Cubs Land Marlon Byrd

After a few months of shopping around, the Cubs finally settled on Marlon Byrd as their new center fielder, signing him to a 3 year deal worth a reported $15 million. What should Cubs fans expect from their new center fielder?

Essentially, the epitome of an average player. Byrd is, across the board, about as average as it gets. His career wOBA is .332, and that’s based on a skill set that is neither strong nor weak at any one thing. He walks some, strikes out some, and hits for some power, though he’s not a slugger.

Given that this is a big time buyer’s market, pretty much any deal is going to look good in comparison with other contracts signed in prior years, and this one is no different. In over 4,000 innings in center field, his career UZR/150 is 0.0.

Jack of all trades, master of none, thy name is Marlon Byrd. To be fair, he’s been a bit above average the last few years, but the Cubs are signing him for his age 32-34 seasons, so they should be building some regression into his past performances. Projecting him as a +2 win player going forward is fair.

$5 million a year, even on a three year deal, is a good contract for the Cubs. He fills a hole and should provide a solid performance at a cost of less than $3 million per win. Even in this kind of market, that’s a move worth making. Byrd is not a star, but he’s good enough at everything to be a useful role player, and the price was right for the Cubs.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


69 Responses to “Cubs Land Marlon Byrd”

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  1. NEPP says:

    When I saw a 3 year deal I was stunned. Man, that’s a lot of years for a guy of Byrd’s skillset. Then I saw the pricetag…not bad at all. They should safely get 2 wins/year out of him for this deal.

    His home/road splits are a bit ridiculous but Wrigley isn’t exactly a pitcher’s park either.

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  2. PWH says:

    .5 win regression/year.

    2010 – 2.0 wins
    2011 – 1.5 wins
    2012 – 1.0 wins

    Depending on the distribution, they’re paying somewhere between 2.8 and 3.3 million per win.

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  3. NEPP says:

    I doubt he suddenly hits a wall at Age 32 like that. He could theoretically have that regression start a bit higher:

    2010 – 2.5 wins
    2011 – 2.0 wins
    2012 – 1.5 wins

    That would be more than worth it. His skillset doesn’t really lend itself to rapid decline.

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  4. DWrek says:

    I thought Byrd made a great 4th OF for the Rangers last season. Whenever a player is called a 4th OF, fans seem to go up in arms, but I mean this as a compliment. He was one of the Rangers most valuable players last season. He could play all 3 OF positions, he could platoon with Murphy, and he filled in very admirably for Hamilton when he was hurt.
    So the Cubs could theoretically sign another OF in the next 3 years and use Byrd in a similar role and the contract wouldnt hurt like a Gary Mathews does.

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    • Toffer Peak says:

      Fans should go up in arms when you call Marlon Byrd a 4th OF because Byrd is significantly better than a 4th OF. A 4th OF is somewhere under 1 WAR per year whereas Byrd has averaged 2.8 WAR over the last three.

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      • DWrek says:

        Just saying if Byrd started in my teams OF, I would not be happy. If he was my 4th OF, I would be very happy.

        WAR 4th Outfielders!!!

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  5. Jstay says:

    Don’t forget the best part, team player Byrd replaces the Chicago-hated Bradley, the outfield looks better already

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  6. Dave Cameron says:

    Also, just throwing this out there – this deal should make Mets fans want to throw something. Realistically, Jason Bay is about +1 win better than Marlon Byrd, maybe +1.5 if you think UZR is just way off on his defense. Byrd signed for $5 million per year, while Bay gets $16.5 million per year.

    Given the relative costs, the Mets would have been far better off with Byrd and $10 million to spend on a pitcher than with Bay.

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    • 28 next year says:

      i agree, or the Mets should have opened the wallet for Holliday, a star all around player than Bay.

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    • MBD says:

      It’s almost as though Minaya doesn’t know what he’s doing.

      This deal seems like a good one, except that one worries that the Cubs need more wins from their outfield. Lee and Ramirez can’t carry the team forever. When does Byrd replace Soriano in left?

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      • NEPP says:

        LOL…yeah, almost.

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      • chuckb says:

        The good thing about signing Byrd is that he could move to LF or RF if the Cubs were able to get a better CF and their defense would improve by having a CF in the corner. All in all, I think it’s a pretty good signing.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        chuck, what CF couldn’t move to a corner if a better CF was brought in?

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      • Joe R says:

        @ Kevin S

        Vernon Wells.

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      • IrishYeti says:

        MBD,

        Never. Soriano is one year older than Byrd and his contract is longer than Byrd’s. Now, if you’re referring to the notion that Soriano would be benched, I don’t see that happening unless the Cubs get an actual Major League CFer. SAMMY BALLGAME FULD doesn’t count. Maybe if you put Theriot on his shoulders, they might be as big as a Major League player. Soriano played hurt last year and was horrible. I expect him to bounce back this year. Maybe not a stud, but 3-4 WAR player.

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    • chuckb says:

      Yes. Couldn’t agree more. As a Cards’ fan, Byrd is someone I wanted the Cards to consider for their LF opening in the event that they’re unable to sign Holliday. I was thinking more like 2 years, $12 M. 3 years is longer than I’d want to have him around but he would be worth a win as a 4th OF in year 3.

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  7. ThundaPC says:

    And it looks Byrd’s contract is backloaded. I don’t have a link but it was apparently tweeted by Kinslerhomer/Twittermyer:

    2010: 3M
    2011: 5.5M
    2012: 6.5M

    So as far as 2010 goes, they basically traded Milton Bradley for junk and Marlon Byrd. And for 2011, junk and +2.5M for Marlon Byrd. Pretty slick.

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    • E K says:

      >>>And it looks Byrd’s contract is backloaded. I don’t have a link but it was apparently tweeted by Kinslerhomer/Twittermyer:

      2010: 3M
      2011: 5.5M
      2012: 6.5M

      So as far as 2010 goes, they basically traded Milton Bradley for junk and Marlon Byrd. And for 2011, junk and +2.5M for Marlon Byrd. Pretty slick.<<<

      Why would you consider this to be a good thing? Come year number 3 it is more then likely the Cubs will be stuck with a player who's contract is non-tradeable without eating some of it. It would seem to make more sense to have it in reverse, thus making his value a little better in the later years.

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      • ThundaPC says:

        Year #3 is the least favorable part of the deal but by that time they’ll have money coming off the books. He’s not going to be an anchor on that team if he winds up being closer to replacement level by then.

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      • NEPP says:

        They might not get $6.5 million out of him at Age 34 but its not exactly impossible. At worst, they’ll have a solid bench piece. This is a good deal unless Byrd gets hit by a bus in the next couple years.

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  8. Edwincnelson says:

    It’s still a band aid on a bleeding wound. Marlon Byrd isn’t going to get the Cubs any closer to division title or a wild card spot. If the Cardinals somehow sign Holliday, and with the strength of the teams in the NL West, they might as well have let some AAA scrub play CF and saved the money.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      I agree. In all seriousness, this move is cost-effective band-aid, not a solution.

      Now, to be rude, it wouldn’t matter if the Cubs signed Bay, Holliday, Figgins (played him at 2B), traded for Halladay and Lee, etc … becuase they are the sCrUBS, and even if they win the division all they’ve done is guaranteed themselves a MAX of 3 more (humiliating) games. *grin*

      The signing of Byrd is a great move for a team that needs a 1-2 win bump, and that may fit the Cubs description all joking aside.

      But, to another point, it sems that teams could sign all the 2 to 2.5 WAR players they wanted for 3-4M/y and have a really cost-efficient group, but not a division winner.

      The whole WAR x 4M = good value thing is applied universally to all players and I don’t get it. I could form a team full of “good value” and “cost efficient guys”, but we’d only be league average or worse. So, while FG seems to hate these “over-paid” contracts, that’s the only way you’re going to get players that are better than 3WAR or up (unless much of their WAR comes from defense). Seems to me we should evaluate contracts and WAR based on this reality.

      HIC satsted a number closer to 5.4M and that seems FAR more current than does 4M. If the only players that provide good value for teams are league average players and/or defensive specialist, then that indicates to me that the “evaluating number” is off.

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  9. HalIncandenza says:

    Dave, what is the current price per WAR for free agents? I see you using 3.5M per WAR but thought Sky wrote an article saying the figure was closer to 5.4M last year. Is this offseason just way different?

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  10. Chuck says:

    I didn’t want Byrd, but at least it’s not Posednik (can’t field), or Ankiel, who
    knows what he would produce. Fukodome gone in 2012, Byrd will possibly
    be the right fielder. Cubs need to get younger, and faster on the base paths
    in the future. As good as St.Louie if they sign Holliday, no, but baseball is a long season and anything can happen.

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  11. Paulitonmbrone says:

    I think it’s a good deal for both sides. Byrd isn’t great but he’ll do fine with the Cubs. He’s probably goog for a .280avg/20hr/80rbi line.

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  12. Canton Terrier says:

    I just bounced over here from the piece on the Orioles’ outfield, and not by accident. An article outlining the Cubs’ signing of Marlon Byrd — MARLON BYRD, for crying out loud!!! — to man Wrigley’s center field for the next three years at about $5 million per season begs this question: What would Felix Pie be doing now if the Cubs management hadn’t screwed up his head?
    Well, for one thing, he wouldn’t be pulling down $15 million over three years (Pie makes $410,000 now), and he might have grown into a favorite as opposed to yet another over-rated and overpaid hired gun. Oh yeah: Pie is eight years younger than Byrd, who will be 33 next year.
    Marlon Byrd never was and never will be better than a fourth outfield type. Pie may still see stardom, and he’s already as good as Byrd.
    Good move, Cubbies!

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    • Ben says:

      “Screwed up his head?”

      He hit .350 in 2 years at AAA so he got his shot at the majors and failed miserably when given all the opportunities in the world. He had the starting CF job and couldn’t even touch .200. Eventually he ran out of options and they had to dump him. Are you saying the Cubs should have known that his .362 AAA average would translate to a <.200 average in the majors and kept him in AAA so he could tear it up even more? Are you saying they "screwed up his head" by calling him up?

      What would you have done, genius?

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      • hk says:

        Since when does 287 combined PA’s in his age 22 and age 23 seasons qualify as giving him his shot in the majors and/or justify giving up on him?

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      • Jim Hendry says:

        What would I have done? Almost certainly, I would’ve given up on a good 23-year old prospect after about one third of a season of major league at-bats, trading him, plus a backup shortstop, for a crappy 30-year-old middle-reliever with extreme gopheritis.

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  13. NEPP says:

    2010 will officially be Byrd’s Age 32 season as he won’t turn 33 till the very end of August.

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  14. Back to back offseasons where the cubs overpaid texas outfielders on 3 yr deals. Maybe by 2012 we can have Nelson Cruz’ 33-36 age years!.

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  15. Ben Dover says:

    Isn’t it odd Theo Epstein retain the “genius” tag for signing Mike Cameron for the same price for 2 years as the Cubs get Byrd for 3 years?

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    • chuckb says:

      1. Cameron’s considerably better — at least 1 – 1.5 wins better.
      2. The shorter contract length is a good thing b/c it gives them increased roster flexibility and lessens the chance that they’re paying the player when he’s older and less productive. The extra year is not a benefit to the Cubs. It’s a benefit to Byrd.

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      • funkybass says:

        … I hope your point isn’t that they are of the same value.

        2008-09 WAR:
        MC- 4.2
        MB- 3

        MC contract averages to 7.25 mil, MB 5mil. Seems about right to me.

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      • funkybass says:

        sorry that was supposed to be @ bendover

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      • james says:

        Mike Cameron has far more upside and the Cubs are in desperate need of a player with his skillset and defense prowess. They’re whole team is flyball/strikeout pitchers. I would be a much happier with Cameron in centerfield for 2 years at the same money than a lesser player for three.

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    • As a Cards fan, I’m very happy they signed Byrd and not Cameron. Cameron is a better hitter and a better fielder.

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  16. Craig Mellor says:

    Wished we would have kept him Texas……..

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  17. Canton Terrier says:

    Be careful, Ben … How much of a shot did the Cubs give him? Half a season’s worth of playing time spread over how long?
    I do take from your note, though, that you favor the Byrd signing. Yes? If so, why?

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  18. Jack says:

    Felix is a terrific defensive player. But the buck stops there. I actually sat in the stands at a AAA game witha Brewer scout and watched him flail away pathetically after he’d been sent down. It was painful. The Cubs seemingly tried EVERYTHING with Pie and nothing worked. In ’08 he struck out 29 times in 93 PA’s. (no pun intended). Pitcher were throwing what the scout called “baby sliders” and he couldn’t touch them. These were AAA pitchers.

    This same scout was chuckling about how hyped everyone was getting over Jay Bruce as he’d just scouted him for 3 games earlier that week. Bruce arrivesd with a big splash that week with the Reds hitting multiple HR’s–but the scout said he had a ways to go with his swing and that he’d come back to earth. He was spot on.

    Think about this before castigating the Cubs: do you really think they wouldn’t give their #1 prospect every opportunity to succeed? The bad thing was running out of options and essentially trading him with Ronny Cedeno for Heilman and Hank Williamson. A beer brewer and country singer for two guys with a million dollar potential and 25 cent heads.

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    • JoeyO says:

      “Think about this before castigating the Cubs: do you really think they wouldn’t give their #1 prospect every opportunity to succeed?”

      When exactly were these opportunities?

      2007 as 22 year old rookie:
      April – called up on 17th, 11 Games/9 Starts because of injury
      May – 7 games and 6 PA before sent down on 9th.
      June – called up on 3rd, 26 Games/21 Games Started when Jones/Floyd were hurt/struggling
      July – 4 games and 3 PA and sent down on 12th
      Aug – called up on 8th, 17 Games, 5 starts and 24 PA
      Sept – 22 Games, 1 start and 18 PA

      Other then filling in for injury twice, he was in the minors or sat on the bench and was only used as a defensive replacement/pinch runner

      2008 as 23 year old:
      April – 4 games as the everyday starter to open the season before sitting on the bench with only random starts but mainly defensive replacement/pinch runner opportunities. Over that time there were 32 team games where Pie saw 11 starts but only 7 complete games and a measly 54 PA. Overall, 69 PA in 40 Games before getting sent to the minors in the middle of May.

      September – called up to sit on bench/defensive replacement/pinch run for final few days of season. Saw 3 starts and 23 PA.

      Before 2009 – gone from organization

      That’s it. Now how exactly is that being given a shot? There are only two periods of being a starter for the club– his first couple games in the majors and 2 months later in June 07 as a replacement for guys who were hurt. Otherwise, he did absolutely nothing but sit on the bench and get random action. Well ok, he started a whopping 4 games to start the 2008 seasons before being pulled from the lineup, but 4 games? Come on… And why should we expect someone to show results while almost never getting ABs, or only getting them after spending days sitting around doing nothing?

      Real Cubs fans know that Pie had zero opportunity to succeed for the team. Lou wouldn’t use him. Over 2 years he got 54 starts – 30 coming in two DL replacement stints his first 3 months of his rookie season, and otherwise the other 24 were almost completely random. Those random starts also resulted in 227 of his 287 total PA. Meaning he had 76 defensive replacement/pinch run chances which resulted in a measly 61 PA.

      Also curious, were you at one of the Brewer/Cubs AAA games directly following the Pie demotion? Because if you were, I’m interested how this Brewers scout found pitches Pie wasn’t hitting to laugh at him over:
      5/31-6/3, 2008 – 19 AB, 5 Hits, 1 2B, 1 3B and 4 K
      6/14-6/16, 2008 – 11 AB, 5 Hits, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 HBP and 0 K

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      • JoeyO says:

        Oops, end of that got cut off. Here is the rest

        That is 30 AB, 10 Hits, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB and 4 K – or, .333/.375/.567 in the two series vs the Brewers directly following his demotion. Seems to me he had little problems with their minor league pitching.

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  19. Canton Terrier says:

    You may be right, Jack, and I have no reason to doubt the scouts; they’re right on the field. But if you look at Pie’s trend so far, you might find (as I have) some promise. Small sample, yes. But upward it’s going all the same …

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    • Pie did OK in Baltimore last year. He was basically average with the bat in 281 PAs. That’s fine for a defensively excellent outfielder who is still, I should point out, only TWENTY-FOUR years old. Cubs gave up on the guy ridiculously quickly – he’s still not had a full season of MLB at-bats.

      Felix Pie was a heck of a lot better than Alfonso Soriano last season.

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      • JoeyO says:

        This is Pie from last season

        .266/.326/.437/.763

        And these are the combined road stats for Marlon Byrd the last three seasons

        .281/.328/.414/.742

        Seems to me Pie hit better last season then Byrd did in 3 seasons while away from Arlington.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Normalized stats > road stats for determining the “true” ability of players in Coors, Arlington, etc., although the point that Pie’s probably at least in the ballpark offensively while having a huge edge in age and defense is well taken.

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  20. Jack says:

    And this may not align with what I wrote earlier, but if you look at the numbers Pie posted last year (before getting hurt) to Byrd’s, Pie is a steal at a $410k salary. He’s also a considerably better defender with a great arm. So I don’t necessarily disagree with you on that premise, but the decision process is excruciating for GM’s sometimes with young guys; especially when they run out of options.

    I also firmly believe that there exists a good ole boy GM fraternity whereby MacPhail will help Hendry out in a crucial spot sometime when he can and if needed. They worked together for many years.

    The big fear with Cub mgmt and fans was that Pie was this generation’s Lou Brock–the complete lack of plate discipline and absolutely abysmal ratio of steals to CS was almost a mirror of what happend in the early 60′s with Brock and no one wanted to duplicate that mistake. If your O’s are living right–maybe the Cubs will end up as the owners of another catastrophic bad deal!

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    • JoeyO says:

      “but the decision process is excruciating for GM’s sometimes with young guys; especially when they run out of options.”

      Hendry was forced to trade Pie because he had just signed Joey Gathright. JOEY GATHRIGHT!!! Fresh off his .254/.311/.272/.584 performance with the Royals, (then) career .263/.328/.304/.631 hitter Joey F*ing Gathright was added spelling the end of Pie!

      Let me think

      Top prospect about to turn 24 who hit .223/.284/.331/.615 in the completely random PA he received over 2 seasons who makes 400K
      OR
      Joey Gathright – a career .263/.328/.304/.631 hitter in 5 seasons/1296 PA who wanted 800K

      Thats an excruciating decision?

      Pie had hit .241/.312/.325/.637 in 2008 for the Cubs. Again, Gathright had hit .254/.311/.272/.584 in 08 for the Royals. Which one looks better for the bench? Nothing excruciating here – just flat out stupidity on the part of Hendry.

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  21. GameOfInches says:

    The Rangers are basically the Cubs minor league system of 32 year old prospects. Derosa, Bradley, Byrd.

    It’s only a tad worse than the Cubs minor league system which only spits out 28 year old prospects

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    • JoeyO says:

      That’s Jim Hendry for you – worst roster management skills in the game!

      But his roster management skills are about even with his money management skills, still slightly better then his scouting skills, and lightyears ahead of his negotiation skills – so I guess they end up being his strong point :(

      Why does he still have a job!!!!!

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  22. Canton Terrier says:

    … And to support your argument, Jack, I’d offer that sometimes it’s the manager who gives the front office headaches. Some are inherently impatient with rookies and highly touted prospects. I might put Piniella in that category, and I’m not knocking him. His desire to win, and win now, overrides other considerations. Such a manager will be quicker to bench a young player and go with the experienced player. I don’t know if this was the case with Pie, though I might suspect it did to at least some extent. But perhaps a longer, more concentrated period in the field might have swung things differently.
    By the way, I agree with you about base-stealing, too. Some guys are quicker than a wink, but that doesn’t mean they know when or how to steal a base. This might be Pie’s case (one of four last year suggests it, anyway). You want to maintain the threat of a steal to put pressure on the pitcher and defense while also being more judicious as to when you actually send the runner.

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  23. NEPP says:

    I honestly think Piniella is a big part of the problem in Chicago. He’s not a bad manager by any means…he’s just not the right manager for that team.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Pinella is a fiery guy managing a team of “quiet leaders”.

      Honestly, I’m not sure how “great” of a manager Sweet Lou is … I get to hear his post-game comments far too often (live near ChicagoLand), and I rarely hear him say anything that seems “baseball smart”, and he routinely just links together 2-3 word phrases between long pauses, deep breaths, and chuckles.

      He had success with the Nasty Boys & Co (a team full of fiery guys … Paulie, Dibs, Myers, Norm, Rijo, etc) and the M’s in single seasons, but I cannot quantify what effect he had on those teams.

      I think Lou is in for some serius frustration, b/c The Riot and FonteNOT already had career years, Soriano is uncoachable (leave him alone and he coasts; get on him and he sulks), Lee and Ramirez are the quiet staples of the team, Fukudome has been “figured out” or “normalized” if you will, Soto may never duplicate his rookie year, and the picthing staff is nowhere near as good as it was a few years ago (maybe Big Z is better if he is better physical condition —- less fat).

      Singing Byrd to rplace Bradley certainly removes one headache, but when Byrd is one of your top ~4 players and possibly you best WAR OF’er, you’re gonna have a tough year, unless you have a few 4 WAR pitchers, and I don’t think the Cubs do.

      The Cubs had their chance to win in their “window” and went 0-6, with the highlights being Lou pulling Z early so he could pitch in a decisive game that would never come and Ted Lilly slamming his glove into the mound after giving up a bomb to Chris Young.

      Still, they’re in the NLC, so anything is possible … still, when your 3rd BEST bat gives you 6 RAR, you’re screwed … unless you have aheckuva pitching staff.

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      • Jim Hendry says:

        The cubs are seriously a lot better than you think. Right now, there’s very little between them and the Cardinals. Obviously, if/when the Holliday signing goes down, that opens a little gap, but it’s probably only 4-5 true-talent wins, the sort of gap that can easily be bridged by Cubs players having a couple of career years or the Cards having a couple of unlucky/injury-hit years.

        People seriously over-react to variations in luck season-by-season. The Cubs aren’t that different, personnel-wise, from the team that won 97 games (with extreme luck, a couple of career years, and no injuries) in 2008, and aren’t that different, personnel-wise, from the team that sucked in 2009 (with a couple of injuries, a lot of bad luck, and some clubhouse issues). They’re one year older, and minus Rich Harden, of course, but the reality of it is that they’re probably a mid-80s win team. There aren’t a lot of likely 90-win teams in the NL.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        “The cubs are seriously a lot better than you think.”
        ——————————————-

        Repeat annually. *friendly grin*

        “Right now, there’s very little between them and the Cardinals.”
        —————————————————–

        True. You could say that about StL, CHC, MIL, and CIN … it’s the NLC. The same thing will probably happen in ’10, whichever team has a hot month will pull away (or the team that can avoid major injuries). But, there probably won’t be many guys on either team (like Schu, Theriot, etc) have years that they haven’t already had.

        There are some candidates for a ‘rebound’ year (Ankiel, Fukudome, etc) but IMO those guys are more likely to have “a downer” year since teams having seemingly figured out what they can’t hit and give it to them in buckets.

        I’m interested in seeing how Big Z comes into the season. He basically stated that he’s never conditioned or trained and goes by pure ability. If he is serious and comes back in 30 pounds lighter and durable, I could also see him having a major season.

        “the sort of gap that can easily be bridged by Cubs players having a couple of career years”
        ——————————————————-

        I think most Cub players have already had their “career years”, and they already had the “It’s gonna happen” season.

        I could see this happening in ’10:

        [1] Lilly has a CY contender season (like Wainwright did in 09). Teddy is a good pitcher and one of those guys that seems to string along 15 really good starts together. He could lead a charge or pull period. I would put Big in the same category IF he comes into 2010 conditioned and ready to pitch. I think Big Z is gonna look back on his career and really wished he had of “worked harder”. I’m not saying he could have been “El Rocket”, but he could have been even better.

        [2] Soriano could “comeback” with a .270-30+ HR season. This guy is just so talented that even his crybaby and drift in the wind attitude cannot keep him from having some success. Imagine if Soriano had ‘heart’ (or balls, or brains, or whatever)? If he starts poorly the fans are going to be all over him, and he’ll pout the whole year. If he starts hot, then the Cub fans will have that whole “love affair (Sammy Sosa)” thing going on with him and might go crazy with a good year.

        [3] Marmol could have one of those “dominant seasons” where he finds the strike zone regularly and walks around all big-chested (confident) … not that the CHC deserve for Marmy to have a big year, the way they’ve mishandled him.

        [4] Theriot might be a guy that could have a .310-10-70 type season, with a high OBP … but a lot of things have to “go right” for that to happen. He’s easy to root for, like Schumaker for the red team, guys that just get after it.

        But, I do understand that things are never as bad as they seem. Injuries (big injuries to key players) nearly destroyed the Cardinals in 2006 (with the same team that won 100+ games in 04 and 05), and StL got healthy and/or rpelacements at the right time, held of HOU, and well …

        I tnk MIL and CIN are going to make a bigger impact than I want them to.

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      • Felonius_Monk says:

        Ankiel doesn’t play for the Cardinals anymore, and is highly unlikely to be back in 2010.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Jack says:

    Not sure how much point there is in answering you JoeyO as your posts seem loaded with heavily opinionated suppositions, but-I would suggest that Hendry is nowhere near as bad as you say and i’m pretty sure Pie was out of options and the Gathright signing was a result of the foregone conclusion that Pie would be headed out in a trade–the 2 transactions were a full month apart, but the handwriting was on the wall for Felix. I agree that once it was found that Lou wasn’t too big of a fan of him, Hendry accommodated dumping him. Whether he’ll turn into something special remains to be seen.

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    • JoeyO says:

      “I would suggest that Hendry is nowhere near as bad as you say”

      You honestly don’t think Hendry is that bad?

      Roster-management side: at least 5 but usually closer to 10 out of option players every season. This season it is Baker, Blanco, Fontenot, Gorzelanny, Guzman, Hill, Marshall, and the recently departed Fox. (also Marmol, Soto and Theriot, but doubtful we would want to send them down) Next season add Grey, Hoffpauir, Fuld, Shark and Wells to whoever is left from above.

      Money-management side: Well, this is pretty obvious. But a huge chunk of it comes from his letting every single action be known in the media to the point he basically bids against himself on most of the stuff he does. The money issues also go hand in hand with
      Negotiations: Bradley a 3 year deal? Oh sorry, 2 with 3rd vesting at 75 Games (somehow including pinch hit opportunities) Must have been one heck of a dinner he was taken to. How many no trade clauses? How many extra millions to guys like Dempster, Ramirez and Lee on “home-town discount” deals? Speaking of hometown discounts, that 1/4 with incentives to 7+ was wonderful to Wood when his best was 2/6 from other clubs! Overall, 600+ Million to long term contracts over 4 off seasons? And now 5 years of spending a total of 415 Million for a committed 22 seasons going solely to our OF? (which I might add has pretty much resulted in an average at best OF every season with constant holes to fill.) Shoot, how much did we just give Grabow despite having almost no payroll flexibility this offseason?

      Drafting: going on 9th season of being GM. Most productive prospect drafted under his watch? Sean Marshall. System was ranked 1st in baseball when he took over. Almost every even half-way decent player he has called up from the minors was in the system before he gained total control. Since then, almost zip added and a nearly last place system ranking last season.

      Hendry has been a joke. When MacPhail left the system, Hendry was allowed to spend till his heart was content trying to buy a winner. 600+ MM in longterm commitments later we had 2 playoff appearances, 0 playoff wins and gigantic ballooning contracts which meant meting payroll between 2009 and 2011 was going to be near impossible.

      Some people still give him endless praise for two trades he made way back in 2003. Some people still give him unwarranted praise for reaching the playoffs in a pretty weak division with a bought team that he crippled the future for. Some people give him praise because 1 or 2 of his countless free agent contracts worked out well. Thinking about those things rationally, I have no clue what else he can even be praised on – those are the only positives he has brought and they are even pretty pitiful in the context. His entire offseason plan is to redo his 2009 offseason – that alone speaks volumes. Honestly, calling him a joke is probably going light on him. He is just a buffoon.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeyO says:

      “the 2 transactions were a full month apart”

      The Gathright signing was one month prior to Pie being traded, yes. Feliz wasn’t actually moved until the 40-man started becoming a problem.

      “I’m pretty sure Pie was out of options”

      He was, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Pie was traded because 1) Gathright had just filled his roster spot 2) Lou wont play rookies unless absolutely forced to – Gathright meant he wouldn’t be forced to

      So instead of actually giving our number one prospect a shot to stop the 13 year and counting black hole in CF, we gave him away for a borderline out of option bullpen pitcher that I believe we can now sign off the minor league free agent pool if we wanted.

      “Whether he’ll turn into something special remains to be seen.”

      Pie was already arguably more valuable last season then our newly signed 4th OF has been over his career. But instead Byrd will be the next over-paid/over-hyped/under-productive player for Center – our 6th CF in as many years – while we get to enjoy the whole nothing we got out of our prospect.

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  25. Ed Nelson says:

    Whoa! Jim Hendry’s been drinking! Always good to hear that the Cubs have a chance of being 4 or 5 wins worse than the Cardinals if a bunch of guys have career years in their age 34 season (Soriano), age 35 season (Lee), age 32 season (Ramirez), and age 33 season (Fukadome). What were we thinking? Of course all the stars are aligned on our favor!

    This is going to be a very long, painful rebuilding.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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