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   1. The Rafael Bournigal fan club Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:51 PM (#1724263)
There is no positive to be found here, only lessening degrees of idiocy.
   2. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:12 PM (#1724313)
It appears that it will be a close competition to see which is more painful: watching the Cubs play next season or reading the Cubs Game Chatters next season.
   3. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:28 PM (#1724352)
I think the Cubs Game Chatters will be pretty damned uneventful next year, since about half the regulars have already jumped ship.
   4. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:02 PM (#1724425)
But we can write next season's Game Chatter's now. Heck, I could do that this season:

"Why must Dusty bat Pixie 2nd???"

"I hate Dusty. I hate this team. Shoot me!."

"Another blown save. When will this team get a bullpen."

"Murton should be playing every day."

"Fire Dusty now."

etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
   5. Giantandre Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:54 PM (#1724519)
My earlier rant -----A 2 YEAR CONTRACT ----------- A FREAKING 2 YEAR CONTRACT -------- I've defended Perez a bunch of times on this board --------- BUT A 2 YEAR FREAKING CONTRACT for a 32(?) year old BACK UP INFIELDER (yes BACK UP Dusty) who never walks, has no power and has cheaper/more attractive options behind him IS UNFORGIVEABLE .......... Who is Neifi's agent I want him, he's the real hero in the Perez household....who did he use a leverage ........ 77-85 tops
   6. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 12:38 AM (#1724551)
If last year's approach failed, then why not duplicate the failure--in spades! It's a safe, proven strategy that should net the Hendry/Baker team fat contract extensions. Hendry has started this off-season just like last year's--only he's flushing much more money now. He upped the ante for replaceable Glendon Rusch and then threw a huge gob o'green at a guy who could be exchanged for 20 guys who will be playing AAA ball in 2006.

Hendry supposedly had around $30 million to spend this offseason. At this spending rate, that should be just enough to land hacker Jacque Jones, Kenny Lofton and some crappy reliever like Danny Graves.
   7. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 09, 2005 at 12:52 AM (#1724554)
I've decided to be in as many game chatters as possible only so I can ensure that they exist. I'll even throw in some ######## that's specific to that day's game.
   8. Cabbage Posted: November 09, 2005 at 02:21 PM (#1724855)
The most upsetting part of all this is the forthcoming departure of DjF, moses, etc.

Chatterers beget chatterers. I doubt CJF, Dan, and I have enough mojo to sustain the chatter.
   9. Neil M Posted: November 09, 2005 at 02:57 PM (#1724900)
I guess I'll be around at the start of the year, but if it's just going to be 2005 redux then there are plenty of other things to get angry about a lot closer to home.
   10. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 03:03 PM (#1724909)
I remember being upset when Neifi signed a 2 yr contract with my Giants. Fortunately, that was as long as the nightmare lasted.

Again, my heart's out to you Cubs fans. No one deserves this.
   11. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 09, 2005 at 03:13 PM (#1724926)
Chatterers beget chatterers. I doubt CJF, Dan, and I have enough mojo to sustain the chatter.

We'll see what comes to be. It's frustrating to see the Cubs slowly piddle away the organizational momentum they established early in the decade. What should have been the foot-in-the-door years (2003-04) is now indeed looking like a peak, but that isn't a certainty. This is still a team that's got a good core of talent, and is a few moves away from contention. Sure, this particular move belies organizational intelligence of any kind, and if they do contend it will surely be a blind squirrel/acorn situation, but it's well within the realm of possibility at this point.

The crime of this particular move is what it does to Ronny Cedeño, putting him on the slippery slope to disuse, atrophy and dismissal. But wasn't that a certainty already? That is what makes this move hard to stomach. And of course, the crime of the offseason is going to be extending Hendry and Baker, rewarding them for squandering the Cubs' best chances in 30 years. If anything should drive people away, it's that.

As for those who are giving up and rooting elsewhere, I don't blame them. Certainly, if another team tickles my fancy I'm going to follow them, but I'm going to try to resist storming off. To those who are disavowing their status as Cubs Fans, I want you to know that I won't call you on it <strike>when</strike> if you cave in and come back!!
   12. JPWF13 Posted: November 09, 2005 at 03:34 PM (#1724953)
The problem is that Neifi wasn't absolutely terrible in 2005. His .274/.298/.383 line for a good defensive SS was not terrible (merely bad)- the result was an OPS+ of 77 (well above his career mark of 65) (EQA of .236 against a career mark of .219) Shortstops in 2005 averaged: 272/.326/.400

The real problem is that Neifi in 2006-07 is likely to:
A: regress to his career norms of 65 OPS+ (.219 EQA) or worse; and
B: likely to start losing ground defensively.

If he continues playing regularly he's a good a bet as anyone in the majors to be the absolute worst FT player in baseball the next few years.
   13. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 09, 2005 at 04:55 PM (#1725076)
No, the problem with Neifi is that 400 AB of his .274/.298/.383 line came at the top of the order, rather than 8th. That and he blocks Cedeno, who may not necessarily be better next season, but at least can be.
   14. Laughing Goat Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:14 PM (#1725105)
The question is who will turn out to be a rule V loss this year as we hold on to the corpse of His Neifines.
   15. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:53 PM (#1725151)
The question is who will turn out to be a rule V loss this year as we hold on to the corpse of His Neifines.

It'll be a pitcher who will in turn become a good starter for a crappy team.
   16. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 09, 2005 at 08:37 PM (#1725453)
The most upsetting part of all this is the forthcoming departure of DjF, moses, etc.

I'm not really leaving. I agree with what Andere says. I may try to care less, but that's never gonna happen. I'll try to follow the DRays so I can enjoy their climb to respectability.

It's going to take the Cubs longer, because I think they're definitely on their way down in the success cycle. For the Cubs to build that dynasty we were all hoping for, they're going to have to hit rock bottom first. Once that happens, the entire front office will be replaced and I'll be full of optimism again. I'm really just trying to be a realist.

And I'll still be in the chatters as much as I can, even if that means my posts are all quotes from shows and movies I enjoy. My actual stand will be not to buy any tickets to games at Wrigley next season. I'll still go to games (as long as I'm not paying) at Wrigley, and I'll go to plenty on the South Side and Milwaukee. I probably will get to games in DC, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Cincy next year. So I'll still get my baseball fix.
   17. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 09, 2005 at 11:01 PM (#1725707)
The most upsetting part of all this is the forthcoming departure of DjF, moses, etc.

I'm not leaving the occasional chatter -- it's just that I won't be watching/listening to the games. Chatters are fun. (I may read the chatters after the fact, though.)

Besides, I don't expect the D-Rays chatters to be all that lively anyway.


If Furcal becomes a Cub, and with Hendry’s apparent focus on defense up the middle (a bit excessive considering the strike-out heavy Cubs’ staff), I see Todd Walker leaving town on a jet plane, and a possible Neifi/Cedeno platoon at 2B.

I don't mean to pick on ross, cause I don't know how well he knows us, but if he really thinks that Walker leaving town will lead to a Neifi/Cedeno platoon, he should keep dreaming. We could have seen a Neifi/Cedeno platoon this year -- if it didn't happen in 2005, why would it happen in 2006?
   18. Bunny Vincennes Posted: November 09, 2005 at 11:33 PM (#1725745)
I don't intend on fully leaving, either. I will tend to congregate where the Chicago Mafia ends up, as there isn't a better group of sportsmen around. My enthusiasm for watching, and listening to the Cubs will be seriously curbed. I do hope to bring some levity to the winter by excerpting from my book, provided Furtado's okay.
   19. Luke Jasenosky Posted: November 09, 2005 at 11:50 PM (#1725762)
Alf, you're more than welcome to pick on me to your heart's desire. My comments on Gonfalon are open for withering scrutiny by all - how else is a freshman blogger to improve both his analysis and the sharpness of his prose? As to your point, I understand where you're coming from and, in all honesty, you may well be right. As I stated, I foresee a "possible platoon" (dependent on the trade of Walker as well as the signing of Furcal or another SS), mainly due to Cedeno's fine season and possible pressure on Baker to give him some consistent ABs, especially if he has a good spring. I'm as unhappy with the Teflon Toothpick as anyone, but I think his reputation for putting young position players under lock and key is slightly (but only slightly slightly) overstated. However, given that it is difficult to know how much Baker was involved in the signing of Perez, it very well might be that he has no intention of giving Cedeno any legitimate shot at playing time at 2B if a shiny new SS is patrolling the left side of the bag.
   20. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 10, 2005 at 04:35 AM (#1726006)
As I stated, I foresee a "possible platoon" (dependent on the trade of Walker as well as the signing of Furcal or another SS), mainly due to Cedeno's fine season and possible pressure on Baker to give him some consistent ABs, especially if he has a good spring.

We went through that with Jason Dubois last year, didn't we? :-)

Anyway, I'm not sure exactly how things are going to shake out with the roster, but I am certain of a few things --

1. We will read stories about Cedeno's success this winter;

2. Jim Hendry will speak optimistically about Cedeno, indicating that he will have a real chance to start and have an impact and that he expects Cedeno to be a substantial contributor to the Cubs success in 2006;

3. Dusty will agree with Cedeno's outlook, but will also say that we can't ignore what Neifi did for us last year; and

4. In the end, Neifi will get at least twice the playing time that Cedeno does.
   21. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 10, 2005 at 01:01 PM (#1726146)
5. Neifi will play every day and hit horrendously

6. Cedeno will get the starting job for two weeks and bat .230 over the twelve game stretch.

7. Neifi will be reinstated as the starter (where he will continue to suck) and Cedeno will be sent down to AAA.

8. Cedeno will be traded for Royce Clayton in the beginning of July. Clayton will bat .180 as the Cubs fall from contention.

9. Clayton is shipped out at the deadline for a C prospect and (after a surprising omission from his new team's postseason roster) he will be revealed as a steroid user.


It's almost as if I've seen this before...
   22. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 10, 2005 at 01:15 PM (#1726152)
As I stated, I foresee a "possible platoon" (dependent on the trade of Walker as well as the signing of Furcal or another SS), mainly due to Cedeno's fine season and possible pressure on Baker to give him some consistent ABs, especially if he has a good spring.

If the Cubs had managed to do this even once with any player under the current regime, I might foresee this as a significant possibility.

The simple version of it is DAD: disuse, atrophy, dismissal. This is the Cubs' patented method of position player development. Cedeño is almost certain to get the DAD treatment in 2006. I can imagine a series of coincidences forcing their hand into playing Cedeño regularly, but it won't be the plan, and if it comes to that, it will be resisted.
   23. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 10, 2005 at 01:55 PM (#1726182)
I can imagine a series of coincidences forcing their hand into playing Cedeño regularly

Well, meatwad will be out of boot camp well before the season starts....
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: November 10, 2005 at 04:06 PM (#1726338)
Meatwad is truly the only thing that can save this organization.
   25. Flynn Posted: November 10, 2005 at 04:21 PM (#1726366)
Sucks to be a Cub fan, eh?
   26. Spahn Insane Posted: November 10, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1726383)
Sucks to be a Cub fan, eh?

Yes, it did.
   27. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 10, 2005 at 04:42 PM (#1726414)
As I stated, I foresee a "possible platoon" (dependent on the trade of Walker as well as the signing of Furcal or another SS), mainly due to Cedeno's fine season and possible pressure on Baker to give him some consistent ABs, especially if he has a good spring.

If the Cubs had managed to do this even once with any player under the current regime, I might foresee this as a significant possibility.

Last year's middle infield was comprised of Neifi and Todd Walker after Nomar got hurt. Walker was even injured for a significant amount of time and Cedeno got 80 ABs on the season. If the Cubs get Furcal, the infield situation gets far more crowded than it was in 2005. I see no reason to believe that if Cedeno couldn't elbow his way into the lineup then that he will do so next year.

Signing Furcal will signal the end of Cedeno's chance at a Cub career, barring some catastrophic injury to someone early in the season. There will be no platoon because Neifi is a switch hitter. He won't be able to earn time because it's evident that performance isn't an actual criterion for the apportionment of playing time in this organization.
   28. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 10, 2005 at 04:52 PM (#1726441)
Meatwad is truly the only thing that can save this organization.

Is there a scarier thought than this?
   29. CFiJ Posted: November 10, 2005 at 05:02 PM (#1726452)
8. Cedeno will be traded for Royce Clayton in the beginning of July. Clayton will bat .180 as the Cubs fall from contention.

Hold on a sec. I was out of the loop for the last half of the season. Am I to understand that the Cubs traded DuBois for Lawton?

WHAT THE ****?!
   30. Spahn Insane Posted: November 10, 2005 at 05:05 PM (#1726459)
They traded Dubois for Jody Gerut, who they then traded for Lawton (who they then traded for some A ball pitcher from the Yankee system).
   31. 1k5v3L Posted: November 10, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1726470)
8. Cedeno will be traded for Royce Clayton in the beginning of July. Clayton will bat .180 as the Cubs fall from contention.

Clayton is actually a free agent... The Cubs can have him for Neifi money.
   32. Sweet Posted: November 10, 2005 at 06:18 PM (#1726574)
Adam Greenberg has another journal entry up on Cubs.com. Seems like a thoughtful kid. Assuming he can play a credible CF, which is where he's playing in Venezuela, I'd love to see his OBP skills -- ~.380 OBP in 1400 minor-league PAs -- off the bench as the Cubs' fifth OF next year. (Assuming I'm still a Cubs fan next year, that is.)

Anyway, thought it might be nice for some of us to introduce ourselves and tell him how much we appreciate his plate discipline. His e-mail is apparently ag17invz@yahoo.com.
   33. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 10, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1726864)
According to the Score, the Cubs and Marlins are talking about a deal for Juan Pierre (which we knew) . . .

. . . but the Marlins are wanting Felix Pie, not Corey Patterson.
   34. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 10, 2005 at 10:31 PM (#1727015)
. . . but the Marlins are wanting Felix Pie, not Corey Patterson.

The Cubs are probably higher on Pie than any of us. I would think that he's virtually untouchable.
   35. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 11, 2005 at 01:28 AM (#1727307)
but the Marlins are wanting Felix Pie, not Corey Patterson.

I'm not sure I'd trade Pierre for Patterson, let alone Pie.
   36. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 11, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1727615)
Speaking of oblivious, I want to point out the following:

<u>Chicago</u>
Metropolitan Population: 9.1 million (approx.)
Number of Primary Newspapers: 3 (Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily Herald)
Combined Circulation: approx. 1.1 million
Stories about the Cubs: 1

<u>Tampa/St. Petersburg</u>
Metropolitan Population: 2.4 million (approx)
Number of Primary Newspapers: 2 (St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune)
Combined Circulation: approx. 500 thousand
Stories about the Devil Rays: 4
   37. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 11, 2005 at 05:20 PM (#1727886)
Hey,

There's a Chicago Meetup in a week. Come and meet the Ex-Cub fans in person.
   38. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 11, 2005 at 05:35 PM (#1727927)
I'm both a Cub fan in transition as well as a fan of ex-Cubs.
   39. Giantandre Posted: November 11, 2005 at 11:58 PM (#1728606)
I will always be a Cub fan, It's been alot more frustrating in the past than this. If Timmy K. on ESPN is right and the Cubs are willing to give Furcal "Renteria Like Money" what is the point of Perez at 2.5 million per.... I's rather have the albatros that is Steve Finley's 8.5 mill like the Angels have on the books.... at least there is a small % of a turnaround .. we just saw Perez's best season There is nothing but decline in his future ......... Like we couldn't have waited to see if we could get Furcal b4 inking this deal .... if he hits 9 hr's this year I'll eat my own foot......If we add J. Pierre (I'm oddly distrustful of people with two first names, sorry D. Lee) are we trying to become the 1982 Cardinals ...without the bullpen and the defensive prowess????

Milton Bradley for Starting CF
   40. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 12, 2005 at 12:11 AM (#1728619)
Crazy Fantasy GM guy Steve Phillips ranks the top 50 FAs and predicts where they'll end up (sorry, Insider): Linky

Of note: #4 Furcal: Cubs. #9 Giles: Cubs.

That'd be enough to make me forget about Neifi for a while.
   41. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 12, 2005 at 01:20 AM (#1728699)
Of note: #4 Furcal: Cubs. #9 Giles: Cubs.

That'd be enough to make me forget about Neifi for a while.


That'd be nice, until Giles ends up 6th in the order because he's needed to protect Michael Barrett now that Todd Walker's been traded for *insert generic ultraveteran reliever here who will come in and put up a 4.95 ERA yet still be first out of the pen in key situations*. Furcal-Neifi at the top is just the kind of OBP/DP machine necessary to ensure that Lee and Ramirez never see runners on base that aren't themselves.

It would be great to see them sign Giles, but even if they do I fully expect him to be misused at the bottom of the order. Though maybe with Murton and Giles both hitting at the bottom of the order, that could be the real productive part. Even if the real order is:

Furcal
Neifi
Lee
Ramirez
Barrett
Giles
Patterson
Murton

We can just pretend that it's

Lee
Ramirez
Barrett
Giles
Patterson
Murton
pitcher
Furcal
Neifi

You waste a lot of power from Lee and Rarmiez, but Barrett, Giles, and Murton could put up pretty good seasons.
   42. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 12, 2005 at 01:51 AM (#1728723)
Of note: #4 Furcal: Cubs. #9 Giles: Cubs.

That'd be enough to make me forget about Neifi for a while.


It would do that, but they'd probably be a waste of money, especially considering the length of the contracts the Cubs would have to put up in order to get them.

And Cedeno would be trade bait.
   43. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 12, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1728728)
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2221393

Furcal wants $50 million over 5 or 6 years. Screw that, let Cedeno start for half a million in 2006.
   44. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 12, 2005 at 04:13 AM (#1728792)
Furcal wants $50 million over 5 or 6 years. Screw that, let Cedeno start for half a million in 2006.

You must be high. Best case scenario without Furcal is that the Cubs don't trade Walker and we have another season of Neifi/Walker middle infield with Cedeno maybe playing vs RHP at 2B. There is no Cedeno at SS. That dream died the minute Hendry put ink to check for the Perez contract. If Walker stays, Cedeno won't see real playing time until 2007 at the earliest (and I certainly wouldn't put it past the Cubs to replace Walker with another veteran next year and make Cedeno wait until 2008 before he can take over for Neifi).
   45. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: November 12, 2005 at 04:23 AM (#1728801)
Nomar is a much better option than Furcal at this point. He'll only sign for a year or two, and then the Cubs can find that long term option. Paying that much to Furcal when he has yet to break an OPS of .800. Last year was the first time since 1996 that Nomar failed to reach that level, and he's a good bet to rebound if he can stay healthy.
   46. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 12, 2005 at 04:43 PM (#1729023)
Except for the fact that his range was pretty darn limited at SS *before* he shredded his groin last year.
   47. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 12, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1729229)
And Furcal is quite possibly the best defensive SS in baseball.
   48. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 12, 2005 at 08:12 PM (#1729233)
What long-term option is out there besides Furcal?
   49. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 12, 2005 at 08:41 PM (#1729251)
You must be high. Best case scenario without Furcal is that the Cubs don't trade Walker and we have another season of Neifi/Walker middle infield with Cedeno maybe playing vs RHP at 2B. There is no Cedeno at SS. That dream died the minute Hendry put ink to check for the Perez contract.

It was dead before that. Seriously, they should just trade Ronny Cedeño right now. In an organization with a clue that wouldn't be the case, but the Cubs should trade him for someone they're going to use.
   50. Meatwad Posted: November 12, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1729280)
why the #### did they resign ####### neifi ####### perez? that guy cant tie his own ####### shoes he is a ####### oxygen thefe.
   51. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 12, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1729307)
Clearly Meatwad is learning some new insults in the military.

Hope it's going well, Airman.
   52. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 12, 2005 at 11:10 PM (#1729329)
What long-term option is out there besides Furcal?

They'd have to make a trade. Apparently, Furcal is demamding $50 million/5-6 yrs, though that obviously depends on what he's being offered.

Still, while I think Furcal is fine, I don't know about the idea of locking up someone for 4+ years simply because there is no one else on the market.
   53. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 13, 2005 at 05:09 PM (#1729817)
Who else is worthy of a 5-6 year contract? All players who are more or less untradeable (unless the Cubs send Zambrano and Lee) -- Tejada, Jeter, ARod, maybe Rollins.
   54. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 13, 2005 at 05:26 PM (#1729828)
My point is that you don't hand out a huge 5-6 year contract to Furcal simply because no one else is worthy of one.

If you have second thoughts about whether you want to pay that kind of money for that length to Furcal, the better option may be to go with a shorter-term option for a year or two until someone you like better hits the market.

Personally, I'm ok with giving Furcal 3 years, probably 4 years, but I'd have concerns about 5 years and certainly would not go for 6 years, no matter what he's demanding or what other teams may be offering.

The idea of the Cubs caving into the market simply because they think that Furcal is the only guy is appalling. At the very least, I'd be looking to the FAs in 2007-08 and considering trades for guys like Julio Lugo, Bill Hall, or Felipe Lopez.

If you insist on a big name, I can't imagine the Red Sox are thrilled with Edgar Renteria, particularly with their fascination with Hanley Ramirez in their system. Heck, the Angels may be having second thoughts about the deal they gave Orlando Cabrera. If they have any second thoughts, why do the Cubs need to box themselves in with these teams?
   55. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 13, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1729840)
I'd be looking to the FAs in 2007-08 and considering trades for guys like Julio Lugo, Bill Hall, or Felipe Lopez.

Those guys will be worthy of 5-6 year contracts then, do you think?
   56. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 13, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1729861)
I can't imagine the Red Sox are thrilled with Edgar Renteria, particularly with their fascination with Hanley Ramirez in their system.

I've been wondering about this lately. Does Boston have any talent to use as a throw-in if the Cubs were to take that contract?

It's tough to think of players who would be less of a risk over a 5 year contract than Furcal.
   57. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 13, 2005 at 06:33 PM (#1729871)
I've been wondering about this lately. Does Boston have any talent to use as a throw-in if the Cubs were to take that contract?

It's tough to think of players who would be less of a risk over a 5 year contract than Furcal.


I'm not sure Furcal is going to get that 5-year contract from anyone, particularly the Cubs, who haven't offered a five-year deal to anyone since...?

For four, I'd definitely take my chances with Furcal at ages 28-29-30-31 than with Renteria for ages 31-32-33, considering they have similar price tags. Even with the fifth year it might be better to go with Furcal.
   58. Neil M Posted: November 13, 2005 at 06:37 PM (#1729873)
The Aramis Ramirez contract, convoluted mess that it is, does provide for a mutual option for a 5th year.
   59. Neil M Posted: November 13, 2005 at 06:40 PM (#1729876)
In fact the option is guaranteed if Ramirez plays 270 games in 2007-8.
   60. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 13, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1729918)
For four, I'd definitely take my chances with Furcal at ages 28-29-30-31 than with Renteria for ages 31-32-33, considering they have similar price tags.

I would too. Without hesitation.
   61. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 14, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1730382)
Those guys will be worthy of 5-6 year contracts then, do you think?

I have no idea what you mean, other than the fact that you're trying to irritate me. Let me try to say this again in plain English:

The Cubs shouldn't feel pressured to give Furcal a 5 year deal simply because he's the best SS on the market and that's what he's demanding. If they feel the least bit nervous about it, they should pursue a lesser name (by trade or FA) for a shorter-term (maybe 1-2 years), then hit the market again after 2008 or so.
   62. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 14, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1731871)
If they feel the least bit nervous about it, they should pursue a lesser name (by trade or FA) for a shorter-term (maybe 1-2 years), then hit the market again after 2008 or so.

The subject was the Cubs getting a long-term solution at shortstop. There aren't many candidates out there right now, and I'm not sure it's best to hope there will be one available (and that the Cubs are 100% to get) in 2008.

As for a lesser name for a 1-2 year contract -- the Cubs just got that. His name is Neifi Perez, 14th in MLB last year by WARP.

From what I see, the alternative to Furcal is to continue the parade of Neifi Perezes and Alex Gonzalezes and hope that someone better than Furcal pops along. But such shortstops aren't terribly common, and tend to be expensive. I don't see free agent prices dropping. So we'll end up paying either way.
   63. Spahn Insane Posted: November 14, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1731884)
why the #### did they resign #### neifi #### perez? that guy cant tie his own #### shoes he is a #### oxygen thefe.

Good to see you, wad.

My only regret (other than the Cubs giving Perez 2 years) is that wad wasn't around when the signing occurred, meaning that this tirade is almost certainly a bit diluted.
   64. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:32 AM (#1732294)
The subject was the Cubs getting a long-term solution at shortstop.

Says who? The original subject was how Neifi would be used. (Go ahead, check the caption -- see where it says "the major concern here is what exactly Neifi’s role will be in 2006"?)

I don't see anywhere where the subject was/is "getting a long-term solution." Actually, that's essentially my point -- while it's nice to find a guy who will contribute for the Cubs into 2010, if the urge to find the 2010 shortstop forces the Cubs to pick a guy they would otherwise have second thoughts about, they are better off finding their 2010 shortstop next season.


From what I see, the alternative to Furcal is to continue the parade of Neifi Perezes and Alex Gonzalezes and hope that someone better than Furcal pops along.

That's because your vision is myopic. If the Cubs are skittish into giving Furcal that kind of time/money, they can most likely find other legitimate (though less-glamorous) alternatives by trade or other means, without having to go with 150 games of Neifi. (For some examples, see Post #54, though I'm sure others are out there.)

This is going to be a difficult enough off-season as it is -- the Cubs need to be creative and understand that if they sign Furcal into 2010, it should be because they *want* to (because he's the best choice they see becoming available in the next few years), not because he's the only guy out there in November 2005.

Going with a shorter-term option isn't bad in and of itself, so long as it's part of a pre-conceived plan for when, where, and how they want to go. Yes, it's healthy to be thinking about 2010, but that doesn't mean they are forced to lock someone in right now, particularly if the 2006-08 markets might be more attractive.
   65. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1732419)
Says who? The original subject was how Neifi would be used. (Go ahead, check the caption -- see where it says "the major concern here is what exactly Neifi’s role will be in 2006"?)

And I changed the subject using my one 'change the subject' card I get each year for being a Cubs fan.

That's because your vision is myopic. If the Cubs are skittish into giving Furcal that kind of time/money, they can most likely find other legitimate (though less-glamorous) alternatives by trade or other means, without having to go with 150 games of Neifi. (For some examples, see Post #54, though I'm sure others are out there.)

Lopez was about the same as Perez last year. Lugo is part of the 'second tier' with Cabrera and Renteria (at least, the Cabrera and Renteria of earlier seasons), and won't come cheap. I don't see Hall being traded to the Cubs.
   66. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1732479)
Lopez was about the same as Perez last year.

Lopez was 25 last season and hit .291/.352/.486.

Perez was 31 in 2004 and hit a combined .255/.296/.336. He also has a much longer history of similar performance.

I hardly think they are "about the same." It may be true that Cincy has no interest in dealing Lopez, but we've also been talking about making deals for Dunn or Kearns, so who knows.


Lugo is part of the 'second tier' with Cabrera and Renteria (at least, the Cabrera and Renteria of earlier seasons), and won't come cheap.

I have no idea what you mean by "cheap" or what his price will be. My point is that if the Cubs are not 100% satisfied with giving a 5 year/$50 million contract to Furcal, going with Lugo for 2-4 years would allow them flexibility to reconsider their SS options in the next few years (and would also happen to be cheaper than Furcal).


I don't see Hall being traded to the Cubs.

The Brewers have J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks -- if the Cubs wanted to deal for a guy like Bill Hall, they may be able to get him for a decent prospect, who knows.

I'm not saying I "see" a trade or predict it in any sense, but that's not the point. The point is that the Cubs do have choices beyond Furcal and Neifi, if they have the creativity to pursue them. I've not seen anything from the Cubs indicating that they have any problems/hesitency about giving Furcal a lengthy deal, but if they have any concerns, they shouldn't feel like they are limited to only two choices.
   67. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 15, 2005 at 04:06 PM (#1732511)
You know how were we talking about that reliever the Cubs will sign? The guy who'll get $3mil or so to put up a 4.50 ERA?

That lucky reliever looks like it'll be Scott Eyre.
   68. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 15, 2005 at 05:49 PM (#1732696)
That lucky reliever looks like it'll be Scott Eyre.

Apparently Ohman, Rich Hill and Glendon Rusch aren't enough.

The Cubs are doing an admirable job at blowing their money on far less problematic areas of the roster. Their strategy of death to the surplus payroll by a thousand cuts is really starting to add up to something significant. Rusch, Perez and Eyre would approximately equal one Furcal on a per-season basis. This is absurd.
   69. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2005 at 06:13 PM (#1732733)
Lopez was 25 last season and hit .291/.352/.486.

Perez was 31 in 2004 and hit a combined .255/.296/.336. He also has a much longer history of similar performance.


Perez makes up most of that defensively:

VORP: Perez 12.9, Lopez 52.7

WARP: Perez 4.4, Lopez 4.9
   70. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 06:32 PM (#1732774)
Fine. Lopez outperformed Neifi in 2002-04, and did I mention the fact that he's 6 years younger?

If you seriously think that the 26 year old Perez will be no better than the 32 year old Neifi, I've let you troll me on this point long enough. Go ahead and look at the world as an either/or situation.
   71. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:31 PM (#1732897)
I take back everything bad I've said about Scott Eyre.

He received a 10th place vote in the MVP race today. He'd definitely improve the team.
   72. CFiJ Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:37 PM (#1732911)
Jim Hendry, Dusty Baker, and the 24 other guys on the roster should send notes of apology to Derrick Lee for costing him the MVP.
   73. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:46 PM (#1732935)
Jim Hendry, Dusty Baker, and the 24 other guys on the roster should send notes of apology to Derrick Lee for costing him the MVP.

Next year, if Lee has a bad game, he should just be able to point to the empty place in his locker where the MVP trophy would be and shake his head. End of discussion. He's earned a one-year pass.

But then again, he never has bad games. That's why he's GodLee.
   74. Sweet Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:47 PM (#1732938)
I did note with some surprise that, at least according to one defensive metric (posted in the comments to Chris Dial's most recent article on this site), Neifi was the best defensive shortstop in baseball last year, saving 28 runs (above average, I think) on a 162-game basis. (Unadjusted for playing time, Jack Wilson and Cabrera edged him out.) Lopez was at -15 runs over 162 games.

Now, there are other defensive metrics that peg Neifi as only slightly above average, so -- as usual with these things -- there's plenty of fodder for all predispositions, but I was mildly heartened. Only mildly, of course -- that $6 million still could have been better spent.
   75. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 07:48 PM (#1732940)
Corey Patterson put up an OBP of .254 over 450 ABs.

The last Cub to have an OBP below .260 in more than 300 ABs was Don Kessinger in '65 (.252 OBP in 309 ABs).

The last Cub to do it over more than 400 ABs was Bobby Mattick in '40 (.250 OBP in 441 ABs).

Both were shortstops.
   76. Sweet Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1732984)
On a more heartening note, Dempster ended the season *third* -- behind K-Rod and Brian Fuentes -- in BPro's Reliever's Expected Wins Added. I have no idea whether that stat is worth a darn, but there you go.

Scott Eyre finished 16th. That said, signing this guy for anything like what he'll demand seems like a big mistake. He has a career ERA as a reliever of well over 4.00, very pedestrian K:BB and K/IP numbers, and his 2005 ERA was almost certainly the product of an unsustainably low HR rate. He appears to be nothing more than an average middle reliever -- that is to say, one whose performance will fluctuate dramatically from year to year because of the small sample size involved but which, viewed over time, does not justify the premium paid to LOOGYs coming off of "career years." And this guy is truly a one- (or two-)out guy -- 68 IP in 86 games -- although he faced slightly more righties than lefties last year. All and all, he's basically Will Ohman (or Koronka, or whoever) at about 10 times the cost. So why is Hendry interested again?
   77. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1733005)
Rusch, Perez and Eyre would approximately equal one Furcal on a per-season basis. This is absurd.

Close, but not quite. Rusch is $3mm, Perez is $2.5mm, and Eyre was paid $1.5mm last year. He'll want more, of course, but I don't think he'll triple his salary on the basis of one season. (Furcal is asking ~$10mm.)

Then again, we are talking about the Cubs.
   78. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:42 PM (#1733053)
All and all, he's basically Will Ohman (or Koronka, or whoever) at about 10 times the cost. So why is Hendry interested again?

Someone needs to fill the Remlinger spot of overpaid vet coming off career year. How else will Chicago donate pitching to the KCs of the world in the Rule 5 draft?

Close, but not quite.

I didn't mean "quite" but I would guess the total cost to be around $8 million next season if the team gets Eyre - that's pretty close. I think the team would be much better off with Giles and Furcal and AAAA fodder (in the Rusch, Perez and Eyre roster spots) than they will be with Giles or Furcal and that stellar triumvirate.
   79. Sweet Posted: November 15, 2005 at 08:51 PM (#1733074)
Although I think that Giles is the best fit of any FA on the market, I haven't seen anything to indicate that the Cubs are interested, and I'd be very surprised if he ended up here. I'm sticking with my Jacque Jones prediction.
   80. Sweet Posted: November 15, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1733349)
Rich Hill was selected as Breakthrough Player of the Year (all teams, all levels) by minorleaguebaseball.com, mlb.com's official minor-league partner. Mildly interesting article follows.

Link
   81. Sweet Posted: November 15, 2005 at 11:34 PM (#1733358)
Wow, and Jermaine Van Buren won relief pitcher of the year. Nice job, guys. Too bad you'll get a chance to defend your titles at Iowa next year.

Link
   82. Sweet Posted: November 16, 2005 at 06:00 PM (#1734105)
Since I appear to have killed the thread with my hat trick of posts, maybe I can resurrect it with a fourth. Various Cubs-related notes from Bob Nightengale's USA Today column:

The Cubs plan to shop second baseman Todd Walker if they sign Rafael Furcal, a move that would free up second base for rookie Ronny Cedeno and veteran Neifi Perez. ... The Cubs have no interest in re-signing shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who could be headed to the Dodgers. ... The Royals, Pirates, Blue Jays and Cubs are all strongly pursuing Rangers outfielder Kevin Mench, who has hit 51 homers the last two seasons.

The Cubs are optimistic about their chances of signing free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, but they don't want to pay him the deal he's seeking ($50 million over five years). Chicago's hope is to not only sign Furcal, but to also acquire center fielder Juan Pierre from the Marlins. Furcal and Pierre would give the Cubs two leadoff hitters for a spot that supplied a .245 batting average last season.

Best current guess as to Cubs' Opening Day lineup:

Pierre
Furcal
Lee
Ramirez
RF (Mench, Jacque Jones, Kearns, Preston Wilson?)
Murton
Barrett
Neifi

Bench:

Cedeno

Gone:

Patterson, Walker, minor league pitching (I'm guessing Van Buren, Mitre, and one of Nolasco, Pinto, and Ryu). Maybe Patterson, Van Buren, and Mitre for Pierre, with Walker and Pinto for Mench?

Personally, I'd probably keep Walker around even if the Cubs do sign Furcal. He can play first, second, and left (plus right and third in a pinch) and is a valuable LH bat off the bench.
   83. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 16, 2005 at 07:30 PM (#1734308)
The Cubs plan to shop second baseman Todd Walker if they sign Rafael Furcal, a move that would free up second base for <strike>rookie Ronny Cedeno and </strike> veteran Neifi Perez.

Fixed it for Bob.

Pierre
Furcal
Lee
Ramirez
RF (Mench, Jacque Jones, Kearns, Preston Wilson?)
Murton
Barrett
Neifi


That's a safe bet, and although it ain't ideal, it's not horrible (assuming Pierre bounces back a little from last season). I don't like the idea of Mench (he's really not that good and would cost too much to acquire), but I have a feeling it'll be him or Jones.

Patterson, Walker, minor league pitching (I'm guessing Van Buren, Mitre, and one of Nolasco, Pinto, and Ryu). Maybe Patterson, Van Buren, and Mitre for Pierre, with Walker and Pinto for Mench?

I hate both of those trades, both of them involve the Cubs giving up too much. I think they could get Pierre with Patterson and a lower level pitching prospect (you know, the next Dontrelle). I think Walker and Mitre would get the Cubs Mench (I like Pinto, and think he should be kept; Mitre could slot right into their rotation).
   84. 1k5v3L Posted: November 16, 2005 at 10:07 PM (#1734660)
Rangers acquired RHP Jon Leicester from the Cubs for a player to be named.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels' first pickup looks like a very good one. Leicester was quite the disappointment last season, but the Cubs are giving up on him way too quickly. He has the fastball-slider combination to be a quality setup man. Expect him to win a spot in the Texas bullpen next spring. Nov. 16 - 4:23 pm et

Well, that frees up a roster spot for Macias...
   85. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 16, 2005 at 10:07 PM (#1734663)
   86. Sweet Posted: November 16, 2005 at 10:21 PM (#1734706)
I could be wrong, but I think Leicester was out of options, and he wasn't likely to make the team out of Spring Training, so good of Hendry to get something -- anything -- for him. Leicester had a nice little run at the end of 2004, but I hardly think the Cubs are giving up on him "way too quickly." In Wuertz, Novoa, and Van Buren they have three guys who are at least his equal.
   87. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 16, 2005 at 10:28 PM (#1734726)
I could be wrong, but I think Leicester was out of options, and he wasn't likely to make the team out of Spring Training, so good of Hendry to get something -- anything -- for him.

I believe you are correct.

In Wuertz, Novoa, and Van Buren they have three guys who are at least his equal.

All three of whom may be in triple AAA this year because Chicago needs to blow more money on not fixing the lineup.
   88. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 16, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1734733)
Man, we just can't wait to jettison live young arms, can we? You'd think they grew on trees someplace. I hope Leicester becomes an All-Star.

And I hate all these ideas. Being locked into Neifi in the starting lineup has absolutely killed any interest I have in next season. I can't take it anymore, I just can't. I haven't seen a single rumor outside of paying $50M+ for Furcal that looks to make the team more than incrimentally better. The team won 79 games last year, largely on the back of an historic season out of Derrek Lee. Assuming he doesn't post another 1.100 OPS, they need to add approximately 15 wins just to be in the race for the wild card (screw catching the Cardinals at this point).

Where are they coming from? It's not Juan Pierre and Kevin Mench, and it's certainly not the .650 OPS stylings of Neifi Perez for 625 PAs, playing (of course) out of position to minimize his defensive value. This team needs to add at least one impact bat and probably one impact arm as well, and instead they're shuffling around the same #### that we saw last year and giving $6M/yr to Glendon Rusch and Perez, two fungible commodities who could have easily been replaced from within the system.

If they cry "poor" when it comes to not making an offer for Brian Giles (whom it doesn't appear they're even bothering to pursue) or to not trading for an impact hitter with a big contract after dumping millions to retain crap, I'm going to blow a brain artery.
   89. Sweet Posted: November 16, 2005 at 10:49 PM (#1734776)
I should make clear that my trade speculation above was not intended to be endorsement of the trades proposed. If I were Hendry, and assuming that canceling Neifi's deal isn't a possibility, I would keep both Patterson and Walker, sign Furcal and Giles, and try to fill the bullpen and rotation holes with the Cubs' copious in-house options. Cycle through these guys until you find a workable fifth starter and the two more setup men you need.

For $100 million, the Cubs could have a truly imposing lineup and a staff with some risk but considerable upside and decent insurance. It's not too late, Jim . . .
   90. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 16, 2005 at 11:55 PM (#1734931)
This team needs to add at least one impact bat and probably one impact arm as well,

I'm not convinced they need to add an "impact arm," though one would certainly not hurt.

OTOH, I think they need at least 2-3 impact bats. Adding Furcal and going with another OF like last year (or adding Giles and going with an OF of Giles/Patterson/Murton and an MI tandem of Perez/Walker) ain't gonna cut it.

Forget about the pitching staff, lord only knows what will happen to this team if either Ramirez or Lee spend significant time on the DL. We could be looking at less than 70 wins.
   91. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 17, 2005 at 12:47 AM (#1734986)
Cubs send Leicester to Texas for PTBNL

Mench is a useful guy against LHP, but I have serious doubts about the Cubs' need for a right-handed corner OF with a weak throwing arm. He's too redundant with respect to Murton, and I think his acquisition (if that's what this is) bodes very badly for Murton's development. Not that Murton's demise was anything but a foregone conclusion in this organization.
   92. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 17, 2005 at 12:52 AM (#1734990)
Man, we just can't wait to jettison live young arms, can we? You'd think they grew on trees someplace. I hope Leicester becomes an All-Star.

Actually, I don't think that highly of Leicester, and Mench is probably not bad return for a guy who is probably the 42nd man on a 40-man roster. If he were a left-handed hitter, I'd be all for this.
   93. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 17, 2005 at 01:15 AM (#1735009)
Actually, I don't think that highly of Leicester, and Mench is probably not bad return for a guy who is probably the 42nd man on a 40-man roster. If he were a left-handed hitter, I'd be all for this.

Are we getting Mench? I sort of assumed this would just be Leicester for some funigble low minors guy. If it's Leicester for Mench, then that seems like a decent deal - even if he doesn't start, Mench would be useful on the bench.

But I'd be shocked if the Rangers agreed to that.

Forget about the pitching staff, lord only knows what will happen to this team if either Ramirez or Lee spend significant time on the DL. We could be looking at less than 70 wins.

And Ramirez seems to miss time every season. The hamstring/leg problems he's had appear to be a chronic condition that is going to force him out for some stretch at least once a season (and limit his usefulness at other times). If Lee returns to closer to his career levels and Barrett regresses as well (he was probably the best offensive catcher in the NL last year, basically out of nowhere), the offense is going to be horrible.
   94. 1k5v3L Posted: November 17, 2005 at 01:17 AM (#1735014)
No way it's mench. That's just silly.
   95. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 17, 2005 at 02:52 PM (#1735365)
Are we getting Mench? I sort of assumed this would just be Leicester for some funigble low minors guy. If it's Leicester for Mench, then that seems like a decent deal - even if he doesn't start, Mench would be useful on the bench.

But I'd be shocked if the Rangers agreed to that.


This article makes it sound like it's not Mench in this deal. I guess I wouldn't be shocked at all if it were, but then again I might think less of Mench (who really has little business playing the corner OF against RHP) than the Rangers do.

Anyway, Mench would be useful on the bench, if he weren't stealing playing time from Matt Murton, which would undoubtedly happen if he were on the Cubs roster.

What disturbs me most about the article:

"The Cubs aren't interested in getting into a bidding war with teams like the Yankees and Cardinals for free-agent outfielder Brian Giles, who turns 35 in January and is seeking more than $10 million per year for at least three years."

Of course, this same team had no problem picking up Moises Alou at only a slightly lower price at the same age.
   96. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 17, 2005 at 03:00 PM (#1735376)
The two primary suitors are the Braves, the only team for which he has played, and the Cubs, who have Aramis Ramirez and Neifi Perez whispering in his ear.

TITTET.

Seriously, that's got to be my worst nightmare-Neifi whispering in my ear.
   97. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 17, 2005 at 03:10 PM (#1735394)
"The Cubs aren't interested in getting into a bidding war with teams like the Yankees and Cardinals for free-agent outfielder Brian Giles."

I predict an outfield of Jacque Jones, Juan Pierre, and Juan Encarnacion next year . . .

and that Furcal resigns with the Braves, leaving the Cubs to sign Alex Gonzalez from the Marlins.
   98. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 17, 2005 at 03:14 PM (#1735407)
leaving the Cubs to sign Alex Gonzalez from the Marlins

No, it'll be Neifi at shortstop and Damion Easley at 2B
   99. Sweet Posted: November 17, 2005 at 05:49 PM (#1735644)
The Cubs aren't interested in getting into a bidding war with teams like the Yankees and Cardinals for free-agent outfielder Brian Giles, who turns 35 in January and is seeking more than $10 million per year for at least three years.

Yeah, because it's not like the Yankees and Cardinals are any good at talent evaluation, roster construction, or any of those abilities that lead to playoff appearances.

Now, the Cubs may be entirely reasonable in not wanting to get into a "bidding war" with two other deep-pocket teams over Brian Giles, who very well may end up being overpaid for his eventual production. But if this quote signals that the Cubs don't recognize the need for Brian Giles in their lineup, then this team is even further gone than I thought. And that's really far gone.

The Cubs are looking for another left-hander in the bullpen to serve as the primary set-up man and have targeted San Francisco's Scott Eyre as their first choice. Eyre is seeking a three-year deal and also is being courted by the White Sox.

Hendry's not really considering giving Eyre a three-year deal, is he? Has he learned nothing?
   100. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 17, 2005 at 05:52 PM (#1735652)
Has he learned nothing?

He gave Neifi a 2 year, $5mm deal -- what do you think?
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