Results tagged ‘ Rich Harden ’

7/17 Minor matters

Jeff Samardzija gave up two hits and walked four over five innings in Iowa’s 4-0 win over Oklahoma City on Friday. Former Cubs pitcher Rich Harden started for the RedHawks in a rehab outing and gave up four runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings. Samardzija struck out three and won for the first time since June 15. His ERA now is 2.85. Bryan LaHair hit his 11th homer in the win. Sam Fuld and Darwin Barney each had two hits.

Chris Carpenter threw four shutout innings in Tennessee’s 8-6 win over Chattanooga. Josh Vitters had three extra-base hits, including his seventh home run, and five RBIs. “That’s what he’s capable of doing,” Smokies manager Bill Dancy said of Vitters, who was moved up to the middle of the order.

Michael Brenly extended his hitting streak to 15 games in Daytona’s 7-3 loss to Fort Myers. Brenly is batting .421 during his streak. Junior Lake hit his fourth home run in the loss.

Ryan Searle gave up six runs on six hits over four innings and struck out eight in Peoria’s 10-8 win over Dayton. Hak-Ju Lee went 5-for-5 with three RBIs and Nelson Perez had three hits.

Matt Szczur had two hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games in Boise’s 3-2, 11-inning loss to Salem-Keizer. Austin Kirk threw five scoreless innings of relief in the game.

— Carrie Muskat

5/11 A little Cubs no-no trivia

Ted Lilly had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings Monday. According to Elias Sports Bureau, each of the last three times a Cubs starting pitcher has taken a no-no into at least the sixth inning, the team has lost the game. Randy Wells had a no-hitter for 6 2/3 innings against the Braves last June in an extra-inning victory for Atlanta. Rich Harden held the Phillies hitless for 5 2/3 innings last August, before Philadelphia won in extra innings.

— Carrie Muskat

12/1 Arbitration update

As expected, the Cubs did not offer arbitration to Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, Reed Johnson and Chad Fox by Tuesday’s deadline.

By not offering arbitration, the Cubs will not receive any compensation in the Draft if another team signs Gregg or Harden. The Elias Sports Bureau classified Gregg as a Type A free agent, which means if Chicago had offered him arbitration and another club signed him, the Cubs would’ve received two Draft picks as compensation.

Gregg, 31, lost his job as the Cubs’ closer in mid August to Carlos Marmol.

Harden, who turned 28 Monday, was classified as a Type B free agent, and the Cubs would’ve picked up a supplemental Draft pick if the right-hander was offered arbitration, declined, and then signed with another team.

He made 26 starts, his second-highest total since he made 31 in 2004 with Oakland. Harden did make 25 starts combined in 2008 with the Cubs and Athletics.

The Cubs’ rotation now includes Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and Ted Lilly, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in early November. The fifth starter can come from a pool that includes Jeff Samardzija, Tom Gorzelanny, and Sean Marshall among others in the system.

If offered arbitration, and the players accepted, the Cubs would’ve been obligated for at least a one-year contract and the players would’ve been in line for a raise. Gregg made $4.2 million in 2009, Harden $7 million and Johnson $3 million.

New Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has said the payroll will only go up “slightly” in 2010, and the Cubs have to factor in raises to arbitration eligible players such as Marmol, Marshall, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, and Jeff Baker. Those players are affected by the non-tender deadline of Dec. 12, which is when teams must decide whether to tender a contract. Those players have less than six years of service time and they are under team control for 2010.

Johnson and Fox were free agents, and neither was included on the Type A or B lists. Fox appeared in two games before being sidelined because of inflammation in his right elbow. Johnson, who turns 33 on Dec. 8, was limited to 65 games because of injuries.

The Cubs are in the market for a center fielder and could still re-sign Johnson but if they did offer arbitration, they ran the risk of him getting a significant raise.

— Carrie Muskat

11/29 Looking ahead …

The Cubs were not expected to offer arbitration to Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, Reed Johnson and Chad Fox by Tuesday’s deadline.

A brief explanation (and I’ll try to keep it simple): Teams that offer their free agents salary arbitration get Draft picks in return if the player signs elsewhere, and the number of picks is based on the player’s rating. To get compensation, a team must offer arbitration to its Type A or B free agent and have that player either reject arbitration or sign before the deadline to reject the said arbitration.

The Elias Sports Bureau determines the designations based on statistical study. Gregg is a Type A free agent, Harden is Type B. Johnson and Fox are non-compensatory. So, if the Cubs did offer arbitration to Gregg and another team signed him, the Cubs could get two Draft picks. One would be a first-round pick from the signing team (if the team’s pick is below the first 15 picks in the Draft) and a supplemental pick. The supplemental pick is a player taken between the first and second rounds.

If the signing team has a pick in the first 15 slots, the team that loses the free agent will get the signing team’s second-round selection and the sandwich pick.A Type B free agent like Harden would be worth one Draft pick to the Cubs if he signs with another team. That pick is a supplemental pick.

Teams that do not offer salary arbitration to free agents who sign elsewhere get nothing in return.

Last year, the Cubs declined to offer arbitration to Kerry Wood, who then signed with the Cleveland Indians.

The upside for a team that does offer arbitration is the additional Draft pick or two. But if the Cubs did offer arbitration to Gregg or Harden, they also would be on the hook for at least a one-year contract at market value, which would likely be an increase from what the player earned the previous season if an offer is accepted. Gregg earned $4.2 million this year, Harden $7 million.

Gregg lost the closer’s job in mid August to Carlos Marmol and the Cubs feel they have enough starting pitching to make up for Harden’s expected exit. GM Jim Hendry has other positions to fill (center field, for example) and a budget.

If the players were offered arbitration, they would have until 10:59 p.m. CT on Dec. 7 to accept and can still negotiate with their former teams, even if they decline the offer. If the player accepts arbitration, the two sides can negotiate a deal but will go before an arbitrator if no agreement is reached.

We’ll get official word on Tuesday.

— Carrie Muskat

11/23 Reed Johnson update

Reed Johnson has had an eventful offseason already. The outfielder and his wife, Taryn, welcomed son Tyce into the world on Oct. 26.

Johnson is one of five Cubs players who filed for free agency, joining John Grabow, Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, and Chad Fox. The team narrowed the list last Friday when it signed Grabow to a two-year deal. The Cubs had an exclusive 15-day window in which to negotiate with Johnson end on Friday, and he said he hasn’t heard much from the team about returning.

“There’s other things they’re trying to take care of,” Johnson said Monday. “My agent said usually teams let that 15-day period go past.”

Johnson would like to come back, and the Cubs are looking for a center fielder and leadoff man.

“We’ll see,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat

11/11 GM meetings wrap up

The GM meetings ended Wednesday, and Milton Bradley is still with the Cubs. That should come as no surprise. GM Jim Hendry did not specifically address Bradley as he left the meetings at the Chicago O’Hare Hilton. According to news reports, he has spoken to a handful of teams about possible trades, and it’s unclear how many teams were asking about the outfielder.

The Cubs won’t be making a huge splash this offseason as far as free agent signings go.

“We don’t need mega-moves,” Hendry told reporters in Chicago.

He did say that the team could have a deal done in the next week or so with lefty reliever John Grabow. Hendry did not meet with Arn Tellem, who is Rich Harden’s agent, but the two have talked since the season ended. Harden has indicated he’d like to come back to Chicago, and Tellem told Chicago media it’s still early in the process.

— Carrie Muskat

11/2 Free agent discussions

Outfielder Reed Johnson and pitchers John Grabow, Rich Harden, Kevin Gregg, and Chad Fox are eligible to file for free agency as soon as the World Series ends. A player must file within 15 days after the World Series is over. The Cubs will retain exclusive negotiating rights during that 15-day period.

The Cubs began discussions with Grabow’s agent before the regular season ended. The team was expected to try and re-sign the left-handed reliever, acquired July 30 along with Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I want to come back,” Grabow said in early October. “[Cubs general manager Jim Hendry] knows that. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

There were reports Monday that the two sides were discussing a two-year deal in the $6.5 million to $7.5 million range. Grabow, who turns 31 on Wednesday, appeared in a career-high 75 games this past season for the Pirates and Cubs combined. 

As long as we’re discussing who should play center field for the Cubs, who would you keep in this group?

— Carrie Muskat

10/7 Roster info

MLB Trade Rumors has sorted out the projected Type A and B Free Agents. The Cubs have two in each category:

Type A Free Agent

John Grabow
Kevin Gregg

Type B Free Agent

Rich Harden
Reed Johnson

The Cubs would like to keep Grabow, and already have had talks with his agent. Harden and Johnson could stay, but it depends on their contract demands.

* Also, players with three to six years of big league service are arbitration eligible. The Cubs will have until Dec. 12 to tender the following players contracts:

IF Jeff Baker

LHP Neal Cotts

IF Mike Fontenot

LHP Tom Gorzelanny

RHP Angel Guzman

RHP Aaron Heilman

C Koyie Hill

RHP Carlos Marmol

LHP Sean Marshall

SS Ryan Theriot

Players with between two and three years of big league service time are eligible as “Super Twos” if they both collected at least 86 days the prior year and rank in the top 17 percent in total service time of this group. Fontenot and Gorzelanny qualify as Super Twos.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/26 Quick pitch

Prior to Friday’s game, Lou Piniella was asked if he was comfortable with the way the Cubs pitching is set up for 2010.

“Our pitching is pretty well intact,” Piniella said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen as far as [next year] — that’s Jim’s department, is all I’m trying to say. The nucleus of our pitching is here and I’m quite comfortable with a lot of these young kids. I’ve expressed that feeling to our general manager. They’ve gotten a chance to pitch a lot and I like what I see, quite honestly.”

Looking ahead, the Cubs rotation would be Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, possibly Tom Gorzelanny. This season, the only pitcher returning to the bullpen was Carlos Marmol. For 2010, Marmol will be the closer and could be joined in the pen by Jeff Stevens, Sean Marshall, Aaron Heilman, Justin Berg, David Patton and Esmailin Caridad. It’s hard to say where Jeff Samardzija fits, and whether he needs more time in the Minors.

John Grabow, Kevin Gregg and Rich Harden are free agents.

Cubs pitchers have held opponents to three or less runs in each of the last eight games, posting a 2.14 ERA. In those eight games, the starters have six quality starts and are 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA.

Some follow-up notes on Zambrano’s two-hit shutout over the Giants on Friday:

* It was Big Z’s 10th complete game, and first since his no-hitter Sept. 14, 2008, against Houston at Miller Park. Four of his 10 CGs have been shutouts.

* Friday’s game was the first nine-inning complete game for a Cubs pitcher. Sean Marshall was credited with a CG in a rain-shortened five-inning start May 26 against Pittsburgh.

* Zambrano picked up his 11th multi-RBI game, and third this year.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/24 Harden done for season

Rich Harden and the Cubs have decided to shutdown the right-hander for the remainder of the year. He finishes 9-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 26 starts.

“It was a mutual decision,” said Harden, who talked to Cubs GM Jim Hendry Thursday. “I’m still healthy, I feel good and I take that as a positive for the season.”

There’s nothing wrong, except a little fatigue because Harden has thrown a lot of pitches over a few innings. The move is precautionary, and he said if the Cubs were still in the race, Harden would pitch.

“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove right now,” he said.

He will be a free agent after this season.

“We’ll see what happens,” Harden said. “I really enjoyed my time pitching in Chicago. It’s a good city, good fans, good team. It would be nice to come back and make a run for it.”

— Carrie Muskat