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Last updated 2-6-2024
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Yency Almonte
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Cubs Rumor Round-Up: Nady and Kennedy

We're about three weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting and Hendry still has at least two moves to make and possibly up to four if the latest from Jon Morosi is to be believed.

The top priorities remain the bullpen and fourth outfielder and according to Morosi, Xavier Nady has floated to the top of the Cubs' wish list. His agent is Scott Boras though and much like all the players the Cubs are interested in, his demands will have to lower into the Cubs price range. Otherwise, Reed Johnson, Rocco Baldelli or Johnny Gomes are the other options.

On the bullpen front, things with Kiko Calero have cooled.  No other names are mentioned.

Another starting pitcher is more a want than a need and Ben Sheets is asking too much at the moment.

Finally, the Cubs have shown some past interest in Adam Kennedy and Orlando Hudson, but like starting pitching, not a big priority. If an upgrade at second base is available at the right price, then the Cubs could make a move although I fail to see how Kennedy would be an upgrade.


If there is any GM who could be termed "friendly" with Scott Boras, it's fellow failed minor league player Jim Hendry. They get along very well. So signing Boras client Xavier Nady would not be a problem for Hendry, as long as the Cubs believe Nady can make all the necessary throws from RF (Nady had his second career TJS last year).

Nady would be fine, I suppose. He would bump Hoffpauir or Fuld off the roster, I wonder? Mostly likely bump Hoffpauir unless they'd let Kosuke play center again. Eh?

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

Submitted by Rob G. on Mon, 01/25/2010 - 3:33pm. most likely Hoffpauir, but I'm sure it would likely be a competition in spring training. I would guess they'd be comfortable with Fukudome as a back-up center fielder if it came down to that. ==================================== ROB G: Micah Hoffpauir would probably have trouble winning a job if the Cubs aign a right-handed hitting OF other than Rocco Baldelli or Reed Johnson, because somebody has to be the late-inning defensive replacement for Soriano in LF, and right now that's Sam Fuld's job to lose. I think one way Hoffpauir could make the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster is if Jeff Baker plays 2B everyday and Andres Blanco is the only back-up at both SS and 2B, making Mike Fontenot's slot available. But Hoffpauir would have to outhit Fontenot in Spring Training, and even then Piniella might want two back-up middle-infielders even if Hoffpauir shows the better bat.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

Submitted by The Real Neal on Mon, 01/25/2010 - 5:03pm. Baker, Theriot, Blanco and Fountainout? Sounds like Pinhead already has four backup middle infielders. What do you think the relationship between Barney/Blanco and Castro is going to be. If Castro looks great in ST is he going to get a starting gig at AAA or does Barney's presence block him, or do they both have a chance to knock off Blanco for the MLB spot? ==================================== REAL NEAL: I think Blanco gets the MLB back-up SS-2B gig, Barney is the starting SS at Iowa, Castro is the SS at AA, LeMahieu is the SS at Daytona, and Hak-Ju Lee and Logan Watkins remain together at Peoria. Castro is the type of prospect who might not see one day of AAA. To me, AAA is a place for players who need additional polish in order to become major leaguers because they are a bit short on talent. The best talent goes directly from AA to the big leagues. My question is how Piniella will manage the transition, as Theriot is replaced by Barney or Castro. What if Theriot continues to perform as he has for the past couple of years? That's probabbly good enough for Uncle Lou, but what if Barney and/or Castro exert roster pressure from below? Would Hendry do an end run on Piniella and force Lou to play Barney or Castro by moving Theriot in a trade? Or has it already been decided by Hendry/Piniella/Fleita that when Barney or Castro are ready, Theriot gets moved to 2nd base? And if that is the case, what if Jeff Baker is playing well at 2B at that time? I'm not sure that Lou Piniella is the guy I would want to be the Cubs manager with young middle-infielders like Barney and Castro nearly-ready, especially if they are legitimate prospects and it gets to the point they are clearly ready. Having Barney and Castro in big league camp should (hopefully) help Piniella get a feel for what they can do.

