TCR Monday Notes

I was suppose to post this Friday night, but life got in the way the rest of the weekend...

- Arizona Phil does what only he can do...an amazing retrospective on how the 1969 Cubs were built and his memories of the season.

- Ryan Theriot is losing fans in the Cubs organization apparently by sticking to his $3.4M demands. Bruce Miles on the radio and Bruce Levine both saying that an arbitration hearing looks inevitable. It would be the first arbitration hearing in 17 years between the Cubs and a player (Mark Grace).

- Orlando Cabrera signs with the Reds on a 3 million deal for one year with a $1M buyout on a $3M mutual option in 2011.  They then acquired Aaron Miles from the A's for Wily Taveras and Adam Rosales. As long as they don't land Johny Damon...

(Interesting twist to this story, A's DFA Taveras immediately. Also, the A's are sending a PTBNL to the Reds as part of the deal).

- Reed Johnson was offered $800K by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

- Wezen Ball relates some interesting press quotes when Andre Dawson signed with the Cubs in 1987. There's been a bit of myth perpetuated that  Dawson was dead set to
play for the Cubs at any cost. But what really happened was that he was a victim of
collusion by the owners and the blank check story was a desperate plea to find a team for '87.  To his credit though, he was a man of his word and certainly didn't sulk over the low-ball contract offer.

"I didn't think they'd make an offer, because I thought they didn't want to be the first ones to sign a free agent," Dawson said yesterday. "But since they did, I'm man enough to stick by it.

I know I'll miss Montreal . . . but you gotta do what you gotta do. I don't want to say a move was overdue, but with the problems I had the last couple years . . . I had the same salary the last six years, and then they offer me a pay cut . . .

It got so that towards the end of the season some of my own teammates told me it would be best that I make a change."

- An interview with an author of a book on how the Cubs may have thrown the 1918 World Series.

- The Xavier Nady deal was made official Friday. The Cubs will be cautious with Nady in March and April though and he probably won't see much time in the field to start the season, much like Tyler Colvin did at the beginning of last season after his Tommy John surgery. I do wonder what that will do to the bench since it means Fukudome won't have a platoon partner. They could possibly put Baker out there, but that means either Fontenot plays against a lefty or Blanco. They could also carry an extra bat at least for the first two weeks as a 5th starter isn't due until April 18th.

Dr. Hecht has some good info on Nady's surgery and expected recovery in the comments.

- Jayson Stark says the Cubs prefer to sign a reliever such as Chan Ho Park or Kiki Calero, otherwise a trade with the Blue Jays for Jason Frasor or Scott Downs is a possibility.

- Jerry Crasnick tweets that Jermaine Dye essentially turned down the offer that Xavier Nady accepted.

- Today in Get off my Lawn with your Baseball Stats Articles.

Comments

Sunday, April 18, vs. Houston is when we'll need the fifth starter.

thanks...

Reds-"As long as they don't land Johny Damon..."

They could land Pujlos, ain't going to matter.

They could land Pujlos, ain't going to matter.

I agree Pujlos is probably not a good player, Albert Pujols though would make them the favorite in the Central, especially if he wasn't on the Cardinals anymore.

medical staff was incompetent back in the day

http://baseballmusings.com/?p=46254

According to JJ Putz, the Mets did not give him a proper psychical before they acquired him in a trade, then told him not to talk about his bone spur to the press.

throw in Beltran, Johan, Delgado, Reyes and so on...

The article on defensive metrics was pretty good. It would have been better if his shining examples of how to do it right weren't also organizations that value OBP and defense...

I do think that by stacking these defensive improvements next to eachother (CF-LF and 3B-SS) the sum is going to be less than the totals of the parts for the Sox.

speaking of defensive metrics, thought this was an interesting idea to a newish approach...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

It certainly attempts to address some of the concerns. I would actually like to see fielding preference worked in there, somehow. Since the corner guys get and pitchers shot at the ball before the Middle infielders it seems like that should be incorporated into any model. I'll have to encourage them to look at it over there.

If this goes to arbitration, Theriot will lose $$ as well as fans. I like Theriot in that he plays hard and gives all he's got. I just don't see him as being worth $3.4 million. I hope both sides will come to an agreement for something under $3 mil. If not, I like the Cubs chances in this one.

If I'm Ryan Theriot, I agrue that I've put up numbers very similar to Phil Rizzuto at this age. And he's in the Hall of Fame.

Phil Rizzuto may not qualify as a contemporary

Theriot should counter that Rizzuto was underappreciated by his contemporaries as well. He never got more than 38% of the BBWAA vote. Didn't get in until 1994 when his brilliance became clearer, 38 years after he retired.

Don't let those bastards underpay me, I'm HoF material!

he's gonna be wasting a lot of time arguing anything about Phil Rizzuto...

These hearing are a high/low affair. Each side will have an hour to argue their side, and 30 minutes to rebut what the other side has to say. However there are a few rules guiding what kind of argument can be made. These include:

• The Players contribution to the team in terms of leadership as well as performance
• The Club’s record and its attendance
• Any of the players special accomplishments IE Golden Gloves, All Star appearance
• The salaries of comparable players in the players service class, and of players with less than five years of service, and the salaries of the players from one class in front of the player

The sides cannot reference other offers already made, salaries of players in a different sport, team finances, or statements from the press.

After the arguments are heard the panel gives the player a one year non-guaranteed contract at either the high figure or the low. If that player is cut within 16 days of the season opener he is entitled to just 30 days termination pay. If he is cut during spring training, but after 16 days before the season opener he is entitled to 45 days termination pay.

http://www.examiner.com/x-2566-Sports-Busines...

I was joking, but the arbitration criteria is interesting.

e.g., What are the salaries of comparable players?

~edit~ oops, I see we have one, Stephen Drew.

Any of the players special accomplishments IE Golden Gloves, All Star appearance

Golden gloves? The player has to know how to box?

When asking for money, it never hurts that the other party thinks you know how to throw a mean hook.

as AZ Phil pointed out, Stephen Drew just got $3.4M from the Dbacks, he'll need to argue that he's been as good or close to as good than that.

Theriot has more hits, runs scored, OBP, BA and stolen bases then Drew in similar number of PA's, but lower OPS, OPS+, home runs, rbi's, and xbh's.

Assuming they won't get into anything too advanced, they have the same fielding percentage. If Theriot can convince them of UZR, he'll get a boost there.

Theriot actually has a decent case. Drew has 5.7 career wins by WAR, Theriot 9.3 (or 6.5 WARP1 to 9.0 WARP1)

Interesting. Also, this:

"The Players contribution to the team in terms of leadership as well as performance"

I had no idea about that clause. How do you quantify leadership in specific dollars and cents? Does scrappiness count?

get some quotes from players or managers I would guess...

probably one of the reasons teams don't like going to arbitration because of the negative stuff that can come out of it.

Like a 2 minute video of Theriot's baserunning gaffs to the sound of The Sting's theme song?

More like "Yakety Sax", better known as the Benny Hill theme.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

Oh man, I would pay money to watch Theriot baserunning gaffe's to the benny hill theme. That and caught stealing.

Gold.

A's DFA Taveras right after making trade.

be pretty amusing if Reds then DFA Aaron Miles...

they also DFA'd Dana Eveland to make room for signing Gabe Gross.

"be pretty amusing if Reds then DFA Aaron Miles..."

Over Dusty's dead body.

I like Dana Eveland. His big league numbers are pretty awful, but he's still just a 26 year old lefty with some good stuff.

Had some injury issues throughout his AA and AAA years. I don't think this team has the space to let another youngster figure it out, but somebody just might get him for a steal.

I was thinking the same thing. I am sure someone will pick him up. Hopefully not us, though.

I was looking at Michael "In Lou's Doghouse and GONE for No Apparent Reason" Wuertz's Baseball Reference page. And lo and behold the pitcher most similar to him... Kiko Calero.

Oh the irony!

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/w...

any interest as a 5th outfielder?

nothing more than defense and speed, but that's one more thing than Gathright had going for him.

PASSSSSSSSSSS

your other options are Sam Fuld or Tyler Colvin...

since the 5th outfielder isn't the place to try and develop someone, I don't think Colvin is really a good option.

I would take Fuld over Taveras myself but was wondering what others thought.

Fuld.

Let Colvin hit in Iowa until we find significant playing time for him or can get value for him in a trade.

I'd probably prefer Taveras. I don't have any faith that Fuld can stay healthy and Taveras is a better defender and probably a better base stealer, and can get hits out of sac bunts if his legs are right.

Tevaras is a month younger than Fuld, too.

Fuld

Costs being equal, Taveras just seems like a better fit for the team and the role.

But he'll probably be looking for at least a 4th OF job, though I guess there aren't many of those left now.

Taveras is probably looking for a starting job, but he's not gonna get that either.

He wouldn't exactly be stuck behind Ruth,Mantle and Williams with the Cubs.

agree about taking a flyer on taveras.

Have read 'The Original Curse' based on the premise that the 1918 WS was crooked. It's well-written & makes a good circumstantial case that the Cubs were screwed long before the billy goat was booted from WF. It would make a good read between now & the arrival of P's & C's at Phil's place...

Cubs sniffing around Kris Benson, according to the latest rumors from The Pope over at Foxsports.com

They are probably just sniffing around his wife, and he happens to be in the same place... Yikes!!

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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 40 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 48 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 5 hours 21 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 7 hours 24 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 16 hours 27 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 17 hours 9 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 17 hours 20 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 17 hours 27 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 17 hours 30 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 17 hours 41 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 47 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 18 hours 3 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 18 hours 4 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 20 hours 55 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 23 hours 27 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 1 day 19 sec ago view