Bye Nomar

No surprise, but Jim Hendry has let Nomar's agent know that he should try to "find a better fit" for Nomar elsewhere. There's the usual "door is still open" stuff, but this is a pretty clear indication that Garciaparra won't be back with the Cubs. It closes the door on a chapter in Nomar's career, and the Cubs' history, that could have been so, so much better. Final stats for Garciaparra in a Cubs uniform: 105 G, 395 AB, 56 R, 114 H, 26 2B, 0 3B, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 28 BB, 38 K, 289/350/453 Now he's off to Los Angeles, or Baltimore, or Minneapolis, or somewhere else, most likely to play third base.
Return to Homepage

Comments

Well, it looks like ol' Jim did make a good move last year when he signed Nomar to a one yr deal. Could you imagine if Nomar was in the midst of a three yr deal right now? Jim and the Cubs have multiple options right now. Thats a good thing. You just have to start by filling the most glaring need first-leadoff.

Nomar -
Farewell, or see ya soon?

Never say never, I wouldn't mind to see him come back at 90% incentive laden contract. But hard to diss the guy, just was always hurt.
What if he signs a Neifi size contract in LA?

Anybody familiar with Bill James Handbook projections. While I generally like the guys writing I've never seen his projection 'system' and according to Peter Gammons at ESPN.com it comes up with some pecuiliar numbers for the cubs rookies:

Cubs CF Felix Pie to hit 21 HR and an .874 OPS;
Cubs INF Ronnie Cedeno .310 with an .800 OPS;
Matt Murton .318 with an .859 OPS;

Full Article here:
http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/gammons/story?...

I have real trouble believing the Cubs can expect those kinds of numbers - they sound a lot more like a "super best case" scenario. If James has a reasonable degree of accuracy however then the cubs would have solved CF, LF, SS, lead off and only need to plug a generic verteran in right to have an solid outfield, three young stars and a younger lineup, as well as if the pitching pitches to its potential...well then suddenly you're a contender again.

That said I don't believe the Cubs rookies would do anything close to that - I don't think Pie is even major league ready let alone as good as listed there. What do you guys think?

I'm pretty sure these are minor league equivalencies. I.e., these are what the minor league numbers are equivalent to in major league numbers.

The problem is that not everybody does as well in 2006 as in 2005 even in the majors. Murton had a great 2005 in West Tennessee and Chicago. Cedeno had a great,but short,year in Iowa and hit .300 in 80 Cub at bats. So it's hard to argue with the equivalencies; Murton and Cedeno were clearly good major league hitters last year. But who knows about this year?

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

From the same article, Henadry speaking about Furcal.

"If he does decide to leave, we certainly will get more involved."

Reading between the lines, Hendry wont even make an off er until Dec 7th or later. This is the last day for teams to sign their own free agents. So if we lose on Furcal, we still wont get Nomar back, unless he abstolutely cant ind anything else, in which case wed take him back as a LF and give him$1M in salary and $5-6M in incentives.

You heard it here first.

PAYTON RULES:

I believe Cedeno, Murton, and Pie initially will produce:

Cedeno .340 OBA & .400 SLUG - .740 OPS (in 2006)
Murton .380 OBP & .500 SLUG - .880 OPS (in 2006)
Pie .330 OBP and .520 SLUG - .850 OPS (in 2007)

And that's before my morning hit of peyote.

AZ Phil,
I was thinking about heading up to spring training late in March(so that the players would be back from the world baseball classic), and I was wondering if I should buy tickets in January, or if I could just get them at the gate. Also, how much is it approximately for a ST game? Thanks.

Just a shame we couldn't get more out of the guy. Seems like a good guy to have around.

Are we sure he wouldn't end up being a better 2B than our projected guys? Better defense than Walker, better hitter than Neifi/Ronny. Maybe, when healthy, a better hitter than Walker.

Surprised other teams would consider him at 2B and not the Cubs.

this is sheer stupidity - i say we get nomar with an incentive laden contract. Then use the money we save on (not getting) furcal on signing a starting pitcher like milwood or AJ burnett. We then go after Juan Pierre in a trade or johnny damon as our lead off guy. Its our pitching that bites not our offense!

Cedeno .340 OBA & .400 SLUG - .740 OPS (in 2006)
Murton .380 OBP & .500 SLUG - .880 OPS (in 2006)
Pie .330 OBP and .520 SLUG - .850 OPS (in 2007)

They should easily obtain those numbers with the limited amount of bats they will get as they rot on the bench behind, Neifi,Korey, and washed up corner outfield vet yet to be signed.

Billy, I went to a ton of spring training games in 03, and I always paid about $10-12 for seats in short right field, within a couple rows of the field. It was $20-25 for seats right behind the plate, and $5 or $6 for cheap seats in the outfield grass. I almost always bought my tickets on gameday.

However, the past 2 years, I believe tickets have been going much more quickly, and they've even had a few sellouts, so I imagine the ticket prices have gone up somewhat and if you know the dates you're going, it never hurts to buy early.

I haven't seen a schedule yet, but they also typically have one night game on a monday, and have a fan appreciation day in the afternoon where you can get autographs and usually hear from Players/Coaches/Managment. Certainly worth checking out if it fits into your schedule.

I like Nomar, and I wish he could stay. He's probably not, strictly speaking, a good investment. But I think he's good for the team and good for the city.

"this is sheer stupidity - i say we get nomar with an incentive laden contract."

I highly doubt he'd take that type of deal. He can go home to So Cal and probably get guaranteed money. Not the kind of $ he turned down in Boston a few years ago, and not Furcal money, but still decent money for a 2 or 3 year deal. I don't see him taking the 1 year incentive based deal that people talk about. He probably makes most sense as a Dodger anyhow. They need a new face to that franchise. As long as the Dodgers don't mess up and hire Epstein, Nomar probably ends up there.

Meanwhile the Yanks have backed off of Pierre and have been talking with Giles. 4 times in the last week.

Like last week I had a wet dream of Giles and Matsui in the OF. Too bad it was the wrong damn OF.

Jeter
Giles
Sheffield
A-rod
Matsui
Giambi
Posada
Cano
Scrub player

Sorry to say but Nomar is just too injury prone. I think if he did not have such an injury prone record the last four years, Hendry would have signed him for next year. How many times do we need to see Nomar get injured before we accept that the guy just is too fragile? The key now is to bring in probably two new position players who can start next year, one infielder and at least one outfielder. If that does not happen, and if Nomar has a great season next year somewhere else, ouch!

"They should easily obtain those numbers with the limited amount of bats they will get as they rot on the bench behind, Neifi,Korey, and washed up corner outfield vet yet to be signed."

If that is the case, then I sure hope Hendry fires Dusty and/or McPhail fires both of them. I don't mind those guys sitting behind star calibre players. I do mind them sitting behind Neifi, Korey and wash-out TBD.

thanks, bleeding blue!!

I'm going to begin a tally of how many times Jim Hendry says "Obviously," when he begins a sentence in interviews. If anyone already has this information, please post it.

BILLY: "Field Box" seats (first ten rows) behind home plate and behind the dugouts cost $18 and generally are sold out (as season tickets) in advance. These are considered the "best" seats.

Many of the seats in the "Terrace Box" section (about 11-30 rows up behind home plate or behind the dugouts) are available for individual game purchase, however, and it's best to buy these tickets in advance. You can order them by mail or by phone (I recommend by phone) after individual game tickets go on sale sometime in (I believe) February. "Terrace Box" tickets go for $17 each. There is a metal sun roof over most of the "Terrace Box" seats. These are the best available seats to watch the game. The seats themselves are reasonably comfortable individual fixed chair-style with a back-rest.

I would stay away from the so-called "Terrace Field" section. The seats are located in the first ten rows, but are down the right field and left field lines. The sight-lines aren't too good, and if you're on the third base side (especially), you have to look right into the sun to watch the game. It's not worth $14 to sit in those seats.

The so-called "Grandstand" are bleacher-type seats located above and behind the "Terrace Field" sections along the right-field and left-field lines. Even though the seats are higher up, the sight-lines are better than from the lower & closer "Terrace Field" section seats, and the "Grandstand" tickets only cost $6. However, both the "Grandstand" and "Terrace Field" seats are uncomfortable, and it's hard to watch the game from there because of the sun and the fact that you have to turn your neck to watch the game. Even sitting on the outfield "Berm" (lawn) is better than sitting in the "Grandstand" or "Terrace Field" sections, in my opinion. ("Berm" tickets only cost $5).

If you do end up with a bad $6 "Grandstand" seat, however, you can always stand in the walkway between the "Field Box" and "Terrace Box" seats located behind home plate or behind the dugouts with your back to the wall in front of the "Terrace Box" section. As long as you don't block the walkway, you can stay there for the entire game if you want, and if you buy a "Grandstand" ticket, it would only cost you $6 to do that. Of course, there are people constantly walking by in front of you, and you might get tired standing up for two or three hours. But $6 is a good price to get into the stadium if you don't mind standing the whole game.

So I would recommend getting tickets in either the "Terrace Box" section ($17 per ticket), or else "Grandstand" tickets ($6 each) and then stand against the wall along the walkway between the Field Box and Terrace Box sections behind home plate or behind the dugouts, or else (if you like sitting on the lawn beyond the outfield fence) get "berm" tickets for $5.

If you are so inclined, you usually can buy Field Box or Terrace Box seats the day of the game from people who can't use their tickets and just want face value for them, just by walking around outside the stadium and along Center Drive an hour or so before the game.

Scalping is not illegal in Mesa, so you can get REALLY good seats from scalpers, who stand on the east sidewalk along Center Drive all the way down to Fitch Park before the game, but they sell the tickets for far more than face value. Not worth it unless you want to get a REALLY good seat at the last munute.

