The Chicago Cubs sign Corey Koskie

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 28 February 2009 at 9:11 pm

The Chicago Cubs have signed 35-year old lefty swinging 3B Corey Koskie to a minor league deal. Koskie has missed the last 2.5 seasons due to post concussion syndrome. Koskie has played in 989 games in his major league career and he is 936 for 3,399 (.275 avg, .825 OPS) with 516 runs scored, 124 homers, 506 RBIs and 71 stolen bases. The Cubs aren’t expecting miracles out of Koskie but he is an insurance policy against the health of both Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.

The Chicago Cubs need a rebound year from Derek Lee in 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 20 February 2009 at 7:02 am

The Chicago Cubs need 33-year old righty swinging Derek Lee to rebound in 2009 if they are to win the National League Central again. Lee played in 155 games for the Cubs last season and he was 181 for 623 (.291 avg, .823 OPS) with 93 runs scored, 20 homers, 90 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Lee also wasn’t himself in the field either as he made 9 errors in 153 games at first base for the Cubs. Lee is one of the most important players on the Cubs’ roster and they need him to improve his play in 2009.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B

Catcher will be a strong point for the Chicago Cubs in 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 14 February 2009 at 5:54 pm

The Cubs are set up well heading into the 2009 season at catcher. 26-year old righty swinging Geovany Soto will try to have an encore to his breakout 2008 season for the Cubs. He played in 141 games for the Cubs last season in which he was 141 for 494 (.285 avg, .868 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 23 homers and 86 RBIs. Soto was also a solid defensive catcher as he threw out 18 of 87 (21%) basestealers while Cubs’ pitchers had a 3.80 ERA with him behind the plate. Look for Soto to have another solid season for the Cubs in 2009.

The Cubs brought back 36-year old lefty swinging Paul Bako to back up Soto in 2009. Bako played in 99 games for the Reds last season and he was 65 for 299 (.217 avg, .627 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 6 homers and 35 RBIs. Bako is also a good defender as he nailed 20 of 75 (27%) basestealers and Reds’ pitchers had a 4.36 ERA last season with Bako behind the plate and that was impressive work by him.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A-

The Chicago Cubs were very busy this off season

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Sunday 8 February 2009 at 8:28 pm

The Cubs have gotten rid of a lot of players this off season in Kerry Wood, Mark DeRosa, Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, Jason Marquis, Mike Wuertz and Rich Hill. But, somehow the Cubs still came out in great shape for the 2009 season. Milton Bradley was brought in to start in the outfield. Joey Gathright has been signed to provide depth in the outfield and the Cubs will definately benefit from his speed. Aaron Miles was brought in to battle Mike Fontenot for the starting 2B job in 2009 for the Cubbies. Paul Bako will back up Geovany Soto at catcher this season but he probably won’t get much playing time. Outfielder So Taguchi and infielder Luis Rivas will battle for bench jobs for the Cubs this spring. Aaron Heilman was brought in with a trade with the Mariners and he will finally get his wish which is to compete for the #5 starting job on the Cubs this spring. Chances are if Heilman wins the job he will be a improvement over Jason Marquis. Kevin Gregg was brought in with a trade with the Marlins and he will battle Carlos Marmol for the closer’s job this spring. Veterans Luis Vizcaino (righty) and Mike Stanton (lefty) will likely have good chances to win spots in the Cubs’ bullpen this season.

OFF SEASON GRADE FOR THE CUBS: B-

The Chicago Cubs trade Mike Wuertz to the A’s

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 7 February 2009 at 10:11 pm

The Cubs have traded 30-year old righty reliever Mike Wuertz to the A’s for 25-year old outfielder Richie Robnett and 23-year old shortstop/second baseman Justin Sellers. Wuertz pitched in 45 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. He finishes his career with the Cubs having worked in 265 games (0 starts) in which he was 13-7 with 1 save, a 3.57 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Wuertz did have good stuff as he whiffed 270 batters in 262.1 innings with the Cubs.

The lefty swinging Richie Robnett played in 82 games (A+AA+AAA ball) last season and he was 71 for 296 (.240 avg, .681 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 4 homers and 27 RBIs. 23-year old righty swinging Justin Sellers played in 123 AA games last season and he was 112 for 439 (.255 avg, .700 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 6 homers, 46 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. This trade looks like a salary dump because the Cubs didn’t appear to get much for Wuertz.

The Chicago Cubs trade Rich Hill to the Orioles

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 7 February 2009 at 10:06 pm

The Cubs have traded 28-year old lefty starting pitcher Rich Hill to the Orioles for a player to be named later. Hill pitched in 5 games (all starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He pitched in 64 games (57 starts) in his career with the Cubs in which he was 18-17 with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. The Cubs pretty much made this move because Hill was out of options but they made sure they traded him to a American League team so that he couldn’t come back to haunt them.

The Chicago Cubs acquire Aaron Heilman from the Mariners

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 5 February 2009 at 10:52 pm

The Cubs have acquired 30-year old righty Aaron Heilman from the Mariners for lefty starting pitcher Garrett Olson and 26-year old righty swinging infielder Ronny Cedeno. Heilman pitched in 78 games (0 starts) for the Mets last season and he was 3-8 with 3 saves, a 5.21 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. He has now pitched in 305 games (25 starts) in his major league career and he is 22-33 with 9 saves, a 4.24 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. The Cubs will likely give Heilman a chance to compete for a job in the starting rotation which has always been his preference.

Garrett Olson didn’t remain a Cub very long as they had just acquired him from the Orioles. No loss there as Olson look pretty awful for the Orioles last season. Cedeno played in 99 games for the Cubs last season and he was 58 for 216 (.269 avg, .680 OPS) with 36 runs scored, 2 homers, 28 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Cedeno finished his career with the Cubs having played in 329 games in which he was 228 for 904 (.252 avg, .639 OPS) with 106 runs scored, 13 homers, 88 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. This was a risk worth taking for the Cubs as Heilman has a much higher upside than either Olson or Cedeno.

Ken Kadokura comes from the Far East to sign with the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 5 February 2009 at 10:45 pm

The Cubs have signed 35-year old righty reliever/starter Ken Kadokura to a minor league deal. He pitched in 11 games (0 starts) last season in Japan and he was 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Kadokura pitched in 302 games (190 starts) in his career in Japan and he was 76-82 with 10 saves, a 4.36 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He will be a longshot to make the Cubs out of spring training.

The Chicago Cubs sign Bill White

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Tuesday 3 February 2009 at 5:23 pm

The Cubs have signed 30-year old lefty reliever Bill White to a minor league contract. White pitched in 8 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 0-0 with a 20.25 ERA and a 4.50 WHIP. He has now pitched in 17 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 2-0 with a 9.45 ERA and a 2.48 WHIP. White should thank God every day that he is left handed as he’s not much of a pitcher.

UPDATE: Bill White had been released as he failed his spring physical.

The Chicago Cubs sign Paul Bako

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Tuesday 3 February 2009 at 5:20 pm

The Cubs have signed 36-year old lefty swinging catcher Paul Bako to a 1-year, $725,000 dollar contract. Bako played in 99 games for the Reds last season and he was 65 for 299 (.217 avg, .627 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 6 homers and 35 RBIs. He has now played in 745 games in his major league career and he is 482 for 2,086 (.231 avg, .622 OPS) with 183 runs scored, 21 homers and 186 RBIs. Bako is a good defensive player but he’s not much of a hitter. That likely won’t matter much as Geovany Soto will get most of the playing time behind the plate for the Cubs in 2009.

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