Today in Cubs History: 12-12

12-12-1999 - Traded a PTBNL (Brian Stephenson), Terry Adams and Chad Ricketts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Ismael Valdez and Eric Young. 12-12-1999 - Traded Manny Alexander to the Boston Red Sox. Received Damon Buford. 12-12-1997 - Traded Miguel Batista to the Montreal Expos. Received Henry Rodriguez. 12-12-1903 - Traded Jack Taylor and Larry McLean to the St. Louis Cardinals. Received Mordecai Brown and Jack O'Neill. Jack Taylor got a brief mention in my faux season preview of the 1905 Cubs earlier this year. He's the guy who went five straight years without ever being pulled from a game for a reliever. The Cubs traded him after the 1903 season because he lost three consecutive post-season exhibition games to the White Stockings, and the Cubs president suspected gambling (a suspicion which, I believe, had followed Taylor for some time). We shipped our ace off to St. Louis for a three-fingered pitcher who had just finished 9-13 in his first year in the majors at the age of 26. Of course, he turned out all right. Brown was the ace of the Cubs staff during the teams greatest period, and participated with Christy Mathewson in some of the greatest pitching duels the game has ever seen - including the most controversial game ever played. If there is interest, and if I can find the considerable free time necessary to do it well, I hope to write an extended historical article for TCR on the role that mob violence played in the events leading up to, of, and following the Merkle game.
Return to Homepage

Comments

One of my favorite Harry Caray memories is listening to him butcher Henry Rodriguez' name.

Who is Ismael Valdez playing for these days?

What's wrong with Jose's Vidro's knee? Why would the Nats go after Soriano unless they though Vidro was toast particularly when they traded Wilkerson who should have brought them some pitching.

I still don't understand the urge to look at 2nd basemen as long as Walker is on the team, but the speculation continues. The Rozner article seems just a speculation, not a confirmed Cub interest though.

I've heard that Vidro's injuries are career threatening but have no direct info.

Nonetheless, Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald has a piece on the Vidro being a good fit for the Chubbies.

http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/rozner.asp?...

Oh Henry!

LF bleacher fans tossing candy bars at him after returning to LF following innings when he came through with a blast.

Looks like the Astros will resign Ausmus (no surprise)

here's a link to the Houston Chronicle with a position by position assessment of the Stro's at mid offseason.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/35...

"I still don't understand the urge to look at 2nd basemen as long as Walker is on the team, but the speculation continues."

I'm still curious about this also. I am highly suspicious that there is a problem with Walker that we are not privy to. I can't think of why so many teams would let a guy who can hit go, and why we'd be looking to use resources to fill his spot. Cinci, Colorado and Minnesota have all seen him pass through their organizations while hitting well. There has to be some reason for this other than his sub-par defense.

I could be WAY off base here, but didn't someone on here say something about how Walker can be annoying because 1) he's always looking for the chance to mingle with the media and 2) he's a born-again Christian and loves to tell you about it.

With a guy that hits like he does however, I would put up with either or both of those things. It may just be that Hendry is looking for guys "who can catch the ball" and Walker isn't a great one of those. Still, I'd be fine with him at 2B and in the #2 spot if we can get a good RFer.

What kind of idiot...

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

No way would I trade Z, period!

"I still don't understand the urge to look at 2nd basemen as long as Walker is on the team, but the speculation continues."
Walker can hit but he turns the double play as slow as my buddies reaching for my tab at pub. The cubs have to be more effective at turning the DP if they want to win.

Hey Cubs fans. I'm really distressed about all of the talk I'm hearing about trading Mark Prior. It seems that everyone is ready to leave him out to dry because he is supposedly injury prone. So far as I can tell, he's had a major injury three times. Two of them were freak accidents either on the base paths or the result of line drive to the pitchers mound. His achilles and elbow injuries in 2004 were a direct result of overuse by D.B. and L.R. during the 2003 season. SO THROW AWAY THE INJURY TALK. Additionally, based on his statistics, stuff, and makeup he is easily one of the top five pithcers under thirty in the game. In my mind, he and Carlos Zambrano should be untouchable forever, and if there is anyway to sign them both to long term deals at whatever price, then by all means it should be done. Let's not fool ourselves into thinking that the Cubs have better options, or that they need an OF or SS more. Trading Prior or Zambrano will result in the Cubs continuing to be the laughingstock of the NL for another twenty years. I look forward to another hearbreaking season in 2006, happy holidays.

Let's just go ahead and remove Phil Rogers. This joker should not be paid to write this tripe.

The Cubs aren't going to trade Prior or Zambrano. Even if they could get Tejada or Abreu for them, they won't do it, and they shouldn't. Let's go ahead and put that idea to rest, shall we?

"I can't think of why so many teams would let a guy who can hit go, and why we'd be looking to use resources to fill his spot. Cinci, Colorado and Minnesota have all seen him pass through their organizations while hitting well. There has to be some reason for this other than his sub-par defense."

I think you're on to something there.

Incidentally... Milton Bradley has a similar history.

Milton Bradley also has a history of being an a-hole.

So, who does anybody REALLY think is going to be in RF next year? I think the best bet right now would be Huff, and (don't kill me) I'd be alright with a RSanders, but I'm really curious, if in vegas, who you'd put your money on. I thought we'd get MBradley for quite awhile, but I'm starting to think now that may not happen. Thoughts?

Tampa should be wanting to unload Huff. They have enough young OFs. Huff makes decent money. The only question I have is if Hendry is willing to pay what Huff is worth, or if he is going to hold on to try and rape the Devil Rays. If he does, new management will probably, on principle, not allow themselves to get run over in one of their first major deals. Bradley can be had for nearly nothing. I'm guessing we go that way in another one of Hendry's deals where he gets the best potential value, rather than taking the more expensive player.

It could be good, it could be bad. I just don't like the risk associated with Bradley. If he implodes, he leaves us with Adam Greenberg in RF. Huff is less likely to leave us with a gaping hole.

Worst case - we sign Preston Wilson who seems unable to stay healthy or really produce at a decent level anymore. (Here's a case of a guy who lost his speed, and lost almost all of his value)

X: I think the Cubs want to acquire a left-handed hitting RF (to hit between D-Lee and A-Ram) if it is at all possible. They went through this same thing a couple of years ago when the lineup was overloaded with right-handed hitters. That's why I think all the "talk" about Austin Kearns and Kevin Mench was just that.. TALK.

I suspect Hendry is actually actively pusuing a left-handed hitting RF from this list, probably in this order :

Bobby Abreu (Phillies)
Jay Gibbons (Orioles)
Aubrey Huff (Devil Rays)
Jacques Jones (FA - Twins)

And there's another name that's apparently been flying "under the radar" thatt was mentioned in a Sun Times article last week:

Raul Ibanez (Mariners)

Hendry will sit on his hands again and Beernutz will be back in RF.

RIVERBOAT: Because they fid not offer him arbitration, the Cubs wouldn't be able to re-sign Jeromy Burnitz until May 1st, and I can't see that happening. Either Burnitz will retire and not look back, or he'll sign a deal with somebody else for 2006. He won't be back with the Cubs. No way.

"Additionally, based on his statistics, stuff, and makeup [Prior] is easily one of the top five pithcers under thirty in the game"

Although, off the top of my head, Zambrano, Willis, Hudson, Santana, Halladay, Mulder, Oswalt and Zito might disagree.

Prior might want to start getting through five innings without throwing 100 pitches this season if he wants to be top five.

"Hendry will sit on his hands again and Beernutz will be back in RF."

Not until at least May 1...

I can't believe for 1 second that Walkers clubhouse attitude/antics are even in the same sentence as Milton Bradleys.
If there is something to Walker being an issue in the clubhouse than why in the world would you even think about bringing Milton Bradley here???

The Cubs could of had Ibanez last year before spring training to fill the LF void. They chose to go with Holly instead. That is how dumb our franchise is.

You asked the million dollar question Badguy. The same people saying Walker is an asshole and hated Sosa for his attitude can't wait to get Bradley on the Cubs.

