Holiday Hangover Thread

Looks like it's been awhile since we had a new thread. What do you hope the different members of the Cubs got for Christmas? Jim Hendry: A treadmill, another executive assistant, and a Sam's card for discounts on off-the-shelf utility infielders Lou Piniella: An industrial-sized bottle of antacid and brochures for retirement condo. complexes in south Florida Matt Murton: A neon sign reading "Play Me" to hang by his locker Carlos Zambrano: Cleaning equipment, to help with all the broken bats and broken hitters he'll see in 2007. A good realator to help him pick out a permanent home on the North Side. Felix Pie: a Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Guide to Des Moines. Kerry Wood: Bubble wrap. Lots and lots of bubble wrap. Mark Prior: See Kerry Wood. Derrek Lee: Good news from the family doctor. Glendon Rusch: See Derrek Lee. Len and Bob: Shiney new contract extensions. Alfonso Soriano: A transport helicopter stocked full of Prozac, to drop on the Bleacher Bums after his first 0-for-8 streak Jacques Jones: Two transport helicopters. Rich Hill: A nice night out on the town with Zito and Glavine, to talk pitching over a few bottles of wine. Muskat, Marrioti, and Rogers: A coupon to Toys 'R Us, so that they can each buy a game of Clue. Jason Marquis: Either a gift certificate to the best neck massage therapist in Chicago, or special high-density baseballs. Ted Lilly: A holiday card from all the middle relievers, betting him a case of beer that they'll rack up at least 30 holds in his starts. TCR: Another year of great conversation, and a gritty 94-win Cubs team worth talking about.


Jim Hendry: unveiling the new lean mean fighting machine version followed by an offer to replace Jared on the Subway sandwich ads

Michael Barrett: Boxing Gloves

Andy MacPhail: A copy of Peggy Lee singing "Is That All There Is?"

Jim Hendry- rice cakes John McDonough- The access code to the other Tribune off shore secret bank account. Carol Slezak- a jar of Jiffy peanut butter for her dog and her.

From the last thread: Article "Baseball players were told the results would be confidential, and each player was assigned a code number to be matched with his name." "The Major League Baseball Players Union protested the seizure as a violation of the players' constitutional rights." For once, I support Donald Fehr.

As usual, I agree with ya Carlos And for Carlos, I hope Santa gave him a copy of this year's Hardball Times book (I'm forgetting the title right now) and a list of fantasy sleeper candidates for 2007.

I have always believed that from the moment you are caught using steroids/performance enhancers, any stats earned up to that point are erased from Major League Baseball and you start over. Doesn't matter if you used for only 1 year out of 20 and are caught in year #20. A guy like Rafael Palmerio would be set back to zero in all his stats. No 569 career HR's, no chance at ever being considered for Hall of Fame, no nothing. Mess with peoples legacy in the game and then you get their attention.

Jason Marquis: a shiny new humidor from Colorado which might give that weak ass 2 seamer some added Z-esque heavy bite.

Ryan Theriot - a .360+ BA in 30-40 spring break at bats. I know what Dusty would do...start Nefi. But I would learn a lot about Lou.

Post your line up / rotation Theriot cf Soriano rf Lee 1 Aramis 3 Barrett c Murton lf Derosa 2 Zambrono, Lilly, Hill, Marquis, O'Malley Cedeno most often used...

Trans: This book? Nice suggestion :) I'll order it!

That one. I haven't actually ever even LOOKEd at one of their annuals, but I enjoy their website and respect the work of their contributors. I strongly suspect that it's an excellent, interesting and unique sort of book....

No, not O'Malley but rather Miller or, if a miracle occurs (not expecting one) Prior as the # 5.

Cedeno There is a 99% chance that Cedeno will NOT be in the starting lineup on opening day. The line up will probably look something like this: Soriano - RF DeRosa/Izturis - 2b/SS Lee - 1B A-Ram - 3B Jones - CF Murton - LF Barrett - C DeRosa/Izturis - 2b/SS Pitcher What I wish it would be: Murton - LF Theriot - SS Lee - 1B Soriano - RF A-Ram - 3B Jones - CF Murton - LF DeRosa - 2b Pitcher I would switch Jones and Murton against lefties. If Theriot ends up not coming close to last year's numbers, you insert Izturis in for Theriot, and maybe switch DeRosa into the 2 hole. But LoPa has already said that Soriano will be batting leadoff, so I think any suggest lineup that says otherwise is just a dream.

O’Malley Ha...I didn't even see this part. If the Cubs have O'Malley in the 5th spot, it is going to another VERY LONG year. O'Malley would behind the following pitchers for that fifth spot: Prior Miller Guzman Marmol Ryu Mateo Cotts That list is/should be longer, but those are just the pitchers that will (and should) get opportunities before O'Malley.

I assumed FAN was joking: Isn't O'malley A. injured and B. no longer with the Cubs?

wee...boredom. gonna play the lineup game... what i think it'll be... soriano - RF derosa/izturis - 2b/SS dlee - 1B aram - 3B jones - CF barrett - C murton - LF derosa/izturis - 2b/SS what i'd like to see... soriano - RF murton - LF dlee - 1B aram - 3B jones - CF barrett - C derosa - 2b izturis - SS i just hope if jones goes the team can regain that power in the trade and/or gain some significant gains somewhere else in the new guy's skillset. jones isnt a key component, but having that kinda bat production is a nice contribution even if he settles out at 25hr .275/.330 (avg/ob%) type...reggie sanders in his very boring prime didnt hurt too many teams being a forgettable powerhitting contributor in the OF.

"I assumed FAN was joking: Isn’t O’malley A. injured and B. no longer with the Cubs?" I think he signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, but yeah... he's injured. And not good.

"jones isnt a key component, but having that kinda bat production is a nice contribution even if he settles out at 25hr .275/.330 (avg/ob%) type…reggie sanders in his very boring prime didnt hurt too many teams being a forgettable powerhitting contributor in the OF." Amen. How's school, by the way, Crunch?

Murton does not need Neon for a "Play Me" sign, he can just take the clippings from his next haircut to arrange the letters. I have sat in LF often and I swear his hair would glow in the dark

school is A and 3 Bs...1.5-2 years left depending on how much i take. being a 30 year old back in school is weird. its even weirder explaining to 20 year olds who are so sure what they wanna do with their lives why you're leaving a field that pays 40-50K to go back to school to go into a field that pays 40-50K. most just dont get it...some just hope they get it right the first time they pick a career path. heh.

Amen Crunch. I'm not doing anything remotely related to my degree. Alas. My hopeful lineup for 07 includes Pie at CF (as long as he unpressured and in the 8-spot) and Theriot at short. Izturis as late inning sub.

"some just hope they get it right the first time they pick a career path. heh." After ten years of living and breathing for Architecture, right before I applied for college I changed my mind, and entered Journalism school... I don't know if I chose the right career, or if I'm going to change my mind again in 2-3 years, but I sure hope I picked the right path for my professional career. Sometimes I wish I was an airhead jock with a 2M signing bonus in front of me that would allow me not to worry about my long-term future. But alas, I'm 5'7", completely out of shape and a teenager with a knack for writing and expressing ideas. I really, really hope I won't regret my decisions come 2011.

Oh and if someone wants to sponsor my education, visit -- I ask for nothing more than a simple donation. :)

Carlos. I tried donating money to your site...but it said "server not found".

Haha, I don't even have the cash to register the domain :)

Too bad. I guess I'll just burn the money then. Actually, I don't have any money.

Trans: You've got mail.

For Charlize Theron: A craving for making out with guys with numbers for a name, and a trip to 433's house. (A little off topic but I had to get that in there)

I'd be willing to bet that this is the only article in the history of journalism to contain the phrase "Glendon Rusch: See Derrek Lee."

IN the GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS, who cares? But I just can't let this go. "I think he (RYAN O'MALLEY) signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, but yeah… he’s injured. And not good." So, when did O'Malley hurt himself again? As of December 11 he was fine. He'd started his throwing in prep for spring training with the Cubs. And Yes, he's invited to Cubs ST. It's part of his new minor league contract.

A strained (strain=tear) elbow is not an easy injury to get over of. Even if O'Malley has started throwing in preparation for ST, he's not even close to regaining his top form (if he even had one) and should by no means be considered for a rotation spot with the Cubs.

Actually, strain != tear, nor is a sprain necessarily a tear. It depends on the severity of the injury to either the ligament (sprain) or tendon/muscle (strain). If the strain or sprain is severe, it's a tear. But a lower grade strain or sprain is by no means a tear. A complete tear of a ligament or tendon is much more serious than a minor tear or stretching because of the instability it causes to the surrounding muscle and/or joints. Depending on the severity of the "strain", and when it happened, O'Malley could be down for a couple of weeks or out for the season. This being the Cubs, we won't know the truth until he is actually out on the field, which could be in a few weeks or in a couple of years.

Thanks for the correction and expanded info, O&B.

Jim Hendry: ...a Sam’s card for discounts on off-the-shelf utility infielders Don't even tell me he's gonna start buying neo-Neifis in bulk now. Lock him in the house in July! Wait, no, then he'll just go online. (

I saw O'malley throwing today. just throwing soft-toss to a few dozen kids. He was helping out really nice about signing hats and encouraging the youngsters. He got A NON ROSTER SPRING TRAINING INVITE.

Crunch I like your line up but I would rather see Cedeno. I think he will improve and be at least as good as Izturis. Batting him after the pitcher..was it a joke?

Vegas Brian: Michael Barrett: Boxing Gloves How about a larger cup?

I like your line up but I would rather see Cedeno. I think he will improve and be at least as good as Izturis. Batting him after the pitcher..was it a joke?
Probably not... with Marquis, the Cubs now have 3 starting pitchers who are better hitters than either Cedeno or Izturis. Izturis can at least field the ball.

I should clarify the 3 starting pitchers: Z, Marquis, and for those still delusional, Mark Prior. Wood is also a better hitter than our shortstops, if/when/where-ever Wood pitches.

You forgot a few people: Henry Blanco: Manny Ramirez's bat Larry Rothschild: See Muskat, Mariotti Pat Hughes: a new broadcast partner Pat's daughter: me

How about some gifts for former cubs: Nefi - Cardinals Contract Sosa - Reality Check Steve Stone - coaching job somewhere Mark Grace - McFail Fired (Merry Christmas Grace) Jose Macias - Sox Contract

Pat’s daughter: me ---------------------------------------------------- I've never seen her. So there is more to like about Pat Hughes than his broadcasting?

Zito to Giants for 7/126 Apologize if repeat.

ESPN is reporting Zito will sign with the Giants and not the Rangers In Cubs related news, sad news to report...Bobby Murcer will undergo surgery for a tumor in his brain. That's too bad--he was my favorite player growing up.

Wow, what is it going to take to resign Z now?

"fan4cubs — December 27, 2006 @ 10:08 pm Crunch I like your line up but I would rather see Cedeno. I think he will improve and be at least as good as Izturis." You can wish all you want, you know that this is not happening, right?

If the rumors about the Mets/Rangers bids are true, it sounds like Boras got Sabean to bid against himself in pretty spectacular fashion. Wow.

Boras continues to make GMs look stupid.

All the people who said "I'd rather sign only Zito for the same money rather than Lilly plus Marquis"....well that didn't work out. I really like that he didn't go to the Mets....who have no pitching now. How much would the Mets give up to get McCarthy today? I think McCarthy and another prospect could get them Milledge, who would actually start for the White Sox, whereas the Mets have a great lineup but no pitching. Nice job Kenny Williams! This certainly will make Z more expensive though.....damn.

Wow...this almost makes me want to trade Z if he is going to cost upwards of 20 million a year. I love Z, and would hate to see him pitching elswhere, but you have to figure that Z starts at 7/126 and it just goes up from there.

I agree on the Z front. If this is going to be the case, its seems much more prudent to Develop young pitching and sign free agent bats. An injured Z would be a 20 million dollar anchor on this payroll.

Zito and Giants agree to huge deal

Cubs sign Soriano no link yet

Zito and Giants agree to huge deal above. The Zito deal has already been mentioned - twice.

I'd rather see Larry get handed a pinkslip

Probably the worst contract ever

7/126 for Zito does make Soriano's contract look A LOT better.

dave: I love Z, and would hate to see him pitching elswhere, but you have to figure that Z starts at 7/126 and it just goes up from there. Interesting. I think Z is overrated simply because he's the Cub's ace. The benchmark for Z's contract was Oswalt's contract. The question should be how much less will Z get than Oswalt. I think I'd offer Z 6/80. If he doesn't like it, then let's see what ace-material will hit the market next year.

Yep, Zito sucks. Him and his 3.55 career ERA in the AL. Hasn't missed a start in 6 years.

"I really like that he didn’t go to the Mets….who have no pitching now." amen.

Christmas present for the Cubs: hire Ron Zook to recruit free agents. Just keep him the hell away from the seventh inning stretch guest spot. Christmas present for Cub fans: no more guest singers for Take Me Out.

Yep, Zito sucks. No one said Zito sucks. I just think that 7/126 is a ton of money for a guy who has gotten progressively worse. His last three years are significantly worse than his previous four years (which are his first four years). I like Zito - a lot. But you are paying him 18 million a year. The benchmark for Z’s contract was Oswalt’s contract. was. But not anymore. Zito's contract changes the discussion.

Zito (29 years old next year) Career: 3.55 ERA, 1.25 WHIP Zambrano (26 years old next year) Career: 3.29 ERA, 1.28 WHIP I know that there are many other necessary numbers to look at, but Zito and Z are at very similar levels, but Z is three years younger. On the open market there is no reason to think that Z would be not be looking for Zito money or more.

I just can't see spending that amount of money for a guy who plays only every 5 days. I would include Zambrano in that feeling also. I'd much rather get an every day player.

"It isn't about the money, I want to join a team where I can see a long-term commitment to winning." --Barry Zito.

I wanna be Scott Boras.

zito's too weird for NY anyway..yes, too weird for NY. no, seriously...i mean it. and texas...well...yeah...texas. lets not kid ourselves, weird as west-coast/bay-area he is he was going for that loot.

Zito's probably the weirdest guy in sports. Yep, weirder than T.O. and Marcos Baghdatis. "Barry Zito, known for his eccentric style, brings along a foam roller for massaging his hips, as well as candles and bath salts to help soothe sore muscles the day after a start. Then, there's his Tempur-Pedic pillow and a photo of him and his girlfriend in a special frame." "Early morning, 5:30, sun's still coming up, it's dark out, but the sun's starting to peek out, and you paddle out, and sit on the outside, and it's all glassy, it's freezing cold, you're blowing out air, and you're the first guy out there ... you just see the waves come peeling off, dude. Oh, it's an unbelievable feeling. " --Barry Zito, ESPN Page 2 interview.

Those things from Zito don't seem that strange. So he loves nature, massages, and bath salts. There are definitely stranger things in sports.

well, he used to carry a 6' teddy bear on trips with him and keep it stuffed into a locker that didnt fit it...he instructed the clubhouse staff to put his uniform and gameday stuff on the bench/seat in front of his locker. early in his career he was often spotted at the bay/shore playing guitar for spare change and talking to the marine animals that frequent handouts from tourists and fishmongers over the railings. then there's the boring occasional blue/green hair stuff he used to sport during offseasons...etc... those stories are a little more strange than bath salts and liking nature.

he's no bill "spaceman" lee or doc ellis, but he's carrying his own share of weird. the cool thing is his comfort with it and the lack of media following him around like he's a novelty sideshow. he seems to not be distracted by his off-field pleasures.

I couldn't find the guitar story online. I usually only post facts from another sites. But yeah, he's really weird.

the guitar thing i actually saw on TV years ago via "the best damn sports show period" when they were doing a non-humor-but-humorous piece on Zito's offseason. he seems (or seemed) to enjoy going out and being a "nobody" amongst the croud. its weird...when you're a prospect...the type that gets hype from're treated like a star before you even get close to being paid for your skills. you get the attention, the hype...the media in some cases. some people drink, some do drugs, some just get surly, some never try to escape the limelight... interesting to see what some players do to reconnect and feel normal around others in the general population for self-therapy.

Oh yeah, I believe you Crunch; I had heard the guitar thing on TV, too, but I couldn't find it online. I guess no one really picked it up or blogged about it. Talking to seals? Cuckoo. Thanks for the link :)

With today's current incredible market for pitchers, and for mediocre position players for that matter, any true "Ace" pitcher will now be paid essentially whatever the last highest contract commanded. If the interested team wants to stay in the "game", they're just gonna have to pay up or be prepared to lose 'em. Sad, but the way it is. Its anyone's guess how much Z will get paid, but he'll be able to build a nice soccer stadium and work-out facility in his home down with an adjoining Spa & resort!

Here's a little perspective on what the recent signings -- especially Zito's -- is doing to the Cubs' future. The Cubs are already committed to the following salary levels over the next several years: 2008: $79 million (11 players) 2009: $75 million (7 players) 2010: $59 million (4 players) Suppose for the sake of discussion that the Cubs give Zambrano a deal similar to Zito's in time for the 2008 season. After adding $18 million/year for that deal, here would be the new commitments: 2008: $97 million (12 players) 2009: $93 million (8 players) 2010: $77 million (5 players) The 2008 commitment looks ugly (almost $100 million for only half of the 25 man roster), but 2009 and 2010 are even more troubling to me. I knew that we mortgaged our future with the recent signings, but if these bets don't pay off, it will be very difficult to be competitive until at least 2011. P.S. Don't let a prospective buyer of the Cubs see this.

Two things after watching this: 1. You would think he could afford a maid with the money he makes, and 2. I can now see why he is still single.

"2. I can now see why he is still single." Well, after dating Susie Mora and Alyssa Milano, I would be pretty, pretty satisfied. Why tie the knot if you can get a different starlet each night? And this constitutes the heaviest comment in the history of TCR.

The last line in my previous comment should read: "...the heaviest machismo comment in the history of TCR."

Hey 433, I'm in Omaha, will be here for another day or two, at least. drop me an email at the address you get when you click on Transmisison at the top of this post, if you're interested in getting a drink. My internet access is spotty, however; hopefully I'll at least be able to receive the email before I leave town..... Zito at Pac Bell Park could be very, very good.

hmm, ok, that didn't work as planned. the same email address I gave you the last time I made the invite (yes, I am secretly stalking one of the TCR readers. shh, don't tell anyone.)

Hey Trans -- check your e-mail...

#43... Jose Macias - Sox Contract Lucky for me (not) Macias signed a minor league deal with the Nationals.

got it, thanks! Ok, time to work. ugh. Will give a new thread tomorrow, if no one else has shown up to do so...... Tr.

433: "I knew that we mortgaged our future with the recent signings, but if these bets don’t pay off, it will be very difficult to be competitive until at least 2011." That is what happens when you give the GM free reign and he knows he has to win immediately if he wants to keep his job. If we win a WS it will be all worth it, but so far IMO this is not a WS winning team.

I think the ZIto signing drove the final nail in the coffin of signing Z to a long term deal, unless he has a brain fart and takes half his value to come back. He's 4 years younger than Zito and a better pitcher. He's worth AT LEAST what Zito got. If I were a GM I would never give Z that kind of cash, or any pitcher, period. It's dumb dumb dumb.

Jackson, Z aint going anywhere. Hendry has kept everyone he has wanted to, and Loupa come here to win a WS. If Hendry doesnt, Loupa is going to invite Tank Johnson to Hendry's office. This team is trying to win and you keep the assets who help you do that

Carlos Zambrano is not worth 7 years 126MM. Nor is Barry Zito. Nor is any other pitcher. Period. If Z is going to walk, then let him. We get to use him for 2007 at least, and he'll have every incentive to post a monster year if he's going for the gold in 2008. Let's ride his crazy ass to a pennant and then let him go for the draft pick next year.

the problem with not committing to Z is there would be no ace to a trio of bats that are making 45m. teams generally dont pour that much loot into the bats without at least having 1 ace. the FA pitching market next year pretty much is Z so its not like there's an alternative out there. a hot year by lilly or the emergence of prior/hill could change the cubs need of Z if he goes into the year without getting extended, though. as someone pointed to up there...this team is on the hook for a lotta loot in 08/09 even before Z's name is brought up.

Can someone explain to me how this RSS feed thing works? It makes no sense to me whatsoever! its pretty neat...basically you need a client or "reader" to make sense of an RSS feed which for most sites just serves to pull "headlines" to users. not neat on its own, but when you can have 5-10 of these outlets show up on 1 page its a neat way to consolidate information feeds. that said, RSS feeds can be flunky as far as stability or speed kinda like a lotta stuff on the net.

Why all the angst about what is already commited in salary for 2008/2009/2010? Anybody check out what the luxury tax is for 2007 and beyond? It's something like $138+ million this year (which the Cubs will come in around $15-20 million under even though the calculation takes average yearly salary -- i.e. Lilly counts $10M this year anyway). It goes up significantly (enough to cover Z's contract) over the next 4 years. Even if they did go over the cap (which they never will), it's not like the Tribune or whoever buys the Cubs can't afford to pay the tax. With $35 average ticket, Fox/ESPN/TBS/Comcast/WGN broadcast revenue, and MLB/ licensing money alone, I think the Cubs ownership will be OK. It's not like we'll have to hold a bake sale for them. Why do we as fans care what the salaries are anyway? Let's talk about how the OF situation will unfold and who ends up the #5 starter. My hope is Murton, Pie, Soriano and Guzman.......logic says Murton, Jones, Soriano and Miller.

Have been catching up on my reading over the holidays and came across this written by Sports Illustrated in September, "Too bad the Cubs are the envy of no fan base, which has always led us to wonder if the financial success the Cubs have reaped from Wrigley and their image as "lovable losers" soothes the losses a bit too much in the owner's suite. Ever hear the Cubs mentioned as a potential destination for free agents despite coffers similar in size to the New York teams? We haven't either." What a difference three months makes!

CWTP- Easy man, we signed 1 top FA. The others (DeRosa, Lilly and Marquis) were typical Cubs mediocre Free Agents signings. It is nice to see the Cubs actually spend money, I just wish it would of been on better players, but with this weak FA class, we had slim pickings.

Chad, you can skip the hassle of messing with RSS feeds by simply going to Google and clicking Personalize This Page. Then, go to "Add Stuff" in the right hand top of the page. That should take you to this page: At the top of the page you'll see a button saying, "Search Homepage Content". Look next to that button for a link labeled "Add by URL". This will take to another page. Add the link to the RSS feed in the text box that says "Add by URL". In the case of this site, the URL is: Just add that URL and you will be subscribed to this page. Whenever the owners add an article, the article title will appear on your Google page under the "The Cub Reporter" section. An RSS feed is simply an XML file accessible over the Internet that contains tags for describing a web site's articles. Most blogging services have RSS generators built into their services so the blogger doesn't need to know anything about how it all works under the hood. There are other RSS "aggregator" web sites, such as PageFlakes and NetVibes. They work the same and as well as Google. Hope that helps.

Outside of Dawson, which was due to collusion, Soraino was the first top FA the Cubs have signed. It's pretty monumental. But unfortunately due to no more money coming into baseball let alone the Cubs, they will be bankrupt in 2011, and Wrigley Field will be used for the future of sports---soccer. I can't wait to see how the outfield distance markers are translated into metric measurements!!

Eric the Great: Carlos Zambrano is not worth 7 years 126MM. Nor is Barry Zito. Nor is any other pitcher. Period. If Z is going to walk, then let him. We get to use him for 2007 at least, and he’ll have every incentive to post a monster year if he’s going for the gold in 2008. Let’s ride his crazy ass to a pennant and then let him go for the draft pick next year. I'm sort of on board with this, but the '07-'08 FA pitcher market is thin in terms of "aces"... notable names might be: Mark Buerhle Freddy Garcia Jake Westbrook Carlos Zambrano Carlos Zambrano is by far the best option among those. And as expensive as he would be now to extend, it will still be less expensive than next year's free agents.

Don't lose any sleep over the possibility of the Cubs going bankrupt or even losing any money at all for that matter. The Trib knows what it is doing. It own the Cubs to make money, period. They surely have done the numbers and know that they will continue to get rich on the Cubs.

mannytrillo: CWTP- Easy man, we signed 1 top FA. The others (DeRosa, Lilly and Marquis) were typical Cubs mediocre Free Agents signings. It is nice to see the Cubs actually spend money, I just wish it would of been on better players, but with this weak FA class, we had slim pickings. The Cub's signed the #1, #3, and #12 ranked free agents. I'd say that was a pretty good splash. You can't forget Aramis Ramirez. He was as good as gone. Regardless of what any of you think of the Soriano signing, having DLee, Soriano, and Ramirez on the same team will pay off dividends when the Cub's need to sign free agents next year. From USA Today (10/17/2006): Soon, with Rodriguez acting like a used-car salesman with his recruiting pitches, others followed. Outfielder Magglio Ordonez, missing half of the 2004 season with a left knee injury that required two surgeries, signed a five-year, $75 million contract in February 2005. Starter Kenny Rogers came 10 months later, signing a two-year, $16 million contract. And closer Todd Jones followed, signing a two-year, $11 million deal. "People say we overpaid for some players, and they're probably accurate," Dombrowski says. "There were times I signed guys, when I wish I didn't have to give them that much money. But when you're losing for so long, sometimes you have to do that to get players. "Players are the people who win or lose, and you've got to get the right players. It's not like they're knocking on your door when you're losing. If you're going to do it, you better sign the right guys, and that comes down to scouts' recommendation." No one is mocking those signings these days. Rodriguez batted .300, was a clubhouse leader, and nurtured the Tigers' pitching staff to the best ERA in baseball. Ordonez batted .298 with 24 homers, 104 RBI, and hit the homer that sent them into the World Series. And Rogers won 17 games and hasn't given up a run this postseason. Full Article

*jacos says: I can’t wait to see how the outfield distance markers are translated into metric measurements!! * Why wait, just go get some videotape of any ol' Montreal Expos game. That said, soccer is a socialist game for impoverished sissies. Any game that prohibits the use of major body parts [or at which the French can excel] can't be trusted.

The Zito contract definitely makes Z more expensive. Hendry will have to take a page from Coletti's book on the Furcal signing. Z might accept 3 yrs/$63 million. He could still cash in again big-time.

That said, soccer is a socialist game for impoverished sissies. Any game that prohibits the use of major body parts [or at which the French can excel] can’t be trusted. Huzzah!

Chirst, are we really back to this Cubs haven't proven they'll sign top FAs garbage again? I guess a number of people have already forgotten the outcry on TCR from less than 2 months ago of how ARam was already essentially a FA since he could talk to other teams (and thus many concluded there was no way the Cubs would resign him) Plus, I've never understood why resigning the games top players, who happen to already play for the Cubs, doesn't count in this discussion in the first place. The Cubs have Soriano, Lee, and ARam - three of the best offensive players in the game - locked up to long term deals. Based on Hendry's track record, you have to expect that Zambrano will be added to that list in the sometime this spring, meaning the Cubs will have 4 of the games best players on their roster for the next several years. After all of that, plus the signings of other good complementary players like Lilly this year, and even Jones last year, people are still complaining that the Cubs haven't proven they'll go out and get the best available players? What would it take to make some of you happy?

"Chirst, are we really back to this Cubs haven’t proven they’ll sign top FAs garbage again?" I'm concerned about their willingness to do it with a pitcher. I hope they do - but you'd have to admit that despite signing Aramis and Soriano, there is still reason to believe that the Tribune won't pay a SP 7/140+, right?

As with any important decision, the choice regarding whether to resign Z for the 7/140 that he may command will be colored by the alternatives. Say we don't sign him because it's just too much damn money. Then what? Like it or not, that's the market price for his services now. The Cubs can decide it's a silly amount of money and let him walk, but the 7/140 will still be the price for signing another pitcher of his age and caliber. A decision not to shell out market salaries for top tier pitchers is a decision to go with only midlevel and young pitchers.

there is still reason to believe that the Tribune won’t pay a SP 7/140+, right? They've paid top FA money for a pitcher as recently as 3 years ago. They have been willing to pay $9-12 million per year for pitching for a while now. They reportedly offered up around $30 million for the rights to Mats (and no we don't know for sure). Hendry never was much for signing anyone beyond 4-5 years before this offseason. But he has done it, and has shown a 100% ability to resign the guys who are already on the roster. Based on that history, I certainly am not going to conclude that the Trib wouldn't pay 7/140 if thats what it took to keep Z around.

"Why all the angst about what is already commited in salary for 2008/2009/2010? Anybody check out what the luxury tax is for 2007 and beyond?" well for me its not angst and its not about the luxury tax...its about how much the cubs will actually spend on 25 men in 08/09 when 5/6th of the current 07 assumed payroll will be taken up by 8-12 players (assuming Z's resigning). i dont doubt they'll spend...but how much and what's the team salary cap? i dont know these answers but it looks like the cubs are gearing up to be a 120+m club for the next few years and how much above or below 120m the payroll is in the future will have an impact on the other 50+% of the team to sign. at least, as of now, the money is in "live" tallent and hopefully the team wont find out they got dead injury or failure tallent around with the lot theyve invested money and years in. replacing a dlee/aram/soriano and even a Z isnt really something present in the cubs system right now...even pie isnt due to hit his stride for another 2+ years unless he really discovers his power soon.

Yeah, Sabean really put some pressure on Hendry. I have been saying the Oswalt contract should be the barometer on Z resigning, but if Z is smart, he will hold off signing any kind of extenstion till after the season like ARam did and cash in even more. The market has gone off the hook since the Oswalt signing. Just like ARam, Hendry is going to have to seriously pay the piper with Z. With the way Hendry has spent money this offseason, money can't be an excuse not to reup Z, so I would be shocked to not see it get done at some point. Hell, what does Hendry really care about what the money already spent in 2010 is, he is fighting for his job this year.

whether Z gets paid now or 1 year from now his value just cant go up from where it is now. pettite/schmidt 16m...zito 17.5m...Z just isnt gonna get cheaper from now until this time next year barring injury. the advantage to locking him up now would have little to do with money and more to do with with Z being the only top FA pitcher next year who isnt already well into his 30s/40s. risk locking him up now and pray for no injury or risk losing him to FA...the money seems to already be set in the 16-18m area depending on years...and he'll get his years.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, kudos to Sabean. Yes he "overpaid", yes he gave him "too many years", but nonetheless, Zito is a great addition for the Giants. In that division, it makes them immediate contenders. But as bad as the NL is on paper, almost anyone at this point is a contender as long as you can field a team. On thing that sucks a little is that Zito never misses a start, so I guess I won't be expecting him to be making any rehab assignments with my team.

MANNY: "The others (DeRosa, Lilly and Marquis) were typical Cubs mediocre Free Agents signings." Like you, I despised Teflon Jim's last two years of personnel decisions (and LACK of them). However, Manny, as has been discussed at length, though you call the above "mediocre" signings, the FA market was TERRIBLE. Under these conditions, he did just about the best he could with what was available. Other than Schmidt and Zito (whom we are learning really didn't want to leave the West Coast - not JH's fault) the whole lot of the rest are pretty much about the same flavors. The current lineup is very competitive - a big improvement over last year on paper - and the staff as well will be improved. We will see how many games in the months to come. If Hendry does not resign Z, the alternatives next year, like THIS year, are pretty shitty - unless he pulls a Kenny Williams and trades him at the deadline for 10 rookie first-round draft choices or something!

kudos to sabean for not signing a 35+ year old for once even if they gave a lefty with declining upside and velocity 17.5m a year to keep him locked up til age 35. at least he can put in 20 more innings than most pitchers year after year.

“The others (DeRosa, Lilly and Marquis) were typical Cubs mediocre Free Agents signings.�? stl gave kennedy 3/10m to play just 2nd...i'll take the 3m extra for derosa...37 year old j.valentine got 1/3.8m...hell, STL even gave 30 year old 2nd-only aaron miles 1m to stick around another year. kaz matsui got 1.5m... lilly isnt very mediocre even in a non-overpriced market. he'd be an easy #3 pitcher on many clubs (and a #2 on more than a few), and not just the ones called KC and TB. apply the hope/despair criteria to more than just the cubs and its a world of woe and idiocy evidently. ps- pay no attention to the aram signing, it might make hendry look like he's not an idiot, huh? that wouldnt be good for "the cause"

z is going to get his money and his years. as discussed. perhaps if we sign him now, as opposed to his fa period, maybe it would be a bit cheaper - i have no idea. but i do know that i want big z "el caballo loco" to remain a cub. he is a cub, damnit. and a cub he should remain.

Hmm, just looked again at the name of this thread . . . "hangover" . . . and heard at the same time the report that Sadam Hussein has only hours left before he is hanged. Sounds like he won't be around to see how the Cubs 2007 work out.

sometimes i think the cubs fans are kinda misled by what wood/z/prior once were and what they once represented to the club. the pitching was supposed to carry for years, but didnt. the lack of 3 aces isnt a death sentence for the club...the lack of 3 pitchers who can actually show up to work an average workload (much less a superior workload) has been a bitch, though. come playoff time, 2 aces is almost mandatory, but there's still time for prior/hill to emerge...not to mention the outside shot of lilly progressing and marquis returning to his boring 3.80-4.20 self. the bats are finally here...its a new angle on a new era and hopefully they'll stay healthy and stable.

"Sounds like he won’t be around to see how the Cubs 2007 work out." ARM: Just as well - he mostly just likes soccer.

I'm not sure why his name keeps popping up but it looks like Hendry must have had some talks with David Newhan's agent and he's considering a minor league contract with either the Mets or Cubs as a 5th OF and jack of all trades. When I looked up his stats he had an OK 2004 but since then pass...and player comps included Trinadad Hubbard (haven't we been up that road before?). I don't know why we always add a Tom Goodwin/Darren Lewis/Freddy Bynum/Marquis Grissom type at the last minute but pleeze lets not do that this year. We only need an Angel Pagan type for one roster spot not two. from the Baltimore Sun...

E-Man: "though you call the above “mediocre�? signings, the FA market was TERRIBLE. Under these conditions, he did just about the best he could with what was available." I agree Hendry might not of been able to do much better, but that doesn't take away the fact that those signings I mentioned were mediocre. "The current lineup is very competitive - a big improvement over last year on paper - and the staff as well will be improved. We will see how many games in the months to come." I am not that optimistic as you and others are, but like you said, we will see in the months to come. But if there is a big improvement, it will be a pleasant surprise.

Crunch- just mentioned players STL and NYM signed. They only made the NLCS last year, while the Cubs were battling down the stretch for the worst record in baseball. Yes, those players were mediocre at best too, but those teams don't have as far to go improvement wise. Adding mediocre players doesn't help very much going from 66 wins to winning a division, IMO. But hey, whatever you think helps your cause of painting the rosiest picture of the Cubs day after day, GO FOR IT!! Wee...

"Adding mediocre players doesn’t help very much going from 66 wins to winning a division, IMO. But hey, whatever you think helps your cause of painting the rosiest picture of the Cubs day after day, GO FOR IT!!" i dont have a cause for painting rosey pictures...i have an objective viewpoint that doesnt revolve around demonizing a GM in much the same way that upset you last year when people didnt use proper realistic judgement to guage dustbag's impact. after listening to years of pleas to objectively and to fairly judge a person that you happen to like on a level that defies other's logic...then see you turn about and make the same no-give, no-credit, almost-all-negative bashing you fought others for...well...its falling a bit deaf on these ears (or rather, blind on these eyes). you got the ommisions of the "good" stuff, the ragging of the bad stuff, and kudos to his peers for doing things that hendry does but should have done with the players they overpaid not the ones hendry chose to overpay regardless of the need of the team being put together. i know you dont like the guy, but damn...

crunch: "i have an objective viewpoint that doesnt revolve around demonizing a GM in much the same way that upset you last year when people didnt use proper realistic judgement to guage dustbag’s impact." And that is your opinion...but believe it or not, it isn't accurate. Just because I criticize some part of the Cubs DOES NOT mean it is a backhanded slap at Hendry. When Hendry is long gone, and I criticize some part of the team, will it still be a backhanded slap at Hendry? And the kudos to Sabean had nothing to do with Hendry. It was a very good signing he made, Zito was NEVER going to come to Chicago, IMO. I am sure Hendry could of offered the same deal and he wasn't coming. So it would be tough to criticize him for not signing him. You are reading WAY too much into my posts man, you need to chill and put the conspiracy theory thoughts away for a little while. But hey, you can keep on believing it if you want, but it won't change my opinions and me voicing of them. Soriano and ARam were good signings and DeRosa, Marquis and Lilly were mediocre, IMO.

if i'm reading too much in i'm not the only one. you got a bit of a pattern lately when it comes to any and all things hendry and a lotta it is in the same gist you were pleading with the anti-dusty crew to take more seriously and objectively along with what's going down around the league. that's all im saying. and i really dont believe you're giving hendry any slack or comparative criticism most of the time, just looking for a reason to slam any negatives with him and the system. i wouldnt even really bring it up and just let it pass with all the other stuff that goes on TCR, but you got a history of asking the anti-dusty croud to not do what you're doing to hendry. ultimately, its just a buncha guys in suits to me. im not nuts about marquis, but i dont have even a shred of a problem with aram/soriano/lilly/ward/derosa/wood signings.

Crunch- What I bitched about with the anti-Baker stuff is apples and oranges to the Hendry thing. You know it, I know it and everyone knows it. But if that makes you feel better as to why you want to bring this up, cool. The anti-Dusty crew never changed, so I guess if you think I am that way with Hendry, then no sense me changing, right? You don't have a problem with basically none of the Cubs signings, good for you, I do, and it has nothing to do with who the GM is. Oh yeah, no I am not giving Hendry any slack, because he doesn't deserve it. If it wasn't for his buddy giving him an extenstion before he got canned, he would most likely not even be here (damn you MacPhail). But still, he has had more than enough time and money to put a constant winner on the field and has failed. Now he spent like $300 million this offseason. No more excuses to not making the playoffs.

What I bitched about with the anti-Baker stuff is apples and oranges to the Hendry thing. You know it, I know it and everyone knows it. LMAO, if you think so. I got to sit down I am laughing so hard.

MikeC: "I got to sit down I am laughing so hard." Don't pee yourself...

"First baseman Julio Zuleta has opted to stay in Japan on a two-year, $3 million contract with the Lotte Marines." in ex-cubs news...

Damn, Zuleta is only 31? I thought he was almost 40. At least he is making a little coin.

25-man... blanco, barrett, derosa, izturis, dlee, aram, theriot, murton, soriano, ward, pagan, jones* zambrano, wood, prior, ohman, w.miller, marquis, lilly, howry, r.hill, eyre, dumpster, cotts that's 24...wuertz, novoa, cedeno being the notable "odd men out" since hendry's supposedly looking a LH bat bench option. jones's * is for either him or his replacement. personally...i'd like to see someone in that pen mix disappear to make room for wuertz. love to see dumpster fill that role, but the cubs seem to want him around. ohman is possible trade bait, esp. with cotts on board now.

Please trade Novoa. /shiver

what are the real/possible trade bait targets out there for the cubs to explore their options with anyway? who has a CF starter type and needs pen and/or a RF bat like jones?

Try this one from the Toronto Sun on our scouting director Wilken.

SLAMDOG: I got a dead link w/the above.

a.huff set to join o's....3/18m supposedly according to ken "peter gammons cant pimp my hos" rosenthall.

barry zito still rules...answering the question about what he might change with his new contract signing... --- "I'm just thinking of canning the curveball. Other than that, nothing major," Zito joked yesterday, when his seven-year, $126-million US, contract with the San Francisco Giants became official. not sure, but i think that's the wilkin link that was posted earlier. their webserver seems to use outdated case sensitive links.

That link works, thank you, it does look the same!!

after the wilkin comment there's a blurb about TOR offering Lilly 4/40m. guess he wanted out of there.

I don't see any way the Cubs break camp with 3 lefties in the pen, especially not when Rapada is ready. I think Ohman will get traded to make room for Wuertz, and should Eyre/Cotts have difficulty getting lefties out, Rapada will get the call-up. If we can't get anything good for Ohman, I think the Cubs may trade him for a decent prospect to some team in need of a LOOGY. Either way, Wuertz will break camp with the Cubs (unless he is used in a trade to get a CF).

CRUNCH: Thanks - this link worked!

I heard the scheduled players for the Cubs Convention were in the latest Vineline. Can anyone confirm, and since I'm a cheap bastard, can someone post the people and times? Thanks.

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  • crunch 8 hours 21 min ago (view)

    * except for playing 1st base


  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...


  • Cubster 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...


  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).