Baseball Diamond News

Monday, November 20, 2006

Reminder to Jim Hendry

I know that he has a lot of things on his mind, like adding another lefty bat, maybe a CF if Soriano is playing in RF/LF and some starting pitching, but I have one quick reminder for him.


Currently Theriot, Blanco, Cedeno (if he makes the team), Bynum and Pagan are what they have on the bench and not one of those guys would I count on to PH in key situations.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cubs sign Soriano. What is the Tribune's angle?

Cubs sign Alfonso Soriano today to a 8 year 135 million dollar deal. My initial reaction is wow, that is a lot of money, where was that when Beltran was a free agent? My next reaction is with all this money the Cubs are spending what is the goal of the Tribune company? Are they trying to make the Cubs more enticing to sell off? Maybe the $500 million is not enough and they figure if they add a few pieces along with a well known manager, maybe they can get an extra 100-200 million dollars for the team. I know people will probably think I am loony for thinking this, but since they Tribune bought the Cubs ever since I was young, they have never made a push like this, not even after coming within 5 outs of making the World Series. Now I have no evidence of this and this is all based on pure speculation, but it is the only reason I can think of. That or Jim Hendry has become a rouge GM and is just throwing money away.

I will write more on the Soriano signing tomorrow or the day after, I need more time to let it all sink in, but I will say at the moment I am not happy with the deal. It is too long and too much money for a 30 year old guy who by the end of his contract will probably be an albatross.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cubs acquire Cotts

The Cubs made a trade today with their city rivals the White Sox and acquired pitch Neal Cotts. He is a lefty specialist who struggled last season after posting a great season in 2005. It cost the Cubs 2 pitchers, David Aardsma and minor league pitcher Carlos Vasquez. I liked the potential Aardsma had and was hoping that he would have a slight impact this year and more of one next season (assuming the Dempster experiment finally ends). Hopefully this also doesn't mean that the Cubs are satisfied with throwing Roberto Novoa back out there. He is nothing more than a mop-up guy since he is so inconsistent.

This now leaves the Cubs with 3 lefty pitchers in the pen, Cotts, Scott Eyre and Will Ohman. I don't really see a need for 3 lefties in the pen for the Cubs, so I expect that Will Ohman might be on his way out. I like Ohman, but if he could bring in a useful bat or be packaged with some other players for a SP, then I am all for this trade. Also according to the the Cubs might even think of putting Cotts in the rotation, if that happens, then Ohman will be staying with the Cubs.

Added note: The Cubs also have one more lefty in the pen, but due to health reasons, I am not sure if he is going to be back, Glendon Rusch. I hope he is getting better (health and pitching), but I also wouldn't mind the Cubs just releasing him and clearing a spot on the 40-man roster.

Cubs ramblings

According to Ken Rosenthal’s article today the Cub’s are trying to sign Julio Lugo. I have no problem with this and think it would be a great signing, but not if they put him in center field. I think Lugo at SS would be much better than Izturis (who he said could then go to Boston). Lugo on the Cub’s would solve the lead-off hitter problem and if they then could sign Soriano (which I don’t think will happen), their lineup would be set. I would have this as my lineup if they acquire Soriano. The only glaring problem in this lineup is that it is very right handed…..

SS Lugo
LF Murton
1b Lee
CF Soriano
3b Ramirez
RF Jones

C Barrett
2b DeRosa

I think that this lineup will be able to produce more runs than last year, but it would have been better to sign a left-handed 2b. If the Cubs fail to sign Soriano and they do sign Lugo, then they need to sign a lefty bat to play in the outfield.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More Cub's signing

Sorry for the delay people in writing about the Cub’s recent signings had been finishing up a school project and now that it is out of the way I am here to write.

First let’s start with the big signing. Aramis is back with the Cubs after agreeing to a 5 year deal for 73 million dollars. I know he would have gotten more to sign with Anaheim (I won’t ever call them their new name), but that doesn’t change my mind that the Cubs gave him too much money. Maybe Lou will light a fire under him and get him to hustle and not have those lapses of hustle he is well known for. Also Aramis needs to get off to a good start this year because if he doesn’t I have a feeling he will get booed mercilessly by the Cub fans this year (for opting out for more money). My logic is if the Cubs are paying him more money than he was scheduled to originally earn, than he better play a lot better than he did last year.

The next signing is Kerry Wood. His one year 1.75 million dollar deal is not a bad risk, but I haven’t been able to find out the exact details of what the incentives are. The reason I say that is because he can earn up to 6 million dollars and for a relief pitcher, unless you are successfully closing games is too much to pay for a relief pitcher. The Cubs have continuously said that he is going to the pen this year, so that is why I am assuming he isn’t going to start for them.

The next signing to take place was yesterday when the Cubs went out and signed Mark DeRosa for 3 years 13 million dollars. That is a nice contract to get for 1 career year, and in Texas, a hitter’s park dream. Looking at his past years, he has only one other time batted over 300 times in season (2004, Atlanta Braves) and hit a paltry .239/.293./.320. I know last season he batted .296/.357/.456, but he only hit .200 in September and he also struck out 102 times. The Cubs don’t need any more non-contact hitting players, and I hope he does not bad in the top of the lineup. I know they will say he has a .357 OBP, but those strikeouts will hurt if the lead-off guy gets on and doesn’t get moved over. My thinking is he should bat 8th, with Izturis batting 2nd (not that he is a great hitter) because of the contact Izturis makes and hopefully it will translate in moving leadoff batter over.

The last signing to talk about is “Hammerin Henry” (a name my wife gave him at the Cincinnati game we were at on June 9th, 2006, he was batting .089 when she gave him that name) Blanco. He re-signed a 2 year for 5.25 million dollars with an option for a 3rd year which could be as high as 4.5 if all performance levels are met. I know he is Carlos Zambrano’s favorite catcher and hopefully this move appeases him, but I also hope that it doesn’t mean the Cubs are running out of money to spend.

All in all, I might not agree with these signings, but at least the Cubs are trying to improve. They really need to make a big push for Carlos Lee or Alfonzo Soriano and then sign 2 starters. Rumors have it one of the 2 starters will probably be Gil Meche, a pitcher that Lou had in Seattle and has turned into a workhorse. Before Gil had surgery on his labrum he was a highly touted prospect and hopefully he can become more of a 3-4 sp than a 5, if the Cubs decide to sign him.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cubs re-sign Wade Miller

The Cubs gave Wade Miller a 1 year deal today and he is expected to compete for the 4th-5th spot in the rotation, depending on if the Cubs sign anyone and if Mark Prior ever can stay healthy (which hopefully he does, but also hopefully the Cubs are banking on it). Cubs fans all over I can tell are rejoicing that Wade didn't leave (sarcasm)...

No new news on Aramis Ramirez these days, but if it becomes a bidding war, I have made my feelings known. For those that don't know I have said let him go, he is not a clutch player and doesn't have the work ethic needed to be one. Maybe he will prove me wrong, but he failed for the Cubs last year when they needed him to come through.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Welcome back Ivan DeJesus

When I was a little child I used to love Ivan DeJesus, probably for no reason other than I thought it was neat that he had Jesus in his last name. Then he was traded away for Larry Bowa and Ryan Sandberg and then he faded away for me. I even remember being upset that the Cubs traded him for an old SS and some young unknown guy (good thing I wasn't GM then), but I am sure glad they made that trade.

Well Ivan is back in the Cubs organization as the special assistant to Lou Piniella. To be honest I have no idea what that means besides maybe he gets Lou coffee in the morning and new pencils to fill out lineup cards. I will say I am glad he is back just because it reminds me of childhood again.

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