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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Old Kinderhook traded to Red Sox for PTBNL

The Cubs traded Jermaine Van Buren to Boston today.  He’s 25 and posted consistently good strikeout numbers in the minors, with an 8.9 career k/9 that has improved as he worked his way up the system.  He had a 1.98 ERA at Iowa last year before a six-inning stint with the big club in September.

Scott Lange Posted: December 01, 2005 at 07:35 PM | 86 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:26 PM (#1755432)
Hopefully this becomes part of a larger deal, and not the Red Sox getting a nice reliever because the Cubs couldn't manage the roster.
   2. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1755435)
Nice trade by whoever is running the Red Sox.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:34 PM (#1755452)
He might have been the third best right handed reliever on the roster after Howry and Dempster.
   4. Sweet Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:37 PM (#1755461)
Reposting:

-----------------------------------------------
 W   L   G  GS   IP    H   ER  HR  BB  SO   ERA
-----------------------------------------------
Howry:
 7   3  67   0   65   55   24   6  17  53  3.32
Williamson:
 2   2  42   0   42   32   18   4  23  50  3.86
Novoa:
 6   6  63   0   83   84   42  10  32  70  4.55
Van Buren:
 3   3  57   0   54   41   24   6  30  69  4.00
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1755464)
Oops, I forgot about Williamson.

Make that the fourth best RHP in the pen.
   6. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1755465)
Why make it a PTBNL? We're longer than 6 months away from the June draft. Do the Cubs want to temporarily free up 40-man space (AFTER letting Sing go?!?!)? Could it be contingent on Buren making the Red Sox in ST?
   7. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:41 PM (#1755472)
Why? The Cubs could've just let go of Macias if they needed a roster spot.

The ptbnl probably won't amount to much. A nice move by the Sox...
   8. Neil M Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:42 PM (#1755475)
Apparently, ESPN radio is reporting it as cash and a PTBNL. That would seem to preclude any larger deal.
   9. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1755476)
Do the Cubs want to temporarily free up 40-man space

The Cubs needed to make a move - they were at 41 players on the roster.
   10. Sweet Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1755477)
I think Williamson has more upside than Van Buren but is actually riskier given his recent injury history. For what it's worth, ZIPS sees them about dead even -- take away 1 HR from Van Buren and their ratios and ERA are basically identical. So why does one guy get $2 million and the other get traded for a PTBNL?
   11. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1755481)
So why does one guy get $2 million and the other get traded for a PTBNL?

One guy has veteran presence and a history as a proven closer. The other guy only has history as a proven closer (albeit in the minor leagues).

Thus, we can conclude that veteran presence is worth $2M minus a PTBNL.
   12. Sweet Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1755483)
The Cubs needed to make a move - they were at 41 players on the roster.

And that's before adding Mabry.
   13. Neil M Posted: December 01, 2005 at 08:47 PM (#1755487)
FWIW, although JVB put up some nice numbers in the minors, he's not pretty to watch. He seems to put a hell of a lot of effort into every pitch and frequently ends up with his back to home plate, in no position to field the ball.

Correctable? Probably, but the Cubs didn't do it.
   14. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: December 01, 2005 at 10:04 PM (#1755645)
Why? The Cubs could've just let go of Macias if they needed a roster spot.

It's looking a lot like we're going to be stuck with Macias once more.

Hendry/Baker have an irrational love for Macias (he was acquired originally on the recommedation of DICKPOLE). They have never indicated that they are unhappy with him and in fact gave him a big raise last year. I expect they'll bump his salary up to a cool $1 million this offseason.
   15. paytonrules Posted: December 01, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1755706)
Agreed with DLFBCRH - only two people in the world think Macias is good. Unfortunately those people are Hendry/Baker.

Here's the best part. Macias won't be waved, yet Mabry was acquired. Obviously Mabry isn't the utility-man/Macias replacement, because Macias isn't going anywhere, so you have to unload a couple young guys to make room on the 40 man roster, and then you need to make AB for Mabry, who sited playing time as a reason to come to the Cubs.........

Hey I know - he can platoon with Murton! Sadly I suspect he will.......

Random thought: when a player cites "Playing time" as a reason for signing with a particular team isn't he essentially saying, "This team isn't as good as some other teams - I can play here."
   16. Neil M Posted: December 01, 2005 at 10:57 PM (#1755719)
Random thought: when a player cites "Playing time" as a reason for signing with a particular team isn't he essentially saying, "This team isn't as good as some other teams - I can play here."

Kind of like saying, 'I came here because I wanted to play for a loser.'
   17. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 01, 2005 at 11:28 PM (#1755760)
The Cubs needed to make a move - they were at 41 players on the roster.

They could've acquired a non-roster guy -- someone that Boston did not yet need to put on their 40man.
   18. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 01, 2005 at 11:32 PM (#1755772)
They could've acquired a non-roster guy -- someone that Boston did not yet need to put on their 40man.

Probably.

This moves puts the Cubs 40-man back at 40. They'll need to make another move to make room for Mabry, too.
   19. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 01, 2005 at 11:43 PM (#1755790)
This moves puts the Cubs 40-man back at 40. They'll need to make another move to make room for Mabry, too.

Yet people want Macias removed for every addition to the 40 man roster. I want Macias gone as much as the next person, but all this hand-wringing over losing marginal relief prospects because "Macias is taking up a 40 man spot" is getting annoying. There's only one Macias on the roster, he can only make room for one other guy, and more spots are going to be cleared. It only feels like there were 6 Maciases on the team last year.
   20. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2005 at 11:47 PM (#1755794)
Most likely the Cubbies were given a list of guys to choose from, but they have to wait until after the rule 5 draft to take one of them, as the guy they really may have wanted could be taken in the draft. This way the Cubs don't have to announce whom they're getting and then lose him in the draft.
   21. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 01, 2005 at 11:54 PM (#1755799)
I want Macias gone as much as the next person, but all this hand-wringing over losing marginal relief prospects because "Macias is taking up a 40 man spot" is getting annoying.

And the Cubs have a lot of pitchers on the 40-man right now - 24 now that Van Buren is gone.

The real question is whether Bobby Howry or Will Ohman or Michael Wuertz or Ricky Nolasco deserve roster spots, not Macias.
   22. 1k5v3L Posted: December 01, 2005 at 11:57 PM (#1755803)
The Cubbies will be losing a lot more guys off the roster when they sign Furcal and acquire another outfielder or two. Completing the rumored 3 for 1 trade to get Pierre would free up roster spots too.
   23. Sweet Posted: December 01, 2005 at 11:59 PM (#1755805)
According to two different posters at TCR -- grain of salt -- the Cubs have not yet officially added Eyre or Howry to the 40-man. Moore has been added, however, and the roster now stands at 39.

Just the messenger.
   24. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:01 AM (#1755809)
This moves puts the Cubs 40-man back at 40.

No, it doesn't. When they had their mass call-ups a few weeks ago, they ended up with 41 (Scott Moore is not listed on the roster of cubs.com, but he is listed in the Transactions).

Sweet and I both asked Carrie Muskat about this, and she told each of us (by e-mail) that this was due to the MLB offices being closed, that other moves were in the mix, and that it will all be sorted out.

Since then, the Cubs have signed Howry (player #42) and now traded Van Buren (moving them back to 41). If they add Mabry, they'll be back to 42.
   25. Neil M Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1755812)
I've just checked the cubs website. The roster stands at 40 right now, unless I miscounted.

Eyre and Howry are listed. Moore is not.
   26. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1755813)
According to two different posters at TCR -- grain of salt -- the Cubs have not yet officially added Eyre or Howry to the 40-man. Moore has been added, however, and the roster now stands at 39.

According to the the official website, (which was updated today to take Van Buren off, so I assume it's accurate) Eyre and Howry are on the roster.

Nobody named "Moore" is listed.
   27. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:04 AM (#1755815)
all this hand-wringing over losing marginal relief prospects because "Macias is taking up a 40 man spot" is getting annoying. There's only one Macias on the roster, he can only make room for one other guy,

Fair enough, but you can say that the Cubs valued Macias more than they Leicester, Van Buren, or the risk of losing Sing or Brownlie (or any other potential Rule 5 draftee).

As for Van Buren, I would have liked to seen them clear the roster spot by dealing someone who was out of options -- Wellemeyer or Mitre, perhaps. Van Buren still has some use to this team.
   28. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:06 AM (#1755817)
From Cubs.com (the official website):

11/18/05 Sent INF Mike Fontenot, INF Richard Lewis and LHP Russ Rohlicek outright to Triple-A Iowa; Designated OF Adam Greenberg for assignment; Purchased the contracts of 1B Brian Dopirak and INF Scott Moore from Class A Daytona, and OF Felix Pie, C Jose Reyes, RHP Carlos Marmol, LHP Sean Marshall, RHP Ricky Nolasco and RHP Jae-kuk Ryu from Double-A West Tenn.
   29. Sweet Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:08 AM (#1755821)
I'm aware of what "the official website" says. I have no idea whether the "40-man roster" on "the official website" is actually the official 40-man roster kept by the team and league offices. I don't think it's impossible -- or even improbable, frankly -- that the two lists bear only a loose resemblence.

As of yesterday, the "transactions" section of "the official website" had the Cubs trading Aaron Rowand for Jim Thome, which would have been quite a coup.
   30. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:13 AM (#1755828)
I'm aware of what "the official website" says. I have no idea whether the "40-man roster" on "the official website" is actually the official 40-man roster kept by the team and league offices. I don't think it's impossible -- or even improbable, frankly -- that the two lists bear only a loose resemblence.

Well, this is all technicalities. Whether Howry and Eyre are on the roster right this second is beside the point - if they're not there already, they will be very soon.

The point is that every Cubs transaction adding someone to the roster is going to have to be accompanied by another transaction removing someone for now.
   31. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:18 AM (#1755839)
When is the rule-5 draft, BTW?

Dec. 8, I think.
   32. 1k5v3L Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:19 AM (#1755840)
kevin, it's at the last day of the GM meetings.
   33. Neil M Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:23 AM (#1755843)
the player will be Shoppach.

Yeah. The Cubs need a fifth catcher. Can a player on the 40-man roster be a PTBNL?

Or did Pops answer this recently? My brain hurts.
   34. Neil M Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:37 AM (#1755864)
There is a suggestion over at TCR that the PTBNL could be LHP Brian Marshall who is, apparently, Sean Marshall's twin brother.

Now, if they're identical, and both are lefties, the possibilities for some creative nefarious business become intriguing.
   35. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:43 AM (#1755866)
Can a player on the 40-man roster be a PTBNL?

Yes, if the player is from the other league. The PTBNL could be someone on the 40 man but I doubt it. The Cubs gave Van Buren only 6 major league innings - they can't have thought very highly of him.
   36. Neil M Posted: December 02, 2005 at 12:49 AM (#1755871)
Thanks, Pops. I knew you'd referred to the Barrett/Miller deal, but couldn't remember specifics.
   37. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 01:03 AM (#1755880)
The point is that every Cubs transaction adding someone to the roster is going to have to be accompanied by another transaction removing someone for now.

Plus another one (either Moore or someone else).
   38. paytonrules Posted: December 02, 2005 at 01:04 AM (#1755882)
Yet people want Macias removed for every addition to the 40 man roster.

Yup - the next person removed should be Macias. He's the worst option on it. He needs to be next.

It only feels like there were 6 Maciases on the team last year.

Didn't we sign the other one at 2 years, 6 million?
   39. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 02, 2005 at 01:04 AM (#1755883)
We'll have to see what the Cubs got in return here. Certainly, Van Buren is the kind of player the Cubs SHOULD be trading, with the assumption that the return is good.
   40. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 02, 2005 at 01:51 AM (#1755925)
As for Van Buren, I would have liked to seen them clear the roster spot by dealing someone who was out of options -- Wellemeyer or Mitre, perhaps.

Well, let's see what Van Buren yields before drawing that conclusion.
   41. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1755936)
If the Van Buren deal gives us some live arm A-ball prospect (which I strongly suspect), I'd rather the Cubs had the flexibility of having a guy down at Iowa that they can call up the next time Dusty gets into a tizzy when Novoa walks 3 guys.

Right now, I'm assuming that guy will be someone like Koronka.
   42. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:09 AM (#1755956)
i suppose this is a good time to notify cubs nation, i can take the head off a person at 300 yards with iron sites on the M-16a2

think about it.....
   43. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:21 AM (#1755978)
They don't have metal detectors at Wrigley, last I checked.
   44. 1k5v3L Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:23 AM (#1755982)
whatever you do, meatwad, don't run on the field aftewards; you'll only be clogging the bases, and god knows dusty hates that.
   45. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:23 AM (#1755983)
Not if he doesn't have a head.
   46. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:51 AM (#1756020)
just put me in the rooftops and its a sealed deal, god how the #### can the cubs make so many god damn ####### retarded moves? did hendry grow up riding the short bus to school?
   47. 1k5v3L Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:56 AM (#1756025)
Not if he doesn't have a head.

i'm sure he'll keep chewing that toothpick with his arse.

and who said dusty needed his head to hate anything?
   48. bookbook Posted: December 02, 2005 at 06:13 AM (#1756279)
+ Random thought: when a player cites "Playing time" as a reason for signing with a particular team isn't he essentially saying, "This team isn't as good as some other teams - I can play here."

Kind of like saying, 'I came here because I wanted to play for a loser.' +

Much better, IMHO, than a player saying "I'd like to ride the bench for a winner and collect credit to go with my splinters."

Or, I'd like to ride the coattails of a juggernaut rather than play a substantial role in creating success (A-Rod's move to NY, unlike his earlier move to Texas).

During the year is one thing. Team spirit rah-rah, and all that.

But in the offseason, if a player's number 1 concern isn't getting a chance to be on the field and play and show what he can do, I don't want that player on my bench, much less in the game for me.
   49. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 02, 2005 at 06:55 AM (#1756293)
i suppose this is a good time to notify cubs nation, i can take the head off a person at 300 yards with iron sites on the M-16a2

So basically you could take out the secondbase umpire from any seat in the ballpark. Sweet.
   50. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:42 PM (#1756405)
If the Van Buren deal gives us some live arm A-ball prospect (which I strongly suspect), I'd rather the Cubs had the flexibility of having a guy down at Iowa that they can call up the next time Dusty gets into a tizzy when Novoa walks 3 guys.

Right now, I'm assuming that guy will be someone like Koronka.


Any number of guys, really. I see Van Buren as another live-arm guy in the mold of Wellemeyer, Mitre, and Leicester. His expiration date is coming up, rather than already past, but I have no problem with Hendry turning him into something else (again, assuming the return is good) and buying some time.
   51. Spahn Insane Posted: December 02, 2005 at 04:03 PM (#1756486)
i'm sure he'll keep chewing that toothpick with his arse

To the "mental images I'd rather not harbor" file.

Glad to hear of your newfound marksmanship, wad--I think...
   52. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: December 02, 2005 at 05:09 PM (#1756581)
Much better, IMHO, than a player saying "I'd like to ride the bench for a winner and collect credit to go with my splinters."

Mark Grace would be offended by this remark, but he's too busy looking for a reporter that still cares so he can badmouth Sammy Sosa.
   53. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 02, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1756748)
I wasn't as aware of how prospects are rated back when the trade went down, but is Van Buren at all similarly rated to Felix Sanchez when he was dealt? That one turned out pretty well despite Connelly's injury this year.
   54. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 02, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1757098)
I see Van Buren as another live-arm guy in the mold of Wellemeyer, Mitre, and Leicester.

Van Buren has a better performance record than any of those guys. He's nothing special and it won't be a large difference to Chicago's season whether he gets those 40 innings or Wellemeyer does but it's disheartening that the Cubs have once again decided they prefer the live-r arm to the lower ceiling player with stats.

This is the zillionth sign that the organization is still in the same mindset. This is the reason why the Cubs have dozens of guys who can dial it into the mid 90's and none of them show any semblance of control. They got lucky with Zambrano - his filthy sinker allows him to be dominant with a terrible walk rate. No changes on the horizon. The Cubs look doomed to wow BA and others with their young arms and then watch in horror as the youngsters fail to perform.
   55. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1757170)
Consider where the pitchers on the 40-man are destined:

Definite Starters: Zambrano, Prior, Maddux
Definite Relievers: Dempster, Eyre, Howry, Williamson
Definite Minors: Aardsma, Guzman, Marmol, Marshall, Pinto, Ryu

Assuming Dusty goes with a 5-man rotation and a 7-man bullpen, that leaves open two spots in the rotation and three spots in the bullpen -- to be filled among 11 pitchers currently on the 40-man. (Whether he needs a 12-man staff is another issue.)

In order of relative certainty:

Nolasco -- Most likely in Iowa, unless something outrageous happens. Has three option years.

Koronka -- Ditto, but with two option years.

Williams -- He's almost certain to be on the MLB team as an SP, but I believe he does have an option left (one was used last year, one was used in 2003)

Wood -- We know he's on the MLB team, if healthy, but we don't know if he'll be an SP or RP. My guess is that he'll be an SP and that if he's not an SP, he'll be on the DL.

Wuertz -- One of our better RPs last season, I expect him back in the pen, although he does have two option years remaining (the only one used was in 2004)

Mitre -- Out of options and most likely gone. I can't see him beating out the likes of Rusch or Williams for a rotation spot (even considering his lack of options), and when they have Eyre, Ohman, and maybe Rusch in the pen, I can't see him sticking there either.

Rusch -- He's on the MLB team for sure, but where depends on Wood. If Wood is hurt, Rusch is an SP; otherwise, he's probably taking an RP slot.

Wellemeyer -- Most likely the final RP. He's probably worse than Novoa, but he's also out of options, so if he doesn't have a role with the MLB club, they'll need to subject him to waivers -- that alone should keep him in the 7th bullpen slot.

Novoa -- Most likely in Iowa, as he has an option year remaining.

Hill -- Most likely in Iowa, as it will be tough for him to take a SP slot from Rusch or Williams, and less likely for the Cubs to put him in the bullpen when they have Eyre, Ohman, and maybe Rusch.

Ohman -- The Cubs need a second lefty RP and Ohman did a decent job, but whether he stays depends on what they do with Rusch. I'm not sure if he has options left (one was used last year, but others may have been used during the 2000-03 period when they purchased his contract, but had him on the DL).

In other words, of the five available slots, I figure they'll go to Rusch, Williams, Wuertz, Wellemeyer, and Ohman -- if Wood is on the DL. If Wood is healthy, he'll be in the rotation, Rusch will be in the pen, and Ohman will be in Iowa (if he has an option -- if not, perhaps they waive either him or Wellemeyer).

Nolasco, Koronka, Novoa, and Hill should be in Iowa, and Mitre should be waived.

This is where they stand now. If Dusty gets frisky or vindictive with Wuertz, I suppose he could bring up Novoa, but I would have liked to have Van Buren available as a second option.
   56. Neil M Posted: December 02, 2005 at 09:30 PM (#1757184)
I think that, options aside, the Cubs rate Novoa more highly than they do Wellemeyer. As the Rockies are supposedly pursuing him, I'll guess that Wellemeyer goes, probably for another PTBNL, and Novoa gets the final slot.

I also have a sneaky feeling that, if Rusch doesn't get a starting spot, he might be traded next spring.
   57. Sweet Posted: December 02, 2005 at 09:45 PM (#1757221)
Hendry has said that Ohman will be in the bullpen next year. I think Novoa will be as well. Wellemeyer's probably gone. I think Williams starts in Iowa, although I wouldn't be shocked if he was traded. Barring trades -- which is silly, because there will certainly be some -- here's how I think the upper-level pitching shakes out:

<u>CHICAGO</u>
Zambrano
Prior
Wood
Maddux
Rusch
---
Dempster
Howry
Eyre
Williamson
Ohman
Wuertz
Novoa

<u>IOWA</u>
Williams
Hill
Nolasco
Pinto
Ryu
Mitre
(Hm. Six starters, all of whom belong at AAA or above. Any of these guys could be traded.)
---
Koronka
Brownlie
Shipman
Aardsma
Valdez
Haines
Etc.

<u>WEST TENN</u>
Guzman (could start at AAA)
Marmol
Marshall
Connolly
Ransom?
---
Mateo
Etc.

***

That's a pretty crowded picture, with not a whole lot of separation among the 10 or so starters at AAA and AA. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Any notes from those who listened to the Hendry interview today?
   58. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 09:53 PM (#1757236)
I think that, options aside, the Cubs rate Novoa more highly than they do Wellemeyer. As the Rockies are supposedly pursuing him, I'll guess that Wellemeyer goes, probably for another PTBNL, and Novoa gets the final slot.

I agree, but Wellemeyer hasn't been dealt yet. Until then, I figure he's in Chicago.

I also don't see the Cubs trading Rusch just months after signing him to a multi-year deal.
   59. Neil M Posted: December 02, 2005 at 10:28 PM (#1757297)
Any notes from those who listened to the Hendry interview today?

It was a short phone interview, with Murphy interrupting too often, not that any pearls of wisdom were being dispensed.

Questioned Hendry as to the retention of the entire coaching staff in view of admitted problems with 'fundamentals' (including playing Dusty's 'blame everyone else' excerpt from yesterday). Hendry said he thought they could all still do a job and that it would be unfair to single anyone out.

Played Dusty's '4-year contract' section and asked why, if the Cubs were on a 4-year plan, they hadn't tried more youngsters in '03 and '04. Hendry didn't really get to respond to that.

WRT contract extensions, he dismissed the talk as 'irrelevant'. Not much else that I can recall.

------------------

I also don't see the Cubs trading Rusch just months after signing him to a multi-year deal.

It's possible that the 'chance to earn a starting job' could include an agreement that, if there's no spot with the Cubs, the club might move him to someone who would use him. I don't know. It's just a notion.
   60. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 02, 2005 at 10:53 PM (#1757337)
Ohman -- The Cubs need a second lefty RP and Ohman did a decent job, but whether he stays depends on what they do with Rusch. I'm not sure if he has options left (one was used last year, but others may have been used during the 2000-03 period when they purchased his contract, but had him on the DL).

-snip-

Ohman will be in Iowa (if he has an option -- if not, perhaps they waive either him or Wellemeyer).

That's just silly. In spite of our opinions on the Neifi signing and Macias's existence on the team, they're not *that* stupid. Waive Ohman? Come on.
   61. Sweet Posted: December 02, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1757387)
From the article announcing the Eyre signing:

Adding Eyre doesn't eliminate Ohman from the picture. Ohman posted a 2.91 ERA in 69 games this season, his first full year in the big leagues after three elbow operations.

"Ohman earned the opportunity to be on the ballclub next year," Hendry said. "This is not a negative to Will in any way, shape or form."


OK, so he didn't say that Ohman had earned a spot on the 2006 club, just the "opportunity" to get a spot, but I'd be really surprised if he didn't break camp with the team.
   62. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 02, 2005 at 11:31 PM (#1757407)
It was a short phone interview, with Murphy interrupting too often, not that any pearls of wisdom were being dispensed.

The interview was much better than I would have predicted. I summarized it on the Furcal thread.

Murphy did interrupt at times, but I think he wanted to keep Hendry on track, address Murphy's questions, and understand that he only had about 12 mins.

At times, Murphy was almost combative, not allowing Hendry to simply express optimism for 2006 and wanting answers about what went wrong in 2005 and what's being done with the same cast of characters in the managing/coaching ranks.

Hendry, for his part, simply wanted to say that he's not going accept 79 wins and say that he's looking forward to next year. The last thing he wanted to do was to address questions regarding what Dusty said yesterday or what he and Dusty said over the last few months -- which was what Murphy was asking about (and rightfully so, IMO).
   63. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 02, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1757436)
Van Buren has a better performance record than any of those guys.

Kind of an apples and oranges thing though, and Van Buren doesn't have the stuff Zambrano does to make up for that lousy walk rate.

I just don't see much of a major league career here.

This is the zillionth sign that the organization is still in the same mindset. This is the reason why the Cubs have dozens of guys who can dial it into the mid 90's and none of them show any semblance of control.

I've resisted trashing the Cubs for this, because I assume that this is a problem in every organization.
   64. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 03, 2005 at 01:30 AM (#1757528)
I've resisted trashing the Cubs for this, because I assume that this is a problem in every organization.

I think your statement has truth in it but Chicago's system has been lauded for years and produced very little.

Going off the top of my head, here are the RHPs that have come up with Chicago over the past few seasons:

Leicester
Wellemeyer
Wuertz
Beltran
Mitre

If we go back a bit further you can add guys like Wood and Farnsworth. Those pitchers have pretty similar profiles (with the possible exception of Mitre).

I just don't see much of a major league career here.

I don't think he's anything special either. My point is that he's a different mold than the other RHPs in the system and he was jettisoned. I think he's better than Wellemeyer, for instance, though it's impossible to say that Chicago would have gotten anything useful for Todd.
   65. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 01:55 AM (#1757560)
I think your statement has truth in it but Chicago's system has been lauded for years and produced very little.

Yeah, but is that the Cubs fault? If BA consistently ranks guys and teams with high K rates, without regard to their K/BB -- both those with the Cubs and in other organizations -- why should the Cubs be singled out if they are no worse than any others?


Going off the top of my head, here are the RHPs that have come up with Chicago over the past few seasons:

Leicester
Wellemeyer
Wuertz
Beltran
Mitre

If we go back a bit further you can add guys like Wood and Farnsworth. Those pitchers have pretty similar profiles (with the possible exception of Mitre).


Of these, only Wood was really projected highly. The others may have gotten a sniff of a top 10 list, but none rated as high as guys like Guzman, Brownlie, Blasko, Hagerty, Nolasco, or even Cruz. (Maybe there is a point to be made about the fact so many of these guys got hurt.)

Other than Wood, the only guys I can think of who were really projected highly and turned out to be power pitchers with control issues were was Andy Sisco and (to some extent) Juan Cruz.
   66. zonk Posted: December 03, 2005 at 08:20 AM (#1757849)

I think your statement has truth in it but Chicago's system has been lauded for years and produced very little.


Pops-

I think you're being a bit unfair - I share the frustration - and maybe you can write Prior off as extraordinarily good luck rather than scouting and development, but Zambrano, Prior, Farnsworth, and Wood have all had extended periods of excellence -- while others like Justin Jones have brought in Nomar (as poorly as that turned out) or grew up elsewhere like Dontrelle Willis. The only real flops -- Cruz, Beltran, Brownlie -- still have time to have a career, and let's be honest -- EVERYONE loved Cruz.

No - it's not a vintage Dodger pitcher factory, but in the 25-30 years I've been a Cubs fan, it's the certainly the best run of home grown pitching talent I've seen from the organization. I mean - you had a couple of good to great relief arms in the late 70s and early 80s (Lee Smith and Bruce Sutter), Maddux in the late 80s... maybe Traschel... and that's pretty much it till Wood -- or Zambrano if you don't count Wood to this regime's credit.

Even the lesser guys -- Bruback went in one of the Pirates trades, Courtney Duncan had a decent couple months, etc -- are better than Meredith, Pico, Altamirano, and tons of other forgettables.

If you put any credence in TINSTAAPP or the idea that for every 10 pitching prospects, one of 'em pans out -- I think the Cubs have done fairly well for themselves. If nothing else - Z and Prior are building blocks for the next 5 years.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not defending some of the idiotic roster moves and developmental failures of the last 2 years, but getting return on their pitching prospects hasn't been the problem.
   67. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 04:45 PM (#1757977)
but in the 25-30 years I've been a Cubs fan, it's the certainly the best run of home grown pitching talent I've seen from the organization.

In the early/mid 70s, the Cubs brought up/introduced to the big leagues --

Rick Reuschel
Paul Reuschel
Burt Hooton
Mike Krukow
Dennis Lamp
Bruce Sutter
Ray Burris
Bill Bonham
Donnie Moore

All homegrown (though Hooton, like Prior, was nearly a finished product out of college).
   68. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 04:47 PM (#1757983)
Lee Smith too, of course, but he was in the later 70s.
   69. Darren Posted: December 03, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1757989)
Forgive me, but what is "Old Kinderhook?"
   70. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 03, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1757990)
A while ago I was talking about most under-achieving franchises in baseball history. When I think about all the talent the Cubs have produced over the years, combined with the market they're it, it's got to be them.
   71. Neil M Posted: December 03, 2005 at 05:09 PM (#1758009)
Lee Smith too, of course, but he was in the later 70s.

Smith's debut was 9/1/80. I was there. It was the last game I saw before moving back to Britain. Didn't see another Cubs game until '84.
   72. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1758015)
I meant that Smith was drafted/developed in the late 70s, but didn't mean to be precise about it.

The others on my list were acquired anywhere from '68-'73 and first saw the bigs in '71-'77.
   73. Neil M Posted: December 03, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1758020)
Sorry, dJf. I wasn't correcting you - just reminiscing about the month when the Cubs pen boasted Sutter, Smith, Hernandez and Caudill.
   74. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1758021)
Hernandez was a Rule 5 draftee, as it turned out. I forget about Caudill.
   75. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 03, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1758118)
I should be more careful with my language. I'm not berating the Cubs for failing to produce pitchers. I'm annoyed that they seem to produce and give opportunities to the same kind of right handed pitcher. Van Buren doesn't throw 95 so he's been moved. Brownlie might have deserved a shot by putting up decent stats in the minors but his chronic biceps injury has lowered his velocity and Chicago never gave him opportunities.

It looks to me as if the Cubs look for the fireballers with huge walk rates. Let's watch and see what they do with soft-tossing Jerome Williams.
   76. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: December 03, 2005 at 07:11 PM (#1758151)
Williams -- He's almost certain to be on the MLB team as an SP, but I believe he does have an option left (one was used last year, one was used in 2003)

I really hope so. I like a lot of what I saw out of him last year, and I'd rather see the Cubs give him 30 starts this year than give them to a guy like Rusch (whose upside we pretty much know is league average at best).

That said, I expect Williams to start the year in AAA if Wood is healthy and stay there until either someone gets hurt or the Cubs decide they need Rusch in the bullpen.
   77. Neil M Posted: December 03, 2005 at 07:26 PM (#1758189)
I'll second your enthusiasm for Williams, UCCF.

I thought he put up some very good performances last year, especially when a big chunk of his year was a physical and emotional rehab process.

He's young - younger than Zambrano - but shows good composure and a pretty decent temparament. There's plenty to come from him.
   78. Neil M Posted: December 03, 2005 at 08:02 PM (#1758239)
Some themes are universal.

I've just been listening to a soccer phone-in here in Scotland.

One of the two traditionally dominant clubs, Glasgow Rangers, are having what is for them a historically bad year.

So...

The manager is hopeless. His team selection is deplorable, his tactical decisions absurd. He has to go.

The owners are inept. They've allowed vast expenditure on underperforming signings and now won't allow the manager money to repair the situation, They have to go.

The overpaid veterans are useless. Theu perform badly but are never benched. They have to go.

The season is a write-off. Play the kids. See what they can do.

Season-ticket holders are vowing never again.

Sounds vaguely familiar...
   79. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 08:49 PM (#1758309)
Hearts is still looking good, though, although they've had all sorts of turmoil and soap operas this year.

I got into soccer in on a trip to Europe in '97. When I was in Edinburgh, I decided to catch a match and it so happened that Hearts was in town, so I've been a small fan ever since. (Sorry if you're a Hibs fan, Neil).
   80. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 08:50 PM (#1758311)
I'm annoyed that they seem to produce and give opportunities to the same kind of right handed pitcher.

You're right, Pops, and I'm not saying that it isn't a bit frustrating, but what you're saying is true for the rest of MLB as well.
   81. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 03, 2005 at 08:51 PM (#1758313)
Oh, and the Cubs/Rangers parallel doesn't quite work -- Rangers is far too successful.
   82. The Hop-Clop Goes On (psa1) Posted: December 03, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1758319)
Forgive me, but what is "Old Kinderhook?"

Old Kinderhook was the other, more famous Van Buren, nicknamed after his home town, Kinderhook, NY.
   83. Neil M Posted: December 03, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1758320)
dJf -

I seem to recall somebody. you perhaps, mentioning they owned a Hearts shirt at some point.

Me, I'm no fan of either Edinburgh side - although I used to go watch them both from time to time. My small, home-town team has now been in existence since c1890 and has never, ever won a national trophy of any sort.

Support for doomed enterprises is in my blood.
   84. Noel Redding Posted: December 04, 2005 at 02:35 AM (#1758876)
I hope Van Buren pans out. If the Phillies fans can break out the "Wolf Pack" whenever Randy Wolf pitches, how great would it be for Red Sox fans to become the "Van Buren Boys"?

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