Nothing to See Here

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.


The Score reported this afternoon that if they are giving up Juan Pierre, the Marlins want Feliz Pie, not Patterson.

Steve Stone was on 670AM today and believes that Hendry is going to make a hard push for Furcal and Pierre, and that he'll likely get them both, especially Furcal. He said trading for Pierre in addition to Corey would likely be prospects, as I'm sure you might have guessed. As long as Murton isn't considered a "prospect" I have no problem with that. Gotta think Pierre will rebound from last year. The arm leaves something to be desired in the OF but the speed makes up for it. Pierre Furcal Lee Lefty RF Ramirez Walker (or Perez 8th) Murton Barrett No problems with that.

If we can get Matsui to play RF, we should pay him to money. I cannot think he is that interested but his bat would be great in RF and worth the money spent on it. He is the "professional" type of player we have been sorely lacking!

Pierre and Furcal would be too good to be true. However, if it does happen the RF would probably be someone not as good as Burnitz, but cheaper. Probably Ozzie Timmons.

Absolutely get Matsui!!! That would be a great move, along with the Furcal/Pierre moves...this would signal a successful off season... This lineup would be nice: Pierre Furcal Lee Matsui Ramirez Murton Barrett Cedeno Now if we could keep Prior and Wood healthy....reasonably even, in Kerry's case...

Oh, they want Pie? We'll take Jeremy Hermidia (sp?) then.....Pierre would be nice, but if he isn't hitting/stealing, he has little worth, as in no power or defense.... I still feel that Pie could be a really good player for the 2007.

The only way Matsui leaves the Yankees is if he doesn't want to play there anymore. I can imagine that being possible. I can't imagine him going to the NL, though, what with his iron man streak. A 162 game season without D.H. would bring that to an end rapidly. With that out of the way I have to say that he is probably worth quite a bit more than $10M/year. Not necessarily through his contributions on the field--he is a very good player--but rather marketing/merchandising/brand exposure reasons on the Japanese market. If you have a player that can help you sell $2M worth of shirts and jerseys then you should consider that in the salary you're willing to offer. Also, if we don't get Furcal I will be very sad. Dear Mr Hendry, please don't make me sad.

Well, I'm not a big fan of the A.J. Burnett interest, purely because of his team chemistry issues... I've had enough of the blame-game with Kent Mercker and the Baker-Stone feud all that jazz... sure Burnett has some electric stuff, but at what price? He starts ripping the Marlins management a week before the season ends, in the middle of the WC chase; not the most intelligent idea. Also, he is woefully inconsistent. He shows flashes of brilliance, Mark Prior-like stuff, but other times, he's more like Jerome Williams: some good starts, but wins 2, loses 3, etc etc. Personally, I'd like to see a lefty in the rotation, shoring up the back end. The Cubs staff is so right-handed heavy, with the only lefties being Rusch and Ohman in the pen (and Hill and Koronka if you are talking the active roster, although they are too young and inexperienced to be considered serious lefty arms). It wouldn't hurt to get a few lefty bats either, and that's why I'm glad to hear these rumors about Pierre, Furcal and Matsui... here's to hoping!

The thing about A.J. Burnett...I'm not sure the Cubs should sign him, but I don't know that one should be surprised at the money he and the other free agents are getting. There is a lot of surplus cash in MLB right now, and few free agents. That won't change in the next year or two. So it may be a choice between 'overpaying' and the Trib pocketing the cash.

Does anyone know Pierre's current contract status? According to Cot's he was only signed through 2005 and currently has over 4 years of service time. Does that make him arb eligible still?

Never mind, I think I answered my own question. He is arb eligible until he has 6 years of service time under his belt. So if I understand that correctly, he can't be a free agent until 2007. Interesting.

Matsui = pipe dream His agent is playing the Yanks for another million. He's the kind of player I'd love to have here. Smart, heady defensive player, can play anywhere in the OF. Good bat, disciplined, yet aggressive. Most importantly, he wants to do the right thing. Doesn't impress me as a stat-hound. I wouldn't want to start him in CF, but he can be (if healthy) a backup plan to our CF-to-be-named-later.

Well the way I see it Pierre has five FULL seasons in the MLB making him a FA after next season. He is in essense a " rent a player" and I am somewhat mystifiied why everyone wants him that much. You only give up a lot for a rent a player when you can reasonably argue that for one season that player can make enough difference to get you to the post season and I do not see that in Pierre. No one minds giving up Corey and a 2nd tier pitcher or two but why in the world would you give up a top prospect for a guy you will most likely only have for one season? Unlike many people I don't regret the trade that sent Willis to the Marlins not only because almost no one saw him as a top prospect but because without Clement we would NEVER have gotten to the post season in 03 and we got 2 years out of him. Would those of you pushing for Pierre explain why he is worth it for only one year? ( Yes he MIGHT re-sign but you can't count on it) Jessica

For the outfield Hendry should just trade Cedeno and Pie for Torii Hunter, then get Huff for whatever Tampa wants (Sing + Mitre?) and be done with it.

Neal, UGH.

For the purpose he would be needed (a lefty run-producer hitting between D-Lee & A-Ram versus RHP and 5th behind D-Lee & A-Ram versus LHP), Hideki Matsui would be absolutely IDEAL. I have advocated sugning Brian Giles as a FA to play RF, and if Giles isn't availble, trade for Geoff Jenkins or Jay Gibbons, but IF Matsui becomes available on November 15th and IF he would in fact be interested in playing in Chicago, then I would hope that Hendry will open up the checkbook and sign him ASAP. As for Juan Pierre, he will be a free-agent after next season, but that's all I would be looking for in CF anyway, because the Cubs should not block Felix Pie's path with another CF with a long-term deal. I agree that Pie needs a year of AAA, but I have no reason to believe that he will not be ready by 2007. Pierre would be an OK one-year "bridge" to Pie, and although Pierre isn't perfect, he is MOST CERTAINLY an improvement over Corey Patterson, and I would take Pierre over Gary Matthews, Jr or Rob Mackowiak, too. As long as the additional "prospect(s)" the Cubs would need to include in the deal do not not include Pie, Guzman, Murton, Cedeno, or Pawelek, I say pull the trigger. There isn't enough space on the 40-man roster for all of the guys the Cubs need to protect anyway, so might as well use a few of them in a trade or trades rather than lose 'em in the Rule 5 Draft.

Neal, No. Jessica, so in essence youíre saying that giving up Willis was ok cause of a NLCS appearance and might I add a disaster in '03? A leadoff hitter that performed as well as Pierre's past could be enough to generate runners on base (which we desperately need more of) which would generate runs scored in front of Lee and Ramirez. With this formula one would be hard pressed not to figure the Cubs in the mix of a NLCS all over again. So Jessica, if Willis for Clement was ok because Clement helped solidify a rotation that led us to the NLCS in '03 then why isn't Pie for Pierre (who could also help lead the Cubs to the NLCS in '06) such a good idea? And, are you seriously saying that a disastrous NLCS appearance in '03 is better than the prospects of Willis, Wood, Zambrano, Prior, and Maddux (not in any specific order)?

matsui to the cubs? aj burnett? man...some sportswriters will do anything to fill space and collect a check.

For the outfield Hendry should just trade Cedeno and Pie for Torii Hunter So trade 2 of the Cubs best prospects for a good glove, weak bat, little power CF with mediocre speed who's due to make $10 million plus a 2 million buyout? All of that when you can get Jacque Jones, who's nearly as good defensively, can play CF, and hits slightly better than Hunter, for less money and no prospects. No thanks.

Blue, hence forth why I said: UGH.

