Here we go again! Did we really think it would be different this time? Did we think losing Kerry Wood, Jason Marquis and Mark DeRosa would have a positive effect on the team? Did we really think we were going to get Jake Peavy with very little A list talent in the minors?
Let’s face it, Hendry tinkered with the team a bit too much. So what if they were swept by L.A. The team did win the most games in the National League. Instead, worried about Fukudome’s bat, he acquires another outfield bat in Milton Bradley and trades DeRosa for minor league pitching. Hmmmm? WTF!!! I wasn’t happy at all with this went down. DeRosa was popular with the guys, played 5 positions and had an above average bat. You’d think this would have been the guy to remain a Cub the rest of his career. Instead Tinker Hendry opts to deal him for minor league pitching. Enter Milton Bradley. Sure, the novice fan might think, “Oh, look at that average and OBP.” In reality we know the guy gets hurt every season and is a cancer in the clubhouse. He has already complained about the fans and the umps. He has been suspended and now he is on the DL.
Wood. Gone. He wasn’t the best closer but when you see with Gregg has done thus far he would have been better. Also, you look at all of the issues we’ve had with our starters. Harden, out. Zambrano, psychotic rollercoaster ride. Marquis would have certainly helped. He was one of the better starters in the league until and injury slowed him down. At the end of last season he really started to look like the old Jason Marquis. So, what did the Cubs do? Traded him to Colorado for a suck ass reliever. Marquis, you might be wondering, is one of the better starters so far in the National League this season.
I begged and pleaded with Cub fans to let them go last season and they didn’t. Now Cub fans are looking at a team not built for a championship but built for a re-build. With new ownership on the way and a handful of expiring contracts look for some big names to be moving in July.
The Cubs won’t add a Peavy, Brian Roberts, Adam Dunn or Carlos Lee. Instead look for the team to hover around .500 and at All-Star break look to dump Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano and Rich Harden. They are going to add a dozen minor leaguers to the organization and save millions of dollars as the new ownership takes hold.
Some might disagree saying the Ricketts family are die hard Cubs fans. While that might be true this is their business. They will realize this team’s window of success has passed. Why hang on to the big salaries when you aren’t getting a ROI? They could look to acquire as much young, cheap talent as they can in July of this year and then hit the free agent market in 2010 with $30 million to spend. Some potential free agents after this season are Jason Bay, John Lackey, Chipper Jones, Cliff Lee, Carlos Delgado and Brian Roberts.
Either way I know one thing, the Cubs aren’t going anywhere in 2009. At the beginning of the season I thought they might have enough for one more Division championship but it looks like that well has dried up. Cub fans had better be prepared for 83 wins and 3rd place.