cubs could have found a taker for Jason Marquis by 12/1 they could have redirected Marquis' 2009 $9.875M salary to Wood, but I suspect the market for Marquis won't really develop until after the top FA pitchers have signed with new clubs, and that probably won't be until sometime after the first of the year.

Besides the payroll issue, I think the other reason the Cubs decided to cut Wood loose at this time (and they basically released him) is that the Cubs felt that if Wood came back in 2009 he would expect to be the closer, and they didn't want to block Carlos Marmol in case Marmol is ready to assume the closer job. Besides being about $5M cheaper than Wood, Kevin Gregg is the type of reliever (like a David Weathers) who can close until whenever Marmol is ready (if not on Opening Day, then maybe by the middle of the season), and then quietly and obediantly and without any controversy serve as an 8th inning set-up guy once Marmol is ready, while also being available to close when Marmol needs a day off.

I suspect the Cubs braintrust decided at the Organizational Meetings in Mesa in October that Kerry Wood was not going to be asked to return, but they wanted to keep the divorce as pleasant and amicable as possible. But no matter how much Hendry wanted to spin it to make it appear both sides wanted it this way, the Cubs unwillingness to offer salary arbitration to Kerry Wood is pretty clear circumstantial evidence that the Cubs were worried that Wood might actually accept the offer, while they would prefer that he just go away quietly.

If only KW would have said that he wanted a multi-year deal "for his family"... but he didn't say it, so Jim "Scott Boras" Hendry had to say it for him. 

It kind of reminds me of the way Mark Grace departed a few years ago. He didn't want to leave Wrigleyville, either, so the Cubs had to push him out the door and call him a cab. In the immortal words of Police Squad's Lt Frank Drebin, Gracey was run out of town like a common pygmy, and now it looks like Woody is getting the same treatment.  

Wood never won fifteen games in a season, which Ted Lilly has done three times in the last three.

Nothing against Wood--he's likeable and loyal--but old Cubs tend to hang around too long. I'll never criticize Hendry for being unsentimental.

The problem is not not resigning Wood.

The problem is not not offering him arbitration.

The problem is trading our second best prospect for Gregg, and then not offering arbitration to Wood.

Yes you've got a budget which may include a breakdown of where you want to spend your money (bullpen, bench, rotation etc). But wasting a player that's worth maybe $5 million so that you get a player who's not worth anything (and when I say worth I am talking about marginal wins compared to marginal salary) for $4 million to save yourself from signing a player who's not worth anything for $9 million is a lateral move - with the caveat that we lose two wins from 2008 to 2009 based on the difference between Wood and Gregg. Yes you spend an extra $5 million in 2009 (assuming you don't jettison Marquis), but you make that money back in 2010 through 2013 when Ceda makes little money compared to his contributions.

There was no reason to trade for Gregg before the arbitration deadline, particuarly in the scenario, which we now see played out where the Cubs are hoping to get some draft picks for Wood when a team some other team signs him.

In short, Gregg + two draft picks = Wood + Ceda. Gregg < Wood + Ceda

Where did I see the post--was it from AZ Phil? That basically said Fleita and others in the Cubs minor league braintrust felt that Ceda had been passed up by someone else, I forget who now. I know I'm not imagining that post, someone help me out.

He did post that, but the guy who passed him, as I recall was in high A - and last I checked the Cubs bullpen wasn't chock full of All-Stars.

So who was the player?

Marcos Mateo and it was based off something Bruce Miles wrote in his blog....

The blister thing was annoying and might have been a deal killer for Lou. But the more I look at things objectively, was Kerry Wood REALLY all that good of a closer anyway? His save percentage was worse than Dempster's, and as he has done his entire career, BBs got Wood into serious trouble on multiple occasions in 2008. He had a lot of very nice outings too of course, and several that were downright filthy. But I don't think Wood is worth the money he would have got in arbitration, no way, no how.

