Aramis Ramirez Earned His Cubs’ Contract

Aramis Ramirez had worn out his welcome in Chicago. Injury-filled seasons in 2009 and 2010 left fans restless with the aging third baseman.

That 2011 began with Ramirez hitting just two home runs over the first two months of the season didn’t help. While his slash line of .288/.351/.396 wasn’t terrible, it lacked the power component the Cubs seemed to desperately need over those first cold months.

No matter what Ramirez did over the remainder of the season — only becoming one of the top third basemen at the plate by the trading deadline — his time was done. His final .306/.361/.510 was like a mirage to Cubs fans.

As a result of his play in the final three years of the contract, years that were marred by injuries and a body that is breaking down, the entire Ramirez experiment was deemed a failure.

But it wasn’t.

When Aramis Ramirez signed his five-year, $75 million contract before the 2007 season, there was no doubt that he was one of the premier third basemen in the National League. He was consistent at the plate, and his glove wasn’t yet the liability it is now seen as.

He wasn’t going to win Gold Gloves, but the Cubs didn’t need him to. They needed him to bash, and bash he did, hitting 119 home runs over the five years of the contract, more than enough to make his entire contract worth it.

It is hard to believe, but Aramis Ramirez out performed his contract with the Cubs, and he doesn’t need to do much to accomplish the same feat in Milwaukee over the next three seasons, even if fans may not believe it when Aramis’ patented grimaces become too much for them to bear.

So how do we figure that Aramis fulfilled his side of the Cubs contract?

According to, the open market value of a win in the 2007 season was $4.1 million. While the current rate is somewhere around $5 million, in the years 2002 – 2008, the value increased by about 10 percent per year.

Therefore, we can discount Ramirez’ contract back to year 0 (2007) by 10 percent per season to get his contract value in terms of the wins expected from Aramis before he signed the contract.


The Cubs essentially signed Aramis for a little less that $56 million in terms of “value” back in 2007. If you divide that by the $4.1 million per win, Ramirez was on the hook to deliver about 13.5 wins over the life of the deal.

Ramirez did better. Helped by a strong performance in the first few years of the contract, Ramirez delivered a value of 14 wins measured in 2007 value. (All WAR values are taken from FanGraphs and discounted by 10 percent back to the 2007 year).


Over the first two years of the deal, Ramirez more than doubled what was expected of him. It is probably not a coincidence that the Cubs made the playoffs in each of those seasons.

Even in 2011, with Ramirez making $14.6 million, Ramirez was only expected to deliver 2.43 Wins in 2007 terms. Ramirez delivered 2.46 Wins (Actual 3.6), even though those wins probably came when Cubs fans had long given up hope.

If Ramirez had chosen to remain with the club for another season, he could have declined even more and still lived up to the promise in terms of wins delivered to the club. In 2007 terms, Ramirez would have only been expected to give the Cubs two wins in 2012, or an actual value of 3.2 WAR.

It isn’t hard to imagine Ramirez being able to put the kind of numbers up that would have made that a steal in 2007.

Under the same logic, the Brewers got a steal signing Aramis for three years and $36 million. That the contract is backloaded, according to the numbers reported by Ken Rosenthal, makes it an even better deal.

By now, wins are worth about $5 million dollars on the open market. If we discount Ramirez’ contract by 10 percent again (assuming that wins continue to grow in value at about the historical rate), he will be paid $28.3 million in 2012 terms over the course of his deal.


That equates to about 5.7 wins… total. If Aramis does start with a year of 3.2 WAR as he would have been expected to produce for the Cubs, he should have no problem reaching an 2012 value of 5.7 by the end of 2014.

And if Ramirez is forced to move off of third base (although current prospect Mat Gamel is about as much of a butcher at that position as Ryan Braun was, or Ramirez is) he will easily eclipse it as his defense will weigh less on his total performance.

While Cubs fans may not want to admit it now, Ramirez lived up to his deal, and now the Brewers made a great deal in grabbing his production.

Benjamin Miraski saw his first Cubs game at Wrigley Field from the left-field bleachers at the age of six. He learned a few new words that day; he tries not to use them. He runs, a college football and basketball site that has its own computer rankings system, and is starting, a Chicago Cubs blog.

His work and research will add a sabermetric view to the CCO, with recurring contributions focusing on the statistical side of the game.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • J Daniel

    A question I have for all here – last July would you have been happy if the Cubs traded Aram and Pena for Fielder and the Cubs extended Prince at $25M a year?

  • Jim_Tinley_Park


    No one doubts his numbers, actually quite impressive. What we did not like about Aramis is the fact that he :

    *Does not hustle out of the box
    *looks like a bullfighter in the field
    *Lacks leadership

    • J Daniel


      I would argue the leadership part with you as we do not know what goes on in the clubhouse, planes, and other behind scenes avenues.  You may be correct but I feel these type of statements, when we really don’t know for sure (even though all of us (including me) think we know), are not fair statements.   What we can see is a guy who did not hustle all the time and was a butcher in the field.

      • Jim_Tinley_Park

        J Daniel:

        After the game 6 debacle vs Florida in 2003 NLCS, Aramis & Alou booked flights to the Dominican, as if to say “The season is over.” The guy is fraud with great fantasy league numbers.

  • Tom U

    Welcome to the CCO Benjamin

  • Chuck

    As we say in the stock market, “Past performance does not indicate future performance.”

    • Ripsnorter1

      Ain’t that the truth!

  • Ripsnorter1

    You reason like an agent. 

    Not good.

  • Tony_Hall

    I would love to see ARams WAR by before All-Star break and after All-Star break,or even better month to month, even for just 2011.  

    That is where we would see how he padded his stats and WAR, to get to his numbers that look, like he is worth the contract…he just wasn’t for the Cubs after 2008, and nothing he did in 07 and 08, was enough to offset 09-11. 

    I am amazed that a team, that played against ARam as much as the Brewers, would sign him…the move was a desperate move, to react to losing Fielder and Braun for the first 1/3 of the season.

    • Schwimmer

      The BREWERS were desperate.  Especially, since they knew about BRAUN’s 50 game suspension.

      ARAM was not worth $16m to the CUBS.  Or, a 3 year contract.

      No matter what kind of “statistical argument” someone makes, the reality is that there is always a “subjective” side to a player.

      If you want that player, you can make the “stats” look positive as your rationale for signing that player.   If you don’t like that player, you can overlook the “stats” and make the negative case, just as easily.

      I think the CUBS did the right thing by not re-signing ARAM.
      He played like a lazy, unmotivated player.   Especially, when you watched him run the bases.  And, I felt he was arrogant.

      Once his defensive skills became a liability, he had to go.

      Goodbye ARAM!

  • Neil

    Welcome aboard Ben!

  • Bothevolfan

    Is Jim “backload contract” Hendry the gm for the Brewers?

  • John G

    And he never flunked a drug test. (That we know of.)

  • Spoda17

    Welcome, and nice article Ben.

    But… I would agree with what has already been posted.  Also, one big issue with Aram was his inability to hit in a clutch situation.  If there is one thing that really sticks out in my critique of him was his inability to  hit in a clutch situation.  Not necessarily to hit a home run, not even to really drive in a run, but the basics of moving a runner to third, NOT hitting into a double play, etc… those are the stats that don’t really show up when people put a “value” on a player for the most part.  If those stats are great they come out, but if they suck… they hide them behind 20+ HR, .300+ BA, and 90+ RBIs.

    His final selling numbers are respectable, and I did enjoy watching him in the beginning, but his time has passed as a Cub.  At least with Stewart, there is an upside unknown.  I am looking forward to watching him and see the potential he has.  With Aram, I already know he will not hustle, barley make an above basic defensive play at third, or hit a 2 run home run when we are either up by 8, or down by 8, after striking out 3 times already.

    Although we don’t know what his leadership was in the clubhouse, but if someone is really a leader in the clubhouse, the fans know.  So I will say he was not a detractor in the clubhouse, he was just another teammate.  I do know from observing him, that he was not a leader on the field; lead by example, he did not.

    So I am rooting for Stewart and planning/predicting that the Brewers are receiving the Aram we think he is…

    Nice article.

  • Anthony

    History, Bon Voyage, Close the Chapter, Move on!

  • cubtex

    To continue my thoughts to preach patience with Starlin Castro….I want to give some examples of some other non US born shortstops. Please remember Castro is 21. These shortstops that I am listing were all older when they broke in. Castro in 2011 742 CHANCES 29 ERRORS. .961 FLDG. E Andrus in 2011 677 chances 25 Errors. .963 Fldg. H Ramirez at 22. 695 chances. 22 Errors. . 963. Fldg. A Ramirez in 2009. 650 chances. 20 Errors. .969. Fldg. The great Omar Vizquel 614 chances 18 errors. .971. Fldg. So as you can see Castro had more chances than any of the other young shortstops. What does that mean?? Either the Cubs have a staff full of ground ball pitcher or he has a lot of range and gets to alot of balls. I will let u be the judge. Look at Andrus year last year. Pretty similar and he is 2 years older than Castro. I haven’t heard any talk of the Rangers moving Andrus to 3rd or 2nd. Remember where these players came from and the fields and facilities they had. Castro will improve just like all the players I mentioned above.

    • Tony_Hall

      We agree fully on this subject.  Yes young SS make some routine plays look bad, as you stated Omar Vizquel was young once as well, and made bad plays.  But if you watch Castro move to the ball, and make the spectacular look routine, you really see the potential in this kid.  He is just a kid, 21 years old, with lots of years ahead of him playing SS.

    • Ripsnorter1


      MLB SCOUTS say that Castro is not a natural, easy fielding SS. So it is not just my opinion, but an opinion shared by people who are paid to evaluate talent. 

      Furthermore, Elvis Andrus is not a great fielding SS. He is an average to below average fielding SS. Texas has him in there for his offense.
      And furthermore, 2011 was Castro’s 2nd year. Visquel’s 2nd year: .980 fielding, 7 errors in 349 chances. He saved 22 runs that year. Castro GAVE UP an extra 14 runs in 2011.

      We can agree to disagree. I just wanted to clarify my position, which is: MLB Scouts and I agree that Castro is not a natural, easy fielding SS and would be better off in another infield positon, namely, 2B.

      • cubtex

        Rip…Ask enough MLB scouts an opinion on a player and you will get the info you want to hear. Don’t believe everything you read Rip. There is a lot of BS out there.

      • cubtex

        Found this scouting report on Castro from a scouting service. Like I said….ask enough scouts opinion on a player until you find what you want them to say about the player. I am not saying Castro will ever be Omar Vizquel….but he will be a hell of alot better than Ryan Theriot ever was.

        The range is exceptional – will even improve as his angles on balls to his right get better. Makes more rangy plays to his left it appears, which is  just a more athletic, less technique-dependent play. Castro’s arm is plus to plus-plus, just shy of a guy like Uribe, but better than Visquel’s or Jeter’s in their respective primes. Smooth with the glove with fast hands – not the best judge of balls off the bat yet, and plays himself into some tough hops because of it. Errors on routine balls are still too common for Castro, who’s defense improved over time in 2010 as he took over full time for Theriot.

        • paulcatanese

          In defense of what I was saying, Castro does range to his left quite well, and smooth with the glove and fast hands.
          Prime requirements for a third baseman. (couldnt let you get off that easy).:):)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Or a second baseman!

          • cubtex

            Rip. I am curious why you think if a guy is not a good SS(in your opinion) that he would be a good 2B. I played both. I will tell you that SS is easier to play than 2B. Take Darwin Barney for example. You have to make many different throws and turning a DP is a totally different animal. With Castro’s arm strength if he were to move anywhere it would be 3B not 2B.

          • Ripsnorter1


            Castro’s defensive liabilities will be better hidden at 2B than SS. He’d have great range for a 2B. He’d be a very productive bat. Sure he has a strong arm. You can use that at 2B, too, on the double play. Turn him into another Sandberg. They are rare. A 10 HR 3B is much more common….

          • cubtex

            So your logic is to hide him at 2B? I don’t agree that is the way to field a team. You hide bad infielders in the outfield…you can’t hide a bad shortstop at 2B. That doesn’t work.

          • Ripsnorter1


            You are entitled to your opinion. It’s all good.

            Why did they move Sandberg to 2B? You do realize he was always a SS in the MiL’s, don’t you?


          • cubtex

            That’s cool Rip. You are entitled to your opininon as well. Would you rather see Ron Cey play 2B in 1983 :) I knew he played SS in the minors. Did you look how many errors he had at about the same age as Castro? We will disagree on this. I guess I take this a little personal since I played middle infield and 2B is not an easy position to play at a high level. Like I said….if you ask Barney..I am sure he would prefer to play SS. The thread is getting skinny.

          • cubtex

            Yep. That will come in handy in about 10 years when he makes the switch :)

    • paulcatanese

      Good article, you could also have mentioned Aparicio, who is also in the class of Vizquel. These two are what I measure the shortstops of today.(also another little guy called Rizzuto).

      If you recall, over a year ago I had compared Castro to a few of them, and did point out that errors were abundant in the first few years. Also comapared him to Roy Smalley in the sense that Cub fans kind of rode him out of town and hoped that wouldnt happen with Castro.

      Youre point is very valid, and I do hope he suceeds, almost all of the time when we bounce back and forth about it its always in fun, and I know you know that.

      The point I would make is that Castro is talented enough to play several different positions, and I looked at it as what would it be to fill a spot easily. Short would have been the easiest for the Cubs to fill, third was not, and Center was also  on my mind.

      No doubt he can play, I’m just trying to spread a good player all over the field at once.

      • cubtex

        No offense ever taken Paul. I just want to have people realize the kid is freakin 21 years old. There will be a time when he will move positions….but hopefully not for another 10 years. Did you notice the amount of chances he had in 2011? I would bet if Barney were the shortstop that number would be significantly lower. I think most fans don’t know what the Cubs have in Castro. He is a special player!

        • paulcatanese

           I know that, and just to back up what you are saying I watched MLB network last night and they were discussing shortstops and third basemen.
          Lo and behold they were saying that power hitting shortstops were far rarer than thirdbasemen.
          I thought of you when they were going over the number of them.
          It was much rarer to have a power hitting SS than it was a 3bsman as their are an abundance. of them at third.
          So you are right, Castro is a gem there.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I got the message that he’s 21 years old….or 24 years old, since he’s from the D.R.

          • Tony_Hall

            Maybe, but that baby face he came up  with, when he first was at Wrigley, looked like a teenager.

      • Chuck

        How would you compare him to Don Kessinger?

        • paulcatanese

          Kessinger was one of the better shortstops in the Cubs years. Castro could be better, range,arm and bat. But needs time.
          I am not a White Sox fan, but they have had much of the market there, Carasquel,Aparicio,all the way back to Appling.Forgot to mention Sammy Espisito, local kid from Fenger High School on the south side,he spent a few years there (we played against each other ‘I went to Morgan Park)
          Present years, I have no clue. The only way I know those others is when living in Chicago the Cubs had no lights and caught a lot of games, Yankees, Red Sox, etc. I addition living on the west coast limited broadcasts of the Cubs so you probably saw more of Kessinger than I did.
          Now I see almost all of the games.

  • daverj

    Great article Ben!  Looking forward to more of these.

    This is the type of statistical player value analysis that the new Cubs front office is conducting when considering trades and free agents so it’s great to see articles about it.    

  • cubtex

    Today is Yu Darvish’s posting bid. It will be interesting to see how much and who.

    • J Daniel

      I agree with you cubtex.  Theo and the boys have to have something else “Brewing” as they have 4 available on the 40 man.  My guess is they have their targets and are playing a bit of a waiting game.  In the past, JH rushed to deals and overpaid dearly.  It seems to me they are waiting in out due to the willingness to go several ways.

      • Tony_Hall

        When a team sets their siteson  one player, and that player is the only one that fits their need, the end result is to overpay.  

        When a team looks for players, that fit what they are looking for, and set a limit to where they will go with each player, then a team has options, and knows you can move on to the next player, even the next player at a different position, and still upgrade your team.

        Patience is the key to all negotiations.  People who want to just get it done and get it done now, overpay and get what they want short term, only to regret it in the long term.

      • Ripsnorter1

        They really, really practiced stupid roster management at this last draft. They protected K.Hill–only to non-tender him a few days later!–and then let Gonzalez and Flaherty get away for nothing. Plus they had 6 available roster spots, and they knew they were not going to draft 6 guys in the Rule V.

        Now that’s stupid roster management.

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t think so, they knew they had open roster spots and if they wanted to protect Gonzalez and Flaherty they would have.  Hill’s spot had nothing to do with it.

    • Tony_Hall

      Nippon has 4 days to decide if whether or not to accept the bid.  

      • J Daniel

        Will it come out who won the bid before that?

        • Tony_Hall

          Maybe. Remember its a Japanese. Team and they can just say no one won or this is the winning bid.

      • Dorasaga

        To avoid future confusions: It’s “Nippon-Ham.” Nippon actually means “Japan.” In another word, the Japanese Ham and Meat company owns the Hokkaido Fighters.

    • daverj

      I’m also very interested to see the winning bid.  I’m guessing it will take $55 million and it will be the Jays or Rangers with the winning bid.  Unless the Cubs win the process, we’ll never know their bid, but I’d guess the Cubs bid in the $35 million range.

      • Schwimmer

        I hope you are right about the CUBS only bidding $35m to $40m.

        The odds are against the signing being a successful one — in the long-term.  And, THEO should know this better than anyone after his past experience winning the bid on Dice-K.

        It will all depend on how desperate teams like the Rangers are to bid very high…to win the bid.

        But “smart money” says you make a calculated bid…knowing that is your “limit” as to how much you are willing to risk.

        Although, the fact that DARVISH is only 1/2 Japanese might give him different “physical” qualities than if his parents were both Japanese.

        Because his Father is Iranian….this might account for the fact that he has a different “physical” make-up (which he does — based on his height and body type).   And, those physical differences could play into why he might be more successful than Dice-K.

  • Shelbymenge

    from shelby menge, chicago cubs you need to sign prince fielder very very very soon as possible.

    • Schwimmer

      Why?  What’s the hurry?

      THEO has, no doubt, told BORAS…”We’d love for FIELDER to be a CUB.   And, here’s the length of the contract and the amount we are willing to pay — to sign FIELDER.”

      BORAS, no doubt, has told THEO…”No…we want more money and we want a 7 or 8 year deal.”

      And, THEO, most probably has said:  “Good luck…getting it for FIELDER.   But that’s the offer — the CUBS are making.  And, by the way…SCOTT…don’t wait too long…because we are looking into ‘other options’ for 1st BASE.”

      I think the fact that no one has signed FIELDER (thus far) suggests that other teams are not comfortable offering him 7 or 8 years.

      And, BORAS probably has 2 or 3 teams that have already put 5 year, $100m to $125m offers on the table.

      And, then there is the matter of where would FIELDER like to play?  I don’t think he wants to play for the NATIONALS or MARINERS.

      That leaves the RANGERS and the CUBS.    And, I am sure there is a “mystery team,” too.  :)

  • Neil

    According to Phil Rogers, Cubs are interested in Jason Varitek and could be interested in Tim Wakefield

    • John_CC

      I don’t know how I feel about Wakefield. He is really brutal to watch.

    • Aaron

      Please no…to Varitek …Wakefield might not be that bad…maybe a good change of pace

      • cubtex

        I can visualize those bombs now hit off Wakefield onto Waveland!

        • Reggie

          Waveland is being kind, more like Graceland cemetary.

        • John_CC

          Yeah, I can see that too.

      • John G

        Change of pace is not a good choice of words when it comes to Wakefield. My grandaughter and I saw him pitch against the Tigers at Comerica last Summer. She’s only 13 and was getting the biggest kick out of watching the speed numbers and seeing guys swinging at the air. I have to think that 95% of his pitches were right at 65mph. The rest were 64mph or an occasional 66 when his adrenelin was flowing. Batters couldn’t hold the bat back, and when they did make contact, more often than not it was fouled off or hit into the ground. And not many of those ground balls got past Wakefield. I think he led his team in assists that night. I would love to see this guy pitch for the Cubs.

        • John_CC

          He gave 150 innings of 5.12 ERA last year. He is not an “inning eater” (I know you did not make that claim John, but someone is sure too). The Cubs already had that last year in Randy Wells, but Wells is not 45 years old. No thank you.

        • Chuck

          I think it would be interesting to see Wakefield in a Cubs uniform and the NL hitters trying to hit the knuckleball.  Varitek can be his personal catcher just as Maddux had his own catcher.  Who in the NL throws a knuckler these days?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Varitek is probably done, but looking at 2011 splits, he could hit the RHP (something Soto could not do) to the tune of .264 and slugged .403. That’s good enough on a part time basis. It would make Soto better.

      • John_CC

        Aaron, I wouldn’t mind having Varitek around IF the Cubs decide to go with Castillo and/or Clevenger, I’d rather have papa Varitek mentoring them than Soto.

        • J Daniel

          I really think that would be the plan if they sign Varitek – trade Soto for prospects.

        • Neil

          The scenario I have been hearing/reading and reporting is the Cubs could sign Varitek and use him to mentor Castillo or Clevenger and it would free up Soto to be traded.

          Fleita is a big fan of Castillo, often comparing him to Yadier Molina but his weakness is calling a game. Varitek could obviously help in that area.

    • J Daniel

      I would like to see both as they will be cheap.  Or we could watch Lopez again?

    • paulcatanese

      More Red Sox alumni?

      • Chuck

        Greg Maddux had his personal catcher when he pitched.  Remember Paul Bakko?  I think Wakefield and Varitek would be great for the Cubs.  And the Red Sox alumni know what it means to win a World Series.  The Cubs need some winners in that clubhouse.

        • paulcatanese

          Not knocking it Chuck, but more often than not Wakefield will give up runs and when he pitches the Cubs will have to score runs. Thats not been their forte as of late.
          Varitek would be good as a mentor to young catchers, if the Cubs bring any up. But both would be a one year investment, if that.

  • John_CC

    Good column, Benjamin, I like it and will tell you why.

    Like most fans here that witnessed the 2011 season know, Aramis’ value cannot simply be validated with numbers on a spreadsheet.  He was one of, if not the, offensive production machines of the team. And he failed to produce consistently that led to the spiral the Cubs could never climb out of.

    My point is this: all the sabemetrics, WAR, VORP, and spreadsheets that explain to us (fans) what the true monetary value of a “win” is or a specific player is very interesting. And these stats are excellent tools, no doubt about it.  But they are not the end all.  They all need to be put into actual, on the field and situational context.  I think we all know this, but this column about Aramis, a player we all know well, is a great reminder to not put all the eggs in the “WAR Basket”, if you will. But also, we cannot completely disregard the value of statistical analysis.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      I think maybe I am saying the same thing, but none of the sabermetrics take into consideration how many games that we LOST because of him. How many games did we lose because he sort of sauntered around the bases or casually didn’t run out grounders or popups?? How many games did we lose because of sprained thumbs and toes and muscle tightness etc. etc. How many times did grounders go by because of his lazy responses?? How many of all those errors (you know the ones)  turned into extra outs.And finally, how many runs did all that cause and ultimately how many games did those runs cost. How many one run games did the cubs lose?
      All hitters have slumps, but Aram had some monumental ones. Last year, months. Not as bad as Adam Dudd (thanks Rip) but it was like he didn’t start hitting again until he wanted to or realized that this was a contract year. 
      I have bashed him a lot for not hustling, but mostly I just hated it that he just didn’t seem to care.
      Now, having said all that, yes, I loved him when he first came from the Pirates. And yes, he did stabilize a previously really inconsistent position, but his skills, and range have declined considerably.
      He probably will get inspired whenever he comes to Wrigley, but the Brewers are not getting the same ballplayer that we did.
      I wish him well. I really do, but not at our expense, and I thank him for most of his effort.  
      I think the Brewers are welcome to him. He can be their Sorryano.

      • John_CC

        I think you are onto something.  But I don’t anyone can create a metric for loses below replacement (LBR) or whatever it would be.  We are on the same page.

    • Pme

      I personally thin that asains are fucking gay, they think they are cooler than everyone and they are actually just fucking stupid ugly ass things. fuck you darvish

      • John_CC

        Being an annoying, disrespectful ass is one thing. Leave your bigotry at home.


      • paulcatanese

        You’re choice of adjectives tells everyone the level of education (if any) that you posess. What an ignorant fool you are.

      • cc002600

        Grow up.
        And go use your profanity somewhere else.

      • John G

        And which MENSA Chapter are you a member of?

        Oh wait…


      • Coolpdxcubsfan

        Reminds me of a 13 year old craving attention, even negative attention. CC002600 said it right.
        GROW UP! or play nice.

  • RICK

    The Brew crew now has a very lazy 3rd baseman who only cares about himself.

    • RynoTiger

      and the Cubs have Ian Stewart….ummm… oh boy…hooray…?

  • John_CC
  • Tony_Hall

    This was tweeted out earlier, but here is an article on the Cubs buying the property the McDonalds sits on across the street.,0,1526875.story

  • Michael

    Thumbs up for Tek’. I hope we go after Saunders, I think he could be a steal.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      I know he has good stats, but since he will be a teammate  with big Z, I wonder how his left hook is??

  • Ripsnorter1

    Red Sox’s new GM made a good trade today:

    Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland for Astros’ closer Melancon.
    Melancon was 20 for 25 in his first year as a ML closer.

    • Tony_Hall

      Here’s a report on how the Astros made out on this deal.

      A few excerpts:

      Melancon had a violent delivery that already led to one Tommy John surgery, but has been healthy over the four years since then with a cleaner arm action that still requires a lot of upper-body effort. His success in 2011 was largely due to a new cutter that keeps hitters from squaring up on his very straight four-seamer; the pitchers’ velocities are very close, with the four-seamer staying up while the cutter breaks down and slightly toward a left-handed hitter. Melancon’s cutter has also helped him become a strong ground ball pitcher, but his below-average changeup led to a moderate platoon split last season, especially in terms of keeping left-handed hitters off base.

      Yet even in a year when he threw 74 innings, a relatively high figure for a reliever under today’s highly specialized regimes, and walked only 20 guys unintentionally, Melancon was worth under a win above replacement per FanGraphs’ WAR. Lowrie alone will double that in 2012 just by staying healthy — he’s a fringy defensive shortstop who can stay at the position but will probably be slightly below average, excelling on the transfer but suffering from a relative lack of lateral range.

      As a starter, Weiland is 90-94 mph with his fastball without much life, along with a mid-80s slider, a hard curveball and a mostly-straight changeup in the low 80s with just a little fade. His command and control are fringy, and he’ll have to work on keeping that fastball down, but he has enough ways to miss some bats that he could be a cheap fourth starter for the Astros for a few years, with the downside of an above-average reliever if he becomes too homer-prone to stay in the rotation.

    • daverj

      I actually like the deal for the Astros.  Lowrie could be a nice shortstop for them.  Melancon is a quality reliever but very replaceable.

  • paulcatanese

    While Sabermetric is after my time and I have difficulty understanding it, you’re article is well written and is starting to make some sense. I think in the long run it will help me to understand some of the posts that are in that vein, thank you for the effort.

  • Tony_Hall
  • Tony_Hall

    This report shows that ARam might hit less HR’s in Milwaukee.  6 of his 14 Wrigley HR’s wouldn’t of made it out of Miller Park.

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      I’m more worried about when he comes to Wrigley and has something to prove. We may see a hustling Aram then ———– Nah!

      • paulcatanese

        Then again if its below 50 degrees and drizzling you may not see him on the field at all.

  • Neil

    According to Phil Rogers, the Cubs put a bid in on Yu Darvish

  • Ripsnorter1


    Would you care to tell me why you think they moved Ryno to 2B after he played only SS in the MiL?  I am not picking a fight; I am just asking you the question. He played one year at 3B on the ML level. But you have to admit he made a great fielding 2B–one of the best of all time. 
    I think they moved him because they thought they’d easier find a slugging 3B than a 2B that could hit like he did. 

    • Tony_Hall

      Just my 2 cents, they signed Ron Cey to play 3B and had Larry Bowa at SS.

      Sometimes decisions are just made for people.

      Now, did they move Sandberg to 2B and then say, we now need a 3B…not sure, there wasn’t a CCO back then.

      • paulcatanese

        One thing for sure Tony, when Cey was on third and Bowa at short they had the highest grass in the majors to slow the ball down, at that stage in both their careers they were not too great at getting to the ball.
        The other thing they wanted the power of Cey at what they thought was a power position, and Sandberg hadnt developed yet.

    • cubtex

      You can’t just look at one player and assume it will work with everyone. I think Paul will back up this statement… An above average shortstop can play anywhere on the diamond. If you remember correctly…Sandberg was never thought of as a long term 3B option. When they aquired Ron Cey they moved him to 2B. He hit more like LeMahieu when he came up and was always considered a middle infielder. Jim Frey got him to look to drive the ball more and that is when he started to hit the ball out of the park. With your reasoning that Castro’s liabilities would be hidden more at 2B to me just doesn’t make sense. I know you read a lot of scouting reports(the majority of those try to nitpick something even when there isn’t much there) If you were to read a scouting report on some of the better defensive players when they first came up…you will find a lot of negativity on those players as well.

      • paulcatanese

        Shortstop is usually the best athlete of the team, and short of pitching and catching they can just about play anywhere on the field and do a good job.

        A shortstop or second baseman that can hit for some power are very hard to find, and when a team finds them thats one position that is out of the way.

        Speaking as a player that also played both third, second and short, I would say that second base is the most difficult to adjust to. Everything is the reverse of playing on the other side of the diamond,plus coverage for bunts while watching the runner, the pivot is entirely different with you’re back to the runner. Popups, throws,all are different,and the double play is a direct strain on the arm, one dosent have the body going with the throw.

        Its true Sandberg was a SS and played third and then moved to second base and there is where he developed his power stroke.

        I know I’m going to get some static here when I say that I do not think that Sandberg was the best all around second baseman with the glove. True his fielding average was good, but he had diminished range over there and lacked a little on the double play with quickness and one could tell that he was out of place on the field as a lot of it looked forced.

        There was no denying his bat, he was the best hitting second baseman of his time, and that is what propelled him to the Hall of Fame, the combination of sure hands and strong bat..

        Castro moving to second base would serve no purpose for the reasons I stated above, it would be a waste of his talent, wheras third would fall into line with the same thinking as above, same side of infield same throws and same look at the hitter.

        • cubtex

          Sandberg was excellent at the routine plays. He was automatic. Hall of famer…no doubt, but he didn’t make a ton of spectacular plays. He hardly ever dove for groundballs.

          • paulcatanese

            One thing I forgot to mention, not only was he automatic, to my knowledge, he always used two hands, not what I see today, and can’t stand the one handed play.

        • Anthony

          c’mon paul, 2B is cake

          • paulcatanese

            Maybe for you it was, but not for me. The only thing I did well there was chasing popups down the right field line, and anything hit to my left, otherwise, forget it.

    • cubtex

      One last opinion. If and when the Cubs have a long term solid option at short better defensively than Castro….that’s when you look to move him. I would never move him for someone like Barney. If Barney regresses next year…now you screw up 2 positions.

    • Tom U

      Rip, I’ll walk you through the history of this.

      When Dallas Green took over after the 1981 season, he wanted to improve the defense. Prior to Green coming on, It was thought that Pat Tabler would be manning a position in the infield. Green wasn’t a fan of Tabler, so he purchased Junior Kennedy from the Reds and made a series of moves with his old team, the Phillies.

      Green acquired two of the players he was really seeking, Larry Bowa and Keith Moreland. They were supposed to be the left side of the infield. 
      In order to get Bowa, the Cubs had to give up Ivan DeJesus. Since Bowa was getting up in years, Green also got Sandberg in the deal. While he played short in the minors, Sandberg was being considered for centerfield for the Cubs.

      However, in all this wheeling and dealing, Green lost his lead-off hitter in DeJesus. Green hoped that either Sandberg or Bowa would be able to fill that role. However when neither emerged in spring training , he then traded for Bump Wills.

      Moreland also wasn’t working out at third in spring, and Sandberg and Tabler rotated between second and third base. This also hastened the move for Wills. After he was acquired, Sandberg, being the better defender, was moved to third.

      After the 1982 season, Ron Cey fell into Green’s lap for the niggling price of pitcher Vance Lovelace and 21-year old minor league outfielder Dan Cataline. With Cey, Sandberg was moved to second base. 

      By the way, Sandberg was seen as a speed player, hitting only 15 home runs in his first two seasons. It took former hitting instructor Jim Frey to help Sandberg learn to turn on a ball, and hit with power.

      • Jim_Tinley_Park

        Tom U:

        Spot on ! Jim Frey sure did have a lot to due with Sandberg hitting for power.

        • Tom U

          Thank’s Jim

      • Ripsnorter1

        Thanks, Tom. That’s a lot of years ago. 

        • Tom U

          Thank’s Rip

  • Neil

    Comcast SportsNet confirmed the Cubs put in a bid for Yu Darvish

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Dear Baseball Gods,
      it’s me again.
      Please help my Cubbies out again by getting this pitching phenom from Japan.

      • cubtex

        If Theo bid like he did for Dice K…your prayers will be answered.

  • Tony_Hall
    • cubtex

      That’s funny. I made a joke when the signed DeJesus to sign the entire A’s outfield. The could have 2/3 of it :)

      • Tony_Hall

        I thought you would like it.  It does bring up a good point, they do need another OF.

        Soriano, Byrd, DeJesus, Campana are the 4 we have right now.  They want Soriano gone, and would then need 2 OF’s.  Not sure if any other internal options are ready.  

        • cubs1967


          i think he’s ready.  and since 2012 is being tossed by team theo; get him out there. i expect him to hit lights out in ST.  so the back-ups need to be RH.  reed johnson and spillbourghs?? or byrd??

          team really LH now…..if they make a smart move to get Prince or go the chicago bucs way on lahair plus stewart…..lots of LH.

          baker needs to be kept in this scenairo.

          • Tony_Hall

            We actually agree on this.

            I would go with Jackson in CF and bring in Reed Johnson as well.  Byrd can be the other OF, but would prefer they trade him.  

            I would like to see Prince at 1B too.

            Baker would be one of my 2 bench IF’s, Barney would be the other, if I could find a better 2B.

          • cubs1967

            actually dude…….i agree with you on more than i say; sometimes just need to play the devil’s advocate on here.
            i would take prince and be happy; not care about other signings.  he would be good piece of puzzle with castro and jackson.

            gotta wonder if theo called on lowrie….??? what do u think….wouldn’t give them marshall though and marmol’s bad year prob screwed some type of multiple player  trade there.

            i thought lamaheui would beat out barney in ST….making barney perfect ss/2b back-up.

            somehow you would think with all the pitching scarcity cubs could convince dempster to go to a contender for a 2b prospect who is about ready.
            demp must know they are gonna move on next year.

          • Tony_Hall

            I know, sometimes it’s just fun to get into a discussion and look at it from a different perspective.

            I would say he called on Lowrie, but Cherington, doesn’t want to look like Theo’s underling, and they still need to finish his compensation.

            Just a day or 2 before DJ was traded, I put out a lineup, with him at 2B, and Barney on the bench.  I would prefer a 2B, that can hit 15-20 HR’s, so Lemahieu wasn’t ideal, but would have been another short term gap.

            As far as Dempster, I think he will be moved by the trade deadline, like you said, he has to know they will be moving on after this year.

          • paulcatanese

            Speaking of pitching, I just watched the replay of the Cards and Cubs. Cubs 1 Cards 0
            9th. Marmol in, 3 walks and a wild pitch, and got sick all over again.

    • Meoli

      Looks like someone put 2 and 2 together to make 5

  • Tom U

    Zambrano goes 1-2-3 in the first inning for Caribes de Anzoategui with a strikeout.

  • cubs1967

    i predict Rangers bid on Darvish………..they have the baseball tv contract money to blow 50 or 60M for posting fee.

    i’ll guess 60M posting.65M/ 5 yr deal.

    crazy numbers for a guy who has never pitched in MLB.

    the next commish really needs to abolish this.  who cares if Japan baseball gets pissed………for crying outloud….tuffy rhodes became babe ruth over there…..get real.

  • matthew8510

    (@JeffPassan) One GM whos team bid on Darvish believes Toronto the favorite.Another thinks its Cubs.1 more says Mariners.Point:No one knows

  • Tony_Hall

    One way for teams to make a mockery of this posting system for Japanese players…1 team bids a lot of money, so much that the posting team starts thinking they are rich beyond all belief…then don’t even negotiate with the player they won the rights to negotiate with exclusively.   

    Let the team get nothing, and the player can elect real free agency the following year, when the are a true free agent.

  • Anthony

    Cubs win ransom fee, 75M reported

    • Aaron

      what? Where are you finding that?

  • Tom U

    Zambrano now done for the evening. Final line:

    4 innings/no hits/no runs/no earned runs/1 walk/1 strikeout

    Caribes still have a no-hitter through five innings

  • Dorasaga

    One of those things that baffled me is that people love to claim “He is the one.”

    Losing ARam made many worry that the Cubs cannot find ANY replacement for the numbers he piled up throughout the years. Well, maybe they can’t. But like Tony said here earlier, there are options that will fit the need. One of the reasons why Paul suggested Castro be moved third base is because it’s easier for the Cubs to fill shortstop and even second base.

    There are internal options. There are international free agents. There are undervalued players. The market is big enough to find a combination of VARIOUS PLAYERS to put together a team, close to the number ARam provided.

    That is why I’m equally confused by the Darvish hype from Cubsdom. There are many true aces in Japan’s pro. league. The Persian is not the only ace available. He is the most expensive ace available.

    • Dorasaga

      Had anyone checked Wada’s numbers? This is not a complete list (missing his 2003-2006, 2011 seasons), but the easier to search and sort:–001tsu

      It’s not Darvish-equal, but dominating nevertheless. Wada is a rarity, especially to the Cubs rotation, a leftie. Why no Cubs wanted to sign him?