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   1. SteveM. Posted: February 13, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3076498)
Thank God baseball is back. The two weeks since the Super Bowl has left me bored beyond belief.
While I wasn't thrilled about trading DeRosa, I do like the Bradley pickup. Yes, they overpaid, but I think he will fit nicely into the lineup. I do hope that being under budget will allow Hendry to go out during the season and pick up missing pieces. The window is starting to close-they need to make an all out effort this year to win it all.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: February 13, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3076548)
I don't consider Bradley so much an overpay as a gamble. I know, is there a difference? What I mean is that, when healthy and able to play the field, Bradley is _much_ better than Dunn/Abreu/Burrell/Ibanez because of his defense. The Cubs are gambling he'll be healthy enough and that the injuries haven't ruined his defense. That may not be a smart gamble but I really don't have a problem with Bradley for 3/$30 -- they're paying for his talent and hoping for his durability. And given the alternatives were one of those other 4 guys in RF -- yikes!

The rest of the offseason was a downgrade. Not major downgrades but a downgrade. I recall a fantasy team I had once -- a fairly deep AL only league. And I had a couple OFs out for the season and was just getting killed by the midpoing because there were no starting OFs available anywhere. I finally made a trade with a guy where I mildly downgraded at 3 or 4 positions but got a decent starting OF in the bargain. A couple weeks later that OF got hurt and missed the rest of the season. That's what the Cubs offseason was like -- several small steps backward all in the hopes of upgrading to a full-time RF who might well miss half the season.

(I was so excited after I drafted that team -- it was an awesome draft. I simmed them with DM and I had a team OBP/SLG of like 380/470. I remember Nomar, Olerud, Carl Everett (first year in Boston), Chavez was my backup 3B I think (he was young), Catallanato was my backup MI, I had 3 1B in my 1B, DH, and 1B-3B slots (Daubach was one) and, of course, the great young Carlos Febles at 2B!! I think I even had a pretty good C and I recall Moyer and Wells in my rotation. And it was one of those ESPN "sabermetric" leagues. What a disaster that team turned into!)
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2009 at 06:48 PM (#3076566)
Nomar would be a nice fit for backup 3B/bat off the bench.

The theoretical talent cushion the Cubs possess should allow them to be pretty careful with Bradley and increase the chances he is healthy come playoff time. I know it isn't the popular sentiment around here but I think that move is the one good thing Hendry has done this offseason.
   4. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: February 13, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3076584)
Well, Pops...

If Hendry had been smarter about how he jettisoned Pie, Wuertz, Cedeno, Hill, et al - I would agree.

For example - instead of Garret Olson -- what about having gotten Luke Scott?

Without DeRosa - there's no one to play RF (or at least, hit from RF) if Bradley goes down.
   5. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 13, 2009 at 07:47 PM (#3076634)
Just to clarify, I'm not saying the Bradley move was bad. It just seems like an overpay considering the rest of the market and that it cost us downgrades elsewhere (DeRosa to Miles and Wood to Gregg). If he can stay healthy, he can more than make up for those downgrades.

Without DeRosa - there's no one to play RF (or at least, hit from RF) if Bradley goes down.

The Hoff, I'd guess. I actually am optimistic about the Johnson/Fukudome platoon in CF, so I don't want to see both of them playing regularly (which is what might happen when-not if-Bradley gets hurt).

Nomar would be a nice fit for backup 3B/bat off the bench.

Decent suggestion. I'd hate to have to rely on him to play for 2 straight weeks if Ramirez goes down. And that still leaves no one who can back up Theriot (Miles cannot play SS, and Lou's going to realize that right away like he did when he tried Fontenot there).
   6. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2009 at 07:58 PM (#3076648)
If the Cubs didn't believe Miles could handle SS on a temporary basis then Cedeno would still be around. I don't think SS is a skill set they're going to acquire.

I'd hate to have to rely on him to play for 2 straight weeks if Ramirez goes down.

Yeah but I'd prefer Nomar's warts to the lesser ability other backup 3Bs will have.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: February 13, 2009 at 09:18 PM (#3076718)
The Cubs 2009 budget is rumored to be $140million. As it stands right now, the Cubs are at about $134million.

This can't be true. That's DeRosa's salary. So the reason it can't be true is that it may send me into a murderous rage and I will catch the first flight to Arizona, buy a gun and ... well, you might want to add Hendry to your deadpool list.

I don't think SS is a skill set they're going to acquire.

I think they probably will as I don't see the Cubs going into the season with just one backup MI. Cedeno types are all over the place. Granted, signing Nomar -- presumably for a sum that will be sufficient to send me into a murderous rage -- would make reasonable sense right now. Possibly Crede if he'll come cheap and accept a bench role.

