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Preview: White Flag Over Waveland

White Flag Over Waveland

Nothing beats a trade rumor and I am here to start them.

Updated: 2012-04-15T19:31:29.622-04:00




Looking 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[...]



I 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.
What do the Cubs need to look for next year? In my belief they need three things 1) Outfield help 2) Shortstop 3) bench help. Some may argue that the Cubs need pen help, which is true, but I don't see the pen now as bad just young and mismanaged. Anyway the best way to throw away money is to invest in bullpen arms. So how do I fix these problems here is my take.
  1. Buy Brian Giles I think that he could be a great number 2 hitter. OBP over 400 and an OPS over 900 all while playing in pitcher friendly Petco park. Try and trade for Adam Dunn. I know people have said this all year but I think that we could do it. It is my belief that prospects have become overvalued in this market and if the Reds want Rich Hill then give them Rich Hill. I believe the only prospect that the Cubs shouldn't trade at any cost is Matt Murton. Matt Murton gets the other outfield spot. I don't care if Giles or Murton playes centerfield but that is better than allowing a not ready yet player like Pie or a blackhole player like Patterson to man the spot.
  2. I don't know about this one. I woun't mind a third go with Nomar as long as Neifi is not the backup. I think all you have to realize with Nomar is that he is only going to play about 2/3 of the season so you need a good hitting backup. Also Nomar could be had for cheap once again and cheap is good. Looking at who else is out there is bleak Lugo, Furcal, and NEIFI! part duex.
  3. The bech is an often overlooked problem for the team. Look at how much this team plays its researves. Neifi played most of the season, Hairston played about half, and Holly is still starting games on occation. I would configure the bench thusly. Lugo, Craig, Fontenot, Blanco, and Sing.

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.

God I love this time of year.


The 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.
  • For all of the talk about trades the Cubs may be better without ever making a trade. Nomar is playing for Peoria today, Williamson is thumping AAA hitters, Woody looks to try his hand at the pen, and Rich Hill held his own as a starter yesterday. In a trade season that has teams considering Sidney Ponson, Jose Lima, Jeremy Affeldt, and Brett Boone as options this guys are great upgrades.
  • I swear to god I will wait outside of of Wrigley Field with a nine iron and a bottle of wiskey looking for Hendry's head if Adam Dunn goes to the Dodgers for Antionio Perez and Edwin Jackson. If the Reds are willing to trade him the Cubs could and should better that offer with say Mike Fontenot , Rickey Nolasco, and Jon Leicester.
  • I hear a lot of complaining about the bullpen but I don't think it is that bad. Admittidly it is not a shutdown pen but it is by no means terrable. I don't see anyone on the trade market that could massively improve the pen. (No Billy Wagner is not on the market.)
  • Speaking of the pen I suggest that the Cubs trade Ryan Dempster at the end of the year. I love the work he has done in the closer role but he will be overvalued in the offseason. With all of the young arms coming up Ryan Dempster could bring in a good prospect or two. Ryan has been good in the pen this year but he hasn't been great like Gagne, Lidge, Rivera, or Wagner.
  • Don't look now but Luis Montanez may not turn out to be a bust after all. He was recently promoted to AA West Tenn and is hitting .303/.361/.576 in 33ABs. Luis may not ever be more than a bench player for the Cubs but after last year did anyone think he would ever see the majors?
  • The Cubs could have a very young team next year. Cedeno, Murton, Pie, Hill, and Fontenot in addition to the sub-27 gang of Big Z, Prior, A-Ram, Mitre, and Williams.

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?)

If you can't beat him...


Austin 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.

Look West Mr. Hendry, Look West


It 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.
  • Milton Bradley (.298/.345/.511): I love this guy. I don't care about his bad temper, I don't care that he makes Gary Sheffield look sweeter than a Girl Scout holding a kitten. The man can play ball and that is all that matters. He is a very good defensive centerfielder, he runs the bases very well, he is willing to take a walk, and he kills the ball when he makes contact. Bradley would give us a bona-fide leadoff hitter, a vocal guy for the clubhouse, and as a side benefit Zambrano and Bradley would piss off Cardnal fans with their bad boy images. The Dodgers probably value him more than the Cubs do but I would be willing to give up Rich Hill and a second B level prospect.
  • Oscar Robles/Antiono Perez/Mike Edwards: How is it that the Dodgers can have these guys everywhere in their system but the Cubs continue to employ Jose Macias. Any one of these guys would be better than Macias. Hell the Cubs have guys in AA and AAA that would be better than Macias. My hope is that Fontenot gets called up in September and pushes Macias off the roster.

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.

Trade season kicks off


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:

  1. The Cubs get much improved versatility. Jody has played all outfield positions and would allow Dusty the ability to mix and match linups. A-Ram needs a day off, play Hairston at 3rd and Gerut in Center. D-Lee needs to rest the soulder against a righty, Holly can play first with Gerut in right. A platoon can be made for centerfield. I don't know how Dusty will handle the increased choices but it at least has the possabilty of being good.
  2. It allows the Cubs to get rid of Jose Macias. This one is a pipe dream because I am fairly sure that Greenburg or Grieve are going to be sent down but I like to dream. Jose would now become the 3rd option at both third base and second behind Hairston.
  3. The Cubs gain a usefull player without compromising thier major league club. Hendry loves to do this. He sends a player that is in the minors and not a top prospect anymore and sends them off for good players.

Lets hope this works out and that the right choices are made. God I love trade season!



I 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.
  • Rumors have sprouted up that the Cubs are thinking about trading for Juan Pierre (272/319/360). While I am not totally against this move I belive that people are putting far too much stock in it as a possible season saving trade. Most years Pierre is a very good player, the prototypical leadoff hitter. But this year his numbers have been only a slight bit better than Corey Patterson's were. Moreover I think that Jerry Hairston
    (264/348/392) is doing a more than capable job in center. If we are going to give up the farm for a player I sure hope we could net someone much better like Adam Dunn.
  • What the hell is the point of having Ronny Cedeno up in the big leagues if he isn't ever going to play. He isn't getting regular at-bats, something not good for a player so dependent on BA, and is playing not much better than Wison did.
  • God damn! Did anyone else gag when they read the headline from Phil Rogers article at ESPN "Patterson Gives Pie Time to Bake". Wow that is some genious title. I mean Felix Pie's last name is spelled like the pastry. This guy gets to vote for HOF, MVP, CY and all sorts of other awards?

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.

Sunday Quick Thoughts


To 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!
  • Welcome to the big leagues Adam Greenburg! Something makes me think that is not how he saw his MLB debut going. Damn.
  • WTF is wrong with Glendon Rush. Did moving him to the rotation and then back to the pen make him a worse reliver? Are more hits falling in agaist him or is it something actually wrong?
  • I know people complain about Hairston's defense in center but it would have to be a lot worse to make having him out of the linueup and leadoff a good thing.
  • I would guess that a Jerry Hairston for Jaque Jones deal is in the works. If it isn't it should be it just makes sense. Jerry covers 2nd for the Twins and Jones is moved to center for the Cubs.
  • Dusty said that Holly had to play today to avoid being rusty but he still refuses to start Cedeno. Hell Perez is much worse than Murton.
  • I will say it every day if it helps any but Mike Fontenot can help the Cubs. HE IS BETTER THAN MACIAS! I am not even sure why Greenburg was brought up instead of Mike.
  • What the hell is up with this new Home Run Derby format? No Pujols, Tejada, and Vlad. But Bay and Choi are participating. This is some of the great marketing ideas coming from MLB. This may not recieve as much pub but this is way worse than Spiderman on the bases.

The Quandry of Managers.


Like 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.
Old mangers have W-L records to work with but I wan't more than that, I want to know if they sac bunt a lot, if they like to play rookies, if they push starters to go long in games, if they know the importance of OBP and SLG, if they use the roster creatively. None of this is found in a record. Not to mention the hundreds of managers without useful records in the minors, college, bench coaches, pitching coaches ect. The people that tend to get lots of support on-line are guys like Steve Stone because we know a little bit about what he thinks. But Steve Stone as far as I know has never coached a game in his life, not exactly the type you want to hand the reigns of a team.
I think that this lack of information is what continues the merry-go-round of managers in pro sports. Fans and media can't second guess these moves very easily. Someone can say that the Yankees should have signed Vlad instead of Sheff because they have numbers, video, scout quotes. But to say that the Royals shouldn't have hired Buddy Bell is fruitless because there are no numbers besides W-L record and good managers can loose with bad teams. I would love for someone to gather better info on managers and if someone has it please tell me.

Why Stop Now?


If 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.
  • Mike Fontenot: (288/394/464) Now thats some OBP! And he plays 2b and 3b just like Jose Macias. This sounds like a quick and massive upgrade. Mike is 25 and has nothing else to prove in the minor leagues.
  • Geovany Soto: (261/384/344) Soto is an OBP machine and plays great defense behind the plate. That is one more thing than Blanco can do. I hated that contract when it was signed and I hate it more now.
  • Rich Hill: Stikeout machine all year long. I have a feeling that he could be more usefull than Mitre or Novoa. Hill took some effort to find today because he will be starting in Peoria due to Hurracaes in Flordia. We could see some massive K totals today.
  • Brandon Sing: (289/400/570) Power, he has it in spades. Patience, he will wait all week for the right pitch. Defense, did I mention the power. For a team that put up with Dubois Sing couldn't do much worse. And if D-Lee goes on the DL than I don't think we have a better option in the system to replace him.

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.

The Last Stand of The 2005 Cubs begins.


So 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.
I guess if anything this will provide some fun to watching the games. This past week I have had a hard time watching the Cubs due to the bad play but I always enjoy Ronny "Bones" Cedeno's AB's. I will have the same enjoyment watching Murton and Greenburg.
Here's hoping I am wrong about this move.

Now That I Think About It.


After 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.
  • I prospose trading Sergio Mitre and Todd Wellenmeyer to the Reds for Austen Kearns. Various other players could be included in this deal but I wouldn't go crazy.
  • Here is the big one, trade Kerry Wood and enough cash to cover the rest of his contract for the year to Arizona for Carlos Quenten. I don't know if this will happen due to Arizona's losing record and rebuilding mindset. But they don't have many good pitchers and their offseasn spending says that they want to win now so it isn't out of the realm of reality.
  • Jeromy Burnitz and Rickey Nolasco to Atlanta for Brian McCann. Atlanta is hard up in need of Corner OFs and always loves young pitchers. Any team still employing Brian Jordan might be willing to make this trade a reality.
  • Jason Dubois to Tampa for Danys Baez. I love the youngsters in the pen but I never really feel safe when starters come out of the game.

This would leave a lineup like this:

  1. Walker 2b
  2. Cedeno/Nomar SS
  3. Lee 1b
  4. Ramirez 3b
  5. Kearns RF
  6. Quenten LF
  7. Barrett C
  8. Patterson CF
  9. Pitcher

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.

Now This is Just Depressing.


Now 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[...]

Thats about right.


So 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.
  • Jason Dubois has been one heck of a letdown up to this point in the season. I wonder if it is time to switch him out with a player from the minor leagues. Hell, how about Ben Grieve up for Dubois, and Fontenot up for Macias.
  • Speaking of Fontenot, don't look now but that Sosa trade that looked a lot like a dump when it happened, is turning out in favor of the Cubs. Jerry is an OBP machine, and Fontenot is more than holding his own in Iowa. Mike could see a call-up when Hendry realizes that Macias is not qualified to hold a major league roster spot.
  • I think I have said this every day this month but this trade market sucks. There are not any teams hard up to make trades. Most teams have gotten their books in order these past few years.
  • Not to celebrate an injury to a player but this JD Drew injury could really help the Cubs if Paul Depodesta decides to call it a year. They have more than one player that would look very good in blue pinstripes including Milton Bradley, Olmedo Saenz, and Giovanni Carrara.

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.

Wierd Stuff in the All-Star City


This 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.
I would guess that in the next two weeks that they will make a white flag trade probably Polonco or White. They have very little the Cubs might want outside of Polonco. I expect to see more teams doing things of this sort in the next couple weeks.

Sunday Quick Thoughts


Just 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.
  • Sure enough Ronny Cendeno is riding pine in the big leagues. What is the point of all of this. If you bring up a top prospect he should play, because in all likelyhood they can. Damn Cubs
  • So MVLee went 3-4 yesterday and only got one RBI, that is the biggest reason why he will not win the tripple crown.
  • I truthfully think that Corey is trying to change, he is bunting more and taking more pitches, hell I even saw him watch strike three something I don't think he has ever done before. But can't he learn in the 8 spot.
  • This trade market this year sucks. No team is in desparate need to get rid of contracts, there are no great players about to hit the free-agent market on bad teams, and no teams looking to cut payroll. I believe Theo Epstein when he says that all big trades will happen at the deadline.
  • Am I wrong or did Jose Macias start a game last week that Jerry Hairston didn't. That should never happen.
  • What is the over/under on Rich Hill starting a game as a Cub. One month, one year, never?

Come on people we should not loose this many games to the damn Nats.

Cubs should look for third basemen.


Replace 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.

The two players I am targeting in this idea are Brandon Inge (299/384/464) and Morgan Ensberg (276/375/559). Brandon Inge has played 20 games in center and done a half decent job out there, additonally he is a leadoff hitter with a stunning OBP. I would love to put Todd Walker up in the top spot but the chance of that happening with Dusty on the bench are slim, Brandon solves that problem. Morgan is simply a player that would be a large upgrade in LF, although I don't think he has ever played out there it is not as if we are replacing Mike Cameron. If these trades did go through the Cubs lineup would look like this:

Inge CF (299/384/464) Right
Walker 2b (319/370/491) Left
Lee 1b (385/461/717) Right
Burnitz RF (276/332/483) Left
Ramirez 3b (296/357/555) Right
Ensberg LF (276/375/559) Right
Barrett C (265/302/455) Right
Perez SS (275/300/394) Switch

Now that is what I call a lineup. This would push Holly, Dubois, C-Patt to the bench (if they are not traded). Look at those OBPs at the top of the linup, and the SLG behind it. Perez may or may not be replaced with Nomar, or Cedeno but in the 8 hole he won't kill us as badly. These deals may not work out because neither has a huge salary that needs to be traded so both are going to take some real prospects in order to pull off and I think both teams still have delutions of contention so they may not be willing to deal until the deadline. But damn! look at that linup.

Suspect Prospects.


Recently 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.
Reading this made me realize that while I often feel all warm and fuzzy while looking at the West Tenn stats page, most of those guys will be no more than replacement players. In fact predicting which players will have solid careers is at best little more than an educated guess. I write and read posts every day that suggest trading various players in the Cubs system and I worry about giving up too much "God No! Not Cedeno and Nolasco for Austen Kearns." Yet I think five years ago that I might have said "God No! Not Ruben Quevedo and Bobby Hill for Ryan Klesko."

Rangers may be stupid, Cubs may be lucky


A rumor on 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.

Need Pitching? Call Cubs. Ask for Jim.


With 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.

Sunday Quick Thoughts


Still 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.
  • I love the work that Jerome Williams, Sergio Mitre, and Glendon Rush have done but thank god Prior and Wood are coming back this week. Mitre, Rush, Williams are all back of the rotation filler not anything more, this year at least.
  • Please no on the Ronny Cedeno for Preston Wilson trade.
  • I just don't see a trade for Adam Dunn happening. Damn!
  • I saw Corey Patterson walk on four pitches today. I damn near fainted.
  • Neifi Perez is killing the Cubs. Not only does he not get on base but he hits into far to many double plays (11). Corey at least has only hit into 2.
  • Why won't Oakland just die! They are now only 7 games out of the wild card and gaining fast. If they keep winning then Mark Kotsay will not be traded.

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.

Trade Todd Walker?


Throughout 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.

There are several teams in need of a good second baseman specifically the Yankees and Twins. In return for Todd we could get a solid player in return a Jacque Jones, Shannon Stewart, Lew Ford, or Gary Sheffield (other players would be needed). I think that Walker is replacable for a couple of reasons first is Jerry Hairston who is just rotting on the bench right now. Second is Mike Fontenot who is putting up some great numbers at AAA Iowa (296/409/489). Mike is patient, has some pop, and is cheap.

The Cubs are beginning to have a logjam of second base prospects with Richard Lewis, Eric Patterson, Ryan Theriot, and Buck Coats. With this kind of depth the Cubs better start to figure out if any of them can play at the major league level and Mike is first in line.

Blockbuster Deal: Can it happen?


The 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.

This would involve a three team deal involving the Cubs, Reds, and Twins.

Recieve: Adam Dunn
Ryan Freel
Nick Punto
Matt Belisle

Give: Jerry Hairston
Sergio Mitre
Ricky Nolasco
Mike Fontenot
Brandon Sing
Recieve: Sergio Mitre
Mike Fontenot
Ricky Nolasco
Matt Guerrier
Brandon Sing
Jesse Crain

Give: Adam Dunn
Ryan Freel
Joe Randa
Kent Mercker
Matt Belisle
Recieve: Jerry Hairston
Joe Randa
Kent Mercker

Give: Nick Punto
Matt Guerrier
Jesse Crain
I think I have everybody accounted for their. It looks like the Reds make out like bandits in this idea. The Cubs give up the most but get the most back in return. I admit to not knowing much about the Reds and Twins minor league systems so prospects of thier parts are limited. What do you think? How could this idea be improved? How is this idea flawed?

Ryan Freel: The Perfect Fit.


An 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.

Picking at the Carcass: Tampa Bay


Tampa 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.


  • Aubrey Huff (260/329/370) Huff is better than those numbers show. Slow, power guys don't tend to age well and this may be the start of his downtrend. He would be worth taking a chance on but is not worth a top prospect.
  • Carl Crawford (273/304/424) Carl will be a good player but not this year and that makes him a poor pickup for the Cubs. This guy is Corey Patterson redux.
  • Jonny Gomes (325/426/650) This guy is great and would be a good addtion to any team. I only think that we can get him because Chuck Lamar dosn't seem to like him. Look at those numbers and ask why has this guy been in the minors most of the year.
  • Damon Hollins (317/362/525) Damon is not as good as those numbers show. But if you are in the camp that is deparate to rid the Cubs of Corey Patterson than Hollins could help. Just don't act surprised when he regresses badly.


  • Julio Lugo (286/331/366) Not a bad option now that Neifi v2003 has returned. He runs well (16/3 SB/CS) and might not make a horrable leadoff hitter. When Hendry realizes that the Cubs need a better SS, He might look down to Tampa.
  • Nick Green (268/364/376) Nick gets on base and plays for near league min. How is it that Tampa finds a good cheap option at the backup 2b,3b position and the Cubs get Macias? Not a bad bench guy.
  • Alex S. Gonzalez (246/309/373) Been there, done that. No thanks.


  • Lance Carter (3.78 ERA 14K 9BB 6HR in 33.1 innings) Good ERA, Bad everything else. With a K/9 rate of 3.78 Lance won't keep his good ERA long. He is a risky pickup.
  • Danys Baez (3.34ERA 22K 17BB 2HR in29.2 innings) Not a bad pitcher, but don't get fooled into thinking Baez is a shut down closer because of his saves. He would be a solid arm in the pen but do not pay Chuck Lamar's kings ransom for him.
  • Casey Fossum (4.35ERA 53K 22BB 5HR in 51.2 innings) Casey is a good back of the rotation pitcher. The problem is that the Cubs have these guys in droves Rush, Mitre, Williams, Dempster, Hill ect.

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.