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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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   101. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4033392)
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?


No? Seeing the Cubs win is the best feeling on Earth. Watching the Cubs lose is the worst feeling on Earth. Who wouldn't trade three days of feeling lousy for three days of feeling great if it doesn't cost you anything down the road?
   102. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4033409)
My only concern is he came so cheaply due to lingering shoulder issues.


He got a clean bill of health from Dr. Andrews last fall, and would've pitched again if he hadn't run out of season.
   103. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4033420)
except for arguing for it in these posts:

Well, no I didn't. I made a quick example of what the money could be used for in your first highlight and when people took it literally I explained further and then you'll notice in the other two quotes you presented I mentioned the plural of a person. Do you wish to continue to have a DIPS 1.0 conversation or would you now like to discuss DIPS 2.0?
   104. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4033426)
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.

I don't disagree that they couldn't have done better (at as great or greater certainty) than they did with Maholm's signing. The issue has never been about whether Maholm will crater or not. The issue for me is that having him on the team for 2012 is pointless.

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.



You really can't see how this could be a hinderance? I didn't say it will be I said it could be and for 5 million dollars why would you take that risk? What do you gain? My view is that you gain nothing while increasing your risk somewhat.

This reminds me of my risk taking lectures here at work. People do often incredibly inappropiate things while on the job and often times they do so because they think the risk of being punished is so small. Often times they are correct, doing inappropiate behavior X might only cause punish 1% of the time but when it happens you feel it and getting away with it all those other times certainly doen't make up for the one time you get punished. This is similar in that for the most part this is a pointless trade that will lead to nothing but there is little upside to this transaction and a long shot at some negatives. Since there is nothing to be gained by this transaction I don't see how it is worth taking on the additional risk no matter how negligible it is or how small the chance of it happening is.
   105. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4033430)
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.



No, my view is that Maholm will be playing on a bad Cubs team and will not be around when the Cubs are good and that Maholm is not going to fetch back anything that will be of value to the major league team. Thus it matters not whether they get 110 ERA+ out of him and 180 innings or get 180 innings and 50 ERA+ out of a collection of crud.

They signed a decent pitcher to a decent contract. That isn't bad but since the Cubs are not going to be very good during the life of this contract it is a pointless move. I've never once argued that Maholm is horrible or that this contract is an albatross of a deal. Again, to me it is a pointless transaction.
   106. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4033431)
You really can't see how this could be a hinderance?

No, I really can't, which is why I not only asked the question but provided a list of reasons for why I didn't think it was a hindrance. I notice that you neither answered my question nor addressed any of the reasons I listed.
   107. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4033433)
No? Seeing the Cubs win is the best feeling on Earth. Watching the Cubs lose is the worst feeling on Earth. Who wouldn't trade three days of feeling lousy for three days of feeling great if it doesn't cost you anything down the road?

If you think a team is going to lose 90 to 100 games before the season even starts and they don't disappoint you out of the gate the wins they get are largely meaningless and void of any joy. How can you feel great because they won a game in between losing 6 games? If you know they lost yesterday and are going to lose tomorrow what good is a victory today? You simply want the season to end.
   108. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4033435)
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.

Well, I wouldn't take a "way under," especially since we're talking about a guy who will face a lot of right handed hitters in Wrigley Field. I haven't see ZiPS projections yet for him but I doubt it will be far short of 4.80. I would guess mid 4s.

And GMs do not jump to pay lots of money to guys who have never had a positive W/L record, and are 15-29 over the last two years.
   109. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4033441)
No, I really can't, which is why I not only asked the question but provided a list of reasons for why I didn't think it was a hindrance. I notice that you neither answered my question nor addressed any of the reasons I listed.

It has already been brought up.

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?


But here is some more. Maholm might get hurt and the Cubs go out and trade for some guy to fill out the rotation and by doing so send away a player that does actually have value. He might pitch so well that they pick up his 2013 option and the Cubs bypass signing someone else long term. Or he gets injured afterwards and leaves a hole in the 2013 rotation. Or the Cubs think they are good on lefties and sell off excess and then he gets hurt or they think they'll sign him long term and he turs into a pumpkin or spending the 5 million prevents the Cubs from spending 10 million during the season on a better deal or it turns out that Maholm is loaded with typhoid and he accidentally kills Castro or it turns out he is a stalker and he scares away Theo or he craters from the get-go and Ricketts thinks he has another Hendry on his hands and either tightens the purse strings or wants greater control over transactions.

Again, I said he might become a hindrance I didn't say he will and it isn't hard to think of reasons why it might become a hindrance. Now please feel free to ignore the might be and the fact that I have said numerous times that the risk of this happening might very well be very small and proceed to tell me just how unlikely these things are to happen as if I don't already know that and have stated so numerous times.
   110. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4033443)
Why does this seem less objectionable to me than what the Orioles did for years and years, signing Kevin Millar and Javy Lopez and Ramon Hernandez and Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff and Sammy Sosa and Ty Wigginton and Garrett Atkins and whoever else? I think the gap between a mediocre veteran starting pitcher and a random AAA starting pitcher is just much bigger than the gap between a mediocre veteran third baseman and a random AAA third baseman.

As someone who went to Pirates games for years and years, I can say that when the team had someone like Shane Youman or Yoslan Herrera in the rotation, and seemingly was planning to have Shane Youman in the rotation for the foreseeable future, it created a mood close to desperation in the fans. You know this guy sucks! The team has no chance to win whenever he pitches! There's no reason to think he'll ever get better! We might as well have me in there pitching 3.1 innings and then getting yanked! Bring in Brandon Duckworth or somebody! Just give us a chance to win!

When we had a rookie in the lineup who was an obvious stiff and non-prospect, it didn't lead to a desire for veteran stopgaps like it did when there was a gaping hole in the rotation.
   111. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4033447)
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?

I can't honestly believe that these are concerns of yours. Five million in a slow, low-cost offseason is going to hamstring them? That's just not credible.

...it isn't hard to think of reasons why it might become a hindrance.

And yet you couldn't think of a single one without resorting to separate, unrelated transactions or horror movie scenarios. But you said "might" so of course your comments are above logical criticism.
   112. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4033455)
And yet you couldn't think of a single one without resorting to separate, unrelated transactions or horror movie scenarios. But you said "might" so of course your comments are above logical criticism.


...yet with that level of imagination, no "upside" scenarios can be dreamt up.
   113. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 10, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4033457)
If you think a team is going to lose 90 to 100 games before the season even starts and they don't disappoint you out of the gate the wins they get are largely meaningless and void of any joy. How can you feel great because they won a game in between losing 6 games? If you know they lost yesterday and are going to lose tomorrow what good is a victory today? You simply want the season to end.


This explains your viewpoint, I guess, but wow.

No, my view is that Maholm will be playing on a bad Cubs team and will not be around when the Cubs are good and that Maholm is not going to fetch back anything that will be of value to the major league team. Thus it matters not whether they get 110 ERA+ out of him and 180 innings or get 180 innings and 50 ERA+ out of a collection of crud.


This is the "success cycle" viewpoint I see often and do not like even a little, but it is a matter of opinion I guess.

   114. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4033474)

I can't honestly believe that these are concerns of yours. Five million in a slow, low-cost offseason is going to hamstring them? That's just not credible.


Based on what evidence? The Cubs have slashed payroll since Ricketts has taken over and Hendry was hamstrung last year because of the budget.

And yet you couldn't think of a single one without resorting to separate, unrelated transactions or horror movie scenarios. But you said "might" so of course your comments are above logical criticism.


So every transaction should only be viewed in a vacuum? Every single transaction, even Soriano's contract, looks perfectly fine if you only look at that one transaction and ignore everything else.
   115. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4033479)
Every single transaction, even Soriano's contract, looks perfectly fine if you only look at that one transaction and ignore everything else.

No, everyone at the time knew that was a gross overpay for the likely value.

Every single transaction where you get good value is perfectly fine, unless it stops you from doing something even better.
   116. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4033485)
If you think a team is going to lose 90 to 100 games before the season even starts and they don't disappoint you out of the gate the wins they get are largely meaningless and void of any joy. How can you feel great because they won a game in between losing 6 games? If you know they lost yesterday and are going to lose tomorrow what good is a victory today? You simply want the season to end.


If I came over and punched you in the gut every morning, I bet you'd be more than glad to have a break now and then.
   117. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4033493)
If I came over and punched you in the gut every morning, I bet you'd be more than glad to have a break now and then.

