As many of you know, I’ve had some ideas about creating a salary cap for baseball. If you haven’t read my ideas on a salary cap here is the link to that post. Anyway, I was listening to Mike & Mike the other day on ESPN radio and they said something that made a lot of sense to me. They said you could put a team in Idaho with Mark Cuban as owner and they would compete. The idea behind this is that the owner must be willing to spend money. I agree with this theory about Cuban, but unfortunately, there are too many owners unable or unwilling to do this.
Speaking of Mark Cuban, it was only a few years ago that I was hoping he would become the next owner of the Cubs. I wrote several posts in 2008 hoping that Cuban would buy the Cubs. Here is just one of those posts. During that time, I also had hopes that the Cubs would get C.C. Sabathia. Then it was Jake Peavy. This off-season I wanted the Cubs to deal for Adrian Gonzalez. None of these things happened. No Mark Cuban, no C.C. Sabathia, no Jake Peavy and no Adrian Gonzalez. Well, now I am wanting the Cubs to go after Albert Pujols when he becomes a free agent. However, I have the feeling we won’t get him either. So, I have decided to do my best to avoid writing any posts about the Cubs signing Albert. Maybe that way I won’t jinx the Cubs chances!!!!
I like the decision by Mike Quade to make Ryan Dempster the opening day starter. Since becoming a starter for the Cubs he’s won 43 games and lost 27 with a solid 3.49 ERA. It appears Zambrano will be our number 2 starter and Garza will be our number 3. I like that setup right there. I think Garza will be the best number 3 starter in the National League.
I don’t have a lot of time this morning, so that’s it for now.
This is the week many of us baseball fans have waited for all winter. Pitchers and Catchers Report! I love those words. It let’s me know that baseball is back, spring is close and warm days are soon ahead of us. Baseball is one of my passions and I am a diehard Cubs fan. Each season brings hope. Going into 2003 I did not think the Cubs would make it as far as they did. In 2009 I thought we would go farther than we did. Last year, well, I was disappointed to say the least. Yet, winter is almost over now and that is something to be excited about.
The Cubs reached a three year extension with Carlos Marmol avoiding arbitration. I think the deal is a fair one and both sides should be happy. I know some believe we overpaid Marmol, but I think we may have paid even more in arbitration if he has another great season. I guess we will find out if it was a good deal over the next three years.
I read that C.C. Sabathia may opt out of his contract at the end of this season. That is something that surprises me personally, but being the greedy Cub fan I am, I wouldn’t mind this happening. As I’ve said numerous times over this winter, we have a ton of money coming off the books after 2011. We could go on a big shopping spree and C.C. should be on our shopping list if he does opt out. Other guys I would like to see us sign are Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez and Rickie Weeks.
Since I mentioned Albert (again) I am surprised that he and the Cards haven’t reached an agreement yet. If I’m the Cards I offer the 9th and 10th years that Albert wants. I try to make them vesting options if at all possible. Have a minimum games played option or something similar to that.
Even though our minor league system lost several key players in the Matt Garza deal we still have some talent that could reach the majors this season in Jay Jackson, Brett Jackson (no relation to my knowledge), Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt. So, we still have talent available that can help our team. We also have a few guys that I really like in the lower levels. I think I will write a post on them soon.
Yesterday it was in the 50s where I live. I had the opportunity to take my son, 3, outside and pitch to him for a little bit. He loves to play baseball and that make his daddy happy. We played for only a short time, but it was still great to play a little baseball in February.
Finally, I wish everyone the best this upcoming spring training. It’s a time of hope for every team and their fans!
Well, my personal “To Do List” for the Cubs this offseason started off well. Unfortunately, it has hit some snags. The Cubs picked up Rich Harden’s contract,extended Jim Hendry’s contract and re-signed Ryan Dempster. Then came the bad news. The Cubs traded away a really good prospect in Jose Ceda for reliever Kevin Gregg. Ceda has a fastball the tops out close to 100mph. I believe he has a high ceiling. Gregg is older and obviously more experienced. However, this trade signaled the end for Kerry Wood as a Chicago Cub. But, ever the optimist, I hope the Cubs will still try to sign Kerry for one more year. Highly unlikely. I guess I could put it on my “wish list” instead of my “to do list”. But then I would have to create a wish list. Anyway, the Cubs may still be in the hunt for Jake Peavy. I still like the idea of obtaining him. The Cub are also considering Bobby Abreu and Raul Ibanez and others to play rightfield and supply some left handed lumber in the middle of the lineup. A guy capable of driving in 100 runs would be great. Finally, I would love nothing more than to see Mark Cuban buy the Cubs. Unfortunately, Bud Selig (BOOOOOO!!!!!!!) doesn’t seem to want him as an owner. It’s looking more like someone else will own the Cubs next season. I hope whoever owns the Cubs wants to win a championship as bad as I do. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Pick up Rich Harden’s option for next season.
Extend Jim Hendry’s Contract.
Re-sign Ryan Dempster.
4. Re-sign Kerry Wood?????????? Please, one more year!
5. Trade for Jake Peavy or try to sign C.C. Sabathia or A.J. Burnett.
6. Find a Centerfielder/Rightfielder. One that bats left handed.
7. Finalize the sale of the Chicago Cubs. Preferrably Cuban followed by the Ricketts family.
This 4 game series between the Cubs and Brewers is going to be huge. Tonights game has already turned into a great game. As of right now, Russell Branyan just tied the game at 4 with a home run. What has impressed me the most is C.C. Sabathia. I wanted the Cubs to get him and here’s why. Coming into tonight’s game he had thrown 3 straight complete games for wins. In the top of the 7th inning tonight, he was hitting in the high 90s even though he had already thrown over 120 pitches. This guy is amazing. I hate to admit it, but the Brewers made a great move acquiring him. Hopefully, the Cubs can come back tonight and get a win against the Brewers bullpen. It’s going to be an interesting week and let’s hope the Cubs prevail!
Okay, it’s obvious that I wanted the Cubs to go after C.C. Sabathia. I thought he would make a great 1-2 combination with Carlos Zambrano at the top of the rotation. Unfortunately, the Brewers were able to acquire Sabathia. The Cubs, however, were able to trade for Rich Harden. I still don’t know what to think about the acquisition. Harden, 26, is a guy who oozes potential, but has never won more than 11 games in one season. Sabathia, 27, on the other hand, is a Cy Young caliber pitcher that has won at least 11 games every season since 2001. Harden is a righty and C.C. is a lefty. Harden is 6’1″ while Sabathia stands in at 6’7″. When I compare the two pitchers it should be obvious that Sabathia is better. The stats back it up! However, there is some good to come from this trade. Harden is posting solid numbers so far this season. His ERA is currently at 2.34 while Sabathia comes in at 3.79. Harden, when healthy, is a tough pitcher. The million dollar question will be if he can stay healthy the remainder of this season and help the Cubs win the Central Division of the National League. I have talked to several friends about this trade. Most of them agree that if Harden is able to stay healthy then it is a good trade. However, if he doesn’t we could be looking at one of the few bad trades Jim Hendry has made in recent years. I appreciate Hendry going after another starting pitcher. I believe we need it badly. I only wish he could have traded for Sabathia.
I am a poor loser. It does not matter what game it is I hate to lose. It could be a sport that I am playing, a board game or watching my favorite baseball team…..it just doesn’t matter. I don’t take losing very well. This last week has been difficult for me. In years past, when the Cubs weren’t performing well I didn’t like the losing, but it didn’t bother me as much as this season. I guess since the Cubs have been winnng so much this season I have become used to them winning. Yet, this last week wasn’t a very good week for me. The sweep by the Sox over the weekend caused me to eat some humble pie. But that’s okay. A lesson is humility never hurts.
Hopefully, the Cubs turn things around this week and get back on the winning track. The All-Star game is just around the corner and I realize that some of the players could use the time off. Maybe some rest and relaxtion will get this team ready for the dog days of summer and the stretch run. It wouldn’t hurt if they made a trade for C.C. Sabathia either.
I have said several times this season that this year’s team reminds me of the 1984 Cubs. While the ’84 team was good, I think this year’s team has the potential to be even better. There was one key move the Cubs made in 1984 that made a huge impact and helped them get to the postseason. That was the acquisition of Rick Sutcliffe from the Cleveland Indians. At the time of the trade, Sutcliffe was only 4-5 with an ERA of 5.15. Once he came over to the National League, he dominated going 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA. He only made 20 starts for the Cubs and pitched 7 complete games with 3 shutouts. He was so dominant that he won the Cy Young Award with a unanimous vote. Sutcliffe stayed with the Cubs through the 1991 season. In 1989, he went 16-11 while helping lead the Cubs back to the playoffs. During his time with the Cubs Sutcliffe managed to win 82 games.
The reason why I bring this up is my desire for the Cubs to repeat history and go after another Cleveland starting pitcher. Less than a week ago I talked about the Cubs acquiring C.C. Sabathia to strengthen the pitching staff and how he would provide a great 1-2 combo with Carlos Zambrano at the top of the rotation. I still feel that the Cubs need to seriously consider trading for him soon. As for who they could or would trade I cannot say for certain. As long as it is not Sean Gallagher or Jeff Samardzija. I think these two have a bright future and I would want to keep them. I would also like the Cubs to hang on to Eric Patterson too. I don’t know if the Cubs would want to part with Felix Pie, but right now I would do it. Make it a package deal and throw in Sean Marshall or Matt Murton or Kevin Hart or anybody but Gallagher, Samardzija and Patterson. I think it would put this season’s Cubs team over the top and give them a legitimate shot at winning the World Series.