Arbitration and a Rumor

Carlos Zambrano, Will Ohman and Mark Prior Filed for Arbitration at the Deadline…. Jacque Jones to the Pirates?

Carlos Zambrano, Will Ohman and Mark Prior were among 106 players that filed for salary arbitration before the deadline on Friday. Wednesday is the date set for players and their teams to exchange salary figures. Players and teams can negotiate until a hearing date is set and the hearings are scheduled to take place February 1 – February 20.

According to a report from Phil Rogers in the Chicago Tribune Sunday morning, “if the Cubs are going to make a Jacque Jones trade before spring training, it probably will be with Pittsburgh.”….

First, the rest on Jacque Jones…. Jones has been rumored to have asked to be traded from the Cubs, a rumor that was denied on Cubs.com but several of the mainstream media outlets in Chicago and in the national media have repeated his request for the past several months. Ken Rosenthal mentioned the Cubs’ interest in moving Jones twice last week, in two different reports. Then on Sunday Phil Rogers mentioned Jones to the Pirates for either Chris Duffy or Nate McLouth. Trades within a division are very rare nowadays but this is not the first time a rumor of Jones to the Pirates has surfaced.

Chris Duffy is an interesting name. After the first half of 2006, Duffy’s numbers were beyond pedestrian (.194/.255/.276) but his second half numbers were more respectable (.282/.345/.366) and he struck out 71 times, walked just 19 in 314 at bats. Duffy has just 123 big league games under his belt and 440 at bats.

Nate McLouth has played just 147 games over the last 2 seasons with the Pirates and his career .296 OBP, 79 strikeouts and 21 walks in 379 at bats speak volumes. Both players are lefties but either player alone would not be enough for a player with the contract and experience that Jacque Jones can bring to the table.

Chris Duffy’s Stats from MLB.com
Nate McLouth’s Stats from MLB.com

More on Arbitration

Carlos Zambrano made $6.5 million in 2006 and will look to receive a hefty raise for 2007. Most think Zambrano could hit the $12 million dollar mark through arbitration. Several reports have indicated the Cubs are looking to lock-up Zambrano before he hits the free-agent market at the end of the 2007 season.

Will Ohman almost went to arbitration last season and several reports have indicated he is looking to hit the million-dollar mark in 2007.

Mark Prior on the other hand is hard to forecast at this point. Prior made $3.65 million in 2006 and could receive as much as a 20% pay cut. Prior’s status for the season is unknown and after just 9 starts with a 1-6 record, a 7.21 ERA (38 k’s, 28 walks) and 46 hits in 43 2/3 innings if he and the Cubs in fact end up going to arbitration….the right-hander might have little if no case for a raise.

Mark Prior’s Stats from MLB.com

Complete Arbitration List

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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