Thursday Night Open Thread

Gee, I dunno. What do you wanna talk about?


Tejada for Prior???

prior for tejeda that would be tough,but hendry has to be thinking about a blockbuster somewhere wish he would get zito and keep him

cbs sportsline is reporting rumor as cubs get tejeda and prior gos to a west coast team in multi team trade scenario.

The Cubs are really stupid. Tejada isn't THAT great, and he's 30 years old. Prior is a pitcher, and he's 24 years old. And under the Cubs control for three more years. Cubs==Idiots.

Guys, I feel that giving any starting pitching, int the top2 of Prior/Zambrano would be a mistake. The rotation is questionable enough as is. Rusch and Wood? Who knows what they'll do?

Um...look at Tejada's stats Eric..he really is that great...

I called into WGN's sports show tonight (Shawn from Utica, NY), and the guys there told me they spoke to Jim Hendry and Hendry claims Murton WILL be the Cubs' starting left fielder in 2006. That means Jones will stay in RF, and Murton isn't going to be a part of one of these deals. I do think that makes Pie the Cub most likely to be traded, as the Cubs aren't going to trade Pierre, and cannot trade Jones without him waving his no trade clause. This alters AZ Phil's speculations on what Hendry is thinking a bit. Part of the 3-way deal he was predicting was Murton going to the A's to allow Jones's inaccuarte arm to hide in LF. If Murton isn't going anywhere, and we're not going to give up Prior in a Tejada deal, it would likely mean more arms going into the West. So, Phil if you're around, what do you think it would take to get Zito from the A's in a deal that didn't include Matt Murton?

I am all up for Tejada trade if we can put together an average - above average pitching rotation. Tejada is a proven big time star and has the ability to motivate everyone around him. Last year our team looked like a bunch of lazy sheep. I really like the addition of pierre, jones and Tejada. They make things happen. They hustle and work hard. Lee is awesome but I dont see him in a leadership role and the same goes with ARam. -CL

I also asked the fellas if Hendry was considering platooning Jones, to which they replied with the whole "$15 million for a platoon player?" insight. Hopefully, that was just speculation on their part and they hadn't approached Hendry on it. If that reply was a parroting of Hendry's thinking on the subject, Jones will be in for some long afternoons against the lefties of the Central.

Mark Prior is still the next Tom Seaver! Sure he's had some setbacks, but you're giving away an ace for the next decade to get a shortstop in his 30's and who will only deliver declining numbers. Don't get me wrong, I want Miguel Tejada very very badly but I think Zambrano and Prior are the 2 "untouchables" on this team. Give up Pie (lock up Pierre) and some other young arm to get Tejada and the Cubs are in the post-season making a run at the pennant.

tejada is pretty damn great. he makes furcal looks like neifi, especially if you take out miggy's first three years in the majors, which were a really long time ago when he was young. tejada turns 30 in may, and has played in 159 games or more for 7 straight seasons. wow. great hitter, led the AL in doubles last year, OBP of 355 and SL of 525 the last two year. two silver sluggers at SS once ARod moved to 3B. it doesn't get much better. that said, i'm not positive you trade prior for him, but i think i would. if you can get bedard back (i.e. somebody who could fill in as a 3 starter this year) I would do it. you could also offer ronny cedeno in the deal if that's what it takes to get bedard, since we don't need two backup shortstops for a guy who plays 162 every year... the cubs offense simply isn't good enough, and there's a good shot that prior leaves to free agency after 2007 anyway. the cubs are probably going to have to choose between prior and zambrano when they reach free agency (they'll probably each get 5/75 if they stay healthy), and i'll take zambrano. this cubs offense is just not good enough right now. you take an enormous step up. otherwise, we're another team with a bad onbase and not enough runs. just close your eyes and picture pierre walker lee tejada ramirez jones murton barrett zambrano maddux bedard williams rusch that is one freaking badass lineup. possibly the top 1-5 this side of the yankees. rotation is not great, but good. bullpen looks to be much improved over last year. i never thought i'd say it, but I would trade prior. just remember the fact that prior AND Z won't be able to both be on this team in 2 years anyway.

You could pencil me into the #4 or #5 slot in the rotation if they would just give me a chance out of spring training!

so who would this possible third team be in a multi team trade oakland?

Hey guys! Remember me? 1989 ROY baby!! Anyway, prior for tejada? At first i dont like how it changes our SP dynamic, but looking at GL's supposed lineup if they did do it gives me a woody. pierre walker lee tejada ramirez jones murton barrett now thats some ill shit yo. Okay, back to obscurity in cubs-lore I go!

All of this Prior for Tejada talk just doesn't add up. They say that Baltimore wants too much for Tejada. The guys at WSCR say that Bedard would fill in for Prior. Hell no! Bedard doesn't have a full season AND he gives up a whole lot of runs, he is no Prior. Lets see: -Tejada and Bedard for Mark Prior, Ronny Cedeno, and Felix Pie/Hill That sucks. I think we are better off just getting another starter!

Florida Marlins have hired Mike Harkey as their new bullpen coach. ha...

What's our identity again? Pitching, Pitching, Pitching....that's what got the Cubs to be World Series threats in 2003 and 2004, but now apparently the Cubs have decided they want hitting instead? If you trade Prior you are admitting the plan failed, and you should blow the whole thing up, which is pretty stupid given that Prior is TWENTY-FOUR. This team really needs to figure out a coherent plan. Look at the Bears right now. They've got a great defense and crap offense. Now next year are they have two choices: 1) Realize their identity is defense. Attempt to improve the offense through the draft/free agency to be compentent and make sure the defense stays studly. 2) Focus so completely on offense that you inadvertently sap the strength of the defense entirely. 2 years from now you've got the offense to win that championship you were so close too when you were all defense.....only you couldn't stop the little sisters of the poor. You lose games 45-40 and Urlacher is winning Defensive Player of the year playing for the Atlanta Falcons. The Cubs appear to be sticking to 2. I swear that before 2003 they had a plan - and since Bartman tipped that ball they've been pooping all over it. Tons of young pitching in the minors, stud 1-5 going into 2004. Now squandered the minor league talent and pitching of 1,2, who the hell knows....

bedard's 27 which is older than prior, but he's still fairly young and posted a 4.0 ERA in 140 IP in the AL in a pitcher's park. no one is saying he's prior, but he certainly slides into your rotation. zambrano maddux bedard williams rusch and then when wood comes back you downgrade whoever is performing worst. it's a change i'm willing to do for the upgrade in offense. this team right now has nowhere near enough on-base or power. tejada gives you that. cedeno and prior for tejada and bedard? i say yes.

It will take more than just Cedeno and Prior... that's why the trade hasen't happended yet.

Trying to put the pieces together... I think Hendry might be trying to get Zito and Tejada in return for Prior and prospects. Given his apparent refusal to do the Prior-Tejada deal unless its Prior (and maybe Cedeno or some veterans) for Tejada and Bedard, and the rumblings that an AL West team is involved somehow, i think the Cubs might be trying to turn Bedard and prospects into Zito. This would explain the rumblings about the AL West team, would explain why Hendry is insisting on Bedard coming back in the Tejada deal, and why Hendry refuses to give Pie, or pitching prospects in return. The net trade i'm envisioning is something similar to AZ Phil's proposed trades of the last couple days: O's get: Prior + Cedeno + unknown veteran A's get: Bedard + Weurtz + Pie + Hill/Williams Cubs get: Zito + Tejada I'm just speculating here, but is this a possibility? We give up Prior and prospects for Zito and Tejada? Remember, i'm not saying this is going to happen, i'm just taking a guess at what Hendry is trying to do.

I totally agree with Bogey regarding Tejada #203: "...Isn't it a little strange that his numbers took a nose dive after Palmeroid got busted?..." I think that everyone should go back and read that post before diving back into contracts and VORPs. I've refrained from mentioning the subject of juicing because everyone else here does, but I have to say that I think that 2006 will be a very interesting year for big name/big number players. Obviously I have no proof at all, but does anyone else here think that maybe Hendry wants to see what happens with the new testing rules in place before he makes a big move? Again, no proof at all, but maybe this is why Nomar is gone and we didnt even take a look at Damon. Maybe thats why he wants to trade Walker. Maybe.

"A's get: Bedard + Weurtz + Pie + Hill/Williams" I dont think it would take all of them; Bedard, Weurtz, and Hill would do it (who knows?)

If Bedard, Hill, and Weurtz do it, all the better. Then we get to keep Pie. Would Weurtz, Pie, and Bedard do it? I'd rather keep Hill for the future over Pie, given the way our OF and SP contracts are set up for the next few years...

hey Rokfish, Try to ignore the Trolls.

Rokfish, I'd refer you to the trades AZ Phil was speculating Hendry has been working on. They're posted in previous threads, as well as on the main TCR page last night, as one of Ruz's posts. Check there for the logic.

If bedard weurtz and hill do it then what about williams weurtz and hill for zito. Keep prior and have a staff of Z Prior Zito Wood Maddux

"I called into WGN's sports show tonight (Shawn from Utica, NY), and the guys there told me they spoke to Jim Hendry and Hendry claims Murton WILL be the Cubs' starting left fielder in 2006." Oh, well the guys on WGN's sports show said it. It has to be true. Um - what are they going to say? That the Trib brass called them up to tell them about potential deals in the works? Come on... If there is a deal out there to improve the team and put it somewhere close to contending, they'd trade Murton. This is P O S T U R I N G - plain and simple.

I'm not a fan of Tejada for Prior... the upgrade from Ronny to Tejada would be less than the downgrade from Prior to our new #5, and if Wood doesn't stay healthy we could have some serious problems in the rotation. I say keep Prior, give Ronny the starting job... if we need anything it's a better Right Fielder.

I don't know if this will change anybody's mind on this but I have been hearing a rumor that Prior WILL not re-sign here because he does not like Hendry or Baker. I dont know if its true or not but I thought I would throw it out there.

Booooooooooooooo! It was funny! I wasn't going to respond or nothing. I even showed my wife!

Chifan, If Prior came out in the press and said that, then I would take just about anyone off your list you posted earlier. But short of that, I want him on our team.

#18--Green Lantern-- this-- zambrano maddux bedard williams rusch --sucks. I own a "I heart Greg Maddux" tshirt circa 1990 too, but let's be honest, #2? and since when (whoever said it) does a 4 ERA in a AL pitchers' park make you worth a damn? williams is streaky, rusch is an innings eater at best, nothing more. Without Prior, you're praying for Kerry's health (again) which, I am too, but we can't make it the only option. JH needs to stick to his original reasoning when he said he wouldn't trade Prior or Zambrano--because it'd be stupid, in that it hurts the team

Jose--#21--absolutely. It is freaking amazing that tejada's nos. dropped off exactly at that time. Now, I agree with the train of thought that it was a distraction, but if there was no misconduct, would it really be that much of a distraction? I think tejada was feeling the heat a little close to home, plain and simple. That, combined with his age? Anything more than a few prospects and we're getting robbed dealing for tejada, esp if we pick up all 12m per

