Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Cubs Off-Season Guide Part VI of VI

The last installment of my Cubs Off-Season Guide, just a basic summary. I was going to do a bit on the minor league system and Dusty but I'll save it for another time. Arbitration salaries are AN ABSOLUTE GUESS!!!

Committed & Arbitration Eligible Contracts
C - Michael Barrett - Arbitration eligible: $2.5 million
1B - Derek Lee - $7 million
3B - Aramis Ramirez - Arbitration eligible: $8 million
2B/SS - Neifi Perez - $ 1 million, $1.5 in potential incentives
CF - Corey Patterson - Arbitration eligible: $3 million
RF - Sammy Sosa - $17 million
SP - Kerry Wood - $8.5 million, $1 million of his bonus
SP - Mark Prior - $2.5 million, can opt out for arbitration, but can't see him getting much more.
SP - Carlos Zambrano - Arbitration eligible: $3 million
SP - Greg Maddux - $9 million
RP LaTroy Hawkins - $3.5 million
RP Ryan Dempster - $2 million
RP Mike Remlinger - $3.8 million
RP Joe Borowski - $2.3 million
RP Kyle Farnsworth- Arbitration eligible: $1.75 million

$75.85 million estimate for 15 players

Last years Cubs budget was $91 million and AT MOST that will go up to $95 million. That my loyal readers is ONLY $20 million to fill 10 spots. YIKES!!!!

The 10 spots are:
Backup C
Starting LF
Starting SS
Starting 2B
5th Starter
2 Relief Pitchers
2 Utility OF's
Utility IF

UNLESS the Cubs trade Sammy and save at least $10 million in the deal, I'll be very surpised if the Cubs make any significant off-season signings. Or to say the least Carlos Beltran is going to be tough to get unless we're planning an infield combo of Neifi & Jose Macias. Here is MY PLAN:

C - Bako or Todd Pratt ($850,000)
RF- J.D. Drew ($12 million)
SS - Garciaparra - ($8 million)
2B - Todd Walker - ($2.5 million)
5th starter - Sergio Mitre ($350,000)
RP - 2 out of Wuertz, Leicester, Will Ohman & Wellemeyer ($650,000)
OF - Hollandsworth ($1.5 million)
OF - Dubois ($350,000)
IF - Pokey Reese ($1 million)

Grand total: $27.2 million

Okay I'm over by a bit, but if the Sosa trade happens which looks to be more realistic every day and we end up with Cliff Floyd or even better Aubrey Huff from Tampa and save $7 to $10 million, it's a possibility. And if anything I'm at least close, not to mention who knows about my arbitration figures. Hendry and McPhail have never gone to arbitration with a player and they SHOULD sign Aramis and Zambrano to long-term deals and save some money there. I'm sure Mitre isn't everyone's favorite option as a 5th starter but he's cheap and pitched exceptionally at AAA Iowa(6-3 3.03 ERA), I think he deserves another chance and it's possible one of our minor league studs (Bobby Brownlie or Reynel Pinto) could be ready by mid-year if he falters again. Ryan Dempster may be the plan already that Hendry just hasn't shared with the rest of the world.

That also means no big money for a closer but none that are available are worth it. Don't ask me what to do..maybe Borowski comes back to form , otherwise try Dempster or Farnsworth.

There's also the trade front, I think they could trade Farnsworth for a legitimate lefty specialist or LOOGIE if you prefer. Next year's potential lineup:

2B - Walker
SS - Garciaparra
3B - Ramirez
RF - Drew
1B - Derek Lee
LF - Aubrey Huff
CF - Corey Patterson
C - Michael Barrett

Starting Pitching staff
Kerry Wood
Mark Prior
Carlos Zambrano
Greg Maddux
Sergio Mitre

Relief Corps
Mike Remlinger
Kyle Farnsworth (Trade him for Mike Gonzalez or B.J. Ryan if they'd take it)
LaTroy Hawkins
Joe Borowski
Ryan Dempster
Jon Leicester
Todd Wellemeyer or Mike Wuertz

Paul Bako
Neifi Perez
Pokey Reese
Jason Dubois
Todd Hollandsworth
David Kelton (instead of Wellemeyer or Wuertz)

Pretty good lineup in my opinion and a killer staff. Now although we didn't make the playoffs last year, the 2 biggest words I can pass along to everyone is "DON'T PANIC". This Cubs team record by the Pythagorean formula was a 94 win team, not an 89 win team that we ended up. Injuries, tough losses and most importantly 1 run losses contributed to a record that was poorer than it should have been. The history of baseball says that will correct itself next year. A major overhaul is NOT needed, just a few improvements. So don't go too nutty Hendry and start brining in the Tony Womack's of the world, stay the course, power pitching, let your minors develop, make big trades when they make sense and this Cub team will win the division next year.


At November 2, 2005 at 4:27 AM, Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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At September 23, 2007 at 8:26 AM, Blogger Roberto Iza said...

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