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Aubrey Huff To Houston?

Got a good one today.  I admit I was skeptical at first, but an independent source verified the rumor.

It seems that Arizona, Houston, Los Angeles, and Tampa Bay have some sort of deal in the works.  It is known that Jayson Werth and Aubrey Huff are involved, but the other players have not yet been revealed.  Apparently Werth is headed to Tampa Bay or Arizona - my sources differ in opinion here.

Both sources indicated that Aubrey Huff will be joining the Astros.  Such a move would certainly cloud up the Astros' 1B/OF situation.  They'd have Lance Berkman, Jeff Bagwell, Jason Lane, Willy Taveras, Preston Wilson, and Huff.  We know that Bagwell may not be able to play, and Lane and Taveras are trade candidates.  Huff mainly played right field and first base for the Devil Rays this year.

UPDATE: It now looks to be a three team deal with the Diamondbacks, Devil Rays, and Astros involved (Werth is out of the picture). Huff to the Astros is still the main piece, and the deal supposedly is contingent on Bagwell retiring and freeing up the insurance money.  That's all for now.

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Actually... he played mainly right field in 2005, with a few 1B and a few more DH starts thrown in. Don't forget that he played decently at 3B for most of 2004, too.

Good to see the Cubs right in the middle of the negotiations for Huff. Oh yeah why do we need him we have the great Jacque Jones and hall of famer Matt Murton manning the outfield of the 06 Cubs. I know Huff isnt great defensively and he isnt a world class hitter like Abreu or Tejada, but he is a definite upgrade over Jones and Murton. Here's the thing though based on what Philly wants for Abreu (number 1 or 2 quality starting pitcher and not give up one in return) you know the Cubs are not going to be involved in a deal like that. So go get Huff. Also havent heard anything on the Lugo front either. This team is a joke and will not finish any higher than 4th in this division, and this division isnt even taht good! I saw a projection of stats for OFs and other than Florida which is basically going with all rookies except for maybe Cabrera (who himself alone might have more HR,s and RBIS than the 3 Cub OFs combined) the Cubs OF rates as by far the worse in offensive production which is HR, RBI, AVG, OBP, Walks and OBP+SLUG. Get ready for another traing wreck at clark and addison this year.

Also, I wouldn't count on Werth going to TB. There's a glut of good OF talent there already. Both LAD and HOU have pitching TB could use, though.

Thanks Sliver, that was a typo on my part.

Any news on the report out of ESPN 1000 saying Cubs and TB are talking about Lugo and pitcher for Walker and Jerome Williams??

Mike, I dug around on that one a couple of days ago and didn't find anything.

Mike,
My guess is that the report is just Cubs brass spitting out some BS in time for the Cubs convention to start. I havent found anything on the net regarding that trade possibility. In fact if you listened to big Jim a couple days ago, he seems quite pleased with his offseason moves and proclaimed the Cubs would be just fine if they go to opening day with the roster they have as of today. The biggest thing on Andy McPhail's mind right now is trying to calculate how much extra money the tribune will make with the added bleacher seats to go along with the Cubs yearly tradition of raising ticket prices. Jim and Dusty's biggest concern is getting that extension done before the season starts and the team is 10 games out by mid May.

I expect Hendry to say publicly today at the Convention that Cedeno and Murton will be starters in 2006.

Huff doesn't make a lot of sense. They are already loaded without Bagwell and Berkman is his definite replacement. Izturis to Houston might make sense. Lugo would too, although his history in Houston makes it impossible.

Huff would only be an upgrade over Taveras and that's only if Bagwell can't play. I can only see them doing this if it were out of desperation to please Clemens. Bottom line, at best this marginally improves the Astros (assuming Lane and Taveras are in the talks) and adds payroll/expiring contracts.

If they are giving up pitching prospects to get Huff and packaging he or Lane in a bigger deal for Tejada (assuming Burnitz was the big block there) it might make sense.

Ew. That trade possibility just looks nasty for us Astros if we don't get at least one bonafide starting pitcher. Considering the Astros team is based mainly on the chemistry with each other and considering OF/1B is the last place we need to try to upgrade, I hope the Astros step out, unless a SP is involved.

Sadly, this probably means the end of Willy Tavaras's career here. Which I think is a shame, because his speed is one of those priceless intangibles that really can't be replaced.

If this trade does end up taking place, what are the odds that the White Sox and Astros deal with Contreras and Taveras + possibly prospects heats up again?

I think slim, Mike. It doesn't seem like KW has any intention of acquiring a CF with so many already in tow, especially Brian Anderson.

Hey Monger,

Does your Mets guy know if they are talking about Weaver? I can't believe how silent everything around him is!

I will inquire with him.

Rumor,

While you're checking, can you see what stone the Red Sox have possibly left unturned for Manny. They said they still want to move him, despite his recent flip-flop. It's becoming a tad embarrasing for the Sox FO at this point, isn't it?

Werth isn't going to TB, they don't need any more OFs.

As for the Astros...what kind of pitching prospects could we expect from them?

For Huff? Maybe two Guys like Astacio/Buccholtz/Gothreaux. Certainly not Hirsh, maybe Nieve or Rodriguez. The Astros think Hirsh or Nieve could start in 2006, and with Clemens up in the air, they shouldn't be dealing any viable starting options. The Astros don't have a ton of pitching to give up.

This deal could make sense for my Astros if they just give up someone like Taveras. Bagwell was examined today and who knows if he will play. So if Taveras is gone and Huff is in, and Bagwell cant play, then you got Berkman, Wilson, and Lane is the outfield and Huff at first. Thats a lineup with some pop.

Why would you rather have Huff over Taveras?

Agreed, they don't have a whole lot of either to give up. Not sure they should give any of it up for Huff alone. They get worse on defense and more expensive with Taveras or Lane out of the lineup in favor of Huff.

Honestly Joe, id take huff because of his pop, which we desperatly needed. I understand you cant have RBI's without speedy guys who get on base, but Taveras' OBP last year wasnt that great. I like the kid and hes got some talent but to have the lineup with Huff included would be great. Next year Burke could fill the leadoff need anyway.

Jake: A couple of years ago, I'd agree with you in regards to Huff; even though he quite frankly sucks defensively, he was a 30 HR threat in a lineup that offered almost no protection. He was a lefty bat who posted a .300 average and a solid OBP. However, his offensive decline the last couple of seasons is very disconcerting. You'd rather have him over Jones? If Jones does post offensive numbers similar to the last couple of years, we at least know that he's going to do a more than serviceable job in RF. If Huff posts numbers similar to the last couple of years, we're screwed in all facets of the game.

As for Murton, he's a good young hitter. Nothing to write home about defensively, but not Huff-bad. He has hit well everywhere he's been, is a patient hitter, can take a walk, and has some pop.

Trust me, be happy if Huff lands in Houston. We don't want him.

I don't know who the sources are, but I'd like to see who the Astros would have to give up to get Huff. This looks totally bogus to me. Huff is not an upgrade over Lane, so why make the deal?

Obviously I can't guarantee the deal going down, but the sources are legit as always.

Update in the post, by the way.

Shutdown: You're probably right that HOU wouldn't be a candidate for Lugo, but mainly based on the fact that we have a SS that the organization will only replace if a Tejada becomes available...

But fwiw, the person who gave Lugo his walking papers in HOU is now one of the braintrust of the DRays (Hunsicker).

Darin: I can think of one good reason -- concern about how right-handed the line-up is.

I'm not big on Huff, myself, but if you can swallow that Huff is going to be something equal to Lane at the plate, then you probably make the deal on the basis that LF isn't too nasty to field even for Huff, and especially given the short porch in MMaid.

But if Purpura's giving up any of his young pitching with Lane, he sure as heck better come out of the trade with more than Huff.

I don't think that lacking a bunch of big power guys in the OF means you are going to find a train wreck of a team. In fact, look at the world series champion last year, their OF was preatty pitiful offensively. The numbers on the White Sox:

They had a total of 44 HRs, with a .276 average and only 118 walks. They were built on average contanct, good speed and the ability to set up other guys in the line up.

The Cubs have a very similar OF this year. Their lineup will look something like:

1.Pierre
2.Walker
3.Lee
4.Ramirez
5.Jones
6.Murton
7.Barret
8.Cedeno

Now what about that seems so bad?? They have one of the best leadoff hitters in the league, followed up by a veteran who is renouned for his ability to put the ball in play. D. Lee and Ramirez could be the best 3 4 Combo in baseball that isn't Pujols, Rolen. Jones will probably see a numbers boost playing at Wrigley, and Murton seems to be developing into a fantastic 6 or 2 hole, contact type hitter. Barrett is great offensivley (for a catcher) and although cedeno is a big question mark, he is playing hot right now.

In essence, it is very plausible that the Cubs OF is going to play its intended role very well. If the rest of the team stays relatively healthy, and their isn't too much pressure put on them, I think they will have a fine season.

Ryan,
Well I would like to have Huff and platoon Murton and Jones. To answer your question Yes I would definitely much rather have Aubrey Huff than Jacque Jones. For one Huff is a year and a half younger than Jones. Let's look at their averages over the last 3 years Huff has averaged 101 RBIS, Jones has averaged 74. Huff has averaged 28 HRS, Jones 21. OBP is a joke between the two. Huff's totals the last 3 years: .367, .360 and .321. Jones: .333, .315, .319. Here's another category where Huff destroys him. Strikeouts: Huff has averaged 80 over the last 3 years. Jones 114. Thats basically almost 40 at bats where Huff has a chance to at least do something compared to Jones simply because he puts the ball in play. This even taking into account Huff is way more flexible than Jones in that he can play 3rd and 1st. The other thing with Huff, I believe the reason his stats were partly down last year was because he was in Lou Pinella's dog house. I believe Jones is just declining and isnt that good a hitter as he was 4 years ago and I have no confidence he will improve this year or any of the three the Cubs signed him for. I really believe a change of scenery, especially to a hitters park like Houston coupled with a contract season, Huff will put up numbers very close to his 03 season where he hit .311, OBP of .367, 34 HRs and 107 RBIs. Huff will also be surronded by some decent hitters in Berkman, Ensberg, Wilson and Lane (assuming he isnt in the deal. I believe if Jones has a good a year he can have he will top out at .275, with an OBP of around .330, 25 HRs and 80 RBis, but I'm not counting on Jones having that good a year. He is much more likely to hit closer to .250, with an OBP around .315-.320, 20 HRS and 70 RBIs. I'm not entirely sold on Murton being a good hitter. The guy only hit .260 against righties last year and obviously if he is gonna play everyday (Why do i have a strange feeling Marquis Grissom may somehow play a role in that?)he is going to have to hit a little better against righties. I've seen some lineups where the Cubs have him hitting 5th and .260 with probably 15-20 HR, 60-70 RBI isnt going to cut it for a 5th place hitter. I also think Murton is a butcher in the field as he basically showed in his time in left last year. Then again I've seen some other lineups that have Jacque Jones hitting 5th and there's a good chance his numbers are even worse than Murtons. I hated the Jacque Jones signing, it reaked of a "We have to do something" signing. I know alot of people keep saying oh Jacque will get back to .290-.300 this year. I would be totally shocked if he hits higher than .255 Not only is Jones in a new league this year and there will be a normal adjustment period, but how many hits is he going to lose now that he will be playing 81 games with the slower infield grass of Wrigley as opposed to the turf at the Metrodome? Great job to pay this guy 5 mil a year for 3 year. FOr all these reasons I would take Aubrey Huff over Jacque Jones in a second. Oh yeah one last fact, Huff also makes less this year than Jones.

Cubbies in my Stove,
I have only three questions for you.
First, Are you related to McPhail, Hendry or Baker or are you Ron Santo?
Two, DId you just come back from the convention and are still high on Cubbie Kool-Aid? Three, Are you joking with what you posted? I think you might be the first poster on this site, where I disagree with everything you said. If the roster you see now is the same roster that starts opening day of this year, the Cubs will finish no higher than 4th in this division and this division isnt really that strong this year.

Cubbies,
D.Lee and Ramirez could be the best 3-4 combo in baseball that isnt Pujols and Rolen? Well at least you recognize the fact that Pujols and Rolen are a better combo but I think you are just a tad off in that assessment of D.Lee and Ramirez. I'm willing to get you the 3-4 combo on the other side of town in Thome and Konerko put up better numbers than D.Lee and Ramirez this year. They are probably laughing right now in Boston as well because Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz also totally destroy D.Lee and A. Ram. I think I'll take AROD and Sheff or Matsui over D.Lee and Ramirez too. Hafner and Victor Martinez in Cleveland arent bad. Texeira and Blalock arent bad in Texas either, as are Guerrero and Anderson in Anaheim. We will also see how Beltran and Delgado do in NY this year too. Assuming Alou stays healthy he and Bonds arent a bad combo either. So D.Lee and Ramirez are a good combo but to say they are the best besides Pujols and Rolen (who arent even the best 3-4 combo anyway) you might want to wait and see what happens on the soutside of chicago, I can almost guarentee you if Manny stays in Boston him and Ortiz put up better numbers than D.Lee and Ramirez. Just to touch on your other points Jones will probably see a numbers increase in Wrigley, Couldnt disagree more here. He's moving to a smaller park where the wind will blow in at least a third of the games with grass compared to turf. If anything Jones #s could be worst than last year as hard as that is to believe. The veteran you speak of in Walker will most likely be traded before opening day and knowing Dusty's dumb ass he will put Perez there who might be the worst #2 hitter. THis guy never walks, has an OBP lower than Patterson's last year and only strikes out about once every 4 at bats. Cedeno is hot right now but thats winter ball, being hot in winter ball is like being the valedictorian of your summer school class. i.e. not a great accomplishment alot of guys have great winter ball

and knowing Dusty's dumb ass he will put Perez there who might be the worst #2 hitter

Miguel Cairo is much worse than Perez as a player. Yet the Mets won 83 with sinkholes on the right side of the infield. With the Cubs pitching, they could easily win 87-90 this year.

Erik,
What pitching? Zambrano and Prior when healthy are as good as they get. Unfortunately after that it's about as bad as it gets. Maddux is the #3, basically a 6 inning pitcher and is a year older already coming off of his worst year in 15 plus years. I dont even want to hear about Wood until he's actually on the field and even then you know he's gonna be making his usual two trips or more to the DL. Williams is decent but probably wouldnt start on most good teams and Rusch is a spot starter. The bullpen while it is improved on paper will probably be worn out by August since none of the 3-5 starters are anything more than 5-6 inning pitchers. Well Miguel Cairo might be worse than Perez, the bottom line in what you said is the Mets won 83 games with the sinkholes on the right side. First things first, 83 wins means basically you are a tad better than mediocre or .500. I expect better than that from my team. Second as soon as the Cubs get Cliff Floyd type player in left, a Beltran type in center, let me know. I didnt follow Mets baseball at all, Did Miguel Cairo hit 2nd for the Mets? I thought at least the games I saw he hit further down in the order. It's tough to compare two guys if one hits eigth, (where Neifi wouldnt be that bad if thats where he did hit) and one hits second. I'm not sure what the national perspective on the Cubs is (you being from the Bronx, maybe could answer that) but here in Chicago the general thought about this Cub team assuming they come to opening day with the roster the same as it is today, is that this team at best is probably an 85 win team and thats assuming everything goes right next year. Everything as in, Wood stays healthy most of the year, D. Lee proves last year wasnt a fluke and the numbers he puts up are relatively the same, Ramirez doesnt spend any time on the DL, Murton and Cedeno give the Cubs enough offense, Jacque Jones rebounds to hit .275 or higher, Maddux can somehow win 15 games again, They catch lightning in a bottle yet again with Rusch, Prior stays healthy the whole year, Dempster save percentage is as good or close to as good as last year, Howry and Eyre have the same type of years they had last year. If all that happens (and thats an awful lot to happen) the general feeling in Chicago is yes the Cubs could win 85-90 games. Realistically assume half or even 2/3 of that stuff happens and this team is probably .500 or slightly better. If all goes wrong and less than half of that stuff happens get ready for a 90 loss season. I guess I'm just surprised because your the first person outside of Chicago I've heard that thinks the Cubs could win easily 87-90 games. I just wish me and most other Cub fans felt as confident as you.

Erik,
What pitching? Zambrano and Prior when healthy are as good as they get. Unfortunately after that it's about as bad as it gets. Maddux is the #3, basically a 6 inning pitcher and is a year older already coming off of his worst year in 15 plus years. I dont even want to hear about Wood until he's actually on the field and even then you know he's gonna be making his usual two trips or more to the DL. Williams is decent but probably wouldnt start on most good teams and Rusch is a spot starter. The bullpen while it is improved on paper will probably be worn out by August since none of the 3-5 starters are anything more than 5-6 inning pitchers. Well Miguel Cairo might be worse than Perez, the bottom line in what you said is the Mets won 83 games with the sinkholes on the right side. First things first, 83 wins means basically you are a tad better than mediocre or .500. I expect better than that from my team. Second as soon as the Cubs get Cliff Floyd type player in left, a Beltran type in center, let me know. I didnt follow Mets baseball at all, Did Miguel Cairo hit 2nd for the Mets? I thought at least the games I saw he hit further down in the order. It's tough to compare two guys if one hits eigth, (where Neifi wouldnt be that bad if thats where he did hit) and one hits second. I'm not sure what the national perspective on the Cubs is (you being from the Bronx, maybe could answer that) but here in Chicago the general thought about this Cub team assuming they come to opening day with the roster the same as it is today, is that this team at best is probably an 85 win team and thats assuming everything goes right next year. Everything as in, Wood stays healthy most of the year, D. Lee proves last year wasnt a fluke and the numbers he puts up are relatively the same, Ramirez doesnt spend any time on the DL, Murton and Cedeno give the Cubs enough offense, Jacque Jones rebounds to hit .275 or higher, Maddux can somehow win 15 games again, They catch lightning in a bottle yet again with Rusch, Prior stays healthy the whole year, Dempster save percentage is as good or close to as good as last year, Howry and Eyre have the same type of years they had last year. If all that happens (and thats an awful lot to happen) the general feeling in Chicago is yes the Cubs could win 85-90 games. Realistically assume half or even 2/3 of that stuff happens and this team is probably .500 or slightly better. If all goes wrong and less than half of that stuff happens get ready for a 90 loss season. I guess I'm just surprised because your the first person outside of Chicago I've heard that thinks the Cubs could win easily 87-90 games. I just wish me and most other Cub fans felt as confident as you.

I think I'm missing something. The 4 teams mentioned was AZ,TB, Houston, and the Dodgers. I don't see the Cubs anywhere in that list, so how did this post,like most on this website turn into a Cub's forum? Is everything always about the Cubs? And if yes, then why? They always loose.

The update clears things up a bit, but I still don't see this happening. I've never seen a trade contingent on if a future hall of a famer retires.

Jake: Its the type of attitude you have that pisses me off. Are you even a cubs fan cause you have nothing but bad to say about the cubs and you think if we don't get a big name we are nothing. You suck.

To no name,
Of course it would be someone who doesnt even have the balls to associate a name with his post to rip critical cub fans because they dont share his rose colored everything is perfect outlook. If you want to spend your day underneath the desk of Jim all day, thats fine by me, but look around dumbass I'm not the only one who is HIGHLY skeptical of the success this team will have this year with the roster they currently have. Am I even a Cubs fan? NO I just have season tickets to the Cubs because I love to throw away about 10 grand every year. My guess is youre eitehr one an out of towner or two one of those people that blamed and still blames Bartman for 03. Read the papers in Chicago, listen to the sports stations in Chicago, most people predict this team to be a third or fourth place team. I didnt say if we dont get a big name we are nothing, what I said jackass is we need a big name if we actually want to be something more than just a .500 team. I said everything (and I made a nice list) has to go right for this team to win as constructed now. It's idiots like you that give us the lovable losers stereotype. Like I said read (if you can) the papers in CHicago, listen to the sports talk radio stations and you'll hear alot of the same stuff I said in my posts about the expectations for the Cubs this year. I know it pains you to think someone could be ripping the Cubbies, but get used to it, they deserve everything they get this year, and if Dusty can pull off a great managerial job and the rookies perform and this team gets in the playoffs, I'll be very happy for one and the first one on here saying I was totally wrong about my thoughts on the Cubs. I have a feeling there is a better chance someone like you actually gets some brains though then the Cubs making the playoffs this year. So in closing go back under Jim's desk, keep believing the line of crap coming out of Clark and Addison, and next time if you want to say I suck thats fine but at least have the balls to put a name next to your post. I really hate just knowing you as the no name, gullable, Hendry blowing idiot.

SORRY CUBS FAN - I will have to interrupt your argument on why or how bad the Cubs will suck next year.

"Darin: I can think of one good reason -- concern about how right-handed the line-up is."

That is a good reason. Not a good enough one to trade off Lane for. Huff's going to get $6mil (at least), while Lane will play for around $500k. So even if Huff was a switchhitter, it's hard for me to believe he will make the team any better.

No Name,
THe other thing moron is I backed up each and every one of my posts with factual evidence. I dont know if its the Huff post that made you cry (all true though see for yourself) the post about D.Lee and Ramirez not being the best 3-4 combo (again looked up stats before I posted naming the ones who are better) My little teasing of Cubbies in my stove. Or my post about or very talented good as any other first two starters and then followed by my ripping of this team for making absolutely no effort to strenghten a very mediocre at best 3-5 starters. It doesnt do much good to improve the bullpen if youre gonna have essentially 3 starters that can pitch only 6 innings max and on at least half of those starts a good chance you are behind when they do leave. Or are you just a huge Neifi fan who didnt like me saying he could possibly be the worst #2 hitter in baseball (which again I have stats proving that when he hit #2 or leadoff last year he was horrible, as #7 fine but #2 sucks) I dont know about you but I get tired of having to constantly pay for raising season ticket prices off of 3rd and 4th place finishes, talk of expanding the bleachers or screwing the rooftop owners, the Trib having more money than God just about and then spending only 75-90 mil to put a mediocre team out there. I assume you havent been under a rock the last year and know what happend on the other side of town last year and this offseason, WHy cant we demand that same thing with our team? Why do we pick up the Jacque Jones and resign the Neifi Perezs but the other side can find creative ways to come up with trades to get impact player like Thome and a starter who would easily be #3 on the Cubs? Our farm system is rated higher than theirs, there is no excuse. And dont even compare this Cubs lineup to the White SOx of last year. Dye is a much better hitter than Jones, Crede is ten times better defensively than Ramirez, We'll see if Cedeno comes close to Uribe's defense and run production from last year. Iguchi is better than Neifi or Todd Walker as an all around ball player. Pierzynski is the best at calling a game in baseball. Their 3-5 last year completely destroy ours. And maybe the most important they have a manager that knows how to use a bullpen and get the most out of each player, we have a manager that has no clue about pitching management and insists on throwing out his type of players and basically has no motivational skills. See you later Chump

When I said 3-5 that would be starting pitchers not lineup

Darin... I'm not a proponent of Huff for Lane, but Garner loves lefty bats. With Huff and Berkman, Phil would probably have enough balance to keep from screwing with the lineup everyday. I think a little more consistency with the lineup would help this team settle in and produce. So, on paper it doesn't make sense to pay 5 million dollars for a potential downgrade (especially at MMP), but given Garner's tendencies it might be what's best for the team.

Guys, please keep it focused on baseball. Differing opinions are great but have respect.

Wow it's only January 14th, what are you guys gonna be like if things are goin bad in May?

Jake: I have to disagree in regards to Jones beginning a permanent decline; the reasons given by him and insiders as to his dropoff last season (haven't found a valid reason given for his poor offensive output in 2004) are that he had to make up for the loss in production when Hunter went down, and the fact that he had a strained oblique. If he had a strained oblique, that would explain it...I've played for 14 years, and when I have soreness in my abs and ribs, it hurts like a mother to swing a bat, so I can't imagine how much it hurts to swing with a strained muscle in the midsection. As for making up for Hunter, I actually read a breakdown of his stats that analyzed him before and after Hunter went down, and he was batting close to .300 before Hunter went down, and he did appear to drop off dramatically afterwards. Those factors make me hopeful that he can put together a good year in '06. While he does strike out way too much for my liking, I do think he can hit about .270-.285 with around 25 homeruns and 80-85 RBIs. Those numbers are more than adequate, especially factoring in his speed and defensive skills. There's also another reason that I like the Jones signing: He came from Minnesota--an organization that stresses fundamentals as much as any organization in MLB. While he may strike out too much, he's gonna do the little things that haunted the Cubs last year.

In regards to Huff: I don't think his ability to play the corner infield positions is a relevant point in stressing him being signed by the Cubs; they have Mabry as a back-up at the corners, and I don't expect for Lee to miss too many innings anyway. Huff's offensive output has been declining for the last couple of seasons; I do like his plate discipline, but OBP, while important, does not factor in as heavily for a #5 or #6 hitter as it does for a #1-#4 hitter. While I would ideally love to have a lineup that features high OBP guys from 1-8, I would not be willing to trade valuable players and/or prospects to get a high OBP player whose numbers have been getting worse every year for the past couple years who also plays God-awful defense.

To the poster who mentioned Huff playing LF in Minute Maid: honestly, that's really one of the few places where his lack of range wouldn't be over-exposed. Also, take into account that the ball jumps out of that park when hit to LF...yeah, for Huff's sake, he better hope he gets traded to Houston.

Ryan,
Well you can disagree all you want about Huff but the numbers clearly back up him being a much more productive hitter than Jones. If you want to talk about guys making up for having guys go down, and while you have a valid point there. Other than Cantu and Lugo it's not like Huff was surronded by offensive juggernauts in Tampa either. Well I guess we just disagree on Jones. I'd be totally shocked if he hit higher than .260. He has a new league to adjust to and the Metrodome is a better hitters park than Wrigley. The gaps are bigger, the wind doesnt blow in there at all, and its turf as opposed to long, infield grass. My guess is Jones loses at least 15-20 singles at Wrigley basically ones that would skip by on turf at minn but be slowed in the grass at Wrigley. I do agree he should be an upgrade defensively from Burnitz at least in the ground he covers but I was a bit surprised for a guy who does have pretty good speed that he has never stolen more than 13 bases in a year. This is even more surprising when you couple that with the Twins being an aggressive, running team. The Cubs arent half that aggressive so I guess if he steals 10 that would be a good year. The biggest problem I see with Jones is that he's a career .224 hitter when he hits 2nd and .249 hitter when he hits fifth. He does hit over .300 for his career at 7th but unfortunately on this team he will probably hit 5th and as the numbers say that isnt exactly a productive spot for him. In short I think with the right people around him, he can be a good player when he can hit 7th or 2nd. With this team I dont see the right people around him and if he's hitting 5th, I just believe he's very likely to match his career avg of around .250 there. We are on the same page with the strikeouts though. He does strikeout too much for my liking too. I guess I just hate to have a guy hitting 5th that really doesnt scare you. I'm willing to bet if you compare the other 5th place hitters in the national league, Jones stats would rank somewhere near the bottom. I just think Huff has a higher ceiling and at least in the past has shown better offensive production in nearly every area when compared to Jones. It's just puzzling the Cubs paid Jones the money they did for the years they did. I hope it works out, I just have seen Jones enough from watching the Sox and my MLB extra innings package and he doesnt impress me at all with his offensive skills. Hopefully Im wrong and I at least appreciate you disagreeing with me and making some good points and being respectful instead of not leaving your name and saying I piss you off and I suck. I honestly hope you are right and I am wrong about Jones.

What's the point of starting a discussion on this website about anything other than the Cubs, because that's all this turns into. Cubs will be lucky to finish 3rd in the Central. Neither Prior or Woods will pitch over 150 innings. Derek Lee will come back to Earth, and hit within his career numbers. Nefi Perez sucks and Todd Walker will keep wearing a glove made of stone. And every Cubs fan will be upset because other teams are making moves in the offseason too.

"...but given Garner's tendencies it might be what's best for the team."

mmmm, the guy turned around a team destined for failure in '04 and did what no other Astros manager has done two years in a row (win playoff series). So he does make some strange calls at wierd times, but until he actually fails with the Astros, I'm gonna have to call him a pretty good manager.

Don't make the argument that any idiot manager could do what he did.....because the Astros had an idiot manager (Jimmy Williams) who drove the team into the ground, prior to Garner coming on board.

Easy Darin... I'm a huge Garner fan. I think he's a great manager. That doesn't mean he's perfect. He has a tremendous presence and gets the most out of his players, exudes a win at all costs attitude, etc. But I do think he messes with the lineup too much.

He is tons better than Jimy Williams, who platooned Ensberg in 2003 when he was hitting a HR like every 12 ABs, and sat Berkman against lefties commonly. I could not stand Jimy Williams, whose only joy was keeping the double play in order with IBBs.

Again, I don't think Huff for Lane would be good. It might be good IF it created a more stable lineup.

if you have listened to the radio/read the papers, baggy has made it REAL clear he is NOT retiring and freeing up 15.6 mill. there is NO place to put huff and jason lane is a MUCH better player

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