Random thoughts: My biggest fear, which I posted in another thread, is letting prior/Z or both go after this year by not paying them. I'm really afraid that's what's going to happen, but I still think keeping them both is in order for this year, unless the trib flat out tells JH they won't pony up the $$ for both after this year Ruz--great article on Jones. Really, guys, JH could have done a helluva lot worse. I'm not sure I like the 3 yrs. with Pie on the horizon, but I think that's what it took to sign him, so be it. I like murton-pierre-jones, for now, you trade off whichever the weak link is if/when Pie is ready. Speaking of Pie, I read something that said one of the minors coaches said something to the effect of "he could become a 30+hr guy batting down in the order" as opposed to a 10-15 hr leadoff man. What other failed cubbie experiment does this sound like? I really want the cubs to get a starting catcher, not a 1B with a half-ass bat who crouches behind the plate. that said, the day the cubs win the NL again, if barrett's back there I'll sing his praises and eat crow all the way to the bar Looked at murton's minor league nos. earlier, he really does look like the real deal at the plate, doesn't he? I guess only time will tell

I seriously think right now I'd be done with this team. I've been obsessed since 1982. I remember too well Maddux fiasco in '92. This reeeeeks of Hendry desperation, and I've defended all of his moves! I will turn on him on this one however. He can't be that stupid. I e-mailed a friend who is a national baseball writer and he said they won't trade Prior and to not believe the hype. I pray he is right I don't want to turn in my Cubs hat.

also wanted to say thanks to Ruz for the arm clarification on jacque, I was getting really confused/ticked trying to figure out what this guy's arm was like, reports seem to range from "rag" to "gun" and everything in between

the big problem with a lot of these trade scenerios...though not all of some of them require the payroll to be around 110-120m+. while its feasable the payroll may be 100-110...some of these proposals being thrown out there are hitting right on that 120 mark. i dunno if i'd be that confident on spending. yeah, the trib isnt in the best financial shape, but no the money spent on the cubs isnt that big of a factor...still, there's not been much indication this is gonna be more than a 100-110m team. plus you gotta factor in having a couple million left for possible a/s break flexibility unless the parent owners have already made it clean what the rules of money are there... get my rumor contact #s straight... zito won the cy in 02, did that bump his contract incentive for 06 to 8.25m or is it 7.2?

Zito's contract was guaranteed on 8/25/05 for $7.9 million. Atleast that is what the handy dandy salary site says.

Chad - that was me that deleted a series of comments, including your response to the troll. I personally thought it was funny and that you handled it well, but I also didn't want us encouraging/antagonizing a troll - deprive them of their oxygen, basically. So I deleted all posts related to that issue. Thanks again for being cool.

Tony, 'zambrano maddux bedard williams rusch' Isn't too good, I agree. Pierre Jones Lee Tejada Ramirez Walker Barrett Murton Zambrano Makes up for it though. With the bullpen which should be top 4 or so in the league, that's an 85 win team. Then the question becomes: Does Wood give us 2 more wins, or 10 more wins? Prior, Cedeno, Hill, Some other minor leaguer for Bedard and Tejada - I would do that. I wouldn't give up Prior, Cedeno and Pie though- that's too much of the future.

baltimore would have to get tejada's production back least some chunk of it...especially if theyre giving up a starter they cant afford to give up only to upgrade his loss. they lose a lot of power/rbi and lose a pitcher for a more expensive upgrade. baltimore doesnt just need 1 good pitcher to complete their rotation...especially at the expense of losing one. baltimore also cant really afford to lose the 30+hr/30-40doubles production tejada brings without replacing a chunk of it at least.

