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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cubs sign Paul Maholm, reports Paul Maholm

It’s otherwise unconfirmed, but it seems like you should only need the one source when it’s actually the guy himself.

Just wanna say thank u to everyone that has cheered for me during my career as a Pirate. I loved my last six plus years in the city.

I hope to get to continue some things when I visit during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 08:44 AM | 150 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, pirates

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   1. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4032983)
Paul Maholm added "I like this signing for the Cubs. Paul Maholm is just entering the prime of his career and should break-out in Chicago. Good move adding Paul Maholm."
   2. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4032992)
I thought the Cubs were out of room on the 40, so what's the corresponding move to make room? The long impending Garza trade (this time with Detroit)?
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4033000)
Well, looking at the Cubs 40-man, there's several guys I've never heard of. I can't imagine Jeff Bianchi wouldn't slip through waivers. If they can't complete a Garza trade or Soriano dump in time, I think this is a manageable situation.

Via MLBTR, there's a tweet from Bruce Levine that the deal is 1/4.25, with a club option of 6.5M for 2013 and a .5M buyout. So it's about 1/5 with an option. That's a very fair deal.

EDIT: Looking it up, the Garza trade probably wouldn't clear any space anyway - Jacob Turner is already on the Tigers 40-man. So is Casey Crosby. If the Cubs get the kind of return on Garza I'm assuming they require, it will likely create a larger 40-man crunch rather than relieving any pressure.
   4. zonk Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4033002)
I thought the Cubs were out of room on the 40, so what's the corresponding move to make room? The long impending Garza trade (this time with Detroit)?


MLB.com shows 40 - not counting Maholm.... I had forgotten that the Cubs took a flier on Casey Weathers.

Still, I don't see a big problem - there are about 5 players on that roster making the minimum I have no use for (and a couple more making well over the minimum).

Perhaps the Cubs signed Maholm to use as an example for Chris Volstad "See? THIS is what a poor man's Rick Reuschel pitches like."

   5. zonk Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4033009)

EDIT: Looking it up, the Garza trade probably wouldn't clear any space anyway - Jacob Turner is already on the Tigers 40-man. So is Casey Crosby. If the Cubs get the kind of return on Garza I'm assuming they require, it will likely create a larger 40-man crunch rather than relieving any pressure.


Turner has a major league deal, I believe.

Presumably, an outbound Garza could also get bundled with some spare parts.

I'd have zero fears losing either Gaub or Maine -- though, with Marshall gone and Russell presumably the primary LOOGY, you figure one of them has to stick this spring.

Marcus Mateo would be no great loss. Nice story though he is, Tony Campana's main claim to fame is that he's only slightly taller than Doug Dascenzo.
   6. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4033014)
I just thought the way it was first announced was odd... as if the Cubs were waiting for some other event in order to make it official.
   7. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4033022)
Paul Kilgus says he can still get hitters out, reports Paul Kilgus.
   8. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4033040)
I made a Glendon Rusch comment on Al Yellon's Facebook page that did not go over well.

Nothing wrong with loading the back-end of your rotation with cheap lefties who will show up to pitch every five days. Maholm will likely be tradeable. It seems that Epstein/Hoyer are going to emphasize defense, which will help make pitchers like Maholm better.

So, as part of a plan to field a team that might contend if everything falls into place, and at the same time completely overhaul the roster, I like this.
   9. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4033045)
<i>I just thought the way it was first announced was odd... as if the Cubs were waiting for some other event in order to make it official.</I.

Makes sense to me. We'll see.
   10. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4033052)
I can't see how this team might contend unless every piece that has to fall in place includes two are three other Central teams dying in plane crashes, a few Cub scrubs turning into Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds, and the league letting the Cub pitchers throw from 45 feet away.


So far Theo has snagged maybe two players that might be good in the future and a whole bunch of meh that is likely to be meh in the foreseeable future. Just odd that he would blow 5 million dollars on one year of Maholm and have that one year be the year the Cubs lose 90 to 100 games. What's the point? Trading him away at the deadline? So you give the guy 3 million or so so you can get a guy that would cost you less than 3 million in the draft?
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4033053)
It seems that Epstein/Hoyer are going to emphasize defense, which will help make pitchers like Maholm better.


FWIW, Maholm has gotten absolutely murdered by his defense during most of his time in Pittsburgh.

This is a very good value for the Cubs.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4033054)
Just odd that he would blow 5 million dollars on one year of Maholm and have that one year be the year the Cubs lose 90 to 100 games.
If you want to place the over/under for Cubs wins at 67, I'd be very happy to take that bet.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4033056)
Just odd that he would blow 5 million dollars on one year of Maholm and have that one year be the year the Cubs lose 90 to 100 games. What's the point?


He could always pick up the option in 2013.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4033058)
And if Maholm has a big season, holding an option on a guy is good leverage to try to get a long-term deal signed. In all likelihood, though, this is just a move to keep the Cubs in the range of .500 this year, maintain attendance and respectability while building for the future.
   15. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4033061)
He could always pick up the option in 2013.