If you intend to sit out on the outfield berm, then you can usually just buy the tickets the day of the game. Same goes for "Grandstand" tickets. It used to be the Cubs would sell out most all of their Spring Training games in advance, but it's not like that so much anymore. If there is an advance sellout, it would be a game with the White Sox or Diamondbacks, or a Saturday or Sunday game. Weekday games aren't much of a problem.

As for prices, they keep going up every year. I cannot believe how much they charge for Spring Training games, especially when the visiting team might bring only one or two of their "regulars," and when half of the Cubs starters on a given day for most of the games are AAA players or back-up guys. So to get your money's worth, the best time to go to Spring Training GAMES is the last week of March, when the regulars are more likely to play and when the teams are no longer playing Split Squad and "B" games. Most of the managers (including Dusty) like to rest their "main guys" the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the Spring Training schedule, and then put the "major league" starting lineup together on the field the last week, just before the start of the season. If you go to a Cubs "road" game, you're probably REALLY going to be disappointed, because Dusty leaves most of the "regular guys" in Mesa.

Actually, the best (and cheapest!) way to enjoy Spring Training (in my opinion) is to attend the workouts at Fitch Park the last week of February (starting the Thursday or Friday a week before the Spring Training games start, after the position players have arrived in camp, and once the pitchers start throwing BP). It's up-close-and-personal, and it's FREE! You get to Fitch at about 10:30, watch the pitchers-cover-first base drill and maybe a "pickle" rundown drill, and then the players break-up into four groups and take BP.

The "major leaguers regulars" usually hit together on the same field, with the back-up "major league" guys in another group, and the prospects and non-roster guys in the other two. You can move easily and quickly from diamond to diamond. I alomst prefer the February workouts to Fitch to the actual games.

Az Phil - do your really think Pie has that much pop?

I don't like his K/BB and CS rates - like I think everybody else - but I love that he's young for his league, seems to have a great attitude, and has produced at each level. I just don't see how he could possibly put up the Bill James # listed above next year. In two years maybe.

If he put that up he's a shoe-in for rookie of the year isn't he? Is he really that good - like #1 prospect in baseball good?

pie is athletic beyond his means...and he projects similar to the way a.soriano projects...for now.

its not his plate selection or speed that makes people go "wow"...its the speed of his wrists/hands coming around on the ball.

btw...soriano is an even worse hitter than people give him credit for. he stands at the front of the batter's box not only hoping to feast on fastballs, but to catch slower breaking stuff before it starts to break too much.

the way he compensates for this is his extreme wrist/hand strength and twitch speed. if he was actually a good hitter, he could sheffield-style his way through a pitcher's stuff and streamline his approach. right now he just uses his athletic ability in his swing to jump in front of stuff in a way a lotta mlb'rs cant do.

but he's young and he's capable of putting up above average, yet not stellar, numbers with the skills he has and the way he uses them.

of course the fact he murders 2nd base defensively you gotta toss away in comparison to pie cuz pie can actually field his possition decently. in contract, pie isnt as fast or selective as soriano on the basepaths.

as cruddy as it might seem, he projects somewhere in between c.patterson and a.soriano at the worst. to some that might be promising. personally, i don't want to see him anywhere near a MLB uniform til next sept. at the earliest.

PAYTON RULES: Yes. Felix Pis is a power hitter. He drives the ball and hits ropes to all fields. He is definitely NOT a lead-off hitter, and it would be a big mistake to try and make him one. He is a first-ball/fastball type hitter. He isn't a good base-stealer, but he is fast and is a good base-runner. He is gregarious & hyper and plays with a lot of passion, very aggrssive at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He just looks like a player who will be a real "pain" to the other team. When he finally gets to Chicago, I would start him in the #7 spot in the batting order, with an eye toward him eventually becoming the #3 hitter somewhere down the line.

what're the chance nomar will be injured a third consecutive year - other than griffey jr. - no one is that unlucky.

no one is that unlucky

Certainly not this ball club.

Peter Gammons just reported on ESPN radio that the Cubs offered K.Patt to WASH for Brad Wilkerson this weekend. No word on whether WASH turned it down or it's in ongoing discussions. This would leave me to believe that A)the Marlins definately do not want K.Patt in a Pierre trade and B)the prospects of a Murton/Pierre/Wilkerson OF is an upgrade over last year, but certainly not one that is going to put the Cubs over the top in '06. Gammons also claimed that the Yanks have talked to B.Giles agent which makes no sense unless they are truly not going to bring back Matsui. Gammons also said that Bj Ryan would likely get around $9 mil a year. I think we can definately cross Ryan off of the Cubs wishlist.

I'd be pretty happy with a Patterson for Wilkerson swap, assuming Wilkerson has overcome the forearm injury that plagued him last season. A healthy Wilkerson batting down in the order in a hitter friendly park could be very pleasant.

Batting down in the order? What's the point. I thought the whole reason to get rid of Korey was to get a top of the order batter. Why not just keep him and bat him 7th?

Cool AZ Phil. From everything I read most of his power came from triples until this year - so I wasn't sure if the doubles power was turning into home runs or the park got smaller.

That said I'd put Murton leadoff. Then again I'm not nearly as concerned with batting order as some people.

Chad,

If the Cubs pick up Furcal, there will be no need to replace Corey with a top of the lineup batter -- Furcal/Walker, Furcal/Murton, or sadly (knowing Dusty) Furcal/Neifi will take care of that.

As for just keeping Corey and batting him 7th -- well, a sub .300 OBP isn't quite as much of an abomination at the back of the lineup as it is at the top, but it's still something I can live without.

I heard Wilkerson might end up going to Oakland for Robnett and Garcia.

With ARod winning the AL MVP when conventional wisdom was pointing to David Ortiz, perhaps D Lee has a chance over Pujols and Jones tomorrow.

Also, If Brad Wilkerson is the answer, what was the question? He's a chunky CF whose offensive numbers the last couple years make him look like a recovering anabolic steroid addict.

I do like the top of our order if it's

Furcal
Murton
Lee
ARam
Walker

I think that would make for a lot of big innings.

We can't however, give away every third inning with three automatic outs. Since I certainly don't trust Hendry to build a good bench, I'm still holding out hope that he can make a lineup that's strong top to bottom and can stay injury-free all season.

Pass the bong. Wow, that's good sh!t.

I'm not going to speak of WIlkerson's defense, but hitting in RFK is baseball Siberia. His #'s were doomed to take a hit, particularly the power #'s. Still had an OBP over .350.

He strikes out way too much though and not enough power to be a middle of the order guy, in my opinion. He is best suited at the top of the order, but Baker wouldn't put him up there.

i dunno if i'd count on murton being a #2 hitter...especially with his pop.

the guy is a bit fast, but not that fast.

seems he might break as a 5-7 hitter.

yeah, some might put him in the #2 slot, but with d.lee up after him it might be a waste of good protection to put him there.

no matter what some think about murton...he is a doubles-homer guy and is being groomed as such. he's not a singles hitting, walking machine who's there to set up things. he's a producer, not a setter.

it could go either way...just a matter of philosophy.

I don't know a lot about wilkerson (researching as I type this) but I'd take damn near anything over corey right now. If he is going to turn it around, it'll be batting 7 or 8th, and it won't be in a cubs uniform. bring on wilkerson. if nothing else, maybe wilkerson+ a few others turns into pierre or something better...

and so long to nomar, apparently. It's too damn bad, he's a good dude off the field, and probably in the clubhouse, he's got a hot wife, and I think he's an asset to whatever team he's on for the intangibles. At the same time, you can't keep throwing money at the disabled list. If you want to know what I'D do, I'd trade aram's lolligagging ass and sign nomar, incentive laden, to play 3B......

I'm not banking on Wilkerson coming to the Cubs but if the Cubs were to land both Pierre and Furcal and hold onto Walker at 2B I wouldn't hit Wilkerson higher than 6th or 7th in our lineup.

Pierre
Furcal
D-Lee
Aramis
Walker
Murton/Wilkerson shuffle them in 6/7 hole depending whether SP was RHP/LHP
Barrett

naturally Baker would feel to break up D-Lee and Aramis again with a lefty so he'd probably hit Wilkerson 4th and it would be another Burnitz reincarnate with a K or lazy popup in every other AB. Wilkerson is not a CF, he just played there in Montreal because they had no one else. He came up as a 1B/OF but moved to LF to accomadate Nick Johnson. He played some 1B when Nick Johnson was on the DL last season but his regular position was LF. Endy Chavez played CF for WASH last season until the trade for Preston Wilson with J.Guillen in RF.

Why can't Todd Waker bat 2nd? Is it just me or isn't he perfect for that spot in the lineup?

Patterson for Wilkerson? Talk about another pie in the sky trade. Unload crap for gold.

Yeah people are interested in Patterson. But they are not that interested. The only thing Patterson has going for him is his age. That is the only reason any team would be interested in him at this point. What they will not do is give up anything important to take a chance on him after witnessing that .215 hitting season last year. It wasn't just bad it was to the point where he was incapable of recovering. Which is not a good sign.

Patterson's value at the most is merely a throw in player in any deal. And if he is traded straight up he might net a Neifi Perez or Jose Macias type player. No one is going to take a Kevin Mench or Brad Wilkerson and swap him with Patterson.

Also, CWTP;

It will be a cold day in hell the day a DH wins the MVP.

