You Won't Believe This, But...

The Cubs have re-signed FA RHP to a 2009 minor league contract, and Foxy also gets an NRI to Spring Training. Because he signed his minor league contract prior to December 11th, he will be eligible for selection in next week's Rule 5 Draft, and I'm sure he'll be in great demand.

While the 38-year old righthander will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, he will not be eligible to receive the automatic "no trade" rights through 6/15 that an Article XX free-agent normally would get, because a player has to sign a major league contract in order to qualify for the automatic NTC. 

Fox spent most of the 2008 season on the 60-day DL with some kind of necro-elbow problem (calling Dr. Cubster!), and in fact his presence on the DL gave the Cubs a post-season roster exemption they otherwise would not have had. So it wasn't like he was totally useless. Perhaps the Cubs plan to use him the same way in 2009, or maybe it's simply a matter of Fox having incriminating photos of Jim Hendry at the Tribune Company picnic.

But it's not like Fox spent the entire 2008 on the DL. He did manage to pitch in three games (3.1 IP) with the Cubs this past season, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. And he spent some time on a rehab assignment at Fitch Park, too, where he threw in a couple of EXST intrasquad games.

Kerry Wood... eat your heart out!



I think it was Real Neal that nailed the loophole on this....

sign Fox, put him on the 25-man roster then place him on the 60-day DL and you get a free playoff roster spot every year.


I have no idea what signing Chad Fox has to do with not signing Kerry Wood, but oh well. This actually isn't a bad move. It is extremely cheap, and it makes sure that the Cubs have someone to stash on the 60-day DL come playoff roster time.

The Braves, Mariners and Nationals are among the teams interested in Dunn, major-league sources say, and his list of suitors could grow quickly. from Rosenthal Despite reports to the contrary, the Cubs remain engaged in talks to acquire Jake Peavy from the Padres. Indeed, a Padres source said the club had uncovered two teams which could provide the players to complete a trade. The Orioles are believed to be one.

Is Jake Peavy our official 2009 offseason Brian Roberts?

giants sign home run howry. 1/2.75.

Well, the only way a Peavy trade WILL get done is if there IS a third team not named the Orioles. Honestly, screw those idiots, they are hopeless to deal with. All Hendry does is spin his wheels when he could be working on deals with a more significant probability of a successful outcome. Good call on the Fox signing Real Neal or whomever. It's a dirt-cheap option to have a guaranteed "26th man" available for post-season rosters. And who knows, maybe Fox DOES have incriminating photos of Crane Kenney.

The other thing I am wondering about this signing... how did Fox get into a game last year when the decision was in doubt? I hope it was in the 14th inning...

Oh yeah, and if Fox is still trying to pitch with that chewed shoestring of an arm he's one tough mf'er.

Fox has a pretty decent changeup when his arm is working. By the way, Rich Hill faced four batters in relief last night. 1) HBP to load the bases 2) walked to force in run 3) popped out foul 4) walked to force in run


Maybe Hill's problem is that he is actually righthanded even though he somehow learned to pitch lefty. I can't hit the wastebasket with a kleenex lefty, I have no idea how somebody could command pitches at the major league level. Although I did once get beat at bocce by a 75-year-old woman who was playing lefty because she had dislocated her right shoulder.

Billy Wagner is right handed.

great! sign him up. multiple years.

Where am I? This is confusing.

May 2 @ STL After Rich Hill gave the Cubs two-thirds of a befuddling inning, Wuertz, Lieber, Marshall, Howry and Wood do their best to get the Cubs into extra innings. Entering into the bottom of the 10th, he gets Ludwick, Molina and Izturis to line out to center. The 11th goes less smoothly, as leadoff pinch-hitter Miles singles. He advances to second on a wild pitch and takes third on a sacrifice, but that's irrelevant after Schumaker homers to right to give Fox his first decision since 2004. May 5 @ CIN Fox enters with his team down by two, one on and two out in the seventh. He strikes out Brandon Phillips. Cubs lose the game. May 11 vs. ARZ Fox relieves Gallagher in the fifth, one out, bases loaded, game tied at two. He immediately walks Conor Jackson, then immediately walks Justin Upton. Drew pops out, Reynolds flies out. His sixth inning goes pop out, walk, foul out to catcher, pickoff. The Cubs later tie on a Reed Johnson homer and take the lead on a 2-run double by Ward as they go on to win. And we're all caught up.

damn u dusty!!! lol...ordinary baseball occurrences.

ST schedules on the trib site: I highly recommend a week in Phoenix for those who are in the position to do so. Planned well you can catch three games in a day, and you can get a lot closer to the players than you will be able to during the regular season.

Neal-- I went to ST last year in Phoenix, had a GREAT time. We golfed our asses off and caught 5 Cubs games; it would have been six, but we got an invite to play at Lookout Mountain and decided to skip the road trip to Tucson that day. Our only disappointment was that none of the star players were EVER around to sign for us. It was just the rooks and NRIs that would hang out by the outfield entrance or mosey over from the dugout to sign a few autographs and that was it. Hey, Sam Fuld was an auto-signing MACHINE, but that's not exactly what we were hoping for. Fonzie walked right by us; I'm pretty sure he was smirking. We did stand next to Jim Hendry behind home plate for one of the games and small-talked him for about 3 minutes, that was somewhat cool. I'd like to check out the Dodgers' new digs this year.

thinks Cubs should go after Bradley, but nothing coming from the Cubs on that standard stuff about Peavy and having to move some $$$

He goes on to say in the comments about a leadoff hitter: "At this point, it may still be (gulp) Soriano. But wait, there's still time. I don't believe that either Furcal or Roberts will be with the Cubs in 2009. They're up against it budget-wise, and I can't see either guy fitting, especially if they still want to make a run at Peavy"

So its bad if Soriano is still hitting leadoff? People bitched about Pierre so we went out and got the anti-Pierre and people still bitch.

They do share at least one trait - the inability to take walks.

The combination of low obp and low slugging were what made Pierre a poor hitter and even worse leadoff hitter. Soriano has low obp, which makes him somewhat ill-suited to be a leadoff hitter, but still a valuable hitter overall in that he can hit for some power (and like Pierre maintain a decent average). But Soriano really isn't the anti-Pierre. That would be Dunn, I believe.

Barry Bonds?

at least pierre could stay healthy enough to accumulate 700 impotent at bats. soriano's turned into a glass doll since we've acquired him.

Despite all the Pierre hate the man had 204 hits the year he was with us with 32 doubles, 13 triples and 58 SB's. Which means 50% of the time he got a hit he was in scoring position. Thats pretty awesome in my opinion, but hey he was shitty beyond shitty to most people. Whatever.

no Mike, you don't get it. All that matters here is outs made. Since Pierre made a lot of them, anything good he does is negated.

How quickly they forget. Pierre didn't show up til the middle of JUNE 2006. After a horrendous April he pulled a .226 .267 .290 out of his bucket-sized cap in May and finished the month with a total of 4 RBI's on the year. The Cubs were 7-22 in May. Pierre didn't start hitting until the season was effectively over. But that didn't stop Dustbag from giving him 700 at bats. JP had a similar start for Joe Torre last year and Joe unceremoniously benched him and kept him on the bench the second half.

Aramis hit .197 in April that year, to Pierre's .258. I don't like Pierre's arm, and an outfielder should be able to slug a little, but his OBP means nothing to me. Pitchers aren't stupid: you don't walk a guy who steals a lot of bases and hits very few doubles or home runs. You throw strikes; and so he gets a lot of hits and makes a lot of outs. When I see a guy like Burrell or Dunn or Bradley with a high OBP, I just figure he can't run and pitchers are more comfortable with a guy like that at first than at the plate. How many walks and singles does it take to get someone like Pat Burrell home from first? Three, right? Pierre only needs one single. Did someone say, base-clogging?

I agree, If a guy can't run, or be involved in a hit-and-run. Then he is just clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. P.S. Blacks and Latino's play better in the sun.

And through all that managers still walked Barry Bonds 120 intentionally in 2004.

Talk about apples and oranges, Who cares what Aramis hit in April 2006?! He had a great year. And the Cubs were 13-10 in April. Not out of it by any means. No, I'm remembering May.. May when the Cubs fell 13.5 games behind the Cardinals and JP continued to be a total bust.

Pierre is the only guy in the history of the game to gather 200 hits in a season and still fail to hit .300 or higher. That says a lot. 200 hits don't mean as much if you only have a .330 OBP and .388 slugging (that's actually a better slugging percentage than I would've expected, but still nothing to admire when coupled with such a low OBP). Contact and speed were all he had. Not a particularly valuable hitter, certainly not a leadoff hitter. And yes, he had a lot of stolen bases, but he also was caught stealing 20 times giving him a SB% of 74.4%. I'm not exactly a great stat guy, but I know there's a school of statheads out there that argue base stealers mostly don't benefit their team unless they steal around an 80% rate or higher. He also has the throwing arm of a jelly fish and made up for mediocre routes with great speed. Having Juan Pierre would've been okay if he'd been a 7th or 8th hitter and Hendry hadn't given up two decent pitching prospects for him (Nolasco and Pinto). But, um, you're the one who brought this up, right? No one was hating on Pierre until you decided to compare him to Soriano, whom some commenters would like to see out of the leadoff spot. My initial comment was just to point out that Soriano and Pierre's weak OBPs are exactly what make both of them less-than-ideal leadoff hitters. Oh, and I still stand by Dunn as the anti-Pierre. Poor contact skills, crazy patience, great power, no speed, no range, decent arm.

It actually varies depending on who you are taking to, and the run environment (i.e. average runs per game), but most people would say it is less than 80%. Tango says that it is around 68%. Others say 75%. Pierre's career 75% rate is probably right around, or above, the minimum rate needed to help his team.

Thanks. Me trying to remember things I heard or read once hasn't been working out so well.

The point is people are going to bitch just to bitch. We had alot of complainers about Pierre and his non-slugging ability, so the team goes out and gets the ultimate slugging lead-off hitter and guess what? People still bitch. Hey guess what though? Jose Reyes collected 200 hits and hit less than .300 last year. Bill Buckner did it in 85 with Boston also But hey i am sure there are others out there that did that, but i dont have time to correct your mistakes. But that still doesn't take away from the fact that getting 200 hits in a season is an extremly hard thing to do once in your career much less doing it 4 times like Pierre has done.

Actually, someone already did that legwork for you (although they have SOriano on their list with average above .300 for some reason...): That's what I get for trying to remember something I heard during a broadcast. Clearly I was wrong. But it's 9 total in history. Still, 200 hits and .330 OBP is not great, but probably not as horrible as it seamed to me. I just compared Soriano, Pierre, Brian Roberts and Theriot in a really idiotic stat analysis that I don't recommend anyone read. Here's what I came up with: using that % of the time a guy comes to the plate that he gets himself into scoring position, Pierre, Soriano, and Roberts all compare, while Theriot is horrid. Difference is, Soriano has a great slugging percentage and good RBI ability, B-Rob has a better slugging percentage than Pierre, OK RBI ability, works deeper counts, and doesn't make nearly as many outs. Maybe what I misremembered was the stat that Soriano had managed the lowest batting average of anyone to collect 200 hits or more, and that he managed the most hits on that list while also the lowest batting average (but not the lowest OBP).

"Which means 50% of the time he got a hit he was in scoring position." Oh, and as long as we're tallying percentages here, the 20 caught stealings mean that at least 8% of the time he got on base, he erased himself turning that into an out (20/(204+32 BB+8 HBP)). (I couldn't find pickoffs, but there's probably only handful of them, and some may have been picked off and caught stealing, which screws up the stats here.) Also, this is nit picking, but he may not have been in scoring position 103 teams, since some of those stolen bases may have been third base, not second, so he would've moved from scoring position to scoring position. That probably doesn't significantly affect the percentage, though. But let's say he got into scoring position 106 (I added his 3 homeruns) times out of the 244 times he reached base (not counting errors, because I couldn't find that stat). That means that 43.4% of the time he reached base he got into scoring position. His OBP was .330, indicating he got on base approximately 33% of the time. 43.4% of 33% is 14.32%. 14.32% of the times he came to the place he ended got himself into scoring position. In 2008 Alfonso Soriano had 127 hits (29 HR, 27 2B, 0 3B). He also walked 43 times and was hit by pitches 3 times. He stole 19 bases (caught 3 times). So, let's say that he put himself in scoring position 75 times, and he got on base (not via an error) 173 times. This means that 43.35% of the times he reached base, he got into scoring position, almost exactly what Pierre did in 2006. Soriano had a slightly higher OBP at .344, though. So 43.35% of 34.4% is 14.9%. 14.9% of the time Soriano came to the plate, he got himself into scoring position (according to the way we calculated that for Pierre). That's pretty much identical. Of course, Soriano drove in a few more runs than Pierre (75 RBI in 2008 compared to Pierre's 40 in 2006, though they batted in different lineups, Pierre had 247 more plate appearances than Soriano). But if some of us are arguing that neither is a leadoff hitter, and MikeC proposes the player's ability to get himself into scoring position as the measure of a leadoff hitter (that may not be exactly what he's saying), then we've got to compare them to someone else, right? I'll try to pick someone who appears to be a great leadoff hitter, and then I'll try to compare these guys to one of the Cubs' other current options for the leadoff spot (ugh). Okay, I guess I'll use Brian Roberts as a prototypical leadoff hitter (also someone the Cubs could acquire that would push Soriano out of the spot). 2008 was among B-Rob's best seasons, but that's the one I'll look at. Looks like he managed 181 hits (51 2B, 8 3B, and 9 HR). He also walked 82 times and was hit by a pitch only twice. He managed 40 stolen bases (with 10 caught stealing for exactly an 80% success rate). So, same method of calculation, he reached base about 265 times, and got himself into scoring position 108 times for a percentage of 40.75%, a little lower than either Soriano or Pierre. But B-Rob managed an OBP of .378. Again, 40.75% of 37.8% is 15.4%. 15.4% of the time he reached base, B-Rob got himself into scoring position, slightly higher than either Pierre or Soriano, but not an enormous difference. Okay, this one is a stretch. I personally think there are a few other options for the leadoff spot, including DeRosa and Fontenot, but Theriot is closest to the stereotypical leadoff hitter, particularly considering his 2008 stats. I figured I'd look at him because he's in-house, he's a full-time player, and the value of his offensive contributions are as contended as Pierre's and Soriano's, if not more. Buckle up, here we go: TheRiot tallied 178 hits in 2008 (19 2B, 4 3B, the obligatory 1 HR, and an overwhelming 154 one-baggers). He also walked 73 times and was hit by a pitch 3 times. He stole 22 bases (caught a horrid 13 times for a stolen base percentage I don't care to calculate, and I know some of these were third base, but we didn't do it for the others, so...). So he got himself into scoring position 46 times, less than anyone else considered here. 46 out of 254 (that's right, he reached base more total times than Pierre given fewer plate appearances), he got himself into scoring position a measly 18.11% of the time he got on base. Oh, this isn't gonna feel good. Even considering his .387 OBP, higher than anyone else listed here... well, 18.11% of 38.7% is only 7%. And now we know why Lou became hesitant to bat Riot above 8th. I don't think this is the best measure of the value of a leadoff hitter, but it is something to consider. (I'm not sure how accurate "scoring position is," since you can score from first on some doubles and all homeruns, but clearly it's easier to score from second or third in most cases.) I should really extend this, to be fair, but boy am I ready to be done, and if anyone reads this far I will be amazed. But just looking at this ridiculously small sample, it looks like Soriano and Pierre are comparable to B-Rob, and Theriot is comparable to...well, probably Cesar Izturis. Still doesn't deal with the question of whether the team would be better off with Soriano in another position in the batting order or whether other hitters might do better than him at setting the table, but it should add a little perspective. Also, I realize that I could've simply divided the number of times each guy got in scoring position by the total plate appearances, but MikeC set the precedent of % of times he got a hit, which I adapted to % of times he got on base, and then I decided to be moronic from there. Oh boy.

Thanks Charlie! Really interesting analysis (with the emphasis on "anal" - I KEED!! ;) Agreed - Theriot seems like batting 9th would suit him - then again, not with Z in the lineup.

I read your analysis Charlie. It looks accurate and it's definitely not something you will find anywhere else. Regarding Pierre though, I think it's important, because he had a history of playing every game (2003-2007)and always batting first, to compare him not versus individual players but versus what teams do in aggregate batting #1. e.g., last year the Cubs composite #1 hitter batted .279 .342 .474 .817, hit 33 HR, scored 117 R, and batted in 100. Pierre in 2006 for the Cubs batted .292 .330 .388 .718, hit 3 HR, scored 87 R, and batted in 40. I'd say we're much improved.

Now paging Strawman. Just an FYI. It doesn't make sense to compare runs scored and RBI's, without deducting home runs. In your analysis, every HR that the Lead Off hitter scored us two runs, when in fact, it only scored us one (plus whoever was on base). Really it's 184 vs 124.

"Really it's 184 vs 124." Still much improved. And your suggestion, navigator, makes sense. I've just wasted way too much of my day here already.

I have a simpler stat I like to use...

Soriano>>>>>>>>>>>>Juan Pierre = Cubs '07 and '08 >>>>>> Cubs '06

I did good on the ISTEP. Soriano:Pierre::Good:Shitty

that's why he cost 10m+ less.

with some kind of necro-elbow problem (calling Dr. Cubster!), ======== Hi from vacation on St.Maartin in the Carribean... "Necro" in latin and in medical terminology means DEAD (please hold the necro-philia jokes). So a dead elbow is a bad thing, but not a true diagnostic medical term. Fox has had two ulnar collateral surgeries though and when his medial elbow started to hurt last spring after the miracle medical recovery (as in failure of surgery #2 but a MIRACLE medical recovery more than a year later after pitching to a local school team and then subsequent Hendry re-signing #2, well after the 2nd surgery blew out from Dusty's abuse (blowout #2), they just said "Foxy, you're up shit creek". There's only so much duct tape in the universe to help some of the poor souls out there. Nice pickup though. Especially valuable when one considers such a signing only in the realm of a 60 day DL option going into the playoffs. I think a #22 signing was plan B, but Chad Fox was a no brainer in cost comparision.

and Bruce Miles says: "(Fox is) the nicest and most decent guys I've ever met in all my years of covering baseball. He'll make for another nice human-interest story come spring training." The Fox signing is good Karma for sportswriters plus... Straight from the Dalai Lama (after Hendry and the Lama finished 18 holes of golf): So for this signing...on Hendry's deathbed, (Hendry) will receive TOTAL he's got that going for him...which is nice!

Dr. Hecht -- I live in Munster and I often drive by your medical offices on 45th Street, just down the road from the very noticeable Family Christian Center. The weather here is crappy. Stay in St. Martin as long as you can.

"So for this signing...on Hendry's deathbed, (Hendry) will receive TOTAL he's got that going for him...which is nice!" You must be thinking of the Lilly signing.

"Cubs reportedly going after Jake Peavy and a big bat." I turned and caught a split second of the video... looked like footage of Abreu was being shown. Anyone see this or heard any report-worthy news about us "going after a big bat?"

"Straight from the Dalai Lama (after Hendry and the Lama finished 18 holes of golf): So for this signing...on Hendry's deathbed, (Hendry) will receive TOTAL he's got that going for him...which is nice!" Gunga Ga-lunga And if there was a post-season roster flexibility benefit in having Fox in '08, is Henrdy officially crazy like a fox? And tell me again why Marquis was out there this year. "Anyone see this or heard any report-worthy news about us "going after a big bat?"" I saw that. Adding Abreu would seem the perfect addition in my amateur opinion. If they add Peavy and deal off Marquis as well, there will be no temptation for me to edit the roster on my favorite baseball video game. I'm still thrilled from the Harden acquisition. Further improvements will surely get my expectations too high [again]. I'd still like to add another arm in the pen, be it Wood or somebody else. Or is this Wuertz's opportunity?

I don't know if it's feasible but if we could pay for half of Marquis is crazy salary and get some sort of pitching prospect to complete this deal for Peavy and keep Pie and platoon him in CF (cheaper option) with Reed Johnson and still have room for an OF that would be pretty nice. I just don't see harm on keeping a project like Pie when you have a solid team and the luxury of a great hitting catcher (soto) could bat Pie 9th when Zambrano and Dempster pitch...let him develop in the majors (give him 350 abs straight and see what happens) Wish we could have learned from the Corey Patterson (5-tool superstar). If we wait long enough (Dunn, Bradley, Ibanez, Abreu) one of the LF bats will become available relatively cheaper then expected with this economy. Pitching staff: Peavy, Zambrano, Harden, Depmster, Lilly is SICK! Hendry seems to find someone to take our Hundley...years ago maybe he can fix his mess of a contract. Can't wait til Monday.

sounds like Khalil Greene is headed to the Cardinals.

From a Cubs perspective, I'm happy it'll be Greene and not E-Rent at SS for the Deadbirds in 09. Renteria had some monster numbers for St Louis in the past, I just had a sinking feeling he was going to do it all over again. Glad to see that karma is gone. Greene sucks; he's Alex Gonzalez, the Sequel. People get excited because he can hit 20 HR a year and plays strong defense, but the fact is, he has NO plate discipline, MISERABLE OBP, and after watching him for an extended period of time, you're reading to poke your own eyes out with a rusty stick. Sounds exactly like our experience with the Game Six Goat. I do think this makes it more likely that Towers deals Peavy to the Braves and not the Cubs. Escobar makes sense now for the Padres, if they throw in the right prospects in addition, I think that deal gets done. Cubs should move on to the RF discussion. Bradley, Abreu, Dunn, et al.

Very true, although the Braves still maintain they're no longer interested. I don't buy it either. Of course, if they keep trading Tyler Flowers-type prospects, they won't have anything left that the Pads like. Bradley, Abreu, and Dunn all have their various downsides. I don't see any of them being any cheaper than Peavy next year. So, is it one or the other?

But...but...what about Itzturis??? How could they let him go? CHAD?

They upgraded. It happens. Izturis is still better than what we have.

Better than we have at what, making reverse chalupas?

he have a singles hitting shortstop that can't field. that to me is pretty worthless.

As opposed to an even weaker hitter (with no patience) who is more sure-handed but doesn't have significantly more range? Oh, and who is more expensive and more of an injury risk.

I think if the Braves can't get Burnett or another free agent i bet they reopen up talks for Peavy...Let's hope the cubs don't over pay for these RF's...the prices should come down! As for Greene going to the Cards...i think it's a good pick up he had such a down year and will likely play better in a hitters park...upside wise he's good. Then again crappy Itzturis in a Cards uni is great to see.

Perrotto from BP, subscription only. Apparently the Orioles want Pie and Cedeno to help out the Cubs get Peavy. If that's all it is, I'm guessing the only thing holding this deal up is ... the Cubs' payroll problems? Which, up until a month ago, we haven't had in three or four years. Unreal.

Why the Orioles, who have one starter and a pretty good young CF'r are willing to trade a young 'high upside' starter for another CF'r isn't really clear to me.

If they want Cedeno, I offer to drive him to the airport myself.

JAck Wilson to the Tigres, thru the Rumor site... Burnett still "mulling" Braves offer...

I first heard about the Burnett offer by the Braves on ESPN, and they messed up their graphic and listed it at 5 years, 140 milllion (an extra l in there for the crazy amount), and i almost threw up and thought "Dempster at 13m a year is awesome!"...but alas, they corrected it, too lazy to look, what are the terms of the deal, or not disclosed?

I'm so bored. I hope something happens soon.

HA HA! Now Jack Wilson is "not" traded. Thru The favorite rumor site - the aggregator of truth and accuracy on the internet.

Edgar Renteria signs with SF.

Paul Sullivan claims that Chad Gaudin may be a non-tender candidate:
Gaudin, who had a 6.26 ERA after arriving with Rich Harden from Oakland, is arbitration-eligible. It wouldn't be surprising at all if the Cubs non-tendered him
Seriously? Am I the only one who would pretty shocked if Gaudin got non-tendered?

BIG LO: If Hendry really wants Jake Peavy, but his payroll budget is around $145M (or $150M, but he wants to keep $5M available for mid-season trades), and if he thinks he won't be able to move Marquis and his $9.875M 2009 salary until Spring Training, he might opt to non-tender Gaudin, Wuertz, and Cotts on 12/12 (saving about $5M in 2009 payroll), and then either try and re-sign the three for less than what they could get in arbitration, or else just let them go and address middle relief later, after he gets rid of Marquis.

Wow. That would really leave the bullpen vulnerable, even moreso than it already is. We'd have a great rotation but no one to pitch in the 6th or 7th and and Gregg and Marmol would have to pitch the 8th and 9th almost every day.

I disagree. Wuertz is nothing, he spent most of the second half in Iowa, which shows how much confidence Lou has in him. Cotts stinks. Period. And Gaudin showed us nothing, maybe he was hurt, but if not, he isn't worth $2+MM. These are not significant losses. The depth would indeed need to be addressed in this case, but it's not as bleak as you suggest. Samardzija would be right back in that 7th inning role. Between Marshall (if he isn't dealt), Atkins and Hart, you've got your long reliever. The Gooz will get his big chance this year to finally stick on a roster, he could be a very nice middle reliever for the Cubs a-la Juan Cruz. Really, the Cubs pen only needs a bona-fide LOOGY and perhaps a veteran set-up man. Gaudin, Wuertz and Cotts do not fill those roles adequately.

Have you seen Kevin Hart at a game? In 2008? I did - including the reliever's "Blow Up Game" that they won in extras against the Giants on July 12. He is a complete head case - after being very effective in Iowa (b/c he couldn't find the plate after ST broke last year), he came up and stunk. Several times. HE got time in September only b/c Wuertz and Howry were also unreliable. They had no one left! Hart has "potential", but he really had problems last year when he got to The Show.

Yeah, Marshall and Hart can cover the 5th and 6th, at least until one or both of them are needed to fill in for injured rotation guys. Atkins may or may not be effective. Counting on Samninja to repeat his rookie success is ill-advised. Maybe he turned a corner, or maybe he'll be as unpredictable as he has been so far in his minor league career. I'd kind of like him working toward a starting job anyway (in AAA) if possible, but that's me. Guzman's issues haven't so much been lack of success at the majors (although he hasn't been great yet) as his inability to stay healthy. Counting on him to be healthy and contribute is really risky too. Marmol Gregg Samardzija Guzman Marshall Atkins Hart That could be acceptable. Or Samardzija could lose his breaking ball and his command of the strikezone, Gregg could be thoroughly average, Guzman could get hurt, Marshall could get hurt or be needed to start, Atkins could be a minor leaguer, and Hart could suck. Lots of risk in order to avoid paying Gaudin, who could also be rotation insurance, and Wuertz and Cotts. If we believe The Real Neal and some others, Peavy is a major injury risk (I don't really know), and Z may be an injury risk as well. Harden is clearly an injury risk if he's not already dealing with shoulder problems. Lilly's getting older and so I have to wonder when he's going to visit the DL (I hope not any time in the next two years), and Marquis is a risk to just plain suck. Marshall and Gaudin/Atkins/Samardzija/Hart being needed in the rotation seems like a good bet to me. But I don't gamble. No money. But I've forgotten Dempster! So which starter becomes a reliever? Marquis is the least effective, Dempster has the most experience, and Harden might make sense for health reasons. Any of those could help out, though I don't imagine any of them want to make that move. Oh, and isn't Marshall rumored to be trade bait? So if they do in fact get Peavy, might have to take him out of that.

If Cubs keep Marshall he will be in rotation by May, I can't believe we are counting on a full year from Harden.

I think Gaudin and Weurtz would be more likely make more money in free agency than through arbitration.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Thu, 12/04/2008 - 1:28pm.

I think Gaudin and Weurtz would be more likely make more money in free agency than through arbitration.



But presuming Hendry does in fact want Jake Peavy and a left-handed hitting RF who can hit 4th or 5th in the order, non-tendering Gaudin, Wuertz, and Cotts and (eventually) trading Marquis is the easiest way Hendry could free-up an additional $15M in 2009 payroll (added to the $7M he probably has available to spend right now) to acquire Peavy and the RF. He can then use whatever cash he has left after acquiring Peavy and a RF to add a couple of veteran middle relievers, but he will probably want to wait to see where he stands financially after acquiring Peavy and the RF before he decides how much to commit to the bullpen.

And while I think the Cubs will be able to move Marquis (and his entire salary) eventually, it might not be possible to do that until later in the off-season, after all the top FA starting pitchers have signed. So non-tendering Gaudin, Wuertz, and Cotts next week would provide immediate payroll that could be re-directed toward Peavy and a RF (presuming Hendry is nearing his payroll limit, and given that Kerry Wood was not offered arbitration, Jimbo must be pretty close).

What about trading Marquis and Fukudome. That should clear up about 22 Million off of the payroll.

I think there's less demand for $12 million .220 hitting outfielderst than there are for league average starters with $10 million one-year contracts. Trading Fukudome, at best would free up like $5 million, I'd guess.

I was Joking.

I think you have to arbitrate them....if Howry can make 2.5 mil on the FA that means if we let these guys go and expect to sign anybody better than Howry. that would cost us at LEAST 3 mil per year if not 4 and then we would be competing with everyone who needs bullpen help..which is EVERYONE! I agree with the health of our potential starting rotation it will be imperative that we have somebody who can fill in for injury or to rest Harden/Peavy. We don't have that cheap option in the minors if Marshall is in the deal. Gaudin is a good long reliever and spot starter and is valuable. Wuertz/Cotts aren't barn burners but who cares they fit the bill and are relatively cheaper options that what we could find in the FA. If a trade for peavy goes down our poor farm system will have to take up too much slack if we do indeed not arbitrate...and the season could go down hill really fast. Not the risk I would want to take to save a few million dollars. Someone will take Marquis even if we eat some contract!

SPONGEBOB: If Jim Hendry is patient, some GM who didn't get the pitcher or pitchers he wanted next week in Las Vegas (or over the next few weeks that follow) will panic, and suddenly Jason Marquis and his $9.875M salary for 2009 will start to look pretty good, at least as long as Hendry doesn't expect to get any players of value back in the deal.

I agree..Arizona Phil...that was my point...some will take Marquis...we may have to eat a few million...after getting up Marquis and a few mil isn't a bad move! We would end up saving 6-8 million. If Hendry can get rid of Todd Hundley a few years back some one will definetly take Marquis.

myself...i'd call cutting wuertz at this point in his career a mistake. i don't see the guy making more than 1.25-2m, myself, at best. i don't expect a future closer...i expect him to keep the ball down with 2 above average pitches. i also expect to see more control than i did last year, too.

personally i expect wuertz to be in pinellas dog house by march i dont see any reason to keep him c. gaudin i would definately keep short-long-starter

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  • crunch 16 hours 35 min ago (view)

    kolten wong rumors heating up for the cubs, too.  i could live with that.  giving nico hoerner 600 ab's a year sounds absolutely terrible after what little he did last year.


  • Cubster 18 hours 51 min ago (view)

    WSCR online reporting that the Cubs are going to watch lefty Carlos Rondon pitch. They desperately need another lefty that breaks down with the regularity of my Comcast service. 


  • crunch 19 hours 4 min ago (view)

    imagine being so toxic that you go from a no-doubt 1st or 2nd year HOF'r to having to try for it in your 10th year...and then imagine doubling down on the toxicity every chance you get a chance to redeem yourself.

    every time he's called out, even for minor stuff, he piles on more and then complains that people that have an issue with him are "cancelling" him for no good reason.

    he deleted a slew of "those people that stormed the capital are great people" posts pre-election so he has some kind of self-awareness in that skull of his somewhere.


  • Cubster 19 hours 40 min ago (view)

    I'm all for removing him from the ballot. His bloody sock already made it. That was enuf.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 11 min ago (view)

    Ranting about how the elections (both his and the other clown's) were stolen.

    I hope he ends up one vote short next year, just to really rub it in.


  • crunch 22 hours 11 min ago (view)

    currently he's throwing a tantrum and demanding to be removed from the HOF ballot for 2022.


  • Hagsag 1 day 12 min ago (view)

    Will Schilling storm the HOF with a mob?


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    schilling denied (71.1%, 16 votes short).

    some people did nazi that coming.

    no one inducted this year...aram got 1% of the vote so he found more than 1 vote out there (4 votes).  latroy hawkins got 2 votes for being a solid dude to other people (very friendly with the press and pretty much everyone)...sosa got 17% of the vote...

    schilling/bonds/clemens are going in their last eligible class in 2022...could be a hell of a "controversial" class...but bonds/clemens need to find 50+ votes.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Arizona is allowing fans in the stands for indoor NHL hockey games but it's too dangerous to let players following protocals; at least more so than hockey fans, to practice outside in a controlled environment.  Wonder how much of that is coming from MLB ownership trying to get a late start and pro-rating player salaries. Stall and save some money until more fans are allowed to attend later in the year. 


  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    few hours away from HOF announcements (6pm EST, unless leaked early).

    schilling seems to be the only guy with a legit shot this year and i wouldn't be surprised to see no one get elected...

    big up aramis rarmirez getting at least 1 known vote on publically shared ballots.


  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    "MLB will hold its first-ever pre-draft combine from June 20-28 in Cary, North Carolina.

    The combine will take place at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, with top draft-eligible college and high school players invited. As part of the combine, the top-88 prep players will take part in a tournament through June 26th consisting of eight games."


  • crunch 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    cactus league officials are requesting MLB delay spring training because of elevated COVID cases + deaths.

    their summer peak was 70-80 deaths a week and they're currently at 140-160 deaths a week.

    things should be trending down now that most of people that wanted to kill relatives in order to have turkey dinners in NOV/DEC seems to have peaked.


  • Hagsag 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    $$$$ for trump's defense fund.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    But they got $600 a few months back. Each! That was an unexpected windfall.

    Can't wait to see us acquire a 17 year old, 16 year old, 11 year old (all in the 15-30 range of Blue Jays prospects) and one of the shitty Jays surplus OFs. Randal Grichuk jerseys will be the new hot item among Cubs fans.


  • crunch 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    things are a little tight, we have to be patient with the ricketts family finances.

    when TD Ameritrade was fully/completely sold in october they expected to get 26 billion dollars of value on the transaction, but it only got 22 billion dollars.  the massive slew of millions that didn't fully come to realization on the ricketts side of that sale stings.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Trade Hendricks? Cant be true. We're "going to be competitive this year."

    Sell the team, Ricketts family.