thecubsfan.com

2010 Cubs Roster (so far)

Jan
07

Marlon Byrd for 2009 seems like a fine enough idea, but I hated that deal when it was announced.  It’s yet contract made longer than it needed to be, and weighed towards the end, making the player harder to move as his performance goes down. That’s the formula Hendry’s stuck to, and it’s only caused problems for later years. They’re continually building a deficit for future years to pay for, and that bill is coming due really soon. With both Lee & Lilly as free agents after this season, the window for this core may be over this season, or it may be over the next when Ramirez has his opt out.

The only good thing is looking up the contract, preparing for a doomsday 2012 scenario (where Soraino, Byrd and Fukudome are all getting big money, and not a one of them should be an every day player), I finally remembered Fukudome only signed for 4 years (or this one and next.) Thought it was 5 for some reason, glad to be wrong.

On the other hand, the Cubs are not even halfway thru the Soriano deal yet. Yuch.

One of things I wanted to do is take a look at where the roster stands, and where the Cubs stand with that roster. I’m using the WAR – Wins Over Replacement – stat from the FanGraphs site; it’s a catch-all stat that factors in and compares hitting, defense and pitching (though it’s missing baserunning and catcher defense.) You can google a whole long explanation for that stat, but for my purposes, it breaks down pretty easy:

  • 0 WAR is an freely available guy in AAA. The guys who are about to get Non Roster Invitations to spring training camps. Think Bobby Scales, over the course of a season
  • 2 WAR (or thereabouts) is an average major leaguer. Kosuke was just a bit over 2 last season. Aaron Rowand, who hit poorly but fielded ok at a tough position, was just under 2 last year.
  • 4 WAR is an all star season. No one actually had an exact 4.0 season last year. Aaron Hill had a pretty strong season and ended up with 4.2. Lilly, Dempster and Zambrano were all around the 3.6-3.7 range.
  • 6 WAR is a hall of fame historically great season. No one who’s on the Cubs right now has had a 6 recently. There’s been 5’s – Ram, Soriano in ’07, Dempster in ’08, Lee last year. Adrian Gonzalez was a 6.3 last year, even though he felt like a 26.3 whenever he faced the Cubs.

Literally, a 4 WAR means the player is worth four more wins than than a random AAA guy put in that spot. A team with all AAA guys would be presumed to win just under 30% just based on random chances, or about 46 games a year. (It changes from year to year.) The Cubs need to stack wins on top of those 46. A lot of extra wins on top.

Here’s who they have, what they’ve done the last 3 years, and what I’m guessing they’ll do this year.

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POS Name 2007 2008 2009 3 yr avg 2010 (Guess)

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1 CA Soto 1 4.6 1.3 2.3 2

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2 1B Lee 3.9 3.1 5.3 4.1 3.5

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3 2B Baker -0.7 0.7 1.3 0.4 1

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4 SS Theriot 1.6 3.1 2.8 2.5 2.5

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5 3B A Ram 5.1 4.7 2.5 4.1 4.5

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6 LF Soriano 5.6 3.1 -0.7 2.7 2

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7 CF Byrd 2.6 3.6 2.4 2.9 2

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8 RF Fukudome 1.8 2.3 2.1 2

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9 SP Zambrano 2.8 2.8 3.6 3.1 3

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10 SP Lilly 3.6 2.7 3.7 3.3 3.5

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10 SP Sarmajdzija 0.5 -0.3 0.1 0.5

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11 SP Dempster 0.3 5.1 3.6 3 3

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12 SP Wells 3 3 2

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13 SP Gorzelanny 2.9 -1 0.7 0.9 1

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14 CA Hill -0.4 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 0

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15 1B Hoffpauir 0.5 -0.6 -0.1 0

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16 2B Fontenot 0.7 3.1 0.4 1.4 0.5

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17 SS Blanco 0 0 0

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18 OF Fuld -0.1 0.6 0.3 1

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19 CL Marmol 1.7 1.3 0.6 1.2 1

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20 RP Grabow 0.2 -0.1 0.2 0.1 0.25

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21 RP Guzman 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.25

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21 RP Silva 3.3 1.5 -0.01 1.6 -0.5

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23 RP Marshall 1.3 0.6 0.9 0.9 1

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24 RP Gray 0 0.2 0.1 0

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25 RP Caridad 0.5 0.5 0

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Replacement varies from year to year, 46 wins +/- 1

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3 yr avg 2010 (Guess)

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Team WAR 40.3 36

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Team Wins 86.3 82

82 wins = probably not going to playoffs. While it seems like Hendry wants to add another arm, adding a marginal one there doesn’t seem like it’ll have much benefit. The really obvious starting lineup hole is at second base, where neither Baker nor Fontenot look league average. The obvious answer is Orlando Hudson, who’s been in the 2.0-3.0 range for the last 6 seasons and still can’t get a contract. It’s just unclear what’ll take, and if the Cubs have it in their budget to get it done.

Outside acquiring new people, what else can help? Alfonso Soriano being a better player than Ryan Theriot for one. A league average outfield means this team is staying home in October, and Soriano wasn’t even that good last year. Soto playing a lot more like ’08 and a lot less like ’09 would be good. Ramirez staying healthy all year would be great.

2012 edit: table removed, sorry

Uncategorized Comments Off on 2010 Cubs Roster (so far)

centerfield

Nov
12

better example of the state of local baseball coverage

– 7 days and running dedicated to commentary on Sammy Sosa’s face without, I dunno, having someone find him and take another picture.

– Phil Rogers writing a column about how little budget room the Cubs have, then writing about how the Cubs must pick up Curtis Granderson’s 3/$24 salary ASAP.

This is why they are what they are. And by that, I mean the Cubs, who race into situations like that without thinking long term, and all the sudden you’ve got a slumping DH playing left field for 5 more years.

I’m mixed on Granderson. I think he had the fortune to sign a contract at the exact best moment for him, and someone is going to be stuck paying for that good year for the next three. If he was in some nice spot in between his really good 2008 and eh 2009, I think he’d a fine pick up, but there’s no guarantee. FanGraphs already has the Bill Jamies projections for next year, which tend to be a lot closer 2008, but my worry is another number on that page – 13% of his outs were on infield fly balls. Seems like a guy who was trying to hit for more power, and ending up too far underneath balls.

Maybe he can correct that in an easier park to hit. And the league adjustment will certainly help. Just not so certain that I want to give up the whole farm system.

He’s definitely a better idea than giving a multi-year deal to Marlon Byrd, which seems like the current rumor. You’d think the Cubs would learn not to take hitters from Texas. The 479 slugging is not going to work out well outside that park, and the 329 on base will. He’s already the wrong side of 30, and they’d be paying for decling years. A one year deal for a reasonable price might work, but Byrd’s the sort of fungible player you don’t sign long term, because you don’t want to be stuck with him if a better option comes along (or he suddenly becomes a worse option.)

I think Mike Cameron is every single team’s back up choice, so he’s going to end up getting a lot better deal than casual people expect. Maybe it’ll secretly be the year people pay for defense.

Kinda cool that the Burrell deal is the closest, having called it a while back. I stil think it’s the best the Cubs can do – they’re going to lose any deal they make for him, because they’ll be giving up the better player. You’ve just got pick the best bounce back candidate.

Roster note few have picked up on: Mike Fontenot being declared a Super Two player means he’s eligible for a big pay raise thru arbitration unless the Cubs non-tendered him. So, he’ll be cut, and the Cubs keep Aaron Miles around as a backup instead of eating his contract this year.

In my mind, the current opening day 25 looks like

CA Soto
1B D Lee
2B ???? (let’s say Baker)
SS Theriot
3B A Ram
LF Soriano
CF ???? (someone not on the roster)
RF Fukudome

SP Zambrano
SP Dempster
SP Wells
SP Gorz
SP yo-yo Marshall or Samardzija?

CA Hill
IF Miles
OF Hoffpauir??
OF Fuld?? or Colvin? or Johsnon??
IF Blanco or ???

RP Stevens?
RP Marshall or Samardzija
RP Caridad
RP Grabow
RP Guzman
CL Marmol

DL Lilly – he’s not late if he starts on May 1st. Bet on it.

A lot of question marks. Doesn’t really seem like it’s a 90 win team there.

This might be a good place for baseball comments.