Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Did somebody say Roster Talk?

In as few words as possible, here's my vote for 2010.

Let 'Em Walk: Rich Harden (offered arb, won't take it), Kevin Gregg (no arb), Reed Johnson (no arb), John Grabow (could be resigned depending on price), Aaron Heilman (permanent member of Lou's dog house).

Total 2009 Salary for Walkers: About $18 million

That leaves us with the following set-up, with a few holes to be filled via free agency:

Startin' Lineup:

1. Felipe Lopez, 2B (2-year, $18mil deal, maybe a third-year option)
2. Milton Bradley, RF (.400 or so OBP against lefties AND righties)
3. Derrek Lee, 1B (he's earned it)
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B (no brainer)
5. Kosuke Fukudome, RF (.470 SLG in '09, .550 SLG in July, .650 SLG in August)
6. Alfonso Soriano, LF (gotta play him; plus he still has some power)
7. Geo Soto, C (contingent upon significant weight loss)
8. Ryan Theriot, SS (best 8 hitter in the league? maybe)

Bench: C Hill, 2B/3B/LF Fox, CF Fuld, 2B/SS/3B Miles (damn it Jim Hendry!!!!), Triple A Flavor of the Week

Rotation: Z, Lilly, Demp, Wells, and Gorzo

(I guess you could spend $10mil on a Garland or a Davis or a Duchscherer; I'd rather do that than sign Harden for many many years. I'm scared of that arm.)

Bullpen: Marmol, Guzman, Marshall, Stevens, and a few of your favorite free agents on the cheap (or Berg, or Caridad, or Gaub)

That should do it, right?

There is no way Felipe Lopez

There is no way Felipe Lopez is worth 9M a year...that's ludicrous.

I agree that he's not worth

I agree that he's not worth that, but based on his age, expectations that he'll start, and his decent last couple of seasons I'd be shocked if he signed for anything under 7M.

$7MM may be more correct. At

$7MM may be more correct. At any rate, Fangraphs says he's been worth almost $14million this year, and he had a great 2005 as well. But his BABIP also looks high this year.

I think he should be Cub target #1 this offseason, and I'd be willing to overpay a bit to get an .800 OPS switch-hitting leadoff man who plays plus defense at 2B and can fill in at short.

Fangraphs

I don't know if I trust Fangraphs. According to them, Fukudome is our most valuable player at over $14 mil. I guess that means he was a deal?

Umm. I believe it.

Umm. I believe it.

more valuable than Lee?

Would you say he has been more valuable to the Cubs than D-Lee this season?

I'm going to answer this

I'm going to answer this question with a separate post. Get excited!

I like it. Harden isn't worth

I like it. Harden isn't worth the risk. Reed Johnson does his part but not much more than we get out of Fuld. And let Gregg give up HR's somewhere else.

Lopez would be fine...right about now, anyone would be better than what we have. While I don't see it happening, I wouldn't mind seeing the Cubs get a SS and move Theriot back to 2nd. But that's just wishful thinking.

Other than that, there's not much that can be done to this team due to contracts. What we have is what we're stuck with.

Agreed; the core is

Agreed; the core is immovable. At the same time, I'd argue that that isn't really a big problem--the guys we've got aren't COMPLETELY SUCKTASTIC. With more luck next year, they might even be really, really good all season.

Harden

Can't the Cubs just offer Harden arbitration and if he declines, get a couple draft picks? And if he accepts, after having an off year and making $7M, sign him for somewhere in the $10-12M range? They would get him for one year that way, instead of having to shell out a multi-year contract.

Gorzo over Harden?

Really? The Cubs should count on a guy who couldn't even stick with the Pirates?

We have Harden now. He's a good pitcher, who is likely to start 27-28 games this year even with time on the DL. Even with his struggles, his ERA for the season is only 4.04, better than the league average.

If Harden likes being with the Cubs, the Cubs should be able to keep him without going beyond a reasonable market price (as opposed to Hendry's usual tactic of paying twice the going rate).

I'm with ya, dude. If Harden

I'm with ya, dude. If Harden is willing to give the Cubs a hometown discount, then by all means we should take advantage!

However, it looks like Harden is going to be one of the top starting pitching talents on the free agent market this year. Also, isn't he a Scott Boras client?

If he's willing to take a hometown discount/accept arbitration, then let's sign him. But if he's looking for four years, perhaps we'd be better off spending money elsewhere.

Harden's agent

I know he isn't Boras.

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