SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT: Jeffry Antigua, LHP Julio Borbon, OF Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP (see NOTE) Casey Coleman, RHP Aaron Cunningham, OF Paolo Espino, RHP Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Luis Flores, C Edgar Gonzalez, INF Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Marcos Mateo, RHP Darnell McDonald, OF Jonathon Mota, INF Thomas Neal, OF Starling Peralta, RHP Carlos Pimentel, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Jose Rosario, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Jeudy Valdez, INF Chris Valaika, INF Casper Wells, OF Eli Whiteside, C NOTE: Hunter Cervenka will be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2014 if he signed a 2008 contract when he signed his "first contract" with the Boston Red Sox on 8-15-2008. However, if he was “Signed for Future Service“ (first contract was a 2009 contract), he will not be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA until post-2015.
SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE FA: Michael de la Cruz, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF Humberto Garcia, INF Alan Oaks, RHP Yomar Pacheco, RHP Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP Roberto Vahlis, C
1. A minor league player eligible to be an ARTICLE XX-D FREE-AGENT who accepts an Outright Assignment and defers free-agency until the end of the season is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season. If the player is not added back to a 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season, the player can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th.
2. A minor league player eligible to be an MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.
Back in April, I put up some polls for our readers to rank the position players and number one pitchers in the division. I originally intended to get them up before the season started so any hot starts wouldn't influence the results. I failed miserably at that and the poll results showed that (Derrek Lee second?). Nonetheless, let's revisit the fun.
I had to take a little break to bash Brenneman yesterday, but NL Central Smackdown is back. I was going to just try and cover all the pitching in one post and have you guys vote on the pitching staffs as a whole. But who really want to decide between Brandon Backe vs Braden Looper. On the other hand, the crown for the best staff ace is worthy of discussion.
Before we examine left field, I remind you to check out and vote on center field and right from this weekend if you missed it. As for the left fielders, I think it's an intriguing group and something that should really test the "homer" vote that's been going around
in the previous installments. I think Soriano is as good as they get
out there in the division, but he seems to be quickly falling out of
fans' good graces as of late.
Before we head to the outfield, we take on the field generals. A difficult position to evaluate with the numbers just because there's just no great way to numerically measure a catcher's defense, leadership and ability to work with his pitching staff...but we'll do our best. I did want to note, I'll keep going with these through the weekend just so we can finish this up by early next week. If you take the weekends off from TCR, be sure to check back Monday and vote on the polls you missed.
We march on around the diamond. Today it's the double play partner of yesterday's vote. The Cubs so far have the 2nd best first basemen and second basemen in the division. Can Ryan Theriot keep the streak going? Answer - no!
I started off with the first basemen yesterday and I'll leave the poll up until I get through all the positions. If you need a primer on all this, be sure to check out that first post as well on the first basemen.
Today though we move to the second basemen. While Hendry tries to win by sheer numbers, it's about quality, not quantity. Your contestants after the jump....
I was going to try and get this up before the season started, but that clearly didn't happen for a variety of reasons. But that's no excuse to let the work go to waste. Basically I thought it would be fun to go through each position player in the division and the starting pitchers and see how we rank them. Who’s the best now? Who will be the best over the next 3 years? I'll be using Baseball Prospectus's WARP-3 numbers for the most part, which includes both offense and defense and most importantly for this exercise, projections for the next three years. Once we get through the eight positions and the starting pitchers, I'll finish it off with a Bill Simmons inspired (ripped off) trade value chart.
Here are the ground rules. We're trying to figure out who you'd rather have on your team. Do your best to take your Cubs bias out of the equation if possible (that shouldn't be hard for some of you). But we're also trying to figure out who has the best players on the their team right now, so I'm going to use the players projected to get the most playing time this year. Sure, Jay Bruce will eventually take over center field duties in Cincinnati, but who knows when. The chart after the jump includes their 3-year WARP-3 averages (2005-2007) and their projected 2008-2010 averages.The final column, appropriately labeled "Rob's Rankings", are simply how I ranked them before looking at any stats. For the most part I was pretty close to what the numbers bear out. I should also note that I did my rankings before the season started.
We'll start off with the toughest and most talented position, the first basemen. Your gladiators after the jump....
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
I'm somewhat with you at this point, crunch. I sincerely hope that they plan to pick up Tanaka or an equivalent investment towards being competitive in a year or so and maybe pick up one more player as well, though I'm more doubtful of the latter.
they have a lot of loot freed up, RK-AA are stacked, some kids are going to trickle in next year and a lot more expected in 2015...and we're not hearing about ubaldo or choo or etc...
it would be not-so-awesome if they have the 11+th draft pick next year and have to weigh getting in on it vs pissing away a high draft pick...especially since they've freed up enough loot to invest in the future.
Crunch I believe they are 100% not shedding salaries and saving 'loot'. It's VERY clear that every move is motivated by the desire to acquire talent. That seems pretty obvious. Characterizing it as a money saving move doesn't even make sense. They would make more money probably by half assing the lineup with crap expensive mediocre players and filling the seats winning 84 games a year.
feel free to do what you want, i'm not trying to shut you up.
i'm just saying some stuff like this is always gonna be lulz and "dude, really" to me.
when they lower payroll, sign guys and trade them mid-season saving loot, shed vets to save loot, and the biggest news of the past couple years is all the new ad revenue streams for the ballpark + neighborhood fights over those revenue streams while the teams end up with george katarras and wesley wright as off-season pieces...well...lulz/sigh/c'mon.
Sorry, no worries, I will stop calling you out on that. But FYI, from someone who has been posting on here for 7+ years with you now, I don't think your comments are registering as humorously as you think they are lately. Normally you add a lot to these comments and a lot of humor, but lately you just sound like a broken, very disgruntled, record...
Brett Gardner will be a FA after the 2014 season, so I doubt that the Cubs would give up players with more years of club control than Gardner just to get a one-year (or even half-year) rental... unless the plan is to try and sign him to a multi-year contract (which they have already done with LH OF Ryan Sweeney) or else flip him to a third team at the July Trade Deadline for prospects.
"Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Rakuten Golden Eagles will speak with Masahiro Tanaka about his desire to move to the MLB, and if he truly wants to do so they are expected to let him leave."