Who is Next for 3,000 Hits?

Accumulating 3,000 hits in a career used to be an automatic ticket to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and all eligible players in the modern era sailed in on the first ballot until Rafael Palmeiro in 2011. It was easy to disregard Palmeiro, however, given his suspension do to PEDs; yet Craig Biggio, with 3,060 hits in his career, also failed to get in on his first try, taking three years to finally overcome the 75% threshold. This suggests that the magic number of 3,000 has lost some of its allure. Yet there is no denying that the number still means something and the list of those with 3,000 hits is a who’s-who of baseball’s greatest and all eligible players expect Palmeiro are in the Hall of Fame. Derek Jeter, who just retired with 3,465 hits, will certainly gain entry on the first ballot when he becomes eligible.

Looking forward, who might be next in line for 3,000 hits?

First, a number of aging stars with 2,000+ hits have called it quits (Bobby Abreu, Paul Konerko, Alfonso Soriano, and Raul Ibanez), appear to have come up short on comeback attempts (Manny Ramirez, Miguel Tejada), or are going to have difficulty finding a job next year if they do decide to keep trying (Jason Giambi). Others are getting too old and are too far away to have a shot anymore (Tori Hunter, Carlos Beltran, and David Ortiz). I would put Aramis Ramirez in this last category. With 2,186 hits right now, he would have to average 163 hits for five full seasons to make it. With injuries, he has only averaged 130 over the past six seasons, so it seems unrealistic to expect him to be healthier and more productive over his 37-41 age seasons. But who does still have a shot?

Alex Rodriguez (2,939):  Even a mediocre season next year as a part-time player should get him over the line. The only real chance he doesn’t make it is if he suffers a major career-ending injury, decides to retire, or is suspended again for new violations that emerge; but all indications right now are that he is going to play next year, probably as a DH.

Ichiro Suzuki (2,844): He says he wants to keep playing and has no intention of retiring, and he put up a line of 284/324/340 this year with 15 SBs and OK defense in RF. That is probably enough for someone to take a flyer on him next year as a fourth outfielder. But will he get enough at-bats? He had 102 hits in 359 ABs for a banged up Yankees team this year, and so it is unlikely he would get more than that next year wherever he plays. So could he squeeze out two more years of 250-ish at-bats to get over 3,000 hits? I would not count him out, especially if he looks to be close heading into 2016; a non-contender may sign him cheap as a back-up outfielder just for the draw of having him do it in their uniform.

Adrian Beltre (2,604): He will turn 36 in April, but he has averaged 180 hits a year for the past five years and put up a 324/388/492 line during his age 35 season, so he is showing no signs of slowing down yet. Assuming some regression and additional missed time for injuries as he ages, Beltre should still comfortably hit 3,000 sometime in 2017 or early 2018 at the latest.

Albert Pujols (2,519): His stats have declined the last few years, and he just turned 34, but his hit totals the last four years have been 173, 173, 101 (injured), 172 and he is signed for seven(!) more years. So it will probably take him four years to do it, but barring a major injury or dramatic decline in production, he should get to 3,000.

Jimmy Rollins (2,306): He is 35, batted just .243 this year with 131 hits, and only has one year left on his contract. But he plays a premium position (SS) and put up a solid WAR of 3.9 this past year with 17 HR and 28 SB. So after one more year with the Phillies, could he hang around for another 3-4 years as a starter somewhere and compile the hits to get there? It’s certainly possible—Omar Vizquel had 389 hits AFTER he turned 40—but it is probably more likely he goes the way of Johnny Damon and Vladimir Guerrero and finds himself out of a job more quickly in his late 30’s than he anticipates.

Miguel Cabrera (2,186): He is just 31 and has averaged 196 hits the past four years. Even assuming he does not maintain that level of play into his 30s, he still should be able to play 4-5 more years at a high enough of a level to make it, especially with the ability to move to DH.

Carl Crawford (1,868): Through his age-28 season, Crawford had 1,480 hits and seemed well on his way, but dramatic struggles and constant injuries have plagued his last four years. Barring an unforeseen resurgence, he will most likely plug away for 3-5 more years and end up somewhere in the 2,200-2,500 hit range, falling short of 3,000.

Matt Holliday (1,837): He has averaged 167 hits a year for his 11-year career; a pace that projects for 3,000 hits in 18 seasons. But Holliday just started too late, debuting at age 24, for it to work out. It is highly unlikely he plays at this level through age 41, and he will almost certainly fall a few hundred hits short.

Robinson Cano (1,836): He’s only 31, is well over half-way there in just ten seasons, put up stellar numbers this year (314/382/454), and is signed for nine more years, so he has the best shot of anyone under 2,000 hits right now.

Jose Reyes (1,772): At age 31, Reyes is essentially Jimmy Rollins four years ago. If he has a few more seasons like this past year (175 hits), then he’ll be 35 and sitting at 2,400-2,500 hits, and if he stays healthy he could float around for a few years and perhaps pull it off. But that is a lot of “ifs” and the chances are very small.

David Wright (1,702): Very similar to his former teammate Reyes in age (31) and career hits, Wright also has a very small outside chance. He has six more years left on his contract and if he stays healthy and puts up his normal 150-175 hits a year, he would be sitting about 300 hits shy. Would he stick around for 2-3 more years, perhaps as a DH or in a part-time role to pull it off? Maybe. But again, that is a lot of “ifs” to even get to that point.

Adrian Gonzalez (1,635): He would have to put up about eight more seasons of 175 hits to make it, and at age 32 that seems very unlikely, even with the ability to move to DH later in his career. Ultimately, Gonzalez will probably end up like Holliday for the same reason: his first real season in the bigs did not come until age 24.

Nick Markakis (1,547): He has averaged 172 hits a year over his nine-year career and turned 31 this November. So he would have to maintain level that for another 8-9 years to make it. It would be difficult, but it is too early to take him out of the running completely. How he ages and performs the next three-four years will tell us a lot about his chances.

Joe Mauer (1,540): Turning 32 in April, Mauer is an extreme longshot. He has battled injuries the past few years and his performance really slipped in 2014. He also has no speed and very little power, making it difficult for a team to carry him at 1B or DH as he ages, despite his very high OBP. That being said, this year was the first he did not catch and adjusting to a new position was certainly not easy. So perhaps he settles in at first base, a position that should help him avoid injuries and prolong his career, and in turn settles in again at the plate. If he puts up 5-6 more good seasons, it is certainly possible the Twins sign him to a hometown discount and he plays several more seasons part time or at DH, and if he is close… Again, extreme longshot; I mainly just wanted to demonstrate that I thought through his scenario.

Dustin Pedroia (1,371): He has averaged 169 hits over his first eight full seasons. He would have to do that for ten more, or through his age-40 season, to make it to 3,000, and he is coming off the worst season of his career. But he typically stays healthy, accumulates a ton of at-bats at the top of the order, is signed for seven more years, and as a hometown favorite of the Red Sox would almost certainly get a Jeter-esque swan song for a couple of years at the end of his career if he was close and wanted to keep playing. A long shot, but worth keeping an eye on for the next few years to see how productive and healthy he is as he advances into his mid-30s.

Players under 30 to Watch

  • Justin Upton (27) 1,039
  • Andrew McCutchen (27) 986
  • Starlin Castro (24) 846
  • Jason Heyward (25) 644
  • Jose Altuve (24) 630




Just something baseball related to fill the dead air of winter.

Nice! To take my mind off the frozen tundra outside my window. Reason Biggio took so long was his 3000 has to be weakest of the 3000 hit club, if such a thing is possible. Never considered a top ten player in his career at any point. Why don't the Cubs take a flyer on Ichiro? I would.

Why don't the Cubs take a flyer on Ichiro? I would.

speaking of players hanging on to try and get 3000 hits

Well, for a couple of years in the mid-1990s I think Biggio would be on most people's top ten list. He was an All-Star 5 years in a row from 1994-1998, won the Gold Glove 1994-1997, won the Silver Slugger 1994-1995 and 1997-1998, finished 10th in the MVP in 1995, 4th in 1997, and 5th in 1998. His WAR from 1995-1999 was 6.3, 5.5, 9.4, 6.5, and 5.1. That 9.4 was third in the majors in 1997 behind Clemens and Walker.

Biggio took two years to get going (WAR=2.7 and 2.8), then realed off four years straight with WAR values in the 4s. Then he hit the peak I noted above from his age 29-33 seasons.

The main issue was that his peak was a bit late to begin and as a consequence relatively short, and the remainder of this career was pretty bad. At the end of his age 33 season (1999), he had accumulated 55.9 WAR in 11 full seasons. Excellent numbers.

But in EIGHT full seasons (1151 games, 5068 PAs) after that, Biggio accumulated a total of just 9.2 WAR. There were only 3 seasons in there in which he was valued as starter, otherwise he was at sub level or even below replacement.

As an interesting comparision, through his age 33 season, Lou Whitaker's WAR was a nearly identical 55.3, and over his final 5 seasons he accumulated 19.6 WAR for a career total of 74.9, well above Biggio. But he was oddly part-timed his final two years, despite still being very valuable, retired three years earlier than Biggio, and walked more than Biggio which depressed his hit totals. So he ended up with just 2,369 for his career.

Part of Whitaker's value came in defense (15.4 dWAR). Biggio was always heralded for his versatilty--and there certainly is something to be said for being able to play 3 skill positions like he did, but he didn't play any of his positions particularly well (career -3.9 dWAR).

was about to post something similar albeit far less detailed...so thanks. Biggio was great peak, long enough career to hit some milestones....everyone's definition of Hall worthy is a bit different, but with a 75% threshold I have a hard time beyond maybe a literal handful of players that truly don't deserve it.

Ichiro is servicable, sure, but at this point he's basically Chris Coughlan (or less). Ichiro's main appeal is nostalgia.

Coghlan is a much better bet at this point, Ichiro has been well below averag with the bat since 2011.

Also this for Crunch re Red Sox/Republicans, looks like he was right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZTnRgzX47g

well not quite...Schilling's "joke" was that he was discriminated because he's a Republican based on some of the stupid shit he's said like there's no such thing as evolution, not because of his fiscal viewpoints. And Olberman says as much...

But yeah, I would guess most ballplayers regardless of their social and moral politics, would love a flat tax.

not quite...heh. alright.