#7 of 42: By shawndgoldman (December 22, 2005 08:23 PM) I called into WGN's sports show tonight (Shawn from Utica, NY), and the guys there told me they spoke to Jim Hendry and Hendry claims Murton WILL be the Cubs' starting left fielder in 2006. That means Jones will stay in RF, and Murton isn't going to be a part of one of these deals. I do think that makes Pie the Cub most likely to be traded, as the Cubs aren't going to trade Pierre, and cannot trade Jones without him waving his no trade clause. This alters AZ Phil's speculations on what Hendry is thinking a bit. Part of the 3-way deal he was predicting was Murton going to the A's to allow Jones's inaccuarte arm to hide in LF. If Murton isn't going anywhere, and we're not going to give up Prior in a Tejada deal, it would likely mean more arms going into the West. So, Phil if you're around, what do you think it would take to get Zito from the A's in a deal that didn't include Matt Murton? -- SHAWN: I can't see the A's trading Barry Zito to the Cubs unless Matt Murton is included. That's why I thought the Jacque Jones signing would make sense IF the Cubs were to subsequently acquire a stud middle-of-the-order run-producing RF (Bobby Abreu) and move Jones to LF. If that happened, and with Jacque Jones signed for three years and Juan Pierre likely to get a contract extension as well, Murton would certainly be expendale and available, and so, too, would Felix Pie. I'm basing the Zito for Murton, Hill, and Wuertz scerario ONLY on what Billy Beans wanted and got back a year ago for Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder (one auto-renewal starting pitcher, one auto-renewal reliever, and one auto-renewal position player with Moneyball-type qualities), and Pie just does NOT fit into the Billy Beane directory. But Matt Murton does. And how, he does! There may not be a better example (just as good, maybe, but not better) of a Billy Beane-type major league-ready position-player (with three years left of auto-renewal!) than Matt Murton. And Rich Hill wouldn't HAVE to be the starting pitcher in the deal, but the media reports out of the Winter Meetings were that a number of GMs asked Hendry about Hill, and Hill would be a natural LHP starter replacement for Zito, although Jerome Williams or Angel Guzman could be the other possibilities (A's choice). Wuertz is probably the best of the auto-renewal Cubs relief pitchers, although Roberto Novoa would be available instead of Wuertz if the A's prefer. I believe the Cubs should be able to acquire Barry Zito for Murton, R. Hill (or J. Wiliams or A. Guzman), and Wuertz (or Novoa). And then the only question is, would the Philliies take back Zito (without a "pre-nup" contract extension), Jay Payton (I am presuming he would be more than available after Milton Bradley and Matt Murton are added to the A's OF mix, and if so, he would play RF for the Phils in 2006), and Felix Pie (who would presumably replace Payton in RF in 2007). The thing about the Tejada trade talk that was mentioned in the media yesterday (and I had forgotten about this) is that Peter Angelos won't agree to acquire a player who will be a FA after the next season unless the player agrees to a contract extention PRIOR TO the deal. That's how Derrek Lee fell into the Cubs lap rwo years ago... the Orioles were all set to acquire D-Lee from Florida, but Lee wouldn't agree to a contract extention PRIOR TO THE TRADE, so the deal fell through, to the Cubs benefit (AKA "dumb luck"). So I can't see the Orioles taking Zito back in a deal for Tejada, because Zito will be a FA after next season. IF the Cubs can make the deal for Zito and Payton, and then acquire Tejada for Prior, Jerry Hairston, Jr, and Corey Patterson (I would NOT trade Cedeno or Pie if Prior is in the deal), I could probably live with that, but I would prefer to get Abreu for Zito, Payton, and Pie IF that is an option. But I do NOT want to trade Prior unless Abreu is absolutely, positively unavailable and the Orioles won't trade Tejada for Zito. So if it's Tejada for Prior, Hairston, and Patterson, then Zito replaces Prior in the Cubs starting rotation, Tejada plays SS and hits 4th, Aramis Ramirez hits 5th, Payton plays RF (with Pie hopefully ready in 2007) and hits 6th versus LHP and 7th versus RHP, and Jones moves to LF (where he belongs) and hits 6th versus RHP and 7th versus LHP. Ronny Cedeno would play 2B and hit 2nd behind Pierre (with Eric Patterson another possible 2B and #2 hitter of the 2007+ future), and Neifi would be the back-up middle IF. As far as 2006 Cubs payroll is concerned, the Cubs would probably "break even" (payroll-wise) trading Prior, Hairston, and Patterson (likely to make about $10m comboined after arbitration) for Tejada ($10m 2006 salary to be paid by the Cubs, with the Orioles responsible for Tejada's remaining pro-rated signing bonus payments of $2m in 2006, $2m in 2010, and $2m in 2011), but the Cubs would add $7.9m with Zito and another $4m with Payton, for a total of about $12m added to the Cubs payroll. Part of that $12m ($2.5m) would be recovered by trading Todd Walker for an auto-renewal prosprect, so that the final result would be an additional $10m (approximately) added to the Cubs 2006 payroll (same thing would happen--$10m added to the Cubs 2006 payroll--if the Cubs were to add Bobby Abreu in the "three-way" with Philly & Oakland). The Cubs will probably get back $23.5m ($27.5m if you add Jay Payton to the list) after the 2006 season (when Maddux, Wood, Blanco, Williamson, and Mabry leave), and that $23.5m could be used to lock-up Zito for another four of five years (at probably about $5m above his 2006 salary), give contract extensions to D-Lee (probably about $4m above his 2006 salary), Zambrano (probably about $6m above his likely 2006 salary), and Pierre (probably about $1.5m above his likely 2006 salary), and salary arbitration for Jerome Williams (about $2m above his likely 2006 auto-renewal salary), Will Ohman (probably $1.5m over his 2006 salary), and either Novoa or Wuertz (probably $1.5m above his 2006 salary), with enough left-over for the Barrett, J. Jones, and Eyre automatic 2007 salary escalators (about $1m per player).

I would trade Z before Prior. Sounds crazy I know, and I absolutely love the guy. But, his stock is high and the number of innings he's thrown makes me think he's due for a major injury this year. Either that, or he's going to have a monster career. I know its a risk, but it seems like you could get more from him than Prior because he has been less hurt. Just like stocks, sell high. I don't see Zambrano getting any higher than he currently is and Prior I hope will keep getting better. If we don't believe that to be true, then yes, trade Prior instead.

If everything is true on the trade talks between Baltimore and the Cubs, with the Cubs giving up Prior and possibly Pie for Tejada and Bedard, this trade would put the Cubs on top of the rest of the NL Central to win the division. The Cubs back down at giving up Pie, but getting Bedard in return, and Tejada for Prior. The Cubs got a steal.........Make the trade Jim Hendry

I still think this largely comes down to signability. Prior is a SoCal kid. He grew up there. He went to college there. He is not a midwesterner, a chicago guy, nor does he really have any attachment to this city/team. You don't see/hear him doing much to be a part of this community. I think management is realizing that they are not going to get a hometown discount, and they will be competing with the most wealthy of franchises in just 2 short years, and be at a disadvantage when competing against any team on the West Coast, particularly the Angels and Dodgers. Trading Prior is probably more about getting stuff for him than about making the team better. I'd say the deal itself is a wash, +/- 10% on the field. The big difference is getting Tejada signed relatively cheaply for 4 more years vs having Prior cheap for 2 years. Here's my fear...we make the deal, and then don't go out there and ever get front line pitching (requires about 5 years and 12+mm per), our farm system doesn't deliver on its promise and worse yet, when Zambrano becomes a FA, he gets mega-bucks in a 6 year deal that we are unwilling to match, so he's off to NYY/NYM/BOS/LA/LAA or worse yet HOU. We needed to be active in the FA market. We needed to be active last year. Now is not the time to make major moves as the pickings are slim and expensive.

Re #43, Excellent post, AZ Phil. Thanks for presenting this in a very understandable way, as well. X, I agree, it does come down to a signability issue. And since none of us (presumably) have one-on-one interaction with Prior, we have no choice but to defer to the Cub brass on that call. This is one area where the "College Coach/Scout" side of Hendry may be an asset -- he is not aloof and insular, he knows his players and coaches, communicates with them, feels them out. A college coach learns early on whether a recruit is interested. But even if you know Prior is leaving in two years, it is a tough call. And certainly not Plan A. Plan A probably was to sign Furcal and field an OF of Murton, someone like Mench in RF, and someone like Preston Wilson in CF (No. 7 hitter). This Plan B requires acquiring a top-flight SP to replace Prior and that is a difficult trick.

I agree with X. The thing that some folks are overlooking is that it is questionable at best whether Prior will sign with us after this coming season. And I would say that is even truer now that it has been made public that the Cubs do not consider Mark and untouchable. Face it guys: Prior plans on leaving the Cubs if the Cubs do not trade him first. Further, yeah, Mark has had some bad luck with injuries but, that said, even when he has been "healthy," has he ever been as consistently dominant as he was in 2003? I would say not. I could be wrong but his fast ball does not seem as fast anymore, maybe just a few miles an hour slower, but those are important miles per hour. And remember the way his fast balls would just explode as they reached the batter in 2003? Have we really seen that since then? I don't believe so. I say trade Prior if we can get some decent value in return. Mark just seems like a guy who cannot wait to get out of here. All that said, Gammons and Phillips discussed the possible trade this morning on ESPN News during the 6 a.m. hour. Gammons said a Prior-Tejada et al trade is very unlikely because the Orioles are not gonna give up Bedard as a part of the deal. Gammons also said that he thinks the talk of a three or four team deal is just too complicated to ever be pulled off. Oh, and they also slammed Neifi. One of them said that the Orioles would need a shortstop and the Neifi would not fill the bill.

X, The stars are aligned. I agree with your take that overall the Prior/Tejada deal is an over/under of 10%...but that 10% is 16 games either way of last years result, when we finished 21 games back. Forget the wild card, let's win the damn division the right way. Maybe the Irish coffee is kicking in...FINALLY THANK THE LORD.....but MAYBE Hendry and Baker know somethign about Wood that none ofr you supposed insiders know. What if: He's already throwing........and he's ahead of schedule.......and he WILL be in the opening day lineup.......AND he really has less risk of recurring injury than Prior based on the surgery success and his rehab thus far. What if: Like someone else said Prior's arm is permanently damaged from that liner.....I still hear rumors there is permanent nerve damage. THEN?????? Harry Caray don't hit me with a lightning bolt.......would it make a LITTLE sesne to give up Prior? Nahhhh...I was f--king with you all. Tejada is still one of those crazy Caribbean players who is all about his own stats. We had one of thsoe for many years...a Sammy Somebody.....and we're close to having a REAL TEAM back on the field. The SOX won last year with some marginal position players...even Konerko.....yet their pitching dominates. Always has, always will. Hendry.......keep loading up the pitchers if you have to make some trades....your postion players are fine...for now...and you have Pie in the wings waiting if Jones fails. Drip, drip, drip. Joey

For what it's worth, Carlos Zambrano will be eligible for free-agency after 2007, while Mark Prior won't be eligible to be a FA until after 2008, so if the Cubs can't or won't sign either of them to a long-term deal before they become free-agents, the Cubs do "control" Prior for one more year than they do Zambrano.

but hendry has to be thinking about a blockbuster somewhere Or Hendry is an "addition by subtraction" kinda guy? Well we know he was last season. And as many TCR reporters point out the Cardinals and Astros lost so much this year (just like last year) and they certainly are 50-70 games worse than last we obviously are the declared preseason favorites. I'd trade Aramis Ramirez before I trade Prior or Z....Either you ram up the offense OR you make the pitching staff the BEST in all of baseball--NO questions asked. Z and Prior are a good Ace and number 3 starter. We have no number 2 and 4. Maddux has seen his best days..Wood will end up in the bullpen and his stock will diminish greatly...Rusche is a very good 5th starter...Williams probably a 5 too. So I see Williams being trade bait..we have to get a great number 2 and 3 starter (I wonder if Clemens would want to make history and be the pitcher who finally got the Cubs to the WS and won it for them??)... If you don't ram up the offense then starting pitching MUST be rammed up to the max. You don't build up your offense by trading a guy like Prior or Z. You do it with prospects--taking a salary dump (Manny Ramirez)....or signing a top notch free agent (not many on the market this year). I'd Ramirez and prospects for a good number 2 or 3 starter and a workable 3rd baseman. Then I'd offer Roger Rocket a 1 year 20 million dollar contract. Going to need that type pitching staff with this offense--THEN I'd be willing to say we have the pitching to compete and at least get us to the wild card--and it's a crap shoot from there. Then at the trade deadline--I'd make the big move for some killer offense from teams out of the race.

Levine is saying the trade on the table now is Prior, Hill, and Cpat for Tejada and Bedard. I think we would have to throw Cedeno in it as BAL will need a SS. either that or sub Bedard for either Cabrerra, Penn, Maine, or Loewen and then go sign Weaver.

Or how about this... Forget Tejada, and forget Abreu. Just make the Zito trade (Murton, Hill, and Wuertz for Zito and a 4th player like Brandon Sing, for Jay Payton). Then keep Zito, and either keep Payton to play RF (with Jacque Jones moving to LF and with Felix Pie hopefully ready to replace Payton in RF in 2007), or package Payton and Jerome Williams in a deal for a different (better) RF option (perhaps Aubrey Huff), with Pie hopefully ready to replace Huff in RF in 2006 (Huff is a FA after 2006). How's THIS for a 2006 starting rotation and bullpen? 1. Zambrano 2. Zito 3. Prior 4. Wood (if healthy) 5. Maddux 6. Rusch (in rotation if if Wood not OK to pitch) EXTRA - J. Williams (optioned to AAA if not traded) EXTRA - A. Guzman (optioned to AAA) EXTRA - Ryu (optioned to AAA) BULLPEN: 1. Dempster (Closer) 2. Howry (8th inning set-up) 3. Eyre (8th inning set-up) 4. Williamson (7th-8th inning) 5. Ohman (LOOGY) 6. Wuertz or Novoa (RHP middle relief) 7. Rusch (if not needed in rotation) EXTRA - Wellemeyer (could be in bullpen while Rusch is in the rotation) NOTE: And if Kerry Wood can't handle the demands of the starting rotation?... move him to the bullpen (closer or 8th inning set-up), and keep Rusch in the starting rotation. Then who cares if the starters go only 5 or 6 innings? The bullpen would be both ultra-deep AND rock-solid.

"The stars are aligned. I agree with your take that overall the Prior/Tejada deal is an over/under of 10%...but that 10% is 16 games either way of last years result, when we finished 21 games back. Forget the wild card, let's win the damn division the right way." Nope Joey, 10% of ONE PLAYER is not 16 games. "What if" I agree Joey...I totally agree. What If?

Levine is saying that trade is up to approval of Angelos which I assume means Hendry and Flanagan have agreed to it.

AZ Phil, Thanks for the contractual details of the trades you were speculating on! This is the kind of analysis i'm just not knowledgeable enough to do at the present. I did understand that Murton is more of a moneyball-type than Pie is - i was trying to conjure up a Murton-less deal based on what the WGN guys told me of their conversations with Hendry. What i didn't realize was how Beane structured his other deals around contractual status. I do think you're onto something, and that if the Cubs do trade Prior, they're going to try to get Zito somehow. And even if they don't, i'd still love to see them add Zito to the rotation. The best case rotation, with Wood and Zito in it, is simply awesome! I think we would win the division with those arms, even if we didn't acquire another bat for the middle of the lineup. And even if we don't acquire one this off-season, we could still try to trade for one mid-season before the trade deadline.

Um, #53 - I believe that Todd W. is gone... didn't he get traded for a PTBNL? I don't see trading Prior + Cedeno + Korey + MORE for Tejada. I just don't think the team gets better. If Hendry is certain that Prior won't resign in two years for what the Cubs think is a realistic contract, then they should move him to Oakland for Zito and two good prospects and be done with it. Adding Tejada and deleting Prior does not get this team to 86-87 wins.

#57 of 57: By Nick (December 23, 2005 08:06 AM) Um, #53 - I believe that Todd W. is gone... didn't he get traded for a PTBNL? --- NICK: Todd Wellemeyer (who is out of minor league options) is still around, and REPORTEDLY Hendry recently told the Rockies (who have supposedly been hot after Welly since last Summer) that he is not available right now. Jon Leicester (to Texas) and Jermaine Van Buren (to Boston) got traded for PTBNLs, though.

Hey Joey, I just had a thought... UCONN is playing Morehead State tonight. Where exactly is the state of More Head? Cuz I have been in No Head State for a while (wifey is mad at me for not taking out the trash) and I'd love to get back to More Head State. Any advice?

Re #53 AZ Phil, I had also thought about "simply keeping Zito" when you first started discussing these scenarios. But if that A's deal is out there, why wouldn't Hendry simply pull the trigger on it first? It increases Hendry's bargaining strength with the Orioles regarding Tejada to have Zito in the fold. This tells me that the "Zito side" of this scenario must be tied up with the "Tejada side" somehow -- perhaps Rich Hill is being pursued by both sides, or perhaps Payton and Gibbons. Today's Baltimore Sun story discusses a linkage. The story also mentions that despite his public recantation, Tejada wants a trade: "The Orioles and Cubs have been in discussions for several weeks and have even gotten several teams involved in the trade talks. According to two industry sources, there was some preliminary discussion between the Orioles, Cubs and Oakland Athletics on a three-way deal that included Tejada, Bedard, Prior and Oakland ace Barry Zito among others heading to new homes. Prior and Zito were the centerpieces of the package coming to the Orioles in the early talks. But at this point, the A's asking price for Zito appears to be sky-high, and the Orioles wouldn't be interested in obtaining the left-hander in a deal unless they can sign him - this is his contract year - to a long-term deal and that appears unlikely. The Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels also reportedly have interest in Tejada, though to this point, none has come close to matching the Orioles' asking price. The Orioles have no interest in trading Tejada within the division to the Red Sox, but it is not impossible, according to a team source, that the club could get Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez in a three- or four-team deal without trading Tejada to Boston. The Orioles are interested in White Sox right-hander Jon Garland, who is a free agent after this season, and had some talks with Chicago last week in a deal that didn't include Tejada, according to industry sources. However, the White Sox wanted Bedard, instead of pitching prospects in the deal, and the Orioles balked. Despite telling several teammates, including Brian Roberts and Ramon Hernandez, that his public demand for a "change of scenery" earlier this month was said out of frustration and he didn't want to leave Baltimore, Tejada's representation has told the Orioles recently that the former MVP still wants a trade. The Orioles clearly want to keep the shortstop but seem to be at least willing to deal him if the price is right. However as of now, it appears that Tejada will remain an Oriole at least through Christmas."

do think you're onto something, and that if the Cubs do trade Prior, they're going to try to get Zito somehow I agree with post 60....why wouldn't Hendry get Zito first and then have the extra starter to dangle in front of teams face as a bargaining chip. The team would be bargaining from a position of strength rather than weakness. Weakness= Prior, Cedeno and Patterson and more for Tejada Strength = Prior (or Zito) for Tejada straight up. I don't want to see Prior traded. I think he does have more value on the club than any value he could bring through a trade. However trading him plus 3 other players to get Tejada doesn't make any sense at all. Yet I presume Hendry would try to get Zito after he gets a Prior for Tejada deal done. I haven't seen much about Hendry lately that I do like. Kenny Williams has cleaned his clock the past year and again this offseason. Hendry is probably making his considerations with the threat of dismissal hanging over his head--and that is NEVER a good thing.

Why not bring Pie up this year?? Hasn't Pie been the first and foremost mentioned player on the Cubs prospect list for a few years now? If so then why did Murton get called up last year? We saw what Murton did--and hopefully he will continue on a very positive way as a Cub. Why not let Pie come up? How many years does Pie need at the minor league level? I hope the Cubs get nowhere with Tejada. They have very little offense with the team they have and MUST hope for a lot of games in which they win with 2-4 runs scored. To do that they need a KICKASS starting pitching staff. They already have Prior and Zambrano and I believe they will stick with Maddux as a number 5 starter. I'd trade Rusch, Williams and move Wood to the bullpen. I'd try to trade for a Zito and Garland and sign a Kevin Millwood.... Get a rotation of Zambrano, Prior, Zito, Millwood and Maddux....I think that would be as good as it gets. I think Pierre, Lee, Ramirez, Barrett will provide a good enough amount of offense with this pitching staff. I don't think they will with the pitching staff as it stands now.

DC TOM: The one thing we don't know is what Hendry's "hard" payroll limit is, the absolute maximum he can spend. As things stand right now, I figure he is right at about exactly $100m in 2006 payroll (and I am including what I think are the likely final arbitration figures for Zambrano, Pierre, Prior, Patterson, Hairston, and Ohman). So if his "hard" limit is $105m (let's say), he could afford to add Tejada ($10m) by trading Prior (probably will make about $4.5m in 2006) and Patterson (probably will make about $2.5m in 2006) and still have $2m left-over, but that wouldn't be enough to pay Zito $7.9m in 2006. The $2m WOULD be enough to pay for Bedard (who will probably get about $3.5m in arbitration) IF the Cubs trade either Walker ($2.5m in 2006) or Hairston (probably will make about $2.5m in 2006), with $1m left-over for a 4th OF (which IS a necessity). If Hendry's "hard" payroll limit is $110m, however, then he SHOULD be able to acquire both Tejada AND Zito, although he still would come up $6m short if he needed to pay Jay Payton $4m to play RF (presuming he would have to trade Murton to get Zito), or almost $9m short if he wanted to acquire Aubrey Huff. Hendry could afford Tejada, Zito, and Payton (or even Huff) IF his "hard" limit is $110m, and the A's take back Glendon Rusch (as you propsed yesterday) instead of Brandon Sing for Payton, and IF the Cubs can trade both Walker AND Hairston. But that would suppose that Ronny Cedeno does not have to be included in a deal for Tejada, and I would find it hard to believe that Cedeno would NOT have to be included in such a deal. The bottom line is, Prior, C-Pat, Walker, Hairston, and Rusch will probably be making about $15m (combined) in 2006, so evenif they trade all five, the Cubs cannot take on more than $20m in payroll (which would pay for Tejada and Zito with only $2m left-over to sign both a RF and a 4th OF) if the "hard" limit is $105m, or, $25m (which would pay the salaries of Tejada, Zito, and Payton, with $3m left-over for a 4th OF plus either Walker or Hairston, or pay the salaries of Tejada, Zito, and Huff, with nothing left-over) if the "hard" limit is $110m.

I think Hendry has thought about trading Prior, but I really don't think that's his intention in these "talks". What I would put money on, would be that Jim is asking the question rhetorically to the Oriole's GM. He's guaging what their needs or demands are for Tejada. He will then look elsewhere for a 3rd or 4th partner, that has a Prior-level trading chip that would be willing to trade away for prospects, or something the 4th partner has to offer if said 4th would take prospects. I think the whole thing is a longshot, but I don't think it's impossible. Getting Nomar was a longshot, but it happened. I think the Expos and Twins were the 3rd and 4th players in that deal. I don't think Prior for Tejada is really on the table at all, but it sure grabs your attention and it's certainly selling a lot of newpapers right now.

#24 of 24: By Tony (December 23, 2005 09:53 AM) so you're trying to have the same conv on two threads too, huh? I'm really starting to like the 'concentrate on Zito' idea. I'm not sure it'll work, but any combination of Z Prior Zito Wood Maddux Rusch Williams (preferably the top 5) sounds like a division winner waiting to happen to me, and that's with the lineup as it stands right now today _________________________________________________ This'd be so much easier if you guys stuck to one thread. And cubfan, they don't want another cpat, so they don't want to rush pie, also want to make sure his ankle is fully healed and he's 100%, they'd probably bring him up if they had to at the break

I'd just like to say, a rotation of Zambrano Zito Prior Wood Maddux actually excites me, and really does look like a winner. Hell, even Zambrano Zito Prior Maddux Rusch still has us competing at the break, or whenever the hell Kerry comes back. I don't know about you all, but I'm really trying to convince myself that shoulder was really Kerry's problem, and that it's fixed now, and I like Doc Kremchek's record...

If the Cubs trade Prior or Z, I think I can officially say I'm done with the Cubs, and Wood to a lesser extent just because I'm a bit bias towards him, but would certainly understand the logic.

alright #59 was completely inappropriate but damn funny....

Levine is saying the trade on the table now is Prior, Hill, and Cpat for Tejada and Bedard. I think we would have to throw Cedeno in it as BAL will need a SS. either that or sub Bedard for either Cabrerra, Penn, Maine, or Loewen and then go sign Weaver. Yeah Levine's been nailing them on the head this off-season.... I thought the O's had no interest in Korey whatsoever, unless they have a plan to flip him. And what's the point of acquiring Bedard again? He's not that good and injury-prone.....hope Levine is wrong again on this one.

Yeah, I'm not really buying that one. I could see the multi team thing, JH has been part of 3-ways before... ... Nothing? Damn.

Zito, Zito Sounds a lot like Cubs Win, Cubs Win Let's start that one, shall we? 'Cubs GM Jim Hendry said today, "I really think, obviously, with (Matt) Murton in left and (Ronny) Cedeno at short, the lineup obviously looks pretty good. I obviously want to focus on that one last solid, top quality starter, and Oakland's (Barry) Zito is obviously the guy."'

#46 "I still think this largely comes down to signability. Prior is a SoCal kid. He grew up there. He went to college there. He is not a midwesterner, a chicago guy, nor does he really have any attachment to this city/team. You don't see/hear him doing much to be a part of this community. I think management is realizing that they are not going to get a hometown discount, and they will be competing with the most wealthy of franchises in just 2 short years, and be at a disadvantage when competing against any team on the West Coast, particularly the Angels and Dodgers." X that's a good point, Prior probably will look to move back closer to home around SD..though the Padres have shown no signs of breaking the bank for any player, I can see Prior replacing B.Colon in ANA in two years, but I still think we need more in return than a most likely roids enhanced M.Tejada or an aging and declining Abreu in return for a #1 quality pitcher. Without Prior in the rotation in '06 than we don't challenge until '07 at the earliest...well maybe if Zito would stay in the Cubs rotation this year..

"a most likely roids enhanced M.Tejada or an aging and declining Abreu" I think you are being a bit harsh on both of them. If you use that standard, Prior too is "aging". After all, if he wasn't aging, he'd be dead, right? Abreu is still only 31, not old at all. And as far as declining, His 3 year moving average is not really declinging. His speed doesn't seem to be declining. His production really doesn't seem to be declining. I see a year that wasn't his best, but doesn't really show enough to be considered "aging and declining". As far as Tejada goes, again it seems a bit harsh to me that he is "most likely roids enhanced". Remember there were the same statements about Prior. We know he was clean last year and he hit .305/.350/.515 on a team where he had almost no protection behind him in the order. I just think you are bashing two very good baseball players unfairly. I'm not sure if I'd trade a possibly steroid induced and regularly injury prone (see how unfair that is?) Mark Prior for Tejada or Abreu. But I certainly would hear out all offers objectively. And bashing guys like Tejada and Abreu doesn't seem objective to me. Bash bad players. Bash questionable players. Don't bash perenial all-stars.

I think management is realizing that they are not going to get a hometown discount, and they will be competing with the most wealthy of franchises in just 2 short years Is Boras Prior's agent? Either way, don't bother competing. Let him pitch the next 2-3 years, hopefully healthy and dominating. And if he proves to be the dominant stud that we hope and expect, then he'll likely be worth whatever ridiculous demands he'll be asking for at the time.

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  • Hagsag 1 hour 24 min ago (view)

    I see that Dillon Maples hasn't pitched yet. Is he injured or spending time in the lab?


  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 43 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of 26-year old RHRP Jonathan de Marte from Quebec (Frontier League) and he has been assigned to AZL Cubs Blue.

    He is the closer for Team Israel and has no previous experience in affiliated ball.

    He was a NDFA out of the U. of Richmond in 2017 and has been playing independent ball for the past three seasons in the Atlantic League and Can-Am League as well as winter ball in Australia this past winter. 


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 35 min ago (view)

    DJL: Nothing from Sunday or Monday. 


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 35 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: Mark Zagunis was sent outright to the minors last September, and because he did not have the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted he remains under club control through the 2020 season, and so he is signed to a minor league contract that expires at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the 2020 World Series. 


  • Wrigley Rat 11 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Thank you AZ Phil! Does that mean he's been signed to a minor league contract, then? Because he's out of options.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 44 sec ago (view)

    I love these scouting reports. Thanks Phil!

    You wouldn't happen to have this info for the road games Sun and Mon?


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 11 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: Mark Zagunis is assigned to AAA Iowa but he did not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training. He is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 World Series if he is not added back to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster) in the meantime. 


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Most of the pitchers who threw today pitched Saturday night, so not a lot of new pitch/velo info. 

    Jon Lester:  
    FB: 86-89
    SL: 85 
    CH: 84
    CV: 70-74 
    NOTES: First Cactus League game outing of 2020 for Lester... looked uncomfortable on the mound and even when he was warming up in the bullpen before the game... stuff and command were not sharp... hopefully Lester has at least one good year left in him...  


  • Wrigley Rat 12 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Whatever happened to Mark Zagunis? I thought we still held his rights, but he was just out of options? Haven't heard anything about him in awhile & I think he would make a good platoon partner with Schwarber.


  • crunch 13 hours 50 min ago (view)

    3h 43m game today.

    at least i've seen a lot of "i need to hop on baseball reference" cubs minor leaguers and new hires in the past 2 days.

    rex brothers looked good again.


  • crunch 15 hours 48 min ago (view)

    1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.

    yesterday's game was 3h 45m.


  • crunch 17 hours 6 min ago (view)

    lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.

    no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while.  i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid.  it's probably a safer range.

    his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop.  i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.


  • Rob Richardson 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    He hit 20+ HR only once and that was four years ago. He has a career OBP of 312, a career SLG of 392, and is his SS defense really that special anymore?


  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    kinda crazy a.russell is still a free agent.

    he's not the first and probably not the last domestic abuser to "serve his time" and find contracts to sign.  there's a 20HR guy who plays great D at SS sitting out there while spring training is going down without him.

    i wonder how much he's demanding (if that's an issue at all) vs teams that want no part of him...


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!