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   1. Sweet Posted: March 09, 2006 at 12:40 AM (#1889761)
I don't know if the Jones signing was the worst of the offseason (I think the B.J. Ryan deal could look really silly four years hence), but it sure belongs on the short list. Not only is it vastly too much money to pay for Jones's performance, but it also cost them a draft pick, potentially creates an outfield logjam with Pie, makes it less likely the Cubs take a run at Miguel Cabrera, and results in other such sundry disadvantages. It's possible that Jones has a bounce-back year -- maybe Wrigley really will be a better park for him than the dome -- but unless Baker platoons him efficiently (ha!) he'll be yet one more hurdle the Cubs have to overcome if they're to get to the playoffs.
   2. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 09, 2006 at 02:01 AM (#1889844)
In short, Hendry’s Jekyll/trader and Hyde/free agent signer act is one of the most puzzling aspects of his tenure as GM.

I don't know that it's all that mysterious. Revenues are up across the board so no one is looking to dump salaries. It's easy to look smart when everyone can see that you're getting more talent for taking on more money.
   3. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: March 09, 2006 at 02:51 AM (#1889886)
Branyan is bit younger than Jones. Branyan was released by Milwaukee early this off-season and ended up signing a minor league deal with the Devil Rays. He made $800,000 last year. Jones is signed to a deal that will pay him over $16 million over the next three years. Now, Jones is a superior outfielder, but that’s about the only thing he has going for him in this comparison.

One big problem is that Branyan hasn't played more than 20 games in the outfield in four years and hasn't played 20 games in RF in his entire career.

Aside from that, though, I certainly agree with the point that this offseason required Hendry to show creativity and he came up sorely lacking. (I was ranting about this with Retro on Tuesday night.)
   4. McCoy Posted: March 09, 2006 at 04:25 AM (#1889980)
Living up here in Wisconsin I got to see Russ play and I was hoping the Cubs would pick him up for the bench and spot starter for ARam. I'm still kind of shocked that Hendry let him slip through his fingers and instead settle on "Baker" guys. Which I ultimately think was the reason. Most of the trades through Hendry's tenure is trading away players that are not Baker type guys. Now of course Baker type guys are generally worthless so it isn't like he can trade them away. But it seems that most if not all players that got traded were in Baker's doghouse. This gets magnified in the offseason when Hendry must build a bench according to Bakers wants and uses.
   5. diehard4life Posted: March 09, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#1890351)
I too liked Branyan for cheap.

Hendry mad solid moves is getting D-Lee and A-Ram. A-Ram was a mediocre guy on da buckos. Hendry bet correctly and the rest is history.

The bottom fell out when NOMORE came into town with his hottie wife and fleeced us all for millions. I did cartwheels when we signed him. I can even remember hearing about it on the way up nort after scoring some Culver's in Stevensville, MI. But that was about it. Then came two years of playing a few games making more than I will in my life time. I'd like to see JUST ONCE, a guy who is already a millionare, who turns out to be a lemon, give some money back.

Jim's only other "Lock" so far was picking up MadDog. I could have managed that.

Let's hope Pierre and Jones both stay healthy and have great years. I'd much rather take back my comments after an awesome year then be dragging my as$ down to the park to try to schill my tickets to someone from out of town for $10 in September.
   6. Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate Posted: March 09, 2006 at 04:23 PM (#1890403)
Hendry mad solid moves is getting D-Lee and A-Ram. A-Ram was a mediocre guy on da buckos.


He was a promising prospect who had cratered in 2002. But he had recovered much of his mojo by the time the trade rolled around. The Pirates dealt because they didn't want to be on the hook for a big-money contract to someone who they perceived as a poor fielder, an injury risk, and someone who could potentially stop hitting again.

The Cubs, with more payroll room, chasing a division title, and with a sucking void of uselessness starting at third, had more margin for error and more to gain if Ramirez continued playing well.

While the deal was a bit of a gamble, the implication that Hendry was somehow able to see something in Aramis that no one else could doesn't hold water.

The bottom fell out when NOMORE came into town with his hottie wife and fleeced us all for millions.


Because of course groin injuries are things that lazy evil people intentionally get in order to cheese off good honest folk?

Then came two years of playing a few games making more than I will in my life time. I'd like to see JUST ONCE, a guy who is already a millionare, who turns out to be a lemon, give some money back.


To who? The Tribune Company? It is to laugh. What was the precise caliber and model of gun that was pointed at the heads of Hendry and McPhail when they signed that contract?
   7. diehard4life Posted: March 09, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#1890447)
Woooo Hooo, Randy you lit me up! I'll take your counter arguement on Aramis. And No Moe. I guess my arguements were an attempt to defend Hendry. If Nomar were productive and still playing he'd be the fan favorite. Heck, at signing he was a psychological replacement for a declining Scammy.

And you are right, I was a little harsh on the injuries. The guy is a competitor. And who would get my pie in the sky refund? I guess until the Cubs become publically held, which I think is not permitted in MLB, that was a worthless thought.

What a good stock though, It would trade up regardless of internal woes or performance.
   8. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: March 09, 2006 at 08:50 PM (#1890910)
Maybe Hendry looked at Branyan's 2005 OPS at Wrigley Field of .665 and decided he wasn't so good (teeny sample size be damned).
   9. H. Vaughn Posted: March 09, 2006 at 10:09 PM (#1891079)
I think Branyan's a valuable player in the right role, but he is not a right fielder by any stretch of the imagination.
   10. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 09, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#1891094)
Yeah I think Hendry looked at the fact that Branyan in the OF would be an unmitigated disaster.
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 09, 2006 at 10:57 PM (#1891152)
he is not a right fielder by any stretch of the imagination

And left field is the hardest position to learn.

Yeah I think Hendry looked at the fact that Branyan in the OF would be an unmitigated disaster.

John Mabry?
   12. Meatwad Posted: March 09, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#1891154)
diehard where are you from?
   13. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 10, 2006 at 09:21 AM (#1891935)
I'm fairly confident in the assertion that Mabry is a better defender anywhere than Branyan is. And Mabry is just an awful third baseman.
   14. diehard4life Posted: March 10, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#1892059)
Not sure of the relivance...But to answer meat, I am from SW Michigan, but closer in drive time than many of the suburbs. Lived in Chicago for about 12 years, currently about 5 blocks from the bleacher gate.
   15. Meatwad Posted: March 10, 2006 at 06:16 PM (#1892322)
ah wasnt sure, theres a few of us from south bend indiana
   16. WTM Posted: March 10, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#1892428)
He was a promising prospect who had cratered in 2002.

He didn't crater, he got hurt. He sprained his ankle badly in a beanball brawl with the Brewers early in the season. Under pressure from ownership to start winning right away, Lloyd McClendon and Dave Littlefield insisted that Ramirez try to play through the injury rather than go on the DL for a couple months, which is what he needed. Every time I saw him play that year he looked like he had no business on the field, limping badly and looking totally off balance at the plate. His hitting tanked and his approach got severely screwed up. It took him a year to start coming out of it, which he was doing by the time of the trade. The Pirates didn't trade him for any reason related to performance, they did it to alleviate a cash panic that had them under a tight, bank-imposed deadline to cut payroll.
   17. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: March 11, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#1893788)
I'm fairly confident in the assertion that Mabry is a better defender anywhere than Branyan is. And Mabry is just an awful third baseman.

Actually, Branyan is a pretty competent 3B.
   18. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 12, 2006 at 01:55 PM (#1894256)
From what I've seen Branyan's always looked pretty awkward at 3rd(or anywhere for that matter) His footwork or something just puts me off.

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