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.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.