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The 2009 Free Agent List

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Since we keep talking about blowing up the Cubs roster, or at least tweaking it, here’s your list of possible players. It’s not good this year.

Updated 10-7-08

Catchers
Brad Ausmus (40)
Paul Bako (37)
Rod Barajas (33) – $2.5MM club option for ’09 with a $0.5MM buyout
Josh Bard (31)
Michael Barrett (32)
Henry Blanco (37) – $3MM mutual option for ’09 with a $0.3MM buyout
Johnny Estrada (33)
Toby Hall (33) – $2.25MM club option for ’09 with a $0.15MM buyout
Jason LaRue (35)
Paul Lo Duca (37)
Miguel Olivo (30) – $2.7MM mutual option for ’09 with a $0.1MM buyout
Mike Redmond (38) – $0.95MM club option for ’09 with a $0.1MM buyout
Ivan Rodriguez (37)
David Ross (32)
Javier Valentin (33)
Jason Varitek (37)
Gregg Zaun (38)

First basemen
Rich Aurilia (37)
Hank Blalock (28) – $6.2MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Sean Casey (34)
Tony Clark (37)
Carlos Delgado (37) – $12MM club option for ’09 with a $4MM buyout
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Jason Giambi (38) – $22MM club option for ’09 with a $5MM buyout
Eric Hinske (31)
Doug Mientkiewicz (35)
Kevin Millar (37)
Richie Sexson (34)
Mark Teixeira (29)
Daryle Ward (34)

Second basemen
Willie Bloomquist (31)
Jamey Carroll (35) – $2.5MM club option for ’09 with a $0.15MM buyout
Craig Counsell (38)
Ray Durham (37)
Damion Easley (39)
David Eckstein (34)
Mark Ellis (32)
Mark Grudzielanek (39)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (33)
Orlando Hudson (31)
Tadahito Iguchi (34)
Jeff Kent (41)
Felipe Lopez (29)
Mark Loretta (37)
Nick Punto (31)

Shortstops
Willie Bloomquist (31)
Orlando Cabrera (34)
Alex Cintron (30)
Alex Cora (33)
Craig Counsell (38)
David Eckstein (34)
Adam Everett (32)
Rafael Furcal (31)
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (33)
Cesar Izturis (29)
Felipe Lopez (29)
Edgar Renteria (33)
Juan Uribe (30)
Ramon Vazquez (32)
Omar Vizquel (42) – $5.2MM club option for ’09 with a $0.3MM buyout

Third basemen
Rich Aurilia (37)
Casey Blake (35)
Hank Blalock (28) – $6.2MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Willie Bloomquist (31)
Aaron Boone (36)
Russell Branyan (33)
Craig Counsell (38)
Joe Crede (31)
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Mark Loretta (37)
Fernando Tatis (34)
Ramon Vazquez (32)

Left fielders Man About Town psp
Moises Alou (42)
Garret Anderson (37) – $14MM club option for ’09 with a $3MM buyout
Milton Bradley (31)
Emil Brown (34)
Pat Burrell (32)
Carl Crawford (27) – $8.25MM club option for ’09 with a $2.5MM buyout
Adam Dunn (29)
Cliff Floyd (36) – $2.75MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Luis Gonzalez (41)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (33)
Raul Ibanez (37)
Gabe Kapler (33)
Kevin Mench (31)
Jason Michaels (33) – $2.6MM club option for ’09
Craig Monroe (32)
Greg Norton (36)
Jay Payton (36)
Wily Mo Pena (27) – $5MM club option or $2MM player option for ’09
Manny Ramirez (37)
Juan Rivera (30)
Fernando Tatis (34)

Center fielders
Rocco Baldelli (27)
Willie Bloomquist (31)
Mike Cameron (36) – $10MM club option for ’09 with a $750K buyout
Jim Edmonds (39)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (33)
Gabe Kapler (33)
Mark Kotsay (33)
Corey Patterson (29)
Scott Podsednik (33)

