If you’ve read any of my posts over the last month or two you would know that I wanted the Cubs to trade for Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Garza. Well, the Red Sox made a deal for Gonzalez trading away their top pitching prospect Casey Kelly. It was a great trade for both teams in my opinion and I only wish the Cubs would have made the deal. During the winter meetings in December, we discoverd that the Cubs and Rays had talked about a potential deal for Garza. Immediately I was excited. I wanted Garza bad! The only thing I didn’t want the Cubs to do is overpay. Well, the trade saw the Cubs send 5 players to the Rays for Garza and two other players. Here’s my “expert” analysis!
Garza will be under team control until 2013. He’s due a raise this year via arbitration. It’s been estimated to be around $5-6 million a year. He just turned 27 in November and isn’t in his prime yet. He had a 15-10 record in 2010 with a 3.91 ERA in the AL East. He’s going to be be with the Cubs for a few years at least and should do well in the National League. He makes the Cubs rotation significantly better and is a good start to improving the Cubs for the future. Remember, we have a ton of money coming off the books at the end of this season. Can you say, SPENDING SPREE?
Chris Archer pitched great for the Cubs in single A and double A in 2010. He’s 22 and some say has the making of a top of the rotation starting pitcher. However, we didn’t draft him. We got him in the Mark DeRosa trade after the 2008 season. At the point in his career, Archer had never posted an ERA below under 4.29 in the minors and his career minor league record was 5 wins and 18 losses. Losing Archer doesn’t bother me too much, but I hated to lose him after the success he had in 2010.
Hak-Ju Lee is a 20 year old shortstop from Korea. He’s got the making a leadoff hitting, slick fielding future All Star! This loss really hurts me, but we have Castro at short and you must trade talent to get talent.
Brandon Guyer, who turns 25 later this month, has the potential to be a solid outfielder in the major leagues. However, we already have Tyler Colvin in RF and 22 year old Brett Jackson working his way up the minors. Losing Guyer wasn’t that huge of a loss.
Robinson Chirinos is a 26 year old catcher that hit the cover off the ball in 2010. But remember, he did this playing against younger players and this wasn’t his first time playing for double A Tennessee. He spent parts of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons with the double A affiliate too. I’m glad we were able to package him along in this deal. I hope he does well.
Sam Fuld is a 29 year old outfielder that is a 4th outfielder at best. The Cubs received outfielder, Fernando Perez, from the Rays in the 8 player deal and he pretty much is a 4th outfielder at best as well.
The other player involved was left handed pitcher, Zach Rosscup who turns 23 in June. He’s pitched well in rookie ball for the Rays and could be the difference maker in this trade.
Overall, we gave up a lot of talent for Garza. I hated to do so, but we kept Starlin Castro, Andrew Cashner, Brett Jackson and Chris Carpenter. And just because a guy has potential doesn’t mean he’s going to be successful in the major leagues. Remember Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Sean Gallagher and Ryan Harvey are just a few prospects that the Cubs were hoping would become stars. So, while we traded away talent none of them have a proven resume like Garza does. I give Jim Hendry credit for trading for a young and talented pitcher. Remember, pitching wins championships and I think this is a good move for the future of the Cubs.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS WAS NOT A GREAT TRADE, BUT A GOOD ONE FOR THE CUBS!
The Chicago Cubs have finally traded Felix Pie. The signing of speedy outfielder Joey Gathright this winter pretty much sealed Pie’s fate. He was out of options preventing the Cubs from sending him back to the minors if he did not perform well enough in spring training. The Cubs received two pitchers in return from the Baltimore Orioles. LHP Garrett Olson is a pitcher that seems to have some value. He is only 25 and has a full year of big league experience under his belt. I can see him used out of the bullpen or as 5th starter. If Sean Marshall moves into the starting rotation I can see Olson taking Marshall’s role in the pen.
So Taguchi has signed a minor league deal with the Cubs. I imagine he won’t make the team, but he may help Fukudome some in spring training. I beleive that Fukudome will play much better this year.
The Jake Peavy rumors are still circulating. I have read from numerous Cubs and Padres sources that the talks may begin in April once the sale of the Cubs is complete. That would be awesome. We could even package newly acquired Garrett Olson in the deal.
This off-season hasn’t gone as well as I would have hoped thus far. Initially, I thought things were going smoothly. Hendry and the Cubs picked up Rich Harden’s option. Then the Cubs extended Hendry’s contract. Then they re-signed Ryan Dempster to a four year deal. Then things started going a different direction. First, the Cubs decided not to re-sign Kerry Wood, who is now a member of the Cleveland Indians. Then they traded minor league stud Jose Ceda for Kevin Gregg.
With baseball’s winter meetings to begin this week I anticipate the Cubs to make some changes. Personally, I believe that the Cubs and Padres will work a deal sending Peavy to the Cubs. Since they need a shortstop, I suggest sending Ronny Cedeno to the Pads in the deal. It appears it will require a third team to make the trade work. I have read numerous times that the Orioles will be that team. If the Cubs send Felix Pie to Baltimore and Ronny Cedeno to San Diego I think it may work. It would probably take another player or two to get the deal completed too. I am guessing Sean Marshall as one of those players.
The Cubs need to address their need for a left handed hitting bat. I am currently behind them going after Raul Ibanez. Lou Piniella knows him and seems to like him a lot. I think that would be a great move and you could use Fukudome and Johnson as a platoon in centerfield.
With this weeks meetings I believe that Jim Hendry will try to address these two issues. It will be interesting to see what else comes out of these meetings.
It appears that Mark Cuban is completely out of the running for buying the Cubs. I believe the Ricketts family will be the new owners. If so, I think it may be a good thing. As much as I still want Cuban, I realize that Bud Selig and his cronies aren’t ready for a ‘maverick’ like him.
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! (Highly unlikely)
5. Trade for Jake Peavy
6. Find a Centerfielder/Rightfielder. One that bats left handed. (I like Raul Ibanez)
7. Finalize the sale of the Chicago Cubs. Preferrably Cuban followed by the Ricketts family.
Okay, the 2008 regular season was great. I watched 3-4 games a week and when I couldn’t watch the Cubs I listened to Ron Santo and Pat Hughes call the game on the radio. Unfortunately, the post-season was terrible. But now it’s time for the Off-Season to begin and here is my personal to do list for the Cubs. I have a short list of things to do because I believe the Cubs only need to tweak their roster a little bit in order to win in the playoffs next year. So, here it is….my to do list for the Cubs this winter.
Pick up Rich Harden’s option for next season.
2. Extend Jim Hendry’s Contract.
3. Re-sign Ryan Dempster.
4. Re-sign Kerry Wood
5. Trade for Jake Peavy.
6. Find a Centerfielder.
7. Finalize the sale of the Chicago Cubs.
Okay, we already picked up Harden’s option, but I felt it was important to list it anyway. That way, we have already accomplished something this off-season. Next, the Cubs need to extend Jim Hendry’s contract. He is the one who put this current Cubs team together and he seems to have a great relationship with the players. Keeping him is crucial for the Cubs this off-season and could turn out to be the most important move they make all winter. After, securing Hendry, the Cubs should be able to take advantage of his relationship with Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and re-sign both players to multi-year deals each.
So far, the first 4 things to do seem simple and the Cubs appear to be on track. However, number 5 on my list is a little more complicated. Jake Peavy recently named the Cubs as one of the teams he would like play for next season if traded. I think the Cubs need to pursue Peavy and make their rotation one of the best in all of baseball. The Cubs must trade Jason Marquis in this deal even if they have to eat most of his salary of $9.875 million for next season. I believe that Felix Pie would have to be in the deal too. I am fine with that. I don’t know who else or what positions the Padres want, but Marquis and Pie is a good start. Especially if the Cubs still pay most of Marquis’ salary. Other players I would consider trading in this deal are Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Hart, Angel Guzman, Michael Wuertz, Casey McGehee, Sam Fuld, and Tyler Colvin. It all depends on what the Padres are looking for, but I think Felix Pie would be the center piece of a deal for Peavy.
Next, I would like the Cubs to sign or trade for an everyday centerfielder if they trade Felix Pie. If not, then let Pie play everday to start the season next year. If he is unable to hit by the start of June let Reed Johnson take over. However, assuming the Cubs deal Pie this off-season, I have a few guys that I would like them to pursue. Coco Crisp is on my short list, but I am hesitant to make a trade with Boston. Another option would be to move Fukudome to center and sign Bobby Abreu to play right. He would provide the left handed bat that the Cubs could use. The Cubs could even make it a multiplayer deal for Peavy and obtain Brian Giles, but I think he would be a better fit in rightfield. Or the Cubs could bring back Jim Edmonds and platoon him with Johnson again. These are just a few options but I would like to see an everyday centerfielder next year and use Johnson as your fourth outfielder.
Finally, the impending sale of the Chicago Cubs. I have read that the deal may not be completed until after next season begins. There are reportedly 5 bidders still alive when it comes to the sale of the Cubs. I am interested in only 2 of them, Mark Cuban and the Ricketts family. I would prefer Cuban but I think Ricketts would be decent. Actually, I more than prefer Cuban. I think he would make sure the Cubs won a World Series and take care of the players and fans. He’s the only potential owner that I know who goes to Wrigley and watches the Cubs. He’s the owner of the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. He loves his team and refuses to sit in some luxury box. Instead he sits courtside and cheers his team on. That’s what I want from the next owner of the Cubs. Someone who is right there with the fans. Someone that wants to win as bad as I do. Someone who won’t be afraid to spend money. You’ve got to spend money to make money. Just imagine how much the Cubs would be worth when they finally win the World Series! I think Cuban is the man for the job.
Anyway, here’s my “To Do List” for the Cubs this off-season. I will try to keep it updated and make any additions when necessary.
The Cubs made a good move in picking up the option on Rich Harden. That’s the first good news about the Cubs I have heard since their exit from the playoffs. Now, I want Jim Hendry to focus on Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster next. Sign them to a minimum of 3 years each. Also, we need to sign either A.J. Burnett or C.C. Sabathia. Add one more stud to the starting rotation. This would allow the Cubs to move Marquis to the bullpen and use him as a spot starter. Marquis and Sean Marshall could be long relievers that start when needed to. Then use Samardzija, Marmol and Wood as your 7th, 8th and 9th inning pitchers. I don’t know where Cotts or Howry fit, but I would like to keep each of them around. If Marquis doesn’t want to accept a new role then I say trade him.
I think we need to let Daryle Ward go this offseason. Use Micah Hoffpauir in his role and as a backup to DLee. I still don’t know what to do about Felix Pie. If the Cubs are not going to use him as their everyday centerfielder next year then we need to trade him while he still has any value. I loved the tag team of Johnson and Edmonds this season, but I think having an everyday centerfielder that can play is more important. Keep Johnson around to back up all three outfield positions. I like what Edmonds did for the Cubs this season, but I don’t see him playing baseball much longer. Another player I would consider trading is Ronny Cedeno. I like Cedeno and still think he could be an everyday player, but it won’t be for the Cubs. If he and Pie were packaged in a deal for a pitcher or centerfielder I wouldn’t mind. But I don’t know who would be available or how much it would cost the Cubs.
I think the most important move this offseason for the Cubs will be the new owner. I really want it to be Mark Cuban. I have seen what he has done with the Dallas Mavericks. He is passionate about his team and wants to win more than any other owner in the NBA. I think he would be great for the Cubs and the city of Chicgo.
Anyway, I look forward to the moves the Cubs will be making this offseason. And finally, I am predicting a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series. Dodgers winning in 6.
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.