So he can give Maholm 6 million dollars to play on a 75 win team?
   16. Dale Sams Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4033063)
I thought the Cubs were out of room on the 40, so what's the corresponding move to make room? The long impending Garza trade (this time with Detroit)?


"Let's go to Paul Maholm for the answer! Paul?"

I hope to get to continue some things when I visit during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career.


...that sounds kinda 'Dexterish'.

   17. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4033067)
If you want to place the over/under for Cubs wins at 67, I'd be very happy to take that bet.

I don't see the point of winning or losing that bet. If they suck and lose 90 games I still lose and have to sit through a season of them sucking. If they suck and lose 96 games I win virtually nothing and still have to watch them play a shvtty season.

And if Maholm has a big season, holding an option on a guy is good leverage to try to get a long-term deal signed. In all likelihood, though, this is just a move to keep the Cubs in the range of .500 this year, maintain attendance and respectability while building for the future.

The guy has put up two decent seasons out of six. I think that is leverage enough and I am not sure why you would want to sign Paul Maholm to a long term deal simply because he put up a big season for you.
   18. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4033068)
I can't see how this team might contend unless every piece that has to fall in place...

Yes, McCoy. We know you think that.
   19. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4033069)
If you want to place the over/under for Cubs wins at 67, I'd be very happy to take that bet.


I'd take the over on 71. Garza + 4 replacement starters is essentially what they had last year.
   20. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4033075)

Yes, McCoy. We know you think that.


So what are these pieces that have to fall in place?

Soto putting up a 130 OPS+ and catching 130 games?
Castro putting up a 130 OPS+ and being a good fielder?
First base putting up a 140 OPS+?
DeJesus bouncing back and putting up a 125 OPS+?
Soriano putting up a 120 OPS+?
Stewart putting up a 120 OPS+?
Garza putting up a 130 ERA+?
The rest of the starting rotation putting up a 110 ERA+ with a good bullpen?

How many pieces have to fall in place and how gigantic do those pieces need to be to "contend"?
   21. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4033077)
I'd take the over on 71. Garza + 4 replacement starters is essentially what they had last year.

But they also had Sean Marshall, Carlos Pena, and Aramis Ramirez.
   22. SouthSideRyan Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4033081)
Well, if all those pieces fall into place (your words) as listed in #20, that team will win about 110 games.
   23. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4033082)
I'm not really interested in arguing in January about whether or not a mediocre team in the middle of a complete roster overhaul has a significantly non-zero chance of contending. Maybe what I should do is take the obvious stance and express my 100% conviction for it, and then pull a "See! I told you so!" in August.
   24. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4033086)
edit.

So they sign Maholm because if "everything falls into place" they'll need him but the chances of that happening are only slightly better than zero?
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4033092)
I thought the Cubs were out of room on the 40, so what's the corresponding move to make room? The long impending Garza trade (this time with Detroit)?


The Cubs have to send Alfonso Soriano to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo.
   26. zonk Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4033097)
Whatever... I'm really enjoying watching Thed construct this roster.

In Rizzo, they finally acquired another potentially plus to plus-plus bat prospect to pair with... that guy.

Now, they're putting together a bunch of fungible, cheap, replaceable, TRADEABLE, objects.

I like this.

They still have two relatively sizeable chits to work with (depending on whether you want to keep Soto or call him a chit).
   27. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4033100)
Well, if all those pieces fall into place (your words) as listed in #20, that team will win about 110 games.

In a weak division, I can see 110 wins being enough to stay at the fringes of contention.
   28. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4033101)
They just spent 5 million dollars on a TRADEABLE object. Prospects that are likely to be gotten by trading Maholm away don't cost anything close to that amount.
   29. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4033103)
So they sign Maholm because if "everything falls into place" they'll need him but the chances of that happening are only slightly better than zero?

How about if we all agree that based on the roster that currently exists, the 2012 Cubs don't look to be a very good team.
   30. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4033113)
How about if we all agree that based on the roster that currently exists, the 2012 Cubs don't look to be a very good team.

I think we all agree on that. My point was that since that was true there is no point to the Maholm signing. You liked the signing because it overhauls the roster and they might contend. Yes this overhauls the roster in that a new face is now here but it doesn't end the overhaul for his roster spot. They didn't just sign some guy that is going to hold down some starter spot for them for the next 5 or so years. They got a guy that will hold a spot down for one or maybe two years while the Cubs are rebuilding. The signing does virtually nothing towards bulding the next good Cubs team. Which if you don't have a good team now then I don't see the point in the signing. Nobody is going to be buying tickets to Cubs games in 2012 because Paul Maholm is on the team.
   31. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4033115)
They just spent 5 million dollars on a TRADEABLE object. Prospects that are likely to be gotten by trading Maholm away don't cost anything close to that amount.

Who cares? Are they really going to miss that $5 million?

You have a weird habit of waving away very large payroll expenditures like they're nothing, and then getting the vapors over utterly inconsequential numbers like this.
   32. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4033131)
My point was that since that was true there is no point to the Maholm signing.


