Levine Spins Up the Rumor Mill

Bruce Levine's lmost of it probably trying to drum up interest in Cubs players that doesn't exist, but it's fun to dream.

- He says the Cubs are looking for minor league pitching that they can project to the majors in return for veteran players.

- The Cubs have fielded calls on Fukudome, Byrd, Grabow and Soriano (prank calls don't count). In Fukudome's case the Indians are specifically mentioned and then Levine quotes an NL scout (probably one from the Cubs) about how much better Fukudome is this year.

- The Cubs would apparently be wiling to eat a "high percentage" of Soriano's contract (still owed nearly $60M through 2014) and that he could be an attractive target as a right-handed DH in the American League (no he wouldn't).

- Aramis talked with his agent and the Cubs brass and indications are that he is very unwilling to waive his NTC.

- Also, (yes, there's a relation) and 13th round pick Trey Martin.


If cubs give him 99 I'm done

Ok? I hope he hits the weight room/needle/pills.

Dunn seems to be seriously thinking about retiring http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Ambu5RV...

countdown until soriano for dunn? =p

countdown until soriano for dunn? =p --- That would add 10 errors per season for Castro, assuming Dunn was at 1b. The only thing I'll miss when Pena leaves is his defense, which has been very good, especially picking out those throws in the dirt.

Maybe now would be a good time to trade Pena, then. Castro wouldn't have that crutch anymore and, as such a young kid still, would probably have a better chance of getting out of some of his bad habits. Better to do that while the team is reeling in so many other ways, than next year when they're sure to be pushing again hard for Project .500.

Soriano for a Dunn who gets so frustrated and unhappy he retires thus freeing the Cubs of his contract would be a great trade.

Will Carroll's take on Soriano Source tells me Cubs willing to take on some (not "much") of Soriano salary and "not get much back, face saving only."

Makes sense. I don't imagine there are any takers for this deal.

Either way, Soriano will be released within a year or so by whatever team he is on. Hendry rolled his dice and he lost. Game over. Move on.

This weekend's series is a very important one for project #1 draft pick. You can do it! Only 5.5 games out!

Yeah, Phil Rogers, who everyone here loves so much, mentioned him in a long column today, too. "‘‘I’m not interested in the business side or marketing or television. That’s not my expertise,’’ Gillick said. Good, so, Ricketts, keep Crane if you really like him that much and let him handle that stuff, and everybody's happy. If you can't afford both, you have no business owning a team.

That would be good news if the Ricketts kidz had a clue who Gillick is. I can just see Tom asking Crane if he should hire him.

‘‘That’s not true,’’ said Gillick, who has heard the rumors, too. ‘‘I don’t know Tom Ricketts at all and have never spoken to him.’’ ~snip~ ‘‘If something came up where it would be above the GM position, I would think about it.’’ that probably means Hendry stays ~snip~ ‘‘He’s a good baseball man,’’ Gillick said of Hendry, ‘‘and a guy you can talk to and a guy that doesn’t fool around and play a lot of games. If he wants to make a deal with you, he’s very straightforward and gets to the point, without a lot of nonsense or peripheral discussion. When you talk to Jim, I’ve always considered him very forthright.’’ Gillick also said he’s well versed on what the Cubs have in their farm system, based on weekly conference calls with Phillies scouts and through the Phillies’ new Class AAA manager, Ryne Sandberg, who spent the last four seasons managing in the Cubs’ minor-league chain.

Why didn't he try glasses?

I wonder, Has Soriano ever had his eyes checked?

I meant to respond to the post of the Aaron Miles article... Sorry! I read so many of these stories - probably 3 or 4 a year, that talk about this type of thing. Don't they make player take vision tests? This seems like a no-brainer thing to do at the beginning of camp every year. Get everyone's vision checked...

Given that he wore contacts, I assume he knew his vision was poor. In my experience contacts can be adversely impacted by blinking and cause your eyes to dry out faster.

I don't give a rat's ass if he knew his vision was a problem. The club should know it, too! This is such a simple thing to check - takes 10 minutes!

Hell, they could have sent dude to the mall and had it checked and glasses made in about an hour.

Yep, I think most piercing pagodas in malls can do this!

He wore contacts. I am sure the club knew. The article wasn't about if his eyes were bad. The article was about how the surgery improved them.

f that, he was still playing for St. Louis, traitor.

I am almost certain I have read before that every player takes a vision test during Spring Training.

Start with a lighter bat


I just realized that I don't think I know a damn thing about Marwin Gonzalez, and he is playing SS in AAA at age 22. I would assume, of course, that means that he is not exactly a top prospect, but his hitting #'s look pretty good, especially for a shortstop... I would imagine that might mean that he is a shitty fielder? Anyone know the skinny on this guy?

Are there some new PED's out there?? Prophetically, and with no statistical performance to back him up, at the Cubs Convention Fleita said he thought Marwin Gonzalez would get promoted to AAA this year. Like magic he's got a .900 OPS at Iowa.

Gonzalez was turning some heads in winterball at the time.

Submitted by Jace on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 10:55am. I just realized that I don't think I know a damn thing about Marwin Gonzalez, and he is playing SS in AAA at age 22. I would assume, of course, that means that he is not exactly a top prospect, but his hitting #'s look pretty good, especially for a shortstop... I would imagine that might mean that he is a shitty fielder? Anyone know the skinny on this guy? ================================ JACE: I have seen Marwin Gonzalez quite a bit. He was at AZL Cubs with Starlin Castro and Junior Lake in 2008. Gonzalez is a true supersub, a switch-hitting versatile defensive player who can play anywhere in the infield & outfield. His best positions are 3B and 1B, but he is OK at SS and 2B, and he handles himself well in the OF, too. He reminds me a bit of Geoff Blum. Gonzalez has developed into a good hitter. Line drive stroke. Gap hitter. Shows HR power in BP. Doubles machine. He hit 324/412/419 in the VWL post-2010 (4th in AVG, 5th in OBP, 6th in 2B, 8th in BB, 10th in SLG), and has been very good so far this year (314/367/450 with 25 doubles combined at AA and AAA). He has a slightly above-average arm. Slightly below-average but passable range for a middle infielder. Solid at the corners. And he has (at best) average speed (although below-average for a middle-infielder or CF). I have been projecting Gonzalez as a virtual-lock to get added to the Cubs 40-man roster post-2011. He probably is the #3 SS on the Cubs depth chart right now (behind Castro and Barney), although I doubt that he will ever be an every-day player at any position. But he should be a valuable 25th man.

Utility infielders and bullpen arms!!!!!!!!!! It's what we do!

He sure makes a lot of errors at a lot of different positions. I guess we won't need Blake DeWitt anymore.

Az Phil, is Gretzky working out at Fitch yet?

Submitted by Hagsag on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 12:15pm. Az Phil, is Gretzky working out at Fitch yet? ====================================== HAGSAG: I haven't seen him yet. When he was at Fitch Park for his pre-draft work-out, he was still rehabbing from his torn labrum, so he might be limited to DH once he gets put on the active list. But since he's mainly a first-baseman these days, a shoulder issue shouldn't be a big deal.

Fangraphs takes a shot at Hendry. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-...

"I do not want to imply it is a bad idea to trade a 25-year-old infielder who derives almost all his worth from replacement value" ...and at that point i quit reading. yes, you can pick out minimum wage for 2 more years middle IF'rs who can hit around .300 and play solid SS/2nd everywhere...they're littered all over the place...people are giving them away. whether d.barney should be starting or bench is a real debate...whether he can be replaced on a whim or his total value to a team is "replacement value players" is retarded

Seems like this article truly clarifies our disagreement crunch. I wholeheartedly agree with this article's statement, which is that if you can trade Darwin Barney for someone else "if the return exceeds the cost". I do agree with you that the cost for this deal must consider the fact that Barney is a .300 hitter (who does little else though) and comes cheaply. More importantly, is the following two paragraphs that pretty much exemplify my thoughts on why retaining Dempster or trading for Garza are/were bad ideas: "The point here is: Yes, the likes of Geovany Soto, Darwin Barney, Sean Marshall, Marlon Byrd, or Jeff Baker may help the team in the near future, but they have already helped the present team to a losing record. This is not a championship roster. If Hendry is allowed to finish the season — as many suspect will happen — he may well put the team in a furthered position of disadvantage by not taking advantage of players such as Barney and Baker at the height of their perceived value. The 2012 Cubs have very little chance at being competitive, but the 2011 Cubs could push them further along with a much overdue fire sale and subsequent rebuild, a la the 2005 Tampay Bay Rays."

what is d.barney worth vs. what you could get back? at best you'd get a younger version of him who has some years in the minors to put in. you could replace him on the FA market by giving 1-2m to someone like a miles or theriot...same ilk of player. also, we disagree on a lot of things based on the garza discussion. you believe the team shouldn't be doing jack and holding onto kids for a few years while the team rebuilds. for some reason you don't want to accept that teams that spend like this don't do that. it's not going to happen...it's not going to happen in fangraph's dude's world either. you have to play by the rules of reality for a baseline. it's just not going to happen. no GM with this payroll (and especially this market) is going to do that and a GM won't be hired to do that. not...going...to...happen... not...going...to...happen... not...going...to...happen... not...going...to...happen... not...going...to...happen... seriously, dude. that's our starting point when dealing with all this. i could be saying the rickets can afford 60m a year more based on their wealth and we should sign p.fielder, a.pujols, and c.wilson. that's very possible given the owner's wealth. IT'S NOT REALITY, THOUGH.

I do agree that Darwin Barney likely doesn't have trade value. But this person's point was that if you can get a better return than the value of Barney, you should do the trade. In other words, Barney is not untouchable. Not sure you can disagree with that, can you?

i agree...but it's like debating the merits of whether you should trade a bench player. it would likely be a non-impact trade. given the lack of a guy who's ready to fill that role for the cubs he's probably more valuable to them vs. giving him up. barney plays 2nd, but his value of being a solid SS backup would require rushing someone not ready in the system or buying someone to replace him at a higher cost than barney.

But this person's point was that if you can get a better return than the value of Barney, you should do the trade. In other words, Barney is not untouchable. Not sure you can disagree with that, can you? ---- That holds true for any player on any roster. So in reality, the article doesn't say anything anyone doesn't already know. But the bottom line is, trading Barney isn't going to bring a hot pitching prospect or power hitter, to suggest otherwise makes for a ridiculous article.

I agree, except the author was responding to Hendry's statement that seemed to imply Barney and Marshall were not on the market for anyone: "Why would we trade anybody who we think is going to help us next year or the years after? I would say if we move anyone it would be somebody we clearly knew wouldn’t be back. We’re not going to move people that we think are going to help us. Why would I trade Sean Marshall? Why would I trade Darwin Barney? Those calls kind of stop quickly. It makes no sense."

That's not what it implies at all. It implies that he is not actively shopping them, and it implies that he is not interested in the usual types of trades for those types of players at the deadline - those types of calls stop quickly. If someone called and said would you like Roy Halladay for Darwin Barney, well then that calls lasts a bit longer then doesn't it. Hendry has his flaws and is not well-liked at this point, but he didn't lose all logic over night. Of course if he is overwhelmed he would trade them. But he knows that the other 29 GMs are not going to overwhelm him for someone like Barney.

I see your point, though I read it differently ("We're not going to move people that we think are going to help us"). Not sure why he even makes that statement if it means "We're not going to move Darwin Barney unless you give us one or more players we find more valuable than Darwin Barney". But you are probably right that is what Hendry meant (i.e., it is somewhat silly to think that if the Angels offered Trout for Darwin Barney or Sean Marshall, we wouldn't listen). But if he is saying we will only trade people if we think we are getting good value for them, then why single out players who will help us next year or thereafter? Isn't that true for everyone?

Two possibilities. First, it gives security and confidence to those young players. Second, it drives up their value a bit by showing that they are important to the team and in its long-term future, ensuring any offers you do get aren't a waste of your time.

