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Tag:Derrek Lee
Posted on: November 9, 2009 6:21 pm
 

Trade Reviews/Previews

Well the offseason officialy started last week and it has already been very interesting. So far the most intriguing trade to me has been the J.J. Hardy for Carlos Gomez trade. On paper right now it seems like an even deal, but after looking over the numbers, i think the Twins will benefit the most from this trade. That;s not to say i dont think Gomez will contribute, or be a valuable player but J.J. Hardy will improve the Twins more than Gomez will the Brewers. Had Hardy not crashed offensivly his value would have been a lot higher, and he might not have even been traded. So basicaly the Twins bought low on a high potential, he plays exceptioanl defense, and if he can return to his 07-08 form, he could be a 20 HR threat at SS. The aquisiton of Gomez will allow the Brewers to let Mike Cameron go, and let them use what they would have paid him to improve their pitching, which is the biggest concern for them right now. When you look at the potential the Twins have on offense with Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer, and now Hardy they have a serious edge in the AL Central. I already talked about the Iwamura- Chavez deal which the more i look at i think the Rays got the edge for that one.  Iwamura is kind of expensive for his production, while the Rays aquired a cheap hard throwing reliever that is under team control for a while.

Rumor Discussion-

Talking about the Cubs for the offseason, GM Jim Hendry made it clear that they are going to move some pieces around this season and that they are going to go more towards trades than spending money on free agents although he said they might still sign some people. For me that is great news, because the Cubs seem to be better traders than buyers ( We like to overpay for players). Just think about it the heart and soul of our team (Aramis Ramirez, and Derrek Lee) were aquired via trade. What i like more is the fact that the players we have given up in trades never really pan out. Lets take a look at some Cubs trades from recent years.

Aquired                                                           Recieved

John Grabow, Tom Gorzelanny                            Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, Josh Harrison

Rich Harden, Chad Gaudin                                  Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson

Derrek Lee                                                        Hee Seop Choi

Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton                             Jose Hernandez, Matt Brubeck, Bobby Hill


Those are 4 of the most significant, recent trades made by GM Jim Hendry, all 4 of those trades were successes to an extent. But if you compare that to his free agent signings you will understand why i am glad he wants to do more trading.

Alfonso Soriano-  8 years  $136 mill

Kosuke Fukudome-  4 years  $48 mill

Milton Bradley-  3 years  #30 mill

These 3 contracts are really holding the Cubs back from being able to due much this offseason (although i dont know who they would get). Obviously the Bradley contract is the worst, Fukudome is getting way overpaid but he does contribute. Soriano has the potential to still live up to that contract, but im not suret the Cubs should have signed him so long he is going to be in his mid to late 30's before his contract expires. Now the Cubs have made some bad trades, and some good signings but overall Hendry is a better trader than a buyer. I will be interested to see who the Cubs go after, the only thing we no for sure is Bradley is going somewhere else. I have heard the Cubs are going to go after pitching, more likely relief and insurance for the rotation. I havnt heard a ton about offensive trades, im sure Brian Roberts rumors will pop up like they usually do this time of year. The Cubs seem like they are confident in Jeff Baker at second, so it seem like they are going to try and improve the outfield. I have heard some rumors about the Cubs going after Mike Cameron, Marlon Byrd, Jason Bay, and Matt Holliday although the latter two are less likely. Cameron would actualy be a good fit, he would provide great defense in the outfield which is something the Cubs have been lacking for many years and he hits for solid power. I am not as crazy about Byrd although he did play for Jaramillo and he played well last year. If the Cubs can bolster the pen, get rotation insurrance and get at least 1 outfielder to replace Bradley they could easily be in contention especially since the Cards most likely wont retain Holliday.


Posted on: November 1, 2009 3:12 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2009 9:39 pm
 

MLB Team Analysis- Chicago Cubs

Well as you probably could have guessed based on the title of my blog, I am a Cubs fan. So writing this without being biased is somewhat of a challenge but i'll manage. Lets first start off by discussing what has happened during the off-season thus far. The Cubs were finally sold to the Ricketts family for over $800 million. So now we can finally make things happen, it seemed last offseason the front office couldnt do much due to the fact that the team was in the process of being sold. Although they did make some big moves (none that were positive) they still seemed restrained to do much. Now that has been worked out, also the Cubs have added the best hitting coah in the buisness in Rudy Jaramillo. The Jaramillo signing i think will end up being the best move made, just for the fact that we really struggled last season offensivly. It wasnt that we didnt have good hitters, but for some reason they all slumped. Jaramillo has worked with Soriano before and hopefully can fix his swing, i also think he will be a positive influence on Soto. So without making a big free-agent splash the Cubs will be able to improve their offense. Lets take a look at the team by sections.

