Gorzelanny Still on the Block? … and Other Cubs News and Notes

With 30 days before pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park, the Cubs off-season does not appear to be over. The Cubs caravan kicked-off on Wednesday, which led to plenty of news … and of course a trade rumor.

The Cubs avoided arbitration with Koyie Hill on Wednesday by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $850,000. The Cubs have five arbitration eligible players unsigned: Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto, Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall and Matt Garza.

James Russell was added to the list of pitchers that will be competing for the fourth and fifth spots in Quade’s rotation. Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija, Casey Coleman, Randy Wells, Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny will be in the mix.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, “numerous teams have contacted the Cubs about Gorzelanny’s availability.” Tom Gorzelanny could make upwards of $2 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility and his salary could put the Cubs over their budget.

In other news … the Cubs signed Reed Johnson to a minor league contract on Wednesday that includes a non-roster invite to big league camp. Johnson is expected to compete with Fernando Perez for Cubs’ fifth outfielder job.

Here is the update a day before the Cubs Convention gets underway at the Hilton Chicago …

The Fourth and Fifth Spots in the Rotation
The Cubs added a new name to the list for the last two spots in the rotation on Wednesday. James Russell will compete for one of the final two spots, along with Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Silva, Randy Wells, Casey Coleman and Tom Gorzelanny.

The Cubs have four lefties vying spots in the bullpen. As long as they remain healthy, Sean Marshall and John Grabow will break camp in the pen. Scott Maine is in the mix as well after his strong finish to the season … three strong options behind James Russell is what makes him an option for a spot in the rotation.

Russell was a starter in the minors before he excelled as a reliever in the Arizona fall League in 2009.

According to a report from the Daily Herald, Andrew Cashner and James Russell will leave for Arizona next week to prepare for Spring Training.

The competition for the fourth and fifth spots also “depends on who might be left after exploring other trades between now and camp” according to the Sun-Times.

Gorzelanny on the Block?
The Cubs need to trim payroll and according to Bruce Levine, that might be the reason Tom Gorzelanny appears to be available.

With the Cubs announcing James Russell will be stretched out this spring and compete for a starting job, it appears that Gorzelanny is being shopped.

Miscellanous Notes

  • Andrew Cashner said he wants to start and is preparing himself to earn a spot in the rotation … something the Cubs are hoping he will do.
  • Mike Quade dodged the Opening Day starter question and said it would be Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza taking the ball against the Pirates.
  • Quade said he could use a leadoff by committee … meaning Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt could see time at the top of the Cubs’ lineup.
  • Randy Wells admitted Wednesday that he “might have gotten a big head in 2010.” According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Wells got “caught up in a lot of stuff” and he admitted, “I maybe got too big for my britches.” Wells seems focused on winning a spot in the rotation and wants to stay with the Cubs … but if he does not end up in the Cubs’ rotation he knows there are “29 other teams.”
  • According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Tom Ricketts told Kerry Wood “that he could be a part of the organization for as long as he likes after his playing days are over.” Several outlets shot down reports that surfaced about Wood becoming a broadcaster after his baseball career is over.

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Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

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  • Kingdomusa

    Jim Hendry could have cut salary by not trading our only lefty in Gorzelanny. Hendry is clueless as a GM & its starting to to be contagious with our new owner. Gorzelanny is talented thats why other want him because they think Hendry is easy & stupid in his evaluations.

  • Bryan

    This is why Quade is the same ‘ol manager crap we’ve seen for years. So, “Mike Quade dodged the Opening Day starter question and said it would be Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza taking the ball against the Pirates.”

    How about him saying, “let’s see how everyone performs and competes in spring training, and we can assess and decide from there”.

    Stop this veteran “gimme status” BS.

    • paulcatanese

      Bryan, I posted this a couple of months ago about Quade. I think he will have the lineup for each game sent to him by JH,and thats who he will play.He is strictly a yes man. Spring training results will be decided by JH and he will decide who starts the first game. My odds on it will be Garza. And I agree with your post.

    • JedMosley

      So if Randy Wells had a great spring he’s your opening day starter? Give me a break. Quade know’s what he’s doing and Hendry’s not going to post his lineup every game. Quade’s going to play whoever gives him the best chance to win on that day, and as a Cub fan I would rather see them win than lose.

