The Big Freeze

Today is the deadline for MLB clubs to submit their major league and minor league reserve lists to the MLB office, the beginning of the so-called "frozen period" that runs between November 20th and the conclusion of the MLB Rule 5 Draft (which will be conducted on Thursday, December 6th, as the last order of business at the 2007 MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville). During this period, a player on a minor league roster is essentially "frozen," meaning the player cannot be added to his club's 40-man roster or be traded. The only way a player can be moved off a minor league roster during the "frozen period" is by outright release. Back in 2003, the Cubs acquired 1B Derrek Lee from the Florida Marlins for 1B Hee Seop Choi and a PTBNL during the "frozen" period between November 20th and the Rule 5 Draft. The PTBNL was RHP Mike Nannini, who was "frozen" (by rule) on the Cubs AAA roster until the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. So as soon as the '03 Rule 5 Draft ended, the Cubs sent Nannini to FLA as the PTBNL. 45 Cubs minor leaguers are presently eligible for selection in the 2007 Rule 5 Draft if not added today to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster): James Adduci, OF Alberto Alburquerque, RHP Cory Bailey, RHP Andres Blanco, INF Robinson Chirinos, INF Edward Campusano, LHP J. D. Closser, C Rafael Cova, RHP Matt Craig, 3B Brian Dopirak, 1B Darin Downs, LHP Danny Fatheree, C Alberto Garcia, 1B-OF Ryan Harvey, OF Jim Henderson, RHP Koyie Hill, C Micah Hoffpauir, 1B Grant Johnson, RHP Geoff Jones, LHP Scott Koerber, LHP Josh Kroeger, OF Tim Layden, LHP Marcos Mateo, RHP J. R. Mathes, LHP Casey McGehee, 3B-C Adalberto Mendez, RHP Mario Mercedes, C Jonathan Mota, INF Leonel Perez, RHP (was a coach for AZL Cubs in 2007) Jose Pina, RHP Tony Richie, C Alan Rick, C-1B Carlos Rojas, SS Issmael Salas, INF Joel Santo, RHP Paul Schappert, LHP Chris Shaver, LHP Mike Smith, RHP Jemel Spearman, IF-OF Nate Spears, 2B Andres Torres, OF Chris Walker, OF Les Walrond, LHP Matt Weber, RHP (RESTRICTED LIST - is playing college basketball) Randy Wells, RHP The Major League Reserve List limit is 40 players (which is why the Reserve List is also known as the "40-man roster"), with a 38-man reserve list limit for AAA clubs, a 37-man limit for AA clubs, and a 35-man limit for all Class "A" clubs. A player who is not on his club's MLB reserve list (40-man roster) can be assigned to any minor league roster in the organization. A player on an MLB 40-man roster is exempt from selection in the Rule 5 Draft. However, a player on a AAA roster who is eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft is available for $50,000 in the "Major League Phase" of the draft, and if a player is selected off a AAA roster in the Major League Phase, the player must be given a "reasonable opportunity" in Spring Training to earn a spot on the drafting club's 25-man Opening Day roster. The first date a Rule 5 pick can be placed on waivers is 25 days prior to Opening Day. If the drafting club chooses to keep the Rule 5 player, the player must be kept on the selecting club's MLB 25-man roster (or DL) for the entire season following selection before the player can be optioned to the minors. If because of time spent on the DL a player spends less than 90 days on the selecting club's active 25-man roster during the season immediately following selection in the Rule 5 Draft, the Rule 5 restrictions continue into the next season, and remain in effect until the player accrues 90 days on an active 25-man regular season roster (not including time spent of the 15-day or 60-day DL). Only then can the player be optioned to the minors (presuming the player has minor league options available). If the selecting club decides not to keep a Rule 5 drafted player, MLB Rule 6 kicks-in, and the player must be placed on Outright Waivers (with a $25,000 Rule 6 waiver price, $5K more than the usual $20,000 waiver price). If another MLB claims a Rule 5 player off waivers, the claiming club assumes the Rule 5 roster restrictions. If the player is not claimed, he must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted. The club from which he was drafted can then either reclaim the player for $25,000 (half the Rule 5 Draft price) or can decline. If the club from which the player was drafted reclaims the player, the player is automatically assigned outright to the previous club's AAA affiliate. If the club from which the player was drafted declines its Rule 6 option to reclaim the drafted player, the player remains with the drafting club. Sometimes clubs will work out a trade at this point in the process, as the selecting team will send a player or players to the Rule 5 player's old team in exchange for the player's old team declining its option to reclaim the Rule 5 player. In the "AAA Phase" of the Rule 5 Draft, players on AA rosters who are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft can be selected for $12,000, with no roster restrictions for the following season. Although the drafted player is supposed to receive a "reasonable opportunity" to compete for a roster spot with the drafting club's AAA affiliate in Spring Training, the player can ultimately be assigned anywhere in the drafting club's minor league system. In the "AA Phase" of the Rule 5 Draft, players on a Class "A" roster who are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft can be selected for $4,000, with no roster restrictions for the following season. As with the AAA Phase, players selected in the AA Phase must be given an opportunity to compete for a roster spot with the drafting club's AA affiliate, but can ultimately be assigned to any affiliate in the drafting club's minor league system. Last year, 48 Cubs minor leaguers were eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft. Of those 48 players, 32 were placed on the Cubs AAA Iowa roster (with six of the 38 slots left open), 11 were assigned to the Cubs AA Tennessee roster, and five were assigned to one of the Cubs Class "A" rosters. Of the 32 Rule 5 eligible players assigned to AAA Iowa last November 20th, three were selected in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft (LHP Edward Campusano by MIL then traded to DET, RHP Lincoln Holdzkom by HOU, and INF Jason Smith by TOR). Campusano suffered a torn elbow ligament while at Spring Training with the Tigers and underwent TJ surgery in April, before eventually being placed on Rule 6 waivers and eventually getting reclaimed by the Cubs last month. Holdzkom was reclaimed by the Cubs last March, but was released by the Cubs at the end of ST and was subsequently signed to a minor league contract by the Red Sox, where he split the '07 season between AA and AAA, before being assigned to the AFL last month. The Jason Smith 2007 Rule 5 selection was peculiar, because he had been signed by the Cubs as a minor league FA just prior to the November 20th deadline, and would have been available to the Blue Jays as a minor league FA in November if they were all that interested. The Blue Jays ended up placing Smith on Rule 6 waivers in May, but he was claimed by the Diamondbacks before the Cubs got a shot at reclaiming him (not that they would have been interested). Then after recovering from abdominal surgery, Smith was placed on waivers again in July, with the KC Royals making a claim. Smith remains on the Royals 40-man roster. Players available for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who are assigned by a parent club to it's AA roster on November 20th are almost always players the club doesn't consider to be MLB prospects. Although placing a player on a AA reserve list is sometimes a matter of a AAA 38-man roster being full, usually when a club places a player on a AA roster (with a $12,000 "price tag" and no roster restrictions), it's a bit like a seller placing a "Buy It Now" item on eBay. Last year, LHPs Nate Bland, Luke Hagerty, and Geoff Jones, RHPs Alfredo Francisco and Andy Shipman, 3B Matt Craig, 1B Alberto Garcia and Jesse Hoorelbeke, 2B Richard Lewis, INF Albenis Machado, and catcher Tony Richie were placed on the Cubs AA roster. Lewis (by KC) and Shipman (by OAK) were selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, while Bland, Francisco, Hoorelbeke, and Machado were released at the end of Spring Training in March, and Hagerty was released during EXST in May. Only Craig, Garcia, Jones, and Richie survived the 2007 season. Players available for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who are placed on a Class "A" roster on November 20th (and are available for just $4,000 with no roster restrictions) are very often guys the club plans to release anyway, and getting even four grand for one of these fellows is considered a minor victory. In fact, four of the five players eligible for selection in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft who were placed on the Cubs Class "A" Daytona roster last November 20th (RHPs Ryan Bicondoa and Robert Ransom and LHPs Issac Pavlik and Jesus Yepez) were released almost immediately after the 2006 Rule 5 Draft ended.


seems only Kroeger and Randy Wells would have any shot at being drafted and any team could have had Kroeger when he was a minor league free agent. I suppose they could change their minds though.

Rob G. — November 20, 2007 @ 12:31 pm seems only Kroeger and Randy Wells would have any shot at being drafted and any team could have had Kroeger when he was a minor league free agent. I suppose they could change their minds though. ======================= ROB G: The Cubs re-signed Kroeger to a 2008 minor league contract before other clubs had a chance to sign him, so he could get selected by somebody. Last year, the Blue Jays selected INF Jason Smith from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft, and Smith actually had been a FA available to all clubs before he signed a minor league contract with the Cubs in November '06.

Do we know who goes on the AA and AAA rosters beforehand or do we only get to figure that out after the Rule 5 draft? (As always, thanks for the informative entry. I always learn something from your posts.)

BTW, a little known fact: Both Rich Hill and Carlos Marmol were available for selection in the 2004 Rule 5 Draft. Hill put up a 7-6 record and a 4.03 ERA with 136 K and only 88 H in 109 IP (albeit with a league-leading 76 BB) at Daytona, while Marmol had a break-out season in '04, going 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA, racking up 154 K while allowing only 131 H in 154 IP at Lansing. You may remember there was a lot of angst over the Cubs losing Andy Sisco and Luke Hagerty in the '04 Rule 5 Draft, but in retrospect, losing Hill and/or Marmol would have been MUCH worse!

AZ Phil, I know with the new CBA that the rule 5 eligibility rules have changed somewhat. How long after drafting/signing a player do the clubs have before players are eligible for the rule 5? It used to be 4 years. At least that is what I rembember.

Navin — November 20, 2007 @ 1:00 pm Do we know who goes on the AA and AAA rosters beforehand or do we only get to figure that out after the Rule 5 draft? ================== NAVIN: I had the rosters in advance of the Rule 5 Draft last year, but usually I find out later.

thought Kroeger had a chance to test the waters, guess not. Campusano is coming off surgery, so doubt anyone will take another shot at him Chirinos and Walker I guess are possibilities if teams are looking for a cheap 25th man.

Dr. aaronb — November 20, 2007 @ 1:14 pm AZ Phil, I know with the new CBA that the rule 5 eligibility rules have changed somewhat. How long after drafting/signing a player do the clubs have before players are eligible for the rule 5? It used to be 4 years. At least that is what I rembember. ========================= DR AARON B: For players who were 18 or younger on the June 5th before they signed, it's now five seasons before the player is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. For players who were 19 or older on the June 5th before they signed, it's now four seasons before the player is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

With the final NL MVP standings out, the final scores are compiled in the predictions contest.

FWIW, the Cubs have had eight players selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft in just the last five years: 2002: OF Jason Dubois (selected by TOR, was returned to Cubs at end of ST '03) 2003: RHP Jason Szuminski (selected by SD, was returned to Cubs in May '04) 2004: LHP Andy Sisco (selected by KC) and LHP Luke Hagerty (selected by BAL, then traded to FLA, was returned to Cubs ST '05) 2005: RHP Juan Mateo (selected by STL, was returned to Cubs end of ST '06) 2006: LHP Edward Campusano (selected by MIL then traded to DET, had TJ surgery in April, was returned to Cubs in Oct '07), RHP Lincoln Holdzkom (selected by HOU, was returned to Cubs in ST '07, then was released), and INF Jason Smith (selected by TOR, claimed off Rule 6 waivers by AZ in May, then claimed off Rule 6 waivers again by KC in July). Over that same period of time, the only player selected by the Cubs in the Major League Phase was TB OF Josh Hamilton (a year ago), and the Cubs immediately sold his ass to CIN.

I'm blocked at work, who won the contest?

AZ Phil, Are there any possible Josh Hamilton's in this year rule V draft?

Rob, J-roll thanks to East coast bias.

Never mind I thought you were asking who won the MVP.

yeah, I already ranted on the MVP who won the TCR contest?

For Arizona Phil, We took off Washington's 2A roster, Jim Henderson last year.

Christ, Rollins MVP? Shit. Just fuck me.

chifan3887 — November 20, 2007 @ 1:43 pm AZ Phil, Are there any possible Josh Hamilton’s in this year rule V draft? ===================== CHIFAN: Not on the Cubs. I haven't had a chance to study the Rule 5 eligibles from other organizations yet. As for Cubs guys, I think the most-likely Cub minor leaguer to get selected this time around is Josh Kroeger. Other possibilities are RHP Joel Santo (a promising but very inconsistent rotation starter at Daytona last year who is pitching fairly well right now in the Dominican Winter League, he's one of two pitchers the Cubs got from SD for Scott Williamson in '06), RHP Grant Johnson (former Cubs #1 pick who had a decent year in the bullpen at AA and had a ticket punched to the AFL and possibly the 40-man roster before getting shut-down with a sore shoulder in September), and Micah Hoffpauir (a ST favorite and a power-hitting lefty 1B-OF who suffered a season-ending knee injury at AAA Iowa in July). If somebody had been interested in taking Edward Campusano in this year's Rule 5 Draft, they probably would have just claimed him off Rule 6 waivers when he was returned to the Cubs last month. And I would almost bet that the Baltimore Cubs will take at least one Cubs player in the Rule 5 Draft. They just can't help themselves.

slamdog — November 20, 2007 @ 1:55 pm For Arizona Phil, We took off Washington’s 2A roster, Jim Henderson last year. ===================== SLAM DOG: I was only talking about players selected in the Major League Phase. Besides selecting Jim Henderson from WAS in the AAA Phase last year, other players selected by or from the Cubs off AA or "A" rosters just going back to 2004: DRAFTED: OF Travis Ezi LHP Brad Stiles RHP Jon Searles LHP Carlos Jan RHP Geivy Garcia 1B David Rifkin (sold to COL) LOST: RHP Wes O'Brien RHP Jared Blasdell LHP Yorkin Ferreras RHP Victor Ramos LHP Andy Santana IF Aaron Sisk 2B Richard Lewis RHP Andy Shipman

Thanks for the info Phil! Looks like most of that was uneventful with thee exception possibly of Henderson.

slamdog — November 20, 2007 @ 2:20 pm Thanks for the info Phil! Looks like most of that was uneventful with thee exception possibly of Henderson =================== SLAM DOG: Jim Henderson actually has some upside (not a lot, but some), which is unusual for a guy taken in a minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He could end up as a AAA middle-reliever in 2008.

Rollins beat out Tulowitski for Gold Glove at SS even even though T had better stats. Now Jimmy Rollins beats out Matt Holliday? Holliday carried the Rockies what did Rollins do? Rollins had an awesome season - no question - but Holiday was 1st in the NL in AVG, HITS, 2B, TB & RBIs. Also in the last 16 games Holiday hit .422 5 HR, 17 RBI -thats an MVP! Yes Rollins Phillies made the NL playoffs but that had more to do with the Mets choke than Rollins.

I felt for sure Hoffpauir would be a candidate for selection--why wouldn't some team take a guy who has the power to be a solid backup IF-OF? I know there's the knee injury, but it seems like when healthy again, he'll be a useful player.

"Are there any possible Josh Hamilton’s in this year rule V draft?" i searched ebay for "lightning in a bottle" and couldnt find anything worth the cubs picking up. hamilton is from my area so i could run down to the homeless shelter or various drug rehab programs to see if anyone there used to play organized baseball 3 years ago before racking up so many suspensions they had to cut grass at highschool/college training complexes for loot.

nevermind...i did find a guy on ebay for the cubs. perfect leadoff guy...nice wheels...not much power, but that's not his game anyway. maybe he can help usher soriano to the #2 spot in the lineup.

make a joke and forget your punchline...good job crunch.

Roosevelt Brown was taken in the ML portion of the Rule 5 draft. FWTW.

Just curious ... does anyone have Holliday's splits, i.e., what did he hit on the road this year? the sun-times getting paid per article they write about a japanese-born player? they've been pushing matsui/fuku news lately as if they got an office in tokyo...just noticed their sunday article on fuku. =p

Holliday: Home: 376/435/722 25 HR, 82 RBI, 67 Runs Away: 301/374/485, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 53 Runs Rollins Home: 300/336/556, 18 HR, 47 RBI, 69 Runs Away: 293/352/507, 12 HR, 47 RBI, 70 Runs

So Rob, can you explain why you think Holliday was robbed of the MVP?

I wasn't so sold on Holliday as much as I was sold that Rollins shouldn't be anywhere near it. "Wood is getting a lot of action around the industry," Hendry said of the free-agent pitcher, who switched to a setup reliever last season and may have a future as a closer. "I believe before we get to the Winter Meetings, that will be brought to a conclusion. We'd certainly like him to be brought back."

I posted it under the McDonough story but Kenney says he doesn't expect any "clarification" on the ownership until middle of next year.

to further clarify... - MOST players hit significantly better at home -Since the humidor, Coors is still the best place to hit, but not at the comical levels that it once was... -Citizens Bank Park is probably the 2nd best place to hit in the NL -Rollins wasn't the best player on his team(Utley) or the best player at his position (Hanley Ramirez)

Sorry, I read that before ... but forgot. Personally, I think the huge road splits are very significant. I'm not convinced Rollins should've won; there are several players for whom a case could be made, including Holliday. It was a year with no clear-cut winner. BTW, does anyone agree with the one writer who thought Marmol was the 10th most valuable player in the league? I given my view on the MVP award before ... I think it was ill-advisedly named. What should have been The Player of the Year, i.e., who's the best player, morphed into all kinds of extraneous things dealing with "most valuable to his team" and "How can a player from a losing team be most valuable?", etc. I guess I should insert a "meh" here.

Podsednik DFA'd....

I think the MVP award is sliding into Golden Glove territory. At least the players and coaches have an excuse not to know who's the best. Not sure what the sportswriters are thinking.

Rob G- For arguements sake where would you put the Juice Box in Houston for places to hit in NL?

Juice Box is great for right-handed hitters, but a huge CF and actually neutral to tough on lefties. Upper half I'd say.. If I were to rank the top 5... Coors Citizens Bank Great American Chase Field Juice Box or Wrigley

of course, there are people who study this... that's from 2004-2006, in terms of runs scored and counts some pre-humidor years. Coors Chase Wrigley Citizens Bank GAB Miller Pac Bell Turner Juice Box PNC Dodgers Busch Shea RFK Dolphins PETCO

I would put Juice Box second due to weather. Don't they have a short porch in RF at Juice box too?

more park factor fun (again 2004-2006) Citizens best overall park to hit homers Juice Box top spot for homers for righties (Carlos Lee thanks you) Chase top spot for lefties Wrigley 4th for righties and lefties in terms of a run scoring environment, NL Central parks Wrigley (3rd) Cincy (5th) Miller (6th) Juice Box (9th) PNC (10th)

Wrigley (3rd) Thanks to Cubs pitching. '-)'s multi-year park factors for hitters (100 is average) Coors 108 Chase 106 Citizens 105 Wrigley 104 GAB 104 Dodger 104 Miller 101 AT&T 100 Juice Box 99 Busch 99 PNC 98 Shea 97 Turner 97 Dolphin 97 RFK 94 Petco 91 okay, so Citizens is the third best park to hit in most likely...

Ryno McFarlane doll coming out....

Soriano missing a flyball in April 2008 as well

This from MLBTR: The Padres have had "cordial and informative" talks with free agent Mike Cameron. The talks sound pretty low level right now. According to Cameron's agent, the Nationals, Rangers, and Cubs also like him.

Also from MLBTR: We recently named the White Sox, Dodgers, and Rangers as the teams in hot pursuit of free agent center fielder Torii Hunter. However, those aren't the only clubs after him. Yahoo's Jeff Passan talks of how Hunter was impressed with the Royals' pitch. Passan also adds the Brewers and Nationals as teams interested in Hunter. Out of all these clubs, this is the first I've heard of Milwaukee being in the mix. Perhaps if the Brewers let Francisco Cordero walk they'll spend the money on Torii. They could then move Bill Hall to third base and Ryan Braun to left field. Hunter may sign by the end of next week.

I'd take Andruw Jones on a one year deal (even if it cost more for that year) than Hunter, Rowand or Cameron.

this is interesting...saw it on Brewers acquired RHP Guillermo Mota from the Mets for catcher Johnny Estrada. Must mean the Brewers are about to sign Jason Kendall.

let's hope, thanks for the draft pick Brew Crew. Let's also hope Soto doesn't suck next year...

"Let’s also hope Soto doesn’t suck next year…" Well all he has to is put up a 240/305/370/375 line next year to improve upon the performance of Barrett, Blanco, Koyie,Bowen, Kendall, and himself (and I would hate to see what the 239/304/369/673 line would have been without his contributions). So with a strong market for Woody (5-6 Mil), Kaz maybe going to Houston (4-5 mil), and Fuku leaning towards staying in the far east (10 Mil) that leaves bewteen 19-21 million dollars potentally freed up for hopefully the Andruw Jones fund and anyways Jones> Kazy, Woody, and Fuky.

speak of the devil... Andruw Jones won't be signing any one year deals..

Jones> Kazy, Woody, and Fuky Not necessarily...

without Soto: 223/292/339 from our catchers.... cwtp will be happy tonight..... Hendry wouldn't give his location, but the Cubs are hot after Matsui. Despite reports that the Houston Astros are close to signing Matsui, the Cubs appear to be very much in the running. Hendry currently on the road, possibly meeting with free agents... Wade in LA talking to Kaz and Wolf. Come on Wade, show the NL Central you mean business.

Crane Kenney just on WGN. Pretty interesting radio. Some briefs: - They were really bummed after D-Backs sweep (mgmt.) Will be doing everything possible in upgrades to get to the next level. - Prices are going up. They truly want to use revenues to apply to new salaries and attract great players. - Feel as if they are "custodians" of the Cubs now (in that they are just one in a lineage of many owners in history before and after Tribco) and will ensure that the new owners, whoever they are are committed to winning for the fans benefit. - Could not give John Mc D a 6-year deal now under the circumstances. - The sense I got was he was sincere about "paying back" all of us Cubs fan suckers!

translation: thanks for making all of us rich, we won't pocket this year's price ticket increase. You're welcome! If they sincerely wanted to pay us back they'd lay $350 million the day Arod was available.

You can do it, Wade. I believe in you. I trust you. And if you sign Kaz (see? I'm resisting the Matt Suhey jokes -- I am growing up in my old age), I will love you and bear your children. Of course, I'd need to get some kind of weird operation to make that happen, but some things are worth the price.

Now that I say that I have this awful feeling we're about to sign Kaz for 3/44.

boy...that failed roid test really effected mota. now with giambi and mota unemployed and unwanted by teams in MLB its really showing how much the game wishes to discourage its use. oh wait... yeah.

for those that dont like matsui...there's enough people on both sides of the fence for the pros/cons of having him around... if there's an actual competition for his services like it seems to be...chances are pretty good he's gonna be promised a big role or $$/years. just something that's in play. i could care less which way it lands, personally, unless theyre looking to give matsui more than 4m a year.

OLD AND BLUE: I am very proud of your restraint! Excellent.

who's on the pro side of the fence? I want names and numbers.

Hey, crunch, I'm just trying to protect the guy. Cubs fans aren't very nice to average ballplayers who get bloated contracts.

i think most people on the "pro" side have a series of qualifiers beside one's pining for least i hope. but yeah...look at the middle IF market the past many years...if the cubs can snag him for 2-4m i'd be happy. im satisfied going with theriot/cedeno, but if matsui came over for 2-4m i'd find it hard to complain for a variety of reasons from his skillset to how easy i believe it'd be to trade him away should he become expendable. some people on the 'dont want' side of the fence got different reasons for not wanting him...split numbers, not enough of an upgrade to even warrant the pickup, weird theriot love, theriot/cedeno being "enough" without getting matsui in the mix and making one of them expendable via trade...etc etc. its not one of those cut/dry polarizing issues.

I want him, Rob. So there. Kokoro semai yo ne!

Another reason not to like the signing. Not polarizing enough.

Rob, Coming off the the Arod and Rogers fiasco, Boras isnt going to settle for a 1 year deal right now. I am sure he is waiting for Hunter and Rowand to sign so that he is the big fish on the market. If he cant get more than 12 or 13 a year then a 1 yr deal in the 20 mil range makes the most sense.

WTH with Hendry not giving up his locale. Is he doing something big or just wanting to give that impression? My guess he is either Japan, Atlanta, New York, or Miami if he is up to something. Also according to Crasnick the Nats are the only team that has called about Jones so far.

dick cheney and hendry are busy playing mario cart...dont buy this whole "traveling to talk to FA's/agents" crap.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

We should make bets as to the net of Cubs salaries on opening day. Any takers?

Sure, Mister RIPple. I'm betting Eleventy Billion Dollars.

"speak of the devil… Andruw Jones won’t be signing any one year deals.." Seems like the same things were said about Pudgrigo and Weaver before they signed one-year deals. Boras knows that one-year deals are just going to make these guys one year older. Jones really picked a bad time to struggle at the plate though. It would be nice to have an outfield with the arms of Soriano/Jones/Pie or Fukudome for one year, though.

Maybe Hendry is at a fat farm somewhere. Japan is the first thing I thought of, when that was mentioned. It would be a hard thing to do, selling Chicago in late November, maybe he thinks it will be easier to lure Fukudome if and...Kuroda (sp?) if they're not being snowed on in their new ballpark when they negotiate. Hendy showed he would go the extra mile when he signed Lilly last year, I would be pretty impressed if he is over in Tokyo this week trying to woo these guys. I don't recall any other GM doing the same.

this early in the offseason its not uncommon to see all kinds of baseball personnel going all over the place for lunches/dinners/visits/etc. along with the normal lobbying via telephone. can fuku speak english, btw?

I think Fuku's English is pretty sub-standard, I read, but we do have a guy who speaks Japanese - one Alfonso Soriano, of course.

"I don’t recall any other GM doing the same." Seattle brass in Japan now: "A Mariners contingent in Japan might be home by Thanksgiving Day. Or maybe not. And the group, headed by general manager Bill Bavasi and manager John McLaren, might be closer to an answer for the club's questionable starting pitching upon its return. What is sure is the Mariners aren't wasting any time or expense trying to add Hiroki Kuroda as their newest Japanese import. Kuroda, a free agent after a decade in Japan's big leagues, is one of the prizes in free agency this winter, and he's close to being the Mariners' top priority."

Checked the Iowa Cubs roster on and I see that Micah Hoffpauir has been taken off the roster. Has anybody heard that he has been released or whatever?

If this hasn't been posted yet, one of the Chicago papers said Hendry was in LA having a meal with Matsui. Hopefully it did not go well.

Hagsag — November 21, 2007 @ 8:31 am Checked the Iowa Cubs roster on and I see that Micah Hoffpauir has been taken off the roster. Has anybody heard that he has been released or whatever? ================ HAG SAG: I haven't heard or seen anything regarding Micah Hofpauir being traded or released. Remember, is the same source that deleted Craig Monroe from the Cubs 40-man roster three or four weeks before he got traded. It's not exactly the most reliable place for that sort of imformation. The Iowa roster at also still has several players listed who are minor league free-agents and won't be coming back, as well as a couple or three pitchers who were brought up to Iowa just for the last weekend of the season to serve as emergency replacements for pitchers recalled to Chicago. As for Hoff-POWER!... he had knee surgery in July, but should be 100% by Spring Training, and so I would fully expect him to get an NRI to ST with the Cubs again this year (just like he did last year). Except this time I doubt that the invitation will be extended to him at the last minute! BTW, Hoffpauir is one of ten Cubs minor leaguers who will be eligible to be first-time six-year minor league free-agents after the 2008 season: Matt Craig, 3B Brian Dopirak, 1B Alberto Garcia, 1B-OF Micah Hoffpauir, 1B Adalberto Mendez, RHP Alan Rick, C-1B Joel Santo, RHP Jemel Spearman, IF-OF Chris Walker, OF Randy Wells, RHP Any of the ten not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by the end of the 2008 World Series can leave and try their luck elsewhere. Of course, for the ones the Cubs want back (like Robinson Chirinos, Carlos Rojas, and Issmael Salas this year), there will probably be an opportunity to sign a minor league contract with the Cubs for 2009, but re-signing a minor league deal for '09 will be strictly a player option beyond control of the Cubs. The only way the Cubs can be sure of retaining any minor league FA is to add the player to their 40-man roster. There are other potential Cubs minor league FA post-08 who will be "repeat customers," but the ten listed above are the ones who are "first-timers." So 2008 will be something of a "make-or-break" year for them, at least in terms of remaining with the Cubs past next season.

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  • crunch 1 hour 8 min ago (view)

    Chicago Cubs Thumbs Up GIF by NBC Sports Chicago


  • Alexander Dimm 1 hour 34 min ago (view)

    I'm in.  What more do we need, really.  A beer.  A game or two.  The 162 game season can wait until next year (I hope).  Have fun with a micro-mini season.  Let the powers fight over the labor agreements.  They can finish by next spring, right?


  • crunch 1 hour 46 min ago (view)

    2020 quickly shaping up to be the best season ever.


  • Cubster 3 hours 6 min ago (view)

    And a few kegs of beer. Hamberders too.


  • crunch 5 hours 18 min ago (view)

    they should just play a quick weekend tourney where no one actually wins and everyone gets a small participation trophy.

    declare the fans the MVPs and dedicate the series to everyone who has died in the history of humanity.

    ...then a free live-streamed Nickleback concert hosted by 2Pac's hologram


  • Charlie 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Lol at worrying about a second wave disrupting revenue.


  • Cubster 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    IN BRIEF (Tribune, from their mini-sports section):    In a letter, MLB rejects players’ plan for 114 gamesNews services Major League Baseball rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and now will discuss even fewer.Players made their proposal Sunday, five days after management’s initial economic plan.


  • Cubster 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Pete Ricketts causing some backspin on their serve...Chi Tribune, Thursday AM:


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Here are the last two Cubs minor league releases from this week (for a final total of 30): 

    Conor Lillis-White, LHP (acquired frrom LAA for Tommy LaStella post-2018 - missed 2019 season with hip flexor injury)

    Alberto Mineo, C-1B (has been quarantined in Italy since he re-signed with Cubs in February) 

    Lillis-White was eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, and Mineo was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 


  • Charlie 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    Great read from players I came of age watching. Really shows how badly MLB needs to empower their players to speak in real time and not just after retiring.


  • crunch 2 days 44 min ago (view)

    "A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America"

    d.glanville, j.rollins, r.howard, d.willis, t.hunter, l.hawkins

    unlocked/free article.


  • Jackstraw 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    I'm trying to come up with scenarios where saying "The problem I have with you people....." really helps the conversation move forward constructively.  None really jump to mind.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    i still want proof that tom ricketts and ted cruz aren't the same person


  • Cubster 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Tom's older brother is an ass, even with an embarrassing apology.

    Here is the twitter video from Pastor Jarrod Parker:


  • Cubster 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    I agree.  Laura is the real deal. I think she was the major influence that showed Tom R. and Crane Kenney how to show a "human side" and deal realistically and in a non-threatening way, with the local Chicago politicians. Kenney was clearly clueless in his initial attempts regarding the neighborhood, the Rooftop owners, and the Wrigley Field rebuild. 


  • Hagsag 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    I am a Laura Ricketts fan. To hell with the rest of them.