Chad,if Walker had a bit more speed he'd be an ideal 2nd hole hitter(like a young Sandberg and Jeter), and I wanted him in the 2 hole the entire year last season even against lefties...but I'm just saying that if Furcal and Pierre are on the Cubs next season they are likely going to hit 1-2. I can't see the Cubs hitting one of them in the 8th slot...especially Furcal when making $9-10 mil a year. Plus, Walker is capable of driving in some runs with 20 HRs (if healthy and playing most everyday) so in this particular lineup and if Wilkerson is played RF next season Walker will have to move down in the order. if the Cubs only land one of the two in Pierre and Furcal then yes of course Walker hits 2nd...I like him over Murton or Cedeno as some are suggesting.

"if the Cubs were to land both Pierre and Furcal"

If I had a million dollars - if I had a million dollars, I'd buy you leadoffhitter, not a high K guy but a leadoff hitter.

If I had a million dollars, I'd put a contact hitter at the 2 spot. If I had a million dollars, Derek Lee would still hit 3.

If I had a million dollars, my cleanup hitter would have health. If I had a million dollars, if I had a million dollars, I'd have gold gloves all over.

If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a monkey. Haven't you always wanted a Monkey? If I had a million dollars, I'd buy your love...and a World Series RING! DING!

Since I don't - There's no way we get both Furcal and Pierre. This is the Cubs we are talking about. This is Baker and Hendry. Until proven otherwise, that's just not their MO.

Practically, I can understand the Cubs not having Nomar back, but it still pisses me off. He's gonna go somewhere and tear the cover off the ball, and I'm gonna wish he were doing it with us.

He's also gonna throw the ball out of reach of the non-Derrek Lee 1B and miss alot of grounders that he can't get to and get injured somewhere along the line, forcing whatever team signs him to use a bench guy for 300 AB's.

Ouch, bob and big john make good points. I'm not sure if nomar's just getting a little older, and still pushing too hard, or if he needs a new conditioning program, but you're both prob right. Nomar will tear the cover off the ball, probably for a grand total of 50-60 games, if that. I still say trade aram and keep nomar at third, and pray he stays healthy this time....

Okay, so wilkerson's bat is pretty much junk. but being a regular starter for a few years, no trips to the f-$%ing minors, sounds like a solid, versatile defender (something hendry and dusty drool over--anybody who plays reasonably at more than one position)--I think getting this guy for corey is not only reasonable, we pretty much win, by a slight margin.

Reading between the lines, Hendry wont even make an offer until Dec 7th or later. This is the last day for teams to sign their own free agents.

Not true.

" I'm going to begin a tally of how many times Jim Hendry says
"Obviously," when he begins a sentence in interviews. If anyone
already has this information, please post it."

Obviously it is quite a lot of the time.

The answer to the question is 52,382

That is the amount of times Hendry has been quoted with the first word being "Obviously".

"Obviously we are a big market club pretending we know a thing or two about baseball. Obviously we are wrong from time to time. Obviously we are in a long dry spell. Obviously that has no reflection on our operation and the goals we set and accomplish. Obviously we want to do better. Obviously we are the best team in baseball. Obviously we have a difficult time proving it some years."

When Jim Hendry gives a press conference or an interview, my friends and I like to play the "Jim Hendry Obviously drinking game." Every time he says the word obviously, you take a shot. We changed the rule so that it's a swig of beer instead of a shot after he said it 39 times in one interview.

Don't want to hear-
"Obviously Neifi Perez is our opening day second baseman."

Obviously Jose Macias is our opening day catcher.

Obviously, we'd certainly have some obvious interest and definitely consider making a lowball offer to Carlos Beltran.

Obviously, I'd LIKE JHJ and Todd Walker to be our top of the order guys, but I just sort of work here.

"Don't want to hear-

"Obviously Neifi Perez is our opening day second baseman."

Well, Jacos, what are the odds of that happening when Jim Hendry looks at last season and says,

"Obviously, Neifi had a terrific year."

"Obviously Neifi Perez is our opening day second baseman." = Obviously we are a big market club pretending we know a thing or two about baseball.

"Obviously Neifi Perez is our opening day second baseman." = Obviously we are wrong from time to time.

"Obviously Neifi Perez is our opening day second baseman." = Obviously we are in a long dry spell.

"Obviously Neifi Perez is our opening day second baseman." = Obviously we are the best team in baseball. Obviously we have a difficult time proving it some years."

Nomar Predictions:

550 PA
.375 OBP
.325 BA
.16 Hr
99 Rbi

Obviously by releasing Nomar Garciaparra and extending Neifi Perez the Cubs are trying to make hell freeze over, thereby giving them a chance at the world series.

Eljefe281,

Explain.

A poster over at Al Yellon's www.bleedcubbieblue.com just posted a thread stating ESPN Radio 1000 is reporting the Cubs swung a deal for Pierre involving 2 minor leaguers. Anyone here have confirmation from another source?

It's on Rotoworld:

ESPN Radio 1000 is reporting that the Cubs are close to acquiring Juan Pierre from the Marlins for a pair of minor leaguers.

No Corey Patterson? We hope the Cubs wouldn't give up Felix Pie for one year of Pierre. Parting with pitching prospects, say Rich Hill along with Sean Marshall or Renyel Pinto, would be preferable.

===

I won't comment in full until I see an actual deal. I think Pierre is a useful addition to a team that's already close as opposed to someone who'll help a team get over the hump. If the Cubs give up anything significant (which they have to) for (as Roto notes) only one year of Pierre, I'll be disappointed.

I'm all for trading prospects if there's a glut, but go whole hog and get stars. Adding four-win players isn't going to get the Cubs anywhere, unless we go back to the "season over .500 = success" barometer.

Couple a thoughts by jack handy-not intending to hurt anyone's feelings, just offering my opinion:

The lineup is critical. The best way to put together a team is to fill the critical lineup spots first and then fill the remaining defensive spots accordingly. Not having a 1 or 5 last year killed us...

Walker can't hit 5th. Not enough power. Depsite his speed shortcomings, he was one of our best available leadoff man last year. Dusty didn't try him at leadoff which really surprised me but Dusty doesn't use all his assets, does he.

Murton is the ideal 2 hitter. He has patience which hitting behind a fast leadoff man, allows that man to steal bases. He also makes contact which allows you to hit and run. If Murton is indeed our leftfielder, I'd pencil him in the 2 spot right now. I fear, however, they're trying to change him to a classic 6 hitter. I don't like that idea at all. When the Cubs tried to get Grace to hit with more power (instead of doing what came naturally) he hit about .273, bad idea-they're likely to ruin him.

As for Wilkerson, I sort of agree that any decent player for Patterson is a good deal. That said, I'm not wild about this move. Wilkerson is a guy that played rightfield and was moved to center. He's not a classic centerfielder, so I'd expect him to play right. He typically has a decent on base % but not a high slugging %. Not good if our leftfielder is Murton and our rightfielder is Wilkerson. Not enough power in that equation. If they put him in center, it contradicts the defense emphasis they claim to be pushing. Add to all of that, his spot in the lineup: not a leadoff, not a 5. They need a 5 hitter from rightfield and I don't want him as our centerfielder.

Lets assume we sign Furcal to play short and leadoff. Lets say we get Wilkerson for Patterson. Here's the lineup:

Furcal
Murton
Lee
Ramirez
CENTERFIELDER
Wilkerson
Barrett
Cedeno

Looks like we'd need a stud centerfielder to hit 5th. I think thats harder to find than a corner man. Maybe the Twins will trade us Tori Hunter???

At this point, trading two good prospects is a nice idea. We are having trouble with our 40 man rotation and this can easy that problem. Not that these minor leaguers are on the 40 man yet, but it helps to make that decision.

Is it too optimistic to assume CPat counts as a minor leaguer?

Would it be crazy to trade the Pattersons for Pierre?

Wilkerson was probably hurt by RFK this year. If the Cubs went with Murton-Pierre-Wilkerson, signed Furcal, and didn't dick around with trading Walker, I think the offense would be more than sufficient. Healthy Aramis and Regular Lee could probably compensate for any outfield shortcomings, which wouldn't necessarily occur: Wilkerson put together a pretty good run before a hiccup in 2005, Murton at average helps with payroll elsewhere, and Pierre... uh, Pierre's had two good years.

It's still a pull-the-cord-and-pray-for-90 deal, but short of making a huge acquisition, it probably wouldn't get much better. With those players, one probably could pull names out of a hat and be guaranteed good lineup construction--unless, of course, Neifi's name is in the hat.

Right now, our lineup is something like:

1. Pierre, RF
2. Walker, 2B
3. Lee, 1B
4. Ramirez, 3B
5. Murton, LF
6. Barrett, C
7. Cedeno, SS
8. Patterson, CF
9. Pitcher

Lets work on getting a corner OF (sliding Pierre over) and maybe Furcal (sliding Cedeno over)...

Yes. Absolutely. Let's trade some prospects and get some everyday major-league players like Juan Pierre and Brad Wilkerson. This team needs to be respectable before it can win. If we go Pierre Murton Lee Wilkerson Ramirez Walker Barrett Perez (it's still Dusty you know) and have Patterson Hairston and Cedeno as supersubs, and if our rotation is healthy, all we have to do is figure out the bullpen (I hope that's coming up next). Probably won't win a championship but that order puts us in a lot better shape in July 06 than 05.

Pierre? Don't get ahead of yourself. Also, there is no way Pierre plays right. IF CP and Pierre play in the same outfield, CP plays right.

if that trade is true, it wouldn't surprise me if Cedeno is part of the deal. The Marlins are most likely down a shortstop when they part ways with Alex Gonzalexz and Robert Andino isn't ready yet (nor really all that good). The other would have to be major league ready pitcher to replace Burnett.

minor leaguers that could go in order of confidence
Cedeno
Nolasco
Guzman
Mitre
Pinto
Sing (in case they're thinking of getting rid of Delgado)

That's my random guess of the day.

