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Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2009 » December

Marlon Byrd signs with the Chicago Cubs

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 31 December 2009 at 1:17 pm

The Cubs have signed 32-year old righty swinging outfielder Marlon Byrd to a 3-year deal. Byrd played in 146 games for the Rangers last season and he was 155 for 547 (.283 avg, .808 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 20 homers, 89 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Byrd has now played in 785 games in his major league career and he is 744 for 2,666 (.279 avg, .762 OPS) with 380 runs scored, 60 homers, 335 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. Byrd will be the new starting center fielder for the Cubs and he should improve the team’s defense. The problem I have with this signing is that Byrd is a much better player in the American League. In 377 games in the American League Byrd has hit .295 with a .820 OPS but in 408 National League games Byrd has hit .263 with only a .701 OPS. Hopefully for the Cubs sake they can get Byrd to play like he is still in the A.L.

The Chicago Cubs finally rid themselves of Milton Bradley

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Friday 18 December 2009 at 2:54 pm

The Cubs have finally traded 31-year old switch hitting outfielder Milton Bradley to the Mariners for 30-year old righty starting pitcher Carlos Silva and $9 million bucks. Milton Bradley was not worth the headaches he was causing in Chicago so the Cubs had to move him. Bradley played in 124 games for the Cubs last season and he was 101 for 393 (.257 avg, .775 OPS) with 61 runs scored, 12 homers, 40 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. I said when they signed him last winter that there was no way that he would last in the same dugout as manager Lou Piniella and I was right. The Cubs wanted to get rid of Bradley so bad that they accepted Carlos Silva as part of the return and he is downright terrible. Silva pitched in 8 games (6 starts) for the Mariners last season and he was 1-3 with a 8.60 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. In his 8 years in the majors, Silva has pitched in 295 games (159 starts) in which he is 60-64 with 2 saves, a 4.72 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. The Cubs will likely give Silva a chance to make the starting rotation this spring with Ted Lilly to miss the start of the year due to surgery. But, more than likely Silva will be the mop up man in the bullpen for the Cubs in 2010 and 2011. The Cubs net a savings of $6 million bucks in this deal so look for them to spend it on a outfielder to replace Bradley.

The Chicago Cubs let Neal Cotts walk

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Injuries by chinmusic on Monday 14 December 2009 at 5:39 pm

The Cubs did not tender a contract for the 2010 season to 29-year old lefty reliever Neal Cotts making him a free agent. Cotts is still recovering from Tommy John Surgery so it wasn’t a surprise that the Cubs decided to let him walk. Cotts pitched in 19 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last season and he was 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA and a 2.09 WHIP. In three years with the Cubs, Cotts pitched in 85 games (0 starts) in which he was 0-5 with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. The Cubs won’t miss Cotts too much as he wasn’t that good for them even when he was healthy.

The Chicago Cubs select Mike Parisi in the Rule 5 Draft

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Saturday 12 December 2009 at 1:58 pm

The Cubs have selected 26-year old righty reliever Mike Parisi in the Rule 5 Draft away from the Cardinals. Parisi pitched in 5 games (all starts) in Rookie+A ball this season and he was 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. He has now pitched in 115 games (all starts) in his minor league career and he is 40-39 with a 4.27 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Parisi has also pitched in 12 games (2 starts) in his major league career and he is 0-4 with a 8.22 ERA and a 2.26 WHIP. Parisi will likely have a good chance of making the Cubs’ bullpen next spring.

The Chicago Cubs acquire Jeff Gray and two others from the Oakland A’s

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 3 December 2009 at 9:12 pm

The Cubs have acquired 28-year old righty reliever Jeff Gray, 21-year old righty starting pitcher Ronny Morla and 23-year old lefty swinging OF Matt Spencer from the A’s for 27-year old righty swinging 1B/3B/OF Jake Fox, 33-year old switch-hitting back-up infielder Aaron Miles and $1 million bucks in cash. Jeff Gray was without the key to this trade for the Cubs as he has a big time right arm often throwing the ball in the mid to high 90’s. He pitched in 24 games (0 starts) for the A’s last season and he was 0-1 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He also pitched in 37 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball last season in which he was 2-2 with 16 saves, a 1.54 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Gray has pitched in 29 games (0 starts) in his career in the majors and he is 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He should be able to replace Aaron Heilman who was recently traded to the D-Backs. Matt Spencer played in 123 games in A+AA ball last season and he was 141 for 488 (.289 avg, .833 OPS) with 79 runs scored, 19 homers, 91 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. He could make it to the show someday for the Cubs as he has a decent little upside. Ronny Morla pitched in 17 games (12 starts) in Rookie-ball last season and he was 1-7 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. He gave up 70 hits last season in only 63 innings but he did whiff 73 batters showing that he has some tools to work with.

Jake Fox played in 82 games for the Cubs last season and he was 56 for 216 (.259 avg, .779 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 11 homers and 44 RBIs. The A’s are probably going to start Fox at either 1B, 3B or at DH in 2010 and it will be interesting to see how he handles a full season of at bats at the major league level. Fox played in 89 games in his two years with the Cubs and he was 58 for 230 (.252 avg, .761 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 11 homers and 45 RBIs. Aaron Miles was awful in his only year for the Cubs as he played in 74 games in which he was 29 for 157 (.185 avg, .466 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 5 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. This is a trade that could help both teams as Gray should be solid out of the pen for the Cubs while Fox will be getting his first big chance at winning a starting job this spring for the A’s.

Derek Lee finishes 9th in the voting for the N.L. MVP Award

Blogged under Awards, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 3 December 2009 at 8:59 pm

34-year old righty swinging 1B Derek Lee finished 9th in the voting for the N.L. MVP Award. Lee played in 141 games last season and he was 163 for 532 (.306 avg, .972 OPS) with 91 runs scored, 35 homers and 111 RBIs. He has now played 13 years in the majors appearing in 1,681 games in which he is 1,701 for 5,980 (.284 avg, .873 OPS) with 946 runs scored, 293 homers, 939 RBIs and 101 stolen bases. Lee continues to be the player that the Cubs depend on the most as he is a great hitter and one of the best defensive first basemen in all of baseball.

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