Tagged: Chicago Cubs

Not so big name free agents #1

edmonds.jpg

There are a ton of big name free agents out there this year.
Manny, Mark, CC, Sheets, AJ and Lowe just to name a few. But what are some of
the smaller names out there that may provide a big boost to some teams?

 

I am going to do a series on these players one at a time.

 

Jim Edmonds:

 

Edmonds’
batting average has nosed dived the past 3 years, but he proved last year he
can still hit homeruns. Edmonds
belted 20 dingers for the season in 2008 which was up from the 12 he hit in
2007. If you are looking for the 20 to be the anomaly you would be wrong. 12
homers is the lowest homerun count in almost a decade for Edmonds. Every other year he has had 20 or
more homeruns. So the anomaly would be the 12 mark.

 

Edmonds
is not the fielder that he once was but considering the reckless abandon that
he played game with for so many years and the fact that he will turn 39 during
the 09 season, you have to expect him to have lost a step or two in his game.
Even an Edmonds
with a lost step he is still and above average fielder and would man any
centerfield in the majors just fine.

 

Now do not expect to see the Jim Edmonds of old by any stretch
of the imagination, but a formidable one could and should be expected. He is
still capable of posting a .260 BA and hitting 20 dingers which would be a good
upgrade in centerfield for MOST teams.

 

Teams that Jim Edmonds would be a good fit for: Houston
Astros, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals

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General Managers Meetings

jakepeavy.JPGWell, the General Managers meetings have come
and gone once again. Unlike last year when the Astros traded Brad Lidge and
Eric Bruntlett to the Phillies for Michael Bourn and Geoff Geary, there were no
major trades. (Although Lidge, Bruntlett, Bourn and Geary trade were not
considered a major trade when it happened) But we did get a lot of swirling
rumors to come out of the General Managers meetings.

The Jake Peavy Train

One of the biggest rumors heading into the meetings was of
course where the “Jake Peavy Train” will stop now that it has “left” San Diego. The Atlanta
Braves and the Chicago Cubs are two teams that seem to be leading the race to “arms”
so to speak. But like any race there is a dark horse in the mix and that would
be the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Braves seem to have the slight lead in the Peavy Derby because
they can not only match the Padres demand with talented young pitching, but
they could also throw Yunel Escobar to fill the hole at shortstop the Padres
will have when they trade off (probably in the same deal with Peavy) Kahlil
Green.

Do not think for a second that the Cubs are out of the race,
because they are not. Do not expect Jeff Samardzija to be involved in any trade
for Peavy or other trade for that matter. Contrary to some postings and
articles, Samardzija has a full no trade clause and not a partial no trade
clause.

Samardzija’s no trade clause does not mean the Cubs are out
of the race for Peavy, they still have Rich Harden that can be part of any trade
to land Jake Peavy. If the Cubs are willing to put Harden in the deal with a
young pitcher and Felix Pie or Ronny Cedeno I would be very surprised if the
Padres turn down a deal like that.

For the Dodgers to land Peavy would probably mean they
would have to give up a lot more talent considering they are in the National League
West with the Padres.

Matt Holiday

Matt Holiday’s surprise appearance at the General Managers
Meetings started the wheels of the Rumor Mill turning. Are the Rockies making the power hitting outfielder available for
trade? Does Holiday’s appearance mean the Rockies
have given up hope of signing him to long term contract?

New York Mets

Omar Minaya stated that the Mets would be more
active in the free agent market than the trade market. Signing a free agent
will not cost a team a current prospect already in the team’s organization. The
only thing a team will lose is a draft pick in next years draft.

LaTroy Hawkins

The Houston Astros signed LaTroy Hawkins to a
one year deal for $3.5 million plus bonuses. Hawkins was rewarded for is work
for the Astros have they acquired him in a trade from the Yankees. Hawkins
posted a 0.43 ERA in 24 games.

Andy Pettite

Andy Pettite informed the New York Yankees that
he would like to pitch again next season. The Yankees have stated that they
want Pettite back, but it is widely believed he would have to take a
significant pay cut from the $16 million he made last season. A two year deal
should be a long shot for Pettite. Brian Cashman does not seem to be in too big
of a hurry to ink Pettite to a contract. The signing or retirement of Mike
Mussina will play a big role in Pettites return. There is a chance that Andy
could end up back in Houston
or with the Texas Rangers.

CC Sabathia

The Milwaukee Brewers have formally made an
offer to CC Sabathia. Right now they are sitting and waiting for a counter
offer from CC’s agent. The offer is believed to be a 5 year 1$100 million
contract.

Manny and the Dodgers “Window Dressing”

Manny has received is first official offer from
the Dodgers. Some call the offer a “Window Dressing”. It is believed to be a 2
year deal for $45 million and a third option year. I doubt that Manny and Scott
Boras have given this offer more than a seconds thought.

Jim Edmonds could retire

After being shown the door by two different teams in less
than a year’s time Jim Edmonds went to Chicago
with something to prove. He had to prove that he was still a fierce competitor
on the baseball diamond and he accomplished that.  Grant it, a .235 batting average is nothing to
sing about but keep in mind that he hit .256 for the Cubs and knocked 19
homeruns (20 on the season) and while still playing a high standard of baseball
in center field. Sure, he may have lost a step or two but lets face it, that only
brings his level of play down to just above average.

 

Now with free agency looming for Edmonds he seems to be pondering retirement.
The Cubs have mentioned they would like to bring Edmonds back but will not break the bank to
do so. Edmonds
made around $8 million this season and will probably see a significant pay cut
to around the $5 million mark. This could attract a hand full of suitors.

 

Side note: Jim Edmonds is 18 homeruns shy of reaching
400 for his career. This my be enough to bring him back for one more season.