Minor League Signings

The Cubs made a few minor league signings official today. Marquis Grissom, Augie Ojeda and Mike Restovich will all get a chance to show off their veteran savvy and catch the eye of the Cubs coaching staff come March. Grissom's old, once upon a time could hit lefites and has a good chance to become next year's Neifi Perez, a vet that Baker has an unhealthy affection towards. Ojeda comes back to the Cubs organization after a brief stop in Minnesota where he actually managed a .339/.429/.458 line in 59 AB's. If you're looking for an example of the dangers of "small sample size", you needn't look any further. He did once make an amazing diving stop to help preserve a Mark Prior complete game that I had the pleasure of attending. A game in which Sammy Sosa launced 2 homers off of Kevin Brown that I still don't believe have landed. Restovich is a corner outfielder that hits a lot like a middle infielder. He was a second round pick of the Twins in 1997 and once upon a time was pretty well touted. At 6-4, 250 you'd expect some power, which he did show at times in the minors, but his offensive game has been seriously lacking at the major league level. He played with the Pirates and Rockies last year. [Ruz:] Rob is too modest to point out that he mentioned the possibility of signing Grissom back in August. I see a glimmer of hope in the Grissom signing. When the Cubs signed Jacque Jones, one of the things I heard (and said) most often was that Jones is a player who should platoon but, because of the size of his contract and Dusty's proclivities, probably won't. With the Grissom signing (and the fact that it's a minor-league deal is merely a formality -- I'd say Grissom is just about a lock to make the team), what the Cubs now have is a suitable platoon partner for Jones that Dusty might actually play. Jones' splits over the last three seasons: Vs. RHP: 280/333/474 Vs. LHP: 238/295/363 And Grissom's: Vs. RHP: 267/299/396 Vs. LHP: 322/359/567 That's some decent pop against lefties. Grip is old, spent much of '05 injured, and will swing at just about anything, but given what we know (or think we know) about Dusty's managerial and lineup construction styles, this is about the best little deal Jim Hendry could have come up with.


the cool thing about restovich is he fills the role of b.grieve with the upside of being a better defender/arm and being cheap/under club control if he's good enough to stick around on a mlb role. that said, even if he puts up a monster spring, he's not really the type of guy likely to be carried on the roster all year unless someone gets injured. he's just so prone to flailing wildly at breaking pitches.

Rob, I was at that game too - not long before I moved back to Chicago from L.A. My God, was it hot that day.

Restovich is a solid player. He can mash LHP would be a nice platoon player for Jones and 5th OF option hopefully outplays Grissom because I believe there is a undecided bench slot and those are the 2 guys in the running for it.

Of course I was not at that Sunday game. I went on Friday (loss) and Saturday (loss) but my wife thought going to all three was too much! Of course it was a cool 90-something degrees at Chavez Ravine that day.

Grissom's signing ends any chance of Murton starting. Book it.

Long way to go for that to happen. Grissom needs a spot on the 40 man roster before he can be on the 25 man.

We're assembling a pretty good bench. What are the odds Dusty will see it as that?

it was a miserably hot day and still can feel the sense of dread of having to sit in the aluminum seat that had been baking in the sun for the last few hours. Best games I ever seen Prior pitch in person though. I think I went to the Friday game as well, but not the Saturday one.

well the bench seems a lot more potent than the past few years...restovich or grissom...either's not bad to have around as a bench player, imo. patterson's probally gone, though...cant imagine the cubs keeping him around as a 100% bench OF'r. that trade could make a difference in whether we see restovich and/or grissom at all past spring, too. restovich had a really nice spring last year for TB...and he was cut.

please, if it came down to grissom vs restovich, is there any doubts on who'd make the club, no matter what they did in spring training? Restovich should look good in the Iowa outfield.

as per the 40 man, Korey, Walker and one of those damn catchers is likely to go at some point. Depends on what we get for them, but they'll be some space by spring training, there always is.

Haha, that was the only game I went to that year... the announcers kept going on about how Kevin Brown hadn't given up a homer in months.

well...m.grissom vs. restovich isnt exactly something to get hyped over. they're both good bench guys, but grissom can play CF and has power, too. its not like restovich is some hidden misused stud. grissom might be "done" but he's only 1 partial season away from a pretty consistant power/contact-hitting career. they're both nice gambles considering the cubs need for a RH OF bench option. i was hoping for davanon, personally...

I watch a lot of Angels game, I like Davanon's approach at the plate, but he's almost comical to watch when chasing a flyball. Not that we really needed much of a glove for utility OF, but it was quite bad. I suppose he'll get an NRI at some point from someone.

im just a davanon mark for his bat and versitility...he's no everyday guy at almost any spot in the OF, but he's got just enough speed for CF and just enough arm for RF. for everyday use he's best suited for a DH-heavy year, though...yeah.

I just read the great news! Preston Wilson has signed a 1 year deal with the Astros. This is good news on 2 fronts: 1) We don't have to watch him strike out 150 times for the Cubs next year. 2) We have the privilege of watching him strike out 150 times next year for a division rival. I'm breaking out the champagne!

Dusty's almost ready for spring training. All we need now is Benito Santiago and Shawon Dunston.

Derrek Lee question: What's it going to take to lock him up assuming the deal is done before opening day? I think a 3/36 offer (beginning in 2007) would be a good place for Lee and the Cubs to start. Despite his great season in 2005, anyone who think he should average more per year in his contract than Carlos Delgado is nuts: including Steinbrenner.

Good lord...look at this lineup that played in that game: Lofton cf Martinez 2b Sosa rf O'Leary lf Karros 1b Ramirez 3b Miller c Ojeda ss We made the playoffs that year!? In Dusty We Trusty!

wpz ha! I can't wait to bring back my shawon-o-meter!

I'm sure Lee will be looking for Konerko money (5/60), so I'm guessing at least 4/48 if Lee feels like settling, maybe more crazy out clauses or no-trade protection would get that done. Considering he'sa GG'ever and Konerko most definitely is not, that should be his market.

"well the bench seems a lot more potent than the past few years" While the starting outfield looks a lot more impotent than in the past few years.

"While the starting outfield looks a lot more impotent than in the past few years." Sure about that? Worse than Holly, KPat and Burnitz?

*grissom might be "done" but he's only 1 partial season away from a pretty consistant power/contact-hitting career.* Funny how a lot of guys are one-half season removed from consistently good play. Funny how roid testing went into affect just about that same time. What are the odds that Grissom is your starting day LF, given Dusty's stubbornness?

Andrew- Just trying to point out that outfield this year, bench and starters, will be hard to watch if Murton does not live up to potential.

I think the Astos deal with Preston Wilson makes the Cubs look very incompetent. 1 yr at 4M for Wilson, 3 years at 16 for Jones...

In addition to Grissom, Ojeda, and Restovich, I expect the Cubs to invite the following non-roster "in-house guys" to Spring Training (although no announcement has been made as of yet): PITCHERS: Cliff Bartosh Bobby Brownlie Phil Norton Russ Rohlicek Raul Valdez COMMENT: You can never have too many LOOGYs in camp. It's a Spring Training tradition. CATCHERS: Jacob Fox Casey Kopitzke Tony Richie COMMENT: Since Barrett and Blanco will probably be busy for much of Spring Training playing in the World Baseball Classic, the Cubs will need a couple more catchers than the usual six needed to catch all the pitchers present at the start of Spring Training, hence Kopitzke, Richie, and Fox (and Casey McGehee can catch, too) will probably be invited to camp, in addition to 40-man rosterites Geovany Soto and Jose Reyes. INFIELDERS: Mike Fontenot Casey McGehee Brandon Sing OUTFIELDERS: Adam Greenberg

you can pretty much bet if p.wilson got 1yr/4m he's not exactly 100%.

Ariz Phil, did the Cubs re-sign Greenberg after they cut him?

greenberg wasnt cut...he was designated for assignment (DFA) which exposed him to the waiver wire. he went unclaimed and was sent to AAA iowa.

Thanks Crunch.

That Wilson deal is a 4/1 deal but the Astros have a 24/3 option they can exercise after the season. Wilson should put up sick numbers in that park I think he could hit 30 HR and knock in 130 at the Juice box which I am sure Hou picks up that 24/3 option then.

I'm not feeling real good about the make-up of the Cubs offense right now. I still feel we should focus on pitching as our strength and I'm aware the 2003 offense was no juggernaut, but when I see stuff about Perez as possible starting 2B with Cedeno alongside at SS, Jones conceivably hitting cleanup and Grissom brought in at this stage of his career, I'm not real impressed. I'm OK with Cedeno at SS-if it's balanced with a proven hitter like Walker at 2B. Murton in LF and Jones in RF? OK, balance it out with platoon partners like Craig Wilson or Hidalgo in RF (I'd take either over Grissom at this stage). I still like the idea of seeing big ol' Cliff Floyd in LF hitting cleanup against RH pitching if we could get him from the Mets on the cheap. This lineup needs more pop and so does the bench. Go to it, Jim Hendry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/04/sports/base... Details why Burnitz backed out of the O's deal, apparently world-class owner Peter Angelos likes to take his sweet time mulling over physicals. It reports the deal to be worth $6.7 mil this year and could be 2/12 if the mutual option is picked up for next year.

Augie Ojeda. Wow. He has been my example for the last 3-4 years that all glove no hitting middle infielders are a dime a dozen in every teams major league system. Why spend a million or in the Cubs case 2.5 million on a Neifi Perez when Augie can do just as good a job for less. You know what is interesting about those small sample size AB's last year is that Augie managed 10 walks in 59's and only 3 SO. That is mighty impressive. To put that into perspective. Ojeda only needed 8 more walks to tie Neifi Perez who had 572 AB's. Augie is amazing with the glove he makes Perez look like Todd Walker in the field. I would much rather have him at 300k to do the same job Perez will get paid 2.5 million to fill.

I think you should get extra roster spots if you employ more than one player over 40. Do you think Dusty would go for that one?

Rotoworld is saying (courtsy of the Baltimore Sun) the Orioles rejected Manram, Clement, and cash because they want more. What in the hell more are they going to get more in terms of talent. The sun report says the Astros and Cubs are also in the running. They say Hou is dangling Lidge in a deal. I dont see how that helps BAL as a CL does them no good by keeping or flipping him.

well, considering furcal is worth 13m...getting tejada for 12m a year is gonna take something a lot more attractive than taking on 30m a year in payroll for mram/clement unless some very serious cash is involved. they got 2-3 big market clubs and god knows who else in on this whole tejada thing. personally, i have no idea where it could possibly start or end. baltimore seems to be divided on whether established names or prospects are more important and how to ballance their worth in possible trades.

Mike C, 'Augie Ojeda. Wow. He has been my example for the last 3-4 years that all glove no hitting middle infielders are a dime a dozen in every teams major league system. Why spend a million or in the Cubs case 2.5 million on a Neifi Perez when Augie can do just as good a job for less?' Augie Ojeda before last season had a career WARP of .3. The 1.4 he threw up (no pun intended) will probably be his career high. Neifi has a career WARP of 24 - having posted 7 seasons with a single season WARP better than Augie's Career mark of 1.7. WARP = Wins Above Replacement Player. Augie Ojeda is pretty much the picture wikopedia would carry for a replacement player. Neifi is a better hitter and a better fielder than Augie... as hard as that is to contemplate. And before any of you stat-heads get worked up, I know WARP is PT dependant, but there's only so much effort one wants to put into debating the value of Neifi over Augie.

The Boston Herald says a Lugo for Marte is gaining steam. This could be playing hardball with the O's but it also could mean their giving up on getting Tejada. I dont think their getting Lugo to flip in a deal with Baltimore because they could simply put Marte in the deal who could play 1b for the O's or they could use him to get Lugo if they prefereed him over Marte. If Bal is thinking about getting prospects than MLB talent this is looking good for the Cubs.

lugo for marte...they get rid of renteria to pick up lugo? at least the money will come out cheaper...but the D is a step backward...as screwy as that is considering renteria's year last season with the glove.

Dad was out from Indiana and that was the first of two games I saw Prior pitch that year---the second one was the one Mr. Bartman attended at Wrigley. Weather wasn't as hot, but the fans were about the 8th inning or so....I actually thought that Sosa was gonna hit the sawtooth roof of the Dodger Stadium pavilion that day....

I was at the Prior/Brown game at Dodger Stadium. Absolutely fantastic stuff. Perfectly paced, two great pitching performances, and a pair of Sosa homers to win it.

more on Burnitz deal...O's voicing an informal complaint to MLB(whatever that means). http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06004/632077.stm An Orioles team official said yesterday they voiced an informal complaint with MLB about the way Burnitz and his Connecticut-based agent, Howard Simon, negotiated. "We had an agreement, and they backed out," Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette said. "We negotiate in good faith." Simon acknowledged it was his side that backed out, explaining it was primarily because Baltimore would not alter a contractual requirement for a physical that is more elaborate and takes more time than that of most teams. That, Simon added, prompted him and Burnitz to worry the Orioles would deliberately delay his signing while they continued talks with the Boston Red Sox aimed at acquiring superstar outfielder Manny Ramirez, thus costing Burnitz a chance to capitalize on other offers. Baltimore officials scoffed at the notion that their procedure for physicals played a role. One said Burnitz told the Orioles his reason for changing his mind was that the Pirates play more games in California, where his family lives. --- and on the availability of Craig Wilson Burnitz's acquisition and the trade for first baseman Sean Casey appear to bump Craig Wilson out of the Pirates' plans. Wilson, 29, plays first and right field, and he is unlikely to be retained as a bench player with a salary in the range of $4 million, which is what he is expected to receive this month. "I really don't know what their plan is," Wilson said last night from his home in California. "I'm hoping to be part of it somewhere." Wilson is coming off a season in which two injuries to his left hand limited him to 59 games. The Pirates have made known their desire to trade him but are believed to have had difficulty generating interest because of his injuries.

looks like CWilson can be had for Augie O and a bucket of balls: - Q and A with Pirates Dejan Kovacevic (more on Craig Wilson's status): http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06004/632187.stm Q. ...but with Burnitz signing, does that mean Craig Wilson could fetch a veteran starting pitcher to help a staff of young guys or a positional prospect to replace one of the new free agents next year? What about still playing him in right, Burnitz in center, and Bay in left?... Doug Molhoek of Vienna, Va. KOVACEVIC: Wow, you are willing to go that extra mile to keep him, aren't you? No, Doug, those scenarios will not happen. Chris Duffy will start in center and, unless he implodes in spring training, is going to bat leadoff. That will make for an outfield of Bay, Duffy and Burnitz. What will happen to Wilson is that he will continue to be shopped for a trade but, as I wrote in the newspaper for today, that does not mean there is a willing partner. Hand injuries tend to be very scary for teams looking into making commitments for hitters (Pat Meares, anyone?), and I have heard that the interest in Wilson has been minimal. What that probably will mean is that he starts the season with the Pirates, spends some time in right or at first while coming off the bench, and gets a chance to prove he is healthy and capable of returning to form. Once that happens, the shopping can resume, and maybe someone is interested. It seems immensely unlikely he will last the season, partly because, as mentioned above, he will be a free agent for 2007.

oops, Dejan Kovacevic Pirate beat writer with the Pitt Post-Gazette (I didn't mean to imply he is a Pirate employee)

What are the odds that Grissom is your starting day LF, given Dusty's stubbornness? I'm as skeptical/down on Dusty as anyone, and I'd be quite surprised if Grissom took PAs from Murton. Grissom will make the team as a 4th OF only if Patterson is dealt (which may be likely). As for Restovich, I wouldn't be upset about him being in Iowa and Grissom being in Chicago. I've always liked Restovich, but he hasn't hit since 2002 (and that includes a brief stint in Colorado last year). If he can turn things around, I'd like to see him get a shot, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Isn't Mabry the 4th Outfielder right now?

Don't know if this was covered but the Preston Wilson contract is 1 year $4 million - OR - 4 years 28 Million if the club doesn't buy out for $500,00 after 2006. Makes more sense now.

> Isn't Mabry the 4th Outfielder right now? I hope Mabry never ends up near the outfield. As an outfielder, he's a pretty good pinch-hitter.

I am with you Christian but I am trying to realistically get into Dusty's head. Wonder how he views Mabry . . .

I am with you Christian but I am trying to realistically get into Dusty's head. Wonder how he views Mabry . . . He views him as the Holly to murtons Dubois

We are all missing the best part of the Grissom, Mabry and Restovich signings -- Jose Macias will not be a Cub next year. Not even an Iowa Cub.

"What are the odds that Grissom is your starting day LF, given Dusty's stubbornness?" He won't be until Murton's first 0 for 2 day with two walks. "Dude needs to learn how to hit."

The Baltimore Sun today reports that the Orioles turned down Boston's offer of Manny, Clement and cash for Tejada. The report indicates that the Orioles are more interested in receiving young pitching and that the Red Sox were not willing to part with Papelbon or Lester. It states that the Cubs and Astros are still in the running for acquiring Tejada. I am beginning to think that no Tejada trade will happen. Hendry won't give up Z, the Red Sox won't give up a top pitching prospect, it has never been clear to me what the Astros have to offer (no way they trade Berkman, but he is probably who the O's want), and the Mets won't offer the "star power" Angelos is demanding (Heilman, Seo and Floyd for Tejada would not be a bad deal for the O's but I cannot see them doing it). This is just a gut feel on my part, but I think Miggy stays put. Now, there has been some scuttle around DC that Soriano is back on the trading block for pitching...he apparently ain't a happy camper.

the name of the game is hitting, dude. It aint called walking. When is the last time they kept track of walk leaders, dude

There isn't any doubt that Grissom makes the team. He is exactly Dusty's kind of guy. Those of you that are happy Preston Wilson signed with the Astros, let me ask you this question - as a 4th/5th OF and main righty pinch-hitter off the bench, would you rather have Wilson or Grissom? I am assuming you are trying to build a championship team. I content given the premise, Wilson will help you win more games. There is of course, the substantial risk that Dusty will overuse either of them, this is a wash. In my book, the Cubs essentailly substituted Grissom for Wilson, which is a negative in going for a championship. Don't bring up the difference in money, because we don't know what their budget is and most of us suspect that they have money left. Are they gong to sepnd it, or save it for the mid-season add-on that will never materaialize becuae they will be too far behind. Spend the money now so the player can help all year, not just the second half. Also, didn't McFail state last year that the money from the new box seats and all similar expansions would go into the budget for players. Shouldn't the same rational apply to the bleacher expansion? This should put their budget at $110,000,000 or more.

But there was no "Wilson or Grissom" decision to be made -- do we have any indication that Wilson would have signed with the Cubs as a fourth outfielder instead of with the Astros as a starter? I can't see why he would have...

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport... Sosa back to NL Central? "An article from a Dominican news service said Pittsburgh is interested in signing Sosa. According to the article, after signing Joe Randa as its third baseman, the Pirates want to sign one more free agent this winter and now that first choice Eric Byrnes has a tentative agreement with Arizona, Sosa is the primary target." Sammy is now Pirates Plan B after they missed out on Eric Byrnes? Wow. How the mighty have fallen.

I just noticed that the story above is 3 days old. Sorry if it's already been discussed here. I've been away for a while.

Sammy will be eating sushi this summer. Does the Japanese league test for steroids? I also thought I read on this site that Wilson wanted to play for the Cubs. If Cubs do not get in some discussions next week for players, I would say hello to your 2006 Cubs.

MLBtraderumors.com is saying a 3-way deal with the Cubs, Red Sox, and Mariners is immient. CHC Gets: Ibanez Graffinio Bos Gets: Reed Ohman M's Get: Cpat Arroyo PTBNL This is idiotic why with Tejada on the market would we want a MI and why would BOS want to give up a SP when they would have to give up SP to get Tejada. Also for Sea is the benafit of getting Arroyo for Reed of giving up Ibanez for Cpat my guess is that PTBNL is RYU a solid pitching prospect who helps them with their marketing to the Asian community in Sea. I really hate it when teams add guys for the sole reason of demographic marketing. I know I am getting worked up over a lie.

seems like an odd trade for the Cubs to make, giving us way too many OFers. Unless Ibanez and maybe Walker are used as trade bait.

That's a weird little 3-way trade rumor, chifan3887 -- unsatisfying for the Cubs and Mariners and a Boston dream. Graff is an OK infield bench player for which we have no room now that we have Neifi, Cedeno and Mabry (for 1B and 3B). He's not an everyday 2B, so this would not "free Hendry up" to trade Walker. For the Cubs, this trade would have made much more sense in early November -- before re-upping Neifi and signing Jones. The Mariners give up two solid-but-unspectacular OFs for three question marks -- Corey, Arroyo and PTNL. That makes no sense for a team that really is not that far from winning the AL West. The Red Sox get the CF they seem to covet (Reed) but give up Arroyo. That's a trade I believe they have offered the M's in the past. As to whether Arroyo would help them net Tejada, according to the Baltimore Sun report today, the Red Sox offered Clement, Manny and $$ for Tejada and were rejected. I don't think the O's would prefer Arroyo that much more over Clement (setting salary concerns aside.)

DC Tom, you've got to be kidding...that trade is an immediate DO for the cubs giving up patterson and ohman (worthless and worth something, but not a ton) for just ibanez would be pretty good, getting a decent utility guy in graffanino is even better. unfortunately it would likely mean curtains with the cubs for two guys i like, murton and walker has everyone here forgotten that HAIRSTON is on this team? this would mean you can trade walker and hairston becomes your starter, with graffanino and neifi the backups on the infield. the flip side of the bad news of walker and murton being gone is that those two can fetch you a lot in a trade. hmmm....two big on base guys with good pop....cubs could use a starting pitcher....oakland anyone? i know the reports are that the a's don't want murton bc their outfield is full, but swisher is moving to 1B from what i understand, and having murton as a 4th OFer and a sub if the oft-injured payton does get hurt is a nice option for a team that will compete. mark ellis had a good year for the A's at 2B, but has no other track record, i'm sure beane would like walker, who he would likely also use at 1B in some cases. if this deal goes through (which it's a long way from doing, but i'm having some fun) murton, walker, young pitcher for zito? pierre cedeno lee ramirez ibanez jones hairston barrett while that's not a great lineup, how about this pitching staff? Zambrano Zito Prior Maddux Williams (with wood and rusch waiting) a solid pen dempster eyre howry wuertz williamson novoa rusch and a decent bench blanco neifi mabry graffanino grissom? not sure the M's do this deal, but I am confident hendry would.

it wasn't modesty, it was embarresment. :) Much like Neifi, if used properly I have no problems having Marquis around the team, sadly with our manager there's a better chance he's used rather improperly. And if he's taking AB's away from anybody, it's more likely to be Murton than Jones. That trade doesn't make any sense but neither does mlbtraderumors.com.

Plus, I gathered that the Cubs very much wanted to go into the season with 2 lefties in the pen and Rusch is tabbed to be a starter by Hendry. So unless another deal is forthcoming, I just don't get this trade. Not that it would be a bad trade, just don't get it.

Green Lantern, You are right, I did "forget" about Hairston. But I am not sure I want him as my everyday 2B and think instead that if Walker is dealt, Neifi becomes our everyday 2B. In a straight-up comparison (and ignoring the side of the plate they hit from), I am not sure I would prefer to have Ibanez over Murton. Murton is less-expensive and under club control for several years. Acquiring Ibanez adds to our payroll and simply benches Murton, that's why the rumor is "unsatisfying". Of course, I would certainly think differently about this trade if Murton were involved in a deal for Zito (more likely Murton, Weurtz and Rich Hill). But if a Murton deal is not in the works, acquiring Ibanez and Graff now, after signing Jones and Neifi, simply seems silly. If this deal were possible, it should have been done in early November and we could have put the money saved into the Furcal or "re-sign Z" fund.

It's not a grissom v. wilson question, but jones v. wilson seems like a valid question. I'd much rather have wilson for 1 year/4 mil, than sign jones for 3 years at a higher salary.

agreed with both Rob and DC Tom, another deal would have to follow. i was throwing around ideas, and murton going to oakland for Z (italian Z, not venezuelan Z) with some other cubs has been rumored before. it would make sense from that perspective bc the cubs can't really trade murton without getting another OF somehow. if you can do this deal for ibanez, and murton/wuertz/hill would be all it would take to get zito, do both. unfortunately, both of those sound too good to be true.

http://cubs.scout.com/2/485237.html?refid=3655 Inside the Ivy's Top 25 Cubs prospect list that is littered with guys no longer on the team. Nice that they updated it.... The site's going to s*** since their main writer left. I'd make this a post, but it's too poorly done to waste the time For s**** and giggles 1. Felix Pie 2. Brian Dopirak 3. Ronny Cedeno 4. Rich Hill 5. Ryan Harvey 6. Matt Murton (Are you f***** kidding me?) 7. Angel Guzman 8. Mark Pawelek 9. Eric Patterson 10. Geovany Soto (i'm trying not to laugh too hard) 11. Dylan Johnston 12. Sean Marshall 13. Jermaine Van Buren 14. Reynel Pinto 15. Ricky Nolasco 16. Brandon Sing 17. Donald Veal 18. Carlos Marmol 19. Russ Rohlicek 20. Bobby Brownlie 21. Buck Coats 22. Mark Holliman 23. Mark Reed 24. Sean Gallagher 25. Scott Moore

as mentioned, no matter how much P. Wilson may have wanted to play for us, it wasn't going to be as a reserve. As for Wilson vs. Jones, the Cubs seemed determined to put a left-handed bat out there, I'm sure that was the deciding factor along with health issues.

for crunch... http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_3368891 The Rockies have strong interest in Jeff Davanon, also ex-Cub Alex Gonzalez if they can't finalize the Willie Harris deal soon. Isn't the Marlin Alex Gonzalez a FA? Not even a whisper about him all off-season. He does have a slick glove at least.

If this trade is the first step in acquiring Zito/Tejada then I love it. But I'm seriously starting to feel like we're putting together two complete mediocre teams.

CUBS/RED SOX/MARINERS TRADE POSSIBLE Reported on MLB Trade Rumors, this is the scenario: BOS gives: Bronson Arroyo, Tony Graffanino, PTBNL BOS gets: Jeremy Reed, Will Ohman CHC gives: Corey Patterson, Ohman CHC gets: Raul Ibanez, Graffanino, cash SEA gives: Reed, Ibanez, cash SEA gets: Arroyo, Patterson, PTBNL Looking over the scenario, I think the Cubs should make the deal. If there is any truth to this trade. Read about it on MLB Trade Rumors.

Raul Ibanez? YAWN! How pedestrian can we get?

Have you looked over Ibanez's stats....I don't think it will make you yawn. Playing in Seattle would make anyone a pedestrian, imagine how much bigger Ishiro would be if he played somewhere else.

if this club picks up ibanez you can pretty much say g'bye to murton. actually, that whole trade scenerio makes very little sense for any team involved unless its just to pick up pieces for another trade. looks sketchy at best. both the players the cubs would pick up arent even needed and the m's would rob themselves in that trade.

When I think of the big names out there that are/were available my mind always goes to the big time sluggers like ManRam, Tejada and Ibanez. RIGHT! (yawn)

I apologize if anyone linked to this before, but it's absolutely hilarious and comes with some Neifi! references. Bob Timmerman's, 2006 year in preview: http://griddle.baseballtoaster.com/archives/3...

Does anyone believe the O's. Burnitz backed out a deal because the Pirates play more games in CA? Yes three to be exact since there is one more CA team in the NL than the AL. Something tells Burnitz did not back out a deal for 3 games in CA,. FYI the Pirates have technically been chasing him for two years as they were his fallback team if the Cubs did not sign him last year but he waited it out knowing he would be the last guy standing when the finally got rid of Sosa. I wish him well but not when he plays against us

I looked at the schedules.. The O's play the Angels twice next year in LA and one of the trips also play the A's. The Pirates play twice in LA next year as well versus the Dodgers and one of those trips also play San Diego. They have a 4 game set vs the Giants too, plus a trip to Arizona which is about the same distance from southern California as San Fran or Oakland. Burnitz did play for Tracy before, so I wouldn't be surprised if that factored into the decision as well. Wacky. Did anyone else notice that Sosa just got picked over for Burnitz? How the mighty have fallen...

Chad The ironic thing is you as well as most other Cub fans want the big-big names,like ManRam, and Tejada. I do too! Forget ManRam coming to the North Side, and if you wnat the Cubs to win now, Murton (might be a good player someday) is not our starting leftfielder for '06 nor is ManRam. If this trade doesn't go down, I wish Murton the best of luck trying to win a starting job with Grissom, and Dusty around.

Jessica, other reports quote Burnitz' agent as saying the O's had some ridiculous requirements for his physical, with needing I believe 3 seperate physicals, then the O's would study the results and decide if they wanted to sign him. His agent says that could have taken weeks and if the O's decided not to sign Burnitz that the other two openings, Houston and Pitt, would have been filled by then, leaving Burnie high and dry.

"Wacky. Did anyone else notice that Sosa just got picked over for Burnitz? How the mighty have fallen... Posted by: Rob G" er, Rob, it's not like this hasn't happened before. If you recall, the Cubs picked Burnitz over Sosa last year.

Green Lantern makes a good point. I can see the logic of trading for Ibanez if you can get Zito. Lets face it, Dusty doesn't put faith in rookies. If we get Graffanino, he'll play 2b, Perez will start at short. At least he won't hit leadoff. Dusty will not pin his hopes on any rookies. Say goodbye to Murton, Cedeno and Rich Hill. I think the deals are a coming...

wouldn't really say the Cubs "picked" burnitz over sosa last year. They jettisoned Sosa (and paid through the nose for the pleasure) and then picked up the FA leftovers. If I recall correctly, the Cubs choices at the time were Burnitz or Pedro Cerrano. Both have trouble with the curve. :)

you just cant trust rookies, dude. They are rookies for a reason. If they are so good they would have been born sooner and be older.

If I recall correctly, the Cubs choices at the time were Burnitz or Pedro Cerrano. Both have trouble with the curve. :) and apparently jobu signed with the mets along with Pedro martinez

These posts written by "Dusty Baker" are HILARIOUS.

Bob, if by hilarious you mean lame, then yes, I agree.

funny, maybe...but 100% void of rationality. cedeno and murton are starters and that's pretty much a given. both dusty and hendry have given them the nod. hell, theyve had the job before last season ever ended. cedeno was due to take 2nd if furcal came on board and given that his competition is t.walker/j.hairson/n.perez that says enough.

"cedeno was due to take 2nd if furcal came on board and given that his competition is t.walker/j.hairson/n.perez that says enough." Do we know that though? Or was that just speculation by the Cubs community and beat writers trying to finneagle some meaning from obscure Hendry/Baker quotes?

just speculation, but cedeno is #1 on the pecking order to start over any of the rest from all info gleened. almost every scenerio given, including quotes from baker himself, points to the kids starting. its pretty much a given that cedeno's gonna have to screw up bad to lose a starting role..be it 2nd or SS as of right now. the club also seems to be on no push to find a LF'r, either...leaving it to murton.

If cedeno was truly the starter next year, then why did I refuse to play him down the stretch when were fell out of the race. Same goes with Murton to a lesser extent. Now we go into 06 with 2 question marks because I was too stubborn to see what they had last year.

and the Irrational interest in RAul F'N Ibanez is all you need to know about where Murton stands. Murton was optioned out last year when he was hitting 350, to save the roster spot of a 237 hitting Hollandsworth and Jose Macias

I'll say with a bit of certainty that hendry is quite high on cedeno. He doesn't appeared to have been dangled in any trades and considering his ascension through the system despite some mediocre #'s prior to last year, hendry sees something in the kid. Much the same can be said about Murton. But Hendry isn't handing over any job to any rookie, Murton, Cedeno, Choi, Dubois, whomever. He always puts a few (bad) vets on the roster to stir up competition in Spring training and give Dusty options. The problem lies in Dusty's "you know what your getting with vets" mentality. He just does not have the patience or faith to weather a rookie's slump. So yeah, Cedeno and Murton might win jobs in spring training, but 2 weeks of slumping and they'll lose playing time quick. The same can't be said for how Baker treats his vets. Burnitz couldn't hit a softball in the 2nd half last year, but rarely missed a game. If the rookies are good enough, they'll persevere and get their playing time back, even in Dusty's messed up way of doing things. For whatever reason, Dusty sees "vets" and "rookies" (loosely phrased to indicate all inexperienced players) on his team rather then just seeing "baseball players". I don't agree with it, but it's what we're stuck with it.

cedeno broke his hand in early sept, that the main reason he wasn't playing.

Many people (including Hendry) assumed Dubois was going to be the starting left fielder in '05, and Dusty shot that down at the Cubs Convention when he said Holly would get 100-130 starts.

cedeno broke his hand in early sept, that the main reason he wasn't playing. That was in september, What about August

I truly want to be wrong when I say that Dusty wont play Murton and Cedeno enough. I have just lived through the Dusty era and dont like the track record.

i doubt hendry is dumb enough to believe dubois is a starting LF'r. he was a horrible hitter with horrible holes in his game. both his D and plate presence are nothing you count on for a mlb team. he's a guy who would be lucky to see 300-400ab's if he actually did come through early. there was nothing attractive about dubois and even the minor league reporters were not fooled by his numbers, refusing to list him near the top of the cubs prospect lists. he shouldnt even crack cleveland's top 10 and might not even crack their top 20.

btw, dubois is no longer officially a "prospect" so he wont rank at all..but he's not all that not only to the cubs, but to many teams. hell, look at what his trade value was.

trust me, I'm not a fan of Dusty and the way he treats rookies and the fact that he even distinguishes between the 2. But once Aramis went down around Aug 25th and Nomar moved to 3rd, Ronny was playing about every other day. Should of it been every day? Yeah, but the Ronny at 2B experiment was being saved for the off-season.

Like I said I see Dusty sitting Murton the first chance he gets when he slumps to Grissom in the line up. And the best I see Cedeno getting under Dusty is a platoon with Walker. In which Neifi will play SS or 2b everyday and walker starting against rh and cedeno against lh. "Can't take the glove from Neifi" (real Dusty quote)

grissom isnt even on the team yet. he's a 38/39 year old with an invite to ST. if he dont make the team, unless he fails bad in ST, he probally wont accept a minor league assignment and ask for his release. restovich vs. grissom isnt even on the table until the team figures out what to do with patterson. if patterson is traded for a stable RH bench OF'r the whole thing becomes moot.

wouldn't worry about a platoon with walker, 95% chance he won't be with the team on Opening Day.

Rob, you have to remember how Dusty would explain not playing Cedeno last summer when we fell out of the race. It was always " I can't just forget about neifi, he has saved our season " and crap along those lines. In fact that is a direct quote. All I am saying is I dont like the track record. And I think it is dangerous on Mcfails part to allow a Gm/Manager team to control the franchise, when they need to win the save their jobs. What motivation does Jim or Dusty have to keep prospects when they are probably gone at seasons end.

I remeber when Dusty came on board in '03 and everyone thought Hill was going to be the starting seconbaseman. Then we picked up Grudz in what was believed to be a Hundley dump. Grudz missed nearly all of spring training and Dusty gave him the job anyway saying Hill came to camp lazy like he was owed the job. At the time I thought good for Dusty, he doesn't take any crap and demands total performance. Now we know the truth, that Dusty was just giving us a lot of crap about the lack of effort and there was no way Hill was going to start. The same thing will happen with Cedeno/Murton. Whether it is poor spring training, lack of skills, lack of experience or some new excuse, Murton and Cedeno will be fighting up hill battles to play. Murton was hitting well over .300 last year and Dusty didn't play him everyday until the very end. If he was hitting merely .280 or .290, he would never have seen the starting lineup.

Hendry had to trade both lawton AND holly before murton was penciled in the lineup on a regular basis. Then he had to split time with hairston.

a manager does control the team, though. if a GM runs the clubhouse, the clubhouse becomes a dangerously unrespectful place. just ask dave miley. he had 20-year olds running all over him cuz he didnt have any respect cuz they knew he was a front office puppet. dunn, casey, jiminez, mo pena all called their own shots there. its not uncommon for a rookie, even a star rookie, neither of which cedeno/murton/etc. are to be eased into a role. even poster boy of man-crush manager drool toys in atlanta, mr cox, doesnt just throw a rookie out there unless its all he's got. aside from furcal and a.jones he hasnt thrown a rookie out there with no options in almost 15 years...just ask ryan klesko about that. hell, even when dusty gives the jobs over people still dont trust its what he's doing even though they'll take a comment from a press conference (something dusty doesnt remotely take seriously) and call it gospel.

Crunch, I'm not defending Dubois, I'm just saying that there was a hole in left field and two possibilities to fill it -- Holly and Dubois. Most people, including Hendry based on comments he made ("What else does he have to do", etc.), assumed that Dubois would be given the first shot at starting. Dusty obviously felt otherwise. That's why I don't think it's safe to assume Murton and Cedeno have starting positions locked up; Dusty's track record shows that when there's an opening on his team, he'd much rather fill that hole with mediocre veteran player than risk playing a rookie.

TJ, Grudz played over Hill cause HILL SUCKED.

well, dusty has said cedeno/murton are starting. he even joked about how he'd be killed if they didnt. he was laughing while he was saying that, but some would probally like to think he was crying. and if anyone felt comfortable with dubois being a starter over anyone, that's just scarey. a platoon is one thing, but dubois failing hard didnt come as a suprise to many. numbers can only tell so much of a story. hell, restovich's minor league numbers and his age dont point to a guy who's practically begging for a backup spot on a MLB club...when you get cut by TB in spring after a near-.400 ob% perfromance with power you know there's more how a player put up those #s than the #s themselves. btw, restovich is a black-hole for breaking pitches.

my memory is kind of foggy, other than C. jones A. jones R. klesko furcal, laroche,estrada,javy lopez,greg olson,smoltz,glavine,mercker,wohlers,langerhans, rocker, lemke,blauser,derosa who did Bobby cox not let play when they were rookies?

cox is notorious for giving rookies 1-2 years and only 200-ish ab's to break in. there's a laundry list of guys who didnt get a full shot til they got a few small tastes, including that group mentioned. and in a lot of cases, there were failures of vets that caused these tastes. atl had to go through mondesi and jordan last year before any of the "kids" got a taste. i'd credit atl's GM with giving cox little choice but the kids by roster maniulation before i'd heap praise on cox. and if you wanna count relief pitching, well...dusty will give any rookie with an arm playing time.

your right crunch, I was just being a smart-ass, The whole point is that you cant like Dusty's track record in this matter. and you cant like his lineup constuction,handling of pitching staff, abuse of starting pitchers, lack of fundamentals on his ballclubs, lack of accountability from Him or his players during the last 2 seasons, and his belief that you have to be black or latino to play well during the day. Other than these minor points, I think he is a great leader for this club, and should be the face of the franchise as long as he wants to be.

And that is why I am giving myself and Dusty contract extentions this spring

TJ, you can't really mean that you'd rather have Bobby Hill than Grudz starting at 2B. Then or now. Dusty was right about that one.

personally, i could mostly care less who's the manager of the cubs, but dusty does have a few predictable traits that arent always total negatives. certain traits of his like a penchant for vets isnt absolute gospel, but theyre not unique to him in any way. dusty will always have speed lead...even if its not blinding speed. this is why a guy like j.jones will almost definately hit 2nd vs. righties and not cleanup. its also why guys like neifi/macias/patterson were up top when they played. annoying? yeah, sometimes. every manager comes with some baggage... about dusty's abuse of pitchers myth, though...that's played out. the guy dont even have a history of abusing pitchers or sending them to surgery. he extends prior/Z/wood for a single season and all of a sudden he's frank robinson...he's not that bad.

By the way, the main reason the Cubs made the 03 playoffs was that Patterson got injured and had to be replaced by a veteran (Lofton). Lofton leading off in September completely changed the ability of the Cubs to score early and get their pitching staff leads in games. Patterson (the rookie that Dusty would have prefered not to play) would have failed. You know, that Dusty guy actually knows a little bit about baseball. Hendry too.

cf pierre ss cedeno 1b dlee lf ibanez 3b ARam rf Jacque c barrett 2b hairston bench neifi mabry graff. grissom H. White rotation z prior zito maddux williams/wood pen dumpster howry eyre williamson rusch wuertz do that mlbtraderumors.com trade with seattle for ibanez and graffino, losing Korey the K master and Ohman!. Then make a deal with Mr. Moneyball for Zito...Murton, Hill, Koronka, and PTBNL. Ibanez provides more pop in the OF than Murton, and he can also backup Lee at 1b. And the rotation is just plain sick! The deal for Zito should be able to happen, Atl didn't give up much for Hudson last winter(Juan Cruz,who should just stay in AAA, Charles Thomas, and Dan Meyer). I just don't think we can win with rookies starting in lf AND ss, one of the two, maybe..so I'd keep Ronny. OF's are a dime a dozen, SS don't come around that often. How many rookies did the white sox and red sox have starting in the field in 04 and 05? NONE. But since that trade was posted at mlbtraderumors.com, there is a 99.992% chance that it will not happen. But it made me feel all warm and fuzzy. DON'T TRADE PRIOR!!!

I'm with you Newport. I like Ibanez because he has some pop and a much better K/BB ratio than most outfielders we've been trotting out there: -2/1. And I've wanted to add Zito to the middle of the rotation for the past year. Zambrano-Zito-Prior. Wow.

I remember that Score interview Mike North had with Dusty, where Dusty was laughing and saying he doesn't have much of a choice but to play Murton and Cedeno or the press will bad mouth him. But I also remember later in the interview he said something about the starters at those positions are not decided yet.

"every manager comes with some baggage..." Crunch you are way too intelligent to believe this shit. What is your agenda? Do you just like arguing against THE WORLD or are you a Hendry/Baker PR guy? You defend the Cubs organization as if it is both brilliant and your own despite the fact that A.) the organization is in obvious chaos B.) the organization hasn't won in 97 years and C.)the organization is coming off of a losing season. I know this may be a naive question, but can you swear that you do not work in any way for the Cubs or any Cub official or employee?

I think that's a strong lineup Newport, and the one that best gives the Cards a run for the money. Unless Angelos decides he wants to dump Tejada for prospects. Which he might have to if Miggy opens his mouth one more time. Come on, Miguel, don't you want to play in this lineup? CF Pierre 2B Hairston/Neifi 1B DLee SS Tejada LF Ibanez 3B Ramirez RF Jones C Barrett Starting 5 Z Prior Zito Maddux Williams & Woody for dessert. Wheeeeee!!!!!!

no way ramirez bats 6 . . .

pierre tejada dlee ram ibanez jones barrett hairston/neifi OH MY!!

pierre walker lee aram tejada ibanez barrett jones

pierre neifi lee jones aram mabry blanco hairston

God I hate Dusty Baker

I disagree that Hill sucked. That is using the benefit of hindsight. At the time, most Cub fans felt he was the real deal at 2nd. He was a highly regarded prospect and performed well in the minors. My point is Dusty never intended to give him a shot and came up with some BS reason. We fell for it at the time and now we know better. Cedeno and Murton will have to continously perform very well and play real good defense and not make any baserunning mistakes for Dusty to be forced to play them regularly. Any slip ups and the noose around their necks will get tighter and tighter.

And to get this lineup we'd have to give up what--Pie, Hill, Guzman, Cedeno, Murton, Walker, Patterson? Yikes. We really don't like young players, do we?

"We fell for it at the time and now we know better." No, we don't know better. Hill got his chance to play plenty in Pittsburgh and he was a sub-average player. If he had gone there and put up .295/.345/.425 numbers, then we could crucify Baker for giving up on him and sticking with Grudz and Karros. But he didn't. He's just not as good as many scouts predicted he would be. Don't you just hate admitting that Dusty was right? Sure you do. You know you do.

I think the point was the precedent it set, not necessarily how it worked out. Grudz outperfomed Hill, no doubt, but there's a history of crappy vets being chosen over promising rookies. At least for me, Baker can choose vet over rookie anytime he wishes as long as they actually play better then the rookie. You'll have a hard time convincing me that Karros, Holly, Neifi, etc played any better then the rookies they replaced. And if it's equal, I'd always give the nod to the promising rookie as there's the hope that their potential will be tapped. Baker says, "go with vets, you know what you're getting" and I say that's the exact reason to go with rookies, you may luck into something special (at a cheaper cost) and you know exactly what crappiness you're getting from the vet. But the caveat here is that the rookie has to play at least as well as the vet in the first place (or marginally close) and in most of these cases over the last 3 years, I think that is the case.

For what its worth Holly, as bad as he was hitting, outplayed Dubois because of defense.

Dubois didnt play that bad. Teams had to at least respect his power. If given a full shot he should have easily outperformed holly

I agree, btw, that Dusty doesn't want to play the young unproven guys as much as "his" guys. DuBois just didn't seem to know what he was doing in left.

I agree, btw, that Dusty doesn't want to play the young unproven guys as much as "his" guys. DuBois just didn't seem to know what he was doing in left.

Now I'm going to see how many times over and over again I can post the same thing. Sorry.

"Crunch you are way too intelligent to believe this shit. What is your agenda? Do you just like arguing against THE WORLD or are you a Hendry/Baker PR guy?" there is NO magic manager who has magic lovely fans. almost EVERY manager has a firewhatshisface.com page. what people complain about dusty here is 1- nothing new to any manager 2- not universally falling upon the cubs 3- is at worst the status quo dusty isnt anything special. i could care less who the lineup jockey is and i dont care to get all bent outta shape cuz some .320 ob% is being cockblocked by some .300ob% guy...im more concerned about why either is on the club than which flavor of crap is playing. i dunno why any NON NEGATIVE VIEW of either guy means im on the PR payroll. just cuz the world is falling down around you in your view doesnt mean anyone not with your view is some paid off eternal blind optimist. YOU think the organization is in chaos...i dont see that, not even remotely. in fact this team is on pretty stable ground compared to others out there. "I know this may be a naive question, but can you swear that you do not work in any way for the Cubs or any Cub official or employee?" i dont work for the cubs, nor am i an employee. i also dont think dusty has as much impact on this club as you do. he's just a lineup jockey in my eyes.

at best, it's a marginal victory for holly cause of the defense. And considering left field defense isn't really a premium, I'd take a shot and see what Dubois could of done. If you believe in defensive stats, (and considering the small sample size, I probably don't), their Rate2 BP.com stat was both at 94. Dubois had 2 assists in 30+ games, Holly had 2 assists in 90+ games as well. Dubois probably won't amount to much, but we already know Holly hasn't amounted to much.

yeah. I can't believe I sound like I'm defending Holly. The stats make Dubois sound better than I thought. Still, Holly seemed to cover more ground. Dubois may have had a better arm. But, the biggest thing was I started feeling like Dubois was going to get mixed up any time the ball came his way. Anyway, I ramble. I actually was pulling for Dubois for awhile over Holly, but started to get scared of him covering (or not covering) left. All this is discussion is reason to feel better about this year's OF.

see...now i personally got a problem with saying rookies deserve a chance to see what they can do when they got some flags beside their name. some like "negative clubhouse presence" and "takes weird routes to fly balls" are things you can work with on a mlb level. things like "chases every pitch" "can be fooled up the ladder" and "cannot hit breaking pitches" are the type of flags that do matter. when your success is based on 30-35% effectiveness it truely does matter exactly how you get that %. there's guys who make it to the majors with holes in their hitting game, but they usually got really nice arms/gloves to fill those holes. you just cant universally say a rookie deserves a chance, cuz honestly...some dont at the moment they're actually in the bigs. when clubs field guys like macias/etc. its hard not to make an arguement for substitutions, but its not even remotely unique to the cubs. its a pretty common occurance all over baseball.

Rob G of post #136: Excellent comments... agree completely. Luis

Assuming the Ibanez and Zito deals are possibilities and Tejada for prospects is more of a stretch, I agree with Newport's placing of Ibanez in the 4-hole between Lee and Ramirez, going R-L-R-L with Jones hitting 6th. I'd love to see Zito added to the rotation with Z and Prior, of course. Assuming Walker goes in the Zito deal, I might think about Hairston in the 2-hole with Cedeno hitting 8th for now.

you just cant universally say a rookie deserves a chance, cuz honestly...some dont at the moment they're actually in the bigs. Not sure that I was saying that. I was saying rookies universally deserve a chance if the other option is a crappy vet who couldn't land a starting job on any of the other 29 teams in baseball.

Forgot to mention that one of the things I like about the Ibanez and Zito trade proposals I've seen listed here is that they do not mess with the team's core talent OR best prospects, as I did not see mention of Pie or Guzman in those proposals and hope the Cubs hold on to those two, if possible.

yeah rob, im not saying you specifically, its just something ive been wanting to further explain for a while and this convo opened up an oportunity. its just my opinion anyway. some have the "if this isnt working, just try something else, period" approach. im just not a big fan of that in some prospect/kid's cases.

"...something dusty doesnt remotely take seriously" He sure complains a helluva lot for not taking things seriously and whines about the criticism on a regular basis. dusty will always have speed lead...even if its not blinding speed. this is why a guy like j.jones will almost definately hit 2nd vs. righties and not cleanup. its also why guys like neifi/macias/patterson were up top when they played. annoying? yeah, sometimes." Sometimes? It's worse than annoying... it's incompetency, it's detrimental to the team's success and it proves how much of a clueless dinosaur Baker really is. Only a lineup jockey? Well, he's a piss-poor lineup jockey and you could find countless people to do just as shitty of a job at it for much less than $4 MIL. per year.

"He sure complains a helluva lot for not taking things seriously and whines about the criticism on a regular basis." that's the thing...he doesnt. you read all the stuff and most of it is said with a 1/2assed smile or his usual 1/2-checked-in-mentally press answers. he doesnt take hardly any of this press stuff seriously...never has. him and bonds share a lot of the same opinions on the media...dusty's just better at not being a total jackass. it might be insulting to some he dont take it serious seeing as its the fan's link to the guy running the team, but it is what it is. "Well, he's a piss-poor lineup jockey and you could find countless people to do just as shitty of a job at it for much less than $4 MIL. per year." i have very little doubt anyone running this club would make many people happy. there's always gonna be a large group of people who hate whoever's running the show. the # of teams who have players who like their manager or want their old managers back is a really thin list, if it exists at all. even winning teams have this problem...torre/larussa come to mind. fans can make really detailed lists of the screwups these "morons" make.

"the # of teams who have players who like their manager or want their old managers back is a really thin list, if it exists at all." that should read: the # of teams who have FANS who like their manager or want their old managers back is a really thin list, if it exists at all.

"that's the thing...he doesnt." - Sorry Crunch, and no offense, but you do sound like the Cubs minister of disinformation sometimes. Dusty has complained about the criticism and pressure of managing in Chicago numerous times. I'm not imagining it or making it up.

dude, i know you may read dusty's crap. ...but have you seen him at these press things? pregame? postgame? he could care less what comes outta his mouth and most of the negative stuff people jump on him for is stuff he's 1/2-ass laughing away. this isnt even a secret. he's got a long history of it. some of this complaining stuff he says with no emotion whatsoever and most of it is caused by people asking him a question like "some say there's pressure managing a big market team, how do you blah blah?" what's he supposed to say? "im not gonna answer that cuz my emotions cannot be properly conveyed via text and i see newspaper writers in here. next question, man." dusty cares about as much for these things as most people care to shave. its just something you do, get it over with, and get on with life.

Yes, I have seen him at these press things. He's like every other manager, he doesn't show emotion while fielding questions (or managing a team). But he complains more than other managers. I know you're going to see it entirely optimistically and that's fine, but most Cubs fans don't see it that way. You can tell yourself he was laughing about the firedustybaker.com site, but he wasn't. He was complaining and using it as a reason that players might not want to come to Chicago. The same way that he's complained that booing might keep players from coming to Chicago. Referring to the site, he also said something along the lines of "How many other top managers do you see dealing with that." That's not only delusional but arrogant, as if he's above criticism. He doesn't get the unconditional adulation here that he received in SF and he doesn't like to be held responsible or questioned about what he does.

#110 of 156: By TJ (January 4, 2006 12:56 PM) I remeber when Dusty came on board in '03 and everyone thought Hill was going to be the starting seconbaseman. Then we picked up Grudz in what was believed to be a Hundley dump. Grudz missed nearly all of spring training and Dusty gave him the job anyway saying Hill came to camp lazy like he was owed the job. - TJ: Bobby Hill came to Spring Training 2003 out of shape and then tore his hamstring and was out of action for several weeks. I'm sure that didn't make Dusty Baker a Bobby Hill Fan. Hill was not the same player after he returned. He lost a step (permanently), which has kept him from stealing bases (one his best "tools") or playing 2B on an everyday basis. And so he's been a PH (which he does very well, BTW) and back-up INF ever since. But before his hamstring injury (through 2002), he was a definite top drawer prospect at 2B.

Yeah, I meant lame. Sarcasm doesn't translate.

"And if it's equal, I'd always give the nod to the promising rookie as there's the hope that their potential will be tapped." This comment, on its own, would make at least a little sense if it wasn't backed up by the examples of a post-injury Bobby Hill taking the place of two .300-hitting veterans (POS???) and Jason Dubois (good Lord!). Come on. How much do you know about winning baseball games in the big leagues? Baseball is a MENTAL game, to use a clichÈ, and most rookies are simply not ready to handle the pressure that comes from game-winning and game-losing moments. That's why some managers (good ones) put rookies, as much as possible, into situations where there is less risk for failure (starting games when they can hit from their strong side, pinch hitting and running, playing infield when a fly ball pitcher is on the mound, etc.). When they're really ready, they move up. I suppose you want Pie to start in CF in April? He would be a promising rookie. Maybe we should see if he can hit .250 in AAA first. Prior moved up quickly and that worked because he was mentally ready. Patterson got pushed up (against Dusty's preference), but he wasn't mentally tough enough to work through his slumps. Remember Kenny Lofton in '03? Did you watch Carl Everett in the WS? How many teams didn't want those old, "shitty" veterans? Get a clue.

Talk about getting a clue. You should read people's entire posts before you slam them. First, Korey Patteron played 153 games in 2002 and 59 games in 2001, all before Dusty ever showed up in Chicago. So I'm not exactly sure what Dusty's preferences had to do with that one. My take on this, for the 100th time, is that I'd prefer the "rookie" (which I use loosely to describe any player with limited major league experience) to get the bulk of the playing time, if the only other choice on the roster is a crappy vet with a history of being a crap player and would have a hard time landing a starting job on any of the other 29 teams in baseball. First, I'm not just talking about any rookie, I'm talking about rookies who are highly touted and at least close to being ready for the major leagues. I never pined for playing time for Bobby Hill cause I didn't think he ever deserved it over Grudz. I've never said anything about not wanting Kenny Lofton in 2003. I've always said that Pie should start the season in Iowa (especially now that we have Pierre). I could go on, but I'm a bit busy today. I recommend you re-read my posts on the subject, I think you'll discover that your way off on your assessment of my statement. It appears to me that you took one sentence and then went on to assume a whole bunch of stuff without bothering to read the rest of my comments. I dunno...

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  • jdrnym 28 min 30 sec ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal.


  • crunch 55 min 44 sec ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.


  • bradsbeard 2 hours 38 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 58 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 11 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 


  • Sonicwind75 4 hours 27 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t


  • bradsbeard 4 hours 28 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  


  • bradsbeard 7 hours 48 min ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:



  • Hagsag 9 hours 4 min ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher.