Cubs Close to Signing Japanese Pitcher

I don't know anything about this pitcher or the site, but by (?) that the Cubs are close to signing left-handed pitcher . A 40-year old pitcher (technically 39, he'll be 40 by next April) that had a 3.50 ERA last year in a 115.2 IP last year; the article mentions he could start or pitch out of the bullpen. NPB Tracker that picked up the story says that the Cubs were searching for some support for Kosuke Fukudome.

We tried this with our labrador when she was about two. She tore through everything in the house and outside while me and The Angel Fan Wife were both at work, so we decided to get her a buddy in the name of a dalmation that we affectionately named Wrigley. For the five years we had Wrigley before she passed away they had nothing to do with each other and co-existed like two roommates forced together in a rent-controlled apartment that neither one wants to give up. So my advice to the Cubs is to do your homework and make sure the breeds get along...and make sure they have their shots...don't leave any food out either...make sure at least one of them is fixed as well.

P.S. - If this is indeed a major league deal, the Cubs will need to drop someone off their before it's finalized.

P.P.S. - Some stats from and a more thorough back in late December that included a of

P.P.P.S. - Cubs .


i sure hope mthis is not the pitcher hendry was looking for if it is someone to keep fukadome company with in spring training then ok, i would hope were looking at bigger names though

Bullpen lefty/spot starter--that's what MLB Trade Rumors speculates at least, and, believe me, they're pretty reliable.

"make sure at least one of them is fixed as well" Fuki needs to be a different kind of "fixed" by the time the regular season starts.

Takahashi: "It looks like teammate Hiroki Kuroda inspired this: ”I’m interested in seeing what American baseball is like. The image of Kuroda has had a big impact." --------- ...couldn't they just put a picture of Kuroda and Takahashi in Carp uniforms on Fukudome's locker, it'd be less expensive and he could still talk to it.

Hey, he's 39...So was Jack Benny.

Muskrat picks up the same story...

Muskat did add this little tidbit... Cubs have considered adding a Japanese batting coach to help Fukudome make the adjustment. (Gerald Perry was seen downloading a new version of the Rosetta Stone software)

Hi, I'm Chicago Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry. When we doubled the number of Japanese players on our team, I decided it was time to learn Japanese. I picked up a copy of Rosetta Stone at my local FYE store, and I've got to tell you, it works great. EAT YOUR HEART OUT, MICHAEL PHELPS!

I wouldn't have a problem with this idea if Hendry hadn't already wasted $1.1MM on Cotts. You want two lefties in the bullpen. So if Marshall is in the rotation, then fine. But by all accounts, Hendry still wants a veteran for that #5 rotation spot and keep Marshall as his utility pitcher. So hard to see where there's room for both Cotts and a play buddy for Fukkake. Correct me if I'm wrong, but since Cotts was re-signed, he cannot be traded until June 15, is that so?

Responding to my own post, sorry about that, but I wanted to add this for discussion. Assuming Hendry does yet trade for or sign a veteran #5 starter, isn't this how the bullpen shakes out as of now? I'm assuming a 7-man pen. Closer/9th inning man: Marmol Setup/8th inning man: Gregg Pre-setup/7th inning man: Samardzija Middle relief: Gaudin, competition between Hart, Guzman, Atkins and Wuertz LOOGY: Cotts Long relief/spot starter: Marshall Question: is the Japanese guy a potential LOOGY specialist?

Samardzija has options, if he doesn't win the starting job, I'm guessing he gets sent down. I wouldn't be too surprised if this was the pitching that Hendry was looking to add.

as for the current pitching w/o this Takahashi fella

Starters: Z, Harden, Dempster, Lilly, Marshall

Bullpen: Marmol, Gregg,  Vizcaino, Cotts, Gaudin, Wuertz, Guzman (the last 4 are all out of options)

Please tell me Hendry plans on dumping Vizcaino on some other team in a trade, even if he must eat some money to do so. This guy STINKS.

lefties that throw in the mid 90s with a mid-80 secondary pitch you give 1.1m to. that's one that 30 out of 30 teams would do. seems to me there's a needless stockpiling of pen arms and some might go in trade. cotts would be one of those guys a lot of teams would want...wuertz, too.

Great handle, Jim! Besides Ernie Banks, Hickman was my favorite Cub back in the day. He won two games with walk off homers early in 1969, within a week of each other, and I was hooked. He was the only guy in the lineup who did anything worth a damn in September that year. Then that great 1970 season. It seemed like the next thing I knew, he was gone and Andre Thornton was at first.

Unless the other shoe falls in the form of some kind of trade, I'm not understanding these minor moves by Hendry. Gathright, Miles, now Takahashi all seem like inferior versions of what we already have.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 12:22am.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but since Cotts was re-signed, he cannot be traded until June 15, is that so?


JIM H: Only Article XX MLB free-agents who sign a Major League contract after the conclusion of the 15-day Free-Agency Filing Period get an automatic "no trade" through June 15th (and that's even if the player re-signs with his old club).

So Milton Bradley gets one, and so do Kerry Wood (with CLE) and Bob Howry (with SF), but Aaron Miles and Joey Gathright (who became free-agents after being non-tendered on 12/12) do not get one.

Likewise, if the Cubs sign a Japanese FA, he doesn't get an automatic "no trade," either.

Well, the Braves signed Fukudome's former teammate Kawakami. I wonder if he was seriously considered by Hendry. He was one of the elite Japanese pitchers, apparently. Didn't the Cubs try the "buddy" thing last year when they brought in the former White Sox rag-arm/side arm pitcher?

Hendry almost has enough assets to make two deals, one for Peavy and another for Roberts. (ducks)

He should have pulled the trigger on the Peavy deal. The Cubs have a long, recent tradition of not getting anything productive from the farm system anyways. Of course Soto comes to mind... but before that? Wood? And the guy responsible for Wood's success is long gone.

Our best reliever, or starting middle infield and our nominal ace are from said minor league system.

True. Still, Marmol and ... umm... whoever you are talking about: "starting middle infield" could very easily be replaced with a few bucks.

I think it would it would take more than a few bucks to replace Marmol's performance, like Kerry Wood's $10 million a year or so. Also, part of the value of the young players is that they are cheap--which theoretically allows the team to spend money elsewhere.

Soto Zambrano Marshall Theriot Fontenot-from Baltimore, still played in the Cubs organization for a couple seasons before sticking in MLB Marmol Samardzija Cedeno

Just what the hell is Cedeno doing on that list? He can't even perform the reverse chalupa without fucking it up.

Well, I put this story up last November...
... "'I got a call from my agent. I can say that more than one club has made me offers,' said Takahashi, who holds a 66-87 record with five saves and a 4.23 ERA in 14 seasons—all with the Hiroshima Carp. He was 8-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 21 games, including 20 starts, in 2008. According to baseball sources, the CHICAGO CUBS, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets are among the major league clubs that appear interested in acquiring Takahashi."

Jumbo, your well thought out criticism is appreciated. Cedeno, brain cramps and all,has been a starter/backup the last 3 seasons, providing at least some value.

Hendry had suggested earlier this offseason that he would still be adding some "live arms" to the pitching staff. At 39, Takahashi's arm may still be alive, but possibly on life support.

What....Rick Honeycutt's agent didn't return a call?

Wait until terms come out. NTC Player option Incentive clauses Backloaded Full Market price

Or Tony Fossas?

BA has its Cubs top ten prospects out today. 1. Josh Vitters, 3b 2. Jeff Samardzija, rhp 3. Andrew Cashner, rhp 4. Dae-Eun Rhee, rhp 5. Wellington Castillo, c 6. Kevin Hart, rhp 7. Starlin Castillo, ss/2b 8. Ryan Flaherty, ss 9. Jay Jackson, rhp 10. Hak-Ju Lee, ss BEST TOOLS Best Hitter for Average Josh Vitters Best Power Hitter Josh Vitters Best Strike-Zone Discipline Sam Fuld Fastest Baserunner Tony Campana Best Athlete Brandon Guyer Best Fastball Jeff Samardzija Best Curveball Casey Lambert Best Slider Andrew Cashner Best Changeup Dae-Eun Rhee Best Control Esmailin Caridad Best Defensive Catcher Luis Flores Best Defensive Infielder Darwin Barney Best Infield Arm Junior Lake Best Defensive Outfielder Sam Fuld Best Outfield Arm Kyler Burke

Rats! I was hoping a TCR poster might attend this luncheon-->>>
Tuesday’s Iowa Cubs’ FIRST PITCH LUNCHEON, featuring Chicago Cubs manager LOU PINIELLA, has been snowed out. Iowa Cubs officials were uncertain if Monday’s weather would prevent Piniella, and general manager JIM HENDRY from arriving, so they called it off. The event will not be rescheduled, considering spring training starts next month. People with tickets can get a refund by calling the Iowa Cubs at (515) 243-6111 Cubs at 92 wins, Cards second in Central with 84...


Rickey- 94.5 % Rice- 76.4 % Dawson- 67 % Raines 22 %

rickey not being 99-100% = fuck them. there are WAY too many sportswriters who vote with their own personal butt-hurt feelings rather than reality. rickey's in, but the elitism is getting old.

There are unquestionably personal gripes as well as a whole lot of politicking involved in the HOF. Books have been written about it.

The whole "first ballot" thing has always struck me as a way for a writer to insert himself into the process and make the election about them rather than the player. It's unbelievably selfish. I mean, if you in good faith really don't think someone belongs, don't vote for them (although anyone that in good faith couldn't see Henderson's value should be impeached from the BBWAA). If you think someone belongs but are withholding your vote because you don't want him to be "first ballot" or because you're afraid he'll get 100% and no one else has, that's ridiculous. On other fronts, Raines lost 10 votes from 2008, and his percentage went down from 24.3% to 22.6%. Trammell lost 5 votes and went from 18.% to 17.1%. Not a good day for them. Blyleven gained 2 votes to go from 61.9% to 62.7%.

dueling HOF threads,

might as well keep it the thread below and on topic...or not...


Cubs deny the deal is happening.

thnx for the link...

has an interview with Ken Rosenthal

The best thing on MLB Trade Rumors today is that MLTTR does *not* list Cubs as a possible suitor for Michael Young, who apparently requested a trade today: Thank goodness. Although it didn't stop one idiotic commenter ("IowaCub") from floating posting this: "if the Rangers could pry away Josh Vitters for 3B and Theriot and maybe a young arm they got in the DeRosa deal from Cleveland I could see it working, but thats just a thought. And no I'm not a one of these obnoxious Cubs fans, its just an idea." The BCB guys really need to stick with posting on their own blog...

Holy overpay, IowaCub. I don't think I'd trade Theriot straight up for Michael Young, much less Theriot, Vitters, and a young pitcher. Wow. Never read the comments at MLB Trade Rumors, it can only hurt your brain. It should probably come with a Surgeon General's Warning.

"And no I'm not a one of these obnoxious Cubs fans" And by 'obnoxious' I mean 'bright'.

"And no I'm not a one of these obnoxious Cubs fans" Using the above mentioned phrase typically means it is from one of these obnoxious Cubs fans.

Young is undoubtably an upgrade from The Riot. However he is owed 16 Million per year for the next 5 years. I just doubt he will be worth that as a 37 year old SS come 2013.

2008 Ryan Theriot: OPS+ 93 2008 Michael Young OPS+ 96 I don't know much about Young's fielding; I've read a lot of negative criticisms of his fielding, but then again he just won a Gold Glove (and then again again so did Nate McClouth). But if we're talking about offense, they were pretty darn close last year, with Theriot getting on base a lot more often and Young slugging a bit more. Baserunning, Theriot steals more bases, but Young is rarely caught (10 SB no CS in 2008). All in all, if their defense is comparable, then these two had roughly the same value in 2008. Who's to say that won't be true next year? Or that the scale might shift in Theriot's favor. But, you're right, that 16 million is the deal breaker. If they were both earning $500,000, then I would of course trade Theriot for Young--Young has hit 24 homeruns in the past, Theriot has not--but Young's more recent achievements don't inspire total confidence that he'll outproduce Theriot in 2009.

