Cubs Ready to Sign Jim Edmonds
The recently released Jim Edmonds should clear waivers on Wednesday and it looks like the Cubs are going to bite. The move would likely send Felix Pie to the minors and give Edmonds the majority of playing time in a center field platoon with Reed Johnson.
[UPDATE 4:00 PM]:Ruz has added his take, at the bottom of the article.
So it's understandable that the Cubs want to upgrade center field right now. It seems to be the only weak spot in the lineup and some of our guys are certainly going to regress substantially from their early season success. But could the Cubs actually find someone to upgrade with?
A tale of the 2008 tape after the jump...
|Felix Pie||Jim Edmonds|
|Defense||Really Good||Slipping Fast|
|Intangibles||Not a douchebag||Frost his tips, has a vanity license plate that says "Hollywood"|
Other than pitches per plate appearance, Felix Pie is actually out-hitting someone in baseball and it happens to be the guy about to replace him. Granted, another bat in the lineup that is going to see over or near four pitchers per plate appearance is going to drive pitching staffs batty, but that's one small plus for this potential transaction in a sea of minuses.
Of course, it could be argued that Edmonds has a history of being a pretty good hitter and center fielder and he's going to bounce back at any moment.
I doubt it.
(Ed note: So as not to be misleading, 100 is a league-average OPS+, not 125 as the chart suggests. I assume most of you know that, but just in case.)
He's clearly on the downside of his career, I think he's actually going on the "put him out to pasture" part of his career.
But even if Hendry and the Cubs can catch some lightning in a bottle, it's Jim "Fucking" Edmonds. I hated this guy for every one of his eight seasons with the Cardinals. How the hell can you root for Jim Edmonds on the Chicago Cubs? There's part of me (a rather large part) that hopes he goes 0 for his first 20 or 40 or whatever it takes to get him cut as soon as possible. This is the guy that Zambrano drilled twice in one game after some home run showboating.
My stock response in these situations when the Cubs have a player that I'm not particulary fond of is, "I hope he does well, but I doubt it". In this case, I hope Zambrano drills him with a fastball the moment he walks in the clubhouse...and then another one the first time he takes batting practice...maybe one more when he's in the clubhouse shower.
Freaking Jim Edmonds is about to be a Cub...maybe Hendry can swing a deal to bring in AJ Pierzynski, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt, Barry Bonds and Ozzie Guillen in as a bench coach. That would definitely take the "lovable" out of "lovable" losers. Oh sure, I want to the Cubs win, pretty much at all costs. But since I have serious doubts that Jim Edmonds will be anything other than a road bump for Felix Pie's eventual return to the club or a trade for legitimate upgrade, I'd rather the Cubs just let him ride off into the sunset. Or maybe off to the Reds.
I will be so angry if this happens.
I have a visceral anti-Edmonds reaction, and the comments below show me I'm not alone. For me, it's not about his frosted tips (something which I will admit to having done myself). It's not even about the fact that he is more identified with the St. Louis Cardinals than just about any player in the last decade. That, in and of itself, wouldn't make this a bad signing. Believe me, if the Cubs traded for Albert Pujols, I would have no problem rooting for him.
No, the problem is that not only is Jim Edmonds Mr. Cardinal, he also sucks. He just got put on waivers by the Padres, who are currently the worst team in baseball. The Padres are hitting .233 as a team, and they decided they didn't want Edmonds any more, that they'd rather take their chances with Scott Hairston and Jody Gerut in center. Edmonds is about to turn 38 and is in the middle of his fourth-straight season of declining production. He's hitting 178/265/233 (yes, he's slugging .233!). Why send Felix Pie back to the minors to take a flyer on an aging veteran who might, but might not, regain his stroke?
Several years ago there was chatter about the Cubs acquiring Chipper Fucking Jones. Now there are few players in baseball I dislike more than Chipper Fucking Jones. In fact, there might not be any player in baseball I dislike more than Chipper Fucking Jones. But when the possibility of Chipper Fucking Jones becoming a Cub was raised, I got over my initial distaste because it seemed pretty clear that acquiring him would help the Cubs.
If Jim Edmonds was still getting on base at a .360+ clip and hitting 20-30 homers, I would be happy to see him in a Cubs uniform. After all, I'm a Cubs fan, and anything that makes the Cubs better makes me happy. But this isn't going to make the Cubs better; it's going to make them worse, at the expense of one of their young prospects, and it's going to come with the indignity of Jim Edmonds in a Cubs uniform.
DO NOT WANT.
One last poll on the NL Central Smackdown below this post or on the right sidebar...promise. I just want some data on what you guys think is the best overall staff in the NL Central. My ranks would be Cubs, Brewers (w/ Gallardo), Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Astros.
La Stella at 2B...Baez at 3B, or vice versa. Zobrist in RF, Bryant in LF No one gets bumped.
If Coghlan is leading off, I assume Fowler is getting the day off. Who is supposed to lead off, then? Someone has to get on base for Bryant and Rizzo. Coghlan's OBP is .346 with the Cubs. Jackson's was .304. LaStella can lead off, but then he has to play second or third, and bump Zobrist or Baez.
Unless he gets hot, Coghlan will likely change places with Soler soon.
I suspect the Cubs asked Chris Coghlan if he would accept an Optional Assignment to the minors and he refused (Coghlan has one minor league option left), so either you keep LaStella on the 25 and release Coghlan, or option LaStella to AAA for about a month and have both LaStella and Coghlan available in September-October. (As an Article XIX-A player, Coghlan must give his permission before he can be optioned to the minors, while LaStella has not accrued enough MLB Service Time to refuse an optional assignment).
Given today's lineup -- maybe they just wanted an extra OF to give Dexter a few days off (i.e. day game after a night game).
Tommy LaStella has three minor leaue options left so it's no big deal to send him to Iowa, but as of right now he projects to be at 2+124 MLB Service Time by the end of the of the 2016 MLB regular season, which will place him "on the bubble" as far as being eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2016.
But if he spends at least twenty days on optional assignment this season (anything less than twenty days and he will accrue a full season of MLB Service Time), he will not have enough MLB Service Time to have a chance to be a "Super Two."
this will be his 4th time leading off for the cubs this season...WITH A .500 OB%! HAIL MADDON! THE PLAN (c)2016! HE HAS RISEN! #YOLO #SWAG! KONY 2012!
I don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.
TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.
Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?
Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.
Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.
Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.
Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.