I agree with Crunch on this one. A player like Barney has more value to his current team than trade value. Barney's value at this point is similar to what Theriot's value was, before Theriot started getting raises through arbitration. A solid if unspectacular player who can start and is making at or near the league minimum. Just like Theriot, Barney would probably be best suited for a utility role, especially if they had a secondbaseman who could be more of a run producer than Barney. But I still think Barney is a better overall player than Theriot.

Also from the article: "Let’s put this one to bed: The Cubs are not bad in 2011 because of injuries to their starters. They are bad because of a whole myriad of things (starting with fielding, hitting, base running, and then pitching): -- WRONG! Pitching has been the biggest problem. Fielding and base running have been problems, but hitting hasn't been horrible, clutch hitting has been horrible, but by far the biggest problem is consistently giving up 2-3 runs in the first couple innings of a game (and pitching poorly overall). That isn't all from errors, it's from crappy pitching.

Yep, Cubs are 7th in OPS and 9th in Runs. These are rarefied heights the first place Pirates and first place Giants can only dream of.

last in ERA (29th in all of MLB) most runs allowed in all of MLB most hits given up in the NL (3rd in all of MLB) most walks given up in all of MLB

"Hendry isn't worried about Cubs' pitching"

July 29, 2009: Jack Wilson traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Ian Snell to the Seattle Mariners for Aaron Pribanic (minors), Brett Lorin (minors), Nathan Adcock, Ronny Cedeno and Jeff Clement.

jack wilson is a special defensive player, though...barney's good, but he can't touch that. his range, arm, and footwork puts him in a spot making 2x+ more than guys with similar bats. also, ian snell has been valued for his arm by more than a few teams...his numbers are ugly but he has "stuff"...his stuff just can't produce, though.

Jack Wilson was also half a season removed from hitting 12 hr's and 29 doubles. He wasn't the strictly singles hitter Barney and Theriot are. He won the Silver Slugger award at SS 4 years before the trade for a very nice 2004 season. He was also a gold-glove caliber SS with great range. That said, what a bounty Pittsburgh received! Clement has been a failure. Cedeno is, well, Cedeno. Lorin is 24 yrs old this season and still in A ball. Adcock was such a prospect the Pirates left him off the 40 man roster and KC took him in the rule 5 draft last off season. Pribanic is 24 and has mostly average numbers and has reached AA for the first time. So how did Pittsburgh improve with that deal? They got 4 guys that haven't done a thing for them, plus Cedeno, who at best is a cheaper salary at SS than Wilson, but worse glove, worse bat, and dumb as a bag of rocks. Other than the Tommy Herr for Tom Brunansky trade, I don't remember a middle infielder with very little power being traded for anything substantial.

What you said here is sort of right, in general, but it's not correct in Barney's case. Barney is the very definition of a player who's value would increase with a change of scenery, because with the Cubs he plays second, and on other teams he would play short, increasing his value for another team. Sort of like a really good long man who can't crack a rotation but who would be a nice #3 for other teams. The same could be said for Marshall, though it's more open to debate about whether or not other teams may think of him as a starter.

That article was stupid, starting with the fact that he wants Hendry to be more consistent like Billy Beane. The A's have won 76, 75, 75, and 81 games the past 4 years and are currently 12 games under .500. They have been consistent...

It seems like every game the Cubs SP's give up 3 runs in the first inning. Our team ERA is horrible, our team WHIP is horrible. How does Mark "MIA" Riggins still have a job?

Z has pitched much worse today than the 2 runs he's given up through 5. granted, 3-4 of the 8 hits were cheap bloops and none have been bombs, but it's not been pretty anywhere except the velocity (Z's been hitting 94mph pretty regularly which is good for him these days) and control.

Yeah, Z could have easily given up 4-5 runs or more in the first 3 innings.

LOL. Z bunts for a hit. Chaos all over the Astros infield.

bottom 5th rules...4 run innings rule.

At the very end of BA's Prospect Hot Sheet: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect... Marco Hernandez, ss, Cubs: The Cubs have added a wave of Latin American talent to the lower levels of their farm system. As a result, the organization now faces a dilemma, albeit a good one, in trying to sort out playing time for Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya with its Rookie-level Arizona club. Amaya, an 18-year-old from Venezuela, has played mostly second base, though he's also spent time at shortstop and third base, while Hernandez, an 18-year-old Dominican, has been the primary shortstop but also has played a bit at second. At the plate, they have both excelled in their U.S. debuts. Amaya is hitting .390/.427/.476, showing advanced baseball instincts for his age. Hernandez is the better athlete with a more lively, projectable body (6 feet, 170 pounds) and has hit .310/.355/.410 through 24 games. Hernandez has good bat speed from the left side and shows good bat-to-ball ability, though he projects more as a doubles hitter than a power threat

davandyck tweet- That's 100 K for Pena, fifth most in N.L., but only second most in Chicago

1st a.soriano homer since may 2008.

And you a-holes want to dump Sori.

At work and not seeing the game, but could someone explain what happened to the Cubs in the 3rd (seems pure Cubbery). Here is what is listed on Gameday (and the Zambrano at bat is what needs explanation): Soriano doubled Barney flied out to center (did he even make efforts to hit to the right side? Zambrano is a decent hitting pitcher) Zambrano gounded into fielder's choice to pitcher, Soriano out at third (how did this happen?). Fukludome singles to center Castro flies out to center Not sure how Soriano thrown out on groundball to pitcher. Was it just terrible baserunning or is there something else at play?

Groundball to pitcher, Soriano decided to go almost half way to third and then freeze when the pitcher looked at him. Pitcher then ran at Soriano and Sori decided rather than go hard back to second to get in a quick run down. Z didn't advance to 2nd. It was very bad base running, yet I haven't heard Quade go nuts, ripping Soriano to the media like he threw Castro and Barney under the bus recently for mistakes/losing a ball in the sun.

One very positive note about the Cubs this year is that they appear to be developing some good young bullpen talent. While he has had some inconsistency, Ninja is starting to show himself as a good reliever. Russell is becoming a pretty good LOOGY. And I certainly think Carpenter showed promise of developing into a quality reliever. While the team unquestionably has many needs, it is exciting to see some stability from young talent in our middle relief ranks. Middle relievers aren't the big profile players, but a team with weak middle relievers rarely can contend.

Would have been great in 2007-2008 when money was wasted on 3year contracts on crap relievers.

This is why the Cubs should consider trading Marmol/Marshall. Ninja and Russell to me have proven they belong in the pen next year. Carpenter could potentially be a closer, and likely to be a setup man. Cashner may end up as a RP, but the Cubs really need him to help fix the rotation next year. In the minors a few standouts are Belivieu (L), Rhoderick(R), and Dolis(R). Guab and Maine are possible lefties, but I'd put them behind the other guys listed.

im ready for the inning to end just so this idiot will leave the booth.

Someone needs to tell Ricketts that the Cubs inflict enough pain on their fans without that 7th inning stretch abomination.

Who was in the booth today?

Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm,...) It was pretty awful. Just guessing but methamphetamine might have been involved.

Good article on Zeke DeVoss -- seems like a great person as well as an exciting player: http://www.csnchicago.com/07/22/11/Cubs-prosp...

Maybe Paul Hoilman should have scrapped baseball and gone to medical school, I'm not sure. He has 51 strikeouts in 33 games. Has anyone ever struck out more often? I checked Mark Reynolds in the minors and he was always a strikeout-a-game guy. On the other hand, Hoilman has 7 seven home runs and 22 runs batted in--and 29 walks! The difference between his batting average, .252, and his OBP, .417, is 165 points. Another record? On the same Boise team, Reggie Golden has 32 strikeouts and 18 walks in 31 games. His slash line is .266/.375/.394. He hasn't turned on the power yet. He has turned on the speed, though. He has five steals to one CS. I remember reading how fat he was. Edit: Bonds, of course, in his thirties was king of the BA-OBP spread.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 4:13pm. On the same Boise team, Reggie Golden has 32 strikeouts and 18 walks in 31 games. His slash line is .266/.375/.394. He hasn't turned on the power yet. He has turned on the speed, though. He has five steals to one CS. I remember reading how fat he was ============================================= VA PHIL: Reggie Golden was one of about a dozen Cubs minor leaguers who reported early to Spring Training at Fitch Park at the end of February, when ther big leaguers moved up Center Street to HoHoKam Park. Unfortunately, Golden also reported to Fitch Park bottom-heavy. His upper body was fine, but he had a fat ass and thunder-thighs. Golden was able to play himself into somewhat better shape during the course of Minor League Camp (March) and Extended Spring Training (April-June), but he needs to learn how to stay in better shape during the off-season. I suspect that this year he will spend some of the off-season at "Camp Colvin." Golden was a BMOC mega-athlete in high school, a star football player (running back) and baseball player. (His cousin Jamal was named the State of Alabama's "Mr Football" last season and will attend Georgia Tech). He was in good shape last year at AZL Cubs and at AZ Instructs, but I think what happened is that 2010 was the first year he did not stay in shape during the off-season by playing football, and he was just not physically active enough during the off-season to avoid gaining weight (below the belt). Unlike Taiwan Easterling and Matt Szczur (who played college football and college baseball), Golden is not fast. He's not slow, either, but he's just not a fast runner. Even when he's in playing shape, he has just average speed. But he is an aggressive baserunner with the mentality of a football player, and he will try and steal a base if he gets a chance. (He also will sometimes run into an out). Although nobody in the Cubs organization has more raw HR power than Golden, he also is a very choosy and patient hitter who will take walks (and get called out on strikes). He can be a streaky hitter who can go into deep slumps where he appears totally clueless for days at a time, and then he will catch fire. Reggie Golden has a plus arm (a true "RF arm"), but he relies too much on his natural talent and instincts. His outfield defense needs work (especially routes on fly balls and line drives). Overall, I think Reggie Golden is (right now) a Cubs Top 10 Prospect. He's raw, but his HR power & throwing arm are both plus tools that can't be taught. He also appears to be strongly motivated to get better.

Thanks for the extended description, stuff that the numbers just hint at. I like both the aggressiveness and the pickiness: two sides of the same coin. Tyler Colvin's see-the-ball-hit-the-ball mentality is just lazy/dumb.

It wouldn't surprise me if this is Josh Vitters... 2011 Tennessee AA .277 .314 .437 .750 Minor League Career .275 .316 .436 .752

as I guessed... Kerry wood, who's heart and foundation are in chicago, will not approve any trade from cubs, I hear. More likely: signs back w/ cubs http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/945294...

Interesting the love players always seem to have for the Cubs...always hear complaints from non-Cubs about the ballpark, day games, drunk fans not into the game (at least that was always Sox fans criticism when they tried to tell me they were "real" fans), etc. Certainly I understand, as I love the Cubs despite the pain of being a fan. But it always intrigues me how players get connected to the Cubs so quickly.

First off, don' t listen to Sox fans it pisses them off even more. Second , I agree with you that the Cubs have become a bit if a retirement/comfort home for ne'r do well players that I really noticed that started w Frd McGriff. Need to chane the mentalilty of this organization.

I think it would be nice if Wood would approve a trade for prospects and resign with the Cubs every year. It would improve the team. Surely he can spend two months away from his wife and kid(s). That would make him the ultimate Cub if he did this 4-5 years in a row after the Cubs are eliminated from the playoffs. Maybe put a clause in his contract to pay for housing if he is traded.

I'll say it again, because I've had to point this out several times. Kerry Wood said he signed with the Cubs because his daughter has a rare health condition and Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago is one of the few places that specializes in treating it. He took the low salary just to be with the Cubs and work near the hospital. Bruce Levine reported that and had quotes from Wood in the first story Levine did about Wood signing here. Wood isn't going anywhere.

Wow. What a party pooper.

I wouldn't recommend the article. But here are a couple of snipits: I say 37 percent because that's the magic number for the Cubs. According to the Cubs' marketing studies, that chunk of their crowd is from out of state, mostly tourists. The Cubs were averaging 36,853 fans heading into Friday's game, so that's a pretty big chunk of out-of-state fans... But even with a steady flow of Iowans and Texans, a bad team and high ticket prices almost assures thousands of empty seats most days -- the team is down 1,868 fewer fans per game than last year, and if that holds up, it means more than a 3,600 per-game decrease from 2009... http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/columns...

Not to mention empty seats are lost revenue even if the tickets are sold, because of concessions, memorabilia etc not being sold.

New Rumor...Cubs thinking about resigning Carlos Pena. That would be sooooooo Cub like. I hear guys age really well with .239 career batting averages. The Cubbies got to trade him or let him walk right? right? LOL...he probably gets signed to a 3 year 50 million dollar deal by the Cubs and is released after a year into it.

He is exactly what was advertised, you knucklehead! He leads the team in HR with 20, and 2nd in RBI with 51. His defense is solid. This has never been a guy that hits for average. The Cubs do not really have a player as good as Pena that is ready to hit The Show. If he resigns for a year at $5mm or less, I'd be fine with it. The team's achilles heel this year has been pitching. Carlos Pena is the least of their problems. You can count on MIKE C to be the voice of reason at TCR!

Yeah but who cares about this year, i care about down the road. Pena isnt in our future plans and blowing tens of millions of dollars to still roll out a crappy team next year is stupid. Pena can bring some talent back in the form of prospects thats his greatest value to this franchise. And if the cubs want to throw a multi year deal at him this offseason it would still suck but its better than staying put and resigning him. Besides go back to everyones Sosa excuse for paying for talent in years 34 and beyond imagine what kind of a corpse you can be paying for for a long time.

...imagine what kind of a corpse you can be paying for for a long time. ----- Like Soriano. I'm all for no more long term contracts for anyone. In fact, in between bickering over which side the Democrats and Republicans can blame on the debt ceiling, they should ban 8-10 year contracts in all sports. :) Pujols would be nice, but not for 8 years. Even Fielder, c'mon, no more wire hangers ever! Sorry, crossed my circuits there.

1. Wire hangers bwahahaha 2. There's some revisionist love for J. McDonough going around (not at TCR really), but is there a parallel between the Soriano deal and the Hossa 115-year, $403M deal? I may be off on the numbers but I am a certified Hockey Ignoramus (also the name of my next band), so I get a pass.

Last year Pena hit below 200, and signed for 10 million dollars. What makes you think that he can have a better year this year, and sign for half of that? It will take at least 10 million to sign him next year, if he performs about as well in the second half as he did in the first half.

why even bother with this "rumor" at all when there's other rumors that point strongly in other directions for 1st base? i see aram coming back on a 2 year deal before pena comes back, myself.

Would it really surprise anyone if Hendry brought them both back?

Only if it was at full market rate + 40% with a NTC.

Batting average doesn't mean shit. I will repeat for emphasis: Batting average doesn't mean shit. Exhibit A: Cubs are currently #3 in batting average in the NL.

But only #9 in Runs. I was messing around with team stats and came up with this. It's a list of NL teams arranged in descending order by total team Runs. The number is the isolated OBP (OBP-BA). (the numbers in the AL tend to be higher. e.g. Yankees are 82 and Red Sox are 75) Isolated OBP StL 71 Cin 71 Col 72 Arz 66 NYM 71 Mil 62 Pha 73 Atl 68 CHI 52* Fla 70 Hou 52* Was 70 Pit 66 LAD 65 SFr 65 Sdo 69 When it comes to relying on batting average to get on base, the Astros and Cubs are in a league of their own. so, it's no surprise that both teams are at the bottom of the league in bases on balls. http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/batt...

Runs track a lot more closely to total bases than they do to walks. The Cubs are 9th in runs, 6th in total bases, 16th in walks. Astros are 11th in runs, 9th in total bases, 15th in walks. StL and Sdo, your top and bottom teams for runs, have almost the same isolated OBP. If you combine total bases and walks, you get a remarkably close correlation with runs. If I take your run-ranked list above and number the teams, StL to Sdo, 1 to 16, and then reshuffle the list according to TB+BB, I get this order: 1,3,2,4,5,6,8,7,10,9,11,12,15,14,13,16 I wouldn't say the Cubs build their lineup based on batting average, since perenially low-BA players like Pena, Soriano and Fukudome are in there every day. When he paid Pena $10 million, Hendry said he expected him to hit .230 with a fair number of HRs and RBI. Soriano keeps his TB numbers up, Pena gets total bases and walks, and Fukudome mostly gets walks.

If you combine total bases and walks, you get a remarkably close correlation with runs That's pretty much ops, I think bill James cracked that code 30+ years ago.

another matt garza potential win blown...yow. ninja blows it in the 8th giving up a 2 run HR...4-3 hou/chc

cubs tie!!! men on 1st/2nd, 0 out, bottom 8.

can anyone on this team bunt? 2nd time this game a weak/crap bunt gets an out at 3rd...granted, it's been soto both times, but those bunts stunk.

Asking players to do something they don't practice, or shouldn't really ever be asked to do (which is why they don't practice it): Mike Quade.

Ricky Henderson couldn't have beaten that bunt to third.


WWW Dotcom string of wins

took an awful long time...clearly, a dial-up connection

According to WGN first Cub home sweep since...July 2009 Yuck

Wow, really? That is an appalling level of ineptitude, but I guess I can't say I'm that surprised. That's roughly 54 home series since then, and the Cubs have had a .488 home Win % since 2009. Hey WISCGRAD - care to calculate the odds here? I came up with about a 12% chance of winning 3 straight at home, but I know that doesn't factor in that those 3 games have to be against the same team (i.e. could take the last 2 of a series and the first game of the next series). Still seems ridiculous that it's been 2 years since the last home sweep.

Well for simplicity, let’s use a straight .500 team. They then have a 50% chance of winning each game, which means that if they play 3 games they have a 12.5% chance of winning all 3 (think of 3 coin flips). So a .500 team should sweep 12.5% or 1/8 of all series it plays. They would also be swept in 1/8, would win 1 game in 3/8 and win 2 games in 3/8ths of the series. So if they played 54 home series (I’ll just assume 3 games in each) then they should have had 6.75 sweeps, just by normal odds, in that time. So given a 1/8 chance of sweeping each series, the probability of a .500 team having exactly 0 sweeps in 54 3-game series would be 0.07% - that's less than a 10th of a percent! So yeah, these are high levels of ineptitude. To put it another way, a .500 team has the same odds of having 0 sweeps in 54 series as it does sweeping 13 of the 54 series.

"So a .500 team should sweep 12.5% or 1/8 of all series it plays." Wrong again.

Nope, I'm right. Again.

TRN, this is just my humble opinion, but it seems to me that a useful answer would be to posit what you think is the correct answer, not just respond by saying "wrong again".

He probably thought about it for a bit, did the math, and realized I was right. Rather than admit that, he will just ignore it.

wisc- merely asking...doesn't the 12.5% figure reflect winning any 3 games in a row? and not necessarily sweeping? wouldn't the actual sweep percentage figure out to 4.16%? since any 3 consecutive games would randomly be a sweep 1/3 of the time, a final 2 games of 1 series followed by opener of next series 1/3 of the time, and a series ender followed by 1st 2 games of successive series 1/3 of the time?

You are right that the 12.5% is for any three in a row. But the probability remains the same. A .500 team has the exact same probability of winning all 3 games of games 1-2-3 as it does 2-3-4, as it does 3-4-5, as it does 42-56-72.

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  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   


  • jdrnym 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.


  • crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."



  • bradsbeard 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 


  • Arizona Phil 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 


  • crunch 6 days 16 hours ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw


  • erich081 1 week 5 hours ago (view)

    I wore my Rick Wilkins #2 shirsey today and kept thinking real baseball was only a week away. And then I remembered this weird alternate reality we've seemed to have slipped into. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.


  • Hagsag 1 week 9 hours ago (view)

    I am installing a padded room to sit in until this hell is over.


  • Charlie 1 week 13 hours ago (view)

    Watched it yesterday with my girlfriend and while Skyping my dad. It was fun to give her running commentary since she's only been a Cubs fan for the last five years.


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    MLB is sidestepping this "to the surface" pushing issue by choosing to "finacially support" minor league players according to a press release from a couple days ago.  minor league pay has been a recent source of embarrassment for MLB...

    i have no idea how robust this assistant will be, but anything less than 100% for most players (no matter the source) would be a disservice to future of the game.