Just to clarify, I'm not saying the Bradley move was bad. It just seems like an overpay considering the rest of the market

But that's what I'm mildly disagreeing with -- he's not an overpay. Dunn got $10 per, Ibanez got $10 per, Burrell got $8 per ... and none of them has Bradley's talent although all of them have been much more durable. If it's an overpay, it's by maybe $1 M a year, which isn't enough to quibble over. But I would rather have Bradley in RF for 3/$30 than any of those three guys in RF for what they signed for. Now Abreu was a bargain unless those incentives are really big.

So Bradley is higher risk but also higher reward -- I'm having a hard time seeing the average value coming out any worse though. But maybe I'm over-guessing the past defensive difference and, of course, who knows what his defense is like now. Or maybe it's just my sense of aesthetics -- lumbering LF are one thing, lumbering RF another. If the Cubs had a hole in LF or if I had faith in Soriano successfully shifting to RF, I might have preferred Dunn.

I actually am optimistic about the Johnson/Fukudome platoon in CF, so I don't want to see both of them playing regularly (which is what might happen when-not if-Bradley gets hurt).

But I'm pretty sure that's why Gathright's on the team. If Bradley goes down, I think we'll mainly see a rotation of Johnson, Fuku and Gathright with (I'm sorry to say) Miles getting a chunk of RF time too.

It still annoys me -- DeRosa is _exactly_ the player this team needs right now.
   8. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2009 at 09:25 PM (#3076722)
Possibly Crede if he'll come cheap and accept a bench role.

That's a really good suggestion if he's healthy. He could fake it at SS at least as well as Miles.

It still annoys me -- DeRosa is _exactly_ the player this team needs right now.

Yup.

This can't be true. That's DeRosa's salary. So the reason it can't be true is that it may send me into a murderous rage and I will catch the first flight to Arizona, buy a gun and ... well, you might want to add Hendry to your deadpool list.

Not to actually defend Jim Hendry here but it's possible that 140 figure represents an expansion from the time he made the DeRosa deal.
   9. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2009 at 09:26 PM (#3076726)
Oh, how funny would it be if Hendry were to re-acquire DeRosa from the Indians by trading them the players Chicago originally received plus the Rich Hill PTBNL?
   10. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3076805)
Zambrano is going to skip the WBC and get LASIK on his right eye. I would like to pretend he'll get the Christian Guzman effect and turn into a combination of Greg Maddux and Kevin Brown.
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2009 at 11:36 PM (#3076808)
Also, reportedly Joe Crede is about to sign with the Twins.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: February 14, 2009 at 01:10 AM (#3076851)
I would like to pretend he'll get the Christian Guzman effect and turn into a combination of Greg Maddux and Kevin Brown.

I assume he's doing it to improve his hitting. :-) In which case I guess we don't want the Guzman effect since he's a worse hitter than Z post-LASIK!

I just noticed. Z hit 6 HR in 80 PA in 2006, a 50-HR pace ... and still managed an OPS+ of just 35. :-) I'm not complaining I just find that kind of amazing that anyone could hit HR at that pace and still put up that sort of OPS+.
   13. Meatwad Posted: February 14, 2009 at 02:04 AM (#3076879)
dempster opted out of the wbc and no harden because of his injury.
   14. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 14, 2009 at 02:56 PM (#3077026)
If the Cubs didn't believe Miles could handle SS on a temporary basis then Cedeno would still be around. I don't think SS is a skill set they're going to acquire.

And since I saw him "play" SS last year, I *know* he can't handle it. Ask any Cards fan. If the Cubs think he can handle it, well, they're crazy. And like I said, Lou will pick up on that fast.

This can't be true. That's DeRosa's salary. So the reason it can't be true is that it may send me into a murderous rage and I will catch the first flight to Arizona, buy a gun and ... well, you might want to add Hendry to your deadpool list.

Per the sidebar at TCR, the Cubs are at $137million now including the 40 man roster. Perhaps I was looking at the $133.5mil total before. I've been using $140mil ever since this story came out, but I guess that says it'll be somewhere around $140-145million. So, Pops, no, that number was out before the DeRosa deal (I see references to that number going back to the beginning of December, that's just the first article I could find that wasn't already paid archive). So, even if it were $140, take out Miles's salary and DeRosa still fits. It only made sense if they needed the room to add Peavy, but since that never happened we'll never know. Since they haven't added Peavy, I still consider it a salary dump.

But that's what I'm mildly disagreeing with -- he's not an overpay. Dunn got $10 per, Ibanez got $10 per, Burrell got $8 per ... and none of them has Bradley's talent although all of them have been much more durable. If it's an overpay, it's by maybe $1 M a year, which isn't enough to quibble over. But I would rather have Bradley in RF for 3/$30 than any of those three guys in RF for what they signed for. Now Abreu was a bargain unless those incentives are really big.

I don't disagree with any of this. Were there other teams pursuing Bradley as hard? What was the rush to sign him? In retrospect, it seems kinda funny to say that since he was rumored to be coming here for at least a month before he signed. Perhaps that's the outlier of Hendry's signings this offseason, maybe he actually had to go to that number and wasn't bidding against himself. I doubt it though. And that $1mil a year could have helped keep DeRosa.

But I'm pretty sure that's why Gathright's on the team. If Bradley goes down, I think we'll mainly see a rotation of Johnson, Fuku and Gathright with (I'm sorry to say) Miles getting a chunk of RF time too.

I'm hoping that Gathright is so bad in ST that the Cubs just cut him and Hoffpauir makes the team. Otherwise, I don't see a spot for him on the bench.
   15. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 14, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3077033)
Zambrano is going to skip the WBC and get LASIK on his right eye. I would like to pretend he'll get the Christian Guzman effect and turn into a combination of Greg Maddux and Kevin Brown.

According to the Trib, he hasn't decided to have the surgery yet.

Man, gotta love him though. First, watch the video in that story and laugh at the mustache. Second, here's his description of his eye: "The doctors say that I'm supposed to have my eye like a baseball, my right eye is like a football."
   16. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: February 14, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3077139)
The Hoff, I'd guess. I actually am optimistic about the Johnson/Fukudome platoon in CF, so I don't want to see both of them playing regularly (which is what might happen when-not if-Bradley gets hurt).


I am relatively OK with the CF platoon, too. I think it will struggle to be league average, but as long as it isn't a Neifi-esque vortex of suck, I agree with BPro (who project the Cubs to lead the league in runs scored).

I don't think the Cubs staff is getting the respect it deserves, either - I think they were 3rd last year in runs allowed, and I can see the staff being just as good this year. Even if Harden goes down, I won't be concerned with sliding the loser of the Marshall/BPJ/Gaudin into the 5th slot. Purely by the numbers, the drop-off from Wood to Gregg isn't all that steep. I wouldn't count on Cotts being as 'good' as he was last year, but I feel pretty confidant that Gaudin will be better.

I really feel like the biggest pure need right now is a bat, any bat, for the bench. Nomar would be fine. I am dreading the days when I am forced to watch one of Gathright, Gabor, and Miles be the 'best' PH option.
   17. namesake49 Posted: February 18, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3080531)
Im new to this site...so please forgive any stupidity :) Hopefully I will get better :)

First off...I believe the Cubs had a 3 million or so option on resigning Blanco...so Hendry was best served to not signed him. Bako is a catcher who pitchers tend to like, so he will make a capable backup...given that Soto is healthy enough to start 135+ games.

Im not big on the Bradley signing however. Not only do I think he is overpaid even in a regular market, but he is bound to regress. I do however think that Bradley will make an excellent player in the #2 spot in the order...given that Soriano moves down the lineup to allow Theriot to leadoff. I would have preferred to give Dunn and his bad defense in RF 10 million for a 1 year contract because he is bound to hit 45+ homeruns considering his home field would be Wrigley. But oh well...defense is important.

The Dempster signing could have gone either way...I certainly dont think he is worth the money or the 4 year contract. But he was one of the best starters on the market this offseason...and Im willing to give him a shot for a couple of years. I think he can win 13+ games for the Cubs. Is that worth the money though? Only if we win the World Series.

Aaron Miles and Joey Gathright...the good news here is that they are willing to be bench players...unlike DeRosa and Cedano. But I agree that we dont have a quality backup for SS or 3B. That could be a major problem if an injury occurs...or if Theriot regresses.

Hoffpauer replacing Ward is going to be a big upgrade in our LH bench guy. The problem with this is that Ward is a veteran...and much more valuable when it comes to the playoffs.

Allowing Kerry Wood to go was a smart move. Ive never been a fan of the oft injured Wood....and 34 out of 40 in save opportunities is certainly not worth 10 million, especially when you have Marmol.

I personally would give Hendry a C+ for the offseason. He coulda, shoulda, got more for DeRosa. And he should have got a hometown discount for giving Dempster a chance the last few years when no other team was really willing. The Bradley signing is only bad in retrospect, so give Hendry a break there.

My thoughts for the future is that Zambrano is making way too much money for what he gives the Cubs. 15 wins plus several heart attacks for 18+ million a year? Crazy. Trade him for a big bat. Even if that big bat is Teixera and his huge contract. DLee has maybe one or two good years left. He will be trade bait soon.

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