Right fielders
Bobby Abreu (35)
Casey Blake (35)
Cliff Floyd (36) – $2.75MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Brian Giles (38) – $9MM club option for ’09 with a $3MM buyout
Ken Griffey Jr. (39) – $16.5MM club option for ’09 with a $4MM buyout
Vladimir Guerrero (33) – $15MM club option for ’09 with a $3MM buyout
Gabe Kapler (33)
Jason Michaels (33) – $2.6MM club option for ’09
Fernando Tatis (34)
Brad Wilkerson (32)

DHs
Milton Bradley (31)
Pat Burrell (32)
Adam Dunn (29)
Cliff Floyd (36) – $2.75MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Jason Giambi (38) – $22MM club option for ’09 with $5MM buyout
Vladimir Guerrero (33) – $15MM club option for ’09 with a $3MM buyout
Raul Ibanez (37)
Manny Ramirez (37)
Juan Rivera (30)
Mike Sweeney (35)
Frank Thomas (41)
Jose Vidro (34)

Starting pitchers
Kris Benson (33)
A.J. Burnett (32) – can opt out after ’08 season
Paul Byrd (38)
Roger Clemens (46)
Matt Clement (33)
Bartolo Colon (36)
Ryan Dempster (32)
Shawn Estes (36)
Josh Fogg (32)
Freddy Garcia (33)
Jon Garland (29)
Tom Glavine (43)
Mike Hampton (36)
Mark Hendrickson (35)
Livan Hernandez (34)
Orlando Hernandez (43)
Jason Jennings (30)
Randy Johnson (45)
John Lackey (30) – $9MM club option for ’09 with a $0.5MM buyout
Jon Lieber (39)
Braden Looper (34)
Rodrigo Lopez (33) – club option for ’09
Derek Lowe (36)
Greg Maddux (43)
Pedro Martinez (37)
Sergio Mitre (28)
Jamie Moyer (46)
Mark Mulder (31) – $11MM club option for ’09 with a $1.5MM buyout
Mike Mussina (40)
Carl Pavano (33) – $13MM club option for ’09 with a $1.95MM buyout
Brad Penny (31) – $8.75MM club option for ’09 with a $2MM buyout
Odalis Perez (32)
Oliver Perez (27)
Andy Pettitte (37)
Sidney Ponson (32)
Mark Prior (27)
Kenny Rogers (44)
Glendon Rusch (34)
C.C. Sabathia (28)
Curt Schilling (42)
Ben Sheets (30)
John Smoltz (42)
Tim Wakefield (42) – perpetual $4MM club option
Kip Wells (32)
Randy Wolf (32)

Closers

Brian Fuentes (33)
Eric Gagne (33)
Eddie Guardado (38)
Trevor Hoffman (41)
Jason Isringhausen (36)
Brandon Lyon (29)
Francisco Rodriguez (27)
Salomon Torres (37) – $3.75MM club option for ’09 with a $0.3MM buyout
Kerry Wood (32)

Middle relievers
Jeremy Affeldt (30)
Luis Ayala (31)
Joe Beimel (32)
Joe Borowski (38)
Doug Brocail (42)
Shawn Chacon (31)
Juan Cruz (30)
Alan Embree (39) – $3MM club option for ’09
Scott Eyre (37)
Kyle Farnsworth (33)
Casey Fossum (31)
Keith Foulke (35)
Tom Gordon (41) – $4.5MM club option for ’09 with a $1MM buyout
LaTroy Hawkins (36)
Mark Hendrickson (35)
Matt Herges (39) – club option for ’09
Bob Howry (35)
Jon Lieber (39)
Jason Johnson (35)
Damaso Marte (34) – $6MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Trever Miller (36) – $2MM club option for ’09 with a $0.4MM buyout
Guillermo Mota (35)
Will Ohman (31)
Darren Oliver (38)
Chan Ho Park (36)
Horacio Ramirez (29)
Al Reyes (38)
Dennys Reyes (32)
Arthur Rhodes (39)
Juan Rincon (30)
Glendon Rusch (34)
Rudy Seanez (40)
Brian Shouse (40)
Russ Springer (40)
Mike Timlin (43)
Ron Villone (39)
David Weathers (39)
Kip Wells (32)
Matt Wise (33)
Jamey Wright (34)

MLB4U and Cot’s Baseball Contracts were used in the creation of this list.

Judge Dredd movies

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Until the Levee Breaks

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

 I posted an early version of someone’s work to Eddie Vedder’s tribute to being a Cubs fan, “All the Way” a few weeks back.  I lamented that it wasn’t the greatest work I’d ever seen, but for the time being it was good.  I’ve spent the last few evenings working on this, for my own sanity, and now I’ll post in hopes that it brings the Cubbie faithful some peace before this evening’s storm.   Hopefully, I’ll see everyone Tuesday night.  I’ll be the one screaming his head off, because by that point, I know we’ll be going “All the Way.”

Abandoned movies

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The Last Fight

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

As I rode in on the train today, my iPod shuffled onto Velvet Revolver’s “The Last Fight.” Quite simply, it put the Cubs season into perspective for tomorrow night. As the chorus begins, “This fight, could be the last fight.”

I simply cannot comprehend how this team has managed to botch Games One and Two, as badly as they have. I’m trying, oh lord how I’m trying, to grasp what I’ve seen over the last two nights. I’m digging deep into my subconscious, trying to find explanations into why they performed so, badly when the law of averages should have this serious at least tied at one. How does Mark DeRosa mishandle a sure handed double play? How does D Lee have a short hop roll his arm and out of sight? Why the heck is Fukudome even in the lineup? And please, I don’t ever want to see Big Z on the brink of tears again. I like him emotional, just not like that.

Hand it to the Dodgers. They’ve out performed and most certainly out executed the Cubs thus far. They also haven’t had some unlucky bounces. With the series moving to La La Land, I’m hoping the pressure of all this 100 year nonsense, isn’t quite as heavy. Perhaps a change of scenery will clear their minds, and get this back on track to the way it’s supposed to be. Deep down, I really believe this is, and always was, going to go five games. Although, with last night’s loss, my gut instincts are a bit shaken.

Things I don’t understand thus far:

  • Lou playing Fukudome. I know he likes his defense, but he’s killing us in the batting order. Get Fontenot in. NOW. And moving him to the number two slot in Game One? Hello? WTF. Why is moving the lineup around now? Stick to what worked. Or is this how he managed Seattle?
  • Theriot. Please use your glove. That’s why they give it to you. Simply knocking that ball down was the best and only play you had. It would of keep runners in a force situation.
  • Soriano hits a lead off single. Then takes second on a wild pitch. Where’s the sac bunt? It’s early, you get a run to gain some momentum, and regain some confidence. Instead we watch Theriot strike out. I thought that was a bigger gaffe than anything else.
  • Errors, or Errahs as Mr. Stockton calls them, happen. They tend to happen in bunches. I guess we saved all ours up for the playoffs.
  • For whatever reason, I never noticed how balanced the Dodgers lineup is in regards to lefties and righties. Why do we continue to suffer with mostly right handed batters?

I’m not watching on Saturday. I can’t stomach it. Call me fair weather, but with the amount of games I watched over the course of the last six months, I deserve better. Which is what I’m going to do. I’d rather spend time at the local Octoberfest, at least I know I’ll leave happy.

Someone brought up what the point is of the best record, if you’re just going to blow it in the playoffs. This has been my biggest complaint about the moronic five game Division series. It gives the Wild Card or “lessor Division winner” a huge advantage. Mr. Selig, it’s time to make it Seven Games. Make it fair to the teams that truly are the best in the bigs over the course of six months. Not some flash in the pan team that gets hot at the right time, ala the 2007 Colorado Rockies.

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Here We Go Again

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Wednesday can’t come soon enough. I’m already trying to figure out if I can get the H E double hockey sticks out of work early to make sure I’m at home in time to catch the first pitch. The last two playoff appearances have left a bad taste in my mouth, and I’m ready to see some butt whoopin’ from what is probably the best Cub team we’ll see in our lifetimes. Which is kind of a strange thought, considering all the complaining we do about them.

This is the first time in a long time, that I was really stuck to the TV all weekend long. Not to watch the Cubs, but to see how everything else played out. It still amazes me that after 162 games, it still always seems to come down to the last day. I hated the Wild Card when it was introduced, but I’ve certainly warmed to it the past few years. It really has made baseball more exciting. That’s the single best call Bud Selig has made.

As for the Cubs, I like the match up with the Dodgers. It’s going to be interesting to see which team can break through first against two very good rotations. Speaking of which, did Ted Lilly just make one heck of a statement for being in the playoff rotation over Zambrano? I think he did. I guess Lou thinks otherwise, since Zambrano is scheduled for Game 3.

Rest up people, although I don’t think this ride is going to be as bumpy as 2003, it’s going to be exciting, nailbiting, and one that makes us reach for the Pepto regularly.

Go, Cubs, Go!

A Haunting in Connecticut download

Phenomena movie

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A Moral Dilemma

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Hypothetically speaking, say you were to get lucky and score tickets for a Cubs playoff game. You got them for face value, and they’re damn good seats. You’ve never seen the Cubs live during the playoffs, and you think this may be the year.

Then you open up the paper and read a story on how much these tickets are going for on eBay and Stubhub, and you could stand to make chunk of change. You’re not in financial straits, but extra cash never hurt. It a moral dilemma of proposterious dimension. A blue blooded Cub fan that can’t decide if being part of history would be as nice as sizable bump in the bank account.

What would you do? Sell the tickets? Or go to the game?

By the way, they’re for game five of the NLDS. Let’s hope the Cubs make my decision easier, and just win in three or four.

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All The Way

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

As much as I love “Go Cubs Go,” it really doesn’t come close to Eddie Vedder’s new song about being a Cubs fan. This isn’t the greatest slide show to music I’ve ever seen, but it’s good enough to make you smile about being a fan. And maybe, just maybe, the Cubs will go “All the Way.”

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Your Playoff Roster?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

As we come down the stretch, who would you put on your playoff roster?

Personally, I think Marquis pitched himself off the roster for good last night, but he could be used out of the pen. There’s been discussion on Pie over Edmonds, as well. I think we’ve riden the Pie train before, and Edmonds has helped get us here. Keep him on!

Then there’s Joe’s favorite, Bob Howry. Good lord, what to do with him?

Let’s discuss before the Cubs get that magic number down to two, this afternoon.Feast of Love ipod Xtro II: The Second Encounter release

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Yost Relieved of Brewer Post

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Bad News Bears dvd Yost relieved of managerial post
09/15/2008 2:59 PM ET
MLB.com

Raging Bull divx

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that Ned Yost has been dismissed from his position as manager of the Club. The announcement was made by Brewers Executive Vice President and General Manager, Doug Melvin.

“This was a very difficult move to make, and we appreciate all of the work that Ned has done to develop this team into a contender,” Melvin said. “In the end, this was a collaborative decision made to put our Club in the best position for the final two weeks of the season.”

Dale Sveum, the Brewers third base coach, will take over in an interim role as manager for the remainder of the season. Bench Coach Ted Simmons has been reassigned to an advisory role. Any other coaching changes will be announced later.

From ESPN:

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers fired manager Ned Yost on Monday in the midst of a late-season slump that has jeopardized the team’s chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 1982.

Third-base coach Dale Sveum will become interim manager for the remainder of the season. Bench coach Ted Simmons was reassigned to an advisory role.

“This was a very difficult move to make, and we appreciate all of the work that Ned has done to develop this team into a contender,” general manager Doug Melvin said. “In the end, this was a collaborative decision made to put our club in the best position for the final two weeks of the season.”

The Brewers share the NL wild-card lead with Philadelphia despite losing 11 of 14 in September, including seven of their last eight. Milwaukee was idle Monday.

“I think we have sucked in September so far,” a Brewers player who wished to remain anonymous told ESPN.com’s Amy K. Nelson. “And I don’t think it’s his fault that we can’t hit or pitch right now, but something had to change.”

Milwaukee is hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s collapse. The Brewers held an 8½-game lead in late June before sliding to 83-79 and missing the playoffs.

The Brewers kept up their playoff push even longer this season, boosted when they made a big splash on July 7 by getting ace CC Sabathia from Cleveland.

Sabathia, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, is 9-0 in 13 starts with six complete games and a 1.59 ERA.

Yost was in his sixth season as the Brewers’ manager. When Milwaukee hired him from Atlanta after the 2002 season, the team was in the midst of four straight seasons with 94 losses or more.

But the next three seasons resulted in records of 81-81, 75-87 and 83-79, a marked improvement for a franchise that hadn’t had a winning record since 1992.

Yost spent 12 years on the Braves’ coaching staff with Bobby Cox, and Atlanta won division titles every year Yost was there except the strike-shortened 1994 season.

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Holy Losing Streak Batman!

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

So in the past week, we’ve had over analyzing, under analyzing, freak outs, panic attacks, emotions boil over, and the worst losing streak for the Cubs this season. And yet, their lead in the NL Central has not diminished one game. That’s a big, and yet. It’s up to a whopping five games. Not that this is anything to sneeze at, but when your first losing streak of this magnitude doesn’t strike until September, things are still looking pretty good.

I said it earlier in the week during one of Joe’s recaps. The team just looks flat right now. Not just the bats, but even on defense. Let’s not take anything away from the Houston Astros. They’re hot, right now, riding an eight game winning streak, and 26-10 since the All Star break. Randy Wolf, threw a heck of a game, and after a questionable strike call on D-Lee in the bottom of the first, I don’t think you can complain about one call the rest of the game. He was just that good, going nine innings of shutout ball.

Dempster, wasn’t as good, but on a normal night when the Cubs’ bats are working it, he probably would of gotten a win. If anything, he at least got a quality start out of it, thus giving the bullpen a bit of a breather after last night’s extra inning affair. If there’s a silver lining, I guess that’d be it.

On a night when the wind was blowing in, I figured small ball would need to be played to earn a win. Small ball being, getting hits of the extra base type, like doubles and such. Creating run opportunities with sacrifice bunts, stolen bases, etc. Anything but the long ball. I, of course pointed this brillant insight out to my wife, as Geovani Soto hit a deep flyout to Centerfield to end the fourth inning. We all know what happened next. Typical. Home run. I should shut my mouth sometimes, to which some of you will most certainly agree.

Let’s hope tomorrow’s day off gets things back on track, and the Reds cure what the Cubs ills. Dusty and the squad have to be good for something. Right?

  • The Harden mystery is over. They finally announced that he’s having shoulder stiffness. Nothing to fret about, as Harden himself said it’s nothing more than a minor thing that happens over the course of a season. It’s either the Cubs doing another fine job of spinning it, or Rich knows what he’s talking about.
  • Carlos Zambrano had his arm physically checked out today, but never showed for his MRI. Conclusion: Zambrano is a headcase, and scares the bejesus out of me. Why would you not show up for a MRI? I’m still baffled the Cubs are paying a guy ace money, for someone that hasn’t won more than 18 games a season, and that was only once. His antics can’t be worth the aggrevation.
  • Nice call by Home Plate umpire Jim Reynolds on Ronny Cedeno’s play at the plate. He was out of position and still managed to get the call right. See, we don’t need no stinkin’ replay!
  • Speaking of Ronny Cedeno, someone teach him how to slide. He was late sliding everytime he went to second, and he was late again at home. Why can this guy with so much potential continue to be so lackluster in the fundamentals? I cringe when I see him charge grounders, because he’s always taking them on in between hops. He makes the hard look easy, and the easy look bad.
  • I can tell all of you, this is not going to be a repeat of 1969. You can thank the Wild Card format for that. The Cubs are all but secured a playoff spot, unless a complete meltdown occurs. I think we’ve seen this team has more moxy than that.
  • Since some of you keep harping on Derrek Lee underachieving:

    Besides 2005 (.335) and 2007 (.317), Lee has never hit higher that .282. So to say he’s underachieving, is incorrect. He’s still hitting 10 points higher career average.

    His OBP is at .363, his career average is .367. So again, wrong.

    He averages 87 RBI’s a year, he’s at 77 with four weeks to go. It’s safe to say, he’s going to hit around that again. Again, wrong.

    The only thing you can knock on Derrek this year is his GIDP. That the ONLY thing.

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