Kap's Corner

A Look at Curtis Granderson

After a nice break on the beach in Maui it's time to get back to work covering all of the happenings in the Chicago sports world. So let's start with the Cubs, who are still trying to unload Milton Bradley after talking with a number of teams at the recently completed GM meetings.

The latest I am hearing has the Cubs and the Rangers seriously discussing a trade that would send the disgruntled outfielder back to the the team that he starred for before signing with the Cubs last winter. However, read this nugget in Rangers' beat writer Evan Grant's blog regarding a possible Bradley return to Texas, and you'll see just how tough it may be for the Cubs to move him.

As for the Tigers willingness to trade center fielder Curtis Granderson, things are starting to heat up, as they explore several different options in both the AL and NL.
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Detroit Tigers CF Curtis Granderson would be a huge upgrade for the Cubs outfield defense.

The Cubs are definitely on the Tigers radar, since they fit several of the requirements Detroit has in any Granderson deal. First, they have a handful of excellent prospects that are nearly major league ready and they would be the key to any deal. Also, the Cubs don't play in the AL and definitely don't play in the AL Central. That could make this deal more likely, since Detroit is very reluctant to trade him within their league and even more so in their division. If you were Jim Hendry, would you trade rising shortstop prospect Starlin Castro in a package to land Granderson?
Baseball Prospectus' minor league expert Kevin Goldstein told me yesterday he believes that Castro is the most over-hyped prospect he has seen in a while.

"Castro is a good prospect with excellent skills but for people to think he is on the verge of super stardom is ludicrous," Goldstein said. "He has good athletic ability, a solid bat but limited power, and to hear him compared by some observers to Hanley Ramirez is nuts."

So is Granderson the right fit for the Cubs in a deal that would probably cost them at least two top prospects? Let's look at Granderson's numbers from 2009 and then explore them a bit further using WAR (Wins Above Replacement Player), and BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play).

First, in 2009 Granderson hit a very disappointing .249, but did have 30 HR's and 71 RBI's. His on base percentage was a disappointing .327 for a lead off hitter and his OPS was a subpar .780. Against left handed pitchers, he hit a brutal .183 which has led many Tigers observers to question his future as a lead off man.

However, a deeper look into his batting average by examining his BABIP shows us a player who may have had a run of bad luck combined with a batting style change that contributed to him hitting more balls in the air than he had previously in his career. The baseball blog River Avenue Blues has a look at Granderson's 2009 struggles and suggests that Granderson's BABIP stands out as a reason for his dip in production. After posting marks of .362 in 2007 and .317 in 2008, he fell all the way to .276 in 2009.

River Avenue Blues goes on to outline this interesting point in the following paragraph: 

In 2009, Granderson's ground ball rate dropped dramatically. He was at 34 percent in 2007 and then saw that rise to 40 percent in 2008. In 2009 it fell all the way to 29.5 percent. That meant an increase in fly ball percentage, to almost 50 percent. Since ground balls go for hits more frequently than fly balls, Granderson's BABIP dropped, and therefore the lower batting average is easily explainable.

Did Granderson change his swing between 2008 and 2009? That might be the case. Two factors suggest this. First, the shift from ground balls to fly balls. Second, an increase in home runs and infield fly balls. Granderson hit 30 home runs in 2009, eight more than in 2008 and seven more than during his previous high in 2007. His infield fly percentage rose from 5 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2009. So he hit a lot more fly balls, which are obviously a lower percentage batted ball, considering they're easy to catch resulting in more outs.

If indeed it is a change in swings, it clearly didn't work. Granderson might have hit more home runs, but he maintained the same level of home runs per fly balls in 2009 as he had in 2008. In other words, if he goes back to what worked in 2008, he could again be a viable option.

His contract status is very favorable if a team was to acquire him, because he is locked up for the next three seasons and there is a club option for 2013. All of those seasons are at very manageable money, which will increase the package of players that the Tigers will want unless they saddle the team that lands Granderson with a bad contract of another Tigers player such as Dontrelle Willis.

