Cubs Sign Bryan LaHair To A Minor League Deal

The Cubs have signed first baseman Bryan LaHair to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com.

LaHair, 27, received 150 plate appearances with the Mariners in 2008, hitting .250/.315/.346. The lefty swinger is a career .284/.352/.480 hitter in over 1,700 Triple-A plate appearances, so he'll get a chance to show he can contribute something off the bench.


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51 Comments on "Cubs Sign Bryan LaHair To A Minor League Deal"


Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Brian LaHair is powerful. The Cubs are trying to repeat what they gave to Andre Dawson. They hope Brian LaHair will be the NL MVP!

5 years 6 months ago

Are there plans to move Hoffpauir?

Jiujitsu411420
5 years 6 months ago

I really hope we make a few more moves in the weeks to come……they usually say when a team is silent they might be working on things……soooo….lets sign say Orlando Hudson and either Kiko Calero or Octavio Dotel…..please redeem yourself a little Jim Hendry!

firealyellon
5 years 6 months ago

La Fail

ophaq2
5 years 6 months ago

Hendry redeeming himself by signing Octavio Dotel? As long as he doesn’t give the kind of money the Sawx gave him…I’m good. Orlando Hudson though? Now you’re talkin!

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

A pretty inconsequential move. It’d be nice to hear that the Cubs are looking for a RH hitter off the bench. In fact, it’d be nice to upgrade on both Hoffpauir and Fuld but realistically, I’d settle for one good reserve corner outfielder who could fill in for Fukudome against lefties, and who is good enough to play everyday for a while when Soriano gets hurt.

5 years 6 months ago

It is funny that everyone seems to rip on Ryan Theriot and then they want an older 2B base version of Theriot that doesn’t steal as many bases… With Theriot, Fontenot, Baker, Blanco, and Castro on the horizon, I cannot see the Cubs making a move for a middle infielder.

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

Agree here. The Cubs really aren’t even considering adding a second basemen with what little room they have in their budget. They’re going to hope Castro is ready sometime this year and bumps Theriot to 2b and Baker to a utility role. They plan on spending their money on a relief pitcher (a bad use of limited funds, in my opinion) and/or bat off the bench, which is a better strategy considering how fragile some of our middle of the lineup hitters are and how Fukudome needs someone to frequently spell him against lefties. My bet is they waste what’s left on a reliever and use Baker to spell Fukudome in right and as the backup plan to both Soriano and A-Ram. If they plan to do that, they better hope Castro is ready and as good as advertised because, in the event of an injury, I’m not too excited about seeing Baker in the middle of the lineup and a Fontenot/Blanco tandem at 2b over any length of time.

hoostinohambone
5 years 6 months ago

Yo Crunchy…I’d like to improve our infield defense, so I’m not opposed to moving Theriot to 2B now and give Blanco a chance at SS. This way, Theriot gets reacquainted with 2B and gives us a much better defensive SS. If our starters are healthy and produce like they did in ’08 (Soto, Soriano), I think we can live with Blanco in the 8-hole. Thoughts? Take care…peaceyo

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

I’m not opposed to the idea of Theriot moving to 2b early, but I don’t think he’ll have much trouble adjusting to the position. He played a lot of 2b early in his career, both in the minors and in his first couple of years with the Cubs.

I’d be a little concerned with moving Blanco to SS on an everyday basis because I’m afraid that his lack of offense would hurt more than his defense would help. Although Theriot is a better secondbasemen than a SS, he isn’t horrible at SS either. And neither Fontenot nor Baker was a liability last year at 2b. In the end, I think a Theriot at SS and Baker/Fontenot at 2b is better overall than a Blanco/Theriot combo, even when you factor in the defense. The Cubs best hope to solve their 2b problem is that Castro continues his rapid climb and is ready sometime this year — the sooner the better!

firealyellon
5 years 6 months ago

Casrto won’t play an inning at short (unless they’re out of it and is a Sept. call-up) this year. end of story.

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

Oh…well, of course, if you say so…Does Piniella know you’re the last word on roster decisions?

firealyellon
5 years 6 months ago

he’s 19. hanley ramirez was 22 before seeing the majors. don’t take my word, no serious talent evaluators think he’ll make a contribution in 2010.

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

And Elvis Andrus was 19 last year until he turned 20 in late August. Castro will be 20 in March and likely starting in either AA or AAA…either way it’s not a huge jump to the majors. Regardless, you take each guy on a case-by-case basis. To speak on it as if you’re an authority — including being an authority on who is a “serious talent evaluator” (whoever they may be) only says that you are confident in your opinion. But really… does that count for anything when you have absolutely no control over the situation? Castro may or may not play this year with the Cubs, but that isn’t going to be a decision made by you or the anonymous “serious talent evaluators”. It’s one thing to have an opinion, but trying to pass it off as the absolute gospel is little more than hubris.

firealyellon
5 years 6 months ago

c’mon….it’s not my opinion, try: baseball prospectus, baseball america, fangraphs…heck ask your buddy Suzy

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

Baseball America: “Castro’s stellar AFL performance further accelerated his timetable. He’ll probably open 2010 back in Tennessee because Darwin Barney is slated for Triple-A Iowa, but there’s rumbling that Castro could be in Chicago by season’s end.”Fangraphs: “he’ll probably be the Cubs’ starting shortstop before his 21st birthday.” (that would be this year)
Dave Keller, the Cubs’ Minor League hitting coordinator, projects Castro will be with the big league club by the middle of the 2010 season.

But, hey, that’s irrelevant anyway. They aren’t the Cubs decision makers. And I’m just saying he has a chance to make it… I’m not the one speaking on absolute terms. Neither is BA or Fangraphs. You’re the only one with that sort of hubris.

firealyellon
5 years 6 months ago

i’ll send you $10 bucks in the mail if Castro has an at bat before September this year.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

yeah, I do kind of have to agree with him.

First, we dont have anywhere to put him. All of Baker, Fontenot and Blanco are out of options so its not like Castro can easily be added to the roster. If he is called up, it probably wont be until the rosters expand in September.

Second, he will be a 20 year old rookie with 122 PA in AA and less then a full season in AAA if he were called up. Now Lou has a problem playing rookies anyway. But this wouldnt just be a rookie – this would be a rookie with almost no high-level pro experience.

And that experience? Well he hasnt even really produced in pro-ball yet. His .301/.354/.403/.757 line in the minors so far isnt really anything to brag about, and the .288/.347/.396/.744 last year in Tenn is really weak. He has the tools to be pretty good, but those tools havent produced much yet. Castro, Colvin, Vitters, Castillo – they are all more projection then actual production prospects. They have the tools to be really good; whether or not those tools ever fully develop is another story though.

Oh, and yes, Castro did very well in the Arizona Fall League. But think about what that actually means

26G, 101 AB, 38 Hits, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 14 K, .376/.396/.475/.871, with a .425 BAbip, 2.8 BB% and 13.9 K%

That means
Minors – 6.8 BB%, 12.4 K%, .60 BB/K, .102 ISO, 6.3 XBH%, .335 BAbip
In AFL – 2.8 BB%, 13.9 K%, .21 BB/K, .099 ISO, 6.6 XBH%, .425 BAbip

You can see that the BAbip is the only real increase from Minors to AFL, going from expected to beyond unrealistic. Otherwise, he got worse everywhere else. If we correct the BAbip giving him a more realistic .333, he loses 8 hits and his line drops down to .297/.321/.396/.717 which is worse then the .288/.347/.396/.744 (with .333 BAbip) he posted in AA last season in 122 PA

Note also that AFL line also came in a league where the average player hit .283/.360/.443/.803 with a .339 BAbip – this was a league with really poor pitching.

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

I’m not saying that Castro will be up or even that he should be unless, of course, he earns it. I’m only saying that the Cubs better hope he’s ready and as good as advertised…and there’s every possibility he will be called up. I’m also not even saying he’ll be a star. It’s too early for that. What I am saying is that someone pronouncing it with a definitive “he won’t play an inning this year…end of story” was laughable. Same with the cherry picking of Hanley Ramirez when he had a more recent example in Andrus…then you have him claiming support from sources which obviously disagree with his stance. It was a hubris filled, poorly thought out comment. If he tells me that in his opinion Castro will not be called up and has legitimate support that’s one thing…but neither applies here. He stated it like it was fact and his so-called support from BA, Fangraphs was non-existent.

If you’re saying you don’t think he’ll be called up for the reasons you stated above that’s one thing. If you say the odds are against him coming up until September, I’d probably even agree. But if you’re going to tell me he won’t get called up “end of story” well, then I would think that’s just plain silly.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Okay, let me rephrase – I agree with what he is basically saying, but dont agree with the way he said it.

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

That’s pretty much what my beef was too…and I was feeling a little feisty today :)

MikeyStew
5 years 6 months ago

I agree with you in part,but I Look at the Cards with the addition of another power “Bat” and I am very concern. We need more offense and should think about improving more postions in the lineup, like 2nd base and SS. Watch out for the Cards , they are making a statement and could be first in the Central Division for years to come.
Mikeystew.

5 years 6 months ago

Never heard of this TheHair guy, I bet he’s got a sweet mullet or maybe a solid ducktail? 😉

twentytwo
5 years 6 months ago

LaHair=Hoffpauir

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

LaHairpauir?

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

LaHairpauir? As in Sampson?

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

Exactly!

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Okay, good.”Sampson” is much better then “the Bunny Twins”, which was my other option :)

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

Though “bunny twins” might describe their likely production better than Samson. The more I read about the Cubs, the more I think they’re going after a lefty instead of a righty bat. Once again, they’re concerned with their all righty lineup. So either they’re not going to worry about Fukudome against lefties, use Jeff Baker in RF, or re-sign Reed Johnson. If they can get Reed Johnson back to be the back up CF and play against some lefties for Fukudome I think I can live with it, but we’re going to have to come up with a better bench bat than Fuld, LaHair, Hoffpauir or Snyder (yet another old prospect in AAA that they’re considering). Forget the reliever, let’s just get two bats.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

“Forget the reliever, let’s just get two bats.”

Yet yesterday Hendry was connected to a Heath Bell trade.

Which, oh goody – we will trade two top prospects and spend what little cash we have on Bells arbitration to upgrade the bullpen but ignore the bench completely :(

Dont get me wrong, Bell = me wanty! But I dont understand how he seems to obsessively feel this is out biggest issue when we already have 20+ capable BP arms but nothing overly useful in the way of bench or OF depth.

Cosmo3
5 years 6 months ago

Hey just wanted to throw this out there: remember a year or so ago when it seemed like the majority of Cub fans on this site were calling for Hoffpaur to be the starting 1st baseman and D-Lee to be traded? It’s just funny how fast everyone jumps on a guy’s bandwagon after success in a limited number of PA. Who wants Hoff instead of Lee now?

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Whoo hooo! We Signed a bench upgrade!!!

Wait, what? Who the heck is Bryan LaHair? A 27 years old with the last four years in AAA? Dont we develop boatloads of these guys ourselves? And this one has a Triple-A average 9% Non-IBB rate with gigantic 22+ K% marks? AAA lines with a .340 Babip and .196 ISO but still only .832 OPS in a league where the average is .316 BAbip, 154 ISO and .773 OPS over his time? Oh joy :(

But ideally he is just minor league filler, so no big deal I guess. Well, unless this signing is to replace Hoffpauir off the Iowa roster – that would indicate Hendry is getting ready to have Micah on the big league squad which leads us to the big issue of the entire offseason…

Hoffpauir and Fuld do not represent a ML bench, and this is compounded greatly when the starting OF they are backing up consists of an injury prone falling apart Left, a career 4th OF now getting a starting gig in Center and a imported Japanese school girl who cant hit lefties in Right. We need to replace Hoff off the 25-man, not find a replacement for him in Iowa!

Hendry, do your dang job properly will you!

5 years 6 months ago

I really think this was just for depth. I mean Hoffpauir and Fox where the starters last year for AAA so LaHair is probably going to be their all year. Unless Hoffpauir goes into a slump again and LaHair comes up he has had a couple 20+ homer seasons in Seattle’s minor league organizations. The projected line up will beC- Geovany Soto1B- Derrek Lee2B- Jeff Baker/ Mike Fontenot platoon3B- Aramis RamirezSS- Ryan TheriotLF- Alfonso SorianoCF- Marlon ByrdRF- Kosuke FukudomeBenchC- Koyie HillINF- Baker/ FontenotOF- Sam Fuld1B/ OF- Micah HoffpauirOF- Adduci/ Colvin or INF- Blanco

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Your bench is missing Blanco and his spot will be at the expense of Adduci/Colvin. The true bench looks like

Hill
Blanco
Fontenot/Baker (whoever isnt starting)
Fuld
Hoffpauir

and that bench just might represent the worst in the game. I cringe thinking about pinch-hit situations – or worse, when Soriano and Ramirez inevitably land on the DL :(

5 years 6 months ago

how is it that Ramirez will inevitably land on the DL? He had one fluke injury last year that kept him out but has been essesntially healthy as a Cub since 2003.

Soriano? Yes…he will spend time on the DL, no doubt.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Well, over the last 4 years he has missed games for

April 06 – Hamstring, Sept 06 – Quad, April 07 – Wrist, June 07 – Left patella (Knee), tendonitis (15 day DL), Aug 07 – Knee (reagrivated, misses 6 more games), May 08 – Left wrist, April 09 – Back, May 09 – Calf, May 09 – Left Shoulder (misses 50 games for surgery), Aug and Sept 09 – Left arm/Left Shoulder hurting every 10 or so days after the surgery

He has one season with +150 games played the last 6 years, and only 3 with +133 games (or, under 30 missed) over that time. He averaged 21 games missed a season over 5 years even before the 2009 shoulder injury season. Even if not always landing on the DL, we should expect chunks of time where he is out of the lineup.

studio179
5 years 6 months ago

Just a move, but all in all, the Cub bench is weak right now. The middle infield bench is not much, but that is what they will start in 2010. I sure hope Rudy is all he has been sold to be as a hitting coach. I see players who are questionable AAAA types and weak hitting from this current Cub bench. Hendry needs a solid, back up outfielder. That is the area he needs to focus on and spend what little budget he has left.

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

I agree although I haven’t heard the Cubs connected with any available 4th outfielders. Knowing our history, we’re probably still rummaging through the reliever pile!

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Yep. Why is Hendry so obsessed over relievers with poor command? It seems 95% of the teams transactions involve a reliever with poor command being added :(

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Looked up the numbers on our current bench

Hill (31 years old)
Career .215/.286/.304/.589 in 543 PA
Career .200/.273/.300/.573 pinch hitting (22 PA)
Minors .227/.320/.364/.684 pinch hitting (25 PA)

Baker (29 years old)
Career .247/.306/.379/.685 in 477 PA (outside Coors Field)
Career .176/.255/.275/.530 pinch hitting (102 PA)
Minors .200/.429/.200/.629 pinch hitting (7 PA with 1 single and 2 walks)

Fontenot (30 years old)
Career .266/.339/.422/.761 in 968 PA
Career .208/.308/.351/.658 pinch hitting (92 PA)
Minors .150/.320/.300/.620 pinch hitting (25 PA)

Blanco (26 years old)
Career .252/.295/.324/.619 in 387 PA
Career .333/.333/.500/.833 pinch hitting (8 PA, with 1 Single and 1 Dbl)
Minors .143/.333/.143/.476 pinch hitting

Hoffpauir (30 years old)
Career .264/.323/.453/.776 in 337 PA
Career .222/.300/.352/.652 pinch hitting (60 PA)
Minors .250/.235/.313/.548 pinch hitting (17 PA)

Fuld (28 years old)
Career .282/.403/.388/.792 in 124 PA
Career .188/.278/.188/.465 pinch hitting (18 PA)
Minors .333/.571/.333/.904 pinch hitting (14 PA with 5 walks and 3 singles)

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

Scotch, please!

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Make it a double!

Seriously, Bottom of the 9th, men on 1st and 2nd with 2 out and Hoffman on the mound with the pitcher up. Who do we pinch hit with out of that group? Lou might as well pick up a bat himself :(

studio179
5 years 6 months ago

That’s what I was saying. I looked up the numbers of the Cub bench as it stands now. I didn’t take the time to post them as you did, but when you look at what is coming in the game, it is not pretty. Key situations and switches Lou always makes calls for a strong bench with his managing style. You would think going in the fourth year with Lou as manager, that a strong bench would be sort of a goal. I don’t know, just thinking it might be important. As it stands, the bench is made up of just ‘guys’.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah, been complaining about this inevitable situation for a while now myself. That’s why I was really hopping for a Burrell acquisition in the Bradley dump – it would have provided the bench upgrade and kept Silva off the pitching squad. Trading Bradley and ending up with Castillo would have worked as well – it would have forced a trade of Fontenot which ideally would have resulted in a bench upgrade. But instead Hendry lets his self-created financial issues and illogical obsessions guide his path, and here we are…

5 years 6 months ago

i was thinking LaHoffpair

5 years 6 months ago

a few games here and there won’t force you to over expose an iffy bench. most guys play 135-145 any way.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

If the average positional player even manages to play 140 games, that is 176 games worth of AB given to the bench – roughly 700 PA and about 12% of the non-pitcher PA. Last year our starters managed only 4040 of 5880 non-pitcher PA though, which left 1840 PA for the bench. That is 31.3% of the teams non-pitching PA going to the bench in 2009.

Plus two of the above players will actually account for the 2B position, so combined this list of players (barring their being kept on the roster) is probably going to make up at least 25-30% of the teams non-pitcher Plate Appearances in 2010. I say that is enough time to over-expose them.

formerdraftpick
5 years 6 months ago

That’s a shame Bryan LaHair is a pretty good player. I wish he could have ended up on a team where he would get more of a chance. The cubs are log jammed with 1b to the point where they are trying to convert them to outfielders. He would have been better off with the Cardinals, Royals, or Pirates.

jadestaup
5 years 6 months ago

Well, LaHair was a top Mariner prospect at one time. Still, I would have rather kept Fox. Fact is, We will be forced to deal Lee and Ramirez by July. We suck, we have no bench, our pitching is awful and our farm with the exception of a couple guys (Castro, Cashner, Vitters and Tony Thomas) has been depleted to buy washed up nobodies.

cubsfan25
5 years 6 months ago

Would anybody be opposed to this lineup until Castro is ready?

2B – Ryan Theriot
RF – Kosuke Fukudome
1B – Derrek Lee
3B – Aramis Ramirez
CF – Marlon Byrd
LF – Alfonso Soriano
C – Geovany Soto
SS – Andres Blanco

5 years 6 months ago

Played high school ball at Evergreen Park High School with Jim Adduci. Below average power, slightly above average speed, probably a .250 hitter in the bigs just like his dad was 😉