12/16 Cubs keep eye on Escobar

The Cubs sent a scout to watch Kelvim Escobar throw in Venezuela. The right-hander had surgery in 2008 to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He won 18 games in 2007 but has been limited to one game over the last two in the big leagues because of shoulder problems. Other teams watching Escobar throw included the Rays, Brewers, Giants, Pirates, Tigers, Mariners and A’s.

The Cubs are looking for some experience in the bullpen, and also were talking to the agent for Matt Capps, the Pirates closer who was not tendered a contract on Saturday.

— Carrie Muskat 


Didn’t Hendry trade Marquis last year for “experience in the bullpen”? How long did that last? A week? It would be nice if Hendry didn’t automatically tie together experience with talent. He should be looking for talent in the bullpen and maybe look under his nose. Why he needs to keep an eye on Escobar AT THIS TIME is so typical. I know why, because he’s experienced, not the Cubs’ property, coming off surgery, why….HE MUST BE GOOD and of course he will require a lot more money than somebody like Caridad….right up Hendry’s alley. Oh for the day Hendry is not tendered a contract! Just like he’s keeping an eye on Marlon Byrd the “experienced” centerfielder who’s .400 Joe Dimaggio average and Roberto Clemente prowess just blows away Sam Fuld’s, Brad Snyder’s….yeesh, sometimes I think Hendry is addicted to overspending for free agents. I am so grateful he was denied a chance to sign Hideki Matsui to play centerfield!!!!

Let us not forget the genius in signing of BJ Ryan last year…… I think Hendry is star struck by ex-closers… Escobar did bounce from the pen to starter in his career though… he is a utility pitcher if there ever was one.. and if signing old rehabbing pitchers is Hendry’s thing… Harden seemed to have regained his old form last year… Maybe using Harden out of the bullpen like they did Dempster a few years back would have been the help they needed.. Who knows…. I don’t think hasbeens are the way to go…. There are plenty of young arms out there looking for a job.. The Cubs are probably looking at someone from Venezuela, and saying they are looking at Escobar to keep from revealing who….

Stay away from the lame ducks Hendry.

Maybe Hendry is personally scouting Hugo Chavez for the 5th spot in the rotation, after all he does resemble Zambrano in a way….and he would probably be happy to throw balls into the outfield after being ejected from a game and then ORDER THE EXECUTION OF THE UMPIRE!

Has anybody else discovered the following? I Found this on MLBTRADERUMORS.COM

MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz tackled Cubs GM Jim Hendry for his latest GM Trade …….

There is a link to a spread sheet of Hendry’s trades, it’s pretty sobering looking at the history in a spreadsheet and seeing how few of the “returns” panned out for Hendry.
Three top minor leaguers to Florida for “then savior” Juan Pierre. We kept him for one year? Now with the WhiteSox.
The Ramirez and Lofton deal with Pittsburgh and the Hee Chop Celery deal for Lee were Hendry’s only claim to fame.
Excellent deals by Hendry, what happened to THAT Hendry?

On the bright side, there was the Todd Hundley to the Dodgers deal …

Yes Carrie, you are correct. Hendry did a good job of dumping another one of his must have, overpaid, washed up free agents that he never should have signed in the first place. Now, if he could do the same with Bradley (uh…not to mention Soriano) I will concede that Hendry is the BEST GM at wasting time while un-screwing up what he screwed up. A true benchmark for other GM’s to aspire. We Cubs’ fans should be grateful for such a brainiac GM going about his business as we watch the RedSox, THE WHITESOX, the Marlins and for heaven’s sake THE ROCKIES(???) reach the world series!?!?!?!? All except the RedSox doing so with smaller payrolls!…But I digress Carrie, I truly want to thank you for reminding me of the bright side, your wit and your blog get me through the misery of anticipating Hendry’s next “save the day” decision.

joeydafish matt lawton for justin berg may pan out as a good acquisition. We had to trade michael barret and kyler burke may still pan out. Neifi perez for chris robinson (robinson had pretty solid numbers in iowa last year).

Kyle Burke for Peoria A ball last year: (I think)
.303 .405 .505 910
Good numbers but not exactly bustin’ the door down to Hendry’s office. Are you betting good money he’ll see a Cubs uniform in the next 3 years?

The following from Todd Devlin’s Canadian Basebll Network blog: (Robinson reacting to Soto’s DL stint)

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he would look outside the organization for catching help. In the meantime, Jake Fox got the nod as the ‘emergency catcher’ at the big-league level.

Did Robinson expect to get the call?

“I was fortunate enough to learn quickly in my career that in this game you can’t assume anything,” he said. “Looking at box scores, injury reports and reading papers can drive you crazy. Sometimes it’s tough, but you really have to focus on what you can control and let everything else fall into place.”

Perhaps Hendry was hesitant to call up a catcher who had only half a season above Double-A ball under his belt. Maybe he preferred to look for a catcher with big-league game-calling experience. At any rate, his comments could have been taken as a slight to Robinson, or at least a lack of confidence in his Triple-A backstop.

Said Hendry: “It’s a very difficult position to find on the streets. We’ll get to the break and re-evaluate it. We’ve got some young guys at Iowa who aren’t bad. We’ll just keep looking.”

Doesn’t that pretty much sum up Hendry’s way of thinking regarding his minor leaguers? Especially in situations where he is hard pressed to find a “major league experienced player” anyway? Look what happened when he LET GO of the major league experienced catcher he ALREADY COULD HAVE HAD….Henry Blanco. It set up a very bad domino effect when Hendry put all his eggs in one basket (Soto) just like he did with Ramirez (trading DeRosa),
both players broke down leaving Hendry to scramble for back up help ALL YEAR. Not to mention the domino effect of trading DeRosa to free up money lead to the signing of Bradley or lack of mentoring for Soto…and as far as catching? Robinson stays in the minor leagues because he’s not experienced? What better time to get him some experience than when Koyie Friggin’ Hill is YOUR STARTING CATCHER???? There would have been little if any pressure on Robinson if called up “just to back up Hill”, it’s not as if he would be expected to be the next Johnny Bench. The whole situation stems from BAD general managing.
And what does Hendry mean when referring to finding a catcher “on the streets”? And the guys at Iowa “aren’t bad”??? What a vote of confidence.

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