January, Chicago's Hottest Month of the Year

I love baseball newsy days in January. I love roster moves. You can see that I don't even mind listening to a baseball guru or two.

Fox's Baseball analyst, was on WGN Radio's "Sports Central" show hosted by tonight. For those not able to listen, here's a summary of his take on all things recently swirling in Cubsville. He takes on Milton Bradley vs Lou Piniella (a dangerous mix). Could these two ever be as lovable as Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson in the 2003 film, ? Somehow, I just can't see LouPa getting Bradley to sing, "".

Plus a bit more on the shrinking odds to acquire some guy named .

On to the details, after the jump...

David Kaplan: You're thoughts on Milton Bradley.

Ken Rosenthal: I love Milton Bradley, but wonder if Bradley can stay healthy playing RF. They've got to keep him on the field which is going to be the challenge. He is a guy who plays really hard and that's one reason he gets hurt a lot. Fans will like his fire and they are going to like a guy who led the AL in OPS, but they'll only like him if he's on the field producing.

Kaplan: Is Bradley a good teammate? People I respect around the game that I've called say he's an excellent team mate, just leave him alone and let him do his job.

Rosenthal: It may be a challenge for Lou Piniella to leave him alone.  Bradley's primary goal is to win. Bradley had no problems with Ron Washington in Texas and Washington did really well with him.  Lou can't rip him in public like he's done Fukudome. It's potentially a dangerous mix as Lou is volatile too. You can say the same things about Lou (his temperment) that you can say about Milton Bradley. Some thought he should go to Tampa with the DH, but you saw Tampa extended themselves financially to get Burrell $16M, so you can see why Bradley wanted to come to the Cubs as he almost got twice that much from the Cubs. Plus there is an appeal to every player to play with the Cubs. If they win you're a made man.

Kaplan: Handicap the Cubs today vs the end of the 2008 season.

Rosenthal: He likes where the Cubs are but he understands the criticism. Not a cop out, merely an acknowledgment of the value of DeRosa to the team. The reasons for the DeRosa trade were to

1) get more left handed (Miles, Fontenot, Bradley), they are much more of a balanced lineup then thay have been in the past. Even though they lead the NL in runs scored last year, they felt all season that their imbalance was not a good thing. 

2) $ savings

3)  DeRosa's is a free agent after this season and they wouldn't have DeRosa forever. The value they got back seemingly wasn't great but they won't know that for several years.  They've reconfigured themselves to be a more of a  balanced offense. If he stays on the field, Bradley is a dynamic offensive player and he's also what Cubs fans are looking for as far as on base skills. The key is keeping him going and if they do that Jim Hendry is going to look good.

Kaplan: Do you think a Peavy deal will occur?

Rosenthal: Now that the Padres ownership is going to change it's much less likely. New owner Jeff Moorad's first move is not likely to trade Peavy their best and most popular player. Can it still happen, Sure. Any owner who is logical about things can trade any player at any time if the value is proper. Given the PR damage the team has suffered all off-season it seems hard to believe the team is going to make this deal when they haven't made it under duress. He said his guess is that the odds of a trade happening have dropped to about a 10% chance.

Kaplan: When the Marquis and Bradley deals are finalized, do you believe the Cubs are done or will they get themselves another starting pitcher?

Rosenthal: I have a hard time believing they are going to pay big money for another starting pitcher, say Derek Lowe. The Dempster deal was a top of the market deal. The Bradley deal was sticker price. These are not bargain deals. If the (Cubs) ownership change happens and the new owners say get one more  pitcher, then they might be in on Lowe.

Kaplan: Why give up Josh Vitters who they say is the jewel of the system or other prospects when you could keep those guys who cost you nothing and just sign Lowe, for less years and less money, a sinkerballer who would fit in at Wrigley?

Rosenthal: The answers are simple. Peavy is in the prime of his career. Lowe is 9 years older than Peavy. Peavy would probably be under contract for 4-5 years, you'd have to give him another year in a deal. Peavy is a young ace type pitcher. Lowe might be on the decline although he hasn't shown it yet.


"Just let him alone and let him do his job." (I realize you're paraphrasing, Cubster.)

Who wasn't 'letting him alone' when Bradley harrassed a cop in the course of doing her duty and got himself arrested and ultimately sent to jail in '04?

He got himself traded from the Indians by getting into a row with his manager after he was pulled from a Spring Training game for not running out a pop-up. I guess Eric Wedge should have 'let him alone.'

Then that crap last year when he was ready to take the head off Ryan Lefebvre, the Royals announcer, because he thought he had been insulted.

The Cubs spent $30 million on a scumball. I am surprised how readily analysts like Rosenthal and Kaplan, who I normally find to be outstanding, are forgetting the worst of this guy's history and suggesting that the Cubs' biggest concern will be his health.

because that milton bradley comes out 1% of the time and the other 99% people seem to like him. he's got impulse control issues, not thug issues. i'm not excusing his actions, but he's not a hoodrat or an alienating egomaniac. he's got authority issues, though...f'real.

And I guess my question is, at what point do his authority issues become sufficiently disruptive to derail a team. He's got a manager and coaches to answer to every day, not to mention how thin-skinned he seems to be with regard to fan and media criticism. He's been on something like nine teams in seven years. Given his obvious skills, it's clear that his issues have proven significant to team after team.

Answer this: How proud would your family be if all the stupid shit you did in your 20's was printed on the front page of the sports section. Yeah he's got a temper - so does Piniella, but no one complained about signing him.

Yeah he's got a temper - so does Piniella Exactly. Will the two be able to coexist without going after each other? While I'm not opposed to the signing, I think the risk involved is increased because Piniella may not have the right temperament to manage someone like Bradley.


That's an apples to oranges comparison, Neal. Zambrano's petulant and immature and sometimes that immaturity takes the form of anger. Bradley, on the other hand, has significant anger management issues, authority issues (as others here have noted), and what looks to be a clinical persecution complex. But, man, can he rake when he's healthy.

Yeah, I remember that time that Bradley's center fielder had to sit out two games and then got traded because of the fist fight they got into...

Teammates get into fights fairly often without either being traded, and you know that. It's the nature of competition combined with the pressure of professional sports. Moreover, Barrett was traded because Piniella had no use for him -- and apparently most of the pitching staff didn't either. Zambrano has never physically gone after an umpire. Bradley has. Zambrano has never physically gone after a fan. Bradley has. Zambrano has never physically gone after a broadcaster. Bradley has. Apples and oranges.

Boy, Bradley is one luckily SOB. He's the only millionare in the world who can attack fans and broadcasters and not get sued. It really amazes me. What does 'physically go after' mean? Yell at them. He didn't throw any punches at that umpire. What's with the dimestore psycho-analysis. Are you Bradley or Zambrano's doctor or are you just talking out of your ass?

To my knowledge, there has never been a lawsuit filed against a player for "on the field transgressions". So just because Bradley doesn't/Hasn't been sued. Doesn't really equate to him always being "In the right".

But at least he is a good family man. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-112655375.html

Did you even read that article? "Bradley told police his wife had hit and scratched him because she suspected him of cheating on her. "

Who among us HASN't had the police over 3 times in a year to investigate Domestic Violence? Totally a normal everyday occurance in my neighborhood.

One wouldn't impune a woman's character if she were repeatedly abused by her husband. I am playing the devil's advocate, though. ps. My wife beats the shit out of me, please help.

No doubt for good reason.

You actually said something funny. Congratulations. Best to end on a high note.

it's cause she knows you can't fight back.

Damn my bloody non-resistance!

Given your tendency to attack people over simple disagreements, you could use a little dime-store psychoanalysis.

Real Neal, et. al.: Where are there "dimestores" in your neighborhoods? I want to go to one. I can direct you to plenty of "Dollar Stores" - but not the former. That is serious old school...

Given your tendency to condescend while making shit up, you could use a little of Mrs Bradley's treatments.

Publicly branding a teammate (Jeff Kent) a racist, the near assault of the announcer in Kansas City (he had to be physically restrained by the GM)--I think it goes way beyond having "a temper."

I look at what Jacque Jones and LaTroy Hawkins went through here given their failings on the field and try to imagine how Milton Bradley would hold up if/when he struggles.

I guess we'll see.

the big worry imo, is that Bradley has shown to be quite sensitive to criticism and this will be the biggest market he's played in...we'll see how he reacts to the daily newspaper guys getting on his case in the clubhouse.

there was L.A., but it's a relatively softball media here..

there's also Lou who has no problem speaking his mind with the mics around, see how Bradley reacts the first time Lou says something negative about him to the press.