Speaking of the Rile 5 Draft, the Cubs have until a week from Saturday to decide which prospects to place on the 40-man roster. As of November 19th and through the Rule 5 Draft in December, players on minor league rosters are "frozen" (cannot be added to 40-man roster or traded). Players can still be assigned to a minor league club during this "frozen" period, howeverr. At present, the Cubs roster stands at 37. It is likely that Hendry will drop two or possibly three players (Richard Lewis and Russ Rohlicek, and possibly Ryan Theriot) from the 40-man roster, so that will put the roster at 34. One spot needs to be left open for a free-agent, and if additional free-agents are signed, Jose Macias can be released (he almost certainly will be non-tendered in December, anyway) ot Jon Leicester or John Koronka could be DFA'd (although he is out of minor league options, I believe Leicester still could have a future with the Cubs as a middle reliever, as he pitched pretty well in his last eight starts at Iowa, and Koronka pitched great out of the bullpen in the AFL). If the roster indeed stands at 34 by the end of next week, and if one spot is left open for a free-agent (presumably Furcal), that means Hendry can add five prospects to the 40-man roster. Felix Pie and Ricky Nolasco are "locks" to be added (so that's two for sure), but the other three should come from among the following eight (listed alphabetically): 1. RHP Bobby Brownlie (Cubs #1 draft pick out of Rutgers in 2002, he struggled as a sarter at Iowa, but had a 1.26 ERA and .123 OBA as a reliever when he pitched out of the bullpen in June & July. Probable future is as an MLB middle reliever). 2. RHP Carlos Marmol (converted catcher who is still learning how to pitch; was outstanding a High-A Daytona, and didn't miss a beat when he was moved up to AA. Don't know what wee've got here, or if he would attract any attention from other clubs at this point). 3. LHP Sean Marshall (when he is healthy, he is a top-drawer lefty pitching prospect. He had a torn ligament in his middle finger at the end of last season that took a long time to heal, and when he finally did get back, he was shut-down with a "sore arm"). 4. RHP Juan Mateo (Pitched at High-A Daytona and got better when he was moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation in May, and even better still as the season wore on). 5. 3B-1B-C Casey McGehee (A versatile player with a nice line-drive stroke, he definitely has a future as a major league utility player. Played college ball at Fresno State. He was at AA West Tenn last season). 6. RHP Jae-Kuk Ryu (Signed to a large bonus out of ROK in 2000, Ryu stayed healthy and out of trouble for a change and had a good year in the starting rotation at AA West Tenn. Trememdous potential, but has had back problems just like fellow Korean Chan Ho Park). 7. RHP Andy Shipman (Closer at West Tenn, Shipman pitched collegiately at Missouri, and came to the Cubs from the Red Sox in the deal for Jimmy Anderson last year). 8.1B-LF Brandon Sing (From Joliet, Sing was drafted out of HS as a shortstop, but soon outgrew the position. It took him six years to reach AA, but once he got there, he put up some fine power numbers hitting behind Pie & Murton. From what I have seen of him, he is a very, very patient hitter, and Dusty will not like him). My guess for the players who will be added to the Cubs 40-man roster by November 19th: Brownlie Marmol Nolasco Pie Ryu

Our best CF bet is Pierre. Have him bat 2nd behid Furcal. Furcal Pierre Lee Matsui/Giles? Ramirez Barrett Murton Cedeno

I won't jump on just Jessica because I've seen a lot of people say the same thing - if the Cubs hadn't traded Willis they wouldn't have had Clement in '03. And then what? To which I say, "Okay, now who could have taken Clement's spot in the rotation in '03... Gee, I don't know, maybe Dontrelle Willis?" In '03 Willis had 14 wins just like Clement but Willis did it in 5 less starts. And he gave up three-quarters of a run less per nine innings. So unless the Cubs continued to have their head up their collective ass about Willis as a prospect, he would have been just as good, no, better than having Clement in '03. Either way I'm more than happy to blame the Cub "Brain Trust" for letting this young dynamic pitcher go. If he'd stayed in Chicago he'd be the biggest thing in baseball right now.

AZ Phil, we all owe you a few cold ones. by the way if matsui came to the cubbies i would have a stroke. too good to be true. he may want to leave n.y.? why would he? what would his reasoning be to come to chicago? would we pay for him? bah, just nonsense i tell you....then again, i have heard rumors of matsui and macias hanging out at clubs and playing golf together....NOOOOOOOOOOOoo!!!!!

AZ Phil - wouldn't you think Scott McClain might be DFA'd as well before the Rule 5?

In retrospect knowing EVERYTHING we know now I would not support the Willis trade BUT there is no way Willis would have MADE the team in 03 Willis was considered a decent AA player and the Cubs would NOT have pushed him up to the majors in 03. I am noteven sure he would have made it in 04 without spectacular numbers at AAA ball.FYI it has been reported that the Marlins wanted Zambrano but the Cubs said no and let them have Willis. As tragically as 03 ended it was still a hell of a season and I would not want to give it back. As for Pierre, I just don't see how you can justify a top prospect be it Pie or Guzman etc for someone you will most likely have for a single season. This IS worth doing if you really believe that in his ONE season this player will get your team to the post season I don't see that with Pierre. Incidently does that "brain trust" get ANY credit for trading Choi for Lee ? Jessica

Think about this, people. In the end, Jae-Kuk Ryu may be mankind's greatest weapon against an avian flu pandemic. Save that arem, we may need it.

Jessica, Why would Willis not have made the team in '03 if the Cubs had the same roster minus Clement? Maybe Angel Guzman would have made the team but I don't understand why people just dismiss out of hand the idea that the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year and a member of the National League All-Star team couldn't have cracked the Cubs' starting rotation. And if it were indeed the case, that the Cubs kept Willis but continued to be blind to the guy's immediate potential, then any talent evaluator connected to the Cubs who had a hand in that screw up would have to be fired.

1) Regarding Matsui. He does not have 6 years of service time, so he is not going to be a free agent. His contract mandates that he be waived Nov. 15. Therefore if the Yankee's dont resign him (which I place at about 90% probable) then the entire American League and about half in the NL would have to pass on him before the Cubs. He is a pipe dream. 2) Jessica--we arent fans of the Kansas City Cubs but rather the Chicago Cubs, we can sign him. Jim Hendry loves to pick up quality young players like Rammy and DLee from small market clubs who soon wont be able to afford such talent, treat them fairly, and then work out an extension. Pierre is the way to go. He is a proven commodity. Pie is probably the next David Kelton, the next Gary Scott, the next Mike Harkey, the next Bobby Hill, need I go on? 3) Can someone with ESPN Insider report on the new article on the Baseball page? It's '6 Players Who Might Get Moved' or so, with a big old picture of Corey Patterson.

Cubs Trade Ammuntion Corey Patterson Todd Walker Jerry Hairston Jr Glendon Rusch Ronny Cedeno Anybody from the bullpen except Demp I would only trade Cedno if Hendry not only sign Furcal, but also swings a deal for a young, WebGemalicious second baseman with a high ceiling like say, Orlando Hudson, whom Toronto is alleged to be dangling. The short fences and high winds at Wrigley favor ground ball vs fly ball pitchers. This combined with the high, thick infield grass makes it of particular importance that the Cubs middle infield be adept at turning two. I like Walker, I really do, but we need to explore going in another direction. Maybe since we're already talking to FLA we could expand the deal to include Luis Castillo. Patterson, Walker, and some bullpen fodder for Pierre and Castillo, whom the Marlins are also thinking of moving for the same reason, his contract is up soon and hell cost too much, while theyre trying to cut budget.

Is everyone sold on Murton? He did hit left handed pitching well for a month and a half, but he hasnt yet proven to me that he is anything more than a platoon player. I'd pencil him in right now just b/c of the lack of other options, but if we get the opportunity a quality LF, I wouldnt turn it down on Murtons account.

re: #5 that lineup would be great to see, although it's not likely. I think Matsui does have the maturity and the work ethic this team has shown it sorely lacks at times. The skipper sure as hell doesn't seem to want to make these guys quit lolligagging; he obviously has his favs, not to mention any names [ahem--aramis] who seem to lack desire at times, and I think a positive veteran presence in the clubhouse, a la Alou/Lofton/Grudz/Karros in '03 is just what the team is missing...

I thought we put this whole Clement thing to rest. It was a shitty trade and we all regret it to this day. It was a shitty trade the day it was made and a shitty trade today. Clement's numbers were easily replaceable that year. And if we didn't have Clement, who the hell knows who would would have started or signed. Maybe we would have traded for Bartolo Colon. Who the hell knows.

and while I'm speaking of aramis, I love the 30+ homers a year, and down 20 or so errors, but I still really believe if he gave a damn he'd still be a helluva lot better...

that stuff about matsui not being a FA bc he doesn't have 6 years service time.....that's not true...right? he was not a draft pick of the yankees, and hence they don't have exclusive rights to him for the first 6. i am 95% sure the yanks will re-sign him over the weekend, but if he somehow doesn't, he's not a waiver claim...there's no way. otherwise, he could get picked up by the DRays or Royals or whoever for much cheaper than his yankees deal. he would never even have that written into his yankees contract if he couldn't be a real FA. giles and furcal. (i want walker also, but for those two i'd give him up) furcal murton/cedeno lee giles ramirez barrett cedeno/murton ummm.....random CFer. that's a good lineup.

Chad, Neither you nor anybody else had heard of Dontrelle Willis until June 2003. (If you did, just link to your post-trade lament over losing Willis here on TCR and I'll gladly apologize) If he would have stayed with the Cubs organization it would have ben much later b/c he wouldn't have cracked the Big League lineup until at least 2004. Hindsight is obviously 20/20. It was a great trade because we dumped that whiny ass Julian Tavarez. Clement even was kind of a throw in, the deal was really about El Pulpo, but Willis was the very defintion of 'throw in.' The Cubs are a big market club. We can't be too afraid of what Bobby Hill will become to trade him for Aramis Ramirez. We cant be too smitten with Hee Sop Choi to swap him for Derrick Lee when opportunity knocks. Capiche? Now this thing is put to bed, tucked in, and kissed good night. Love, Da Krone

I also say we put the whole Clement thing to rest, but not before we try to clarify facts one last time for those who insist on letting the storyline get in the way. That trade was Julian Tavarez and taking off Matt Clement's contract in exchange for Antonio Alfonseca, because the Cubs needed a Big Time Proven Closer. Here are some links that establish that. It's worth quoting Jayson Stark one more time for a more complete understanding of the circumstances (emphasis mine): "Granted, none of the prospects (Jose Cueto, Dontrelle Willis and Ryan Jorgensen) are marquee guys, but all three do rank among the Cubs' 25 best, and it's worth noting that the Cubs are stacked with prospects... I suppose it's a good thing for the Cubs. Kyle Farnsworth is capable of doing exactly the same job as closer that Alfonseca will, but now the Cubs seem to have nearly duplicated the outstanding bullpen depth that helped them so much a year ago... They can certainly afford Alfonseca and Clement, and they can also afford to throw mid-level prospects at any problem that arises." This is after Stark referred to the players the Cubs sent off as "a trio of no-names." Yes, that's right, Dontrelle Willis is lumped right in as an equal with two people that, AFAIK, have never played in the majors. Sometimes these things happen. We can debate whether this was a good trade, but that debate has to start with an honest assessment of what was thought of Jose Cueto, Ryan Jorgensen, and that other guy: that they may or may not make the major leagues (let alone ever be effective) (and to say nothing of garnering a single Cy Young vote) at some point in the hazy future. === So, in the coming season, whenever some Huge Pressing Need arises, just remember: the mid-level prospect you're tossing at some team to get your shiny new Juan Pierre or Danys Baez (to take a popular example from last year) just might be the next Dontrelle Willis. The lesson of the deal comes not from Dontrelle getting Cy Young votes, but from Alfonseca being Alfonseca. Had the Cubs dealt for quality instead of the 40-Save Guy they absolutely HAD to have when Gordon went down, we might all be singing a different tune now.

FWIW, Pierre was apparently slowed by a leg injury last season, and when speed is your only tool that's a problem. In May and June, his OBP was .287 and .292, and he had about a third of his ABs in those 2 months. After the All-Star break, when he was apparently healthy his OBP was .340, much closer to his career number.

The Cubs just named Brad Kelley their major league advance scout.

what was known about willis to fans/team...good stuff with an unusual delivery...which we all know now anyway. the cubs tried to straighten them out for question of how long he could do that to his body without it breaking. he felt more comfort and effectiveness the other way. it was thought he'd have success...but for how long was the big question about him. we know how that worked out. so far so good.

Wow people are really hammering on poor Jessica. Every single prospect is just that - a prospect. Given the information at the time Willis for Clement was an excellent calculated risk. You got the three best years of Clement's career, and the Florida got the flip of a coin to go up on Willis. To put it another way at the time NOBODY would have given the Marlins Angel Guzman - and he can't stay healthy. Pitching prospects are a best guess - that's why it's smart for teams to overload on them because the more you have the more will pan out. That said of course this is all revisionist history. That trade wasn't Clement for Willis, that trade was several prospects for Antonio Alfonsucka - and we were forced to take Clement as a payroll dump. We targeted a bad closer because of the Rick Aguilera failure, and THAT trade I can't really support, because even the year he was "good" 6-finger had an ERA over 4.

Boy did Ron Galt say it better than me. Kudos. I don't think Juan Pierre is all that good anyway. I think Cub fans are infatuated because of all the time that announcers spend fellating him and Luis Castillo during the 2003 playoffs. Meanwhile Miguel Cabrera was becoming a superstar. F****ng Cabrera.

Ron Galt, I find it interesting how we both make the same argument, yet draw what may appear to be directly opposite conclusions. But you make your point in an intelligent way, and i respect that. the most obvious example of your point would be Lou Brock. But I say, we cant be seeing Lou Brock behind every rock and tree. He and Willis are the only two I can think of fromthe last 40 years that fall into the 'We Let Them Get Away' category. Think all the Gary Scotts and Corey Pattersons over just the last 10 and how much we would have been better off if wed trade them at peak value (a la Hill for Ramirez vs the close to nothing were likely to get for Korey) The Ramirez and Lee deals were us takiing advantage of someone elses misfortune. The Alfonseca deal was based on us 'nneding' the 'last piece of the puzzle.' Perhaps like Christian Slater in Mobsters, one should 'never make a deal from weakness.'

'So trade 2 of the Cubs best prospects for a good glove, weak bat, little power CF with mediocre speed who's due to make $10 million plus a 2 million buyout?' 1. The Cubs aren't going to play Cedeno. He's going to need a two-year apprenticeship to the future HoF'r Neifi Perez before he's ready to play everyday. 2. I don't think the Cubs are going to properly develop Pie. He'd be better off in an organization that understands how to season prospects in the minors 3. You can re-work Hunter's contract for 2007+ if you decided to keep him, if not you can get draft pick compensation. I'd rather spend $10 million a year for a gold glove center fielder with speed and power than $5 million for Pierre, $3 million for Patterson or $11 million for Damon. 4. Hunter was 9th in VORP for CF's last year despite missing a good chunk of the season with a broken leg. Pierre needed 715 PA's to slot in at 14th. I think Hunter would be a little better in the Cubs lineup where he wouldn't be asked to be the main power source. If you could get him for less- that's fine too. But Cedeno would probably be the key to the deal, and the Cubs have Patterson to play 2nd in the future and God willing Furcal to play short for 5 years, so they should trade Cedeno now while his value is at it's highest.

Da Krone, I don't think the Palmeiro trade was amazingly successful although the same argument can be used - if we hadn't had Mitch Williams we might not have had our unsuccessful playoff trip in '89. And while not in the Lou Brock category, for a team with almost no centerfielders in my lifetime (and I''m old) I would say Billy North and Billy Hatcher might have come in handy. For a brief stretch Ron Davis certainly would have been more useful than the used up Ken Holtzman they got for him. I'm sure there are others. But the biggest reason they haven't let much talent go: this organization hasn't developed much worth trading for in the past 40 years.

Ron Galt-Excellent Post! Realize this: Prospect development is a numbers game. You can have 10 guys with all the tools and only 2 will make it. How do predict which two? Character, work ethic, luck, steroids, etc...This is why the Cubs have such a poor record of developing young talent. They don't play the numbers game. Instead, they put all their hopes on the one "special" prospect and treat him like he's the second coming. Scot Thompson, Champ Summers, Shawon Dunston, Mel Hall, Corey Patterson...I'd love to see the overall numbers on where the Cubs rank vs. other franchises in the amount of home grown players developed. Jessica is right, it was the right deal at the time. In fact, the Cubs did an excellent job of spinning the media that Tavarez was not a reliever but a starter. They created increased demand for him. Lets just hope thats what they're doing with Nefi-creating a starting shortstop demand-I know pipe dream!

It's a bit stupid to bemoan every single trade that works out better for one team or another. The Cubs traded Brock to the Cards. Oh tragedy! The Cards traded Carlton to the Phillies. Oh tragedy! The Phillies traded Sandberg to the Cubs. Oh tragedy! The Cubs traded Willis to the Marlins- the Marlins traded Lee to the Cubs. It's the nature of the game and in general it all balances out. It would be nice if we had God as our GM and he was omniscient, but since we haven't been able to get him under contract yet, I suggest we just use human beings like every other team has done for the past 120 years.

Matsui is available if they think they can snag Manny... I could see the Yankees making radical changes. Arod could be traded and moved back to short. Sheffield, Giambi, Posada, Randy Johnson could all move, the least likely, however, would be Johnson. The only untouchables on that team are Jeter and Rivera...

Green Lantern: It is expressly written into Matsui's contract that he be placed on waivers if he does not sign a contract extension before Nov. 15. 3-Year worth 21M- will make in 6M in 2003, 7M in 2004 and 8M in 2005- + he can earn 500K each year in bonuses- + has a complete NO-TRADE clause- + if he does not sign a contract extension or a new contract by Nov. 15, 2005, then the NYY must place him on waivers for the purpose of granting him his release- + if he were to clear waivers he would become a free agent Agent: Arn Tellem/John Kim Service Time: 2.000 That is his contract and that is what will happen if the Yanks are dumb enough to not sign him. I went over this in a previous thread. No way in hell does he slip down to us. Teams like Baltimore, Toronto, and Boston would scoop him up right way if they had the chance. If by some miracle he slipped by the AL then you have teams like the Dodgers, and San Fran that would scoop him up in a heart beat. Adding Matsui would be a major draw to the Japanese fan base for those teams because they see what Ichiro does for Seattle. I would love for Matsui to be a Cub, but you need a miracle for it to happen.

Yeah but Miguel Cabrera has also already become like Aramis and ManRam very indifferent and very lazy. There was a huge report on baseball tonight at the end of the year on Cabrera telling the vets like Conine and Lowell to f**k off because they never did anything for him. He's getting fat and the Marlins front office is worried about his work ethic. I'm with you Payton, I'd like to hang onto Pie, Dopirak, Ryan Harvey, R.Hill, Nolasco and Pawelek but any of the other Cub prospects I wouldn't be crushed to see go. The Cubs organization was rated in the top 5 or 6 last season but let's face it, how many of these guys are actually going to make it. Brownlie was supposed to be a surefire front of the rotation starter..I remember comparisons to Tom Seaver when he was drafted. Now his velocity has dropped from the mid 90s to 90 and will be a middle reliever at best. Guys like A.Guzman and Pinto have great arms but sketchy command and a history of arm problems. As for Juan Pierre, I'm a bit surprised that we haven't heard more about the Yankees making a run at him considering they need a CF and a leadoff hitter(I think Jeter is a prototypical #2 hitter)...which leads me to believe they may be actually considering signing J.Damon or trading for T.Hunter. I've heard reports from Boston saying that if ManRam is traded to the Mets that M.Cameron would be one of the players going to Boston so they would'nt need to resign Damon unless he was going to move to LF. I still think Pierre is the best option for the Cubs in CF for '06 as long as we can get him for K.Patt and a Mitre/Brownlie + a fringe prospect type. Bruce Levine just reported on ESPN 1000 that the Cubs have talked to the Reds about Adam Dunn...he also noted that J.Pierre has worn out his welcome with the Marlins front office.

Also someone mentioned if we got Furcal and Pierre, bat Pierre 2nd. Ummmm, no that wouldn't be wise. Pierre is just all speed not much else. Let him run free at the #1 spot. Furcal has speed and he has a little pop in his bat. Much better RBI ability for the #2 spot. Either way I wouldn't be terribly upset. Both are good bat control guys and it would be exciting watching those two hit about 20 triples combined for the year on the same team. Not to mention that with over 1200 AB's combined they both struck out a little over 100 times total. What did Corey punch out at? 400 AB's around 100 SO's? Hmmm that can help an offense a great deal there. I am still not convinced we get both much less even 1 of them. I am so used to the Cubs finding an excuse not to get someone.

Hey, Do you guys remember when Harry Caray used to post here? (just stumbled across this today, but it sure is topical and amusing, given the D. Willis discussion above)
Kyle Lohse and Jon Garland are successes? Andy Sisco has pitched 7.2 major league innings in his life and he's made it? Dontrelle Willis has another good April and we should be so lucky as to still have him? Please. Kyle Lohse and Jon Garland are back of the rotation innings-eaters, and if Dontrelle Willis is an ace, I'm Harry Caray. Posted by: John Hill

Since somebody asked I have an insider account - here's from Jerry Crasnicks column: Corey Patterson, Chicago Cubs corey patterson Patterson Talk privately to people in the Chicago organization and they say the same thing: They're not going to just give Patterson away. Cubs GM Jim Hendry selected Patterson with the No. 3 pick in the 1998 draft, and there's an emotional attachment there. And since Patterson is only 26, there's a natural fear that he might suddenly blossom with another organization. But the time for moving Patterson has clearly arrived. He backslid terribly this season, and Cubs fans are now booing him routinely. No wonder, as a scout at the meetings observed, "The vultures are circling.'' The Cubs think prospect Felix Pie might be ready to take over in center field, although some baseball people think he needs more time in the minors. If the Cubs were, say, the Kansas City Royals, they might be able to break in a youthful outfield of Matt Murton in left field, Pie in center and Patterson in right. But in the aftermath of the White Sox' World Series victory, Cubs fans aren't exactly brimming with patience these days Todd Walker, Chicago Cubs todd walker Walker Hendry keeps preaching improved defense up the middle, which makes you wonder why the Cubs just picked up Walker's $2.5 million option. The answer: They like him, and they can always deal him. If Hendry can sign Rafael Furcal, the Cubs will move Ronny Cedeno to second base and plug Neifi Perez into the utility spot where he's most comfortable. That doesn't leave a lot of at-bats for Walker, Walker's salary is affordable enough, and he could bring some experience, grit and clubhouse presence to an American League club with some infield-DH at-bats to spare. Cleveland and Texas are among the teams that have expressed some interest in Walker in past years.

This is hysterical: If Hendry can sign Rafael Furcal, the Cubs will move Ronny Cedeno to second base and plug Neifi Perez into the utility spot where he's most comfortable. Yup - that's exactly what Dusty will do. Especialy when Ronny struggles at the plate..... I'm really a little sick of hearing about Juan Pierre. He's simply not worth two or three prospects.

CWTP (Post #52)- HYSTERICAL!!! When was that from?

everybody please stop talking about matsui in blue pinstripes tossing balls over the ivy to fans after the 3rd out and golfing line-drives to the ball-hawks, because though i know it wont ever happen, just the mention of it makes my blood pressure go up. dammit this warm-stove is killing me!

Da Krone, I NEVER LIKED THE TRADED EVER. I hadn't heard of this site until 2003 so I could not have posted my displeasure with it. I had no idea who the hell any of those prospects were at the time but I knew one thing, it was a knee jerk trade. Gordon went down and we had no options at closer so we freaked out. We didn't learn ANYTHING form the Rick Aguillera (sp?). I wish he had Kyle Lohse. If for nothing else to trade for a real player. I hate knee jerk trades. And I hated El Pulpo. I hated Matt Clement. Don't give me this hindsight is 20/20 bullshit. People don't even have to know the players to know a crappy knee jerk trade. Javier Vazquez available as he's invoked his right to demand a a team east of the Mountain time zone. Considering I still think Hendry would prefer to trade for players than sign free agents, I wouldn't be surprised if he makes a call.He'll fit right in with Maddux and Prior as they can work on their neck strenghtening exercises. :) 2 yrs/24 mil left and they have until March 15th to trade him. W/o a trade he can rescind his request or opt to be a FA. Doubt he'd do that, cause he won't see that much $$$ in a FA deal, especially after March 15th when most teams have blown their budgets. D'backs are really in a good situation, they don't have to make the trade unless they're really concerned about having a disgruntled fella on the team next year or they can get rid of a pretty hefty contract. He's a solid innings-eater, strikes out a few guys (career 7.9 K/9 rate), really good control (3.25 K/BB), just a bit a generous with the gopher ball (career 1.22 HR/9, much worse the last 2 years though). Certainly not worth $12 mil though.

I really don't want to rehash the whole Clement/Willis/Alfonseca thing endlessly but I honestly don't recall anyone complaining about trading Willis at the time and he was hardly regarded as a top prospect However what bothers me more is the Clement revisionism. I am a little prejudiced because I was actually at the CRUCIAL division clinching game he pitched in 2003. If he had NOT won it , the Cubs would have had a much inferior rotation going into the first round just as happened in 98 and we may well have lost. I was also at the game in which Clement BEAT Willis in the playoffs so lets not just treat him as some guy who contributed little or nothing in 03 I must confess my favorite remark on the trade ( and I am not sure who posted it or where) was someone who said forget about Willis or Clement. The Marlins got the better of the trade because they got RID of Alfonseca Jessica

Tbone Palmeiro, now there's one 'we let get away', but there were extenuating circumstances. They had 2 hot prospects at 1st and let Texas pick. The Rangers chose the propable future HOFer Palmeireo, leaving the Cubs w/ Mark Grace, not a bad alternative. I remember they tried Raffy in CF to for a bit, but that didnt work out so well. I think Peirre is scrapy, young, and his best years are probably ahesad of him. Others would say hes lost a step and not worth it. The other alternative is Torii Hunter. $10 M contract, Gold Glove CF, 5-7th spot in the order type bat. What does everybody think Hunter vs Pierre. I have to discount Pie because like all the Cubs phenom prospects i havent seen him play, all i know about him is what ive read and i think im a victim to some extent of the Tribunes propganda. People have named many of the Next Great Thing prospects the Cubs have touted who have never panned out. Im not willing to hold my breath on Pie while letting Pierre or Hunter by. However, if you do that too much, i realize, you become like the Yankees, with at bloated $200M payroll and no more prospects to trade.

So, just to get reaction, what would it take to get Ichiro's fat $12m contract to Wrigley from Seattle? Ha ha (or not...) And if not, who the hell is going to start in RF for us? Look, I love DLee, but he's probably not going to put up quite those nos. again next year. We at least have warm bodies to fill the infield if the season started tomorrow. The outfield however... I love the idea of signing Furcal, but let's not sign him for the wrong reasons. I love a speedy defensive cannon at short, but for 8-10m a year? How about a speedy defensive CF to lead off, someone who carries a stick in RF, and cedeno/walker up the middle?

someone also said earlier (here or another string) that the pitchers have a much higher era when barrett catches. I'm sure he caught more innings than anybody else for the team, but that's something to be explored. It doesn't matter, especially on this team, how many homeruns come from the backstop. A catcher's main concern should be calling the game, then throwing out runners. Since you all seem even more ate up about the cubbies than me, what's barrett's deal? If he's just a half-ass bat, then I say turn him into somebody else.

Da Krone, You bring up the issue of prospects vs "proven commodities.' But you forget that with the Cubs 'proven commodities' doesnt mean much. Remember Rick Aguliera, Mel Rojas, Antonio Alfonseca, and of course Jeff Blauser who were all solid veterns, came to the Cubs, and bombed. For example, Toriii Hunter might not be so good in Wrigley b/c its a small outfield with a wall he cant leap over.

Tony, I would be interested in Ichiro, even at $12M. I think its proven that the Cubs need to pick up two top of the order type hitters, and Ichiro also plays great D...starting to get up ther 32 or 33 I think. Your point about Barret is a good one, but I think Hnadry loves him and hes not going anywhere. Plus, hes a team guy, gave up his #5 to Nomar if hed 'seriously consider resinging' with the Cubs in 2005. But yeah, Ive read Prior and Maddux would both rather pitch to someone else, and thats not good.

Re: players to put on the 40-man prior to the Rule 5 draft--I can tell you with certainty, because I have heard from someone who participates in the decision, that Carlos Marmol and Ricky Nolasco will definitely be protected, not even in question. They are struggling with whether to protect Brownlie and/or Ryu. JK in particular, they think he'll get claimed and be Andy Sisco Part II.

Are you suggesting a Lee for Ichiro trade?

KRONE-- thanks for the comments, we can hope. NCFAN-- not only no, but hell no. DLee just won his second gold glove, brings no drama, and carries the magic stick. What I'm suggesting is a few of the mid-to-upper pitching prospects we seems to have in spades, plus maybe corey and/or todd walker, plus cash for ichiro. the m's want a starter, they're not going to get AJ, they've got inflated contracts (beltre/sexson), and may be willing to part with the dearly beloved Ichiro. The cubbies can afford to pay him, have PROSPECTS (does everyone have the term down now?) to spare, and A GIGANTIC GAPING HOLE in RF! Not to mention the rest of the outfield: an unproven and admittedly "eased in" Murton, and a completely broken Corey. For the record, Patterson's never going to be a lead off man, much to Dusty and Hendry's demise, and I think there's too much bad blood with him in Chitown's minds and hearts to do anything but trade him...

I think the key to pitching in Wrigley is to be a GROUNDBALL pitcher. Look at what happens when you give up a lot of fly balls in wrigley (Prior, Maddux) anyone? I'd be curious to see the GB to FB ratios of all our starters at wrigley and their success. Moving on..... What kind of trade would aram be worth? What about a Manny for Aram with Boston picking up manny's money? Then trade Pie and 2 pitching prospects for Dunn? This would shore up the OF. Hell you could put cpat in CF and bat him eigth with those guys..... Sign Furcal at SS play Nomar at 3rd. Furcal SS Nomar 3b Dunn Rf Manram Lf Dlee 3b Barrett C Cedeno 2b Patterson CF Gives us Defense up the middle. Improvements in Defense at 3b. A wash at left and Right and much more productivity. Murton, Perez, Walker, Jhair on the bench Now sign a #2 starter and we're rocking.

If youre talking to me, NCFAN, Hell no. Im saying whe need two guys at the top of the order w/ high OBP in front of DLee. Dont stop with a leadoff hitter, get Pierre and Furcal both if we can. Hendry is leaving his options open. If Nomar is still there the first week of Dec and we havent gotten Adam Dunn at a reasonable price, Jim will make a push to sing Garciaparra. If Nomar is gone or wont take a heavily incentive laden deal, Jim will have no problem turning the reigns over to Matt Murton, maybe in a platoon system, if he can find somebody with strong lefty splits. The same possiblity exist for bringing back Burnitz if we cant find anyone else and hes willing at significantly less that the $7M option we declined. Mr. is just keeping his options open. I am confident that, at worst the roster will be similar to 2005 but in all likelihood healthier, and probably some important aquistions will be made this off season.

more on Corey, just b/c it depresses me. He's got athletic talent out the wazoo, somebody just needs to teach him how to play baseball, and attempt to utilize his talent. Left would minimize his bad jumps as opposed to accentuating them, letting him catch all the balls he gets to, which is most. And put him in the 7 hole, and leave him there. maybe someday he'll be able to aspire to being a #5 or so hitter. and all of this needs to be somewhere else, his time here is done.

NCF-- I applaud the aram suggestion. I don't know about manny, though. my prob with aram is his lackadaisical tude, in the field and at the plate. Hell, turn aram (and maybe corey) into j. pierre and mike lowell, maybe in a three-team deal, have the reds throw in wily mo pena, and at least all the positions on the field will be (pretty much) ably filled.

krone-- sounds nice, but while burnitz was a workhorse, we need an upgrade. also don't see nomar playing LF anywhere, at least for the next couple years

Hendry started the offseason w/ $30M to play with. Dempster Rusch, and Neifi! later, thats down to $21.5M or so. If we get Furcal maybe $13M. Hunter at $10M and Ichiro at $12M eat most of that up. That is why Henrdy wants to trade rather that just sign FAs. Walker at $2.5 and Rusch at $3M are prime suspects, along with Patterson and JHJ, who I dont know what they'll get ind the arb process but made abot $3m and $1.8M last year, respectively. If you get rid of all 4 you get back about $10M to play with.

i like having JHJ around for versatility reasons, but yes, all 4 that you mentioned are def trade bait, but i'm not sure what they add up to (not much, i'm afraid) maybe the reds new ownership will want to dump, fla always wants to dump, who else?

Now we are on the Ichiro kick? One word why Ichiro will never leave Seattle. NINTENDO.

I would like to parrot MikeC's comment. Ichiro himself makes 1000 times that for the Mariners. He's not coming. Get over it. Did someone really suggest Manny for Aram? Are you nuts? Manny is in his 30s. While he has good baseball ahead, he will start to decline. Aram is on the way up. There are few players in all of baseball that I would trade for aram.

Mike C, While I agree with you and Chad on Ichiro not getting traded. There was a NY Post story about him being unhappy in Seattle. While there Mariners will not trade him the speculation from the other posters is not throwing stuff aganist a wall. Mcfuck, They had 35 mill to spend going into the off season. Of that 12 (excluding Walker because he will be traded when they sign Furcal) has been spent.

If the Cubs don't sign Furcal, they could set thier sights on Rodriguez. Trade AramRam, Pierre and some pitching for him. Then sign Lofton to play center for a year, assuming Corey goes in the Pierre trade. Then bring Nomar back to play 3rd. My other far-fetched idea is to move Lee out to left, and trade for Delgado, who could hit 4th between Lee and AramRam or A-Rod. Lofton Walker A-Rod Delgado Lee Nomar Barrett Wilson or Jones Zambrano Looking at what that would do to the payroll- Florida would have to eat about $2 anual (what they saved on Delgado this year) to make his contract swallowable. I doubt the Yankees would eat much of A-Rod's contract. So the Cubs would have to get rid of Patterson and JHJ to lower the benches' payroll some.

CHad, Aram is a. an accident/injury waiting to happen b. a crappy defender and c. replaceable. It's just a personal opinion, but I would feel more comfortable trading him for someone that can help us win in the next 3 years. Even if Manny declines (unless he declines like sosa) he will still be one of the top 5 offensive players in baseball. I don't think we willbe able to say the same about aram. Plus Boston needs a 3rd baseman. Look at the lineup I had above. Not too many holes. Plus if we saved the guys on the bench we could spot start them and keep the lineup AND bench fresh. Furcal SS 152 Games 700+PA Nomar 3b 140 Games 630 PA Dunn 154 games RF 650+PA DLee 1b 154 games (gets 5 days off pre AS break and 3 days post AS break) 650+PA Manram 154 Games LF 650 +PA Barrett C 135 games 600 PA Cedeno 2b 140 games 620 PA Cpat 130 games CF 550PA NEIFI 10 games SS & 22 games 3b (144 PA + Pinch Hit etc) Walker 22 Games 2b, 8 games 1b (120 PA + PH) Jerry Hair (32 games CF, 8 games LF) 200 PA + PH Bako (27 games C 120 PA + PH) With this team I would even say sign macias cheap if DB promises to give him no more than 75 PA. Pitching Z Prior FA Wood/Maddux Maddux/Rusch Pen Dempster Williamson Navoa Weurts Williams This is a 24 man roster with a slot left. I think this team would a. be better defensively, b. be better offensively, c be deeper and more resiliant to injuries and d be better pitching. I would put this team on the field any day of the week. The only thing What would the payroll be?????

#25 of 78: By nate (November 10, 2005 05:03 PM) AZ Phil - wouldn't you think Scott McClain might be DFA'd as well before the Rule 5? ---- NATE: Scott McClain was released last month. He is no longer on the Cubs 40-man roster and is no longer in the Cubs organization.

#49 of 80: By MikeC (November 10, 2005 07:21 PM) Green Lantern: It is expressly written into Matsui's contract that he be placed on waivers if he does not sign a contract extension before Nov. 15. 3-Year worth 21M- will make in 6M in 2003, 7M in 2004 and 8M in 2005- + he can earn 500K each year in bonuses- + has a complete NO-TRADE clause- + if he does not sign a contract extension or a new contract by Nov. 15, 2005, then the NYY must place him on waivers for the purpose of granting him his release- + if he were to clear waivers he would become a free agent Agent: Arn Tellem/John Kim Service Time: 2.000 That is his contract and that is what will happen if the Yanks are dumb enough to not sign him. I went over this in a previous thread. No way in hell does he slip down to us. Teams like Baltimore, Toronto, and Boston would scoop him up right way if they had the chance. If by some miracle he slipped by the AL then you have teams like the Dodgers, and San Fran that would scoop him up in a heart beat. Adding Matsui would be a major draw to the Japanese fan base for those teams because they see what Ichiro does for Seattle. I would love for Matsui to be a Cub, but you need a miracle for it to happen. --- MIKE C: The Yankees must place Hideki Matsui on outright release waivers if he does not sign a new contract by November 15th, but because he has a "no trade," he CANNOT be claimed by another club off waivers. So if the Yankees can't sign him, he will be an absolute unrestricted free-agent once he clears waivers and the Cubs would have as good a chance as any other club to sign him, presuming (of course) that he would be interested in playing for the Cubs (which he might not be).

By my count, the Cubs only have about $72-75 million committed right now to the '06 roster, including Neifi and Rusch. Assuming the payroll sticks at around $105 million, Hendry should still have $30 million to spend.

"If the Cubs don't sign Furcal, they could set thier sights on Rodriguez. Trade AramRam, Pierre and some pitching for him. Then sign Lofton to play center for a year, assuming Corey goes in the Pierre trade. Then bring Nomar back to play 3rd." On PS2, this is a definite maybe. In reality - the Yanks are not trading A-Rod.

VORARE: The Cubs have $64 mil committed to players already signed, plus another estimated $13 mil for players eligible for arbitration, plus another $3 mil to fill out the roster with auto-renewals. So that's $80 mil. But you can subtract at least $6 mil from that (because Patterson and Hairston will almost certainly get traded, and Macias will get non-tendered). So figure Hendry has about $74 mil committed for 2006 right now (I am not including Patterson, Hairston, or Macias). The problem is we don't know what Hendry's payroll budget is for next year. I believe it will be $100 mil, so I believe Hendry still has about $26 mil to spend in actual 2006 payroll. If Pierre is acquired in a trade, that's probably $5 mil in 2006 payroll (Pierre is eligible for arbitration). If the Cubs sign Furcal, that's probably at least $8 mil more in 2006 (possibly an "escalator" contract with $8-9-10-11-12 mil guaranteed over five years, with a player option to leave after three years). And if the Cubs sign Matsui, that's another $12 mil for 2006 (there will be an MLB-wide bidding war for him, so the price will go pretty high), With maybe $26 mil to spend, and if Hendry makes a deal for Pierre and signs Furcal and Matsui, that's $26 mil. Walker could be traded, freeing anothe $2.5 mil to be spent on a couple of bench guys (like maybe 1B-OF Mark Sweeney--one of the best lefty pinch-htiiters in baseball, and a 4th OF). For purely TCR sake, let's say Hendry signs Furcal and Matsui, trades Patterson and prospects to Florida for Pierre, Jerome Williams and Todd Walker to Texas for a couple of outfielders (Mench and Matthews, Jr?), plus Wellemeyer to Colorado for IF-OF Luis A. Gonzalez. LINEUP: Pierre, CF Furcal, SS Lee, 1B Ramirez, 3B Matsui, RF Murton, LF Barrett, C Cedeno, 2B BENCH: Blanco, C Fontenot, 2B-3B Gonzalez, IF-OF Matthews, OF Mench, OF Perez, INF STARTING ROTATION: Zambrano Prior Maddux Wood Rusch BULLPEN: Dempster Williamson Wuertz Ohman Novoa Van Buren, Brownlie, or Leicester Something like that.

NCFan Aram is replaceable??!?! Can you name the previous 5 cub 3rdbasemen? The previous 25? 100? 163? Wasn't that the number of 3rd basemen the cubs went through after Santo? Trading one of the best hitters in baseball who can now adequately field 3rd for the Cubs would be insane. But hey, most this talk is pretty insane, so you suggust whatever. Hopefully the adults in charge are smarter then that. Sometimes i'm not sure about that though.

So, a buddy of mine is a huge Cardinal fan, who used to live in Kansas City and has always hated Neifi(as do most in Kansas City for quitting on the team). He was getting a kick about Neifi's contract saying how funny he thought it was that we were wasting our money. Today he comes in and says that he doesn't think the Cards are gonna resign Grudz, because he is expecting more money now, after the Neifi deal. The name that has been thrown around, Bret Boone. HAHAHAHAHA. I don't know if this is true, or why they wouldn't just move Luna there or Nunez, but man did I think that was funny. Another potential positive for the Neifi signing....Neifi is setting the bar. Haha

Above post should read: "The name that is being thrown around to fill the second base position is Bret Boone."

Reasons not to Trade Ramirez. Kevin Orie, Gary Scott any of the other 100 guys we tried at third between Rammy and Ron Santo.

1. Matsui and agent are probably using the Cubs as leverage with the Yankees. Ditto Damon who will either sign with Boston or with the Yankees. Ditto Giles and Furcal (who may be on their way to the Cardinals, with Eckstein going to 2d now that Grudz is not coming back.) 2. The Neifi signing is depressing although not surprising to me given all the accolades Baker and Hendry threw his way during the season. He probably will our starting shortstop and, barring injury (one can always hope!), will be making 600 plate appearances, creating about 480 outs (counting his double plays), and probably slugging .350 to go with his .250 BA=OBP since he does not walk and did not hit a homer after the game winner he hit against the Cardinals. 3. I predict Macias will be resigned. Baker and Hendry love his flexibility and the fact he "makes contact." 4. We will see if building a team around "defense and speed" (as if Perez and Macias really have much of either). Its the in thing following the White Sox surprise (despite all those home runs they hit and walks they took). 5. I still expect Murton to be traded as it still seems to me that neither Baker or Hendry like the way he plays the game (after all, he just takes to many pitches.) After all Murton's power potential is limited and "speed and defense" are not his thing. 6. Starting outfield for the Cubs April 2006: Jacques Jones, Juan Pierre, and Corey Patterson. (Pie and Murton going to the Marlins for Pierre). But perhaps I am still indulging my nightmares. 7. Headline is August 2006 "CUBS OFFENSIVE WOES CONTINUE" followed by the lead: The Cubs inability to find a lead-off man who can get on base continues to plague the team as another futile season winds down, as the Cubs find themselves in 5th place, just ahead of a surging Pirates team." Christina Karhl's analysis from on the Neifi signing. "Signed SS-B Neifi Perez to a two-year contract. [11/7] Not just more Neifi than you deserve, Chicago, but a guarantee that nothing short of a meteor strike hitting the side of the planet that Neifi's on can prevent his destiny as the Cub you love to hate. I guess there's some sort of risk management in play: Nomar Garciaparra might go away, and it's a bit quick to assume that Ronny Cedeno is really ready already. So who's at short? Well, first, we have to get through the play-acting pass at Rafael Furcal to keep the home folks happy. And then there's the potentially sensible idea, like trying out this Nomar thing one more time and for one more year, just to see if it will finally work. But you don't have to be a Calvinist to think that some outcomes are predetermined, and that when all of 2006 has been revealed and becomes history, the Cubs shortstop will be our very own fifth horseman of the apocalypse, the one who can bring desolation and waste to any lineup, the inNeiffably Neifi Perez."

Bruce Levine was just on ESPN Radio 100 in Chicago. Here are some things he said: - Cubs are getting really close to a deal with KC for closer Mike MacDougal. He didn't give any trade scenerios but said it could happen soon. - Brian Giles is on the back burner for awhile to see what else pans out for the OF. The Cubs are being cautious becuase of his age and shrinking power numbers. - Hendry will be in talks with CIN about Dunn or Kearns next week. - Hendry will be in touch with Furcal's agent very soon to get the ball rolling with an actual offer. Bruce feels only the Braves and Cubs are realistic suiters at this point unless Furcal is willing to move to 2B or OF. He said it seems Furcal wants to come to the Cubs and that Hendry could get this done in teh next 2 weeks if that is true. - Matsui announcement will be made today or tomorrow with him resigning with the NYY. Of course take these thing for what its worth. Again, this is Bruce Levine saying these thing and me just relaying them on to you.

The Reds keep talking about being happy with 4 or 5 starting outfielders, but lets get serious. They wont be able to pay Griffey AND ard eligible Dunn (Who figures to get about $8M this year and $10M next year in free agency) while they still have Casey and Milton. And no other team will take Griffey or Milton any time soon. So the way I look at it, they almost have to get rid of Dunn, and Maybe Kearns too. Ryan Freel is more of an OF and an IF, and is good enough to start, esp on a small market club like the Reds. How is this for an offer at Kearns and/or Dunn? Hendry could use Walker and Rusch at the major league level, and Pie, Cedeno &/or Rich Hill. These guys are primo prospects, but Henadry could een sweeten the pot a bit more with a Mitre or Leicester for both Dunn and Kearns. Think big. The only thing that worries me is the Reds may not want to do this thing within the division, but their only other serious suitor is the Asstros. For Pierre and Castillo the offer would be Patterson (replace Pierre in CF) JHJ (rplace Castillo at 2B and Pierre in leadoff spot) and Jerome Williams. The Marlins would be dumping about $5M in sallary in 2006 and would get to keep Williams after neext year, when all 4 other players in the deal are FAs. Wouldn't it be great if we could get both of them, then turn around and get Pierre and Castillo? Then our lineup would be CF Pierre SS Furcal 1B Lee LF Dunn 3B Ramirez RF Kearns C Barrett 2B Castillo P Pitcher

I would do it...but what about the money...won't this team be too expensive in two years???

Not to mention you just traded off two starters....who would start after wood,prior,z, maddux? and who would be our sixth starter????

CWTP (Post #52)- HYSTERICAL!!! When was that from? I believe it was April 2005 on TCR, Manny.

Responding to the comments against trading aram because we have had shitty 3rd basemen other than santo. 2 Things. Aren't there a lot more good offensive 3rd basemen than in the 70's and 80's? Also aren't the Cubs a large market team now? Doesn't this come into play???????

Scouring some of the latest sports news: Giles agent confirms that the Cubs, among others, have been in contact. According to the New York Times, Furcal will end up either as a Cub or a Brave. Also, the Cubs are poised to make a run at Damon. Also amusing: this column from a Canadian website includes quotes from some guy named "Ted" Hendry. Maybe Jim has an evil twin? That would explain the Neifi deal, anyway.

I'm seeing a lot of trade ideas involving moving Glendon Rusch. Lets make something clear, no one who was just signed as a free agent, on the Cubs or any other team, is going to be traded during that same offseason. Its one thing to pick up an option, like Todd Walker, and make a deal - the contract is already in place there. But you don't sign a new deal with a free agent unless you plan on having him on your roster come opening day. We're stuck with both Rusch and Neifi to start the year - and Neifi for probably much longer, unless we can find another team stupid enough to pay 2.5 million to a backup infieler.

Ok..let's name all of the "good offensive 3rd basemen" shall we? 1)A-Rod 2)A-Ram 3)Eric Chavez 4)Hank Blalock 5)Scott Rolen 6)Troy Glaus 7)Morgan Ensberg 8)David Wright 9)Chipper Jones 10)Melvin Mora Now who do the Cubs trade to get one of those guys? The Hot Stove League is fun, and so is speculation of potential moves, but let's all just put down the crack pipes, and think at least a little reasonably. We are not getting Ichiro, Matsui, or Manny Ramirez, so lets calm down...probably not getting Adam Dunn either. Furcal is a viable option at the top of the order, and getting Kevin Mench from the Rangers, for a Patterson/Brownlie/Ryu/Mitre combination is not too shabby either, while not knocking my socks off. I still think going after Kevin Millwood would be a good move. With Wood's fragility, and Prior's bad luck....we could use a proven innings eater, and he's had some success. Or, go the other way and we could look something like this: LF-Murton CF-Torii Hunter RF-Kevin Mench 3B-Ramirez SS-Furcal 2b-Cedeno 1B-DLee C-Barrett Prior Zambrano Williams Maddux Rusch BP: Dempster Wuertz Ohman BJ Ryan? Novoa Van Buren I think that Nolasco, Pinto, and a few others will get looks this spring as well. Pie needs 1 more full season in the minors, and lets not fool ourselves into thinking that he can hit leadoff...definitely a 6-7 guy.

Dusty, I don't know if you are still reading this thread but of the above list of third basemen, ARod is not a 3rd baseman. In other words, if he were to go to any other team, he plays shortstop. And of your list, the only players I would take over aram would be MAYBE Chavey or Blalock. Short of that, Aram is tops on my list.

Chad, my post is directed at NCFAN: " Things. Aren't there a lot more good offensive 3rd basemen than in the 70's and 80's? Also aren't the Cubs a large market team now? Doesn't this come into play???????" I am pointing out that trading Aram for Ramirez isn't going to happen, and that a really good 3rd baseman is hard to find. Please note the "put down the crack pipes" reference....

Gotcha, so, in fact, we are in agreement.

I don't think any of this is unrealistic. Get 'em all. 1B - Delgado 2b - Soriano SS - Furcal 3B - A-Rod C - Johnny Bench LF - Manny CF - a platoon of Pierre & Damon RF - Giles SP: Big Z Prior Maddux Millwood Burnett Wood bench: D-Lee Nomar Dunn Kearns Matsui -- That looks pretty good. I bet they'll compete for the WC.

that is pretty funny, but let's be honest. Dusty would manage to f$%& it up: leave the starters in too long, throw away one of the road games in the series to win at home, etc.

#102 Come on, like you could get A-Rod to play third base somewhere other than NY

Wow I just read a blog that said Texas would include Blaylock for A SP and a CF, and I am thinking K. Wood, A-ram and Pie. Anyone up on this one? Or maybe J. Williams, Guzman, A-ram and K-pat(would they really take this?) scooter

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  • Jackstraw 1 hour 18 min ago (view)

    Thanks, AZ Phil


  • Craig A. 6 hours 3 min ago (view)

    If the cardinals loose and the giants win, the cardinals will have to play and win on Monday to make the playoffs. 


  • crunch 8 hours 30 min ago (view)

    ...and dodger stadium loses power.


  • Charlie 9 hours 38 min ago (view)

    Game 2 somewhat less fun than game 1.


  • crunch 10 hours 49 min ago (view)

    lester goes out with a whimper...7 runs given up in his last start

    5.16era/1.33whip on the year.


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 49 min ago (view)

    JACKSTRAW: The Cardinals & Tigers will only play the first game of Monday's doubleheader (and it will be a seven-inning game) if what needs to be determined is determined by the result of the first game (the second game will be canceled), but they won't play the games at all (and the Cardinals won't go to Detroit) if everything that is affected by the two missing STL games is settled and resolved by end of MLB play on Sunday. 


  • crunch 12 hours 11 min ago (view)






  • crunch 14 hours 5 min ago (view)

    happ / rizzo / contreras / heyward / bryant / schwarber / baez / kipnis / caratini(DH)

    game 2

    bryant's back, and at 3rd.  neat.


  • Jackstraw 15 hours 50 min ago (view)

    I don't know if the math works out but (at least to me) it raises the possibility that they would play one game on Monday and if that decided what was left that they'd skip game 2.


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 18 min ago (view)

    The Cardinals have to play the doubleheader on Monday at Detroit if either the games impact who or who does not get into the playoffs, or if the games will determine whether the Cards or Cubs finish 1st in the division and get home field advantage in the Wild Card series.


  • Charlie 21 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Maybe he should stick with it for a while.


  • Hagsag 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Cardinals have two games left with Detroit, not the Cubs.


  • blockhead25 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Ahh, 2 games against the Tigers, but seems to imply they'd only play those games if it will impact which teams make the playoffs.  If the Cardinals win their last 2, I don't believe the other games could impact which Team makes it.  Why would Detroit have any incentive to win those games?  Well, hope the Cubs won one of the next 2 so it doesn't matter.


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    yeah, it may be another team.  i just know they have a possible monday double header...unless i got that wrong, too.


  • blockhead25 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Cubs?  We played the cards the full 10 slate?

    if Cards make playoffs, I would think they'd want nothing to do with having to play a double header Monday to improve playoff seeding.


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    the cubs may or may not have to play a doubleheader vs STL on monday depending on the next game or 2...i think