Bad News/Good News - Peter's Been Robbed/Paul's Been Paid

Paul Sullivan had a piece in the Tribune on the Fourth of July that noted the heavy lifting being done in Chicago by players who started the season in Iowa. It got me to thinking...

Pending any roster impact that Geovany Soto's obliqueness might have, over half of the Cubs' current 25 man roster came to the NL Central via the PCL American North. Granted, not all of the baker's dozen were original signees of the organization, but each of the 13 have logged significant time in Des Moines on their ways up.

Collectively, you'd have to say that they've contributed more than their fair share to this point of a teeter-totter season. Put another way, the Cubs are getting more than their money's worth from this bunch. If the same could be said for the rest of the bloated payroll, well...

Please stand when I call your name. Hold your applause until the whole group has been recognized:

1. Jake Fox - A poor man's Jim Thome?

2. Micah Hoffpauir - A poorer man's Jake Fox?

3. Ryan Theriot - Left Des Moines a few years ago and never looked back.

4. Andres Blanco - A small-baller who might be more appreciated and less of a luxury on a team where the big guns were firing properly.

5. Mike Fontenot - Are his best days in the big leagues already behind him?

6. Carlos Marmol - Wish he'd stop racking up starter's pitch counts in short relief.

7. Angel Guzman - Seems finally to be carving a niche. Could it be the Greggles he sports?

8. Jeff Samardzija - Stretch and shrink, stretch and shrink - if it's not good for fabrics...

9. Kevin Hart - Every good team's gotta have one, right?

10. Sean Marshall - Actually has only logged brief time here & that as a rehabber, but he did come through the system.

11. Randy Wells - As many wins as the $18 million dollar man-child without the seizures.

12.Koyie Hill - Stats compare favorably with MB's, unfortunately.

13.Geovany Soto - Not exactly a contender for sophomore of the year, but starting to come around. Fingers crossed on the "mild strain".

HONORABLE MENTION: Bobby Scales, Jose Ascanio and Sam Fuld.

In the last couple of years the Cubs have gotten damn good mileage out of their Triple A callups. Last year the "made guys" in the majors also did their jobs, at least in the regularly scheduled portion of the season. There's half a year remaining for them to kick in their share in '09. If they don't, well, Piniella won't have to worry about snapping [or extending] his October winlessness...MW

Comments

Gotta say I like the point about Samja stretching and shrinking.

At this point I think you just need to accept him for what he is. Put him in short relief and let him be.

Better to have a good reliever than a bad/injured starter/reliever. IMHO

Simple question, maybe the answer is not so simple:

If the Cubs released Milton Bradley tomorrow, would they be off the hook for 2011?

The $4 million signing bonus has been spent already. They would pay $11.5 million for the rest of this year and next year, but save $12 million the following year.

Bradley's role would be assumed by three cheapies, Fox, Hoffpauir and Fuld.

Unpleasant experience, but how you deal with a malignancy.

Is Samardzija a bad starter? 5-3, 3.72 ERA, 53K/20BB at Iowa in 13 games, 12 starts.

I mean, for this season, sure he's gonna be a bullpen guy, but can they rule out him getting in the rotation? Maybe the future closer?

DB,

I'm afraid it's just another example of "Square peg/round hole" that the Cubs love to play with their prospects.

Samja is really a 1 1/2 pitch pitcher at this point. Perfectly acceptable in a shortman role. However not something that an MLB starter will be able to get by with.

Unfortunately the Cubs, will force him into a starters role. Most likely to justify the fact that they gave him a huge $ signing bonus.

If his name was Julio Santiago instead of Jeff Samardzija would this even be an issue with management?

This is all not to mention Von Joshua & the magic fuzz machine...

Dr. AB - I love Julio Santiago! And your point is well-taken...

You know how sometimes you buy something, say a new wardrobe piece, and later realize it's just not you, but you're too proud to admit it so you keep trying to fit it in & you end up walking around looking like somebody you're not? At first people snicker behind your back & then they start booing! The Cubs have spent themselves into the corner of having to keep wearing nasty looking outfits like AS & MB...fashion is too trendy for long-term contracts

Nice change of pace from the reputation this organization otherwise has earned. Even a former All Star and a few guys with AS potential on the list.

Rob, I don't know how that "latest results" gadget works, but the Cubs are 3 games out, not 3.5 out.

We need all the help we can get here.

not sure where it's pulling its info from, but I'm sure it'll fix itself...hopefully.

Its fixed! The world is now a better place.

Sullivan reporting that Soto's MRI showed some damage to the oblique, and that we will be out at least through the all-star break. The hits just keep on coming....

Plus, we don't play any games in California until mid-August, which I presume is the next time Soto will be able to fill his prescription.

I'm sure he can do just fine in Chicago.

Also not to mention Casey McGehee's work in Milwaukee, Ronnie Cedeno's roster-filling in Seattle, Felix the Cat's late-inning defensiveness and/or Rich Hill's capriciousness [or the former I-Cub media relations director's front office work] in Baltimore...

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 9:20am.
Simple question, maybe the answer is not so simple:

If the Cubs released Milton Bradley tomorrow, would they be off the hook for 2011?

The $4 million signing bonus has been spent already. They would pay $11.5 million for the rest of this year and next year, but save $12 million the following year.

Bradley's role would be assumed by three cheapies, Fox, Hoffpauir and Fuld.

Unpleasant experience, but how you deal with a malignancy.

=============================================

COUSIN: If the Cubs were to release Milton Bradley now, they would be on the hook for the balance of Bradley's contract at least through 2010 minus the MLB minimum salary (pro-rated in 2009, then $400K in 2010) that would be paid by whatever team signs him after he gets released.

However, the 2011 vesting option becomes guaranteed as soon as Bradley plays in 75 MLB games in 2009 (and he's played in 68 games so far, so seven more games played and the 2011 option will vest), regardless of whether all 75 are played with the Cubs or a combination of the Cubs and some other team after he gets released, so meeting the 2011 vesting option is almost a given unless he suffers a season-ending injury in the next few days before he has a chance to play in 75 games.

So if the Cubs were to release Bradley now, and he signs with another club and plays in 75 games in 2009 (thereby causing the 2011 option to vest), the Cubs would APPEAR to save about $1M through 2011 (about $200K in 2009, then $400K in 2010 and $400K in 2011), except Bradley's slot on the 25-man roster would be taken by another player making at least the MLB minimum salary (or a bit more) like Jake Fox or Micah Hoffpauir, so the Cubs actually wouldn't save anything by releasing Bradley. And if he were to decide to not play in 2010 and 2011, the Cubs would owe 100% of his salary in both of those seasons PLUS the salary of whatever player ends up replacing him on the 25-man roster.

Therefore, the most-likely way the Cubs will move Bradley (if they do) would be via trade, probably to an A. L. club like Texas, Seattle or Detroit where he can DH, with the Cubs either taking back some equally unatractive high-end contract (like Nate Robertson or Dontrelle Willis from DET or Carlos Silva from SEA), or else with the Cubs paying a significant portion of Bradley's remaining salary in 2009-11.

Thanks, Phil.

Looking for a loophole . . . Oh, well, I guess we'll just have to teach that guy how to play baseball. The only thing he seems to be good at is helping the ump call balls and strikes.

By the way, I wrote a letter to MLB's game-records dept., suggesting they change the last out in yesterday's game to a called-third strike, since by the time Bradley swung at the pitch the game was over.

Might as well keep him.

I was always a proponent of signing Milton in years past.

However I was veihmently opposed to giving him 3/30. Guys like him are always best to have in contract years with heavy player motivation.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 47 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 15 hours 53 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 16 hours 36 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 16 hours 47 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 16 hours 53 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 16 hours 57 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 17 hours 8 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 17 hours 14 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 17 hours 29 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 17 hours 30 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 20 hours 21 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 22 hours 54 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 23 hours 26 min ago view