#19 of 19: By BadGuy (December 12, 2005 08:19 AM)
I can't believe for 1 second that Walkers clubhouse attitude/antics are even in the same sentence as Milton Bradleys.
If there is something to Walker being an issue in the clubhouse than why in the world would you even think about bringing Milton Bradley here???

---

BADGUY: If Milton Bradley does end up with the Cubs, it will happen ONLY because Dusty Baker likes him, and (if true) that would be because Dusty probably sees a lot of himself in Milton Bradley.

I don't think Dusty Baker DISLIKES Todd Walker as a person, but I do think he does not care for Walker's defense at 2B. So if the Cubs do not acquire Miguel Tejada, I fully expect a Neifi Perez-Ronny Cedeno SS-2B DP combo in 2006.

Personally, I like Todd Walker, and would prefer a Cedeno-Walker SS-2B combo in 2006, with Neifi as a back-up. But I don't think that will happen.

Not to be picky, but I thought Harry Caray died before Rodriguez ever played for the Cubs.

He did. But that doesn't mean that Harry couldn't have pronounced his name while he was playing against the Cubs.

Phil Rogers is a TOTAL FUCKING MORON!!!

His suggestion that we should trade ZAMBRANO, Cedeno and Korey for Tejada. Then he makes it all better by signing one of the Boras Boys (Millwod, Washburn or Weaver). Theyd be half as good but cost literaly three time as much as Carlos. The trib should just fire that fucker. He contributes nothing. Its like sports light with him. Hes like the Dateline NBC of chicago sports. What a girl!

To #7;

He breaks out Win Shares to justify trading for Tejada, but then breaks out pitcher wins to justify signing one of the FA pitchers left(Milwood, Washburn or Weaver) Phil Rogers is a genius!

"Bobby Abreu (Phillies)
Jay Gibbons (Orioles)
Aubrey Huff (Devil Rays)
Jacques Jones (FA - Twins)
Raul Ibanez (Mariners) "

Abreu - we won't pay that high a price (Prior or Z)

Gibbons is a .260/.320/.475 type of guy. He barely qualifies as the RP in VORP.

Huff has the most upside of that group - but would cost prospects from the Rays. Hendry hesitates to giveup prospects.

Jaque Jones - Numbers similar to Gibbons, but Jones is TERRIBLE vs lefties. If you get Jones, you need to platoon him against any LHP. Gibbons is no stud vs lefties, but is at least serviceable. I'd duck Jones unless we also go out and get a RH bat who can play 2 days a week when we have to bench Jaque.

Ibanez - He has the best numbers of any of these guys. I'd be surprise if Seattle trades him. Is Choo ready to play LF every day? Given that all they have in the OF is Ichiro and a load of prospects (Reed, Snelling, Choo and Strong) I can't see Ibanez as expendable. If he is, I'd be all over it.

Transmission, I had to break out of my long absence from posting to say that I, for one, would absolutely be interested in any historical articles you would be willing and able to write.

I LOVED your '05 preview - I've been hoping for another one of those for the Ought Six season.

^

How can you have a list with Jacque Jones but not the 10 free-agent outfielders better than him? Jacque Jones sucks, and whoever signs him for more than $2MM is a fool. Because he's lefty? Give me a break. I'll take a decent rightie like Reggie Sanders or Jose Guillen before Jones. Get over him!

Thanks, Jiraiya. I'll give it my best shot on both counts. It's going to be a wild three months for me coming up, but I'll do my best.

I really would like feedback on whether people want to see more of this sort of stuff - I'm not above taking requests, either. I don't enjoy the hot-stove game as much as most people do, so this is a way to keep me busy and useful to TCR during the off-season.

#29 of 29: By WPZ (December 12, 2005 10:17 AM)
How can you have a list with Jacque Jones but not the 10 free-agent outfielders better than him? Jacque Jones sucks, and whoever signs him for more than $2MM is a fool. Because he's lefty? Give me a break. I'll take a decent rightie like Reggie Sanders or Jose Guillen before Jones. Get over him!

WPZ: I think you might have misunderstood my post. What I was trying to say, and obviously I didn't make myself very clear (my fault), was what I believe Jim Hendty will do, not what I would do.

I believe Hendry will either trade for or sign a LEFT-HANDED HITTING right-fielder, and that eliminates a whole bunch of folks (Kearns, Mench Encarnaciomn, Sanders, et al) who are out there.

You don't think Hendry might sign Jacques Jones to play RF? I think he might. Or at least I think he might if he is unable to acquire Abreu, Gibbons, Huff, or Ibanez. Which is to say Hendry would sign Jones before he would trade for a right-handed hitting RF like Mench, or before he would sign Encarnacion, Sanders, et al.

My own personal preference for Cubs RF in 2006 started with Brian Giles, then moved to Hideki Matsui, then to Bobby Abreu (where I am now), and if that doesn't work out, then I like Raul Ibanez and Aubrey Huff, or Jay Gibbons (as part of a deal for Miguel Tejada), in that order. (I, too, would prefer a left-handed hitting RF). If none of those work out either, then (and only then) would I take a shot at Milton Bradley. But I would have absolutely no interest in Jacques Jones.

Another vote for more historical stuff. I too enjoyed the '05 preview and the "Today in Cubs History" posts. Over at Temporary Bleachers a few weeks ago the dude posted an 1886 Tribune account of an apparent ligament tear suffered by RHP/OF Lon Twitchell. Suffice to say I was geeked. So more of the same on TCR would be most welcome.

Still..."don't enjoy the hot stove game"...nope, just not computing. ;-)

I too vote for more historical stories. It's interesting to me to hear not only familiar names of the past but names you've never heard of and how they've contributed to the franchise. It's like reading someone's family tree.

This is from rumor central on ESPN.com:

" According to the Baltimore Sun, Orioles GM Mike Flanagan and other team officials reiterated that the goal is to keep Tejada in Baltimore. However, it is believed that owner Peter Angelos supports trading Tejada, and that at least eight teams are interested in the former MVP, who signed a $72 million, six-year contract with Baltimore before the 2004 season."

Angelos made a killing on that TV deal last year W/ the Nats and comcast. He does not have to put out a decent team to make a profit anymore. It would not surprise me if they did not have a complete fire sale ala Florida bewteen now and the trade deadline.

Personally, I like Todd Walker, and would prefer a Cedeno-Walker SS-2B combo in 2006, with Neifi as a back-up.

Here's why I don't agree with you Az. Phil.

Walker with RISP: .259 - .293 - .669
Neifi with _RISP: .271 - .294 - .723

Given the similarity of those numbers, Neifi's defense is so much better than Walker's that I think he has to play.

HOWEVER, if Baker bats Neifi #2 then all bets are off. Walker's much higher OBP suits him to the second spot and he'll score more runs than Neifi.

Perez really belongs at the bottom of the order where he can drive in the occasional run.

"Perez really belongs at the bottom of the order where he can drive in the occasional run." AND ground into an alarming number of double plays.

I say again, that if Jose Guillen is available, the Cubs should jump on that move!!
He hits for power, average, and has a really good arm. He is fairly young, and seems to have his proverbial shit together finally. OBP not that great....but still a good pickup..

"I say again, that if Jose Guillen is available, the Cubs should jump on that move!!"

They had a chance to get him last year for not much other than an okay middle infielder prospect and didn't seem interested, can't imagine they'll even bother at this point.

"This winter's pitching market makes it vital that we hold onto the young pitchers we think can be top-of-the-rotation starters," says Indians GM Mark Shapiro. "The market value of young pitchers is greater than ever." Just ask Shapiro, who in Cliff Lee has an 18-game winner who is a year away from arbitration.

"You want to have a chance to win, you'd better have starting pitching," says the Angels' renowned pitching coach Bud Black. And if you want it, you'd better be prepared to pay a price.

Just as important, you'd better hold onto Felix Hernandez, Francisco Liriano, Joe Blanton, Kyle Davies, Chuck James, Sowers, McGowan, Papelbon, Lester, Cain, Billingsley, Zach Duke, Brandon McCarthy....

"In two years," says one NL GM, "see the worth of what Larry Beinfest has stockpiled in Florida. He will be able to get whatever he wants with all the pitching he has."

These comments are from Peter Gammons' Insider article dated 12-10.

This confirms my belief: we could fill our needs by peddling a couple of our pitching prospects. We don't need to trade Z or Prior. We don't have to settle for less...

i was waiting for this. According to espn today, Tejada back pedals from his remarks.

It was probably all a joke between him and Sosa. Sosa was prolly like, "dude, I got this great idea. Say you want a trade. I know this one cubs fans site. The reaction will be hilarious."

12-12-1999 - Traded Manny Alexander to the Boston Red Sox. Received Damon Buford.

...and so left Sammy's best contact for you know what...Manny A. was replaced by his personal trainer, Julian Martinez, who was booted about 2 years later.
--
Sosa wants to make it clear that Julian Martinez -- hired by the Cubs star in 2001 to help him do chores and who often plays catch with Sosa -- is not a personal trainer. Cubs officials are confident they can work out an agreement to everyone's satisfaction, perhaps allowing Martinez to pitch batting practice, get out of uniform and then man a radar gun in the stands during games.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/sport/archive...

"12-12-1999 - Traded Manny Alexander to the Boston Red Sox. Received Damon Buford.

...and so left Sammy's best contact for you know what"

I will assume you are talking about Flinstone vitamins?

ugh, those some dark years in Cubs history...held hostage by the Sammy Show and all his roadies.

Given the similarity of those numbers, Neifi's defense is so much better than Walker's that I think he has to play.

Do you really think that playing time decisions should be made off of just one extremely limited set of numbers that have an exceptionally small sample size?

Neifi with _RISP: .271 - .294 - .723

In 133 ABs in 2005.

Over 3 years, and 304 ABs (still a small sample), Neifi with RISP: .260 - .305 - .683

Walker with RISP: .259 - .293 - .669

In 85 ABs in 2005

Over 3 years, and 314 ABs (again a small sample), Walker with RISP: .290 - .356 - .799

Trans-
Having followed the cubs since the Jack Brickhouse days, I've also found the historical articles quite interesting.
In particular, the trades, and scenarios surrounding the trades are kinda cool to review.
Keep up the good work.

Yep...when Manny A. was busted in Boston, they found several bottles of Flinstones vitamins in his glove compartment.

----
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

Batboy finds it tough to pick up his life
Former Sox employee says he was a fall guy in '00 steroid incident

Cowart is haunted by demons that he says stem from an incident June 30, 2000, when police discovered steroids and syringes in the glove compartment of the Mercedes-Benz that had been loaned to him by Manny Alexander, then a utility infielder with the Sox.

Cowart was driving Alexander's car when a state trooper stopped him on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester. State Police said the trooper was suspicious that Cowart may not have been the owner of the vehicle.

Cowart was arrested after a computer check revealed that the Dorchester High School student was driving without a license and was wanted on a previous charge of driving without a license and failing to stop for police. The steroids were discovered in a routine search of the impounded car.

Also, Jose Guillen has been on 7 teams in 9 years. That has to be a HUGE red flag.

chifan3887 wrote:

Angelos made a killing on that TV deal last year W/ the Nats and comcast. He does not have to put out a decent team to make a profit anymore. It would not surprise me if they did not have a complete fire sale ala Florida bewteen now and the trade deadline.

Angelos has done whatever possible to devalue the DC franchise, but I do not believe he made a "killing" on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network last year. While Angelos controls the network, the other side to that coin was the guaranteed rights fees he owes the Nats -- of $25 million, which is in-line with other rights fees. There is no way MASN made anywhere close to that in showing Nats games last year because the dispute with Comcast, the dominant cable provider in DC, resulted in no carriage of the games. So the Nats got a guaranteed rights fee with not enough broadcast audience to result in significant advertising revenue.

I am not defending the preposterous proposition that the Nats's TV rights are effectively held by an owner of a rival team in a neighboring town.

Instead of Angelos crawling into a "small-market team" mentality, I think it more likely that he tries to do a series of splashy moves designed to show his continued importance and relevance to our lives -- more 1980's Steinbrenner than 1997 Wayne Huizenga. The trade for Sosa last year was that. Trading for Manny Ramirez would be another one.

heck yes, trade Walker for M.Bradley, Cedeno to WASH for J.Guillen and then Murton & Pierre to SF for Bonds and we'll have an entire OF of hotheaded tools. Get it done Hendry!

As much as it pains me to write this, Rogers thoughts on Tejada actually make a little bit of sense. His point was basically that the team would be better with Tejada everyday and someone like Millwood starting every fifth day than it would be with Neifi / Cedeno at SS and Zambrano starting every fifth day. In short, the gap in production between Tejada and the others is much larger then the gap between Zambrano and someone like Millwood.

The money is obviously an issue since Millwood is likely to earn more than Zambrano while being out performed. Zambrano has been somewhat abused early in his career and that's a little scary as well. I think it's a deal that you at least have to consider.

You don't trade 24 year old pitchers with a career 3.26 ERA who average 200+ IP a season FOR ANYBODY not named Albert Pujols.

And that's only if Pujols is as old as he says he is...

Here's why I don't agree with you Az. Phil.

Walker with RISP: .259 - .293 - .669
Neifi with _RISP: .271 - .294 - .723

Given the similarity of those numbers, Neifi's defense is so much better than Walker's that I think he has to play.

I had to puke in my cheerio's when I read that. Not because it was true last season but because a person would discount Perez's past and Walker's past when bringing up hitting with RISP.

Over the last 3 years Walker has hit .290 with a .356 OBP with RISP. Neifi Perez? .260 with a .305 OBP. A stunning statistical difference wouldn't you say?

Walker atleast had the excuse of a knee injury yet still managed to hit .305 with a .355 OBP. What the hell was Perez's excuse to hit .274 with a .298 OBP? Ohh yeah thats right, it is because he sucks!

I agree entirey with RobG on the value of Z. Pujols...maybe Miguel Cabrera (and for Cabrera I would want a key prospect like Y. Petit.)

It is difficult to overestimate the value of a young or even mid-career, number one, Cy Young-caliber pitcher. Can you name a champion from the last ten years that has not had one? No

1995 Braves: Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz
1996 Yankees: Andy Pettite
1997 Marlins: Kevin Brown, Alex Fernandez and Livan
1998 Yankees: Cone and Wells
1999 Yankees: Cone again
2000 Yankees: Clemens
2001 D-Backs: Johnson and Schilling
2002 Angels: Washburn
2003 Marlins: Beckett
2004 Red Sox: Schilling and Pedro
2005 White Sox: Buehrle

The leaders of 2002 Angels and 1998 Yankees rotations were below the level of the other rotation leaders. But those two teams had absolute-killer bullpens.

It is difficult to overvalue starting pitching. Examples of teams "overpaying" and being saddled with a bad contract for a starting pitcher are relatively rare, when compared to position players. Sweeney's contract has been an albatross around the Royals, but the so-called overpayment for Kris Benson last year by the Mets has not rendered him untradable. Even oft-injured Kerry Wood is marketable as well (I just think the Cubs do not want to move him.) Pitchers like Z and Prior, who produce at a $10-$12MM and cost barely half that, should be cherished and wooed until they sign a 7-year deal with you.

Pitchers like Z and Prior, who produce at a $10-$12MM and cost barely half that, should be cherished and wooed until they sign a 7-year deal with you.

Those are also the years you go for broke and surround Prior and Z with a killer closer and a damn good offense and make your run at a World Series while they are cheap.

The Cubs way? Surround them with rehab and injury projects and ignore the offense.

Rob G.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but Tejada is a more valuable player on the field then Zambrano. Everyday players at premium positions with the kind of offensive production Tejada brings to the table are intrinsically more valuable then ANY pitcher for the same reasons that a good starting pitcher is more valuable then a good closer. I understand that these things don't take place in a vacuum and age, salary, roster, farm system, etc all need to be considered when making a trade. For those reasons, it might not make sense to deal Zambrano. I'm just saying it should at least be considered. Pitchers in general are more at risk for major injuries then position players. The list of pitchers that have had success at a young age and suffered a major injury never to return to their previous level of success is a mile long.

