Jump to content





Bleacher Nation is on Facebook, and you should totally "Like" us:
 


Bleacher Nation is also on Twitter, and you should totally follow us:




Upcoming Calendar Events

There are no forthcoming calendar events

Today's birthdays

No members are celebrating a birthday today

Photo

Who's on First for 2012


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#16 EQ76

EQ76

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts

Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:37 AM

Didn't Berkman sign a 1 year deal with STL or was it 2?? Could he be a 1B option?

#17 Brett

Brett

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 3,642 posts
  • Twitter:BleacherNation
  • Facebook:BleacherNation

Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:45 AM

Didn't Berkman sign a 1 year deal with STL or was it 2?? Could he be a 1B option?

It was just a one-year deal, though he wants to stay in St. Louis.

I know people like to use the Jim Edmonds example, but... it's really hard to see Berkman being accepted in Chicago. He's been such a douche over the years, and even this year he was ripping on Wrigley. He's a donger.

#18 MichiganGoat

MichiganGoat

    Give me a BEER

  • Moderators
  • 3,799 posts
  • Twitter:MichiganGoat
  • Facebook:michigangoat
  • LocationGrand Rapids, MI

Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:47 AM

Didn't Berkman sign a 1 year deal with STL or was it 2?? Could he be a 1B option?

Yes, he is an option. The concern would be how long and expensive a contract does he want? He has had an amazing contract year and will be looking for that last big contract. My other concern is how much of his success is because he's hitting with Pujols and Holliday around him... That will make any hitter better.

MichiganGoat on Twitter

"There are a lot of guys who are respected but not liked" - Ron Santo


#19 EQ76

EQ76

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts

Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:55 AM

I get all that and to me it's the same reason we won't get Pujols. I think Pena, LaHair and Fielder are the options. I guess a guy like Berkman could fill the void for a year or 2.. but I really am starting to think LaHair may be good enough to try out.. why not??

#20 Baseballet

Baseballet

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:18 AM

KyleNovak, great post about LaHair!

I agree that we should save the money we're giving to Pena and promote LaHair. Why not go with a placeholder in LaHair and spend all that Pena money on young pitching? Even if LaHair flames out, what are we losing except a few more games next year?
It's times like these when teams can afford to take big chances on young players. What's the worst that could happen - that we finish in last place instead of fifth place? The Cubs should jettison all the mediocre over-thirty players that they can. Rebuild and stop competing for third place!
Rebuilding is always dismissed out of hand by Cubs reporters like Levine et al because they say that the Cubs have to "compete" because they play in a big market. But that doesn't make sense when Hendry-style "competing" means that the Cubs sign older free agents at their peak value (must they always buy high and sell low?) and flounder year after year, with their best case scenario being that they win a weak division and get crushed by elite teams in the post season.
I think that if Ricketts were to come clean and explain to the fans that he needs to rebuild and asked for our patience while he establishes a young nucleus for a real contending team, then fans would accept this.
I'd happily go to Wrigley and drink beer while watching our young prospects frolic in the field like a box full of kittens, as long as I knew that it was for the greater good.

#21 Brett

Brett

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 3,642 posts
  • Twitter:BleacherNation
  • Facebook:BleacherNation

Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:40 AM

Couldn't agree more, Baseballet.

#22 Ron

Ron

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Twitter:@RonPSchwery
  • LocationWilmington, NC

Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:56 AM

Sold, KyleNovak that was great and I agree. Look what the Giants did last year. Its always and will always be pitching. Save money where you can and stock up on young pitching. Scour the rule 5 types looking for lightning in a bottle and invest elsewhere.

#23 MichiganGoat

MichiganGoat

    Give me a BEER

  • Moderators
  • 3,799 posts
  • Twitter:MichiganGoat
  • Facebook:michigangoat
  • LocationGrand Rapids, MI

Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:08 AM

Sold, KyleNovak that was great and I agree. Look what the Giants did last year. Its always and will always be pitching. Save money where you can and stock up on young pitching. Scour the rule 5 types looking for lightning in a bottle and invest elsewhere.


I could get on board with this, but passing on Fielder is tough to do IF he can be had for had for a decent price I say 5/125M is acceptable with a club option or two. He should still be highly effective for 4-5 years and top 1B players are a premium. We can still sign a handful of Rule 5 picks, trade for prospect pitching, without costing us a penny. If we can get some pitching that can be ready by 2013, sign Fielder, and make some good moves in 2013 then 2013-15 will be a great window.

MichiganGoat on Twitter

"There are a lot of guys who are respected but not liked" - Ron Santo


#24 EQ76

EQ76

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts

Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:21 AM

What's to lose going with LaHair next season? I mean, we suck now, might suck again next year, so why not save a little money.. plus, why is it that nobody seems to think this guy can produce some?? It's not unreasonable to say he could be a 25-30 HR guy next year given the 1B job.. if he just hits .250, he's already out produced Pena this year.. to me, it's a no lose move to try.. if he sucks, move on in 2013.. but heck, do we really expect to get Fielder or Pujols?? should we want either one of them for the money & years they'll demand? Heck no!

