The Baseball Draft: Trades, Plays and General Managers

Part 1 Trivia Question: Which drafted Cubs player, through a series of trades, eventually landed the Cubs, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg? The Cubs have had 10 general managers since 1965 starting with John Holland and ending with our current leader of operations, Jim Hendry. As you'll see, their focus on the draft and ability to evaluate, develop and exchange those drafted players into major league parts will help us evaluate their mark on this Cubs franchise. This wouldn't be one of my pieces if we didn't have a list: GMís since 1965: John Holland 1957-1975 E.R. Saltwell 1976 Bob Kennedy 1977 to May 1981 Herman Franks May 1981 to October 1981 Dallas Green October 1981 to October 1987 Jim Frey Novemebr 1987 to October 1991 Larry Himes November 1991 to October 1994 Ed Lynch October 1994 to July 200 Andy McPhail July 2000 to July 2002 Jim Hendry July 2002 to the Present Of course general managers rely on many others when draft day comes including scouts and the minor league director, but since it's their responsibility to hire them in the first place, I ultimately hold them responsible. So how did our general managers use the farm system and in particularly the draft to ultimately make the big league club better? Probably one of the first big trades involving drafted Cubs players occurred in 1969. The Cubs drafted knuckleballer Joe Niekro in the third round of the secondary phase of the 1966 June draft. When Niekro first came up, he did not primarily use his knuckleball and truly enjoyed only one moderately successful season with the Cubs in 1967. The Cubs gave up on him in 1969, shipping him, Gary Ross (a 1967 phase 4 first round pick), and Frankie Libran to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Dick Selma. Selma was a rather respectable player for the Mets before being selected by the Padres in the 1968 expansion draft. His time with the Cubbies was short as he was traded with Oscar Gamble (1968, 16th round pick) to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder Johnny Callison. Callison earned 22 win shares as a Cubbie in 2 seasons before he was shipped to the New York Yankees for pitcher Jack Aker. Aker earned about 13 win shares in two seasons as a Cub before signing with the Atlanta Braves in 1974, thus ending the trail of players. So if we compare the players lost and gained, we get the following, thanks to the beauty of Win Shares.
PLAYERS GIVEN UP WS AFTER LEAVING CUBS PLAYERS RECEIVED WS AS CUB
Joe Niekro 173 Dick Selma 11
Dick Selma 11 Jim Callison 19
Oscar Gamble 176 Jim Aker 13
Jim Callison 9    
Gary Ross 28    
Frankie Libran      
TOTALS 409   43
So you can see that went well. I'm sure there was some good reasoning behind all the trades, but it's also pretty apparent that the Cubs gave away some good talent without much in return. GM John Holland had a few more tricks up his sleeve, including trades of SS Roger Metzger (80 career win shares) to the Astros for infielder Hector Torres (1 Cub Win Share). Torres then got traded to the Montreal Expos with first basemen Hal Breeden for pitcher Dan McGinn (0 Cubs Win Shares). As AZ Phil pointed out in the comments, the deal though was considered payback for a previous deal between the Cubs and Astros where Joe Pepitone was sent to the Cubs for cash considerations. It wasn't all bad for Holland and I really shouldn't pick on him as he actually did make some rather ingenious moves as well, including selecting and then trading away the answer to the trivia question. Before the draft was instituted he signed Ron Santo as an amateur free agent and during his tenure he selected players like, Dennis Lamp, Rick Reuschel, Mike Krukow, Donnie Moore, Ray Burris and I believe Lee Smith (not exactly sure when his tenure ended but I believe he made it through the 1975 season meaning he was responsible for that draft). He also made an exceptional trade in 1971 of shipping off Brock Davis, Jim Colborn and Earl Stephenson (3rd round, 1967 draft) to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Jose Cardenal (98 Cubs Win Shares). I'm going to skip over a few years and now pick on a truly awful general manager, Jim Frey. His tenure lasted 4 years from Oct. 1987 to Oct. 1991, where the team did win one division title and had a .501 winning percentage during that time. His drafts though were some of the worst in Cubs history, 3 of them landing in the top 5 in futility. I discussed the 1990 draft yesterday, but he was also responsible for the 1988 draft (the Ty Griffin year), where Kevin Roberson was the only player to ever gain a Cubbie win share, actually he managed 3 in his brief career. In 1989, the Cubs selected Earl Cunningham with the first pick and the only major league players to ever contribute were Gary Scott (1 Cubbie Win Share) and Dave Swartzbaugh (1 Cubbie Win Share). He did redeem himself in 1991, selecting Doug Glanville, Terry Adams, Ozzie Timmons, Steve Trachsel and Robin Jennings in that draft. As I mentioned, drafting players and then trading them away for more established talent can be just as valuable. So maybe Frey was adept at talking other GM's into taking the Cubs prized prospects and getting some true superstars. Here's a rundown of the trades in the Jim Frey era involving drafted Cubs players. Traded Lee Smith(2nd round/1975) to the Boston Red Sox for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi Traded Dave Martinez(3rd round/1983) to the Montreal Expos for Mitch Webster Traded Rafael Palmeiro(1st round/1985), Jamie Moyer(6th round/1984), Drew Hall(1st round/1984) to the Texas Rangers for Mitch Williams, Paul Kilgus, Steve Wilson, Curtis Wilkerson and 2 minor leaguers Traded Kelly Mann(20th round/1985) and Pat Gomez(4th round/1986) to the Atlanta Braves for Paul Assenmacher Traded Calvin Schiraldi, Darrin Jackson(2nd round/1981), and Phil Stephenson to the San Diego Padres for Marvell Wynne and Luis Salazar Traded Greg Smith(2nd round/1985) to the L.A. Dodgers and received Jose Vizcaino There are a few trades I'm missing but you get the point. I could go through and accumulate the win shares differentials for each trade but why bother. Palmeiro and Moyer went on to have very good major league careers. Lee Smith is the career saves leader and Dave Martinez had a respectable career as well. While some of the players we received helped us win the 1989 division title, talk about mortgaging the future for a quick fix. No, I think