Soto Wins Rookie of the Year

As expected, the Cubs field general Geovany Soto took home the NL Rookie of the Year honors. He's the 5th Cub to win the honor and first catcher since Mike Piazza in 1993. He did it on the strength of a 285/364/504 batting line with 23 HR's, 86 RBI's and 66 Runs in the traditional baseball categories. He also created 6.6 Runs per game, had a 7.0 WARP-1 value and was 5 runs above average on defense, those last two numbers courtesy of Baseball Prospectus. That's quite a nice little season that was good enough to get 31 of the 32 possible first place votes, with one yokel probably from Cincinnati voting for Joey Votto.

Brian Giles Hates the Cubs

Since the last time I used "Hates the Cubs" in a headline it got a bunch of extra hits from the interwebs, I thought I'd try it again (never underestimate how much the Cubs are despised by the rest of the world). The good folks at Chicago Cubs Online did a pretty thorough rundown of Bruce Levine's radio show yesterday and it's chocked full of information. I covered the rumors in this comment but there's the little tidbit where the Cubs had a deal in place for Brian Giles before last year's trade deadline and he turned it down.

Saturday Cubs Hot Stove Round-Up

Rosenthal says the Braves are growing impatient...

The Padres are still weighing offers for right-hander Jake Peavy, and
on Friday discussed the possibility of keeping the pitcher if they fail
to receive a satisfactory proposal, according to a major league source.
The Braves, after weeks of discussions, are growing impatient, another
source said, and soon might push for a resolution. The Braves and Cubs
remain the front-runners, with the Yankees and Dodgers on the
backburner. ...

Cub Fans May Have Tribune Company to Kick Around Some More

Two developments on the ownership front:

As reported by Chris de Luca in the Sun-Times and noted by a reader under the previous post, there is z-e-r-o chance that MLB owners will approve beer-drinkin' regular guy/billionaire Mark Cuban as the next owner of the Cubs. According to de Luca, this seems to place "the group headed by John Canning, Jr.—(Commissioner Bud) Selig's personal favorite—back as the frontrunner."

Friday Cubs Hot Stove Round-Up

Oh dear...things should be interesting this weekend.

- ESPN1000 is reporting that Peavy could be dealt by Monday with the Cubs and Braves being the most likely targets.

-  The hot rumor early Thursday was the Braves offering Yunel Escobar and two prospects, but if that is the case, it sounds like Peavy would veto that deal. 

TCR's Free Agent Frenzy Contest 2008

Time for another shot at wonderful prizes with the TCR Free Agent Frenzy Contest. MLB.com actually runs it and we just piggyback off of them, but it's been great fun. The prize this year for first place is a brand new copy of Cait Murphy's Crazy '08, which I know Dr. Hecht strongly endorses.

Wednesday Cubs Hot Stove Round-Up

All quiet on the Western front...

- The Braves have contacted Ryan Dempster's agent. Dave O'Brien guesses that Dempster will still sign with the Cubs and says the Cubs have offered a three year/$36 million deal which Dempster wants to make sure isn't too much of a hometown discount.

One Time Only Offer - Election Open Forum

We tend to suppress the political talk around here because we like to treat sports as an escape from the realities of the world. Also because people tend to go off the deep end whenever the topic comes up.  This being election night though and there being nothing baseball-related worth discussing - go at it.

TCR Best of: Arizona Phil Votes Early and Often

Here on election day, I'm voting for none other than Arizona Phil. Anyone armed with so much information can't lead our country wrong. I can't wait for Chris Berman to get his post-election interview with Phil.

Strong commentary by Az Phil from the "Cubs make the First Trade of the Offseason" post. 

On newly acquired Ryan Buchter:

Ryan Buchter was drafted by the Nationals in the 33rd round of the 2005 draft, but he didn't sign, and instead went to a JC in New Jersey.

The Nats signed Buchter as a "Draft & Follow" in May 2006 (prior to the new CBA, clubs retained rights to their Rule 4 Draft picks until one week before the next year's draft), an indication that his draft stock had gone up after his year playing JC ball.

What probably happened is, the Cubs area scout in New Jersey "turned in" Buchter off his performance in JC in '06 ("turned in" being the term used by scouts when they recommend a player), but the Cubs never got a chance to draft him in 2006 because the Nats had already signed him as a DNF in May, although the Cubs probably kept his name on file for future reference should a trade be made with the Nationals at some future date.

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