One More Look at Hawks/Wings

TCR reader Jacos survived the cold and wind and a close encounter with Ronnie Woo-Woo to return with some nice shots from the Blackhawks/Red Wings game (including a shocking image of Red Wing players having to pass through a cloud of poison gas on their way to the rink--an allowable "home ice advantage" under NHL rules). Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to jacos for the photos!

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Comments

wow...ronnie's looking old.

the nice annoying bastard...

but anyone else noticing that the rest of the Central doesn't seem to really want to bother with 2009?

Cardinals will probably be better just with Carpenter and Wainwright potentially pitching full seasons and I think Greene was a nice upgrade, even if Ludwick falls back a bit.

Reds may have a real good starting staff, but they had a lot of ground to make up.

and then everyone else is considerably worse as of today...
weird.

STL is supposedly trying to shed an OF'r in trade for a middle-rotation starter...but that was something that had a lot more steam many weeks ago.

MIL has to have money to spend. Wonder if they'll attempt to re-sign sheets...

Thanks for posting.

Some comments on pictures..

Picture 1-

There were placards on our seats which we were directed to hold up at a certain time. When fans found out it spelled Red Wings they immediatley became frisbees. I would have liked to seen it on TV but when I turned on my TIVO recording, my 5 year old daughter manually changed the channel to Disney channel 30 seconds into the recording.

Picture-2

Players coming out to the ice.They were walking right pass home plate which along with the pitcher's mound was uncovered. I was in section 215, 15 rows up from the main aisle. Great seats.

Picture-3

As we head to our seats before the game, Tony Espisito, Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull were being taken to the field. I obivously startled the Golden Jet a bit.

Picture-4

Attention whore Ronnie Woo-Woo. Who's jersey now says OBAMA 08, which I'm sure the president elect is proud of such admiration.

Picture-5

Wrigley Field, 1/1/09. Very surreal and very cool.
Great time.

Here's a video of the national anthem from my seats-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JosSFS8AW58

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=ol...

Buster Olney's Friday morning article "Cubs making offseason mistakes."

What...was he listening in on my conversations this week?

Next on ESPN "Bears need better WR's..pass rush.....QB least of their concerns?"

Wait to see if Carl Crawford or Brian Giles become available?

Really Buster?

If Hendry does nothing this offseason Buster would report "Cubs do nothing to fill glaring holes."

I wonder if Olney is going to write 23 more of those columns, because outside of both New York teams, Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco and Washington no body else has done anything to improve themselves. The recent sheeding of payroll is meant to add Bradley and pitching help. Even absent a move for pitching help really how is a healthy Bradley and a Fontymiles platoon any worse than Derosa & Edmonds, especially when you got 3 young pitchers who given the bad shape of your farm could all be amongst your pre-season top 25 prospects for Derosa?

There were placards on our seats
-------------
I don't remember exactly when they had a grandstand TV shot of the placards but I do recall them spelling out "Happy New Yr" in white background, at one point.

That stuff is more of a football thing but as long as they were not doing the wave I guess it's ok for a national tv audience.

Did they have the blonde bimbo puck shooting contest in the 2-3 period intermission?

I spent the 2nd intermission with about 10,000 other guys trying to use the facilities.

Of course there was one White Sox fan pissing in the sink and when reprimanded by potty trained Cub fans blurted out "we won the world series!"

So if Cubs win this year feel free to urinate where ever you want.

Address glaring needs, sure jacos. 2B was a glaring...wait...no.

I will say this until proven wrong this season;if Milton Bradley doesn't play at least 120 games in RF, putting up numbers comparable to last season, this trade stinks.

Aaron Miles.....wow.

I agree though...Brian Giles...ugh..

Derosa will be missed, but the Cubs needed an impact left handed bat due to Fuku sucking up the place.

And with Lee's power diminishing and your best power hitter batting lead off a change had to be made.

Ok.

When Bradley is out for 50 games next season, who picks up the slack?

Make a trade for Crawford or Giles. :-)

It's a risk I agree, but IMO this team needed to be shaken up because they are snake bit from the last two playoffs.

DeRosa 21 HR 87 RBI
Fuku-Sucko- 10HR 58 RBI

Bradley: 22 HR 77 RBI
Miles 4 HR 31 RBI

Discuss?

Because I don't think the Cubs would sign Miles to a 2 year deal at $2.25, $2.7 per to sit on the bench, would they?

1. Fukudome is still on the team
2. The first pair had a lot more PA's and runners on base when they batted than the second pair
3. Miles is going to be the short side of a platoon at second, and occasionally spell Theriot at Short against righties.
4. Counting on 21 HR's and 87 RBI's in 2009 from DeRosa lies somewhere between unreasonable and delusional on the reality spectrum.

Only Aaron Miles could be the "short" side of a platoon with Mike Fontenot.

But honestly, Font is going to surprise some people by being decent next year. I'd put the over/under at .270 average, .350 OBP, and 12 homeruns. Anyone else have some wild speculation?

sounds about right to me if he manages 450+abs... (.270+/.340+ avg/ob%...10-15 homers). woo...boring! i'll take it.

it seems aaron miles takes the spot that dero was supposed to fill in lou's head...the 2nd/SS/3rd+ replacement who can rest some regulars and still get a nice amounts of ABs. dero just never quit hitting consistently (except for 1 month) the whole time he was here...hard not to play him everyday when he's healthy and doing that.

i can understand if the team breaks with miles as their initial 2nd, but if he's not earning it by may+ then i hope the team adjusts.

http://blogs.nypost.com/sports/st/archives/2009/01...

the Rockies have been trying to obtain Marquis since he was a free agent after the 2006 season. Marquis is among the majors' best hitting pitchers and Rockie officials think that will give him a distinct advantage in the offensive haven that is Coors Field.
But the most interesting element for the New York readership is that the Mets really did have interest in Marquis and - all things being near equal - Cubs GM Jim Hendry was trying to direct a Staten Island kid home. However, the Mets are working methodically this offseason, addressing one shortcoming at a time before moving on to the next item. The reason they are doing this is so that they can calibrate how much money they spent and how much they have left next for the next piece.

....

The Cubs were willing to make Marquis about a $5 million proposition for the Mets by eating some of the $9.875 million he is due in 2009

so are they better off just writing off the $4M they would have had to eat in a Mets transaction (probably a low level Met prospect would have come our way) vs the $4M salary they now are stuck with if they acquire L. Vizcaino?

Hopefully Vizcaino's Cub stay is Omar Infante like (Infante wasn't horrible, Viz is)

I don't think so....seems you think Vizcaino is basically useless, but he's got decent enough stuff to strikeout guys a rate of one an inning. Bullpen guys are pretty volatile that he could certainly be of on the good side of a season next year.

3. Miles is going to be the short side of a platoon at second, and occasionally spell Theriot at Short against righties.
------------
Which implies that they will unload Ronnie Cedeno at some point, no?

I come up with a 13 man positional player list of:
Soto
Bako
Lee
Hoffpaiur
Fontenaught
Miles
Theriot
Ramirez
Sorian
Fukudome
Johnson
Bradley
Gathright

Right? So no room for Pie and Cedeno. No options left on them either so Hendry will try to send them to teams in ST who get injuries. At this point I would imagine most teams will try to wait on the waiver line on them, particuarly on Cedeno because of his service time.

I like Cedeno. I think he's going to blossom given a chance.

"I like Cedeno. I think he's going to blossom given a chance"

I liked him, too. He was given a chance - and was given the starting SS job two years ago. He stunk. Bad base-running. 0 baseball instincts. Strikeout king. Hasn't gotten that much better, imo.

My guess is he'll always be a back-up on a good team. Maybe a starter on one of the worst teams.

Time will tell.

I agree. I have always like Cedeno. He just seemed to be so fucking stupid, though. I'm tired of talented stupid players.

I remember seeing him on his first call up at Wrigley - and I was so excited. I really thought "Finally!" - he is fast - good arm - range..."We finally have a shortstop!" As you say - I'm tired of talented dumbells, too.