Nothing new from Morosi here. While I get the need for a good 4th OF, the desire for a short-term upgrade at 2B and maybe some SP insurance to cover Lilly, I'm not sure that I get the need for another righty RP. For the right side of the pen, I count Marmol, Guzman, at least one (and possibly both) of Silva/Samardjzia, Rule 5 guy Parisi, Gray, and the kids (Caridad, Berg, Stevens, Patton, Atkins and Parker) competing for a total of 4-5 spots. From the left side, Grabow and at least one (maybe both) of Gorzelanny and Marshall are locks for the pen as well. Gaub is a longshot too. That's about 15 legit contenders for 6-7 pen jobs. Dealing off some promising kids for a guy like Frasor (and his $2.65 million salary) only makes sense if there is real concern about Guzman's durability (and a guy like Calero makes no sense at all).

[ ]

In reply to by Seamhead

Guzman was pretty lucky when you look at his peripherals last year, throw in his injury history and that leaves Marmol as the only thing resembling reliable from the right side. Almost all those other guys have options left, and with injuries and performance being pretty volatile when it comes to your pen, not a bad idea to get someone else back there. Depends on the someone else of course. Calero on a one year deal is pretty low risk imo. He's good when healthy and if he gets hurt, then all those other names get a shot. Not to mention Cashner or Jackson could get opportunities if they're tearing up the minors.

What I like about Xavier Nady when compared to Jonny Gomes and Jermaine Dye is that while he has played mostly RF, Nady has the atleticism to play all three OF positions and 1B (and even some 3B in a pinch), while Gomes and Dye are strictly corner outfielders with no experience at 1B. Also, Nady is a better hitter than Gomes (who is a strikeout machine and a terrible PH), and Nady is seven years younger than Dye (who had a really bad second-half last year and looked like he might be was washed-up). And Nady is the kind of a guy who can play everyday for an extended period if necessary (he hits both LHP and RHP). And if he wants a two-year deal, that would be OK, because the Cubs are probably going to need to platoon Fukudome again in 2011, too, so that what Nady would bring to the Cubs in 2010 would almost certainly be needed again in 2011. Again, my main concern with Nady is whether after having his second career TJS last year (and missing most of the season as a result) he can still make strong throws from RF, or if he has become a rag-arm DH.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

Submitted by Charlie on Mon, 01/25/2010 - 4:25pm. Does Hendry have an aversion to weak-throwing players? We have Ryan Theriot playing SS and at various times in the pat had Juan Pierre playing CF and Jacque Jones playing RF and CF. How pitiful would Nady's arm have to be to make him a bigger liability in the outfield than Soriano, anyway? ======================================= CHARLIE: My main concern with Nady is whether his arm (elbow) is up to making strong throws from RF. That doesn't mean it's a concern of Hendry's. In fact, it's probably not a big deal to him. I'm just saying Nady's arm-strength should be an issue, not that it is.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

If Nady was such a good hitter he wouldn't have this much trouble finding work. For their careers, Gomes and Nady have had the same OPS+ (OPS to league average adjusted for park factors) but Gomes has played in baseball's tougher league and toughest division for most of his carreer. I agree about the defensive flexibility, but Baker already offers a similar skill set. The best thing would probably be as suggested above, use young guys for the bullpen, and then sign Hudson and push Baker to reserve and Fountainout to the SS/2B backup spot.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

Somebody remind me just why the Rox let Baker get away? Was it simply the injury? He had a reasonable rebound in the 2nd half. Did I hear say Lou he thought Baker would be good batting 5th?

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

fwiw... over the last 3 years, their splits Nady in 227 AB's vs LHP: 278/358/454 812 vs RHP: 297/340/504 844 Gomes in 296 AB's vs LHP: 267/341/503 844 vs RHP: 223/307/456 763 for their career, Nady at 5.8% BB/9, 19.9% K/9 and a .342 wOBA, Gomes at 9.9% BB/9 and 32.2% K/9 and .344 wOBA I'd prefer Nady myself if he can throw.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

The thing that gets me about Nady is that he has gone from being the opening day starting right fielder for the Yankees, to being viewed as a valuable free agent being looked at for a starting gig (in Atlanta and elsewhere), and now he has fallen to being looked at as a potential platoon partner or 4th OF. And he's the same player he was at the beginning of last year when he was the starter for the eventual World Champions. The only thing that changed was he had (a second) TJS. I don't get the impression that teams are overly concerned with players who have TJS. It's fairly routine these days. And yet, poor Nady's stock has plummeted.

