Odds & Ends: Maddux, Valverde, Davis, Felix

Links for Monday…

  • Press release: Greg Maddux has joined the Cubs as an assistant to GM Jim Hendry.  He'll work with the coaching staffs as well as baseball operations.  Click here for the official story. 
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Diamondbacks' interest in Jose Valverde has cooled.  The Tigers made an offer, the magnitude of which is unknown. 
  • Morosi says the Indians are not engaged in trade talks for Jhonny Peralta.
  • ESPN's Keith Law praises the Reds for adding a pitcher with huge upside in Aroldis Chapman.  He also points out that MLB's current draft setup "screws American-born players."
  • David Coleman of The Crawfish Boxes says the Astros drew a line when they designated Julio Lugo for assignment in '03 following domestic violence charges, making their Brett Myers signing seem hypocritical.
  • Free agent lefty Doug Davis is interested in joining the Nationals, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson, but Davis was told the Nats are more focused on adding a second baseman.  Davis acknowledged, "Things are kind of going slow for me because I'm fifth or sixth down the line [when it comes to] starting pitching."
  • Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times talks about the Mariners' need to sign Felix Hernandez long-term before the season begins.
  • Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles evaluates the Giants' Aubrey Huff signing.
  • MLB.com's Doug Miller discusses new defensive stats with experts and team officials.


79 Responses to Odds & Ends: Maddux, Valverde, Davis, Felix Leave a Reply

  1. Davis was turned down by the Nats? That can’t be good for his self-esteem.

    • bucs_lose_again 6 years ago

      Not necessarily. The Nats would be best served going forward with their current rotation rather than spending more money for a marginal upgrade in Davis.

      • It was a joke.

        • Grab some pine, meat. 6 years ago

          After reading what he said, I have a new found respect for Doug Davis. A guy who knows, understands, and embraces his role (5th or 6th starter in this case) is going to pitch a lot better than one who is uncertain of themselves, or worse, someone who has an over inflated ego and thinks they are better than they are. Plus there are certain perks to being low in the rotation, less stress for one.

  2. mick_lowe 6 years ago

    julio?? what a jerk.

    doesn’t roids cause violence sometimes?

    what were the sox thinking of?

  3. not_brooks 6 years ago

    Didn’t read Law’s article, because I’m not an “insider”, but with his comment about how the draft “screws American born players” is he suggesting that all amateur players should be free agents?

    • vtadave 6 years ago

      Knowing Keith, he’s in favor of a worldwide draft. Guys like Chapman would have to compete with the Strasburgs of the world and be selected during the summer amateur draft. This would also include Japanese players like Yu Darvish.

      Personally, I’d love to see something like that happen, but like anything that requires an amendment to the collective bargaining agreement, this one has significant hurdles.

      • Deanezag 6 years ago

        But the world wide draft then screws foreign players.
        If a kid in college is drafted and the team low balls him or whatever then he can go back to college, rebuild his stock and probably get picked higher the next year and get paid more. If Chapman or someone else in his shoes was picked what leverage does he have? Hang out in his country while his family is poor?

        A world wide draft isnt without it’s flaws and ‘screws’ people too, but obviously no situation is without flaws.

      • not_brooks 6 years ago

        A worldwide draft sounds great to me.

        When does the current CBA expire?

      • cdheer 6 years ago

        Not sure you know Keith so well. He’d much rather eliminate the draft, since all it does is keep money out of the hands of players and put it in ownership’s collective pocket.

        And I agree, although I’m realistic enough to know we’ll never see something that fair and equitable.

        • vtadave 6 years ago

          Since we’re talking about being realistic, Keith Law is realistic enough to know that eliminating the draft entirely is well beyond MLB’s comfort zone.

          • cdheer 6 years ago

            I don’t doubt it, but that doesn’t make it right, either.

      • Guest 6 years ago

        If Japanese players were to be included in this WorldWide Draft, they would have to be posted or a FA first right?

  4. If it wasn’t for the current way it is set up, teams would never get upside talent.

  5. SmackSaw 6 years ago

    If Davis doesn’t get an offer, the Dodgers are waiting.

