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The Cubs weren't playing for anything the last 2 years. If anything, they were playing Jackson in the hopes he could turn it around in order to be traded, not to "justify" his contract. There was no reason to pull a random player out of AAA to take his spot. Now there is.
Apparently Samardzidja peed in PECOTA's punch bowl.
Maybe we are running in different circles, but most Cubs fans I see are assuming at least a 50 percent bust rate. Honestly, most of them aren't expecting anything out of Alcantara, Vogelbach, Villanueva, Olt and Candelario.
Hmmm, 77 wins with a huge collapse coming from Samardzija and pedestrian WARP expected from Rizzo. Not sure how to feel about that. I don't completely trust Samardzija, but I find it hard to believe he will be the least effective starter in the rotation. Not impossible to believe, just hard to believe.
One scout told one guy on twitter that he might have Villanueva on his top 100, but that's not consensus.
Sam, you've done a great job describing the level of homerism on display by Hawk Harrelson on a daily basis. The only thing I can add is that he somehow tries to make EVERY White Sox home run sound like Hank Aaron's 715th. And it's not an act. It's truly that important to him.
No. I made assumptions based on the fact that I've read a Joe Cowley column in my life and I have more than 2 firing neurons in my skull.
Of course I could be mistaken.
Any article calling out Joe Cowley for being the Ozzie bootlick he has always been is ok by me.
I was under the impression that pretty much everyone considers him the best position prospect in the minors.
By the way, this article is spot on. The money not going to the draft or to free agents that don't make it to free agency has to go somewhere. It will be blown on mediocrity.
jed, I think Carlos's 5/10 rights would have given him no trade rights regardless of his contract.
I don't know enough about minor league trends to know if this matters, but does the fact that Jared Mitchell is hitting .257 with a .366 BABIP take a little luster off of his season? He's walking quite a bit, but last year he seemed to have quite a bit of trouble getting on base, and I'm wondering if some of this year's gains might be a tad inflated.
I'm not a fan of Barney's, but he's got a huge advantage over Theriot in that he has a working brain cell in his head.
He goes into a time machine and doesn't give MLB a urine sample filled with a banned substance.
There is almost no disputing the fact that Braun had banned substances in his urine. That fact has never been cleared. How that urine sample was handled is the basis for his "exoneration". Now, if he wants to claim the stuff was there because he was using to treat shingles or something else, fine, I might even believe him. Of course that would make him as "guilty" as virtually every other player ever suspended for taking banned substances has said pretty much the same thing.
The Cubs haven't said word one since this began, so they could be making all sorts of credible moves in pursuit of an alternative, and we wouldn't have the slightest idea as to what is going on.
I cannot imagine MLB letting the Red Sox stash Epstein away in a closet because one of the higher ups is in a snit. This will reflect poorly on the Red Sox, and set a terrible example for future GM negotiations. This will get worked out one way or another, even if Selig has to step in and appoint an arbiter.
For everyone insisting the Red Sox have 100 percent of the leverage, what is to stop the Cubs from leaving Bush in charge for a rebuilding year, and hiring Epstein in 2012-2013? It's not ideal, but it's essentially what they did this year. If the Cubs have decided to stay out of the Pujols/Fielder sweepstakes, then they can continue to pour money into the minor leagues, and make cosmetic changes to the major league club until everyone but Soriano's contract is off the books.
Again, not ideal, but workable.
But wouldn't the Sox have had to fire him to get rid of him? And if so, would they still retain his rights? I know they would still owe him money, but if you cut a player during their contract, you can't demand a prospect back when they sign with someone else.
So Guillen was on his way out in Chicago, desperately wanted to manage in Florida, the Marlins were willing to double his salary, yet rather than wait for him to fall into their laps, they give up 2 prospects for him?
Obviously I'm missing something.
Actually they were 6 out at the All Star break. And the Twins were 6.5 out. What does that tell us, exactly? That anyone roughly 5 out in July should be a buyer? Does that seem reasonable to you?
Retroactively suggesting the Red Sox swoon was inevitable, or even predictable, seems unfair to me. I don't remember anyone making a fuss at the All Star break, or the trading deadline, when the Rays ended up not being buyers (I don't follow the Rays, so I certainly could have missed it).
It's easy to sit back now and say what the should have done, but at the time it seemed perfectly reasonable for the Rays to hold onto their younger assets in anticipation of another run soon.
How is being 10.5 games out of first place, behind the Red Sox and Yankees no less, constitute a "playoff opportunity"? July 31st is when Friedman had to decide to fish or cut bait, as he doesn't have the luxury to watch what's happened the last month and a half.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't want my GM making decisions on the assumption that the Red Sox rotation is going to fall apart some time after the all star break. That includes both trade deadline deals and starting the service clock on promising rookies.
Agreed. Also, taken to its logical conclusion, doesn't that mean that there should be up to 9 designated fielders? I mean, as a Cub fan I can assure you it's no fun watching Alfonso Soriano attempt to play left field. He can't do it. So shouldn't the Cubs be able to play Tony Campana in the field and bat Soriano?
Less than 3 years ago, the Cubs had the best record in baseball. Less than 2 years ago, the Cubs were in first place in August.
Hendry deserves to be fired, but the idea that it's been years in the making is silly.
I was guessing Vinnie Pestano for every guy. Finally got one right.
Can you quantify this? What exactly have the Sox done that shows they "want" to win, that differentiates them from the Cubs?
White Sox fans are going to have an embolism.
Sure Mike. I really lit into them there didn't I? It certainly proves my "fierce loyalty". I'm a real "fan boy".
Clearly, that's the only conclusion that can be reached because people are freaking out that they are going to get their fantasy predictions closer to February 20 than February 10.
Wow. You'd think he'd posted that everyone's insulin supply would be delayed a week.
I guess there's nothing in the world that can't be complained about.
Christina, is it a given that, had he anyone available on the bench, Girardi would have pinch run for Papi, seeing as he was not the tying run? I'm just wondering.
I guess I'd agree if I had any thoughts that this was a first or second time thing. I think this sort of thing happens with some regularity, possibly without this much histrionics and without the cameras catching it. It sounds to me like they HAVE tried self regulation, Zambrano promises he's turned himself around, and inevitably, the meltdown occurs.
Christina, I don't think people, Lou and Hendry included, were so put off by Zambrano's physical actions when he came into the dugout, but rather by the substance of what he said. If he came into the dugout screaming obscenities to himself for giving up 4 runs in the first, people might be annoyed, but they aren't going to suspend him. Instead, he was screaming at everyone else. THAT is what upset the Cub brass.
Commentators may indeed have been OK with it from a distance, but I know that Bob Brenly, one of said commentators, changed his tune when he found out what Z was screaming about.
I also think it's pretty clear that this is not a one time thing, based on Hendry's comments.
Did I miss something? When did the Cubs re associate with Joe Beimel? Did you mean Grabow?
Can someone explain to me why Zambrano is untradeable, but Peavy, who is most likely better than Zambrano, but at least in the same ballpark if you go by WAR since Zambrano signed his new deal, was worth 3 prospects and the White Sox footing his entire contract?
I'm not saying the Cubs could get the same deal that the Padres got, and I think in a way the White Sox were paying for Peavy's 2007, instead of 2008-09, but even if Zambrano has been disappointing the last 2 years, he's been healthy and at least moderatly productive. The Yankees were even kicking the tires before the season started.
I guess i just don't think his contract is quite the albatross it's been made out to be.
Probably too late for this comment, but I'm just wondering why BP seems obsessed with Samardzija's contract? Yes, the Cubs spent a lot of money to lure him from football, and yes, it seems like it's money poorly spent, but I don't see the big deal with the Cubs using the money that would have gone to picks 2-4, which the Cubs didn't have, to get a high risk high reward player to pick baseball over football.
It's brought up with alarming frequency whenever Shark is discussed by BP writers, but I'm not sure why it continues to be such a big deal. Baseball America had him rated as a top 30 prospect before the draft. If he couldn't play football, he would have been drafted much higher than the 5th round.
I guess I'm wondering why virtually any discussion of the Cubs has to include mocking references to Shark's contract, but yet it's completely unremarkable that the White Sox went over slot and gave Joe Borchard over 5 million to sign with them in 2000 (while also using their first round pick on him). Paying a guy to pick baseball over football costs money.
I just saw this today, so I'm late to the game, but I'm utterly confused. I agree the major league team looks to be pretty mediocre, but how, on a site whose minor league expert ranks the Cubs minor league system 8th overall, can you say that they have "not nearly the kind of depth that would allow Hendry to deal from to acquire that last veteran player (or three) this club needs."?
I'm fairly certain that if Hendry needs to make a deal, some other club might be willing to take Vitters, Cashner, either Jackson (once Brett is eligible to be traded), Lee, Castro, or at least a few others.
I'm not pushing for Hendry to deal any of those guys, but I don't think it's fair to say the minor league system is bereft of depth.
I keep hearing how terrible Fukudome is, and while I can understand people being underwhelmed as he hasn't lived up to the hype, I'm not seeing any reason to say he's bad.
Not that this changes the gist of the article, but by what metric is Fukudome considered a "4th outfielder"? VORP and WARP1 have him as a average to above average producer.
I'll take this a step further and note that really, out of this list, there are only 2 guys truly overpaid (3 if you count Bradley, which begat Silva), Soriano and Zambrano. If 2009 truly showed Soriano's skill set going forward, then this is a bad contract of comic proportions. If however, he bounces back to anywhere near his 07-08 levels, then it's just a bad contract, the same bad contract everyone knew it would be when he signed it.
There may be a few sub 100 OPS+ guys in the majors making millions, but that doesn't mean they SHOULD be.
I could be wrong, but I don't think Dye is under contract for 2010. I'm pretty sure there is a 12 million mutual option for 2010. I have no idea if that is to both Dye and the White Sox's liking, but if I'm correct about the contract, the Sox are not guaranteed to have Dye out there next year.
I'm sure I'm missing something here, but couldn't the lower velocity numbers simply be a result of Harden relying more on his slider and changeup than his fastball? Both of those pitches clock in at under 90 MPH, and I thought I'd seen games where he was pitching fine, but was very reliant on his changeup.