Saturday, September 08, 2007

Chicago Cubs needs next year and payroll.

With rumors and news slowing down and everyone watching the crazy NL Central race I have decided to run down the contract obligations, the needs, payroll, and players the cubs might look at for next year.

First the Contract obligations-

1st- Lee 13m
2nd- Derosa 4.75m
3b- Aram 14m
SS- Theriot .5m
C- Soto .5m
OF- Pie .5m
OF- Soriano 13m
OF- Jones 5m

OF- Pagan .5m
OF- Murton .5m
IF- Font .365m
IF-Cedeno .5m
C- Blanco 5.25m

P- Zambrano 15m
P- Lilly 7m
P- Marquis 3.67m
P- Hill .5m
P- Marshall .5m

RP- Dempster 5.5m
RP- Howry 4m
RP- Ohman 1.6m
RP- Weurtz .5m
RP- Marmol .5m
RP-Gallahger .5m
RP- Hart .5m

OF/1st- Ward 1.2m option/50,000 buy out
OF- Floyd mutual option 3m??
RP- Eyre 3.5 player option

RP- Wood
OF- Monroe( a non tender candidate)
SP- Trachsel
C- Kendall

Wild Card-
SP- Mark Prior 3.5m

If you add up all the guaranteed contracts before trades, arbitration, free agent signings, and add the contracts of Ward and Prior( who I think will be the only two back out of the impeding FA, DL, and Option players) you get a total of

102.835 million for next year

Now with not many players off the books with big contracts the cubs may be looking to get rid of bad/bloated contracts this winter. They also may be going the trade route this winter rather than the spending spree they took last winter. This free agent market looks ok but it doesn't match up with the cubs needs. The cubs could look at the Free Agent Market for a good player in RF, like a Kosuke Fukudome who just had surgery but will be ready to hit the FA market next year. The cubs do not need to much in the infield and could get by with the pitching staff they have especially if the can count on Prior being ready by openinig day (LMAO) or the could get one of there young kids a shot like Veal or Gallahger. The cubs could add another veteran pitcher via trade or get one threw the free agent market but with the price of pitchers and the cost they have spent on them this year I don't see that happening but they could surpise you and pick up a pitcher and reliever from Japan.

As far as the players with options that we currently have on this team, I see Eyre going somewhere else. He has struggled this year and needs a fresh start maybe back in a Sox uniform or in Detriot.

Floyd is an interesting option, the cubs or him could pick up his option just to have a veteran pinch hitter off the bench that can spell the corner outfielders once in a while so I cant tell you if is gonna be in a cubs uni next year.

Ward to me would be a steal for next year at 1.2million for a guy who can smash rightys and come off the bench to play 1st or the corner OF spots, he would be a steal. Im 90% sure that he will be a cubs next year.

Now for players like Monroe, Trachsel, Wood, and Kendall, they will all be in different uniforms next year. The most likely to come back would be Wood but I don't see that happening. Pitchers are getting big bucks on the FA market even if you have arm problems( like Adam Eaton and Wolf). The one player who I would love to bring back is Monroe. I guy who kills Leftys and can play all three OF positions would look good as the 4th OF on this team. I like him better than Murton. Having Pagan, Ward, and Monroe on the bench would be great for this team next year.

Players who have a good chance of being traded before opening day are as followed

Ohman- With the bad comments between him and the cubs staff, this is his last year as a cub.

Dempster- He is losing it on the mound, his performances vary each outing and you don't need that as a closer. Marmol will be the closer next year. Not to mention a 5.5m dollar contract for a closer who only has 20+ saves year. Jose Valverde of the Dbacks is making 2 million this year and Hoffman is making 6.5 million! enough said!

Jones- The cubs are going to go with Pie in CF next year and they need more production out of RF next year and with Jones lack of power and problems with cubbie fans.. He will likely be out before winter meeting are over.

If the cubs decide to pick up another utility guy or upgrade in the infield or acquire a pitcher you might see these guys in AAA-


As far as the cubs needs I think they could go into next year just getting a utility infielder and a everyday right fielder with power and let young guys fill the holes in the pen. Of course everyone would love to see Arod at SS in cubbie blue even if it cost them 30+m a year but I just don't see that happening. I rather see them spend 30 million on a starting pitcher, RF, IF and maybe another reliever. Here is a list of some players that would be good additions to the team next year.

The Reliever-

Hitoki Iwase- This guy will be in a cubs uniform next year. He is the most dominate left handed closer in Japan and will be a great addition to the cubs for a small price. Here is his stats-

here is video-

The Utility Guy-

IF- Mark Loretta- be a cheap good addition to the cubs adds versatility and would straighten the bench a great deal

The Righthanded Starters-

SP-Kenshin Kawakami- check out this guys stats he is 32 years old and could be the dark horse in the SP next year. Here is the link to his stats-

SP- Carlos Silva- Another cheap good 4th/5th starter.. He is only 28 years old and has a record of 11 and 13 in 29 starts with a 4.34era. He is work horse already has 180 innings pitched and in the last for years he has made at least 27 starts with at least a 188 innigs pitched so he averages 7 innings pitched a game. Plus pitchers from the AL going to the NL always pitch better there first years.

SP-Koji Uehara- Another one of Japans great pitchers. Would be a great pick up as a #3 starter. Here is a link to his stats-

The Right Fielders-

RF-Kosuke Fukudome- This guy should be the Cubs #1 priority this off season. He is a power lefty, and his glove is better than his bat and his bat is really good! He will be the next great thing! Here is a link to his stats-

Here is a couple of videos of him-


RF-Bobby Abreu- would be a decent pick up, good lefty bat, good OBP would benefit being out of NY

Other OFer who the cubs could pick up but probably wont because of price etc-

Aaron Rowand
Mike Cameron
Tori Hunter
Adam Dunn
Andrew Jones

Here is my opening day 25 man roster, starting lineup, and payroll for next year-

1. Soriano LF 13m
2. Theriot SS .5m
3. Lee 1st 13m
4. Aram 3b 14m
5. Fukudome RF 14m
6. Derosa 2b 4.75m
7. Soto C .5m
8. Pie CF .5m

Ward 1st/OF 1.2m
Loretta IF 2.5m
Pagan OF .5m
Font IF .5m
Blanco C 5.25m
Murton OF .5m

1. Zambrano 15m
2.Lilly 7m
3.Kenshin Kawakami 9m
4. Hill .5m
5. Marquis 3.67m

CL- Marmol .5m
RP- Howry 4m
RP- Weurtz .5m
RP- Marshall .5m
RP- Gallagher .5m
RP- Hitoki Iwase 4m

DL- Pior-3.5m

Bring the payroll next year to a respectable 120-125 million for next year.