And if I knew you were going to comeback tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that to punch me in my gut it wouldn't mean a whole helluva lot.
   118. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4033495)
Every single transaction where you get good value is perfectly fine, unless it stops you from doing something even better.

thus the phrase "might be"
   119. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4033499)
thus the phrase "might be"

Yet you haven't made a convincing case as to how paying Maholm $4.5M to be cromulent is going to prevent the Cubs from doing something better.
   120. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4033513)
If it was a convincing case then it wouldn't be a might be/worst case scenario. Again, I said that this was a pointless transaction that might hurt the Cubs. Now there are some who for whatever reason wish to act like me saying that means that I think with absolute certainty that the Cubs are going to fold and become an Indian cricket team because of this signing.

   121. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4033514)
Yet you haven't made a convincing case as to how paying Maholm $4.5M to be cromulent is going to prevent the Cubs from doing something better.


I think post #109 was trying to do that, although most of those things would also apply to inserting Joe Nobody for league minimum into that starting rotation spot, so maybe the Cubs are better off leaving the mound empty.
   122. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4033519)
If it was a convincing case then it wouldn't be a might be/worst case scenario. Again, I said that this was a pointless transaction that might hurt the Cubs. Now there are some who for whatever reason wish to act like me saying that means that I think with absolute certainty that the Cubs are going to fold and become an Indian cricket team because of this signing.

Yeah, but if you're going to take a worse case scenario, why not weigh the best case scenario? Maholm pitches well and gets extended, Theo adds talent faster than you expect, and Maholm helps the team to a division championship in 2013.

That's certainly more likely than most of that stuff in 109.
   123. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4033527)
That's certainly more likely than most of that stuff in 109.

Are you implying that Maholm does not have typhoid?

The more likely thing to happen (not as in it will happen just more likely than your scenario) is that Maholm pitches well enough to get extended and pitches well in 2013. The Cubs win 60 to 75 games in 2012 (Depending on Garza getting trade) and 75 to 80 games in 2013. He then goes out and signs a 3 to 4 year contract worth anywhere from 27 to 52 million dollars to some other team.
   124. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4033536)
The more likely thing to happen (not as in it will happen just more likely than your scenario) is that Maholm pitches well enough to get extended and pitches well in 2013. The Cubs win 60 to 75 games in 2012 (Depending on Garza getting trade) and 75 to 80 games in 2013. He then goes out and signs a 3 to 4 year contract worth anywhere from 27 to 52 million dollars to some other team.

Sure.
   125. The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4033550)
Why does this seem less objectionable to me than what the Orioles did for years and years, signing Kevin Millar and Javy Lopez and Ramon Hernandez and Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff and Sammy Sosa and Ty Wigginton and Garrett Atkins and whoever else? I think the gap between a mediocre veteran starting pitcher and a random AAA starting pitcher is just much bigger than the gap between a mediocre veteran third baseman and a random AAA third baseman.
Yup, that's one big difference. Also, Maholm isn't old and washed up. Also, the Orioles sometimes were blocking a younger player who had some hope (eg Felix Pie, Nolan Reimold), although admittedly they often weren't. (And also admittedly, you could argue those younger players wouldn't have succeeded anyway, but I still don't think that's how you run a railroad.)
   126. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4033554)
If you think a team is going to lose 90 to 100 games before the season even starts and they don't disappoint you out of the gate the wins they get are largely meaningless and void of any joy.


That's a really bizarre outlook.
   127. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4033560)
That's a really bizarre outlook.

Well, you're a Pirates fan. I'm guessing if the Cubs flirt with 100 losses for almost 15 years straight I would look for any sliver of a silver lining that I can.
   128. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4033564)
Kevin Reimold still has a chance to be as good as Nolan Reimer.
   129. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4033633)
Well, you're a Pirates fan. I'm guessing if the Cubs flirt with 100 losses for almost 15 years straight I would look for any sliver of a silver lining that I can.


You can't go to the ballpark on a Friday night and have a nice time at the game unless a pennant's on the line? For real?
   130. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4033640)

You can't go to the ballpark on a Friday night and have a nice time at the game unless a pennant's on the line? For real?


I could if the tickets were as cheap and as easy to get as they are in Pittsburgh.

But having said that if I am going to a game I don't really care if the Cubs win or lose. Traditionally I go to the local team's home opener and however many games I can when the Cubs are in town and then it depends on how cheap the tickets are and how easy it is to get to the game for any non-Cubs related games.

I mean I am a Cubs fan afterall. Going to a Cubs game generally meant watching someone like Mark Clark or worse pitch while Augie Ojeda, Lenny Harris, Neifie Perez, Tom Goodwin, and other scrubeenies back them up.
   131. Johnny Slick Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4033663)
Yeah, I don't see how this is anything but a good move for this team. A couple points that I think the naysayers are missing:

1. That is a really good value for that contract. If Maholm is expected to provide 2 to 2.5 wins this year, the Cubs are coming out way, way ahead in this deal. That in turn means that if he's actually worth that amount he's not just going to be a good midseason replacement for a team that's contending and has justified a higher budget to their owner because of that. Maholm is making so little, relatively speaking, that come the trade deadline a team closer to the edge of its budget but who has a shot at the playoffs can get an extra win for very little cost to them. The more teams there are to bid on Maholm's services in July, the better the return for the Cubs.

1a. And yes, teams do trade value for this kind of thing. The most obvious historical example was when the Tigers traded away John Smoltz for (an awesome) half a season of Doyle Alexander, but there are other examples. The Mariners recently got Luke French for Jarrod Washburn; granted, French isn't exactly a huge prospect (he did start 13 games for the M's last year) but then again Washburn was kind of crap at the time of that trade. Bronson Arroyo netted the Red Sox Willy Mo Pena, who was a pretty decent player at the time. Jason Marquis has netted his teams B to C level prospects twice in his career. The Mariners got shiny things for Erik Bedard last year, who hasn't pitched anything close to a full season since 2007. Doug Fister too, for that matter.

2. The other issue is that pitching is a whole lot different than position players. For one thing, there's the issue of injury. Yes, Maholm could get hurt, which is part of why he was available so cheap. But so, too, can other people in the rotation, which actually makes him more valuable.

2a. For another thing, there isn't just one position of "#3 starter" the way there is with "starting third baseman" or whatever. If Casey Coleman or someone suddenly turns a corner and forces Maholm out of the #3 role, great, he becomes the team's #4 starting pitcher. It's highly unlikely that, if he continues to give them that 2-2.5 win level, the rest of the rotation will be so awesome that he'll get kicked into long relief, but even so... there's still long relief. It's not like he needs to learn a new position or anything.
   132. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4033684)
The Cubs actually have to trade Maholm for them to reap the supposed benefits of trading him. If he is giving the Cubs 2.5 wins this year why would they trade him in July? Secondly the world has grown up since John Smoltz got traded for Doyle Alexander.

Washburn at the time of the trade had a 163 ERA+ in 20 starts and had a 3.5 WAR up to that point. If Maholm does that I seriously doubt the Cubs trade him nor was Luke French as you yourself stated much of a prospect. Arroyo was on a three year contract when he was traded and the Red Sox agreed to pay over 10% of his salary to make the trade happen. To trade Erik Bedard the Mariners had to trade their first rounder as well. The Cubs traded Marquis away for a guy they cut a month into the season and the Nationals traded him for a 9th rounder that BA thinks might someday be good enough to be a major league utility player. Doug Fister has 4 more years of service time and was traded along with a reliever that has 4 years of service time left and was putting up a 180 ERA+ at the time of the trade.
   133. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4033705)
Octavio Dotel for James McDonald should be the archetypal "sign a free agent, flip for prospect" move of the new millennium.
   134. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 10, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4033708)
Why does this seem less objectionable to me than what the Orioles did for years and years, signing Kevin Millar and Javy Lopez and Ramon Hernandez and Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff and Sammy Sosa and Ty Wigginton and Garrett Atkins and whoever else? I think the gap between a mediocre veteran starting pitcher and a random AAA starting pitcher is just much bigger than the gap between a mediocre veteran third baseman and a random AAA third baseman.


It's because the negative effect of that scrub position player is less visible and occurs in a less horrifying way. If they're terrible defensively then there's a more obvious problem but if they're adequate then what happens? They come to the plate 3-5 times per game, kill a couple rallies, and fail to do much to start a productive inning either. The worst thing that can happen is the team fails to score any runs that inning but most of the time even without any contributions from a scrub or two they're going to at least score a few runs, the scrub's failure just sends the team back to the field to try again shortly. If you send out a garbage starter though then he might get blasted for 6 runs in 1 and 1/3 innings, reduce the team's chances of winning to very little practically as soon as the game starts, and wear the bullpen out (probably causing more runs allowed since managers don't send in their top relievers in the second inning). Failings by bad starting pitchers (or bad relievers, blowing leads thought safe) are so blatantly obvious and will feel so much worse than some light-hitting third baseman flailing away at a bad pitch and popping up to the shortstop.
   135. Something Other Posted: January 10, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4033712)
He could always pick up the option in 2013.

So he can give Maholm 6 million dollars to play on a 75 win team?
Gee-zus! You do realize that if you want to win 75 games, that is, get reasonably close to .500, you've got to pay someone six miilion dollars? And, given that he's a good bet to earn it, Maholm's a pretty good guy to give that six mil to.
   136. Something Other Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4033714)
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.
God forgive me for this but, McCoy, I'm genuinely curious. At what level should a team stop acquiring players better than what they can get for the league minimum? Should teams ONLY aim to rebuild for 2013 or later when they can expect to win only, say, 80 games in 2013? When they figure to win 70, should they simply cut absolutely everything current to the bone and use every nickel towards some season further into the future (and probably, for the Cubs, win 55 this year)?
   137. Johnny Slick Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4033718)
The Cubs actually have to trade Maholm for them to reap the supposed benefits of trading him. If he is giving the Cubs 2.5 wins this year why would they trade him in July?
...because another team can get value out of him.

Washburn at the time of the trade had a 163 ERA+ in 20 starts and had a 3.5 WAR up to that point. If Maholm does that I seriously doubt the Cubs trade him nor was Luke French as you yourself stated much of a prospect.
Huh? The Mariners *did* trade Washburn, even as he was doing what he was doing. He was also pitching out of his mind at the time, which it seemed like everyone but the Tigers understood.

To trade Erik Bedard the Mariners had to trade their first rounder as well.
They traded *a* former first rounder. Actually, one of the worst first round picks the Mariners have ever made, and that's saying something, given the Mariners' history of first round picks. There's a lot of backstory as to why the M's drafted Josh Fields in the first round - Bill Bavasi wanted a guy who was considered ready for the pros for relief help and Fields was considered "that guy" - but the end result was, Fields was flat-out not that good when he was drafted and only went backwards as a pro. At best he was a throw-in.

Arroyo was on a three year contract when he was traded and the Red Sox agreed to pay over 10% of his salary to make the trade happen.
OVER 10 PERCENT WELL IF THAT DOESN'T NEGATE THIS ARGUMENT I DO NOT KNOW WHAT DOES

The Cubs traded Marquis away for a guy they cut a month into the season and the Nationals traded him for a 9th rounder that BA thinks might someday be good enough to be a major league utility player.
Yes, prospects do not always work out. This is still a better path towards acquiring talent than... not signing a cheap free agent, which is what this is being compared to.

Doug Fister has 4 more years of service time and was traded along with a reliever that has 4 years of service time left and was putting up a 180 ERA+ at the time of the trade.


Yes, there are mitigating issues for all of these moves. It's not exactly an exact science. My point here is that this general thing can result in young talent eventually coming to the Cubs. Maybe not a lot of young talent, but it's not as if they signed Albert Pujols here.
   138. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4033723)
The Cubs suck now, but that doesn't mean Casey Coleman and Andy Sonnastine should be their #4 and #5 starters. Just because you can't afford your rent doesn't mean you shouldn't clip coupons for groceries.
   139. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4033750)
Just because you can't afford your rent doesn't mean you shouldn't clip coupons for groceries.


I tried twice to figure this out and then got lost in the multiple negatives. Not to be snarky, but can you rephrase this into simpleton English?
   140. McCoy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4033772)
Huh? The Mariners *did* trade Washburn, even as he was doing what he was doing. He was also pitching out of his mind at the time, which it seemed like everyone but the Tigers understood.

Huh what? Jarrod was a FA at the end of the year. If Maholm is putting up a 163 ERA+ after 20 starts they are not going to trade him they are going to pick up his option at the end of the year.

OVER 10 PERCENT WELL IF THAT DOESN'T NEGATE THIS ARGUMENT I DO NOT KNOW WHAT DOES



Being sarcastic doesn't actually negate the point. Bronson Arroyo avoided arbitration by signing a three year deal with Boston. They then flipped him and his extrememly team friendly contract to the Reds for Pena but they also had to kick in 1.5 million dollars. So the Cubs took a chance on Maholm in the hopes that he is decent enough that they can trade him by sending him and millions to another team for a bench player? That's is progress?

Yes, prospects do not always work out. This is still a better path towards acquiring talent than... not signing a cheap free agent, which is what this is being compared to.


I'm not comparing the Maholm signing to anything. I'm saying it was pointless.

Yes, there are mitigating issues for all of these moves. It's not exactly an exact science. My point here is that this general thing can result in young talent eventually coming to the Cubs. Maybe not a lot of young talent, but it's not as if they signed Albert Pujols here.

Yes and those mitigating issues were very important, not likely to come into play for the Cubs in regards to Maholm and still didn't the net the signing team much in the way of prospects.
   141. Brian C Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4033816)
McCoy was mad a couple of weeks ago because he thought the 2012 Cubs would lose 100 games. Now he's mad because the front office isn't cooperating to prove him right.
   142. villageidiom Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4033819)
Jed Hoyer's job, at a macro level, is to build the Cubs into a perennial World Championship contender while also providing a good profit for the owners. Paul Maholm is not going to bring da ringz, and he costs more than someone else who won't bring da ringz. So on a macro level, this is a pointless move.

But how do you get to the level of a perennial contender, from the low point the Cubs are at currently? They need a kick-ass major league roster, sure, but they also need a stocked minor league system. In reality, signing a Pujols or Fielder (now) would improve the current MLB roster; however, the minors are crap and they won't be better in time to restock the MLB roster when the non-Fielder players leave. And the profit won't be particularly good, either. To get a kick-ass MLB roster with a good profit you need a lot of value deals. Top-name free agents are generally not value deals, but you'll usually need one or two of them at least. That makes it all the more essential to get value wherever you can. Value comes from developed prospects, from trades (if, for example, you swap a redundant player for an equivalent player who plays a position you need to fill), and from low-level free agents that teams overlook. That takes time to assemble - I think in a prior thread I'd suggested 3 years for the Cubs to do it, minimum.

And that brings us to the micro level. Jed Hoyer's job at a micro level is simply to improve the performance and the value. Paul Maholm does that. He doesn't solve the macro problem in any way, but he provides reasonable improvement at reasonable cost.

Does Maholm make it better to root for the Cubs in 2012? Not materially. But he makes the team better, and moves the team in the right direction. If they continually improve each year in this fashion, they'll be in good shape down the road. (But 2012? Heavens, no.)
   143. McCoy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4034078)
McCoy was mad a couple of weeks ago because he thought the 2012 Cubs would lose 100 games. Now he's mad because the front office isn't cooperating to prove him right.

Hooray, they might be a 95 win team now.
   144. McCoy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4034082)
If they continually improve each year in this fashion, they'll be in good shape down the road. (But 2012? Heavens, no.)

Don't disagree with the sentiment but Maholm is not a permanent improvement. After two years he is gone and there is a hole to fill.
   145. Nasty Nate Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4034097)
If Maholm is putting up a 163 ERA+ after 20 starts they are not going to trade him they are going to pick up his option at the end of the year.


So they will only trade him if they can't get anything back in trade...and if they can get anything back in trade then they won't trade him. You've cooked up a nice catch-22.
   146. McCoy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4034104)
No, it happened when Theo signed Maholm and then you guys justified the transaction by stating he has trade value.
   147. Nasty Nate Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4034114)
Well if he does attain trade value by mid-season or next offseason, I don't think it makes sense to just declare that they won't trade him.
   148. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4034118)
No, it happened when Theo signed Maholm and then you guys justified the transaction by stating he has trade value.


I justified the transaction by saying that he was a good player and a good value for the money. Which he is.
   149. Brian C Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4034412)
Jeff Bianchi cleared off waivers by the Brewers, opening the 40-man spot for Maholm. Too bad about Bianchi, who was only with the organization for a month after being claimed off waivers from KC.
   150. villageidiom Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4034765)
Don't disagree with the sentiment but Maholm is not a permanent improvement. After two years he is gone and there is a hole to fill.
Understood. But in those two years they can evaluate him, and they have exclusive negotiating rights.

I realize "having exclusive negotiating rights with Paul Maholm" is nothing to brag about. But they do have a chance to keep him beyond the current commitment. One could think of it as a mutual option, exercisable at any point in the next two years. If the team will be bad in the next couple of years, using the 2012 (and 2013) season as an open tryout for 2014 secondary players seems like a worthwhile thing to do.
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