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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cubs - Signed Fukudome

Chicago Cubs - Signed OF Kosuke Fukudome to a 4-year, $50 million contract.

I like this signing a lot.  $12 million doesn’t buy as much as it used to in the American free agent market and when the opportunity arises, I think a team like the Cubs should roll the dice at getting a star, which would have a huge impact on the NL Central race the next few years, rather than play it safe with mediocrity.  Fukudome did have minor surgery this season on his right elbow but it’s reportedly not an issue and since it’s the Giants and not the Cubs that diagnosed this, I’ll give Fukudome’s health the benefit of the doubt.  If the Cubs had said he had bone fragments in his elbow removed, the truth likely would have been that he had his arm below the elbow removed or lupus or something.

Fukudome should be the starting rightfielder for the Cubs and if his translation from Japan to the US is more like the Godzilla Matsui and not the Gobot Matsui, there’s a pretty good chance that the Cubs become the prohibitive favorite in the NL Central, where a 92-win team is probably enough to coast to the playoffs.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Kosuke Fukudome
———————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+
———————————————————————————————————————
Projection   457 66 134 33 2 13 67 64 100   1 .293 .382 .460   114
2009?      444 66 129 33 1 14 66 59 93   2 .291 .376 .464   113
2010?      386 57 108 26 1 10 57 55 85   2 .280 .372 .430   104
2011?      327 45   90 20 0   8 50 43 72   1 .275 .362 .410   97
———————————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  537 91 170 42 3 19 87 87 95   4 .317 .415 .512   135
Pes. (15%)  376 46   98 25 0   8 45 44 86   0 .262 .341 .391   87
———————————————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Jay Johnstone, Dixie Walker

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 12, 2007 at 02:20 PM | 111 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. plim Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:00 PM (#2642407)
the cubs already have a 26 year old, $415k (in 07) version of him in Matt Murton. why sign him?
   2. Mike Green Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:04 PM (#2642410)
Fukudome will be 31 in April. The BABIP (and consequentially batting average) projection looks high to me. Fukudome's ZIPS projection would be for a better first season than Godzilla's.
   3. Juan V Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:10 PM (#2642415)
Yay! Thanks for OPS+ projections in ZiPS!
   4. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2642420)
plim, that's exactly the point I just made on my site, talking about this signing. Fokudome is a better player than Matt Murton, I'm pretty confident, but not much better, probably one win, maybe two wins better. The Cubs are paying a lot of money for a little bit of improvement, and I can only assume this means they're pretty sure they're shipping Murton to the Orioles for somebody.
   5. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2642422)
OPS+??? Aw man, Dan, you rock.
   6. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:18 PM (#2642426)
but not much better, probably one win, maybe two wins better.

Isn't that (1-2 wins) a pretty massive difference?
   7. shoewizard Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:19 PM (#2642428)
OPS+??? Aw man, Dan, you rock.

Yeah, but as much as Goldman?
   8. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2642431)
It's not massive. One win is roughly the offensive difference between, say, Miguel Cabrera (.320/.401/.565 in a pitcher's park) and David Wright (1 win better at .325/.416/.546 in a slightly less extreme pitcher's park). I expect Fokudome to be pretty nearly the kind of hitter as Murton, or a smidgeon better, and better in the field and on the bases. I don't know that it's worth paying $48 million for, but it's pretty clear by now that, for whatever reason, the Cubs hate Matt Murton and intend to unload him.
   9. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:24 PM (#2642436)
BvA, love that "REJECTED" stamp you put on Murton's card. That's at least mildly amusing.

Not sure what to make of Murton, but Rich Hill and Murton for....well, for Roberts?

I guess I'd hit that.
   10. AROM Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2642438)
Angels are paying Hunter 18 million to be a one win upgrade on Matthews.

Fukudome's ZIPS projection would be for a better first season than Godzilla's.


Iguchi had a better first season than Godzilla. Godzilla just happened to have his worst season in a decade the year he came over to the Yankees. It shouldn't be surprising that other great Japanese players project to hit better than he did in 2003, even if they are not as good as Matsui overall.
   11. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:28 PM (#2642439)
The fact that the Cubs don't think much of Matt Murton doesn't really bear much on this signing. Murton was going to be marginalized by someone, and in this case, at least he's being marginalized by a superior player. When we're talking about the Cubs, you have to consider this a victory. The best thing for all parties is for the Cubs to turn Murton and a prospect into another player.
   12. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:31 PM (#2642441)
I've been one of Matt Murton's biggest defenders, but considering OBP, handedness, defense, and baserunning, this is almost certainly a large upgrade.

What'll be interesting is what follows this signing; if they can leverage some combination of prospects into Tejada while using Murton in right (assuming Pie would leave via trade), this becomes a hell of a lineup. They seem more inclined to go after Roberts, which would leave DeRosa as the poor-man's-Tony-Phillips utility guy who plays 130 games, while not addressing the weakness at shortstop. And the Murton/DeRosa combo in right wouldn't be optimal since (1) both guys bat righty and (2) DeRosa, while a very useful and versatile player who hits well for a middle infielder (causing me and others to wonder why they're fixated on Roberts rather than Tejada), doesn't have the bat to carry an outfield corner.

