A League of Her Own

Friday Headlines: Looks Like Bradley to Mariners for Silva

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Everybody say "ooooooooo!"

 Update: per about a million baseball bear writers on Twitter, it looks like Milton Bradley will be traded to the Ms today for pitcher Carlos Silva. More on Silva's stats in the comments below.

Like a jilted girlfriend desperate to ensure she still has a date to prom, Mesa is pulling out all the stops to keep the Cubs from merenguing all the way to Florida:

The Arizona Republic reports: A plan to build covered batting cages for the Cubs at Fitch Park is on hold until the team indicates it is willing to keep its spring training home in Mesa.

The city council unanimously approved the $684,000 contract today, but told the city manager not to authorize it with a signature until the city hears from the Cubs.

"We don't think it's in the best interest of the citizens of Mesa to make this kind of investment when we have no commitment at all as to whether the Cubs are even going to negotiate to be here," Mayor Scott Smith said.

No seriously, that's about the most interesting headline out there.

Bruce Miles shares our frustration with watching the Cubs sit on their hands this off-season:

First, the baseball stuff. How must it feel that the Baltimore Orioles _ the Baltimore Orioles! _ are getting more done and creating more off-season buzz than the Cubs. And need I remind you and some very, very high up in the Cubs' food chain who is creating all that buzz in Baltimore? It's Andy MacPhail, to whom the higher-ups with the Cubs have done everything but erase his name from the team's history books.

Now, I'll admit that today's news that the Orioles could be in on Matt Holiday seems preposterous and team officials apparently are telling the local media that they don't expect Holliday to be a Bird, but shouldn't it be at least a little embarrassing to the Cubs that Holliday's name could be linked to the Orioles and not the allegedly big-market Cubs? Remember, the Cubs are a team that for the last few years has been telling everybody that they're big-market, and gosh darn it, they're going to act big-market.

While the Cubs' big move this winter has been trading Jake Fox and Aaron Miles, the Orioles obtained pitcher Kevin Millwood at the winter meetings and have all but made official the signings of lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez infielder Garrett Atkins. They even made a run at San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez at the winter meetings.

Hear, hear, Bruce! This is my point exactly. We probably don't have the money to get the likes of Bay or Holliday, but at least inquire. At least ACT like you're kinda maybe thinking about it. It's preferable to throwing up your hands and saying "What do you want from me, people? I re-signed John Grabow, for crying out loud!"

Meanwhile, mlbtraderumors.com says Cubs fans should get used to seeing Bradley in Cubbie Blue:

Although at least three teams are still interested in Milton Bradley, no trade is close, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The FOX duo names the Rays, Rangers, and Mariners as interested parties, but notes that there are roadblocks in each instance.

The Rays have been unwilling to budge for weeks in negotiations involving Bradley and Pat Burrell. The Rangers have some interest, but Bradley's last stint in Texas didn't end on "the best of terms." The Mariners, meanwhile, may be reluctant to acquire a controversial player like Bradley on the heels of making positive news with the Chone Figgins signing and the Cliff Lee trade.

Rosenthal's and Morosi's sources indicate that the Cubs are unwilling to pay the majority of Bradley's contract, or to release the disgruntled outfielder. It's hard to imagine a scenario where Bradley returns to Chicago in 2010, so you have to think that his potential suitors are waiting for the Cubs to bite the bullet and pay for a bigger chunk of the 31-year-old's remaining salary.

That'll do it for this morning, but make sure to stop back by this afternoon for some fun at the 2009 Cubs' expense.

And because it's Friday:

5 Songs on My iPod: "Don't Judge Me" Edition 

Light My Fire: Jose Feliciano

I Just Haven't Met You Yet: Michael Buble

I'm Yours: Jason Mraz

Please Don't Leave Me: Pink

Complicated: Avril Lavigne

(Ha--I can't believe I admitted to all those. Oh well, there it is)

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59 Comments

MB21 said:

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I was going to post this in the last thread, but I enjoy hijacking threads.

Marlon Byrd isn't a bad player for what it's worth. He and Cameron are essentially the same player at this point. Cameron is going to be 37 next year and that's when a player begins to decline at a very rapid rate. Byrd is 32 and his decline is still not that rapid. The difference between the two players is that Byrd is the better offensive player and Cameron is the better defensive player. They're about the same value. They just get there differently.

I wouldn't sign Byrd. I wouldn't have signed Cameron either. If the team was actually going for it in 2010 like they should then I would be happy with either player. The Cubs don't need to spend additional money just to win 80-85 games. Save the money and let's hope Ricketts spends it a few years down the road. I have my doubts, but I suppose we can hope.

As for the DH, that's not going away. The owners like it, the fans like it and the MLBPA will never allow it to happen. They'd agree to daily drug tests in order to keep the DH. The DH keeps veteran players in the game longer and as a result it increases player salaries (veterans make more than young players for obvious reasons). That's exactly why the MLBPA first battled over the DH. They couldn't care less about the pitcher hitting, or not hitting, but it saves a job for a veteran hitter and doesn't cost any pitching jobs. The MLBPA will never allow MLB to essentially fire 14 veteran workers so the pitcher can bat. It's not going anywhere and I expect the NL will have it within 10 years. I've done a complete turnaround as far as the DH is concerned. I used to despise, but the more I've learned about baseball the more I like it. Not to mention, I'd much rather watch David Ortiz bat than someone like Ted Lilly. I'd much rather watch Jack Cust or Adam Lind or any other DH run the bases than watch Carlos Zambrano do it. Pitchers are too valuable. They're also already injury prone. There's no reason to continue to put them at a higher risk just so they can be a bad offensive performer.

Then there's the strategy issue. The DH allows for much more strategy. Conventional wisdom teaches us that it's the other way around, but it's not true. The pitcher batting limits the strategy a manager can employ because he typically has to leave in his starter in at least 2 times through his team's batting order. The reason for this is that the bench players are limited and they feel they need them for late in games. The other big disadvantage of the pitcher batting is that a pitcher should never be allowed to face the other team's batting order the 4th time through except in blowouts. In close games in the NL the correct strategy is to pinch hit for your number 4 and 5 starters each time they come to the plate. The pinch hitter would provide more value on offfense and the relievers are no worse than your average 4 or 5 starter. That will never happen in the NL because managers feel they need to save their bench.

The great thing about the AL game is that there's no strategy used in the NL that can't be used in the AL. Not a single one, but it adds a few possibilities. People who like strategy or say they do anyway should favor the NL having the DH.

It's only a matter of time because all these teams are now studying game theory just like the sabermetricians have been for years. Simply having another guy bat for the pitcher will allow them to more easily improve their roster by about 1-2 wins with the same group of players. Expand the NL rosters to 26 to make up for the difference and both leagues would be on the same footing. The NL is at a huge disadvantage to the AL. it's no surprise that as teams have become more statistically inclined that the AL has dominated MLB. It's because it's easier for them to do so because they can employ better strategies (and more of them) than managers in the NL feel they can with their 25 man roster.

Doc said:

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Byrd has been my pick over Cameron.

And, honestly, Byrd has the potential to be a fixture in center field...something the Cubs haven't had at that position in my lifetime.

But Byrd also has to potential to be a bust...much more so than Cameron. As it appears the Cubs aren't going to "go for it all" this coming year, the completely eliminated Cameron in my mind.

As far as the DH, I agree, the DH isn't likely going anyway. The players association wanted it too bad.

I do like that idea of expanding the NL rosters...but what do you do about interleague play, then.

I believe one of the reasons for the creation of the "rules committee" (or whatever the hell it's called) was to help equalize things in between the two leagues.

It's early yet, but it will be interesting to see what happens with this committee. I just hope it isn't an "instant replay" group that only looks to expanded it more and more every year.

With that being said, the DH, in its current form, is never going to be in the NL. It just isn't going to happen. And I'm happy about that.

HoboHanson said:

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I've read some interesting things about this committee the last couple days. I'm hoping it will do things like stop the home-field-all-star-ridiculousness. I also read some things in regards to speeding up the game. Like relief pitchers must pitch to at least 2 hitters. One pitch intentional walks. And maybe banning coaches visits to the mound.

But more likely, the committee will just get together and get wasted. That's why LaRussa joined.

MB21 said:

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I assume Selig will take the advice of this committee about as well as he has taken the advice of numerous other committees he set up. Remember, Selig set up a committee in the mid-90s on steroids and did absolutely nothing. This is all show.

Byrd is 32. I wouldn't call him a potential fixture in CF. He's got maybe 2-3 good years left and then it's pretty much over.

I think you fix the interleague issue as far as rosters go by just having the DH in both leagues. I think it's inevitable. The MLBPA rightly tries to protect player jobs and the DH in the NL would protect 16 more and would slightly increase player salaries as a result. at some point soon the owners will want something important and the two sides will compromise. The owners will get something and MLBPA will get the DH in the NL.

I think MLB should completely rethink the roster sizes to begin with. I think the MLBPA would be on board because it would create more jobs and unlike the DH, these new jobs would be minimum salary guys. The owners wouldn't have much of an issue with it. I actually like what Len Kasper has suggested a few times. Something like a 27 or 28--man roster, but only 25 are active. Teams provide their active list at the start of each game. This way yesterday's starting pitcher wouldn't have to be on the active list and you'd get a fresh body to replace him.

by the way, if you had asked AL fans in 1960 if there would be a guy batting for the pitcher they would have said never just like so many NL fans say today. It is inevitable. It's not a matter of if, but a question of when. It makes way too much sense and teams are getting smarter and smarter.

AndCounting said:

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Jose Feliciano you got no complaints.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I use that line ALL THE TIME.

Love that movie.

JulieDiCaro said:

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It's 9:09 am. I have moved on from struggling with pipecleaners to struggling with foam and googley eyes.

Doc said:

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um...have you spent all night trying to do crafts?

JulieDiCaro said:

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There was a brief, nightmare-filled sleep somewhere in there.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Jen Patterson says Bradley to the Mariners. . .

Doc said:

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Nope...no way...no how...never in a million years. (if I doubt this rumor enough, it might actually come true)

JulieDiCaro said:

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The rumor is Bradley for Silva.

Umbra said:

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Carlos Silva?

AndCounting said:

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Doesn't have quite the panache as "Bonds . . . James Bond," does it?

AndCounting said:

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Why did I write Bonds? Who do the Cubs trade with to get Bonds? If they're still in the market for left-handed power hitting a-holes, it's worth a shot.

Umbra said:

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Here's a fun game of Name That Player!

Pitcher A average:

IP: 194
ERA: 4.48
K/9: 4.8
BB/9: 3.5
HR/9: 1.1

Pitcher B average:

IP: 169
ERA: 4.72
K/9: 3.8
BB/9: 1.7
HR/9: 1.1

Pitcher C average:

IP: 134
ERA: 4.55
K/9: 6.4
BB/9: 3.5
HR/9: 1.2

Or in handy, easier to compare but maybe harder to read form:

IP: 194/169/134
ERA: 4.48/4.72/4.55
K/9: 4.8/3.8/6.4
BB/9: 3.5/1.7/3.5
HR/9: 1.1/1.1/1.2

Hedge 1: I know I gave the nod to player C for ERA even though he was 2nd best, but I wanted to account for league averages and stadium affects. People aren't used to reading ERA+ as 101 or 98, but they know what an ERA of 4.50 means. Also, my point isn't really 'which player is better', it's 'these players are just as good'.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I was told there'd be no math.

AndCounting said:

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A=Jason Marquis (assuming you accidentally put last year's 4.8 K/9 rate instead of his career mark, 5.3)
B=Carlos Silva
C=Sean Marshall

A+B+C= 2026 Hall of Fame Class

Umbra said:

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Ding! Ding! Ding! You are indeed correct. Good catch on the career K/9 rate. I cannot read charts correctly.

AndCounting said:

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And I only had to look up about 10 pitchers to find it. Trust me, I'm an expert in misreading charts. I'm intent on making it an art form.

AndCounting said:

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Larry Stone (apparently from one of the Seattle news outlets that has yet to collapse) tweeted that Bradley for Silva is agreed upon and could be officially announced today.

http://twitter.com/StoneLarry/status/6802467438

Will this be the second Stone to pull a complete scam on Cub fans re: a Milton Bradley trade?

LostinFla said:

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Re: Cubs to Naples

Being a Cub fan in Florida has been frustrating because you would think, at least, I might get to see some spring training action but the Cubs, of course, train in Arizona instead. This has been a pet peeve of mine for years. Still, even though it would be beneficial for me to see them move to Florida, I’m not sure why on earth anyone would want to move to Naples. There is some money there obviously (I’ve been by Buster Douglas’ home back when that meant something!), and SW Florida is growing quickly, but Naples is still near nothing. Well, nothing except the Everglades and some Seminole land with a huge Bingo hall.

Beyond that there are practical concerns. There would be fewer teams in the immediate vicinity for them to play against (which presumably would mean day-to-day travel costs would rise) and, of course, rain would be far more of a problem than in Mesa. And Florida is broke so the state won’t be bailing anyone out with money 10 years down the line. So all this posturing by the Cubs is just that: posturing. They know they aren’t going anywhere because, well, that would be really dumb. Do I want the Cubs to be dumb again just so I can catch a few games in March?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Looks like it's done? Silva to Cubs, Bradley to the Ms.

smwojoz said:

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I believe Chicagonow hates me. I cannot log in without a multitude of issues, and now i can't look at previous posts because this "whosamungus" thingy blocks me from it. Alright, that's enough bitching... about that at least.

Carlos Silva?
We sign Grabow, lose Harden, are not a significant player in any of the major action this off season, we are supposedly handcuffed by Bradley (why is this?), we're keeping the troughs, moving spring training to the soon to be deserted grapefruit league and now you're forcing Silva down our throats?
Why do I support this team?

JulieDiCaro said:

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God good, Agreed.

UGH.

thisyearcub said:

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CRICKETY RICKETTS FAILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

CARLOS SILVA=PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey--why isn't it Hendry's fail? He made the deal.

Terrible trade. TERRIBLE.

We traded one of the most disciplined hitters in the game for a guy with an 8.60 ERA.

AndCounting said:

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I'm not praising the trade by any means, but you can pretty much throw out Silva's numbers from last year. He pitched in six games, most if not all of them with an injured shoulder. Then he went on the DL and pitched in two games as a reliever for a total of 1 2/3 innings.

He still sucks, and he might never be healthy again, but . . . I don't know. There's no but.

Umbra said:

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I hereby throw out Silva's numbers from last year.

IP: 157
ERA: 4.61
K/9: 3.8
BB/9: 1.7
HR/9: 1.1

I agree that there are plenty of more legitimate numbers to use to prove that Carlos Silva is not good at baseball. Let's use those!

thisyearcub said:

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There is a pecking order, and it starts at the top. It was made clear from the get-go that Bradley needed to be unloaded. Now, say, if Mark Cuban had bought the team, I don't think that would have been the case.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay--then you have to give Trib Co credit for bringing in Ramirez and Lofton in 2003. You can't give him credit for the good stuff and blame the owners for the bad.

thisyearcub said:

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I never said I was doing that. Sure, TribCo gets some credit. No prob. with that.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Meh. I believe Ricketts wanted Bradley gone, but I doubt they told him to make a deal for Carlos Silva.

Proggy said:

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Soooooo Hendry pulled a fast one then? Dealt Bradley for Silva without telling ownership what he was doing, hoping they wouldn't notice?


thisyearcub said:

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Ha...exactly, progs.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Of course not. Did I say that? I just don't think it's fair to praise Hendry for all the good deals and blame the owners for all the bad.

smwojoz said:

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Please tell me they are picking up a nice chunk of Bradley's salary...please? Lie to me if you have to.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Word so far is that this deal cost us an extra $3 million.

cubby23(eric) said:

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They said that Seattle is sending cash as well to help the Cubs.

Alex Quigley said:

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baseball-reference says Silva was paid $12.5M by the Mariners last year.

Holy balls.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Was Jim Hendry their GM, too?

oog of ulams said:

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Let's all take a moment to remember the REAL architect of this monstrosity.

Umbra said:

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Frank Gehry?

flyball said:

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you're thinking the Stata Center

although they both have areas that are unusable because they makes people nauseous

Umbra said:

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lol, this blog needs more architecture jokes. With this deal, the Cubs make Eero Saarinen look like Fazlur Kahn amiright?

flyball said:

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I am seriously thinking about hiding away until at least catchers and pitchers report, sure the news will suck just as much then, but at least that will be 2 months of not having to think about it

JulieDiCaro said:

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Mariners get Bradley, Cubs get Silva & $9 million.

That's SOMETHING, at least.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Theriot is now on with Waddle & Silvy talking about how the Cubs will be able to "focus" now that Milton is gone. God, he's such a douche.

LostinFla said:

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Sounds like a terrible trade if true, but the fact that the Cubs followed through on a "must move regardless" Bradley trade might suggest that he was too hated within the clubhouse to stay. Who knows?

Not sure if who you're calling a douche, Waddle or Theriot? If it's Theriot, I don't know if I consider him a douche, but his perception by Cub fans as "not the biggest problem", I don't believe to be accurate. I think he is (and has been) one of their biggest problems and a SS upgrade really is one of the things that needed to be on the priority list 3 years ago. Certainly more than a left-handed hitting RF. Too bad they don't have one. Again.

smwojoz said:

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He's a pint-sized, scraptastic, media-whore, sound bite giving, cliche ridden, Cajun douche.

LostinFla said:

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Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel about him.

Kerry said:

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You're right, Theriot was absolutely the only one who noticed Bradley wasn't fitting in with the team: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090920&content_id=7068578&vkey=news_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc

smwojoz said:

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Theriot was all that before Bradley was on this team. I've always felt that way, anyone who has been around this sight for the last few years knows my feelings for the insufferable little ass.

Assuming you know what a person is talking about is dangerous. It usually makes the one doing the assuming look foolish.


I don't see anywhere in this thread where I said Theriot is the only one who feels that way, do you? So keep setting up those strawmen.

Kerry said:

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It's funny you talk about assumptions. Clearly you know Ryan Theriot personally and well enough to make judgments about his character based upon a few interviews he's given.

JulieDiCaro said:

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He's given WAY more than a few interviews. My over-used joke is that the most dangerous place in Cook County is between Ryan Theriot and a camera.

Edelweiss said:

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Theriot gives so many interviews because he says only what the "official" story is. The team makes him available more than anyone else for this reason. Like most Cajuns, he is good at changing the subject to avoid controversy. Last year, Fontenot gave an interview, where the poor interviewer wasn't able to get any answer he wanted because Mikey took him completely away from the subject.

smwojoz said:

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Do you live in or near Chicago? Do you watch the games? Do you listen to pre and postgame? Do you read papers? Did you know he actually has a weekly show on WGN radio with Kap EVEN DURING THE OFFSEASON? His own teammates have said as much. In fact Derosa teased him about on air. If you can't see that Theriot hasn't met a mic or pad and pen he didn't like, then I can't help you.

The childish argument that "Clearly you know Ryan Theriot personally" holds no water. Yes, I can clearly make an assumption based on what I know. The difference between my assumption and yours is that mine is based on fact and evidence that I have gathered over a period of time. Yours is based on thinking you knew what I was talking about. Clearly you did not. I asked you to point out where I made an assertion that he was the only one who felt that way and the best you could come up with was an immature comeback based on yet another specious argument. If you don't see the difference then, again I can't help you.

You really don't want to keep playing this game with me. I actually quite like sparring in this manner.

joeydafish said:

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If the money winds up being a contract for contract situation or even if Hendry "managed" to pry a few million in addition to Silva this trade is still the same thing as if Hendry went out and signed Silva as a free agent for two years at about 24 million...?? Would any of us fans be happy with that? No way. This is the result of Hendry painting himself into a corner, have ZERO leverage with the rest of the GM's and taking whatever deal was presented to him before spring training rolls around. I certainly don't miss Bradley, and certainly don't care weather Silva is good, bad or Cy Young. What I care the most about is when Hendry is no longer GM so we fans don't have to put up with this kind of "two steps" backward, "one step" forward style of general managing. Bradley=two steps backward, dumping Bradley (for Silva or ANDYBODY)=one step forward, which leaves the team one step backward...WAY TO GO JIMMY!!!

millertime said:

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I agree. Clearly, this team has no shot of winning the division, let alone going .500 with a GM like Hendry at the helm. How this guy has managed to keep his job after the decade of complete failure he's put this team through is beyond me.

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