The "pullout" at 2nd base against the Mets in 2007
had me sour on him.

No pregnancy, at least.

Ok..if DeRosa had 10 HR 72 RBI as in 2007, he's still better than Miles, platoon or no. I like Mike Fontenot, but will he produce at last year's .305/.395/.514, or more like 2007's .278/.336/.402? How is counting on him to repeat those numbers in another 300 at bats? Is that foolish?

Fukudome is still on the team. Ok..but will he play enough to produce any meaningful stats if the Cubs sign Milton Bradley? Who sits, him or Reed Johnson?

Bradley batted cleanup...should generally get lots of opportunities there with runners on? Might've had more opportunities if he played more than 126 games? Miles batted second the most of any slot in the order.

Miles at SS? Great....

It's probably reasonable to expect the Fontenaught to hit about halfway between his '07 and '08 numbers.

"Who sits, him or Reed Johnson?" Yes, or neither of them if Bradley is hurt.

"Might've had more opportunities if he played more than 126 games?"

Yes, but I have a sneaking suspicion if Bradley is unable to play on a given day, that Piniella will go ahead and replace him in the lineup with another player. Barry Bonds once hit 45 HR's and drove in 90 runs. There's more to RBI's than meets the eye.

"Miles at SS? Great...."

He's not exactly pushing Arod or Ozzie Smith to the bench.

These moves give Lou the ability to run out a lineup consisting of 8 left handed hitters, compared to last year where he could only field 5.

No one's arguing that Miles is better than DeRosa.

So a 12 man pitching staff looks like this?

Z
Dempster
Harden
Lilly
Marshall/(Samardzija?)

Marmol
Gregg
Shark
Gaudin
Vizcaino
Cotts
2nd Lefty - to be acquired?

Inventory:
Hart, Wuertz, Guzman, Patton, Stevens, Ascanio, Atkins, R Hill (?)

Isn't Viscaino a lefty?

Marshall's going to be in there, so if he loses the rotation spot, I would guess Guzman or Weurtz would be the 12th man. Someone is sure to hurt as well. It's impossible for a Cubs team to start the regular season with their projected 12 pitchers.

Right handed pitcher who gets crushed by left handed hitters.

How'd he get that contract?

Dan O'Dowd thinks the secret to late inning relief at Coors is high K/9 numbers. See Hawkins, Latroy and Julio, Jorge, among others.

Seems like he always comes up with one guy a season who ought to do better than they do for their K rate.

That, and his agent must be really good. Some guy named Bean Stringfellow, if that is real name.

Guzman and Wuertz have no options so I imagine they have spots, with Shark going to down to AAA and one of Gaudin or Viscanio traded to clear up payroll.

btw on Vizcaino...

he did have a rather extreme split last year...OPS against

vs lefties: 1.171

vs righites: .529

and 3 year splits

vs lefties: .820

vs righties: .683

but not at all for his career

vs lefties:.769

vs righties:  .719

I'm not sure why that is, even as recent as 2006, he had a reverse split (.817 vs righties, .569 vs lefties), so I'm not sure if it's just a whole lot of small sample size.

Is Miles better than Theriot at SS?

Bradley had a career year last season, and couldn't stay healthy DH'ing most of the time.

Lol...I am willing to bet that LouPa will be playing another player in RF quite a bit in 2009.

I doubt we'll notice much of a difference between Miles and Theriot at short.

If Bradley had a career year last year, what would you call his hitting with SD in 2007?

Bradley is replacing Edmonds on the roster, another guy who couldn't stay in the lineup every day. Somehow the Cubs managed to survive that.

144 ABs is not by any stretch of the imagination a "year" and thus one can still call his 2008 season a career year.

Except that now he's done it for two years in a row. At what point do you accept the the idea that he may have reached a new playing level?

Is Miles better than Theriot at SS?

It doesn't take much defensively to be better than Theriot.

All the DeRo hubub - I really liked him personally, and he was a productive player at a nice "value". But how many think he'll repeat the last two year's numbers again, in 2009?

It just is not likely.

Turnbow signs:

"Turnbow was also targeted by the Marlins and Pirates, but chose Texas in the end because of his relationship with pitching coach Mike Maddux."

And, we know how much Maddux helped him, lol

http://hotstove.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/01/turbo...

or some sort of agreement to defer $12M of his deal.

http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/...

Even up (salaries too) for Reed Johnson?

I think I'd prefer Johnson, at least he knows he's a backup and probably more comfortable playing the other OF positions....

two years of Jones sucking makes it a bad trend rather than an anomaly

my guess is he goes to Washington

 

Jones isn't showing much motivation or improvement in the Dominican Winter league:

He also said he would play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, where he has played five games, hitting .188 with no extra-base hits and eight strikeouts in 16 at-bats. He went home for the holidays, but the club expected him to resume playing in the Dominican Republic next week.

At the time Jones left the club, Colletti was asked if he remembered another player to fall so far so fast. "I can't think of one and I've tried for the last five months," he said.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090101&c...

ex-agent jeff moorad is leaving ARZ D-backs CEO position in preparation to take ownership of SD Padres with an investment group.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9021508/Moorad-...

MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the White Sox and Orioles are talking about a Brian Roberts for Gavin Floyd swap. I'm not sure if I'm pissed that the Cubs might miss out on Brian Roberts or if I'm amused that the White Sox fans are going to be treated to months of a rumor that will never come to pass.

by Roberts for Floyd, McPhail meant Roberts for Floyd, Danks, and 3 more prospects...

Anyone have any insight into the firing of K-Fu's translator? Will a new translator have any impact? How does one say "take a seat" in Japanese? (Just kidding, I hope he has a great year, getting off the bus running...no, uhm, that's been used...)

He kept translating the English phrase "Take a few pitches," into the Japanese phrase "Take wild swings that screw you halfway into the ground."

It's amazing what a subtle change in inflection will do.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/...

But as far as the Nats go, there are bigger problems.

It seems like Bradley has a fairly firm but not-yet-formalized deal in place with the Chicago Cubs. One source in Chicago I spoke to today thinks it's just a matter of time before Bradley puts on the C -- especially because Chicago just dumped some salaries to clear space for the 30-year-old free agent.

this is pure wild-ass speculation, but i can't imagine the cubs would put up with too much of bradley or his agent jerking them around after all they've done recently shuffling the team's talent around.

Andruw Jones deal approved by the MLB Players Assn...Hello Manny!

Boras needed to get this Jones deal done. Boras, by getting Texeira his big contract had eliminated the real remaining suitor (Yankees) for ManRam. Thus Although Boras pimped the Dodgers with the Jones contract last year (remember Coletti likes expensive but shorter contracts of 2-3 yrs max opposed to 5 yr or longer deals, ie. Furcal, Schmidt) he needed to creatively change how the Dodgers were screwed so that it's now a long slow shafting instead of a completely useless player getting high end money for one year, but this will now accomodate Ramirez to get a 2-3 year deal. The saga never ends, it just overlaps.
------------------------

http://hotstove.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/01/dodge...

Andruw Jones and the Dodgers have reached an agreement to defer much of his remaining salary while virtually assuring he will not be with the club in 2009. Jones will either be traded or released before the start of Spring Training and perhaps sometime this month, according to an industry source.

The agreement will allow Jones a fresh start elsewhere after a nightmare of a first season and provide the Dodgers with additional payroll flexibility that could be used to re-sign free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez.

The Major League Baseball Players Association approved the unusual agreement because Jones will receive his entire salary, as well as the possible benefit of free agency should he be released.

just looking at the Jacos' pics a bit closer...

I wonder why nobody was paying attention to Mark DeRosa standing behind Bobby Hull's left shoulder

I was waiting for someone else to notice that too.

taking Alabama at a 34 pt confidence level in your office college bowl pool when you were in your first place...

f me....

Well Andre Smith made alot of money tonight as a pretty good Alambama o-line through out the season look down right horrible tonight without him. I am still preplexed that Saban (not known as rules enforcer) suspended him the entire game for talking to an agent, which is something that most if not all quality underclassmen do anyways. Saban himself got the Alambama inpart due to unethically talking to school officals during his last year with the Dolphins, while denying it until he resigned the Dolphins job. I am guessing the agent bought him a car and was dumb enough to show it off before the game. The Lions who havent been able to keep their QBs from getting sacked consistently for about 3 years would be wise to take him number 1.

wondering out loud, but can the Cubs just cut Cedeno even though they offered him arbitration?

I can't see why not, but unless there's an injury in spring training, there's just no room for him on the team. I guess they can still option Theriot and Fontenot but that's bloody unlikely. I suppose they'll just try and pull another Freddy Bynum trade.

At least with Pie, cutting Gathright and his $800K wouldn't really hurt much if Pie has a strong camp.

so assuming this Bradley thing happens, care to guess Lou's lineup?

I'll go Soriano, theriot, lee, bradley, ramirez, Fontenot, Soto, Fukudome possibly switching lee and ramirez in the 3 and 5 spots.

what I'd like to see is
soriano, Lee, Bradley, Ramirez, Soto, Fontenot, Theriot, Fukudome

and if Fukudome can get in the 280-300 BA range and 360-380 OBP range, then put him in the 2 spot and maybe something like
Soriano, Fukudome, Ramirez, Bradley, Lee, Soto, Fontenot, Theriot

vs lefties, I'm guessing Lou goes

Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Bradley, Ramirez, Soto, Johnson, Miles

while I'd probably go
Soriano, Lee, Bradley, Ramirez, Soto, Johnson, Theriot, Miles

I don't know what your theory is, but mine is that One and Two are speed guys, Four through Seven are sluggers, and Three is a combination of speed and power.

Since Lee is a fading slugger who is the slowest guy in the lineup outside of Soto, he should be somewhere near the bottom of the order, not a Two or a Three.

Following my own logic, I would bat Soriano third.

I won't tell you who I would bat leadoff, but you can probably guess.

Dusty, is that you?

Leadoff: good OBP guy with excellent baserunning skills
2nd: able to take a pitch (to let leadoff guy steal), hit behind the runner, good baserunner, doubles power
3rd: Your best hitter. Period.
4th, 5th, 6th: power guys
7th: occasional power
8th: has to have good eye, since he won't see anything hittable with the pitcher behind him

SO:
1: Fuku, making a HUGE assumption that he can hit at least 280/380 OBP
2: Fontenot
3: Bradley
4: Ramirez
5: Soriano
6: Lee
7: Soto
8: Theriot

Your lineup is

L
L
S
R
R
R
R
R
P

Not gonna happen.

Since Lee is a fading slugger who is the slowest guy in the lineup
outside of Soto, he should be somewhere near the bottom of the order,
not a Two or a Three.

Aramis Ramirez appreciates that you've noticed his blazing speed..he also wonders what you're smoking.

I'm smoking my old Derrek Lee jersey, along with with crumpled up newspaper clippings that describe Lee as a five-tool player. (How did they know how strong Lee's arm was?)

Ramirez is a more aggressive runner than Lee. I did baserunning stats that put Ramirez in the middle of the pack on the Cubs, with Lee below Edmonds and above Soto. The stat that hurt Lee the most was 6 for 30 going from first to third on a single. Ramirez was 6 for 19 in the same category.

Could have more to do with Ramirez hitting behind Lee (singles going to LF) and Edmonds/Fuk hitting behind Rammy (singles going to RF) than the aggressiveness of their baserunning.

Had you done them correctly, you would have found AramRam was the slightly inferior baserunner.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sorta...

Love your Lee in the 2 hole idea. Here's a guy, that despite his perceived struggles, still hasn't had an OBP under 355 as a Cub. I'd ideally move Fonzie down, but I think we all tend to agree that just ain't going to happen. I guess I completely agree with your second 9, there.

