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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cubs - Signed Howry

Chicago Cubs - Signed P Bobby Howry to a 3-year contract worth up to $12 million.

$11 million of this appears to be guaranteed.  Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre have both been available on the waiver wire at some point, Howry more recently, but Jim Hendry hasn’t quite put two-and-two together and realized that in 2007, there will be some pretty darn good relievers that will have been freely available in 2005.  Considering that the Cubs still don’t have an outfield outside of Matt Murton, who isn’t old or experienced enough to be out of the woods regarding the typical Dusty Baker Prospect Hazing, it might be prudent to mine your own gold here while there are bigger needs to fill.

That being said, Howry’s a really good pitcher, so the Cubs shouldn’t be disappointed on that end.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Howry’s closing games instead of Ryan Dempster at some point in the next year or two.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Bobby Howry
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
7   3 67   0   65   55   24   6 17 53 3.32

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 25, 2005 at 12:12 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Elton Posted: November 25, 2005 at 03:08 PM (#1746111)
Howry's line looks pretty decent, but I'm guessing that the Eyre & Howry signings and the rumors about a Pierre trade indicate that the Cubs are going to fill in the gaps with mid-priced mid-quality players, and not pursue a big free agent or a f*cking-A trade. I'm hoping that as long as the Cubs have a big boppers on the corners, a quality catcher, Prior and Big Z still in their cheap years, and (it seems) a declining farm system, they'll make a big move to Win Now. Maybe the big move is still on the way ...
   2. 1k5v3L Posted: November 25, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1746153)
From Jim Callis's ask ba:

Howry has a higher Elias rating (77.318) than Eyre (70.611), so the White Sox would get the Cubs' second-rounder and the Giants would have to settle for the Cubs' third-rounder. Like the Giants, the White Sox also would receive a supplemental first-rounder. San Francisco's sandwich pick would come first because it picks ahead of Chicago in the regular order.
   3. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: November 25, 2005 at 04:31 PM (#1746158)
Yet another indignity for the Indians. First they miss the playoffs because they get swept by Chicago's B team. Now, the White Sox snag draft pick compensation for a player who hasn't been on their team since 2002.
   4. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 25, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1746162)
I'm sure the Giants are quite glad that they get a 3rd instead of a 2nd now. Sabean was probably already in a blind fury about that supplemental first-rounder that was dumped on them when Eyre signed before they declined to offer him arbitration.
   5. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 25, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1746248)
I admit it's screwy math, but:

Howry: $4,000,000 / 65 IP= $61538.46 per inning
A-Rod: $25,000,000 / 1458 Innings played = $7146.77 per inning

A-Rod's innings played based on (162 games * 9 innings).

I never knew A-Rod was such a bargain.
   6. Bunny Vincennes Posted: November 25, 2005 at 06:40 PM (#1746257)
.
   7. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: November 25, 2005 at 06:46 PM (#1746264)
You know, before this year, I didn't know who Bob Horwy or Scott Eyre were. I mean, I had never even heard of them. Now this obviously doesn't mean they aren't effective relievers or anything, I just thought its kind of funny that the Cubs have now spent $23MM on these two relatively unknown players.
   8. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 25, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1746319)
ooops, typo on my A-Rod numbers....$17146.77 per inning played.
   9. Keep your hand off my Poohole Posted: November 25, 2005 at 07:58 PM (#1746331)
Maybe I am dense today, but why would the White Sox get a compensation pick for Howry signing with the Cubs??

As a Cardinals fan, I enjoy the Cubs feeble attempts to keep up. Cardinals are also in need of a couple of setup men, as Reyes (the old one) is hurt, Tavarez is a "free" agent, and Eldred may be retiring. Somehow I am quite certain that the Cardinals will not be spending $23 on middle relief, but I am curious how the holes will be filled.

My vote: resign Reggie Sanders, let Morris walk, take his money and give it to Brian Giles, and let Reyes (the young one) be the 5th starter, and let the bullpen sort itself out in spring training.

Come on Cardinals fans, let's hijack a Cubs thread for a change.
   10. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 25, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1746359)
Come on Cardinals fans, let's hijack a Cubs thread for a change.

GREATEST HIJACKERS IN BASEBALL!!! SPORTING NEWS SAID SO!!!
   11. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 25, 2005 at 08:45 PM (#1746362)
Maybe I am dense today, but why would the White Sox get a compensation pick for Howry signing with the Cubs??

Because they didn't get a chance to retain his services via arbitration, as arbitration offers don't go out until around Dec 7th.
   12. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1746369)
this offseason from what i have seen blows, what the #### are the ####### cubs thinking?
   13. 1k5v3L Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:04 PM (#1746370)
Actually, it should be the Indians, not White Sox, who get the pick. Jim Callis outdid himself; he meant "the best team in teh AL central" get it.
   14. 1k5v3L Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:07 PM (#1746375)
incidentally, callis has corrected himself on the ba website

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/columnists/askba.html
   15. Robert S. Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:13 PM (#1746383)
I like the new Cubs strategy: make sure to lose games in the first seven innings, not the last two. Much less frustrating for fans.
   16. 1k5v3L Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:25 PM (#1746394)
Hendry's plan is plain: the more relievers you sign early on, the more pitching prospects you'll be able to send to the Marlins for Furcal. Why worry Dusty silly with guys like Pinto, Marshall and Van Buren, when you can give him Howdy Doody and Eyre Scotland every day and twice on Sunday?
   17. 1k5v3L Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1746395)
... the Marlins for Pierre... you know, small fast shifty types.
   18. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:40 PM (#1746416)
Hendry might send position prospects to the Marlins for Furcal as well. He's probably wondering if Russ Ortiz would be willing to go to the pen.

The Cubs are having a strange offseason.
   19. 1k5v3L Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:51 PM (#1746426)
Hendry might send position prospects to the Marlins for Furcal as well.

Hendry: Welcome aboard, Rafael.

Castillo: Thank you, Mr. Hendry. I prefer to go by Luis, however.

Hendry: Wait, aren't you Rafael?

Castillo: Yes, I'm Luis Armando Rafael Bournegal Castillo.

Hendry: [on the phone with Loria] Uh, Jeff, do you think I can have Murton, Hill and Van Buren back?
   20. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: November 25, 2005 at 10:07 PM (#1746438)
As a Cardinals fan, I enjoy the Cubs feeble attempts to keep up.

Please keep your salt off our wounds.

It's a bizarre strategy, and the Cub braintrust seems to be watching different games than their fans do. Given the expensive-mediocrity formula, I fear we're going to end up with Burnitz again with an expensive-to-obtain platoon guy like Mench. Of course, Dusty won't realize that Mench doesn't hit righties particularly well (and doesn't even hit well outside of Arlington!), so I imagine Murton will be the part-time player.

Having Prior and Zambrano would seem to lend a sense of urgency to win before they, themselves enter the free agant market in a couple years. But the Cubs are supposedly set for the 8th inning in 2008!
   21. 44magnum Posted: November 25, 2005 at 10:42 PM (#1746459)
I don't understand why the Cubs are giving him a 3 yr deal? Isn't this the same strategy the Rangers used a few years back that led to them blaming A-Rods salary for their woeful record? Sure, Park was bad all the way around, but didn't TX give Van Poppel & Micelli(?) & maybe some other middling reliever 3 year deals? IIRC, the Karsay deal is the one that forced teams to pay big money, 3 yr deals for rp's, right? I think the Reds got lucky last off-season getting Mercker & Weathers for 2 yrs apiece at fairly reasonable $.
   22. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: November 25, 2005 at 10:45 PM (#1746460)
The light of the sun is hitting the "it's all Dusty's fault" tent and it is rapidly melting. I hope all of the pale folks involved have their sunblock.
   23. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 25, 2005 at 11:33 PM (#1746499)
Howry's a good reliever, and by itself it doesn't bother me. But what I do find so frustrated is the general pattern here. The Cubs are going out, and paying a little bit more than they have do for some good players who turned 30 a few years ago. Gee, I've never seen that one before!!

I'm so disappointed in Hendry. Between the hype he got for developing what was supposedly the team's first productive in a generation and a few really fantastic trades (Rameriz & Lofton for silly string; Nomah for rice-a-roni, the San Fransisco treat, Karros and Grudz for a swift kick in the nuts) he's turning into Just Another Cubs GM.

I expect to hear anyday that they've opened negotiations with Mel Rojas, Goose Goosage, and Calvin Scharaldi. And by opening day we can hear all kinds of wonderful stories about how new singings Dave Smith, Danny Jackson, and George Bell will lead them to the promised land. It's enough to make one nostaglic for Dan Pleasc, Rick Aguilera, Henry Rodriquez.

Sure Candy Maldonado would listen if Hendry called.
   24. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 25, 2005 at 11:36 PM (#1746506)
The light of the sun is hitting the "it's all Dusty's fault" tent and it is rapidly melting. I hope all of the pale folks involved have their sunblock.

Scoop Jackson everybody!
   25. Eraser-X is a one-trick pony! Posted: November 25, 2005 at 11:57 PM (#1746531)
My act never gets old!
   26. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: November 26, 2005 at 12:23 AM (#1746547)
The light of the sun is hitting the "it's all Dusty's fault" tent and it is rapidly melting. I hope all of the pale folks involved have their sunblock

I think you'll find more Cub fans have a big, nasty burn from being outside the Tribune/McFail/Hendry/Dusty tent all along. Dusty makes the boneheaded moves on a daily basis, but we've noted for years in Cub Chatter that somebody else hired (and hasn't fired!) Dusty, and that somebody else has given him expensive, mediocre toys to play with.

Talk in the Chicago dailies is that expensive contract extensions are being considered for both Hendry and Baker. Cub fans will outlive this regime though--like we did the college of coaches, and dozens of other management follies.
   27. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: November 26, 2005 at 12:32 AM (#1746552)
I agree with you entirely, RH. There are plenty of Cubs fans who know that responsibility for the Cubs' struggles can be traced to poor management including, but not exclusive to Dusty. I think that the Dusty is a one-trick pony, and a GM who hires him needs to be smart enough to either exploit Baker's one extreme strength and minimize his many weaknesses, or he needs to find a different manager who complement his GM style.

To the trolls creating new accounts for my ego's benefit, what's got your racial hyper-sensitivity going? In my sarcastic statement, I acknowledge that there are people in that irrational tent who are non-white.

Seriously, what's so offensive about the statement that Hendry's folly shows that a good portion of the blame is his own? What's so offensive about making a sarcastic snipe about the Baker quote that was idiotic at the time and gets trotted out in every discussion about him?

Do you actually read my posts on BP which cover a wide variety of topics? Or do you just see and respond, "That's that racist guy, we need to get together and make nasty responses to him!"
   28. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 26, 2005 at 12:47 AM (#1746559)
I know a lot of BTF's Cubs contingent is thinking about defecting. Punk legend Ben Weasel already has. From Vice:

"I was a Cubs fan up until the 2000 season. I was watching a game where Rick Aguilera walked in two or three runs and they lost in the ninth. I just remember looking around and thinking to myself at the time, ā€œIā€™m really sick of backing losers.ā€ That was that."
   29. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 26, 2005 at 01:38 AM (#1746594)
I don't know what people expect. Hendry ALWAYS spends tons of money on the bullpen. Yes, you would think he would have learned by now that this strategy doesn't work, but move on folks, nothing new here.
   30. zonk Posted: November 26, 2005 at 05:54 AM (#1746794)
Oh Well. If Brian Sabean can keep his job for 2 more years, Hendry can flip 'em for a pair of prospects.

I really think Hendry is some sort of idiot savant.

He was responsible for the 00-03 farm system resurgence, and even his detractors have to admit he's a pretty good trader, especially in-season.

For some maddening reason, though, he can't seem to do it all at once. He always seems to find one area of his job to screw up, and screw up so bad it sticks out like Dusty's ass. Last year, it was 40 man roster management. This year, it's spending some freed up cash on one of the most replaceable commodities in baseball... and he has no idea how to build a bench.

I'm just getting this bad, bad feeling that we're barreling towards the sort of ennui seasons that dotted the early 90s. Meet your new Shawon Dunston: Corey Patterson. Meet the new Greg Maddux: Carlos Zambrano. Meet the new Ryne Sandberg: Aramis Rameriz. Then, it 10 years, when Billy Beane has gotten fat and lazy, and the next "big thing" sweeps baseball, the Tribune will bring him in and we'll be fawning over him like we were over MacPhail back in the day.

Then I'll wake up one, realize I'm old and wonder my lifetime of baseball fandom went.
   31. The Balls of Summer Posted: November 26, 2005 at 07:09 AM (#1746838)
You know, before this year, I didn't know who Bob Horwy or Scott Eyre were. I mean, I had never even heard of them. Now this obviously doesn't mean they aren't effective relievers or anything, I just thought its kind of funny that the Cubs have now spent $23MM on these two relatively unknown players.

Wait a minute. These players are unknown because you haven't heard of them? It's not like these were minor league players before this year.

There is other baseball than that played on the eastern seaboard.
   32. NTNgod Posted: November 26, 2005 at 07:38 AM (#1746851)
Wait a minute. These players are unknown because you haven't heard of them? It's not like these were minor league players before this year.

He probably knows what Norfolk's utility infielder or 4th OFer hit three years ago, though :)
   33. The Balls of Summer Posted: November 26, 2005 at 07:43 AM (#1746853)
He probably knows what Norfolk's utility infielder or 4th OFer hit three years ago, though :)

Who won the World Series this year? The White Sox?

Never heard of 'em.
   34. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 27, 2005 at 10:37 AM (#1748105)
Great. Another reliever.

If Hendry was black I'd hate him, but I guess because he's white I don't. Isn't that how I'm supposed to feel? After all, blackness was the only reason anyone could dislike Dusty.

(I don't think of you as a one-trick pony, but you're sure quick to bring the 'racist haters of Dusty' issue up with a regular basis. Which is fine if that's the argument you want to perpetuate, but I think pretty much everyone else has dropped it. You're shouting into the wind at this point. And as I am still on vacation (I know, vacation from what?), that's all I have to say about this pointless deal and the pointless comment it spawned.)
   35. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 27, 2005 at 11:35 PM (#1748752)
I have seen the future, and its name is Irrelevance.
   36. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: November 29, 2005 at 09:04 AM (#1750887)
Punk legend Ben Weasel already has.

Ben Weasel? Well, he's an ####hole. Quite possibly a jerk. But I probably only hate him because he doesn't have to work. After all, Ben Weasel is cool, whatever can you do?
   37. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 29, 2005 at 05:29 PM (#1751348)
Jim Hendry hasn't quite put two-and-two together and realized that in 2007, there will be some pretty darn good relievers that will have been freely available in 2005.

I read things like this frequently, both here and in BPro, and I'm always a bit put off by such thoughts. Sentiments like this can be taken in two ways:

Connotation #1: "It makes no sense to sign Howry (or really any reliever) to 3-year multimillion dollar deals because their performance varies to such an extent that (a) you cannot rely on them over an extended period and/or (b) by the time 2007 comes around, you will likely be able to find someone as good at a cheaper price."

If this is what Dan or the folks at BPro mean when they say this, I tend to agree.


Connotation #2: "It makes no sense to sign Howry to a 3-year multimillion dollar deal because there are other pitchers we can identify *today* that are freely available and will be better than Howry in 2007."

Every time I read statements like Dan's -- usually here or in BPro -- I always think that this is what they mean (rather than Connotation #1). Frankly, it makes me bristle. When people complain that a team is paying big bucks to a veteran reliever while there is "freely available talent" out there who can do the job as well or better, I always want to challenge them to put up or shut up: Who are these "freely available" guys and why doesn't Dan, BPro, or whomever talk about them *now*, rather than wait until 2007 and reflect that "back in 2005, they were waiver fodder"?

Yes, we can all admire the wonderful job that guys like Brendan Donnelly, et al. have done for the Angels and understand that these guys were acquired for peanuts, but I don't remember reading a ton of articles touting Donnelly, et al. before the fact, and for those I have read, I've also read dozens of others touting guys like Todd Wellemeyer, Jon Leicester, and Andy Pratt, who never worked out.

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