Ask yourself this question, are the Cubs more likely to win more games in 2006 with Millwood starting 30 games and Tejada playing SS for 162 games or Zambrano starting 30 games and Cedeno / Neifi playing SS 162 games? Of course, each year following 2006 is harder to predict. Millwood has more risk then Zambrano and Cedeno could turn into a pretty good everyday player.

Pitchers with outrageous contracts that have killed their clubs...
Kevin Brown, Dodgers
Mike Hampton, Rockies
Darren Dreifort, Dodgers
Chan Ho Park, Rangers
Eric Milton, Reds
Russ Ortiz, Dbacks

This is just a random list off the top of my head with pitchers that either got hurt or never performed up to the value of their contract. Benson's deal doesn't look nearly as bad as it did when he signed it because the market has continued to go up. Besides that, he's not an awful pitcher.

Comparing Sweeney to Benson doesn't make any sense. Sweeney has been injured, but despite that has actually performed fairly well even if it's not quite up to the value of the contract. The reason comparing the two doesn't make any sense though is because the Mets are spending more the twice what the Royals do on their payroll. The lesson here is about % of payroll tied up in one player and not necessarily the actual dollars of the contract.

Of course starting pitching is extremely valuable and Zambrano is an absolute steal at his salary. No one is arguing that and again, I'm not necessarily advocating trading him. The point I've been trying to make is that a great everyday player is more valuable then a great starting pitcher. Tejada plays a premium position which makes the comparison even more one sided.

What would it cost to get a starting pitcher like Millwood?

Raven1908 wrote:

Ask yourself this question, are the Cubs more likely to win more games in 2006 with Millwood starting 30 games and Tejada playing SS for 162 games or Zambrano starting 30 games and Cedeno / Neifi playing SS 162 games?

First, recognize that fielding that lineup would cost the Cubs at least $10-12 million more than the Z/Cedeno/Neifi option. That difference in salaries could make the difference between an Abreau in OF and a Jacque Jones. That is a key consideration and one could re-cast your question as:

Are the Cubs more likely to win more games in 2006 with Millwood starting 30 games and Tejada playing SS for 162 games and Raul Ibanez in RF, or Zambrano starting 30 games, Cedeno / Neifi playing SS 162 games, and Bobby Abreu playing RF?

Second (as you recognize later in your post), viewing it only through the prism of 2006 is limiting. Z should be locked-in as soon as possible -- frankly, I would gladly give him a seven year deal now for $13-14 million without batting an eye, and offer the same deal to Prior. That price will be downright cheap three years from now.

Finally, the difference between an everyday position player and a "once-in-five-days" starting pitcher is of course a function of alternatives. Shortstop alternatives exist -- Cabrera, Lugo, even the scrap-heap where the Brewers found Bill Hall. I would take the present value of the VORP or WARP of Zambrano over the present value difference between Tejada and any one of those players.

I don't think there is any realistic condition in which it makes sense to trade a young, arbitration-eligible Cy Young-valuable, starting pitcher. The difference between making the playoffs and is now so slim that luck and a hot stud starters literally can carry you there (Exhibit A: 2005 Astros). Only when that pitcher is in a "walk" year and you are comfortably out of the race would it make sense.

Vincente Padilla to Rangers for the famous PTBNL, this is probably a response to losing out on Matt Morris.

the wire services say that...
Chris Young and Kameron Loe are the only certain starters for the Rangers

Maybe we should go after Michael Young rather than Miggy. Texas needs pitching more than any other team that could be competitive...but they always fade because of NO PITCHING. If Vincente Padilla is their ace, they are really lacking.

"I would gladly give him a seven year deal now for $13-14 million without batting an eye, and offer the same deal to Prior."

The days of seven year contracts for starting pitchers is over.

Note I assume you mean $13-$14 million per year, which is way over paying both in terms of dollars and length.

Raven1908,

We agree on this than we disagree, particularly on the point of not locking a team's payroll up into one player. But your examples of bad pitching contracts does show that even admittedly "bad contracts" can be fixed when it comes to pitching.

My point is that even if a team makes a mistake on a pitching contract, the demand for starting pitching in the league is so strong (every team needs five), that even "bad" SP contracts can be moved at a future date. Compare that to the A-Rod, Tejada, and Manny Ramirez deals -- position player contracts that probably are not overpriced but for which the market of interested teams is much lower. This is for a variety of reasons -- budget and also becuase of the fact that a team may have already have a committed contract for a decent player at that position. Yes, the Cubs would be better off with A-Rod at 3B, but the price the Cubs would pay is a function of what they expect ARam to do and the cost of ARam. As a result, the "market of interested teams" for position players will usually be only a handful of teams at any particular time, even for the best players.

Compare that to starting pitching -- every team needs five. Just about every team has no choice but to participate in the starting pitching "market" every year. This means that every year, teams will be on the prowl for SPs, even those that are mediocre and with large contracts.

For example, the Rockies never should have signed Hampton. Bad idea -- Hampton's agent should be banned from the game. But the Rockies were able to trade him two years later to the Marlins for decent value.

Kevin Brown was expensive also, but he gave the Dodgers four excellent 3.00 and below years, only one of which had significant injuries (2002). And even after all that, they still were able to trade him for decent value -- Jeff Weaver, Yhency Brazoban and cash. The Dodgers were in the playoff hunt for most of Brown's years -- I would call that experience a success, not an albatross.

Darren Dreifort and Chan Ho -- OK, you got me. Bad contracts, and I agree that are not tradeable. Injuries are always a wild card. Dreifort could have been a front-line pitcher had he stayed healthy...but for the Dodgers to pay him as if he was one was silly. Chan Ho...well.

Milton and Ortiz are interesting current examples of bad fits and bad contracts. But I still think that those contracts are still "moveable" by the Reds and Diamondbacks to some degree. I would say the jury is still out.

Here are my choices for Rightfield based on who might be avaiable:

1. Abreu
2. Shawn Green
3. Ibanez
4. Delucci
5. Huff
6. Jones

Realistically, a lefthanded stick that can hit 5th is a necessity. I would not want the "Thug" aka Milton Bradley on my team.

Based on the market conditions I still think Shawn Green needs to be the target. Good character, lefthanded, hits 5th, decent ops, good defense. Most important: I don't think he would cost the king's ransom in prospects. Taking on his contract and a combo of decent prospects should do it.

Re #57 Okiecubsfan:

ESPN Rumor Central says that Millwood is looking for a five-year deal comparable to the $55 million AJ Burnett got. So the going-price is about $11 million a year.

#60 RobR says that $13-14M for Z. for 7 years would be "overpaying both in terms of dollars and length."

I admit that $13-14 would be overmarket now for a pitcher of Z's. But if relatively-proven AND oft-injured AJ Burnett can get $11 million this offseason, it is not too unreasonable to think that a pitcher like Z would get $13-14MM next offseason. As salaries increase, in years 3-7, the contract be well below-market.

Is such a deal ludicrous? No. The biggest downside to this deal from the Cubs's perspective is taking on the injury risk. But perhaps we should all take a step back and think that he might in fact be a physical freak and should be rewarded as such. If he passes Will Carroll's "injury nexus", he will be well worth $14M in 2008 and beyond.

And Z. gets guaranteed money out of this deal. He will be underpaid later in his career but in 2006 he would collect double what he is likely to obtain in arbitration.

There is the risk that locking up the rotation like this would have the Trib go cheap on the rest of the line-up, particularly the offense. But I would much rather us spend the "Sosa Dividend" on locking up Z. and Prior than in chasing Juan Pierre and Raul Ibanez.

DC Tom,

Yes, a lineup with Millwood (or some other pitcher) and Tejada would cost about $10 or $12 million more then one with Zambrano and Cedeno. If I'm not mistaken, the Cubs are still at least that far under their budget anyway.

Your comment about Abreu doesn't apply since it would cost Zambrano or Prior to get him as well. So, let's rephrase the question again...

Option 1: Zambrano starting 30 games, Cedeno / Neifi at SS and either a free agent outfielder (Jones and his platoon issues?) or someone acquired by trade not named Abreu.

Option 2: Free agent pitcher starting 30 games, Tejada at SS and a much lower valued player in RF.

Option 3: Free agent pitcher starting 30 games, Abreu in RF and Cedeno / Neifi at SS.

I think Tejada is probably slightly more valuable then Abreu given his age and position, but you could make an argument either way. Given the Cubs already have a young SS in house, maybe Abreu makes more sense. Either way, you lose Zambrano.

The big question when trying to project Zambrano or Tejada's value over replacements going forward is the potential for injuries. It's just simply more likely, as a pitcher, that Zambrano will miss significant time due to a major injury.

7 year deal for $13 million, huh? 7 year deals for ANY player are downright insane, but doubly so for pitchers. The risk of injury is so ridiculous that it far out weighs any potential savings you would get by tying up the player that far in advance.

In the trade Rogers proposed, Baltimore was sending a pitcher back too. That impacts things a bit as well.

Again, I'm not necessarily saying trading Zambrano in a deal for Zambrano is the right thing to do. I'm just saying it should be considered. It's really not as cut and dried of a decision as many would make it seem.

"Ricardo Rincon's two-year deal with the Cardinals will be worth $2.9 million."

What's the real cost of a LOOGY? Eyre got much more than Rincon. I'm not sure you can conclude one is any better or worse than the other based on 3 year numbers, trends, splits, or anything. I'd call it a toss up in my mind. Yet we paid more money, surrendered a draft pick and gave a third year just to get Eyre early on in FA.

I'm glad to see "activity" but we shouldn't confuse "activity" with "accomplishments".

rincon's on the ass end of his career. he's wild as hell and probally more comparable to dempster given the only thing that will save rincon from a bad season is if he gives up the longball or not.

btw, eyre's not a loogy (well, i guess any lefty can be one). the cubs most likely plan on using him like remlinger, in 1ip roles.

Can we really plan to keep both Z and Prior after they both hit FA?

CUBSTER mentioned Michael Young, TX, SS. Is he realistically available? He brings a lot to like.

Raven1908,

I like how you characterized the three options. And I would definitely take Option 1.

If I knew I could get Millwood as the free-agent pitcher, Option 2 comes close for 2006. But only for 2006 -- after that it makes less and less sense. We would have to take Millwood for $11 million a year for five years, through age 35 -- which I deem much more risky than locking up Zambrano through age 31, which I would do. (Point of clarification: 7-year deals are only conceivable for Z and Prior because of their young age and demonstrated talent.)

The option value that Zambrano is the next Tom Seaver is simply too great to get me to consider trading it away for a modest upgrade in one or two years at best.

Tom I am still not sure why I would want to hugely over pay for Z or Prior today so that I might save money on them in the future.

If you want to sign Prior or Zambrano to long term deals, shouldn't the goal be to give them more money than they could expect in arbitration, but less than what they could get in the market if they were free agents now. Basically protect them from downside risk in return for them giving up their upside for a time.

"CUBSTER mentioned Michael Young, TX, SS. Is he realistically available? "

I haven't seen or heard one word that he is realistically available.

"If you want to sign Prior or Zambrano to long term deals, shouldn't the goal be to give them more money than they could expect in arbitration, but less than what they could get in the market if they were free agents now. Basically protect them from downside risk in return for them giving up their upside for a time. "

Yes - so you'd be level paying them 12mm per, instead of 8, 10, 14, 14 or something like that for Prior. More exaggerated for Z since he is closer - say 13, 13, 13...

Eyre is more of a specialty pitcher. Usually only comes in to get 1 out. Which is odd as to why Hendry threw money at this guy.

He has appeared in 83 and 86 games. Which sounds like alot of work but his total IP is is only 52 and 68.

Howry is paid nearly the same but is more of a full inning reliever. With much better career marks I might add. If Howry appears in 60-70 games he will have 60-70 IP.

The downside risk is just too extreme for a 7 year contract to any pitcher. Baseball GM's as a whole are a little nutty, but even they have figured this one out. Notice Burnett is the first pitcher to even get a 5 year deal in years. Zambrano or Prior might be the next Seaver or Clemens. Or they could be the next Gooden. Or the next "insert 1 of 400 names here of a pitcher that was good / great, got hurt and was never the same".

"btw, eyre's not a loogy"

I guess that depends on your definition. He averages .2 IP per start. Over the course of his career, he has a 1.63 WHIP and a .279 baa vs righties and a 1.37/.239 vs lefties.

Given that our pen will have at least 2 lefties, possibly more (Koronka or Rusch?) I wouldn't expect that Eyre faces a ton of righties.

I would trade Z to Tampa for Delmon Young and Scott Kazmir. I'd also trade him to the Angels for Ervin Santana and Brandon Wood.

I haven't seen or heard one word that he is realistically available.

I didn't say he was available. It was more a commentary on some newspaper doofus (initials PR) who works for the Mother Tribune that would say in big print that the Cubs should consider trading 24 yr old HORSE Carlos Zambrano.

...so why not not blabber about another of the best young shortstops for him who is on a team desperate for good pitching, and make the deal include a real OF like Wilkerson. Miggy is 29 and the best the O's could include would be Jay Gibbons.

MYoung is 6 months younger similar hitting numbers in 2005, Arlington vs Camden is about the only factor that one needs to otherwise consider.

MY .331 .385 .513, HR 24
MT .304 .349 .515, HR 26

It's just hot stove stuff, no facts...just fun.

Well, count me in. I'd take Young in a second, not in a package for Z, but for a package of other arms.

Who wouldn't take Young. I would place him and Tejada as the top 2 shortstops in the league, with Jeter being a relatively close third.

Young would improve all but a couple of teams in baseball. Unfortunately he is not available, and he shouldn't be. He made just 2.6 million last year - which is phenomenal considering his production.

I would be shocked if Texas even thought about trading him.

2.6 million for Young? Thats a freaking joke. They were paying 26 million a year for the guy who was there before him. What was that guy's name again?

Young is only making 2.6 million because he has not yet reached free agency.

And A-Rod is still significantly better than Young - though not ten times better!

Michael Young is an outstanding offensive shortstop...and a terrible defensive shortstop. Not that he's going anywhere, but he would be one heck of a 2nd baseman for the Cubs with Cedeno at SS.

No Michael Young isn't on the block, besides Teixiera he's their best player and he makes nothing. In fantasy land he'd sure look great playing 2b(his natural position) and hitting in the 2 hole with Cedeno staying at SS. Seeing that TEX is pitching starved, it would be awfully nice to ship Wood to his home state with Todd Walker and cash and bring back Young and Wilkerson in return. Positional players and lineup complete and then you can make a move to sign or trade for a starter or just slide J.Williams into the 5th starter slot. A rotation of Z/Prior/Maddux/Rusch/Williams wouldn't be ideal but Millwood isn't going to accept a 1 or 2 year offer. I suppose you could explore a trade with AZ for Vasquez which would be a mistake given he's a flyball pitcher in Wrigley, or D.Lowe. However, I don't see TEX moving Young for anything less than a Prior/Zambrano type young frontline starter who isn't making K.Wood type money.

"Michael Young is... and a terrible defensive shortstop. Not that he's going anywhere, but he would be one heck of a 2nd baseman for the Cubs with Cedeno at SS."

He broke in with TX at 2B. I think terrible is harsh. He's had less errors than Tejada the last two years, his first two at SS in the bigs.

Seeing that TEX is pitching starved, it would be awfully nice to ship Wood to his home state with Todd Walker and ca$h and bring back Young and Wilkerson in return.

Now you're talking hot stove. I like this trade, alot. How much $$ is needed to make this work?...particularly with Wood's salary and impending 2007 free agency.

...and look MA, a trade with no prospect throw ins!