#25 MichiganGoat

MichiganGoat

    Give me a BEER

  • Moderators
  • 3,799 posts
  • Twitter:MichiganGoat
  • Facebook:michigangoat
  • LocationGrand Rapids, MI

Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:31 AM

What's to lose going with LaHair next season? I mean, we suck now, might suck again next year, so why not save a little money.. plus, why is it that nobody seems to think this guy can produce some?? It's not unreasonable to say he could be a 25-30 HR guy next year given the 1B job.. if he just hits .250, he's already out produced Pena this year.. to me, it's a no lose move to try.. if he sucks, move on in 2013.. but heck, do we really expect to get Fielder or Pujols?? should we want either one of them for the money & years they'll demand? Heck no!

The risk is not having a top tier 1B for the next five years, and what if we save money to spend in 2012 and then all the top talent resign or gets traded/signed. I'm not saying that LaHair couldn't be the answer, but the risk is high and letting someone like Fielder slip away because you are counting on a 28 year old is a huge risk. Hopefully Ricketts makes Q play these prospects with some regularity, i'd like to see what he can do, but remember that September success can be misleading.

Still I do agree if we don't land Fielder then I'd rather take my chances with LaHair than resign Pena or another minor FA signing.

MichiganGoat on Twitter

"There are a lot of guys who are respected but not liked" - Ron Santo


#26 Ron

Ron

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 173 posts
  • Twitter:@RonPSchwery
  • LocationWilmington, NC

Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:58 AM


Sold, KyleNovak that was great and I agree. Look what the Giants did last year. Its always and will always be pitching. Save money where you can and stock up on young pitching. Scour the rule 5 types looking for lightning in a bottle and invest elsewhere.


I could get on board with this, but passing on Fielder is tough to do IF he can be had for had for a decent price I say 5/125M is acceptable with a club option or two. He should still be highly effective for 4-5 years and top 1B players are a premium. We can still sign a handful of Rule 5 picks, trade for prospect pitching, without costing us a penny. If we can get some pitching that can be ready by 2013, sign Fielder, and make some good moves in 2013 then 2013-15 will be a great window.


I don't see Fielder going to cubs for that price and I think they should look as disinterested as long as possible and try to swoop in late to get him for that. This is what I think they should do.Go hard after CJ Wilson (pitching wins chanpionships) I don't know what the exact numbers would be but if people are floating 6 years 100 mil structure the contract very front loaded and tell Wilson this. We have money this year but are going young and think we can compete in 13. We would like to pay you 40 mil this year to loose games by one run while our offense develops for '13. The remainer of your contract would pay you about 12 mil a year. This would give us the financial flexibility in '13 to go after FA because we will have 28 mil. come off the books but will not lose an important piece. Also, by strucuring your contract this way if our plan does not work we will have the flexibility to move you to a contender later in your contract. Then if Fielder is getting squeezed we can swoop in late and snatch him up with a typical Cubs handcuffing back loaded contract. Thought?

#27 CUB5

CUB5

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • LocationUSA

Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:16 PM

I don't see us getting Fielder or Pujols. I would guess we'll have Pena again for another year or 2.
#17 Mark Grace for the HOF

#28 EQ76

EQ76

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts

Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:18 PM

I still think Hendry screwed us with the 1B situation we're in.. as many of you remember, last off season there was an appearance that Adrian Gonzales was ours to be had in a trade but Hendry dropped the ball and Boston got him.. We should have sent the farm for A-Gon instead of Garza, but we didn't. A-Gon would have been a much better option than either Pujols or Fielder.. I hate to live in the past but that was a HUGE mistake on Hendry's part.

#29 Bails17

Bails17

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • LocationMiddlebury, IN

Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:35 AM

*Cracks knuckles* Time to jump into this message board with a BANG!

Mulitple-choice pop quiz. Who should be the Cubs first baseman in 2012?

A ) Prince Fielder

B ) Carlos Pena

C ) A different MLB free-agent

D ) Bryan LaHair (with Jeff Baker and possibly Josh Vitters getting some starts)

If the new GM decided to go all-in with Fielder, I would completely stand by the decision, as long as a plan of action was put in place to address the pitching staff. He is entering his prime and should give his new team four to five years (before the slow decline) of top-notch numbers and get his name mentioned in a couple of MVP votings, IF he doesn't get hurt.

If he doesn't get hurt. . .
Great. . . Now if the Cubs sign him, I have to convince myself that he isn't going to turn out to be Mo Vaughn 2.0. *Shudder*

So, if Option A (Fielder) isn't available, what then?
I'm actually leaning toward Option D. I know. You probably think I'm crazy, but just hear me out.

I like Pena as a person and as a clubhouse presence, but honestly. . . his numbers kind of put the Cubs in a tough situation. .225/.346/.448 in 516 PA (good for a league-adjusted 115 OPS+) isn't anything to complain about, but it doesn't really give me a compelling case that he deserves to be brought back at that kind of money again next year.

Just for comparison:
Baseball-Reference has Pena worth 1.4 Wins Above Replacement and Darwin Barney worth 1.0.
FanGraphs.com has Pena worth LESS (1.7 WAR) than Barney. (1.9 WAR)
I'll remind everyone that Pena is making $10 million and Barney is making $400,000.
(This is not supposed to be praise for Barney, but rather illustrate a point that throughly researched advanced metrics have Pena worth about the same as a guy who is currently hitting .282/.317/.360. Ouch.)

People might point to the fact that Pena was dealing with a slight thumb injury early in the year, affecting his power numbers. While this may be true, I have news for those people. He'll be 34 early into next season and anytime you flip the calendar another year for a guy entering his mid-30s, nagging injuries are an ever-increasing possibility, especially for a full-time player. Statistically speaking, it's also highly unlikely that he will give the Cubs anything more in the future than he already has this year. Just look at his numbers from 2009 onwards. Are they bad? Not really. Is he worth $10 million? In my opinion, no way.

Now my evidence supporting Bryan LaHair. . .
On an earlier BN post about his freakish season, there were many people who commented about how this year was a "fluke", an "outlier", or "that if he hasn't made it in MLB yet, then clearly he will never make it."
I've been wanting to debate this for awhile.

Here are his stats since 2007 (All in AAA) :

2007, 24 years old (Tacoma) 606 PA, 12 HR, 60 extra base hits, .275/.332/.431
2008, 25 years old (Tacoma) 362 PA, 12 HR, 39 XBH, .263/.356/.465 (an injury shortened year)
2009, 26 years old (Tacoma) 510 PA, 26 HR, 56 XBH, .289/.354/.530
2010, 27 years old (Iowa) 478 PA, 25 HR, 55 XBH, .308/.385/.557
2011, 28 years old (Iowa) 520 PA, 38 HR, 76 XBH, .333/.408/.669

One-year fluke? Really? It sure looks like he's progressed EVERY SINGLE YEAR in AAA to me. More power, better average, consistently solid walk rate. The red flag is his high strikeout rate, but as guys like Ryan Howard, Curtis Granderson, Matt Kemp, and even Mark Reynolds can attest, you can strikeout a whole helluva lot and still be valuable as a hitter. And it's not like Carlos Pena didn't strike out at all. . .

Seattle was negotiating with Texas to get Justin Smoak, a much younger player with more upside, who projected to be a solid major league first baseman, when they were shopping Cliff Lee. LaHair, who was 26 then, wasn't really in Seattle's plans to play first base, so they felt they could deal him. Chicago had to deal with the Derrek Lee situation in 2010 and Carlos Pena's contract this year. Maybe these were the reasons that LaHair didn't get his shot, not that he didn't have the tools.

Yes, the PCL is a hitters league. I know the Micah Hoffpauir comparison is there. But if you compare his numbers in the minors to Hoffpauir's, LaHair has done more to convince me that he is better suited for MLB. More games played, more consistency, and a better development, especially in his power numbers. He is smack-dab in the middle of his prime and is clearly playing his butt off to earn a job. What else does he have to do to get that shot? Hit .360 with 45 HR and volunteer with the Des Moines Fire Department in his spare time? Good teams look for undervalued talent in unexpected places and take full advantage. (*Cough* Ryan Vogelsong *Cough) I get a feeling that this could be one of those circumstances.

Is he the answer long-term? Of course not. But the 2011 Chicago Cubs are twenty games under, not right on the cusp of a division title. Let's face it, our most serious first-base prospect just recently signed and had his high school prom a couple of months ago. There really isn't anyone else who would be blocked that is MLB-ready at the position.

Just look at LaHair's numbers again. Look at Pena's numbers now. Am I really the only one who think the former can't replicate the production of the latter next year (maybe a .250/.340/.450 line) and at a price tag under $1 million to boot?

(Plus you do have people who could platoon with him if necessary.)

Thoughts? Let the discussion begin.

100% agree. If we do not get Fielder....give LaHair the shot. Either we go all in or not.

#30 hardtop

hardtop

    Bleacher Bum

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 128 posts
  • LocationThe Queen City of the Plains

Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:47 AM


What's to lose going with LaHair next season? I mean, we suck now, might suck again next year, so why not save a little money.. plus, why is it that nobody seems to think this guy can produce some?? It's not unreasonable to say he could be a 25-30 HR guy next year given the 1B job.. if he just hits .250, he's already out produced Pena this year.. to me, it's a no lose move to try.. if he sucks, move on in 2013.. but heck, do we really expect to get Fielder or Pujols?? should we want either one of them for the money & years they'll demand? Heck no!

The risk is not having a top tier 1B for the next five years, and what if we save money to spend in 2012 and then all the top talent resign or gets traded/signed. I'm not saying that LaHair couldn't be the answer, but the risk is high and letting someone like Fielder slip away because you are counting on a 28 year old is a huge risk. ...


lets be clear: fielder is a top tier DH, not 1st baseman. he "plays" 1st base, but he is only a top tier hitter and bottom tier fielder. he's marginally better than adam dunn with a glove on.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Bleacher Nation is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago National League Ballclub (that's the Cubs).