1/5 with a 1/6 team option for a league average pitcher seems like a pretty good idea to me. Worst case scenario is that they are out 5 million.
   33. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4033134)
Yeah, wanting elite players is such a weird habit of mine. You spend money and roster spots on players that can help you. You don't throw both away on players that cannot. Or are you a person that wouldn't mind signing Neifi Perez to a one year 5 million dollar contract right now?


Throwing 5 million dollars away on a player that might be a tradeable object is a wasste of resources. They could throw 5 million dollars around right now and get those prospects from other teams so why waste it on a player that might be good enough to maybe do that for us someday down the road?
   34. AROM Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4033136)
If you think the team as posted in #20 would win 110 games, then I don't think you realize how hard it is to win 110 games. Let's compare these to Theo's first team:

Soto putting up a 130 OPS+ and catching 130 games?
Varitek, 120 in 142 games

Castro putting up a 130 OPS+ and being a good fielder?
Nomar, 121

First base putting up a 140 OPS+?
1B not quite that good, but DH Ortiz at 144
DeJesus bouncing back and putting up a 125 OPS+?
Trot Nixon, 149
Soriano putting up a 120 OPS+?
Manny being Manny, roiding to the tune of 160
Stewart putting up a 120 OPS+?
Mueller, 140
Garza putting up a 130 ERA+?
Pedro, 186 innings of a 211 ERA+

The rest of the starting rotation putting up a 110 ERA+ with a good bullpen?


OK, rest of the 2003 Red Sox pitchers weren't this good, as the team ERA+ was 104. But still, the actual 2003 Red Sox have enough advantages elsewhere that they look better than the best case scenario Cubs. And that Red Sox team did not win 110, they won 95.
   35. zonk Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4033137)
I think we all agree on that. My point was that since that was true there is no point to the Maholm signing.


Someone's gotta toss 180 back-end of the rotation innings and there's not a whole lot in the system to do that.

Maholm is the very definition of the type of pitcher a fringe contender not named the Yankees picks up in July. Marcus Mateo isn't.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4033140)
The guy has put up two decent seasons out of six.


Maholm's xFIPs, last 5 years (most recent first): 4.03, 4.41, 4.18, 3.94, 4.21

He's a decent pitcher who's gotten killed by his defense (and bullpen).
   37. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4033141)

1/5 with a 1/6 team option for a league average pitcher seems like a pretty good idea to me. Worst case scenario is that they are out 5 million.


Possibly league average pitcher duing a timeframe in which the Cubs look to be solidly below average. Either they build for a better Cubs team down the road or they build a team to be better now. Theo looks to have made up his mind that he wants to buld for the future. This signing doesn't help that in anyway and pulls resources away from making that happen. Both in terms of money and roster spot.
   38. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4033151)

Someone's gotta toss 180 back-end of the rotation innings and there's not a whole lot in the system to do that.

Maholm is the very definition of the type of pitcher a fringe contender not named the Yankees picks up in July. Marcus Mateo isn't.


So you sign some guy to a league minimum to do it. Again some contending team in July picks up Maholm and the Cubs have spent 3 million or so dollars for the ability to trade away Maholm in July. That is a cost that has to be considered when viewing what they get back. 9 times out of 10 what they will get back could have been had for significantly less than 3 million dollars.

Maholm's xFIPs, last 5 years (most recent first): 4.03, 4.41, 4.18, 3.94, 4.21

He's a decent pitcher who's gotten killed by his defense (and bullpen).


And the best offer he got was for 1+1 contract worth a guaranteed 5 million dollars and worth up to 11 million dollars if the option is picked up.
   39. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4033162)
Or are you a person that wouldn't mind signing Neifi Perez to a one year 5 million dollar contract right now?

A few things about this rather facile comparison, in order of importance:

1) Perez just isn't as good as Maholm, and it's not close.

2) The Cubs already have the players in the organization to make Perez utterly redundant, even at Perez's best. I'm not sure the same can be said of Maholm.

3) Whatever Maholm's trade value is down the road, it's almost certainly higher than Perez.

So to answer your question: no.
   40. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4033164)
But it is only 5 million dollars. What is the big deal?
   41. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4033173)
I dont understand your contention that this money could be otherwise applied to buy prospects.
   42. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4033177)
But it is only 5 million dollars. What is the big deal?

Egads, Tim Russert lives!
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4033180)
I dont understand your contention that this money could be otherwise applied to buy prospects.

This is my question. If Maholm is traded, and nets you a B- to B prospect in the high minors, I don't see any other way to use that $3M to get that incremental prospect.

This money isn't coming out of the draft budget, and teams don't just sell prospects. On the Int'l FA front, you're signing 16 y.o.'s, so even an extra $3M there (hard to spend that much) would take 5 years to net a high-minors prospect.
   44. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4033181)
OMFG. That's all.
   45. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4033183)
I dont understand your contention that this money could be otherwise applied to buy prospects.

This money isn't coming out of the draft budget, and teams don't just sell prospects.

