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   1. jyjjy Posted: February 17, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2299258)
Zambrano would be a steal for 5 years at Zito money. As a free agent he would probably get a Manny type deal.
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 17, 2007 at 06:53 AM (#2299282)
Prior is supposedly throwing already. The Cubs didn't even claim he was throwing last year, so maybe that's something, at least.
   3. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: February 17, 2007 at 06:59 AM (#2299283)
Prior is supposedly throwing already. The Cubs didn't even claim he was throwing last year, so maybe that's something, at least.


Their honesty is slipping backwards again?
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 17, 2007 at 07:00 AM (#2299284)
And I don't see why he's been written off so completely. His playing age this year is 26, and he's been mostly very effective. I don't see why he couldn't get healthy and still have a a great career, though I admit that I can't think of a pitcher whose first few seasons were like his who did.

I guess I just answered my question.
   5. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: February 17, 2007 at 07:12 AM (#2299285)
I'm not writing him off, but I'm not counting on him until he gets 30 starts of good pitching in one year.
   6. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 17, 2007 at 07:31 AM (#2299287)
That certainly makes sense, of course. It could also be argued that counting on any pitcher is a mistake, but if we were to follow that rule, team building would be impossible. Some Cub fans here seem to respond to the very idea of possibly or ever counting on Prior with laughter, which is what I think is unwarrented. But on the other hand, if he was on the Tigers, I'd react the same way.
   7. and Posted: February 17, 2007 at 01:01 PM (#2299299)
It is unfathomable.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.


However, I think you're probably right that Zambrano will sign with the Cubs. I also think Prior will eventually have a decent career. I don't think he'll ever be healthy enough over a stretch of years to be a truly dominant pitcher, but he can still become respectable. Whether or not that happens this year or not is impossible to say.
   8. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 17, 2007 at 01:21 PM (#2299302)
It is unfathomable.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.


Okay Dr. Safire, I should have said that a situation where Zambrano is not extended is unfathomable.
   9. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: February 17, 2007 at 02:40 PM (#2299312)
That certainly makes sense, of course. It could also be argued that counting on any pitcher is a mistake, but if we were to follow that rule, team building would be impossible.


Counting on a pitcher who has been healthy 2 of the last 3 years isn't unreasonable, but counting on a pitcher who has been healthy in 0 of the last 3 seasons is pretty stupid.
   10. and Posted: February 17, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2299321)
AR, I just meant I can certainly imagine the Cubs letting him go for any number of (incorrect) reasons. Not signing Zambrano, to me, is fathomable. Not trying to be linguistically anal.
   11. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 17, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2299328)
That certainly makes sense, of course. It could also be argued that counting on any pitcher is a mistake, but if we were to follow that rule, team building would be impossible. Some Cub fans here seem to respond to the very idea of possibly or ever counting on Prior with laughter, which is what I think is unwarrented. But on the other hand, if he was on the Tigers, I'd react the same way.

I would agree that completely discounting the possibility of Prior ever making a comeback is unwarranted. He is not your garden variety broken down pitcher. In his three injury-ridden seasons, the only one where he was truly bad was the last one, and even that offered a glimmer of hope in that he struck out almost 8 batters per 9 innings. His BB, HR and BA against were horrible, of course, but I'm not going to be shocked to see him get back on track. It's impossible for us to guess what his current physical status is, and thus if this is even possible, but if he can make it back even to where he was in 2005, he's a significant plus. I don't think that's an unreasonable thing for us to have on our radar screen of hopes.
   12. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 17, 2007 at 03:41 PM (#2299335)
AR, I just meant I can certainly imagine the Cubs letting him go for any number of (incorrect) reasons. Not signing Zambrano, to me, is fathomable. Not trying to be linguistically anal.

Understood (pun intended), but I disagree. Even when I take Hendry's shortcomings into account, I cannot imagine a situation where he would let Zambrano get away after this season. When was the last time the Cubs let a popular, star-quality player walk away? There is nothing in recent history that would come close to letting Zambrano go, and some Cubs fans are still mad about Larry Himes letting Andre Dawson leave. There may be some hidden factors at play that we don't know about, but when you evaluate what's evident to us, I think the chances of Zambrano not being extended are zilch. I suppose they could reach an agreement where Zambrano backs down and keeps negotiating into the season, but that's as far as I can see it going.
   13. Raskolnikov Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2299341)
AR,
So you basically advocate a blank check for Zambrano?
   14. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2299344)
So you basically advocate a blank check for Zambrano?

Is the Zito contract a blank check, or the going rate for an ace pitcher? I don't like the idea of making a seven year commitment to any pitcher, but it appears that if you want the best, that's what you've got to do. If Zambrano is willing to go for fewer years, I would hope that Hendry sees that as a positive opportunity.
   15. Spahn Insane Posted: February 20, 2007 at 06:45 PM (#2300587)
Down to the wire on Z's arb case. 2 hours and 15 minutes to work out a 1-year deal.
   16. Spahn Insane Posted: February 20, 2007 at 10:27 PM (#2300761)
Cubs.com reports a one-year agreement reached at the last minute--around $12M plus incentives. Good.
   17. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 20, 2007 at 10:42 PM (#2300772)
Now, hopefully they get a long term deal done now.
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: February 20, 2007 at 10:47 PM (#2300775)
Now, hopefully they get a long term deal done now.

Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I think it's inevitable.
   19. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: February 26, 2007 at 06:25 PM (#2303551)
And I don't see why he's been written off so completely. His playing age this year is 26, and he's been mostly very effective. I don't see why he couldn't get healthy and still have a a great career, though I admit that I can't think of a pitcher whose first few seasons were like his who did.

I guess I just answered my question.


There are no perfect answers, but I did want to resurrect this comment to mention 2 (recent, in one case) Cardinal pitchers....

Chris Carpenter, for one.... Carpenter was a highly touted prospect (and 1st round pick) in Toronto. He was putting forth pretty good efforts (though nothing on Prior's 2003 campaign), got hurt, released -- seemed to be 'done' -- before being resurrected.

Matt Morris is another... put up a 130 ERA+ in 33 starts as a 22 year-old, got slagged by LaRussa -- missed nearly 2 full seasons, was thought to be relegated to the bullpen before coming back to win 22 games with an ERA+ of 137 at age 26.

I swore off it after last year's debacle --- but my Prior optimism regulator is in the shop for its annual tune-up this week, so while I certainly don't think Prior should be "counted on".... I do think there are plenty of pitchers that have faced injury-related problems early in their career but have been able to come back.

Even if he never becomes 'MARK PRIOR<superscript>tm</superscript>' - I think that if becomes even Matt Morris, the Cubs rotation is in fine shape.
   20. Boots Day Posted: February 26, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2303553)
I don't see why he couldn't get healthy and still have a a great career, though I admit that I can't think of a pitcher whose first few seasons were like his who did.

Jim Palmer.
   21. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 26, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2303557)
My take on this, and I believe a lot of you agree with me, is that there is no chance in hell that the Cubs are going to let Carlos Zambrano walk away. It is unfathomable.

I think it's quite fathomable, but admittedly unlikely. I really don't like the laissez-faire way that Hendry has acted about the situation. Here's how I can see it going bad:

For the next few weeks, Hendry puts Zambrano on the back-burner, thinking Zambrano will stay and they just have to work things out. The last week of Spring Training, he starts talks again, but finds that (a) they are miles apart and (b) if anything, Zambrano and his agent feel like they gave up too much in this year's contract and want to make up for it. Talks remain at an impasse until Opening Day, at which point Zambrano says he's playing out the season.

At the end of the season, Zambrano says that he wants to be a Cub, but also wants to hear what other teams have to say. The Yankees or Mets offer him $20mm for 6 years and even Hendry has to say he can't afford it.

I don't think this scenario is likely, but it's definitely not far-fetched.
   22. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: February 27, 2007 at 05:12 AM (#2303740)
I agree with Andere. The tools I have to make sense of the world are incapable of sounding the depths of stupidity required for the Cubs not to sign Zambrano. But why do people always nit pick Andere's word usage?

Unfathomable= "difficult or impossible to understand/comprehend." I think it's accepted usage by now that one may call the theory of relativity "unfathomable" even though it isn't actually impossible to comprehend.

So Andere makes a sense to me when he says, "My take on this, and I believe a lot of you agree with me, is that there is no chance in hell that the Cubs are going to let Carlos Zambrano walk away. It is [difficult or impossible to comprehend]."

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