I'd love to discuss the nuance of this, but nuance isn't your thing.

I'll give you that most of baseball is fiscally conservative.

well, as long as i'm wrong that's all that matters. nevermind that my post last week and what olberman says in the video on the issue are eerily similar. we both suck at nuance, i guess. "almost all of baseball is republicans...hell, his entire rsox 04 world series team was republicans except for (oddly...or not) gabe kapler. something about giving up 40+% of your pay to a slew of federal, state, local, entertainment, and sports taxes that does that to players." pro clubhouses are chock to the brim with republicans/conservatives and money/taxes drives most of that political lean. it's not a huge deal to the game, itself. it's a condition of the social aspect of the game for quite a long time...much like taking speed, smoking weed, and sleeping around on your wife.

social vs fiscal conservatism, Schilling wasn't talking about money...

If he said that there is not such thing as evolution, he should certainly not be allowed in to the Hall of Fame.

They let Joe Morgan into the Hall despite his denial of sabermetrics.

And despite that tick in his shoulder.

oh, he sure did


hard to decipher his twitter rant, but something along the lines of there's no transitional fossils between ape and man...so...poof....mankind is about 5,000 to 6,000 years old or something like that.

I think we can agree on one thing about Schilling... He's a dipshit

+1 bi-partnership

I find it curious that with all the focus now on OBP and OPS and OPS+ and such, that 3,000 hits suddenly matters at the end of a player's career. Nobody talks about who leads the league in hits any more -- I remember when it was a big deal when Pete Rose got 200 hits per season -- and hits/batting average are now scoffed at as meaningful metrics. Yet, when the time comes to vote to honor greatness -- suddenly, the number of hits becomes incredibly important, even for someone like Biggio, who was mediocre at best his last 3 years when he hit about .250 and hung around so he could rach 3,000. Weird.

Believe it is due to voting pool. We read modern sports journalism that is more sabermetrics savvy. However, much of the hall's voting pool is from the pre-sabermetric era. Guessing in 25 years somebody will be siting OPS+ when it is an incredibly out of date metric.

Also, for the most part, if you get to 3000+ hits? You're doing a lot of other things right too.

I have a good feeling Castro will do it, obviously needs to stay healthy, but starting so young is a big help.

I've always thought he was actually an age that would currently make him 25 or 26.

put the tinfoil hat away...

It's not crazy to say some of the young guys from the DR play games with their ages. Whether it's true in his case or not is up to debate.

seems an awful lot like some subtle racial profiling to me...young guy, Hispanic, successful, must have lied about his age...

hasn't been a case in awhile has there? Oviedo/Nunez, Carmona/Hernandez the last 2(I'm sure I'm forgetting some)? Tejada was the most high profile of recent years...Phil Rizzuto lied about his age fwiw.

I would think if any age or identity issues surfaced for Castro they would have crept up when he was sued over his signing bonus.


Also, he sure acts his age, so he's either a really immature 26 year old or a normal 24 year old.

Not racial, just profiling based upon his country of origin and advance success at young ages. And there are plenty of other examples of DR guys whose issues did not come out until years later. Soriano is one example that jumps to mind.

I read somewhere Castro is out of the DR now and working out in AZ. This will be his age 25 season, which is pretty amazing considering how much he's accomplished already. I think it's pretty safe to say he hasn't hit his ceiling. I wonder what that is gonna look like. I for one am glad they haven't traded him. He's a known commodity - the other two big SS prospects are still just that. EDIT: Just saw your post below.

Now that Castro is playing big boy defense, he's actually a decent SS option on a serious ball team.

Interesting interview with Kyle Hendricks http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2015/01...

back to Castro, if he is indeed 25 this season he should reach 1,000 hits

if he averages 1000 hits every 6 seasons (about 166 hits a year) and he's about to reach his peak so he may get quite a few more in the next 6, that means he could hit 3,000 around age 37?

Too much obviously can happen between then and now and even if he has some injury shortened seasons and performance decline, that gives him plenty of wiggle room if he can stay a regular through age 38-40.

Most likely scenario with Castro is that he ends up short. Looking at his best comps, he could have a career somewhere along the spectrum of Garry Templeton (low end) to Edgar Renteria to Tony Fernandez to Alan Trammell (high end), and none of those guys made it. But if he stays health and remains productive in his late 30s he definitely has a chance. He also walks less than most of those guys so that will help his hit totals. 

oh, of course the odds are very much against him, but I like him more than anyone else under 30 that you listed. I do think he'll shift to 3B, 2B or even the outfield down the road, maybe give him a little more longevity.

Agreed, he started so early and so has a heck of a headstart.  He definitely has the best shot right now of the younger guys.

probably negotiating posturing, but


After saying last week the Diamondbacks would be comfortable going into the season with their current catchers if a better option didn't present itself, General Manager Dave Stewart took it a step further Tuesday, saying the club will not make an addition, in large part because of the development of prospect Peter O'Brien.

speaking of the D'Backs...heh

essentially is saying that he hopes Shields takes less money from them because they don't bother much with analytics...


Stewart said he believes Shields likes what the Diamondbacks are doing as an organization.

"I think James is a throwback guy by the way he goes about his business and the innings he pitches," Stewart said. "I think the fact that Tony (La Russa) is here and that we have more baseball people – he probably sees us as a true baseball team vs. some of the other teams out here that are geared more toward analytics and those type of things.

"Sometimes, there are concessions the player will make to be here. It's the case that he likes what we're doing with our organization from our end, all we can hope is that there will be concessions enough that he can be here."

Probably should stop talking for awhile, Champ.

instead of cat videos, you get Jorge Soler BP videos here


okay, this is pretty awesome...well-done Brewers


It's called a "timeless ticket." It made of brass, personalized as you see above and limited to 1,000 fans, but those aren't the most important benefits. The Brewers' timeless ticket allows its owner one ticket to ANY future game of their choosing.

it's a different time we live in...


don't have a Trib account, but allegedly this says Castro already in Arizona working out...and avoiding gunfire


Paywall killer for sites dumb enough to use client side paywalls: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/qui...

a day old, but nonetheless

@Buster_ESPN · Jan 12 Cubs among the teams still looking for help: They are hoping to add outfielder with an ability to play center.

not sure where that fits...they have Denorfia, Alcantara, Soler, Coghlan and Sweeney, plus Lake and Szczur on 40-man, but might want an option if Soler or Alcantara need to be sent down (or Alcantara to 2nd) or want to cut others...~shrug~

I doubt that they think they are going to significantly improve their backup situation over what Sweeney offers, and I'm even more doubtful that they are looking for a starting CF who would push Alcantara to 2B or back to Iowa. Could see some sort of veteran-y NRI who bats from the left side, in case Sweeney gets hurt, though. Denorfia makes both Szczur and Lake pretty redundant, and Lake seems likely to be on the axe list should they need more 40-man roster space.

FA wise

there's Rasmus which probably isn't happening and....Bernardina?

E. Chavez, T. Gwynn Jr., and F. Gutierrez seem to be the only others that could maybe play it?

I'm still all for a D. Fowler trade if they can swing it.

If Soler needs to be sent down... RollsOntheFloorLaughing hysterically.

I think a bigger problem will be what if Soler needs to be called up- there's nowhere else to call him up to.

Hopefully he's not called up to play with Oscar Taveras. /too soon?


Cleveland Indians pitching prospect Justus Sheffield, a 2014 first-round pick, arrested on charges of aggravated burglary, underage drinking http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2015... dude. you just got 1.6m a few months ago. c'mon. up your self-preservation game.

Future Cardinal

Doug Marrone vs John Fox seems to be the current Bears HC choices...

Barring injury, here is a projected take on the Cubs opening night hitters. Locks: Rizzo Soler Castro Montero Valbuena La Stella Denorfia Coghlan Alcantara Ross Probables: Baez Sweeney So that combination of 12 players gives the team a likely starting core of Rizzo, Soler, Castro, Montero, and Valbuena almost every day. Ross gets mostly into Lester's games and occasionally spelling Montero. Denorfia and Coghlan should only be in CF for emergencies and thereby platoon nicely in LF. Alcantara could be given CF every day in the name of development, but he was horrid against RHP in 2014, so it's easy to see him picking up the short side of Sweeney's platoon if winning is in fact prioritized over development. Given his new skipper, defensive versatility, and switch-hitter-ism, it's easy to imagine Alcantara playing all over the diamond. Second base is similar but different. LaStella and Baez could theoretically improve the lineup overall daily by platooning, but I doubt La Stella is apt to block Baez's playing time any. If Baez doesn't hit, he'll work it out in Iowa, not on the bench. In my book, he's not a lock to make the team, but he is a lock to play if he does. Here are thoughts on projected lineups, simply to help outline what is left on the bench. v RHP: Coghlan, Castro, Rizzo, Soler, Valbuena, Baez, Sweeney, Montero Bench: Ross (R), Alcantara (S), La Stella (L), Denorfia (R) v LHP: Denorfia, Castro, Rizzo, Soler, Valbuena, Baez, Alcantara, Montero Bench: Ross (R), Sweeney (L), La Stella (L), Coghlan (L) The bench against righties is actually quite balanced with versatility both in handedness and defensive positioning. Against lefties, however, it's all lefty hitters after Ross. In a battle of bullpen management, Maddon is probably not seeing what he wants on that roster when his only righty available (Ross) might project as an inferior hitter to Travis Wood. So I suspect the final bench slot goes to a righty. First, if you are keeping score: thepositional breakdown among the top 12 is C (2), IF (5), OF (4), and OF/IF (1) So there is a lot of defensive flexibility built into the core 12 as long as Alcantara is healthy and makes the team. So who are the righties on the 40-man who likely have the best shot at the last slot? 3/4. Junior Lake and Matt Szczur. Probably not unless someone gets hurt, but if they prefer Alcantara in the infield as often as the outfield, and if one of these guys owns Arizona, then he probably gets a shot spelling Sweeney or Alcantara in CF. Cubs are also actively shopping for CF help right now, so this seems like a real long shot either of these guys survives to see Opening Night. 2. Mike Olt. The Cubs are planning Olt for an "all corners" utility role, but perhaps it would be more accurate to state that his opportunities to play in the outfield would be somewhat limited by the presence of Soler and Denorfia, not to mention Alcantara. He definitely spells Valbuena at third and Rizzo at first if he makes the team, plus is the primary pinch-hitter. 1. Welington Castillo. Is there even a trade market for this guy? Sure, someone would take him if the price is low enough, but maybe he's more valuable in the organization than trading him for lottery tickets. He could sneak in 100-150 plate appearances as catcher and be the first righty bat off the bench a lot of nights. If he can pick up 1B, he can spell Rizzo. If Montero is hurt, there's a quality catcher to take over. And if someone else's starting catcher is hurt, then Welly is worth a lot more in July than in January. And if I'm picking the 25 guys from who's already here, as of today, Welly's my guy if he's up for it. And finally, the X-factor. Kris Bryant will be here soon. He will play every day. He will likely play third base every day. Valbuena can shift to second, or to a super-utility role if Baez stays put. But then who loses his job? Welly could be traded at this point, being the thing that finally prompts Bryant's call-up. And if not, who goes to Iowa? It's probably one of Alcantara, Baez, or La Stella. If Baez stays, there's no room for La Stella with Valbuena coming off the bench most days. If Valbuena remains a starter, it's probably mostly because Baez flunked his latest test and is being sent to summer school in Des Moines to work it out.

Thanks for the detail...suffice to say TheJedi and Maddon aren't done tweaking. Considering their platoon splits, 3 catchers would be a good idea as AZ Phil mentioned. 

I get the feeling that Theo & Jed aren't too keen on Baez. Free swingers isn't really Theo's MO.

I would guess that Castillo will be traded and that Olt will make the team out of camp. He's the back-up 3B-1B and RH pinch hitter. They'd have 5 outfielders, 2 catchers, starting 1B-2B-3B-SS, and then La Stella and Olt. Valbuena has the ability to move around a bit in the IF and Alcantara can come in there as well. 

The real questions arise if Baez plays poorly in spring training and starts in AAA or if Bryant plays well and they go with him to start the season in the bigs, OR if both happen.

If they both start in AAA, then I think they will simply add the hot hand out of Lake, Szczur, or someone else they bring to camp. With Alcantara's ability to move to the IF they could really take an IF or an OF with that last spot.

If Bryant is up and Baez is down, I think Bryant simply takes Baez's spot. Valbuena becomes the back-up 2B to La Stella, or they both play a lot, and Olt remains the backup 1B-3B, etc.

If both start in the majors, then you probably keep Valbuena since he can back-up 3B and 2B, and probably send La Stella to the minors to begin the year since he is more limited defenensively and has options left. He's good injury insurance or insurance if Baez does wll in spring training but then tanks in the majors to start. Then if you are competing mid season you can flip Valbuena or La Stella in a package for an upgrade elsewhere.

They actually have a lot of versatility on the roster. Valbuena can move around (even SS in a desperate pinch), Alcantara can play all over, Baez can play 2B, SS, or 3B, Olt can play 1B or 3B, the outfielders are pretty versatile too in that several have the arm to play RF and several can move to CF if needed and cover it adequately (they don't have a Soriano-esque LF-only guy who is just going to sit out there).

It's actually not a bad roster as it sits right now, but it is predicated on young, unproven guys like Alcantara, Soler, and Baez performing well, and on others like Coghlan and Sweeney and Denorfia to match good years they have had in the past, and of course on everyone staying healthy. If we get Sweeny from 2008-2010, 2013 we are good, if we get Sweeney from 2011-2012, 2014 we are in trouble. Denorfia pre 2014 would be great, Denorfia from last year will suck. Likewise, which Coghlan will we get, last years or the 2011-2013 version? There is a lot of risk there. If those guys don't turn out well and Soler pulls a hammy, we will look up in June with an OF OPS of 640 and be in trouble. So I hope they are still looking to upgrade if they can during the next 6-8 weeks.   

Good overall assessment - although I don't think Olt has mastered the art of hitting to the point where he'd be a reliable pinch hitter, at least in the late innings of a close game. Might be a great guy to bring in if you're down by 3 runs in the seventh, though, hoping for a tie game. I think with Baez, if he fails they'll bring up Russell if he lights it up in the minors. Sounds like he is more in tune with Theoball anyway. I'm still hopeful on Baez, but he's got stuff to fix.

Leaving Baez in the minors for a couple of months both gives him time to show that he has mastered his new swing/approach and would have the added benefit of pushing back his free agency. Kind of like what they did with Rizzo. In the mean time 2B can be man by La Stella and Valbuena once Bryant is called up in April. While there is a chance that Baez can earn the job out of spring training, to me it seems unlikely.

I think Baez still has a lot to prove before he's allowed to play in the majors.


BOB R: If Javy Baez is optioned to Iowa out of Spring Training and remains in AAA at least until June 12th, the Cubs gain an extra year of club control. To gain an extra year of club control over Arismendy Alcantara, the recall cut-off date would be no earlier than July 10th. 

FWIW, the Cubs would gain an extra year of club control over Kris Bryant if he remains in AAA for just the first 12 days of the 2015 MLB regular season (through April 16th). 


@Cubs #Cubs have traded LHP Mike Kickham, who was DFA’d last week, to Seattle for Single-A pitcher Lars Huijer, a 21-year old righthander.