Offer some team a minor leauge scrub and three million dollars and they'll trade you a player.

Furthermore would the Cubs even spend 3 million dollars in a draft or some such thing to get the player they'll be able to get by trading Maholm?
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4033187)
Offer some team a minor leauge scrub and three million dollars and they'll trade you a player.

That literally never happens. I think the commissioner's office still has to approve any trade where cash changes hands, and they wouldn't approve prospect sales.

Furthermore would the Cubs even spend 3 million dollars in a draft or some such thing to get the player they'll be able to get by trading Maholm?

Depends. Typically you're drafting guys 3-5 years from the bigs. Often you spend millions on guys you hope are B prospects in AA in three years. By trading for them, you short circuit the development time, and reduce uncertainty.

In any case, under the new system, it's going to be very hard to spend incremental money in the draft. As long as you're spending 110% of your slot, it doesn't make any sense to invest more and lose high picks.

If Theo is trying to do a quick rebuild, it makes a lot of sense to try and trade for more developed prospects.
   47. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4033189)
Have you ever seen one of those trades?

Trades moving more than $1,000,000 require (at least before the new CBA) commissioner's approval.
   48. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4033191)
I can just see McCoy back in 1990, as an Astros fan, totally disgusted by the Bagwell deal because the Astros should have never been paying Larry Andersen a million dollars in the first place. They could have just bought Bagwell for that money!
   49. AROM Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4033206)
"Trades moving more than $1,000,000 require (at least before the new CBA) commissioner's approval."

It's a formality these days. Cubs are paying 15 million of Zambrano's salary. There was never any question of the deal not being allowed.
   50. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4033208)
Yeah but paying salary of the traded player is different from outright buying them. At any rate, whether by custom or fiat, these trades never happen so there's no point using them as hypothetical alternatives.
   51. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4033209)
That literally never happens. I think the commissioner's office still has to approve any trade where cash changes hands, and they wouldn't approve prospect sales.

The Cubs just sent along 15 million dollars or so to the Marlins and cash sales for players in the minors happen all the time.


I can just see McCoy back in 1990, as an Astros fan, totally disgusted by the Bagwell deal because the Astros should have never been paying Larry Andersen a million dollars in the first place. They could have just bought Bagwell for that money!

It ain't 1990. The idea that Maholm can be traded for anything that will ever be usable in the majors is extremely remote. You don't sign a guy to a multimillion dollar contract on the off chance that you can trade him several months later for maybe a B level prospect.
   52. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4033210)
I just googled baseball trade cash and besides getting hits for Dave Cash the very first hit was the Treanor trade for cash. Mike Cameron was traded for a PTBNL or cash. Indians traded Valbuena for cash. Like I said before these types of trades happen all the time.
   53. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4033214)
Yes, veterans and role players who might otherwise be waived are often traded for cash. Good prospects, not so often.
   54. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4033217)
Good prospects, not so often.

And Maholm isn't going to net the Cubs a good prospect.
   55. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4033218)
Usually that amount of cash in a "cash for player" swap is pretty trivial (in relative terms). IIRC, I believe its like $50-65,000. I know the Royals acquired Jason LaRue from the Reds for literally $1.
   56. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4033225)
Well, 3 million dollars allows for a lot of trivial sum deals now doesn't it?
   57. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4033227)
Well, 3 million dollars allows for a lot of trivial deals now doesn't it?


The fact remains, your original notion of a team trading a scrub and $3,000,000 for a top prospect is something that in fact never happens.

Now I'm curious. Is it against the rules or something? Teams spend that much on draft picks every year. Why should Budzilla veto such a move, in a world (perhaps a world now passed) where teams can spend whatever they want on draft picks?
   58. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4033228)
And the best offer he got was for 1+1 contract worth a guaranteed 5 million dollars and worth up to 11 million dollars if the option is picked up.


Yeah, you got a bargain. So why are you complaining about it?
   59. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4033238)
The fact remains, your original notion of a team trading a scrub and $3,000,000 for a top prospect is something that in fact never happens.

No, my original point and still my point was that instead of spending 3 million dollars or more on a guy that might be tradeable in July they could use that money to simply go out and get those guys now. My example was just that an example.


Why should Budzilla veto such a move

I don't think it is because of Bud. I think it is because if a minor league player is worth buying for 3 million dollars then a team isn't likely to give him up for 3 million dollars and the other team would likely not want to buy a minor league player for 3 million or more when they can simply spend that money on a major leaguer or a draft pick.

Would a team have spent 3 million on Strasburg back in 2010? Yep but would the Nationals have sold him at that price? Nope. They probably would have sold him if they were offered something like 50 million but if a team is going to spend 50 million they might as well sign a major leaguer like say CJ Wilson (and yes I know he wasn't a FA back then). Prospects that are actually worth spending 3 million or more on have a potential value of way more than 3 million dollars.



Yeah, you got a bargain. So why are you complaining about it?


I'm not complaining I'm saying it is a pointless move that doesn't help the Cubs build a better team. If the Cubs had signed Albert Pujols to a one year no trade league minimum deal it would be a great bargain and yet still pointless if the Cubs had done everything else they did this offseason.
   60. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4033241)
AROM

The difference is between the AL East and the NL Central.

The Brewers piled up 96 wins with a left side of the infield that s*cked rotten duck eggs.

When you get 30 odd games against the Pirates and Astros you can get to 90 wins pretty quickly if the team is worth a tinker's d*mn.

   61. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4033242)
I'm not complaining I'm saying it is a pointless move that doesn't help the Cubs build a better team.


Isn't Maholm better than Volstad? And if so, how does adding him not make the Cubs a better team?
   62. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4033248)
Isn't Maholm better than Volstad? And if so, how does adding him not make the Cubs a better team?

So they win 73 games next year instead of 70? And then what? Maholm is under contract during a period of time in which the Cubs don't look to even come close to cracking .500. The Cubs have long term problems and Maholm is a short term solution.
   63. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4033250)
One of the most important "sabre" ideas is the success cycle and knowing about it and where your team is, happens to be very important.

One of the most annoying "features" of the above is the silly idea that somehow any move which is not strictly "to win a championship" this year or as part of a plan to "burn it down and totally rebuild" is dismissed out of hand as a waste.

You know winning actual games next year is important also. You don't actually want to compeltely crater as a team. It kind of sucks and can be bad for the employees of the franchise. Sometimes you spend some money and get some baseball certainty.

It PM great? No. Will he be part of the next Cubs championship team? (Giggle) No. Is he a better option than some random AAA guy making the minimum? Yes. And knowing baseball and the Cubs there will be plenty of innnings for the minimum scrub guy also. $5 million is not that much and the certainty of the back end innings eater andf the extra wins that offers is worth the money for next year.

He isn't blocking anyone. He isn't crippling the club financially. he is just going to pitch and win some games. Sometimes it is just that simple.
   64. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4033252)
2003 Red Sox had the Orioles and Rays plus got to play 9 games against the 119 loss Tigers. That isn't to say that the NL Central of 2012 is exactly equal to the AL East of 2003 but the 2003 AL East was a lot different than the 2012 AL East looks to be.
   65. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4033253)
You don't actually want to compeltely crater as a team. It kind of sucks and can be bad for the employees of the franchise. Sometimes you spend some money and get some baseball certainty.

Maholm isn't a guarantee nor is he even close enough to being good enough that he could stop the Cubs from cratering especially so if the Cubs do end up trading Garza.

He isn't blocking anyone. He isn't crippling the club financially. he is just going to pitch and win some games. Sometimes it is just that simple.

Sometimes it is that simple and sometimes it is as simple as getting players that will be good enough to build a good team. Maholm doesn't help the Cubs achieve that goal. So at best it is a who cares transaction and at worst it is a hinderance.
   66. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4033263)
Maholm isn't a guarantee nor is he even close enough to being good enough that he could stop the Cubs from cratering especially so if the Cubs do end up trading Garza.


Except you also said

So you sign some guy to a league minimum to do it.


and

So they win 73 games next year instead of 70? And then what?


Winning the extra games above and beyond what random guy making the minimum - going from 70 to 73 in your hypothetical - is worthwhile. Earthshattering? No, but worth it.
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4033264)
No, my original point and still my point was that instead of spending 3 million dollars or more on a guy that might be tradeable in July they could use that money to simply go out and get those guys now.


And everyone else's point is that no, they cannot use that money and simply go out and get that guy right now - there is no mechanism for it.
   68. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4033266)
What is it worth? There is no fan on this planet that is going to sit there and say at least we won 73 games instead of 70. Maholm on this team isn't going to generate more ticket sales or revenue for the team so what do they gain? How is it worth it? Fans are not happier, more money isn't coming in and they haven't positioned themselves to be better in the future. Where is the worth?
   69. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4033272)
And everyone else's point is that no, they cannot use that money and simply go out and get that guy right now - there is no mechanism for it.

And yet there is. Is there a mechanism in place to buy a blue chipper? No. Will Maholm bring in a blue chipper? No. So arguing about whether or not the Cubs can simply buy a blue chipper is pointless. The Cubs through smart drafting, scouting, trading, and signing can get guys right now that will be as good as the guys Maholm might bring back in July and they don't need to spend a roster spot and 3 million extra dollars to do it.
   70. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4033273)
The difference is between the AL East and the NL Central.

To add to this:

The 2003 Red Sox also look like they were pretty brutal defensively. Their offense looks pretty consistent to me with a 110 win team (they did score 961 runs, after all), but aside from Pedro their run prevention was awfully mediocre.

110 wins for the aforementioned Fantasy Cubs might be a little bit of a stretch, but it would make them the prohibitive favorites to win the division and put 100-105 wins within credible reach.
   71. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4033278)
So they win 73 games next year instead of 70?


Well, yeah. As a Cubs fan, aren't you in favor of them winning more games? I know that if I were going to pay to go see a game, I'd rather see a win than a loss.

