A League of Her Own

Wednesday Headlines: Carlos Pena, Come on Down

April 14, 2010: Carlos Pena for the Tampa Bay Rays at bat during a game against the hometown Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The Rays beat the Orioles 9 - 1.

The Cubs have finally agreed to terms with the first baseman of their dreams. Carlos Pena is primed to sign a free agent contract that will surprise you, and maybe in a good way.
The Cubs have reached a preliminary agreement with free agent first baseman Carlos Pena on a one-year deal with about $10 million, according to sources, and hope to finalize the deal this morning during a schedule meeting with his agent, Scott Boras.

I'll be as giddy as a schoolgirl if the deal turns out to be one year. All the talk yesterday centered around two to three years. But what does spending $10 million on Pena mean for the rest of the offseason?

With so much of their limited payroll flexibility now tied to one addition, the Cubs are expected to look harder at harder at trades than the free-agent market to fill the pitching needs - unless they can move a significant portion of a larger contract, such as the $13.5 million left on the final year of outfielder Kosuke Fukudome's contract.

Rampant trade speculation time!

One exciting thing for the Cubs at the Winter Meetings is that Mike Quade didn't embarrass himself while meeting with the media. Here he is, talking about expectations for next year:


On whether he expects the Cubs to win the division: "I expect to win every game every day and make an adjustment afterwards. That's the God's honest truth. I'm fairly certain we are not going to go 162-0, but I really do (want to win every day). I don't know how else to approach a season or a ballclub without thinking, 'Let's find a way to get that done.' And then react as you go along and see what happens."

On the expectations of the fans: "My expectations are normally higher than the fans. Now, the reaction to those expectations might be a better question, how you deal with that.

And somewhere along the line, he got started talking of himself in the third person.


"When I was coaching third (base), you get criticized. You send somebody, they get thrown out, bad decision, but nobody was ever more critical of Mike Quade than Mike Quade. So I go in with high expectations. And realistically, make adjustments if necessary along the way. Having lived there and having the Chicago experience most of my life, I understand the angst. But I have to stay focused on getting the most out of my club every day, and that's a daily task in itself."

Finally, all Lou Piniella is saying is give the Ricketts a chance.

"Give them a little time," he said. "It's amazing. I managed four years in Chicago and had three different ownership groups. I managed three years at Tampa Bay and had two different ownership groups. I guess I'm an ownership...It's unbelievable. The last seven years I managed, I had five different owners. That's a lot. But the Ricketts, look, first of all, they're good people. They want what's best for the city of Chicago and what's best for the Chicago Cubs. They're learning the game of baseball. It's not an easy game. They've got good people in the front office. They've got a good staff on the field. The farm system, I thought we had some good young players coming. You give them some time. And with the passion they have for it and the fact that they want to win, they're going to bring a winner to Chicago in a short period of time."


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101 Comments

gravedigger said:

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I was under the impression the Cubs were bargain shopping, so $10m for a guy who hit like .145 last year is surprising, but at least it was one year. Thank god, I was getting ready to get stabby last night.

plamorte said:

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I'm fine with this, I did not want multiple years and you'll have to overpay a bit (a lot) to get a Boras guy to sign one year. Plus he was hurt last year so maybe a healthy offseason and switch to the NL could do some good (optimism anyone?)

gravedigger said:

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I actually do agree with this. I know Julie pointed out that he's declined since 07, but he didn't actually fall off a cliff until last year when, as you mentioned, he was hurt. He's someone who could easily turn around and have a monster year.

Won't matter in the end, as the team is still going to blow copiously this year.

Rich Beckman said:

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Just one year!

Seems like a lot of dollars.

But it is just one year!!!

summerguy said:

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I don't know about you guys... but I'm still trying to figure out how this market is circa 2006 again. What's with the drastic change and huge contracts?

