Dealing With Strengths
Speaking of impact hitter Arizona Phil yesterday was. And I agree: the Cubs should extend Derrek Lee this winter. I see the chances of Lee walking away after another fine year in 2006 as too high, and the consequences of that - the hostile fan reaction, the price and difficulty that would come with replacing him - as too dangerous. That said, I think a deal for Lee such as the one Arizona Phil was proposing is just as dangerous. So here's the pretty complicated new contract I propose the Cubs try to get Lee to sign this winter... In 2006, a guaranteed $13m, a $3.5m improvement or so on what he's owed for 2006 under the terms of his current deal. From 2007-09, a guaranteed $7m per year, with another $2m per year if he reaches 550 plate appearances, another $3m bonus for each top ten placing in NL MVP voting, another $3m bonus for each top three placing (such that a top three placing would earn him $6m in total). A $15m mutual option for 2010 versus a $3m buyout. Finally, a full no-trade clause up until the end of the 2007 season, and the right to block a trade to, say, five teams of his choice thereafter. In total, the deal could be worth anywhere between $37m/4yrs and $73m/5yrs. I did warn you it was pretty complicated. [UPDATE: Trying to build in protection against injury is somewhat superfluous because of the existence of such a thing as insurance, it now occurs to me. Duh! Given also that Lee's recent health history is as good as they come, I'd have little problem guaranteeing the money tied to plate appearances, as such taking the guaranteed money up to $43m/4yrs.] Why might Lee jump at it? Well, he can boost his 2006 salary here and now, and so start reaping the rewards of his superb 2005 right away, which he'd otherwise have to postpone until free agency. He also guarantees himself a very considerable amount of guaranteed money from 2007-09, money that he could quite easily never see if he pushes for free agency but succumbs to injury or has a terrible year in 2006. At the same time though, Lee isn't having to give up on a big pay day for the sake of immediate long-term financial security: this deal allows him to earn $15m a year every time he puts up MVP calibre numbers over a full season, which is roughly what he'd be looking at via free agency based on recent deals given to Konerko, Delgado and Thome. Neither is he completely giving up on the idea of ever seeing free agency, since the deal only ties him to the Cubs through his age 33 season. At that point, if he wanted, he could decline his half of the mutual option and try to get a another big contract on the free agent market. Finally, by signing this contract now, Lee shows loyalty to the Cubs and the city of Chicago, doesn't portray himself as a free agent mercenary, and he can book himself a nice long break in the Caribbean next winter rather than worrying about where his next home will be, where his next paycheck's coming from. Why should the Cubs jump at it? The Cubs show the same loyalty to Lee, they commit to him in advance and they offer him a no-trade clause. But the real key to this particular deal for the Cubs is that has its own built-in insurance. If Derrek Lee was for real in 2005, and Lee rattles off .300/.400/.600 seasons over the next few years, he gets paid accordingly, up to $73m/5yrs. But there's also the very realistic possibility that Lee reverts back to his old .270/.370/.500 self, that he gets injured, that he simply declines with age. Because a lot of the money in the deal is tied up in bonuses and the option, such that Lee would end up with no more than the equivalent of a $27.5m/3yr [UPDATE: $33.5m/3yr) free agent deal from, say, the Dodgers next winter if he were to go Todd Hundley on us, the Cubs can avoid a good chunk of the bad contract-ness. That's still actually better than Lee's current deal, and an awful lot of money, a bad contract still to be sure. Not that Lee's agent is likely to see things that way, maybe arguing that his client can get a much more guaranteed money if he just holds out for free agency. That though would raise the interesting contradiction that Lee trusts his ability to stay healthy and to hit for one year (long enough to get to free agency), but not for three or four. In that case, why should any team, presumably less subjectively bullish than Lee himself as to his career prospects, make him any kind of long-term big-money commitment? In other words, if Lee rejects this kind of deal on the grounds that there isn't enough guaranteed money involved, he's forsaking loyalty and earning his corn for the possibility of financially exploiting the sheer stupidity that strikes other General Managers when the free agent market gets in motion. Greed. I really don't think that that's what Lee's about, which is why I'd offer him this deal, confident that he'd like it, but if it is what he's about, he's probably not what the Cubs really need anyway. No, if that is what he's all about, maybe what we need is some non-tendered Hee Seop Choi! Well, maybe not. I rant and I rave at you these days, Jim, but credit where credit's due, great trade.
crunch 16 hours 2 min ago (view)
kolten wong rumors heating up for the cubs, too. i could live with that. giving nico hoerner 600 ab's a year sounds absolutely terrible after what little he did last year.
Cubster 18 hours 18 min ago (view)
WSCR online reporting that the Cubs are going to watch lefty Carlos Rondon pitch. They desperately need another lefty that breaks down with the regularity of my Comcast service.
crunch 18 hours 31 min ago (view)
imagine being so toxic that you go from a no-doubt 1st or 2nd year HOF'r to having to try for it in your 10th year...and then imagine doubling down on the toxicity every chance you get a chance to redeem yourself.
every time he's called out, even for minor stuff, he piles on more and then complains that people that have an issue with him are "cancelling" him for no good reason.
he deleted a slew of "those people that stormed the capital are great people" posts pre-election so he has some kind of self-awareness in that skull of his somewhere.
Cubster 19 hours 7 min ago (view)
I'm all for removing him from the ballot. His bloody sock already made it. That was enuf.
Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 38 min ago (view)
Ranting about how the elections (both his and the other clown's) were stolen.
I hope he ends up one vote short next year, just to really rub it in.
crunch 21 hours 37 min ago (view)
currently he's throwing a tantrum and demanding to be removed from the HOF ballot for 2022.
Hagsag 23 hours 39 min ago (view)
Will Schilling storm the HOF with a mob?
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
schilling denied (71.1%, 16 votes short).
some people did nazi that coming.
no one inducted this year...aram got 1% of the vote so he found more than 1 vote out there (4 votes). latroy hawkins got 2 votes for being a solid dude to other people (very friendly with the press and pretty much everyone)...sosa got 17% of the vote...
schilling/bonds/clemens are going in their last eligible class in 2022...could be a hell of a "controversial" class...but bonds/clemens need to find 50+ votes.
Sonicwind75 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Arizona is allowing fans in the stands for indoor NHL hockey games but it's too dangerous to let players following protocals; at least more so than hockey fans, to practice outside in a controlled environment. Wonder how much of that is coming from MLB ownership trying to get a late start and pro-rating player salaries. Stall and save some money until more fans are allowed to attend later in the year.
crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
few hours away from HOF announcements (6pm EST, unless leaked early).
schilling seems to be the only guy with a legit shot this year and i wouldn't be surprised to see no one get elected...
big up aramis rarmirez getting at least 1 known vote on publically shared ballots.
crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
"MLB will hold its first-ever pre-draft combine from June 20-28 in Cary, North Carolina.
The combine will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, with top draft-eligible college and high school players invited. As part of the combine, the top-88 prep players will take part in a tournament through June 26th consisting of eight games."
crunch 2 days 16 hours ago (view)
cactus league officials are requesting MLB delay spring training because of elevated COVID cases + deaths.
their summer peak was 70-80 deaths a week and they're currently at 140-160 deaths a week.
things should be trending down now that most of people that wanted to kill relatives in order to have turkey dinners in NOV/DEC seems to have peaked.
Hagsag 3 days 12 hours ago (view)
$$$$ for trump's defense fund.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 13 hours ago (view)
But they got $600 a few months back. Each! That was an unexpected windfall.
Can't wait to see us acquire a 17 year old, 16 year old, 11 year old (all in the 15-30 range of Blue Jays prospects) and one of the shitty Jays surplus OFs. Randal Grichuk jerseys will be the new hot item among Cubs fans.
crunch 3 days 13 hours ago (view)
things are a little tight, we have to be patient with the ricketts family finances.
when TD Ameritrade was fully/completely sold in october they expected to get 26 billion dollars of value on the transaction, but it only got 22 billion dollars. the massive slew of millions that didn't fully come to realization on the ricketts side of that sale stings.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 14 hours ago (view)
Trade Hendricks? Cant be true. We're "going to be competitive this year."
Sell the team, Ricketts family.