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   1. Mike Isaacs Posted: May 06, 2006 at 03:02 AM (#2006784)
>Basically, the gist is that the other options in RF (Burnitz, Encarnacion, etc.) were no better.>

Several quick points about taking Hendry off the hook for the Jones signing. The problem of having a lack of options in right field this off-season was of Hendry's own making. Hendry used the excuse of Sosa and his contract to do little for a long time when better options for right field (such a Vlad Guerrero) were available. He showed not a peep of interest. There was no thought to making a trade for a better right fielder late last year as the original post here suggests. There was not one report of any interest the Cubs showed this off-season in going after Brian Giles; he may not have signed anyway but that didn't preclude the Cubs from giving it a helluva try. Giles is much older than Jones, but I would have taken him in his advanced years for three seasons to a younger Jones any day.

Finally, I believe the Cubs would have been much better off with Burnitz (who is off to a pretty bad start) or Encarnacion if only because they likely would have been signed to fewer years. Instead, Hendry went after Jones, which smacked of a depsperation signing. After blowing the Furcal deal, Hendry had to bring in new blood and spend some money somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be Jones.

Jones should play better than he has been playing. He'll contribute more than he has now. But that won't excuse a very bad signing. Hendry has locked the Cubs into an average, deeply-flawed player at a power position -- a player who can't hit lefties -- and for three years at a steep price.

I'll take Burnitz for another year thank you.
   2. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 06, 2006 at 05:25 AM (#2007305)
Encarnacion got the Jones deal from St. Louis, so he wouldn't have come cheaper or for less years, but yeah Burnitz for 1 would be much better. Now Hendry has his excuse for the next 2 years when actual good players are available.
   3. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 06, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#2007438)
"I don't know where we're going to finish, but I'm certain of one thing: This is not an eight-place team. And if it finishes eighth again or lower they can come get me with a net."

--Leo Durocher, before the 1966 season in which the Cubs finished 10th.


"There's no excuse for it and it's certainly not going to be tolerated to win 79 games again. . . . 79 games isn't acceptable. It won't be acceptable again as long as I'm here so we got to do better."

-- Jim Hendry, 12/2/05
   4. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 06, 2006 at 05:19 PM (#2007472)
Basically, the gist is that the other options in RF (Burnitz, Encarnacion, etc.) were no better.

Reggie Sanders
   5. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 06, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2007581)
"There's no excuse for it and it's certainly not going to be tolerated to win 79 games again. . . . 79 games isn't acceptable. It won't be acceptable again as long as I'm here so we got to do better."

It will be interesting to see how Hendry handles this if the Cubs plummet in the standings before the ASB. If we get to mid-July at 35-50 or something like that, are we sellers at the deadline? I'm sure there are a lot of teams out there who would love to have guys like Howry and Eyre for their bullpens, and a great bullpen is really wasted on a bad team. At some point do they try to move Jones or Pierre and make room for Pie (if not this year, then next year)? Or do we stand pat and hope that the team is better in the second half with Lee (and in 2007)?

And what about Baker? If this team goes into the tank the next 6 weeks, does he still get extended under the theory that losing Lee was the catalyst? Or is he cut loose? You have to think that if the team keeps this up one of the higher-ups is going to call for a change. $90M is a lot to spend for a team that could be duking it out with the Pirates for 5th place a month from now.

(The sad part is you know that the Cubs are sitting there saying "just wait until Wood and Prior get back, we'll be fine." It's not the pitching that's killing us. Ask Zambrano whether a shutout performance is good enough when the offense is this bad.)
   6. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 06, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#2007690)
And what about Baker? If this team goes into the tank the next 6 weeks, does he still get extended under the theory that losing Lee was the catalyst? Or is he cut loose?

I said this in one of the first threads after DLee broke his wrist, but I think Lee's injury guarantees Baker his job. I really think there's zero chance that Baker gets fired when the Cubs' best hitter and the guys that they think are their two best pitchers (they're wrong about this) are all disabled.

And I'm not sure how aggressive the Cubs either can or will be at the trade deadline. Three of the four guys you mention, UCCF -- Jones, Howry, and Eyre -- are in the first year of 3-year contracts. Hendry signed these guys, one presumes, with the intention of them being a part of the Cubs' juggernaut for the next three years. And while anybody would love to have Scott Eyre or Bobby Howry in their bullpen, how many people would love to have them at a price of $15 million over three years (or even $12.5 million over 2-1/2 years)?
   7. rr Posted: May 06, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2007700)
And while anybody would love to have Scott Eyre or Bobby Howry in their bullpen, how many people would love to have them at a price of $15 million over three years (or even $12.5 million over 2-1/2 years)?

NYY, CHW, NYM or Bos if they think they need them.
   8. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: May 06, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2007721)
NYY, CHW, NYM or Bos if they think they need them.

Paying $4-5M/yr for someone is a relatively small cost if you think that it might be the difference between winning and not winning. I agree Jones will be an almost impossible sell unless he goes on an absolute tear - he's shown nothing in any aspect of the game this year. But if the relievers keep their ERAs down around 2.00, some contender would probably be willing to pick one up and give something decent in return. There are already contending (or thought-they-would-be-contending) teams this year having bullpen issues.

I understand that Hendry may have seen these guys as part of the next 3 years of Cub teams, but if the team gets bad enough he may understand that we're farther away than he initially realized. Even with Lee, most people were picking this as a 3rd or 4th place team in the Central. So it's not like Hendry had built this unstoppable force that only a major injury could derail. All we did was go from a club that was likely to win 82-85 games to a club that may now look back on a 79-win season with wistful fondness.
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 06, 2006 at 07:24 PM (#2007736)
And while anybody would love to have Scott Eyre or Bobby Howry in their bullpen, how many people would love to have them at a price of $15 million over three years (or even $12.5 million over 2-1/2 years)?

NYY, CHW, NYM or Bos if they think they need them.


Fair enough. I still don't know that Hendry's going to want to trade away guys that are performing well and under contract for the next three years, though.
   10. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 06, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#2007745)
So it's not like Hendry had built this unstoppable force that only a major injury could derail. All we did was go from a club that was likely to win 82-85 games to a club that may now look back on a 79-win season with wistful fondness.

I agree with this assessment. In fact, if anything, I think it may be optimistic. But, part of me thinks that Hendry thought he HAD bought, if not an "unstoppable force", certainly a 90+ win team capable of making deep playoff runs each of the next three years.

I think he's deluded in this regard. I thought Eyre and Howry were unnecessary extravanges when Hendry signed them in the first place and I wouldn't necessarily gnash my teeth if they're traded for reasonable value. I just don't think Hendry's going to look at them as the types of guys you trade away just because you've fallen on hard times and unexpectedly fell out of contention one year.

I guess maybe I'm more pessimistic about Hendry's assessment of this team.
   11. rr Posted: May 06, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#2007747)
Fair enough. I still don't know that Hendry's going to want to trade away guys that are performing well and under contract for the next three years, though.

I agree, in that from Hendry's POV, it's hard to say. The Cubs are in limbo in many respects right now. I was just pointing out that I think teams would want those pitchers (not Jones) at the deadline if, as UCCF says, they think it could make the difference.
   12. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 07, 2006 at 02:20 PM (#2008478)
"There's no excuse for it and it's certainly not going to be tolerated to win 79 games again. . . . 79 games isn't acceptable. It won't be acceptable again as long as I'm here so we got to do better."

--It will be interesting to see how Hendry handles this if the Cubs plummet in the standings before the ASB. . . .

And what about Baker?


I just put up these quotes because I know that by the end of the season, there will be all sorts of excuses why the Cubs didn't succeed, with Derrek Lee's injury most prominently mentioned. Heck, the excuses have happened already.

I hope that when the end of the year comes, the media will remember the proclamations that Hendry made last season -- another year marred by an April injury to their star hitter going into the season.

Also, FWIW, I've added the quotes to my signature, if anyone in the forums still pays attention -- I don't.
   13. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: May 07, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2008479)
Also, I was thinking of this last night but wasn't in Game Chatter -- does Jones have a nickname yet?

I suggest we call him "Mr. Three Years."

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