[ ]

In reply to by Sweet Lou

I don't get the impression that teams are overly concerned with players who have TJS. It's fairly routine these days. --- I'd agree with the above especially for position players except that this is his SECOND Tommy John surgery. The basic operation takes a tendon graft from the forearm from a small tendon called the palmaris longus.… On a second surgery they have to take a graft from somewhere else. Other sites are available (the other arm or a tendon from the calf (plantaris) but that means he's gonna have two limbs involved to recovery. I'm not sure why his graft failed but it's pretty unusual for this to happen (expecially when it's not a pitcher). This would make me a bit leary too (Chad Fox alert!) but my guess is he'll be OK. Nady is the best mix of hitter with some power and defensive RF for a righty bat. If his arm isn't right though and he can't throw that's a problem for RF (but not as much for LF or PH), Reed Johnson is probably the next best option. I thought about Gomes as I do like his power... but I don't like his K rate and his defense is bad.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

"For their careers, Gomes and Nady have had the same OPS+ (OPS to league average adjusted for park factors) but Gomes has played in baseball's tougher league and toughest division for most of his carreer." As you note, OPS+ is already adjusted. The tougher league and division have already been accounted for, so Gomes doesn't get extra points for them.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

"There's no mention in there about adjusting across leagues or about quality of competition." OPS+ is adjusted so that a league-average performance is 100. It's all there in the link I included. A 100 OPS+ performance in the NL is average performance for that league. Likewise for the AL. So a 120 OPS+ performance is 20 points of value over average, regardless of the league. A 120 OPS+ in the NL is not worse or better than a 120 OPS+ in the AL. It is the same. I won't address the "quality of competition" issue because it's nominal if present at all after normalizing for the league. "Read it again." Enough petulance.

[ ]

In reply to by Stevens

I'm sure I don't want to be part of this argument, but: Let's say the NL has these numbers: 6 4 7 8 2 3 Their total is 30, and their average is 5. So 5 is the league average. Now let's say the AL has these totals: 6 4 7 8 8 3 Their total is 36, and their average is 6. So the average production of the AL is one higher. Maybe that's because they have a DH hitting instead of a pitcher. Regardless of the reason, it skews the average upward, so the average performance in the AL is a little better, which means in order to meet that average, a hitter has to perform a little better. On the other hand, they aren't facing the same competition, so we're looking at many factors that are difficult to measure in order to determine whether there really is a more difficult or better league. But it certainly is possible for the average hitter in one league to be more productive than the average hitter in the other league. I'm very open to hearing some opposing arguments, however, because at this point I think I may just be confused about what you're trying to say.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

OPS+ takes out the pitchers... I haven't been able to figure out what they mean by league, although my assumption is a separate number for AL and NL, but can't find confirmation. If you could find two players with the same OPS+ in each league, same park factors, but slightly different OPS numbers then it would indicate that league means AL and NL and not just MLB. But I'm not sure how they calculate their park factors. to the original argument of Gomes vs. Nady's bat, Gomes is more hit and miss while Nady has been pretty consistent, another reason why I'd prefer Nady. Almost 18% of Gomes's PA's were with the Reds too which brought him up to the level of Nady. And Gomes is a defensive hack, Nady doesn't appear to be.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

Charlie: "It certainly is possible for the average hitter in one league to be more productive than the average hitter in the other league." In terms of raw numbers, yes. But not in terms of performance relative to their league. Imagine 2 good players. One is in a higher run-scoring environment and hits 330/400/550. But it's the same performance as a player in a (much) lower run-scoring environment hitting 300/360/490. OPS+ tries to correct for this by not presenting a raw value, but a percentage of value over the average performance for the league. That's important for all that you've suggested: competition varies by league, parks vary by league, and run-scoring varies by league. The AL and NL are not the same animals. And while it's correct to say that a 750 OPS in the NL is not the same as a 750 OPS in the AL, it is not correct to say that a 100 OPS+ in the NL is not the same as a 100 OPS+ in the AL, as long as we keep in mind that performance mostly matters relative to the league. interview in BP with Andrew Cashner by David's the intro:
Be it as a starter or out of the bullpen, Andrew Cashner looms as a big part of the Cubs’ future. A 6-foot-6 right-hander who was taken in the first round of the 2008 draft from Texas Christian, the 23-year-old Cashner has gone from college closer to professional starter, albeit with a strict pitch count. In 24 games split evenly between High-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last year, Cashner posted a 2.60 ERA while allowing 76 hits in 100 1/3 IP. Notably, only one of them left the yard. Cashner talked about his power game, and his future, at the conclusion of the Arizona Fall League season. --- David Laurila: If you had to write a scouting report on yourself, what would it say? Andrew Cashner: It would say that I have a good fastball and a good slider. My slider is my out pitch. And then, I’m developing a changeup. I’d say that I can throw three pitches for strikes and I’m a big competitor out there on the mound.

From Rob's previous post... Speaking of the NYT, they've announced a metered payment system to start in 2011 for their online content. Basically you get 10 free visits a month and then will have to pay to access anymore articles. Don't be too surprised when the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune do something similar in a few years. --- this was on this am...
NY Times reports with the widely anticipated introduction of a tablet computer at an event on Wednesday morning, Apple may be giving the media industry a kind of time machine — a chance to undo mistakes of the past. Almost all media companies have run aground in the Internet Age as they gave away their print and video content on the Web and watched paying customers drift away as a result. People who have seen the tablet say Apple will market it not just as a way to read news, books and other material, but also a way for companies to charge for all that content. By marrying its famously slick software and slender designs with the iTunes payment system, Apple could help create a way for media companies to alter the economics and consumer attitudes of the digital era.
Here's the NY Times article (it's free, for now):…

This is probably way 3/44 or whatever, but I just started thinking about tickets this year and noticed this on the Cubs website. Apparently you can spend $130 (for 4) or $250 (for 12) for an early shot at tickets instead of waiting all day in the god-forsaken queue. Is anyone doing this or is this like buying the extended warranty?

[ ]

In reply to by Ryno

I hadn't seen that yet, so it's not 3/44 for at least one person. Here's what worries me about it - they don't specify if the ticket pre-sale is for ALL tickets, or just the bullshit small selection like they do for the 9 game package (i.e. mostly weekday games in April). Also, $250 is a lot of money to spend just to buy the privilege of spending an even more insane amount of money on tickets.

[ ]

In reply to by Ryno

I did the $250 one in 2009. With that package, you can purchase up to 12 total tickets with the presale, which is before the general onsale. You get to choose any game(s) you want, and specify the seats you want for each game. Last year, I did opening day, saturday tribe, saturday twins, 4 seats for saturday july cards, and saturday mets. In addition to the tickets, you also get a free t-shirt (yay), access to the VIP entrance on sheffield (works well for bleachers and promotions), and an on-field event. All in all, I'd say it was worth it.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    yeah, i like the team.

    my main complaint isn't that they won't be competitive, rather that they could be even more competitive given their resources.  there's still time to add on, and they have 10s of millions to do it without going past their self-imposed limitations.  whether these limitations should exist or be way more flexible is up for debate, but we have what the owners give the front office to work with.

    some of the sites doing wins predictions have CHC at or just below STL for taking the NL Central.

    it's also nice knowing if some of the kids expected to break with the team don't work out, there's a good amount of kids near-MLB ready to hedge some of the failures...a few non-roster vets, too (peralta/d.smith/cj edwards).  no guarantees, but it's nice to have around.

    i feel good about 2024 even without additions, but i'm still expecting an addition until the "Boras 4" are off the market.

    if the cubs we see today are the cubs we get going into opening day, i will be disappointed, but i still think they got a shot at the playoffs.

  • Charlie (view)

    My takeaway from the first Spring Training game of the year: It's really refreshing to have a slew of exciting young players in a season that should not be a total punt at the MLB level. It's been a while. 

  • crunch (view)

    cease has a 8m deal and 2 years of club control.  he wouldn't be cheap.

    dunno if the rumored talent given up is worth it, but if the wsox want a return on cease there's no time like now considering the very low 2024 price tag.

    the cheap price incentive for a full year vs. mid-season addition seems like a wash in potential return.

    wicks could immediately slot in as a starter on most teams.  also, the cubs already have a couple of solid lefty starters slotted in for at least the next 4 years.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Mully and Haugh Chicago Radio says that folks within Cubs front office now believe a Belli ddeal will get done. Also, White Sox wanted to see Wicks, Mervis and Vazquez today for a possible Cease deal. 

    That can't be real. But, the Sox have been overpricing Cease.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Most of you have probably seen the game, but for anyone who might have missed it here are the Cubs pitcher reports from Friday's Cubs - White Sox game at Sloan Park... 