For some reason, I always get pissed off when I hear the Cubs sign a guy for 1-yr so he can "boost his value" for the following year's free agent market. Why the hell can't we get some kind of club option or something for the 2nd year as an insurance policy for that 10 million dollars we will be paying for this year.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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One year is great, but that money is a bit (a lot) too much. I agree with GD, I thought I was going to have to get stabby this morning when I heard about a multi-year deal. Question, if it is only for one year, who do we go after next year?

plamorte said:

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Prince (he'll get traded and extended before that though) or Pujols (who signs an extension this year I bet) So basically the choices would be Pena again or maybe Ross Gload.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/03/2012-mlb-free-agents.html

plamorte said:

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And that ^^^ is why we should have be more aggressive for Dunn or A-Gonz.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Agree...At least for Gonzalez. Like Dunn, but I can't see him bending over to field grounders without falling over.

berselius said:

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yes yes yes please on Fielder. He might get traded but I think it's extremely unlikely he's extended.

Doc said:

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I just don't know about Fielder...with Boras as his agent...I just get the feeling he's not going to produce to the level he's going to get paid.

And he's sooooooo bad defensively, if his hitting faulters, I just see Cubs fans and media all over this guy.

And he's a notoriously slow starter every year...that's another problem if your in a Cubs uniform.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Would Chicago really be receptive to Fielder anyway?? Took some forever (or a few homeruns) to accept Edmonds.

Doc said:

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I think so...my experience is that Cubs fans don't necessarily have the same negative attitude toward Milwaukee players as they do toward Cardinals players. We don't have the "Lou Brock" type of history behind the rivalry.

Cubs fans will love having Fielder until he enters May of his first year here with a .150 batting average.

JulieDiCaro said:

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On the one hand, the fact that Hendry didn't give Pena 3 years and a full-NTC is signifcant progress. On the other hand: Pena $10 million, Grabow $4 million (last year), Fukudome $13.5 million, Jeff Samardzija $10 million. . . no wonder this team doesn't have any freakin' money.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Preach, Sister!! Now, we need to find a home for Kosuke!!

flyball said:

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hmm, I'm not used to agreeing with everyone, but in this case I do, $0 mil is a lot, but for a year whatevs its cool


plamorte said:

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$0 mil would be a steal actually

JulieDiCaro said:

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$0 mil would have been perfect!

flyball said:

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sigh, I have a feeling its going to be a loooong day

well, really a long 4 days

Doc said:

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I'm predicting that Pena will be a colossal failure....

The biggest problem is that the Cubs had a real opportunity to lock up first base for the next 3 to 4 years this offseason. They could have gotten Adam Dunn for only $1.5 million more this year. Or, if they were actually willing to part with some prospects (hell, the Red Sox and Yankees always seem to be), they could have really made a true effort to get Adrian Gonzalez.

If Pena doesn't work out, and at age 33, I don't expect him to, the only true hope is for the Cubs to get Prince Fielder for $22 to $23 million for each of 5 or 6 years...and I really think that would be a huge mistake.

The only other option is going to be sitting back and seeing what the trade market might have to offer one year from now.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Doc, I love your optimism.

berselius said:

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Pointing to Adrian Gonzalez isn't really that relevant here. The Cubs are going to suck next year. All Pena costs is money, not prospects (and the Red Sox gave up a lot to get him). But what did they get - one (cheap) year of Gonzalez and exclusive rights to negotiate an extension. Gonzalez won't sign that extension unless he's getting FA-level money anyway, just like Fielder would in the same offseason.

berselius said:

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Plus, since it's only a 1-year deal, it would be much easier for the Cubs to flip him for more prospects at the deadline.

JulieDiCaro said:

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This is what I'm hoping for. What I'm afraid of is that the Cubs will come out of the gate red-hot, convince the front office they're in it, then become who we thought they were on August 1.

Doc said:

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Oh...so basically they'll play like they typically did during the 70's. I get it.

sloan peterson said:

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The only way the Cubs or any other team should sign Fielder is if Fielder has to give back the $$ if he gets hurt/does not get in shape.Otherwise it's Mo Vaughn and the Angels all over again...

