Baseball Diamond News

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Van Buren Deal Completed

The Cubs have completed the deal that sent Jermaine Van Buren to the Red Sox and have acquired Matthew Ciaramella. There isn't much information about him. A switch hitter who hasn't shown much power, but started to show some ability to get on-base. One great thing about him, he has the same birthday as me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

IBL: Chicago Cougars Update

It has been a while since an IBL update so here is an update since last season.

I lost in the AC Championship to MCM (my buddy Sean’s team), which then went on to defeat SDQ for Sean’s 3rd championship. After the season I decided to cut WAS Carroll, BAL Surhoff, OAK Kennedy, Jolbert Cabrera and WAS Drese. Soon after the season ended I make the following 3 trades: I sent TB Waechter to DTR for a future 4th round pick, I then sent a 4th round pick this year to HAG for DET Inge, lastly I sent BAL LopezJ. and my 5th round pick next season to POR for their #2 this season and OAK Witasick.

I acquired Inge to take over at third base this season as defensively he is superior to SF Alfonzo and also much better offensively. While the Cougars are going to miss Lopez’s bat in the lineup, the opportunity to pick up a nice reliever card and a great pick for Lopez was too much to pass up.

Next I made another trade with DTR, this time sending the 1-23 pick and my #1 pick next season + TOR Chulk for the 1-3 pick in the draft. This may have been a lot for the pick, but I also felt it as payback compensation for a trade that we made earlier last year that didn’t work out so well for his team. With the pick I drafted MIL Fielder. I know his card this season won’t be much, but this was a pick for the future.

When BUZ came up at 1-16 there was one card there I really wanted, so I traded my 1-21 + STL Grudzielanek (goodbye Mark) to BUZ for 1-16 + BUZ#3 next season. I was happy to get a #3 out of this deal for next year because it helps make up a little for not having my #1 and also it meant I got some good value out of Grudzielanek which was hard with a cornucopia of 2b’s this off-season. With the 16th pick in the draft I took CHN Murton. I know it is dangerous to take a guy from your favorite team, but I really like Matt and think he will continue to hit this season.

The pick acquired from POR was 2-3 and when that pick came up we chose to take OAK Dan Johnson. I know this pick might have seemed odd to people, especially with DET Granderson still on the board, but with my need for lefty power in the lineup I felt that Dan Johnson was too good to pass up. Also with Frank Thomas signing in Oakland it means Dan will be at 1st base instead of DH.

Having an extra 5th round pick that was going to go to waste due to no extra spots on team I made another deal with DTR. This time sending him my 3-1 and 5-17 for his 2-20. With that 2-20 I drafted yet another Cub, CHN Cedeno. I currently have Lugo at SS and am very comfortable with him, but I felt that with Cedeno showing he can finally hit last year and his performance in Winter League I thought he was worth taking a shot at over TOR Hill.

In the 3rd round I had 2 picks: 3-3 and 3-23. I decided with 3-3 to draft LAN Antonio Perez. He wasn’t the best prospect on the board, but he is a very useful utility IF to have off the bench. He also is only 26 and does have some upside. He will help out at 3b/2b this season mostly. At 3-23 I debated on taking BAL Penn for the future, but with my rotation (Oswalt, Zambrano, Bedard, Haren, Francis) I decided to draft a SP for the playoffs (if I make them), MIL Helling. He will have a killer card this year and if I don’t make the playoffs I am sure I can trade him for a better pick than 3-23 anyway.

In the 5th round I had one pick left and I probably got lazy in searching, but I picked my 3rd Cub of the off-season CHN Hill. I figured since I passed on Penn, why not take a flyer on Hill. Hill may never start for the Cubs, but he may be traded when they need something someday.

So here is my roster as of the end of the draft. Feel free to comment. I will give more detail about my team plans in next IBL post.


1. * BAL Bedard -- 4th Round 05

2. * CHN Hill -- 5th Round 06

3. * CHN Wuertz -- Trade SPO 4/05

4. * CHN Zambrano -- 1st Round 03 (#22)

5. * COL Francis -- 1st Round 05 (#18)

6. * HOU Oswalt -- 1st Round 02 (#3)

7. * MIL Helling -- 3rd Round 06

8. * OAK Cruz -- 1st Round 02 (#16)

9. * OAK Haren -- 2nd Round 04

10. * OAK Witasick -- Trade POR 12/05

11. * PIT Gonzalez -- 1st Round 05 (#21)

12. * SEA Mateo -- Trade WMS 1/04

13. * SF Benitez -- Trade CSP 7/02

14. * TB Colome -- Trade RMA 7/04

15. * TEX Benoit -- Trade HAG 9/05

16. * TEX Cordero -- 3rd Round 03


17. * CHN Barrett -- 1st Round 00 (#1)

18. * CHN Cedeno -- 2nd Round 06

19. * CHN Murton -- 1st Round 06

20. * CHN Patterson -- 1st Round 01 (#6)

21. * CLE Belliard -- Trade CAJ 1/05

22. * DET Inge -- Trade HAG 12/05

23. * DET Ordonez -- Trade MAD 12/02

24. * DET Young -- Trade HAG 9/05

25. * FLA Conine -- Trade CAP 1/05

26. * LAN PerezA. -- 3rd Round 06

27. * MIL Fielder -- 1st Round 06

28. * MIN Redmond -- Trade WMS 8/05

29. * OAK Johnson -- 2nd Round 06

30. * SD Giles -- Trade PHI 12/98

31. * SF Alfonzo -- Trade MCN 3/99

32. TB Lee -- [UC05] 1st Round 99 (#3)

33. * TB Lugo -- Trade COL 1/05

34. * TEX Mench -- Trade CAJ 1/05

35. * WAS Sledge -- 3rd Round 05

Monday, February 20, 2006

Spring Training is here. Opening thoughts.

Well it is finally that time of year again and I am all excited for baseball to be starting. Unfortunately I am not too excited for the Cubs season, but hopefully things will come together better than I think they will. I have a feeling the Cubs will be under .500 again this season, but anything can happen, so I will cheer and cheer and hope they win.

Funny thing I read on about Scott Eyre, he doesn't run so he doesn't get shin splints. He does his cardio work on exercise machines; I wonder how many other teams allow one of their players do the same thing.

Jerome Williams is said to have lost 10 pounds this off-season and that can only help him. After a very promising showing his rookie year Jerome has been very inconsistent and hasn’t done much to show that he should be a permanent fixture in the rotation. Also last season he had his father’s kidney transplant on his mind and hopefully this season it won’t be such a hindrance. I am hoping that Jerome Williams shows enough to displace Glendon Rusch from the rotation as if you have read this blog in the past, I don’t think he is worthy of a starting spot in the rotation.

In other minor news Jason Simontacchi is going to see Dr. James Andrew on Monday as there is discomfort in his shoulder.

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