    FB: 91-93 
    CT: 88-90 
    SL: 80-81 
    CH: 78-83 
    COMMENT: Threw 1.2 IP (40 pitches - 23 strikes - six swing & miss) and mixed-up his pitches well... FB velo went down a tick in his second inning of work... looked a bit fatigued in second inning... allowed two hits and no walks and struck out one... gave up an oppo-field line drive solo HR to a AA RH hitter on a 92 MPH FB... should have easily finished off second inning but made careless error on weak tap in front of mound on his 24th pitch of the inning with catcher running and then made another error trying to grip the ball to make a throw to 1st (only one error was charged of course)... he just looked gassed as he walked off the field...  

    FB: 95-98 
    CH: 87-88 
    SL: 81 
    COMMENT: Faced one batter (strikeout looking) to finish second inning... 8 pitches (5 strikes - no swing & miss)... showed high velo FB but couldn't command secondaries... has had shoulder issues off & on in minors... throws with infielder-type short-arm motion "out of his ear" (he was a two-way player -- 3B/RHP -- in college)...
    FB: 96-99
    CH: 84-86
    SL: 81-82 
    COMMENT: Threw two very efficient innings... dominant outing... needed only 24 pitches (16 strikes - six swing & miss)... 6 up / 6 down (K-swing on 98 FB, 4-3 GO on 98 FB, 5-3 GO on SL, 6-3 GO on 97 FB,  K-swing on 99 FB, and F-8 on SL)... held high FB velo in both innings (he was consistently sitting on 98 in both innings and he hit 99 once in each inning) and looked like he could have gone longer...  

    FB: 89-92
    SL: 81-84 
    COMMENT: Your run of the mill generic FB/SL lefty reliever... had an easy 13-pitch (8 strikes) 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts (both swinging) on low 90's FB and a weak pop fly to CF...  

    FB: 92-94 
    SL: 81-83 
    COMMENT: Threw a scoreless inning (20 pitches - 15 strikes - four swing & miss, two on FB and two on SL)... although he did strike out two -- both swinging -- and threw 75% strikes, he had some difficulty putting hitters away (eight foul balls among his 20 pitches)... allowed an infield single that probably would have been a 6-3 GO if an MLB player was playing SS (Jefferson Rojas did not play the ball aggressively and he was a half-step too late with his "casual" throw to 1st base)... 

    FB: 84-85 
    CH: 82 
    CV: 70-73 
    COMMENT: Soft-tossing lefty who throws a LOT of mid-80's cutters and a very slow CV... 13-pitch (10 strike) 1-2-3 inning with one K (looking) on a cutter... got three swing & miss, all on cutters...  

    FB: 92-95 
    SL: 85 
    CV: 78-79 
    COMMENT: Threw an 11-pitch (8 strikes - two swing & miss) 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts (both looking)... broke three bats and induced some weak contact foul balls and a pathetic "mushy" pop fly(?) infield out that wasn't exactly a line drive and wasn't exactly a pop up either...    

    FB: 94-95 
    CT: 90-92 
    SL: 82-85 
    COMMENT: Threw a 21-pitch scoreless inning to finish off the game... surrendered a walk and a single but also induced a game-ending 6-4-3 DP... one strikeout (swinging) and that was his only swing & miss... he looked a bit uncomfortable on the mound (he seemed kind of hyper while warming up in the pen, too) and had major command issues with FB (threw only 8 strikes out of his 17 FB and went to ball three count on three of the four hitters he faced)... he would appear to be nowhere near ready for MLB and maybe not ready for AAA (yet) either...  

  • crunch (view)

    "is there anything new on cody bellinger since we started the interview?" - boog

    "sorry, i think we're going into a (commercial) break." - carter hawkins

    ...and laughs

  • crunch (view)

    only 2 "pitchcom broke, yo" delays in the game so far...

  • crunch (view)

    kilian out here throwing 98mph in february.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    While we're all speaking about Morel's 3B defense being good enough, his swing has gotten better.

    You could see it a little last fall. He didn't drop his hands behind his body as much (barred arm). But in videos from his Winter ball and this Feb in AZ you can tell he's keeping his hands tighter to his body. He's just stronger and able to have a tighter swing now. He'll be even quicker to the ball this way.

    Fun times.  

  • Cubster (view)

    Cubs vs Sox.

    Dodgers hold my beer. 6 run first including Morel 2 run HR.