Willis, though, has dealt with emotional problems and many baseball insiders are advising against taking him and his baggage, due to a potentially negative effect in the clubhouse. Also, his numbers are terrible, so he brings very little in the way of productivity.

Back to Granderson for a moment. He would obviously be a huge upgrade for the Cubs defensively, but would he be a good fit offensively? He brings some power to the team but he also brings 141 strikeouts. When added to high strikeout guys such as Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, Kosuke Fukudome, and a handful of others, it makes the Cubs far too prone to the K.

How much better offensively is he than Alfonso Soriano, and is the increased defense that he brings to the team enough to offset the offensive struggles that he had in 2009? Let's compare the WAR numbers for both Granderson and Soriano. Alfonso's WAR in 2009 was brutal. The shoddy hitting, coupled with his stationary D, resulted in -0.8 WAR (Soriano made $16M for that sub-replacement-level play). However, a look at Granderson's numbers show a more valuable player who may have had some bad luck and could be poised to rebound in 2010. Soriano has had leg problems, is poor defensively, and has a far worse approach at the plate where he swings at sliders and curve balls that are often nowhere near the plate. Granderson may not have had his best season in 2009, but he would most definitely be an upgrade defensively, in the clubhouse, and offensively.

Granderson's WAR in 2009:
SeasonTeamBattingFieldingReplacementPositionalRARWARDollarsSalary
2009        Tigers    6.0          1.6            23.7                  2.5       33.8  3.4      15.2       3.5  


Soriano's WAR in 2009
2009        Cubs    -8.6       -10.8               17.4              -5.2        -7.2   -0.7    3.3        16.0   
 
Add in the fact that as a Cub, Granderson would be working with Rudy Jaramillo, who could help him return to being more of a ground ball hitter.  That should increase his batting average, BABIP, and perhaps decrease his strikeouts, as he would not try to take the ball out of the ball park as much as he would try to use his speed to reach base.

Finally, adding Granderson allows Kosuke Fukudome to move back to his natural position of right field, where he is far more comfortable than he was in center in 2009. He and Granderson would turn the Cubs outfield from very mediocre to vastly improved even with the defensively challenged Soriano in left field.

So would I trade for Granderson? Absolutely, if the price in terms of talent isn't ridiculous. A fair deal, yes. To overpay to get him, definitely not.

Hawk Talk....
The Blackhawks are closing in on extensions for their three young stars, Jonathan Toews,  Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith and the deals could be finalized before the Hawks return to the ice in Calgary on Thursday evening. Blackhawks beat writer Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Toews and Kane deals will be 5 years in length which would allow the youngsters to reach unrestricted free agency at the age of 26, when they could land monster deals. Keith's contract though is expected to be for 13 years in length according to Kuc, which will allow the Hawks to spread his money out and lower their annual salary cap hit.

However, with the NHL salary cap expected to go down next season the Hawks are looking at having to cut 12-15 million dollars in salaries off of the current roster to accommodate the new deals. That means that several key guys will not be here next season due to salary cap issues. That also means that the window of opportunity to win the Stanley Cup is wide open in 2009-10. Look for the team to do all it can to make a run at a title this season and to explore a major acquisition at this season's trade deadline.

Bears Bits....

My colleague, Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune landed an interview with Rex Grossman's dad yesterday and Dr. Dan Grossman blasted the Bears as incapable of developing a QB because upper management is not committed to building around a QB or developing a passing game.

Dr. Grossman makes some legitimate points in his complaints, but if wants to be completely honest he also has to admit that his son did not play well enough as the starter to keep the job. Rex was coddled by the Bears from the moment he was drafted and never was he forced to win the starter's job. Does everybody forget that Kurt Warner wanted to sign here but was told by GM Jerry Angelo that he could not compete for the starting job? Warner didn't want to be given the starting job, he just wanted a fair shot to win it but the Bears said no. Time and time again the Bears refused to bring in competition for Rex, but time and time again Rex failed to perform at the level necessary to keep the job. So while dad defends his kid, and who can blame him, he also has to admit that his son wasn't good enough to get the job done.

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39 Comments

Max Power said:

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The idea of Granderson at as reasonable price is intriguing. His defense would be a huge boost. And if he bounces back with the bat, which is likely due to the possibilty of the questionable luck in 09, getting out of Comerica, and a move to the NL, he could be a steal. The K's don't really bother me, an out's an out.

But if they somehowe get him, I hope they don't throw him into the leadoff role just becuase he's fast. His splits border on ridiculous. His numbers show that he is a middle of the order type hitter vs. rhp.(.292/.367/.528/.894), while being, at best, an eighth place hitter vs. lhp. (.210/.270/.344/.641). That's for his career. That's bad. Real bad.
If they get him, the plan should be to bat him anywhere from 2-6 vs. rhp and nowhere other than 8th vs. lhp until he proves he can be at least mediocre against lefties. And make sure the fourth OF hits from the right side and can play CF in case he doesn't turn it around. And stick to the plan.

backslap said:

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Kap: All the media just needs to "stop it!!!!" We cannot go through another offseason of Granderson who is Peavey who is Brian Roberts. Unless Jim Hendry actually completes the deal I think I speak for all Cubs fans who would rather hear nothing at all about potential blockbuster trades for a whole off-season. Jim is like the guy chasing the super model at a club but he cannot finish the job and is left with nothing while everyone else is getting dates with the cute girl who will make you happy.

joeydafish said:

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Wouldn't it be nice to see our "handful of EXCELLENT prospects that are near major league ready" to just be...CUBS? At the same time? For Christ sake this chasing the "free-agent of the year" crap is just nuts on Hendry's part. Develope your own stinking
talent and at least wait until near the trade deadline to see if you have to bring in anybody else, like the Cardinals did with Holliday. It seems year in and year out Hendry is hell-bent on getting yet another "star" player at the beginning of the season as if that alone will get us through 162 games and right to the play-offs. Granderson WOULD be a huge uprade in the Cubs outfield but only because Hendry's outfield was (is) so pathetic in the first place. Hell, Fuld, Colvin, Snyder or just about any minor leaguer that can run a route and catch a ball would also be a huge upgrade. We don't need the same old same old from Hendry anymore, we need a GM that will instill confidence in the players drafte and more importantly a sound plan of winning that may take a few years instead of the instant success method that Hendry fails at every year. And I don't count above .500 seasons or first round playoff appearances as victories for a team waiting over 100 years for a World Series championship. Granderson would have to be practically given to the Cubs for it to make sense. Here's to counting down to the days without Soriano, Fukodome, Bradley AND Hendry.

Tanner said:

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You are sooo smart, NOT! The Cards had Holliday for what? 2 months? Now they have NOTHING! They got swept out of the playoffs, if you didn't know. I think the Cubs need Granderson NOW! I am waiting for the day that stupid people like you dont commit.

dan9189 said:

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Kap,

The NHL Salary Cap going down next year is nothing but BS. It was supposed to go down this past year and it went up. Stan Bowman said at the Hawks Convention this past year that they won't know the 2010-2011 salary cap until after the 2010 season. The economy crashing in 2008 is what started all this NHL Salary Cap going down crap, and even after that it still went up. Expect it to most likely go up a little bit and the Hawks only to cut 7-9 million off their current roster. If you read between the lines I think there #1 priority to getting this done is trading Brian Campbell. He was offered to Ottawa for Dany Heatly in the offseason and its been rumored that the older Bowman does not care for him. I expect the Hawks trade a current 3rd liner before the deadline (Versteeg, Buff, Ladd) and will move Campbell in the offseason to create the cap space needed for 2010-2011.

Yal Allen said:

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Do you have any idea what WAR and BABIP measure, and how they are supposed to be used?

Believing that the disparity between Granderson and Soriano will be as vast in 2010 as it was in 2009 is laughable. Using WAR and BABIP would tell you that, but you butchered both of these metrics. Way to go, Mr. Intelligence.

David Kaplan said:

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I just figured out what the Cubs need to do to win a World Series title. They need to hire you because obviously you know EVERYTHING.

Yal Allen said:

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Well, that's just the thing. I don't know a lot, but I read on topics before I talk about them.

Finding out about how sabermetricians value WAR and BABIP isn't hard to find. If you use Firefox, just type it in the toolbar and it'll recursively Google it. Ignorance, especially to someone that has some semblance of a voice within a community, irritates me.

But what irritates me the most is when completely ignorant people like yourself use said topics on only certain situations. Carlos Zambrano's WAR is incredible, but you refuse to acknowledge that he's a great pitcher.

So, I might not know "EVERYTHING," but I sure know a hell of a lot more than you. And I haven't even finished college yet. Bite it, Manolantern.

David Kaplan said:

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Oooh....tough guy. I am trying to bring more advanced metrics into the discussion and when I do you still aren't happy. You need to get a clue. By the way, thanks for the compliment on the tan. Hawaii was great.

JobbaJibba said:

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I think you should cut ties with Phil Rodgers, Rick Morrissey, and Steve Stone. Start associating with people that aren't complete douches and you'll find a few things: A- more knowledge B-less migraines C-more welcoming responses D- less money in your wallet b/c Steve Stone likes to joke about how he picks up the tab. A joke he uses over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

Tanner said:

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haha, yea everybody knows everything! Duh!

joeydafish said:

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I don't think any amount of baseball insiders advising JIM HENDRY to avoid taking on Willis will do any good. Toddlers knew better than to sign Bradley yet Hendry still signed HIM. Why would Hendry be any different now? If he's intent on signing Granderson he'll do it just for the sake of signing him, regardless of Willis being in the deal. Maybe Willis will have dinner with Hendry and "assure" him he will be a good boy for the Cubs and the Cubs like a well-intentioned girlfriend can rescue the man in their life. Pahleez!

IrishYeti said:

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Toddlers knew better than to sign Bradley yet Hendry still signed HIM. LOLZ

I have never understood why people can't tell the difference between signing a player and trading for a player. You kind of alluded to the fact that you might know the difference (regardless of Willis being in the deal.) but it's not clear.

And yes, Curtis Granderson has attitude problems that would require a nice dinner to see if he can play nice.

IrishYeti said:

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I just realized I read Granderson when it was actually Willis on that last sentence. My bad. Your point still sucks.

cc002600 said:

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Joeydafish,
I couldn't agree more about developing our own talent for once.

Also, you know what is amazing to me ? You read that article that Kap posted from the Rangers' beat writer about all the reasons why it doesn't make sense for anyone to take a chance on Bradley, given all the baggage that this guy brings, and it just makes you seethe with anger, again. He listed ALL the things that EVERYONE has known about forever about this guy, and YET Hendry was still dumb enough to sign this guy for HUGE money.

And let's forget for 1 second about the money, the thing that is REALLY amazing is that he would roll the dice on 3 years. I could see taking on a flyer on this guy for 1 year, just to see how it works out, but to give him 3 Years is just so MIND BOGGLING, it defies all logic.

You couldn't try to be that dumb, and be that dumb, but he did it.

And I'm not that crazy about Granderson either. Yes, if we can get him for cheap, great. But no way am I giving up my top prospects for a guy who we'll have to pinch hit for in the late innings when the other team brings in a tough lefty from the bullpen. No way. Plus, I hate the strikeouts. We already whiff at an alarming rate. He's good, but don't go crazy on him.

shawndgoldman said:

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Kap,

This is good stuff! I've blasted you before for not taking some of these advanced metrics into account, so I should also give you credit for having learned about them. Nice work...

David Kaplan said:

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Thanks. I am studying hard to learn more about advanced metrics and their impact on the game. I still believe that all of the numbers are great tools to evaluate players with but you also have to factor character and athletic ability into the equation. Thanks for the post. Please make sure to alert me if there is ever anything that you come across in the advanced metrics world that I am not utilizing.

melissa said:

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Kap, I'm glad to see you are acknowledging advanced metrics since front offices have incorporated them. You mention character and athletic ability and I hope you realize that all those factors that comprise a player do show up in his numbers. We have no way of knowing how much of a guy's performance is achieved based on his character and/or athleticism but the results are the numbers.

David Kaplan said:

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I understand the numbers but do you agree that a player (let's use Milton Bradley as an example) could post solid numbers but be such a problem in the clubhouse that a team would make a determination that despite his numbers he isn't worth the trouble? If you just base your evaluations on the numbers it doesn't factor the character or personality issues into the equation. Correct?

melissa said:

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If the guy produces on the field then the manager and GM need to find a way to deal with any clubhouse issue. I also think teammates and management tolerate guys they don't like or get along with as long as the guy produces. Had Bradley had the same year in 09 that he had in 08, I don't think anyone in the Cubs organization would have complained about the guy's clubhouse presence. There is definitely a point where a team has to decide if a guy isn't good enough to put up with his b.s. We all have to work with people we don't like, we still have to do our jobs. GMs usually get rid of guys when the performance declines despite how good or bad of a guy he may be.

David Kaplan said:

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Legitimate points. However, don't you believe that the best teams usually have pretty good chemistry? There are exceptions of course. Bradley is so wacked that I'm just not sure they wouldn't have wanted him out of here either way.

MB21 said:

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It's difficult to know. There's so much we don't know about these guys. That's even true for you. They're not telling you everything about what is going on and in all likelihood you're as much in the dark as the rest of us. Teams are a fraternity and while some info will leak out, much of it stays in house.

Also, chemistry probably has more to do with winning and losing. Players have more fun winning and it will create an exciting environment for all the players. Losing sucks and it will bring out the worst in people.

I don't know how much value chemistry has, but I do know that most managers and general managers have said that it doesn't matter. I also find it hard to believe that Player A is performing worse because Player B is an ass. That's actually something we could verify and I might actually look into it if you were to provide me with 20 or 30 players who are supposedly clubhouse cancers. If people say who they are we can find out if they have any impact on performance.

Think about it, Dave. If you could tell your boss that your performance was lacking because Joe was an ass, what do you think he would say? People can't do that. That's not what happens in real life. We all deal with asses nearly every day of our lives. If you work in a company that has more than a few employees you're working with someone who would be considered a clubhouse cancer. I'm assuming that you couldn't go tell your boss that your poor performance was Joe's fault. As people we have learned how to perform being around those types of people. We've had to. We could not function if we didn't have that ability.

Why are these guys different? Why are athletes so different from carpenters or accountants? They all work with people they'd rather not and they cannot excuse their performance by blaming another.

I do believe that a positive work environment is best, but that's just an opinion. It very well could be the exact opposite of what people think today. It's very possible that 25 guys as friends and buddies perform worse than 25 guys who hate each other's guts. I would not think that would be the case, but I don't know.

I know that many things that were considered common knowledge about baseball have been found untrue. Because of that, I cannot accept as fact that chemistry affects performance. I certainly have an opinion about it. If Joe is having problems performing because of Jack then I'm firing Joe. We have to perform under pressure in our lives and part of that is dealing with these types of people. If you cannot do that, you are the one that should be fired. That's my opinion. I have no idea whether any of it is true or if that's the best thing to do or not. I don't know either way and until someone proves it or disproves it I am going to assume that chemistry is of minimal to no value.

If you'd give me some names I could at least take a look and see if we can find anything.

It's nice to see you taking a different approach to these issues.

Edelweiss said:

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MB21 is on the right track. Sometimes the Cubs spokesperson may say that the Cubs are going to trade a player just because someone in the media keeps nagging that they should. If they do make the trade, it was because they intended to, not because a sportswriter called for the trade. There are also some players on the team that will be kept specifically because of the team chemistry, as long as they perform half-way decently. You would be surprised to find out who the real clubhouse leaders are. Yes-they say it is Derrick Lee, and he is a leader, but there are some other players who are not so obvious. Also, just because a player can schmooze with the media, does not make him a team leader. A case in point is DeRosa. Most of his team mates liked him, but he was not a clubhouse leader. The media liked him. He was not so nice to his team mates. In 2008, he had a party at his house, and invited all but one player. That was a mean thing to do, and it did not endear him to manage-
ment. I can say that now because he is no longer a Cub. The Cubs will not say whom they are trying to unload until they unload them, and then they will say that they regret having to do so.

joeydafish said:

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Actually Granderson would be a better signing/trade/acquistion (fill in whatever word you can understand) than Soriano, Fukodome or Bradley, but it would be yet another attempt by Hendry to get the outfield straightened out, just validating what a miserable job he's done the past few years with the outfield. cc002600, are you pulling my leg or is there somebody actually AGRREING with me?

lindy42497 said:

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Okay Kap here's a rumor of a three way deal with the Cub, Rangers and Tigers not sure how true but I'm throwing this one out there.

Cubs get Curtis Granderson and Kevin Millwood
Rangers get Milton Bradley and Edwin Jackson
Tigers get Sean Marshall, Josh Vitters, Julio Borbon, Guillermo Moscoso, and Aaron Miles

joeydafish said:

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Losing Vitters and Marshall would be tough, BUT...did I read right? Miles would be included?? Dumping him alone may make it a worthwhile risk in losing Vitters and Marshall.
Miles....geez! It seems Hendry has his work cut out for him just to unload all his mistakes let alone acquire new personel. Now that's creating your own job security!

lindy42497 said:

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Remember he was able to unload Todd Hundley's contract so anything is possible.

joeydafish said:

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You are correct...hope springs eternal!!
Was it Hendry that acquired Hundley? Or did he
inherit Hundley?

Karry Ling said:

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Wow, Fred Mitchell "landed" an interview with Rex Grossman's dad? Now that's a scoop!

Why exactly do we care what Rex's dad thinks about anything but macular degeneration?

David Kaplan said:

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I can't disagree with you but you have to admit that it did become news on every station. The dad needs to shut his pie hole though.

wv23 said:

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if the chicago tribune and its legion of columnists (hard to believe they're losing money) didn't think it was appropriate for dan grossman to comment on the bears, i'm not real clear on why a tribune columnist called dan grossman and asked him what he thought about the bears.

if his opinions aren't valid, why did the trib waste 650 words on what he thinks - and thousands more on from 47 columnists commenting on what he thinks?

backslap said:

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Why does he need to shut his piehole? The guy was asked a question and answered it. Blame Fred Mitchell for giving the guy a forum. Typical media ask the guy for the gasoline and they light the match but blame the gasman!!!

cc002600 said:

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Joeydafish,
Nope, not pulling your leg.

I agree with you 100% that I think the cubs should start attempting to develop their own talent for once, instead of always trying to get other people's garbage. For that reason alone, ole' Jimbo has handcuffed this team financially with all these toxic contracts.

I'm not saying Granderson is a bad player, cause he's not, he's very good, and would really upgrade CF. But still, he's a platoon player that strikes out a ton. No way I'm giving up my best prospects for a guy that I have to pinch hit for in the late innings against the other team's lefty specialist. No way. We already have 1 outfielder that can't hit lefties (Fuk). WTF.

Not too mention, supposedly, one of our best prospects is Brett Jackson, a CF. I know he's not ready yet, but why block him with Granderson for at least the next 3 years ?

arch21002 said:

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Kap, nice write up.

If Granderson has become a platoon player you have to say no don't you? Fukudome is a platoon player, Granderson is very well a platoon player also so that would mean one of two things. One, you keep Fox, and re-sign Johnson to play vs. LHP, or you don't even consider the move considering their splits. No matter how overrated the minor league prospectus guy thinks Castro has become, you don't trade possibly your best minor league asset for a platoon player who, as you put it, very Soriano-like in ability. At least we know Soriano can be a good hitter at times vs. both LHP, and RHP. Too risky IMO.

If they could trade for Granderson with some good, not great, prospects and maybe Sean Marshall I would be more for this move.

joeydafish said:

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ccoo2600, arch21002 Agreed. We have only one more year of putting up with a dissappointing Fukodome so if we can get by 2010 without another Hendry brain cramp that leaves us with a couple of outfield spots open in 2011 for some prospects (or TOP LEVEL FREE AGENTS). It's a real shame Soriano will be here butchering left field for 5 more years but if we can over compensate for his terrible defense with a really good defensive center fielder and right fielder this will make it easier to accept Hendry's mistake in left field...as long as he can hit the ball as an old man. 8 years...C'MON!!! The past few years of Hendry's outfield boo boos is making Juan Pierre look good. Let's just hope if Hendry does get Granderson he doesn't give up too much, some talent yes but not our best. Until Hendry can pull a deal like the Yankees did for Texiara or the Cardinals did for Holliday he's better off staying away from the free agent/trade market.

cc002600 said:

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Joeydafish,
I have some bad news for you. I wish you were right, but unfortunately we have 2 more years of Fuky, not 1. His deal was for 4 years, we're only halfway through. UGH !!!!!!!!!

Hendry seems to make bad moves and than tries to fix them a year or 2 out by making another bad move. Example: Marquis, Jacque Jones, Latroy Hawkins, Neifi, Miles, Bradley, etc. As far as Fuk and Sori, those are bad moves that he can't do a thing about. He's stuck.

He just never seems to learn.

You know what else always makes me laugh ? I always hear people rave that hendry has taken the cubs to the playoffs 3 out of last 6 years. Yes, I agree that is good. But, when people compare that to the fact that before that, the cubs only made the playoffs a couple times in a 100 years, that is so misleading. Before 1969, only 1 team from each league made the playoffs, and before wildcard there were only 2 teams from each league that made playoffs. The point is that its a helluva lot easier today to make the playoffs now as opposed to any year before 1969 or the wildcard. What a joke. Its apples and oranges.

joeydafish said:

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cc002600...yer killin' me. TWO MORE YEARS? Unbelievable. I completely agree with you regarding Hendry getting more credit than he deserves. I would like to think Pinella would get most of if not all of the credit for finding a winning formula with the rosters Hendry has given him. Who's the closer? Who's the centerfielder? Etc. I will say this to Hendry's credit, he did a great job obtaining Ramerez, Lee and Lilly, but that's juuuuust about it. He HAD to find a center fielder for lack of planning and forsight he managed to "pick up" Edmonds, a very good move but not much had to go into picking up a player there was very little interest in from other teams. In other words, Hendry caught his lightning in a bottle yet again. More luck than talent. Any GM that spends so much time and money as Hendry in trying to correct his own mistakes (i.e. STILL searching for a centerfielder, a right fielder, a closer and a second baseman...)
year after friggin' year should be dismissed. It's called "second" chance for a reason, not "third", "fourth", "fifth" chance etc.
Just like he gets too much credit for "winning" seasons, he'll probably get too much credit for "moving" Bradley like he moved Hundley. He should never have put himself (or the team)in these positions in the first place. One step forward, two steps back.

TracyT said:

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Carrie Muskrat is reporting that the Blue Jays have contacted the Cubs about a potential Roy Halladay trade. Obviously if the trade were to be made, it would have to involve some of the Cubs top minor leaguers like Castro and Vitters. If the team were capable of increasing payroll to accommodate Halladay's salary, I would look into this. What about you Kap?

Couple of other points:
1) Halladay is a perennial Cy Young candidate every year in the toughest division. Get him in the Central, and he'd be the best pitcher in the NL, bar none.
2) Trouble is, he's a free agent after 2010. Can he be locked up with an extension before he arrives?
3) I would move some minor leaguers like Castro, but not all of them.

joeydafish said:

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TracyT, I agree that Halliday is definatley a go to guy and would dominate the NL Central. Unfortunatley with the question mark in center field, an underperforming Fukodome in right field, a question mark at second base, no legitimate closer so to speak of, even getting Halliday may be too little too late. For a one year rental I don't think Hendry postioned the 2010 team to warrant such a trade. Don't get me wrong, having Halliday certainly would improve our chances of a play-off run and I'd love to see him in 2010 but it may deplete the farm system and cause too many ripples in 2011 and beyond. If Hendry can him for one or two top level prospects only it may be worth it, but I'm not sure about giving up on Vitters. Hendry is still burning from casting off Casey McGhee.

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