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   1. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 30, 2006 at 10:02 PM (#2228298)
So the new CBA applies to free agents this offseason? Seems like it wouldn't apply until the current CBA expires.
   2. Kyle S Posted: October 30, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#2228307)
I heard on a braves blog that Aramis is officially gone now too.. wonder if the cubbies will go after akinori iwamura
   3. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 30, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#2228334)
So the new CBA applies to free agents this offseason? Seems like it wouldn't apply until the current CBA expires.

The old CBA was set to expire December 16, so if the new one is going to impact various December timetables, it needs to go into effect right now.
   4. Dash Carlyle Posted: October 31, 2006 at 12:59 PM (#2228635)
Is Izturis going to the third baseman next season?
   5. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 01:19 PM (#2228642)
This is not something I've seen mentioned anywhere, but -

What if the Cubs made inquiries about picking up Pat Burrell from the Phillies? Burrell inspires an ARod-like hatred among Philly fans, and the team has made no secret about wanting to get rid of him. He's got a fairly hefty contract that probably would keep the asking price pretty small (maybe a couple of minor league pitchers, something like that). He's scheduled to get $13M this year, $14M in 2008.

Let him play left, shift Murton to RF and Jones to CF. As much as Burrell gets maligned, he's still walked 99 and 98 times the last two years with an OPS+ around 125. He's overpaid for that production, but he might also benefit from a change of scenery. And lord knows the Cubs could use someone with power who also draws a walk.

If the Phillies are basically giving him away, and the Cubs find themselves with money to burn with Ramirez gone, the Wood contract gone, etc., I think he'd be worth a gamble. It's just a 2-year contract, so it's not like they'd be locking themselves in for the rest of the decade.
   6. realteamcoach Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#2228685)
In regards to the Burrell trade, who would hit leadoff? While a decent idea, I could see us hitting Izturis leadoff, with Cedeno 2. Furthermore, we need to do everything we can to get Ramirez back. There is no way we can reasonably expect to improve if we don't keep him. You can't gain 20+ wins by losing one of your top 3 players.
   7. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:27 PM (#2228701)
I heard on a braves blog that Aramis is officially gone now too.. wonder if the cubbies will go after akinori iwamura

I saw on the TSN ticker he opted out. That doesn't make him officially gone though.

Is Izturis going to the third baseman next season?

I see zero scenarios where that would happen. He's the SS, and for now 2b is a battle between Theriot and Cedeno, with the loser winning the utility IF role.

Let him play left, shift Murton to RF and Jones to CF. As much as Burrell gets maligned, he's still walked 99 and 98 times the last two years with an OPS+ around 125. He's overpaid for that production, but he might also benefit from a change of scenery. And lord knows the Cubs could use someone with power who also draws a walk.

That's a little too creative and outside the box thinking for Hendry. Chances of that happenning are somewhere south of 1%. Phil Rogers (in his ESPN Hot Stove column) thinks the Cubs aren't going to be outbid for Soriano and plan to try him in CF. But there's also that thread that Soriano's inital asking price is Beltran's contract (7yr, $119mil). I hope that doesn't come up.

Not sure Murton has the arm for RF, but then again, he can't be worse than Jones was there (arm-wise, I'm saying, not overall). But I think your OF defense is pretty suspect.

There is no way we can reasonably expect to improve if we don't keep him. You can't gain 20+ wins by losing one of your top 3 players.

Sure you can. Just spend that money better and upgrade other positions. However, if you're saying the Cubs can't, then I might agree. They could lose him and replace him with Izturis at 3rd and still would likely end up with 80 wins next season.
   8. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2228716)
Not sure Murton has the arm for RF, but then again, he can't be worse than Jones was there (arm-wise, I'm saying, not overall). But I think your OF defense is pretty suspect.

It is. But I agree that Soriano is probably going to be priced out of the Cub range (at least I hope they're not dumb enough to give him 7 years and $100M+), and with Carlos Lee likely to go elsewhere that doesn't leave a lot of non-trade options. I'd rather have a 30-year-old Burrell than a 38-year-old Gary Sheffield coming off a season lost to injury, and I fear the price for Vernon Wells will be astronomical. It's not a perfect solution, but if you can get an impact hitter for a relatively small cost in talent, I think it's worth looking into.

The other choice is the usual Cubs M.O. - spend a smaller amount on an average player and hope he has a great season. I'm so tired of that option.
   9. Spahn Insane Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2228726)
I could see us hitting Izturis leadoff, with Cedeno 2.

That might just complete an amazing hat trick--a three-year run of 1-2 hitters in which the first (Patterson/Perez) was actually the BEST combination.
   10. Repoz Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2228738)
BTW...a big bopper stopper is usually a frozen cornfield in Iowa.
   11. CFiJ Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#2228745)
BTW...a big bopper stopper is usually a frozen cornfield in Iowa.

And that, my friends, is an example of bad taste humor done right.
   12. realteamcoach Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#2228746)
I would imagine that you could never find an instance of a team winning 65 games, letting their best position player from that season go without anything in return, and then winning 85 games.
   13. CFiJ Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:58 PM (#2228749)
I would imagine that you could never find an instance of a team winning 65 games, letting their best position player from that season go without anything in return, and then winning 85 games.

No, but you can find an example of a team winning 91 games, letting their best position player from that season go without anything in return, and then winning 116...
   14. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2228772)
What if the Cubs made inquiries about picking up Pat Burrell from the Phillies? . . .

Let him play left, shift Murton to RF and Jones to CF.


See, that would require creativity, imagination, and proactivity. You're forgetting that we've got Jim Hendry, so it can't happen.
   15. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2228776)
In regards to the Burrell trade, who would hit leadoff? While a decent idea, I could see us hitting Izturis leadoff, with Cedeno 2.

Not to be too flippant, but who cares who hits first? Why not ask who hits 7th?

To the extent it actually makes the slightest bit of difference, though, putting Izturis (career OBP of .295) and Cedeno (career OBP of .283) is the type of idiocy we've been seeing from the Cubs for years. I fully expect it to happen.
   16. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2228780)
BTW...a big bopper stopper is usually a frozen cornfield in Iowa.

--And that, my friends, is an example of bad taste humor done
right.

I agree. Very well played.
   17. realteamcoach Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2228856)
A 91 win team though, is still quite good. A 65 win team, is by definition, terrible. When a terrible team lets it's best position player go, how can it help. Who exactly would we replace A-Ram with?? If we cannot keep Ramirez, we might as well trade J. Jones, D. Lee, Howry, and Barrett, and try and win in 2009.
   18. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#2228984)
If we cannot keep Ramirez, we might as well trade J. Jones, D. Lee, Howry, and Barrett, and try and win in 2009.

If they were smart, they'd be actively shopping Jones this offseason. The likelihood of him repeating his 2006 offensive season isn't great - he put up his highest OPS and OPS+ since 2002, and if you throw out April he may well have had a career year.

His trade value will never be higher than it is right now. I know it opens another hole, but if the Cubs would just accept they're not going to be contenders in 2007 that's not a big problem.
   19. realteamcoach Posted: October 31, 2006 at 06:49 PM (#2229048)
The thing is, they think that they will contend...as stupid as that may be...they will not trade J. Jones. Our best hope for trading him would be a deadline trade, and even that is doubtful. Hendry, et. al, always feel that we are on the verge of something special. I don't see Jones going anywhere until 2009, and even then, I would not be shocked to see Cub management re-sign him.
   20. CFiJ Posted: October 31, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2229066)
A 91 win team though, is still quite good. A 65 win team, is by definition, terrible. When a terrible team lets it's best position player go, how can it help. Who exactly would we replace A-Ram with?? If we cannot keep Ramirez, we might as well trade J. Jones, D. Lee, Howry, and Barrett, and try and win in 2009.

I guess my point was (and I say this without expecting the Cubs to clear 85 wins this season) a team is more than the sum of its parts. You can lose the best player on a team, but if you replace him with the right lesser parts, you can actually improve. Even a good team who loses its best player should not improve. But they can and do because the transactions don't happen in a vacuum. If they're not paying for Ramirez they don't have to replace him, they just have to replace his production. And there are lots of ways of doing that.
   21. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 31, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2229086)
What if the Cubs made inquiries about picking up Pat Burrell from the Phillies? . . .

Let him play left, shift Murton to RF and Jones to CF.


I'm amazed someone else posted this idea. I've been trying to convince people for weeks that the Cubs should make this happen. Cubs could probably get Burrell for 1 of their stable of fringe starters (Guzman, Marmol, Mateo, Ryu, Walrond) and a bench player or B prospect, with the Phillies eating $5 million of Burrell's contract each year. Mob mentality holds a certain amount of sway in Philly, and the mob hates Burrell. The Cubs outfield defense would likely be downgraded from excellent to league average, considering that Murton and Jones both rated as above average (arm strength notwithstanding) this year. Moving each of them one slot over in the defensive spectrum should only be worth a few runs, and Jacque's arm is certainly better suited for center than right. If his perceived value is consistent with his 2006 numbers rather than his career averages, I would certainly be looking at possible trades.

Another trade I think the Cubs should explore would be sending Dempster to the Reds in exchange for Ryan Freel. If adding Cedeno or Izturis+cash for Javier Valentin would sweeten the deal, I think that would be even better. Krivsky seems like the type of GM who would like a guy with closer's experience, and considering the effects of Great American Ball Park, it doesn't hurt that Dempster is a groundball pitcher. By trading for (and starting) Royce Clayton, the Reds seem to have proven that they want a better defensive shortstop than Brandon Phillips. Between Phillips starting at second and Griffey (followed by Bruce in '08) in center, the Reds don't figure to have Freel in their plans.

Here are the cumulative payroll effects (in millions) of trading Dempster and Cedeno for Freel and Valentin, plus adding Burrell at a discount of $5 million:

2006 = Dempster(4) + Pierre (5.75) + Cedeno (.336) + Blanco (1.5) = $11.586
2007 = Burrell (8) + Freel (2) + Valentin (1.25) + inexperienced RP = $11.63

This would fill the holes at 2B and OF for no additional payroll over 2006, freeing up money to sign Aramis and SP. Plus, in the categories of BB/PA and P/PA, the Cubs upgrade significantly. The Cubs had no one in the top half of the National League in either category in 2006. Burrell was #1 in P/PA and #2 in BB/PA, while Freel was #8 and #22 in the league. Meanwhile, Pierre (who apparently costs more because he's a leadoff hitter) was 4th worst in walk rate and 10th from the bottom in pitches per plate appearance. Cedeno was 1 spot ahead of Pierre in P/PA and dead last in BB/PA. Not to mention the fact that Freel could also easily fill in for Jones in center against lefties or if Jacque is dealt. This certainly wouldn't solve pitching problems, but I think it would be a good start to the offseason.
   22. realteamcoach Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#2229551)
I don't think the Reds would trade Freel for Dempster, but if they would, that would be a steal for the Cubs. If the Cubs have the forward thinking to move Jones to CF, do it...but I fear they would use Burrell in Murton's spot quite frequently.
   23. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 09, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#2234224)
I'll bump this up here:

Cubs resign Miller to one-year deal

No terms disclosed, so it's hard to know whether this was a good idea or not. If he took an incentive-laden contract with low base pay and no requirement that he be kept in the majors, it's not a bad risk.

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