We head closer to the deadline for the Cubs to decide Mark Prior’s fate and hopefully the day we learn the Cubs have signed Fukudome. Both could come today. My guess is that Prior will be traded for small amounts of talent and Fukudome will sign the same day. It would make losing a player once considered a phenom for pennies a lot easier to bare. We’ll just have to wait and see. Until them, enjoy the selections for this week. Remember, if you run across something, take a minute and send me a note. I’d appreciate it.

  • With the Rule 5 draft in the books, I found some information on the player we picked up from the Rays, Tim Lahey. Remember, just because we picked him up doesn’t mean he’s a lock to make the team. If Hendry and Lou feel he’s not ready, the process is as follows: Lahey would be placed on waivers, exposing him to every team in baseball. If no one bites, the Cubs must offer him back to the Twins for $25,000. If Minnesota declines, he is the Cubs property and they no longer are required to keep him on the active roster or even the 40 man roster. Here is some info on Lahey:

    Acquired from the Rays for 150K Lahey is an interesting arm from the Twins system, he’s only 25 and last year had a 3.65 ERA spending 78.1 of his 81.1 innings pitched in AA. He’s a reliever who may challenge for a Cubs’ bullpen spot, but honestly I can’t see him making it and I’d project him to be returned to the Twins. – (Source)

    √¨He√≠s anywhere from 90 to 95 with a pretty good slider, decent changeup, He√≠s only been pitching for two years. He√≠s supposed to have a pretty good sinker. He pitched pretty well in Double-A for a guy that was only in his second full year. He√≠s a good-sized guy (6-foot-5, 250 pounds).” ~ Cubs Scouting Director, Tim Wilken (Source)

    Lahey was a star catcher at Princeton, but he only lasted one year behind the plate before being moved to the mound, as his tremendous power was rendered valueless by a complete inability to make contact. On the mound, it√≠s been a different story. Lahey is absolutely massive at 6’5√Æ and 250 pounds, and he get a good downward plane on his splitter, which is his primary offering and gives him an excellent ground-ball ratio.

    Chances To Stick: It would have been better with the Rays, where nearly any carbon-based life form would have a chance to make the bullpen, but even with the Cubs he could mop up here and there and develop into a decent middle reliever, but little more. ~ Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (Source)

  • Mike Pagliarulo has a post about how teams should evaluate Japanese free agents. He lists Akinori Iwamura as a Japanese failure last year and So Taguchi as a success, which is ridiculous. I’m sure Scott from Rays of Light will break it down a little as to why. One of the ways Mike mentions for a team to be successful is to double and triple check their work. That applies to writers as well. Had Mike simply took two minutes to pull up the player’s stats, he would see that in Iwamura’s first full season, he posted an OPS+ of over 100, which is the benchmark and considered league average. Taguchi has been at 91, 78, and 88 in his three seasons which at least 300 at bats. What I found the most amusing were his tips to being successful, as if teams aren’t already doing these. I’ve got news for Mike, no team is going to invest in a player after hearing from just a scout or two. – (Source)
  • Derek Zumsteg, who you may remember for his Cheater’s Guide to Baseball book has a cheating blog as well. Recently he talked about how the excuse of a player taking a “tainted supplement” is slowly becoming more credible. – (Source)

    Every Sunday morning, we’ll highlight some good writing around the web and beyond. Feel free to send me submissions of things you run across, whether it be good YouTube videos, sports related blog posts, or good columns. Send all submissions to:
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    Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail