Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Gonfalon Cubs > Discussion
Gonfalon Cubs
— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 10, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#2234729)
What's wrong with Dave Roberts? I'm seeing all this talk about who could play center and I see little mention of Roberts.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#2234784)
Love that Wade Miller deal. In this market, $1.5 M is about what you have to pay to get a pitcher with two arms, even if one of them maybe doesn't work right.

Dave Roberts: You need a platoon partner for him, but no reason he shouldn't be in the mix.

CF: I think I'll take Matthews unless he's gonna be even more expensive than I think. Given Jones, Encarnacion and Burnitz got in the $5-6 M range last year, Matthews could well be looking at $7 M. Gotta say I never thought Matthews would become an everyday player much less a reasonably productive one. (Or am I over-rating Mattehws' defense?) Anyway, he's certainly a better CF option than Schmidt or Zito. :-)

Schmidt/Zito: both these guys scare me, both these guys are gonna get lots of $ and too many years ... but they're about as good a P as you ever see on the FA market, they've been pretty durable. I think I'd gamble on Schmidt because I think I can sign him for fewer years. But it's quite possible Matsuzaka or that other lesser Japanese pitcher would be better investments. If there was a truly fine 2B, SS, or CF on the FA market, I'd probably rather see them put their money there and gamble with Zambrano, Hill, Miller, and Prior. Hmmm, add that lesser Japanese pitcher (sorry, I really can't remember his name) to that bunch and you've got a pretty cheap staff that could be pretty damn good ... for the 3 weeks they were all healthy.

Anyway, I think I've talked myself into preferring Lugo and that pitcher instead of Schmidt/Zito ... I'm guessing the money works out about the same.

ARAM: Maybe Hendry's taking the attitude privately that Coletti took publicly with Drew -- "hey, if he doesn't want to be a Cub, we don't want him." Hendry couldn't take that public because then every other player on the Cubs would ask for that treatment. :-) Anyway, I have no idea what the Cubs do at 3B without ARAM ... and I'm sure his agent knows that ... so there's really no point in the Cubs laying back here. Should have wrapped this up long before now.

That still strikes me as just an awful contract. The value of the contract was close to Rolen and Chavez who are both better IMO so there really shouldn't have been the need for the opt-out clause to get him to sign "cheaper." And it's not really a structure that can save the team substantial money. Maybe a player signs for $1 M less per year, but if they get to opt out after two years, you save only $2 M. If they don't opt out, that's because the market's gone down or they've been hurt or played poorly, in which case the team's already lost a ton. Seems to me the value in these options for the team is so low, there's just no reason to give them unless you're getting a discount of several million dollars.
   3. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 10, 2006 at 08:54 PM (#2234816)
CF: I think I'll take Matthews unless he's gonna be even more expensive than I think. Given Jones, Encarnacion and Burnitz got in the $5-6 M range last year, Matthews could well be looking at $7 M. Gotta say I never thought Matthews would become an everyday player much less a reasonably productive one. (Or am I over-rating Mattehws' defense?) Anyway, he's certainly a better CF option than Schmidt or Zito. :-)

Matthews really frightens me as guy who was never particularly good but just happened to have had a career year at the right time. I would be pretty unhappy if the Cubs were to give him anything more than one year . . . and I'm sure he'll get at least 3 years from other teams. IOW, I'll pass.

Not that I have any real solutions. I suppose I could say that I'd support Alfonso Soriano at CF, but that's a bit of a pipe dream. While I'm dreaming, though, I'll say that what's intrigued me over the last day or so is the thought of the Cubs signing J.D. Drew and moving Jones to CF.

With Drew, there isn't the question of whether his production was a one-year fluke. Instead, the question is whether his health was a fluke. Perhaps it isn't, however -- although his 146 games last season was a career high, he did play 145 games just two seasons earlier while in a Braves uniform.

Aside from the fact that such a move would require creativity that I don't think Jim Hendry has, what really makes this a pipe dream, though, has to be the money. Drew turned down 3 years/$33mm to hit the open market, so he'll obviously want more than that. I'm not convinced he's worth much more than that.

Then again, I'm also not convinced that Aramis Ramirez is worth more than that, but he'll get it, either from the Cubs or from someone else (probably one of the two LA teams).
   4. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: November 10, 2006 at 09:06 PM (#2234841)
FWIW, I agree with your takes on Schmidt and Zito, though Schmidt's health scares me more. Also, I read somewhere that Zito would probably prefer to remain on the West Coast anyway.

As for Lugo, that would be a good, creative move, but I'll be pretty surprised if Hendry went that route. He seems thrilled at having Izturis and my guess is that he'll go another year with Cedeno and Theriot, hoping one of them steps forward while waiting for Eric Patterson to join the battle later next year.

Another reason I think this is money -- although Hendry will have a larger budget to play with (partly to make the Cubs more attractive to a prospective buyer, I hope) -- there will be some limits and I can't see him going after Soriano, Ramirez, *and* Lugo (not to mention whatever bid he may have already put in toward Matsuzaka).

As for Ramirez, I think that both sides quickly figured out that Ramirez wasn't going to make any decisions until he had the chance to talk with the Angels, Dodgers, and other teams. I'd bet that Hendry is still viewing Ramirez as a top priority, though I'm disappointed when he says that he doesn't plan to stay in touch with his agen next week.

I also wouldn't be surprised if the Dodgers were taking a similar position with Drew -- allowing him to field other offers but making it clear that they are willing to renegotiate and get in the bidding themselves. IMO, Colletti simply said what he had to say at the moment; the media portrayed it as having some animosity toward Drew that I'm not convinced was actually there.

Excellent point on how Ramirez's deal was lousy, btw. It was guaranteed to screw the Cubs either way.
   5. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: November 11, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2235031)
Most of the free agent pitchers scare me, especially considering the contracts they're expected to receive this offseason. Schmidt is not only old but also among the leaders in terms of pitches per start and pitcher abuse points each year. Zito has more trouble throwing strikes than the average Cubs pitcher, which isn't exactly a high standard over the last few years. I don't know much about Kei Igawa or Hiroki Kuroda, but investing in unknown commodities may be the only chance of finding a bargain, or even a reasonable return, in the pitching market.

If the Angels or Dodgers are willing to spend 5/75 or 5/80 on Ramirez, I don't think it would be worth it for the Cubs to match unless they're truly committed to raising payroll long-term. While I like Ramirez as the Cubs 3B, I can't overlook the fact that he's only had one season with an OBP above .360 and has seen his BA, OBP and SLG go down each of the last 2 years. He should certainly be above league-average the next few years, but is there any way that even maintaining this year's .291/.352/.561 could be worth $15 or $16 million a season?

If the Cubs don't re-sign him, guys like Mark Teahen and Morgan Ensberg may be available in a trade. For example, could the Cubs send Jacque Jones to the Rangers (whose 3 OFs are all FAs) for a good pitching prospect and/or SS prospect the Royals would want? The Rangers have several top pitchers in the minors and Joaquin Arias being blocked by Michael Young. The Royals need to promote Alex Gordon to play 3B and also should be trying to unload Grudzielanek, who makes $8 mil over the next 2 years and is blocking Esteban German. A 3-team trade to acquire Teahen and Grudzielanek could make a lot of sense in my opinion.

Outfielders seem to be the best bet in the free agent market, making Jones somewhat replaceable. Corner guys like Dellucci, Catalanotto, Nixon, DeRosa, Guillen and Alou may be available for about the same price, not to mention the possibility of upgrading with a guy like Drew.
   6. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 11, 2006 at 01:19 AM (#2235071)
Matthews really frightens me as guy who was never particularly good but just happened to have had a career year at the right time

I believe I was the first person to use the term "Sarge Lite", and I would be surprised if he ever accomplished anything like his 2006 season again.

However...

In the previous two years he established a fairly decent performance level, with EqAs in the high .250s while not being platooned too heavily as a part-time player, and BPro had him at about 3 wins. You could do worse at $7 million/yr on a short time-scale, and if Pierre is going to require a longer commitment for more money, the choice is a no-brainer.

It's not a good option, but you could do worse.
   7. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 11, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#2235076)
Also, regarding Stone:

I thought he was a great broadcaster for the Cubs, and I was very angry when circumstances were such that he had to leave. But the more I think about it, the less enthusiastic I am about his return. I really didn't like the way he sat on the sidelines the last couple of years, seemingly basking in his vindication as the Cubs slowly but surely unraveled. Maybe there's just too much ugly history, and Stone is too wrapped up in the dysfunctionality of the organization. I think he's a great broadcaster and I would be very happy if I were a Nationals fan, but I think it's time for him to leave Chicago. That, and I think Brenly has done a great job.
   8. dcsmyth1 Posted: November 11, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2235079)
As far as Pierre returning, I saw a quick interview with him right after the Cubs last game (IIRC), and, when asked if he wanted to return to the Cubs, he was hesitant. It was pretty clear to me by his response, in a public context, that he doesn't really want to come back. Whether that's because he didn't enjoy his year in Chicago, or because he simply wants to go to the highest bidder, I'm not sure. It's probably some of both.

But I'll be very surprised if Pierre is back on the Cubs.
   9. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: November 11, 2006 at 02:48 AM (#2235101)
Matthews really frightens me as guy who was never particularly good but just happened to have had a career year at the right time. I would be pretty unhappy if the Cubs were to give him anything more than one year . . . and I'm sure he'll get at least 3 years from other teams. IOW, I'll pass.

Right. I look at him on the market, and I can't help but think of Jeffrey Hammonds ca.2001.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2006 at 03:13 AM (#2235108)
Anyway, I have no idea what the Cubs do at 3B without ARAM ... and I'm sure his agent knows that

OK, I must admit ... even my ego's not big enough to think that ARAM's agent is giving me any thought. :-)

Matthews really frightens me as guy who was never particularly good but just happened to have had a career year at the right time.

Lots of good points in your posts. But just to be clear, I'm not viewing Matthews in that light. I'm viewing him as a guy who now has a career OPS+ of 96, EQA of 258 and plays average or I think better defense in CF. That makes him an average hitter for his position with average or better defense (though I don't know if that's correct and BPro has him at below average). It might be shocking, but Matthews, based on his _career_ numbers is basically an average CF, give or take half a win. I'll agree that if anyone wants to pay him based on last year, they can be my guest. Anyway, if salaries are going up and the average-ish corner OFs got $5-6 M last year, I think $7 M for an average-ish CF is about the going rate. I wouldn't be dancing in the streets and it would be yet another perfectly reasonable but not substantial move that the Cubs always make, but Matthews at 3/$21 wouldn't piss me off too much. (I can't believe I just said that.)

As for Lugo, that would be a good, creative move, but I'll be pretty surprised if Hendry went that route.

Can't disagree with you there. I was of course talking more about what I would do.

there will be some limits and I can't see him going after Soriano, Ramirez, *and* Lugo (not to mention whatever bid he may have already put in toward Matsuzaka).

Completely agree -- I'd guess there's no way they go after Soriano and Ramirez -- that would probably be in the area of $30 M! I was thinking more something like Matthews, Lugo, 2nd tier Japanese pitcher and maybe Ramirez. I'm really thinking Ramirez is gone ... which won't really worry me much but I don't have much faith in the Cubs finding a good replacement. And even if they get all 4 of those, it would still take a decent dose of good fortune to get the Cubs into 88-92 win territory.

I can't overlook the fact that he's only had one season with an OBP above .360 and has seen his BA, OBP and SLG go down each of the last 2 years. He should certainly be above league-average the next few years, but is there any way that even maintaining this year's .291/.352/.561 could be worth $15 or $16 million a season?

Well, if what we're hearing about the market is true, it's got to be pretty close. I wouldn't read anything into that trend -- even leaving aside whether trends are predictive, the drops are so small that everything looks to be well within random deviation. So sure 2004 was probably above his true talent, but I don't see anything in his last 3 years to think he won't continue to hit like that.

Anyway, his EQAs the last 3 years have been 306, 301 and 293 and he'll only be 29. Soriano will be 31, has been 260/273/300 and that 300 season is the only time he's topped 293 (and remember EQA does include SB so some of his baserunning advantage is in there). Carlos Lee has been 275/294/292 and those last 2 are his best seasons and he'll be 31. Basically, any team willing to pay Lee or Soriano in the $14-16 M range would be dumb not to offer Ramirez that much.

My question with Ramirez is his defense, but I see no reason to question his bat over the next 3-5 years. He absolutely has to be worth more than Carlos Lee. Which is not to say I support giving ARAM a 5/$75 contract, just that if the Cubs are gonna offer Soriano 5/$75, they might as well give that offer to ARAM first.

Most of the free agent pitchers scare me, especially considering the contracts they're expected to receive this offseason.

Unfortunately, that's always the problem with big-name FA pitchers. They're expensive and you're scared their arm can fall off at any moment -- which it could. About the only pitcher signings I "like" (from the team perspective) are when some average-ish pitcher (say John Thomson) gets squeezed out and signs cheap. Other than that, pitcher signings tend to be too risky for my blood ... except for the fact that you're gonna have to roll the dice sooner or later, whether it's a big-name FA or extending someone like Carlos Zambrano. As always, all you can do is take the info you got, close your eyes, and wish for the best.

If the Cubs don't re-sign him, guys like Mark Teahen and Morgan Ensberg may be available in a trade. For example, could the Cubs send Jacque Jones to the Rangers (whose 3 OFs are all FAs) for a good pitching prospect and/or SS prospect the Royals would want?

Good point on Ensberg & Teahen, forgot about those possibilities. As to Jones, if he can bring in a good pitching prospect, this market is really out of whack. :-) You do make a good point that the Rangers must be pretty desparate for OF right about now so the Cubs should give them a call (would open another hole in the lineup of course). Though I'd like to think the Cubs might have enough pitching prospects of their own to pull free a Teahen.
   11. Buzzards Bay Posted: November 11, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2235122)
"close your eyes,and wish for the best."
there hasn't been a whole lot of input on insurance on these deals or any potential blockbusters--
do teams have a hedge--year 4 and 5 have to be dicey for insurers as well
i do remember after the Mo Vaughn waltz there were a few articles pointing out fiduciary hazards,speed bumps and steep cliffs
   12. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2006 at 09:48 AM (#2235185)
Basically, any team willing to pay Lee or Soriano in the $14-16 M range would be dumb not to offer Ramirez that much.

Ugh, depending on positional need of course.

there hasn't been a whole lot of input on insurance on these deals

A few years ago, the insurance companies were reported to be willing to only guarantee 3-year contracts. Might have been BS, but magically pretty much no FA was offered more than 3 years. Now we're seeing 4, 5, even 7-year contracts. Maybe the insurance companies only cover the first 3 or the last 3 or maybe they'll now only cover 50% instead of 80% or maybe they've decided to start gambling again as well. Or maybe the owners floated the 3-year thing to cover for them all only offering 3-year deals.

Anyway, a good point. Schmidt on a 3-4 year contract covered by insurance sounds pretty good to me, depending on payroll and who else they can get for other holes.
   13. CFiJ Posted: November 11, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2235203)
I really didn't like the way he sat on the sidelines the last couple of years, seemingly basking in his vindication as the Cubs slowly but surely unraveled.

What would you rather he have done?
   14. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 12, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#2235838)
I really didn't like the way he sat on the sidelines the last couple of years, seemingly basking in his vindication as the Cubs slowly but surely unraveled.

What would you rather he have done?


Left that to others who didn't appear to have an axe to grind. Stone came across like a jilted ex.
   15. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 13, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#2236357)
Stone came across like a jilted ex.

Whenever the Sun-Times printed his comments, they always seemed measured and fair to me, not gloat-ish at all. Quite the reverse, actually.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.2306 seconds
36 querie(s) executed