Doc said:

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that's why he's not worth the risk. Forget about Mo Vaughn...just look at Prince's father! Same thing.

MB21 said:

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I agree with this to some extent. Berselius and I very much disagree on Fielder's outlook even though I'm mostly going on a hunch and a some anecdotal evidence. Still, I don't want the Cubs to invest THAT much money in him. 3 years, maybe 4. Fine.

MB21 said:

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Doc, I'm curious what you think a player has to do to be worth $10 million. Could you give me the on-base and slugging numbers you'd expect for a player that's being paid $10 million? I think you'll find that very, very few players at that level make such a little amount of money. Based on what I've looked at this morning, Pena is worth about $12 million. And even if it fails, berselius is right. The team is going to suck not just next year, but in all likelihood in 2012 and 2013 as well. There's no reason to get Gonzalez. I would have preferred the Cubs stuck with someone at 1st base that cost only a million or two or even went with Bryan Lahair, Brad Snyder, Sam Fuld or Sean Marshall for all I care.

Doc said:

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Pena's average value the last 3 season's has been just under $12 million, and it has been a steady decline during that period ($18.1, $12.6 and $4.1)...I have no reason to believe, at age 33 will play above that average....and because I'm so optimistic (ha!) and after the season he had last year, I don't see any reason why anyone would give Pena more than $8 million for 2010.

For me...I didn't think the Cubs would have the guts to get A-Gon...my choice was Adam Dunn even with his defense. If they couldn't get him, though I had some interest in Berkman, I preferred them to just stand pat, as you would have preferred. LaHair, Colvin, whatever...it really doesn't matter now for 2011. I just don't like the idea of having to pay these high ticket prices to see Carlos Pena ground out to second base 4 times a game.

I agree with anyone that thinks there is the possibility for high reward here...I just don't see that happening, and for a team that appears to be somewhat strapped for payroll cash right now, it seems like a pretty big risk to take.

MB21 said:

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I'm not asking you to look at his value the last 3 years. We've learned in recent months that the play by play fielding metrics are useless and WAR doesn't take luck into account (.222 babip last year). I'm asking you what you think a player has to hit to earn that kind of money. I'm not asking you to look at how much value he's had, which does not adjust for luck.

Carlos Pena was going to get more money than Berkman. Everybody knew this. There was never any doubt about this. He was younger, better and was coming from the superior league and the best division in baseball.

As I've said, I'd prefer the Cubs just have stuck someone like a random fan at 1st base. Just have a fan play 1st base each day. I don't care. But this is a small contract all things considered.

MB21 said:

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I'd also add that the team isn't strapped for cash so much as they are strapped for talent. The combination means they're going to suck. I mentioned yesterday on ACB, but short of acquiring Tim Lincecum for Carlos Zambrano, Brett Gardner for Alfonso Soriano and Prince Fielder for Kosuke Fukudome, this team isn't contending without an enormous amount of luck. The better question at this point is why are they even trying to add players rather than subtract?

Soto, Marmol, Marshall, Wells, Silva, and anyone else 25 or older should be available to be traded. The Cubs desperately need to get younger and even more desperately need to improve their farm system. They can't keep piecing big league teams together by spending millions after millions. It will work from time to time, but never on a long-term basis.

Doc said:

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I agree with you very much on this...but I'd like to say that a team can't compete by being entirely full of young players. I had an argument with a guy the other day on Twitter about how the Yankees built their team in the mid-90's...and he argued that it was a team base on primarily talent they brought up through their system. I didn't fully agree with that, and when I researched it, in the end I was even surprised to find out that only 6 of their players on their WS roster were guys they brought up through their system (Jeter, Williams, Fox, Pettitte, Boehringer, Rivera). Getting younger and building up the farm system should be a way for the Cubs to trade for good, talented players in the future.

There is a balance to achieve this and the Cubs have been at one extreme for quite a long time now. Going to the other extreme probably isn't the right way to go either.

The Cubs are going to suck this year...you know that, I know it, but they don't. I just wish they would have pocketed the $10 million instead of spending on a guy that probably isn't going to be here in 2012.

MB21 said:

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Yes, absolutely. You have to have balance because you're not likely to win with just young players, but the young players are where you get your savings if you want to call it that. The production from young players allows you spend on free agents and maintain a healthy roster (not old, not overpaid, etc). The Cubs don't have that right now. They have a lot of depth, but they don't have any impact players. Starlin Castro could be a star, but other than him they have depth.

They need to acquire more than depth in their minor leagues.

As for the .825 OPS comment below, that seems fair. If we say .350/.475, that's an estimated .357 wOBA for what it's worth. Pena's projections in the tougher league and in a tougher park is a .357 wOBA. So he's right on the mark for what you're thinking a player making that much is worth. Of course position matters. A .357 hitting shortstop is going to be a lot more valuable than a .357 hitting 1st baseman, but it happens that when you neutralize Pena's wOBA you get about .360. That makes him a league average player or about $10 million value.

Adjust the numbers to Wrigley and you get about 2.7 WAR when you needed 2.

50% chance beats that or does worse? Considering Pena's average OBP/SLG projection is actually .349/.475 (.001 point off of your .825 number), that's exactly right. There is exactly a 50% chance that he does worse than that and a 50% chance he does better than that.

The projection is just a baseline. 50% of players perform better than their baseline and 50% perform worse. You pay players based on their baseline projection because much of the variance around the actual performance is going to be random luck. you can't predict that. So I agree. There's a 50% chance he does worse.

Let's look at this another way. We'll use his .357 un-adjusted projected wOBA (.382 Wrigley adjusted wOBA though). He's projected to get 522 PA on average.

One standard deviation (just dumb luck) in his wOBA will be .023 points of wOBA. So this is what we have:

-2 Standard Deviation (SD): .312
-1 SD: .335
Baseline: .357
+1 SD: .380
+2 SD: .403

Using the .382 instead:

-2 SD: .336
-1 SD: .359
Baseline: .382
+1 SD: .405
+2 SD: .428

Therefore there's a 95% chance his wOBA is between .336 and .428. 5% chance it's lower or higher.

I think that's one thing that people don't consider with projections or just talent overall. There's a huge variance in such a small sample of just one season. I did this same thing with Marlon Byrd's OBP right before they signed him last year. People complained that it was all over the map, but it was within a standard deviation. We can't expect a baseline .357 hitter to hit .357. We think he's a .357 hitter, but understand that in 500 or so PA there is going to be a lot of variance. A true talent .357 hitter could hit .330 or .400 and still be a .357 hitter.

As far as the Cubs not knowing they suck, I tend to disagree. I think they know very well they aren't going to be any good, but are marketing the team in the best way possible. The question that I've asked over the years is whether or not Cubs fans would tolerate a full rebuilding process, which is what the Cubs desperately need right now. I don't know the answer, but I think it's plainly clear the Cubs do not think their fans would tolerate it.

Doc said:

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The biggest question about Pena is whether or not 2010 was an aberration or not.

I'm leaving the wOBA to you...I still need to study up on it before I can start making arguments with it.

I decided to look at Pena removing his ridiculously awesome 2007 season an his ridiculously horrible 2010 season. What I discovered was that from 2001 thru 2006 + 2008 & 2009, his OPS was (by my calculations, I could be wrong) was .823.

His 2008 and 2009 seasons were considerably better than that.

One thing to definitely be prepared for is a batting average in the .240s...because again excluding those two out of whack seasons, that's what is batting average typically is.

In the end that .823 would justify my $10 million. I just believed in a market that had so many 1st basemen, the Cubs could have saved a bit more money for the short term (or just not sign anyone of substance at all), or gone all in for someone that would eventually be part of the 2014 championship team.

MB21 said:

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Be sure to weight previous season more heavily than past seasons. 2001 through 2006 really has little impact on what we can expect from Pena going forward. The same can be said for 2007 mostly. I believe for a starting player the weighting of the 4th season is only 10% so it's not really having an impact on his projections. 2010 has the most impact and then 2009 and then 2008.

Doc said:

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That's fair enough...I didn't actually answer the question you asked...I'd like to see a player hit probably in the .825 OPS range for a price like that. I'm not sure if that is reasonable or not...but I think there is probably about 50% chance that Pena does that for the Cubs in 2010...and considering this is the Cubs, that likelihood could be lower...especially if he gets off to a slow start.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Bruce Levine says Cubs interested in Matt Garza, Armando Galarraga.

plamorte said:

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I'd feel much better about this offseason if Cubs somehow land Garza. Great numbers pitching in the AL East, should have no problem in NL Central.

Doc said:

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What the hell is that supposed to accomplish?

flyball said:

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the feeling of being productive?

plamorte said:

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I don't think strengthening the pitching staff is ever a bad thing

JulieDiCaro said:

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agree. and I'd love to see Matt Garza in Cubbieblue and I love Armando Galarraga's smile. Ha.

Doc said:

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Garza should be relatively cheap, so might not be bad as a long term acquisition...I'll give you that. Galarraga is pointless.

plamorte said:

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no interest in Mr. Almost Perfect Game. Stay away Jim.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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And for that reason, Galarraga will become a Cub!! Garza would be a sweet addition.

HackWilson09 said:

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See the last 20 winters:
Once you see a "trade rumor" surface, that means that it is something that didn't happen, and it will never happen. No Garza, no Galarraga. The Cubs won't part with middling prospects, so Hendry will be unable to make trades, ever.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Sox reach 3-year deal with Konerko.

JulieDiCaro said:

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3 years, $37.5 million.

plamorte said:

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only $6.5mil in 3rd year, rest deferred, so Kenny has money that year to spend. I'm so jealous of the Sox management.

JulieDiCaro said:

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(sigh)

agree.

Doc said:

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Konerko probably wouldn't have gotten more than $9 million a year from anyone else...

Yet we still paid Pena $10 mil. Ugh!

plamorte said:

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1M per year from '14-'20.

sloan peterson said:

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Watch him get hurt-it happens so many times with the big buck contracts....

Doc said:

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except for the Cubs where the player doesn't really get hurt...he just sucks.

Doc said:

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I just read FanGraphs' analysis of the Pena signing...

They suspect that the Cubs and Rudy Jaramillo have found something in Pena's swing that they believe they can correct...and that this very well could lead the Cubs back into contention.But that aside, they said the trending numbers don't look favorable for substantial rebound for Pena and that this is a risk that likely won't pay off.

I don't listen to these guys too much, but that's pretty much how I feel about this as well.

flyball said:

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its going to take more than Pena swinging a little bit better to get the Cubs back into contention

Doc said:

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The Sun-Times has tweeted that some of the Pena money is deferred. This would start to make a little more sense considering the Cubs payroll restrictions this year.

flyball said:

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out of curiosity, what is the benefit of deferred payroll for the team? I assume this isn't like a regular deferred employee payment to keep them from leaving, so if $1 mil is paid next season to him isn't it just a mil less the team has to use for payroll then?

plamorte said:

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benefit is that it gives the team more flexibility to spend elsewhere. Sox get Konerko for $6.5 mil in his third year and have $6 million more to use on something else that year because they'll pay PK $1 mil from '14 to '20, which is not a big burden on a payroll at all.

flyball said:

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but if they do that for 5 players, then that 5 mil each of those years

it all has to be paid eventually, so I get it if you're trying to do a one time increase to payroll, kinda, although that kinda smacks of "I'll buy those shoes today and pay it back tomorrow" but it just seems like a less obnoxious version of back loaded contracts

Doc said:

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for the Cubs...considering upwards of $40 million coming off the books next year...deferring say, $5 million of that until next year, or spread out over 2 more years gives the Cubs a bit more flexibility in the short term.

One would hope, then, that they don't go off and spend lavishly on questionable talent again in 2012 and 2013...but we'll see.

Doc said:

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The Sun-Times has confirmed that $5 million has been deferred until 2012.

JulieDiCaro said:

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No way! Hendry found a way to backload a 1-year deal.

Doc said:

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The scarier part was that I guessed that dead on.

HackWilson09 said:

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Oh, that is just wonderful. Spread that shit out over a couple years. Like riding down a big turd slide that never ends.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Does anyone know why the LaRoche pursuit fell off? Just wondering. Kruk said last night that LaRoche was the best 1B available.

Doc said:

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There were a couple of sources out there that said the LaRoche talks were just a backup plan if Pena fell through. I don't think the Cubs were super serious about him.

Konerko was the best 1B available even though he was 124 years old. Second is probably D-Lee. LaRoche isn't too bad and might have been the best overall value out there for the money.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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LaRoche was the biggest bang for your buck. I heard that D-Lee might be going to the Cubs Graveyard...Baltimore.

Doc said:

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Either that or possibly the A's...

Overall, the market for Lee seems really light...which is unfortunate for him. His contract with the Cubs really makes teams scared about signing him because they are assuming he's going to demand a lot.

HackWilson09 said:

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This just in: I sold a shiny turd to Jim Hendry for ten thousand dollars. I told him it was the best shit he could find for that money.

Excuse me, but is there not even one minor leaguer who can hit .196 for the minimum salary? Not one? Seriously, Hoffpauir could have hit .196. LaHair could do it. And what of Colvin at first and Fukudome in right? Wouldn't that be cheaper, and give you just a couple fewer home runs?

What is the point?

I don't understand!

Hitting under .200 is really bad. Ten million dollars is so much money. This says terrible things about the state of the Cubs, and the state of humanity in general. I feel like everything in the world is broken today. I hate this team now.

HackWilson09 said:

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PS I'll clean up my act when the Cubs clean up theirs.

gravedigger said:

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i dont think you need to clean up anything at all

plamorte said:

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have to say it's been a good discussion day here, 60 comments by noon! Good to see most of us starting to warm up with Cubs fever!

gravedigger said:

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I think you're misunderstanding at least one of us. I'm still on the "fuck the Cubs" bandwagon.

plamorte said:

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I never said it was a good fever GD...but we're talking at least!

Doc said:

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yes...fevers are bad things. The Cubs are definitely making us sick.

HackWilson09 said:

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Warming up with Cubs fever? The only thing warm around here is the steaming pile Jim Hendry just made us all step in.

Maybe if he hires 100 injured players after a down year, the 101st injured player will actually work out. How does this guy keep a job? I can actually write the script for the rest of it, and nobody has to watch anything. See next post...

HackWilson09 said:

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You guys can all take the rest of the winter off, because I'll just tell you what Hendry is going to do next. There is a reason why 29 other GMs voted him easiest to work with -- it's because he's predictable and he lacks creativity, foresite and aggressiveness:

1. The December meetings will have ended with Jim having accomplished what he set out to do. We know about Pena. But he's also worked hard to spread rumors about how hard he has tried to sign Cliff Lee and trade for Adrian Gonzalez, when all he really did was embarrass himself with lowball garbage offers that made people laugh out loud in hotel lobbies.

2. Hendry goes back to Chicago to tell everyone that it is impossible to do anything further without moving Fukudome's contract. Nothing else happens until the first week of February.

3. January 15th, Kerry Wood throws up his hands and joins the White Sox.

4. Fukudome is traded for Joe Borowski, who is trying to make a comeback.

5. Chad Fox is signed to a minor league deal.

6. Late Feb: Citing the desperate need for a leadoff man for the 14th season in a row, Hendry trades Chris Archer and Trey McNutt for Coco Crisp, giving us four outfielders again, and no way humanly possible to play all of them at once.

7. Hendry manages to hold onto prized possessions Chris Carpenter, Casey Coleman, Dolis, Chirinos, Castillo and Szamardzija, beaming with pride. None of them ever really pans out.

plamorte said:

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Cubs Psychologist said:

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Are you ok, Hack? I would have sworn that Hendry came to you house and personal took a shit in your coffee and made you some shit muffins for breakfast!! Or, it is just Cubs Fever (which I heard resembles a combination of malaria, swine flu, and the clap)?

HackWilson09 said:

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Cubs Fever is an ever-evolving strain, like Swine Flu. Yeah, this year, it gives you the shits, and the shits never stop.

JulieDiCaro said:

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hey. . Hack.

Push out the jive, bring in the love.

HackWilson09 said:

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See, maybe that's the whole thing. How do you love a team that has nobody on it to love?

Okay, here's some love: I love Ron Santo.

I love Kerry Wood and Ernie Banks. Fans of teams should always have somebody to love, like Jeter, or Ichiro, or Tony Gwynn, or Greg Maddux, or Cliff Lee. You can love them because they are crazy good, or you can love them for the way the play the game or the things they say.

So let's think about our team. Who do you love?

I think I love Starlin Castro, but he's not even old enough to drink yet, so that sounds creepy.

I love Pat Hughes...

I... LIKE... Dempster, Z, Quade, Jaramillo, Marmol, Marshall, Byrd and Soto. There are a bunch of other guys that I'm not sure about yet, or I absolutely despise.

I wonder if the Cubs truly understand or care, for instance, how much we do love Kerry Wood, and want him back, despite the fact that he might get hurt again, or cost a tad more than they want him to. If they simply did that, I'd feel so much better.

Teebob2000 said:

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Even after last season's dismal offensive showing you still *like* Jaramillo?? Jeezuz, you're a saint, man!

Rich Beckman said:

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" Coco Crisp, giving us four outfielders again, and no way humanly possible to play all of them at once."

That's it!!! The Cubs are going to play the 3-4 defense. It will revolutionize baseball!!!!

plamorte said:

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Jon Heyman: "cubs looking for starter. called on greinke but mid-rotation guy more likely."

Cubs Psychologist said:

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If he could somehow get Greinke, I might be impressed with Trader Jim. They could take Kosuke...

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm headed downtown to do something that might be exciting for us down the road. now that THAT tantalizing teaser is out of the way, let me say this: I'm worried about many of you today.

Doc said:

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Well, we're worried about you every day.

HackWilson09 said:

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I'm not just worried about myself. I'm frightened.

But at least I ain't "stabby"!

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Being "stabby" is better than being a "jackwagon!" Have a good one, Julie!!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Being "stabby" is a time-honored past time!

sloan peterson said:

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Let me guess: they're filming a new reality show, "So You Want to be a Cub?" and LOHO posters get to create the challenges?

sloan peterson said:

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Second guess: LOHO bobbleheads....

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Whew...We just dodged a bullet. Mike Hampton has just signed with the Diamondbacks. If Hendry knew he wanted to play coming off an injury, he would have gave the 38 year-old a 6 year 8 gazillion dollar contract.

MillsChC said:

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Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but while watching the Hawks game tonight, I noticed on the bottom ticker that coverage of Ronnie's funeral and procession will be streamed live on CSNChicago.com beginning at 10:00am Friday... so for any of you like me who's outside of Chicago and wanted to see it, there you go.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Per Bruce Levine, the Cubs have the strongest bid so far for Matt Garza.

Edelweiss said:

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If the Cubs want a real second baseman, I hear Eckstein is a free agent, and works cheap.

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