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Tag:Cubs
Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:43 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:55 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part II: OF/DH



By Matt Snyder


As we continue our look at the most cumbersome contracts in baseball, today we'll look at outfielders and designated hitters. We covered the infield and catchers Wednesday and will look at pitchers Friday. As a reminder, we're looking at what is left on the contract, not what the player has been paid through the duration of the deal.

Left Field

Worst: Vernon Wells, Angels
Remaining contract: 3 years, $74 million

Man, this was a tough call because it's a crowded field (see below), but we'll go with Wells because the average annual value remaining on the contract is insane. He hit .218/.248/.412 last season and had a negative WAR, meaning a replacement-level player was better than a guy making over $25 million for the season. At age 33, he could certainly bounce back, but it's hard to see him all of a sudden becoming worth as much money as he's making.

Honorable Mention

Carl Crawford, Red Sox: There are six years and $128 million left on the deal, and I feel like many will argue that Crawford's remaining contract is worse than Wells'. I'm willing to give the 30-year-old Crawford a mulligan for his catastrophic first season in Boston. Next year at this time we'll know a lot more.

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs: Amazingly, he still has three years and $57 million left. Wow.

Jason Bay, Mets: In two seasons for the Mets, Bay has hit .251/.337/.386 (what an ugly slugging percentage for a supposed power hitter) with just 18 homers in 218 games. He still has two years and $36.25 million left, too, in addition to a $3 million buyout should the Mets not pick up his option year.

Center Field

Worst: Alex Rios, White Sox
Remaining Contract: 3 years, $38.5 million

While his teammate got much of the blame last year in terms of the White Sox's shortfall -- and you'll see him below -- Rios was pretty awful himself. He hit .227/.265/.348, which was good for a 65 OPS-plus (if you don't know what that is, trust me, it's embarrassingly bad). He actually posted a negative 1.5 WAR, meaning -- according to the stat -- that he single-handedly cost the White Sox a win and a half just by being in the lineup when he was. And now, thanks to that contract, he's untradeable.

Honorable Mention

Actually, I've got nothing here. Once one-time center fielders' contracts get too big they are usually shoved to the corners. The big-money guys here (Matt Kemp, Curtis Granderson, etc.) are fairly compensated.

Right Field

Worst: Jayson Werth, Nationals
Remaining contract: 6 years, $116 million

Very easy choice. I fully expect a bounce-back season from Werth this year, as several things didn't go his way last season. That being said, the Nationals are paying Werth like he's a superstar all the way until the season in which he turns 38. He wasn't even a superstar his last year in Philadelphia, when he was 31.

Honorable Mention

Nick Markakis, Orioles: There's a reason you only hear about other teams asking for Adam Jones in a trade and not Markakis. The latter is due $43.05 million over the next three seasons while he hit .284 with 15 homers and 73 RBI last season. You need more offense than that from a corner outfielder in order to pay him almost $15 million a year.

Designated Hitter

Worst: Adam Dunn, White Sox.
Remaining contract: 3 years, $44 million

Another easy one. Like Werth, I also expect Dunn to bounce back, but there's no way he can be good enough to earn his full contract over the next three years, especially considering how bad he was last season. He was historically awful with the bat -- there's really no need to rehash the gruesome details at this point -- and that's all he does. And if he does field, his value actually decreases because he's such a butcher with the glove.

Honorable Mention

Travis Hafner, Indians: Nitpicky here, but Pronk will make $13 million this season. He's only averaged 91 games per year the past four seasons. No one else really warrants mention, because Big Papi, for example, is still worth the big bucks.

On the Other Hand ...

Justin Upton, Diamondbacks: Thanks to an early Longoria-type extension, Upton is set to make $46.109 million over the next four seasons. He made just under $4.5 million last season, when he finished fourth in a crowded NL MVP field. Since Upton is only 24, the D-Backs will have to pony up again -- and probably in huge fashion -- to lock him up through his prime, but for now this is a very team-friendly contract.

Special Cases

Bobby Bonilla, Mets: This is both hilarious and sad at the same time. When the Mets bought out Bonilla's $5.9 million contract in 2000, they agreed to repay him with interest starting 11 years later. Beginning July 1, 2011, the Mets are paying Bonilla an annual salary of roughly $1.2 million until 2035. Or around $35 million in all. In 2012, the Mets will pay Bonilla more than the following regulars/rotation members: Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee.

Manny Ramirez, Dodgers: We'll ignore that the Red Sox are paying Manny B. Manny $2 million per year until he's 54 because he helped bring them two World Series titles. But the Dodgers are paying Ramirez $8.33 million in 2012 and 2013. Assuming Clayton Kershaw gets more in arbitration, that means Manny will be the Dodgers' sixth highest-paid player this season. Of course, Frank McCourt is still going to make a billion dollar profit, so ...


Part I: Infielders and catchers
Part III: Pitchers, coming Friday

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:34 pm
 

Matt Garza's 2008 AL championship ring stolen

Matt GarzaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

We've all seen how garish World Series rings are, but did you know the runners-up get pretty impressive rings themselves?

Former Ray and current Cubs pitcher Matt Garza reported his 2008 American League championship ring stolen from his Fresno, Calif., home and it's listed as worth $30,000, according tot he Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Fresno Bee, the burglary happened between the afternoon of Jan. 26 and the morning of Jan. 31.

It seems the Rays are popular victims of crimes. Last spring the house rented by Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria, David Price and Reid Brignac reported $56,000 worth of property stolen, including Longoria's AK-47 rifle. Police arrested three suspects in that robbery in August.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:38 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 3:36 pm
 

Yankees hire Jim Hendry as special assistant

By Matt Snyder

Jim Hendry was the Cubs' general manager from 2002 until last August. He was notified he would be fired last July, but stayed on until late August to aid in the transition. He wasn't unemployed for long, however, because the Yankees have hired Hendry as a special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned. The news was first reported by ESPN Chicago.

Hendry, 56, led the Cubs to three NL Central championships (2003, 2007, 2008), but the latter two teams were swept in the NLDS and Hendry left the cupboard pretty bare for the new Cubs administration, headed up by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.

Hendry started working for the Cubs in 1995 and there aren't many people in the business who dislike him as a person. He's also known to have a very strong work ethic.

It's possible this job will be a stepping stone for Hendry getting another shot at GM, as Kevin Towers was fired from being the Padres' GM post in 2009 and took a similar position with Cashman and the Yankees. Towers was then hired as the Diamondbacks' GM, his current job.

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Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:43 am
Edited on: January 29, 2012 1:17 pm
 

Roger Clemens strikes out 2 in UT alumni game

Roger ClemensBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Even at 49, Roger Clemens can still bring the heat. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner struck out two of the three University of Texas batters he faced in Saturday's alumni game.

Clemens threw a perfect inning in the game that featured the current Longhorn team against for Texas players. The Longhorns are ranked No. 13 in Baseball America's preseason rankings after appearing in the College World Series last season.

Clemens, who won the College World Series with Texas in 1983, started the game and struck out the first two batters, Cohl Walla and Taylor Stell. Neither Walla nor Stell were alive when Clemens picked up his second Cy Young in 1987. By the time the freshman Stell was born in 1993, Clemens had won 152 games and three Cy Young Awards.

New Padres closer Huston Street relieved Clemens, striking out a batter, and also played second base. Street singled and also scored a run in the 2-0 victory by the alums.

The Mariners' Chance Ruffin, the Reds' Drew Stubbs, the Rangers' Omar Quintanilla, the Cubs' James Russell and former big leaguer Brooks Kieschnick all played for the Texas alums.



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Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:21 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 9:19 pm
 

Selig hopes to settle Epstein compensation soon

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cubs and Red Sox have made their proposals for Boston's compensation for allowing Theo Epstein to move to Chicago, but commissioner Bud Selig said he doesn't have a timetable for making a decision.

"I'd like to get it done as expeditiously as possible," Selig said Friday night at SoxFest in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The two teams have submitted written proposals, possibly including names of specific players, to Selig, according to the newspaper.

"The clubs tried to settle it themselves. I have a lot of patience because everything controversial generally winds up on my desk," Selig said. "In this case, I did give the clubs more latitude and hoped they could come to some conclusion. But they didn't and now it's my case."

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 5:50 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 5:01 pm
 

Report: Cespedes gains Dominican residency

UPDATE: Cespedes has been granted free agency, so let the bidding begin



By Matt Snyder


Now that Prince Fielder has signed, will the pre-2012 free agent talk die a quiet death? Not likely, as we can add one last big-name position player to the mix. Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes will hit the market very soon. He wasn't eligible to be a free agent until he had established residency outside of Cuba, and MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez is reporting that Cespedes has now done so in the Dominican Republic. Cespedes will be a free agent once MLB approves him.

Cespedes, 26, is an outfielder that some scouts have said could possibly have a Bo Jackson-type power-speed combination. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Cespedes hit .333/.424/.667 with 33 homers, 99 RBI, 11 steals and 89 runs in 90 games last season in Cuba.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

"He's a five-tool guy, built like an NFL running back," one scout told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. "He has tremendous raw power, with all the tools to be a 30-30 guy in the big leagues. His mother pitched on the Cuban national softball team, so he has athleticism in the family."

Recent reports have indicated the Cubs and Marlins are the two most likely suitors for Cespedes, though about a dozen teams have been connected to him in rumors. Considering the Fielder-to-Tigers and Pujols-to-Angels movements we've seen this offseason, all bets are off here.

Here's Cespedes hitting a home run in the Dominican Winter League:



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Posted on: January 23, 2012 3:06 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 3:33 pm
 

Cubs 'prospects' get their 'Party Rock' on

By Matt Snyder

File this one in the "facepalm" section of your memory.

The Idaho Cubs are billed as Class-A Short Season affiliate of, obviously, the Chicago Cubs on their team websites -- but it's actually a prospect team sponsored by the Cubs' actual Class A affiliate: The Boise Hawks. This roster is full of players born in the early-to-mid 90s, none of whom are technically in the Cubs system. It's more like a prospect camp.

Anyway, the coaches must have believed these players need to either be A) humiliated or B) better at footwork, because the following video shows them being taught how to properly dance to LMFAO's "Party Rock." Seriously, you can't make this stuff up ...



Now let's not get all serious here. Even the "teacher" appeared to be laughing at a few different points of the actual dance. Maybe it's to weed out the "too cool" kids? Still, this was ... uh ... odd. To say the least.

Hat-tip:
Big League Stew

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:48 pm
 

Cespedes hits first homer in Dominican Republic

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Until Wednesday night there hadn't been too much to write about Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes' stint in the Dominican winter league, but the Rhiner Cruz threw him a 97 mph fastball in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game.

What happened then? Watch.



Cespedes finished 1 for 4 on the night and is now 3 for 23 (.130) with six strikeouts, while being hit by a pitch as Aguilas' designated hitter.

There are plenty of questions about Cespedes, but the guy certainly has some power -- and a heck of a bat flip.

The Cubs are thought to be the leader to sign Cespedes, with the Marlins second  and the field a distant third.

H/T: Baseball America

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com