Rotation- B

1. Carlos Zambrano
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Ted Lilly
4. Randy Wells
5. Tom Gorzelanny

Carlos Zambrano hasnt lived up to his contract so far in his career. Did Dusty ruin his arm? Zambrano should be in his prime, but he really hasnt contributed the way he should. He has a lot of talent, but he has been injured a lot the past 3 years and is wild. He is no longer an ace if he ever was but is a solid top of the rotation guy. Ryan Dempster , although he didnt get the wins this season he pitched fairly well, and proved he didnt just pitch for money last season. He still pitched 200 innings, even with some time on the DL. He still has some gas left in the tank and should still be a solid middle of the rotation guy. Ted Lilly was the best pitcher on the Cubs staff last season, again he didnt get the wins (poor run support) but he had 3.10 ERA which was the lowest of his career. He has decent strikeout potential and competes every day, he is another solid top of the rotation guy. Randy Wells , had he gotten better run support he would have been rookie of the year. But the lack of run support killed his chances although he still posted a 12-10 record with a 3.05 ERA. Wells was the suprise of the year for the Cubs. He has good control, he doesnt strikeout a ton of batters but he doesnt walk a lot either. Hopefully he doesnt have a sophmore slump, he is a great option for the back of the rotation. Tom Gorzelanny came over at the deadline from Pittsburgh and was thrust in a starting role right away. He pitched fairly well in 7 starts with the Cubs. He showed good strikeout potential but he did give up some homeruns. The Cubs hope he can pitch like he did in 2007 as the Pirates ace. He has the potential and is still only 27 years old. The Cubs rotation is what carried them to a winning record last season, hopefully they wont have to rely so heavily on it this season.

Bullpen- C+

CL- Carlos Marmol
SU- Angel Guzman
SU- Sean Marshall
MR- Aaron Heilman
MR- Jeff Samardzidja
MR- Jeff Stevens
MR- Esmalin Caridad

The Carlos Marmol era has begun, he is finally the closer and actually looked better as a closer than set-up man this season. The risk with Marmol is that he is extremley wild (65 BB in 74 IP) but he also strikes out a ton (93K's in 74 IP). He was 15/19 SV/OP last season so he seems ready to be the closer for a full season, he could become one of the top closers next season or he could be very inconsistent. Angel Guzman ws great last season, in 55 apperances he posted a sub 3 ERA (2.95) and had 47 K's. He did suffer an injury late in the season but was effective as a middle reliever. He should move to a set up role and if he continues to pitch how he did this past season he could 20 + holds. Sean Marshall was the lone left reliever early in the season and pitched well but wore out down the stretch. He was relieved as the lefty specialist at the end of the season when the CUbs aquired John Grabow who may be resigned but its not for sure. If so Grabow would be in this spot. Marshall posted a 4.32 ERA in 55 apperances and 9 starts (ERA inflated from starts) and had 68 K's and 32 BB in 85 IP. Aaron Heilman improved from 08 but is still a average middle reliever who is best suited for mip up duty. In 70 apperances he posted a 4.11 ERA 65 K's and 34 BB. Jeff Samardzija, Jeff Stevens, and Esmailin Caridad are all young relievers (Caridad and Samardzidja could be starters) who have a lot of potential. Samardzidja got beat up a lot last year mainly due to the fact that he is a 1-2 pitch guy, he needs some secondary pitches. Stevens and Caridad looked good in their short stints in the majors, i think the Cubs are hoping that one of them breaks out next season. Overal this is an average to above average Bullpen

Infield- B

C- Geovany Soto
1B- Derrek Lee
2B- Jeff Baker
3B- Aramis Ramirez
SS- Ryan Theriot
IF- Mike Fontenot
IF- Andres Blanco

Geovany Soto struggled mightly this season hitting a .218/.321/.381 stat line. Soto was injured a while this season and i think that sophmore slump hit him pretty hard. This is probably the worst you will ever see Soto, he did improve his BB/K ratio and he hit a little bit better at the end of the season. With the help of new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and just general improvment after a sophmore slump he should improve significantly. Derrek Lee had his second best season of his career last season posting a .306/.393/.579 stat line. Lee is the Cubs 2nd best hitter and an excellent player. He was the Cubs best hitter last season and he showed this season that he is finally fully recovered from that broken wrist in 2006. Jeff Baker came over from Colorado for virtually nothing and he stabalized second base after Mike Fontenot struggled as a starter. He posted a .305/.362/.448 stat line as a Cub. If he can continue to hit that way he will stay the Cubs starting 2nd baseman for 2010. He also has some versatility, he can play 2nd, 3rd and a little outfield, and has a positive fielding rating at all positions. Aramis Ramirez was sorely missed this season after he seperated his shoulder, Ramirez is the main cog of this Cubs offense posting over 100 RBI's 6 times in his career. Ramirez absence was probably the main cause of the Cubs offensive stuggles last season and with him healthy they should score at least 50 more runs then 2009. Even with all that missed time he still hit a .317/.389/.516 stat line in 306 AB. Ryan Theriot was one of the few healthy players last season, he didnt hit as well as he did in 2008 but still put up a solid .284/.343/.369 stat line. He has decent speed posting his 3rd straight 20+ SB season. Theriot is a pretty average deffender, you could do worse but you could do a lot better to. All and all he is a solid player, the best current player to come out of the Cubs farm system. Mike Fontenot, and Andres Blanco are solid infield options. Fontenot dissappointed as a starter but still has value, he also may have some trade value if the Cubs want to upgrade at 2nd. Blanco is the best deffender on the team, he is a good SS and a good 2nd baseman. His offense isnt great but it gets the job done. This is an above average group, the only place to really improve would be 2nd.

Outfield  C+

LF- Alfonso Soriano
CF- Kosuke Fukudome
RF- Milton Bradley
OF- Sam Fuld
IF/OF- Jake Fox

Alfonso Soriano was another dissappointment on offense last year. It seemed like pitchers just figured out all you have to do is throw a ball in the dirt and he swings at it. He did hit 20 HR but he hit under .250 and is always a liability in the field. Soriano has worked with Jaramillo before and performed well so hopefully he can help some, although i realize i am giving hitting coaches to much credit for what they can fix. But Soriano was really good at the begining of the season so i can only get so mad at him. Plus he is going to be are #6 hitter, he's awfully good for hitting in that spot. Kosuke Fukudome played a little better than last season but still cant hit for a full season. He is an excellent deffender (although he is a better corner outfielder) and he can hit but not all the time. He is more of a 4th outfielder, i would like to see Fuld get more time in center. Milton Bradley will more than likely be gone after this season, but there is still a minute chance he stays. He isnt a great fielder, he is an average hitter and he is a locker room disturbance. Basicaly Jim Hendry wasted $30 million. There are a lot of trade rumors right now, so i have a feeling by the winter meetings he will be somewhere else. Sam Fuld  is probably the most patient hitter on the team and is a hard worker. He dives for balls and competes in every at bat. He has some good speed and could be another Theriot type player. Jake Fox was good in limited playing time posting a .259/.311/.468 stat line. He was excellent in the minors and it really carried over to the majors. He has the power to be a solid corner outfielder and could be trade bait. He can hit but he dosnt have a definate position and isnt very good at any position he plays. If he stays in Chicago he will be a backup forever. All in all this is a potentialy good outfield but this is the area the Cubs need the most work.

Overview B-


The Cubs strength is their rotation which has excellent depth and talent. They have a solid infield and bullpen but if they do not improve the outfield they wont be able to make it to the playoffs. The Cubs are a team that needs some tweaking but not a major overhaul, basically the same situation as last year. Hopefully Jim Hendry's decision making is better this offseason. If the team stays as is they will be 2nd or 3rd in the division. With some additions they could compete with the Cardinals for the division.

* Sorry about the double post of this blog post


Posted on: November 1, 2009 3:11 pm
 

MLB Team Analysis- Chicago Cubs

Well as you probably could have guessed based on the title of my blog, I am a Cubs fan. So writing this without being biased is somewhat of a challenge but i'll manage. Lets first start off by discussing what has happened during the off-season thus far. The Cubs were finally sold to the Ricketts family for over $800 million. So now we can finally make things happen, it seemed last offseason the front office couldnt do much due to the fact that the team was in the process of being sold. Although they did make some big moves (none that were positive) they still seemed restrained to do much. Now that has been worked out, also the Cubs have added the best hitting coah in the buisness in Rudy Jaramillo. The Jaramillo signing i think will end up being the best move made, just for the fact that we really struggled last season offensivly. It wasnt that we didnt have good hitters, but for some reason they all slumped. Jaramillo has worked with Soriano before and hopefully can fix his swing, i also think he will be a positive influence on Soto. So without making a big free-agent splash the Cubs will be able to improve their offense. Lets take a look at the team by sections.

Rotation- B

1. Carlos Zambrano
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Ted Lilly
4. Randy Wells
5. Tom Gorzelanny

Carlos Zambrano hasnt lived up to his contract so far in his career. Did Dusty ruin his arm? Zambrano should be in his prime, but he really hasnt contributed the way he should. He has a lot of talent, but he has been injured a lot the past 3 years and is wild. He is no longer an ace if he ever was but is a solid top of the rotation guy. Ryan Dempster , although he didnt get the wins this season he pitched fairly well, and proved he didnt just pitch for money last season. He still pitched 200 innings, even with some time on the DL. He still has some gas left in the tank and should still be a solid middle of the rotation guy. Ted Lilly was the best pitcher on the Cubs staff last season, again he didnt get the wins (poor run support) but he had 3.10 ERA which was the lowest of his career. He has decent strikeout potential and competes every day, he is another solid top of the rotation guy. Randy Wells , had he gotten better run support he would have been rookie of the year. But the lack of run support killed his chances although he still posted a 12-10 record with a 3.05 ERA. Wells was the suprise of the year for the Cubs. He has good control, he doesnt strikeout a ton of batters but he doesnt walk a lot either. Hopefully he doesnt have a sophmore slump, he is a great option for the back of the rotation. Tom Gorzelanny came over at the deadline from Pittsburgh and was thrust in a starting role right away. He pitched fairly well in 7 starts with the Cubs. He showed good strikeout potential but he did give up some homeruns. The Cubs hope he can pitch like he did in 2007 as the Pirates ace. He has the potential and is still only 27 years old. The Cubs rotation is what carried them to a winning record last season, hopefully they wont have to rely so heavily on it this season.

Bullpen- C+

CL- Carlos Marmol
SU- Angel Guzman
SU- Sean Marshall
MR- Aaron Heilman
MR- Jeff Samardzidja
MR- Jeff Stevens
MR- Esmalin Caridad

The Carlos Marmol era has begun, he is finally the closer and actually looked better as a closer than set-up man this season. The risk with Marmol is that he is extremley wild (65 BB in 74 IP) but he also strikes out a ton (93K's in 74 IP). He was 15/19 SV/OP last season so he seems ready to be the closer for a full season, he could become one of the top closers next season or he could be very inconsistent. Angel Guzman ws great last season, in 55 apperances he posted a sub 3 ERA (2.95) and had 47 K's. He did suffer an injury late in the season but was effective as a middle reliever. He should move to a set up role and if he continues to pitch how he did this past season he could 20 + holds. Sean Marshall was the lone left reliever early in the season and pitched well but wore out down the stretch. He was relieved as the lefty specialist at the end of the season when the CUbs aquired John Grabow who may be resigned but its not for sure. If so Grabow would be in this spot. Marshall posted a 4.32 ERA in 55 apperances and 9 starts (ERA inflated from starts) and had 68 K's and 32 BB in 85 IP. Aaron Heilman improved from 08 but is still a average middle reliever who is best suited for mip up duty. In 70 apperances he posted a 4.11 ERA 65 K's and 34 BB. Jeff Samardzija, Jeff Stevens, and Esmailin Caridad are all young relievers (Caridad and Samardzidja could be starters) who have a lot of potential. Samardzidja got beat up a lot last year mainly due to the fact that he is a 1-2 pitch guy, he needs some secondary pitches. Stevens and Caridad looked good in their short stints in the majors, i think the Cubs are hoping that one of them breaks out next season. Overal this is an average to above average Bullpen

Infield- B

C- Geovany Soto
1B- Derrek Lee
2B- Jeff Baker
3B- Aramis Ramirez
SS- Ryan Theriot
IF- Mike Fontenot
IF- Andres Blanco

Geovany Soto struggled mightly this season hitting a .218/.321/.381 stat line. Soto was injured a while this season and i think that sophmore slump hit him pretty hard. This is probably the worst you will ever see Soto, he did improve his BB/K ratio and he hit a little bit better at the end of the season. With the help of new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and just general improvment after a sophmore slump he should improve significantly. Derrek Lee had his second best season of his career last season posting a .306/.393/.579 stat line. Lee is the Cubs 2nd best hitter and an excellent player. He was the Cubs best hitter last season and he showed this season that he is finally fully recovered from that broken wrist in 2006. Jeff Baker came over from Colorado for virtually nothing and he stabalized second base after Mike Fontenot struggled as a starter. He posted a .305/.362/.448 stat line as a Cub. If he can continue to hit that way he will stay the Cubs starting 2nd baseman for 2010. He also has some versatility, he can play 2nd, 3rd and a little outfield, and has a positive fielding rating at all positions. Aramis Ramirez was sorely missed this season after he seperated his shoulder, Ramirez is the main cog of this Cubs offense posting over 100 RBI's 6 times in his career. Ramirez absence was probably the main cause of the Cubs offensive stuggles last season and with him healthy they should score at least 50 more runs then 2009. Even with all that missed time he still hit a .317/.389/.516 stat line in 306 AB. Ryan Theriot was one of the few healthy players last season, he didnt hit as well as he did in 2008 but still put up a solid .284/.343/.369 stat line. He has decent speed posting his 3rd straight 20+ SB season. Theriot is a pretty average deffender, you could do worse but you could do a lot better to. All and all he is a solid player, the best current player to come out of the Cubs farm system. Mike Fontenot, and Andres Blanco are solid infield options. Fontenot dissappointed as a starter but still has value, he also may have some trade value if the Cubs want to upgrade at 2nd. Blanco is the best deffender on the team, he is a good SS and a good 2nd baseman. His offense isnt great but it gets the job done. This is an above average group, the only place to really improve would be 2nd.

Outfield  C+

LF- Alfonso Soriano
CF- Kosuke Fukudome
RF- Milton Bradley
OF- Sam Fuld
IF/OF- Jake Fox

Alfonso Soriano was another dissappointment on offense last year. It seemed like pitchers just figured out all you have to do is throw a ball in the dirt and he swings at it. He did hit 20 HR but he hit under .250 and is always a liability in the field. Soriano has worked with Jaramillo before and performed well so hopefully he can help some, although i realize i am giving hitting coaches to much credit for what they can fix. But Soriano was really good at the begining of the season so i can only get so mad at him. Plus he is going to be are #6 hitter, he's awfully good for hitting in that spot. Kosuke Fukudome played a little better than last season but still cant hit for a full season. He is an excellent deffender (although he is a better corner outfielder) and he can hit but not all the time. He is more of a 4th outfielder, i would like to see Fuld get more time in center. Milton Bradley will more than likely be gone after this season, but there is still a minute chance he stays. He isnt a great fielder, he is an average hitter and he is a locker room disturbance. Basicaly Jim Hendry wasted $30 million. There are a lot of trade rumors right now, so i have a feeling by the winter meetings he will be somewhere else. Sam Fuld  is probably the most patient hitter on the team and is a hard worker. He dives for balls and competes in every at bat. He has some good speed and could be another Theriot type player. Jake Fox was good in limited playing time posting a .259/.311/.468 stat line. He was excellent in the minors and it really carried over to the majors. He has the power to be a solid corner outfielder and could be trade bait. He can hit but he dosnt have a definate position and isnt very good at any position he plays. If he stays in Chicago he will be a backup forever. All in all this is a potentialy good outfield but this is the area the Cubs need the most work.

Overview B-


The Cubs strength is their rotation which has excellent depth and talent. They have a solid infield and bullpen but if they do not improve the outfield they wont be able to make it to the playoffs. The Cubs are a team that needs some tweaking but not a major overhaul, basically the same situation as last year. Hopefully Jim Hendry's decision making is better this offseason. If the team stays as is they will be 2nd or 3rd in the division. With some additions they could compete with the Cardinals for the division.

 
 
 
 
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