The Cubs and No-Trade Clauses

There was a this week about general manager Jim Hendry's liberal use of the no-trade clause. Reader WISCGRAD did the legwork to see if indeed Hendry hands them out like a lollipop after leaving the doctor's office or if it's line with other ballclubs.

No-trade clauses in player contracts are controversial. On the one hand, they are often necessary to attract or keep high-value free agents. On the other hand, towards the end of player’s career a team may wish to trade a player whose skills have declined, but are unable to do so. No-trade clauses can range from full – where the player must approve any trade during the length of the contract – to limited – where the player has no-trade rights for a specified period of time or to specific teams. Making the issue more complicated, the current collective bargaining agreement between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball automatically grants a player full no-trade rights if he has 10 or more years of major league service time and has been with his current team for 5 or more years. The following table lists all players with no-trade rights for the entire 2009 season. This excludes those players who recently signed as free agents and cannot be traded until June. The information was taken from Cot’s Baseball Contracts, and each player was coded for the type of no-trade that applies to the 2009 season only. As one can see, with only a few exceptions, these are the cream of the crop of major league players (ed note - it's important to remember that the details of no-trade provisions or even their existence are not always made public and the information on Cot's Baseball Contracts should not be considered 100% reliable, but more as a good guide).

Player Team Type
Tori Hunter Angels Full
Vladimir Guerrero Angels 10/5
Kelvim Escobar Angels 10/5
Gary Mathews Jr. Angels Full
Lance Berkman Astros Full
Roy Oswalt Astros Full
Carlos Lee Astros Full
Kaz Matsui Astros Limited
Eric Chavez Athletics 10/5
Jason Giambi Athletics Limited
Scott Rolen Blue Jays Full
Vernon Wells Blue Jays Full
Alex Rios Blue Jays Full
Javier Vazquez Braves Limited
Chipper Jones Braves 10/5
Jeff Suppan Brewers Full
Mike Cameron Brewers Limited
Ryan Braun Brewers Full
Albert Pujols Cardinals Limited
Chris Carpenter Cardinals 10/5
Troy Glaus Cardinals Full
Kyle Lohse Cardinals Full
Carlos Zambrano Cubs Full
Alfonso Soriano Cubs Full
Aramis Ramirez Cubs Full
Derrek Lee Cubs 10/5
Ryan Dempster Cubs 10/5
Ted Lilly Cubs Full
Kosuke Fukudome Cubs Full
Jeff Samardzija Cubs Full
Eric Byrnes Diamondbacks Full
Manny Ramirez Dodgers Full
Jason Schmidt Dodgers Full
Hiroki Kuroda Dodgers Full
Juan Pierre Dodgers Limited
Rafael Furcal Dodgers Limited
Barry Zito Giants Full
Aaron Rowand Giants Full
Randy Winn Giants Full
Bengie Molina Giants Full
Travis Hafner Indians Limited
Ichiro Suzuki Mariners Limited
Adrian Beltre Mariners Limited
Jarrod Washburn Mariners Full
Johan Santana Mets Full
Carlos Beltran Mets Full
Francisco Rodriguez Mets Limited
Billy Wagner Mets Full
Melvin Mora Orioles Full
Brian Roberts Orioles Limited
Nick Markakis Orioles Limited
Jake Peavy Padres Full
Brian Giles Padres 10/5
Chase Utley Phillies Limited
Jamie Moyer Phillies Limited
J.C. Romero Phillies Full
Jack Wilson Pirates Limited
Michael Young Rangers Full
Kevin Millwood Rangers Limited
Francisco Cordero Reds Full
J.D. Drew Red Sox Limited
David Ortiz Red Sox 10/5
Mike Lowell Red Sox Full
Daisuke Matsuzaka Red Sox Full
Jason Varitek Red Sox 10/5
Tim Wakefield Red Sox 10/5
Todd Helton Rockies 10/5
Gil Meche Royals Full
Zack Greinke Royals Limited
Magglio Ordonez Tigers Full
Carlos Guillen Tigers 10/5
Joe Nathan Twins Limited
Joe Mauer Twins Limited
Mark Buehrle White Sox Limited
Jim Thome White Sox Full
Paul Konerko White Sox 10/5
Jermaine Dye White Sox Limited
A.J. Pierzynski White Sox Full
Scott Linebrink White Sox Full
Alex Rodriguez Yankees 10/5
C.C. Sabathia Yankees Full
Mark Teixeira Yankees Full
Derek Jeter Yankees 10/5
A.J. Burnett Yankees Limited
Mariano Rivera Yankees 10/5
Jorge Posada Yankees 10/5
Johnny Damon Yankees Limited
Hideki Matsui Yankees Full

