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   1. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 22, 2006 at 11:06 PM (#2185479)
The '87 squad is famous as perhaps the worst World Series champ ever. Only went 87-75 and were actually outscored during the year. Gotta love the HHH's home field advantage though.

His b-ref bullpen page says he came there in '85. Puckett, Brunansky, Gaetti, Hrbek were there. So were Launder, Lombardazzi, and Gagne. Dan Gladden was MacFail's pick up. Got him for the immortal Bryan Hickerson. Nice trade. Roy Smalley came there in pre-season '85. Not sure if that's his trade or his predessesor. Nor do I know how to spell predesessor. So that's 1-2 of the starting 9 hitters picked up by McF.

Viola predates him. Blyleven showed up in mid-85 for Jay Bell and a few pillowcases full of doorknobs. They only had one other starting pitcher of note (brutal back of the rotation). That was Les Straker. He came there in January 1985.

He did pick up Joe Niekro during '87 to add some stability to their rotation. He really really sucked and only averaged 5 innings a start while doing it. McFail also got Reardon, their mediocore closer, for some other mediocore players. McFail did pick up their two good middle relievers - Juan Berenguer and Keith Atherton - for squat.

He also hired Tom Kelly, which is a point in his favor. And he didn't lose anyone that good. He kept his solid core of players and moderately augmented them. This team wasn't the best team in baseball, but he did help make them a good team.

For the 1991 team, he deserves a lot of credit for picking Brian Harper off the scrap heap and using him. He got Shane Mack as a Rule V pick up, a heckuva nice move. He draftd Knoublauch, and signed Chili Davis and Pagliarulo. Gladden, Puckett, and Hrbek were the only holdovers, so he gets credit for 7 of this starting 9, with several coming in terrific moves.

On the pitching end - he got both Tapani and Aguilera in trading Viola to the Mets. They were the team's best starter and reliever respectively in 1991. They also got occassional fifth starter David West in the deal. He signed Jack Morris. He overpaid, but when you get Mack and Harper for nothing you can afford to overpay an overaverage workhorse. Their third big starter, Scott Erickson, was drafted by MacFail. He drafted Mark Guthrie. The only man to start 10+ games for them that predated MacFail in Minnesota was Allan Anderson, who was terrible. He got Bedrosian in a nice trade. He got Carl Willis cheap and Terry Leach after his old team cut him. Both were good middle relievers. He drafted Denny Neagle.

Tom Kelly was still manager.

Yea, he gets the credit for that squad. Very different from this year's Cubs in that there's a lot of guys on that team who looked like real bargains. Even the good players on the Cubs were paid market value (at best).

They also won 90 games in '92.
   2. CFiJ Posted: September 22, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#2185488)
I think MacPhail's track record as GM speaks for itself. I still don't think it's right to compare a CEO to a GM. They have different responsibilities.
   3. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 22, 2006 at 11:27 PM (#2185495)
This is the first I'd heard that MacPhail was in line to replace Selig as commissioner.

I agree with Miles for the most part, particularly about player development. For all of the supposed great work that was going on in building what was really a consensus top minor league system around 2000-2002, what ever really came of it? Beyond Zambrano, who was signed as a minor league free agent, and Prior (who was a #2 overall pick and basically ordained to be good), what else was there that really panned out?

For years we got the "just wait, just wait" message from the team about how great everything was going to be when the kids hit the majors. And... pfft. I don't think it helped things that Hendry and Dusty seemed to take the position that overpaid vets were a better choice to fill some of the bench and starting holes than kids were (at least from 2003-2005), but I don't particularly believe that it made a huge difference except perhaps in the case of Choi. And then he was swapped for Derrek Lee anyway, so it's not like the Cubs really lost anything there.

Through about 1999 or 2000, I'd have said MacPhail was really doing a good job in overhauling the horrible minor league system, paying more attention to Latin America, and trying to put a better product on the field. But it all just kind of fizzled, and now 6-7 years later we've got a team that's in as bad shape as the team he took over was - a bloated payroll of underperforming veterans, a spotty minor league system, a lame duck manager, and no real prospects of contention going forward.
   4. Cabbage Posted: September 22, 2006 at 11:37 PM (#2185506)
This is the first I'd heard that MacPhail was in line to replace Selig as commissioner.

Really? I've heard his name dropped numerous times. First time I heard it was at least a few years ago, might have even been at the end of the Baylor experiement.
   5. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 22, 2006 at 11:47 PM (#2185513)
Everyone knows how I feel about MacPhail, and kudos to Bruce Miles for outing the naked emperor.

I think MacPhail's track record as GM speaks for itself. I still don't think it's right to compare a CEO to a GM.

For the CEO of a MLB franchise, it's fair. The Cubs may be a source of profit, but MLB teams are generally corporate status symbols more than they're profit generators. For most franchises, success in measured in wins more than anything else. And as Hendry pointed out in his recent Tribune column, the Tribune Company wants to win and they give him considerable resources for doing so. I have no idea why they aren't asking MacPhail why he has fielded a .475 team the last 12 years while the Astros have been .540 over that period with payrolls consistently and significantly lower.
   6. CFiJ Posted: September 23, 2006 at 12:06 AM (#2185527)
For the CEO of a MLB franchise, it's fair.

If you want to stick him with total responsiblity as CEO, I'm cool with that. However, as a CEO he should be compared with other CEOs or owners, not his track record as GM with the Twins, or with past Cubs GMs. Miles strikes near this when he talks about how MacPhail has increased revenues, changed the ballpark, and so on. (Of course, one can then lay the ticket scalping business at his feet.)
   7. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 23, 2006 at 12:23 AM (#2185540)
If you want to stick him with total responsiblity as CEO, I'm cool with that. However, as a CEO he should be compared with other CEOs or owners, not his track record as GM with the Twins, or with past Cubs GMs.

That would be fine, if there hadn't been so much discussion of MacPhail's track record with the Twins when he was hired, that he willingly participated in. He said he had a solid, slow and unspectacular plan, and he was talking about fielding a winning ballclub. Perhaps there was someone else making the transactions for much of his tenure, but ultimately the buck stops at his desk.

I mean, if you were offering argument toward the CEO of Pepsi, I'd have no problem with it. You could say, Pepsi is a crap product, therefore Pepsi's CEO is a moron, and I would argue that Pepsi is making money regardless of the quality of their product and enough people seem to like it. I just don't think you can apply that argument to a baseball club.
   8. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 23, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#2185576)
Not sure if that's his trade or his predessesor. Nor do I know how to spell predesessor.

RDF. It's "predecessor," btw. Excellent post, though.
   9. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 23, 2006 at 01:10 AM (#2185582)
If you want to stick him with total responsiblity as CEO, I'm cool with that. However, as a CEO he should be compared with other CEOs or owners, not his track record as GM with the Twins, or with past Cubs GMs.

--That would be fine, if there hadn't been so much discussion of MacPhail's track record with the Twins when he was hired, that he willingly participated in. He said he had a solid, slow and unspectacular plan, and he was talking about fielding a winning ballclub. Perhaps there was someone else making the transactions for much of his tenure, but ultimately the buck stops at his desk.


I'll go one step further: As President, MacPhail sets the overall direction and policies of the franchise. Even if he isn't involved in individual personnel moves, he chooses the GMs who have the philosophies of which he approves. He sets the tone.

In that respect, it's entirely reasonable to examine his role in building the Twins -- not so much of whether he was a good GM (though that's worth knowing too), but more to try and gauge an overall philosophy or pattern.

With the Cubs, for instance, MacPhail has come out and said that he prefers to scout and develop pitchers over position players because he feels that pitchers are harder to acquire and therefore can be traded to fill out the other needs of the club. There are also other things worth knowing from his Twins dys:

* He emphasizes that "payroll is not an issue," but just as it's reasonable to examine the Cubs payrolls during his tenure, it's also reasonable to examine how he managed his payrolls in the 80s -- did he invest in the FA market?

* Did he use a "stars and scrubs" philosophy or did he tend to pay more evenly?

* How willing was he to promote a kid versus obtaining a veteran "name player" off the scrap heap?

* What kind of players did he draft and how successful were they?

* What kind of coaches and managers did he hire?

These are all questions that, on a grand scale, show his qualifications and the tone he's had in piloting the Cubs franchise. They're also the questions I'd ask of his successor, whenever s/he may arrive.
   10. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 23, 2006 at 01:53 AM (#2185610)
With the Cubs, for instance, MacPhail has come out and said that he prefers to scout and develop pitchers over position players because he feels that pitchers are harder to acquire and therefore can be traded to fill out the other needs of the club.

This stinks like #### to me. MacPhail has no defense for the Cubs' dismal record of developing position players, and they have something to show with regard to pitchers, so he carted out this lameass excuse.
   11. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: September 23, 2006 at 01:57 AM (#2185612)
With the Cubs, for instance, MacPhail has come out and said that he prefers to scout and develop pitchers over position players because he feels that pitchers are harder to acquire and therefore can be traded to fill out the other needs of the club.


If this is their theory, and Pierre is the test, it's failed miserably. Sure, they filled in CF, but the cost was far greater than what should have been allowed.
   12. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 23, 2006 at 02:04 AM (#2185618)
Speaking of Pierre, I haven't really been following the team news the last month or so. Has there been any more talk about extending him, or are we going to cut our losses?
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: September 23, 2006 at 03:27 AM (#2185651)
Andy for commiss? Say it ain't so. Way too passive of a personality. A classic amiable.
   14. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 23, 2006 at 04:30 AM (#2185703)
This stinks like #### to me. MacPhail has no defense for the Cubs' dismal record of developing position players, and they have something to show with regard to pitchers, so he carted out this lameass excuse.

FWIW, MacPhail's been saying this for years, not just this season. Yeah, it was weak then too.
   15. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 23, 2006 at 04:32 AM (#2185708)
Speaking of Pierre, I haven't really been following the team news the last month or so. Has there been any more talk about extending him, or are we going to cut our losses?

I haven't heard much directly on point, but I think that on the whole, the club has been pleased with Pierre -- especially the way he picked up in the second half. Seeing that they really don't have any viable CF options in the organization, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they resigned him. The question is how much they'll overpay.
   16. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 23, 2006 at 04:39 AM (#2185715)
Seeing that they really don't have any viable CF options in the organization, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they resigned him. The question is how much they'll overpay.

Pie?

Has his stock really fallen that far that he's off the list of viable organizational CF options? I could see maybe another year at AAA and a 1-year stopgap in CF, but once you give Pierre the 4/$36M contract, you're basically admitting that Pie isn't going to cut it as a major league center fielder.
   17. CFiJ Posted: September 23, 2006 at 09:37 AM (#2185865)
I'll go one step further: As President, MacPhail sets the overall direction and policies of the franchise. Even if he isn't involved in individual personnel moves, he chooses the GMs who have the philosophies of which he approves. He sets the tone.

Entirely, true. And yet, we don't compare David Glass to general managers. We don't compare Howard Lincoln to general managers. When we discuss the success of the A's, we don't laud Steve Schott and Lewis Wolff for the success of the A's. We do discuss Steinbrenner as if he were a GM, but he involves himself in the day-to-day on the field operations much more than any other owner/CEO.

Simply put, as President, there are too many layers between MacPhail and the product on the field, IMO. He's got other responsibilities. Unless he were to micromanage like Steinbrenner, there's not much he can do to affect the course of things before they get out of hand, like now. He, like any other CEO, has delegated those responsibilities. With the Twins, he hired Tom Kelly. With the Cubs, Hendry hired Dusty. Yeah, MacPhail approved it, because on the face of it it wasn't batshit insane when it was first decided it. But if MacPhail is going to go through the trouble of hiring a GM, he would be a pretty bad boss if he didn't allow him a certain sense of autonomy.

I think it's fine to take a long view approach to the MacPhail years. He's been the constant since 1995. Looking at the win-loss record - that's fine with me. But you also have to look at revenue created, as that's also part of his job. Looking at the farm works for me. But then, I'm thrown as to why you wouldn't take MacPhail's comment re pitchers and position players at face value. The organization has been excellent in developing pitchers. Have there been many position player successes? Well, when I ####### about Hendry trading away all of the promising young players for guys like Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, I was told that this was one way of utilizing the farm system. Is that no longer true? Choi and Bobby Hill haven't developed into regular major leaguers, but they were turned into regular major leaguers by the Cubs. Does that not have value? (And frankly, I still don't think that Choi's issues can be laid at the Cubs door in the developmental sense; he was a fine player when he was traded to the Marlins.)

This is how I see MacPhail, in the context in which I think he should be judged -

The Cubs have largely been a losing team, with a few bright spots and a couple of post season appearances.

Revenue has increased. Payroll has increased.

The farm system was built up, developing several good pitchers and some position players useful in bargaining.

Wrigley Field has been renovated while preserving its historic feel. MacPhail has fought with both the city and the local neighborhood about this.

The Cubs have instigated an apparently-legal-but-still-damn-shady scalping scheme.

Night games have increased.

The Cubs have an excellent record in interviewing and hiring minorities.

A pretty mixed bag. From a business organization standpoint, one can see why MacPhail hasn't been fired even though the results on the field have not been great. From a fan's perspective, it seems that if MacPhail has a plan for the team he has not been effective in selecting the General Managers able to execute that plan, and/or he has been too hands-off in his dealings with them. That, IMO, is plenty of rope to hang MacPhail as CEO without pretending he's like a general manager.
   18. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 24, 2006 at 12:27 AM (#2186251)
But then, I'm thrown as to why you wouldn't take MacPhail's comment re pitchers and position players at face value.

What throws me is why anyone would give MacPhail the benefit of the doubt. The thing about emphasizing pitching might be true, but in the context where he offered that -- defending his team's track record of developing NO star position players in the twelve years he has been at the helm -- it is pure and utter bullshit. He couldn't defend the failure, so he made it sounds like he has an alternate grand plan and that developing position prospects simply has not been a priority. When someone has as bad a track record as MacPhail's Cubs, you simply do not give them the benefit of the doubt regarding issues like this.

The fact is, the Cubs' horrible record developing position players extends far beyond MacPhail's regime and pre-dates him by a good seven years. He inherited a broken system, and while some strides were made, he has not taken it nearly far enough, and his track record developing position players is only neglibly better than that of his predecessors. They are much better at drafting talent, but they #### every last one of them up somewhere along the line. Anyway, he's had twelve years to get things fixed, plenty of time for a solid, slow and unspectacular plan, and in many if not most ways, the organization looks as bad as it did when he took the helm.
   19. Clute Posted: September 24, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2186276)
McFail was hired as a GM for goodness sake. How long did he hold that position? A couple of years? He hired two GM's with zero front office experience. Hendry's main claim to fame was that he managed Creighton to the college world series. As an exec of the Tribune Co. he's done his job at turning a profit, but as a baseball man he's failed miserably. Giving Hendry a two extension speaks volumes how little he cares about fielding a winner. Wrigley Field has become a tourist attraction under the guise of a MLB frabchise.
   20. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: September 24, 2006 at 02:56 AM (#2186299)
Cubs top 10 hitters by VORP:
Aramis Ramirez: 41.3
Michael Barrett: 32.1
Jaques Jones: 23.3
Juan Pierre: 17.4
Ryan Theriot: 15.8
Matt Murton: 15.2
Derrek Lee: 8.5
Phil Nevin: 6.9
Todd Walker: 6.3
Carlos Zambrano: 4.5

Meanwhile, Cedeno, Neifi, Mabry, Izturis, and Hairston have combined for -42.3 VORP, or Aramis Ramirez.
   21. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 24, 2006 at 03:31 AM (#2186312)
Pie?

Has his stock really fallen that far that he's off the list of viable organizational CF options? I could see maybe another year at AAA and a 1-year stopgap in CF, but once you give Pierre the 4/$36M contract, you're basically admitting that Pie isn't going to cut it as a major league center fielder.


I don't believe the Cubs will give Pierre (or anyone else) a 4-year deal. Maybe 2 yrs, tops. If Pierre insists on more than that, I suspect the Cubs would let him walk (something he doesn't do at the plate).
   22. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 24, 2006 at 03:52 AM (#2186320)
I'll go one step further: As President, MacPhail sets the overall direction and policies of the franchise. Even if he isn't involved in individual personnel moves, he chooses the GMs who have the philosophies of which he approves. He sets the tone.

--Entirely, true. And yet, we don't compare David Glass to general managers. We don't compare Howard Lincoln to general managers. When we discuss the success of the A's, we don't laud Steve Schott and Lewis Wolff for the success of the A's.


That's because none of these folks have any baseball experience; they are simply owners. Even then, though, it is certainly worth considering the success and managerial philosophies they have had in their other enterprises. Let's put it this way: Who would you rather have as an owner -- Mark Cuban or Andrew Fastow (the former CFO of Enron)? Seeing that neither has any baseball experience, how do you make that decision?

As for MacPhail, he had baseball experience when he took the job. Heck, after he fired Ed Lynch, he *was* the GM until he promoted Hendry. Are you really suggesting we should just ignore this information in weighing his performance? Since when is less information better than more?

Look, I acknowledge that he's not making front line decisions. I do think he's a bit more involved than you think -- for instance, he certainly had more than a hands off role in hiring Dusty or trading Sosa. (If you doubt that, I'll just direct you to Jeff Loria, who went over Larry Beinfest to hire Joe Girardi as manager.) Still, I'll concede your point.

Nevertheless, we both agree that in his role he sets the tone of the organization -- by hiring the GMs he has, he is ultimately responsible for the success of the club. Just as importantly, though, there's no question that *his* philosophies are something to consider as well. Let's put it this way -- if MacPhail fully embraced sabermetrics the way John Henry has, do you really think he'd hire Hendry? Do you really think he'd let Hendry hire Dusty?

I agree that you should look at other issues such as revenues, care of the ballpark, community relations, etc. I'm not minimizing them. But to completely cast aside MacPhail's philosophies on the game is beyond foolish.
   23. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 24, 2006 at 04:01 AM (#2186321)
I don't believe the Cubs will give Pierre (or anyone else) a 4-year deal. Maybe 2 yrs, tops. If Pierre insists on more than that, I suspect the Cubs would let him walk (something he doesn't do at the plate).

I don't think there's any way Pierre accepts 2 years. He has to know that as he gets older, his skills are not going to hold up all that well. He takes 2 years now, he runs the risk that 2 years from now he's coming off of a season that resembled his first half in 2006.

He's had a good second half (relatively speaking), and the memory of his best years is still fresh in everyone's mind. He's going to want a pretty big deal, and someone will give it to him.
   24. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 24, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#2186322)
"frabchise" is a particularly funny typo for some reason.
   25. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 24, 2006 at 05:31 AM (#2186344)
I don't think there's any way Pierre accepts 2 years. He has to know that as he gets older, his skills are not going to hold up all that well. He takes 2 years now, he runs the risk that 2 years from now he's coming off of a season that resembled his first half in 2006.

I don't think he'll settle for 2 years because it's a players' market this off-season. I can easily see him overestimating how well his skills will hold up. Not to get too stereotypical, but part of the mindset of many athletes is a belief that they can overcome challenges that people say they can't overcome, and pay off on longshots that common sense says they can't. Any time there's something tragic like Derrek Thomas dying in a car wreck in a snow storm because he didn't have a seat belt or even something more benign like Micheal Jordan's gambling there's some stories about how athletes think they can defy the odds, and all that.
   26. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 24, 2006 at 06:07 AM (#2186348)
I don't think there's any way Pierre accepts 2 years. He has to know that as he gets older, his skills are not going to hold up all that well. He takes 2 years now, he runs the risk that 2 years from now he's coming off of a season that resembled his first half in 2006.

Who's going to offer him more?

In any event, even if (when?) Hendry gives him more than he deserves, I don't believe this will be a statement that Pie has no future. I truly think the Cubs still believe he's got one. Heck, I do too. I just don't think it will be in 2007 and neither do the Cubs.

What this will mean is either the Cubs will have to deal Pierre or, maybe more likely, Pie will be moved to a corner OF position.
   27. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 24, 2006 at 08:19 AM (#2186367)
Who's going to offer him more?

Rather than arguing this, why not place a wager? There's no way in hell Pierre only gets a 2 year offer or has to consider signing something for that short of time. ####, Jacque Jones got 3/$15mil, and he has nowhere near the reputation that Pierre has. Just cause we think he sucks doesn't mean there isn't a GM that values him more. Look at how much Hendry gave up for him after the year he put up last season. Putting the FA class into consideration, I'd say 4/$36 would be at the low end of offers Pierre will get.

And he will get at least that offer from the Cubs.
   28. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 24, 2006 at 11:06 AM (#2186384)
Rather than arguing this, why not place a wager?

I'd like to get in on this action.
   29. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 24, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2186392)
Damn lost post.

I should have just proposed a wager, and not argued the point. Like I said I was going to do. Who besides djf thinks Pierre will only get 2 years (at least only that from the Cubs)? I'm willing to consider just about anything that puts his contract under 4yrs/$30mil.
   30. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 24, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2186531)
I could see three years, but two, no way, unless there's something going on we don't know about.
   31. base ball chick Posted: September 24, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#2186587)
. CFiJ Posted: September 23, 2006 at 05:37 AM (#2185865)


...We don't compare Howard Lincoln to general managers. When we discuss the success of the A's, we don't laud Steve Schott and Lewis Wolff for the success of the A's. We do discuss Steinbrenner as if he were a GM, but he involves himself in the day-to-day on the field operations much more than any other owner/CEO.

steinbrenner get all the press. but drayton mclane is just as bad. he plays gm AND manager
   32. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: September 25, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2187040)
what else was there that really panned out?

John Garland.
   33. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 25, 2006 at 03:11 PM (#2187049)
Jon Garland was long gone by the time 2000-2002 rolled around. He got swapped to the White Sox back in 1998.
   34. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 25, 2006 at 03:48 PM (#2187078)
Rather than arguing this, why not place a wager?

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying he *won't* get more than 2 years; I just don't know what team is that hard up (or that excited about Pierre) that they will give him that long.

In any event, my initial point was that I don't think the *Cubs* will give him more than 2 years, maybe 3 (crossing my fingers against all better instincts about Jim Hendry).
   35. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 25, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2187088)
Since when is less information better than more?

Aramis Ramirez has an OPS of 1.011 when batting third.
   36. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 25, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2187185)
I just don't know what team is that hard up (or that excited about Pierre) that they will give him that long.

Well, who (besides the Cubs) needs a CF potentially going into next year?

AL East - NYA, BOS, TOR (assuming they don't trade Wells) are set. TB has a glut of young OFs, so that's unlikely. BAL is a possibility, depending on how happy they were with Patterson.

AL Central - CLE, DET, MIN (if Hunter stays) set. KC's unlikely to want someone like Pierre at their stage in the process. The White Sox have been not that thrilled with Brian Anderson, and I seem to remember some talk about whether they might look elsewhere.

AL West - If Matthews leaves, TEX has an opening. SEA's had a makeshift CF all year with no one getting more than 60 starts in center. ANA could add Pierre and let Figgins play elsewhere if they wanted. OAK is set with Kotsay.

NL East - NYN, ATL set. FLA unlikely given their payroll. PHI has Rowand. WAS has tried about 8 different guys with no one getting even 50 starts. That's a possibility.

NL Central - The only NL Central CF who got 110+ starts besides Pierre was Willy Taveras. MIL has Brady Clark, CIN has Griffey, STL has Edmonds (if they pick up his option), PIT has Chris Duffy FWIW. There are some possibilities here.

NL West - Cameron in SD (if they pick up his option), Byrnes in ARI (or some reshuffled version with all the youngsters). Lofton in LA and Finley in SF certainly aren't long-term solutions for those teams (plus Lofton's a free agents and Finley has a team option). Pierre hit well in Colorado - I doubt they'd be reluctant to bring him back if they thought he would help.

So there's (conservatively) half a dozen teams that could be interested in getting a better (or younger) center field option than the one they have now.

Who are the CF free agents besides Pierre?

Edmonds if the Cardinals let him go ($10M option), Finley if SF doesn't pick up his $7M option. Torii Hunter might not be back with MIN ($12M option). Jay Payton (team option - $4M). Dave Roberts. Shannon Stewart has played some CF. Preston Wilson.

It's not a great group. If it comes down to Pierre, Payton, Roberts, Stewart, and Wilson, I don't think it's hard to see teams placing Pierre at the top of the list. He's leading the NL in hits this year, second in stolen bases, he's hit over .300 since the All-Star break, he's still relatively young.

And beyond that, this isn't a great free agent year to begin with. There's no Vlad Guerrero or ARod out there. The big names are guys like Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano. Teams may find themselves with money to spend and no place to put it.
   37. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 25, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2187194)
I take it that your point is that there is information that is useless. I don't deny that, but it doesn't refute my point -- more information is always better than less.

As for MacPhail, I'm not saying one should look at his signing of a back-up catcher in 1988 and use it to make grand pronouncements of his philosophies today. I am saying, though, that how he performed in his capacity with the Twins -- what management style he had and how effective it was, what philosophies he used, etc. are certainly relevant in terms of considering who MacPhail is and what values he has instilled in the Cubs today.
   38. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 25, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2187195)
(I should add these are just rough guesses based on this year's playing time and next year's contract situations. If I've missed some up-and-coming CF stud who is already pencilled in for your favorite team, don't jump down my throat.)
   39. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 25, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#2187219)
Who are the CF free agents besides Pierre?

Edmonds if the Cardinals let him go ($10M option), Finley if SF doesn't pick up his $7M option. Torii Hunter might not be back with MIN ($12M option). Jay Payton (team option - $4M). Dave Roberts. Shannon Stewart has played some CF. Preston Wilson.


Sarge, Jr. too.
   40. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 25, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2187280)
You also mentioned Lofton. Bernie Williams too (ha ha).

Still, let's get back to the question at hand -- are any of those teams likely to give Pierre 4 yrs?

BAL -- I don't see it. I think they are happy with Patterson and they also have a kid, Jeff Fiorentino, that they probably will want to look at. Furthermore, Peter Angelos has made it clear as recently as last week that he's not into adding much payroll at this point.

CWS -- I doubt it. They like Brian Anderson's glove, but haven't been happy with his bat. Still, my guess is that they'd rather be patient with him than give Pierre a 4-year deal.

TEX -- If they don't sign Matthews, I can see it, especially if Matthews goes to the Cubs. Still, they do have Anthony Webster, a potential prospect just cutting his teeth in AAA this season. Would they give Pierre 4 years? I'm skeptical.

SEA -- I doubt it. They also have a very good prospect, 21 year old Adam Jones, just breaking into the league.

ANA -- Yeah, they could sign Pierre and move Figgins elsewhere, but why would they want to do that and why would they want to be locked into Pierre for 4 years?

WAS -- Possibly. Part of the reason they've had so many guys play CF is because of injuries. Alex Escobar is probably their best option, but he's old for a prospect and, as this year, is frequently hurt.

MIL -- Perhaps. They really like a prospect, Charlie Fermaint, but he's only in High-A ball at this point. If they do decide to go after Pierre instead of Brady Clark, my guess is that when Pierre demands a 4 year deal, the Brewers go elsewhere.

CIN -- They are locked into Griffey for two more years and also are breaking Chris Denorfia into the majors. I don't see them latching onto Pierre for 4 years.

STL -- If they part with Edmonds, Colby Rasmus is their best prospect, but he's also only in High-A ball. Still, he was the team's #2 prospect according to BA, so if Pierre demands 4 years, I can see them balking.

PIT -- Call me nuts, but I don't see them signing Pierre to a 4 yr/$30mm deal. Besides, they have a prospect breaking into AA, Andrew McCutcheon.

LA -- My guess is that they'll want to resign Lofton. If they want a longer-term option, though, it is entirely possible that they could go after Pierre.

SF -- Possibly. They are breaking in a semi-prospect, Fred Lewis, but he's a bit old and spent much of this season in LF.

COL -- Also possible. They have a prospect, Dexter Fowler, but he just finished Low-A.

So, in the end, I can really see only a few teams that might be interested in Pierre -- mainly Washington and the three NL West teams.
   41. Jose Canusee Posted: September 25, 2006 at 07:48 PM (#2187312)
If Pie in the Sky is not landing at Wrigley in Spring 07, it makes no sense not to extend Pierre 2 yrs; if Pie earns his way in he could start as a 4th OF. Anyone else find it amazing that 41 YO Steve Finley is tied for 3rd with Pierre in the NL with 12 3B?
   42. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 25, 2006 at 07:48 PM (#2187313)
I take it that your point is that there is information that is useless. I don't deny that, but it doesn't refute my point -- more information is always better than less.

If having more information can be useless, then it is not better to know it. It can even be worse if it leads you to draw inaccurate conclusions.

To get back on topic, I really have no idea if you are wrong or right about MacPhail. Quite frankly, I can't imagine what I would do to fix the Cubs. But hey, if the freaking 119-loss Tigers can be a juggernaut three years later after making seemingly no discernable changes from two subsequent 90-loss teams, there's no reason the Cubs couldn't turn it around with a few decent moves. That's why MacPhail has to do <u>something</u>. I would hope the Tigers are going to have a salutary effect on all malingering, excuse-making GMs.
   43. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: September 25, 2006 at 07:50 PM (#2187317)
CWS -- I doubt it. They like Brian Anderson's glove, but haven't been happy with his bat. Still, my guess is that they'd rather be patient with him than give Pierre a 4-year deal.

I would be shocked if LF wasn't more of a priority for KW.
   44. The Ancient Mariner Posted: September 25, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2187448)
On Seattle, it's more relevant for the short term that Ichiro's now the starting CF (Doyle in RF, IbaƱez in LF) and looks like he'll be staying there until Jones is ready.
   45. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 26, 2006 at 01:27 AM (#2187594)
Geez, since when has every team in baseball all of sudden gotten smart? How many teams really decide not to sign a guy for 4 years because they have a guy in A ball they like? Did every GM turn into Billy Beane this season?

Just based off UCCF and djf's comments, I'd say the following teams would consider (not necessarily offer) signing Pierre for 4 years: BOS (Crisp was somewhat of a bust), MIN (I'm guessing Hunter will be an FA), CWS (He's Ozzie's type of player, and they also consider leadoff a position and are likely losing Pods this offseason), TEX, SEA, LAA, WAS, CHC, STL, LA, SF.

I stand by my comment: Pierre will sign a 4 year deal.

If Pie in the Sky is not landing at Wrigley in Spring 07, it makes no sense not to extend Pierre 2 yrs; if Pie earns his way in he could start as a 4th OF. Anyone else find it amazing that 41 YO Steve Finley is tied for 3rd with Pierre in the NL with 12 3B?

Extend? He's a FA; if I were him and my agent brought me a 2 year offer, I'd fire him.
   46. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 26, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2187615)
That list is just nuts. He may ask for 4 years and may even get it, but it won't be from CWS, SEA, or LAA and there's no way in hell it will be from BOS. I also can't see that if MIN will balk away from Torii Hunter, they'll have the cabbage and inclination to sign Pierre to 4 yr/$30mm.

The others (TEX, WAS, CHC, STL, LA, and SF) are possibilities. My guess is that he gets 3 yrs and I think 2 yrs is more likely than 4.
   47. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 26, 2006 at 02:08 AM (#2187641)
My guess is that he gets 3 yrs and I think 2 yrs is more likely than 4.

I think seeing him get struck by lightning on the field is more likely than 2 years. Seriously.

He's got everything going in his favor coming off this season - a strong second-half finish, at the top of the NL leaderboards in "his" categories (hits, stolen bases, triples, fewest Ks/PA), durable (162 games/season), the perception that he's still fast enough to play a strong center field. He's in the top 30 in the NL in total bases as a leadoff hitter, he could still end the season hitting .300, he's a proven winner with a World Series ring and a solid record of post-season performance (.301/.378/.411). Even a bad agent could have a field day making a presentation with that kind of stuff.

The marks against him? He doesn't walk, he doesn't have any power to speak of (though he's got decent enough gap power to leg out 30+ 2B and 12-15 3B in a year), his arm is mediocre at best. But:

(1) "He hits .300 and steals bases, and that's what we really look for in a leadoff guy. He's going to get his 100 runs."
(2) "We're not getting him for power. So long as he gets his hits and steals into scoring position, we'll have other guys to drive him in."
(3) "We needed a guy who can go get it in center field."

You can't tell me that it's hard to envision GMs in this league saying things just like that at the signing press conference (plus, as mentioned above, no one claimed that MLB GMs as a group are rocket scientists, and every one of them knows how to spin a signing to put it in its most positive light even if the saber-fans hate it)...

I don't know what would have to happen for him to take a 2 year offer. Maybe something like 2/$22M from a team that wants to win right now but has a prospect that's (theoretically) 2 years away, with a team option for another year at $12-13M with a $2-3M buyout. (Though I'd still call that a 3-year contract.)

My guess is still 4/$32M, though it could go as high as maybe 4/$38M or 5/$40M.
   48. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: September 26, 2006 at 02:11 AM (#2187647)
There's no chance he goes to the Giants - you guys appear to have forgotten about Randy Winn. Not that Winn is much good, but he's got a long-term contract and a no-trade clause. He's starting next year.
   49. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 26, 2006 at 02:16 AM (#2187653)
Why wouldn't LAA give him a 4 year deal? Didn't they give Cabrera one 2 offseasons ago even with all their SS prospects?

Why wouldn't SEA? Look at the contracts they gave to Beltre and Sexson. They had another disappointing year, why won't they try to make a splash? RF and LF are locked up, but CF isn't for next season. They may give it to Jones, they may not. We don't know yet, so I still say they're an option.

Why wouldn't CWS? They just missed the playoffs, they may have money to spend. I'm not sure Ozzie's sold on Anderson (look how much Machowiak played out there). He likes Sweeney, but they may not go into the season with 2 rookies/unproven guys. It may depend on Crede, but I wouldn't rule them out right away. Ozzie had Pierre in Florida, also.

BOS, I can see. But I still could see them going after a CF.

MIN would save money by signing Pierre instead of Hunter. Before the season, there was rumblings of Hunter getting traded. There's no reason to rule them out right now either.

The others (TEX, WAS, CHC, STL, LA, and SF) are possibilities. My guess is that he gets 3 yrs and I think 2 yrs is more likely than 4.

Wager. Even if it's as simple as a beer.
   50. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 26, 2006 at 02:18 AM (#2187657)
Thanks, TwoAlous. I did forget about Winn.

I don't know what would have to happen for him to take a 2 year offer. Maybe something like 2/$22M from a team that wants to win right now but has a prospect that's (theoretically) 2 years away, with a team option for another year at $12-13M with a $2-3M buyout. (Though I'd still call that a 3-year contract.)

My guess is still 4/$32M, though it could go as high as maybe 4/$38M or 5/$40M.


Agreed. I'm still a little surprised Furcal took a 3 year deal, but it was enough money and he was young enough.
   51. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 26, 2006 at 02:19 AM (#2187658)
There's no chance he goes to the Giants - you guys appear to have forgotten about Randy Winn. Not that Winn is much good, but he's got a long-term contract and a no-trade clause. He's starting next year.

Randy Winn has only 54 starts in CF for SF this year. He's started more in RF than CF.

Like I said above, I don't know all the ins and outs of each team's plans. But it's hard for me to call him an untouchable incumbent given those numbers (which isn't to say they'll release him, but is there a reason he has to start in CF instead of RF? - Alou and Bonds are both potential free agents, along with Finley, so at least in theory the Giants could be looking at an entirely revamped OF for next season).
   52. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: September 26, 2006 at 02:29 AM (#2187663)
Agreed. I'm still a little surprised Furcal took a 3 year deal, but it was enough money and he was young enough.

Sure, if someone throws $13M/yr at Pierre I'd expect him to take a shorter contract. He's still young enough to take another shot in 2 years with that kind of cash coming now.

I don't expect anyone will give him that, though. He's not Furcal by any stretch of the imagination - the position scarcity, the power, more walks, even the sheen that comes from playing for a winner in Atlanta all those years.
   53. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 26, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#2188294)
I think seeing him get struck by lightning on the field is more likely than 2 years. Seriously.

Which is about the odds that I see of him getting 4 years. It's pretty rare that teams give out contracts that long, and I don't see them making an exception for a guy like Pierre. I think it's much more probable that he'll get a 3 yr deal.
   54. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 26, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2188306)
Why wouldn't LAA give him a 4 year deal?

Because I seriously doubt that they would priorize getting Pierre over getting Ramirez. Heck, I doubt they want a CF at all, much less an expensive one for 4 years. Sure, they could move Figgins out of CF, but why do they want to?


Why wouldn't SEA?

Because they are trying to line up the job for Jones. Why would they want to take the job away from Jones before even giving him a chance -- and why would they want to do it for 4 years of Pierre? If you were going to tell me that they might be acquiring Carlos Beltran for 4 years, I might understand . . . but Pierre?

Just because a team *could* acquire Pierre and just because they've signed bad deals in the past doesn't mean that they'll want to.


Why wouldn't CWS?

They might. Heck Chris DeLuca agrees with you. I have my doubts, but do put it in the realm of possibility.


MIN would save money by signing Pierre instead of Hunter.

Not enought to make much of a difference to their fan base. If they can't afford Hunter, they aren't going to spend almost the same price to get Pierre. The only way I can see it happening is if Hunter makes it clear that there is no way he'll go back to the Twins, and I just don't see that happening.

My bet is that he stays in Minnesota anyway.


The others (TEX, WAS, CHC, STL, LA, and SF) are possibilities. My guess is that he gets 3 yrs and I think 2 yrs is more likely than 4.

--Wager. Even if it's as simple as a beer.


Sure, but what's the wager? I'll bet that he doesn't get 4 years, if that's what you mean.
   55. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: September 26, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#2188311)
Why wouldn't CWS?

They might. Heck Chris DeLuca agrees with you. I have my doubts, but do put it in the realm of possibility.


If the White Sox give Juan Pierre an expensive contract, I will be very upset.
   56. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 26, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#2188312)
Randy Winn has only 54 starts in CF for SF this year. He's started more in RF than CF.

Like I said above, I don't know all the ins and outs of each team's plans. But it's hard for me to call him an untouchable incumbent given those numbers (which isn't to say they'll release him, but is there a reason he has to start in CF instead of RF? - Alou and Bonds are both potential free agents, along with Finley, so at least in theory the Giants could be looking at an entirely revamped OF for next season).


I think you've touched on it -- the reason Winn has played RF has been because Bonds and Alou have been out of the lineup at various times due to injury. A lot depends on what Bonds does next year -- if he leaves, I can see the Giants being in the market for Pierre.

OTOH, if he and Alou both stay, I don't see them going after Pierre.
   57. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 26, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#2188358)
Which is about the odds that I see of him getting 4 years. It's pretty rare that teams give out contracts that long, and I don't see them making an exception for a guy like Pierre.

Actually, in looking further, I'm surprised how many have. Of course, many are players that their current team locked up over an extended period, as opposed to FA signings. Here is a list of players who are currently operating on deals of 4yrs or more (including extensions, if at the time of the extension the player was extended into 4+ yrs).

The list is the length of the deal, not how many years are left. Also, I'm not considering option years and the like; this is a very rough list.

* indicates the player was originally signed as a FA
** indicates players signed from the amateur ranks (as amateur FAs or draft picks)

Angels -- Guerrero (5yrs)*, Colon (4yrs)*, Anderson (4yrs), Erstad (4yrs), Cabrera (4yrs)*

Astros -- Bagwell (5yrs), Berkman (6yrs), Oswalt (5yrs)

A's -- Kendall (6yrs), Chavez (6yrs), Zito (4yrs), Harden (4yrs), Crosby (5yrs), Haren (4yrs)

Blue Jays -- Halladay (5yrs), Glaus (4yrs)*, Burnett (5yrs)*, Ryan (5yrs)*, Wells (5yrs)

Braves -- Hampton (8yrs)*, A. Jones (6yrs), Renteria (4yrs)*, Hudson (4yrs)

Brewers -- Sheets (4yrs), Bell (4yrs)*, Weeks (5yrs)

Cardinals -- Pujols (7yrs), Edmonds (6yrs), Rolen (8yrs), Mulder (4yrs)

Cubs -- Lee (5yrs), Ramirez (4yrs)

Devil Rays -- Crawford (4yrs)

Diamondbacks -- Webb (4yrs), Tracy (4yrs), Drew (5yrs)**

Dodgers -- Drew (5yrs), Lowe (4yrs)

Giants -- Bonds (5yrs), Schmidt (4yrs), Winn (4yrs), Lowry (4yrs)

Indians -- Sabathia (4yrs), Martinez (5yrs), Peralta (5yrs), Sizemore (6yrs), Lee (4yrs), Guthrie (4yrs)**

Mariners -- Sexson (4yrs)*, Beltre (4yrs)*, Ichiro (4yrs), Washburn (4yrs)*, Betancourt (4yrs)**

Marlins -- None

Mets -- Martinez (4yrs)*, Delgado (4yrs)*, Beltran (7yrs)*, Wagner (4yrs)*, Floyd (4yrs)*, Reyes (4yrs), Wright (6yrs), Humber (5yrs)**, Pelfry (4yrs)**

Nationals -- Vidro (4yrs), Guzman (4yrs)*, Lawrence (4yrs), Johnson (4yrs), Schneider (4yrs)

Orioles -- Tejada (6yrs)*, Hernandez (4yrs)*, Gibbons (4yrs), Loewen (4yrs)**

Padres -- Park (5yrs)**, Peavy (4yrs)

Phillies -- Burrell (6yrs), Wolf (4yrs), Rollins (5yrs)

Pirates -- J. Wilson (4yrs), Bay (4yrs)

Rangers -- Millwood (5yrs)*, Blalock (5yrs), Young (4 yrs)

Reds -- Griffey (9yrs)*

Red Sox -- Ramirez (8yrs), Varitek (4yrs), Lowell (4yrs), Ortiz (5yrs), Hinske (5yrs), Crisp (4yrs), Hansen (4yrs)**

Rockies -- Helton (9yrs), Holliday (6yrs)

Royals -- Sweeney (5yrs), Berroa (4yrs), DeJesus (5yrs), Hochevar (4yrs)**

Tigers -- (Ordonez (5yrs)*, Rodriguez (4yrs)*, Polanco (4yrs), Verlander (5yrs)**, Miller (4yrs)**

Twins -- Hunter (4yrs), Nevin (4yrs), Santana (4yrs)

White Sox -- Thome (6yrs), Konerko (5yrs), Vazquez (4yrs), Contreras (4yrs)

Yankees -- Rodriguez (10yrs)*, Jeter (10yrs), Giambi (7yrs)*, Mussina (6yrs)*, Abreu (5yrs), Damon (4yrs)*. Matsui (4yrs)*, Posada (5yrs), Pavano (5yrs)
   58. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 27, 2006 at 04:11 AM (#2188848)
Sure, but what's the wager? I'll bet that he doesn't get 4 years, if that's what you mean.

Well, since you don't think a 4 year can happen, I need some odds in my favor. You said the Cubs would let him walk if he asked for more than 2 years (post 21).

Therefore, I propose, if he signs a 3 year deal with the Cubs or a 4 year deal with anyone else, I win. If he signs a 3 year deal with anyone but the Cubs or a 2 year deal, you win.

I think you're slightly favored, but I'm willing to bet on this. And what shall we wager?
   59. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 30, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2192238)
No dice. This all started because UCCF said he'll get a 4 year deal and I disagreed, saying I didn't believe it would happen. Later, while you were still insisting that he's getting at least 4 years (see Post #27), I came back in Post #34 to suggest the Cubs won't give him 4 years; they would give him "2 years, maybe 3." In other words, my point wasn't to say he's getting 2 years; it was to say he won't get 4.

Furthermore, at no point have you or UCCF ever suggested he'll get anything less than 4 years. You maintained that "4/$36 would be at the low end of offers Pierre will get" and "he will get at least that offer from the Cubs."

You are the one that's eager to wager, not me. In Post #45 -- long after I said he might get either 2 or 3 years -- you said "I stand by my comment: Pierre will sign a 4 year deal."

I'm only asking you to do just that. Put your money where your keyboard is; don't start asking for odds.
   60. baudib Posted: September 30, 2006 at 02:35 PM (#2192250)
I don't think there's any chance in hell the Cubs will have a CF as good as Pierre next year.
   61. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 01, 2006 at 03:24 AM (#2193002)
Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Am I imagining this, or did you not say: "I don't believe the Cubs will give Pierre (or anyone else) a 4-year deal. Maybe 2 yrs, tops. If Pierre insists on more than that, I suspect the Cubs would let him walk (something he doesn't do at the plate)." Post 21. I guess you did back off a lot a few posts later, but I only suggested the wager after this silly statement.

How is my offer not "putting my money where my keyboard is"? I'm standing by my 4 year prediction; I just added the Cubs 3 year offer because of that statement.

How about instead of me winning if he signs 3 years with the Cubs, that's a push. Everything else under 4 years, you win.

And we'll just make it a handle change (time TBD) + a beer (I'm still riding high after than Patterson wager from last offseason).
   62. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 01, 2006 at 03:32 AM (#2193010)
How about instead of me winning if he signs 3 years with the Cubs, that's a push.

I think everyone loses if Pierre signs a 3-year deal with the Cubs.
   63. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 01, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#2193301)
Am I imagining this, or did you not say: "I don't believe the Cubs will give Pierre (or anyone else) a 4-year deal. Maybe 2 yrs, tops. If Pierre insists on more than that, I suspect the Cubs would let him walk (something he doesn't do at the plate)." Post 21. I guess you did back off a lot a few posts later, but I only suggested the wager after this silly statement.

Look, I didn't come into this to insist that he'll get 2 years. UCCF (and later you) insisted he'll get 4 and my whole point was to disagree with that. Period.

When you insisted that he will, in fact, get 4 and raised the idea of a wager (post #27), I relented in Post #34 and said he might get 3, but he still repeated my underlying point that he won't get 4. (If my point was to affirmatively assert that he'll get 2 years, why would I so back off it so quickly?)

At that point -- after I said he might get 3 but before you insisted in Post #49 that we wager -- you came back in Post #45 and said "I stand by my comment: Pierre will sign a 4 year deal."

Why won't you do that?
   64. Neil M Posted: October 01, 2006 at 03:11 PM (#2193305)
I think everyone loses if Pierre signs a 3-year deal with the Cubs.

It might just be that everyone wins. From today's Trib:

endry said he also had talked about a new contract for potential free agent Juan Pierre and apparently has laid out parameters of an unofficial offer. But Pierre, who is making $5.75 million, appears to be eager to test the market this winter.

"Juan has a good understanding of where we're at and where we're going," Hendry said. "At the same time, he has earned the right to check the market and I don't have an issue with that."

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