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   1. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 28, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2115796)
Cruz has the potential to be a quality everyday LF/RF with a lot of power for years to come.

Maybe. I guess I'm not that high on him. He looks to me like a lot of Cubs OF prospects that blossom at age 25 in the minors but never successfully make the transition. He's probably better than anything the Cubs have now, but I think the Cubs need to think bigger than that.
   2. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 28, 2006 at 08:33 PM (#2115808)
I think there is zero -- actually, less than zero -- chance of this happening. Not because it's a bad idea, mind you, but because the thought of trading one of your prize overpaid relievers for a minor leaguer would never occur to Jim Hendry.

Seriously, when is the last time the Cubs traded for an advanced/finished prospect (as opposed to a guy in the lower minors)? I'm going to search to find out.
   3. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 28, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2115812)
Let me clarify: By an "advanced/finished prospect," I mean someone who was expected to be part of the MLB starting lineup (either in the field or the rotation) within the next year or so.

I don't mean a bullpen guy like Roberto Novoa or a guy projected to be a utility guy like Mike Fontenot.
   4. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 28, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#2115834)
Looking back, here are the candidates I see. In some cases, my memory is hazy on how well-thought of these guys were:

6/27/96: Traded Ismael Villegas to Atlanta for Tyler Houston

9/29/91: Traded Mike Bielecki/Damon Berryhill to Atlanta for Turk Wendell/Yorkis Perez

12/14/90: Traded Greg Smith to Los Angeles for Jose Vizcaino (although he had already played parts of two prior seasons)

1/3/90: Traded Bryan House to Texas for Rey Sanchez

1/27/82: Traded Ivan DeJesus to Philadelphia for Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg

I don't believe I'm missing any viable candidates. In any case, let's just say that the Cubs don't have a long history of selling MLB players for top prospects.
   5. Spahn Insane Posted: July 28, 2006 at 09:07 PM (#2115841)
Cruz is 27 (I think). He could be a good regular for a couple of years, but he's just as likely to be Roosevelt Brown. I agree with AR that a team that needs wholesale changes doesn't need to be trying to trade for stopgap quality hitters.
   6. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 28, 2006 at 09:07 PM (#2115842)
I don't believe I'm missing any viable candidates. In any case, let's just say that the Cubs don't have a long history of selling MLB players for top prospects.

This is right, and I would say that Hendry is particularly unlikely to move a guy who would represent one his off-season success stories. Hendry would not have lavished the sort of contract he did on Howry unless he believed in him, and up to this point Howry hasn't done anything to change his mind. If he were to trade him, the last guy he would be looking to get in return is someone like Nelson Cruz. The only way Howry is moved is in a trade for a big name.
   7. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 28, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#2115856)
Actually, I think he just turned 26. I think he might have been one of the guys involved in Birthdaygate, but I saw his DOB as July 1, 1980.

I don't believe I'm missing any viable candidates. In any case, let's just say that the Cubs don't have a long history of selling MLB players for top prospects.

Hawkins for Williams and Aardsma might count, but of course, the Cubs wanted to get rid of Hawkins very badly. Neither Williams nor Aardsma were considered polished but I think they were seen as major leaguers.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2006 at 09:35 PM (#2115878)
Depending on how strict you want to be about "major league ready", Mulholland and Hernandez for Ruben Quevedo and Joey Nation might qualify. It was another year before Nation made his debut and 2 before Quevedo did. Didn't work out but still one of the best trades the Cubs made between, oh, the Bowa/Sandberg trade and the Ramirez/Lofton trade, given the crap they gave up and the potential they got back. (I'm sure I must be forgetting one or two in there)
   9. Neil M Posted: July 28, 2006 at 09:43 PM (#2115881)
Let me clarify: By an "advanced/finished prospect," I mean someone who was expected to be part of the MLB starting lineup (either in the field or the rotation) within the next year or so.

Cruz for Angry Andy Pratt and Richard Lewis? Pratt was allegedly ready - though for what exactly I'm not sure.
   10. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 28, 2006 at 09:56 PM (#2115890)
Hawkins for Williams and Aardsma might count, but of course, the Cubs wanted to get rid of Hawkins very badly. Neither Williams nor Aardsma were considered polished but I think they were seen as major leaguers.

I thought of that. Aardsma was/is projected as a reliever, of course. As for Williams, he was (is?) considered a prospect of the rotation, but I didn't count this deal because at the time of the deal, Williams had already seen 277 major league innings.


Depending on how strict you want to be about "major league ready", Mulholland and Hernandez for Ruben Quevedo and Joey Nation might qualify.

I wouldn't count this. I don't believe that anyone really thought of Joey Nation as a top prospect and although they may have projected Quevedo highly, he had only just gotten out of high-A ball and was in his first season at AAA (where he carried a 5.37 ERA).

As for Ramirez, he had been an MLB regular for two years and had seen over 250 ABs in two other seasons. He had more than 2000 ABs in the majors at the time of the deal. He may have been frustrating the Pirates as an unrefined talent, but I wouldn't consider him a prospect, nor would BA or anyone else.

I don't mean to split hairs, though (even though it probably looks like I am). Even if one considered Williams and/or Quevedo to be top, near-ready prospects (rather than finished products or hopeful projections), it still can be said that the Cubs don't have a long history of selling MLB players for guys with legitimately bright futures. Mostly, they sell washed up MLB guys for whatever low level fodder they can get (live arms, etc.) The DeJesus/Sandberg trade is the notable exception and, IMO, nothing has really come close to that since.
   11. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 28, 2006 at 10:00 PM (#2115893)
IOW, I essentially mean a guy who would be one of the other teams top 3 prospects (give or take), not a live arm kid from A ball who might place at No. 7 or 12 or whatever.
   12. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 28, 2006 at 10:04 PM (#2115896)
Cruz for Angry Andy Pratt and Richard Lewis? Pratt was allegedly ready - though for what exactly I'm not sure.

Pratt wasn't really thought of as anything other than bullpen fodder. If anything, Richard Lewis had more promise, but it's not like he was the kind of guy that would make the Cubs think they have to trade Todd Walker to open a position for.
   13. Luke Jasenosky Posted: July 28, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#2115901)
I guess I'm a little confused about expectations here. Cruz has done nothing but hit in the minors (career line of .305/.374/.511. He is a solid defender with a plus arm and just turned 26. Nate Silver had him as the 15th best corner outfield prospect coming into this season. I fully agree that the Cubs need a major overhaul, and picking up a guy like Cruz for a quality (but not great) set-up guy with a too-big contract seems like exactly the move to make to start such changes. What other options are out there? The Cubs are paying Jacque Jones, his huge platoon split and noodle arm included, 16 million over this and the next two years. We're obviously stuck with him. Move Jones and his arm to LF, platoon him with Murton, put Cruz in RF, don't resign Pierre. With the money saved on Pierre, Maddux, Wood, Howry, etc, I then go out and sign Zito or Schmidt and Julio Lugo, trade two-three of our always overrated minor league arms to the Brewers for Bill Hall and Gabe Gross (to play CF in order for Pie to have another season in Triple A). You enter 2006 with a line-up of:

CF Gross
SS Lugo
1B Lee
3B Ramirez
C Barrett
RF Cruz
2B Hall
LF Jones/Murton

and a rotation of (fingers crossed healthwise):

Zambrano
Schmidt/Zito
Prior
Marshall
Guzman/Marmol

To me, going after a guy like Cruz opens up possibilites like this - they may not be totally realistic considering a number of factors, but I certainly don't think they're outlandish.
   14. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 28, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2115919)
Again, I completely recognize that the Cubs have traded MLB talent for guys who later made the Cubs roster as a role player, bullpen guy, or maybe starting a few games. I'm not really talking about that.

I'm talking about the kind of deals like these:

* Brian Giles for Jason Bay/Oliver Perez
* Victor Zambrano for Scott Kazmir
* Todd Ritchie and Lee Evans for Josh Fogg, Kip Wells, and Sean Lowe
* Randy Johnson for Carlos Guillen and Freddie Garcia
* Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell
* Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz
* Ivan DeJesus for Larry Bowa/Ryne Sandberg
   15. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2006 at 11:35 PM (#2115958)
To me, going after a guy like Cruz opens up possibilites like this - they may not be totally realistic considering a number of factors, but I certainly don't think they're outlandish.

I don't see a guy like Cruz playing much of a role in opening up possibilities like that. The money from Pierre/Maddux/Wood is enough to bring in Lugo and Schmidt/Zito (neither of which attracts me all that much). There's nothing wrong with Cruz but nothing great about him that solves any real problems. That line of .305/.374/.511 would look nice if it was at the major-league level but it was almost all accumulated at AA or below -- he has just a half-season at AAA. I don't know what the MLE on that is but I'd guess something like maybe 270/330/460 which is ... Jacque Jones. And given his age, we can't really expect him to improve. That's not to say I wouldn't rather see Cruz out there than whatever Burnitz equivalent they're likely to sign.

Howry is overpaid but he has been a consistently good reliever. If you want the Cubs to be competitive in 2007-2008, then you want to keep Howry unless we can make one of those deals that djf is talking about -- and Cruz is not that player. Now Austin Kearns might have been that kind of player. And if you're building for beyond 2007-2008, it's rather unlikely that Cruz is really going to be all that valuable a part in 2009 and beyond anyway.

I don't get this fixation with trading Howry and Eyre. They've been good, they are not part of the problem, they are at worst just a symptom. And, given their contracts, it's unlikely the Cubs can trade them for any significant young, cheap talent before maybe next year's trading deadline. (They could of course be part of a swap of major-leaguers)

And I'd be quite surprised if Milwaukee made that deal. What great young pitching do we have anyway? If they're major-league ready, why wouldn't they be in our rotation? Why would it be good on the one hand to get major-league ready prospects on offense while trading away major-league ready pitchers? And Milwaukee will be looking to trade more expensive guys like Jenkins or Mench, not cheapies like Hall and Gross.

Oh, Jenkins might well be our Burnitz equivalent next season ... maybe in a trade for Howry (if Melvin's current hunger for proven relievers becomes an addiction).
   16. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 29, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#2116009)
I guess I'm a little confused about expectations here. Cruz has done nothing but hit in the minors (career line of .305/.374/.511. He is a solid defender with a plus arm and just turned 26.

The problem is the "just turned 26". That's not young. I'm not saying Cruz would be a bad pickup, or that the Cubs couldn't use him. They definitely could, and in fact SHOULD have acquired someone like him in the off-season. I'm not even saying that he isn't worth Howry -- it's that I don't see Nelson Cruz as being anything but a minor piece in rebuilding the team. And besides, Howry is going nowhere.

he has just a half-season at AAA

Actually, he had a half season at AAA last year, and is putting in a full season now. He's ready to join a major league team, I think, as a fourth outfielder.

And, given their contracts, it's unlikely the Cubs can trade them for any significant young, cheap talent before maybe next year's trading deadline. (They could of course be part of a swap of major-leaguers)

I wouldn't be surprised if Howry yielded something good, but again, Howry isn't going anywhere unless the Cubs get something big and splashy in return.
   17. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 29, 2006 at 12:17 AM (#2116042)
Seriously, when is the last time the Cubs traded for an advanced/finished prospect (as opposed to a guy in the lower minors)?

Matt Murton?
   18. Luke Jasenosky Posted: July 29, 2006 at 12:25 AM (#2116059)
The money from Pierre/Maddux/Wood is enough to bring in Lugo and Schmidt/Zito (neither of which attracts me all that much).

If neither Lugo, who has put up EQAs of .286 last year and .300 this year, nor Zito or Schmidt, who will be the best starting pitchers on the market this fall, don't excite you, who does? Right now, looking at the offense, the biggest instant offensive improvement that could be made is at SS. If Lugo only puts up his numbers from last year, he'll be worth ~42 VORP. Ronny Cedeno to this point is worth -14 VORP. That is an enormous difference over a full season. I've lost confidence that Cedeno will every be anything other than a decent backup - he looks more overmatched at the plate than at any time yet since his call up last year.

Cruz...has just a half-season at AAA

Well, including this year, he now has a full season under his belt, and he has hit with two different clubs. Once again, I ask: Are you perfectly happy going into 2007 with a mix of Angel Pagan/Matt Murton/Freddie Bynum in LF? What other talent of similar quality, major league ready or currently employed in the big leagues, will be available this off season? If I'm missing some names I'd love to know.

Howry is overpaid but he has been a consistently good reliever. If you want the Cubs to be competitive in 2007-2008, then you want to keep Howry unless we can make one of those deals that djf is talking about -- and Cruz is not that player.

Howry is the 40th best reliever in the NL according to reliever expected wins added. He's been solid, but certainly not overwhelming. Over the next three years, if Wuertz is given a chance to pitch, he's likely to do just as well as Howry. I actually would be hesitant to trade Eyre, as he has been more impressive than Howry and puts a good one-two punch together with Ohman, but I'd certainly be open to offers.

And I'd be quite surprised if Milwaukee made that deal. What great young pitching do we have anyway?

I realize Milwaukee values Hall and his versatility quite a lot. However, with Hardy, Weeks, and Fielder already, and Corey Koskie signed through 2007, I think he's expendable for the right price. Gross came in cheap and I get the sense that the Brewers are undervaluing him, as he's only averaging 40 at bats a month. A package of Ohman, Marmol and Ryu might do the trick - plus the Brewers wouldn't be taking on any extra salary. In fact, the only two arms in the entire Cubs organization I wouldn't touch are Zambrano and Gallagher. If it takes Guzman instead of Ryu, ok.

In short, I'd be curious what moves you'd be looking to make Walt. I'm just throwing out some ideas I've been mulling around, and, like I say, who knows if any are feasible (even without considering Hendry's philosophy). This team obviously needs an offensive kick start, though, as well as another established arm in the rotation that isn't 35+ years old.
   19. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 29, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#2116166)
Ronny Cedeno to this point is worth -14 VORP. That is an enormous difference over a full season. I've lost confidence that Cedeno will every be anything other than a decent backup - he looks more overmatched at the plate than at any time yet since his call up last year

Well, he is a Cub position prospect after all.

We could talk about all sorts of moves the Cubs could make, and I've been doing that on the internet for over a decade. But right now I'm still wallowing in the realization that they're up #### Creek with a turd for a paddle. Their problems are not going to be easy to solve, and they don't have a guy at the helm who is capable of thinking creatively to get the team on track, and it will take a lot of creativity, luck or both for the Cubs to contend in 2007. Hendry did well early on, but it seems like his shine has worn off. I have little faith that he even recognizes the problems the team has, much less that he's equipped to solve it, and Lugos and Halls and Cruzes are unlikely to cut it.

To contend in 2007, the Cubs probably need two significant upgrades in their offense. That might actually be doable. I'd like to think that they could hold on to Murton and Cedeno and that alone might do it, but not in this organization. Beyond that, the starting pitching is a disaster. The Cubs have one guy who looks like an ace, and then a bunch of question marks. All Hendry is going to be able to do FA wise is pick up some expensive B-list veterans to fill some of the gaps, and then utilize guys like Marshall and Marmol and others and hope one or more stick. It could work but it would require a lot of luck. This is why the Cubs are truly screwed. In previous years, they fielded a crappy offense but had a strong core of starting pitching that made them respectable. Now that has evaporated as well.
   20. Meatwad Posted: July 29, 2006 at 01:59 AM (#2116237)
but wood and prior will be healthy and all our problems will be solved
*head explodes*
   21. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: July 29, 2006 at 02:08 AM (#2116249)
Cruz has shown...very little platoon split this year in Nashville.

.337/.422/.602 vs LHP
.282/.356/.489 vs RHP
   22. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 29, 2006 at 02:47 AM (#2116309)
Hendry's problem is that he's always looking to improve us next year, not 5 years from now. It was acceptable when the team was ready to contend, but during a season like this, you have to wonder if he hit his head in 2004 and hasn't been the same since.

Right now the Cubs should be in rebuilding mode. We have to find solutions for 4 positions and 2 starters in 2007 (assuming Prior can pitch, Murton and Jones platoon, and Wood is out), and that's more than we're likely to find inside the organization, on the free agent market given payroll limitations sent down by the Trib, and trades.
   23. Darren Posted: July 29, 2006 at 02:55 AM (#2116324)
To answer the above, Murton was in high A when the Cubs got him. And it was a very good trade on their part, I think.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: July 29, 2006 at 03:19 AM (#2116344)
If neither Lugo, who has put up EQAs of .286 last year and .300 this year, nor Zito or Schmidt, who will be the best starting pitchers on the market this fall, don't excite you, who does?

Lugo I got no problem with, depending on the money. Those are nice EQAs ... but he's also got a 261 career EQA, is going to be 31, and I'd like a good estimate of his defensive value (BPro puts him average or just above but I never trust their stats) so it's not like you should be counting on him to be that big an upgrade. Plus I thought the rumor was Tampa was going to extend him.

But it's Schmidt/Zito I'd like to steer clear of thank you very much (and those are the "neither" that I was referring to earlier). Schmidt is gonna be 34 for chrissakes. Best pitcher on the market or not, I'll let some other team gamble on his potential decline years at several million dollars per. Zito I'd be more willing to gamble on although a flyball pitcher with a bad K/BB ratio doesn't sound like a good match for Wrigley and I'd guess he's gonna be more expensive than Schmidt.

Cruz...has just a half-season at AAA

Well, including this year, he now has a full season under his belt, and he has hit with two different clubs. Once again, I ask: Are you perfectly happy going into 2007 with a mix of Angel Pagan/Matt Murton/Freddie Bynum in LF? What other talent of similar quality, major league ready or currently employed in the big leagues, will be available this off season?


Yep, my bad on Cruz's time at AAA, I thought the site I was looking included current year stats as well. But regardless, I'd still like to see what that "impressive" career minor league line looks like translated. I am basically ignorant of minor-leaguers, but I've yet to see any evidence brought forward to make me think that Nelson Cruz is a better bet than Matt Murton (who's over a year younger) much less a Jacque Jones/Juan Encarnacion type.

Am I happy with that LF situation? No. Am I happy with Nelson Cruz as my everyday RF? No. Am I happier that the latter will also cost me an effective reliever in your scenario? Of course not.

And I'm sorry, but I'm tired of Cub fans ######## (justifiably) about the Cubs not playing the kids and not being patient with them, then giving up on Murton and Cedeno after 2/3 of a season. Have the courage of your convictions.

Howry is the 40th best reliever in the NL according to reliever expected wins added.

1) Are we judging everyone now on 2/3 of a season's performance? For his career Howry has 7.4 K/9, a 2.7 K/BB and gives up .8 HR/9 ... and his numbers this year are all equal or better than those. He's been a consistently good reliever.

2) 40th best reliever this year makes him ... a good setup man.

3) And if Wuertz is given a chance to pitch, pitches as well as Howry, Eyre continues to pitch well, Ohman improves a bit and Dempster does OK, then the Cubs will have a good, deep bullpen. We wouldn't want that, better trade somebody for a mediocre or worse RF.

I realize Milwaukee values Hall and his versatility quite a lot. However, with Hardy, Weeks, and Fielder already, and Corey Koskie signed through 2007, I think he's expendable for the right price. Gross came in cheap and I get the sense that the Brewers are undervaluing him, as he's only averaging 40 at bats a month. A package of Ohman, Marmol and Ryu might do the trick - plus the Brewers wouldn't be taking on any extra salary. In fact, the only two arms in the entire Cubs organization I wouldn't touch are Zambrano and Gallagher. If it takes Guzman instead of Ryu, ok.

Assuming Milwaukee would go for it (and given they didn't trade Lee for young pitching, I'm not sure they would) what does this move really achieve? Again, why are we hot for Cruz but giving away some combo of Guzman/Ryu/Marmol/Ohman? If those guys aren't really major-league ready, why will Milwaukee want them? If they are, why don't we want them? Gabe Gross is a good 4th OF who's a stretch as a CF on a good day -- Milwaukee seems to have him properly valued. Better than Pierre? Maybe (better hitter, worse defender, much worse baserunner) ... but I remember when it was obvious Pierre couldn't be any worse than what Corey gave us in 2005.

I don't really have too much problem with that proposed trade except it leaves us with no rotation depth and doesn't seem to really give us very much in return. I'll grant it's light years better than the Pierre trade.

Anyway, Milwaukee will be looking to move salary like Mench and Jenkins, not cheap stuff like Gross and Hall.

In short, I'd be curious what moves you'd be looking to make Walt.

A fair question and, in short, damned if I know. It's a screwed up team and organisation. As the Cubs often do, they have decent players all over the place and no one easy hole to fix. But I start with:

1) Trade Ramirez, throwing in money if necessary, getting at least a good young 2B or a good young corner OF in return. Given what the FA market is, the only way to really improve this team is to trade away real assets.
2) See what the interest is in Prior -- probably not much at the moment, but I've got no qualms about trading him.
3) Build a good bench and bullpen (gonna want that with all the young starters)
4) Try to find a reasonably-priced decent innings-eater for the rotation (especially if I trade Prior).
5) Draft and develop well starting now.
6) OK, I gotta find somebody for CF.
7) Sign Wood to a Lieber-Yankees type contract and hope for the best.
8) Hope I get lucky.

To this point, I've spent very little of the freed-up payroll. I've got enough for at least 1, maybe 2 significant signings. Alas, the FA market kinda stinks this offseason. Do I flush it signing the best available or do I find someone with a problem contract (Abreu?) and take them on or do I stick it in the Trib's pockets? First thing I do is call up the Marlins and see what they really want for Dontrelle ... once they see his arb award, I suspect they'll be a little more open-minded.

Is that team going anywhere? No. Neither is your team. The Cubs simply aren't that good and the FA market the next couple seasons just isn't rich enough to make a big move and the farm system system isn't either. All the Grosses, Cruzes, and Halls in the world aren't gonna improve this team very much unless Hall is the next Jeff Kent (and I'm not ruling that out).

In summary: I don't trade anything useful for Cruz until somebody convinces me he'll actually be good; I think hard about the Milwaukee trade but simply can't see why they'd do it; if I thought Murton and Cedeno would be OK/average/good before, I still think that (but with a good bench will have some viable options if I'm wrong).
   25. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 29, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#2116624)
See what the interest is in Prior -- probably not much at the moment, but I've got no qualms about trading him.

I've seen mention of this possibility by many. I think it's wildly implausible. The mere fact that the Cubs are willing to shop Mark would be a sign that they have no confidence in his health.
   26. Backlasher Posted: July 29, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#2116625)
Pops, how did the bar exam go.
   27. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#2116630)
Just some facts for Cubs fans to consider:

--Given the current situation and the general experiences of 2006 there is NO WAY, NONE, NO CHANCE, FORGET IT, AIN'T HAPPENING that the Brewers deal Hall for ANYTHING.

Why?

Hardy and Weeks have both shown a disturbing tendency to get hurt. That's your answer. Bill Hall has made himself a boatload of cash this year thanks to staying in the lineup and hitting homers.

--Doug Melvin has developed a serious distasted for young pitchers.

Why?

Well, anyone who has followed the Brewers at all knows that hurler after hurler was gift-wrapped a chance in either the bullpen or rotation. And GACKED IT AWAY. It has not bordered on the absurd. It has BEEN absurd. And while folks may cluck their tongues about Doug overreacting he simply cannot stomach seeing another guy walk out to the mound, walk two hitters, and then groove a pitch down the middle of the plate.

--Doug Melvin is loathe to trade within the division. He will do it. But not unless it simply is too good to be true.

So, ponder all you want. But everything mentioned here simply will not happen unless the circumstances change GREATLY.

By the way, Koskie would have been dealt if he hadn't gotten hurt. The idea was to trade Koskie, not Lee, at the deadline to a needy AL team. Corey getting hurt changed things completely.
   28. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 29, 2006 at 04:08 PM (#2116658)
Lugo I got no problem with, depending on the money. Those are nice EQAs ... but he's also got a 261 career EQA, is going to be 31, and I'd like a good estimate of his defensive value (BPro puts him average or just above but I never trust their stats) so it's not like you should be counting on him to be that big an upgrade. Plus I thought the rumor was Tampa was going to extend him.

The latest on Lugo is that the Rays have offered him something like a 5 yr/$40mm deal, but Lugo is looking for the Rays to detail their plan to be competitive.

If the Rays don't sign him, they may deal him this weekend, but if he hits the FA market, I'd expect him to earn more than $8mm/yr.
   29. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 29, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#2116677)
Their problems are not going to be easy to solve, and they don't have a guy at the helm who is capable of thinking creatively to get the team on track, and it will take a lot of creativity, luck or both for the Cubs to contend in 2007. Hendry did well early on, but it seems like his shine has worn off. I have little faith that he even recognizes the problems the team has, much less that he's equipped to solve it, and Lugos and Halls and Cruzes are unlikely to cut it.

Very well put. In fact, if you change the "2007" to "2006," it would resemble many of my posts from last year.

The fact that the FA market was so thin meant that to provide good solutions to the Cubs problems required Hendry do more than sign free agents X and Y; he had to be creative and flexible, spotting opportunities from other clubs to take on perhaps questionable contracts, etc. He needed to be proactive, not reactive. He essentially needed to do what Kenny Williams did on the other side of town.

Instead, in an off-season that demanded flexibility and creativity more than any other, he went into it for the second year in a row with one plan and one plan only -- this time, "sign Rafael Furcal," last year "trade Sammy Sosa" -- and when he couldn't accomplish this, he had to resort to fill-ins and patchwork.

That and the fact that among the first moves he did make were to resign Neifi Perez and Glendon Rusch was enough to make me into a Rays fan.

In fact, this is what I wrote on December 21:

"All I'm saying is that for someone who had to employ 'some gutsy and risky trading and better strategy in trying to acquire the few worthwhile free agents available,' to use Mike Isaacs's phrase, Jim Hendry has failed miserably at this. If anything, he has demonstrated a remarkable lack of creativity and vision for someone entering the last year of a contract and with an increasingly impatient fan base and the urgent need to improve *immediately*.

I'm also saying that it is certainly possible for someone in Hendry's role to have taken such risks and have shown better strategy and vision -- it was/is being done elsewhere by other teams."
   30. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 30, 2006 at 04:44 AM (#2117544)
The latest on Lugo is that the Rays have offered him something like a 5 yr/$40mm deal, but Lugo is looking for the Rays to detail their plan to be competitive.


I'd be surprised if they had any plan other than this:

1) Spend as little as possible on players
2) Collect Revanue Sharing
3) Profit!

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