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 agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.