Jim Frey won in spite of himself and most of the teams success through those years can be attributed to his predecessor Dallas Green, a man who appreciated the draft and it's value to the big league club. Dallas Green took over as Cubs general manager in October of 1981 for a team that had just finished 38-65 in the strike shortened season. The major league teams during his tenure only managed a .478 winning percentage, but 1984 was one of the most magical years in Cubs history. Green also, because of the draft, set up the team for future success, most of which Frey screwed up. Here are the trades during the Green era involving drafted Cubs players Traded Mike Krukow(8th round/1973) to the Philadelphia Phillies for Keith Moreland, Dan Larson and Dickie Noles Traded Jim Tracy(4th round/1977) to the Houston Astros for Gary Woods Traded Vance Lovelace(1st round/1981) to the LA Dodgers for Ron Cey Traded Scott Fletcher(1st round/1979), Pat Tabler, Randy Martz(1st round/1977) and Dick Tidrow to the Chicago White Sox for Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar Traded Carmelo Martinez, Craig Lefferts(9th round/1980) and Fritzie Connally to the San Diego Padres in part of a 3 team trade where they received Scott Sanderson from the Montreal Expos Traded Bill Campbell and Mike Diaz(30th round/1978) to the Philadelphia Phillies for Gary Matthews, Bob Dernier and Porfi Altamirano Traded Mel Hall(2nd round/1978), Joe Carter(1st round/1981) and Don Schulze(1st round/1980) to the Cleveland Indians for Rick Sutcliffe, George Frazier and Ron Hassey Traded Billy Hatcher(6th round/1981) and Steve Engel to the Houston Astros for Jerry Mumphrey Players drafted under the Dallas Green era: Shawon Dunston Gary Varsho Damon Berryhill Drew Hall Greg Maddux Jeff Pico Jamie Moyer Dwight Smith Rafael Palmeiro Mark Grace Rick Wrona Kelly Mann Doug Dascenzo Greg Smith Shawn Boskie Derrick May Jerome Walton Joe Girardi Jim Bullinger Rick Wilkins Mike Harkey Alex Arias Frank Castillo So other then Joe Carter, Green gave up nothing remarkable in talent and even with Carter, he did get a Cy Young winner in return. That's good trading in my opinion. Not only that, but his drafts consisted of a Hall of Famer, a borderline Hall of Famer, a Rookie of the Year, and a couple of All-Stars. I get a sense that he knew what he was doing. Not only did he compile a good portion of the 1984 team, he was largely responsible for the 1989 team as well. Green's biggest trade and the one that will forever go down in Cubs folklore is of course sending SS Ivan DeJesus to the Philadelphia Phillies for SS Larry Bowa and throw-in 3B Ryne Sandberg. As I mentioned, Rick Monday had something to do with all this, so it's time to play six degrees of separation. Here's how it works...In 1977, Ivan DeJesus was traded to the Cubs with Bill Buckner and a minor leaguer from the LA Dodgers for the first player ever selected in the amateur draft, Rick Monday and pitcher Mike Garman. How did we get Rick Monday? Well that would be the answer to our trivia question. We traded the 4th round pick from the 1965 draft, pitcher Ken Holtzman, to the Oakland A's in November of 1971 and received the patriot in return. So a few trades, a bit of convincing and in the end, a respectable pitcher landed us a Hall of Fame second basemen. And the good news for Cubs fans now is that Jim Hendry is doing much of the same, drafting well and using that talent to make the big league club even better. He's been with the Cubs in some capacity since 1994 and most of those years were as scouting director. He's partially responsible for drafting the likes of Mark Prior, Corey Patterson, Kerry Wood, Dontrelle Willis, Jon Leicester, Jason Dubois and a bunch of other talented youngsters. He's made some shrewd trades giving up, only as much as he had to, and receiving quality major leaguers who have made a tremendous impact on the club. The Ramirez/Lofton deal with the Pirates for Bobby Hill, Matt Bruback and Jose Hernandez was an absolute steal for the Cubs and even the Garciaparra trade, despite his injuries could turn out for the better as Matt Murton is tearing it up in the minors. And finally my list for the 5 worst Cubs trades ever involving drafted players: 1) Rafael Palmeiro(1st round/1985), Jamie Moyer(6th round/1984), Drew Hall(1st round/1984) to the Texas Rangers for Mitch Williams, Steve Wilson, Paul Kilgus, Curtis Wilkerson and 2 minor leauguers 2) Lee Smith(2nd round/1975) for Calvin Schiraldi and Al Nipper 4) Oscar Gamble(16th round/1968), Dick Selma for Johnny Callison 4) Joe Niekro(3rd round/1966), Gary Ross(1st round/1967), Frankie Libran for Dick Selma 5th) Jon Garland(1st round/1997) for Matt Karchner I don't think I have to explain my reasons for disliking any of those trades. I know, hindsight is 20/20 and all and the context of some of those trades elude me, but in the end, the Cubs traded away good talent for little or no talent. I'm not a big fan of Garland and think he's living on borrowed time this year, but it will always be a stupid trade cause you don't trade a 19 year old first round pick for a middle reliever...EVER! Many of you probably want to put the Matt Clement/Antonio Alfonseca trade with the Marlins that cost us Dontrelle Willis, but I thought it was a good trade then and I think it's still a good trade. The Cubs are just paying the price of success. Willis was an eight round pick in the 2000 draft and enjoyed two moderately successful seasons in the Cubs minor league system before the trade. His career contribution to whatever teams he ends up playing for, will far outweigh that of Clement's and Alfonseca's to the Cubs. Clement though was a very useful pitcher while with the Cubs and the only regret the Cubs should have is not being able to turn him into more players at last year's trade deadline. That of course though would have been impossible, considering we were still fighting for a playoff spot and our starting staff was battling a number of injuries. The Cubs were forced to cut ties with him this off-season, mostly for financial reasons and the team's success ultimately proved to be it's downfall in that particular situation. Like the Joe Carter for Sutcliffe deal, you occasionally have to give up good players to get good players and I think the Clement deal was just another example. Next I'll end my look back at the baseball draft by looking at the Woulda', Shoulda', Coulda' Been Cubs.
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Comments

Did you guys see Rich Hill's line at AAA Iowa last night? 6 2/3 IP, 3H, 13 or 14K. WOW!

How about Bruce Sutter for Ken Reitz and Leon Durham? Reitz fell apart and was out of baseball a year later. Durham couldn't stay healthy and was eventually traded to LA for lhp Pat Perry....Talking great closers, Willie Hernandez was traded to the Phils for Dick Ruthven. At the time, that actually seemed like a good trade.

Mike W, indeed! I wrote yesterday that "not one of the three [Pinto, Nolasco, Hill] has a successful inning at Triple-A under their belt". That obviously changed last night when Rich Hill made his debut at the level (against the best offensive team in the PCL no less)..

6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 14 K, 5.40 ERA (4 ER)

Holy Cow! The last Cub to make his Iowa debut and strikeout double-digits was Mark Prior. Hill fell just short of the Iowa franchise record of 16 held by Vida Blue! Now that's some esteemed company!

Hill has never had any trouble striking a lot of people out though. What he did have trouble doing was striking a lot of people out while not walking just about everyone he didn't strike out. And there you have that. Just two walks (one on a 3-2 count, the other a four-pitch lead-off walk in the sixth), and I think that's the best thing about last night's performance. He was according to someone that was at the game absolutely dealing, really attacking hitters and getting ahead in counts, and keeping them clueless at to whether they could expect the big hook or the heater (as many strikeouts were on the fastball as the curve).

After that lead-off walk in the sixth he allowed a very hit hard hit double off the wall (2nd, 3rd, no outs). He got a popout, but an RBI groundout to second followed, and the next batter absolutely crushed a fastball to deep, deep left, and that's the only real blackmark on his night. He left with two outs and a runner on first in the seventh, and an incompetent bullpen allowed the inherited runner to score.

Here's Hill's last nine starts (eight at West Tenn)...

55 IP, 32 H, 5 HR, 17 BB, 95 K, 2.13 ERA

That deserves a wolf whistle.

Let me put it this way, Rich Hill is going to be in Chicago before too long. After last night, my feeling on him goes from "impressed but sceptical" to "flat out impressed".

Don't look now, but the Cubs are 6 games back in the loss column from STL and only 1 game back in the loss column for the WC.

All this without Wood, Prior, Garciaparra and no closer or Walker until the past week.

I think the death of the Cubs was a bit premature again this year.

What-ifs in trades are interesting to look at. Like the fact that if the Cubs hadn't traded Andre Thornton after a rookie year with an OBP over .400 for Steve Renko and Larry Biittner, they wouldn't have had to get Bill Buckner or Leon Durham. I know Durham played the outfield when he first came over but it was understood he would play first at some point.

Rob--
"Even the Garciaparra trade, despite his injuries, could turn out for the better as Matt Murton is tearing it up in the minors."

At this stage I'd rather have Brendan Harris than Matt Murton (and that's of course not to mention the currenly injured high very upside pitchers). Murton projects to hit for average in the majors, but I think he's going to have a tough time putting enough power and patience on top of that to justify a corner outfield spot. Harris meanwhile is major-league ready and plays third base, which we could kind of use right now. After all, the guy starting there last night was called Enrique Wilson. I think the Cubs will lose out then if Nomar doesn't play another game for the Cubs. Would I make the same trade again tomorrow though? Yes, absolutely.

Speaking of Nomar, Dusty Baker's hoping he'll be back by the All-Star Break, but he said "it's just my hope, that's all". Nomar's currently rehabbing in Mesa, Az and will join up with the Cubs in San Diego today and tomorrow to be better assessed by the big league team.

Baker's also talking about the All-Star Break in the same sentence as Prior. Man, I hope it's not that long. Screw you, Brad Hawpe, screw you.

I suppose I should clarify. Although Murton is tearing the snot out of the ball, I don't believe he has the power to be a very useful corner outfielder in the bigs. On the other hand, show another GM a .400 average and you may be able to land some real talent in a trade. Considering everyone we gave up in that deal is currently injured other then Harris, it looks like it's working out our way no matter if Garciaparra plays another day.

Prior was just happy his career wasn't over. He's not rushing anything. I think the ASG is about the time we'll see him.

How about Bruce Sutter for Ken Reitz and Leon Durham? Reitz fell apart and was out of baseball a year later. Durham couldn't stay healthy and was eventually traded to LA for lhp Pat Perry....Talking great closers, Willie Hernandez was traded to the Phils for Dick Ruthven. At the time, that actually seemed like a good trade.

Both Sutter and Hernandez were signed as minor league free agents and my focus was the draft, so I excluded those deals. But interesting deals nonetheless

great info! where did you get all of that win share information? is there a public domain for that sort of stuff?

Rob--
"Although Murton is tearing the snot out of the ball, I don't believe he has the power to be a very useful corner outfielder in the bigs. On the other hand, show another GM a .400 average and you may be able to land some real talent in a trade."

Hopefully the others GMs are even more short-sighted than you give them credit for being! ;-)

Another great article, but I have one minor disagreement.

I think the Lee Smith trade was even worse than the Palmero/Moyer deal, for two reasons. First, at least the Cubs got something resembling useful. While Mitch Williams sucked, he was good enough to be the Cubs closer on a division winning team.

But more importantly, it was the Lee trade that led to the Palmero/Moyer trade. The Cubs acquired the Wild Thing to be a closer, something they wouldn't have needed to do if they wouldn't have given up one of the games best closers ever for a pair of craptacular pitchers.

Anyone interested in going to the Cubs game next Tuesday, June 7 vs. Toronto Blue Jays??

I have my seasons (2 tickets, Sect 233, Row 10, aisle seats) still for that game. I am going the night before and will not be going back-to-back nights.

All I am looking for the tickets is face value ($44 total).

I would rather a true Cubs fan have them, so that is why I am opening it up to you guys. Anyone interested, just post here or email me (my email adress is real).

Thanks!!

Oh yeah, there is one catch. You have to wear an "In Dusty We Trusty" t-shirt...sorry. Just Joking!!

I think the Clement trade was worth it because we would not have won the 2003 division title without him, I'm sure he was worth at least one game over whoever else we would have pitched in his place (including Willis that year), and one game in the standings was good for a playoff spot.

Rob G: Mike Krukow was traded to the Phillies for Keith Moreland (and others), not to the Giants.

Also, the Eric Hinske-Miguel Cairo deal also involved the Cubs getting the unrestricted rights to Scott Chiasson (selected by the Cubs--first overall pick--in the previous Rule 5 Draft from the A's), who (prior to TJ surgery) was projected as a possible future Cub closer.

And, the Roger Metzger-Hector Torres deal was Part "B" of the Cubs acquisition of Joe Pepitone from the Astros (for "future considerations") during the 1970 season. Pepitone had a couple of pretty good years for the Durocher Cubs while that club was still a perennial contender, and Metzger's path was blocked by Don Kessinger (27 at the time of the Pepitone deal) at a time before free-agency when Kessinger was projected to be the Cubs everyday SS for another 8-10 years.

John Holland was pretty good GM. When it came time to dismantle the aging Durocher Cubs in 1973-74, Holland turned Fergie Jenkins into 3B Bill Madlock (who was two-time batting champion with the Cubs), Glenn Beckert into RF Jerry Morales, Billy Williams into 2B Manny Trillo, Ron Santo into C Steve Swisher and RHP Steve Stone, Joe Pepitone into 1B Andre Thornton, and Randy Hundley into C George Mitterwald, while retaining SS Don Kessinger, CF Rick Monday, and LF Jose Cardenal, along with a load of quality young pitching (Rick Reuschel, Bill Bonham, Burt Hooton, Ray Burris, et al).

The Cubs made a big turnaround after Dallas Green took over as COO in 1982. "Building a New Tradition" it was called, ans it wasn't just an idle slogan. In just their third year, the Dallas Green Cubs had the best record in the N. L. and were four innings away from the World Series with their ace (Rick Sutcliffe) on the hill. But then...

If Dallas Green (President & GM) & Gordon Goldsberry (scouting & farm director) had remained in charge of the Cubs post-1987, there is no way that Lee Smith, Rafael Palmeiro, David Martinez, et al would have been traded, or Greg Maddux would have left via free-agency. (Of course, Sammy Sosa never would have been acquired, either).

When Jim Frey took over as GM, one of his first orders of business was to run Lee Smith out of town like a common pigmy. Frey figured projected closer Calvin Schiraldi (who had a bad case of LaTroy Hawkins disease with the Red Sox) and "innings eater" (Frey's words) Al Nipper would make up for the loss of Smitty. Frey insisted on trading Lee Smith out of the N. L., so he declined the Dodgers offer of Bob Welch and made the inferior deal with the Red Sox instead.

After Schiraldi imploded in 1988, Frey made a desperation deal for Rangers set-up man Mitch Williams (an early version of John Rocker, who had trouble finding the plate) and others, giving up one future hall of famer (Rafael Palmeiro)--who Frey believed would never be a "run producer," and a lefty starter (Jamie Moyer)--who Frey felt lacked the stuff necessary to be a rotation starter, and who 16 years later is still pitching in a major league starting rotation.

If Frey had just kept Lee Smith, he never would have had to trade Palmeiro and Moyer for Mitch Williams. If only Dallas Green had remained Prez & GM of the Cubs! But the Trib suits insisted on installing a bean-counter (Don Grenesko) as club president (the Tribsters felt Dallas was irresponsible with Tribune money and was too much of a "free-spender"), and wanted Dallas to acceopt a demotion to field manager (which he declined).

Jim Frey was an excellent hitting coach (he turned Ryne Sandberg into a power hitter by teaching him to "turn" on the ball and a good manager, but he was one of the worst general managers of all time. He literally ran the Dallas Green Cubs into the ground.

Good Stuff. How could they get rid of Green after 84. Unbelievable.

Any change Cubs dump or trade Remlinger?

Could Hill help in the bullpen if not as starter?

Thanks again for the great historical info Arizona Phil. You are truly an asset of TCR.

Re 14
Using Hill in the bullpen right now would be a horrible idea. A guy with this much talent needs to be working in Iowa to hopefully become another dominant young starter and one that throws with that other hand to boot.

I believe Matt Murton will be an excellent major player, perfect for the #2 slot in the batting order, a perennial .300+ hitter with gap power (12-15 HR & 30+ 2Bs) and above-average speed.

In less than two full seasons of pro ball, Murton is already in AA, where (if he continues to hit at his current pace) projects the following (with the Southern League season just over 1/3 over):

.385/.455/.554 (1.000+ OPS)
14 HR
95 RBI
95 RUNS
35 2B
8 3B
30 SB (5 CS)
65 BB
50 K

If Jim Hendry makes no trades and sign no free-agents in the nrext year & a half, and just re-signs Derrek Lee to a contract extension past 2006, the 2007 Cubs lineup and pitching staff could look like this (2007 ages in parenthesis):

* bats or throws left

STARTING LINEUP:
* Eric Patterson, 2B (23)
Matt Murton, LF (25)
* Felix Pie, CF (22)
Derrek Lee, 1B (31)
Aramis Ramirez, 3B (28)
* Corey Patterson, RF (27)
Michael Barrett, C (29)
Ronny Cedeno, SS (24)

NOTE: If E. Patterson is not ready in 2007, Mike Fontenot plays 2B.

BENCH:
* Buck Coats, INF (24)
Jason Dubois, OF (28)
* Mike Fontenot, 2B-3B (26)
* Adam Greenberg, OF (26)
David Kelton, OF (27)
Geovany Soto, C 924)

STARTING ROTATION:
Mark Prior (26)
Carlos Zambrano (25)
Kerry Wood (29)
Jerome Williams (25)
And OTHER POSSIBLE STARTERS: Rich Hill (27), Angel Guzman (25), Renyel Pinto (24), Ricky Nolasco (24), Raul Valdez(??), Sergio Mitre (26), Sean Marshall (24), Bobby Brownlie (26), Jae-kuk Ryu (23), or Carlos Marmol (24).

BULLPEN:
Michael Wuertz (28)
Todd Wellemeyer (28)
* Will Ohman (29)
David Aardsma (25)
OTHERS POSSIBLE RHP RELIEVERS: Roberto Novoa (27), Jermaine Van Buren (26), and Jon Leicester (28), or any of the RHPs who don't make the starting rotation.
OTHER POSSIBLE LEFTY relievers: Cliff Bartosh (27) and Russ Rohlicek (27), or Pinto or Hill.

Thanks for the info AZ phil....I'll make some corrections. The Krukow trade was just me being stupid. The Hinske trade I took from baseball-reference.com, no mention of Chiasson, don't know why. The trade isn't that bad then.

As for the Pepitone/Torres deal, I'll put a brief mention in there but the official deal was Pepitone for cash considerations and then the Metzger for Torres deal. But as you said many felt it was payback for the Pepitone deal.

As for finding Win Shares....
2002 can be found here:
http://www.baseballtruth.com/bbt_winshares.htm

2003 can be found here:
http://www.baseballgraphs.com/2003.html

2004 can be found here:
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/stats2004

Everything pre-2002 I found in the Win Shares book, which doesn't make it easy by the way to find the info you want.

>I believe Matt Murton will be an excellent major player . . .

I agree. There's nothing wrong with a high OBP, 10-15 HR corner outfielder in your lineup if you can get better than average power out of another spot in the batting order. After all the talk of not having enough good-contact, solid OBP guys in the Cub lineup the past few years, I'll take Murton.

>NOTE: If E. Patterson is not ready in 2007, Mike Fontenot plays 2B.

I think we all ought to calm down a bit about E-Pat. Success at Low A ball doesn't guarantee he'll be raking at High A (e.g. Brian Dopirak). Let's wait for him to pass the Double A acid test (as Pie seems to be doing this year) before we put Eric in the big league lineup.

AZ Phil,

Great stuff. It should be pointed out that Holland later turned Bill Madlock into Bobby "warning track" Murcer and Steve Ontiveros soon after turning Andre Thornton into Larry Biittner and Steve Renko.

Of course the Madlock thing had a lot to do with Phil Wrigley too. I'm not sure Holland would have done that on his own.

But Holland did trade Larry Gura to Texas as a player to be named later in the historic Mike Paul trade, sent Burt Hooton to LA for Geoff Zahn and Eddie Solomon and sent Billy North to Oakland for the remains of Bob Locker.

Just a little bad to go with the good.

How are the Cubs 27-24? Amazing....

They have had 9 pitchers start a game for them thru only June 1st (Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Maddux, Dempster, Rusch, Mitre, Leicester, and Koronka). As injured as they were last year they only had 6 different starters last year.

Good job Dusty and the boys...

SaxFax--
"I agree. There's nothing wrong with a high OBP, 10-15 HR corner outfielder in your lineup if you can get better than average power out of another spot in the batting order. After all the talk of not having enough good-contact, solid OBP guys in the Cub lineup the past few years, I'll take Murton."

I disagree. If you can get better than average offence out of a position where it's unexpected (second base, say), don't squander that advantage by giving it back at a position where offence is traditionally expected. That's squanderous, both in terms of the potential total offence you could have and in financial terms too, because you'll be paying a huge positional premium to get corner outfield production from your second baseman while getting second base production from Matt Murton.

Matt Murton's going to be a major leaguer. He's going to be a pretty fungible one though, because at the wrong end of the defensive spectrum and 300/350/450 guys (which I think is what Murton projects to), while not quite ten a penny, aren't exactly that rare either. Certainly, he'd still have some value. But if the Cubs can fob him on someone else as being more than that, on the back of his Double-A numbers, Jim Hendry has to pull the trigger.

And Arizona Phil, you should know as well as anyone that those all prospect lineups a few years down the line never ever materialise! It's fun to dream though, I agree. I'm drooling over the prospect of a Prior, Zambrano, Wood, Guzman and Williams rotation!

Could someone given me a scouting report on Rich Hill. What does he throw?

I think Hill normally throws a baseball, but occasionally he likes to perform his best Derek Lowe impression and chuck a stool.

HA, I kill me.

Hill mostly throws a sick 12-6 curve and a low to mid 90's fastball, i believe. Does he have a slider, too?

JHill: "If you can get better than average offence out of a position where it's unexpected (second base, say), don't squander that advantage by giving it back at a position where offence is traditionally expected."

That's all well and good--in a perfect world. With an unlimited budget. I think it's all right to have that as your goal. I just don't think the Cubs have that luxury.

"300/350/450 guys (which I think is what Murton projects to), while not quite ten a penny, aren't exactly that rare either...."

Aren't that rare? How many have the Cubs had in the past five years? Hey, I think we'd all be happy (you included, John) if we had ONE this year!

Squanderous?

I have never seen Murton play, only know of his stats and what you've all said, here.

To me, he sounds like Matt Lawton in his Prime.

Technically, John is right about position-squandering, but practically, I'm not sure how easy it is for a MLB team to follow through on that approach. Every team is going to have its unique combination of positions where they're way above average, near average, and below average. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having a near-average LFer as long as on balance, the lineup tilts toward the above average side.

I doubt I'm making any sense, even to myself.

Trans.: I'm not sure how easy it is for a MLB team to follow through on that approach.

That's exactly my point. It's all well and good to set up your "ideal team" in your mind and on paper (power at the corners and maybe some bonus power at unexpected positions, strength up the middle, power arms as your starters, solid middle relief, fireballing closer).

Then, reality hits. You come to realize it's impossible to have the exact player you want at every position. That's where the Matt Murtons of the world come in. Good player but maybe not the superstar you laid out initially in your mind.

John Hill-
"300/350/450 guys (which I think is what Murton projects to), while not quite ten a penny, aren't exactly that rare either...."

Saxfax-
Aren't that rare? How many have the Cubs had in the past five years? Hey, I think we'd all be happy (you included, John) if we had ONE this year!

The numbers John posted for Murton 300/350/450 is more or less the same production that the Cubs got from Grudzielanek in 2003-2004. I'm not certain I'd want Grudzielanek at a corner OF spot. On the other hand ...

Transmission-
To me, he sounds like Matt Lawton in his Prime.

The offensive numbers are about right and it looks like Murton could have decent SB numbers to further that comparison (currently 11SB/2CS in AA). Anyone know what Murton's defense is like? According to UZR, Lawton is several runs below average (-6, with a below average arm) in RF.

Lawton (and potentially Murton) is the type of player that good teams will get their fair use of while the player is cheap, and then flip when the player's cost outweighs the benefits of the player's average offensive production. This is what the Twins did with Lawton, when his average offense no longer justified his above-average salary.

to use extremely saber-friendly terms, the entire lineup cannot consist of table-clearers. there must be an assortment of table-setters. otherwise your club's offense is reduced to 8 solo home runs and the pitcher's spot. not the proper way to conquer a curse.

#7 of 17: By Rob G. (June 2, 2005 06:58 AM)

Talking great closers, Willie Hernandez was traded to the Phils for Dick Ruthven. At the time, that actually seemed like a good trade.

Both Sutter and Hernandez were signed as minor league free agents and my focus was the draft, so I excluded those deals. But interesting deals nonetheless

--

Actually, Willie Hernandez was selected (stolen) by the Cubs from the Phillies in the Rule 5 Draft after the 1976 season (reverse Andy Sisco!).

Top 5 Rule 5 steals by the Cubs:

1. LHP Willie Hernandez from Phillies (1976)

2. 2B Tony Taylor from New York Giants (1957)

3. RHP Johnny Klippstein from Brooklyn Dodgers (1949)

4. RHP Turk Lown from Brooklyn Dodgers (1950)

5. C Cal Neeman from NY Yankees (1956)

Biggest Rule 5 steal of all-time:

1954 - Pittsburgh Pirates draft Roberto Clemente from Brooklyn Dodgers.

How did it happen?

In January 1954, 19-year old Roberto Clemente was the star of the Santurce club in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He was the most famous player in Latin America since Cuban great Martin Dihigo.

After starring in the Caribbean Series in February 1954, Clemente was signed by Brooklyn Dodgers scout Al Campanis to a AAA contract with the Dodgers' Montreal affiliate in the International League for a $10,000 bonus. This was even though Clemente had been offered much more from other clubs, including a $30,000 signing bonus and major league contract from the Milwaukee Braves.

Beginning in 1953 and continuing through 1957, any player (with the exception of players with at least 90 days of "professional experience") receiving a signing bonus of $4,000 or more had to sign a major league contract and be kept on the team's 25-man regular season roster for two full seasons before he could be optioned to the minor leagues. If a team wanted to option a "bonus player" (AKA "bonus baby") to the minor leagues before the two years were up, the team would first have to place the player on irrevoocable waivers.

Because Clemente had been a professional baseball player in Puerto Rico for two years before signing with the Dodgers, and because players with at least 90 days of "professional experience" were exempt from the bonus rule, the Dodgers assumed (and what happens when you assume?) that Clemente was technically not a "bonus" player and therefore would not have to sign a major league contract and would not have to spend two years on the 25-man roster before he could be optioned to the minor leagues.

However, after Clemente signed the AAA contract with Montreal and received his signing bonus, Commissioner Ford Frick ruled that the Clemente signing WAS subject to the bonus rule, because Clemente's "professional experience" in Puerto Rico did not count toward the so-called 90-day exemption. Frick ruled that only experience in "organized baseball"--that being the National League, American League, or National Association (the technical name for the minor leagues)--counted as "professional experience" vis-a-vis rhe bonus rule, and that because he received a bonus in excess of $4,000 from the Dodgers and then signed a AAA contract with Montreal, Clemente could not be placed on the Dodgers 40-man roster until first passing through the Rule 5 Draft after the 1954 season.

Even though Clemente was known to every team and every scout in organized and disorganized baseball and was considered one of the best young players in the world, the Dodgers tried to "hide" him from other teams by not playing him in Montreal and by spreading gossip that he was injured. However, the then-hapless Pirates (with the first pick in the 1954 Rule 5 Draft) selected Clemente from the Dodgers, and Clemente went on to have a Hall of Fame career in Pittsburgh.

A number of future major league stars--Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Sandy Koufax, just to name a few--signed for bonuses of $4,000 or more during the years 1953-57 and played in the major leagues at age 18 and 19. The Cubs signed three bonus players right out of high school or college during the years 1953-57, and all three (RHPs Moe Drabowsky and Don Kaiser and 2B Jerry Kindall) spent two full seasons with the Cubs before they were optioned to the mminor leagues. Obviously, the purpose the 1953 Bonus Rule was to discourage teams from giving bonuses to players by forcing the teams to waste space on their 25-man roster with teenage "bonus players" not yet ready for prime time. But by 1958, it was clear that the bonus players were the ones being punished, by having to spend two seasons in the major leagues without the benefit of minor league experience.

So begining in January 1958, ALL amateur players signed to profesional contracts (regardless of how much they received as a bonus) had to be placed on their team's 40-man roster at the end of their first full season of professional ball. If a player was not placed on his team's 40-man roster after one full season in the minor leagues, that player was subject to be selected in a new draft called the First-Year Player Draft (which was not the same thing as the Rule 5 Draft). This draft was designed to redsistribute talent by allowing trams with weak farm systems to draft players from teams with deep farm systems, without putting a curb on signing bonuses.

During the years 1959-1965, the following future major leaguers were selected (stolen) in the First-Year Player Draft:

LHP Gerry Arrigo (by Minnsota fropm White Sox)
2B Glenn Beckert (by Cubs from Boston)
OF Paul Blair (by Baltimore from Mets)
RHP Dick Bosman (by San Francisco from Pittsburgh)
OF Byron Browne (by Cubs from Pittsburgh)
1B Bob Chance (by Cleveland from San Francisco)
2B Tim Cullen (by Washington from Boston)
2B John Donaldson (by KC A's from Minnesota)
RHP Jim Hannan (by Washington from Boston)
C Ed Herrmann (by White Sox from Milwaukee Braves)
LHP Sparky Lyle (by Boston from Baltimore)
OF Dave May (by Baltimore from San Francisco)
LHP Rudy May (by White Sox from Minnesota)
LHP Jim Merritt (by Minnesota from Dodgers)
2B Felix Millan (by Milwaukee Braves from KC A's)
OF Norm Miller (by Houston from Angels)
1B Willie Montanez (by Angels from Cardinals)
OF Lou Piniella (by Washington from Cleveland)
RHP Jim Ray (by Houston from Baltimore)
1B Rich Reese (by Minnesota from Detroit)
C Ellie Rodriguez (by Yankees from KC A's)
OF Reggie Smith (by Boston from Minnesota)
OF Bobby Tolan (by St Louis from Pittsburgh)
OF Jimmy Wynn (by Houston from Cincinnati)

Although minor league talent was indeed being redistributed, bidding for the best amateur players was getting out of control and signing bonuses were spiraling out of sight, culminating with the Angels signing of University of Wisconsin All-American outfielder Rick Reichardt for $205,000 in 1964. The Reichardt signing motivated major league baseball owners to institute an "amateur draft," and beginning in June 1965, the Rule 4 Draft (then known as the Amateur Draft, but now known as the First Year Player Draft) was instituted to replace the 1958 First-Year Player Draft.

Arizona State University outfielder Rick Monday was the first player selected (by the Kansax City A's) in the Rule 4 Draft.

#19 of 30: By tbone (June 2, 2005 10:06 AM)
AZ Phil,

Great stuff. It should be pointed out that Holland later turned Bill Madlock into Bobby "warning track" Murcer and Steve Ontiveros soon after turning Andre Thornton into Larry Biittner and Steve Renko.

Of course the Madlock thing had a lot to do with Phil Wrigley too. I'm not sure Holland would have done that on his own.

But Holland did trade Larry Gura to Texas as a player to be named later in the historic Mike Paul trade, sent Burt Hooton to LA for Geoff Zahn and Eddie Solomon and sent Billy North to Oakland for the remains of Bob Locker.

Just a little bad to go with the good.

----

T-BONE: Cubs GM Bob Kennedy was responsible for the Madlock-Murcer trade. Kennedy and Madlock got into a contract hold-out pissing match after Madlock's second batting championship, so Kennedy shipped him off to San Francisco for Murcer and Ontiveros.

The Holtzman for Monday, Hooton for Zahn & Solomon, North for Locker, and Sutter for Durham, Reitsz, and Waller trades were all motivated by contract disputes. Phil Wrigley did NOT like discord on his team, and when a player said "pay me or trade me," Wrigley made sure his GM (whether it be John Holland, Bob Kennedy, or Herman Franks) got rid of that player ASAP.

AZ Phil -- absolutely awesome stuff. I've never downloaded a comment thread before and saved it to a file that I can refer in the future until today.

Regarding the 07 Projected Lineup: It is weak up the middle with the exception of Pie and (knock on wood) possibly Eric Patterson. The old maxim "championship teams are strong up the middle" actually has some sabermetric backing -- if you can get offensive production out of 2B, SS, C, and CF, without sacrificing defense, you have a strong leg up offensively against all other teams. "Corner" players (1B, 3B, LF and RF) are more fungible and should be replaceable (e.g., Burnitz/DuBois for Sosa/Alou really was not a big risk).

This is why I am not excited about Murton. We don't need to wait two years and develop our own Juan Encarnacion, Raul Ibanez or Mark Kotsay. You can find them for 1-2 year contracts for reasonable figures just about every offseason.

It should be noted that AZ Phil's 2007 lineup projects to be relatively inexpensive and still young. The big contracts are saved for ARam, Lee and our three starting pitchers. Adding Jerome Williams hopefully means we will not need to fish in the free agency market for starting pitching.

We can use this dividend of sorts to sign the best-possible SS or C available on the market, perhaps after this season or after the 2006 season.

AZ Phil,

Forgot about the Kennedy era. Wrigley was especially miffed at Madlock and North. I know someone who worked the Cubs for a wire service in the late 60s and 70s who said Wrigley really hated the "new" black players like Gamble, North and Madlock wanting them instead to be quiet like Billy Williams or happy like Ernie Banks.

You seem to know more about it than me. How much power did North, after appearing in just over 70 games in parts of the preceeding two seasons, have in asking for more money from Wrigley? I know he wanted to play more and was very outspoken about it. I remember him appearing on the 10th inning as a rookie and Ernie Banks came with him up to the booth. I don't know if Ernie was there to stop North from shooting himself in the foot or what but I remember it being kind of weird.

>The numbers John posted for Murton 300/350/450 is more or less the same production that the Cubs got from Grudzielanek in 2003-2004.

True. Our discussion revolved around the 300/350/450 table-setting guy being an OF (like Murton), however.

Saxfax-
True. Our discussion revolved around the 300/350/450 table-setting guy being an OF (like Murton), however.

But I think that's John's point; that is, I believe he doesn't see a 300/350/450 hitter as a good enough option at a corner OF spot. Would you have been satisfied with Grudzielanek's production in LF (rather than 2B) in 2003-2004? It's a valid question to ask, because that's essentially what Murton projects to, with some added speed.

TBONE: Prior to free-agency (1976), the only leverage any MLB player (rookie or 15-year veteran) had to get a better financial deal was holding out or being obnoxious.

I think you've got it right about North and Madlock, and it also applies to Holtzman, too. "Uppity" blacks and "greedy" Jews were anathema to the White Bread WASP world of Wrigley's Chewing Gum and the Friendly Confines. So when Ken Holtzman, Bill North, or Bill Madlock got "uppity" or "greedy"... well, they just HAD to go...

Having said that, I don't think Wrigley thought it odd or strange that the Cubs would hire the first black scout and the first black coach (that being Buck O'Neill) in major league baseball history. The fact that the Cubs acquired almost all of their black players in the 1950's (Ernie Banks, Gene Baker, George Altman, Lou Johnson, and J. C. Hartman) from the Kansas City Monarchs (where Buck O'Neill was the manager), and that these players all had similar "character traits," probably made Wrigley feel comfortable with integrating the Cubs-- just as long as the players werre recommended by Buck O'Neill!. then once the Monarchs had no more players to offer, Wrigley hired O'Neill as a scout, and Buck signed Lou Brock. And then once most all of these players (the ex-Monarchs and Lou Brock, too) came up to the Cubs, Wrigley appointed O'Neill to the College of Coaches.

A second read of Rob G.'s piece revealed this nugget in the end, about Garland-for-Karchner:

"Iím not a big fan of Garland and think heís living on borrowed time this year, but it will always be a stupid trade cause you donít trade a 19 year old first round pick for a middle relieverÖEVER!"

Jerome Williams: 18-year old 1st round pick of SF Giants in 1999 draft (39th overall)

David Aardsma: 22-year old 1st round pick of SF Giants in 2003 draft (22nd overall)

LaTroy Hawkins: middle reliever

to #37:

I was speaking more of the fact that Garland was still 19 at the time, but a look back and he was actually 18 when the trade was made in 1998.

To #30:
My bad....I just remembered Hernandez wasn't originally drafted by the Cubbies, so he wasn't part of my article.

To #16:
The Cubs don't have the luxury of going through the growing pains of that many youngsters on their team. I'm as excited as anybody about developing talent but chances of all those players being useful major league players is slim,I think my post yesterday showed how few players actually make it to the big leagues.

Plus as long as Hendry is GM, I'm fairly confident that year in and year out, he'll try and put together a team capable of winning a championship. And that means a mix of superstars, youngsters and vets.

Indeed, DC Tom, it was the anti-Karchner trade.

SaxFax, Weeks has understood what I meant to say correctly. It would effectively be putting 2003-04 Grudzielanek in left-field. Not bad, but not great either.

SaxFax--
"That's exactly my point. It's all well and good to set up your "ideal team" in your mind and on paper (power at the corners and maybe some bonus power at unexpected positions, strength up the middle, power arms as your starters, solid middle relief, fireballing closer).

Then, reality hits. You come to realize it's impossible to have the exact player you want at every position. That's where the Matt Murtons of the world come in. Good player but maybe not the superstar you laid out initially in your mind."

That's fair enough, I suppose. The Cubs have more payroll than most though.

RobR, Rich throws four pitches. First up, a low-90s fastball. When he tires it's only high-80s. However, according to hitters, there's something about his delivery that means that the ball seems to get to the plate a lot quicker than the gun would suggest. Last year his fastball was average, but he's really worked on improving it, and he's now able to blow it by hitters up and away a lot more. Second, a mid-80s cutter. I don't know much about it, apart from that he used to use it a lot more than he has been doing so far this season. Third, a true 12-6 curve, which is by far and away his best pitch. Actually, it's probably the best pitch in the Cubs' minor league system. Actually, it's probably among the best pitches in the minor leagues. It's just flat-out awesome. Hitters can sit on it and still not hit it. And, if they're sitting on it, it makes that much easier to blow the fastball by them. Finally, an occasional changeup. He's made huge strides forward with the pitch recently, but he hardly threw it last night apparently. A bit disappointing that, but, oh well. He'll need a changeup for days when he can't get the curve across the plate (or the umpire won't call it), otherwise teams will sit on his fastball, which, though better, isn't good enough to survive being sat on. He doesn't throw a slider.

DC Tom--
"This is why I am not excited about Murton. We don't need to wait two years and develop our own Juan Encarnacion, Raul Ibanez or Mark Kotsay."

Woah! Mark Kotsay for starters is a centre-fielder, which as you say isn't a traditional offensive position, certainly not as much as the corner outfield and first base spots, and probably third base too. Kotsay's also one of the best centre-fielders in the game at that too. His defence is godly, I could watch him making the plays out there all day every day. That godly defence allied to his decent offence, all in centre field, makes him a very valuable player. So lay off!

Encarnacion is a piece of. Raul Ibanez is exactly the right kind of guy to fit the profile though. However, even he has more power than his numbers suggest. In a normal ballpark, I think the guy'd slug nearer .500 than .450, but Safeco is no normal ballpark and Ibanez has adapted his swing to compensate for that. Some of the scouting reports on Murton's defence aren't that great either.

I don't know if anyone else is keeping an eye on Jon Connolly, but he's healed from his shoulder injury and came in on Sunday, pitching 2.1 innings of relief.

Jacksonsun.com had this to say about the outing--
...reliever Jon Connolly (1-0) came on with runners on the corners and got the final out of the inning with no damage.

Connolly has fought a shoulder injury for most of the season, coming off the disabled list last Thursday. But if there's any rust for the 21-year-old, he didn't show it, pitching 2.1 dominating innings to pick up his first victory of the season.

Promising. Let's see if he can stay healthy and can continue to pitch well. Felix Sanchex has done nothing for Detroit. He was miserable last year. No sight of him this year. Injury? We could still see some major upside from this trade.

Cards just lost in the bottom of the 9th to the Rockies 8-7. Isringhausen blew a 2 run lead and La Russa pulled him with the bases loaded, 0 out and 2 runs already in. Next releiver walked in the winning run. HA HA

Cubs are only 5 back in the loss column right now.

I wrote yesterday that "not one of the three [Pinto, Nolasco, Hill] has a successful inning at Triple-A under their belt".

Pinto has had success, last year he was pretty good in AAA for the most part.

Whipple, Connelly is actually pitching for the Jaxx right now! Starting.

Ienpw--
"Pinto has had success, last year he was pretty good in AAA for the most part."

He had two starts at Triple-A, and his overall numbers were 9.1 IP, 9 H, 2 HR, 8 BB, 9 K, 7.71 ERA (8 ER). Really, pretty good?

But not anymore, Whipple. Connelly went just three because he's tandem starting with Pignatiello. Not sure what Connelly's line was.

Whipple--
"Felix Sanchex has done nothing for Detroit. He was miserable last year. No sight of him this year. Injury?"

He was assigned to the Lakeland Tigers (High-A, Florida State) on 05/29, and he's gone 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 HR, 3 BB, 0 K, 3.38 ERA (1 ER) since. Not sure what the situation was. Google News searches for "Felix Sanchez" yield just a lot of links for the 400m hurdler.

He had two starts at Triple-A, and his overall numbers were 9.1 IP, 9 H, 2 HR, 8 BB, 9 K, 7.71 ERA (8 ER). Really, pretty good?

Sorry, I feel like an ass, I didnt see your comments in the other thread. Actually, you're just looking at his regular season starts. In the playoffs he had 2 starts including a great one in the PCL Championships outpitching Joe Blanton.

He had 4 starts total in AAA last season including the playoffs.

Game 1: 4.1 IP 4 H 7 ER 5 K 5 BB
Game 2: 5 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 K 3 BB
Game 3: 5.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 7 K 2 BB
Game 4: 6 IP 3 H 1 ER 10 K

I couldnt find the last games BBs, I think it was 2, but I cannot remember. Outside of his first start, he was pretty good, I think. Of course this means nothing. Right now he absolute crap.

Sorry, right now I feel like the ass, not thinking at all about the playoffs!

Wow! You guys are on your game today-great reading/information...I strongly remember Rick Reichardt playing for the White Sox in the early 70's. Harry Caray used to say "I can't believe this guy got that great big bonus, he's horrible"...this led to major feud between Caray and Reichardt. I told that story to a buddy last year when the Cubs were having all their media problems....As for Davy Martinez, he was apparently dealt because he had an affair with Cindy Sandberg...I loved Jose Cardenal but Jim Colborn had a pretty good career-any numbers to support that? The Hinske trade happened because the Cubs selected Chiasson and didn't want to give him back. The Cubs also had a guy named Todd Noel that was traded in '98 for Felix Heredia. I believe he was a pretty high draft pick... My thoughts on constructing the offense are based on lineup slots. When the wind blows in at Wrigley, we don't score. We may want to have one corner slot taken by an obp guy instead of a slugging % guy. I'm not sure if Murton is that guy but his type could be the balance we've been seeking. If we keep Patterson, Murton makes more sense. If Pie makes Patterson expendable, we may want a true power guy in the corner. I know one thing, I can't help but think that Dusty is pretty frustrated with Corey.

Wow! You guys are on your game today-great reading/information...I strongly remember Rick Reichardt playing for the White Sox in the early 70's. Harry Caray used to say "I can't believe this guy got that great big bonus, he's horrible"...this led to major feud between Caray and Reichardt. I told that story to a buddy last year when the Cubs were having all their media problems....As for Davy Martinez, he was apparently dealt because he had an affair with Cindy Sandberg...I loved Jose Cardenal but Jim Colborn had a pretty good career-any numbers to support that? The Hinske trade happened because the Cubs selected Chiasson and didn't want to give him back. The Cubs also had a guy named Todd Noel that was traded in '98 for Felix Heredia. I believe he was a pretty high draft pick... My thoughts on constructing the offense are based on lineup slots. When the wind blows in at Wrigley, we don't score. We may want to have one corner slot taken by an obp guy instead of a slugging % guy. I'm not sure if Murton is that guy but his type could be the balance we've been seeking. If we keep Patterson, Murton makes more sense. If Pie makes Patterson expendable, we may want a true power guy in the corner. I know one thing, I can't help but think that Dusty is pretty frustrated with Corey.

sorry for the double post-it said "internal error"...

Here is the lineup for today vs. RHP:

Neifi
Walker
Lee
Burnitz
ARam
CPat
Dubois
Barrett
Rusch

No Dotel trade, he's having reconstructive elbow surgery

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/basebal...

Connelly actually just went 1.2 innings...

1.2 IP, 7 H, 0 HR, 2 BB, 2 K, 21.60 ERA (4 ER)

>Would you have been satisfied with Grudzielanek's production in LF (rather than 2B) in 2003-2004? It's a valid question to ask, because that's essentially what Murton projects to, with some added speed.

I guess I haven't made my point very clear, because all along I've been implying payroll considerations (that's the reality check). So the answer to your question is this: yes, I would have been satisfied with Grudz-level production in LF in '03-'04 if it came at near the ML minimum salary.

Murton's .300/.350/.450 in LF, at $300-$400K, which would be Murton's effect on payroll, seems totally acceptable to me.

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