2005-11-02T15:56:52.566-05:00Looking forward to the 2006 season I thought that I would put out my own take on a possible (but in truth not all too likely) 25 man roster. I will try and comment on the players that would be new to the team or controversial.Starting lineupC) Micheal Barrett (.276/345/479): Some want to trade him due to some bad defense. To that I say "LOOK AT THAT BATTING LINE! LOOK AT THE BRAND NEW SILVER SLUGGER! THE MAN CAN FLAT OUT RAKE!"1b) Derrek Lee (.335/.418/.662): Nothing wrong there.2b) Todd Walker (.305/.355/474): The arguments for/against him are basically the same as Michael Barrett.3b) Aramis Ramirez (.302/.358/.568): Top 5 thirdbasemen in baseball.SS) Ronny Cedeno (.300/.356/.375): He could tank and be a flaming pile but he has earned the chance to become that flaming pile.LF) Matt Murton (.321/.381/.521): Is he going to put up those numbers over the corse of an entire year? Doubtfull. But I think a .290/350/450 line is well withing reach.RF) Pat Burrell (.281/.389/.504): Alright his is where the team starts to stay from last year. The Cubs desperatly need to get some more offense out of the corner outfield and I don't want to put too much on the shoulders of Murton. I think that a trade of Kerry Wood plus Rich Hill should do the trick. The money even comes close to evening out.CF) J.D. Drew (.286/.412/.520): I think this is possible. The Dodgers are going to try and trade away most of Depodesta's "Moneyball" moves. I hope the Cubs can capitalize on that and pry away a great player. Drew rates as a very good defensive centerfielder by BP's metrics and Wrigley has a small centerfield. I am not sure what the Dodgers would want for Drew. This may have to be a large minor league player say Pie or Harvey and several pitchers.The BenchC) Henry Blanco (.242/.287/.391)IF) Mike Fontenot (.272/.377/.430) AAA Iowa: I think he is ready for the majors. Cheap backup for A-Ram and Walker.Calos Pena (.235/.325/.477): This is the pop off the bench that the Cubs have been missing the last few years. He is also a lefty so thats good. I may try and have him try a corner outfield spot just in case of emergency.Kazuo Matsui (.255/.300/.352): This move is one big if. If the Mets try and get Furcal (it is in the papers today so thats all I need) then they will want to get rid of Matui. So If they Mets agree on picking up most of his contract I think he would be a great pinch runner/defensive replacement. I also have a suspition that his numbers will go back to 2004 levels.OF) Jason Michaels (.304/.397/.415): I LOVE Jason Michaels. He is a very strong defender and would be more then capable if Drew goes down for a few months. I wouldn't even mind giving Michaels the starting job if Drew or Bradley don't work out.Brandon Sing (.276/.404/.538) AA West Tenn.: Just one more good bench hitter that the Cubs have been lacking. Is Sing ready for the Majors? I think so, but I could be wrong. That is a risk I am willing to take with the last man on the bench.The RotationCarlos Zambrano (223 IP, 3.26 ERA)Mark Prior (166 IP, 3.67 ERA)Greg Maddux (225 IP, 4.24 ERA)Jerome Williams (106 IP, 3.91 ERA)Glendon Rush (145 IP 4.52 ERA): We gave him three mill per, that is too much not to be in the rotation.The PenRyan Dempster (92 IP 3.13 ERA) Throws (R): God I hope that arm holds up.B.J. Ryan (70 IP 2.43 ERA) Throws (L): Relief studd. He would end up being a lot better than our closer.Will Ohman (43 IP 2.91 ERA) Throws (L): Solid all around LOOGY maybe better.Michael Wuertz (75.7 IP 3.81 ERA) Throws (R): He was one of the few highlights of last years pen.Jermaine VanBuren (54.7 IP 1.98 ERA) AAA Iowa Throws (R): Give the guy a shot already.Novoa/Willliamson/Wellenmeyer: End of the pen guys. Williamson could easily become the best of the lot but I am not holding my breath. I could also have thrown Guzman, Koronka, Mitre, Nolasoco, ect. into the mix. The Cubs have these types of arms in droves lets hope a few work out.Pros: This linuep can flat out mash. The first eight guys in the starting linupe had OPS' over .800 last year. Runs would be scored. The bench provides[...]
2005-08-10T16:36:26.943-05:00I haven't posted in over two weeks and in that time the Cubs have traded for Matt Lawton in a trade deadline blockbuster, got Williamson Wood and Nomar back, then proceded tank the rest of the season. The Cubs are so far back that for the first time all season don't see them making the playoffs. The problem with this team is that it is not one thing in specific that needs to be changed. The pen is bad but not horrable, the bench is bad but it is just the bench, and all the starters are at least solid (except maybe centerfield). The good thing is that now I can start looking to next year, something that Cubs fans do best.
With those moves I think the only real expense would be Giles, with everyone elso being washes. Then all the extra money could be spent on back of the rotation starters, installing an Oakland like pre-hab program and paying Dusty not to coach our team.
2005-07-26T16:07:52.050-05:00The Weather is hot, the Cubs are hot, and my mind is going crazy with dreams of Vlad for Macias trades. Lets get right to the trade talk.
There is a lefty on the mound for the Giants today so we will probably see Murton and maybe even Cedeno in the starting linup. I love the youngsters. (How do I call guys almost exactly my age youngsters?)
2005-07-22T16:09:18.166-05:00Austin Kearns is rumored to want to play for the Chicago Cubs. In today's Chicago Sun-Times a reported deal would be Todd Wellenmeyer and Sergio Mitre for Austin Kearns. I do not see any problem with this deal. Sure Dunn would be better but that seems unlikely. Are the Cubs going to use Todd or Sergio in any important role this year? The answer is no. How about next year? Again, I doubt it. With the large pool of good arms in the Cubs system Sergio and Todd are extremely expendable. Austin Kearns would go a long way to suring up the left field spot that seems to have a revolveing door attached. Kearns has always had two things, a good eye and power, and I am willing to invest in any player that has both of those skills. His poor play can be attributed to a lack of playing time and injuries not a bad understanding of hitting as was the case with Corey Patterson. This seems like a great move one Grade A talent for two grade C talents. Additonally the Cubs would be able to send Murton back down to AAA for the rest of the season in order to get the PAs that he needs, Holly would be able to stay on the bech as a pinch hitter his intended position.
2005-07-20T14:33:24.120-05:00It is time to call it. The LA Dodgers have been dead on the table for a few days now and it is time to remove any usable parts that the Cubs can put into use. Paul DePodesta made a good effort and his moves were all solid but injuries have done them in but they have players that could be of use.
I don't think I would mind throwing Bradley out in center and then just trying to find a hot bat between Hairston, Murton, Holly, and Gerut for left field.
So Jim Hendry's finally put the pieces together on a trade. It probably helps that it is after the All-Star break and the other team was not really using the player we aquired but it is still a trade and I like it. The very simple bones of this deal go like this: the Cubs aquire Jody Gerut (275/357/377) and send Jason Dubois (239/289/472) to Cleveland. I think this deal helps the Cubs for several reasons:
Lets hope this works out and that the right choices are made. God I love trade season!
2005-07-18T18:31:00.563-05:00I am back after one week off planning my move into the heart of darkness. I don't know how I will cope with the strange conditions, up is down, black is white. I hear they kill puppies while shrieking with glee. I am moving to St. Louis. I will try to cover as many topics as I can remember from the past eight days.
I have to go pack some more and the game is on. I hope we can sweep the Reds going into the St. Louis series.
2005-07-10T23:29:43.026-05:00To call this Cubs team streaky would be like calling Ron Artest is a little testy. Why couldn't we have this streak start like five games earlier. So right now the Cubs are playing great ball and we have to stop for the break, F*@K!
2005-07-09T13:11:14.770-05:00Like many members of the CBA I am not a fan of Dusty Baker. I would love to be able to write a post about possible replacements but I have no good information. The best I could do is rehash old managers.
2005-07-08T12:32:11.916-05:00If the Cubs are bringing up minor leageres to give a jumpstart to the club then I say go all out. There are a few more players in the minors who would be great improvments over people on our current roster.
Several other options are VanBuren, Aardsma, and Pie. I don't see how these players could help the team but I think we might see them this year. I am also looking forward to the ripple effect in the minors leagues, I would like to see Scott Moore see some AA action.
2005-07-08T00:06:50.290-05:00So it starts today, the last stand of the Cubs. Patterson and Dubois were sent down to AAA and Murton and Greenburg were brought up form AA. I applaud Hendry for actually doing something NOW as opposed to waiting for something on the trade market. But call me skeptical that these two guys can fix the Cubs. First Dusty has to actually play these guys on a regular basis, then these guys have to play at the top of thier ablility with no stumbling despite skipping a complete level. I don't understand why we push two guys with tons of ability onto the team when we have Grieve and Fontenot sitting in AAA.
2005-07-07T14:37:12.886-05:00After writing yesterdays comment I realized that some of those moves could be helpful this year. So today in the midst of another loss to the Braves I will try to get into more detail on these trades.
This would leave a lineup like this:
This lineup is good because it would help the Cubs in the future as long as in the present. The problem would remain on the bench. As currently constructed it would have Holly, Perez, Macias, Perez, McCann, and Hairston. This could be fixed by exchanging McCann for Grieve and Fontenot for Macias.
Oh well, all these ideas are nothing more than pipe dreams I guess. But I don't see how this would be any worse than the team as currently constructed.
2005-07-06T13:33:03.193-05:00Now this is not to say that I am giving up on the Cubs because it is more than possible for the Cubs pitchers to real off a run of 2-3 good starts each helping the cubs to go something like 15-5. Nomar then comes off the DL, Lee gets fully healed, and Hendry makes a trade for Adam Dunn and Ryan Freel. This is a post born out of the depression of being a Cubs fan after last week. We can't buy a hit, Maddux is looking his age, and D-Lee coming out of the game last night scares the crap out of me. So if we do become sellers who do we sell? I don't think this team would go into full rebuild mode, just a wait 'till next year thing.Todd Walker: There are numerous teams that would love to have Todd on thier team. The Twins, Yankees, Padres, and Mets all are looking for a 2nd baseman. Todd is one of the top offensive secondbasemen in the league, and a good prospects or two could be obtained for him.Jerry Hairston: The same teams that want Todd would also want Jerry. Jerry's problem is that we are stockpiled with second base prospects in the minors including Mike Fontenot who should get the bulk of playing time if the Cubs start looking to next year.Jeromy Burnitz: A good defender, league average corner outfielder, not signed long term. I love him as a player but guys like him are not hard to come by and he could get a good prospect in return. Teams that might want Jeromy include Atlanta, Washington, Flordia, and LAA.Michael Barrett: A quality backstop. I would not be adverse to keeping him around but if the right offer came I don't think I would shed a tear. Teams that might want Michael are Texas, Arizona, and LA.Todd Hoddandsworth: A quality bench player to any team that wants him. He has been on a tear lately and could help a contending team. Any team in contention could realisticly want ToddKerry Wood: Good arm in a market that dosn't have many of those. He could get far more than he is actually worth. Teams in need, NY, Baltimore, Boston, Texas, LAA, LA, Atlanta.Glendon Rush: A good bullpen arm and he can start. Who dosn't need that? Boston, NY (both), Atlanta, et. Ryan Dempster, Mike Remlinger, Roberto Novoa: Bullpen help, everyone needs bullpen help. Can anyone else see Boston picking up Remlinger, using him correctly and seeing great Atlanta-like results? Yeah, me too.But who do we bring up? Who do we get in these deals? We plan on contending next year, right? Yes of course we do. So I recomend getting MLB ready players over higher ceiling prospects. Players in specific are:Austen Kearns: If Burnitz and Holly are gone it would be worth the time to stick Kearns out in a corner for the rest of the year. Just in case you havn't noticed he is tearing it up in AAA since he was sent down.Adam Dunn: Good now, will continue to be good for years to come. Love him.Carlos Quentin/ Conor Jackson: Studs pain and simple. They would take a lot (especially Carlos) but they will hit in the majors, no question.Yusmeiro Petit: Good Arm to add to the growing pile.Ian Kinsler: Young stud SS from Texas, I love Cedeno as much as anyone but he could be a flash in the pan.Brian McCann: The Cubs don't have much in terms of top flight catching prospects. This would solve that need.And of course play the youngsters, I don't know if Dusty could do this but it has to be done. Cedeno, Dubois, and Fontenot need to play daily. Hill, and Williams, need to pitch regularly. I don't know if it matters that Dusty dosn't like youngsters because he would most likey get the boot if the Cubs fall out this early, so thats something at least. One last thing, notice that Corey is not in that list. If we are out of it we might as well let him try and figure things out the rest of the year. There is no point in trading him at his lowest value i[...]
2005-07-05T14:52:48.440-05:00So for the past two games the Cubs have had the ideal linup. Jerry leading off and getting on base, Walker hitting second, right in front of my personal baseball god. So what happens, Walker hits everything right at someone, and Lee for the first time all season goes cold. Thats perfect. Damn near every member of the CBA has been begging for this lineup and now that it happened Dusty is bound to take it apart due to a few bad days.
So the Cubs are facing a flame throwing youngster today just the type of player that an aggresive team like the Cubs usually pound. Lets get back to .500.
2005-07-04T18:00:43.546-05:00This has to be the story that has blown my mind for the year and I don't seem to see a thing about it on TV or the large internet outlets. Justin Verlander is starting today for the Detroit Tigers. Justin Verlander has started just two games at AA ball. Last year he was drafted out of Old Dominion where he was good yet unspectacular. There are prospects that are rushed to the majors and then there is Justin Verlander who must have gotten his hands on some incriminating pictures of Dave Dombrowski . This must be the last stand of the '05 Detroit Tigers.
2005-07-03T10:11:52.016-05:00Just so you know, if anyone asks you to be in thier wedding party RUN! I just got done with that "honor" yesterday. I had to do the rent a tux, do the toast, and make nice to a bunch of people I may never see again. All because this guy is my brother. On to the Cubs.
Come on people we should not loose this many games to the damn Nats.
2005-06-30T12:06:40.080-05:00Replace Aramis, of course not, but I may be on to something here so stick with me. I say this as I look over available players and compare them to what the Cubs need. What the Cubs need are players to man center and left hopefully hitting leadoff but if you look out at the market there are very few decent players at those positions to be had this year. So what I suggest is taking players from third base and sticking them in both spots.
2005-06-28T21:40:11.996-05:00Recently I was at the library and ran across a copy of the 2001 Baseball Prospectus. The most interesting section I found was the Top 40 prospect list. The list started with Ryan Anderson and included such luminaries as Jose Ortiz, Antonio Perez, and Luis Rivas. Left off the list were Josh Beckett, Milton Bradley, and Aubrey Huff. Albert Pujols holds the lofty and prestigous 23rd spot on the list.
2005-06-27T17:03:56.773-05:00A rumor on FOXSports.com today states that Mark Teixeira may not be in the Rangers long term plans. To this I say "What the F*#@!" Mark Teixeira, this Mark Teixeira, the Mark Teixeira that should be starting the All-Star game for the American League at the age of 25. Is there a way for the Cubs to get this guy? I would give up a ton for him, say Pie/Hill/Mitre. If the Rangers are serious about this year maybe Wood/Mitre. I don't know if Teixeira can play the outfield, but to get his bat in the lineup I would put up with some fairly heinous defense. I may even like Mark Teixeira more than Adam Dunn.
2005-06-27T12:19:54.586-05:00With the return of Prior yesterday and Wood starting on Wednesday the Cubs now have seven pitchers that are at least semi-capable starters. This is a great thing to have at this point in the season. A quick run down of teams in need of pitching Texas, Baltimore, Atlanta, LA Angels, and Detroit (Do they still think they are in a race). There have to be hundreds of possible trades that could be done. Williams to Texas for Dellucci, Rush to Baltimore for Gomez and Newhan, Mitre and Wellemeyer to Atlanta for Furcal, Williams to LAA for Figgins. This is a great problem to have and the possible trades increase if the Cubs choose to put Wood on the market. When Colorado is being looked to for pitching help, a guy like Kerry could really get some good players in return. I somtimes blame Hendry for not having good bench players and bad bullpens but he deserves some praise for having this kind of depth for the rotation.
2005-06-26T17:31:35.676-05:00Still no action on the trade front but at least things are looking up. I love this time of year with all of the trade rumors.
Here's to hoping that a big trade comes this week that will turn the Cubs into a juggernaut. If not than maybe we can just have a winning week.
2005-06-24T16:53:52.480-05:00Throughout my blogging I normally speculate on trades that involve players I don't think the Cubs need, or want. Sergio Mitre is a solid young player but lets face it, no team is giving up a great player for him. Today I say we might benifit from trading a player we DO use and one that isn't bad. I think it might be a good idea to trade a good player, today I say that we trade away Todd Walker.
2005-06-22T17:08:40.333-05:00The Cubs have some very idetifible problems. CF, LF, SS, Bench, long relief. I am going to attempt to solve as many of these problems as possible with one huge ass trade, here we go.
2005-06-21T17:28:31.213-05:00An idea popped into my head while vacuming this morning. It is not a new idea, as it has been floating around the internet for a while, but it just makes so much sense for everyone involved. It goes like this. When Prior and Wood get back in the rotation we give Sergio Mitre to the Reds for Ryan Freel. Thats it, done, no money, no 2nd prospects. The Reds get a young cheap pitcher that won't give up homers at Great American Ballpark. The Cubs get a high OBP Centerfielder/leadoff man. I like to come up with some fun but out there trade ideas, but this is not one of them. Everyone wins.
2005-06-20T13:38:56.893-05:00Tampa Bay, oh god what a hole of a team! An owner that won't spend money, a General Manager that still has a job after ten years of losing, and a manager that doesn't want to be in Tampa anymore. Yes sir this team is a mess with no real chance of getting better. Maybe the Rays should take a lesson from the Cubs and build a park that people love and will come to no matter how bad the team is.
The problem with dealing with Tampa, as I noted in the Baez comment, is that Chuck Lamar asking price is always too high. There is not a single player on this roster that is worth a Pie, Murton, or Cedeno.