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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, January 27, 2006

Cubs - Signed Miller

Chicago Cubs - Signed P Wade Miller to a 1-year, $1 million contract.

A little (OK, a lot) on the late side, due to the Oracle not being the Oracle of Laptop Motherboards.  Stupid DC power jack in my Dell 5150 blew out my motherboard and CPU for the second time.  The first time, it was still under warranty, this time, not.  Dell’s answer, of course, is to give them $199 simply to examine the problem, even though I’m telling them exactly what’s wrong, and then get robbed for double the price of the motherboard and CPU on the open market in addition to that inital outlay.  Now, I’m capable of buying a new motherboard and CPU myself and installing it, but it’s still several hundred dollars for everything and given that the design of the 5150 seems to lead to this problem, with even a possible class action lawsuit on the horizon, I’m simply going to buy a new one for a few hundred more than it would cost for the repairs plus what the motherboardless laptop is worth (surprisingly much).

Wade Miller’s arm is in better shape than my motherboard, but not by much.  As a 1-year, $1 million contract with an option year worth, say, $4 million, I’d like this signing, but as it actually is, just the one year, I don’t.  Miller hopes to be pitching in May, but people are generally skeptical of that claim and even the most optimistic don’t think he’ll be that good, that soon.  So essentially, the Cubs are willing to serve as the rehab team for Miller, taking the worst of Miller and his rehab before losing him at the end of the year.  And since they’re going to let Miller recover his reputation on their dime over Jerome Williams, they might as well trade Williams before he has 6 starts and then gets shuffled to Iowa to waste the rest of the season.  ZiPS likes Miller, but doesn’t know about his arm status, so I’ll take the over, Alex.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Wade Miller
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
11 10 27 27 155 137   69 14 67 139 4.01

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 27, 2006 at 07:34 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. H. Vaughn Posted: January 27, 2006 at 07:53 PM (#1840568)
Dude, get a Mac.

If Miller works his way back to being an above average starter, there's no particular reason the Cubs couldn't re-sign him. I'd guess he balked at cheap option year scenarios and doubtless other, more pitching-poor teams would have taken this gamble if the Cubs didn't bite. To me, it looks like the heat is on him to justify a big, long-term deal next year, so the Cubs will either benefit or cast him aside cheaply.
   2. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 27, 2006 at 10:02 PM (#1840763)
If Miller works his way back to being an above average starter, there's no particular reason the Cubs couldn't re-sign him.

I think he said that the reason he didn't want an option year was that if he had a good season he wanted to be able to go on the open market and get the best contract possible. So the Cubs could resign him, but they'd have to pay market price for him (which, given the Cubs, is always a possibility).

The marginalization of Jerome Williams infuriates me, and it highlights the two faces of Hendry:

Good Hendry - turned Latroy Hawkins, who was all but useless as a Cub and being booed out of the park every time he pitched, into Williams and Aardsma (when I think getting either would have been a good deal). He's done a fairly good job of getting value for guys who have played themselves out of Dusty's system (Hawkins, Bellhorn, Choi, Hill, etc.), though he seems to do better with it when making in-season deals than he does when making off-season deals (though Choi would be the exception there).

Bad Hendry - blocks Williams by signing Rusch (older and with less upside) and Miller (older and an enormous injury questionmark) to take his spot in the rotation. He's done a lousy job of letting the younger players in the system have an open shot at playing because he insists on keeping a protective layer of vets around Dusty at all times.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 27, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#1840825)
Bad Hendry - blocks Williams by signing Rusch (older and with less upside) and Miller (older and an enormous injury questionmark) to take his spot in the rotation.


Williams has outperformed his expected BABIP/SLGIP two straight years, by a lot (he's been in the .270/.350 range where he would have been expected to be around .285/.370 or so based on the FB/GB/LD mix he's allowed). I'd be nervous about his ability to continue to do that.

-- MWE
   4. H. Vaughn Posted: January 27, 2006 at 11:09 PM (#1840895)
So the Cubs could resign him, but they'd have to pay market price for him (which, given the Cubs, is always a possibility).


I don't see it as a problem either way. If he's an injury question mark, he won't get the long-term deal he's been hunting for since '03. If he finishes looking like the near-ace he once was, then the Cubs might make some hay in the wild card race and be faced with the tough decision of whether to lock him up or not. That's a nice problem to have.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: January 28, 2006 at 04:30 AM (#1841247)
Williams has outperformed his expected BABIP/SLGIP two straight years, by a lot (he's been in the .270/.350 range where he would have been expected to be around .285/.370 or so based on the FB/GB/LD mix he's allowed). I'd be nervous about his ability to continue to do that.

I'm not sure anyone's expecting him to be great or even very good. His K/BB isn't particularly good (and that looks like a high HBP rate to me too). But he's posted a career 110 OPS+ and OK, he's been kinda lucky to do that. But what does that mean? That he's a "true" league average starter? Fine with me during his cheap year.

On the Miller signing, I'm not that worried about its impact on Williams. I have my doubts that Miller will be back anytime soon. Even if he is, there's a pretty good probability that a couple of the other starters is already injured. It's not like there weren't plenty of starts to go around last year and I'm afraid there will be again this year too.
   6. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 28, 2006 at 08:15 AM (#1841395)
Also don't forget that Wood is still a question mark. So the opening rotation may well be Prior, Zambrano, Maddux, Rusch, Williams, and it could stay that way for a while.
   7. Darren Posted: January 28, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#1841572)
Coco coco coco! We need a coco TO with new ZIPS for Fenway! Please please please! I'll be your best friend!

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