      • paulcatanese

        If Randy Wells does have a great spring and is the hottest of the pichers,why not?Where is it written that these guys get their spots because of their name? Isn’t the idea to play the best? I will reserve judgement on Quade until a further date,but don’t say that was all his idea to play the vets at the end of last season,I don’t buy it.The younger guys should have had ample opportunity to show what they could do. I fail to see that it was Quade’s decision to do that.JH all the way,period.

        • JedMosley

          That’s the thing, Garza, Dempster, and Zambrano are the best, and that’s why he made that comment. Maybe it was Quade’s idea to play the Vets or maybe it wasn’t, who knows. All I know is they won and it was finally enjoyable to watch the Cubs at the end of last year. Did we really lose that much by not playing Barney or Castillo at the end of the year? I don’t think so. All the other young guys weren’t ready.

          • The Maven

            How can you be so sure they weren’t ready? They never got a chance to play.

          • JedMosley

            They played a whole season in the minors….?? If they were ready they would have been called up like the other rooks. This isn’t a crazy JH move not bringing up the whole farm, every other team in the Majors doesn’t bring up minor leaguers until they are ready, not just the Cubs.

          • The Maven

            Wellington Castillo hits 13 Home Runs and has a Caught Stealing percentage of 39 and isn’t ready? Darwin Barney hits .299 and has a .970 fielding percentage (Castro: .950) and isn’t ready? Brad Snyder hits .308 with 25 Home Runs, 106 RBI’s, 19 stolem bases, and 7 outfield assists AND ISN’T READY??????????. What’s the definition of READY?

          • JedMosley

            The ones you mentioned were ready and that’s why they were called up….but do you really think those guys are the future of the Cubs? Wasn’t Snyder, 28 years old, a free agent and NOBODY signed him recently? Maybe I’m wrong on that. We have Soto and Castro at these guy’s positions. I felt like Barney was able to play enough and he showed that he is a major leaguer and he’s going to be on the roster and contribute this year. I just question when everybody says the young guys should have played at the end of last year who were they actually refering to? The 3 guys you just mentioned? I think guys like that could make a decent contribution in the future, but they’re not going to make or break this franchise. Like I’ve said before, If Jackson or McNutt or decent prospects like that were ready they should have played at the end of last year, but they weren’t.

          • The Maven

            Let’s see …. Sign Kerry Wood, trade for Garza, re-sign Koyie Hill, and sign Reed Johnson. Yep, that’s Hendry’s 3 or 4 moves. Save a place for me in Grant Park for the World Series celebration.

          • paulcatanese

            Kade,Paul again. give yourself a treat and look up the Maven’s articles on the Community site. I believe you can get it thru Archives. He had some brilliant topics on rookies and put me in my place more than once,His knowledge of the minors is exceptional.I enjoyed it and I think you will too.If you can’t find it drop him a post and ask.If I were more computer wise I could,but I am not. Hehas some very valid opinions.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Paul, I am planning to re-launch the CCO’s Community Blog right around the time pitchers and catchers. A link will be back on the main page. I took it down for a while, plus I have to load the new commenting system on that part of the site.

          • paulcatanese

            I think you missed the point.I responded to what you said. It dosent matter who starts the season for the Cubs IF he that starter was the best going into the season and thats the way it should be,not because they were starters last year. The year cannot be brought back,it is over. I still believe Quade did what was best for HIS future and not the best for the future. I have to believe also his playing the vets was not entirely his doing and upper management had everything to do with that. I agree it was enjoyable to watch them win but at what cost?They won no division and were going nowhere.What better time to find out what the future would bring with the young players? And I am a Cub fan.

          • JedMosley

            So IF Joe Blanton has a better spring that the big 4 in Philadelphia, he should start the opener? I’m not saying that Garza, Z, and Demp are anywhere near those guys but that would make no sense. IF Albert Pujols has a bad spring should he be sent to minors regardless of what he’s done in the past? These are pretty extreme examples but it’s used with that same logic. This is the MLB and no team opperates like that. I think the future of the Cubs, guys like McNutt or Jackson, not Castillo or Barney, weren’t ready, and if they were ready, I would have a problem if they didn’t play at the end of last year, but they weren’t ready yet. I absolutely believe Quade did what was best for him, he even said he was going to do things the way he wanted them done. We all know how the season ended up with him in charge, they won. In my opinion Quade played who he wanted to play and I don’t think management told him who to play, but everyone has their opinion. I believe you when you say you’re a cubs fan, and nothing would make us more happy than to see them win.

          • paulcatanese

            Yes a Cub fan since 1940,each and every year,and I am glad we can agree to dis-agree. Simply saying one dosent know if they do not have the opportunity and that would have been it .

      • paulcatanese

        Kade,an added comment.I was responding to your post. You stated above that “Quade’s going to play whoever gives him the best chance to win on that day”. That was what I was trying to say. If Quade truely believes the best will play it should not make any difference who it is as long as he is the best.And I am happy you are a Cub fan,thanks Kade.

        • JedMosley

          Thanks Paul, I enjoy talking about the Cubs with people who actually care about them

  • cubsklm

    Let’s see Gorzy is to expensive! But let’s give Hill a 150K raise because he is a critical cog to this team. LOL! You never have enough pitchers, especially lefties.

    • Mtnerfan

      Mostly agree, but someone has to catch…

      • paulcatanese

        “Put me in coach,I’m ready to play” I’m 76 and still think I could hit better than Hill.

  • studio179

    “The Cubs need to trim payroll…”

    Grabow is the lefty that’s too expensive. But that’s not news and he is not being moved. Add him on the list of a July deal if he performs well enough.

    • John_CC

      Agreed. Of all the worthless money being spent, the dollars – and roster spot – handed to Grabow is among the worst. How ridiculous is it that he is slated as one of the bullpen pitchers, after proving nothing more last year than he sucks!

      It doesn’t take a genius to see that Gorzelanny is way more valuable than Grabow. He can pitch out of the pen, he had good K rate last year and can start. He could be this year’s Sean Marshall, given the chance. It sure would be nice to have two left-handed strikeout pitchers in the pen. Plus Gorz is about half as expensive as Grabow. sigh.

      Swallow your pride, Jimbo, you will not die, it’s not poison.

  • Aaron

    First of all, I agree with all 3 of your posts above. They all touch on the fact that Hendry is so overmatched as a GM it’s not even funny.

    Baker: can ONLY hit lefties, and makes $1.5 million
    Hill: can’t hit anyone, and now makes $850,000

    In order to judge how much you truly can, you have to look at the MLB minimum of $415,000 (which is what I think it’ll be next year). Therefore, based on replacement cost, Baker essentially “earns” $1.1 million, and Hill “earns” about $425,000. Combined, they “earn” around $1.5 million. And given what Gorzelanny earned last year, it’s reasonable to suggest that he will be awarded anywhere between $2-3 million in arbitration. I’m pretty sure that, if he is smart about it and approaches Marmol and Marshall about long-term deals, he’d be able to easily fit Gorzelanny in the budget, and just go with Castillo and LeMahieu or some other prospect in place of Baker for the MLB minimum.

    But…..that’s NOT how Hendry operates. I’ve stated this several times before. You MUST look at what makes him tick to understand why he makes these dumbass moves, leaving you scratching your head, and wondering if our GM even has a brain. Throughout his career as a high school coach, then Creighton, then Florida in the player development department (which…btw, when he was with the Marlins, they had a crappy farm system…which should help put things into perspective) then the Cubs as director of player development, Assistant GM, then finally GM….the thing is, he NEVER earned it. Just look at his body of work.

    Normally, as a scouting director, in order to earn a promotion from there, you MUST actually have identified significant talent and brought them through to MLB…he never did. And I’ve already touched on his record as a Creighton coach, so I won’t bore you with details on that, but after the College World Series, he bolted, as he was an opportunist.

    Now think about this for a second….Hendry grew up in Florida and went to college nearby…he coaches high school ball there, then leaves for the Midwest with Creighton, reaches the World Series 8 years later and he bolts for the Marlins under Dave Dombrowski as the GM. If Hendry was so good, then why didn’t Dombrowski give him more responsibility with the Marlins? Fact is, he’s smarter than the Cubs, and knew Hendry hadn’t earned anything and let the Cubs hire him away.

    If you look at his decision-making as GM, it ALL relates back to his own career. He will dish out contracts to one-year wonders like you wouldn’t believe. He’ll keep veterans around that are more expensive than younger players who could actually produce far better than their older, expensive counterparts. The hiring of Quade is another excellent example of the type of hire/signing that Hendry likes to make. He would also rather go for a guy with rollercoaster-like stats throughout his career versus a consistent performer. My guess is that once he starts talking about consistency with any hire/signing, his own career would be scrutinized, and he’d be out of a job. The facts are in. In 9 years at the helm, Hendry and the Cubs have made the playoffs 3 times…(soon to be 10 years and 3 times), and all of this is despite having a top 3-5 payroll in nearly every season.

    Here’s their finishes within the division:
    5th
    1st
    3rd
    4th
    6th
    1st
    1st
    2nd
    5th

    That’s pretty pathetic with that type of payroll every year.

    But back to the main point. If he trades Gorzelanny, it weakens our rotation, unless Russell can somehow equal a 4.09 ERA, which is HIGHLY unlikely. We need a lefty, which gives us balance in the rotation. Almost every good team out there has one. Cardinals=Garcia, Brewers=Wolf, Reds=Chapman, Yankees=Pettitte (if he comes back), Red Sox=Lester, Rangers=Holland, Rays=Price, Twins=Liriano, Phillies=Lee, Hamels, Giants=Sanchez, Bumgarner

    Those are just about every team expected to be in the playoff races. But that’s my two cents

    • paul catanese

      Wow!!!

    • stormyweather

      You forgot about Sabathia with the stankees.

    • Gary J

      I agree with you on Russell surpassing a 4.09 ERA… unlikely. But Wells could pull it off as he;’s done it before. If they are talking Cashner as the #4, then Wells is the guy to beat in the competition for #5 I’d think. If last year for Wells was a combo of sophomore jinx in addition to “getting too big for his britches”… sounds like he’s motivated to show that 2010 was the fluke and not 2009.

  • The Maven

    Neil,
    Has a full list of all the players the Cubs have invited to spring training been posted yet?

    • Aaron

      I know you asked Neil, but I have the answer for you:
      http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/roster_nri.jsp?c_id=chc

      I don’t know why Brad Snyder isn’t showing up though…Also, keep in mind that most of the guys invited are career minor leaguers, meaning they’re nothing more than roster fillers in Spring Training in order to maintain the A and B squads. It is my understanding that while they sign the minor league contracts, it’s just a way of getting paid during Spring Training, and they can essentially sign with any team after they get cut.

      So the “minor league contract” really is nothing more than a “Spring Training contract”…it’s just that the contract can be voided if they suck or are injured during Spring Training from what I understand, and they most likely are due a minimal buy out of sorts, depending how the contract is written. There are difference types of contracts that include “minor league contract” in the headline. Some of them are like this:
      $750,000 if on 25-man roster out of Spring Training
      *otherwise, $25,000 per month in the minors

      $800,000 (MLB minimum) if on 25-man roster out of Spring Training
      *$150,000 buyout if not on roster (which is what I believe Bako received a few years ago)

      straight up MLB minimum if on roster, otherwise, it’s a mutual option to go to minors, and often times it will be at an increased rate from other AAA guys, such as the aforementioned $25k per month or a lesser value like $10-15k per month. This is why some players sign minor league contracts with teams they’re clearly blocked with, and you’re left scratching your head as to why they’d do that…and it’s because they’ve come to the realization that they might not ever get a full shot, so they’ll sign the deal that gives them the best money in the minors.

      At least this is how it was explained to me by a friend of mine as he was coming up through the White Sox system and later played in the MLB. But I might’ve gotten a few things mixed up, because he told me this like 10 years ago…hopefully this is accurate enough for everyone.

      As for the other players you see in Spring Training, almost every prospect not on the 40-man will technically be a NRI. So….guys like Vitters, Carpenter, Tony Thomas, Clevenger, Campana, Brett Jackson, Spencer, Flaherty, LeMahieu, Lake, Ridling, Burke, etc….They’ll all see time in Spring Training on either the A or B squads, depending on need, and if they perform well, it’s quite possible some of them might make the squad. So…what’s the difference you might ask? These guys are already under minor league contracts with the team. Unless you were on the 40-man roster prior to this year, and subsequently DFA’d, or a Rule 55 minor league free agent, you are under contract….so, “signed to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training” wouldn’t apply to these guys.

      Hopefully I made sense for you.

      • paulcatanese

        It seems that more players than fans will be at the convention……A message?.

      • The Maven

        Thanks Aaron!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      A complete list? No, not yet. The one Aaron linked to is just a partial. Minor League players like Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter and Josh Vitters should receive NRIs.

      Brad Snyder received a non-roster invite, and I would expect Polin Trinidad as well.

  • paul catanese

    JH has proven once again in zeroing in on an idea(his) in wanting to trade Gorzo and not Grabow who is an unknown at this point.He (JH) is like a hound dog tracking his wishes until it is done. Point is he is the one up the tree looking down.Even Scott Maine has more capability now than Grabow. Scott can bring it.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,I don’t know the sematics of all the blog sites,but I get the Bleacher Report sent to me. Number one, the site is okay until you get to the comments. They are tasteless and gross with the language and inuendos by some of the posters. I want to commend you on your site being clean and well policed. Your posters are well mannered and intelligent. I look forward to it every day,thank you and Tom for a great effort.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thanks Paul, that means a lot.

  • Gary J

    Someone please explain to me where trading Gorzo is such a bonehead move.

    He’s a lefty. I get it. But he’s not a particularly GOOD lefty.

    The post that Aaron made above about teams with lefties was a good point – but it’s not a necessity for good teams to have a lefty starter. Of the ones he listed, the majority of them are good pitchers in general but just have the additional distinction of being southpaws. Those teams aren’t starting the left just for the sake of having a lefty.

    This is a reclamation project that pitched decently last year, but if this guy was a righty he’d be out of baseball already. He had a 4.09 ERA last year – which isn’t horrible, but isn’t all that good either…. and his WHIP of nearly 1.5 (1.496) last year was horrid. He strikes out a nice amount of batters (7.9 k/9 last year… decent for a starter) but his walks were a problem (4.5 per 9).

    If it was a matter of him putting up solid stats consistently in his career, that’d be one thing, but his ERAs the previous two years were 6.66 and 5.55 (split that year was 5.19 with the Bucs and 5.63 with the Cubbies). The only commodity he has going for him that keeps him in the bigs is that he throws with an arm that the majority of others don’t.

    My view on Gorzo is that we shouldn’t be putting this guy into the rotation JUST because he’s a lefty. I’d much rather see the young righties battle it out.

    ….and if that’s the case, he’s more valuable as trade bait than a lefty in the pen. We have better lefties in the pen than him. He can rack up Ks – but that’s it.

    He’s still young enough at 28 to develop a bit more… but wouldn’t it make more sense to see if a 22 year old could develop and let the 28 year find out somewhere else?

    This to me is a SMART move by Hendry. It’s a classic sell high situation.

    There are moves I don’t agree with Hendry with – Koyie Hill being one of them (he’s a backup and you have two other serviceable backups with Max and Wellington… $850000 isn’t a high salary for an MLB player by any stretch… but he’s never going to develop into anything more than he is right now)

    This has the flavor of a move being opposed just because it’s Hendry making it… not because it’s truly foolish.

    And one other little note…

    I thought Quade saying it will “be Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza taking the ball against the Pirates” was actually kind of clever. You know he’s been asked the question 7,239 times this offseason (and counting) and you can only say “the final two spots will be decided in the spring” so many times. Getting on the guy JUST for this comment… apparently the lack of championships is wearing on some people :-)

  • Cheryl

    I just checked some of the prospects listed for positions the Cubs might need in the future. I’m sure Carlos Santana, a catcher, is probably out in terms of Cleveland, but what about Lonnie Chisenhall, a third baseman for them? The Minnesota Twins have Wilson Ramos, a catching prospect; and the Philadelphia Phillies have Cesar Hernandez at second base. What about any of these in possibe trades? Are they possibilities?

    • Vivid_Reality

      Wilson Ramos was traded to the Nationals last year for Matt Capps. As for LC we don’t really have anyone to trade that would command a top prospect. Unless you want to do a LC for Brett Jackson deal, which wouldn’t be enough anyway. As for CH, I dont really know anything about him.

      • Cheryl

        Thanks. The listing I saw was obviously out of date. I was thinking that if G. goes that hopefully we’d get someone to fill a need before the upcoming draft in June.

    • Aaron

      Yes, Santana is definitely NOT a possibility.

      Chisenhall though? I’m just joking here…but what are you smoking?!? LOL. Yes, he’s got power, but his stats are underwhelming at best. He’s got a terrible average, average OBP, and his defense sucks. He’s still just 21, but I’d rather give the job to Vitters or Flaherty than trade for him. Chisenhall also is one year away from needing Rule 5 protection, so it’d be doubtful they’d even want to make a move. If we wait until next year, we’d have the chance to select him for the Rule 5 fee of $50,000…but he’d never stick at the MLB level…not with his stats.

      Ramos isn’t going anywhere either, and frankly, I wouldn’t want him anyway, as I believe Castillo could at least equal his stats.

      My pipe dream of acquiring Brandon Belt, appears to be just that, as I read an article the other day that the Giants are talking as if he might break camp with them after just one season of pro ball under his belt.

      For 1B, I’d go after:
      Paul Goldschmidt 22 yrs old
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=goldsc001pau

      Brandon Belt 22 yrs old(pipe dream)
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=belt–001bra

      Chris Carter 23 yrs old in A’s organization
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=carter001ver

      Jerry Sands 22 yrs old
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=sands-002ger

      Brandon Allen 24 yrs old (doubtful D’Backs would trade him as he’s expected to be their starter next yr)
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=allen-002bra

      Kila Ka’aihue 26 yrs old (likely, given Hosmer and Butler already in organization)
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=kaaihu001mic

      ***Jared Clark 24 yrs old (watch out for this guy…while he’s old for A ball, his debut was in 2009, and he’s got VERY intriguing stats)
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=clark-001jar

      If we can’t sign AGON, Pujols, or Fielder next year, those are the guys I’d go all out for, as we don’t have anyone like them in our system

      • Cheryl

        Thanks Aaron, I figured that you’d have more up-to-date information. Also, if G is traded, he’ll probably get some prospects. Someone said Henry is known for getting people thrown in on a trade. Clark and Goldschmidt sound intriguing. But I’m not as up on the minor league guys as you are.

      • Gary J

        Kila Ka’aihue is an interesting thought – after struggling with his first taste last year he finished strong.

      • Dorasaga

        Kaaihue is possible an offseason ago (November of 2009), when the Royals were still not admitting that they had a wrong direction and should rebuild from within. Kaaihue wasn’t given regular at-bats on the Major level, and he was assigned back to triple-A due to a disinterest of the organizational strategy to OBP but more concern of batting average.

        Anyway, now that the Royals are going cheap and rebuiding (finally, I guess), they might just keep the Hawaiian on-base machine a while longer.

    • The Maven

      The Cubs currently have a glut of middle infielders in the farm system. That may not really matter, since they never seem to want to promote their own prospects anyway.

  • drodd

    I think I heard last year that Wells went out a lot. Was there something more than that?

    • studio179

      Staying out late having fun the night before you pitch is never a good idea.

  • Gary J

    in addition to the one above… Grabow on the other hand does have a history of success as a lefty… although 2010 was abominable. Absolutely dreadful. Puke inducing.

    But that said – apparently the news on him this offseason was that he pitched hurt last year and this year he’s back to 100%. I reserve judgement there.

    But the odds of him coming back strong this year are better than Gorzo suddenly getting his ERA under 4 and his Whip under 1.3.

    And as trade bait… as a GM I wouldn’t touch Grabow as a trade candidate. Too high a salary coming off a 7 era? Not a chance. If he produces in the first couple of months – OK – as a GM I’d take a shot. But now? Nope.

    So to me another reason not to jump Hendry… because I’d find it hard to believe he’d find any takers even if giving him away for free. Not until he proves last year was injury issues and that he’s past it.

    • John_CC

      Gary, you say the odds of Gorzo suddenly getting his ERA under 4 and WHIP under 1.30 aren’t good. Funny thing is, Grabow’s career ERA is 4.24 and WHIP is 1.46. Pretty atrocious numbers for a career reliever. So yeah, he pitched with an injury last year was worse than he usually is, but even if fully healthy and with a true Cub “bounce back” season, the odds of him getting his ERA under 4.00 and his WHIP anywhere near respectable are not good. Not good at all.

      • Gary J

        Those career numbers are skewed by last year’s numbers… the previous two years were ERAs of 2.84 and 3.36 and WHIPs of 1.276 and (a pretty bad) 1.410… but the partial WHIP that year with the Cubs after being acquired was 1.24

        My point there though is that with his 2010 numbers and current salary (coming off the books next year) I wouldn’t trade for him as a GM until he proves he’s the pitcher from 2008 and 2009 instead of the can of gasoline being poured on the fire version of last year.

        • John_CC

          I understand, Gary, and agree with you. Grabow is utterly un-tradable.

          I am not fawning on Gorzelanny, my point is I don’t think it is realistic to say that the odds are better of Grabow coming back stronger than Gorzo.

          In the four seasons preceding the 2 you mention, only once did he hold his ERA below 4.2. He had one good year in 2008.

          He’s a bum. Gorzelanny is cheaper, by millions $$ and better. But alas, Hendry tied his hands with another bloated, ridiculous contract based on one good season.

    • Alan M

      Grabow had a bad knee all year; it should have been an issue when he was given the 2 year contract; doubt he was ask to take a physical. I believe he finally had surgery and is expected to be fine by sprinf trainning. he will be in demand by the July trading deadline. Russell has options so he could start at iowa and come up after Grabow goes. Hope Hendry can figure that out.

  • cubtex

    I agree with Gary J! What is all this love for Gorzo like he is an ace?? He is and will never be more than a #4 or #5 starter on an average team!! Trade him now when he has a little bit of trade value! As far as Grabow goes…He has been hurt so you shouldn’t look at last year. He is a guy who has a successful track record as a successful relief pitcher so I would definately expect a good year from him! I like the idea of moving Cashner to the rotation because this guy has top of the rotatation ability and that leaves only 1 spot open for either Wells,Samardjia or Coleman(barring any other trades)

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I Like Gorzellany, But I think he pissed management off when he went on record when he was sent to the bullpen last year Saying I’m a starter not a reliever, Like he is too good to be a reliever. At my workplace I’m trained in several different Jobs, this week I have done my primary job once, gotten sent to other departments to do other jobs. Do I gripe about it no. That is what I get paid for and I am happy to have a JOB!

    • studio179

      I have been saying the same thing. I have to believe that Gorzy going on record saying what he did last year did him no favors with management.

      • paulcatanese

        I agree that Gorzo is not a starter.but a good middle man and spot starter. I also feel that ANY Cub under the present management who voices an opinion will be chastised. Look what happened to Theriot,Zambrano.Gorzo going on record with his opinion only furthers the point about JH,NO ONE can tell this man anything and it is a dictatorship with him at the top. The fact that Gorzo would be an attractive trade possibility would be okay IF JH would use him wisely to get someone back,but that won’t happen. The only person that he picked up that is of value has been Garza,the only one.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Look at Sean Marshall he came up as a starter wasn’t great at it but was moved back and forth until settling into the bullpen where he’s excelled. Did he gripe about it no, he has a great job pitching in the major leagues making great money.

  • TR

    I believe the reason that Jim Hendry is dangling Gorzelanny is to combine Fukudome in a trade. $2M for Gorz is not enough to unload as a salary. JH is trying to free up room in the outfield and make a big dent in the budget. That is why the rumors of trading them to the L.A. Angels is not that far-fetched. I don’t care what we get back, get rid of dome, to make room for Brett Jackson in May.

    • Gary J

      I like that idea in theory… hopefully you’re on to something. Still going to be surprised if Fuku gets moved simply because I don’t think there’s a market for him – but I’m crossing my fingers you’re right.

  • paulcatanese

    Reed Johnson is a good pick-up for the Cubs. He hustles can hit the long ball every so often and runs well.Suspect is his age,but at best would be a spot player if he continues with the club out of spring training. Hope he does well.