""btw, eyre's not a loogy"

I guess that depends on your definition."

well, ohman is the loogy. that's what i base it on. he, like remlinger, is gonna serve the cubs 1-inning role most likely. its all how you look at it, really...i was reffering to his role on the club.

"He broke in with TX at 2B. I think terrible is harsh. He's had less errors than Tejada the last two years, his first two at SS in the bigs."

For a 2b Young is not a terrible SS I'll agree to that, but he has less range than Tejada so that is why the less errors. So actually having a SS with a high error total is not a bad thing because in most cases (Jose Valentin the exception) that means they are the best SS because they can get to so manny balls.

X:
"I'd call it a toss up in my mind. Yet we paid more money, surrendered a draft pick and gave a third year just to get Eyre early on in FA."

Good points...

All Hail Hendry!!!!

There's no way Hendry is going to trade for Bradley UNLESS Hendry gets himself a contract extension. Hendry can't personally risk a potential clubhouse mess one more time....this time by trading FOR the mess in his last year of his contract.

It simply won't happen....that is unless Hendry has signed an extension and we haven't heard about it yet.

Cubster,

Wood = 0 (trade value)

"Now you're talking hot stove. I like this trade, alot. How much $$ is needed to make this work?...particularly with Wood's salary and impending 2007 free agency."

Dunno, not that I think a deal will happen, but probably a few million or more likely a Rich Hill like pitching prospect or J.Williams. Wood and Walker are set to make a combined $13.5m and Wilkerson made $3m last season and is due arbitration and M.Young is owed $3m this year. So assuming Wilkerson gets between $4-5m you're looking at around $6m difference. I guess it would depend on how desperate TEX actually is. I'm sure they'd throw $12m at Clemens for a year. They've shown no interest in J.Weaver or Millwood so far..the top 2 remaining FAs not counting Clemens. I was just throwing that proposal out there because Wood and Walker are two guys that TEX has had interest in in the past. Not sure how much interest they'd have in Wood given his latest setback, but right now TEX's rotation is V.Padilla, C.Young and K.Loe. That's it. They traded their #1 commodity in Soriano for zero pitching which is why Daniels is taking quite a bit of heat in the press and among his peers right now. Soriano's unwillingness to switch positions killed his trade value and they essentially took whatever they could get...two more left fielders when they already had Mench and Dellucci. I think if the Cubs were willing to add a guy like Rich Hill or J.Williams in the deal then maybe something like this could be realistic.

"Wood = 0 (trade value)"

Chad,

Tex is so desprite enough for pitching that Wood might look good to them not to the level of giving up Young but maybe Wilkerson given their OF surplus if we threw in a Walker.

Manny, what should Jim Hendry have done about the bullpen??

I mean its easy to complain about moves when you don't offer any alternatives as to what should be done differently.

I personally don't like the Eyre or Howry moves either, but I didn't spend the past year complaining how the bullpen was one of the Cubs biggest problems.

There's no way Hendry is going to trade for Bradley UNLESS Hendry gets himself a contract extension. Hendry can't personally risk a potential clubhouse mess one more time....this time by trading FOR the mess in his last year of his contract.

For what its worth, the people I talked to at the Winter Meetings, who were dead on accurate with other things that have since happend, said Bradley was Hendry's number one target for RF.

out of left field here.....

what ever went down with the rule 5 draft? I haven't seen anyone comment on it so i'm guessing nothing major happened from the Cubs point of view? Anyone care to fill me in?

Bleeding Blue:
"Manny, what should Jim Hendry have done about the bullpen??"

I am not the GM and am not privy to what goes on behind the scenes and I think it is stupid to propose trace scenerios when we have no clue about anything in reality. Same goes for FA signings as we don't know what they are truly demanding or where they would be willing to go.

But, I give him credit realizing, like myself and should of been everyone, that the bullpen was horrible last year and should of been the #1 thing on his priority list. But in my opinion he way overpaid and/or gave too many incenetives/years/bonuses to Howry and Eyre. Especially when other similar relivers are signing for less $$ and less years now.

But hey, he did address it at least and now he addressed the leadoff problem (giving up a bundle there too for Pierre).

Those players might look good on paper now lets see if they can perform or bust (ie. Beltran and Beltre from last offseason). Also, the team is still a few moves from being complete.

Oh yeah, why not ask X the same question? Especially since he brought it up. :)

Wood = 0 (trade value)

Chad, Wood's value has certainly decreased, but if Burnett got exact Wood money at $11m per with similar command and injury history, and M.Morris got $9m per a few years removed from Tommy John surgery and two lackluster seasons with STL then Wood has some value. If Wood were a FA right now in this year of a thin FA pitching crop he would probably get at least $9m a year if not the same exact money he makes right now. The only difference in this case is that TEX probably wouldn't want to take another PR hit by moving their most popular player in M.Young...even for a home state kid. I'm sure Wilkerson could be had though.

what ever went down with the rule 5 draft? I haven't seen anyone comment on it so i'm guessing nothing major happened from the Cubs point of view? Anyone care to fill me in?

There was an entire post on the subject a few days ago.

I'd ask X, but he doesn't have your track record of saying the bullpen was the Cubs biggest problem. Like I said, I don't like the signings either, but I think the Cubs bullpen problems were severely overblown last year.

It just does wonders for one's argument when you complain about someone not doing anything to fix a problem, and then when they actually do something to fix the problem, you complain that they didn't make the right move without offering other options.

You can never be wrong when you take both sides of an issue.

"Wood's value has certainly decreased, but if Burnett got exact Wood money at $11m per with similar command and injury history, and M.Morris got $9m per a few years removed from Tommy John surgery and two lackluster seasons with STL then Wood has some value"

But both the guys you bring up had actually pitched before they got paid. Wood has gone under the knife and will not throw a pitch in anger until sometime next spring. Will he be the Wood of '03? Will his arm fly off? Will he be able to be a closer? A starter? Will he be able to pitch in the majors before May 1st or Memorial Day? No one knows. Baker and Rothschild certainly don't seem to sure about counting on him. So until anyone knows if he can even pitch, his worth is zero.

Thanks Dave....

Bleeding Blue-
Like I said Hendry overpaid by giving too many years/$$/bonuese/incentives.

That is what I would of changed, like I said.

But it is good to see you once again not agreeing with Hendry (as Hendry obviosly thought the bullpen was horrible too). You are slowly seeing the light that Hendry should only get one more shot with the Cubs in 2006 and if they don't make the playoffs he should be gone, along with Baker.

Manny, as I've said many times before, I've been very open with my complaints about Jim Hendry.

I'm ok with the Pierre move, but otherwise, I think he's had a pretty poor offseason so far. I can think of a lot of things I would have liked him to do differently.

I also think Hendry's done a pretty good job of assembling talent in other years. I do not think he should be blamed because the teams he's built have severely underperformed their talent level. Hendry, however, is responsible for making changes to addressing the continued underperformance, so If the team underperforms yet again this year, and Hendry is still not willing to address that problem, then yes, he should go, as should Dusty and McFail.

Tbone: "Will his arm fly off?"

Thanks for the visual, LMAO, trying not to wake up the wife with the laughing.

I've always wanted to see what Cliff Floyd could do in Cubbie blue. The problem is he's been a leftfielder. I'm well aware of the injury history but the man can pound the ball. Is he a native Chicagoan? I also vote for keeping Todd Walker unless we get a SS and a RF who are strong offensive threats. As someone mentioned earlier, Wood and Walker for Michael Young and Wilkerson looks like a worthwhile move to me, too, I'm just not sure Texas would want to part with Young. I also tend to feel like AL hitters struggle their first season in NL. Finally, I would not just give Patterson away-get value or keep him until you do-stranger things have happened than him getting it together and coming off the bench to reclaim a job, perhaps in LF if Murton doesn't pan out.

TBone,

THank you for summing it up for me. Don't get me wrong, I Kerry Wood's biggest fan. I think he can still recover and be awesome. But if I were the GM of a major league baseball team, I'd wanna see him throw a ball first. If he comes back and shows that he can throw heat again, there will be many takers but until then, we couldn't trade him for a bag of peanuts. I dont' care how desperate Texas is for pitching. Can you find me a trade of a player coming off surgery before he pitched again?

