Baffled

I proclaim that I have absolutely no clue what Jim Hendry's plans are this off-season. Cause this one is just baffling. The Cubs resigned TCR whipping boy Neifi Perez for not one, but 2 years. Re-read that if you have too, although that may be too painful. Details have yet to be disclosed about the contract but judging by how much Dusty and Hendry both love the guy so much I'm sure it includes access to the company yacht, a stake in ownership and guardian rights to Darren Baker. No word from anybody about the deal other than the press release, although Hendry had this to say:
"I've decided I really like the guys who catch the ball."
Fantastic, I whole-heartedly agree. But at $100 million+ payroll, maybe we could find some guys who can catch the ball AND hit the ball. Just a thought. There's a rumor out there that deal is for $5 million over those 2 years, which means the Cubs have shelled out close to $6 mil next year to shore up pitching and middle infield depth. We needed to do this BEFORE the free agent signing period begins? Isn't this the stuff you wait to do after you've addressed the bigger issues on the club? Apparently Neifi and Rafael Furcal share the same agent and are good friends. Maybe this is just a signing to show Furcal that he'll have some buddies here if he ends up signing with us. There's a small sliver of hope inside me that this is what it should be. A minor move to keep a bench guy who will only be used on spot starts and as a defensive replacement. More likely he ends up with far too many at-bats next year over more deserving players. Obvious Prediction: Cubs trade Todd Walker and go into spring training with Neifi Perez and Ronny Cedeno battling for the second base job. Guess who Baker picks? And get ready for this quotable from Baker, "I just can't forget what Perez did for us last year." And he'll bat second. At which point, I'll gouge my eyes out with a rusty nail. UPDATE: Thanks to "Weeks T. Olive" for providing this link to a Dominican paper that states the contract is for $5 million over 2 years PLUS a one million bonus. Great signing as long as the Cubs payroll is over $110 million next year.
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Comments

I hope Macias isn't friends with anyone.

Someone at BTF posted this link to a Dominican paper that says that the deal is for $2.5M/year plus a $1M signing bonus.

If accurate (and it would appear that it is or is very close), this is the last straw for Jim Hendry as far as I'm concerned.

Fuck this stupid team.

Dlee must be biting at the chomp thinking of all those rbi's with Neifi batting in front of...oh nevermind.

I was watching ESPN and when it scrolled I got that sinking feeling like when I found out my grandmother had died. Two years? Confounding.

I love the picture in the link

This is what Neifi is telling his buddies:

"See, all those time I walked to the mound and had nothing to say. They call that leadership. Cha-Ching!!!"

Is Neifi Tradeable now or do they have to wait until June? Looking at the money that is alot for utility infielder even if he is the best at that. I know FLA was among a handful of teams looking at him for a starting job. Maybe he will be involved in a pierre trade. Anyways the only problem is that Idiot overplays him if we had a manager with brains this deal would not be that bad as he is a gold glover who provides solid leadership a quality which lacks on this team. Maybe this a sign that Hendry has more $$$ to spend than 100 mil.

Given that no other team was crawling over itself to give Perez a multiyear deal as a free agent, why on earth would you expect anyone to give up actual players for the privilege of paying him for multiple years?

The Cubs are the dumbest organization in baseball.

so far there's 10-11m going to rusch/neifi/dumpster...

honestly, im more upset about the dumpster signing...but hey, maybe it'll turn out to be a deal.

the thing that confuses me is what's gonna happen to j.williams/t.walker/r.cedeno...and to a minor extent j.macias.

the cubs now got 3 very powerful pieces of trade bait assuming neifi/rusch are here to stay in 06.

i dunno wtf hendry is thinking, but i hope it makes sense in a few months.

"Given that no other team was crawling over itself to give Perez a multiyear deal as a free agent, why on earth would you expect anyone to give up actual players for the privilege of paying him for multiple years?"

How do you know that? Him and Furcal are close friends maybe they had a talk about playing on the same team and Perez wanted to do that so he took a back-up job over a starting job somewhere else to play with his friend. AZ Phil talked about how he thought Perez would get a 2 yr deal from somebody else to be their SS. With all the crap other than Grudz on the FA market I do think somebody else would have given him a 2 yr deal.

IF part of the reasoning behind this signing is to woo Furcal, then Neifi is staying put. You don't tell Furcal, "Look, we've got your buddies Aramis and Neifi here", then trade away one of them. Maybe, at the trade deadline you can get away with it, but not anytime sooner.

Walker is more likely to go and it's a reasonable scenario. He signed the contract that gave the Cubs the option to bring him back on the cheap for $2.5 million. He may not liked that we picked it up and then traded him, but it could be a smart business move. The Rangers and Indians seem to be interested and I'm sure Walker for Mench would be easily agreed upon. And as long as Mench is the first bat off the bench and a 4th OF, that would be a pretty good trade. I dunno what we'd get from the Indians.

I'm not generally a pseeimistic person, and I usually trust Hendry on his decisions. But this one makes my head hurt...

HUZZAH for the season ending before its even begun.

Well, that's how I feel anyway

2 quick notes and I'm done for the day...

Bartolo Colon won the AL Cy Young. Sorry Mark Buehrle and Johan Santana. You were both more deserving but you didn't have flashy won/loss records and superior run support. I would have voted Johan Santana easily.

Mike Cameron is seeking a trade to a team that would play him in center field. He's got an option for 2007, but if you actually want to improve your defense and looking for a guy who you don't have to keep around in 2007 for Felix Pie, he's a better option than Juan Pierre in my opinion.

Career #'s:
Cameron: .249/.340/.442 (last 6 years in Seattle and NY)
Pierre: .305/.355/.375 (2+ years in Coors)

Cameron's strike outs are a bit alarmingly, no doubt. But at least he works the count (over 4 pitches seen per at-bat for his career) He's also a world-class defender, often considered the best in the game at center. Pierre is just speed with no arm who's offensive success is completely tied in with his BABIP average.

I'd much prefer Cameron over Pierre. Plus if the Mets are looking for a new second basemen, we have a couple of options for you.

pretty weak that you are all going to give up on the Cubs just because they re-signed Neifi. Now, if Hendry re-signs Macias, that's a different story.

I do want to say that either Pierre or Cameron would both be in there contract years and I always like that scenario. Rarely do players underperform in those years, Derrek Lowe was the last i could think of and he cashed in by being all-worldly in the playoffs.

Assuming the Marlins do get rid of Alex Gonzalez, and the rumors of the Cubs wanting Pierre are true. Cedeno & Korey for Pierre & minor leage scrub? That could get it done, I would think. Assuming we do sign Furcal and had Pierre, it sure would make for some excitement at the top of the order. Not saying it would lead to winning or scoring runs, but that's some serious speed at the top of the lineup. And it would be a safe bet that Neifi would rarely see the top of the order with those 2 guys in the lineup.

Once again, you guys can't see the forest through the trees. Neifi is a terrific backup and (I assume) a great clubhouse guy. While I am not the biggest believer in 'chemistry', I do believe that it can help. Then you guys will turn your anger towards Jose Macias, who actually was great in a pinch-hitter's role and very versatile. Neifi is not our problem. The people who we get to actually play everday is. As long as we get some solid players at lf, rf and short, I love having Neifi as our super sub.

Chad - You're right, Neifi isn't the problem, but Dusty's obsession with him is.

Here's some interesting stats on him:

1) According to the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have agreed to a 2 year contract for all time great run coster Neifi Perez.

YEAR AGE RCAA OBA SLG OPS OWP RC/G AVG HR RBI SB G TEAM
2003 30 -20 .285 .348 .632 .279 3.05 .256 1 31 3 120 Giants
2004 31 -23 .296 .336 .632 .299 3.42 .255 4 39 1 126 Giants/Cubs
2005 32 -27 .298 .383 .681 .332 3.49 .274 9 54 8 154 Cubs
CAR -329 .301 .380 .681 .289 3.86 .270 61 454 56 1262
LG AVG 0 .342 .433 .775 .500 5.23 .270 157 654 91
POS AVG -127 .324 .385 .709 .409 4.33 .263 89 500 108

The only question for Perez is whether he gets enough playing time in 2006 to set the record for worst career RCAA or whether he has to wait until early 2007.

1 Ski Melillo -355
2 Tommy Thevenow -351
3 Neifi Perez -329
4 Bill Bergen -312
5 Tim Foli -309
6 Larry Bowa -307
7 Alfredo Griffin -306
T8 Don Kessinger -305
T8 Ozzie Guillen -305
10 Ed Brinkman -300

In 2005, Perez set the major league record for most consecutive years with -20 or worse RCAA--

1 Neifi Perez 1998-05 8
2 Doug Flynn 1977-83 7
T3 Bill Bergen 1901-06 6
T3 George McBride 1911-16 6
T3 Wally Gerber 1919-24 6
T3 Rabbit Warstler 1932-37 6
T3 Hal Lanier 1965-70 6
T8 Tommy Corcoran 1902-06 5
T8 Everett Scott 1920-24 5
T8 Frank O'Rourke 1926-30 5
T8 Rabbit Maranville 1929-33 5
T8 Ski Melillo 1932-36 5
T8 Ed Brinkman 1963-67 5
T8 Alfredo Griffin 1980-84 5
T8 Andres Thomas 1986-90 5

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/aro...

He should be used as a late-inning defensive specialist, not the first guy off your bench to pinch hit, and not a regular starter.

OK.

I waited for 90 minutes before sitting down to write down my feelings, after hearing about the signing of Perez for 2 years.

As a skeptic of the current regime, let me say that 2003 was a great ride, for it offered all of us a chance to dream what it might be like to get to a World Series and share in the joy of a Cub win.

Since that time, a series of troubling and rather stupid moves have brought me to the unpleasant realization that it ain't gonna happen on the north side with the madmen in control of the Cubs.

If anything should have taught Jim Hendry about Dusty Baker, it would have been Lenny Harris starting at 3B in 2003, while Mark Bellhorn rotted on the bench. But just in case he wasn't paying attention, he got banged over the noggin repeatedly with the 2 headed out machine known as Corey Patterson and Neifi Perez in 2005.

The simple fact that he freely chose to sign Neifi Perez to a 2 year deal (I decided I like guys who catch the ball) tells me all I need to know about his thought process - it ain't RIGHT - he didn't get it in 2003, he didn't get it in 2005 and it appears from this signing that he WILL NEVER GET IT.

I am done with the stupidity and senseless action of men who I have no ability to influence. The fact that guys like Perez can still get jobs in baseball because he can catch the ball makes me wonder if some franchises are destined to be perpetually stupid and delude themsleves into thinking that the Neifi Perez's of the world add value to a team.

To me, Perez symbolizes in one person all that is wrong with the Cubs way of thinking. A guy, who has repeatedly shown that he is not a major league hitter, who has been shown the door by KC and the SF Giants, a guy who is on the downside of his mediocre career, yet here he is signed for 2 more years. Bill Jamess was right - sometimes you feel like you are making no progress in getting the word out on what it takes to construct a winning baseball team!

I'm getting older, I am tired and I don't want to invest anymore time and energy into a team that wouldn't know how to construct an offense if their lives were at stake.

Until a new regime is in place, I hereby resign my allegiance to the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

My wish is that they get what they deserve in abundance.

Neifi will get 1 mil and will get 1.5 mil if he reaches a certin number of AB's. People stop freaking out Chad was right.

i'm sorry, but if you "resign your allegience" to the Cubs because you don't like Neifi and don't want him back, then i'm not sure you really deserved that allegiance in the first place

i agree with Chad and Crunch... this is not nearly as bad as y'all are making this out to be.

And to Me Todd Walker symbolizes part of what was right with the Cubs in '05

Neifi will get 1 mil and will get 1.5 mil if he reaches a certin number of AB's.

No, those were the terms of his contract last season.

The AP confirms the $5M/2year part of the deal. No mention of the signing bonus part, though.

Hendry is off his rocker.

I agree with what seems to be the majority opinion. Nefi is a great utility infielder and if we get Furcal and play Cedeno or Walker at second, this is a great move. However, I think the chances are better that Nefi takes playing time from Cedeno, or is our regular shortstop if we crap out on Furcal. Essentially this is most likely bad news and 2006 doesn't look good. I'll wait until all the chips are in, but I don't like where I think this is going to end up.

for what it's worth, I like todd walker too, though his defense really does leave a lot to be desired. i think a best case scenario at this point is Furcal at SS, Walker at 2B, Neifi the uber-backup, with Cedeno used in a trade for an OFer.

Everything else aside, Hendry's reasoning is solid. I, too, like guys who can catch the ball - if they're late inning defensive replacements. $5 million over two years is ridiculous for a late inning defensive replacement and that's the point. Neifi isn't going to be one on a team run by Toothpick Charlie (hereafter known as TC). Neifi will get another 450 at bats somehow (unquestionably at Cedeno's expense -- I had to laugh when TC said it was too bad that Cedeno didn't get some time at 2nd base last year. How about the two months he languished on the bench while Neifi led off with first-pitch-swinging pop-ups.?)

You only get to have 25 guys on a ML roster, and if we do get Furcal, then we've got four 2nd basemen, three of whom are inadequate in one or more respect and one who hasn't played the position in the majors. We're off to a great start.

Neifi is not our problem. The people who we get to actually play everday is. As long as we get some solid players at lf, rf and short, I love having Neifi as our super sub.

I said this several times in the last thread, but why does anyone think that Neifi would be a super-sub?

Even if we sign Furcal and Walker sticks around, Neifi's still going to be platooning at 2b, and will be the first guy called upon to fill in at 3rd when ARams groin acts up and when Furcal's liver needs a break.

...and when Furcal's liver needs a break

Somebody call for me?

And as long as Mench is the first bat off the bench and a 4th OF, that would be a pretty good trade.

Except for the fact that he'd be, at worst, the second best OF on the Cub roster as presently constituted...

It's not as if the Cubs are showing any interest in the one free agent OF they SHOULD be interested in (Giles), preferring to look at dreck like Jacque Jones and Preston Wilson.

I like todd walker too, though his defense really does leave a lot to be desired.

Not as much as Neifi's "offense."

Once again, you guys can't see the forest through the trees. Neifi is a terrific backup and (I assume) a great clubhouse guy. While I am not the biggest believer in 'chemistry', I do believe that it can help. Then you guys will turn your anger towards Jose Macias, who actually was great in a pinch-hitter's role and very versatile. Neifi is not our problem. The people who we get to actually play everday is. As long as we get some solid players at lf, rf and short, I love having Neifi as our super sub.

Ummm...how is a .185 AVG and .448 OPS in 56 pinch hit plate appearances considered "great in a pinch-hitter's role?" I'm just curious, because those were Macias' numbers as a pinch hitter this season.

Things have certainly looked darker during my life as a Cub fan. i recently found a scorecard at my parents' house from 1965 in which the Cub battery was Billy Faul and Vic Roznovsky.

But what signing Perez does do is make clear to us fans that the Cubs have learned nothing from their recent idiotic mistakes. And over the more than 40 years I've followed this team, the rays of hope that they'd finally figured it out have broken through the clouds that are the Cub way of doing things but briefly, one year here, one there, only to disapppear for another five or ten years at a time.

A light-hitting middle infielder who grounded into more double plays in '05 than Ron Santo (if you're old enough to remember it seemed like Santo grounded into about two or three double plays per game) did in all but two seasons. So Hendry says he's there for his glove. You can't get a late innning glove guy for less than $2.5 million? To devote 2.5% of your payroll to this clown is insanity.

Of course, it's not the end of the world. The end of the world would at least bring relief. This is something worse. it's dumbass Cub business as usual.

When did the Cubs become the Kansas City Royals?
Unless Hendry is masterminding a trade with Neifi this smacks as business as usual.
I also don't want to hear the Cubs mentioned in the same breath as the Yankees, Red Sox or Anaheim when they talk about spending money on players. True they have their Womacks and Grafininos but they have A-rod/Sheffield and Ramirez/Ortiz to off set the crap. What do the Cubs have to off set this crap?

"What do the Cubs have to off set this crap?"

Zambrano, Lee, Ramirez, Prior for starters.

Nate-
Just like last year?

Things could be worse. Jabba the Hendry could announce that center field is up for grabs between Corey Patterson and Jose Macias.

And you know it's bad when Kansas City fans are writing stuff like this...

Seriously, the real answer (for the Royals) is: scan the Cubs Rule V draft list every year. The Cubs have another bounty of young prospects who will be Rule 5 eligible this year, and it's highly likely that in order to ensure there's plenty of room on the roster for superstars like Jose Macias and Neifi "team MVP" Perez, someone useful will be left unprotected. If your own team's scouting and development systems aren't working, there's no reason you can't succeed simply by attaching yourself, remora-like, to a better system that sheds prospects in the Rule 5 draft like Ted Danson's hair.

But on a positive note, I see that the Braves have been trying and not succeeding at getting a meeting with Rafael Furcal this week during the GM conference.

Not looking good for Atlanta at this point.

Weeks,

The ESPN article on it included that.

jacos, i'm just trying to point out that the extreme negativity on this board about the neifi signing is a little premature. we've still got those players i listed, and we'll sign some others. it's not looking SO bleak.

i mean, what's the fun in following a baseball team if you're ready to give up on them in November?

Here are my preferences for ss and 2b next year.

SS
1. Furcal
2. Nomar
3. Cedeno
4. Jeff Blauser

2b
1. Walker
2. Cedeno
3. Hairston
4. Bump Wills

You get the picture.

Nate-
THe fun ends when it looks like business as usual and we have a manager with a man crush on a mediocre infielder.
Like I said I will breath again if this turns into a trade, or the Cubs opening day outfield is Rameriez, Damon, and Guererro with Neifi at SS.

i mean, what's the fun in following a baseball team if you're ready to give up on them in November?

Precisely. Which is why I now say "Go Tribe."

retro, why are you posting here instead of letsgotribe.com?

From Webster's:

Wait 'til nex year (n): A theory of operation designed to continuously build the roster to allegedly be successful in 2-3 years by talking up an army of "top prospects" who will never see 30 games with this team, and by signing mid-level stop-gappers into perpetuity, and by providing sunshine and COld Style.

what most of you are ignoring, and what's already been mentioned earlier in this thread and in the last thread, is that there are reasons beyond Neifi's OBP to keep him around:

1) His glove.
2) His presence in the clubhouse.
3) His relationship to Furcal.

Tom,

I'll see your Bump Wills/Jeff Blauser and raise you a Mick Kelleher/Mike Tyson. And not the boxing MikeTyson either.

One thing I want to add for fairness. There's one way to save this contract. I'm cool with a Ramirez/Furcal/Perez/Lee infield, as long as that means Todd Walker is traded for a Legitimate #2 SP or a Legitimate power/OBP threat in RF. If he's getting this big contract so he can give oral favors to Furcal and Dusty, then... well, I'm ready, but I'm not going to judge until February. So, for now, just.... huh?

retro, why are you posting here instead of letsgotribe.com?

Umm...because posts about Neifi Perez and other Cub stupidities aren't likely to be of much interest on an Indians blog?

Who in the world would trade a #2 starter for Todd Walker?

1) His glove.
2) His presence in the clubhouse.
3) His relationship to Furcal.

1) Not better than Cedeno's
2) He's not Jesus, unless he can heal Rameriz and Wood he's no presence.
3)The Tim McCarver/Steve Carlton theory only works for superstar talent, not drunk middle infielders.

Retro-
Colorado might give up Denny Neagle.

Neifi is not our problem. The people who we get to actually play everday is. As long as we get some solid players at lf, rf and short, I love having Neifi as our super sub.

Here's the problems I have with this:
a) Why do we believe Neifi is any more SUPER a sub than any other utility infielder.
b) If he is the best utility infielder backup in the world is he worth 2.5 million?

I don't think either is true.

Nate,

Being a Cub fan does not mean that you have to shut your brain off and cheer every bad decision.

This was a hideous, indefensible transaction. The fact that we have a manager who played Neifi in 154 games last season - more often than not, in the 1 or 2 spot in the order - only makes the signing worse.

You know nothing about Neifi's "presence in the clubhouse". Nothing. In fact, I can point to Todd Walker's veiled shot at Neifi's OBP last year (when he was campaigning to bat higher in the order) as evidence that Neifi's suckup relationship with Baker has a divisive effect in the clubhouse.

What we do know is that Neifi is one of the worst hitters in the long, storied history of the game.

True Cub fans will demand excellence from their team, and from their front office. I hate to call you out, but you're acting like an enabler. Fans who make excuses for horrendous moves like today only make it easier for more horrendous moves to take place in the future.

When Cubs management makes a move that objectively makes the team worse, they deserve to be called out for their incompetence.

I still can't figure out what happened to Jim Hendry on 8/1/04. It's like he was kidnapped and replaced with an impostor.

Colorado might give up Denny Neagle.

I should've specified--who would give up a guy who'd be a #2 starter on a non-craptastic team for Todd Walker?

Nate,
I don't know what you meant by the phrase, "there are reasons beyond Neifi's OBP to keep him around:"
I assume you meant "in spite of his spectacularly low OBP"
Anyway,
1) His glove: yes, it's good, we all agree on that, well above average.

2) His clubhouse presence: we don't really know what kind of clubhouse presence he is. The chicago media will sometimes suggest that he is well liked by his teamates...probably true...big deal. He had a bad reputation as being unpopular in the colorado clubhouse, so...whatever.

3) His relationship to Furcal: only matters if Furcal is actually on the Cubs. At this point the cubs have 2.5-3 million less to spend on him.

Neifi has value as a defensive specialist bench player, who can bunt, switch hit, run a little, play 3 IF positions and provide some veteran leadership.

What most of us are upset about is
1) Dusty will use him as an everyday player

2) That the cubs paid him more than double what he is worth.

I have two questions on this Neifi crisis

1) If the Cubs land Fucal along with Walker and Cedeno, why do the Cubs need Neifi?

2) Is Neifi tradeable at this price?

Tradeable to the Yankees.

neifi's probally not gonna be traded.

t.walker/r.cedeno now, however, are suddenly tradable.

i dunno what this says to some of you, but to me it says either furcal/garciappara are pricing themselves out (worst case) or brian giles just isnt in the cubs grasp if they plan on laying down loot for furcal or garciappara and some trade capital for RF is needed.

add in the unneeded rusch signing along with the uneeded neifi signing and its really starting to look like a collection of backups for future trade(s) are being accumulated.

that said, none of us have the information or tools to know wtf hendry's planning on. all we can do is wait and find out who's backing up who and who's on their way out.

Cameron: .249/.340/.442. Cameron's strike outs are a bit alarmingly, no doubt. But at least he works the count (over 4 pitches seen per at-bat for his career) He's also a world-class defender, often considered the best in the game at center.

Come on Rob, Iím not convinced Patterson canít match that description next year with the only reasonable exception being the pitches/plate appearance. Letís not forget that Patterson plays exceptional D in center as wellÖand heís a lot cheaper!

Assuming the Marlins do get rid of Alex Gonzalez, and the rumors of the Cubs wanting Pierre are true. Cedeno & Korey for Pierre & minor leage scrub?

Why should the Cubs desire Pierre? His most valuable asset is his speed and that skill is on the decline for him. He plays average D at best and doesnít walk enough to be a great leadoff hitter. Last year Walker was more valuable than Pierre (and yes, Iím considering O and D) according to Win Shares so why shouldnít Walker bat leadoff? I donít understand this desperation for a leadoff hitter when weíve already got a good option under contract.

i think a best case scenario at this point is Furcal at SS, Walker at 2B, Neifi the uber-backup, with Cedeno used in a trade for an OFer.

Why in the world should we trade Cedeno? If Dustiny is not going to play him, leave him in Iowa all next year for all I care. At least he wonít be gone when we get a new regime next year that knows how to run/manage a team. Cedeno has shown that he can play at the highest levels of the minors and is still only going to be 23 next season. Thatís a huge asset! Iíve been a big Hendry supporter up to this point but I canít defend this signing of Perez unless heís either traded or relegated to less than 150 ABs off the bench. Even if itís the latter itís still WAY too much money for a replacement level player.

Tbone & the other Tom,
I'll call you with Steve Dillard/Tom Veryzer!

I WIN! I WIN!

#51 Closing Time:

"This was a hideous, indefensible transaction." - OVERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR! It was neither hideous nor indefensible. Don't let your hatred of Neifi and Dusty make you overrate this signing. Its 2.5 million dollars. Its not a 10 year 100 mil albatross.

" The fact that we have a manager who played Neifi in 154 games last season - more often than not, in the 1 or 2 spot in the order - only makes the signing worse." - What are you more mad about? The 154 games or the 1 or 2 spot in the order. Neifi came up huge for us last year and deserved to play in every game he did, as our STARTING shortstop was injured. He was the best available option. Remember, we thought we could compete and were in the Wild Card hunt for a good portion of the season. When Nomar went down, it was not time to turn over short stop to a rookie.

I agree that it is hard to justify this signing, especially at this point in the offseason. Neifi is fine as a late inning defensive replacement, but they are a dime a dozen. To take up a 40 man spot on him, spend $2.5 million a year for TWO years is simply indefensible. Sure, sign him to a one year deal closer to spring training, IF you still have the need.

The bigger problem is that you know Dusty will find a way to get him in the lineup and bat him 1 or 2. To me, this shows that Dusty has Hendry wrapped around his finger, and now both must now go.

Corey Patterson's D in center is atrocious.

Here's his range factor per 9 innings: 2.23

Here's the league average: 2.51

Given how fast the MF is, you'd think he'd get to a few more balls. Shows that even world class speed can't save you if you break the wrong way on virtually EVERY BALL HIT TO YOU.

Letís not forget that Patterson plays exceptional D in center as wellÖand heís a lot cheaper!

Korey's head is mush and he'll be lucky to touch a .300 OBP anytime the rest of his career. THe difference between .300 and a .340 OBP is quite significan in my opinion. Defensively, Cameron is all-world, Patterson had an amazing year in 2004 and regressed a bit last year. He still takes some bad jumps in my opinion, while there's no questioning Cameron's defense in center. Anyway, neither he nor Pierre is anyone I desire to get, but it appears froma few sources now that Hendry would like to pry Pierre from the Marlins, I was just pointing out that Cameron would be a better option over Pierre.

The desperation for a leadoff man comes from the fact that Dusty will undoubtedly put the fastest guy at the top of the order, OBP be damned. It's time to recognize this and go find a player that suits that role. I'd prefer to fire Dusty, but it's not happening, at least not before the start of the year. Hendry can continue to try and force players and ideas on Baker, or we can start getting players that work in Dusty's system. Furcal is an excellent, if not perfect, choice for a leadoff guy. Baker would NEVER, EVER put Walker first. Baker will be the manager next season. And unlike some around here, I WANT to win next year and I don't care how it happens. So time to get on the same page.

I predicted that Neifi Perez would get a two year starting SS gig for $5 mil, but I didn't see this coming.

Well, he DID get his two-year deal and his $5 mil, but he gets it to stay in Chicago (which he apparemtly wants to do) and (presumably) be a back-up middle-infielder (that is, if the Cubs sign Furcal and wait to trade Walker until after Spring Training).

Until Todd Walker is traded, Walk is still the starting 2B. I figured he would be traded after the start of the season IF the Cubs signed Rafael Furcal and IF Ronny Cedeno claimed the starting 2B job in Spring Training. That still could happen.

But I believe signing Neifi is mainly a precursor to the Cubs signing Rafael Furxal. It gives Furcal one more reason to want to come to Chicago (just like Nomar was more likely to return to the Cubs after the 2004 season if good buddy Todd WAlker was there), and Neifi gets his two-year deal & guaranteed starting SS money to stay in Chicago (a place he is comfortable).

Perhaps Hendry's plan is to keep Walker, sign Furcal, use Neifi as the 2B-SS back-up (and late-inning defensive replacement for Walker), and send Cedeno to Iowa for a season to learn 2B, with the idea of replacing Walker with either Cedeno or Eric Patterson come Spring Training 2007.

What the Neifi re-signing SHOULD mean (for sure) is that Jerry Hairston, Jr is gone, either to be traded in the next few weeks, or else non-tendered in December. I had written in previous posts on other threads that I thought Hairston would likely get traded for a back-up middle-infielder, but re-signing Neifi and non-tendering Hairston (or trading JHJ for a minor league prospect) would accomplish the same thing.

Corey Patterson's D in center is atrocious.
Here's his range factor per 9 innings: 2.23
Here's the league average: 2.51

Range Factor: (Put Outs + Assists)/Inning

Doesn't take into account all sorts of stuff like size of ballpark, tendencies of the staff (flyball vs. groundball), etc, etc. Very flawed stat in my opinion.

His defensive win shares which takes into account a lot more factors has him as the 13th ranked OF and it's a cumulative stat, so he gets penalized for his time in Iowa. His BP Rate2 stat had him at 101 (100 is the average), which is where I'd consider him. An average to slightly above average center fielder.

I love reading AZ Phil's take on all things blue.

So JHJ has no value on this team OR will he be the 4th (or 5th) OF. I always though of him as the roster replacement for Tom Goodwin of 2003,2004. He's got some speed, can play CF (and LF...the tougher position according the the dustmaster) and a backup for the leadoff spot if he's not overused there. We get the 2B factor too, although it looks like JHJ is already the 4th option for 2B so it's unlikely he'd see any play at 2B (except when Dustbuster goes double switch crazy).

I'm just hoping that if the Neifi signing does lead to Furcal...it means that Neifi is actually replacing Macias' spot on the roster. I can live with that. A bit pricey for that roster spot but it is more palatable in that light.

Lets see...T Walker starts at 2B, double switch in the 5th with Cedeno, double switch with JHJ in the 7th, Neifi mops up for defense in the 8th. YIKES!!! But what about EXTRA INNINGS???

So the conversation goes like this:

Hendry: Well Dusty, now that I've brought back Neifi, should I sign Jose Macias?
Dusty:Thanks Dude, I'm so glad you've given me a slewful of middle infielders... but I really could uses Macias for those extra inning games when I need one more double switch.

Sucks. Pointless. Not defensible from any objective stance. IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!! and might as well add to that, "Oh, Jim Hendry, architect of 89-win greatness, you're the best thing to happen to this franchise in years! I love how you never get locked into five-year contracts, and it doesn't really matter that you've shown no interest in building a useful bench, ever!"

Kind of sucks that the other team wins championships while we pay a decent chunk of change to house one of the worst hitters of all time.

Don't let your hatred of Neifi and Dusty make you overrate this signing. Its 2.5 million dollars. Its not a 10 year 100 mil albatross.

5 million over 2 years for a supposed backup utility infielder IS an albatross. It's even worse, when you've already got 3 guys on your roster making the same or less money who are better players who play the exact same position.

2.5 million dollars isn't a huge deal in a 100 million dollar payroll, but combine it with Rusch, that's now 5 million dollars we're spending on players who could be replaced by rookies for 600k and get identical, if not better, production.

Throw in Dempster, who at 5 million per year is overpaid in my opinion, the Cubs are now spending 10 million dollars on about 3 million dollars worth of talent.

That's nearly 7 million dollars of wasted money and you can buy a pretty good ballplayer for 7 million dollars.

Korey's head is mush and he'll be lucky to touch a .300 OBP anytime the rest of his career. THe difference between .300 and a .340 OBP is quite significan in my opinion.

I know Corey had a terrible year last year, I can't refute that. But to say that it established his career norms or that we should expect more of the same last year is a little shortsighted, don't you think? He hadn't come close to a performance that bad in his entire pro career so it's likely 2005 was the outlier. Also, heís only going to be 26. The next year or two are widely considered the beginning of a playerís peak years.

I blame his downfall on management and still think that's the best explanation. He got rushed to the majors before he learned how to control the strikezone, then rather than letting him build on a nice 2004 season Dustiny tried to force him into a leadoff role this year. Patterson is many things but he WILL NEVER BE A LEADOFF HITTER! It's the same problem over and over with Cubs management: rather than finding ways to accentuate the things their players do well they ask them to do things that they may not be capable of or have the talent to perform. What if Corey was left alone in the 7th hole this year? Would his numbers have been remotely as bad as what they ended up being? I doubt it.

Hendry can continue to try and force players and ideas on Baker, or we can start getting players that work in Dusty's system.

So youíre giving up Rob? Come on man, youíre one of the more thoughtful posters on TCR and your comments sound as if youíre giving up. As fans we shouldnít put up with Dustinyís futility. Whether or not heíll be our manager is irrelevant. People in baseball do read these blogs and more importantly people talk about things written here. If we ever hope to rid ourselves of Dustiny then we need to keep the fight going. We shouldnít settle for ignorance or mediocrityÖor in this case, just plain stupidity.

#59 It was neither hideous nor indefensible. Don't let your hatred of Neifi and Dusty make you overrate this signing. Its 2.5 million dollars. Its not a 10 year 100 mil albatross.

I disagree wholeheartedly, but you raise two interesting points.

First, to clarify the problems with the Neifi trade. Neifi did not "come up big" for the Cubs last year.

He had a miserable year with the bat, but that was to be expected. When Nomar went down, the Cubs should not have had to turn to a player like Neifi. A big-market team could have - and should have - made a move for a legitimate starter.

Secondly, he is turning 33 years old, and his glovework and speed can be expected to deteriorate. This is not the time in a player's career to triple a player's salary while guaranteeing additional years!

Thirdly, our manager's irrational love for Neifi resulted in an astonishing amount of PT last season - even acknowledging that Neifi had to start at SS for several months. Despite long stretches as a backup or platooning - and despite the worst numbers of any regular besides Patterson, Neifi accumulated the 3rd-most ABs on the entire team, behind only Burnitz and Lee. There is no explanation for this fact, outside of abject stupidity from our manager.

Finally, and most importantly, Neifi's signing takes MLB opportunities away from Ronnie Cedeno, and - just as importantly - bumps one more player off of our 40-man roster, exacerbating a roster crunch and quite likely contributing to another Andy Sisco fiasco. Cedeno could have easily filled the "2B/SS backup" role, which has now been assigned to Neifi. And everyone else moves one spot down the totem pole, culminating with, say, Jae-Kuk Ryu landing in the KC bullpen.

As for the second point - "Its 2.5 million dollars. Its not a 10 year 100 mil albatross", First, $2.5M is a laughably high sum for a no-hit backup middle infielder. Secondly, Hendry will *never* be accused of sticking the Cubs with a huge free-agent flop contract, because he will never take the chance.

Hendry will continue to throw $4 and $5 million deals around like they're nickels. And then he'll claim poverty when the big-name outfield free agents come calling. Because he's scared of making the big move.

His mantra seems to be "nothing ventured, nothing lost". He'll never be skewered for spending too much on a top free agent, because he'll never sign a top free agent. He waits until the big names are gone, claiming that he "couldn't justify five years", or "didn't have the money".

Then he'll spend those same 5 years going through a carousel of high-priced second-tier talent, eventually spending *more* money than the top-free agent would have, while getting zero production. But at least they can't pin a big-time free agent flop on him!

Candidate #151 who could easily replace Jose Macias:

"Padres declined infielder-outfielder Eric Young's $850,000 club option for 2006."

Career .360 OBP (some Coors effect in there of course)
Play most defensive positions as equally as crappy as Macias.

At last, he's not a switch-hitter. DAMNIT!!! And who'd be our emergency 3rd catcher?

i still dont understand all the doom. no one here has a clue what the next move is or what hendry is planning on doing.

chances are either cedeno or walker, one, wont be with the cubs next spring.

there's so much up in the air right now and until the FA market settles and the cubs settle their RF issue, its gonna stay up in the air.

what happens if the cubs sign furcal and trade walker or cedeno for a nice RF? is it still doom? is it doom if neifi/cedeno split time at 2nd while walker is traded for a RF? hell, we dont even know if RF is a target...its just an obvious target to trade for given the lacking RF FA market.

there's just so much left to do and the cubs have given no indication that neifi is the end of the search for SS or 2nd.

Neifi did not have a miserable year. He had very nice year. Your revisionist history is deplorable.

So, let me get this straight...the White Sox win the World Series and the Cubs counter by re-signing Neifi F. Perez?

Words fail.

Hendry will continue to throw $4 and $5 million deals around like they're nickels. And then he'll claim poverty when the big-name outfield free agents come calling. Because he's scared of making the big move.

I've never really thought of Hendry in those terms, but that's a really good point.

wsox win the world series...and juan uribe is their SS. he's about 10 homers better than neifi and very little else.

both nice gloves/arms/setup.

In my opinion Defense and Pitching wins championships. I'll always believe this. A middle infield of Furcal and Neifi would be excellent defensively assuming neifi batted 8th and furcal batted 1st. Leave cedeno in Iowa for a year and try to trade neifi at the deadline for pennies if Cedeno is ready. If we go this rout then we definately need a stud outfielder bat and yes a # 2 starter. A lineup of
Furcal
Murton
Ramirez
FA Stud RF
Lee
Barrett
Patterson
Perez
Would not be bad if your pitching rotation lookied like
Zambrano
Stud #2
Prior
Maddux
Wood/Rusch/Williams

And with a decent pen. That would give us solid D up the middle and at first. Look at what the white sox did. THis signing although I am pissed about it isn't the end of the world. What will be the end of the world is if Neifi is our starting SS in April.........

Also with him having experience at 3rd we would have a back up for aram.

I think you try to trade rusch and walker to a team that needs to save money on a right fielder. Any teams that fit this profile?

He hadn't come close to a performance that bad in his entire pro career so it's likely 2005 was the outlier. Also, heís only going to be 26.

Normally I would agree that a player can have a down year and it's just a blip on the radar screen. But Korey is a unique situation. He's shown absolutely NO ability to adjust his game at the major league level. NONE. A lot of folks blame him for being rushed and there's a lot of truth to it. But even the best and most seasoned hitters need to learn to adjust to major league pitching and that will only happen by seeing major league pitching. Korey's seen more than enough of it and NEVER adjusted. I see no hope in his game, particularly not in Cubs uniform. Cause the first time he swings at a pitch over his head or one in the dirt, the boo-birds will be out and he's going to start thinking about it. Once he starts thinking about it, it's over, it's in his head and the doubt is going to start overwhelming everything he does.

Maybe, just maybe he'll turn it around. But the Cubs need Plan B, C and D in place when he doesn't next year.

So youíre giving up Rob? Come on man, youíre one of the more thoughtful posters on TCR and your comments sound as if youíre giving up

Quite the opposite actually. I've never been the type of person who thinks that there is only ONE way to win. Your team can be built around a number of factors and be successful. And I certainly am enough of a fan of the Cubs that they can win and not do it my way. Do I agree with their moves? I think my posts on the Neifi and Glendon signing will tell you where I stand. Since it's just the beginning of the off-season, I'm not going to make harsh judgements one way or the other on either, but at the moment neither signing makes much sense to me.

All I was really saying in regards to Hendry and Baker getting on the same page is that there are players that will appease Baker and his management style and that are actual good players. I hope these are the players that Hendry is trying to acquire. Furcal is one of them (speedy leadoff guy with a good OBP and a heckuva glove), Neifi is most certainly not.

2 things about this offseason...

1- rusch signing for 2 years is weird when there's already a starting 1-5 in place and some kids in the wings in (r.hill/mitre)

2- neifi signing for 2 years is weird when he played a full season and didn't cut it anywhere but with his glove and attitude

both of them are not only needless and redundant when compared to what's already here...both make no damn sense as it stands.

assuming the cubs are still in the furcal hunt and are outside players in the garciappara hunt...both of which are easy to assume...

j.williams/t.walker are in the doghouse as prime trading chips...the possible roles of r.cedeno/j.macias are now in limbo.

all this could turn out to be freeing up trading chips or it could be a freaked out hendry stockpiling for "worst-case" situations...both are logical extremes.

it doesnt help that some of us have differing views on cedeno's value beyond the fact he'll make next to nothing for 3+ years nor does it help that some of us don't even want to think about todd walker being traded.

Tom and T-Bone, try beating a Tom Veryzer/Junior Kennedy dp combo!!!

youíre one of the more thoughtful posters on TCR and your comments sound as if youíre giving up

As if those 2 things were mutually exclusive.

I just don't understand what Perez provides that Cedeno doesn't for over $2 million a year less. Can someone please explain that to me? Seriously.

A couple years ago the Yankees signed Tony Clark or Travis Lee or some re-tread for 2 million to back up and one of the baseball commentators said 'Why sign a guy for the minimum when you can pay someone $2 mil?' I never thought the Cubs would be equally foolish.

YE OF LITTLE FAITH (i.e. the overwhelming majority, i.e. most of yous):

calm the fuck down for gods sake.

this is all to get furcal to ink the deal and be happy knowing he'll be with his ol buddy ol pal while getting themselves one of the better utility infielders in the game. and though everybody says hes a glover with no stick, i personally think he hit well within his abilities last year, but dusty fucked it all up by over-playing the guy when he just as well could have had JHJ in there, instead he played him day in and day out until he pulled his disappearing act during the yankee series going something like 1 for 15 or something awful like that right after he had been surprising people.

dont you guys remember that?

ok, lets say they do indeed trade away walker which makes sense since theyre going to sign furcal OBVIOUSLY with this perez for 2 business. and then they let cedeno and perez go at it in spring training. i say why not. why let cedeno cruise in there when hes still nothing but a young minor league prospect? cedeno must know dusty adores neifi right? hell, let that feed his fire! let that motivate the kid to not get beaten out by an over-touted utility guy. if he cant bring it, we know the kid aint ready, voila.

at any rate im saying y'all shouldnt over react to this. for the record, i am not a neifi hater. i never was. i appreciated having him last year, and dont fault him for getting mis-used by dusty.

he is indeed the whipping boy of this blog it seems, but im no part of it.

Adam's pal Matt Murton, today...

1-3, Double, Run scored; .337

"I just don't understand what Perez provides that Cedeno doesn't for over $2 million a year less. Can someone please explain that to me? Seriously."

that's the thing...we got a 6th mlb-ready starter and 2 capable backup IF'rs right now.

something most likely has to go...and it might not be who we want it to be (t.walker/r.cedeno).

hell, it might be neither and hendry could be stockpiling.

until i hear news of todd walker being sighted in mexico shagging flies in RF, i won't be too confident in thinking come march that cedeno/t.walker will both be cubs (especially if furcal or garciappara come about).

It's a terrible, pointless signing. It also accounts for less than 3% of the 2006 payroll. By my count, Hendry still has four months to go and a little over $30 million to spend. Hardly time to pull out the Chicken Little routine.

"Tom and T-Bone, try beating a Tom Veryzer/Junior Kennedy dp combo!!!" - Tom H

Four words: Davey Rosello/Lee Elia

Neifi did not have a miserable year. He had very nice year. Your revisionist history is deplorable.

That's absolute fiction. It's knowing that there are people who see this as you do that makes me pissed off to be a Cubs fan right now. It doesn't matter what the other plans are: there's no reason to make this move. The roster spot it's wasted is probably more important than the money.

Neifi was 31st in EQA for SS with 100 PA in 2005. He hit like Jack Wilson. Juan Castro. Adam Everett. Royce Clayton. These guys all sucked with the bat, to the point where nothing else they do can redeem it. Oh, by the way, that's the BEST year Neifi has ever had. (See! All it took was Dusty Baker, bringing out the best in his players!)

I'm tired of Jim Hendry. I'm tired of his lack of vision beyond next week and next season, tired of his callous disregard of players #9-13, tired of his refusal to confront his manager regarding the usage patterns of said players (assuming he's ever recognized there's a problem). This team is going to have $16 million committed to Ryan Dempster, Greg Maddux, and Neifi Perez. I wouldn't necessarily go this route, but some of you could toss in Kerry and make that $26 million. We could have behaved like a huge-market club and bought an actual baseball player or two with that money, but there's always some "crisis" to patch with an expensive, press-friendly solution, or some scrappy gamer who's done so much to pick up the slack when the team needed to count on him in the clutch etc etc etc.

Hendry also had the professional courtesy to disrespect Todd Walker with the "I've decided I like guys who can catch" comment. Classy. Hopefully Todd catches on somewhere where the brass and fan base appreciate an 820 OPS for $3 million.

So no, while this isn't a move that's going to make or break a season, it's a move that didn't have to be made and so far has best been rationalized by the luring-Furcal argument. We'll see.

Anyone come across the Type A, B and C free agent list yet? I found a list of starting pitchers only in an article about the Royals. Thanks in advance if you could post a link.

Type A: Clemens, Weaver, Rogers, Morris, Burnett
Type B: Byrd, Millwood, Loaiza, Moyer, Washburn, Estes, Tomko, Jason Johnson, Leiter
Type C: Lima, Scott Elarton

wouldn'y it have been better to head into next season with Cedeno/Furcal/Ramirez and Nomar backing them up than what we have today? That being said what if Hendry has a deal woth San Diego or Cleveland for Burroughs(not Bakers type) or Ronnie Belliard of Cleveland? Would you not trade Walker and a Mitre/Brownlee for one of them? But it looks like Neffi is getting way to much money to play utility. The problem I have is knowing when, not if, Aramis is injured that Neffi/Cedeno will play 2nd. Dusty will look to play this guy. He always has.

scooter

And I keep seeing ARam's groin mentioned in posts and I completely understand why people are concerned. What I don't understand is why a guy has a two-three year groin injury. This is something I don't remember happening in the past. Is he seeing a specialist of any kind? Has he been given a program to strengthen the appropriate muscles and add flexibility with stretching? Does this guy do anything in the offseason but work on adding to his double chin?

It's like when Prior showed up with his sore calf. Sore since the season before. My God, guys used to drink beer and bowl and fish all winter, come to spring training with five or ten pounds to lose and I still don't remember them having all but a knee or arm problem carry over from the season before. Has anyone heard if the new trainer is on this?

TBONE its called the players today being whimps.

well...groin injuries dont always heal universally.

guys can carry around a groin injury for years before it either heals, your pain threshold goes ballistic, or you tear it.

some guys heal right up...some (garciappara/aram/oswalt) are on/off with theirs like josh beckett is on blister-watch.

sometimes they need a game off...sometimes they need weeks off...sometimes they collapse in a pile that allows neifi perez get 450+ab

I don't mean to bust anyones bubble, but Neifi's glove at Second would help if neither walker nor Cedeno play 2B next year.

I hope the Cubs keep Walker over Perez; Todd is one of the best hitting 2B in the League. If the Cubs dont get Juan Pierre or Johnny Damon (yeah right) I would want Walker batting second behind Furcal (fingers crossed/nock on wood).

However, if we have a Perez-Cedeno middle infield, I will be pissed.

How's Furcal-Walker(awsome for 1&2 spots inlineup) vs. Furcal-Cedeno(??) vs. Perez-Walker(nooooo)
vs. Perez-Cedeno(oh no, please dont!!!)

TBONE-

Ramirez had a quad injury, this year I think.

Prior had irritation in his ankle tendon- not a calf injury. I had the same thing when I used to walk a mile to work in London. For me changing shoes fixed it in about a week, but much like they said at the time, there's no set way to fix it other than to not walk at all. It never came back on me, hopefully it won't come back to Prior either. The best way to describe it is that someone accidentilly forgot thier razor blade was in the back of your shoe. It's really bazaar, because you feel the area, feels normal, look at it, looks normal, you walk on it and it hurts like hell.

I think it would be a bad idea to trade for Burroughs, since he's going to not be offered arbitration and you can get him for no players at all. I think he and Perez would make a really dynamic left side of the infield, they could have a contest to see if their slugging% combined = Lee's.

Oh and this idiocy about signing Perez to recruit furcal- you know it may be true, but if you were Furcal what would you rather have: $1.5 million a year, or Neifi Perez cheering you on from the bench? For all you people getting excitied about Manny- I guess you're hoping we sign Millar to play right.

Real Neal,

I think the quad finally took him out of the lineup but his groin was tweaked earlier. It's in a constant state of tweak. It's like you can't even stand watching this guy trying to go from first to third. You're afraid something that should be inside his leg will will explode and end up on the outside.

The problem with this signing for most on this board is that they do not understand the role of specialists. Is Neifi a great player no? Is he a great utility infielder yes. All you sabr guys want is OBP. Its is like when I bring up getting Soriano for RF. All you look at is his OBP and say no. Never mind the fact his job would be as a number 5 hitter and he would be getting paid to drive guys in and not get on base all the time. If OBP was the sole basis for judging a team's success then why did both WS teams have a .322 OBP for the season? Hell look at at what Beane has done in the last few he has went after D. In hindsight I would have given anything for Neifi to be our starting SS in 03. He would have won the WS that year because he would have made the play.

I do not understand the money. Yes, we're still at a point where it is a drop in the bucket, but this is not reassuring. Fine, re-sign him to lure Furcal. Fine, give him two years even though he was a scrap heap pickup two years ago. But WHY ON EARTH pay him that kind of money?

Hendry sees him as a backup player. He has to, given the other middle infield talent at his disposal. No backup player is worth this salary, certainly not Neifi Perez.

Can anyone rationalize giving him this kind of money?

Also, I was wondering if there is a meeting where GM and coach sit down and GM says, "I signed X as a back-up. Young Y is who I want to see starting." Does Hendry have any measure of pre-season control in Dusty's depth-chart, or does he simply throw Dusty the roster and cross his fingers?

the money involves is pretty much the main thing that makes me think cedeno or t.walker could be on their way out in a trade...probally for a RF'r...could be for bullpen...*shrug*

neifi coming back not only for 2 years, but also for 5m, and especially because hendry's said something about "improving the D" at least more than once this short offseason...well, i dunno where that puts t.walker/r.cedeno once SS is figured out.

most managers/gm's know what each other plan on doing with a player, but the manager decides the day to day roster operations.

when you have the guys upstairs running your team (hi dave miley) you tend to have things like adam dunn laughing in your face, austin kearns becoming a lazy fat guy, d.jiminez busted down to AA cuz of his attitude, and a host of other "respect" problems where players set the rules via mob mentality.

ozzie's still getting his feet wet on this whole manager thing. yes, he seems to be good and he should win manager of the year...but he's had some clubhouse respect issues early, especially with the bullpen who felt detatched from him cuz he was mainly a batting-friendly guy by nature of his very recent playing days.

he seems to have a handle on it now...and if they're not happy after winning a ring...who needs em anyway? heh..

The problem with this signing for most on this board is that they do not understand the role of specialists.

The problem with this debate, such as it is, is that some people on this board do not understand the pay scale of specialists. Are backup middle infielders really given 2 year, 5 million dollar contracts?

The was a pheonominal defensive shorstop that started here this year. He is a below-average hitter, but not terrible, and was the planned starter at that position for the entire year.

Juan Uribe still only made $2,150,000 last year, and he's on the upside of his career.

http://www.baseballreference.com/u/uribeju01....

http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/perezne01...

Career OPS+ for 33 year old Neifi - 65
25 year old Uribe - 82

Last year Neifi - 77
Uribe - 85

Now you could argue that Uribe might be overrated - heck I expected his numbers to be better - but he's better than Perez offensively and defensively. He's a starter, and he's likely to improve. But hey Neifi did place third in double plays this year. Not turned, grounded into.

It's not the Hundley signing, or Danny Jackson, or the worst signing ever, but it's just way too much money.

All you sabr guys want is OBP. Its is like when I bring up getting Soriano for RF. All you look at is his OBP and say no. Never mind the fact his job would be as a number 5 hitter and he would be getting paid to drive guys in and not get on base all the time.

Chifan:

It's a lot easier to "drive guys in" when you get on base. Just look at the RBI leaders: of the 27 players that hit 100+ RBIs, 22 (81%) had an OBP above .350. If the top 50 in RBI, 39 (78%) had an OBP above .350.

the money involves is pretty much the main thing that makes me think cedeno or t.walker could be on their way out in a trade...probally for a RF'r...could be for bullpen...*shrug*

Crunch, it looks like Walker may very well be on his way out. Both Cleveland and Texas have inquired, I know the Indians wanted to trade for Walker at the deadline last year, but I don't know why. They have a surplus of lefty bats and they are set on DH calibur players in Hafner, Broussard, Casey Blake et al...and they just picked up Ronnie Belliard's option so they're set at 2B. The Indians need right handed bats. Isn't that why they traded Gerut for Dubois last season?

Walker seems to fit better with Texas as a DH or part time 2B...especially if Soriano is traded as rumored. Maybe it's possible we could be looking at a middle infield of Furcal/Soriano on the north side in '06. Korey, Walker, J.Williams + pitching prospect(Mitre/R.Hill) for Soriano and Sarge Jr?...or maybe it's just a Walker for Mench straight up situation...which I'd be indifferent about.

I'll be surprised if Hendry trades Walker during the offseason. Picking up a player's below-market option so you can use him as a trading chip is pretty Machiavellian, especially when you're denying that veteran a chance to cash in on a weak free agent market. It just doesn't seem to fit Hendry's style.

Bogey you just made me throw up a little!

Todd Walker WARP 2005 = 3.5
Alfonso Soriano WARP 2005 = 3.7

Alfonso Soriano's salary 2005 $7.5 million
Todd Walker's salary 2005 $2.5 million

Just that trade even up would make signing Neifi Perez at $4 million a year a comparative bargain.

Jim Hendry 'I've decided I like defense....but I decided I'd like to have the worst 2nd basemen in the majors even more'

Actually now that I think about it, maybe there is a method to the madness. If he were to trade for Soriano and Manny Ramirez then Maddux would retire the next day and that free's up some more payroll!

Of course, I'm assuming Walker doesn't want to be traded. He's probably about as thrilled about the potential platoon situation with Neifi as we are...

Re: groin injuries, with each successive injury they take longer to heal, never get back to as good as they were before, and it becomes easier to hurt again. So basically once you start falling down that slippery slope it's really difficult to stop. Griffey is a prime exampnle.

If the cubs sign furcal as I (and most) expect, I would like to see an infield of Lee at 1b, ARam at 3b, Furcal at SS and a walker/cedeno combo at 2b with whomever walker or cedeno isn't playing and Neifi as backups over the infield. If anything there would be a lot of depth and versatility. If they could just add Giles in right (doubtful) i would have a good feeling about the season.

Not that I think it'd be a great idea, but I'm surprised that there hasn't been more talk about the possibility of a Geoff Jenkins trade

I am kind of surprised the Yankees have not resigned Hideki Matsui to a contract extension yet. The rumor is he is seeking a pretty reasonable offer of 4 years 40 million.

Yank's have till Nov. 15 to sign him or he is placed on waivers according to the way his contract is written.

If that were to happen I don't know if he would make it to us in the waiver wire process. Dodgers, San Fran, Baltimore would all likely quickly snag him up.

But if by some miracle the stars aligned I would have no problem with Matsui in LF, Giles in RF and god knows who in CF. I like Murton and all but if you got a shot to add those 2 guys you take that shot.

I got the solution however unlikely to happen that would please everyone. Re-do idiot's contract that he gets a 250,000 raise if Murton bats 2nd 130 or more time's next year. So even if he puts Neifi as the starter at 2b the line-up might not be that bad. Anyone hear Levine Tuesday morning talking about Hendry trying to do a Dunn deal and meeting with Ryan's agent.

I'm pretty sure Hendry is going to talk to everyone possible (Dunn/Ryan/Abreau). However, something tells me he will try to land Furcal,Pierre,Kearns,Burnett, and Howry. That would make me very happy.

yanks are damn close to signing matsui...probally tommorow. his agent and cashman are having lunch in LA tommorow.

How many of ye posters out there are women? B/c there a lot of fuckin whining going on. There is no way to tell if this is a good signing or not until the $ amount is made public. 2Y/$3M is good, 2Y/$5M is bad...I do have to admit that at the same salary of $2.5M I'd rather have Walker...If anyone has been checking out other teams sites, you'll see that teams like KC and Toronto have money to burn this year. Player salaries will go up. In Jan this signing, Rusch, and Demp will all probably look pretty good. It's better to get a deal done fast in this climate.

Does anybody know where i could score some weed?

I think Neifi! must have naked pictures of Dusty or Hendry. Maybe both. Maybe together.

Does anybody know where i could score some Wood?

I wish I were post #34

hot stove rumor from Newsday:

"The San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers have discussed a trade that would send former Yankee Alfonso Soriano and centerfielder Laynce Nix to San Diego for starting pitcher Adam Eaton and second baseman Mark Loretta."

Hmmm...gotta love the rumor mill.

Ron G. said: "Hendry also had the professional courtesy to disrespect Todd Walker with the "I've decided I like guys who can catch" comment. Classy. Hopefully Todd catches on somewhere where the brass and fan base appreciate an 820 OPS for $3 million."
AMEN to that.

A quote from Nefi, "When I was struggling [with the Cubs], I was hitting the ball hard and [Baker] didn't sit me. I think I was 1-for-27 and [Baker] gave me the confidence to get out of that slump. When I came to Chicago, everything was different -- the manager, the organization. I was happy there, I was happy with my manager. I was happy with everybody. I think that makes a lot of difference."

Not an actual quote from Ronnie Cedeno (but its fun to think of), "Yeah I remember watching Perez struggle, geez a 298 OBP and hitting into 22 double plays. I mean what else could I do. I was there on the bench next to Morton. Morton said they got to let us play soon they are out of contention. Boy was he right after Hairston got hurt, Ramerez got hurt and Walker was only able to pitch hit. Baker walked up to me and said I could play until they were able to get Enrique Wilson in a trade. I hit 300 and played all out........ Huh, What, two more $%#%$@## years!!! Damn, why am I down here playing winter ball?"

Venezuelan Winter League

SS Ronny Cedeno (Cubs) went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored (November 6th)

A quote from Perez in today's Tribune.

"When you've got a guy like Furcal at the top of your lineup, a lot of things happen. He could be on base two or three times for Derrek Lee and Aramis [Ramirez]."

So even Neifi gets it. He might have wanted to mention OBP at the top of a lineup to his benefactor, Dusty. Maybe, "Gee, skip, you sure you want me and Corey batting one - two?" or "What in the name of all that is holy are you trying to do, you idiot? You have two of the worst offensive players in the game batting in front of this year's best offensive player. What don't you get?" You know, something like that.

There is no way to tell if this is a good signing or not until the $ amount is made public. 2Y/$3M is good, 2Y/$5M is bad...

It's 2Y/$5M with a extra $1M signing bonus, even cubs.com has been reporting this.

In other words, it's bad.

Paul Noce/Mike Brumley

Top that!

Manny Alexander/Rodney Scott. I rest my case.

"Manny Alexander/Rodney Scott. I rest my case."

Tom is that the Manny Alexander pre-steroids?

I'll raise your Manny Alexander/R.Scott and call you with Dave Owen/Vic Harris*

* I really wanted to go with Dave Owen/Tom Veryzer because they were the backups to Sandberg-Dunston/Bowa during the 84-85 seasons but Veryzer was already taken.

"Bogey you just made me throw up a little!

Todd Walker WARP 2005 = 3.5
Alfonso Soriano WARP 2005 = 3.7

Alfonso Soriano's salary 2005 $7.5 million
Todd Walker's salary 2005 $2.5 million"

REALNEAL

I wasn't implying that I thought it would be a GOOD idea, it was just the first thing I thought of when hearing TEX having interest in Walker. I know Hendry inquired about Soriano at the deadline last season with the intentions of moving him to the OF...but Soriano said he wanted to remain at 2B. I couldn't think of anyone the Cubs would be interested in besides the Mench deal which has also been rumored. Quite frankly I'm not thrilled at acquiring either of them...unless Soriano could play CF at a high level and hit in the 5th or 6th hole like a T.Hunter or M.Cameron. I'd actually like to hold onto Walker and let him hit in the 2 or 6 hole everyday...even against lefties. We need some left handed bats...because if we don't get Furcal and a lefty RF like Giles/Huff, he's all we have....oh, except for Neifi.

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