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chicago cubs logoThe Cubs’ coaching staff could take shape over the next few days, and the man at the dish could former Cubs third baseman Bill Mueller.

According to reports in the Sun-Times and the Tribune, the Cubs may soon tab Mueller to be the team’s fourth hitting coach in three years. Mueller was an accomplished hitter in his playing days, embodying the kind of plate approach the Cubs would like to see from their players (who wouldn’t want a batter that sported a walk rate (11.1%) nearly matching his strikeout rate (11.7%)?).

After his playing days were done (playing days that notably featured three seasons with the Boston Red Sox from 2003 to 2005), Mueller worked in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office as a special assistant to Ned Colleti (with a brief stop as the team’s hitting coach for a half-season in 2007). This past season, he worked as a scout. Presumably, during his time with the Dodgers, Mueller has had a great deal of experience working with both minor league hitters and Major League hitters, experience that would be viewed as valuable by the Cubs.

Although I can’t find an electronic footprint, I vaguely recall Mueller’s name popping up a couple years ago when the Cubs were considering a change at hitting coach. He would certainly be an interesting candidate, given his big league success/approach, though it remains to be seen how well that kind of thing translates to coaching.

  • jh03

    I’d just like to say thanks, Brett. You’ve been kicking ass so far this offseason. Never a dull moment at work because you are whipping out articles like it’s your job or something. :)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well thanks.

  • jt

    Mueller is one of 13 guys to his 2 grannies in a single game

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

      From different sides of the plate!!

      • Patrick W.

        Which is more impressive, Fernando Tatis hitting two home runs in one inning or that both of them came against Chan Ho Park?

  • Mike

    Mueller was a Theo guy hands down. That guy consistently got on base throughout his career regardless of how well he was hitting the ball. He would be a nice fit.

  • macpete22

    Apparently the Cubs are interested in Granderson. https://mobile.twitter.com/matthewcerrone/status/400359253921525760

    Except he wants a 4 yr deal

    • MightyBear

      If you also read the blog, his priority is to sign with a winner. So the Cubs, Astros, White Sox and Mets are probably out even with 4 years.

      • YourResidentJag

        That’s what he claims….that being said 4 yrs is ok…anything more…no.

    • Mike

      I don’t see the Cubs giving up a second round pick during a rebuilding process for a player who will be past his prime once we start competing. South Side makes more sense for him.

  • walterj

    I like the idea of Mueller…..Granderson not so much .

    • macpete22

      Doubt the Cubs would give him a 4 year deal. Plus he said he wants to sign with contender

      • MightyBear

        I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender.

  • Mike

    The only big name I could see the cubs pursuing is Tanaka because he wouldn’t cost a compensation pick. The cubs won’t be giving up draft picks for players during a rebuild. Maybe in a few years from now but not this offseason.

    • macpete22

      Agreed. I don’t think Granderson is a fit besides the veteran presence the front office has said to be interested in

    • Blublud

      That 2nd round pick has a small chance of being a average player one day, a tiny chance of being above average and a minute chance to be a star. I don’t think if the Cubs wanna sign Choo for example, that that 2nd round pick will matter.

      • http://comicsandcardsupplies.com cms0101

        I don’t think the pick loss is a major factor, but it certainly will be part of the thought process. With the pick comes pool dollars. That was not a consideration in past years, but now teams are even less willing to sacrifice a pick, 1st or 2nd round, because of what it could mean to their ability to sign draft picks. Individually, one later round pick or late 1st round pick doesn’t mean a whole lot, but if you’re an organization trying to get volumes of young players into the organization to improve your overall depth, that one missed pick can make a difference. Having said all of that, Choo’s price tag will be the overriding factor in why the Cubs won’t go after him.

      • Mike

        I think Theo would disagree with the idea that the second round has little value. He drafted Pedroia, Masterson, and Lester all in the second round.

        • aaronb

          Lester was drafted before Theo got there.

          • Kyle

            And he drafted a whole lot of 2nd rounders who turned into nothing.

      • Kevin B

        Good point, and its now even a true second round pick as all the compensatory picks come before the 2nd round.

  • Voice of Reason

    The Cubs already came out and specifically said they are not signing big name players to big money. It couldn’t be more clear.

    Who in the hell is matthewcerrone anyway? He must not follow the Cubs much?

  • Andrew

    “(with a brief stop as the team’s hitting coach for a half-season in 2007. This past season, he worked as a scout. Presumably, during his time with the Dodgers, Mueller has had a great deal of experience working with both minor league hitters and Major League hitters, experience that would be viewed as valuable by the Cubs.”

    I’m going crazy trying to find the closing parenthesis!!!!!

    • Fishin Phil

      )

      • FFP

        I’m going crazy trying to find Phil’s eyes

        ;

  • Soda Popinski

    Awesome! I remember drafting him (uncertainly) in a fantasy league years ago and he won the batting title. Sounds like a great guy to have based on his approach. He definitely fits the mold of “The Cub’s Way.”

  • miggy80

    I remember watching Mueller catch that foul ball and smash his knee pretty much ending his season. I think 2002?

    • Fishin Phil

      It was a damn shame. I always liked the way he played, wish he would have been with the Cubs longer.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

    I was having a pretty shitty day, but this just turned it around. Bill was my favorite player during his playing days. I remember having debates with my friends about whether Bellhorn or Mueller should start at 3rd.

    • Tony_S

      Me too!

      Well, my friends, not yours, but you know…

  • macpete22

    DeRosa is retiring…does he take Cubs radio job?

    • YourResidentJag

      It’d be interesting. But why does it have to be a former ballplayer?

  • baseballet

    Whatever his advice is for Starlin, he’d better start boiling it down to one short catch phrase.

    • Patrick W.

      Why is that?

      • mjhurdle

        Im interested to know this answer as well.

        • cjdubbya

          See ball, hit ball?

        • Patrick W.

          Yeah, I’m guessing we won’t see an answer.

      • baseballet

        Because Dale’s and his coaches’ mixed messages to Starlin about his hitting approach got them fired.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Do not think Mueller wants a batting coach job. Ned Colletti has been grooming him for the Dodgers front office. He will be a director of scouting, or in a much higher position of authority than a hitting coach. If the Cubs had offered him the managing job he may have listened, but not this position.

    • Scotti

      A) As a hitting-coach Mueller will likely be given a three-year contract and make more per year than many, if not most, GM’s. B) There is no assurance that Ned Colletti will be around for three years if the Dodgers don’t do really, really well and Tom Ricketts loves him some Theo. C) Why couldn’t the Cubs make similar assurances to Mueller that, when the hitting coach thing is over, he can just be bumped up to the Front Office and learn the sabermetric side of baseball that Ned Colletti has absolutely no clue about (thus creating far more value for Meuller’s career going forward)?

      “But I’d have a hard time trading for a player or drafting a player that I really didn’t know what was inside his head and inside his heart and how he thought and how his priorities were set up and if he aspired for greatness and was willing to sacrifice. I’m not sure you’re going to get that off a stat sheet.” Ned Colletti

      • Tony_S

        I partially agree with that Coletti quote, not taken in isolation of course, but makeup is always a factor.

        Also, and I really have no knowledge of this, but hitting coaches make more than General F’NG Managers? Seriously?!?

  • Ryan

    It would be awesome if they can bring Scott Hatterberg in to be assistant hitting coach. Having both him and Mueller teaching the players would be excellent they both had very high career walk rates of 11% +.
    Mueller: Career W/R11.1% S/R11.7%
    Hatterberg: Career W/R11.5% S/R10.3%
    Solid

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Well, Mueller probably cannot really “teach” his excellent tools. He was drawing walks from the word go: he drew walks in 13.9% of his miLB ABs. And it was not because anybody was afraid of him: he hit all of 16 HR in nearly 1900 miLB PAs.

      You can pretty much ditto that for Hatteberg: he drew walks in 13.2% of his Pas while homering all of 37 times in just over 1900 PAs.

      My bet is that these guys would have a very difficult time communicating how they were so selective simply because they clearly were able to recognize things about pitches right after they left the pitchers’ hands that most guys just do not see.

  • Eric

    I like both of these possibilities. Granderson could probably really hit well at Wrigley and provide a good presence in the clubhouse. Mueller was a pure hitter and probably has a lot of teach the younger players.

  • Drvannostrand

    Has no one considered Bill Buckner?

    • Rudy

      Yeah… The Boise Hawks!

    • Eric

      For what?

      • Drvannostrand

        The topic of the article perhaps…

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

      Buckner wants to stay in Idaho, his home.

      • FFP

        No knock on Mueller, of course. He is loved and workman-like.
        But, I was wondering where Buckner was in this conversation, too. Has he gone on record as not wanting to progress up the corporate ladder? It’s easily imagine a guy having had his fill of the show, but not being done with the game. (I’m merely guessing though.)

  • abe

    Well if he was on the Red Soxs at one point we will probably have to give them a prospect to sign him..

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