I'm pretty sure Jeff Kent is not well liked by a lot of players. Bradley may be on to something with that one.

Yeezus! Just stop it!

jeff kent doesnt have many friends in this game. he doesnt seem to care he's actually good at baseball. he shows up, stays in good playing shape, and collects a check, though. the thing that pisses a lot of people off about kent (it seems) is while he does all this and doesn't care to interact with teammates he's one of the first to dish out harsh criticism toward his teammates during the few moments a season he decides to "check in" mentally to the game.

Wow, I'm glad people aren't asking that about me. I was incredibly immature until I was about 30. It just takes some of us longer than the rest of you. Sorry about that. Maybe we should just throw people onto the street when they can't get their act together by a certain age, and see what happens then. This is a team that needs some fire in it, and I happen to think this guy may give it to them. I suppose it is possible that he hasn't matured yet -- although I don't remember hearing about any problems last year, but don't underestimate the Power of 30 to knock some sense into a person. It is possible that if he sucks out there on the field he'll get booed and then go nuclear. So what? If he sucks, he sucks, and the Cubs will suffer no more or less if he has an incident. The rest of the guys on the team should be able to take care of themselves no matter what Bradley does. They are grown men. Based on my own personal history, I am betting that Bradley is now, too.

Isn't 40 the new 30?

Ask Jamie Moyer.

Piniella played by Jack Nicholson Adam Sandler in the role of Milton Bradley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rurbv89IgKA&fe...

from Gordon Edes, Yahoo Sports: They (the Cubs management) also have no qualms that the behavioral issues that plagued him (Bradley) earlier in his career will resurface. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ge-brad... The Cubs believe sinkerballer Derek Lowe is too expensive but will continue to explore pitching options... It’s conceivable they are done until spring training.

How the hell is Lowe too expensive, but Peavy wasn't?

I think that means "too expensive for what we feel he's worth". Also, if a new owner needs to approve the bump in payroll, then it's a timing issue as well. Peavy will 'sit' but Lowe is probably going to sign in the next two weeks.

Hendry has not spoken in some time with Padres GM Kevin Towers, who under present ownership has a mandate to dramatically slash payroll. The Cubs and Padres appeared close to a deal for Peavy in Las Vegas, but the Padres backed away, leaving the Cubs convinced that someone over Towers’ head pulled the plug.

that's a bit different than what's been reported...

My biggest concern is the durability factor. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and this guy has played more than 105 (?) games once in his career. The second biggest concern, and this is a close second, is his demeanor vis a vis the fans. Especially in the RF bleachers. Look how Jacque Jones let them manhandle him. If Bradley does a 2 for 20 at some point, he'll be just as big of a target and he'll try to give it back as much as they give it to him. I'll say this, it's going to be a really interesting summer either way at Wrigley Field. And what the heck, the white bread approach to the roster didn't help advance them the last two years, maybe adding a short fuse will. I've read in several accounts today that all Bradley wants to do is win. And that comes from former managers, coaches and players.

Remember you said that the first time he fails to run out an infield groundball or fails to score from first on a double in the gap.

And that's different from A-Ram.....how??????

Or Soriano for that matter. The number of times he hasn't run out a dropped third strike is sickening.

Or Soriano for that matter. The number of times he hasn't run out a dropped third strike is sickening.

Or Soriano for that matter. The number of times he hasn't run out a dropped third strike is sickening.

Never read anything about Bradley jaking it on the field. His managers and ex teammates and Gerald Perry said he plays hard, wants to win. Yeah he's got a screw loose. Does it really matter if he plays on a regular basis and plays well? That in itself is a gamble given his history, but who cares about the other stuff? Should we cite name, chapter and verse on pro players in many sports who are less than stellar characters off the field, and see how many people wanted them outta town? Dave Duerson? Bobby Hull? AJ Pierzynski? I want performance on the field and the guy is a jerk off the clock, then I'll take him to be a jerk that I want in the lineup.

The Cubs could have easily traded for Bradley in 2007 but declined. That was right around the time they traded Barrett...In any event, they must feel that he's matured to the point that he can be trusted with a multi-year contract. Looking over Bradley's career stats, I couldn't help but think of Felix Pie. Bradley struggled for the first 3 years of his career...

I really don't think Hendry cares a whole lot about his maturity as a person. I think he wants him to fit on the team, do what his manager says and keep his hands off the fans. Performance is going to be what counts. As I recall the price for Bradley in 07 was steeper than what the Cubs wanted to offer, and as is their wont they were committed to the two guys they signed to provide left hand pop in the outfield: Jones and Floyd. I am sure Hendry has vetted Bradley with all his baseball people and done his research and is confident the guy can play and play on a regular basis. Just not sure that he worries about what Milton does at home.

is talking to me about Texas football right now on ESPN...

and then ESPN reminds me why not to watch them when they put Skip Bayless on with Lil Wayne with Bayless calling Lil Wayne's latest album, his "Purple Rain"...

Bradley was very mature in going after the Royals' announcer during a game...yep. Injury prone. Temper issues. Great.

Are you replying to somebody?

How much did we pay Moist Alou?

Wow... the Cubs gave Alou a 3/$27M contract in 2002. Bradley is a steal in comparison.

Let's not start sucking our popsicles just yet. If Bradley puts up 275/337/419 15 HR 280/357/462 22 HR 293/361/557 39 HR Over the next 3 years. Then we can call him a steal. The biggest mystery is how the cubs could decline arbitration,and totally cut bait on Alou after that 2004 season? At least he had Todd Hollandsworth and Jeromey Burnitz to help us get more lefthanded. Cubs management, Historically inept.

I like lefthanded, but the Cubs tend to go after lefty hitters who hit mostly to the wrong field. The two you mentioned plus Choi, Jacque Jones, Edmonds, Fukudome. (Burnitz not really an opposite-field hitter. He just aimed for the middle of the fairway.) Anyway, I just analyzed Bradley's BR home-run log from last season and of his eleven lefty home runs, five are described as RF Line. Three are simply RF. One is CF-RF, for a total of 9 to the right of center. One is LF-CF and one LF. A pull-hitting lefty slugger. Nice!

I could use this explained to me. Is there a reason that you prefer a lefty who is a drastic pull hitter (a la Cliff Floyd)? Not criticizing, just curious if there is an overall theory or some analysis here.

So when we play in Yankee Stadium he'll... oh, wait... dang...

Yes, there's a theory, thanks for asking. It's the Different Day Theory. The idea is that righty hitters, even if their numbers are generally good against righty throwers, are likely to have a rough day at the same time if a pitcher with really good breaking stuff is hitting his spots. Like against Derek Lowe last October. A lefty pull hitter is looking for pitches inside. Inside at the waist, at the knees, fastball, breaking ball--no problem. So the exact same pitch that is causing maximum discomfort to Soriano/Lee/Ramirez/DeRosa/Soto looks like low-hanging fruit to Bradley. Jacque Jones was a wrong-way hitter. He couldn't hit a breaking ball inside. So it was like having another right-handed hitter in the lineup. Just keep throwing the same pitch in the same spot to everybody. With some variety in the look of your hitters, you have different guys coming through on "different days." With the heavily right-handed Cubs, it's been feast or famine. Everybody or nobody hitting. The twelve you scored yesterday don't help you today against Lowe, Arroyo, etc. I don't have stats supporting this different-day theory, but there are there no stats opposing it, either. But here's something anecdotal. The Cubs have zero luck against Cole Hamels, even though he's lefthanded, because his changeup is a righty killer. The Brewers are heavily righthanded also, but they were able to beat Hamels once last season by scoring four runs on a couple of two-run homers by Prince Fielder. Of course, it's a bad example because Bradley will bat righty against Hamels. But it illustrates what righty-lefty balance is about.

I can't say I completely disagree with your idea here, though I usually prefer hitting approaches that use all fields (Lee, Ramirez, Fontenot) to guys who mostly use one field (Soriano, Theriot, Jacque Jones). But if a pull-hitting lefty hits guys what a pull-hitting righty doesn't, then don't opposite-field or all-field righties also hit those guys that pull-hitting righties don't? Seems to me that the Cubs had a lot of guys batting from the right side who were perfectly willing to hit the ball to RF or CF, other than Soriano and Johnson. I can definitely agree that the Cubs haven't lefty who could crush the ball toward RF in a while, though Cliff Floyd was supposed to be that. I'm guess I'm just not convinced that being a pull hitter is going to make a lefty more valuable to the Cubs. Now, the power that might come with pulling the ball...

I mostly agree. I think the best hitters from both sides try to find a pitch they can drive (pull?) until there are two strikes; and then with two strikes maybe they settle for a single to the opposite field. Lee has gotten too willing (to my taste) to hit a single to right early in the count. Piniella said once that you want a few lefty hitters because the pitcher has to keep shifting the target and he makes a mistake and grooves one. One thing about pull hitters is they crush mistakes. Opposite-field hitters tend to take pitches that they should have crushed. (They weren't looking for something middle-in.) We've seen a bit of that with the Cubs the last couple years, and I don't mean Soriano.

That's refreshingly articulate and candid. I think the main appeal of Cuban to sports fans, is that he has some sense of responsibility to the fans. All these other owners act like their kings who can't be bothered answering the questions of the unwashed masses.

I would recommend washing. I find people are more receptive to conversation if you do.

That's so great that he would take some time, like he obviously has, to tell everyone about this saga. He didn't have to say anything about it. Now, at least we who have been hoping he would be able to get the team understand what he is going through.

Given the age of the Cub's roster and the state of the minors, isn't this a good time to take a risk on a player that has a high upside?

Be careful using the term upside.

No... just be careful using the term upside when talking about crappy players that have very little upside. Bradley does not fit into that category.

You're right, a 30 year old outfielder that can't play more than 90 games a year has upside.

You mean... a 30 year old outfielder, who also led the AL in OPS last year, that can't play more than 90 games a year has upside. Right. If you don't see the upside in Bradley, but you see "a ton of upside" in Gathright, I am really not sure what to tell you.

Cubs seem to be setting themselves up like a house of cards this year. But at least we have left-handedness on our side.

You know what? The last 2 years they set themselves up like a house of heavy stone and they still couldn't get a playoff win. Time to try something different.

Ok...take a chance on a player with high upside. Let's forget that this player had a career best last season, while DH'ing 97 of 126 games, and the previous 3 seasons played 75,96,61 games, and has never proven that he can stay healthy to play 120 games back to back even, which would still be missing a quarter of the season.

I don't remember saying you should ignore it. It is of course the reason the Cubs could sign him in the first place. I guess my point is that while he has risks, he has significant upside. Since, IMO, the Cubs window appears to be closing why not take the risk.

That's a good point. He is available for the money because he's an injury risk. Remember when Hendry talked about the fact that a non-injury-risk Rich Harden didn't exist...and if he did, he wouldn't be available.

Because then you are stuck paying him while he's injured. The risk is not worth the reward. He had a great season last year, but that's not who he's been his whole career.

This seems to be Cubs strategery. What are the chances that both Bradley and Soriano make it through April without landing on the DL?

What does Soriano have to do with it?

Soriano is the proof that you never really know what will happen. When we signed the guy, his track record was that he practically played every inning of every game. But as soon as he dons a Cub uni, he becomes Mr. Glass. Who's to say Bradley won't all of a sudden be able to complete a full season? This is the Cubs. Stranger things have happened.

Your right if he gets hurt they will lose. Of course if he doesn't get hurt and he plays well, IMO, they have a chance to go farther than they did the last couple of seasons, if they had done nothing or just signed a safer player.

I don't mind Hendry rolling the dice here - if Bradley flakes out, he flakes out. His teammates should be able to handle it, the Oakland A's had clubhouse fistfights almost on a daily basis during their glory days in the 70's. They just wanted to win, period. Granted, it's not an exact analogy, but you get the drift.

I don't think this is 3/44, but I caught this over at the bretheren's CCO site re, Levine's info on the deal: "Levine revealed that the third year on Bradley's contract is not guaranteed and is a vesting option based on games played in the first two years. Bradley is expected in Chicago by Thursday to take a physical with the official announcement being made on Friday at Wrigley." Count me in the "health worries" column. I'm not as gloom and doom as the Dr. aaron B is, but IF Dome does not turn it around AND Bradley misses significant time, it could be a mess o trouble. I could give a shit about all of the "clubhouse leader" and "sensitive player" bullshit. LEt's win a couple playoff games. And - getting back to the J.D. Drew scenario I brought up yesterday - I am too lazy to look this up, but if Bradley misses the same percentage of games that Drew has during his Red Sox signing - yet produces to the same degree while in the lineup - is it a productive addition?

I think our best case scenario here depends less on Fukudome and more on the Hoff. If he can build on what he started last year, he gives us a RF replacement with some pop when Bradley goes down. That will hopefully limit Gathright's role to mostly pinch running and an occasional start, and CF can remain the Fuku/RJ platoon. If Lou decides to pull a Dusty and replace Bradley's OPS with Fuku in RF and RJ/Gathright in CF (a la replacing DLee with Neifi by sliding Todd Walker over to 1B in 2006), we'll be in for a long season.

That Cuban post on his website was great! Man he would be a great owner for the Cubs..it's too bad he backed out. http://blogmaverick.com/2009/01/06/the-cubs/ As for those who don't want Bradley....maybe he fails his physical. In all honestly i'd rather have Peavy then Bradley! I think the more pitching the better. With Bradley signed it seems unlikely with this economic environment and the fact the Padres are now selling (the new owner may want Peavy)...the window is probably gone.

Good question E-Man...of course, he played 140 games in 2007....not well, but he was out there. Wow....I will say this, Milton Bradley makes JD Drew look like Cal Ripken jr as far as games played. He's played under 100 games just once, which was in 2005. Also, without just looking at HR and RBI as I have accused of doing, career numbers: Drew .284/.392/.502 averaging 109 games a season Bradley .280/.370/.457 averaging 90 games a season

Thanks Dusty. The comparison is really interesting in that my "perception" of Drew is he is/was hurt as much or more than MB.

Actually the perception of Drew is that unless he's up for a contract he likes to take a lot of games off when he's not seriously hurt.

And, again, J.D. Drew's contract is more than twice the total money that Milton Bradley's is. 5 years, 14 million dollars per year. 3 years, 10 million per year. There's a reason for that, you know. Historically, more productive players get to make, you know, more money than the less productive ones. Kind of a base economic principle. Don't know why you're complaining about not having J.D. Drew and acting like we could pay him the same amount of money. EDIT: Furthermore, I would go so far as to say that signing a guy like J.D. Drew, who you've proven just a little but more more durable and valuable over the course of his career than Milton Bradley to a FIVE YEAR DEAL is considerably dumber than signing Bradley to 3. I wouldn't say that those numbers you posted above scream to me that Drew worth double the money over a longer deal than Milton Bradley. Particularly since Drew has alleged attitude issues, as well.

Manny ... Abreu ... Dunn ... at least one of these guys will still be unemployed in a month. Garrett Anderson might want to give up hope on that guaranteed deal pretty soon here.

I read that Jason Jennings had "flexor" surgery in late May - after going 0-5 for MB's old club. Since Hendry has had a bit of success and likes reclamation projects with these kind of players, would a minor league offer be a possibility? You know someone will take a flier on him. Help us, oh, Obi Wan Cubster. What exactly is a "flexor" elbow surgery? Is this what Chris Carpenter had?

would jim hendry consideR Bringing in another injured pitcher who could help team maybe ala dempster,this guy is a chicago native and a left hander mark mulder ?

MAn, I don't know rokfish, this is completely dismal on Mulder: http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2008/06/23/mark-mulde...

not a haiku

What exactly is a "flexor" elbow surgery? Is this what Chris Carpenter had? ======== The wrist flexor tendons originate on the bone just above the elbow, medially which is the inside (the medial humeral epicondyle). Carpenter originally had his elbow scoped for arthritis, this didn't work then he had Ulnar Collateral surgery (Tommy John procedure). The medial flexor origin is adjacent to the origin of the Ulnar Collateral so they can sometimes be hard to separate except for the fact that the UCL usually doesn't respond to rest/rehab without surgery and the flexor origin inflammation does respond to conservative rx such as non-steroidal medication and therapy. When the flexor tendon origin inflammation doesn't respond to treatment, it can be explored surgically and the inflammed tissue excised and reinforced. This isn't an arthroscopic procedure as it's outside of the joint and near another important anatomic structure, the ulnar nerve (but that's another topic). http://www.eorthopod.com/images/ContentImages...

Mulder was working on a delivery change to come back. The arm is no healthier than it was when he walked off the mound in September last year. He's a towel drill waiting to happen. They'd be better off trying Prior again.

Actually the perception of Drew is that unless he's up for a contract he likes to take a lot of games off when he's not seriously hurt. ======== So he's Manny-lite with some defensive upside.

Umm... Manny has averaged 140 games a season in his career, and that includes his first two seasons where he played a combined 113 games. If you take those out, he has averaged 153 games a season. But yea... JD Drew and his 119 games a year are kinda' like Manny and his 153 games a year.

I think the difference is that Manny takes mental days off and Drew takes physical ones.

Well... the bigger difference is that Manny plays in significantly more games, and comparing the two is kinda' silly.

...and I think Ben Sheet's elbow problem last year was a flexor origin tendonitis

Thanks Cubster!

$10M a year is highish...but if Raul Ibanez is worth $10.5M a year then I guess Milton Bradley is worth $10M a year. If the Cubs played in the American League, that is. Aside from giving a job to a guy that's played a grand total of 23 games in RF in the last two years, the three-year term surprises me even more. I could see a one or two-year deal with a vesting option based on games played or production. Instead I fear we have a multi-million dollar albatross--win or lose, I suspect that the Cubs will be paying the lion's share of Bradley's salary in 2011 while he suits up for another team. As my 8-yr old niece would say, "This can only end in tears."

"I could see a one or two-year deal with a vesting option based on games played or production." Yeah, and so could Hendry.

Don't be foolish John. Jim Hendry isn't interested in getting a guy, unless he is paying full retail price.

We discussed this ad nauseum last year. Why to YOU care what the "retail" price is? Were you one of the ones complaining that Mark DeRosa was given too many years, and too much? Did that bother you? It is a "dice roll" at market rates where there are very limited resources for the type of model Hendry purchased. What don't you understand about this? And, once more, if the deal is what Levine states - that I quoted above - it is essentially a TWO year deal that vests if his health holds up during this period.

I wouldnt care about retail price if I were a Yankee's fan. I do care when we dish out sticker price on every guy we get. Then Hendry cries poor when a Peavy/Brian Roberts deal comes along. And ask yourself if DeRosa gets dumped and Woody isn't even offered arbitration if Hendry hadn't of overspent on evey damn free agent he gets? Every contract, and financial move this organization makes has a relation to the next move. Bottom line is that I am a Cubs fan. I want to see them win a WS. But I also want them to be good for the long haul. And until they get smarter with ALL their moves. And get around to stocking the ML system. I just don't think they will get there. Especially now that Cincy has a competent GM. Huntington seems to get it in Pittsburgh. Milwaukee has shown they can develop guys. And St. Louis has a new ballpark.

Aside from giving a job to a guy that's played a grand total of 23 games in RF in the last two years, the three-year term surprises me even more. I could see a one or two-year deal with a vesting option based on games played or production. It has been reported numerous times and in numerous places, including on this blog, that the contract's third year is some kind of vesting option based on games played or something very similar.

Fair enough, I guess I did the opposite of a 3/44. But there is precious little detail about this "back end of the deal" protection that Wittenmyer reported. I suspect this is something we can complain about on Thursday or Friday.

Ok...lol...but he has to go back to back years playing say 125 games or more in RF. Good luck with that.

If Manny re-signs with the Dodgers and Dunn goes to the Nat's, where does Abreu end up?

With our Luck Texas, on Bradley's old 1/5 contract. We might be able to trade for him when Bradley gets hurt however!

From everything you are posting, Dr. Doom, its as if you really WANT this to fail in the worst way. Why?

Because he's a Cardinals fans who's posted here for years, to integrate him into our discussions, to agitate us at just the right time.

I'm not trying to be Doom and Gloom. I'm just not thrilled with the way the offseason has gone. We are on the cusp, yet I feel like we are really blowing our window. And leaving this club 1 or 2 moves short. Shades of 2004

They added Lee, Maddux, Hawkins, Walker, and Barrett which were all good off season adds(at the time), who else were they to get?

Miguel Tejada rant coming in 3...2...1

Tejada? That guys a cheater. So is Brian Roberts. I wouldn't be surprised if Peavy is too. For that matter Krusty the Klown is also an addict.

but boy do we have one happy window.

Milton fucking Bradley? On the bright side, the Cubs will have someone in the outfield who will fight back when he gets booed.

I'm not real bullish on the off-season moves this year. I hope I'm wrong, but it feels like the Cubs missed out on the good ones like DeJesus and Burrell. {g}

Next move---another starter---Randy Wolf---last 9/3 he throws complete game shutout at us @ Wrigley---I think he left a good impression on us that night

Dear person who recommended Randy Wolf: NO! Thank you, Ryan

Dodgers, Nats and Mets are in line ahead of us, and actually have money to spend. If the Cubs are now in the market for "live arms", I suspect that this translates into "young and cheap".

I hope like hell I'm wrong, but I think this was a shitty deal. You guys are fighting an awful lot about the specifics, but there are two facts over Bradley's career: 1) He's been in the media, relatively often, almost always negatively; and 2) He's missed A LOT of time with injury. Yes, if you want a third it's he's a helluva hitter when healthy (I'm scared by how much he DH'd last year myself). This isn't the chance you take to put the team "over"; it smells more like a GM who's purse strings are now tight and has run fresh out of ideas. I said it before and I'll say it again. Abreu = out of our price range. Dunn, however, is also a sure thing, maybe not as good, but you can pretty much bet on what his season line will look like, and I'll take a nigh guaranteed 40 HRs and shitty defense right now.

Agreed Burrell Dunn Abreu would have been alot better in my book. Hope I'm wrong.

Hoffpauir would have been better than Abreu or Burrell, and a helluva lot cheaper.


Well,your book is not Lous who really wanted a lh bat.Burell is a rh lf, most people on this board are not. Dunn Supporters (you have seen him tried to catch, right?), and we don't know what Abreau wanted to sign. I will prbably pick burell for my fantasy team Though.

I would pick Burrell for my fantasy team, too. But, defense doesn't count in fantasy stats. You're getting an above-average fielder and arm in Bradley. Burrell and Dunn are, obviously, not. I'm of the opinion that Abreu isn't on his level, either. That, to me, gives Bradley value that he may not make up with his bat compared to Dunn or Burrell. Also consider that our RFer will be playing next to Fukudome, who probably doesn't cover ground like the average CFer.

All of these arguments are about as relevant as Iggy Pop's career.

RIP Ron Asheton.

yeah heart attack and apparently had been dead for days before they found him. I suppose it's rather amazing that any members of the Stooges made it to 60, can't say the same for 40% of their MC5 Detroit brethren.

John Krusty? Isn't he working for ESPN these days? I think he lost weight awhile back, but he seems to have located it again.

Bradley is the best option for RF for the Cubs. I think lineup is set for opening day with that signing. Starting Pitching: maybe the best option is to do nothing at this time. Peavy is a great option but if you can part with some of the Indiana pitchers Cubs just acquired and maybe Cedeno and Pie. That trade would work now that Cubs have less cash committment due to Marquis trade. OR use Marshall..which may be the best option. Relievers: This area is the biggest ? mark in my opinion. does anyone know if the current bullpen as it now sits, is any good???

The best option for RF is the guy who had a career year mostly DH'ing, who hasn't show he can stay healthy for a full OF season since 2004, and has a career full of altercations on and off the field. Bobby Abreu?

Agreed Bradley is the type of guy you buy low on. Abreu should have been the play here. Especially since it appears the cubs are up against it financially. What happens when Bradley goes down in May? Does anyone want to watch Tyler Colvin or Brad F'n Snyder play RF on a daily basis?

Have you never heard of Micah Hoffpauir? He isn't a superstar, but also is not a bad backup option. At all.

Hoffpauir in RF. Please take a close look at that. He is a 1B, who if he HAD to, could play a little LF. He played 580 games at 1B, 70 in the OF. You more than likely wouldn't want to throw this player into RF at Wrigley...or anywhere else.

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  • tim815 5 hours 22 min ago (view)

    That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.

    Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 26 min ago (view)

    For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.

    As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 17 min ago (view)

    In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:  

    RHP Josh Burgmann 
    RHP Chris Clarke 
    LHP D. J. Herz
    RHP Michael McAvene 


  • Charlie 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.


  • bradsbeard 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 


  • crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.


  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!


  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    shout out to 1999 1st base gold glove winner rafael palmeiro.  25 starts (28 games total) at 1st...128 starts at DH.


  • Charlie 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.


  • crunch 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists


  • bradsbeard 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 5 min ago (view)

    There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 59 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

    He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 


  • bradsbeard 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me.