We discussed this a couple of weeks ago. Wood gave up very few homers and no pitcher in baseball had a higher K/9 with a lower BB/9 ratio than Wood. His high ERA was mostly a function of bad luck. He also had a lot of HBP early in the season but got that under control as the season wore on. Part of it explains his high ERA, but not all of it. Mostly his groundballs didn't go to infielders as much as you would expect.

If you don't look at ERA he was one of the top five releivers in baseball last year.

Yeah, I see your point. I agree with not being sentimental. On the other hand he was a real solid reliever in '08.

The Joe:
Let's get Burrell. Then I'll be happy. Ok maybe not. Fuck I'm still pissed about Wood. He showed loyalty, how about a little back at him Hendry? Fuck.

Talk of Burrell AND David DeJesus in the same off-season?! Whoops, I just jizzed in my pants a little!

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Tue, 12/02/2008 - 11:58am.

Where did I see the post--was it from AZ Phil? That basically said Fleita and others in the Cubs minor league braintrust felt that Ceda had been passed up by someone else, I forget who now. I know I'm not imagining that post, someone help me out.

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

JIM H: I didn't post that, but Daily Herald Cubs beat writer Bruce Miles did (and I think Rob G linked it), because that's the reason the Cubs (presumably either Jim Hendry or Oneri Fleita) gave Bruce for trading Jose Ceda and putting Marcos Mateo on the 40-man roster.

There is no way I would say that Marcos Mateo is a better prospect than Jose Ceda, because that is just plain ridiculous. And I doubt that Bruce was saying that, either, he was just reporting the Cubs spin on it. Just like when the Cubs claim Donald Veal was left off the 40-man roster because he hasn't progressed as expected, and yet Justin Berg is at least as much of a mess as Veal, and Berg was placed on the Cubs 40-man roster, yet opposing scouts will tell you that Veal has a lot more potential than Berg.

The bottom line is, Hendry & Fleita use the 40-man roster the way a high school or college coach would use the varsity & JV rosters. There are no tactics or strategy involved. It's all about making a promotion to the Cubs 40-man roster a carrot & stick thing, a reward for getting on-board with the Cubs program, an example to the other players in the organization that the Cubs are willing to sacrifice even the most talented players if they fail to adjust to the Cubs system.

yes, it was something passed on to Miles from some source that the Cubs felt Mateo passed Ceda....

spin, spin, spin....

So Phil, you're speculating that Ceda wasn't regarded as a "teachable, team player" by the Cubs and was let go for that reason? Wouldn't be the first time that has happened....Cubs seem to be real sticklers on "our way or the highway" at the minor league level.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Tue, 12/02/2008 - 12:29pm.

So who was the player?

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

JIM H: Marcos Mateo

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Tue, 12/02/2008 - 1:23pm.

So Phil, you're speculating that Ceda wasn't regarded as a "teachable, team player" by the Cubs and was let go for that reason? Wouldn't be the first time that has happened...

Cubs seem to be real sticklers on "our way or the highway" at the minor league level.

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

JIM H: The Cubs are not exactly the "Juilliard School" of Player Development Programs. They seem to have difficulty developing and coaching pitchers where the pitcher had a lot of success doing things his own way prior to joining the Cubs. Some organizations have a de facto "honors program" where they just let already successful pitchers continue doing what it was that got them there, and allow them to develop at their own pace with minimum tinkering, even if the pitcher's release point, arm slot, mechanics, repetoire, et al are unusual or unconventional. But the Cubs aren't like that. There's the Cubs Way and then there's the highway. Some pitchers respond to that approach, while others (especally the prodigy-savants) don't. That's why there is sometimes a disconnect between the scout who signed the pitcher and the coach who is trying to work with him.  

SCOUT: What have you done to my boy!?

COACH: What did you ever see in this kid???   

As for Jose Ceda, he has had some conditioning issues related to his weight (he's 6'4 260-300), and the Cubs may have felt that his occasional shoulder problems and the conditioning issues might have been related. But sometimes you just have to accept people the way they are. Lee Smith wasn't exactly in great shape, either, but he could sure pitch. Ceda throws a 98-100 MPH fastball with a power slider. Arms like that are rare. Sometimes you just have to overlook the other stuff.

What I don't get....

Wood and Hendry are such great pals that Hendry said go get yourself a multi-year deal. But then Hendry is worried that the he'll accept the arbitration offer?

Does not compute...

If they were such good friends, Hendry should have been able to simply ask him to refuse arbitration and explain the situation where the Cubs just want the draft picks.

OR...

Hendry was lying through his powdered-donut lips when he said he was looking out for Wood and his family when they traded for Gregg.

I'm going with option #2.

It's fine if the Cubs can't commit the money right now to the bullpen, it's completely understandable, but don't fucking lie about it.

Kerry should jump to near the top of available closers now with Fuentes and K-rod being offered arbitration.

Someone is lying. I tend to trust Wood more than Hendry.

If you believe Wood then give it a rest. "Wood lauded Hendry for his honesty."

Link>>>Wood credits Cubs GM Hendry's honesty, but says leaving team is 'bittersweet'

in case you don't check your email, I cleaned up some of the right sidebar and broke up the payroll with the Rule 5 eligibles.

Here is the thing with Wood, he gets more excuses made for him by the fans.

I loved his 20 k game, his lightning stuff when he was kid, but it came with a price, arm surgeries.

So we make an excuse of bad luck for him this year because of him hbp were high at the beginning because he was closing for the first time.

Okay, we wait he learns what usually happens next ...he's back on the DL.

I like the kid and wish him well but his arm is not up to it.

I've seen this movie too many times before.

I'm willing to bet he will be on DL for most of next year wherever he pitches.

It's not an 'excuse' it's a fact. When evaluating players it's important to be able to distinguish the difference between a player who was lucky and a player who was not.

It looks like he's turned the corner with his control issues. Have you ever heard of Randy Johnson? What happened with him when he began to throw strikes consistently. I am sure there were plenty of Seattle fans who grew frustrated with him over the years.

The injury problems, obviously there's a chance that he's going to get hurt again. He's pitched for a year and a half now with no arm issues, though. Imagine, however a team signs him to a 3 year, contract with team options, and after 2009 he moves back into a rotation. How smart would that GM look?

I believe I read he was told by the doctor working on him that he should never be a starter again, if that puts more strain on arm then relieving I don't know.

He did have a blister as pointed out that had him miss a month.

His most recent arm injury was tendonitis, which miracuously disapeared. Dr Hecht could probably give us a more informed opinion, but as a layman who has had tendinitis issues I wouldn't necessarily say that pitching once every five days would definetly be better or worse than pitching three days in a row.

Kerry Wood has a torn rotator cuff, which was diagnosed in 2006 (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2514007). He elected not to treat it surgically.

See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/sports/playmagaz.... This is a great article.

Probably 90% of major league pitchers over the age of 30 have torn rotator cuffs.

I'm no doctor, but I would think that it would be more accurate to say that he "had and could still have a torn rotator cuff, which was diagnosed in 2006."

Muscle tears have been known to heal, no? I'm not being entirely sarcastic about this: do rotator cuff tears never heal?

I don't have a big problem with not offering Wood arbitration, but when you look at it together with the Ceda trade, then it becomes a bit of a head scratcher. But if the Cubs passed on Wood because on budget problems, Hendry has only himself to blame as he made this mess with so many backloaded contracts and the Fukudome disaster. If you look at the guaranteed contracts, it is only going to get worse next year. It is looking more to me that Hendry rolled the dice to win it all in 2008 (100 year anniversary, his last contract year at the time, new ownership coming, etc.), too bad it failed as I think we would all of had lived wit it.

"but when you look at it together with the Ceda trade, then it becomes a bit of a head scratcher."

it's not really a head scratcher...it's being motivated by money and a vision for the 09 team construction.

it's not about bad attitudes, power plays, and it probably isn't about injury.

it's about not wanting to pay a reliever 10m dollars because hendry don't wanna do that, evidently.

the 6m or so "saved" in 09 by the addition of gregg rather than wood must be pretty damn important to hendry...so much so the organization feels like they can't risk wood coming back via arb. in order to do what they plan to do next.

it sucks to lose ceda, but the chance of him being an 09 impact or role player seems thin at best.

the future was mortgaged with ceda and kerry wood's cubs future was ended so hendry can do his "09 thing" with his budget...whatever that is.

If Wood really wanted to come back, he could have just told Hendry he would take a 1 year, $3 million deal (and he still could). Hendry surely would have taken that, but as has been pointed out by many on this board, he would have likely commanded about $9 million if he went to arbitration.

Loyalty is a two way street, but it only goes so far. Hendry wasn't going to handicap the payroll by committing $9 million to an above average reliever, and Wood wasn't going to sacrifice one of his last remaining chances to get a big contract by taking a huge hometown discount.

We'll see how this all plays out, but as I mentioned a few weeks ago, Wood leaving Chicago now is probably the best thing that could happen to his legacy in Wrigleyville. He'll be a Cub for life in our eyes, and we won't have to witness the fans turn on him when he eventually blows out his shoulder or just turns in a shitty season. From now on, whenever he pitches in Wrigley he'll get a standing ovation and steaks at Gibson's will show up on his plate without a bill.

It's rare that players don't overstay their welcome, and we get to see Wood leave on a relatively high note.

E-Man,
You gotten anything about season tickets yet? Last year they sent it out at the end of November. You trying for the New Year's Day hockey tickets? How about tickets for the new Yankee Stadium? Living in CT now, I really want to win the lottery for those NYY tickets. How funny would it be to have a Cubs season ticekt holder able to get those tickets and some New Yorkers not...:)

No scalper living in Connecticut should be allowed to hold Cubs season tickets. It's just wrong.

Good thing I am not a scalper than...:)

None of 'em got news yet, Manny. On Levine's Saturday show, he was of the opinion that when the Cubs "add a name player", they will let the new numbers and invoices fly. Please see the "Hendry Chronicles", which has a couple other things in it from Saturday.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081202&c...

Henry Blanco's brother kidnapped and found shot to death...

That is so terrible.

Those poor ball players who love their homes but have to deal with that is just horrendous.

Awful.

Venezuela is a wonderful place to live.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8882368/Sources...

Vazquez for Jo-Jo Reyes and Lillibridge....

for a bonus point, guess the rather obscure relation Reyes has to the Cubs.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8882368/Sources...

no reyes, but done according to rooooooooooosenthall.

...and espn is reporting reyes is involved.

woo...offseason.

the obscure relation?

Cubs signed Type A free agent Mike Remlinger after 2002 from the Braves giving them a supplemental pick and their 2nd round pick (1st round pick was protected).

Braves picked Saltalamacchia with the supplemental pick and Jo-Jo Reyes with the 2nd round pick.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index.cgi?...

Rays willing to trade Jason Bartlett?

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/rays-willing...

I mean, he was possibly the 5th best player in the AL last year

http://www.baseballwriters.org/awards/2008/2008_AL...

From Rotoworld:

"Now that signing Wood doesn't involve losing a draft pick, expect the lists of teams interested in him to expand."

From me:

If the list of teams interested in Kerry Wood expands, isn't the liklihood of him getting a longer/better deal increased?

Is Jim Hendry so fond of Kerry Wood that he would potentially hurt his current employer to help get Wood a better deal? And if this is found to be true, who fires Hendry?

Also in re: Doug Dascenzo...

"If Wood really wanted to come back, he could have just told Hendry he would take a 1 year, $3 million deal (and he still could)."

If this were the case, would the Players Association step in saying there was some weird form of collusion going on that would somehow drive down the potential salaries of pitchers with similar stats/outlooks as Wood's?

Yeah, I wonder about obscure stuff sometimes.

The player's union couldn't step in and do anything, other than to bitch at Kerry.

I think it's pretty obvious Hendry didn't offer arbitration to Wood because he feared he would accept it.

Is Jim Hendry so fond of Kerry Wood that he would potentially hurt his current employer to help get Wood a better deal? And if this is found to be true, who fires Hendry?

Manny?

I wish I could...:)

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