Should have added- I'm not saying give up on Furcal, but in case we're still the Cubs in a few weeks....

If CP and Pierre both play in the same outfield for the Cubs next year, I'm going to hang myself.

Just heard the ESPN 1000 report...

"....Cubs are trying to finish up a deal for Juan Pierre for some minor leaguers"

Pierre's three years in Florida:
Yr AVG OBP SB CS Fld.$
03 305 361 65 20 993
04 326 374 45 24 995
05 276 326 57 17 988

Played 162 games all 3 years.

Sign here please, sir. ____________

First Lee, now Pierre... if you can't beat 'em, join us.

Rob,

Don't break out the rope just yet. I think that's what our lineup is right now if we get Pierre and Patterson isn't part of the deal. If this deal is done, there's even more incentive to move CPat than there was before.

The scouts are high on Cedeno. If we trade him, marketing him as a starting shortstop, making the major league min with a high upside, you have to get alot. I'd say Brad Radke. Minnesota really wants a shortstop.

Pierre's numbers dropped last year, and i think we can be fairly confident that will be an aberration when looked at it in the long run. He supposedly had a bum leg, which slowed him down quite a bit. When speed is your best (some say only) tool, that'll hurt quite a bit. Here are Pierre's post-break numbers last season:

.287 AVG, .340 OBP, .355 SLG, 33 SB, 10 CS

That is much closer to the totals he's posted over the last 3 years:
.303 AVG, .354 OBP, .378 SLG, 167 SB, 61 CS

His road splits for his career:
.288 AVG, .336 OBP, .360 SLG, 135 SB, 42 CS

Finally, his day splits (i always look at these for potential Cubs pickups):
.344 AVG, .394 OBP, .429 SLG, 95 SB, 34 CS

The mothership (WGN radio), Dave Kaplan and Tom Waddle commented on the Juan Pierre rumor. The one thing their sources told them is the trade is NOT imminent (as in tomorrow). No word on which prospects are being discussed. Apparently Beifest-Hendry haven't talked since the general manager meetings last week.

I think sometimes we look too much at splits. Okay, I get the idea, but why bother, really? If a guy's great at day games, guess what, most postseason ball is played at night. Good on the road, sure, but what are his nos. at Wrigley? Let's just face facts: Pierre, even with a dip in nos. last year, is a hell of an upgrade as a player in general over patterson, has postseason experience to boot, and guess what, he's been a leadoff man. As long as it's nothing obnoxious, say, cedeno+pie+(insert really good pitching prospect here), the cubbies win, and maybe big, with this one. Of course, from what I've read, it's not done YET....

If Cedeno is part of the alleged deal, what does that mean for our middle infield. Could Hendry A) backpedal on his Nomar stance, B) bakpedal on his his Furcal stance, C) start neifi, or D) have an ace up his sleeve?

Nothing like squashing a rumor before it's a rumor. Anyone hear this one?:

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said he definitely will tender a contract to pitcher Kyle Lohse, and definitely will not trade him to the Cubs for outfielder Cory Patterson. (Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune)

We are worried about Nomar's injuries and not A-ram's? We need to trade him or sign a backup who can play back-up. It is not a maater of if but when Aramis will be injured. I like an infield of D.lee Walker Cedeno and A-Ram with a back-up of Nomar. Just me.

scooter

Pierre for one year until Pie will be suffice.Need to dump Korey, though and not give up Cedeno.Sign Furcal, and let me know which minor league pitcher throw in the Marlins get I want to be his agent(see Willis, D).
Sign Furcal, and holy crap a major league lineup that does need triples or homeruns to score players from first.
Pierre
Murton
Lee
Aram
Walker
Cedeno
Barett
Corner Outfielder.

Oh yeah....

WHO THE HELL IS GONNA PITCH?!?!?

If the Cubs get Pierre they no longer are in a situration where they desperately need Furcal. They have a leadoff hitter and they have Cedeno and, (gulp) Neifi available at short. If negotiations with Furcal get out of hand they can walk away from the sweepstakes and focus on other guys like Giles and take their chances with Cedeno as the shortstop. Or they can get Furcal and pierre and go from having the worst top of the order in the league to perhaps the best. I like it.

Dodgers offered job to Theo, what does that do for Nomar if Theo gets the gig.

Xmas list-
Millwood
Giles
Furcal
Wagner
Is this asking too much?

I'd say Brad Radke. Minnesota really wants a shortstop.

Let's put down the crackpipe here.

First, The Twins trading Radke would be just slightly less likely than the Cubs trading Prior.
Not to mention, even if the Twins had a faint desire to trade him, he's a 5/10, who wants to retire after this season as a Twin and would veto any trade.

Second, The Twins already have Jason Bartlett who projects as a superior player to Cedeno. Minnesota needs help at 2nd or 3rd base, not at ss.

Third, Radke for Cedeno??? What's next? Santana for Korey Patterson? Maybe we could get Torii Hunter for Jose Macias too?

X,

You could have come a little stronger with "When I Win the Lottery' lyrics.

Scooter,

You have Nomar and you have Cedeno, and your name is Dusty Baker. Nomar isn't going to be a back-up. (He's not going to be a back-up anywhere).

Pierre addicts,

Is anyone confused why a leg injury caused his batting average to fall, but his SB% to climb? What was he doing in '03 and '04 sliding over the bag?

Murton addicts,

Expect about a .850 OBP for him next year.

Wilkerson fans,

Corey Patteson has a substantially better HR to K ratio, and you booed Sammy out of town for hitting 3 X's as many HR's as Wilkerson. Sabermattically walks are good. Game situation-wise, the ability to actually make the ball move towards the field of play is good too.

Rob G,

I think it would be foolish to trade Guzman at this point, and the chances of the Marlins taking Sing off of our hands, after already trading for Choi are probably = the moon colliding with the earth.

MikeC,

I'll be flabbergasted if the Yankees try to go with Matsui-Giles-Sheffield in the OF in '06. Not saying they won't do it, but if they did, they'd sure take the pressure off Hendry as the GM with the biggest learning disability.

Krone,

On December 7th, teams have to decide whether to offer arbitration to their former players who are now free agents (Nomar is a Cub example).

If the team offers and the player accepts, the player is considered signed for the upcoming season. The only thing to be determined is his salary.

If the team offers and the player declines, the team can continue to negotiate with the player until January 8th (or around that date; it may change a little from year to year - not sure).

If the team doesn't offer, it effectively cuts its ties to the player (can't re-sign until some time in May).

Tony,

I look primarily at 2 sets of splits for potential Cub acquisitions: road splits and day splits. The road splits are something i like to look at in order to make a (lazy) first approximation at eliminating ballpark effects; the day splits i like to look at since the Cubs play so many day games at Wrigley. These are especially relavent for players coming from the Marlins since they are the opposite of the Cubs in that they play the most night games in the majors, and they play in a pitcher's park that kills power numbers. I wasn't looking at those to consider when/where to play Pierre, just to get a better idea of what we can expect from him.

RealNeal,

Pierre's SB #'s went up as the season progressed. Here are his SB/SBattempts by month:
April: 2/5
May: 7/10
June: 9/9
July: 17/22
August: 11/14
September&October: 11/14

It seemed that his legs were hurting in April at the very least. Who knows how much they affected him through the All-Star break. Can you deny that he played closer to his career average in the 2nd half?

Not to change the subject, but why are so many clamoring for Millwood? The biggest sucker this offseason is the one who overpays Millwood with an extended, ace-like contract.

Wilkerson fans,

Corey Patteson has a substantially better HR to K ratio, and you booed Sammy out of town for hitting 3 X's as many HR's as Wilkerson. Sabermattically walks are good. Game situation-wise, the ability to actually make the ball move towards the field of play is good too.

Indeed, with Isolated Powers of 203, 196, and 244 over 2002-2004, Wilkerson has shown he can do that. If you want to go more traditional, in 2004 and 2003, Wilkerson would have been two and five doubles, respectively, off the Cubs' leading total. He "moves the ball towards the field of play" just fine: you can keep the OBP, and a couple million dollars, as a bonus.

Regarding the HR/K ratio thing, (a) I'm more concerned with the K/BB ratio, as that's a better indicator of what kind of PAs a hitter's having, and (b) Wilkerson played in RFK last year. What's Corey's excuse?

The Wilkerson thing is on even weaker ground than the Pierre thing. However, if Washington is really looking to trade him for cheap (and I can't imagine offhand why they would), the Cubs might as well throw their hat in. We certainly could (and probably will) do a lot worse.

I don't know. The way prospects get a cup of coffee in the big leagues under Baker and then are quickly shipped out of town I would not be surprised if Cedeno was traded.

In my messed up view of Baker and the Cubs franchise I would expect Murton to soon be shipped out of town as well. These kids just can not handle the majors like the Neifi Perez's and Jose Macia's of the world.

Oh and it should be noted if we do get Pierre for a few measly prospects. Just another deal where Hendry shows he is nothing if teams are not giving away players.

Hendry could not do a straight up swap of talent to save his life. The easy trades are taking on someone's unwanted player. But that is only 1/3 the job of a GM in the off-season. He also needs to be good at free agent negotiations. He isn't. And he needs to be good at making creative deals to get pieces of the team he wants. He isn't.

Last off-season showed what Hendry was. No one was giving anything away thus Hendry couldn't do a damn thing. Your GM shouldn't be entirely dependant on other teams wishing to dump salary. But Hendry is.

A little more on Furcal, apparently the Cubs have already made it to the table.

dan the fan: i think your post is accurate. they really don't need pierre and furcal...

bleeding blue: i'm not smoking crack. minnesota is in a transitional year. they've fallen behind the Sox and Indians and are always Moneyball. i don't have any proof that they'd deal radke but anything is possible with that team-expect santana and mauer...

