TCR Friday Notes

I'll make this brief and please continute to use the "Blue Christmas?" thread for the Prior/Tejada trade talks. - The Jones signing does nothing for me, just like every other move the Cubs made this off-season beyond maybe Juan Pierre. As has been mentioned numerous times, if this is piece #1 of a right field platoon where the short end of the platoon is filled by Craig Wilson, Kevin Mench or some other masher of lefties, then it's brilliant. But Jones isn't going to sign with a team that is going to platoon him, Dusty will doubtfully platoon him and Hendry will most likely not provide a platoon partner. So barring further manuevers, this is another ho-hum move by the Cubs this off-season, that does very little if anything to make them better for next season. - Troy Glaus has been rumored to be on the trading block all off-season and it appears that talks have heated up with a rumored unnamed team from the NL in the works. I'm a big fan of Glaus, he's got unreal power, a great eye, and one of the smoothest strokes for a right handed hitter in the game. Sure he K's a lot, but I think the rest of his game offsets that and although his defense has taken a bit of a knock lately, it's still better than what we currently have manning the hot corner. So I ask, why not try and use Aramis Ramirez as the trade bait for Miguel Tejada? It appears the O's want a big bat to offset losing Tejada if they move him and no doubt that Ramirez would fit that bill. Glaus has a hefty contract, but not one that he can opt out of after this season like Ramirez. I do try and avoid these types of shenanigans, but I can't resist: O's get Aramis Ramirez, Ronny Cedeno and maybe Jerome Williams D'Backs get Corey Patterson, Rich Hill and Todd Wellemeyer Cubs get Troy Glaus and Miguel Tejada The D'Backs from what I can gather are looking for pitching and a center-fielder and have expressed some interest in Korey in the past. Ideally, they'd like to find a new CF, shift Shawn Green back to right and move Chad Tracy back to third while unburdening themselves of Glaus's contract. The Cubs take on a whole lot of salary and honestly I'm not sure if their budget would allow it. I would prefer just to part with Cedeno and Ramirez to the O's and see if that would suffice in getting us Tejada. If Ramirez/Cedeno would suffice, then use Williams, Hill and Korey to land Glaus. I'm not sure what the O's do with Melvin Mora, although he's certainly capable of moving back to the outfield. There's also the potential of Tejada requesting a trade after the 2006 season (I believe he has that right), which could be a bit sticky. There's some problems with the deal and it's all hypothetical, but I like Glaus/Tejada/Prior on the team more than I like Tejada/Ramirez/Some other SP. Dream lineup: CF Juan Pierre SS Miguel Tejada 1B Derrek Lee 3B Troy Glaus RF Jacque Jones/ Should be platoon partner LF Murton C Barrett 2b Neifi/Hairston - Happy Holidays to all the TCR faithful. Thanks for reading and look forward to another fun year in 2006.


Looks like St. Louis locked up Juan Encarnacion for the same price we tabbed Jones. Which would we rather have? I take Jones.

According to Gammons Glaus to the jays for Basita and the O-dog. Glaus has a NTC that he can block a deal to TOR. Isn't his wife from NE so if he knows that BOS wants him he might veto it and force a trade there.

Well I tried, don't see Glaus (a Socal boy) allowing the trade to Toronto unless he gets compensated in some way. But you never know... I'd take an actual good player to play right field over Jones or Encarnacion.

I read the Neyer chat, and he claims to be all for a Prior/Tejada trade due to Prior's proven fragility. It's a good point, but who wants to chance Prior becoming a hall of famer somewhere else?

'It's a good point, but who wants to chance Prior becoming a hall of famer somewhere else?' Me. If we do trade Prior, that would make arguably make Kerry the most important player in the league. Plus if we get Tejada, we only have to watch Neifi in the bottom of the 9th!

This year the Cardinals will 2B by committee? All righy hitters. Who will get the most playing time? Cardinals seem to not fret about 2B. They've had 4 in 4 yrs. 2003-F. Vina (Bo Hart) 2004-T. Womak 2005-M. Grudz 2006-Spivey/Miles Cardinals also sign Junior Spivey for a 1yr deal, no $$ mentioned yet The Cardinals said Spivey would compete for the second base job, which was vacated by Mark Grudzielanek's departure, with Aaron Miles and Deivi Cruz.

please dont trade mark prior. all i have to say is greg maddux. are we gonna pull another greg. let him win 5 cy youngs and then get him back!!! our lineup is good without tejada. all we needed was a leadoff guy for aramis and d-lee. we got him. we are good!!!

Rob, While having Tejada and Murton both in Left Field might combine to make one adequate defender, it's probably more effective to put one of them at shortstop. More seriously, I don't see that you've got Walker leaving in a trade, so why is Neifi Hairston playing 2nd in your dream?

Spivey, 30, gets a $1.2 million, one-year contract.

ROB G: Troy Glaus's knees are so bad he now plays 3B with The Ron Cey School of Famous 3rd Basemen "one-step and dive" approach to fielding. And he can't throw, either. There is a lot of hissing here in Phoenix by D'backs fans (and lots of laughing by Cubs fans) about how the snakes somehow managed to sign Glaus to an expensive long-term mega-contract when nobody else was offering a deal anywhere near the one he got from Arizona. Everybody who has been mentioned as being interested in Glaus (Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, and the "unnamed N. L. club" that is probably the Giants) wants him either as a 1B (where even there he would probably be just "passable") or DH. He does have awesome, power, though, when he isn't poppng up with a runner at 3rd and no outs or grounding into a DP with the bases loaded. For those of you who enjoy the memory of Ron Santo popping up or grounding into a DP at the absolute worst possible time... well, you know the rest. And if the Blue Jays do acquire Glaus, they can add him to their ever-lengthening list of ex-3B cum 1B/DH, starting with ex-Cub Eric Hinske, and proceeding on down through Shea Hillenbrand, and perhaps (soon) Corey Koskie. If you are getting the impression that I don't recommend that the Cubs acquire Troy Glaus, that's because I don't recommend it. In the strongest possible way.

REAL NEAL: "If we do trade Prior, that would make arguably make Kerry the most important player in the league. Plus if we get Tejada, we only have to watch Neifi in the bottom of the 9th!" Not going to EVER happen: ...8th paragraph. What will happen is that Barrett, through bad signal calling, will explode the ERA of whomever pitcher he is catching.

Baltimore supposedly wants a top notch pitcher to be involved for Tejada, so the Aram deal doesn't make much sense for them. I wouldn't be against trading Ramirez or DLee for either Tejada or Abreu, but both teams seem to want top pitchers instead of hitters.

And the Cardinals have signed Junior Spivey to replace Grudz at 2B in 2006. I played baseball, with Junior Spivey, He developed, poison ivy, You remember, So Taguchi, He got ptomaine poisoning last night after sushi. You know, there may actually be something to that addition-by-subtraction thing Jim Hendry and the Cubs keep counting on.

Has anyone read any comments from Prior about how he feels being on the block? Might not be quite as inclined to sign an extension down the road with a team that shopped him. I have no idea. it'd just be interesting to know what he's feeling.

Saboteur Phil: don't tell planted the ivy. (Moral of the story: stay away from the Blowfish at Busch stadium)

Although I'm sure the O's want pitching and hitting, I've read that trading Tejada would put a huge hole in their lineup and they'd prefer to get a big bat over a big pitcher if they had to choose. Of course they'd rather have both. Sorry about the lineup gaffe The guy currently playing 3b for us is Aramis Ramirez, your not losing anything with Glaus, no matter the knee/shoulder problems he may have. And the question is do you prefer Glaus, Tejada, Prior or Ramirez, Tejada, some marginal SP? Cause there are no FA starting pitchers all that good (spare me Millwood talk). If you can land Zito, alright fine, but I think the cost is Murton and then you have another hole to fill and Jay Payton shouldn't be filling it.

ROB G: I understand your point about how a Glaus-Tejada-Prior trio is better than Ramirez-Tejada-TBD PITCHER, and maybe so, but I don't like either of those choices, unless (as you say, and as I say) Barry Zito is the TBD starter. And even then, I am now feeling more inclined to want to keep Prior AND try hard to get Zito (even if costs Murton, Hill, and Wuertz, let's say), and then take my chances with an outfield of Jones-Pierre-Payton LF-CF-RF, with the best starting rotation in the N. L. and a much-improved bullpen. And depending on what Hendry's "hard" payroll limit is ($105m? $110m?), and if the Cubs can jettison the contracts of Patterson and either Walker or Hairston, and (if absolutely necessary) Rusch (for an additional savings of about $7.5m, if needed), the Cubs could acquire Zito and Payton from Oakland, and then put together a package of perhaps Payton, Angel Guzman, and maybe a third prospect (Florida homeboy Brian Dopirak) and get Aubrey Huff from Tampa Bay. Then the pitching staff would be: STARTERS Zambrano Zito Prior Wood (if healthy) Maddux Rusch (if he isn't traded) EXTRA - J. Williams BULLPEN: Dempster Howry Eyre Williamson Ohman Wuertz or Novoa Rusch (unless he starts or gets traded) EXTRA - Wellemeyer And if Wood can pitch but can't start, he could pitch out of the bullpen like he did last August. And the lineup could be: Pierre, CF Walker or Hairston, 2B Lee, 1B Huff, RF (5th vs LHP) Ramirez, 3B (4th vs LHP) Jones, LF (7th vs LHP) Barrett, C (6th vs LHP) Cedeno, SS Even if the Cubs were to keep Payton and not get Huff, the lineup would still be good enough (in my opinion) with that starting rotation and improved bullpen to win the N. L. Central and go a fur piece in the post-season. Yes. I believe so. The bottom line is, I believe Barry Zito trumps Tejada or Abreu. I'm willing to take my chances with a kick-ass starting rotation and (to some extent) an "iffy" lineup versus a "kick-ass" lineup and an "iffy" starting rotation. .

What makes me sick is now we are talking about, who do you want, Prior or Tejada? The question really is, what would you prefer, Furcal and Prior, or Tejada and about $5 million per year? Thank the Dodgers for blowing up our pitching staff or crippling our offense. (and Hendry for not meeting LA's offer) The same rationale used in signing Jones (costs money but no prospects) should be applied to the shortstop position.

Hey if they can trade Ramirez for Tejada DO IT!!! Ramirez is slow....poor attitude...and is not a smart player....If you can get Tejada by giving them it!

#19, is it snowing in hell...

Furcal would have solved a lot, so would have signing Tejada 2 years ago, but that's the past, nothing to do about it now. Also, if you care to believe it or not, it was McPhail who apparently vetoed giving more $$$ to Furcal, not Hendry. Might as well blame the right party.

#21 Cubs management sh!t their drawers when dealing with free agents. They feel good about Tejada now because his free agent contract is half spent now...he's a much safer bet now....Furcal will be a safer bet in 2 years too....and that is when the Cubs will move in on these players--not when they are on the FA market. Yes they are willing to let a guy like Prior go before they are willing to sign a guy to a long term deal.

Rob G.: "Furcal would have solved a lot, so would have signing Tejada 2 years ago, but that's the past, nothing to do about it now." Yes there is, the Trib brass can clean house and get guys in there who can make the right moves, instead of reactionary knee jerk moves that hurt the organization.

#19 Cubfan, You love to show off your ignorance to the sport of baseball. What don't you understand about the unimportance of a strong hitting shortstop? As well, you wouldn't know a good thing if it hit you in the head with a fastball. You advocate trading Ramirez and Prior. They are our best players. But to even show more of your ignorance, you probably think that DLee is our best player.

Tejada for Aram seems pointless to me. We give up some offense in the trade while aquiring some defense and speed. But then we're losing defense and speed back by benching Cedeno. This only makes sense if we can acquire a stud third baseman to replace Aram. Also, why do you think Aram has a bad attitude or isn't a smart player? It always pissed me off when announcers last year spewed vitriol in Aram's direction because he wasn't running full speed on pop ups or ground balls to second base. They didn't even consider the possibility that coaches told him not to run on easy outs because he was playing with an injured groin.

Oh and another thing, a smart player? Who the hell cares? I know what your saying, your not talking about SAT scores, but Manny Ramirez is a baseball savant. He does only one thing, hit the ball and I probably the dumbest player around, but I'd take him on my team. The importance of baseball intelligence is inversely related to ability to hit the ball, i.e... If you mash nothing else matters. Oh, BTW, ARam is one of the best 3rd basemen in ALL of baseball. In fact, probably the best. Rolen is old and hurt and ARod is NOT a third baseman.

FTR Chad--I don't think the Cubs should trade Prior for Tejada. I think the Cubs should forget about trying to make major upgrades on offense and go get the best rotation they can get. Keep Prior and Z...keep Maddux as a number 5 starter..move Wood to the Bullpen... go get Zito and one more stud pitchers....that staff can keep the Cubs close...probably the wild card winner if not division winner. Tejada wouldn't do that if it meant losing a good starter and tying their hands from any more meaningful moves. My point is if they want to trade Ramirez (as some are rumoring to be the case) for Tejada...then do it. But not Prior for Tejada.... (read first before you spew a bunch of blarney)

if anyone actually read the post, it was I who suggested trading Ramirez/Cedeno for Tejada and then trading for Glaus. Hate to lose Ramirez, great hitter, horrible glove, but Glaus/Tejada/Prior sounds better to me than Ramirez/Tejada/marginal SP And I'd only trade Ramirez, if another deal was in the works to replace him with something acceptable (ie Glaus). I'm only entertaining trading Ramirez due to the out clause in his contract after this season.

Bunch of blarney? You are the king of anti-ramirez-ness here.

For what its worth I like Rob G's trade scenario. Problem is it won't happen. I still don't understand why you guys always have Murton hitting 6th or 7th. He's a classic #2... I really fell out of love with Ramirez last year. Stats aside, he didn't look focused. I know he was hurting but I really felt that the new contract more than anything else had changed him. Remember how bad he played in April in May? He was brutal. If we're talking about Tejada why aren't we talking about Arod? I can't help but think that a move out of NY and back to short would be a welcomed by him and his agent. Wouldn't NY trade Arod for Ramirez and Jerry Hairston? I like Arod. He'd be the next Ernie Banks for the Cubs. Boros is the kind of deal maker that could make this happen. Hendry and Boros get along. Boros would be doing his client right by moving him to Chicago. He's unappreciated in NY. As for third base, Shea Hillenbrand is available.

murton might be a classic #2, but unless he sees that slot vs. lefty starters, jones will probally be there. dusty loves a guy who will swing and has above average speed there. he probally asks the #2 guy to bunt a lot more than a lotta managers do these that'll be interesting to see how that plays with jones MIN no matter where he was they just let him swing.

A note to the various children who post here: D. Lee is our best player. He's a fabulous hitter, saves our infield countless errors, can run, and has a unique, team first, attitude. Build around him. Period.

I remember watching a Cubs vs Cards game last year on ESPN and Joe Morgan (who I hate) made a comment that the Cubs had pinned all their hopes on Prior and Wood and maybe they should head in another direction next year. Especially since it didn't work in 04 and 05. I can't get that comment out of my head. I have to wonder if Hendry doesn't think that a blockbuster is in order. He's been trying to build this thing piece by piece-getting guys that should be long termers-ramirez, patterson, lee, prior, wood , zambrano, barrett. Thats as much of a core team as we've seen the Cubs put out in awhile. Trading Sosa was looked at as a "chemistry" move. I don't want to trade Prior but I do know this: if we do trade Prior and we get a sure thing, great player, its ok.

It's not okay. It's not okay to trade Mark Prior. I, for one, am turning in my Cubs hat if this deal goes down. I agree completely with John Hill when he mentions how upset he'll be.

In post #11, EricW directs those interested to an article on the Cubs home page where Hendry says "The Cubs are not going to trade Mark Prior or Carlos Zambrano". If you think that settles it, fine. I take Hendry's statement in the same way I take "It's not about the money", "The check is in the mail", "It's just a cold sore", etc. If the rumors were completely bogus, I would assume someone from the Cubs would have already said so, VERY PUBLICLY, if for no other reason than to stroke Prior's ego. Silence implies consent. So my point is have the Cubs done any damage to their potential long-term relationship with Prior by putting him on the market?? Does the trade now take on some inertia of its own to get done since the principals involved are now pissed at their respective organizations?? Back in the pre-free agency days I don't recollect anyone taking offense to potentially getting traded, it was just the way things were. If Hendry is really trying to acquire Tejada WITHOUT trading Prior (lots of Cubs prospects to Oak for Zito, Zito flipped to Bal for Tejada), I assume Hendry has been on the phone to Prior to let him know that's the real plan.

I tend to agree with those who have suggested keeping Prior and working out a deal with Oakland for Zito. The forementioned rotation which places Zito with Z, Prior, etc., a decent bullpen and lineup with Walker hitting 2nd, Jones in LF (assuming Murton goes in the Zito deal). I'd be willing to keep working on figuring out a RF over the next couple weeks if we could stick to the plan of winning thru a strong rotation. I'd prefer the RF be a LH hitter who could hit between Lee and Ramirez.

Ohh I believe Jones will be hitting #2. It is just what Dusty does. Look at the past players he has put in the #2 slot, Alex Gonzalez, Rey Ordonez, Jose Macias, Corey Patterson, Neifi Perez. And has anyone thought about maybe Prior is asking to be traded behind closed doors? It doesn't make much sense for this organization to even consider trading Prior. I think it would be a major PR disaster to trade Mark Prior for a guy you could of signed out of free agency before the 2003 season. Talk about paying for the mistakes of your past. You finally get Tejada but you got to give up your stud pitcher, when you could of signed Tejada and kept Prior. The only way Hendry avoids getting ripped apart in the media is if after the trade it is leaked that Prior wished to be traded. Then the Cubs were simply getting maximum value in return. You pat Hendry on the back, say good boy and go about your day. The other way? Hendry gets blasted from the fans, and the media. Just an off the wall thought.

"And has anyone thought about maybe Prior is asking to be traded behind closed doors?" To Baltimore? Talk about jumping off the Titanic to hitch a ride on the Hindenburg.

TBONE: "Talk about jumping off the Titanic to hitch a ride on the Hindenburg." HA HA That was a good one. Never heard that before.

Yeah. Even Tampa Bay has a better shot to win a World Series before we do. We are not exactly the best organization to play for. Hell, I would like to ask all of the MLB players whether they would want to be part of the 100th anniversary Cubs team? I wonder how many players would jump at that chance. Macias you know would give it a shot.

MIKEC: "I would like to ask all of the MLB players whether they would want to be part of the 100th anniversary Cubs team?" Well, I guess Ryan Dempster, Jacque Jones, Scott Eyre and Bobby Howry wanted to as they all have signed a 3 year deals with the team in the past couple months.

Little late to the party today, just read the entire thread, wow, depressing. Not signing Furcal keeps looking worse and worse. I don't have the numbers in front of me but I doubt that Prior + Furcal would have cost more than say Zito + Tejada. It was just said, but we are paying for previous mistakes here. I hope we keep Prior and let Cedeno play. If needed make a deal midseason after gaining some knowledge on how this all works out. In my mind, Aramis is the key to next season. If he can stay healthy and provide a consistant second power threat to Lee, we should be able to score some runs, especially with an actual leadoff hitter. Does anyone have the stats on the Cubs record with and without a healthy Aramis? Maybe I'm being too optimistic but I don't see the same number of black holes in this years lineup compared to last year. I'm confidant that Murton will be an upgrade in left and there is no way that Pierre can do worse the K-Pat in center. Jones is a left handed Burnitz with better defense. My biggest concern is that Cedeno will struggle at the plate. Pitching wins championships, keep Prior.

"#32 of 41: By LaraineDay (December 23, 2005 07:26 PM) A note to the various children who post here: D. Lee is our best player. He's a fabulous hitter, saves our infield countless errors, can run, and has a unique, team first, attitude. Build around him. Period." YOU TOO? One great year and he's the best player on the team. Classic. ANYONE who thinks that Derrek Lee is the best player on this team doesn't understand the concept of BASEBALL! DLee, so far for his career, isn't HALF the player that ARam is. Slugging first basemen are a dime a freaking dozen. ARam is the best 3rd baseman in BASEBALL! One year wonder and you're all on the bandwagon. Just wait til September when Aramis is leading the team is batting average, home runs and RBIs.

best 3b in baseball? I'm down with ARam but there is this guy named ARod. Rolen isn't too shabby also, brings gold glove defense with ARam offense.

"Just wait til September when Aramis is leading the team is batting average, home runs and RBIs." I hope that's the case. Instead of having the double-chinned-groin/hammy-pull-waiting-to-happen sitting on the bench. One of the reasons Lee has been more productive the last two years is because he's been in shape and played an average of 25 more games per year than El Lard Ass. Ramirez is in the fine tradition of Cub softball players who hit for power and some average for a few years but little else. DLee is an actual professional athlete. If Ramirez ever decides to join him, he could be a hell of a player. Don't put people down for thinking a gold glove NL batting champ who finished third in the MVP voting is better than a guy who's been great as far as production per AB but as yet has shown no interest in staying in shape.

Kinda bored, sere is the contract/budget breakdown thus far as things stand: SET CONTRACTS: Michael Barrett - $4.13M ($4.0M base + $130K prorated signing bonus) Henry Blanco - $1.5M Ryan Dempster - $5M Scott Eyre - $3.7M ($2.7M base + $1.0M signing bonus) Bobby Howry - $4.0M ($2.5M base + $1.5M signing bonus) Jacque Jones - $4.33M ($3.0M base + $1.33M prorated signing bonus) Derrek Lee - $8.67M ($8.0M base + $670K prorated signing bonus) John Mabry - $1.075M Greg Maddux - $9.0M Neifi Perez - $2.5M Aramis Ramirez - $10.5M Glendon Rusch - $2.75M Todd Walker - $2.5M Scott Williamson - $2.0M Kerry Wood - $12.0M ($11.0M base + $1.0M prorated signing bonus) TOTAL (15) - $73.655M AUTO RENEWAL (LEAGUE MINIMUM): Ronny Cedeno - $350K Matt Murton - $350K Will Ohman - $350K Jerome Williams - $350K Michael Weurtz - $350K TOTAL (5) - $1.75M ARBITRATION: Jerry Hairston - $2.0M Corey Patterson - $2.8M Juan Pierre - $5.0M Mark Prior - $5.0M Carlos Zambrano - $5.0M TOTAL (5) - $19.8M TOTAL PAYROLL (25) - $95.205 ***These figures do not count any possible incentive bonuses & does not count the $500K buyout of Jeromy Burnitz contract*** Also, the ARBITRATION numbers are just my quick estimates. I did no research to justify them. If you think I am way off base, please don't go crazy and just let me know. Thanks!!

What do think Dempster could have gotten if he had really tested the free agent market?

I don't think Dempster would have gotten anymore if he had went the free agent route. I'd like to think it's more of a loyalty thing with the Cubs and Dempster. They took a chance on him, paid him near the minimum, and he flourished in the closer role, so the Cubs, maybe in a sense, feel obligated to reward him. I would have been very surprised if he got that much going to free agency. The guy is too vulnerable to injury and with a injury-ridden past, most teams wouldn't seek and pay a guy that much money on one good year being that injury prone, unless they were absolutely desperate. Maybe the Cubs learned their lesson from Latroy Hawkins.

MATT W.: "What do think Dempster could have gotten if he had really tested the free agent market?" He signed for 3/$15.5M this past October. He clearly would of made less than BJ Ryan (5/$47M) and Billy Wagner (3/$43M). But would of made maybe only slightly more than Kyle Farnsworth (3/$17), Trevor Hoffman (2/$13.5M) and Tom Gordon (3/$18M). I think he could of got 3/$20M maximum in the market. So he might of left a few million on the table, but I don't think anyone expected the contracts to shoot up like they did for relievers.

Matt W, ARod is not a 3rd baseman. Yes he plays 3rd base for the Yanks but he would not play 3rd base for any other team in baseball. Scott Rolen is great. But he has a bad back and i'll bet he starts to really decline this year.

"Yes he plays 3rd base for the Yanks but he would not play 3rd base for any other team in baseball." Why couldn't he?

Not that he COULDN'T. He WOULDN'T!!! He's the best SHORTSTOP in baseball. He only plays 3rd for the Yanks, cause their the Yanks.

I like the Prior for Tejada trade......IF we can get a good pitcher to replace him (Zito, Milwood, etc.). If not, then forget about it. Our rotation would suck balls. Don't forget that Prior and Zambrano will be free agents next year and there's no way in hell we're signing both of them to contracts. Z is going to get a contract and Prior will be shown the door. Why not do us all a favor and send him now and actually get something in return......Tejada. Again, only if we can score another good pitcher from trade/free agency.

Isn't Wood's contract up after the '06 season? In that case, money would be freed up to sign *both* Prior and Z.

Is it smart to tie up 1/3rd of the team payroll in two pitchers? I actually think it might be. Any one else?

We already know what Z can do at just 23, and with Prior at full health, he's bound to put up above average numbers. So even if Wood is near lights out this year, as much as this pains me to say it, trade him mid-season if he has raised his value enough and be done with the Wood debacle.

Then again, a lot of "if's" in that latter statement regarding Wood.

But MrCubs, if Prior and Z are Prior and Z and Wood is lights out, we'll be in first. We cant trade wood then.

Presumably Maddux and Wood's contracts come off the books after 2006. So that is around $20 million for Hendry to throw around at marginal talent. Add in Dusty Baker's $4 million, if he doesn't come back, and the Cubs got around $25 million to work with. Imagine all the possible players Hendry can sign for 4-5 million dollars! To shore up the rotation we bring in Jeff Suppan for about 5 per year. He works with the Cardinals defense and offense, not so good with the Cubs defensive and offensively challenged squad. The Cubs will probably get a player they should of had 5 years ago, Jeff Kent. This will be Hendry's big free agent splash. We will get him just in time for his decline as a player. After another Milton Bradley blow out down in Oakland the Cubs will finally get their man. During a seemingly harmless July day while catching a fly ball a fan will scream, "Zambrano says you are a little b***h." While running into the dugout after the inning, Zambrano is pointing to the sky as he usually does. Bradley takes the ball and beans him in the back of the head. As Bradley is standing over the unconscious body of Zambrano he says, "Who is the little ***** now?"

Rogers is at again with the Z trade talk and this time he has a 3-way trade that one must have been high to create. Chad, If you spend 1/3 of your payroll on a couple of pitchers you get the 2005 Astros if they stay healthy and the 2003 Tigers if they dont.

ERIC W--#11--I'm glad I'm not the only person around here who's scared of Barrett behind the plate.

UGH!! Prior for Tejada doesn't make much sense. Year in and year out pitching wins championships(sorry for the cliche). The Cubs losing out on the Furcal sweepstakes was HUGE. Tejada is a top 5 guy but trading Prior to get him is a mistake. Prior is the young stud pitcher teams dream of. His injuries have been freak and shouldn't be held against him. Trade for Lugo and call it a day. Move Murton and Cedeno for someone these guys weren't considered in our plans b4 last year and still shouldn't be counted on. -Sandberg's younger than Julio Franco......let's see what we can do about Ryno in 06

In ## 38 and 39 there was some (hilarious) discussion as to whether Prior would want to go to Baltimore. The Orioles' new pitching coach is Leo Mazzone, the famous coach who is like King Midas to pitchers. Just ask Mike Hampton. Since Prior does not have control over where he can play until 2008, there may be no better place in baseball for him than in Baltimore with Mazzone.

I was just thinking that with the outragous salaries some of these pitchers are getting (Burnett and Washburn) that maybe pitching has become overvalued and the best way to win a WS within in a reasonable budget is to build a kick-ass line-up, a front line stater, 2 solid vet pitchers, and 2 pitchers from the farm. The thing about this Prior/Tejada thing I dont get is Hendry's instance just a few weeks ago Prior and Z are not going to get traded to know offering to trade Prior. Say what you will about Hendry but the one thing he is honest when he says something you can bank on it. Something had to happen to make him want to trade Prior and I am curious to why but I hope he does it.

Pass the crack pipe back to Phil Rogers...I used to think he was somewhat knowledgeable as his job is to be the Trib's rumor monger, but no more. He's going off the deep end repetitively. First he kept harping that the WSox would get Juan Pierre, now his thing is the Cubs will trade Zambrano (this isn't his first article pushing for Z as the trade bait). At least when TCR's Az Phil when he proposes a blockbuster, he uses some practical logic with regard to matchng salaries and trade history (ala what Billy Beane took for Hudson, Mulder when speculating on what Zito's trade value is). This is supposed to be fun, not elaborate LSD induced technicolor tie-dye swirly player movements. Note to Phil R...just shut up. -- from today's Trib: Take a breath, because he we go. The Cubs give up Zambrano, shortstop Neifi Perez, center fielder Corey Patterson, left-hander Will Ohman (expendable with Scott Eyre and Glendon Rusch available for the bullpen) and one of two on-the-cusp pitching prospects, either left-hander Rich Hill or right-hander Angel Guzman. They get Tejada and as many as five prospects who could fill needs in the near futureóa pitcher (Hayden Penn, John Maine or Adam Loewen), two outfielders (Joe Borchard and one among the Baltimore group of Val Majewski, Jeff Florentino and Nick Markakis), first baseman Casey Rogowski and left-hander Arnie Munoz. The Sox give up one arm from the Garland/Contreras/Garcia/Vazquez mix and four prospects who aren't being penciled in for big thingsóBorchard, Rogowski (a really good hitter who doesn't fit on a team that has Konerko and Thome), Munoz and Charles Haeger, a knuckleballer who pitched well in Venezuela after dominating Double A. They get back Bedard, a lefty with great stuff; Ohman, who fills the bullpen need and could allow Neal Cotts to move into the rotation in 2007; and either Hill or Guzman. The Orioles wind up with the most inventory, as they should. They get Zambrano and Garland, Contreras, Garcia or Vazquez along with Perez, Patterson and Haeger. They give up Tejada, Bedard and a pitching prospect. -- excerpts from the Baltimore Sun: 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. ---- According to industry sources, however, the Cubs want Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard included in the deal and don't want to trade top outfield prospect Felix Pie, whom the Orioles covet. The Orioles also are slightly wary of Prior's recent history of elbow troubles and would prefer obtaining Carlos Zambrano, but the Cubs reportedly have no interest in trading him. As of now, according to a source with knowledge of the trade talks, the two teams are not yet close to an agreement despite several proposals being sent back and forth. Cubs second baseman Todd Walker, center fielder Corey Patterson and 25-year-old left-handed pitching prospect Rich Hill have also been mentioned in a deal, but the Orioles aren't enthralled with Walker or Patterson. Walker would essentially be a bench player with All-Star Brian Roberts entrenched at second base, and Patterson struggled mightily last season and would not seem to constitute that big of an upgrade over Luis Matos, whose status as the Orioles' everyday center fielder is in jeopardy. 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.

JACOS: I was wrong (and ruz, Rob G, and a lot others were right to object) when I posted what I thought were the qualifications for the Rookie of the Year Award in response to the question you posed on another thread about whether Ronny Cedeno and Matt Murton would be eligible for the ROY award in 2006. Here are the correct BBWAA qualifications. For an MLB player to be considered a "rookie" and be eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award in a particular season, he must meet all three of the following criteria: 1. No more than 130 OFFICIAL At Bats in the major leagues in prior seasons (BB, SF, HBP, et al, don't count). 2. No more than 50 Innings Pitched in the major leagues in prior seasons. 3. No more than 45 days spent as an "active player" (time on DL doesn't count) on a major league roster in prior seasons. (NOTE: This applies only to time spent as an "active player" on a major league roster when the 25-man limit is in effect, which is USUALLY Opening Day through August 31st). So neither Murton nor Cedeno are rookies anymore (does that mean Dusty will let them play every day?) and thus neither will be eligible for the N. L. ROY Award in 2006. I apologize for giving you bum information in response to your question.

So neither Murton nor Cedeno are rookies anymore (does that mean Dusty will let them play every day? That's a great question Az Phil. What is Dusty's track record for rookie players who have been on the roster the preceding season. Is there any examples we can find from his SF tenure? Upon quick looks at the Giants rosters in the 1990's, I don't see any non-pitcher/regulars who were rookies OR 2nd year players. So we may be treading on new ground. If Murton/Cedeno do make it to the opening day roster (barring trades). I think Dusty will treat them differently than last year.

murton/cedeno had already won the starting jobs by sept. anyway. and nothing has changed...and dusty is even on record saying its their job to lose. it was pretty obvious last august that was the case and it was coming. for the people that like to blow everything vague dusty says in passing to a reporter while laughing into a serious shoe-banging edict of absolute truth, that one must have been missed. in fact in another interview he told another reporter...JOKINGLY AND LAUGHING...that people would kill him if he didnt start the kids. its no big secret its their job to lose.

chad, #43, DLee was one of my favs and one of the best players on this team BEFORE last year. Speed on the bases, Gold Glove defense, not a great avg, but passable, heading towards 30hr a year, etc. He was one of the best pickups JH has made, and yes, one of (if not THE, after last year) best players on the team. PERIOD

Ok everyone, a Prior-for-Tejada trade would be beneficial, if the Cubs can get another solid SP thru a trade or FA. But, even if the Cubs make this trade and don't go out and sign or trade for a nice SP, it wouldn't be that bad. Tejada plays everyday correct. And Prior every 5 days, and thats if he's healthy. So, I would say do it regardless if we cant get a good SP to take Prior's place, because of the amount of days they play.


Simple Rule...You can't have enough pitching. Keep Prior. Keep Zambrano. Build around them.

DITTO posts 72 & 73.

Any one on this board remember the Cubs in the 60's? They had two HOF mashers (Ernie and Billy) and another HOF should-be (Ron). And yet until 1967 they sucked because they had no pitching (except in '63 when Elllsworth had a magic year). Once they had a solid rotation of Fergie, Holtzman, and Hands, they were competitive until . . . Fergie got traded for Madlock, Holtzman left, and all of a sudden they were back to a team who could hit, but had mediocre starting pitching. Moral of the story--don't trade Prior unless you can sure you will end up with Zito or a comparable pitcher/

Okay, okay, but again, Hendry may know something that we do not, ie, that Prior is not going to re-sign with the Cubs for any amount of money. If Prior is not going to re-sign, it is a no-brainer to trade him NOW!

Arm: Even if, hypothetically, Prior has made it known to Cubs management that they have no shot in hell of retaining his services once he's a free agent, that's a moot point for a couple more years. 2008, to be exact. So, again, I raise the question: How does trading Prior make the 2006 Cubs a better team?

"How does trading Prior make the 2006 Cubs a better team?" In isolation, it doesn't. In isolation, they don't make it anywhere if they make this deal, or if they don't. But if they can make this deal, keep Tejada for 4 years rather than Prior for 2, and then go out and get another #1 or #2 starter, then they might be able to do something. But if he is going to leave, and you have an opportunity to get 4 years of Tejada for less than Furcal just got per year, why would you rule that out? If this deal is made, I'm assuming it is for exaclty that reason - that Hendry and McPhail are convinced that Prior is gone and that moving him is their only choice, and it is just a matter of finding what they can get for him. I have no problem keeping Prior. I have no problem trading Prior. But either way, that decision in isolation will not make or break this team either this year, or in the future.

X: Valid points, and I will concede that no matter how much potential Prior has, if the Cubs brass do not believe he can a)Stay healthy or b)Be retained by the Cubs, they need to consider trading him at some point in time. BUT, trading him at this point in time, even if for a stud like Tejada, quite possibly makes the Cubs weaker next season. Their starting pitching, once the toast of MLB, is pretty much reliant upon Z and Prior. Wood is a question mark, Maddux is probably entering his last season, and Williams and Rusch are 5th starters. Like you said, if they were able to get another stud #1 or #2 pitcher, then trading Prior becomes more feasible (although still not ideal, as he is a fan favorite in Chicago, has the ability to go down as not just an ace, but an elite pitcher, and because he makes a low salary by the standards of an MLB pitcher with his acumen); the Cubs don't seem, at this point, to be able to acquire a #1 or #2.

Agreed Ryan. If the only move is Prior for Tejada, the team doesn't get any better, and it might end up getting a bit worse. But if Hendry makes this deal, I would not imagine that this is his last move. If he does move Prior to get Tejada, we may start hearing a lot of Pie + Guzman/Hill for Jon Garland talk. We might hear more Milwood talk. And we'd surely hear more Zito talk. None of these guys are bad, depending on their cost. But the first and the last won't be cheap in terms of prospects, and Milwood will cost AT LEAST a 4 year deal and possibly a fifth. In isolation, keeping Prior OR trading him doesn't make us a contender in my eyes. It is a fair trade for both sides. Often a trade like that is just reallocating resources. It's the move we make with/after that which would be the difference maker. Another thought is that in any Tejada/Prior deal, I w ould be expecting some cash from Baltimore. First off, they should be paying the entire signing bonus, not us. Second, they are getting Prior at arbitration money (let's call it 12mm over 2 years just for kicks) while we are getting Tejada at about 12mm per. There should be some financial equalizing going on there. I'm not opposed to keeping or trading Mark. But if we do either of those, and nothing else significant, I'll be disappointed. Where's all that money we are supposed to have to spend this offseason? Two middling RPs and a third year arbitration slap and tickle CF. I like Pierre a lot, but he can't be our best ADDITION this year.

X: I know Kenny Williams would be ready to try to fleece us in a deal for Garland, but I hope that Hendry would be smart enough to say "no." I obviously don't think highly of Garland, but I'm also really hoping that we can acquire a bona fide #2/#3 (i.e. Zito). Possibly we could spin Bedard for Zito...although it would raise our payroll, like you have mentioned, we should have quite a bit left. In a related note, ESPN 1000's OG seems to have a man-crush on Weaver. Like his durability, but we can do better. If Levine is right, and Guzman is ready, then maybe trading Prior is not as detrimental to the club...although I know Dusty would make him the 5th starter, I don't think it'd take long for him to surpass the likes of Williams and Rusch, if he can stay healthy... Ultimately, though, I would like for the Cubs to keep Prior, try to trade Wuertz/Novoa, Sing, and Williams for another starter, and then try to re-start trade talks with Philly or Baltimore using that starter and a couple of prospects instead of Prior. It'll never happen, but hey, we can dream...

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  • Hagsag 1 hour 49 sec ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 20 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 11 min ago (view)

    DJL: Nothing from Sunday or Monday. 


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 11 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 10 hours 42 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 11 hours 36 min 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 11 hours 47 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 11 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 18 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 26 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 24 min ago (view)

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

    yesterday's game was 3h 45m.


  • crunch 16 hours 42 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 13 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 21 hours ago (view)

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