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.

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  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 5 min 43 sec ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 6 min 21 sec ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 12 min 48 sec ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 16 min 20 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 19 min 56 sec ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 28 min 52 sec ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 30 min 44 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 36 min 30 sec ago view
  • QuietMan 44 min 28 sec ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 27 min ago view