Wow.

Raven, the cubbies should NOT trade Z, and here's why-- in '03 or so, every single person on this board (don't lie) rated Z #3 behind Wood and Prior, and understandably so. In the 2 years since, with freak injuries and surgeries and Kerry in the 'pen (?), Carlos Zambrano has emerged as a workhorse and a pretty damn good starting pitcher. As much as I hate to say it, freak injuries and everything, I don't want this to happen, but I'd get what I could for Mark Prior TODAY before Z, and that's based on performance (Z) vs. potential (Prior), because as much as I hate to say it, the trib WILL NOT pay both of them, and everybody here has to know that.

So, you either trade prior now and curse everybody to hell when he has a cy young season somewhere else, or you keep him, try to build a decent team and hope he stays healthy and returns to form to help lead the team to glory. I'm sure popular opinion, mine included, is keep him and hope for option B. But pretty much as sure as I'm sitting here typing this (this is the last 'cheap' year for both of them, correct?) both Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano (and hell, healthy or not, starting or not, probably Kerry too) WILL NOT be on the 2007 Chicago Cubs.

I think the best we can hope for long term(behind a WS victory this year) is to hitch the wagon to one of those three and go with it. If it's to be Kerry Wood, I'm good with that, but my VERY cloudy crystal ball has kerry being a top-notch closer for some lucky team in '07 or maybe '08, not starting. That doesn't mean Z's our long term ace, either, though. I'm not sure (yet) he has the mentality for it, even if he does have the stuff. Prior, healthy, will be a #1 for a decent number of years. Guaranteed.

My stance is that all that said, I'm not going to trade the closest thing we've had to an ace for the past 2 years, with my shiny brand new leadoff man and my team on the verge of (maybe) great things this year. Cubdom gets worse without Z, not better.

But while I'm at it, damn, Tejada would look great, carrying the magic stick, patroling SS in Wrigley....

Both Z and Prior are FA's after the 07 season. We have 2 more years with both of them.

Chifan-
And we will free up $21M with the departure of Wood and Maddux after this year (only $18M if you count the $3M buyout of Wood's option.

We will have 2 spots to fill in the rotation, but maybe Williams, Rusch and/or Guzman can step up and fil at least one or two of them and then we can look outside the organization for the other starter.

I've heard some mention that Jose Vidro might be available now that Alfonso "I Don't Give a Damn Where You Want Me to Play, I'm a Second Baseman" Soriano is in town. If healthy, he might be a pretty good pickup. Anyone hear that the Cubs might be interested? Would this be a good pickup?

vidro's too banged up to be shifted. there's questions about whether he'll even be back for spring training as of now and if he'll be able to play 2nd well enough to stay there.

I wonder why none of Chicago's pathetic beat writer corps have never asked Kerry Wood himself whether he'd be willing to waive his no trade clause to either move to a team of his liking/choice, or to get a contract extension. The offseason would sure perk up in a hurry if word got out that Wood would (hehe) be willing to accept a trade.

There would be demand for him.

Good point, Eric.

Morris came off the same surgeries as Wood and got $6.25 million last year and $9 for the next three years.

But keep on trucking T-bone- don't let the nasty ole facts interrupt your truth.

RE: Hendry and the pen

I'm not sure what he could have done. I've been vomitously sick about this pen for a while. Even in 2003 it was relying on wishes and prayers (Alf, Gurthrie, Farns, Cruz, Veres)

Hindsight is 20/20. I can list off guys signed off the scrap heap who have been good relievers in the past few years, but that's not my style. I just don't particularly like his choice of Eyre, for 3 years, at that price, and a draft pick. I'm less disgruntled by Howry and Dempster - I just question the Eyre move.

RE: Wood
"So until anyone knows if he can even pitch, his worth is zero."

Agreed - and worse yet, given his contract, it is probably less than 0. Although you never know what someone might do, no responsible GM should give up anything of value for the responsibility of the remainder of Kerry's contract until he proves that he can do what he has not been able to do in 6 of his 8 seasons as a professional (throw for 175 IP or win more than 12 games).

Kerry has all the talent in the world. His control causes him to throw too many pitches, and his tendency to get hurt is starting to cost him too many starts. I sure hope he recovers to be what he could be. I see that being with us, if it happens, since I don't see any team willing to give up anything of major value to take that risk.

evidently Hendry isn't concerned about his job -

Cubs eyeing free-agent OF Jones

"Morris came off the same surgeries as Wood and got $6.25 million last year and $9 for the next three years." Real Neal

No, Morris made $2.5 million last year which was a fraction of the multi-year deal the Cards had offered him and he had rejected pre-injury. Yeah, and now that people can see he can pitch again, he's gotten his $9 million.

#110 of 118: By chifan3887 (December 12, 2005 09:10 PM)
Both Z and Prior are FA's after the 07 season. We have 2 more years with both of them.

-

CHIFAN3887:

Zambrano is a free-agent after 2007,

Prior is signed through 2006 per the deal he signed when the Cubs drafted him in 2001, and so he will be eligible for arbitration after next season and after 2007 (only), and then he will be a free-agent after 2008.

Here is the complete list of Cubs free-agents through 2009 and abritration-eligibles through 2008 (subject to trades, obviously):

ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION THIS OFF=SEASON:
Jerry Hairston, Jr #3
Corey Patterson #2
Juan Pierre #3
Will Ohman #1
Carlos Zambrano #2

FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2006 SEASON:
Henry Blanco
Jerry Hairston, Jr
Derrek Lee
John Mabry
Greg Maddux (ìno tradeî through 2006 season)
Juan Pierre
Aramis Ramirez (player option for 2007)
Todd Walker
Scott Williamson
Kerry Wood (club option to pay $13m salary in 2007 or $3m buy-out - also ìno tradeî through 2006 season)

ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION AFTER 2006:
Will Ohman #2
Corey Patterson #3
Mark Prior #2
Todd Wellemeyer #1 (likely to be a "super two")
Jerome Williams #1
Carlos Zambrano #3

FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2007:
Michael Barrett
Scott Eyre (player option for 2008)
Corey Patterson
Neifi Perez
Glendon Rusch
Kerry Wood (if Cubs decline buy-out after 2006)
Carlos Zambrano

ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION AFTER 2007:
Roberto Novoa #1
Will Ohman #3
Mark Prior #3
Todd Wellemeyer #2 (ST)
Jerome Williams #2
Michael Wuertz #1

FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2008:
Ryan Dempster
Scott Eyre (if player option is not exercised after 2007)
Bob Howry
Will Ohman
Mark Prior
Aramis Ramirez (mutual option for 2009, or vesting option for 2009 if 280 GAMES PLAYED 2007-08)

ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION AFTER 2008:
Ronny Cedeno #1
Matt Murton #1
Roberto Novoa #2
Todd Wellemeyer #3 (ST)
Jerome Williams #3
Michael Wuertz #2

FREE-AGENT AFTER 2009:
Jerome Williams

I don't think there's any doubt that Kerry Wood has the best pure stuff of anyone on the rotation. His problems have come from suspect mechanics, a stubbornness to change his style, and nagging injuries that are most likely the result thereof. But from a pure nastiness standpoint, Kerry Wood is worth every dollar he's being paid and probably more. He just doesn't get out on the mound enough to show it.

It will be interesting to see how he comes back this year, after surgery. Obviously, I am very much rooting that he returns to '03 form, and I think he'll do so.

"Cubs eyeing free-agent OF Jones"

That would, IMHO, be the worst FA signing for us this off season. Jones is exactly what we don't need. 20HR power, but a mediocre hitter against righties and not a viable option to play vs lefties. We better have a damn good RH 4th OF to get 250+ ABs per season, and we better have a deep bench to pinch hit for Jones in the late innings.

Jones in 2005 vs LHP
.201 avg
.247 obp
.370 slg
.617 ops
120 Ks

I'm not convinced even that Jones is a better option than Corey Patterson.

"I'm not convinced even that Jones is a better option than Corey Patterson."

Your damn right he's not, mostly because he's going to command at least a 3-year deal, which the Royals have already offered and four other teams are said to be prepared to offer. I'd much rather stick with Corey another year that sign on for three years of Jacque Jones.

With that said, I don't think we'll acquire him. Hendry isn't going to give Jones a three year, $21m deal. He's shown he'll overpay for middling talent, but Jones is just bad. I think he goes to the Cardinals before he comes here.

Padilla traded to Texas for PTBN.

If the Cubs needed a CF, and if they had a strong right handed 4th outfielder as a platoon-mate, I wouldn't mind signing J.Jones.

But Jones biggest asset, his defense, is somewhat wasted in RF (unless your CF happens to be named Torii) and he's a huge liability against LHP, but right now the Cubs don't have a good right handed bat to platoon with him.

All that said, and as AZ Phil's been saying for months, I really can see Hendry going after him. I do think Hendry's first choice is Bradley, but if he can't work out a trade, there's not much available in the FA market. I bet Hendry wants someone who's left handed, and if he really "likes people who catch the ball" then Jones is the person who best fits that description.

The Sun Times article speculates that Hendry would NOT want to give Jacques Jones a "long-term contract," but not wanting a one-year deal is why Jones is declining the Twins offer of salary arbitration.

So Unless Hendry intends to give Jones a multi-year deal, Jones ain't comin' to the Cubs. The problem is, I'm not so sure Hendry WOULDN'T give Jones a three-year deal ! ... or at least two plus a club option for a 3rd year with a buy-out...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

There are three other left-handed hitting RFs who will be free-agents after next season, and at least two (maybe all three, I'm not sure) have been mentioned as probably being available in a trade (age listed is as of Opening Day 2006):

1. Raul Ibanez, age 33 (SEA) - will make $4.25m in 2006... FA after 2006... can play RF-LF-1B-C... ex-minor league catcher, he has been used occasionally as a catcher in the majors, too, so he is a legitimate #3 ("emergency") catcher;

2. Aubrey Huff, age 29 (TB) - will make $6.75m in 2006, then FA after 2006... can play RF-LF-1B-3B, so he'd be a better option than Mabry at 3B in case Ramirez gets hurt;

3. Jay Gibbons, age 29 (BAL) - made $2.6m (plus $300,000 in incentive bonuses) in 2005, eligible for arbitration for last time in 2006... he'll likely get between $4m - $5m in aribitration this time... FA after 2006... can play RF-LF-1B.

Thinking that the Rangers would trade Young is about as silly as thinking the Cubs' bullpen wasn't one of the team's biggest problems last year.

Actually, Jones has a .830 career OPS against RHP, which is quite decent IF he's going to be platooned. He also showed a much better career road record (.822 OPS).

He should NEVER be allowed near LHP.

Basically, I think Jones would be a decent lefty half of a corner OF platoon, possibly very good, but I doubt the Cubs have sense enough to use him that way.

Dayn Perry, do you read the Cub Reporter?

Give me a sign.

I'd be fine with a year of Jacque Jones and Kevin Mench splitting duties in right field. Not thrilled, but okay.

The problem is signing a guy like Jones for more than one year. His trends all suggest he is going downhill and tying up $5-7m in a platoon outfielder with decent defense and no ability to hit lefties isn't a great idea.

If we sign Jones, which I hope we don't, this will be the 2006 lineup.

Pierre
Perez
Lee
Jones
Ramirez
Walker
Murton
Barrett

It stinks. We'll never catch the Brewers with a lineup like that. Forget catching the Cards and Astros, even though it looks like both of them will not be as good as 2005. No matter how idiotic everyone thinks this lineup is, and I agree, this is the lineup Dusty will use.

From Rotoworld

The Mets may attempt to acquire Miguel Tejada from Baltimore in order to spin him to Boston for Manny Ramirez, a baseball executive told the New York Daily News.
We assume that it'd actually cost more in terms of talent to land Tejada, so this doesn't make a lot of sense. Still, who really knows what Omar Minaya has up his sleeve next? The one reason to believe that it might be a possibility is that the Orioles have interest in Kris Benson and the Red Sox probably don't. Dec. 13 - 4:45 am et
Source: New York Daily News

I was all for adding Jones for CF if we got Brian Giles. But without Giles? Not so much.

I like Jones because he plays the game the way it was meant to be played. He plays hard, much like Pierre. Burnitz he just seemed like he didn't care half the time, just around to collect a pay check.

Why do so many people put Neifi Perez in the starting lineup. HE'S NOT GOING TO START NEXT YEAR UNLESS SOMEONE GETS INJURED. JHJ, Cedeno, and Walker (if they keep him) will all start before Neifi

ESPN1000 is reporting that Hendry has made another call to BAL and has asked whether Tejada is going to be available for trade.

Remember back 2 offseasons ago when the Red Sox put Manny Ramirez on waivers free to be claimed by anyone willing to pay his salary?

If only the Trib weren't so damn cheap, we'd not have to worry about this outfield right now. With a slugger like that hitting with Lee and Ramirez, you can afford to start the Neifis and Jacque Joneses of the world.

Hendry just needs to offer something! Get them talking trade. The longer this goes on Tejada will rethink this he needs to act now offer Cedeno, Hill, Pie, and Williams just get them talking to you and not to Hoyer, Minaya, Purpoa or Tejada himself. This is Hendry's problem is not aggressive enough.

Cubbiefan, I admire your ability to forget the past and give Dusty more brains than he has. I hope your're right, but from the day they signed N. Perez I knew he would start. Dusty loves him and maybe Hendry does also. It will ultimately be one of the main reasons they both get the ax after 2006. I don't know how they can go to war in 2006 with the team they have, including Jones or another similar type, mediocre RF, and expect to make the playoffs. They have not done enough to significantly improve this team.

Burnitz he just seemed like he didn't care half the time, just around to collect a pay check.

Seriously? One of the "praises" that I have always heard about Burnitz was he always "played the game right" - working hard, hustling, doing the little things.

re: 131

TJ, why would you speculate that Dusty would bat Jones in the cleanup spot ahead of Ramirez? Just curious? Dusty is the world's biggest ass but even Dusty wouldn't bat Jones ahead of Ramirez. Or would he? Staggaring L/R hitters maybe?

Yeah, I can't agree with that assessment of Burnitz. He was one of the few guys on the team that regularly played the game hard--running out routine popups and groundouts, hustling in the field, etc.

burnitz is the definition of a gamer...only a dope would think he was "just sitting around to collect a paycheck." just because a guy doesn't act like will clark or paul o'neill doesn't mean that he's coasting.

Superjimmer, Jones is basically Burnitz and that's were he batted him. It's the lefty/righty thing. It was idiotic with Burnitz because both Lee and Ramirez would have seen better pitches if they were batting 3rd and 4th because they would have better hitters behind them. Not to mention the outs Burnitz made in between them which killed rallies, etc. Everyone talks about the mistakes Dusty made in the 1st and 2nd batting spots, but I've always felt the 4th and 5th spot mistakes was just as bad.

Burnitz had barely over 1/3 of his 600 ABs in the fourth spot. Just saying.

I like Jaque Jones and all but why not just keep Burnitz? I know that ship has sailed but I think it was STUPID to not at least offer arbitration.

Hellfrozeover, the Trib was not to cheap to get Manny. Where was he going to play? We had Alou and Sosa. Not that they were better, its just that you couldn't bench them.

Chad, the solution is simple: Pull the same shit on Sosa that the Sawx pulled on Manny. That would have been the perfect ending to his Cubbie career. Ah, hindsight.

What if there were no takers? Outright him? DFA? That would have made no sense in 2004.

Bob:
"Burnitz had barely over 1/3 of his 600 ABs in the fourth spot. Just saying."

Good Point!!! Obviously missed by the anti Dusty squad. They must of also missed teh fact that many of those AB's in the 4th spot came when ARAM was either not playing or playing but very gimpy.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter