Free Agents

According to the Mayan calendar, the Cubs will win the World Series in 2012, causing an apocalypse about six weeks later.


So since it's getting late, here's a look ahead at what the Cubs roster might look like in about six months, and what the player payroll obligations will be going into the historic 2012 season.


This does not address potential free-agents the Cubs might pursue or players the Cubs might target in a trade, although it should give you some idea of how much the Cubs might have available to spend for free-agents.


Time for that Player A, Player B, Player C contrivance, using the average of the five different 2009 projection systems available at FanGraphs.

 

  Ave.  Obp.  Slg.  OPS
 Player A  .277  .311  .412  .723
 Player B  .212  .285  .301  .585
 Player C  .229  .292  .363  .655

 

Player A also has 13 Gold Gloves, 12 All-star Game appearances, an MVP award and a World Series ring.

Player B also has...  well...  uh...  A Funny Middle Name.  He's 7 months younger than player A, too.

Player C also has... well...  uh...  A Funny First Name.  And middle name.  He's hurt just a bit in this comparsion because he's so incredibly anonymous that he didn't get included in Bill James' projection system, which usually has a tick or two higher offensive projections than the other four projection systems.

If you haven't figured it out yet...

 

OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2008:

CHICAGO CUBS RESERVE LIST (40-MAN ROSTER) AS OF 10/7/08:

* bats or throws left
# bats both

NOTE: There are presently 40 players on the Cubs RESERVE LIST (40-man roster), plus two additional players on the 60-day DISABLED LIST (players on 60-day DL do not count against the roster limit) 

Rich Harden just hit five years of MLB service time this past Sunday.

Why is that important?

For those of you who might be interested in looking ahead a little bit, he are projections for the Cubs 2009 payroll, potential Cubs free-agents, Cubs players eligible for salary arbitration, 2009 minor league option status for Cubs players presently on the 40-man roster, potential post-2008 Cubs minor league free-agents, and Cubs minor league players who will be eligible for the December 2008 Rule 5 Draft.   

Remember, these are projections based on the way things stand right now, and are very much subject to change.  

Jerry Crasnick has a story up at espn.com about the significant number of free agents still looking for work. "The game's rampant unemployment problem," he refers to it jokingly.

It's a long list--more than 90 players are still unattached according to ESPN's Free Agent Tracker--but 12 of the names on the list caught my eye:

Antonio Alfonseca
Paul Bako
Luis Gonzalez
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Kenny Lofton
Ramon Martinez
Damian Miller
Corey Patterson
Josh Paul
Neifi Perez
Sammy Sosa
Steve Trachsel

From the headline on this post, you can probably guess the question:

If you absolutely, positively had to make room on the current Cubs roster for one of these former Cubs, which one would it be?

Would it be Lofton, who, in his age 40 season, still turned in a .296/.367/.414 line for the Rangers and Indians and could keep centerfield warm until Pie grows into it? Of course it would be Lofton, so take him out of the equation.

Antonio Alfonseca
Paul Bako
Luis Gonzalez
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Kenny Lofton
Ramon Martinez
Damian Miller
Corey Patterson
Josh Paul
Neifi Perez
Sammy Sosa
Steve Trachsel

Now what you do say? And no, death is not an option.

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