November 2008 Archives

The countdown is on.....business is about to pick up in the world of free agency!! Teams have until midnight (EST) to offer arbitration to any of the Type A or B free agents in order to get compensation draft picks if they sign elsewhere, and also to offer arbitration to players not under contract and not eligible for free agency.

Once offered arbitration, players have until December 7th to accept or decline the offer.

Not so coincidentally, the winter meetings begin on December 8th....the day after all of the arbitration matters sort themselves out. Teams will know who has accepted the offer of arbitration and thus will be back with the team, and who is certain to leave.

The horrible economy is making things quite interesting this year. Players may be willing to accept one year deals with their old team, putting off a long-term deal until next season when the economy hopefully will be better and the market a bit looser.

Typically, not many ranke ...

Winter ball hasn't proven a cure for Rich Hill's wildness. The Cubs lefty appears on the verge of a release from Aragua (Venezuela) after walking 19 in 191/3 innings, resulting in a 7.45 ERA. ... If the Dodgers opt out of signing Manny Ramirez, it will be very interesting to see what market agent Scott Boras can build for the eccentric run producer. He would fit on the Cubs only if Alfonso Soriano somehow were traded. The White Sox seem interested in dealing Jermaine Dye, which would clear a hole, if not payroll. ... Cricket players Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, whom the Pirates signed as pitchers after they appeared on reality TV in India, were recommended by scout Ray Poitevint, whose stay with the Sox delivered few strong prospects. ...

The Cubs' Ryan Theriot was the only major-leaguer to reach double figures in errors (14), grounded into double plays (19) and caught stealing (13) last season. ... While the Cubs' Derrek Lee grounded into the second-most double plays in th ...

Bullpen, Bullpen, Bullpen?

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As I sit here on my computer and look at the Chicago Cubs bullpen without Kerry Wood, I cannot help but worry. This upcoming year we might have to rely on more youth than we can possibly handle.

---Cub Relievers---
Jose Ascanio
Neal Cotts
Carlos Marmol
Chad Gaudin
Michael Wuertz
Jeff Samardzija
Angel Guzman
Kevin Hart
Kevin Gregg

Feel free to rip my opinion apart, but that is A LOT of uncertainty to take us to the postseason and beyond. By taking just Kid-K away, our entire relieving staff goes into jeopardy. Let's look at our Set-up man-Closer duo's.

---2008 Pitching Stats---
Carlos Marmol 2-4 2.68 ERA 7 Saves 114 KO 30 Holds
Kerry Wood 5-4 3.26 ERA 34 Saves 84 KO

Kevin Gregg 7-8 3.41 ERA 29 Saves 58 KO 4 Holds
Carlos Marmol 2-4 2.68 ERA 7 Saves 114 KO

Stats are stats...they don't always show the differen ...

...."with the 19th pick of the first round the Baltimore Orioles select Infielder Michael Eugene Fontenot"....


He was not exactly a throw-in in the Sammy Sosa deal but I can assure you that his inclusion was not what convinced Jim Hendry to pull the trigger on the deal that would finally say good bye to the one time hero and hello to the low key mystery named Michael Eugene Fontenot. In other words the idea was to get rid of Sosa at all costs and not to acquire Fontenot or the other two players that where included in the deal from Baltimore; 2B/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr. and RHP Dave Crouthers.[who the hell is Dave?]

When Mike Fontenot was called up initially to the MLB on April of 2005 I remember thinking to myself that for the first time in a lot of time the Chicago Cubs farm system was becoming weak. But no worries, the Cubs have plenty of money to spend and... We all expected at least a big name signing like Carlos Beltran or somebody in that neigh ...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all the CCO faithful!! It'e been a pleasure sharing thoughts amongst fellow Cubs fans....whether we disagree or agree! The one thing we all agree is on we love our CUBS!!!

I wanted to share an article that is not baseball related. It is actually related to me. The Orange County Regsiter did a story on me after I helped recently during their wildfires....it's kind of cool......

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/spencer-help-pillows-2241384-brea-shelter

Everyone have a safe Turkey Day.....enjoy football.....and of course dreaming of the Cubs!!

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ANATOMY OF A WINNER

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We all love to talk trade scenarios, free agent signings, and minor league prospects on this site. I must admit, I have come up with some pretty crazy scenarios. Many on here might remember my suggestions to trade Soriano for Beltran, Lee for top prospects, etc...Which begs the question: What is realistic, and what is not?

To start with realistic, allow me to examine a few recent trades of big stars, and the players that were traded for them (this will give you a good gauge of what's possible):

Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin: trade from A's to Cubs
-Josh Donaldson (top catching prospect and high draft pick), Eric Patterson (top infield prospect), Sean Gallagher (top pitching prospect), Matt Murton (former top prospect)
*comments: we had to give up our top catching, pitching, and infield prospects for an oft-injured "could be ace" pitcher, and swing guy. I'm not saying it's a bad trade, but merely stating what it is we actually had to give up for him, which b ...

Testing Kerry Wood

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Okay. I haven't fallen in love with the community blog like Joe and Aaron have but here I go. =)

Kerry Wood will be offered arbitration by the Cubs. And why shouldn't they. Kerry is of course worth two 1st round draft picks.

After being "let go" by the Cubbies Kerry said he would have "done anything to stay in Chicago" and that means presumedly taking a one year deal.

My first question is..how much will Kerry make if he theoretically accepted a Cubs arbitration offer? Is it about the same if the Cubs were to have offered him a one year deal minus the incentives.

And my statement is...I wonder how little will Kerry to take to stay a Cub. Especially if he meant what he said...

Everyone knows how bitter I am about the Kerry situation. People say you should love the name on the front of the jersey. Not the back. But as Cub fans with losing traditions,don't the names on the back of the jerseys make us love that name on the front?

Santo, Wo ...

Other Possible Free Agents??

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With the continued dialogue on the CCO about potential players for the Cubs to acquire, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at "potential" free agents as we approach another MLB deadline.

Teams must offer arbitration to eligible players by December 12th. Attached is a list from Cot's Contracts that lists eligible players team by team. Though most of these players will be offered arbitration, there will be a few suprise names to not be offered and thus become free agents.

**Note: Existing Free Agents may also be offered arbitration, but they must be offered it by December 1st in order to receive draft pick compensation if the player signs elsewhere. If any free agents are offered arbitration, he must accept by December 7th. Could we see Kerry offered and accept arbitration by then??

Also keep in mind the winter meetings are December 8-11 in Las Vegas....could be the start of trading activity out there.....

Continue reading Other Possible Free Agents??

HENDRY: GENIUS OR FORREST GUMP?

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All of you know my stance on Hendry, so I will be completely objective here, and start out with the Genius.

GENIUS: top 5
1) Mark Grudzielanek and Erik Karros-traded Hundley and Hermansen to Dodgers
2)ARAM and Kenny Lofton (Hendry's second genius move)-traded Jose Hernandez, Matt Bruback, and Bobby Hill
3)Derrek Lee-traded Choi and a PTBNL to Marlins
4)Nomar and Murton-traded away in all Justin Jones, Alex Gonzalez, Brendan Harris, and Francis Beltran
5) a. Harden and Gaudin-traded spare parts in Gallagher, Murton, Patterson, and Donaldson
b. Chris Robinson (who?...you'll see)-I include this one as part b, because Robinson hasn't exactly panned out yet, but getting anyone breathing for Neifi---and the fact that Robinson was regarded as having significant promise at the time, was a complete heist for the Cubs

FORREST GUMP: top 5
1) Sosa-while we netted Fontenot, this was a horrible trade, because he knew of Sosa's me-first at ...

According to Ken Rosenthal: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8812098/Cubs-close-to-re-signing-righty-Dempster

The Cubs are close to re-signing Ryan Dempster. He goes on to say that this will NOT necessarily prohibit the Cubs from trading for Peavy or signing Randy Johnson, or another bat.

He also mentions the fact that the ownership issue will be resolved before Christmas, which falls into line with my prediction that the Cuban thing was a conspiracy set up by Selig to eliminate him from contention.

I'm not quite sure that I like the signing of Dempster. Our entire team will need an overhaul if we keep signing 30+ year old guys. I like Peavy, because he's still young, same with a Dunn signing, etc. But everyone else we've been linked to: Johnson, Furcal, Ibanez, Bradley, etc.----are all over 30

But...
I must comment on the Johnson thing. I believe he would definitely take us over the top. He is a proven winner, and has performed very well when ...

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