Baseball Diamond News

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sign Howry

Today the Cubs signed Bobby Howry to a 3 year deal worth 12 million dollars. I think the Cubs could have spent this money on improving the bench or a LF, CF or SS replacement. I understand shoring up bullpen, but if Cubs wanted to do that they would have been a major player for BJ Ryan instead of Scott Erye and then signing Howry might have made more sense to me. What the Cubs essentially did was add 2 average relievers for the next 3 years for a total of 23 million dollars. Also what worries me about him is his drop in strikeout per 9 innings last season going from 8.23 to 5.92. This is usually a sign of arm problems or even just a loss of velocity or even just a loss of physical ability. I think by the end of both these contracts management is going to wish they had a mulligan.

I am hoping now that Hendry turns his attention to FLA Pierre as I would rather have him than Johnny Damon for what he and his agent are asking for. I know he may not be the ultimate CF, but since 2001 Pierre has hit 200+ hits 3 times and that would definitely fix the problem at leadoff and CF. If they can achieve this I think the next place they need to shore up is RF. Currently we have no one on the 40 man roster to play RF and finding a good RF might cost some money, so I think bypassing a SS for fixing the RF position should take priority. I am convinced given the opportunity Ronny Cedeno can make a decent SS and we still have Todd Walker under contract for the year at 2b.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Roster moves

The Cubs have made some moves to finalize their 40 man roster for the rule v draft.

Listed Below are the Cubs that were added to the roster (alphabetically position player/pitchers):
1b Brian Dopirak
3B Scott Moore
OF Felix Pie
C Jose Reyes
P Carlos Marmol
P Sean Marshall
P Ricky Nolasco
P Jae Kuk Ryu

There are a few people not on this list that might be a little surprising are Bobby Brownlie, Brandon Sing. I don't think Brownlie can make a team and stay up the whole season nor has he shown much potential, so I don't think the Cubs risk anything there. Sing I don't know a thing about defensively and he may be stuck behind Lee and Dopirak, but I think the Cubs might have been able to trade to him to an AL team for something (than again maybe no one will take him).

The Cubs then outrighted the following three guys: Mike Fontenot, Richard Lewis,Russ Rohlicek. All three of these guys are easily replaced with anyone in the minor leagues. Besides being former 1st round picks neither Fontenot nor Lewis have done a thing to earn a spot on the 40-man roster. Rohlicek is a lefty reliever without much control and became expendable with the signing of Eyre.

The Cubs outfielder Adam Greenberg was designated for assignment, meaning the Cubs have 10 days to trade him or he becomes a FA. I feel a little sorry for Adam as his only at-bat was a ball to the head, but hopefully he can catch on somewhere and do well off the bench. I was hoping (ok dreaming) the Cubs would do the same to Jose Macias, but I think he has a life time contract with the Cubs as long as Hendry/Baker are in town.

Eyre signs 3 year deal

According to the Cubs have signed Scott Eyre to a 3-year 11 million dollar deal. The last time the Cubs gave out a 3 year deal to a lefty reliever was Remlinger, but I am 100% positive this signing will turn out much better then that deal (which is not going to be too hard). Eyre not only stops lefties from getting on, he also gets righties out consistently also. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a great signing by any means, and think the Cubs should have shelled out 7 million more or so and tried for BJ Ryan, but then that would mean that Hendry was actually doing something instead of putting together an average team. The major thing that worries me is that Eyre tends to give up more fly balls than ground balls and sometimes in Wrigley that can come back and haunt you, but then again with the defense that was out there last year the Cubs fans didn't want to see any ground balls hit.

Also on the trade front, yesterday the Cubs traded Jon Leicester to the Rangers for a PTBNL. Jon did not fit into the Cubs plans and hopefully this might help the Cubs get Kevin Mench, who I would love to see in RF for the Cubs. I think his bat would be great in Wrigley and having him and Murton (assuming Cubs let him start) on the corners is a good foundation. If the Cubs can pull off a trade for Mench, I'd think another trade getting Pierre for CF would definitely improve the Cubs defense and offense in the OF.

This then would leave the SS/2b unresolved, the bench (which needs to be highly upgraded if we want to contend next season),and another guy or 2 in pen. I'd also say that we might need an emergency starter guy, as I am not high on Rusch, but since starting pitching is scarce this off-season, the prices of the available guys are not worth paying.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Nefi Perez

Well I am back. Hopefully someone still checks this site out. I have been swamped with a bunch of stuff and it being the beginning of the off-season I took a hiatus.

What in the world is Hendry thinking? Not only did he re-sign Nefi Perez, he gave him a 2-year contract worth 2.5 each year. I could understand a 1 year, maybe 1 million dollar contract, but now we are stuck with a no defense and no hitting middle infielder, whom Dusty Baker will get into at least 100 games. I am going on record now, I don't care who the Cubs get, if Nefi plays 100 games, the Cubs will not even finish .500. One might say that would only happen with many injuries to the team so that won't happen, but Dusty loves playing vets. I don't understand why the Cubs wouldn't save money to sign a real FA and have Ronny Cedeno play that role if they don't think he can start. The one good thing about this is maybe the Jose Macias era will end and if not then McPhail needs to step into Hendry's office instantly and fire him.

Speaking of signings the Cubs overpaid for Ryan Dempster. I know he converted most of his save opportunities, but when he entered the game I had the same feeling in my gut as I did when Mitch Williams would come in for a save. I understand that Dempster's control is much better than Williams was, but he just didn't instill confidence in me for him out there. Also by signing him means that the Cubs most likely won't try to acquire a reliever to close, ala BJ Ryan or Billy Wagner.

The other signing this off season for Rusch, is still a reward from what he did in 2004. Last season he wasn't nearly as effective and starting in August he gave up 68 hits in 49.2 innings along with 12 hr's and an ERA of 5.80. I understand offering him a 1 year deal for about 2.5 million, but a 2 year deal and telling him he has a legitimate shot at the rotation is the wrong thing to do (unless Hendry lied about that).

The Cubs have a lot to do this off season to improve their team to be any type of contender. In the next couple of days I will write about who I think Hendry should attempt to sign. Also I will try and give some winter league stats.

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