Forgive me for asking the obvious, but how much does Brad Radke really have left?

Well said, MikeC. Hendry's finest moments are as the GM of a big market team preying on his bottom rung counterparts. (He's used the Pirates the way the Yankees of the 50s and early 60s used to use K.C.)

MikeC:

In the last three years, Hendry has traded away almost nothing to get Kenny Lofton, Aramis Ramirez, Michael Barrett, Nomar Garciaparra, and Derrek Lee. Go back another year and you can add Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek to that. Maybe you could clarify why this is a bad thing?

As for free agents, maybe you'd like to point out a few free agent signings from '04 that Hendry missed out on?

If anything good comes of this I will be shocked.

If you look at the Marlins need here they are:

SS- They wanted to give the job to Aiando(sp) but he was dogging it in the AFL. They will look to see if they could get anybody else. Cedeno here would be an option.

SP- With Willis, Vargas, and Olsen in the rotation they will most likely look at a RHP ready prospect. Mitre a definant possibilty.

OF- No matches here if Pie and Murton are off the table and they dont want Cpat.

Pen- They need a cheap closer. Maybe they bring Looper back. JVB a real option.

The 2 Minor leaguers will be a combo of Cedeno, JVB, and Mitre.

And he needs to be good at making creative deals to get pieces of the team he wants. He isn't.

The Nomar trade wasn't creative enough for you? It was a 4 team deal, and according to Hendry, when it was pulled of Theo and the Sox thought Murton was heading to Montreal.

He also needs to be good at free agent negotiations. He isn't.

He's not good because he isn't willing to give out 5+ year 10-20+ million dollars deals to players with questionable "superstar" credentials?

There are some signings that I'm not all that fond of (ARams "opt out" contract, Neifi and Rusch's signings at all) but for the most part he's done pretty well. No, he hasn't brought in the "big name," from another team (except for Maddux) but when you're building a team around guys you've traded for, Like Lee, ARam, Barrett, and Nomar, and guys who you've developed, like Z Prior and Wood, you don't need to make as many flashy, and risky, signings.

The easy trades are taking on someone's unwanted player.

Really? Then why aren't other teams beating Hendry to the punch?

Hendry can and should be criticised for alot of things, but saying he doesn't know how to make trades or sign players to good contracts aren't those things.

maybe aardsma?

Bleeding Blue,

Thanks for stating the obvious some people on this board need it.

Dan the Fan,

Good pickup he slipped my mind. For some reason Hendry is not that high on him so I will add him as the 4th possibility.

Forgive me for asking the obvious, but how much does Brad Radke really have left?

In a year where he gave up way way way too many first inning runs, Radke still ended up with a respectable 4.04 ERA in the AL. He'll give you 200+ innings every year, and walk vertually no one (23 bb in 200 ip last year).

Basically, he's not an ace on most championship teams, but I can think of very few teams that wouldn't be happy to have him as their #2 guy.

I think it would be foolish to trade Guzman at this point, and the chances of the Marlins taking Sing off of our hands, after already trading for Choi are probably = the moon colliding with the earth.

Well I think trading Guzman would be foolish as well, just making a guess on who I thought might be included if the rumored deal of 2 minor leaguers was true. Aardsma, Van Buren should have been on that list too. The Marlins aren't going to give him away, and with Hendry telling Nomar to take a hike essentially cause of his injury problems, dealing Guzman I think is a possibility. Plus he wasn't one of those 3 guys mentioned (Pie, Murton, Hill) that seemed untouchable.

As for trading for Sing, I don't see why Choi would be a problem. He performed rather well in his brief stint in Florida.
.270/.388/.495

he was just part of a deal where they thought they were getting something better in LoDuca and Mota.

But I think starting pitching and a shortstop would be their bigger needs.

Bleeding,
I hear you re: Radke.
I like the guy. His command is truly awesome.
I just worry that he's getting too old, and that he is overvalued because of his name.

hell..if the cubs are seriously gonna try to pay furcal to play SS for 4-5 years and florida needs a SS bad enough to give up a 4m/yr CF who's in decent condition in exchange for cedeno and some of the non-hill/guzman/wuertz pitching crew..i'd be for it.

i'd hope it means t.walker gets to stay, too.

dunno how long this rumor will take to come to surface or to die a quick deat...wee...offseason.

ShawnDGoldman--88+90--thanks for the insight, I appreciate your take.

As far as Hendry goes, both sides make good points. He hasn't done a terrible job, for certain, but there are things I'd have done differently. The way I see it is this--the cubs, until not all that long ago, were most definitely not a top 2 or 3 payroll team. Another thing they weren't was headed anywhere since the implementation of the wild card. Then came 2003. Those playoffs were the best times I've had in my adult life as a cubs fan (realize, I'm only 28, but I have been cheering for the cubbies my whole life). We as fans got a little taste and wanted more, and why the hell not? The fans, the city and the team deserve it. But throwing money to the tune of $100 mil at the problem is not the way to fix it (ask the mets of the past few years). That '03 team was made up of guys who could play, and play as a team. One example that made me smile, Tony LaRussa commented something to the effect that Grudz was his real MVP as far as that team was concerned this year, and I can see why. I've said it time and again, and I'm starting to preach it here: you need to assemble a TEAM, not a group of guys who show up to punch the clock. Old Jimbo needs to remember that, and I think, for the most part, he's starting to. See below from last week's mailbag:

The key to a winning team, in my opinion, is team chemistry, a few key leaders on and off the field to build around, plus a strong, good-natured supporting cast. Who will the Cubs build around for 2006? I'd love to see Lee put up the same numbers next year but he seems like a quieter, lead by example type of guy. It seems the Cubs are in need of a "lead"-off man, in more ways than one. -- Tony S., Dubuque, Iowa

C. Muskat's response:

They'll build around Lee and Aramis Ramirez and Michael Barrett and Ryan Dempster and Wood and Prior and Zambrano, among others. The chemistry was good on the '05 Cubs, but something was missing. The team needs someone who would police players for making a mistake so that it doesn't all come from manager Dusty Baker and the coaches.

Players usually respond better to players. And I'm talking about private, behind the scenes actions, not public displays of aggression. Ask Billy Williams or Ron Santo or Baker. When they played, there usually was one guy who took charge in the clubhouse. And he doesn't need a "C" on his jersey to be the one.

I'll tell you what was missing, Clueless Carrie - not so much players that could "take charge in the clubhouse", more a batting lineup strong from top to bottom, a bench of viable options, a healthy rotation, an effective bullpen and a manager capable of making best use of the lot.

excerpt from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

The Braves and Cubs are among the teams that have contacted Marlins free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez.

WHY BOTHER?

Translation: Booby Prize to the loser of the Furcal derby?

(be thankful it's not the Devil Rays AGon)

This is rebuilding the bullpen?

LOOGY lite...yet another HIGH Profile player that the Dustbuster has attracted! (ugh)

from today's Trib (Mark Gonzales)

The Cubs and White Sox are among multiple suitors of Scott Eyre, a free-agent left-handed reliever, agent Tommy Tanzer confirmed Monday.

The Cubs might stand a better chance of signing Eyre because of his familiarity with the National League. It also helped the Cubs that Eyre renewed acquaintances with manager Dusty Baker after the season, Tanzer said.

Eyre's career was resurrected under Baker and pitching coach Dave Righetti after he'd been claimed off waivers from Toronto during the 2002 season. Eyre had a 1.59 ERA in 21 games with the Giants en route to the NL pennant.

Eyre faced significantly more right handed batters than left handers last year.

#69 of 114: By Rob G. (November 14, 2005 06:41 PM)
if that trade is true, it wouldn't surprise me if Cedeno is part of the deal. The Marlins are most likely down a shortstop when they part ways with Alex Gonzalexz and Robert Andino isn't ready yet (nor really all that good). The other would have to be major league ready pitcher to replace Burnett.

minor leaguers that could go in order of confidence
Cedeno
Nolasco
Guzman
Mitre
Pinto
Sing (in case they're thinking of getting rid of Delgado)

That's my random guess of the day.

-

ROB: I'm going with Adam Greenberg and Renyel Pinto as the two guys the Marlins would get IF (and that's a big IF)) the Cubs do (in fact) acquire Juan Pierre for "two minor leaguers."

I just don't think the Cubs would have to give up a Ronny Cedeno or an Angel Guzman, what with Pierre being a free-agent after next season, and the probability of Pierre getting $5 mil in arbitration. Greenberg (who is having a fine season in Winter Ball, by the way) and Pinto would be a fair return for the Marlins. I was tempted to say Pinto or Nolasco, but Pinto has more "upside" AND he's a lefty.

Scott Eyre isn't exactly a LOOGY. He gets right-handed hitters out, too. But the fact is, although he pitches well against right-handed hitters, he is REALLY good against left-handed hitters. He ain't Mike Remlinger, that's for sure.

If the Cubs have a chance to sign Eyre (for no more than two years, and no more than $6 mil), I say "Do it!" The bullpen needs more experience. And if the Cubs have a chance to acquire Mike MacDougal (who is still an "auto-renewal") from the Royals (for maybe Sergio Mitre and David Aardsma), I would make that trade.

Dempster
MacDougal
Eyre
Williamson
Wuertz
Ohman
Novoa

"Dempster
MacDougal
Eyre
Williamson
Wuertz
Ohman
Novoa"

pass the pepto

Couple a thoughts:

You guys are underestimating Cedeno's value. Its not much different than the NCAA Baseketball tournament. A guy plays great in the tourney, his stock goes up significantly. Cedeno has jumped to the top of the class of Cub's prospects. He had a terrific year last year. Especially when you look at his minor league numbers. Are you kidding me? I've said this about Murton and I'll say it about Cedeno: If Corey Patterson would have hit .320 in his rookie year as a Cub, he would have been the toast of the town. If he would have had an ob% of .370 in the minors, people would be jumping out of their skin. Just because these guys weren't as highly touted as prospects, doesn't mean that haven't developed as players. Thats why you start with 200 prospects and end up with 10 major leaguers. He's a major league ready shortstop that can field and hit. Trading Cedeno for Juan Pierre is not something I think they will not do or should do.
Trading Mitre and Sing, however is more appropriate.

As for the discussion on Radke. One guy says he's untouchable, the other says he's past his prime. I only know this, he's the TYPE of pitcher we need. He's Lieber like. Low pitch counts, doesn't rely on the strikeout, post season experience. A veteran and a professional. I believe he's making about 9M a year, so Minnesota will have to at least consider moving him. They have severe offensive problems and will not win unless they make some changes. I would make a pitch for him because I think he's a difference maker.

Pierre is entering arbitration year #3, while Corey is entering year #2. So there really is no significant savings to the Marlins. That said, I can't see them letting Pierre go for lower end prospects and guys who are looking like minor league veterans. For Pierre, I would expect to have to give up one top tier prospect or two second tier guys. If Hendry says our top guys are off the table, then maybe a Hill/Cedeno type deal would fly.

A guy plays great in the tourney, his stock goes up significantly. Cedeno has jumped to the top of the class of Cub's prospects.

Sure, he's at the top of the Class of Cub prospects, but when the Cubs just went out and signed Neifi Perez to a 2 year contract for starter money and are the favorites to land Furcal, that pretty much leaves Cedeno out in the cold. Other GMs are going to see that 1, the Cubs have a glut at the SS position, and 2, that the Cubs don't have a lot of faith in Cedeno, both which will significantly lower his value.

I believe he's making about 9M a year, so Minnesota will have to at least consider moving him.

I agree that Radke is exactly the kind of pitcher that the Cubs need, and at 34 he probably is on the downside of his career, but there's no chance he's going anywhere.

Just because a team's in transition doesn't mean they go and get rid of their foundation. Like I said, the Twins trading Radke would be almost identical to the Cubs trading Prior. And even if you got past that, and even if you could ignore the fact that Radke would certainly veto ANY trade (particularly since he could have gotten a lot more money as a free agent elsewhere last year), saying Radke could be had for Cedeno is just not even in the right ballpark. Radke's numbers are as good or better than this years top free agent pitchers, so saying he could be had for a player who looks like a pretty average middle infielder just aint going to happen.

"Radke's numbers are as good or better than this years top free agent pitchers, so saying he could be had for a player who looks like a pretty average middle infielder just aint going to happen."

Well said Blue. I think this is another case of an overhyped Cubs prospect. We (like fans of most teams) tend to really grip on to whatever we see and overvalue our own. Radke had a 4.00 ERA in a hitters park in the AL. He has tremendous control, issuing under 30 walks for 5 years in a row. He is over 200 IP every season. Minny is not going to move him - and certainly not for a guy who projects out no better than mediocre in any category. Minny is competing NOW. They won't trade their #2 SP for mid-lower tier prospects.

If Cedeno was that good, as Bleeding pointed out we wouldn't have signed Neifi to two years, pick up Walker's option, pursued Furcal, talked to Alex Gonzalez, etc. Maybe one of two of these things, but how many backup IFs do we really need to take ABs away from Jose Macias?

Obviously ___ is what we had planned all along.

Don't want to get into the who was the mastermind of the Nomar trade. Chicago papers say Hendry, Boston papers say Theo. Fact is Boston didn't want Nomar, and they wanted to improve defense.

The one deal I give credit to Hendry for is the Hawkins for Williams and David "AAA" (I can't spell his name). That is a pretty good swap of even talent.

Most of the other big time deals were salary dumps from other teams and basically the first team to call gets first dibs. And since Hendry loves those kind of deals he has teams like the Marlins on speed dial.

Sure a GM can make a living out of going that route but your entire style of improving your team is dependant on other teams giving away players. If no one is giving anything away, your screwed. We saw that last off-season.

You may hate the Yankees but they go after players that teams can't pay. But they also go after top flight free agents, they develop talent from within and they can pull off some pretty creative deals. Boston is pretty much in the same boat only with about 100 million dollars less to work with.

You got to be the total package as a GM not one dimensional. You can't ignore one area and completly focus on another area.

By the way, kudos to the Twins for not bending over and allowing large market teams like the Cubs, Yanks, etc. to take all their good talent. The Twins should be baseball's most admired franchise for what they have done in the past 20 years on the money they have. They locked in Santana and Radke rather than trading them to big market teams for crappy overhyped prospects.

I would love to see what Terry Ryan could do with a 100mm payroll. In fact, I'd love to see Terry Ryan get that opportunity in 2007.

If no one is giving anything away, your screwed. We saw that last off-season.

No, what we saw last year is that Hendry isn't willing to sell the farm, and cripple the teams future payroll to get top free agents with significant question marks.

Vorare asked it before, and now I'll ask it, What free agents should Hendry have signed last year?

Also Hendry stated he likes guys that can catch the ball now. That is great. But it means nothing to me when you have Michael Barrett behind the plate. If he truely wants to have guys that are better at catching the ball he would sign Bengie Molina and find a new home for Barrett. It shouldn't be too hard to find an AL team for Barrett to DH on and part time catch. The only reason anyone would want him is that he can hit somewhat for a catcher. No one wants him for his defense.

But Hendry is infatuated with Barrett to the point that he is blinded by his poor skills behind the plate. Upgrading to Molina would be creative in my opinion. You recognize a problem even though you have a player locked in for X amount of money and years. But yet you find some way to move your problem so your team can be better.

But Hendry is infatuated with Barrett to the point that he is blinded by his poor skills behind the plate. Upgrading to Molina would be creative in my opinion.

I completely agree, Hendry's biggest weakness is falling in love with players (or mangers) who have significant holes in their games, and then refusing to make a change.

But saying that he sticks to "his guys" doesn't mean he isn't creative to go out an get the guys he wants.

Hendry is very good at going out and getting the guys he wants on his team, they just might not be the guys we want him to get.

"What free agents should Hendry have signed last year?"

Hindsight is 20/20. There were a lot of FAs that made sense to go after last year if we felt we were going to be a contender last year. If he felt that there was no way to contend, we should have been dumping players and rebuilding.

That said, he should have gone after a SS (there were several) a CF (there were some) a closer (there were a few) and at least one dominant setup guy. Instead, he did nothing. Now in the end, Beltran, Benitez, Renteria, etc. underperformed expectations, but now, one crappy season later we still have holes all over the place to fill.

If the answer is that we continue to hope for good luck with FAs off of injuries and that we can loot the small market teams, that's fine. That's at least a strategy. It's a losing strategy, or a small market strategy, but it is a strategy. I see no evidence of a 3 year organizational roadmap for this team that has been followed under Hendry and I see no systematic approach to player acquisition/development that aims to fill organizational holes. What I see is a franchise that pursues depth in SP, but hardly ever parlays that to any other talent, and hardly ever manages to actually bring this pitching talent into places where it can bolster the franchises pitching weakness. (RP and LHP)

"What free agents should Hendry have signed last year?"

Hindsight is 20/20. There were a lot of FAs that made sense to go after last year if we felt we were going to be a contender last year. If he felt that there was no way to contend, we should have been dumping players and rebuilding.

That said, he should have gone after a SS (there were several) a CF (there were some) a closer (there were a few) and at least one dominant setup guy. Instead, he did nothing. Now in the end, Beltran, Benitez, Renteria, etc. underperformed expectations, but now, one crappy season later we still have holes all over the place to fill.

If the answer is that we continue to hope for good luck with FAs off of injuries and that we can loot the small market teams, that's fine. That's at least a strategy. It's a losing strategy, or a small market strategy, but it is a strategy. I see no evidence of a 3 year organizational roadmap for this team that has been followed under Hendry and I see no systematic approach to player acquisition/development that aims to fill organizational holes. What I see is a franchise that pursues depth in SP, but hardly ever parlays that to any other talent, and hardly ever manages to actually bring this pitching talent into places where it can bolster the franchises pitching weakness. (RP and LHP)

It would stun me if Guzman were involved in a trade. Not because of his potential but because he's been essentially injured for over two years now. I don't know why another team would want him unless they weren't giving up a lot in return.

A friend of mine whose old roommate works in the Oakland organization said the word on Guzman there is that he will never be what everyone thought he would be back in the spring of '03. He says some flat out predict that he's done. While I think and hope that's a bit overboard, it does speak to the fear a team would have in taking him on.

Funny...

When the Cubs acquired Barrett, there were a few of us who questioned the move based on the game-calling abilities of the two players, and its effects on the pitching staff.

Can anyone quantify something meaningful in terms of Barrett's ability and how it relates to our pitchers performance?

I miss Damian Miller, yes, and his waste of a lineup spot offensively. His defense and game calling were excellent. Interestingly, he hit .273/.340/.413.

Barrett hit .276/.345/.479

Miller did strike out considerably more in less ABs, to be fair. The perceived upgrade isn't as drastic as I thought.

"That said, he should have gone after a SS"

He did: Nomar. It just didn't work out that well.

That said, he should have gone after a SS (there were several) a CF (there were some) a closer (there were a few) and at least one dominant setup guy. Instead, he did nothing.