So the Cubs picked up a Mariners top 20 prospect basically for nothing expect being active on the waiver wire and snagging Kickham last month. Not bad. 

Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45 The Mariners have long been active in Europe, with Huijer's signing out of the Netherlands in 2011 a recent example. Huijer has an interesting three-pitch mix to go along with some projectability. He throws a sinking fastball -- mostly in the upper-80s -- that generates a lot of ground balls. He can also throw his mid-70s curve and upper-70s changeup for strikes. Huijer does a good job of keeping the ball down in the zone.

from mlbpipeline.com

...and nothing of value was lost...or gained. better than losing talent all-together, though. a hittable high-80s righty fastball pitcher with control issues. maybe he's capable of dialing it up a bit with a move to the pen if/when that's necessary.

Just because he is not a stud yet doesn't mean nothing of value was gained. I would guess if the Mariners said "who wants him for free" 29 teams would have taken him for their system. He is certainly better than someone in the Cubs organization, and so the player at the bottom gets dropped and the entire system is slightly better because of it. And this front office seems to do that a lot. If someone is available on waivers that is even slightly better than someone they currently have, they claim him. Take any upgrade, however slight, that you can.

If any of the 11 teams between the Cubs and the Mariners on the MLB Waiver Claim Priority list put in a claim on Mike Kickham back when the Cubs claimed him, that team ciould file a grievance and would be awarded Kickham for the $20,000 waiver price (which the Cubs would receive), and Lars Huijer would have to be returned to the Mariners. If more than one team between the Cubs and Seattle on the Waiver Claim Priority List put in a claim and then filed a grievance after the trade was made, the club with the higher Waiver Claim Priority would get Kickham. 

A club cannot acquire a club by waiver claim and then trade the player to a club with a higher Waiver Claim Priority if a club with a Waiver Claim Priority between the two clubs also put in a claim when the player was on waivers... if that club still wants the player for the waiver price. But the club wanting Kickham for the waiver price would have to actually file a grievance (make an objection) in order for MLB to reject the trade. 

It's happened at least one time previous I know of for sure, but the club wanting the player has to a grievance. 

Wow, You cant we learn from AZ Phi..

Evan Gattis likely headed to Astros for 3 prospects, 2 in Astros top 10-ish according to Joel Sherman

Folytnnewicz, Rio Ruiz and Andrew Thurman


So Dexter Fowler is still an Astro?

yeah, ATL is busy remaking the team for their 2017 new stadium...ATL has no use for fowler or even trying to compete in 2015. it's heavily pissing off fans i know here in NC (big ATL fan area). they pretty much don't expect the team to be competitive the next 2 seasons. people don't know if they'll invest in the team in 2017 or just cruise on the "new ballpark" factor. they are enjoying the spoils of the trades, though. as a cubs fan, i'm all...welcome to our world, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

@Ken_Rosenthal Update from source on #Cubs’ search for an OFer: Team not looking for another bench player. Would be regular in LF or CF - if it happens.

Dexter Fowler, Dexter Fowler, Dexter Fowler!!!

wonder what it would take, he's FA after this year. Do they need a catcher?

they have like 3 catchers and just traded for another (if you want to call Gattis one)

Valbuena, T. Wood, F. Doubront, J. Turner would be ideal...maybe some B arms in the system (Johnson, Zastryzny, Underwood, Blackburn, Tseng types). Maybe restock some of the positions they just traded for Gattis?

they allegedly were shopping him for bullpen help at one point, but probably took care of that by now...said he's good buddies with Springer and might just want to keep him at this point.

Rosenthal on Fowler being available:
Astros already have discussed Castro/Corporan and Fowler in trades. Marisnick or Springer could play center, with Gattis mostly in LF.

Fowler splits for 2014: 110 games vs RHP: PA 381, AB 327, .260 .361 .376 .737 50 games vs LHP: PA 124, AB 107, .327 .419 .467 .887 check, he's an >.350 OBP guy!

Seems like it might be hard to know his non-luck output. He has a career .348 BABIP, which is Ichiro high, but he has only one year in which his home field was not in Denver (2014), and he managed a .351 BABIP. So, checking out his career away splits, he's been at a .329 BABIP, and a .245/.340/.360 slash. I'm not saying that's the real Dexter Fowler, but it does worry me a bit. Not like he brings much in the way of game power, and his UZR isn't shining. The price tag would have to be pretty low for me to be on board with an acquisition.

.340 OBP worries you?

he played in 2 huge OF's, he's not winning any gold gloves, but he'll more than suffice in the much smaller Wrigley and NL Central parks.

they'd be getting him for his on-base abilities...and I'm always keen on getting guys under 30 heading into their walk year.

He's not going to cost nothing, but he's not gonna cost one of the top prospects either (of whom I consider to be Baez, Alcantara, Soler, Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, Edwards, McKinney, Torres or Jimenez...maybe P. Johnson).

Ideally Valbuena or some of the extra SP Cubs have would do.

That being said, no idea if the Cubs are even interested.

If I'm guessing he would be good for a .340-.350 OBP and average-ish defense, that's more OBP than I expect from Alcantara or Sweeney and probably as good or better than can can be expected from the LF platoon. If it were, say, Valbuena and Blackburn I would hope the Cubs could get another piece back in return. But I wouldn't hate that, and it would push Alcantara to 2B/utility to start the season, so the loss of Valbuena wouldn't matter as much. Even better if it could somehow be Castillo plus another piece. I guess all I'm saying is I would not want them to pay what they think a .366 career OBP is worth or what his 2014 .375 OBP would be worth, because I think he could reasonably be a notch or two under those marks. And I would think the Astros think they can get somebody to pay the .375 OBP price tag.

Mike Trout for every single Cubs prospect acquired under Hendry.

Coco Crisp? Probably stays in Oakland since the A's are not rebuilding (or are they?), more of a roster churning. Not rebuild: Billy Butler, Ben Zobrist, Y. Escobar, Lowrie, Rebuild: Exit Donaldson, Moss, Shark, D. Norris

A's like to retool more than rebuild and sell high and buy low (Donaldson for Lawrie).

A's seem a bit light on the outfielders, especially CF, so don't see that one happening, but you never know with Beane.

Rasmus, Revere, Fowler, Bourn, L. Martin I'm sure could all be had. Aoki isn't suited for CF I presume?

re-tool more than rebuild (well said Rob!) --- http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_p6WdA4qqIQk/TIRHPix...

speaking of Beane-Ball, Y. Escobar to Nats...some rumoring it's for T. Clippard

I. Desmond next to go?

-edit- Clippard indeed. Escobar could be there to play 2B, Nats not eager to start season with Espinosa

William Ladson @washingnats Tyler Clippard is involved in the deal.The deal is pending, I was informed.#Nats #Nationals #MLB he covers WAS for mlb.com


Baez a "work in progress" according to the new hitting coach, Castro conspiciously missing from list of vets expected to help the youngsters.


John Fox it is...

been a DC or head coach for the last 18 years, defenses finished in top 10 in yards allowed 8 times as well as points allowed, never finished below 20th in yards allowed.

I think he's solid and seems his teams are always prepared (not sure I could say that about Trestman/Tucker the last 2 years). Unlike Lovie, don't think he's averse to having a high-powered offense, but I'm not expecting miracles with Jay Cutler.

Ultimately every coach and every team will float near .500 in the NFL that doesn't have a great QB, the rest is luck and how good your defense is, especially at creating turnovers.

-edit- apparently source is someone that writes for Bleacher Report, so you know...might want to wait for some confirmation.


Twitterverse is starting to blow up a bit on Fox, so that's a good sign. But the McGinnis rule says we don't say it's a done deal till we see Fox wearing a Bears Cap.

Cubs and F. Doubront settle on 1.925M per Heyman...

Seems high for a first year arbitration guy with limited success.

he was a lot more interesting a couple seasons and 3-ish mph ago. his changeup is even slower. his stuff from 2012 to 2013 took a small dive and it didn't improve in 2014.

Given that Coghlan is getting a pretty big raise, too, and also overshot the MLB Trade Rumors projections by a lot, maybe this is club policy somehow? Standard procedure to reward the arb guys you intend to keep? Dunno. http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/106590606/...

apparently, MLB trade rumors had projected 1.35M and they're usually pretty close.


I didn't get why he was even tendered in December, let alone given this contract. I know they can release him in March for 1/5 of this amount but does anyone see him making this staff?

l.lynn re-ups with the cards for 3 years.

3 years, $7 mill-ish per. That seems like a really cheap deal for the Cardinals.

no arbitration years bought out with the deal, but after last season it's a nice gamble for the cards. if he has another 2 years like last year, that 3rd arb year could cost the cards more than the entire contract lynn just signed.

Not much of a gamble at $7 mill a season for an experienced SP with playoff experience, and several good to excellent seasons, yeah?

first time arb eligible, probaby get around 5.5M this year, Fister got $7M last year in his 2nd arb eligible this year, they seem pretty similar and Fister is gonna likely get around $11-12M this year in his final arb-eligible season.

So let's adjust a bit as prices always go up and say Lynn would make about 6, 8 and then 12 or around 26M

decent deal for Cardinals and Lynn, guaranteed money vs. risk. If he blows out his arm, Lynn still gets paid, if he pitches like he should, Cardinals save 4-6M.

Lynn should regress a bit this year, FIP numbers vs ERA are over a half a run difference.

Excellent point...win win then. I'd settle for the Cubs developing some pitching like that....let alone the #1's.

early NFL Mock draft from Kiper...

S Landon Collins from Alabama to Bears at #7




"When I had [Jackson in Arizona], he was a little bit inconsistent," Montero said. "He's got a really good arm and really good potential to be a Cy Young. Obviously, the way I worked with him, I was on him all the time. I couldn't stop talking to him for a second, because he'd kind of space out a little bit. I needed to be tough and that's what I did. Hopefully, I can help."

Edwin had a 5.16 ERA (4.24 FIP) in 134.1 IP, 1.496 WHIP with the DBacks in 2010...arguably his 2nd or 3rd worst season besides last year (discounting his early short seasons with Dodgers).

Cy Young potential.


Just like I've got dating Kate Upton potential.


list of career WAR by drafted players from 1996-2009 (through games played through 2013)

Cubs come in at 16th.

I believe it's for all players drafted, not necessarily those that played for own team...not 100% sure.  Meaning they could have been traded or released and played elsewhere.

Regardless, A's, Cardinals and Phillies reign supreme.

Speaking of Go, Cubs, Go...Somewhere up in Heaven, Steve is smiling down on this season. The original, singing the original version... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xBxZGQ1dJk

If the Tribune company could have done a better job bringing success to the Cubs, then maybe they could be playing whatever song they like after Cub games.

cubs need to trade for a few dozen oakland A's outfield fans to clear this up.

I remember being thrilled when the Tribune bought the Cubs. Things got off to a promising start, too. Dallas Green, and, well, Ryno. The timeline of the downward spiral is not so clear in my head, but the death spiral became complete with Sam Zell, who had to have been a Sox fan. The team is still paying for his foul ways.

I believe it was 1985. Dallas Green was at Trib board meeting in June, team was in first but half the rotation went on the DL. Green was trying to get money approved for deals and the only thing the board could talk about was the record amount of hot dogs were sold at last home stand. True story.

My favorite Wrigley Field hot dog was Jose Cardenal.

and for those of you who only know him from GCG... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIOZm_qAJq8

No way I'm watching an hour. Let's just settle in for some Lincoln Park Pirates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389Rk1jzPMk

Pirates are apparently gung ho on Jung-ho - $16m over 4.

2.1M for Beefy plus the 2.505 for Coghlan and the 1.925M for Doubront so far...

$2.505 for Coghlan? What was he originally asking for?

Looks like Ruggiano got the exact same salary - $2.505 - from Seattle.

figures were to be exchanged today, don't know. I'm guessing more than $2.5M.

$2.1MM for a 3rd-string catcher? $1.9MM for a pitcher that may not make the team? Every once in a while, I step back and am amazed at the crazy economics of baseball.

there's been a lot of focus on the ability of a catcher to get 1-2 more called strikes per game this offseason, but welly is still a good 350-450+ PA type catcher. he could start on some teams and be a heavy-working backup on others. he's nothing special, but he's got game.

3rd-string to describe Castillo is hyperbole, I think. Seems to me he's still likely to get traded to a team that uses him as a starter or as a 2nd-string who gets a lot of playing time.

Arrieta gets $3.63M

Luckily for the fans and followers of the Cubs, parts of this year’s convention can be watched on a live video webcast by WBBM Newsradio, the new radio partner for the Cubs in 2015. The LIVE video webcast will be presented here on CBSChicago.com on Saturday, January 17th, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/01/14/watch-... It has a schedule of events.

1- when will bryant be called up? 2- is baez ready or is he going to start in AAA? 3- hi, theo. long time fan... 4- when will bryant be called up? 5- welcome to the cubs, lester. long time fan... 6- when will bryant be called up?

If Bryant continues his tear in spring training, then he ought to start the season in Chicago on day one. It's a matter of principle.

It's an interesting problem. Glad I'm not a GM (although I'd take the money). AZ says he only needs to be down for 12 days to buy the Cubs an extra year. Since it's doubtful he WON'T tear it up, I'm sure they've made their minds up on what to do. Do you take a shot at hoping you can extend him? The argument against is that Boras will want him to milk every penny he can. But the argument for taking that shot and just bringing him up is that it builds some mutual trust and loyalty. He seems like a pretty good kid. An extension should be doable in a couple years if it is a generous one. If you really think, though, that there's no way that he will go for an extension, then you keep him down for that 12 days and buy that extra year.

Mark me down in the pool for April 20th in Pittsburgh for Bryant's call up date.

Maintaining a good relationship with the ball player also has value for the team. I think as long as he's performing like he has been, he has a bit of leverage.

Not the same as Bosox lowballing Lester last spring. 12 days are not going to do any harm, all the games are in Chicago and Denver, I rather have extended spring training and welcome home ASU coeds from spring break. They are playing in Cincinnati 4/24, to carry on the rookie tradition. (Castro, Soler)

They are. Friday the 24th against the Reds in Cincinnati is is good fall back from the 20th.

12 days vs 1 year is a no brainer...simple math.

Bryant isnt gonna sulk for 6 years if he wants to get paid and Boras isn't going to give Cubs a deal in 6 years, so why should Cubs give him a gift now?

Also the Cubs will have three world series titles by then. Why would he want to leave?



Standard Convention Cubgear: Friday evening--Theo "Hope" t-shirt Saturday AM-- Waiting for Baez t-shirt; PM-- Waiting for Bryant t-shirt Sunday-- "Win one before I die" Cubs t-shirt

T. Wood gets $5.685M

Recent comments

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  • Cubster 29 min 12 sec ago (view)

    "in normal times..."

    It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.


  • Cubster 38 min 56 sec ago (view)

    "Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

    I blame Pete Ricketts


  • crunch 11 hours 11 min ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.


  • crunch 15 hours 30 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.


  • Jackstraw 15 hours 57 min ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.


  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.


  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.

    the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Depends on who you are.


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.


  • Hagsag 2 days 1 hour ago (view)



  • Cubster 2 days 18 hours ago (view)


    speaking of Trump's trained rats...


  • Hagsag 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!


  • BobbyD 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace.