Thursday, January 19, 2006

Arbitration numbers

Andy MacPhail's perfect record is on the line. Arbitration numbers for the Cubs were reported the other day by the mothership. No surprise to Cub fans the big winner will be Scott Boras(see the update below) client Carlos Zambrano. Z is looking to double his contract. Here are the numbers:

Carlos Zambrano
Asks for: $7.2 million
Cubs offers: $6 million

Mark Prior
Asks for: $4 million
Cubs offer: $3.3 million

Juan Pierre
Asks for: $6.5 million
Cubs offer: $5 million

Jerry Hairston
Asks for: $2.6 million
Cubs offer: $1.95 million

Will Ohman
Asks for: $775,000
Cubs offer: $500,000

My view on arbitration in baseball is that it's one of the uglier parts of the CBA. Here's hoping that Hendry and MacPhail keep their perfect record and don't allow any of these cases to reach and arbitrator. Cruller Jim had this to say on the matter:

"We feel like we always do, that we're trying to be fair to the player," Hendry said. "We've proven in the past we're willing to be more than fair. Once again, we will do what we can to avoid going to a hearing with anyone.

"But there may come a day when we have to go. That's just part of the business."

Most of these will probably be resolved by the Cubs and the player "splitting the difference". I tend to wonder when(not if but when) Scott Boras is gonna push the envelope with the talented Zambrano. The way the numbers went up for free agent pitching this offseason, has to have Boras licking his chops.

Here's hoping Hendry and MacPhail keep a clean sheet.

UPDATE 1/19/06 -- 9:47: Happy Days! Al from BCB and 1060west's very own Vehere have reported that Z dumped Boras as his agent! WOW! Hopefully that will be good news for the Cubs and allow them to get Z under a long term deal. Thanks for the update guys and keep the good news comin'.

My bad, my favorite offseason site MLBTraderumors reported this on Tuesday!

Willie Smith 1939-2006

This morning a sad note caught my eye on Willie Smith who hit the dramatic game winning homer in the 11th inning of the '69 Opener died of a heart attack.

"Wonderful Willie" only played for the Cubs from '68-'70. As long as there are Opening Days we will always see and hear Brickhouse's call of Willie's roundtripper.

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