Want to talk about hindsight being 20/20

He got Nomar, in a deal almost everyone loved, He got Dempster, who turned out to be a better closer than any of the FA who signed last year, and I don't think anyone expected Korey to collapse at the level he did, but the other choices for the OF were injuries waiting to happen in Drew and Ordonez (and everyone already complains about getting injury prone players), and Beltran, a great player who will never live up to his overpriced contract.

I do think your "organization without a roadmap" is a very fair comment though. I wish Hendry would stop signing stopgaps, Like Neifi and Rusch, commit to a direction, and go with it, even if it means 2006 isn't the year we'd like it to be.

Forget all that. I want to win NOW. That should be the direction of this organization. When you haven't won it in 98 years, building for the future is irrelevant. Hendry's goal should be to win the WS in 2006/07.

Levine was just on ESPN 1000 and denied saying a deal was close. Appartently Hendry and Beinfest have not talked in 3 days. The Marlins do not know if they want to have a fire sale or not and that is what is delaying things. Also in Jayson Stark's chat this morning he took a question on it and had this to say:

"The Cubs have had longtime interest in Pierre, who looks extremely likely to get moved. And the Marlins are one of the teams that has always been intrigued by Corey Patterson. So watch that front closely. But I don't see that impacting the Cubs' pursuit of Furcal, because they view him as the sure-thing SS/leadoff force they need most. Pierre, on the other hand, is more of a question mark after last year. But the way he bunts and handles the bat, he could easily hit second. He and Furcal would be one intriguing top of the order."

I do think your "organization without a roadmap" is a very fair comment though. I wish Hendry would stop signing stopgaps, Like Neifi and Rusch, commit to a direction, and go with it, even if it means 2006 isn't the year we'd like it to be.

That is a good comment as well.

What I have a problem with is spending alot of money on crap talent. Last year heading into the 2005 season I commented that the Cubs had over $20 million dollars tied up into some players that really don't help us win. Those players could easily of been replaced with minor leaguers for a fraction of the cost and performed as well or better.

Does Dempster, Rusch, Perez give us a better chance to win with $10 million or does signing a Furcal or Giles? These are the types of things I ponder. Do you spread the wealth to subpar talent or do you spend it on the best of the best? A case could easily be made about Dempster being worth it, but I don't want to get into that type of arguement. This is merely an example.

I believe in the all-star/impact route. Would Az or Boston of won a World Series if they had not gotten Curt Schilling? They could of easily went with the spread the wealth and built a more solid 1-5 rotation but they probably wouldn't of had enough talent to win a WS.

This is why I don't think we need to spend a ton of money to have a solid 1-5 rotation. You find 1-3 guys who you can depend on and the rest of the rotation can be musical chairs for all I care. I would much rather spend $40 million dollars to have have Schilling and Johnson in their prime with Mitre, Jerome Williams, and god knows who as the 5th starter than go Prior, Wood, Zambrano, Maddux, Williams. Sure our 5 look pretty damn good but no one is going to beat Johnson and Schilling on back to back days. In any kind of importance series the money you spent on those 2 studs will probably pay off and that is the point of that thinking.

I am not suggesting we should go out and trade Prior and Z. What I am suggesting is trade Wood if you can, Maddux should of never been signed and go with that. We don't need an AJ Burnett or Kevin Millwood. While they are pretty good they are not really the best of the best. If for instance Roy Halliday was on the market then I would advocate signing him and adding him to Prior, and Z. Spend your money, but spend it on the best. Spend it on players you can count on when it hits crunch time. That is why the best players cost the most money and want the most years. The will deliver more when it counts than a Neifi Perez or Todd Hollandsworth.

And that is what I believe the Cubs sorely lack. Talent and playmakers. People this team can count on.

So to recap:

1) Hendry regularly picks up quality players from lower budget teams for next to nothing. This is a sign that he's a bad GM, because these trades are totally obvious and are made by whichever team calls first.

2) Hendry refuses to sign overrated players like Renteria, Beltran, and Benitez to big bloated contracts, therefore he's a bad GM, because hindsight is 20/20 and he should have signed them anyway.

I guess I see the point you guys are making. Excuse me for a minute; I need to go fire my stock broker -- all those undervalued stocks he's been adding to my portfolio and the big clunkers he's avoided are a sure sign that he doesn't know what he's doing.

MikeC,

On one hand, I agree. We need more star power. However, I think that Hendry has done more by NOT making moves. As detailed above, of the big free agents last year, none worked out.

On the other hand, did the White Sox need star power? HELL NO. So..

Blue - That was not 20/20 hindsight at all. When we signed Nomar last year to a 1 year deal, almost everyone said that it was a fine 1 year deal, but it was a huge risk either way. If he panned out great, we'd be paying him a ton this year. If he failed, we were sitting on the side during the bumper crop year of SS. (OC, Eck, Renteria, Vizquel, Guzman, etc.) When we decided to do a 1 year stopgap, we knew full well that the only SS of value who was to be a FA this year would be Furcal - and we took that risk. That's not hindsight at all.

Dempster is hindsight - and I never claimed to know. But I do know that when he made no move to acquire a proven closer he took the risk on a bunch of unproven (or worseyet - proven bad) closers.

The OF was clearly a problem also. Burnitz was clearly not the answer. The LF of Hollybois was awful looking by any objective measure. Ignore CP, we still needed another strong OF, preferably one who could play CF well as CP isn't really a great CF.

If you heard me after these moves last year, you'd know there is not 20/20 hindsight involved.

I'm looking for foresight - not hindsight.

Imagine a board with columns for 2006, 2007 and 2008 and fill in the positions that are planned, the options for TBDs who will be available, and the depthcharts. That board should be lock solid deep for at least year 1 and most of year 2, and should be set at the core for year 3+.

Blue - That was not 20/20 hindsight at all. When we signed Nomar last year to a 1 year deal, almost everyone said that it was a fine 1 year deal, but it was a huge risk either way. If he panned out great, we'd be paying him a ton this year. If he failed, we were sitting on the side during the bumper crop year of SS. (OC, Eck, Renteria, Vizquel, Guzman, etc.) When we decided to do a 1 year stopgap, we knew full well that the only SS of value who was to be a FA this year would be Furcal - and we took that risk. That's not hindsight at all.

Dempster is hindsight - and I never claimed to know. But I do know that when he made no move to acquire a proven closer he took the risk on a bunch of unproven (or worseyet - proven bad) closers.

The OF was clearly a problem also. Burnitz was clearly not the answer. The LF of Hollybois was awful looking by any objective measure. Ignore CP, we still needed another strong OF, preferably one who could play CF well as CP isn't really a great CF.

If you heard me after these moves last year, you'd know there is not 20/20 hindsight involved.

I'm looking for foresight - not hindsight.

Imagine a board with columns for 2006, 2007 and 2008 and fill in the positions that are planned, the options for TBDs who will be available, and the depthcharts. That board should be lock solid deep for at least year 1 and most of year 2, and should be set at the core for year 3+.

Blue - That was not 20/20 hindsight at all. When we signed Nomar last year to a 1 year deal, almost everyone said that it was a fine 1 year deal, but it was a huge risk either way. If he panned out great, we'd be paying him a ton this year. If he failed, we were sitting on the side during the bumper crop year of SS. (OC, Eck, Renteria, Vizquel, Guzman, etc.) When we decided to do a 1 year stopgap, we knew full well that the only SS of value who was to be a FA this year would be Furcal - and we took that risk. That's not hindsight at all.

Dempster is hindsight - and I never claimed to know. But I do know that when he made no move to acquire a proven closer he took the risk on a bunch of unproven (or worseyet - proven bad) closers.

The OF was clearly a problem also. Burnitz was clearly not the answer. The LF of Hollybois was awful looking by any objective measure. Ignore CP, we still needed another strong OF, preferably one who could play CF well as CP isn't really a great CF.

If you heard me after these moves last year, you'd know there is not 20/20 hindsight involved.

I'm looking for foresight - not hindsight.

Imagine a board with columns for 2006, 2007 and 2008 and fill in the positions that are planned, the options for TBDs who will be available, and the depthcharts. That board should be lock solid deep for at least year 1 and most of year 2, and should be set at the core for year 3+.

Burnitz was actually pretty decent for a 1-year replacement in RF. I'm glad we turned down his option for this year, but overall he wasn't terrible for us this year.

It's official: Pujols is MVP.

2 breaking MLB news items:

Pujols wins the NL MVP.

Also a new roid testing agreement has been reached. They will actually test for Greenies now too. The new suspensions are this

1st time 50 games
2nd time 100 games
3rd time: you Lifetime ban

"2) Hendry refuses to sign overrated players like Renteria, Beltran, and Benitez to big bloated contracts, therefore he's a bad GM, because hindsight is 20/20 and he should have signed them anyway. "

Nobody said that. But you can twist words all you want. What I said was that Hendry lacks the ability to create and implement an organizational roadmap that develops a team with SP, RP and consistent offense. With 100mm, he hasn't yet done that. I would have rather had Reneria, Cabrerra or Eckstein then what we had last year at SS (nomar for one year) or what we have now (Neifi and Cedeno) and I am not convinced yet that we are dedicated to getting Furcal.

But Vorare, tell me - do you think Jim Hendry has done a good job as the GM of this franchise given a 100mm payroll, and Prior and Zambrano at sub market values? Are you pleased with what the MLB club has delivered? Are you pleased with what the farm currently looks like? Are you pleased with the 2006 roster as of now? Are you content?

The amphetamine suspensions aren't as bad, though...1st positive test:additional testing, 2nd test:25 games...so amphetamines won't be dealt with quite as harshly

Player 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Pujols 18 14 0 378
Jones 13 17 2 351

didn't any of the writers at least have Derrek Lee 2nd??