Every extra win you add is like an extra 30k happy customers. Plus all the people who watched on TV or listened on the radio.
   72. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4033279)
Maholm isn't a guarantee nor is he even close enough to being good enough that he could stop the Cubs from cratering especially so if the Cubs do end up trading Garza.


He's about a 2 1/2 WAR player, based on his last three seasons. That's a worthwhile addition.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4033280)
And yet there is. Is there a mechanism in place to buy a blue chipper? No. Will Maholm bring in a blue chipper? No. So arguing about whether or not the Cubs can simply buy a blue chipper is pointless.


No one said blue chipper until you did....

So imagine a prospect that Maholm can get in midseason via trade if he pitches well, i.e. an actual player who is now on some team's minor league roster. The Cubs have no simple mechanism for simply buying that same guy right now for $3 million.
   74. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4033285)
The Cubs through smart drafting, scouting, trading, and signing can get guys right now that will be as good as the guys Maholm might bring back in July and they don't need to spend a roster spot and 3 million extra dollars to do it.

But you're contradicting yourself. You've already acknowledged that using the roster spot is justifiable - in #38 you said that they should sign someone for league minimum to do what Maholm's doing. Players who make the league minimum also take up a roster spot, as I'm sure you know.

But then when I called you on the money angle, you got all pissy about that too. But you haven't come close to making case for why they'll miss this relatively paltry $5 million. So I don't really know what you're trying to say - even by your logic, it seems that at worst the Cubs are mildly overpaying for depth. Which is hardly the gravest sin in the world, but you're hyperventilating about it all the same.
   75. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4033287)
What is it worth? There is no fan on this planet that is going to sit there and say at least we won 73 games instead of 70. Maholm on this team isn't going to generate more ticket sales or revenue for the team so what do they gain? How is it worth it? Fans are not happier, more money isn't coming in and they haven't positioned themselves to be better in the future. Where is the worth?


Not to be flip, but 3 more wins. Three times during the season where the fans get to see a victory. I have seen people quote a $/win for clubs and I have no reason to believe it suddenly stops when you get down to about 75 wins.

Winning is better than losing. Full stop. If it doesn't hurt future winning then it is OK. No one is saying this is important or cool, I think folks (at least me) are puzzled by your seeming strong dislike for this filler move.
   76. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4033290)
He's about a 2 1/2 WAR player, based on his last three seasons. That's a worthwhile addition.

So the Cubs should have resigned Aramis Ramirez?


No one said blue chipper until you did....

So imagine a prospect that Maholm can get in midseason via trade if he pitches well, i.e. an actual player who is now on some team's minor league roster. The Cubs have no simple mechanism for simply buying that same guy right now for $3 million.


If he pitches well he still isn't bring back anything that the Cubs can't go out and get. He isn't going to turn into Pedro Martinez circa 2000 or anything close to that. Pitching well for Maholm is going to be Marquis level of eating innings and pitching averagish. That isn't going to bring back a huge haul. Almost nobody in the majors wanted Paul Mahol this year and the best offer he got was a one year guaranteed for 5 million plus an option for a second year. He isn't highly prized and 3 decent months isn't going to suddenly change people's opinions of him. Teams are just much more reluctant to trade decent prospects for guys like Maholm. This isn't 1998 anymore and the Theo can't trade with the 1998 Cubs for players.
   77. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4033292)
Hey, just because a team doesn't look competitive doesn't mean they won't be. Sure, maybe the projection is that this improves the team from 70 wins to 73 wins. But who knows, it could be the difference between 85 and 88 wins. Unlikely perhaps, but if there is no long term damage, why not add pieces to help the team this year to give yourself the best chance if things break your way. Remember it wasn't too long ago that the Giants added Aubrey Huff before the season to what looked like a team that wouldn't do anything, but they won the world series. Or the Marlins adding Pudge before the 2003 season.
   78. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4033296)
But you're contradicting yourself. You've already acknowledged that using the roster spot is justifiable - in #38 you said that they should sign someone for league minimum to do what Maholm's doing. Players who make the league minimum also take up a roster spot, as I'm sure you know.

But then when I called you on the money angle, you got all pissy about that too. But you haven't come close to making case for why they'll miss this relatively paltry $5 million. So I don't really know what you're trying to say - even by your logic, it seems that at worst the Cubs are mildly overpaying for depth. Which is hardly the gravest sin in the world, but you're hyperventilating about it all the same.


It is amazing how whenever we disagree I'm the one who gets all extreme. Are you projecting your own emotions on to me? Hyperventilating?

Using a roster spot on a league minimum player instead of giving it to someone who will be paid 5 million isn't contradicting one self.

As for the 5 million dollars do the Cubs have a budget or not? Does spending 5 million dollars instead of spending 400k push them closer to the limit or not? Does it close off more options than spending 400k or not?
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4033300)
If he pitches well he still isn't bring back anything that the Cubs can't go out and get.


I still don't understand how they can buy $3m worth of prospects from some team right now?
   80. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4033302)
Not to be flip, but 3 more wins. Three times during the season where the fans get to see a victory. I have seen people quote a $/win for clubs and I have no reason to believe it suddenly stops when you get down to about 75 wins.

Winning is better than losing. Full stop. If it doesn't hurt future winning then it is OK. No one is saying this is important or cool, I think folks (at least me) are puzzled by your seeming strong dislike for this filler move.

I see no point in this move. It doesn't help the Cubs win more games when it actually matters. It is not a matter of dislike or like as I said before I see no point in it. 3 more wins when you are hovering around 90 wins means nothing. They have no value. The ton of losses heavily outweigh anything anyone gains by picking up 3 extra wins in a bad season. Ticket sales will not increase because they have Maholm on the team. Revenue will not increase because they have Maholm on the team.
   81. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4033304)
I still don't understand how they can buy $3m worth of prospects from some team right now?


I'll give you 100k plus this minor league OF'er for player A. You don't understand that?
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4033309)
The Cubs through smart drafting, scouting, trading, and signing can get guys right now that will be as good as the guys Maholm might bring back in July and they don't need to spend a roster spot and 3 million extra dollars to do it.

Then they can have those guys, and the guy they (hypothetically) get for Maholm.
   83. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4033313)
So the Cubs should have resigned Aramis Ramirez?


Ramirez would have required a multi-year deal, tying their hands down the road. Signing Maholm to a one-year deal allows them to improve the 2012 club (and the 2011 Cubs are a great example of how not having enough pitching, even mediocre pitching, can lead to Rodrigo Lopez) without tying their hands. I don't see the connection.
   84. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4033315)
Hey, just because a team doesn't look competitive doesn't mean they won't be. Sure, maybe the projection is that this improves the team from 70 wins to 73 wins. But who knows, it could be the difference between 85 and 88 wins. Unlikely perhaps, but if there is no long term damage, why not add pieces to help the team this year to give yourself the best chance if things break your way. Remember it wasn't too long ago that the Giants added Aubrey Huff before the season to what looked like a team that wouldn't do anything, but they won the world series. Or the Marlins adding Pudge before the 2003 season.

2009 Giants won 88 games. The 2010 Giants had Lincecum, Cain, Zito (I'm saying they expected him to be a stud), Sanchez, Bumgarner, Posey coming up, and a bunch of other things that pointed to the Giants not losing 90 to 100 games in 2010. If the Cubs looked to be a team that would win over .500 this season I would say this was a very good signing. Since they have about a million to one chance of having a winning record this season I say it is a pointless signing. The same holds true for the 2003 Marlins which had a ton of talent on it.
   85. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4033317)
Ramirez would have required a multi-year deal, tying their hands down the road. Signing Maholm to a one-year deal allows them to improve the 2012 club (and the 2011 Cubs are a great example of how not having enough pitching, even mediocre pitching, can lead to Rodrigo Lopez) without tying their hands. I don't see the connection.

But it's only money right? IS Aramis likely to earn his salary next year? Yes and if he doesn't so what? Is he likely to earn his salary in 2013? Probably and if he doesn't so what? Will he earn his salary in 2014? Maybe not but again so what? If 5 million doesn't hurt the Cubs how does coming out 5 to 10 million in the negative maybe 3 years down the line hurt the Cubs?

Then they can have those guys, and the guy they (hypothetically) get for Maholm.

And just think of what they could get by signing some major league minimum guy to do what Maholm is slotted for.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4033318)
I'll give you 100k plus this minor league OF'er for player A. You don't understand that?

That's not going to get you a player who's any better than the guy you're trading. Given the error range around prospect evaluation. The C+ prospect ranked 281st just isn't much more likely (if at all) to help you than the C+ prospect ranked 293rd.

If you made 30 trades (impossible) involving $100K each, the likelihood is you'd have 30 players no better than the 30 you started with.
   87. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4033319)
And just think of what they could get by signing some major league minimum guy to do what Maholm is slotted for.

Nothing. The waiver wire guy is highly likely to give you 100 IP of a 6.00 ERA, and be waived by June.
   88. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4033327)
Using a roster spot on a league minimum player instead of giving it to someone who will be paid 5 million isn't contradicting one self.

Well yes, it kind of is. It doesn't make much sense to complain about the roster spot being taken by filler if you're just going to turn around and give it to cheaper filler. If Maholm was legitimately blocking someone better, that's different, but you've given no indication that you think this is the case.

Perhaps you're implicitly arguing that Epstein will oversee such an influx of talent this season that Maholm will end up blocking someone, but that seems contradictory as well given your outlook for 2013.
   89. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4033328)
Nothing. The waiver wire guy is highly likely to give you 100 IP of a 6.00 ERA, and be waived by June.

That's not going to get you a player who's any better than the guy you're trading. Given the error range around prospect evaluation. The C+ prospect ranked 281st just isn't much more likely (if at all) to help you than the C+ prospect ranked 293rd.

If you made 30 trades (impossible) involving $100K each, the likelihood is you'd have 30 players no better than the 30 you started with.


Maholm is likely to either be not traded or bring back nothing of value. People are kidding themselves if they think Maholm will be a worthwhile tradeable chit.
   90. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4033329)
I still don't understand how they can buy $3m worth of prospects from some team right now?


I'll give you 100k plus this minor league OF'er for player A. You don't understand that?


I understand that just fine, but I still don't understand how they can buy $3m worth of prospects from some team right now. Can you give any example of one team buying another team's prospect for several million dollars in the offseason?
   91. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4033331)
And just think of what they could get by signing some major league minimum guy to do what Maholm is slotted for.

Who are these mythical league-minimum guys that give you 175 average-ish innings per year?
   92. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4033335)
Well yes, it kind of is. It doesn't make much sense to complain about the roster spot being taken by filler if you're just going to turn around and give it to cheaper filler. If Maholm was legitimately blocking someone better, that's different, but you've given no indication that you think this is the case.

Perhaps you're implicitly arguing that Epstein will oversee such an influx of talent this season that Maholm will end up blocking someone, but that seems contradictory as well given your outlook for 2013.


Geez, stop hyperventilating. Why do you get so worked up over these things? Just calm down.

How does it not make sense to say that filler should be as cheap as possible?

As I said numerous times Maholm isn't the answer to the Cubs long term problems thus it should be obvious that by stating that I think the Cubs should be spending their time finding and playing players that can be long term solutions. Having Maholm on the team could be a hinderance to that and is in all probability a waste of resources. Maybe the waste is negligible but the thing is I have never once argued that this was a crippling transaction or a horrible one. I have said numerous times now that I believe it is a pointless transaction.
   93. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4033336)

I understand that just fine, but I still don't understand how they can buy $3m worth of prospects from some team right now. Can you give any example of one team buying another team's prospect for several million dollars in the offseason?


Why do I need to provide examples for something that I'm not arguing? In fact I've talked about how teams are not going to sell players that would actually fetch millions of dollars.

Who are these mythical league-minimum guys that give you 175 average-ish innings per year?

And where are these mythical good prospects that Maholm is going to fetch? I'll see your unicorn and raise you a pegasus.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4033340)
As I said numerous times Maholm isn't the answer to the Cubs long term problems thus it should be obvious that by stating that I think the Cubs should be spending their time finding and playing players that can be long term solutions. Having Maholm on the team could be a hinderance to that and is in all probability a waste of resources.

Since the money can't really be used anywhere to buy more prospects, maybe Maholm actually conserves resources?

Instead of screwing around finding 5th/6th/7th SP types, auditioning them, replacing them when they suck, etc., the front office can just let maholm take the ball 30 times, and focus on finding real talent.
   95. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4033343)
Why do I need to provide examples for something that I'm not arguing?


except for arguing for it in these posts:


Offer some team a minor leauge scrub and three million dollars and they'll trade you a player.


instead of spending 3 million dollars or more on a guy that might be tradeable in July they could use that money to simply go out and get those guys now.


If he pitches well he still isn't bring back anything that the Cubs can't go out and get.
   96. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4033344)
How does it not make sense to say that filler should be as cheap as possible?

I guess this is the root of my disagreement with you here. To me, Maholm IS cheap. 1/5 for a guy who does what he does is very reasonable to me. I'm unconvinced that they could have done better for cheaper.

Having Maholm on the team could be a hinderance to that...

And this is my other source of disagreement. HOW could this deal be a hindrance to that? It's a one-year deal. He's not blocking anyone that either of us have identified. His deal won't put the team over budget in any plausible way. Perhaps he can be traded, but even if the return is marginal or there are no takers, they're no worse off than they were. Hell, even if he's terrible, his contract is small enough that he can be dropped without concern.

You're presuming a downside risk that I'm just not seeing.

   97. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4033346)
So the Cubs should have resigned Aramis Ramirez?


If they could get him to sign Maholm's contract, then yeah, probably.
   98. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4033348)
Instead of going to all this trouble and spending $4 million on Paul Maholm for a guaranteed 30 starts and 4.80 ERA, they could simply spend $100,000 each on 40 bad prospects (since teams won't sell good prospects) and continually switch them in and out of the rotation. Then they'd probably find someone who might contribute to the next good Cubs team, unless that player is close to free agency anyway, which he probably is.
   99. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4033350)
And where are these mythical good prospects that Maholm is going to fetch? I'll see your unicorn and raise you a pegasus.

This is admitting defeat on your part, isn't it? I mean, your whole argument rests on league-minimum players like Maholm existing (or alternatively, I guess your argument still sorta works on the grounds that it's undesirable for the Cubs to take active steps to avoid losing 100 games in 2012).

On the other hand, even if Maholm doesn't get much in a trade, I can still favor it on the grounds that he's a reasonably paid league-average innings-eater type.
   100. SouthSideRyan Posted: January 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4033383)
I know you weren't being serious in 98, but I'd take the way under on a 4.80 ERA for Maholm. This is a good value, and I'm stunned he couldn't get more money or more years. My only concern is he came so cheaply due to lingering shoulder issues.
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