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   1. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 22, 2006 at 11:53 PM (#2108032)
While I have no faith that Hendry will effectively rebuild this team (appearances suggest he thinks it's just fine as it is), I have no problem with this situation. Maddux holds the reins here, and we know from past actions that he's willing to exercise whatever power he has, to the detriment of his team. At this point, Hendry doesn't need to shop Maddux around; the suitors will come to him. As they do, he can talk to Maddux about his willingness to move. What Hendry can't do is openly talk about Maddux as a tradeable quantity in any way.
   2. Mike Isaacs Posted: July 23, 2006 at 12:04 AM (#2108037)
I can see this perspective. I guess I'm of the mindset though that desperate times deserve more aggressive measures.

I am in favor of shopping Maddux around if it's viewed that Maddux can get you something of value. As you say, Hendry can't talk openly about trading Maddux right now so perhaps my post jumps the gun a bit. But I get a feeling that Hendry will be tip-toeing around any potential trade for Maddux. And since I'm beginning to believe Maddux might be one of the few Cubs who can bring back something of value for this team, I'd like to see Hendry take the "difficult" action of actively pursuing a trade for him. That means actively pursuing a trade with other teams and with Maddux.

I'm just not convinced that's the way it's going to go.
   3. NTNgod Posted: July 23, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2108045)
The no-trade thing was actually clarified during the All-Star break, although I don't know if Chicago papers picked it up at the time.
When the Brewers still had interest, Milwaukee reporters found Scott Boras at the ASG and asked him (obviously, if there was one person on Earth would know, it would be Boras :P ).


Since then, with the Brewers' slump, and Ohka already back and Sheets back at the beginning of the week, Milwaukee's likely no longer interested.
   4. Mike Isaacs Posted: July 23, 2006 at 12:37 AM (#2108050)
The no-trade thing was actually clarified during the All-Star break

Sorry, must have missed it. I was concentrating so heavily on how all those Cubs played in the All-Star game that I guess the everyday baseball news got by me. :-)

Several Chicago newspapers initially reported that Maddux did not have a no-trade clause, and Maddux's own words said the same. But it sounds like that's been corrected for some time now.

FWIW, Steve Stone believes the Dodgers would make a great trading partner for Maddux. That makes some sense to me. And with so many teams in the race, and so many of them looking for starting pitching, I would have to think Hendry would be able to shop at more than one store.
   5. NTNgod Posted: July 23, 2006 at 12:44 AM (#2108051)
Assuming MIL's out, LA, SD, ARI are probably the only three teams Maddux would actually approve a trade to, however.

Maddux's contract is probably a little too rich for SD, since they've only got $1 mil to play with.
LA is a strong possibility, and ARI also needs pitching.

With Maddux's contract and ability to hand-pick his team, something like a promising A-ball arm is probably the best return one could expect.
   6. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:24 AM (#2108061)
This just in:

Williamson to Padres

The Cubs received Class-A pitchers Fabian Jimenez and Joel Santo in the deal.
   7. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:30 AM (#2108067)
According to minorleaguebaseball.com:

Santo is 6-6, 5.38 ERA this year. 92 IP, 96 hits, 54 BB, 48 Ks. He turned 22 in June.
Jimenez is 5-7, 4.43 ERA. 87.1 IP, 87 hits, 52 BB, 54 Ks. He turns 20 next month.

Those walk numbers are scary high.

Coming into this year, Santo had a career record of 11-21, 5.29 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 3.89 BB/9, 5.73 K/9, 10.35 H/9. Jimenez's career numbers: 7-20, 6.18 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 5.46 BB/9, 4.64 K/9, 11.64 H/9.

I'm guessing Jimenez is the better prospect, though I really don't see a whole lot to like here (other than Williamson's departure should mean one of the kids at AAA gets a chance).
   8. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:36 AM (#2108069)
OK, more info, this from a preseason 2006 report on the Padres system. Jimenez is listed as a "breakout candidate":

Fabian Jimenez Angulo, LHP
Let's complete the trifecta and go with Angulo, another Columbian native, signed by the Padres as a 16-year-old. He'll turn 20 this summer, and though he finished last year with a 5-14 mark, splitting time between the Midwest and Northwest leagues, his upside is huge. Angulo began the season in Fort Wayne by going 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA in his first four starts but just ran into a wall thereafter, managing just 1-11 over his next 16 starts to earn a demotion to Eugene. He didn't get down after getting sent down, though, and finished with a 2.22 ERA in seven games (six starts). "He just needs a third pitch," Bryk said. "Here's a guy who the Twins were asking for in a big-league trade two years ago. So I look for good things from him."


I see a half-article calling Santo a "high ceiling" guy, but the rest I'd have to pay for.
   9. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:58 AM (#2108077)
At least Williamson's departure makes me think Hendry's doing *something*. After a month of dilly-dallying over the Dusty Baker "evaluation" that came to nothing, now we're heading into the last week of July with all of those veteran Cub pieces still hanging around.

It's beyond my wildest dreams that Hendry could actually find a taker for Neifi, but guys like Nevin and Mabry and Rusch and Eyre and Howry and Maddux... surely there must be someone out there willing to add a veteran bench player and give up a little something in return, especially for the relievers.

(Of course, it's only in my head that Eyre and Howry are even available - I get the feeling Hendry sees them as vital cogs of the 2007 Cubs. Vital, overpaid cogs in the bullpen of a team that will be lucky to win 80 games given the minimal overhaul that's going on.)
   10. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:58 AM (#2108078)
Come on -- his name is Santo!
   11. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 23, 2006 at 02:01 AM (#2108081)
At least Williamson's departure makes me think Hendry's doing *something*.

Dumping an understudy reliever who has openly complained about the current state of the team for a couple of "high ceiling" Class A pitchers? I'd call this evidence of nothing.
   12. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 02:01 AM (#2108083)
Come on -- his name is Santo!

At least he has two legs (I think).
   13. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 23, 2006 at 02:14 AM (#2108088)
So Hendry is not in a position to work a solid trade for Maddux and then respectfully explain to Maddux why that trade must be made.

As for the no-trade debate, I never really saw this as an issue. Even if Maddux didn't have a no-trade, Hendry would feel some sort of "honor" about not sending him anywhere he doesn't want to go. IMO, the whole issue is much ado about nothing.

Mike makes a good argument that this is another example of Hendry being unwilling to take the right steps and is instead thinking of PR. In most other circumstances, I'd agree.

In this case, though, I don't mind for two reasons:

1. Contrary to speculation and rumors, I don't see Maddux as having a significant trade value. Let's face it, he isn't exactly shutting down offenses -- since April, he carries a 5.74 ERA. If he was still pitching as he did in April, he would have a lot better trade value, but while the Dodgers and other teams may be interested at this point, I wouldn't think they would be offering much more than a low level minor leaguer, which isn't all that much of a help.

2. This is Greg Madduz we're talking about. The Cubs have already screwed him over once, to the great consternation of the fans, and arguably he came back to the Cubs to finish out his career.

I don't begrudge Hendry for being sentimental (or at least deferential) to someone in Maddux's shoes who wouldn't garner that much in return anyway.

I will say this, though: It's entirely possible, maybe probable, that Hendry and Maddux are each looking toward the other to make a definitive move. Maddux may be willing to move, but is looking at Hendry to try to negotiate a deal first. Hendry, in turn, may not be pursuing anything because he wants Maddux to ask to be traded.

If that's the case, it's up to Hendry to take the step and put things in Maddux's lap, one way or the other.
   14. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 23, 2006 at 02:24 AM (#2108095)
1. Contrary to speculation and rumors, I don't see Maddux as having a significant trade value. Let's face it, he isn't exactly shutting down offenses -- since April, he carries a 5.74 ERA. If he was still pitching as he did in April, he would have a lot better trade value, but while the Dodgers and other teams may be interested at this point, I wouldn't think they would be offering much more than a low level minor leaguer, which isn't all that much of a help.

I think this is very true. Who's going to give up good prospects for the benefit of paying Maddux several million dollars to be, at best, a league-average starter?

I will say this, though: It's entirely possible, maybe probable, that Hendry and Maddux are each looking toward the other to make a definitive move. Maddux may be willing to move, but is looking at Hendry to try to negotiate a deal first. Hendry, in turn, may not be pursuing anything because he wants Maddux to ask to be traded.

I really think this is a situation where the buyers call the shots. If the Dodgers need Maddux, they're going to come to Hendry and enquire about it. What makes sense is for Hendry to wait until he gets an offer that will actually accomplish something other than getting Maddux off the payroll, and should that happen, go to Maddux and see if he's willing to go along with it.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: July 23, 2006 at 05:44 AM (#2108175)
My solution to this "problem" is for Hendry to go to Maddux and talk to him about what he'd prefer. If Maddux wants to stay, he stays (obviously with his no-trade we can't really control that anyway). If he says "you know, a trade to the Dodgers or Padres would be OK, but nowhere else" then I talk to the Dodgers and Padres to see if I can get the "right" deal. If he says "I think this might be it and I'd like to finish on a winner," then I do my best to move him to a contender ... even if it means I get very little in return.

All perfectly respectful, appropriate, private (until rumors get out).

The only problem I have with Mike's suggested approach is that it's hard to work everything out with another team ... then ask Maddux. If another team is hot after Maddux, this might not be so bad (they'd probably call Hendry to get the ball rolling). But what team is gonna want to risk wasting time negotiating a trade, time they could spend on a trade that will happen, only to see it fall apart because Hendry hasn't bothered to find out if Maddux will even accept it.

On the Williamson trade, I'm baffled as to how anyone with 4.6 K/9 in the low, low minors could be a "breakout candidate." Are there good reasons I shouldn't be baffled?
   16. NTNgod Posted: July 23, 2006 at 05:51 AM (#2108177)
On the Williamson trade, I'm baffled as to how anyone with 4.6 K/9 in the low, low minors could be a "breakout candidate." Are there good reasons I shouldn't be baffled?

Kevin Towers didn't seem too upset with losing them:
Jimenez and Santo, Towers said, "are a long ways away. They're fringe prospects, but you never know. We felt some of the other pitchers in our system were closer to the big leagues."
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 23, 2006 at 05:54 AM (#2108179)
But what team is gonna want to risk wasting time negotiating a trade, time they could spend on a trade that will happen, only to see it fall apart because Hendry hasn't bothered to find out if Maddux will even accept it.

The Cubs. Seriously, in 2001, remember they had the McGriff deal finalized except for the small detail that Fred took two weeks to decide to come to Chicago. Then, in 2003, I seem to recall that they worked out a deal for Raffy Palmeiro, only to have him veto it. So, from Jim Hendry's perspective, he may think it's perfectly normal to work on a trade for a player who could still veto it. His potential trading partners may disagree, of course.
   18. Mike Isaacs Posted: July 23, 2006 at 07:06 AM (#2108193)
The only problem I have with Mike's suggested approach is that it's hard to work everything out with another team ... then ask Maddux.

I will consider Walt's approach a "friendly amendment" to what I had in mind. He makes a good point. My main thrust is that I don't favor Hendry waiting for the Dodgers or any other team as well as Maddux to first come to him before he does something about trying to foster a deal. Pull Maddux aside, as Walt suggests, and let him know how much he's appreciated, but that the club must improve for next year as a first priority. And then ask him if he'd be willing to satisfy the team's interests in an important trade to a contender.

As for other points raised about Maddux's trade value being minimal, I'm not so sure. He's a veteran pitcher who has pitched better his last couple of times out. Teams religiously over-value (IMHO) the importance of "veteran presence" on a contender down the stretch. And no one has a more respected veteran presence than Maddux. But I'm not really sure what Maddux will bring the Cubs. While I think it might very well be more than what some have suggested here, my real point is that Hendry should not be waiting for everyone to come to him "out of respect" to Maddux before actively trying to find out.
   19. Neil M Posted: July 23, 2006 at 07:35 AM (#2108198)
There seems to be an unspoken consensus of thought that this is the final chapter for Maddux.

I'd be concerned that he finishes the year with the Cubs and then lets Hendry know he'd be interested in another year or two. I could see Hendry re-upping him (albeit for lesser money). Then we'd get to watch him getting beat up every 5th day, with no possibility of his removal from the rotation because of 'respect' issues.

For that reason, I'm for Hendry being aggressive about trading him.
   20. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 23, 2006 at 09:29 AM (#2108210)
It would be cool if he got traded to the Braves, or to the Mets so he could end his career starting after Glavine in the World Series. Primer Mets fans don't want him, though; some would rather miss the Series than acquire him, probably. I love those guys.
   21. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:35 PM (#2108237)
The Cubs. Seriously, in 2001, remember they had the McGriff deal finalized except for the small detail that Fred took two weeks to decide to come to Chicago. Then, in 2003, I seem to recall that they worked out a deal for Raffy Palmeiro, only to have him veto it. So, from Jim Hendry's perspective, he may think it's perfectly normal to work on a trade for a player who could still veto it. His potential trading partners may disagree, of course.

MacPhail was still in charge in 2001, so the McGriff fiasco's not on Hendry. I don't remember the Palmeiro thing, except that the Cubs were interested in picking him up and there was a lot of waffling in the press about whether he'd accept a trade.
   22. 1k5v3L Posted: July 23, 2006 at 01:40 PM (#2108241)
Primer Mets fans don't want him, though

They are all smoking stuff... hand-rolled by El Duque and co.
   23. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 23, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#2108289)
As for other points raised about Maddux's trade value being minimal, I'm not so sure. He's a veteran pitcher who has pitched better his last couple of times out.

He also carries a 5.74 ERA since April. If I'm the Dodgers or any other playoff hopeful, you can talk all you want about "veteran presence," but I'd rather have a guy who can get people out on a consistent basis.

OTOH, he's not alone in that -- Ryan Dempster carries a 5.76 ERA since April, Roberto Novoa's is 5.50 since April, and Bobby Howry (who has been touted as one of Hendry's good moves in the offseason) has been at 5.57 since May.

Anyway, back to Maddux. As I said above, I don't mind the Cubs holding on to him. I wouldn't mind Walt's approach, however -- go to Maddux, ask him what he wants, and if he wants to go, try to make a move. It is entirely possible, though, that Hendry is remaining passive, waiting for Maddux to tell him what he wants rather than asking Maddux directly.
   24. Mike Isaacs Posted: July 23, 2006 at 05:05 PM (#2108312)
He also carries a 5.74 ERA since April. If I'm the Dodgers or any other playoff hopeful, you can talk all you want about "veteran presence," but I'd rather have a guy who can get people out on a consistent basis.

Me, too, and for just the reasons you state. I don't think Maddux is reliable enough to be a fifth starter on the Cubs anymore -- as somewhat sad as that is to realize. So I certainly wouldn't want to give a heck of a lot away to get him if I'm GM of a contending team.

But this wouldn't be the first time where teams over-paid in my mind for veteran presence. I still think Maddux could get the Cubs more than a routine single A prospect. Steve Stone also thinks that could be the case. The question to me though is how Hendry now proceeds with finding out what they can get for Maddux. If he takes the lead and discovers just what you're saying -- that the Cubs couldn't get much back for him -- then I'm OK with keeping him until the end of the year.

If he has decided not take the lead, but to wait for the world to come to him first, I have more of a problem with that. And that seems to be the case if this article is at all accurate.
   25. Flynn Posted: July 23, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#2108328)
Sports Radio 66, THE FAN! W-F-A-N, MIKE AND THE MAAAAD DOG!


HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EVVEEEEERRRRRRYYYYYBOOOOODY!
   26. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 23, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#2108522)
But this wouldn't be the first time where teams over-paid in my mind for veteran presence. I still think Maddux could get the Cubs more than a routine single A prospect. Steve Stone also thinks that could be the case.

Well Steve Stone also thinks he can be a GM and I'm not at all convinced of that. :-)

Seriously, though, let's look at veteran (i.e, over 32) sucky (i.e., over 5.00 ERA) pitchers traded at the deadline over the last few seasons:

2005 -- TEX trades 32 yr. old Chan Ho Park (5.66 ERA) plus $2mm to SD for Phil Nevin -- shedding $3mm in future salary

2004 -- NYY trades 33 yr. old Jose Contreras (5.64 ERA) to CWS for Esteban Loaiza -- shedding $15mm in future salary

NYM trades 36 yr. old Scott Erickson (7.88 ERA) to TEX for PTBNL (minor leaguer Josh Hoffpauir)

2003 -- NYY trades 32 yr. old Dan Miceli to HOU for "future considerations"

2002 -- TB trades 33 yr. old Doug Creek (6.27 ERA) to SEA for "future considerations"

LA trades 39 yr. old Terry Mulholland (7.31 ERA), Ricardo Rodriguez, and Francisco Cruceta to CLE for Paul Shuey

2001 -- COL trades 32 yr. old Pedro Astacio (5.49 ERA) and cash to HOU for Scott Elarton

2000 -- COL trades 32 yr. old Rolando Arrojo (6.04 ERA), Rich Croushore, Mike Lansing and cash to
BOS for Jeff Frye, Brian Rose, John Wasdin and Jeff Taglienti

STL trades 34 yr. old Heathcliff Slocumb (5.44 ERA) and Ben Johnson to SD for Carlos Hernandez and Nate Tebbs

I'm not sure what this tells me, other than the fact that the Cubs could include Maddux in a package deal or agree to take on another veteran.
   27. Meatwad Posted: July 23, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#2108605)
neif rusch and maddux, for a bag of used baseballs and a good prospect
   28. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 24, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2109059)
Well, Maddux is a little different. First off, he's a Hall of Famer, and a GM might think that the buzz would do his team good. Second, you can look at what he's done in the second halves of the last two seasons -- he's actually been pretty good. He hasn't been terrible in his last few starts, and has gone at least 6 IP in his last 7 starts. I could see a GM thinking it might not be a bad way to spackle up a rotation that has a gaping hole, and I wouldn't be surprised if the lightning in a bottle came through. I don't think it's a good idea, and -- here's the kicker -- it would be dumb to give up anything of value, but there are a lot of teams on the bubble in the pennant races and someone just might go for it.
   29. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:19 AM (#2109109)
I should note that of the deals I listed above, the only one that was truly close to Maddux in terms of age/quality was Mulholland.

That said, I do generally agree with what Andere said. I don't know if a team would acquire Maddux for "the buzz," though; the fact that they were/are in the running should do that in and of itself. Still, you never know.
   30. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:25 PM (#2109344)
Come on -- his name is Santo!

At least he has two legs (I think).


Reminds me of a "Willy and Ethel" joke:

Ethel: What happened to our money?
Willy: I was misinformed on an investment.
Ethel: Did this "investment" by any chance have four legs?
Willy: That's the part I was misinformed about.
   31. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 01:04 PM (#2109366)
"Some of the other potential free agents, including Greg Maddux and Juan Pierre, might ride out the storm. Despite the Cubs' 37-60 record, management believes the team is not far from contending in 2007."

I'm not sure how to interpret this paragraph from a column in yesterday's Tribune, but I think the Cubs believe Maddux could play a role on next year's team.

The column also says that Zambrano would like a deal done by spring training, otherwise he'll test the market after next season.


Elsewhere I'd read that the Cubs have shown interest in Willy Taveras. He's Juan Pierre without the BA, power or walks and with fewer steals: 257/308/309, 13 SBs 5 CS.
   32. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 01:46 PM (#2109410)
The column also says that Zambrano would like a deal done by spring training, otherwise he'll test the market after next season.

Hard to blame him for that one. Nothing kills a pitcher's perceived value like a bunch of 15-11, 17-12 seasons playing in front of a perennial 70-75 win team.
   33. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:07 PM (#2109423)
Despite the Cubs' 37-60 record, management believes the team is not far from contending in 2007."

Potential Cub free agents - Maddux, Pierre, Walker, Blanco, Wood, Ramirez (though I don't think there's any way he voids the rest of this deal without a huge second half), Nevin, Mabry, Wade Miller.

That leaves under contract:

C - Barrett
1B - Lee
2B -
SS - Cedeno
3B - Ramirez (probably)

OF - Jones, Murton

Bench - Neifi

SP - Zambrano, Marmol, Marshall, Prior
BP - Howry, Eyre, Rusch, all the kids
CL - Dempster

So, a question: looking at that probable offseason roster, what do we think the Cubs would need to be a contender in 2007? (Leaving aside the new manager question, which is a given.) Are the Cubs really "not so far from contending" in 2007...

1. At least one big bat in the outfield. Not sure where to put him - Murton might have to go to the bench, or with Pierre gone the Cubs pick up a CF (I don't think Jones is going anywhere, even though I suspect next year won't be even as good as this one offensively). Pierre's been hitting better in the second half, and it might be enough for the Cubs to decide to give him what he wants (maybe in the 4/$36M range).
2. A real second baseman, either a GG-quality defender with a decent bat or a good hitter with a decent glove.
3. At least two quality starting pitchers to go with Zambrano. I mean guys capable of putting up a sub-4.00 ERA and staying healthy enough to throw 200+ innings (and not as a longshot like Wood and Prior, but honest-to-god healthy pitchers). Let's face it - neither Marshall nor Marmol look like guys who are going to step up next year and put up 3.30 ERAs. They should be the back of the rotation, with Zambrano and the others providing the core of solid pitching ahead of them.
4. A couple of bona fide bats for the bench - not eleventy-seven second basemen, but a real hitter from each of the left and right side capable of getting a hit in a key spot. Plus a backup catcher, if Blanco doesn't come back.

So the Cubs need to add 6, maybe 7 players this offseason. They have (by my rough calculations) about $51M already committed to Lee, Ramirez, Neifi, Jones, Howry, Dempster, Eyre, Rusch, and Barrett. Zambrano, Prior, and Ohman look to be the only arb-eligible players, but that's probably at least another $15M (Zamrabno got $6.5M last year to avoid arb - if they sign him long term, it will be for at least $10M/yr; if he goes to arb, probably around $10M). So call it $66M under contract, $70M (roughly) when you throw in Murton, Cedeno, Marshall, Marmol, and enough young arms to fill out the pen.

That leaves around $30M to add -

Second baseman
Starting outfielder (or two, if Murton sits and Pierre leaves)
Backup catcher
A couple of starting pitchers (or at least 1, assuming they roll the dice and rely on Prior's health again)
Several bench players

Can it be done?
   34. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#2109430)
(Leaving aside the new manager question, which is a given.)

Promise?
   35. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#2109433)
Promise?

I meant it was a given that we needed a new manager, not that we'd get one. If Dusty comes back, then I just wasted a bunch of words. The Cubs won't be contenders, period.
   36. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:24 PM (#2109443)
I have a radical suggestion, one that I know that there is no way in hell the Cubs would do: What if the Cubs dealt for ARod?

Under any reasonable circumstances, I wouldn't think the Yankees would move him, but after hearing the ESPN folks (Phillips, Reynolds) get into a lather about how the Yanks need to move him, and thinking there aren't too many teams that would be able/willing to pick up that contract (even with the Rangers/Yanks picking up some of the freight), I figured -- what about the Cubs?

Who would the Cubs give up? Part of that depends on where they would play ARod -- I presume he could play SS, 2B, or 3B. While I would prefer to put ARod at SS and move Cedeno to 2B, I realize that to make the deal work for the Yanks, they will need at least one or two good players back, and would also need to fill the 3B hole. I'm presuming that Ramirez would have to be one of the players to go -- maybe Ramirez (for 3B)/Jones (for OF help now)/Pie, Hill (or another prospect).

If something like that works, they would presumably keep ARod at 3B and Cedeno at SS. They would still need a 2B (or a 3B that would enable them to move ARod), but this would give them a Big Bat and lessen the need to find one in the OF.

As I said, I think the Yanks would be nuts to do this and there is no way that Hendry is the sort to do something this radical, but it's still a thought.
   37. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:26 PM (#2109446)
I have a radical suggestion, one that I know that there is no way in hell the Cubs would do: What if the Cubs dealt for ARod?

You're Phil Rogers!
   38. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:29 PM (#2109451)
If Dusty comes back, then I just wasted a bunch of words. The Cubs won't be contenders, period.

I'm actually not so sure of this. This is not to say that I want Dusty around, but I do believe that if they had a team with a few legit stars and several good supporting players -- for instance, if they traded for ARod and signed the 2B/3B, OF, and pitchers you suggest -- that Dusty is certainly capable, maybe even likely, to make this team into a contender.

The problem is that Dusty will continue to display poor tactical judgment and would want to slot his guys into the roster/lineup all too often, and that Hendry is all too willing to allow him to do so. Nevertheless, I do believe that if the team was stocked with legitimately good players, i.e. "Dustyproofed," Baker is capable of winning. We saw that in 2003 and he's done it in SF too.
   39. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:30 PM (#2109453)
I swear I haven't read the papers yet this morning, but I'm not surprised that someone in the local media came up with this idea.
   40. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:31 PM (#2109455)
Here's a nice quote from the Sun-Times.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker doesn't foresee wholesale changes [at the trading deadline].

"I don't see a whole bunch of guys going, maybe one or two," Baker said. "I don't think you have to blow this thing up and start all over again."


Why would you ever blow up a team with the second worst record in the league?
   41. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2109462)
There have been inklings of rumors -- I'm sure of little or no foundation -- about the Cubs and A-Rod for the last few weeks. Al Yellon mentioned something about it awhile back. The recent media snipes against A-Rod were likely to stoke the fire. I'd happily make the trade dJf and Rogers outlined, and who knows, the Yankees just might take it. The problem is that Hendry is more of a follower than a leader -- he probably believes the stuff about A-Rod's unclutchiness/poor defense and would shy away from the bold move.
   42. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:42 PM (#2109475)
The problem is that Dusty will continue to display poor tactical judgment and would want to slot his guys into the roster/lineup all too often, and that Hendry is all too willing to allow him to do so. Nevertheless, I do believe that if the team was stocked with legitimately good players, i.e. "Dustyproofed," Baker is capable of winning.

That's the main thing here. If Dusty stays, that means Dusty's involved in player decisions again. That may mean we don't get a new second baseman (Neifi takes it), we probably keep Pierre (who Dusty seems to really like), and the bench fills up with the same kind of Dusty-level double-switchable utility guys who can't get a hit to save their lives (and not guys from AAA either, veteran guys who will want $750K-$1.5M to come here, and that means eating up another $3-5M of salary room). Now all of a sudden we're looking at basically the same offense next year that we had this year, with the possible exception of a new left fielder. And we haven't touched the pitching staff.

With Pierre under contract, barring another trade it's likely we're already up around $80M in salary obligations, and still a couple of starters and an outfielder away from filling out the team. Unless the Trib is willing to make a splash and run the payroll over $100M, that just doesn't leave a lot of room to get the kind of impact players the Cubs would need. More than likely, we'd end up with an outfielder similar to Jones, or pitchers of the 4.50 ERA type. And that's just not good enough to cut it.

In the end, I'm not sure this team can contend unless it concentrates its remaining resources on getting All-Star type players for the OF and in the rotation, and filling out the bench and other spots with guys from AAA who can play cheap. But honestly I don't think Dusty will allow that, and I don't think Hendry's got the midichlorians to tell him no at this point. So we'll just see another offseason like we had last year, with a bunch of $3-5M contracts given to role players and average-to-below average guys and not enough money left over to make a real difference elsewhere.

(Of course, even with Dusty gone if Hendry's still around that may happen anyway. But Hendry's not going anywhere, so I prefer to delude myself into thinking that 90% of his problems are a result of the manager he's saddled himself with.)
   43. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 24, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2109485)
One problem is that if I'm the Yanks, I don't even think about such a trade unless Carlos Zambrano was part of it.
   44. Darren Posted: July 28, 2006 at 03:25 AM (#2115169)
Speaking of Maddux, did anyone see the scoring change that resulted in 5 ER being lopped off his record? Has any such change ever been made 5 weeks after the fact, as it was in this case? I've read all I can find on this and the scorer does nothing to explain why he changed his mind. He says only "It could have gone either way." But you originally gave the batter a hit--what was so compelling to make you take away that hit that you had already awarded? Shouldn't it be a pretty egregious error in order to overturn something like this? Or do you just do it when you're "asked?"

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