I don't know much about Young's fielding;

4 runs above average for his career according to BP's, UZR on frangraphs is far less kind

Yeah, and that's a career year for Theriot. Young does that every year. He's a career 102 OPS+. If Theriot can go 93 every year, then you're right. With the similar rpdocution, give me Theriot's considerably cheaper salary. That's a no brainer. If he can't duplicate 2008, and he turns back into a pumpkin, then that comparison doesn't hold a ton of weight. Is 2009 going to be 2008 Theriot or 2007 Theriot? I assume closer to 2009 since his walks increased by over half. But, I guess we can't say for sure.

Except Theriot doesn't have a major league track record that would allow us to say that 2008 was an abberation. I suspect Theriot's not going to put up many 100+ OPS+, mostly because he doesn't have a slugging approach. But who's to say Young isn't on the decline? I agree, though, that Young's track record indicates that he's probably going to be a better offensive performer for next year than Theriot, but it's probably not like a 95% chance, more like a 65-70% chance. And he's probably only going to outslug Theriot significantly, as typical OBPs are decent but not amazing. Like I said, both earning $500,000, I absolutely take Young. But .050 points of slugging are not worth $16 million dollars a year. Rangers would have to eat a lot of salary in order to trade Young to just about anyone at this point.

Yes, Theriot does. He hit 266/326/346/672 in a full 537 AB's in 2007. That's a track record. Maybe last year was an abberation. Maybe it wasn't. We have one pretty darn good year and one pretty fucking piss poor year. Which one is it? Which player is he? Young's track record is much longer, obviously. Maybe Young is in decline. Maybe Theriot's on a huge upswing. I can't say that we know that just from 2008's numbers. Theriot probably doesn't go back to 2007. He might. His OBP could drop back down 60 points. I doubt it, but it could. That said, I'd still like to wait and see which 500+ at bat sample is the more accurate representation of his talent level before I say he's equal in value to Michael Young over an extended period of time. 2008 Ryan Theriot was. 2009 and beyond might be. Or he might not. Might be a little closer if you get Young out of that ballpark, too. Probably not close enough to make a difference, though. I'd also love to know where your 65% number came from. Top of your head?

83% of all statistics are complete bullshit. It's science!

"I'd also love to know where your 65% number came from. Top of your head?" Yes. I thought that was pretty clear. If I had a formula for coming up with that sort of prediction I would use it and share it with you, but I don't. I guess you could estimate an over/under for the two and then calculate some sort of standard deviation and see how much the curves overlap, but, well, I'm neither that good at math nor that invested in this. I guess you could also take some of their projections and see how much they overlap, but I don't have any of those handy, and, like I said, I'm not that invested in this. I don't think we're actually disagreeing all that much, just, from what I can gather, you think Young is a better bet to be better next year and that Theriot is a strong bet to be not as good in 2009 as in 2008. I agree with the Theriot part. I don't know how much higher his OBP can go, if at all--it'll probably drop a bit, but I don't know that is a certainty--and I don't foresee him working on driving the ball this year. I think our biggest disagreement is just semantics--definition of "track record." I said that Theriot doesn't really have one, you say that Theriot's two full seasons of ABs (2007 and 2008) are a track record. I'll give you that. But I don't think they are enough for us to comfortably draw conclusions from his career averages, or from one year or the other. Then again, Young has a pretty long track record now and I think it's pretty safe to say those numbers have limited use as he doesn't appear to be anywhere near the hitter he was the year he hit 24 homeruns. In 2008 he wasn't anywhere near the hitter he'd been in most of his career. But, where is the real disagreement here? I don't think you're saying that you'd want Michael Young at his current yearly salary over Theriot at his current salary, are you? Because that is mostly all I was pointing out initially--they seem to be players of similar value, though Young has been more valuable offensively and thus we might think he will continue to be more valuable offensively (although we can't be sure to what degree), earning vastly different quantities of money.

No, I wouldn't pull the trigger on a Young deal today. But, as you said, the salaries are too far apart. Now if we this same conversation next off-season after Theriot lays an egg in 2009, then I'd probably do the deal.

now if they'd just buy some ballplayers they'd be set.

Plaid skirts? Plaid? In Miami? Plaid?

I am no fashion police, but I have to say that look definitely works for me...

Well, Miami does have a larg Catholic population...

I am appalled by the lack of morality. And, my pants are tight. No problem with the plaid, though. [EDIT] No I idea what those outfits have to do with Marlins or Mermaids.

The Cubs' Naughty Nurses will be just as proud of a group. Why don't the Marlins just give away a free Hustler to the first 1,000 fans once a week. It'd be cheaper.

"Naughy Nurses" lol... A+ Still, this would be funnier if Woody & Prior were still gimping around the DL. The team has stayed fairly healthy lately.

And more on topic, I recall a Marlins home game that drew a whopping 400-person crowd last year. I think the marketing team has... what you could call a mandate to get creative.

LOLLERCOPTERS. Love the sig. Now Chad is taunted every time you post. I can't imagine that doesn't drive him absolutely nuts. I can almost hear him yelling at his screen, "It's 30 Rock!!"

I will kick you in the nuts


FWIW, I believe it's something like 12.4 per for the next 5, not 16. Still stupid, stupid money for michael friggin young.

Former Iowa Cub greats Josh Kroeger and Michael Restovich headed to White Sox spring training.

36 year old Scott McClain gets an invite to SF Giants spring training

Wow...they really are going younger this year.


Thanks, Wes. Ah well. That sucks. I was hoping Kroeger would at least get a chance to show something in the spring. Actually, I guess he will, just not for the Cubs.

Yeah, I think the fact that he didn't get a chance in September last year was the final straw for Kroger's Cubs career.

Young had a fractured right ring finger the last two months of '08 that likely impacted his stats. He's clearly a better hitter than The Riot when healthy. The salary thing...yeah, that's a problem, I guess. But if for some reason they could put a package together and wanted to take on that money (1 percent chance?), it'd be a no-brainer.

Young had a fractured right ring finger the last two months of '08 that likely impacted his stats. That might be relevant if the stats backed it up, but they don't: April/March: .315/.394/.468 OPS: .862 May: .267/.302/.383 OPS:.686 June: .275/.316/.404 OPS: .720 July: .313/.346/.394 OPS: .740 August: .260/.316/.407 OPS: .722 Sept/Oct: .277/.368/.337 OPS: .706 He had a good March, and a bad rest of the season. And FWIW, his road OPS was 120 points below his home OPS last year, and is 130 points lower over his career.

Uh....note that I said likely, wasn't stating it as fact. But consider me corrected anyway. He's still a better hitter than The Riot. One season where The Riot was close in OPS-plus doesn't change that. I guess we'll see in '09.

I doubt we see a .340 BAIP from Theriot this year. It's one thing to get that from a guy with pop. It's quite another to see that from a guy who relies on poking it through the 2nd base side almost exclusively.

The .340 BABIP in play is pretty high. I tried to look up Theriot's minor league BABIP, but I don't know where to look (also, seems like he became a different hitter after giving up the left side of the plate, so only some of those numbers would be relevant). I did find his BABIPs since 2005: 2005: .182 2006 (AAA): .346 2006: .363 2007: .289 2008: .340 They also list the Bill James, CHONE, and Marcel projections for his BABIP in 2009, .320, .312, and .316, respectively (strangely, all 3 project an increase in ISO slugging next year, though James is not as optimistic as the other two). The 2005-2006 numbers have limited use. 2005 was only 14 plate appearances, 2006 was mostly AAA, where he posted a very high BABIP, and then on 159 plate appearances at the major league level where he went on a tear that included a .522 slugging percentage he'll never sniff in a significant quantity of ABs again. So that leaves 2007 and 2008. A .051 difference between his two BABIPs is significant. In 2007 his Line Drive Percentage was 21%. In 2008 it was 23.2%. That's a nice increase, but does it really account for that large a difference in BABIP? Probably not. But from 2007 to 2008 his Fly Ball Percentage dropped from 30.5% to 20.2%, and his Ground Ball Percentage rose from 48.6% to 56.6%. For a guy who doesn't drive the ball, having a drop in Fly Ball Percentage would probably be a good thing, and that might help to explain his rise in BABIP. Two questions, I think, remain. 1. Can we assume that a .340 BABIP is high for a player without taking into account his past BABIPs? It's hard to guess from Ryan's past numbers what his typical BABIP would be, in 2006 it was very high between AAA and MLB, but in 2007 it was very low. In 2008, high again. I guess the best bet right now is to compare his BABIP to typical numbers across baseball, but each player is an individual (or an individual pattern of statistics), so that will have limited use for projection. That said, if Theriot's career BABIP approaches .340, he would have a pretty high career BABIP in comparison to his peers. 2. If we accept that Ryan's slight increase in line drive percentage, increase in ground ball percentage, and significant drop in fly ball percentage are at the root of his high BABIP, can we assume that Ryan can duplicate (or improve upon) those percentages next year? Or are the percentages just a part of the expression of Ryan's good luck? Does Ryan have control over these percentages? Does it depend on how Ryan is pitched? Other factors?

You go Charlie, solid effort right there. My personal guess is that the 340 would be a high water mark. Theriot really doesn't even have gap power. His swing is almost exlusively an "Inside out" swing to Right Field. So in essence, Theriot's whole game is being able to slap it past a 2nd baseman. At some point you've got to figure that advance scouting will catch up to him. SS shading him near the 2nd base bag. Second Baseman playing back on the grass(etc). Maybe Theriot adapts and bunts more? Maybe he falls back into 2007 levels? Either way, I see an ajustment in the mail.

That's a pretty fair assessment of Theriot's approach at the plate. Almost no extra base power, but he hits the ball with enough authority to get it past the infielders without it quite being a Juan Pierre bloop. I would expect that if second basemen start moving toward the hole or pitchers refuse to pitch Theriot away, he'll attempt to adjust by pulling the ball a bit or hitting it right back up the middle (he already likes to go up the middle, but most of the time he does seem to be waiting until the very last moment to start his swing and uses the top hand a lot to push the bat through the zone). I would expect that that adjustment, though, would result in lower numbers--his default, inside-out approach is probably what works best for him and he won't change it until the opposition forces him to do so. I still don't get why Bill James, CHONE, and Marcel project increases in ISO to .069, .086, and .086 respectively. The .069 is reasonable, I guess, since in 2007 he was at .080. I guess his 2006 stats are skewing the CHONE and Marcel projections, though.

Is CHONE pronounced 'shawn'? If not, it should be.

It's spelled Chone, but it's pronounced Throat-Warbler Mangrove.

Thanks. I guess I should have sounded it before asking.

Here's a sense of just how high a career .340 BABIP would be. Tony Gwynn is 20th on the list of all time leaders in BABIP for a career with .3414. Derek Jeter is the active leader at .3613 and Ichiro Suzuki is right behind him with .3572.

Line drives and speed drive BABIP.

I don't disagree that Young is probably better hitter. BUT... His home/road splits are very disturbing. And he is really expensive. And his defense is way overrated. Better than Theriot? Sure... but worth $80M over the next five years? Absolutely not.

what if the rangers split the cost 50/50 (not going to happen but what if)? I would do that deal.

also acceptable if they'd throw-in Josh Hamilton

That's silly Rob. Hamilton is very valuable and is certainly not a throw in.

you're right, what was I about the Marlins cheerleaders?

I don't think the Marlins' Schoolgirls would play nice with the Cubs' Nurses. I foresee hair pulling and scratching. Maybe some Jello.

but...the cubs have no room for Jello.

Do you see this as a bad thing?

i mark this above post as non-helpful

How 'bout this for poor trade speculation: His first suggestion is a Michael Young for Alfonso Soriano trade, no extra money or other players attached. I'm not even the biggest Soriano fan and I think that would be an unfair trade. Soriano may be overpaid, but he's not as easily replaced as Michael Young is at this point, particularly if you don't think that Young is an elite defensive SS.

my brain just melted. NY sportswriters get by with lazy shit...especially at the post...where making a rumor or riding the emotions of their fans is just as important as breaking a good news item. i dunno how people can even read that's really trashy.

Well... in contrast to Young, Soriano may be underpaid.