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Telling signs from Cubs' historical All-Star selections


I was thinking about the lack of position player depth in the Hendry years and something hit me. Other than Geovany Soto in 2008 and Starlin Castro this year, I couldn't think of a homegrown position player who made the All-Star team since Hendry became GM. Sure enough, I was right. I did a little bit more digging, and, sure enough, the Cubs' last homegrown position player to make the All-Star before Soto in 2008 was the injury-replacement choice of Joe Girardi in 2000 (Girardi was on his second tour with the Cubs at that point). The link is from a Tribune story three years ago showing the Cubs All-Stars through the years. Prior to that, it was Mark Grace in 1997. Grace made the team three times ('93, '95, '97). Oh, and Shawon Dunston made it in 1990. This is, again, among homegrown position players. In other words, the Cubs have had five homegrown position players make the All-Star team in the past 21 seasons, and one of them was essentially a meaningless pick in Girardi! To be sure, the Cubs have had homegrown pitchers make the team. Oh, and I know that All-Star selections aren't exactly the best measures for success. The point is, I doubt there is a single team in baseball with this lousy mark against it over the past 20 years. This problem existed well before Jim Hendry took over. But it's a problem that the Cubs really need to fix. When you look at the homegrown position player core of the Yankees (Jeter, Posada, Cano), the Phillies (Rollins, Utley, Howard) or even a team like Milwaukee (Braun, Fielder, Hart) ... well, it's kind of troubling.

Throwing Riggins a bone


Mark Riggins has gotten a lot of criticism around here this season, including some from yours truly. But Buster Olney says Riggins has helped Marmol improve this season, and I'd guess Riggins has something to do with Shark's improvement.

Sully refs Doggie Stalker's convention question


A question Jessica asked Hendry and Quade at the convention is mentioned near the bottom of this story. Interestingly, Sully quotes Hendry's somewhat rambling answer, but didn't mention the "I wasn't making those decisions" comment by Quade that (I thought) was especially illuminating.

Cubs looking at Orlando Cabrera, other infielders, Levine says


Haven't seen this posted yet. Levine's been dropping the name Orlando Cabrera a few times in recent chats, and this is what he had to say today: Questioner: You've been talking about Orlando Cabrera quite a bit in the chats lately, is this wishful thinking or do you have a lead ? Bruce Levine: Well if you read my stuff, you know I don't make things up. Read between the blogs. And ... Look for the Cubs to look at Orlando Cabrera, Christian Guzman, or Julio Lugo. In my opinion, the first two make the most sense. The second comment was in response to a question about Felipe Lopez. I'm not sure why Hendry would make this move, unless he has very little confidence in Darwin Barney.

The Heckler's 2011 Cubs Convention Schedule


Pretty funny. Personal favorite: ""The Japanese Art of Lowering Expectations" with Kosuke Fukudome"

Semi-OT: Hudson gets $11.5 million from SD


As somebody who was hoping Hudson's value would fall and the Cubs could take a $1 million flyer on him, I am shocked by this. $5.5 million for Hudson for two seasons?

Report: Wood wants 2 years, $12 million


That would probably put him out of the Cubs' price range, unless the deal is severely back-loaded. I know, I know -- Wood might accept a discount to play in Chicago. Some other good Cubs info in Rosenthal's piece. He essentially suggested the four-man outfield rotation suggested by some BCBers (fsu, I think?). There's also some interesting Garza analysis.

A-Gon heading to Boston


Not a done deal yet, but it's close. Really disappointing news for the Cubs. Hendry's inability to close this deal might put the nail in his coffin. Gonzalez was an ideal fit for so many reasons. Really depressing news.

V-Mart signs with Tigers


This could have fallout for the Cubs. The Tigers had been connected to guys (notably Adam Dunn) who have been and might continue to be on the Cubs' radar. Even if Dunn is off the table (sounds like he is) the number of destinations for middle-order guys who play first got smaller today.

Brewers hire Roenicke


One less opening for Sandberg. Also means Cora is probably staying put, I'd guess.

MLBTR evaluates Cubs 2011 rotation


I don't really agree with much of this. Zambrano, if he continues to pitch well for the rest of the season, could end up as the No. 3 starter -- behind Dempster and Gorzo. It's been debated around here, but I think the Cubs are better off rolling the dice with Z than taking on another team's problem child (e.g. Oliver Perez). Anyway, if the Cubs trade anybody to dump salary, they'll trade Fukudome to open a spot for Colvin. At least, that's what I would do. Meanwhile, I also don't see Wells and Silva as sure bets. Wells is no more than a decent No. 4 starter and I bet Silva ends up in the bullpen because of his conditioning/health issues. If Z somehow returns to old form and finally grows up ... it could be one key to fringe contention for the Cubs in 2011.

More reason to think Dunn will be a Cub


Interesting stuff. Sounds like Colvin won't be getting time at first, after all. And it sounds like Dunn is very high on becoming a Cub.

S-T: Lilly could be gone by the end of the weekend.


Didn't see this posted anywhere else (if it was, I'll delete). But I gotta say this makes sense. Lilly's outing on Wednesday helped his value. Discuss.

Report: Mets interested in Lilly.


Doesn't sound like its gonna happen soon, but I'd explore this and see if the return is better than draft pick compensation. And, yes, I know that we all love Ted Lilly.

Trade Fukudome and Theriot to improve the team


Honestly, I could not agree more. Also, it's interesting that Kosuke only has no-trade protection to 15 teams ...

Good summation of the Cubs in S-T


Not a ton of new ground here, but I thought Gordo nailed it for the most part (I disagree with leaving Dempster in to face Votto last month). But this is the keygraph: "The real problem is that almost every late-inning pitch this staff throws has make-or-break implications because the hitters aren't doing their jobs." I apologize if this is old hat to anybody -- I guess I hadn't seen such a sane (if imperfect) account of the Cubs' current woes in the MSM.

Available right-handers


A big no to Farnsworth, and I don't see Kerry Wood as an option (sorry, Al). I also don't see a match with the Sox. But the Mariners and the Pirates are interesting, as is Chad Qualls.

Nats have reportedly talked to Cubs about Kosuke


Nothing imminent, but this is interesting. I read that the Cubs were shopping Kosuke on another (less reputable) Cubs blog the other day. It's clear that the Cubs would have to eat a large portion of Kosuke's salary, but seeing as the Cubs might have two better options in right (Colvin and Nady, when healthy), I say explore away.


Predictions sure to go wrong

Last week, a fanpost asked BCBers some set questions about which Cubs will improve in 2010, which Cubs will decline, etc. I thought it was a lot of fun, but I thought it might also be enjoyable to...

Cashner to get shot, no FA relievers on Cubs' radar


Per Sullivan in the Trib today. I guess that takes Smoltz and Calero off the table. I initially advocated for Smoltz, but I certainly get his drawbacks. And I'll trust the Cubs' judgment about not going after Calero, at this point. Oh, and sorry, if this was posted elsewhere. I didn't see a fanshot linking to the story, but I didn't have time to check all the comment threads.

He's still out there: Cubs should sign Smoltz


I know this was suggested by Shawn a while back, but I wanted to bring it up again. Smoltz makes sense on a lot of levels, but mostly, because the Cubs wouldn't have to give him a multiyear deal. He could be insurance if Marmol can't close, he COULD he a starting rotation backup and he's a guy with a great deal of postseason experience (winning postseason experience, at that). This is a TOTAL guess on my part, but couldn't Hendry convince the Rickets to free up an extra few million for a guy with Smoltz's resume? Frankly, I'd rather have Smoltz for one year at $3 million than Calero for two years and $4 million.


Help with the convention

Hey everybody -- I scored tickets to the Cubs convention next weekend, and I'm hoping for some advice from BCBers who've attended before. I apologize if someone has posted this (or something...

Three Cubs (and almost four) on LVP list of the decade


I don't really see how Corey Patterson should be on this list. It's not like he made THAT much money -- and he had two decent years amid an injury. But no one will get an argument from me about Neifi or MB. Kind of amazing that Carlos Silva ISN'T on this list, and that Pat Burrell -- nearly a Cub this month -- is. Not exactly an endorsement of Jim Hendry's work as our GM. So here's the question -- should any other recent Cub be considered for this list?


Gammons on Harden, Soriano, Pierre

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4326466&name=gammons_peter Interesting take on the Cubs, though the Pierre suggestion is pretty ridiculous. Soriano might be the best example of...


Would you have traded Marshall for DeRo?

The Sun-Times reports today that the Indians were interested in trading DeRosa for Marshall, http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/1643290,CST-SPT-cub29.article. The story doesn't say what...


An idea: Mark Grudzielanek

MLB trade rumors, http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/02/the-remaining-f.html, noted that Grudzielanek is still looking for work. I was a fan of his when he was with the Cubs in '03-'04, and I...


Who is our backup first baseman?

It struck me today that I have no idea who will back up Lee at first next season -- now that DeRosa has been traded and Ward and Blanco are unlikely to return. We all remember how difficult it was...


Rockies considering Marquis

Rosenthal just posted that the Rockies are considering trading for Marquis or signing Tim Redding,...

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