  6. The amateur draft and the international market each have their problems. Despite that we do see productive players coming from both. It would be more of a mess if the amateur draft worked the same way this Chapman circus did. Teams would be overpaying for talent that might not pan out.

    • cdheer 6 years ago

      I disagree. Teams only overpay if they choose to; nothing forces them to. Why would it be any different from the free agent market? Yes, some teams hand out stupid contracts, but they pay the penalty, don’t they?

  7. Couldn’t there be ways around that too? Couldn’t a Japanese team just “sell” a player to a MLB club, thus defeating the point of the world draft?

    • Muggi 6 years ago

      That’s one of the problems. There’s also concerns from a player/agent perspective that a worldwide draft could hurt American-born players even MORE than the current system does…since if it was truly worldwide and ALL entrance into the MLB was handled via draft, younger players across the board could be drafted lower in favor of older, more established players.

      Think of it this way…what team in their right mind was going to draft a kid #1 the year Ichiro decided to come to America? And how much money would an Ichiro-type get as an overall #1? What does his #1 draftee/rookie contract do to the following year’s #1…if its an unproven kid, does he deserve nearly the $ a proven player like Ichiro would get?

      There’s age issues, scouting issues, etc etc…but I think they get something worked out eventually. There’s just no reason a kid like Chapman should be making more money than Strasburg.

  8. Aren’t some team given enough already? Some owners just decide not to spend much on their teams, they get revenue sharing money, they get the opportunity to get the best players in the Draft and control them for many years, now, you want to give them the international players too?

    Serious questions, If Strasburgs wanted to sign as an international player, could’t he do so? So bcus he was born in the US he needs to go through the draft?

    Law s forgetting that these kids that come through the draft come out with an college degree and are given scholarships. Some how they have it easier by living here in the US. Do you know how hard it is for a poor kid to even get a glove to play ball? how about their every day food, many of them can’t even afford a Gatorate or a protein shake.

    • cdheer 6 years ago

      Not everyone that comes through the draft has a college degree; many are high school prospects.

      • High School prospects that go in the 1st round usually get close to what international players get with the same price.

        I mean, the international players that sign big contracts aren’t usually rookies. If you entered Ichiro in a draft to sign for cheap money, he wouldn’t even bother coming over here when he can make more money in Japan

  9. Dylan 6 years ago

    Could you imagine if Strassburg or Harper had/has this type leverage? Harper would prob. get double of anything that Chapman got, and that goes for Strassburg.

  10. Red_Line_9 6 years ago

    Chapman and Strasburg would have about the same leverage as any high picks. They could choose to go play in an independent league risking injury and re-enter the draft. Anyone willing to bite the bullet on a multi-million dollar contract offer isn’t too overly concerned about his poor family. Why some of these players re-enter is beyond me because they don’t tend to rise in draft position, and often sign for less the next summer. The only players with any real bargaining power or the college juniors who can go back to school.

  11. Red_Line_9 6 years ago

    Sure, but it would increase the talent down through the draft. The Royals or Pirates would get a crack at Ichiro and the mid tier teams would get a chance at higher level amateur talent.

    There’s something to be said for full-blown amateur free agency. The Yankees can’t sign everyone. It would be make or break time for small market scouting departments.

  12. Philip Marlowe 6 years ago

    Do we have a source or any more information on the Maddux thing? I’ve been saying for years that he should be working for the Cubs, whether in the front office or in the coaching staff.

  13. crunchy1 6 years ago

    The Cubs say that Maddux will help Hendry with talent evaluation and work with player development as well working with major and minor league coaches during spring training.

    Wow. We need help in all those areas! I hope Maddux is as cerebral when it comes to player development and talent evaluation as he was in breaking down hitters. Reportedly, he’s going to be involved in minor league player development during the season. If he can get great arms like Cashner, J.Jackson, Carpenter, Rhee, etc. to absorb even a fraction of that pitching brain then it gives the Cubs something exciting to look forward to in the future.

    • Suzysman 6 years ago

      The downside to the helping the pitchers part – hasnt he said (and/or it been said) numerous times that he would make a horrible pitching coach?

      I am excited about his being involved in the areas Hendry so clearly falls waaaayyy short. But unless I am mistaking MadDog for another Braves pitcher, I dont expect much in the way of improved pitching.

      • crunchy1 6 years ago

        Being a pitching coach at the major league level is different, though. I think it has to do with his personality. With the Cubs, he always waited for people to come up to him but he was more than willing to let pitchers pick his brain. I’m thinking he didn’t want to be a pitching coach and be responsible for approaching veterans and tinkering with their pitches…something I’m sure he probably didn’t want or need as a player.

        I think it’s different when you’re a minor league kid. You want that help and that coaching, especially from someone like Maddux. Unless you’re stubborn and uncoachable (i.e. like Corey Patterson), you’ve got to respect his knowledge of the game. He’s going to have a chance to install his philosophy early on in people’s careers. This might fit his personality better. There’s a difference when you get a chance to look at things globally – like player development – or a short-term day-to-day micro management position like a pitching coach. I know personally that I would prefer the former by a huge margin over the latter.

        • Suzysman 6 years ago

          True. And no matter what, it has to be a major improvement :) Just curbing my enthusiasm a little bit as it was at the ‘run naked through the streets’ joy-level initially upon reading the news. Lol

          The interesting thing is this – is this a Ricketts hiring more then a Henry hiring? Will Maddux be the new GMs apprentice once Hendry is canned? Nah, probably getting myself overly excited again. But… :)

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            LOL! We’re all pretty excited, I think. But we probably have learned not to expect too much from the Cubs! Curb Your Enthusiasm…now there’s another great show…can’t think of any quotes though.

            “Will Maddux be the new GMs apprentice once Hendry is canned?

            You know I thought the same thing and judging some of the other posts, we’re not the only two with that idea. I’d really like to know what Maddux’s philosophy is toward talent evaluation/player development. One thing for sure: You know he has to value cutting down walks and keeping the ball in the park. That’s gotta be a good thing…

          • Suzysman 6 years ago

            Maybe his first order of business will be talking Hendry into trusting one of the 20+ BP arms on staff instead of blowing what little money we have on another pen guy while completely ignoring the gigantic black hole that is the bench.

            Bad thing – this could just be a PR move by Ricketts to take peoples attention away from Mr. Jimmy-Boy Magoo, aka Elmer Fudd :/ Nah, still holding out hope that they have a new GM in mind and MadDog will be the apprentice to him. Does Maddux have any strong connections to GMs that we know of? Towers possibly? :) :) :)

            (please let Towers and Greg have a great relationship that possibly leads to a GM/Apprentice situation in the very, very near future!)

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            A PR move just before the Cubs Convention this weekend? Hmmmm.

            No doubt Maddux needs to work his way up. He’s got great tools to start with: his analytical skills, his ability and willingness to prepare thoroughly…but there’s more to being a GM than that. You have to play nice with others or you could wind up being the next Larry Himes (couple that with their acrimonious contract negotiations and you can scratch Himes off that mentor list!). There’s also the business aspect. Towers would fit the bill on both those accounts, I think.

            One thing Jimmy Magoo can do while he’s still there is to help Maddux begin networking with other front office types. Everybody likes Jimmy Magoo as a person; he’s a nice guy. He’s just in over his head with every other aspect of being a GM.

          • Suzysman 6 years ago

            “A PR move just before the Cubs Convention this weekend? Hmmmm.”

            :(

            Think JimmyBoy is just tired of us bashing him and gave us something to be happy about?

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            A friend of mine unexpectedly had an extra pass so I’m going to be there. Coincidentally, we’ll be getting there at the same time Hendry is scheduled on Saturday. I’m curious as to what the overall reception will be.

          • Suzysman 6 years ago

            please ask him to step down from his position for us all :DHave fun though! And yes, do let us know how the reception is.

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            Thanks. It’s the first time I’m going in about 10 years…Anyway, I hope I do get a chance to talk to Hendry…I’ll try to convince him to do the right thing!

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            Thanks. It’s the first time I’m going in about 10 years…Anyway, I hope I do get a chance to talk to Hendry…I’ll try to convince him to do the right thing!

          • Suzysman 6 years ago

            please ask him to step down from his position for us all :DHave fun though! And yes, do let us know how the reception is.

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            A friend of mine unexpectedly had an extra pass so I’m going to be there. Coincidentally, we’ll be getting there at the same time Hendry is scheduled on Saturday. I’m curious as to what the overall reception will be.

          • Suzysman 6 years ago

            “A PR move just before the Cubs Convention this weekend? Hmmmm.”

            :(

            Think JimmyBoy is just tired of us bashing him and gave us something to be happy about?

  14. Suzysman 6 years ago

    “Press release: Greg Maddux has joined the Cubs as an assistant to GM Jim Hendry. He’ll work with the coaching staffs as well as baseball operations.”

    Woohoo! Someone smart in the front office!

  15. Awesome! Always loved Maddux, even when he was in Atlanta. The guy is extremely smart and his knowledge of players and the game can only help Hendry. I would guess that he’ll have input on the Cubs next manager meaning that Sandberg likely gets the job. The Cubs braintrust can use all the help it can get and if Maddux’s abilities transfer to the front office as it did to the field the Cubs will be in much better hands. I feel more comfortable with the front office now knowing that he’s going to be a part of it. Let’s hope Hendry is willing to listen to Maddux like he used to listen to Dusty.

    • Suzysman 6 years ago

      “Let’s hope Hendry is willing to listen to Maddux like he used to listen to Dusty.”

      This sentence makes me want to cry

      • Yeah, me too. And with Lou’s recent obsession with a left-handed hitter and Hendry signing Bradley to make that happen you know he’s still listening to his people. Hopefully Maddux gives his input and Hendry listens, I’d trust Greg’s judgment regarding baseball players more than almost anyone else.

        • Suzysman 6 years ago

          “And with Lou’s recent obsession with a left-handed hitter and Hendry signing Bradley”

          Only problem is that Lou wanted Ibanez or Abreu, not Bradley. We only got stuck with the nutcase because Hendry is a cheap date – which he apparently is proud of, deciding to tell us multiple times about the wonderful candlelight dinner Bradley invited him to that had him swooning. :(

          Otherwise, yes, do hope he listens to Greg as I trust him quite a bit and infinitely more then I trust Hendry on his own, lol

    • crunchy1 6 years ago

      “Let’s hope Hendry is willing to listen to Maddux.”

      I’d be interested to see what Maddux values in a pitcher. We know that Hendry values big guys with big arms in the early rounds– making you wonder if he would have ever drafted Maddux had he been in charge back then. Hopefully Maddux will offer some balance to that philosophy.

      • Yeah, I hope he gives his insight on that. I’m also curious to see if any Cub players go through any extended slumps this year. With Maddux’s insight I would guess he’ll be able to help identify problems (mechanical or otherwise) that the players are having. He’ll also be able to give good scouting reports on other teams. I realize he’s not a magician but after watching him play so long I do think he’s kind of a savant when it comes to baseball. He can only help.

  16. crunchy1 6 years ago

    According to the press release: “Maddux’ responsibilities will include assisting the coaching staffs at major league and minor league spring training, assisting in the development of Cubs minor leaguers during the regular season and assisting Hendry and the baseball operations department in talent evaluation.”Talent evaluation! Player Development! Yeah, I’ll go out on a limb and say we need help in both those areas.

    • Suzysman 6 years ago

      That “limb” is around the size of the Skyway, so yeah you are probably safe going out on that one :p

      • crunchy1 6 years ago

        Just read this on the ESPN site:

        “Maddux will be at Hendry’s disposal to evaluate minor-league affiliates and to provide input on trades or potential free-agent signings.”

        Input on trades? Free Agent signings??!! This just keeps getting better.

        • Suzysman 6 years ago

          No kidding.

          But “at disposal”? See, that makes it sounds as if he was hired for JimmyBoy, not by him.

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            Good point…if it is a Ricketts hire, it’s a good sign in that he understands Hendry needs a cooler, more analytical mind to balance him (and possibly replace him one day). It’s a good sign that he recognizes Hendry’s major weakness and is trying to shore that up. Hendry’s biggest strength is that he’s a people guy; he builds relationships easy. Because of that, some guys like Beane and the old Pirates old GM, Littlefield, are willing to play nice with him, but there are too many GMs out there that don’t. They understand the game better and they take advantage of it. We don’t know how Maddux will be in his role as an Asst. GM, but we know he’ll be analytical and know one will beat him when it comes to preparation. He isn’t going to just wing it out there. It just isn’t his style. And that alone is a refreshing change.

          • studio179 6 years ago

            Personally, it does not matter if it is a Ricketts or Hendry hire. Ricketts is a fan. What Cub fan would not want Maddux in the organization. Maybe he asked Hendry to get it done. Hendry does have a great deal of respect for Maddux, so maybe he asked Ricketts and got the wheels in motion. I care less who made the inital contact and more happy that he is in the Cub organization. :) Maybe the ‘new Cubs’ will actually make the right and obvious moves like this one.

          • crunchy1 6 years ago

            It looks like Maddux was actually a Hendry hire…so you called it in one of your posts. According to the Cubs website, Hendry’s been after him for 2 months.

          • Suzysman 6 years ago

            Well it matters a little bit as in it could have been an indication of the Ricketts recognizing the shortcomings of Hendry. Sadly, it seems it was a Hendry thing though, so we still dont have anything really saying they are questioning Hendry :(

          • studio179 6 years ago

            I hope they are questioning Hendry. I hope they are questioning Kenney’s role in all of this, too. Other Cub presidents should be questioned but are no longer there. So Kenney and Hendry are left.

          • Suzysman 6 years ago

            Well it matters a little bit as in it could have been an indication of the Ricketts recognizing the shortcomings of Hendry. Sadly, it seems it was a Hendry thing though, so we still dont have anything really saying they are questioning Hendry :(

  17. baseball52 6 years ago

    Maddux as GM in waiting?

  18. “Press release: Greg Maddux has joined the Cubs as an assistant to GM Jim Hendry. He’ll work with the coaching staffs as well as baseball operations.”

    Smartest move Hendry has or will ever make.

  19. Keith Law is in the back pockets of the big market clubs so much that it is ridiculous. He thinks that the draft should be eliminated entirely so that the big market teams could get ALL of the best players both foreign and domestic. As it is now, they almost do that. Small market teams can’t afford the ridiculous signing bonuses demanded by the top US talent so they pass on that talent to select players that they can afford. For example, would Tyler Matzek have last so long last June if there were a hard bonus cap to the draft? The answer is probably not…he would have been drafted within the top four picks of the draft.

    The only fair thing to do is to make all 1st year players subject to the draft (both US and foreign) and have a hard bonus slot.

    If Keith Law had his way, baseball as we know it today would cease to exist. Only teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, etc. would have the money to be competitive. The small market teams would then just be glorified minor league systems for those few big market clubs.

    • cdheer 6 years ago

      I’m not going to bother to respond to this nonsense rant, other than to say that unless you can substantiate your claim that Law is “in the back pockets of the big market clubs” it will be difficult to take you seriously.

      • Let me guess…….you are a fan of one of the big market teams. I have read Keith Law’s columns many,many times and everything he wants favors the big market clubs and hurts the small market clubs. He seems to think that all teams have pockets just as deep as the Yankees but refuse to spend the money. However, he never offers any proof. He repeatedly states that there should be no salary cap, that there should be no hard bonus slotting system in the draft, he is against forcing international players to be subject to the draft, etc. Every single one of these things hurts teams like the Marlins, Pirates, etc. but helps the Red Sox, Yankees, etc. He is a writer who lives and works in NYC for ESPN (the Yankee loving network). If you can’t see this guy’s bias against the small market teams then you haven’t read his columns objectively.

  20. sunking1056 6 years ago

    Glad to know Maddux will still be around baseball. Though I remember a rumor from within the last year that he was going to be an assistant at Braves spring training this year. Oh well.

  21. BaseballFan0707 6 years ago

    In other words, Maddux is the new GM and Hendry is just a figurehead now, more or less.
    /sarcasm.

    Seriously, though, this has Maddux as future Cubs GM written all over it.

    • cdheer 6 years ago

      I love Maddux as much as anyone, but let’s not assume this is a great thing. I don’t think there’s any evidence one way or the other that Maddux has any skills in terms of evaluation, etc.

      • crunchy1 6 years ago

        One thing we do know, however, is that Maddux is a student of the game — something we haven’t had in our front office in a long time. Maddux found out everything he could about hitters he faced. You have to think he’ll have that same dilligence as an evaluator. I agree that we don’t know how Maddux will turn out as a front office guy, but we do know he will be analytical, intelligent, and a hard worker…and those are some pretty good ingredients to start with.

  22. samardzijaIstheman 6 years ago

    does this mean cubs organization will make a few less idiotic moves?

  23. mike8709 6 years ago

    David Coleman, Gerry Hunsicker was the Houston Astros GM in 2003. Ed Wade is the current GM. If this wife-beater Myers helps us get to the World Series, apparently Ed has no problem with it.

  24. Whether he is the back pocket or not, advocating the end of the draft would have the effect described by Kelly above.

    • cdheer 6 years ago

      If you say so. Wasn’t it just the Reds that signed Chapman?

      Small-market teams sign big international prospects all the time.

  25. studio179 6 years ago

    First, the Maddux signing is something I have been hoping to happen for a long time. He always was willing to teach guys, but they had to come to him as a player. I have to believe this was a Hendry hire as opposed to Ricketts telling Hendry to hire him. Ofcourse, he had to get ownership’s permission. Hendry always was a huge fan of Greg as a player, person and baseball insight. On the other hand, Ricketts is a Cub fan. What Cub fan would not want Greg Maddux as part of their organization. Either way, I highly doubt Hendry would blink if he was told to go get him. Great, great organizational move by Ricketts, Hendry and the Cubs.

    With Sandberg being groomed as Lou’s replacement, Cub fans will be looking at blasts from the past in Maddux and Sandberg. Both were not only great HOF players that played the game the right way, but seem like they can help the organization with their future roles. Something that connects the past, but more importantly, two former players who can succeed and not be just names to market.

    • crunchy1 6 years ago

      I”I have to believe this was a Hendry hire as opposed to Ricketts telling Hendry to hire him.”

      Interesting take and good call. Just read this on the Cubs website:

      “Hendry approached Maddux about the assistant’s job a couple of months ago.”

      I didn’t think about how the move suits both Ricketts and Hendry well. I do think Maddux is the perfect complement to Hendry in terms of the skills he brings.

      • studio179 6 years ago

        I could not agree more. I know this is not a current on the field move, but this is a huge move for the organization in the long run. This move can only help.

  26. Bravesmaniac 6 years ago

    i wish greg maddux would’ve come to the braves, but there isnt a need, i hope he returns to the braves someday

  27. Hoosierdaddy92 6 years ago

    if the tigers get Valverde, and he has the same annual salary as Granderson, I am going to be so pissed. they dont figure to win many games, so i dont see the point of this acquisition, especially considering they lose a draft pick. Id rather they give the young guys like schelereth, coke, zumaya, perry. these guys are the future of the bullpen. I only want the Tigers to make like 1 or 2 cheap moves. Give endy chavez a minor league deal. Give Rick Ankiel/Randy Winn close to a minor league deal (prefer ankiel since he has power) and switch him and carlos guillen out of LF and DH to keep them both healthy.

  28. abravesfan 6 years ago

    I’m slightly bummed that Maddux is working for the Cubs instead of the Braves. I can definitely see him as a shrewed GM or even manager down the line.

  29. crunchy1 6 years ago

    I think Maddux can still outpitch Carlos Silva.

Leave a Reply