12-16-1992 - The Giants name Dusty Baker as manager to replace Roger Craig. (taken from Baseball Library) 12-16-1985 - Traded Billy Hatcher and a PTBNL (Steve Engel) to the Houston Astros. Received Jerry Mumphrey.
12-15-2003 - Traded Damian Miller and cash to the Oakland Athletics. Received Michael Barrett. 12-15-1997 - Drafted Roosevelt Brown from the Florida Marlins in the 1997 minor league draft. 12-15-1912 - Traded Joe Tinker, Harry Chapman and Grover Lowdermilk to the Cincinnati Reds. Received Bert Humphries, Red Corriden, Pete Knisely, Art Phelan and Mike Mitchell.
12-14-2000 - Signed Tom Gordon as a free agent. 12-14-1998 - Traded Brant Brown to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Received Jon Lieber. 12-14-1990 - Traded Greg Smith to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Jose Vizcaino. 12-14-1987 - Signed Vance Law as a free agent. 12-14-1948 - Traded Hank Borowy and Eddie Waitkus to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received Monk Dubiel and Dutch Leonard.
As everybody around here probably knows, Corey Patterson is among five Cubs (Carlos Zambrano, Jerry Hairston, Jr, Juan Pierre, and Will Ohman are the others) who must be offered salary arbitration by next Tuesday, or they can become free-agents. I'm sure Jim Hendry will tender the offer of arbitration to Zambrano, Pierre, and Ohman, and PROBABLY to Hairston, but I'm beginning to wonder if Patterson might not get non-tendered. Here's why:
12-13-1999 - Traded Richard Negrette to the Baltimore Orioles. Received Augie Ojeda. 12-13-1996 - Signed Kevin Tapani as a free agent. 12-13-1995 - Signed Rob Dibble as a free agent.
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.
Here is an update on 2006 Cubs payroll & roster situations.
With a PTBNL sent to the Cubs in return. The brief announcement can be found here. Leicester, 26, has not yet figured out how to get out left-handed hitters, as his career line of .391/.513/.641/1.153 indicates. But I think the real ground for his relocation is that in 2005 he couldn't get out right-handed hitters, either. 2004: .200/.221/.314/.536 2005: .238/.393/.429/.821 Leicester already had lost his spot in the bullpen in favor of Weurtz and Novoa, among others, so this move does not really change anything when projecting the composition of next year's pen. Rob G.: Nothing more than a move to clear some 40 man roster space. I wouldn't be surprised if a few more were made in the next few days in preparation of the Rule V draft. Speaking of PTBNL, where's our guy from the Orioles? We're due one when Dave Crouthers retired earlier this year. Christian: I have no feelings about Jon Leicester one way or the other. But since getting rid of him for a PTBNL opens up a spot on the 40-man, that should help ensure no Andy Sisco scenarios this year. And that is a good thing.
As expected, Lee got jobbed out of the MVP and ended up third behind Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones. I can live with losing to Pujols, it was a tossup between the two and team records were going to give Pujols the push. But worst of all, Lee only received one first place vote and only one second place vote. Absurdity, in my opinion. Actually the whole vote was an absurdity. Morgan Ensberg finished 4th ahead of Miguel Cabrea. Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins finished 7th and 10th respectively, but Bobby Abreu was nowhere to be mentioned. It appers that Jason Bay didn't receive any votes and if you're going to give some votes to Jimmy Rollins, how do Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal not get some votes? The Internet Baseball Awards hold more meaning then this bunch of phooey. UPDATE: Here's the link to the final vote tally. I had only seen the top 10 when I originally posted. Jason Bay finished 12th, Bobby Abreu 15th, Marcus Giles received one 8th place vote and Jose Reyes received more votes (one 10th place vote) than Rafael Furcal. Meaningless? Sure. Ridiculous? No doubt. Lee didn't go home completely empty-handed though. He did win the prestigious MVN NLA (Nap Lajoie Award) as the NL's most dominant hitter. The press conference is tomorrow. Anyway, they asked me to write up a blurb on why I thought he deserved the award and you can read it by following the link.
Buried in a Sun-Sentinel article, this gem:
"The Braves and Cubs are among the teams that have contacted Marlins free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez."
Yes, by all means let's have the Cubs' fallback position be one of the few shortstops Neifi looks good against. Gonzalez, career: 896 G, 245/291/391 Neifi, career: 1,262 G, 270/301/380
No surprise, but Jim Hendry has let Nomar's agent know that he should try to "find a better fit" for Nomar elsewhere. There's the usual "door is still open" stuff, but this is a pretty clear indication that Garciaparra won't be back with the Cubs. It closes the door on a chapter in Nomar's career, and the Cubs' history, that could have been so, so much better. Final stats for Garciaparra in a Cubs uniform: 105 G, 395 AB, 56 R, 114 H, 26 2B, 0 3B, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 28 BB, 38 K, 289/350/453 Now he's off to Los Angeles, or Baltimore, or Minneapolis, or somewhere else, most likely to play third base.
Well at least I haven't woken up to the headlines of "Jose Macias signed to lifetime contract by Cubs" yet. Give it time. Don't forget to check out the Free Agent Frenzy contest we're piggy-backing off of MLB.com. It's the post right below this one. A fun little game to see where you think some of this year's free-agent class will land.
MLB.com is sponsoring another year of Free Agent Frenzy. They give you a list of the top 15 free agents in their opinion and you rank them by team and by confidence level. Winner gets free opening day tickets. Try to use the comments to ONLY post your own picks. (So don't go looking at the comments and then posting your picks, please do that first) Once all the players on the list sign, I'll try and calculate a winner. I'll figure out a prize later. Signing period begins tomorrow so get your picks in quick!!! You can view mine after the jump:
Not much going on, but we're over 100 comments on the last post, so I thought I'd give you all a fresh canvas. So that today's post isn't totally content-free here's what Pro Sports Daily has to say about the Cubs: * Hideki Matsui might be interested in signing with the Cubs. An interesting possibility if he can handle right field and doesn't want a $10M contract. * The Cubs might be one of 20+ teams in the mix for A.J. Burnett. I'm not interested for the money he'll command. * There is some sort of multi-team blockbuster in the works that involves Corey Patterson and Juan Pierre. Pierre was a stellar 57/74 in steals last year, but his OBP dropped to a career-low .326. If he's getting on base at a .350+ clip, he's a good choice at the leadoff position.
I am, as many others are, upset about the Neifi Perez signing. My feelings about Neifi are well-documented here, so there's no need to re-hash them, and Rob pretty much covered the potential problems, which we all assume will become reality, in giving Perez a two-year deal. Searching for any sort of silver lining, I grab onto the fact that Neifi and Rafael Furcal are buddies, and Neifi has already made a recruiting call to Furcal, trying to get him to come to Chicago. Furcal has had some well-documented troubles with the law, including two DUIs, the second of which led to actual jail time. In a discussion about this signing, a friend mentioned the possibility that Neifi had been retained to sort of keep Furcal on the straight and narrow. It's highly speculative, of course, but isn't that what the off-season is about? So here's where my thinking is right now: Maybe re-signing Perez helps the Cubs sign Furcal. And maybe having Perez around makes it easier for Furcal to stay off the sauce and concentrate on playing shortstop and hitting leadoff, two things he does well. If so, then I'm willing to write off the $6M that Neifi got. I'll even mentally add it to whatever contract Furcal signs -- if it's a five-year deal as rumored, then that's only just over a million more per year. That's walking-around money to a major league franchise. If Furcal comes to Chicago and as a result Derrek Lee sees more than the anemic 379 runners on base he saw last year, I'll consider it money well-spent. Lee came to the plate with 379 runners on base, and drove in 61 of them. That's 0.161 RBI per runner. Not a great rate, but a decent one. By comparison, Alex Rodriguez had a worse rate than Lee's (0.159) but ended up driving in 82 runners because he had 516 opportunities. Think about that for a second: A-Rod had 137 more RBI opportunities than Lee last year. That's almost one additional runner on base per game. Giving Lee (and A-Ram behind him) one more runner a game to try to drive in is worth six million dollars, I think. This doesn't address the issue of playing time, of course. Perez has been given "no guarantees that he'll be a starter," which brings the number of players on the Cubs roster signed to multi-year contracts without any guarantees of starting to two, and I'd say I believe it in approximately zero cases. Anyone who thinks that Dusty can be handed a loaded Neifi without expecting him to point it at the lineup hasn't been paying attention the last few years. I haven't figured out a way to justify the playing time, but there are still almost five months until Opening Day -- give me time.

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