The Cubs have the second-most players who cannot be traded this year (8), trailing only the Yankees (9). The Marlins and Nationals do not have any players on their current rosters with no-trade rights for 2009. It would seem that teams with higher payrolls are able to attract the type of free agent talent that demands no-trade clauses. They are able to pay higher salaries and commit to longer contracts. These teams are also able to keep players for longer periods of time and thus accumulate more players with ten-five rights. The graph below illustrates this point. The teams are ordered from left to right based on their 2009 opening day payrolls. One can clearly see the concentration of players with no-trade rights towards the large-market, high payroll teams on the right side of the graph (Click for a larger view).

Does having too many of these types of players on the roster limit a team’s flexibility and hinder its ability to win? There is no doubt that in some cases a team would gain more by being able to trade a particular player, however, across baseball having no-trade players is indicative of success, not failure. This is not due to the presence of these players themselves, but the fact that they predominantly play for large market, high-payroll teams as outlined above. Yet it is important to note that having too many types of these players does not appear to drag a team down. The graph below orders teams from left to right based on the total number of combined wins in 2007-2008. While the relationship is not as stark as the payroll relationship, one can still clearly see the winningest teams in baseball, concentrated on the far right of the graph, have a significant proportion of the no-trade players on 2009 rosters.

Quick Cubs news note from Rob G. here... and will serve it today. Convenient how MLB waited unti lthe middle of a game he wasn't penciled in the starting lineup to finally hand out its decision. Bradley is naturally upset.

"It figures," he said Thursday. "I never get treated fairly. It's exactly what I expected."

Bradley may have a point when you see that for shoving Magglio Ordonez in the back.


Classy! Go Internets! Seriously though, very nice piece Wiscgrad. One important thing to note is that it looks to me that ARam converts to 10/5 at the end of this year. Soriano's contract that everyone is so nervous about (me included)? I believe the no-trade converts to 10/5 after next year. I look at that list and the only two players that I think are at all controversial are Fukudome and Samardzija. Given that Samardzija's contract doesn't cost us that much (at most $16.5M over 7 years if we exercise the club options), that one's relatively low risk as well. Assuming the players listed are all either No-trade or No-sign, who do you give up or trade away before becoming 10/5 from our 8 to avoid the no-trade?

Soriano signed before the 2007 season, so his 10/5 wouldn't kick in until after the 2011 season.

Well Manny, maybe you don't know this, but 2011 is indeed "after next year." Classy! Go internet!

Sorry, I took "after next year" to mean after the 2010 season. But in reality it is after the 2011 season that A-FONSE gets the 10/5 privilege. Of course that is if he is still with the Cubs at that time and not traded before.

This is what always happens. Voice your opinion and then get smacked down rudely. Anyone else makes this comment and RobG wouldn't put up with it. Woo! Go internet!

I <3 Mr. Whipple!

except Manny is right that Soriano doesn't reach 10/5 status until after 2011, or the start of the 2012. I guess it is after next year (as every year in the future would be), but its not immediately after next year. I'm sure Manny will say Soriano's 10/5 shouldn't count as part of his desire to spin anything into an attack on Hendry, but in this case he knows the technical details, he just chooses to ignore them when they don't fit his agenda.

Oh, c'mon BB. I'm not an idiot. I'm just f-ing with Manny. It was a typical Manny move: make a mistake (which it was a real one on my part), then go down swinging defending it. Then act like a victim when people treat you like the asshole you are. See above for Act III of my performance art.

I appreciated your early morning Internet performance piece.

Without the annual donation drive, I have to figure out some way to contribute.

To bad nobody treated you like an asshole, but it was a great performance. When do you get your Razzie? I <3 Mr. Whipple!

in that case, well played

Pitch perfect, Whip. You're like the Frank Caliendo of the interwebs. Do me next!!!

Thank you, thank you all. In the end, I do it for you, the fans. For my next act: Navigator! I keed. I keed.

in general...but I don't get the Lilly one to be honest, especially if it is indeed a full NTC. The ones to Soriano, Lee and Ramirez and Z to bridge the gap to their 10/5 rights don't mean much to me. They're making so much that there's only a few teams anyway that would even remotely consider making a deal for them and if the Cubs are in such bad shape that they need to move them, the player would probably want to leave anyway. At least in Lee and Ramirez's cases they saved some money on it that let them sign other players. It would be nice if they could have saved some money on Soriano's deal on top of it, but can't win them all.

I agree about Lilly, he's really the only guy on the list who stands out from the other situations. He was signed as a 2nd tier pitcher, and while he clearly was Hendry's first choice that offseason (and turned out to be the best choice of the bunch), but he wasn't a player in a category all by himself. All of the NTCs were given out for pretty obvious reasons: Lee, Ramirez, and Zambrano are all cases where they would already be getting NTCs during their contracts anyway and possibly took less money in exchange. Soriano was the one big splash that Hendry's critics always used to say he would never make. He was the top free agent of that offseason and to get him, and the NTC was part of showing that the Cubs wanted him for the long term. Throw in the fact that its tough to trade anyone making 18 million a year, and its just an obvious one to give. Dempster was already a 10/5 when his contract was done. Fuk and Samz were obviously a different type of bidding war. Fuk being the top player to come out of Japan, and Hendry being so desparate to get anyone who was left handed that he treated him like a top tier player, and Samz was done to convince him to play for the Cubs instead of playing football. I'm not thrilled with those, but there was a pretty obvious reason for giving out both of them.

"They're making so much that there's only a few teams anyway that would even remotely consider making a deal for them." If you can't trade them, they're overpaid. It's true, I suppose, if you're going to pay above market for all your signings, you may as well give them NTCs. Hendry overpays for good players. If I say that, people start yelling, What are you talking about? They're good players! (It's hard to have a reasonable conversation with an infatuated Cub fan.) I like Soriano (11 HRs, 23 RBI), but since he steals few bases at this point, you could have put Adam Dunn (11 HRs, 28 RBI) in left and paid much less for two years, and not had to worry about what to do with a fading star in 2012-2014. Hendry overpays. Dempster is the latest example, Marquis the latest proof.

Assuming players are only interested in money (a pretty safe assumption), than you always overpay for free agents.

The Soriano - Dunn comparison is basically retarded anyway. Had Dunn been a FA after the '07 season he would have signed a 6 year $96 million contract. Dunn hit FA after a 2.1 WARP season. Soriano hit it after a 7.9 WARP season.

Had Dunn been a FA after the '07 season he would have signed a 6 year $96 million contract. Dunn hit FA after a 2.1 WARP season. Soriano hit it after a 7.9 WARP season. What? Defense matters? Soriano gets paid more than Dunn because... Soriano is better than Dunn.

Couple Positives: - It shows we have a legit window of having our key players locked in for the next few years at least. We have at least a 2-3 year window left to try and win a WS with this nucleus. - Guarantees the team will be one of the higher spending teams in baseball, which while that doesn't guarantee more wins, it really does help overall. Couple Negatives: - Have almost as many NTC guys as the NYY, yet we aren't, nor shouldn't, be in the same situation as the NYY contract wise, IMO. - BOST and PHIL, the past 2 WS champs, have less NTC guys than we do and were able to win a WS. Overall, I think NTC's do limit the flexibility of a team in the later years of a contract, but I could see only 3 guys right now as a worry (Soraino, K-Fuk, Smarzjiakskfhskasdfaf). It hurts the flexibility more when the team is more limited in its budget, but the Cubs no longer fall into that category, where just a few years ago it was a different situation.

"It hurts the flexibility more when the team is more limited in its budget" It hurts flexibility either way, because teams don't sit their rich players. Fukudome was never benched last year--or if he was benched briefly after failing badly for three months, he was reinstated in the lineup in the playoffs. As much as Lou disliked Marquis, Marshall could never step ahead of him in the rotation. Hoffpauir can't earn the first-base spot on the Cubs, it's above his pay grade!

Kyle Lohse has a No Trade Clause? Now that's a case of a GM handing a NTC out like candy. It is interesting that 3 of the Cubs with current No-Trade clauses will convert to 10/5 guys before their contracts are up. If you wanted to advance this article, I'd be interested in knowing what percentage of No Trades are given in the early years of a contract, prior to a 10/5 kicking in.

This is a good suggestion, I'll take a quick look and post something. Also, at least Lohse is no JC Romero!

Jesus, Zito was a terrible signing. 7/$126, full no-trade. He's looked decent lately, but you can find "decent" for a hell of a lot less than $18 mil/year for 7 years. Funny, but I really was hoping the Cubs would get either Zito or Schmidt that year, instead they got Soriano and I think it was Ted Lilly. And I don't think there's any doubt Soriano alone changed the complexion of the team. In other news, Ryno is sometimes wrong.

Take solace in the fact that there were probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other Cubs fans openly pining for Zito and/or Schmidt (I think myself included). Anyone think Schmidt might be a PED guy? He sure fell off a cliff fast.

I would not be surprised at all if Schmidt or Zito were PED guys. But speaking of falling off a cliff. What has happened to David Ortiz? His numbers last year were a big dropoff and now he hasn't hit a HR yet (150 PA). He is batting .220. If that doesn't scream PED, I don't know what does.

Zito is a finesse pitcher. I don't think peds help with that. I could be wrong.

A) Who is the female in the pic with Hendry? She defines cute. B) I wouldn't be shocked at all if Ortiz is a PED guy. He really came out of nowhere in '03. Pitchers are harder to tell because of the whole injury proneness, so a guy might dominate but then suck if he has any kind of shoulder/elbow issues and doesn't come back the same. Unless of course you're Clemens throwing better at 38 than 28.

where I took it from said "Mr. and Mrs. Hendry" Dad had a brief interaction with Hendry and his wife a few years back and claimed she was a looker. I think it's his second wife as well. Whether the person in that picture and the one my Dad met are one in the same I can't tell you.

It's good to have money, I guess.

Uh, if that's Hendry's wife, then Ryan Theriot is going to hit 50 homers this year.

Hendry's teenage daughter, maybe?

this brief meeting he had with my Dad, he had some toddlers with him and that was 4-5 years ago (I think they were from his first wife)...

this is where I took it from...

says Catherine and Jim Hendry fwiw..but there's other pictures of this Catherine so probably just her personal site or something like that...

-edit- some other pictures of this Catherine Osterman are there if you look around, so just looks like had some connections to get on the field.

-edit 2- looks like she's a somewhat famous USA softball player...

