Cubs and Rockies Give New Meaning to Going Number 2

Blackmon RF, Herrera SS, Pachecho 1B, Gonzalez LF, Hernandez C, Colvin CF, Nelson 3B, LeMahieu 2B, Pomeranz P


Mather RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, B. Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

The Rockies recent 5-game win streak and the Cubs continued excellence in losing has earned the Cubs a 3-game lead for the #2 spot in next year's draft for the time being (4 games over the Twins). The Cubs still "trail" the Astros by 9 games for the top spot and doubtful they can tank enough to get there.

As for the lineups, two ex-Cubs start for the Rockies. The thin air of Colvin has certainly helped his power and probably his confidence and he's enjoying a solid season with an .884 OPS through 319 PA's. His s are about as extreme as you'd expect out of a Rockie (.991 vs. .775). He had an with an OPS north of 1.000, gave back a little in July(.720), but is enjoying another fine month in August (.985).

LeMahieu (still just 23), hasn't quite reaped the benefits of the Mile High city, but has been taking advantage of the Rockies' injury bug with some playing time and a solid .789 OPS in the second half.

As for the Cubs, Joe Mather is leading off, an image of that lineup card should be the cover art for the Cubs year-end review.


Headline winning

in UNI's! Bears a deserved #2 - although I think they could have garnered the top spot (except the orange ones):

Boy Hawks got hosed in that. # 49?!?! I would say they have best in Chicago.

Bears! Classic. Road jersey whites are amazing. All red is communist. But, #49 is pretty harsh.

i may have to start [gulp] working out to increase my chances of being around if/when 'it' ever finally gods, what a lineup...

if the cubs went winless the rest of the way [not likely, but...] the astros would not catch them

If this was the Tour de France, then the last place team would end up the ultimate winner because by the time they remove all the people who took whatever Lance Armstrong takes to do those impossible rides will have to be kicked out, too. Lesson to all you kids out there: Go for Last! Go Cubs!

PED's for everyone!!!!!!!

I think the endgame for Clemens is to delay his HOF eligibility. I see him starting a game for Houston before the year is over.

If not PEDs, PEZ

Blockbuster: red Sox, Dodgers working on deal that would send AGon, Crawford, Beckett and Punto to LA. Hurdles remain, but closing in that'll be funny when Giants end up winning the West

Rubby De La Rosa, Sands, Loney I. Dejesus supposedly the mix going back to Boston. Boston supposedly sending some cash. Beckett has 10/5 rights

Gonzalez and Loney scratched from lineups tonight...

still waiting on specifics, but it appears A. Gonzalez (signed through 2018), Beckett (signed through 2014), Crawford(signed through 2017) and Punto...over $250M in contracts to Dodgers Red Sox probably sending some cash and getting Rubby De La Rosa, Sands, I. DeJesus, Loney and a top prospect PTBNL. obviously Dodgers are swimming in new TV money that helps a lot, plus the new ownership. They'll certainly be regretting Gonzalez and Crawford in 2-3 years (possibly sooner on Crawford), but the deal is about this year and the next. Beckett could probably use a change of scenery and the NL and Dodger stadium can only help. Red Sox get out of Crawford deal and the bad mojo of Beckett and gain all kinds of money flexibility. De La Rosa and the PTBNL probably have the highest ceilings...but Sands could do well in that park. Fascinating deal...

It's quite the indictment of Theo's last few years with the Red Sox that he let all three of these "superstars" and their bad contracts get past the Cubs on waivers. Hopefully not a style that will be repeated here in Chicago. And yes, I know all the arguments about spending at certain points in the winning cycle, etc. It's still three high-profile, potential impact players getting past approximately 22 teams on waivers before getting claimed.

A good read, shows *why* 22 other teams passed on Gonzalez:

seems like Allan Webster will be the PTBNL

Cafardo on the megadeal, has a Theo-like echo...
With a run of bad publicity and a skeptical fan base, the Sox may have finally learned that starting over is better than adding on.

This is stunning. How did we not find a chance to unload Soriano on the Dodgers among all of this?!

Because we don't have an Adrian Gonzalez and a Josh Beckett?

It's probably safe to assume Soriano has been made available to the Dodgers and any other team within shouting distance of the playoffs, and they simply said, no thanks.

Soriano rejected going to San Fran and i believe one other team but i could be wrong.

I meant that the Dodgers probably said no. I didn't mean to imply that it's a given that any other team will say no. He's having a decent year and could probably help somebody. Not sure why he rejected the Giants - I know the reasons he gave, but they are contenders, that's a helluva a park, and the Bay Area is awesome. I can only suspect he's got a little moran in him.

Major market teams don't rebuild!

they will rebuild if they're smart. once you go around signing guys like agonz, beckett, and crawford you're stuck with those deals and you will never see the light of day outside of them. if only BOS could trade them for some prospects.

TMZish, but whatever... Grace leaving the booth for a bit for personal reasons.

Grace is not the first AZ telecaster to leave the booth this year for personal reasons in 2012. They are dropping like flies out there in the desert.

mlbtr says the Bosox-Dodger trade is official. Here's hoping the Dodgers miss the playoffs on the last day of the season.
...the Dodgers have absorbed more than $300MM in future payroll obligations in the last month or so. As Jeff Euston of Cot's Baseball Contract notes (on Twitter), the club now has a $193.75MM in contracts for next season, $133.6MM for 2014, $90MM for 2015, $88.65MM for 2015, and another $90MM for 2016. The Red Sox, on the other hand, are now on the hook for just $45.6MM in 2013, $34.4MM in 2014, $12.75MM in 2015, and $2.45MM in 2016

Dumb move by Dodgers Red Sox owners must hate their fans slashing their payroll like that.

They'll end up outspending the Yankees. When was the last time anyone outspent the Yanks in a season - mid 90s? Crazy.

Ben Sheets to the DL with shoulder inflammation Leopard meet spots.

Wow. I just cannot believe Dodgers would assume responsibility for those contracts AND giveup De La Rosa, Loney, Sands, DeJesus AND WEBSTER. WOW. it's like a double slap in Theo's face, however unintentional. Ouch. Unless Boston is giving them $100 million or something.

Not a slap from the Dodgers, who obviously value those contracts at their price tag and at the added value of the players sent back. And if the Red Sox are making moves to slap Theo, that's plain dumb.

I think Boston is just sending $12 million to LA. There's been a lot of hand ringing about this trade in the blogosphere and media claiming that LA is crippling their franchise taking on these large contracts and giving up prospects. One reporter (Buster Olney) said that this trade may look good now for LA, but it won't look too good in 2017, suggesting that LA made a mistake making the trade. I don't get that opinion. The move will greatly help LA this year and for a couple of more years. Who cares about 2017. Pro sports is a "what have done for me lately" kind of business. You have to strike while your window of opportunity is open. The Dodgers have a real chance to win the west this year so they're pulling out all of the stops. They'll likely to be favored again next year and will be a contender for the next few years. I feel the same way about the signing of Pujols and Fielder in the off season. Sure, their contracts were ridiculously long, but that how things work now. Teams overpay (in years and money) in order to get the expected production for the next few/several years. Highly sought after FAs don't sign short term (1-2 year) contracts any more. so if a team wants the production that a certain player provides, they are going to have to step up to the plate, swallow hard, and offer a long term, lucrative deal.

I don't think Pujols or Fielder would have been good signings for the Cubs. It's hard to know how Rizzo will pan out but he has A Gonz upside in my very humble view, so a first baseman wasn't at the top of the list. If Rizzo fails, that's a big black mark on TheoCorp. No pressure, kid. The other thing about Pujols and Fielder is that their better years for the Cubs would have been on a crap team, most likely. And, I don't think you really build a team around a first baseman. You build them around a good outfield and a good defensive up the middle core, and, most of all, pitching. I'm not sure there's going to be a high impact free agent on next year's list. There's Hamilton, but he is a walking pair of heavily tattooed dice. I can't think of anybody else - although I haven't seen the list in awhile so I may be forgetting someone. I'm definitely not a fan of handing out mega contracts to pitchers. But I would like to see the Cubs pick up a couple good free agent pitchers with some upside. An Edwin Jackson type maybe. I think L.A. did well for themselves here, though. The new ownership has come to play, and Ricketts will need to be ready to dole out similar cash soon enough.

O&B -- I agree with you. Considering the contracts they signed, I don't think either Pujols or Fielder made sense for the Cubs, not at this point in their evolution. My only point was that these type of outrageous contracts are now the norm for these historically productive FAs. If you want to include one of these guys on your team, you have to ante up. I was relating the likelihood that Fielder & Pujols will be extremely high paid DHs or bench players at the end of their career to the moves that the Dodgers made in trading for Gonzales, Crawford, and Beckett. The trade won't look nearly as good in 2017, but if the Dodgers win the World Series in the next few years, nobody will care. Just like nobody will care what their teams are paying Fielder or Pujols if they can lead their teams to a championship in the next few years.

Well, if you're concerned about Ricketts paying up, I am too. I guess we'll have to see. I completely understand the sentiment of the guys on here who complain about how a big market team should never really have a rebuilding year. I just happen to think that, unfortunately, the Cubs are a somewhat exceptional case because Hendry left the team in such a shambles and the specific free agents that were available just weren't a really good fit. So I'm holding off judgement. A lot of people are slamming the Dodgers but if I was a Dodgers fan right now I'd be stoked. It's a gamble, but if they've got the cash, then why not. One issue for the Cubs is I thought I read here somewhere that the TV contract isn't up for quite some time. The Cubs will be at a financial disadvantage until they can get that big TV contract. But they need a better team than this to accomplish that.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a 3 run HR in his first Dodger at bat (I know... insert small sample size disclaimer here)

mlbtr lists Cotts salaries for the Dodgers in 2013...what caught my eye is Lilly at $12M (who has been a non-event in 2012) and the remaining obligations to ManRam at $8.3M and Andruw Jones at $3.2M
2013 ($188.68MM) -- Gonzalez ($21MM), Crawford ($20MM), Matt Kemp ($20MM), Beckett ($15.75MM), Hanley Ramirez ($15.5MM), Andre Ethier ($13.5MM), Ted Lilly ($12MM), Chad Billingsley ($11MM), Clayton Kershaw ($11MM), Manny Ramirez ($8.33MM), Juan Uribe ($7MM), Aaron Harang ($7MM), Chris Capuano ($6MM), Mark Ellis ($5.25MM), Matt Guerrier ($3.75MM), Jerry Hairston Jr. ($3.75MM), Andruw Jones ($3.2MM), Yasel Puig ($2MM), Punto ($1.5MM), Juan Rivera ($500K buyout), Mike MacDougal ($350K buyout), Todd Coffey ($300K buyout)

above twitter feed article by Bruce Levine... on Brenly's contract ending at the end of this season (speculates him goinng to AZ or LA) includes this tidbit:
Grace is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his job (Diamondbacks TV color analyst) after his second drunken driving arrest in 15 months this week.

I read here somewhere that the TV contract isn't up for quite some time. --- Unfortunately the Cubs are stuck with doing TV deals piecemeal but they should get a windfall after the 2014 season from putting the WGN/WCIU games up for bid. The Comcast deal runs though 2019. Crain's from March 2012 (Ed Sherman)...
The Cubs and Sox have deals with Comcast SportsNet through 2019; both teams are part owners in the station. The Cubs' agreement with WGN-TV/Channel 9 reportedly expires after the 2014 season.
The Cubs ...turn is coming soon with the WGN deal. The station will produce 77 games in 2012, with eight airing on WCIU-TV/Channel 26. The Cubs definitely will put those games in play, especially since the team and the station no longer are fully owned by the same parent, Chicago-based Tribune Co.

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  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...


  • Cubster 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours 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 2 days 9 hours 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 2 days 14 hours 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 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

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


  • azbobbop 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

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


  • tim815 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 9 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.