X,

Why would you want to pay Renteria 10 mil or Cabrera 8 mil to put up the same numbers that Cedeno could for like 320,000 next season. Renteria is on the way down and Carbera has always been overated with the bat.

yes. DLee got 1 first place vote and 1 second place vote. 30 third place votes.

yes. DLee got 1 first place vote and 1 second place vote. 30 third place votes.

too bad for DLee... he deserved a better showing than that. congrats to Pujols though.

"the same numbers that Cedeno could for like 320,000 next season."

There is an assumption you are making that I am not willing to leap to.

If he failed, we were sitting on the side during the bumper crop year of SS. (OC, Eck, Renteria, Vizquel, Guzman, etc.)

And Now, a year later, which one of those guys would you rather have than Furcal?

But I do know that when he made no move to acquire a proven closer he took the risk on a bunch of unproven (or worseyet - proven bad) closers.

So which Proven closer should he have gone after?

The OF was clearly a problem also. Burnitz was clearly not the answer. The LF of Hollybois was awful looking by any objective measure. Ignore CP, we still needed another strong OF, preferably one who could play CF well as CP isn't really a great CF.

You really thought last year that CP wasn't a great defensive CF? Until last year, he'd shown himself to be very good defensively.

Besides that point, who should Hendry have gotten? Do you wish we had Beltran's 20 million dollar contract this year? You've already said Hendry signs too many injury prone players, so I assume you're glad he didn't get Drew or Ordonez.

I hear a lot of complaints, but I'd like to know what he should have done differently?

Lets face facts on the Sox win, they did it with pitching. And the whole "no star thing" is a little deceiving. Why they may not be recognized in restaurants the pitching had plenty of talent.
Garcia- ace for Seattle
Contreras-Bidding war between Red Sox and Yankees
Buehrle- Always underated, good pitcher(Kerry Wood makes commericials, Buehrle wins)
Garland-Came into his own this year, first round draft not a total shock.

The Sox were not the Bad News Bears who got lucky, they are sneaky good. A rotation that throws first strikes and lets the defense do their job. Find that formula and duplicate it.

"And Now, a year later, which one of those guys would you rather have than Furcal?"

A) Were you content last year when we did nothing, and only had a 1 year deal on Nomar?

B) Hindsight is 20/20. None - Did we get Furcal?

"So which Proven closer should he have gone after?"

Any of them - because the amount of time we wasted with the crap we had last year partially contributed to last year's outcome. Our 4th option happened to work out for 1/2 a year (despite some poor BB/K and BB/IP ratios). Is that great planning by the GM, or luck? You tell me?

"You really thought last year that CP wasn't a great defensive CF? Until last year, he'd shown himself to be very good defensively."

As anyone who was at my old hangout - I never liked CP as a CF. Other than lateral range, he is at best average. His arm is weak and he takes awful routes to balls. I thought Cub fans overrated his defense in 2004 tremendously.

"I hear a lot of complaints, but I'd like to know what he should have done differently?"

Non-action is not acceptable. The top tier of GMs are out there doing things that add value to their clubs. We plan on closing with Borowski, then Hawkins, then Fox, and finally Dumpster when the other three fell apart. Are you OK with that? We break camp with no LF and Burnitz in RF. Let's say CP was ok and performed even average - this team was still screwed.

Do you think Hendry did anything last offseason that made the team better than it was in 2004? In order for this offseason to be a succcess doesn't he have to not only be better than in 2004, but at least as good as 2003 as well? We just aren't there yet.

Non-action is not acceptable

So basically, since Hendry did not sign people who wouldn't have helped the team and would have put the team into a worse position today, he didn't do his job?

Hindsight is 20/20, but it also tends to assume that there was no foresight involved when deciding not go to after people who turned out not to live up to their contracts.

Like I said, its easy to complain that Hendry didn't do enough, but its much more difficult to say what he should have done different. I still haven't heard anyone say who he should have signed that would have made the Cubs better both in 2005 and would leave us in a better position today.

I really don't care about signing "stars" either!
I want depth like the Sox and Cards had this year. I would love to see Hendry get guys like Furcal and Pierre obviously, but also Vasquez, Kearns, Eyre, Mac Dougall, etc. would also be exciting to me!

Blue, do you think Hendry did anything last offseason that made the team better than it was in 2004? In order for this offseason to be a succcess doesn't he have to not only be better than in 2005 and 2004, but at least as good as 2003 as well? We just aren't there yet in my opinion, and doing nothing won't get us there too quickly. Waiting to fleece someone is nice - but paying fair market value for top tier players when you have a 100mm+ payroll is also nice.

X:

First, Dempster was not Hendry's "4th option" to close -- Hendry was talking about him as a closer at the end of 2004 and all through the '04 offseason. It's hardly his fault that Dusty decided to try Hawkins, then Fox, then Hawkins again before finally letting Dempster have a shot.

Second, you keep saying that hindsight is 20/20. When a GM looks at the available players, judges their skills versus their likely market value, decides they aren't worth the price they'll command, and opts to go a different route, that's called foresight. Hendry decided that Renteria, Cabrera, Guzman, Vizquel, Beltran, Benitez, Percival, etc. weren't going to be worth the contracts necessary to sign them, and thus far he certainly seems to have been right. I just don't understand how you can criticize that.

Third, I think Hendry certainly does have an organizational roadmap, the core of which is flexibility. He has very deliberately avoided the cumbersome multi-year big buck contracts that tie many teams hands so that he can gradually add the kind of young, talented players (Lee, Barrett, Ramirez, probably Furcal) that make for a perennial contender. You don't have to look any further then the well-stocked system and the $30mm+ payroll flexibility to see how that roadmap functions.

And yeah, I think there is plenty to criticize about Hendry. He clearly has a soft spot for veteran all-glove middle infielders. He hasn't been the best judge of bullpen talent. Perhaps worst of all, I think he's far too deferential to his manager. But on the balance, those are faults I can live with if they keep us away from 7-10 year contracts and Christian Guzmans.

Ryan Dempster was and apparently still is HENDRY's first option at closer. This should no longer be a debate. I've quoted it a number of times on how Hendry kept pushing for Dempster to close last off-season while Baker kept insisting that they wait and see.

Argue all you want if that's the right or wrong way of doing things, but blaming Hendry for not finding a closer last off-season is completely false. He found one, may not have been popular (and trust me I thought it was a bad idea too at the time), but that was undoubtedly his plan from the start.

X, Like I've said several times now, its very easy to say someone isn't doing enough, without saying what you would have done differently.

Since you keep saying that Hendry didn't do anything to make the Cubs better last year, please tell us who Hendry should have signed last year that would have made the Cubs better?

Answer that, and I'll respond to how I think Hendry did or did not make the team better in 2004.

"but that was undoubtedly his plan from the start."

Obviously it was... :-)

Rob, you can't convince me that the first choice for closer is a guy who has never closed before, and wasn't even a reliever, just off of TJ surgery when he had Borowski, Hawkins and Fox there. Also, no quotes from Hendry hold much value. We all know he is very guarded and hardly ever speaks the truth to the media. And if so, then Hendry deserves even more blame for not firing Dusty if he explicitly told him that Dumpster was the closer to be - and he didn't do that.

Blue - are you using hindsight or foresight here? Because they are different things.

He didn't explicity say Dempster was the closer, he explicity said he thought Dempster should be the closer. It wasn't a mandate from heaven, just his idea. It doesn't take much effort to realize that Hendry lets Baker make the final decisions on the field. BUT Hendry certainly believed, from the very beginning that Dempster could be the closer. So if he thought he had a closer, why would he go out and sign another one?

Hendry may be guarded, I don't recall him ever lying to the media though. If you have some quotes indicating him flat out deceiving the media, I'll eat my words.

And my #1 complaint with JIm Hendry is that he hasn't fired Baker yet, they obviously don't see eye to eye on team construction and it's time to find a vision and stick with it. Right now it's just butting heads. I think they get along, but I don't think they're on the same page either.

From a previous post
----
†"We are going to give Ryan Dempster an opportunity to do [be the closer] in spring training, if nothing else changes. LaTroy Hawkins did a terrific job in the eighth last year and didn't have quite as much luck in the ninth. In fairness to him, with Joe Borowski and Kyle Farnsworth being hurt, Hawk was put in a tough situation where he had to be overworked to a degree."

However, Dusty Baker is quoted as saying, "Everybody talks about Dempster, but we don't know if he can do it; he never has done it. Joe Borowski might be healthy, we don't know yet. And LaTroy Hawkins might be more experienced than last year. He certainly has the stuff. . . LaTroy will be better if he knows the league himself."

Do a google search for articles between Nov-Feb of last year and you get all kinds of talk about Hendry wanting to give Dempster a shot to close
---

Rob's right, Hendry stated numerous times last offseason that he was confident that Dempster had the sack and stuff to be a closer.
Hendry was right... too bad our stubborn manager waited until Hawkins was a pants-shitting shell of his former self before giving Dempster the shot.
"I don't get it, dude... Hawk has the stuff"
We're snake-bitten"
In Dusty-speak that translates to: "My head is so goddamn hard and my pride so big that I don't want to be proven wrong after marching Hawkins out for the umpteenth disaster-waiting-to-happen."

You can fault Hendry (and the organization) for fouling up the Sosa situation and not aquiring a quality outfield, but he deserves credit for his campaign to have Dempster converted to a closer... especially after the apparent bust contracts given to Percival and Benitez.

Blue - are you using hindsight or foresight here? Because they are different things.

Well, for the sake of discussion, lets use hindsight since being 20/20, that will tell us what the best course of action should have been.

But I wouldn't assume that decision to sign or not sign players that turned out to be good/bad/injured didn't involve forsight in the first place.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter