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   1. RollingWave Posted: November 15, 2006 at 02:57 AM (#2238110)
that is assuming he doesn't fall back to his career line before this year again.

And Derosa has played 114 games in an 6 year span at 2nd, i would hardly call that a lot of experience.

Though I suppose with the rather junky pickings at 2nd in the FA and the possibility of insane contracts going around this is a ok deal, at worse he turns into a Neifi Perez deal, while annoying isn't really a franchise killing albatross.
   2. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 15, 2006 at 04:05 AM (#2238204)
seems to be in excess of DeRosa’s market value.

I'm going to go off on a little bit of a tangent here. Not so much directed at dJF as at BTF in general.

NEW RULE: Don't tell me someone signed above or below market value unless you can give me some approximate idea what market value is.

Personally, I have no idea what market value is, but I've become increasingly skeptical that anyone on this sight does either. If scanning btf off-season threads has taught me anything, it's that 95% of all signings are above their market value. Somehow, that doesn't quite sound right.

I'm not bothered by this being a possible overexpenditure. I'm bothered that this is what Hendry always does. Find a mediocre player who might be about to fall apart and pay him on his potential upside. Has Hendry ever paid for the pessimistic evaluation while personally hoping for an optimistic season? The man is just plain bad at negotiating contracts. It's like he gets so fixated on the particular bauble he's captivated on that he decides he absolutely has to have this particular one. DeRosa, Jones, Hawkins, Howry, Eyre, Rusch, Perez, Dempster, Blanco, Lee, Ramirez (both contracts, but especially the first contract's giving him both the money and the option out clause). Some of those were good players who produced admirably for the Cubs, but it's damn hard to find too many bargins on his resume -- and this is his fifth off-season. And that's how a team with one of the highest median payrolls in MLB end up with the worst record in the worst division in the worse league. OK - this year's Wade Miller contract looks pretty f'ing good to me.

Oh, dJF makes half of these points later on in his intro. I'm not actually expected to read the lead-ins before posting, am I? Jeez ..

One totally random point to add -- want to know what an average second baseman did in MLB last year? Well, I just went to cnnsi.com & but the splits into an excel database and figured it out. By splits I mean total splits for every team's full offensive accomplishments by all players slotted at second throughout the year.

Here's the AVG/SLG/OBP/OPS for all second basemen last year for MLB, NL, & AL:

MLB: 276/336/409/745
_NL: 272/338/422/760
_AL: 280/335/395/730

For the NL that's an OPS+ of 100. (!)
For the AL that's an OPS+ of 94.
For all MLB that's an OPS+ of 97.

So yeah, NL second basemen outhit their AL counterparts. Didn't see that one coming.

I woulda guessed a lower overall OPS+ myself. If anyone's curious, Todd Walker had an OPS+ of 93 . . . but then again much of that was at first base.
   3. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#2238250)
To the extent that most of the 2B candidates have significant question marks, I don't think the Cubs 2B glut is all that much of a problem.

1) In his full season professional career Cedeno has had only one season of baseball good enough to suggest that he'd ever be much more than a bench player.
2) The sum of Theriot's resume is his good 138 ABs last season (though his OBP-heavy 746 AAA OPS and good defense would project him to be a nifty backup).
3) Freddie Bynum would still be a bad defensive 2B even if he could match 2006's .252 Eqa. Which he probably couldn't.
4) Even Patterson struggled in his time at West Tenn before putting up a solid 67 ABs at Iowa.

Those four are a second base glut the same way that Guzman, Ryu, Mateo and MArmol are a glut of #5 starters. There are flashes of promise, but relying on them is risky. The lack of a clear standout at the position is what creates the apparent logjam. And outside of Patterson, I doubt the return in trade for any of them would be that great.

Until those guys sort themselves out, it makes sense to go for a bit of certainty. The past two years, DeRosa's Eqas (.265 and .257) have been above average for 2B(.255), so I'd bet he'd project to be about average there offensively in 2007. (Though his stats might be inflated if he faced a disproportionate number of LHP.) I like Derosa on a Cubs team with a $120M 2007 payroll (and higher in '08 and '09). So long as both the Cubs and Derosa can accept him in a bench role if he slips a bit or if Patterson/Theriot step forward, I have no problem with it. And if Izturis/Cedeno struggle, the Cubs could always slide DeRosa over to SS where he could be an asset offensively and may be near competent defensively.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:00 AM (#2238360)
Until those guys sort themselves out

Unfortunately, those guys can't sort themselves out without playing time and 1-2 of them are going to be on the Cubs bench, 1 at AAA blocked by DeRosa/Izturis and one ?? This was a year to sort them.

If scanning btf off-season threads has taught me anything, it's that 95% of all signings are above their market value. Somehow, that doesn't quite sound right.

Your general point is on the mark (and I'm guilty of it) though I doubt you find that's the consensus on 95% of signings. Also let's remember that there's "market value" in terms of $ and in terms of years. More importantly, in auction markets, the price is usually too high because the price is set by the highest bidder ... which is to say the bidder who values the item the most and that usually is an overvalue. In the baseball market, it also often seems to be the case that the first signee sets the market.

And I wouldn't be surprised that if you looked at FA contracts historically that the vast majority of them ended up being bad values in a $/win sense.

Is DeRosa above market value? Well, I think 3 years is uncalled for and I'm not sure why any team would offer a contract of that length. But who knows?

As to money ... let's assume DeRosa projects as a basically average 2B.

We'll start with Walker. The Cubs got him at 2/$5 M for his age 32-33 seasons.

Marcus Giles, a much better track record but average last year, got $3.85 M last year in his second arb year. Based on his contract history, I'll guesstimate him at $4.5-5 M this year.

Mark Grudz, older but probably a slightly better hitter and almost certainly a better defender, got basically 2/$8 for 2007-2008 (if I read Cots correctly).

Ronnie Belliard, probably a pretty good comp, is coming off 2/$7.

Tony Graffanino got 1/$2.

Placido Polanco got 4/$18 last year.

Those all seem reasonable comps and the model for this contract seems to be the Grudz and Polanco contracts but I consider both those guys better than DeRosa both in terms of track record and, probably, defense.

So yeah, looks a year too long and probably about $1 M too much.

Anyway, it's not the above-market nature of this contract (or the others mentioned) that gets me, it's that we're spending money on mediocre players. Even with the overpays (or "overpays" for Dag Nabbit) on those other players, it's not like the $5 M or so we wasted overpaying them would have made any difference. It's more that $4 M for a mediocre MI here, $5 M for a middle reliever there, $2.5 M for a backup MI and before you know it, you're spending real money without improving your team by more than maybe a win.
   5. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:09 AM (#2238381)
In short, though I believe Hendry overpaid once again, I don’t believe it is an amount that, standing alone, will bankrupt the Cubs. The problem, however, is that when this deal is added to the others, such as the modest overpayments to Glendon Rusch, Bobby Howry, Scott Eyre, Ryan Dempster, Cesar Izturis, Jacque Jones, it adds up. More concerning, however, is that once again Hendry has given us a glut of 2Bmen that needs to be sorted out, and I’m less than confident that Hendry will do this at a time or in a way to maximize the value of what he has.

Exactly, and that's what I said in the other DeRosa thread. And also what both Dag and Walt say in this one.

All I can do is hope that one of these years Hendry gets lucky with all of these signings. Might as well be this one.
   6. realteamcoach Posted: November 15, 2006 at 02:05 PM (#2238421)
Typical Cubs signing...we will sign 5 mediocre players instead of 2 great players.

This is a good signing if we still get a top tier SP or OF, but I still see us getting Dave Roberts and Jeff Suppan.
   7. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: November 15, 2006 at 02:35 PM (#2238450)
DeRosa is a good addition to the Cubs roster. First thing I thought was it's a good backup for all the infield spots. But the second thing I thought of after seeing the dollar amount was "Oh no. They want him to start at second because they don't trust Theriot." The scary thing is the organization thinks much more highly of Izturis than of Theriot. There is nothing in Izturis' career that suggests he's of any offensive value at all whereas Theriot has shown offensive value at every level.
   8. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2238495)
NEW RULE: Don't tell me someone signed above or below market value unless you can give me some approximate idea what market value is.

Personally, I have no idea what market value is, but I've become increasingly skeptical that anyone on this sight does either.


Well, I didn't either and may still be wrong, but I was trying to compare DeRosa to players like Brian Roberts, Joe Crede, and a few others -- mostly in the $3-4mm range. I figured the result was someone probably close to $3.5mm, but I was forgetting two considerations that may make that number too low:

A. Most of the players to whom I was comparing DeRosa were paid according to deals in which they avoided arbitration. Put another way, they weren't signed as free agents, with one exception -- I looked at Jose Valentin, who signed for $3.8mm

B. I wasn't considering the general consensus has more money to throw around as a result of the new CBA. Many columnists, including Joe Sheehan (whom I read after posting) tend to believe that teams have a lot of excess cash to spend on FAs, which would increase their value. I'm not sure about this, but if it's true, I certainly wouldn't know to what extent it affects DeRosa.

Aside from that, however, I do agree with Dag Nabbit that simple comments that someone is under/overpaid don't shed a lot of light on the issue, in and of themselves -- context, specifically analysis on what the proper value should be, is mroe helpful.

Finally, I should say that with regard to DeRosa, if I'm correct and the Cubs did overpay, it's probably not more than $1mm and while those things do add up, I don't see it as a huge negative. I don't see the issue being nearly as important as the fact we once again have a glut at 2B and, most likely, gave DeRosa a year more than he deserves.


m bothered that this is what Hendry always does. Find a mediocre player who might be about to fall apart and pay him on his potential upside. Has Hendry ever paid for the pessimistic evaluation while personally hoping for an optimistic season? The man is just plain bad at negotiating contracts.

That's difficult to say when Hendry just signed Ramirez to 5yrs/$73mm, when it's been reported that teams might have been willing to pay $20-30mm more than that.

I believe that with the upper echelon free agents, Hendry generally does an adequate job. His problem is with the second and lower tier free agents. Put another way, Hendry is usually ok win dealing with the Derrek Lees of the world; it's with the Glendon Ruschs that he has great problems.

Adapting what Everett Dirksen famously said, "A million here, a million there, pretty soon, you're talking real money."
   9. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:26 PM (#2238502)
I would expect that one of the Patdenriot trio would be a suitable back-up for Izturis and DeRosa—my guess is that Cedeno has the inside track, simply because he can play SS while Patterson can’t and they aren’t willing to try Theriot.

It seems that I was wrong on this point. Hendry is giving the inside track to Theriot:

"We certainly think Ryan Theriot will be in a quality spot to make the ballclub," Hendry said. "Unfortunately, Ronny had a disappointing season. He had won the job, won it in winter ball, but he had a disappointing second half [hitting .229]. Ronny will have to fight to make the club."

Hendry added that if Cedeno struggles and doesn't make the club, he'll be sent back to Iowa.

Personally, I think this makes sense only on a superficial level. Theriot outhit Cedeno, but (a) he's three years older, and (b) it was clearly a down year for Cedeno. More importantly, though, if Cedeno doesn't make the club, who is the backup SS?

Frankly, I've got no problem with Earl Weaver's philosophy that the backup SS should be playing in Iowa. I just seriously doubt that Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella subscribe to it.
   10. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#2238510)
What's the story on Mike Fontenot? Is he a Minor League FA? I'm not sure why he isn't included in the discussion of the Cubs MI glut, unless he's atrocious defensively. Every year he seems to put up good numbers (.296/.375/.450 in Iowa this year), he's a former 1st round pick for the Orioles, and he's 6 months younger than Theriot with a superior minor league track record. If anyone knows, I'd really be interested in hearing (1) why he's not as highly regarded as the others and (2) where there's a spot for him next year.
   11. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#2238513)
I don't think it was a down year for Cedeno. He has had absolutely awful offensive stats in his whole career except for 2005. Based on that the Cubs gave him a (deserved) shot for 2006 and he reverted to his typical offensive numbers. Theriot has had good OBP every season and better speed numbers, his shortcoming is power. So that 3-year age difference really means nothing when comparing Theriot and Cedeno except when looking at who should be on the ML bench and who should be playing every day in Iowa. The backup SS should be Theriot/DeRosa. But maybe the Cubs shop for another shortstop and put Izturis on the bench.
   12. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:43 PM (#2238521)
I don't think the Cubs 2B glut is all that much of a problem.

1) In his full season professional career Cedeno has had only one season of baseball good enough to suggest that he'd ever be much more than a bench player.
2) The sum of Theriot's resume is his good 138 ABs last season (though his OBP-heavy 746 AAA OPS and good defense would project him to be a nifty backup).
3) Freddie Bynum would still be a bad defensive 2B even if he could match 2006's .252 Eqa. Which he probably couldn't.
4) Even Patterson struggled in his time at West Tenn before putting up a solid 67 ABs at Iowa.


I would respond as follows:

1) After a decent year at West Tenn in 2004 and a breakout year at Iowa and Chicago in 2005, Cedeno clearly regressed in 2006, which does raise some concerns. OTOH, he was still only 23 last season; I think the odds of 2005 being his "career year" are pretty slim and would expect him to rebound eventually.

2) Theriot has more than just 138 good ABs on his resume. He's generally posted solid OBPs for the last four years. The problem is that he was 26 last year and probably a bit older for his leagues when he was in A, A+, and AA ball.

3) I was totally forgetting Bynum, but I don't have a problem with that. I don't see him as any kind of short, medium, or long-term future. Where he ends up in 2007 and beyond is almost anyone's guess.

4) Patterson did struggle at West Tenn. OTOH, he clearly excelled in Peoria, where he was one of the better hitters in the Midwest League, and rebounded quite well in Iowa and in the Arizona Fall League. I do temper my enthusiasm by realizing that his MLEs were pretty close to what Cedeno did this season, and that they are the same age, but I don't believe that he's a pretender just yet.

Most importantly, however, while I agree with the fact than none of these are likely to outplay DeRosa in 2007, I have a lot less faith that DeRosa will outplay this group in 2008-09. To the contrary, I would expect one of these guys (ok, not Bynum) to emerge in 2008 or 2009 and we will either be starting a "Free _____!" campaign or we will be regretting why Hendry traded him too soon.

I also agree with Walt that it will take playing time for these players to sort themselves out, and that while it might be acceptable in the short term to let them fight for the backup job with the loser being sent back down, I don't believe it is all that beneficial beyond 2007.
   13. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#2238529)
if Cedeno doesn't make the club, who is the backup SS

Mark DeRosa, probably. He can handle the position for a short while. If Izturis will be out for any length of time, call Cedeno up.
   14. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:52 PM (#2238531)
I don't think it was a down year for Cedeno. He has had absolutely awful offensive stats in his whole career except for 2005.

.279/.328/.401 for a 21 year old SS in the 2004 Southern League isn't going to vault anyone to the top of the prospect charts, but it isn't exactly poor either. Clearly, he broke out in 2005, but my point is that he's still only 23 -- I'm not willing to assume that a subpar rookie season is going to define the rest of his career.


Theriot has had good OBP every season and better speed numbers, his shortcoming is power. So that 3-year age difference really means nothing when comparing Theriot and Cedeno except when looking at who should be on the ML bench and who should be playing every day in Iowa.

Going into 2006, Theriot's PECOTA comparables were a bunch of no names and guys like Bud Harrelson, Jose Vizcaino, Rafael Landestoy, Spike Owen, Omar Vizquel, Jeff Huson, and Augie Ojeda. I don't believe that 2006 will vault him several tiers above this group either.

As for your proposition that Theriot/DeRosa should be the backup SS, that would be workable, but I don't believe the Cubs have much faith in Theriot's ability at SS, otherwise he would have seen more time there this past season.
   15. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:52 PM (#2238532)
I believe that with the upper echelon free agents, Hendry generally does an adequate job. His problem is with the second and lower tier free agents. Put another way, Hendry is usually ok win dealing with the Derrek Lees of the world; it's with the Glendon Ruschs that he has great problems.

You mean the guys he's resigning? The Cubs haven't signed an upper echelon FA (that wasn't already on their team) outside of Maddux how long? Ever?

I don't think it was a down year for Cedeno. He has had absolutely awful offensive stats in his whole career except for 2005.

THat's not completely true. He's always been young for his level, and put up good numbers in 2004 all things considering. He definitely played over his head in the ML in 2005, but he's also not as bad as last year. And that's why the age thing comes into play; he's got more years until his peak to improve. He just needs to work with good coaches.
   16. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#2238538)
You mean the guys he's resigning? The Cubs haven't signed an upper echelon FA (that wasn't already on their team) outside of Maddux how long? Ever?

Seeing that, by definition, FAs are available to every team, why does it make a difference that Hendry was resigning Cub FAs as opposed to getting them from another team?

Putting that aside, though, of course I'll agree that Hendry hasn't signed an upper echelon FA from another team, but this does not necessarily mean that he would overpay them. I'm more inclined to give Hendry the benefit of the doubt based on his experiences with Lee and Ramirez than I am to condemn him because of his experiences with Rusch and Perez.
   17. studes Posted: November 15, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2238541)
I'm with Dag Nabbit on this issue. It seems to me that almost everyone underestimates how much teams actually pay free agents for incremental wins. An average major league contributor (which is about what I would guess DeRosa to be next year) signed on the free agent market got nearly $9 million last year, on average.

Having said that, I agree with the other comments regarding Theriot and mediocrity.
   18. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 15, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#2238552)
What's the story on Mike Fontenot? Is he a Minor League FA? I'm not sure why he isn't included in the discussion of the Cubs MI glut, unless he's atrocious defensively. Every year he seems to put up good numbers (.296/.375/.450 in Iowa this year), he's a former 1st round pick for the Orioles, and he's 6 months younger than Theriot with a superior minor league track record. If anyone knows, I'd really be interested in hearing (1) why he's not as highly regarded as the others and (2) where there's a spot for him next year.

I had (wrongly) presumed he was a minor league FA and had forgotten about him . . . but so have the Cubs, I believe. At 26, the same age as Theriot, he put up decent numbers this season in Iowa (.296/.375/.450 -- a MLE of .253/.315/.372) and he would conceivably be one more player in the glut.

Though I wouldn't expect him to be any better than Theriot, it's certainly possible that he could emerge as the best of these guys in 2008. I don't believe he'll get that chance, however, seeing that he'll have to deal with Patterson coming up to Iowa this year and will have to deal with the Theriot and/or Cedeno as well (assuming these guys aren't dealt).
   19. Astro-Bonilla Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:01 PM (#2238792)
"We certainly think Ryan Theriot will be in a quality spot to make the ballclub," Hendry said. "Unfortunately, Ronny had a disappointing season. He had won the job, won it in winter ball, but he had a disappointing second half [hitting .229]. Ronny will have to fight to make the club."
Just when I thought that we had a hitting coach and manager that might actually tell him to stop swinging at everything, as opposed to telling him to swing at everything, lest he "clog up the bases" with a walk....This.

Cedeno has a solid track record defensively at short

Ryan the Riot has one of the best names in baseball, but is extremely unlikely to improve significantly over last season-23 year olds take more AND bigger jumps on average by far than 26 year olds.
   20. Astro-Bonilla Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#2238794)
BTW-Cedeno's season last year is a clear example of how hacking at everything will decrease one's batting average, beyond any effect that the increased strikeouts have: he hit about 8000 soft dribblers on pitches well out of the zone i.e. his performance suffered because he was making contact on pitches out of the zone.
   21. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2238818)
The Sun-Times has a sub-head on the back page saying, "Signing ex-Ranger DeRosa fills big hole at 2nd base," LOL.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:48 AM (#2239276)
An average major league contributor (which is about what I would guess DeRosa to be next year) signed on the free agent market got nearly $9 million last year, on average.

Not at 2B and not with DeRosa's track record.

As near as I can tell, no 2B has EVER made more than $10 M. Jeff Kent made $10 M in 2004 and $9.4 M in 2006 and both of those were deals which averaged less than $9 M. Soriano got $10 M last year (then switched to LF). Biggio got $9.75 M in 2005 and that deal might have averaged a smidgen over $9 M.

Don't ask me why 2B are so underpaid.

Check my post -- average 2B in their FA years were paid about $2.5 to $4 M last year and didn't get more than 2 year contracts except Polanco.

As to DeRosa in RF, I'd rather the Cubs got a genuine platoon partner for Jones rather than use it as an opportunity to get another 2B in the lineup.

And while the Cubs could certainly get by with a MI of Izturis, DeRosa and one of Cedeno or Theriot, I seriously doubt they'll go into the season with fewer than 4 MI. Maybe I should have more faith in Piniella.
   23. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2006 at 08:47 AM (#2239318)
Seeing that, by definition, FAs are available to every team, why does it make a difference that Hendry was resigning Cub FAs as opposed to getting them from another team?


Well isn't one of the differences is that the home team gets to have a window of talks with the potential free agent before other teams get in on the bidding?

I guess you could look at the FA in several ways. FA from other teams don't want to come to Chicago or that the Cubs are afraid to commit money to players that they have personally not seen and talked to for several years or I guess the last option would be that the Cubs refuse to get into a bidding war for players so they mostly sign their own premium FA while passing on other teams FA.

The Cubs have shown a willingness to spend cash. They have done so for Kerry, Lee, Aramis, and Sammy. Yet they have also shown and unwillingness to spend cash on players outside of their team. When was the last time the Cubs were seriously linked to any FA discussions that didn't involve their own players?
   24. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 16, 2006 at 10:15 AM (#2239328)
Putting that aside, though, of course I'll agree that Hendry hasn't signed an upper echelon FA from another team, but this does not necessarily mean that he would overpay them. I'm more inclined to give Hendry the benefit of the doubt based on his experiences with Lee and Ramirez than I am to condemn him because of his experiences with Rusch and Perez.

First off, Lee wasn't a FA. He got an extension; he would have been a FA this offseason if he didn't sign that deal. And the Cubs benefited from having that window with Ramirez since he signed right as he was finally free to talk to other teams. And he most definitely gave the Cubs a hometeam discount, but how much of that can be given credit to Hendry is open.

I don't want to give Hendry the benefit of the doubt, since it seems like he's not good at anything else at the moment. But I'll compromise and just say his ability when it comes to the upper echelon FA is TBD.
   25. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: November 16, 2006 at 04:56 PM (#2239520)
And while the Cubs could certainly get by with a MI of Izturis, DeRosa and one of Cedeno or Theriot, I seriously doubt they'll go into the season with fewer than 4 MI. Maybe I should have more faith in Piniella.


Understandably you forgot about Bynum.

Cedeno needs to play every day so the Cubs can evaluate him. Their pitching isn't good enough to put up with OBP sinkholes are both MI spots. So whatever combination of Izturis, DeRosa, and Theriot getting a total of 1500 AB's or so is fine, and they can use Bynum or some geezer like Jose Vizcaino as the last MI-and-occasional-CI/OF off the bench.

(That's the spot Neifi was supposed to take up, but Dusty used him too often; the frightening part is Dusty was pretty much following Hendry's evaluation. Let's not forget that Jim Hendry valued Neifi over Walker by giving Neifi a 2-year deal at 2.5M per last year but gave Walker only a 1-year deal at 2.6M. Walker said he'd take less to stay with the Cubs, but that he would just as soon sign with someone else if the Cubs had little intention of keeping him. The Cubs were trying to trade Walker right after they signed him.)
   26. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: November 16, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#2239525)
When was the last time the Cubs were seriously linked to any FA discussions that didn't involve their own players?


Furcal last year. I don't fault Hendry for not getting that one done.
   27. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2239571)
Yes and the one after that?
   28. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2239601)
Well isn't one of the differences is that the home team gets to have a window of talks with the potential free agent before other teams get in on the bidding?

Yes, but who says that the FA has to sign within that negotiating window. Take Aramis Ramirez -- technically, I suppose he signed after the window expired, but there was nothing preventing him waiting a day or two to see what the Angels were going to propose.

It might be true that Hendry signed the upper echelon Cubs FAs at reasonable prices because he believed he was getting "hometown discounts" with them. Who knows? I do think, though, that although he has a track record of paying retail prices for mid- or lower-level FAs, that doesn't mean that one can assume he does so with upper-echelon FAs as well, especially considering that the only ones he has signed have been at reasonable prices (for whatever reason).


When was the last time the Cubs were seriously linked to any FA discussions that didn't involve their own players?

A long time -- too long. My original point was that "with the upper echelon free agents, Hendry generally does an adequate job," and to the extent that may refer to his ability of going after FAs, I agree with you.

That wasn't really to what I was referring, however; I was referring solely to the salaries he's ended up paying. He doesn't have a history of overpaying for upper-echelon FAs, at least not to the extent he has such a history with lower-tier FAs. I don't see how anyone can deny that.

I should have been more clear, and for that I apologize.

Oh, and thanks Moses, for correcting me about Lee.
   29. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2239618)
I don't want to give Hendry the benefit of the doubt, since it seems like he's not good at anything else at the moment. But I'll compromise and just say his ability when it comes to the upper echelon FA is TBD.

I don't see it as "giving him the benefit of the doubt." I already have my conclusions about Hendry. IMO, he's a detriment to the organization and his philosophies don't bode well for the future of the franchise.

I've come to this conclusion completely independently of how I feel about the prices he pays to upper-echelon talent. Still, just because I don't believe he's the right guy for the Cubs doesn't mean I have to disapprove of each and every aspect of his talents. Things aren't that black-and-white.

I can certainly temper my statement by observing that "in the very limited number of times Hendry has gone after upper-echelon FAs," he hasn't overpaid them. I don't see how I can change the basic observation, though.
   30. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: November 16, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#2239767)
I don't see it as "giving him the benefit of the doubt."

Dude, I was just quoting you. You said it first. #16.

Yes, overall, I do agree with what you're saying. I wasn't trying to pick nits either, I was just trying to point out how extremely small that sample was. Another good one we could have brought up was Furcal; he didn't give him the $13mil/yr deal that the Dodgers gave him. So, in that case, at least one other person was willing to pay more than Hendry.
   31. Spahn Insane Posted: November 16, 2006 at 08:57 PM (#2239772)
Take Aramis Ramirez -- technically, I suppose he signed after the window expired, but there was nothing preventing him waiting a day or two to see what the Angels were going to propose.

Except for not wanting to get into a bidding water for a player the Cubs desperately needed to keep. It seems to be a given that Ramirez would have gotten a bigger offer than what he took from the Cubs. I think Hendry handled this pretty well. (Except for granting the out clause in the first place, of course.)
   32. Spahn Insane Posted: November 16, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#2239773)
"bidding water"? Heh.
   33. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 16, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2239798)
Dude, I was just quoting you. You said it first. #16.

Fair enough. I forgot I said that, though you're catching me on semantics at this point.

This all came up because Dag Nabbit opined that Hendry "is just plain bad at negotiating contracts," and I was trying to distinguish the negotiations he's had with mid/lower-tier FAs (where he's frequently overpaid), from the top FAs (where he hasn't). Reflecting further, I suppose I don't need to limit it to FAs either; it is entirely appropriate to consider his extension to Lee in this regard.

I think we both agree that he doesn't have a lengthy history of going after big name FAs. Still, I don't see him as being "just plain bad at negotiating contracts," because with some he's been just fine. I'm not saying contract negotiation is Hendry's strong point; I just don't see it as a universal negative across the board.

Is it too soon to say that Hendry is *good* in negotiating with top-tier FAs? Sure, but I also believe that it's also too soon to say that he's "just plain bad" either; indeed, the limited history suggests otherwise.
   34. rr Posted: November 17, 2006 at 05:31 AM (#2240150)
I think the Cubs guys on this thread are doing a good job of looking at this objectively, weighing the data, etc. I say that because while I am not a Cubs fan, when I saw they had signed DeRosa to a three-year deal, I thought, "What the hell was the point of that?" Not because of the money or because of an issue with DeRosa, but, well, three years, with Theriot and Patterson around? Either giving those guys a shot, ot, if the Cubs want a veteran 2b, offering Ray Durham 2 yrs at pretty big money seems like a better idea. Sure, Durham will likely want 3, but if the pay was good, he might come back to Chicago, and he is still a pretty good hitter who gets on base some. If they want to tighten up the defense, maybe look at Adam Kennedy. The metrics indicate a decline, but he is still considered a reliable 2b. I don't get the acquisition of DeRosa.
   35. Astro-Bonilla Posted: November 28, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#2246955)
Good news for Cubs fans on Derosa's platoon splits: the platoon split for righty hitters is smaller than lefty hitters, and the league wide platoon split is a better predictor of a player's future platoon split than his own. Put differently, platoon splits for righties tend to converge, therefore Derosa will probably hit better against righties (but worse against lefties) in his tenure with the Cubs than he has during his career, which is good news since they plan to play him every day.

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