If I had my druthers, (YES I SAID DRUTHERS. SO WHAT? YOU WANNA FIGHT ABOUT IT?) I'd write Theriot Lee Bradley Ramirez Soriano Soto Fontenot Fukudome. But, that all hinges on Theriot getting on base at a 2008-esque clip. If Theriot struggles, I'd have no problem putting Fontenot at the top if he can continue to hit. If neither of them do, we're probably not going to get far anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

Love your Lee in the 2 hole idea.

Chad?

Oh I get it. Innuendo. Clever.

Oh I get it. Innuendo. Childish.

/fixed.

RYAN DEMPSTER, for one, thinks MILTON BRADLEY would make a fine team mate.

Latest interview with Dempster, with insights into how JIM HENDRY operates, here

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20N...

Submitted by Chifan on Sat, 01/03/2009 - 12:31am.

Guzman and Wuertz have no options so I imagine they have spots, with Shark going to down to AAA and one of Gaudin or Viscanio traded to clear up payroll.

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

CHIFAN: With Michael Wuertz likely to get about $1.2M in arbitration and Ronny Cedeno likely to get around $800K, I would think Hendry will try very hard to trade both of them to free-up $2M in payroll. He could free-up another $3.5M by flipping Luis Vizacaino once the Cubs get him (presuming the Marquis deal is done but just hasn't been announced), and $5.5M is halfway to Jake Peavy's $11M 2009 salary.

If Wuertz & Vizcaino were to get moved, I would expect the Cubs to probably go with Zambrano-Dempster-Lilly-Harden-Marshall/R.Hill in the starting rotation, with Marmol-Gregg-Gaudin-Cotts-Guzman-Marshall/R. Hill-Samardzija/Hart/Ascanio/Stevens/Wells in the pen.

Of course the pitching staff slots would change if the Cubs acquire Peavy.

Submitted by Rob G. on Fri, 01/02/2009 - 8:52pm.

btw on Vizcaino... he did have a rather extreme split last year...OPS against vs lefties: 1.171 vs righites: .529 and 3 year splits vs lefties: .820 vs righties: .683 but not at all for his career vs lefties:.769 vs righties: .719 I'm not sure why that is, even as recent as 2006, he had a reverse split (.817 vs righties, .569 vs lefties), so I'm not sure if it's just a whole lot of small sample size.

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

ROB G: The type of splits Vizcaino suddenly started to put up last year would usually indicate the pitcher lowered his arm slot to sidearm, making him essentially a ROOGY (death on right-handed hitters, but dead-meat against lefties). Vizcaino has had shoulder problems off-and-on going back at least to September 2007, so that would be a reason for him to lower his arm slot.

Submitted by Rob G. on Sat, 01/03/2009 - 1:10am.

wondering out loud, but can the Cubs just cut Cedeno even though they offered him arbitration? I can't see why not, but unless there's an injury in spring training, there's just no room for him on the team. I guess they can still option Theriot and Fontenot but that's bloody unlikely. I suppose they'll just try and pull another Freddy Bynum trade. At least with Pie, cutting Gathright and his $800K wouldn't really hurt much if Pie has a strong camp.

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

ROB G: The Cubs can trade or release Ronny Cedeno at any time. They can't outright him to the minors, though, not just because he can refuse the assignment and become a FA (he has three years of MLB Service Time so he can refuse an outright assignmentm to the minors), but because even if he were willing to accept the assignment, Cedeno is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league, and so he can't be outrighted after the fourth day following the conclusion of the World Series until he signs a Major League contract for the following season.

But the Cubs haven't offered salary arbitration to anybody, and they probably won't. The only players who are actually offered arbitration by the club are Article XX Type "A" or Type "B" MLB free-agents (on 12/1).

The Cubs did tender contracts to Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Gregg, and Michael Wuertz (as well as to the 20+ auto-renewal guys) on 12/12, though, and if Cedeno, Gregg, and/or Wuertz don't sign by Sunday (tomorrow), either the player or the club have ten days (1/5 - 1/15) to request salary arbitration, and a hearing is then scheduled by the three-person arbitration panel for some time during the first three weeks of February.

Once salary arbitration is requested, the player and the club can continue to negotiate, making offers and counter-offers. But prior to the hearing, the player and the club each must submit a final salary figure to the arbitration panel for consideration (and the player and the club can present their "supporting evidence" at this time), and then the panel chooses one or the other. No matter whether the player or the club is victorious at the hearing, the contract is for one-year (non-guaranteed) with no minor league split.

A non-guaranteed contract means if a player is released anytime up until 15 days before Opening Day, the club owes the player 30 days termination pay (1/6 of his salary). If a player with a non-guaranteed contract is released during the last 15 days of Spring Training, the player is owed 45 days termination pay (1/4 of his salary). If a player signed to a non-giaranteed contract is released anytime during the regular season (starting on Opening Day), the player gets 100% of his salary as termination pay. (Players signed to minor league contracts get two weeks termination pay no matter when they are released).

After arbitration has been requested, the player or the player & club (mutually) have the right to withdraw anytime up until the arbitration hearing, even if it's 30 seconds before the hearing. If a contract is awarded by the arbitration panel, the player receives a standard non-guaranteed Major League contract (no minor league split and no performance bonuses), and if he is released anytime during Spring Training, he gets only 30 days or 45 days termination pay. However, salary arbitration is a very sensitive issue with the MLBPA, and so if a player who gets a contract via the arbitration process gets released during Spring Training, where the player has not been clearly out-performed on the field by other players competing for his roster spot (as measured by Spring Traoining game stats), the player can (and will) file a grievance if he gets released prior to Opening Day, requesting his full season salary as termination pay.

For instance, Todd Walker (a Type "A" FA who accepted the Padres offer of salary arbitration on 12/1/06) won $3.9M+ in arbitration in February 2007, but was released by the Padres just prior to Opening Day 2007 and got 45 days termination pay ($900K+). Walker filed a grievance, but (fortunately for the Padres) he lost because he actually was outperformed (statistically) in Spring Training games by Marcus Giles and Geoff Blum, so there was no room on the 25-man roster for him.

But it's that possibility--that a player a club really doesn't want gets a contract through the arbitration process and then has a great Spring Training--that motivates clubs to not offer arbitration to Type "A" and/or Type "B free-agents on 12/1 and to non-tender arbitration-eligible guys on 12/12.

As for Ronny Cedeno, even though he isn't likely to get more than $1M in arbtration (probably more like $800K), I would bet he will get traded prior to Opening Day, probably sooner rather than later.

Aaron Miles at SS:107 games, .958 fielding pct, 18 errors, 3.88 RFg 3.88, lgRFg 3.99.

Theriot last season: .975 pct, 14 errors, RFg 3.68, LgRFg:3.95
Theriot has less range, which is easy to believe, but is more sure to make the play.

Coat Aaron Miles any way you want. He was non-tendered by the Cardinals, even after hitting a career high .317.
Couldn't they have just had Fontenot starting against RHP and some LHP, and then used Cedeno or some minor leaguer to fill in for 30 games or so rather than dropping a couple mill a year on a player with one strength, hitting for average?

Milton Bradley for $8 million sure...his new era of amazing hitting would be good to have for 90 games or so.
The 3 year-$10 million per being floated around would be a waste of money.

Infielders find they make fewer errors when playing with Derrek Lee, but unless Theriot starts switch hitting.... what's your point?

fwiw...aaron miles 2005 isnt 2008...nor 2006, nor 2007...

no spreadsheet on the planet that i know of will show you his improved footwork he displayed last year.

he doesn't have a leaky glove...he has issues being able to do everything afterward. he's got a decent arm, though not wonderful.

long story short...he became a better fielder last year and you're gonna need to watch it to see it.

Anyone hear Levine's radio show this morning on ESPN?

Yep. I heard the first 10 minutes - all I need for a good summary.

Marquis deal should be finalized this w.e. or Monday. Discussed DeRo being traded at length - Cubs really want to stay at the $140MM payroll mark, DeRo really was the most valuable commodity and brought the most in the way of decent prospects. Really a business move. Payroll is now freed up to acquire Bradley which is probably happening for $8-$9MM/3. The "Roberts for G.Floyd deal" is a "load of crap" - he has heard from his sources on this. Finally, BRUUUCE, believes that Hendry indeed will make another run at Peavy with the new inventory and other pieces.

I have just saved you three hours out of your life that you never could have gotten back. :)

He was non-tendered by the Cardinals, even after hitting a career high .317.

Not to make Miles out to be more than he is, but decent players get non-tendered every winter because of financial concerns. If the Cardinals had offered him arbitration, Miles could have wound up making even more than the Cubs are going to pay him, and that might have been too steep for their budget.

cards thinking about it...

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/columnists...

that would be a serious hit to their 2009 chances...

E-man's summary is excellent because it's concise, but I listened to a recording of the Levine show and had this detail to add...The Cubs section was the first 20 minutes followed by an interview with Oneri Fleita.

the Bruce Levine talking baseball show also had Chet Coppock. The good news is Chet only asked one question. The bad news is it was 3 hours long on a 2 hour show.

also some additional detail:

--BL discussing the DeRosa trade:

Premise: Cubs locked into $140M payroll (for 40 man roster)

at $140M before DeRosa, Marquis trades...saves $11M. (Marquis trade will be announced Monday or Tuesday)
$2.5M for Miles
$8-9M for Bradley (my take: implying year 1), not so sure it implied $8-9 per yr x 3 yrs
DLee has no trade, can't trade ARam, Fuku, Soriano...locked into your Pitchers.
...this left DeRosa as the tradable player, age 34 on last year of his contract. The only way to get more left handed was to move DeRosa. Not the most ideal situation, as at times he was the most valuable and flexible player on the team. This deal gets the team (organization?) younger, more left handed and gets players to help go after Jake Peavy one more time in January (also inplying the salary unloading factor plus young pitching aquisition).

--Chet Coppock over-unders Bradley and Fukudome at bats. BL expects 400-500 AB's for Fukudome in a platoon with Reed Johnson, late in games expect Gathright will be late inning defensive replacement with Fukudome moving to RF. Fukudome won't be coming out of games that much because of his defensive skills.

--Hendry giving LouPa a roster with the possibility of 4 starting Lefty bats in a game. (implying Miles, Fonty, Bradley, Fukudome)

--Hendry is going after a #1 pitcher and that's why Jake Peavy is back on the radar.

Caller Question: Aaron Miles, What kind of defensive player is he? Can he fill in SS and can he hit from both sides of the plate?.
--Miles is not an everyday SS but he's sure handed, decent arm, not a great arm, not alot of range, can't go in the hole at SS, not an everyday SS but good for 15-20 games at SS. Similar to Theriot defensively. He can hit lefty, a .300 hitter who has come a long way. The lefty element will of that switch hitting will be a key. The Cubs didn't have a lefty infielder last year (BL temporarily forgets about Fontenot? but he talks about him shortly).

--Not sure that Cedeno, Pie will be on the team, both are out of options. Both will be involved in trade talks in the next 2-3 weeks. Not surprising if they both get moved.

--The development of Pie is a disappointment in the Cubs organization. The hitting part has not worked out at the major league level. (they get to interview Oneri Fleta shortly asking him about Pie as well). Discussed a comparison with regard to Corey Patterson, as a touted prospect from the farm system, as busts although CPat got more major league time until it was clear he was a failure.

Caller Question: How does DeRosa's departure affect Fontenot?
--I see more at bats for Fontenot now that DeRosa isn't here. He showed the capacity to hit well and in the clutch last year. Fontenot will platoon with Miles and backup Theriot at SS at times. Miles will also play at SS so both Fonty/Miles gives LouPa lefty flexibility at SS as well as 2B.

I strongly suggest that they don't start The Fontenaught at short in games where Zambrano is pitching.

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