I guess what I'm saying is, these next few days/weeks should be interesting. I think the Fukudome signing's a positive for the Cubs regardless of what else happens, but the Cubs could leverage it into something REALLY good for next year, or something only marginally good.
   13. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2642442)
Actually, as AR suggests, I wonder if it'll be Murton + high-level prospects (Gallagher/Marhsall/somebody) that ends up netting one of the Orioles' middle infielders, rather than Pie.
   14. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:33 PM (#2642444)
Not sure what to make of Murton, but Rich Hill and Murton for....well, for Roberts?

I guess I'd hit that.


Hell we'll throw in Pie and Gallagher too.
   15. JPWF13 Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:33 PM (#2642445)
Fukudome's ZIPS projection would be for a better first season than Godzilla's.


Godzilla needed an adjustment period to get acclimated to the MLB
Ichiro didn't
KazMat never really adjusted- his game just really didn't translate- sometimes this stuff is non-linear. Godzilla lost nearly 1/2 his homers on a per PA basis (after his rookie year)- If Kazmat ONLY lost 1/2 we'd be talking about a guy who'd hit 12-18 per 600 PAs- (he's got 17 in 1522 PAs, at a rate of 15/600 he'd have 38-
If Kazmat had 21 extra flyballs clear the fence to reach 38 his line would be .287/.334/.448 with an OPS+ of 99 rather than his real line of .272/.325/.387/82- I believe .334/.448 pretty much matches the projections and MLEs I saw for Kazmat before he played here.


IOW, the big question for Chicago is how does Fukudome's power translate- did he have power in Japan because he was regularly able to clear the shorter fences- which is evidently how KazMat reached 30+ in Japan- or does he have real Power like Godzilla?
   16. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:38 PM (#2642451)
the cubs already have a 26 year old, $415k (in 07) version of him in Matt Murton. why sign him?

Murton is RH for starters. He's also not a particularly good defender.
   17. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2642452)
SSR:

People drool over Pie, and they should drool over Rich Hill (shouldn't they?), so I'd think those two plus prospects should be enough to reel in Tejada or Roberts.

I'm terrified that the O's will screw this up and get throughly fleeced.
   18. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2642454)
Hill + Murton + Cedeno + some prospect ought to be enough to land Tejada. I'd do that deal if I were the Orioles, I think, unless somebody else outbid it.
   19. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:42 PM (#2642456)
SSR:

As I don't know your style, I would have benefited from some <snark></snark> tags, or something like that.
   20. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2642458)
does he have real Power like Godzilla

Must...resist...urge...
   21. CFiJ Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:48 PM (#2642461)
When Hideki first came over, he turned himself into Ichiro. Inexplicably. For some reason he felt that he should keep his average up (this is attested in interviews), so he started slapping the ball around, going to the opposite field a lot. He had extreme groundball/flyball ratios. Eventually he realized the Yankees were paying him to hit homers and he got his power stroke back.

Interestingly, Hideki Matsui played in the Central League, with its tiny parks, and Kazuo Matsui played in the Pacific League with it's comparatively larger parks. But then, Hideki was hitting bombs, even in the CL. Not a lot just clearing the fence. Fukudome played in the Central League, but his homefield was the Nagoya Dome, which is the biggest park in the CL, comparable to the PL parks. Hopefully, moving to Wrigley, with it's shortest alleys in all of MLB, will keep his numbers up.
   22. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2642463)
I've been one of Matt Murton's biggest defenders, but considering OBP, handedness, defense, and baserunning, this is almost certainly a large upgrade.

Yeah it's a clear upgrade. Murton hasn't gotten the fairest treatment but the guy has had OPS+ numbers of 104 and 100 (in about 700 total at bats) in the last two seasons while his performance in Iowa last year was absolutely dwarfed by Pie's line.

Murton does have potential if he ever discovers how to use his big frame to generate more power. He's getting a bit old for a self-stylized contender to wait on him.
   23. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:54 PM (#2642465)
I've been one of Matt Murton's biggest defenders, but considering OBP, handedness, defense, and baserunning, this is almost certainly a large upgrade.

Yeah it's a clear upgrade. Murton hasn't gotten the fairest treatment but the guy has had OPS+ numbers of 104 and 100 (in about 700 total at bats) in the last two seasons while his performance in Iowa last year was absolutely dwarfed by Pie's line.

Murton does have potential if he ever discovers how to use his big frame to generate more power. He's getting a bit old for a self-stylized contender to wait on him.
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2642467)
Hell we'll throw in Pie and Gallagher too.

And Soriano, ARam, Zambrano and Lee, but only if you let us pay their salaries.
   25. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2642472)
I've been one of Matt Murton's biggest defenders, but considering OBP, handedness, defense, and baserunning, this is almost certainly a large upgrade.

Yeah it's a clear upgrade. Murton hasn't gotten the fairest treatment but the guy has had OPS+ numbers of 104 and 100 (in about 700 total at bats) in the last two seasons while his performance in Iowa last year was absolutely dwarfed by Pie's line.

Murton does have potential if he ever discovers how to use his big frame to generate more power. He's getting a bit old for a self-stylized contender to wait on him.
   26. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2642473)
People drool over Pie, and they should drool over Rich Hill (shouldn't they?), so I'd think those two plus prospects should be enough to reel in Tejada or Roberts.

Well, who doesn't drool over Pie? Particularly peanut butter or pecan.

If the Cubs trade that pair for Roberts, they're idiots. Basically, I'm opposed to just about any trade involving Hill, since the offense is obviously built to win now, and the Cubs wouldn't have 3 reliable starters if they got rid of him.
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2642475)
Editorial comment: I think the O's fans on this board are grotesquely overrating Roberts' and Tejada's trade value.
   28. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:02 PM (#2642477)
or does he have real Power like Godzilla?

I don’t want to disappoint my Japanese public. Especially Godzilla! Ha ha, I’m just kidding. I know he doesn’t care what humans do.
   29. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2642480)
#27:

Do tell.
   30. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:18 PM (#2642485)
29:

Most specifically, the "Roberts = Pie + Gallagher + Cedeno" or "Roberts = Murton + Hill" stuff. I wouldn't trade Hill for Roberts straight up, given the Cubs' thinness in the rotation, their existing quality second baseman, Hill's and Roberts' respective service time, and, well, the fact that Hill's a damn fine starting pitcher who'll probably get better.
   31. AROM Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2642487)
Would Cub fans do Hill + Pie + Cedeno + Murton for Roberts and Tejada?

That would make the Cubs almost the quality of an American League contender, and they'd blow away the NL.
   32. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2642488)
I like the signing. And I guess I pretty much agree with everything retro is saying here. No way do the Cubs trade Hill, IMO. I don't think they trade Pie either.
   33. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2642490)
No, I don't think so AROM. How much money are the Orioles giving the Cubs in that scenario? That makes De Rosa the FT RF and that's probably not a good thing. It also leaves the whole in the rotation. I do wonder why the Cubs aren't going after both though, and I'm sure there is a trade that would work. The Cubs would want to trade some prospects that are further away than that group though.
   34. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:27 PM (#2642495)
#30:

Saying "I'd hit that" on an offer of Hill-plus-reject for Roberts isn't the same as saying "Roberts is worth that much, at least."

And #18 was posted by a guy who runs a Cubs blog. Maybe he wasn't serious, but he doesn't appear to be an O's fan.
   35. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2642500)
Tejada is owed $13MM per year for 2008-09, and Roberts is owed $6.3MM (2008) and $8MM (2002), according to Cot's.

Roberts will be 31 or 32 at the end of his contract, and Tejada will be 33 at the end of his. Those look to be some pretty cheap contracts, to me.

I guess you are convinced that both these guys have already completed their decline phase, and will be useless in the next two years.
   36. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2642502)
Sorry, I meant "$8MM (2009)" for Roberts.
   37. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2642506)
I guess you are convinced that both these guys have already completed their decline phase, and will be useless in the next two years.

That sure is reading a lot into my comments that's not there. The Cubs are increasing their payroll by 17 or 18 million in that deal, and while they definitely can afford it, it doesn't seem like a fair offer. If a team is giving another team that much salary relief, they don't give up nearly that much talent. That's 4 contributors not arb eligible yet. Plus with the Cubs ownership situation, who knows how much wiggle room they actually have to work with.

I'm pretty sure the upgrade at SS and 2B, at the expense of the OF and rotation is worth $17mil. That's all.
   38. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2642507)
Sorry, that's should be ISN'T worth it.
   39. Mike Green Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:53 PM (#2642508)
Fukudome's projected BABIP of .352 would have placed him 9th in the National League behind Holliday, Renteria, Derrek Lee, Utley, Dmitri Young, Wright, Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez. The only players who have been able to sustain a BABIP anything like this, without significant power or speed, play in Colorado. If you knock 15 points off the BABIP (with consequential changes to OPS and OPS+, you have a reasonable projection. He could, of course, have a BABIP season like Renteria's or Young's 2007 seasons, but not likely. If he does match the OPS+ projection, it is more likely to come from more home runs than the 13 projected.
   40. JPWF13 Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2642512)
Yeah it's a clear upgrade. Murton hasn't gotten the fairest treatment but the guy has had OPS+ numbers of 104 and 100 (in about 700 total at bats) in the last two seasons while his performance in Iowa last year was absolutely dwarfed by Pie's line.


Pie: .362/.410/.563
Murton:.331/.407.570

Dwarfed?????

Murton's career minor league #s .312/.383/.467
Pie's: .300/.355/.469 (BB/K of 182/478)

Pie has an age advantage- but he has yet to demonstrate a performance advantage
FWIW at Iowa, Corey P hit .253/.308/.387 and .297/.366/.505 (in only 91 ABs in 2005), and .282/.334/.499 overall in his minor league career (BB/K of 107/284) Corey's minor league numbers are lifted up by a great year in single A- Pie has significantly outperformed Corey at higher Minor League levels levels
   41. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2642514)
Moses, I was actually referring to retro's claim Roberts and Tejada are "grotesquely" overrated.

Of course, you did say you agreed with him.
   42. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2642515)
JPW, there's a significat age difference, plus Pie is a good CFer (not a bad corner OF like Murton), and he has a lot less AAA (and overall) experience. I'd say dwarfed is a fine word to use for that situation.
   43. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2642516)
Moses, I was actually referring to retro's claim Roberts and Tejada are "grotesquely" overrated.

Too bad that's not what he said.
   44. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:05 PM (#2642520)
That would make the Cubs almost the quality of an American League contender, and they'd blow away the NL.

Tempting. It'd make for a hell of a lineup (with a strong bench as well), but the rotation would be worrisome. What'd it be: Z, Lilly, Marquis, Dempster, Gallagher/Marshall? Dicey.
   45. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2642523)
Saying "I'd hit that" on an offer of Hill-plus-reject for Roberts isn't the same as saying "Roberts is worth that much, at least."

And #18 was posted by a guy who runs a Cubs blog. Maybe he wasn't serious, but he doesn't appear to be an O's fan.


Points taken, but I was careful to say "on this BOARD" rather than "on this THREAD;" I had Yearrrggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh's comments in mind from yesterday when I wrote that.
   46. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:11 PM (#2642527)
Pie has significantly outperformed Corey at higher Minor League levels levels

And at younger ages (by 2 years). Pie is a MUCH better prospect than Patterson was.
   47. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2642528)
Sigh.

Dude, in the context of this thread, yes, he did say that. Everyone here knows that the context of this thread is trade value.

C'mon, man, this shouldn't have to be spelled out for you.
   48. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2642529)
Moses, I was actually referring to retro's claim Roberts and Tejada are "grotesquely" overrated.

I didn't say that. I said O's fans are overrating their trade value, vis-a-vis what they should expect to get from the Cubs.
   49. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:14 PM (#2642531)
Sorry, again, #47 is meant for #43.

#46:

That's actually why I said, "do tell." I'm not aware of the extra-thread comments you referred to, and I just wanted to know what other O's fans were saying.
   50. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:14 PM (#2642532)
And I see Moses has my back here, so I needn't have bothered with that last. Anyway--I think Roberts and Tejada are both very fine players. I also don't think, given their age and contract status, that they're worth the sorts of packages O's fans are positing. That's all.
   51. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2642533)
#48, allow me to introduce #47.
   52. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:21 PM (#2642539)
And, 51, you're still wrong. There's a distinction between saying "Tejada and Roberts are overrated" and saying "O's fans are being unrealistic in their demands, in the case of a possible deal with the Cubs." Perhaps my original comment should've specified that "their trade value *in a possible deal with the Cubs in particular* is being overrated," but that's still not the same thing as calling the players themselves overrated.

In any event, this is a silly semantic argument; I stand by my view that the posited cost for Roberts and/or Tejada from the O's fan camp is too high, regardless of whether or not that means I consider either player "overrated."
   53. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:22 PM (#2642541)
#50:

OK, so we are talking about two "very fine" middle infielders, with very reasonable contracts.

If it's true that the Cubs are "win now" mode, why wouldn't the Cubs want some of that action? Why is asking for good prospects for these two such a grotesque overrating of Roberts and Tejada?

I'll guess I'll have to check the other thread to see these egregious propositions. Which one was it?
   54. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:25 PM (#2642542)
Why is asking for good prospects for these two such a grotesque overrating of Roberts and Tejada?

Rich Hill isn't a "prospect." He's a solid #3 major league starter. Assuming Bedard's traded, he'd be the Orioles' ace.

And it's not the notion of trading "good prospects" I object to--it's the combination of quality *and* quantity that seems to be the consensus price that bugs me.
   55. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:29 PM (#2642548)
#52:

I was wrong about the context of the thread?

I referred your comment with the understanding that we all knew what the bloody context was, chief. It's unreasonable, even for BTF, to demand that someone reestablish context before every post. I mean, I know you're a lawyer and all, but, c'mon, just throttle back a little.

For the reocrd, I think Rich Hill is awesome, and were I a Cubs fan, I'd hope that Hendry would have to be bowled over to move him.
   56. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2642557)
#54:

Fine, boss, he's not a prospect. You got it.

Again, for the record, I would do the deal that AROM "posited" in #31. You said it was tempting, so we're really not too far apart.
   57. JPWF13 Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2642578)
Pie has significantly outperformed Corey at higher Minor League levels levels

And at younger ages (by 2 years). Pie is a MUCH better prospect than Patterson was.


Yes, we know that, but many Cubs fans are hung up on the similarities with Pie, and more importantly the Cubbies themselves do not appear to think Pie rates as a better prospect than Patterson did.

Part of the problem was that Corey was grossly overrated as a prospect, he never should have been highly rated as he was. His AA and AAA performance should have thrown up huge caution flags (they did to some extent, just not enough).

I think a similar situation involved the Dodgers and Konerko- When Konerko reached the MLB level, the Dodgers (and their fans) looked at him and say Greg Brock. Brock played extremely well in AAA at age 25- Konerko at age 21. In and of itself, that distinction should have ended any comparison between them. The Dodgers couldn't wait to trade Konerko.
   58. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:53 PM (#2642580)
Looks like Tejada wasn't worth much after all.
   59. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: December 12, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2642586)
Oriole Tragic,
You never really addressed the point of my post #37. You just responded to the initial comment. The monetary cost (~$17mil in 2008) + the young cheap players does not equal the upgrade that Tejada and Roberts offer, IMO. I think it's too much to give up. You think it would be a good trade for the Orioles, so we're in agreement there.

For the reocrd, I think Rich Hill is awesome, and were I a Cubs fan, I'd hope that Hendry would have to be bowled over to move him.

This is most definitely my stance on the issue. Hill should not be traded.
   60. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2642617)
#59:

Well, that comment wasn't meant for you, as I said. And any question about Tejada is pretty much moot.

I don't mind responding, anyway. I'm assuming that the Cubs are in Win 2008 mode, so the question is whether or not Roberts and Tejada give you a far better chance to "win now." The lineup with those two in seems like it would be pretty badass, but losing Hill would hurt.

Tough call.
   61. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 12, 2007 at 07:20 PM (#2642634)
I kept telling everyone that Tejada was going to be traded for beans. I didn't quite know why, possibly because the Os were telling everyone he can't play SS anymore, or maybe because of roid rumors, but man that's a weak return.

I think the O's fans prospective returns for Roberts are too high as well. Again, I keep saying, neither Pie or Hill will be involved in a Roberts trade unless Bedard is coming with him.
   62. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 12, 2007 at 07:22 PM (#2642640)
Of course Tejada wasn't going to be part of the Os next good taem, and MacPhail seems intent on donig things right and dumping these vets that won't be around in 2 years, so I guess it's the best they could do.
   63. AROM Posted: December 12, 2007 at 07:41 PM (#2642652)
Of course Tejada wasn't going to be part of the Os next good taem


I have a feeling you could say the same thing about Carlos Triunfel if the Orioles got him in a trade.
   64. DKDC Posted: December 12, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2642657)
I kept telling everyone that Tejada was going to be traded for beans.

Was he traded for beans?

Compare to an equivalent Cubs package:

Patton, Scott, Costanzo, Albers

vs.

Gallagher, Murton, Cedeno, Veal

The Astros package may be better across the board, actually.
   65. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2642660)
In this thread, "beans" means "anyone not named Hill or Pie."
   66. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:07 PM (#2642672)
Hmmmm, I didn't realize Patton was that good. I guess he does not qualify as beans. The rest is real eh to me. Luke Scott was going to be dumped this offseason no matter what.

I don't expect Murton, Cedeno, or Veal to be anything more than spare parts added on to top off a trade package for the Cubs.

Every incarnation of actual Roberts rumors I've read have been for beans too. Sean Gallagher should not be a centerpiece to a trade for a very good 2B, but that's what it sounds like it's gonna be. And I like Sean.
   67. DKDC Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:11 PM (#2642678)
Roberts is younger and cheaper than Tejada, and he's equally as valuable on the field.

He should fetch more than the equivalent of Gallagher, Murton, Cedeno, Veal. If not from the Cubs, then from someone else.
   68. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2642687)
I'm assuming that the Cubs are in Win 2008 mode

Why would you assume this? The Cubs have Soriano for another 6 years, ARam for another 5, Lee for 3(?), Zambrano for 5, Hill under control for 5, Lilly for 3(?), just signed Fukudome for 4, Pie under control for 6, etc. The Cubs clearly aren't building just for 2008. Which feels kinda nice even though I'm not sure it's a good long-term plan.
   69. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2642689)
DKDC, were the Cubs-Astros "packages" you mentioned in #64 meant to be one-to-one player equivalencies? I ask b/c I might rate Murton > Scott, if for no other reason than age. Couldn't Scott go Jay Gibbons on us pretty quickly?
   70. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2642693)
Walt, thanks for asking. I assumed that because I read it here.
   71. AROM Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:31 PM (#2642700)
Couldn't Scott go Jay Gibbons on us pretty quickly?


He could. Scott is pretty much the same player Gibbons was a few years ago when he was decent. They can go year to year on Luke, they'd have him for 4-5 years and by the time he's able to hit free agency, he'll probably have outlived his usefulness. Orioles just need to a void the temptation of giving him a 4 year deal like they did with Gibbons.
   72. DKDC Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:47 PM (#2642706)
Yes, he could go Jay Gibbons on the Orioles, or he could go David Ortiz on the Orioles.

Although he's quite a bit older than those two were...
   73. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 12, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2642710)
Why would you assume this? The Cubs have Soriano for another 6 years, ARam for another 5, Lee for 3(?), Zambrano for 5, Hill under control for 5, Lilly for 3(?), just signed Fukudome for 4, Pie under control for 6, etc. The Cubs clearly aren't building just for 2008. Which feels kinda nice even though I'm not sure it's a good long-term plan.

I'm not so sure that those long-term commitments represent a long-term commitment to winning. It's not like getting them for fewer years was an option.
   74. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2642727)
I'm not so sure that those long-term commitments represent a long-term commitment to winning. It's not like getting them for fewer years was an option.

Well, yes--giving them that many years was the only way to keep those guys around/get them in the first place, but the fact that they did what was needed to do that suggests a long-term commitment to winning, no? Whether it's the best way to go about it is separate question.
   75. Shalimar Posted: December 12, 2007 at 09:43 PM (#2642743)
#55: I referred your comment with the understanding that we all knew what the bloody context was, chief. It's unreasonable, even for BTF, to demand that someone reestablish context before every post.

Is your reading comprehension always so poor? There was no need for "context" because Retro's statement was very straightforward on it's own. All your "context" did was twist his words into something you could disagree with, even though he never said anything like what you claim he said. I'm embarrassed for you while I read through this thread, I would be apologizing profusely if I had been that wrong repeatedly.
   76. Mike Green Posted: December 12, 2007 at 09:49 PM (#2642749)
BP has Fukudome's PECOTA up in its unfiltered section. They have him with more IsoP, more walks and less BABIP (.289/.401/.504), i.e. a damn good hitter. The PECOTA projection makes sense internally, but is he really that good?
   77. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 12, 2007 at 10:04 PM (#2642760)
Well, yes--giving them that many years was the only way to keep those guys around/get them in the first place, but the fact that they did what was needed to do that suggests a long-term commitment to winning, no? Whether it's the best way to go about it is separate question.

No, I think both in theory and in reality, it is nothing more than a short-term commitment to winning. The Cubs made a long-term commitment to the players only because it bought them short-term improvement. And since I don't think these contracts will help them much when the players reach their mid-30s, in the long-term I think it's more likely a commitment to mediocrity.
   78. Spahn Insane Posted: December 12, 2007 at 10:18 PM (#2642781)
And since I don't think these contracts will help them much when the players reach their mid-30s, in the long-term I think it's more likely a commitment to mediocrity.

OK, but to the extent it reflects a willingness to spend the money necessary to retain top-tier talent, and that presumably this process can be repeated in future years, I don't know that it's strictly a "short-term commitment." Again, we can argue about the *merits* of this as a means of building a winning team, but I don't think it reflects a lack of long-term commitment.
   79. zonk Posted: December 12, 2007 at 10:48 PM (#2642845)

Why would you assume this? The Cubs have Soriano for another 6 years, ARam for another 5, Lee for 3(?), Zambrano for 5, Hill under control for 5, Lilly for 3(?), just signed Fukudome for 4, Pie under control for 6, etc. The Cubs clearly aren't building just for 2008. Which feels kinda nice even though I'm not sure it's a good long-term plan.


Sure, but I think the 2010-2011-2012 time period is going to be an awfully thin time to be a Cubs fan. Lotta 35 yo+ players making reaaaallllyyy big money by then.

Given the Cubs resources, this isn't the end of the world, I'm just concerned that as this ages - the Cubs might spend way too much money trying to wring another season of contention out of it and turn into the Orioles. Heaven forbid Z gets hurt, because I just cannot see how they squeeze another high dollar pitcher into the rotation should it become necessary.
   80. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: December 12, 2007 at 10:49 PM (#2642849)
#75: It's OK, you don't need to apologize.
   81. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:07 PM (#2642877)
I posted earlier but clearly the Internet demons are working against me.

Congratulations to the Cubs.

And to all the sons a b*tches who patronized Brewer fans with talk about, "Guys, don't worry. It's a lame division. You will have lots of chances" I point out the very obvious fact, as I did BEFORE, that baseball teams, like life, are NOT static.

The Brewers had a chance. And blew it. And now the Cubs and other teams are working dililgently to address issues. Which is how it should be.

Which is why NO fan should be told to be quit and sit idly by while his or her team fritters away an opportunity to win a division. There is a time for patience and a time for IMpatience.
   82. Master Shake Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2642886)
SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP

Harvey:
I'm sorry about the Brewers. But you underestimate their major league team as well as their farm system. Everyone should have more faith in Jack Zduenaksldfkick than in any other scouting director in the NL. I mean, Tim Wilken drafted Jeff Samardzija, and everyone thinks Tyler Colvin was really worth a first round pick in the Cubs organization.

The Brewers will be fine. They will be better. They will have Yovani Gallardo for a full season (knock on wood). They will have better infield defense when Ryan Braun is not a part of it. And they will mash, moreso than the Cubs, still.
   83. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:14 PM (#2642892)
MS:

Are you telling me to shut up?

If so, why?
   84. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2642901)
The Brewers had a chance. And blew it. And now the Cubs and other teams are working dililgently to address issues. Which is how it should be.

The Brewers performed exceptionally well in areas and ways that one would expect a team to repeat from year to year (their best players are young and therefore likely to repeat).

The Brewers performed exceptionally poorly in areas known for high variance from year to year (relief pitching) and have some talent in those areas.

Milwaukee is in line for one hell of a dead cat bounce next year.
   85. zonk Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:23 PM (#2642908)
I mean, Tim Wilken drafted Jeff Samardzija, and everyone thinks Tyler Colvin was really worth a first round pick in the Cubs organization.


Not that I'm a huge fan of either player, but Colvin was a budget pick the Cubs reached for to pay Samardjza. Whatever their public statements, I think insiders universally agreed that the Cubs "knew" Colvin was a 1st round reach, but wanted to save some cash.
   86. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:31 PM (#2642922)
and everyone thinks Tyler Colvin was really worth a first round pick in the Cubs organization

Colvin was rated the #44 prospect via the Minor League Baseball scouts poll. This pick seems to be vindicated.
   87. JPWF13 Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:37 PM (#2642930)
and everyone thinks Tyler Colvin was really worth a first round pick in the Cubs organization

Colvin was rated the #44 prospect via the Minor League Baseball scouts poll. This pick seems to be vindicated.


21 year old with a 101/15 K/bb rate in A/AA?

Pass
   88. Master Shake Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:43 PM (#2642944)
Harvey's:

Sorry, was not meant for you. See posts 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 56, 59, 60, 65, 75, & 80.
   89. Master Shake Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:45 PM (#2642947)
Whatever their public statements, I think insiders universally agreed that the Cubs "knew" Colvin was a 1st round reach, but wanted to save some cash.

Quite the opposite. Outsiders believed that the Cubs "knew" Colvin was a reach. Insiders know that the Cubs really thought Colvin was first-round material.

Regardless, the Cubs have both Colving and Samardzjia. And paid a lot for them.
   90. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 12, 2007 at 11:55 PM (#2642977)
The Brewers performed exceptionally well in areas and ways that one would expect a team to repeat from year to year (their best players are young and therefore likely to repeat).

Up to a point, yeah. Some of their kdis will improve or stay the same. Then again, Prince Fielder isn't a good bet to hit 50 homers a year. (No insult to him, it's just tough to do). Ryan Braun, for the same reason, isn't likely to homer every 3 games. Their best players, even thought they are young, have a very good shot to fall back a bit.

The Brewers performed exceptionally poorly in areas known for high variance from year to year (relief pitching) and have some talent in those areas.

Avg bullpen ERA in the NL last year: 4.08
Milwaukee's bullpen ERA last year: 4.24

It's bad, but "exceptionally poorly" is a major overstatement. Hell, their modest 101 park factor covers a good chunk of the difference. And part of the difference you see in ERA is really defense. Milwaukee still has a lousy fielding club. Adjusting for defense, they had an above average bullpen.

One other factor I'll add: last year they 24 starts from Ben Sheets. I dunno if they can get that again. The rest of their starters, aside from Gallardo, are lousy at striking batters out. Combine that with their defense, and they'll fall behind early in a lot of games, which won't set up the bullpen well.

Milwaukee is in line for one hell of a dead cat bounce next year.

A team that has had it's first winning season in almost 15 years and improves the next year isn't having a dead cat bounce.

They remind me a lot the 2000 White Sox. Tremendous amount of young talent, but not enough ability to prevent to opposition from scoring runs to make it worth a bit.
   91. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 13, 2007 at 12:26 AM (#2643023)
Avg bullpen ERA in the NL last year: 4.08
Milwaukee's bullpen ERA last year: 4.24


That surprises me (I should have looked it up). I thought Milwaukee had blown an inordinately high number of games in the late innings.
   92. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2007 at 12:38 AM (#2643042)
Pops:

17 leads of 3 runs or more.

The Crew are the baseball version of the old saw about a guy standing with one foot on a block of ice and one foot in a fire and being told by a stats man that on average he is ok.

1st half of season hotter than Hades.

2nd half colder than a witch's t#t.
   93. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 13, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2643054)
1st half bullpen ERAs (guys with 20 IP or more):

Villanueva 2.83 (1 UER)
Cordero 2.86
Wise 2.87 (3 UER)
Shouse 2.95 (1 UER)
Spurling 3.25 (2 UER)
Turnbow 3.49

2nd half ERAs:
Shouse 3.08 (2 UER)
Cordero 3.14 (2 UER)
Linebrink 3.55 (4 UER)
Parra 3.76 (1 UER)
Villanueva 5.17 (1 UER)
Turnbow 6.14 (1 UER)
Spurling 6.45 (3 UER)

honorable mention for Wise and his 7.31 in 16 IP (plus 2 UER) in the second half.
   94. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2007 at 05:50 AM (#2643362)
Walt, thanks for asking. I assumed that because I read it here.

Hell, that's just standard Cub fan depression. And it's just Andere. :-)

If the Cubs flip Pie (plus others) for Roberts then (1) the Cubs are idiots; (2) they're in win-now mode; and (3) they're idiots.

Hendry has many faults, but getting taken in trades has not generally been one of them. Even as the big loser in the Pierre trade, none of those guys has really blossomed into anything.

Now Murton, he's gone. But I'm OK with that. Beyond the fact that this team won't ever give him a chance, he has never looked like THAT good of a player. His lack of a role the last few years, his lack of a chance are symptoms of a major larger Cub problem but at the micro-level, he's a fairly replaceable part. And given the talent on-hand at the moment, the best use of Murton is to trade him to someone who values him (if such a team exists).

But as I said (roughly) during last season, Matt Murton's career is now a 250-450 PA OF ... maybe he could have been more and he's got a good chance to have a couple of "oh crap, we need a starting LF, we got any Craig Monroe types hanging around" sort of seasons ... but if you're 26, have never started, are defensively challenged, were viewed by your team as a platoon-type, and really the only impressive part of your ML resume was 160 PA in 2005 ... well, alas, your chances of being an ML regular are pretty much done.

(Murton on the O's doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, especially now that they've got Scott. They've got lots of Murton types around although they're mostly lefty. But presumably nobody's too excited about a Gibbons-Murton platoon ... though it probably wouldn't suck offensively.)

Similarly, at this point, Cedeno is pretty fungible, especially in a trade for a MI. Moving those guys for a short-term upgrade somewhere, especially if it doesn't stifle any prospects (i.e. it's not Figgins for CF), makes perfect sense because it doesn't detract from the long-term plan.

As I said, I'm not sure Hendry's long-term plan is a solid one -- that's a lot of money for a lot of guys who will be in their 30s (and/or heavily-used pitchers) as those contracts age. But I have little doubt that he thinks he's built a team that will contend for several years. This is not a "our window is closing, we need to give it one last shot" scenario.

Granted, it's the 100th anniversary ... and Hendry's job will be on the line when the team is sold ... so of course there's pressure to win this year. The Cubs are obviously trying to win in 2008 (good for us!!) but they are trying to win in 2009-10 as well.
   95. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 13, 2007 at 05:59 AM (#2643375)
Similarly, at this point, Cedeno is pretty fungible

What is Baltimore's plan at shortstop right now?
   96. NTNgod Posted: December 13, 2007 at 06:03 AM (#2643377)
honorable mention for Wise and his 7.31 in 16 IP (plus 2 UER) in the second half.


Wise fell apart after the beaning in Cincy. He's a fringy fastball/great changeup guy, so it's not like he has tons of margin for error, and he started pitching differently.
   97. NTNgod Posted: December 13, 2007 at 06:07 AM (#2643380)
Hell, their modest 101 park factor covers a good chunk of the difference.


Miller boosts HRs over the years, but destroys BA (visability, most likely), so it basically evens out, as you mention.
   98. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 13, 2007 at 06:34 AM (#2643396)
OK, but to the extent it reflects a willingness to spend the money necessary to retain top-tier talent, and that presumably this process can be repeated in future years, I don't know that it's strictly a "short-term commitment." Again, we can argue about the *merits* of this as a means of building a winning team, but I don't think it reflects a lack of long-term commitment.

I do. I don't think, "See! We locked up Player X for way more years than he is likely to be valuable" counts as long-term commitment.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Cubs are trying to win. They are trying to win NOW and are ignoring the long-term to get there.
   99. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 13, 2007 at 06:45 AM (#2643404)
Hell, that's just standard Cub fan depression. And it's just Andere. :-)

I'm really finding it hard to fathom how people think the Cubs are in anything but "win now at all costs" mode. Not that I am losing any sleep over this, since the 2008 Cubs represent one of the better chances for big success in my lifetime.
   100. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 13, 2007 at 06:51 AM (#2643408)
I'm really finding it hard to fathom how people think the Cubs are in anything but "win now at all costs" mode. Not that I am losing any sleep over this, since the 2008 Cubs represent one of the better chances for big success in my lifetime.


I think Hendry is in "Save my job" mode, but I think that 2008-2010 should be a very good window for the Cubs. It's not like anyone in the NL looks to be that much better than the Cubs, and the Cubs have legitimate stars at the 4 corner spots and good pitching, so it's not as if the team can't upgrade itself next year or in 2010. I think this team has as good a chance as anyone of making the World Series in the next 3 years, and I think their pitching is good enough to at least let them contend once there.

"Win now at all costs" mode would be trading Pie for Roberts, and putting Fukudome in CF and DeRosa in RF.
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