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   1. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:08 AM (#2278192)
I knew there'd be a mistake someplace. That Gallagher is actually Sean Gallagher, not performance artist Gallagher Though with the Cubs you can't rule anything out - the Sledge-o-matic is probably a better hitter than half of the guys who polluted our bench last year.
   2. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:14 AM (#2278193)
Good to see them adding more people to the Gonfalon Cubs.

The player with the greatest chance of helping is probably Sean Gallagher. I don't think any of the other players have much of a chance of seeing significant time, but it'll probably be a pitcher and Gallagher is probably the one with the most upside.

I'd like to see the Cubs trade Barrett, Izturis, and something else for Tejada or Dunn and a good defensive catcher. I realize that isn't realistic either, but it incorporates the 2 things the Cubs should do: Trade Barrett while he's at his highest value, and try to get another player who can hit
   3. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2278196)
There are more than just me who have been added, BTW. A wave of reinforcements will soon be hitting the shores of our Gonfalon village.

I didn't answer my own questions. I'd like to think that, if the Cubs hadn't signed Mark Derosa, the answer to #1 would be Eric Patterson, though maybe not until midseason. But I could have seen him doing something similar to what Murton and Cedeno did in 2005 - come up in July and get significant playing time for the last two months. But with Derosa around, my guess is that the answer to #1 is none of them. I don't think any of them really mesh with whatever remaining roster needs the Cubs might have (or at least what they think they need). With a zillion veteran starting options, I'd rather see Gallagher get the chance to pitch regularly at AAA than sit as the seldom-used long reliever in the Cub bullpen.

As for #2, I'd like to see them get Zambrano locked up through his early 30s. If they have to give him Zito money, then they should just do it and be done with it. Though I do wish they'd pursued signing him to a long-term deal last season (maybe they did, who knows). Everyone was speculating that the big influx of media and Internet money was going to drive FA prices sky high this offseason, and teams that locked up their players before that happened now look like they got relative bargains (like Houston with Oswalt). Getting Zambrano for $14M/yr instead of the $18-20M/yr it's probably going to take now would have been awfully nice.
   4. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:28 AM (#2278198)
There are more than just me who have been added, BTW. A wave of reinforcements will soon be hitting the shores of our Gonfalon village.


Who do I have to <strike>blow</strike>pay to be part of this?
   5. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:44 AM (#2278205)
And now I've learned how to fix my mistakes. Sweet.

Now to rig that editor to apply to real life...
   6. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 11, 2007 at 06:25 AM (#2278238)
I actually think Mike Kinkade is the best bet to help the team from that group. He's a right-handed hitter off the bench who can play 3B/OF and has a pretty decent track record offensively. In about a full season's worth of Major League time he's put up a 256/350/399 line, and he's a career 886 OPS guy in the minors. Considering that the best returning pinch hitter may be Angel Pagan, I'll take it. After all, Marquis doesn't hit lefties well. If/when the Cubs need another starter, I'd rather try Mateo or Ryu than bring up a 21-year-old Gallagher. He could use another year in the minors.

The top priority is locking up Zambrano. My favorite part of the linked article is where Miles goes out on a limb and states, "The Zito deal is the richest given to a pitcher, but one may argue that the 25-year-old Zambrano is every bit the pitcher the 28-year-old Zito is." Umm, does that argument begin by saying that Zambrano is a few years younger and has been a much, much better pitcher over the last four years? It's really a tough sell, but I'm sure a skilled negotiator could find some way to make a case for Carlos. If the team is willing to gamble on a guy like Soriano, it needs to make the same kind of commitment here.

After that, I'd like to figure out a plan for Jones/Pie. Is Pie ready to be the CF? If so, I'd rather see Jones dealt than platooned with Murton. If Pie isn't ready, is Jones or Soriano willing and able to play CF? We frequently hear that Jacque is unhappy and wants to be closer to home. Wouldn't the Angels be a logical place for him? With Rivera seemingly out for a long time, they may be relying on Shea Hillenbrand or Garret Anderson to provide protection for Vlad. Against righties, Jones would be a better alternative. The Angels have 2 extra CFs in Figgins and Willits, along with overpaid SS Orlando Cabrera and several fairly good prospects who are buried behind better prospects. That should be a foundation for something of mutual benefit. The Cubs also have Cotts/Ohman as a bargaining chip and probably should try to trade 1 of them. Three non-closer lefties in a bullpen is excessive.
   7. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 11, 2007 at 02:53 PM (#2278408)
Mike Kinkade is a good guess, I think, although I would be surprised if any of those guys made a significant impact.

Considering that the best returning pinch hitter may be Angel Pagan, I'll take it.

Well, Daryle Ward has a career .729 OPS as a PH, and hit .350/.438/.633 in that role last year, whatever that means. My guess is that Hendry sees him as the primary PH. Pagan's strong side is from the left, correct? I wonder if the Cubs are going to go again with no right-handed power-hitter off the bench, but I sort of see Daryle Ward as replacing Pagan.
   8. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:36 PM (#2278514)
Good to see them adding more people to the Gonfalon Cubs.

I apologize for not being very active over the last few weeks. Part of it has been that there has been little news recently, and what news there's been has been discussed in other threads. Another factor has been the holidays. A third factor is that I've grown fond of my "Wayback Machine" projects and the next season I'm working on will take awhile to finish. (I don't have the same access to research as I did last month.) ETA will be when I get the time and initative to work on it -- maybe 2 weeks or so.

In the meantime, as UCCF hinted, we're adding a few more editors to the site -- regulars who you've seen post frequently at BTF. My hope is that, as we gear up for 2007, they will continue to present the insights and opinions on all things Cubs as they've done for years and we can expand this blog to bigger and better things.
   9. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2278532)
Too address UCCF's questions, though --

1. My guess is that it will be a pitcher, either Gallagher or possibly Pignatiello if they are looking for a lefty. (Actually, if that's the case, my guess is that they'll also look at Clay Rapada, but that's beside the point.) If they don't make the Opening Day roster, my guess is that we may see them contibute at some point in the season.

I don't think we'll see Tyler Colvin, Adam Harben, Ryan O’Malley, Randy Wells, Jake Fox, Casey McGehee, or Chris Walker -- at least, I hope not.

I can see Mike Kinkade getting some time, but most likely it would require an injury for that to happen. I suspect the Cubs will add a veteran or two so that Kinkade won't be looked at to contribute.

That leaves Eric Patterson. With the logjam of DeRosa/Cedeno/Theriot, I don't know how it will be resolved. I'm guessing that either Cedeno or Theriot will be dealt this season or otherwise distinguish himself positively or negatively. Toward the end of the season, I figure Patterson may get called up, but for now I don't expect any more from him than I would from the others.

2. I realize this isn't insight, but the truth is that I don't know. Part of the reason for this is that the Cubs have an OF void that can be filled in several ways -- by standing pat, by signing a FA, or trading. They can get a corner outfielder or a center fielder. Any of these are realistic and decent possibilities. The thing is that Jim Hendry has to commit to *something*, and whatever that is will define further moves down the line.

I suspect that we won't see any moves with the pitching staff unless (or until) there is an injury that needs to be filled or someone pitches lights out in Spring Training and lands a bullpen slot.
   10. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 11, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2278567)
Part of the reason for this is that the Cubs have an OF void that can be filled in several ways -- by standing pat, by signing a FA, or trading.

I would like to see a trade for Brady Clark. He seems like a much better fit than the FAs (Finley, Erstad, Floyd), and he has to be available to some extent. The Brewers have at least 3 CF alternatives in Hart, Hall, and Weeks, who some have suggested could be better off there long-term. Clark's a veteran with a 1-year, $3.8 mil deal, so he could certainly become a part-time player late in the season if Pie is ready for a promotion. I think something along the lines of Ohman and Fontenot/Cedeno for Clark could get it done. Then Jones can be traded for a reliever or a prospect, possibly to the Angels for either Sean Rodriguez or Erick Aybar. There's a limit to how many future shortstops an organization needs, and the Angels have an overabundance. The Cubs, meanwhile, have Izturis and a bunch of guys who can play 2B.
   11. Astro-Bonilla Posted: January 11, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2278709)
Then Jones can be traded for a reliever or a prospect, possibly to the Angels for either Sean Rodriguez or Erick Aybar. There's a limit to how many future shortstops an organization needs, and the Angels have an overabundance. The Cubs, meanwhile, have Izturis and a bunch of guys who can play 2B.
The Cubs bullpen is stacked, but I definitely agree that the Cubs should trade for a young SS.

I'd go further and argue they should trade several of their pitching prospects whom they seem to have no interest in using any time soon as well to get this kind of deal done.
   12. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 11, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2278719)
I'd go further and argue they should trade several of their pitching prospects whom they seem to have no interest in using any time soon as well to get this kind of deal done.

I've been hoping they'd do that for awhile now. We ran half a dozen AAA guys through the majors last year, and there are more on the way. Instead of waiting for these guys to completely lose their value as prospects, then non-tendering them down the road, the Cubs should be willing to ship 4-5 of those pitchers off to a team for a better prospect at a position where they don't have anyone.

Each of the guys the Cubs called up last year had some stretches where they looked decent, and most of them have had good stretches in AAA as well. They're not without value right now, but their value will keep going down with each passing year that they're stuck at AAA and getting older. Unlike 2006, the 2007 Cubs (at least right now) don't have a lot of rotation and bullpen openings to give these guys the major league experience that they probably need.

They've got the pitchers, they've got Jacque Jones signed to what seems a reasonable contract given the current state of the market. I find it hard to believe that there's not a team out there that wouldn't take that combination and give them something in return that's a better fit for their organizational needs.
   13. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 12, 2007 at 07:20 AM (#2279179)

I apologize for not being very active over the last few weeks. Part of it has been that there has been little news recently, and what news there's been has been discussed in other threads. Another factor has been the holidays. A third factor is that I've grown fond of my "Wayback Machine" projects and the next season I'm working on will take awhile to finish.


I wasn't referring to inactivity but the fact that some smart people were left out of the blog originally. After the free agent flurry, I wouldn't expect too many posts before spring training.

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