Rob, I was in grad school at the University of Texas while Cat Osterman was pitching for the Longhorn softball team. She was a BEAST. She was probably one of the top two or three best collegiate softball pitchers to ever step on the mound. Even in Texas, where football is king, Cat Osterman was a big deal. I have a couple of students each semester at Saint Joseph's University (in Philadelphia) who are on the SJU softball team, and when they learn I lived in Texas, the first thing they ask about is Cat Osterman. And she is very tall (and legendarily good-looking), so it doesn't surprise me that she can see over Hendry's head. Just FYI.

FWIW, Jim Hendry's first wife is my second cousin of some type (once removed, twice removed? IDK) My great-uncle (my grandmother's brother) was her grandfather. I never met Jim and if I met my cousin, it was only one time when I was 9 years old and don't remember it.

I never really suspected Zito, but yeah I think most people just kind of assume Ortiz was a juicer. From 2003 - 2006 (his age 27 - 30 seasons) his HR totals went: 31 41 47 54 Then he dropped off to 35 HRs the next year, then fucked up some sheath in his wrist, and now he's horrible at age 33. Of course we can't be sure he used, but it's all a bit suspicious. Really at this point I'm suspicious of everyone. Including Pujols and, to be fair, 2005 DLee.

Doug D. Yeah, of course we can't be sure and it is all speculation. I just assume everyone did it. But DLee very easily could have really done it at that point.

Schmidt was throwing 95 when he was in the minors, and was considered the Braves top pitching prospect. He's just a guy that figured it out, like a lot of pitchers (Schilling, Johnson, Maddux etc) do given enough time. Unless the PED's were helping him keep his shoulder joint in one piece, I can't think of a reason that he should be singled out. Zito's lost a little bit of heat on his fastball and break on his curve - could be from PED's but probably just his shoulder changing as it got all those innings when he first came up.

What did he get banned for? Discussing the finale of "Lost"? ;-)

It's not like the Giants didn't have numerous warning flags about Zito before they signed him. He was started to lose his pinpoint control the prior season (if memory serves), and we all know what the end result of that problem usually entails (see the former Cub pitcher in Baltimore for reference). OTOH, you could make a fairly strong case for a pitcher being able to right himself the next season, and perhaps the Giants needed to make a big free - agent splash for their fanbase, regardless of the risks involved.

The real problem I have with the Zito signing was that it was reported at the time that SF wasn't negotiating against anyone else.

I heard the same thing too. It is amazing Sabean still has a job. I will be shocked if his club option gets picked up for next year.

Yes, his recent success is not due to him throwing any harder. He's pinpointing like vintage Zito. Will be interesting to see if he can be consistent with it.

I missed Helton as a 10/5 in the table above. Also, it turns out that Pujols has only a limited no trade clause in 2009. It was full from 2004-2006, limited from 2007-2010, and if they pick up his option in 2011 or he signs a new contract he becomes a 10/5.

I tweaked the table to reflect those.

Was that report ever confirmed about the Giants regarding the Zito signing? If true, then I'd have to agree with your point about fiscal impropriety.

So here is the analysis on who gets NT Clauses. Only 8 Players had their 10/5 rights simply kick in without having a previous NT in their contract: Vladimir Guerrero, Kelvim Escobar, Chipper Jones, Chris Carpenter, Ryan Dempster, David Ortiz, Jorge Posada. 36 players on the list either had or are having part of their contract covered by no-trade rights simply as a bridge until their 10/5 rights kick in. 22 players don't have 5 years with the same team, but will reach 10 years of service at some point in the contract. Some of these players are simply veterans that can demand NT clauses, while others could have chosen to sign with their previous teams in which case they would have gained 10/5 rights, so it would be natural for them to demand this from a team signing them away. There were 20 players that probably stir the most debate, since they are not going to reach 10 years of service in their current contracts, but were given no trade clauses anyway. 5 of those are easy to explain, Japanese players K. Matsui, Fukudome, Kuroda, Matsuzaka, and H. Matsui. The other 15 are more interesting to look at. Many are young stars tagged as franchise players - Ryan Braun, Alex Rios, Eric Byrnes, Nick Markakis, Chase Utley, Joe Mauer, Zach Greinke, K-Rod, and we can probably throw Samardzija in there as well since he fits more with this category than the next. While some have not turned out as expected, there is no real debate over those names. The other 6 are the most intriguing of all. Ted Lilly, Juan Pierre, JC Romero, Jack Wilson, AJ Pierzynski, and Scott Linebrink.

Nice article. A couple of other things I would have liked to see was if it was just a straight line function of having free agents or free agents on a certain contract length (4+ years or something).

Speaking of curve ball pitchers. This is kind of neat.

That is very cool. I wonder if there's something to the fixation of a batter's gaze that relates to one being a better curveball hitter than others.

David Shuster reporting Ryan Theriot's displeasure with the "When Even Theriot Raises Suspicions..." headline on WSCR. Honestly. We're going to get into if Theriot is juicing or not? Seriously?

When one of his HR's actually makes it over the basket, they can start worrying. What's WSCR?

Not sure if you are kidding or not, but it's 670 AM in Chicago. The article is in The Sun-Times apparently.

Bad sentence structure. Figured it was a radio station, just couldn't figure out how a radio station ran a 'headline'.

I didn't word it very well, did I? Maybe I should write for the Sun-Times. Lineup... Soriano, Theriot, Fuku, Lee, Hoff, Soto, Fontenot, Scales, Wells

Thanks, Ryno. I like that Scales continues to make it into the line-up. GO CUBS!

For those of you watching, what did you think of Ascanio? I followed Gameday and liked that he threw strikes with what Gameday thought were at least three pitches-- FB, slider, change-up. Would be NICE if Ascanio and Wells can come close to their AAA numbers this season. That would fucking solve a lot of problems (i.e. Cotts), especially if Gooz continues to pitch as well as he has. Bullpen of Gregg, Marmol, Heilman, Guzman, Wells, Ascanio, and Patton might be alright even if it is completely right-handed. And...having nothing to do with Ascanio or the bullpen...JAKE FOX is making AAA pitchers look like Ass Clowns. All of them. You pitch to Jake Fox, you become an Ass Clown. OUT.

Word, dawg. Is this blog becoming the Jim Rome show? Chad will be pleased.

Awesome. I was hopin' you dopes would hear my Rome voice on that.

If you want to vote for Theriot for the ASG do it now. He's 2nd in the league in Slugging and OPS behind Hanley. Fukudome is 4th in the league in OBP so get your justified vote in for him too, while you're at it.

Ryne Sandberg's got Thomas and Barney batting at the top of the order for the Smokies, and they're really tearing it up. Thomas is a little BABIP lucky, but he's showing power that he hasn't displayed before with 6 HR's already .352 .441 .611. Having trouble stealing bases. Barney's numbers aren't as eye popping .330 .394 .423, but with only 11 K's in about 110 PA's - that BA and OBP may be legit. Wellington Castillo's fluky numbers from last year have kharmed out on him this year - yuck.

I was impressed by Barney in spring training. He looked like a bigger Theriot-type of player that might be a better fielder with a stronger arm. He's not likely going to hit a ton in the majors, but probably a lot like Theriot.

My latest annoyance when visiting all of the advertisements about how the price of Gameday has dropped!!! Now it's even cheaper to bring the Cubs closer!! F-that, it should drop, a 6th of the season is gone. It should be prorated like every other similar utility. They always do this. At the all-star break they will be touting another "price drop" and similarly during the last month of the year.

any word if/when the game will start?

Doesn't look good. Len just said 'Let's hope we get it started'. Raining now and ground crew didn't seem to be doing anything in the brief shot they did. Postponed.

WGN Radio reporting the game has been postponed. Makeup game rescheduled for July 30th, 1:20

Brewer's prospect Brad Nelson just refused his AAA assignment and became a free agent. He is from Algona, IA and went to HS with one of my old college roommates. During college we drove down to Clinton, Iowa to see him play in a minor league game. I think at the time he was maybe a Beloit Snapper. We talked to him for a bit after the game. Real nice guy, hopefully he'll catch on somewhere. video clip in the right corner with Bradley and Hendry talking about the suspension was mildly interesting...

In the clip Bradley says something to the effect of he never does anything rash. Though it may appear rash, he doesn't do things off the cuff and he thinks things through. Wow. So his trip to the press box was pondered and judged to be prudent. I'd thought he was a just a fly off the handle guy. Now I know he's a no-problem-solving-skills/flawed-reasoning-guy.

Game called. Rescheduled July 30th

via Rotoworld... The Cubs will juggle their rotation as a result. Friday's scheduled starter, Randy Wells, will start Saturday. Rich Harden gets pushed back to Sunday, and Sean Marshall will be skipped this turn in the rotation, pitching next Thursday. Roy Oswalt will pitch Saturday for the Astros.

That has all the makings of Marshall to the pen when Z comes back, doesn't it? Dude can't win...

Marshall to the pen could = Cotts to DFA.

Skipping Marshall is a bad sign, he's actually been one of the Cubs best starters his last few times through, other than Lou having a brain cramp and sending him out to start the eight inning and give up two more runs 2-3 starts ago. I understand the bullpen is crap, but I have to see more of Wells before I would effectively diminish the arm strength Marshall has been building up. If he goes to the bullpen for 5-6 weeks and has to go back to the rotation when Harden eventually gets hurt, he won't be throwing into the 7th or 8th innings for quite a while. Plus, the guy is just starting to blossom. Tough break for Marshall.

Who knows, but I wonder if maybe Hendry et al have some designs on "Sean Gallahgering" Wells. Squeeze 2-3 decent starts out of him and then ship him off in July with other parts for impact-now sort of player. I have no idea. It does seem odd to skip the reasonably effetive Marshall.

Marshall must really have pissed in Lou's Wheaties. I feel bad for the guy. I don't really like him much out of the pen, but think he could be a very good #5 starter for us. Picking Wells over Marshall definitely sends a message that Marshall is not high on Lou's list. Wells did well last time, so good to see him get another go.

Let's not make Wells into something he's not. He struggled through 5 innings in Milwaukee, having several jams. For a major league debut against a good offense when a team needed at least 5 innings, he did the job. I think Wells projects to be a Brian Lawrence type, a bottom of the rotation guy who doesn't have great stuff, doesn't throw very hard, and will be around .500 but likely not have a long career. He might not even be that. If he gets shelled by the Astros this weekend Lou might have to rethink things. I still think Marshall as a starter has a higher ceiling than Wells. Marshall won't be a top of the rotation guy, but he could be a solid middle of the rotation, Lilly type. With no top starter prospects anywhere near the majors, I don't see why they are so interesting in moving Marshall back to the bullpen.

Marshall = Scott Eyre? I never fully understood why Eyre was so quickly thrown under the bus last year, while Howry and now Cotts get every available chance to right their ships, so to speak.

My best guess is that Eyre's not running with all the other players means that he was lazy and Lou doesn't like lazy players.

I don't think Marshall is in the doghouse or should be compared to Eyre. From everything I have heard, it is the opposite, Lou loves him because he can use him anyway he needs to and he performs well and never complains.

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  • crunch 6 hours 54 min ago (view)

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

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


  • bradsbeard 10 hours 36 min ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 50 min ago (view)

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


  • Hagsag 22 hours 16 sec ago (view)

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


  • azbobbop 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

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


  • tim815 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:

    RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN


  • Childersb3 1 day 17 hours ago (view)


    Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?


  • Hagsag 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.


  • tim815 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.


  • crunch 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.

    as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.

    it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.


  • Cubster 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.