Baseball Diamond News

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cubs sign Daryle Ward

The Cubs signed lefty bat, Daryle Ward the other day to a 1-year deal for about 1.05 million with a mutual option for a 2nd year. I think that this is actually a very good signing. He can help spell relief for Derek Lee at times during the season and also is a nice power bat off the bench and I think a major improvement over John Mabry. Ward can also play the corners in the OF occasionally so that is a small added bonus.

Also the Lilly deal is official, but the Marquis deal has not officially been announced. It would be nice if the team decided against signing him, but I am sure us Cub fans will be stuck with Jason for the next few years. I am not a fan of having Sean Marshall in the rotation this year (if the Cubs plan on trying to compete), but I would rather have Marshall in the rotation than Marquis for the price. After this year is over I have a feelilng that Marshall will put up much better numbers than Marquis, but still needs 1 more year of seasoning, but still no reason to dump 21+ million in the lap of Marquis.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cubs sign Jason Marquis

According to the Tribune, the Cubs have signed Jason Marquis to a 3 year 20 Million dollar deal. While I am happy the Cubs have gone out and spent money this off-season was it really worth it? And how much have they really improved?

Jason Marquis was left off the Cardinals playoff roster for a reason and now the Cubs are going to depend on him to be in their top 4 starters, while they hope to make the playoffs? They sign Ted Lilly for 4 years and though he won 15 games last year, he loves to give up long fly balls to right handed hitters (not a good thing in Wrigley). Before that, they signed Soriano to an 8 year contract in which if he is any good after 5 years of it, I think Cub fans will be happy. They also signed Mark DeRosa, who had a career year last season (in a hitter friendly park) after being nothing but average through the previous years in his career.

So with all these upgrades, I would like to hear from everyone, what they predict the Cubs to win this year. My prediction is that with all this money spent, I still don't think they have improved greatly and will be 80-82.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bynum trade completed

The Cubs finished the Freddie Bynum trade today by acquiring pitcher Kevin Hart from the Orioles today. From the stats it looks like he is a strikeout pitcher, but also gives up a hit or so per inning. Besides that I don't find much on the young pitcher. Over the last few years he hasn't been mentioned in Baseball America and he is listed as the 48th best prospect in the Orioles organization.

Rule 5 draft

Today the Cubs picked Josh Hamilton from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the Rule 5 draft. I think this pick was superb. The only problem is he is being sold off to the Reds for cash. I wish the Cubs had given him a chance as I think he is a great low-risk, high-reward type player, but the good thing for Josh is that he gets to start over in a new organization.

The Cubs also lost 3 players in the rule 5 draft this year, the most of any team this year. The players were: Edward Campusano, lhp, Lincoln Holdzkom, rhp, Jason Smith, ss. Of these 3 I would say that Lincoln Holdzkom has the most chance of sticking with a team. He was acquired by the Cubs from Florida for Todd Wellemeyer last year. Now he has a chance with the Astros to make their pen.

In the minor league phase Cubs lost Richard Lewis and Andy Shipman. Lewis was a prospect for the Braves and the Cubs, but that label has worn off as he has only had 1 decent season in the minors in 5 years.

The Cubs did pick up James Henderson in the minor league draft from the Nationals.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Freddie Bynum traded to Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles website is indicating that the Orioles have acquired Freddie Bynum from the Cubs for a ptbnl. In the report it said it was to be a pitcher that is currently not on the Orioles 40-man roster. This trade is good from the standpoint that the Cubs now have a spot on the team (not 40-man roster) to add a better bat off the bench. As I stated earlier, I would be all for getting Ryan Church for the bench.

Cliff Floyd has been rumored to be in talks with the Cubs, I am hoping this is just a rumor and doesn't happen. Floyd is often injured and getting up there in age. His last season was his worst season since his rookie year in 1994.

Hendry in Hospital

Jim Hendry has been busy this off-season and today he felt ill and was went to the hospital Weds. night for observation according to the Cubs website. All it says is that it was recommended that he stay overnight for observation and more tests. I hope all is well.

Cubs Sign Lilly

According to Foxsports, the Cubs have signed Ted Lilly to a 4-year 40 million dollar deal. This gives the Cubs another dependable starter in the rotation. While I think that it is probably a little on the expensive side, the way contracts are being given out to starting pitchers this off-season it is not too bad. I am just hoping that by year 3, us Cub fans aren’t moaning about having to throw Lilly out to the mound every 5th day.

The Cubs are now rumored to be going after Gil Meche to fill out the rotation. I like Meche and hope the Cubs get him as they can’t have enough starting pitching and if there is an injury to the rotation they will be prepared this year.

In other rumors the Cubs are said to be interested in Ryan Church and Kenny Lofton. I wouldn’t mind the Cubs getting either of these guys, but if getting Church means that Matt Murton will get more time on bench then I say stay away from that deal. Though I think Church would be the perfect fit for the 4th OF for the Cubs. As for Lofton, I think getting him out in CF for a season isn’t a bad stop gap as there isn’t much out there and it looks like that Soriano will be in RF and Jones either on the bench or on his way out of town.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bo Knows...


Bo Flowers has decided to give up on baseball and go back to the University of Illinois to play football. He was acquired in the Kyle Farnsworth trade, but never got out of A ball.

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