Here is my old list.
Bring Sandberg back to the Cubs organization. 2. Hire a quality manager. We hired Dale Sveum.
Keep Greg Maddux in the front office.
4. Go after Prince Fielder. Sounds like it may happen. We may even go after Pujols.
5. Make offer to Aramis Ramirez (this one goes hand-in-hand with number 4 and I’ll explain later) Does not appear likely.
6. Trade Carlos Zambrano. (Even is he says it won’t happen again I know it will)
7. Trade Alfonso Soriano. Sounds like this could happen.
8. Sign Kerry Wood again or find him a job with the Cubs. Might happen.
9. Strengthen the pitching staff
And here is my new and improved wish list.
1. Sign Prince Fielder. He could be the center piece to build around.
2. Trade Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins.
3. Trade Alfonso Soriano to any AL team that will take him!
4. Sign Kerry Wood.
5. Sign either Paul Maholm or Edwin Jackson. We need pitching depth.
6. Wipe the slate clean, don’t sign Prince, trade Soriano & Zambrano. Then trade Matt Garza to the Reds or Rangers in a huge deal. Follow that up by trading away Marlon Byrd, Geovany Soto and Randy Wells too.
Whatever direction the Cubs decide to go I hope they start making moves soon. I just want to know what to expect for the next couple of seasons under Theo and Co..
The Cubs have had a difficult season so far and I can’t help but wonder….What’s Next?!?! We had a lot of trouble with our defense in spring training and that has continued into the regular season to some extent. We had Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells go on the DL in early April. We’ve lost Marlon Byrd, Matt Garza, Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto (he’s back now) and Jeff Baker to the DL as well. Afonso Soriano injured his quad yesterday and I don’t know if he will be the next to visit the DL, but wouldn’t be surprised if he did.
With all of these injuries, the Cubs have won 23 and lost 29 as of this post. That’s six games under .500 and puts us in second to last in the division. However, we are only 7.5 games out of first.
The frustration for me is that we are signing and trading for Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez to help our starting rotation. I know they probably weren’t that expensive, but I would rather us go young. We did with Casey Coleman, but he wasn’t getting the job done. We also tried James Russell, but I believe he’s better a relief pitcher than starter and his stats prove it. I know it may be too early, but I would love to see the Cubs bring up Trey McNutt who is pitching great at AA Tennessee.
Overall, I think we need to get healthy to see what we this club can really do this season. And if we don’t, then I would hope the Cubs bring up more of our younger players and let them get a taste of the big leagues and see what they need to work on. I don’t want to hinder their development, but it would be nice to see some of these young players get a cup of coffee. They are our future, right?
With the way the Cubs are playing this season, I think it’s okay to talk about a contingency plan. Let me explain. I am not saying that we are throwing in the towel by any means. However, if another 6-8 weeks go by and we continue to lose more than we win, it may be necessary to start trading players and their contracts.
I think the list of guys that we could put on the trade market is a big one with some good players. Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome and Ryan Dempster being among the biggest names. I would love for us to be able to move Alfonso Soriano and his huge salary as well, but that would be really difficult. By potentially moving Byrd and Fukudome we would be opening up spots in our outfield for younger players such as Tyler Colvin, Tony Campana and Brett Jackson.
I would hate to trade Ryan Dempster, but I could see him help a team win a pennant and possibly the World Series. He just turned 34 a couple of weeks ago and is a great competitor and leader. I could also see the Cubs trading Randy Wells too. I don’t think Carlos Zambrano will be traded. I see him as one of the cornerstone players that the Cubs hope to build a championship caliber team around.
Our bullpen is relatively young with the exception of Kerry Wood and John Grabow. I want to keep Wood for multiple reasons. It’s already evident, that he will give the Cubs a home town discount and it’s good to have a veteran leader in the bullpen.
The Cubs are going to have a chance to sign a big name or two this upcoming off season. Whether it’s Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or someone else, the Cubs have a ton of money that they will be able to spend after this season is over. I look for them to go on a spending spree!
Finally, we have Aramis Ramirez who could also be traded. I don’t want to lose him, but he’s being pitched around a lot this season with little protection in the lineup. His power numbers are suffering due to this. In the right lineup, I think he would return to form and help any team win.
When it’s all said and done, I don’t want the Cubs to be sellers. I won’t us to be buyers! I want us competing for the division title and a spot in the post season in 2011. I still think if our team is able to start winning. I still believe we can win the NL Central. A lot must go right, but it’s not impossible!
The Cubs have been off to a relatively slow start this season. If you’ve read any of my posts over the last month you probably know that I’ve been frustrated with their play. However, things are beginning to look up. We just finished a road trip with a winning record. Wells and Cashner are getting closer to returning from the DL. Carlos Pena homered in consecutive games against the Dodgers. Ryan Dempster had a great outing last time out. Castro and Barney are exceeding my expectations and look like they could make a great pair up the middle for years to come.
The season is still young and the Cubs haven’t played as well as I had hoped. We’ve also been bitten by the injury bug with Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells going down. Here’s my thoughts on the team at this early point in the season.
Marlon Byrd is hitting the ball really well. I just wish he was in a different spot in the lineup. He’s batting third and that’s where I would want Aramis Ramirez hitting. I would like to see Byrd bat, 1st, 2nd or 5th. I think he would excel hitting in one of those three spots. It would also allow Ramirez to bat third. I think ARAM is a proven run producer and would help us score a few more runs hitting there and Byrd would ignite the offense a little better batting in one of the three spots I mentioned earlier.
Darwin Barney has continued to impress me. He plays solid defense and produces with his bat. I think he could be a good number two hitter or 8th place hitter.
Starlin Castro also continues to impress. He’s maturing before our very eyes. I am very encouraged with this young man and his play.
Alfonso Soriano is hitting with some pop. I know he’s not a stolen base threat anymore, but we could sure use his power if we want to have any success in 2011.
Carlos Pena continues to struggle at the plate while playing superb defense. I wish he would stop looking for walks and start hitting the ball. Myabe that’s my perception, but I think he’s too patient at the plate. I would like to see him be more aggressive early in the count.
Overall, I’m still hopeful that we can compete in the NL Central. Realistically, I think we are a .500 team that will finish around third or fourth in the division unless some things start to change.
n at second base with Jeff Baker. Baker will see most of the action against lefties and Barney should play the rest of the time. DB is batting .362 so far this spring and brings a lot of energy to the field. Kind of reminds me of Ryan Theriot when he first came up with the Cubs.