Goatriders of the Apocalypse

So Long, Sammy

It's a sad time when a once-great slugger overstays his welcome. From 1998 to 2002, Sammy was probably the most popular Cub in the last 30 years, but then a few years of poor play changed most peoples minds about him. Let's face it, the guy is a selfish bastard who refused to change his swing regardless of the situation.

Pending a physical, the Cubs will have dealt Sammy to the Baltimore Orioles for Jerry Hairston Jr. and a few prospects. They're also paying perhaps as much as half of Sammy's salary, and maybe even more. Hairston is 28 and is an Illinois native who plays the outfield and second base, and can provide the spark at leadoff that the team has been sorely lacking, assuming his 530 games as a major leaguer doesn't constitute him being considered an unproven ballplayer in the eyes of Dusty Baker. For all we know, Dusty is going to try to go with Todd Walker regardless, but Hairston can cover right field.

The big rumor today is that the Cubs will parlay the prospects they get from Baltimore and send them (along with perhaps Jason DuBois) to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for closer Danys Baez and slugger Audrey Huff. Baez is 27 and making only a few million this coming season. Last year he saved 30, blew 3, while maintaining an ERA of 3.57. Huff is 28, and last season he batted .297 with 29 homers and 104 RBI. He can play the corner outfield and infield positions. If the Cubs can swing this trade, they will be set for the 2005 season and I will again believe they have more than a fair chance at winning a pennant.

I've been pretty critical of Jim Hendry this winter, but I've also always believed that Hendry is great at his job. And while I'd certainly be critical of Jim next winter if he waited until January or February to improve the team, I do recognize that he's the best Cubs GM we've ever had. I'm glad Sammy is gone, I hope we get Huff and Baez from Tampa, and after all that is absolutely official, I'll be ready to believe this team will win the 2005 pennant.

Cubdom Byron

I think if Dubois is included in that Huff trade you mention, this would be a loser for the Cubs.

Basically you want to trade Sosa and $10 M to upgrade from Dubois to Huff? Thats not much in the way of return value. I'd like to see both guys in the Cubs outfield in 2005.

If the Cubs could make a deal for Huff, I would rather send one of the vaunted pitching prospects, not a guy who looks like he could be a legitimate home grown outfielder (at a discount for the next 4-5 years).

Kurt

I think you forget who we're dealing with in Dusty Baker. He's not going to give DuBois a chance so long as he has Hollandsworth - he's actually said that in print. The Cubs need to net whatever value they can for their young outfielder, and Huff is a good one.

James

you just said it Kurt... it really doesn't matter how good he is... it's whether Dusty will use him. It's no use signing/trading for any player if Dusty won't pen his name in the lineup card.

Even if that player is Jeromy Burnitz, that's better than a Sammy Sosa, Aubrey Huff or Jason Dubois that would just get jerked around with Dusty on the job... as long as I don't see more than one year next to the guy's name (unless his initials are MO), I'm not going to complain too much... if we have to get saddled with a "Dusty player" just to get through this year, let's hope we can get rid of both of them next year.

kurt

Again, you're not really getting it. DoBois will never, ever, ever start in the Cubs outfield as long as Dusty Baker has a say in the matter. Ain't gonna happen.

It's more about upgrading from Sammy to Huff. I'd be ok with Hairston getting his chance in the outfield, too, although at this point it looks like he'll be taking the Super-Sub role behind Burnitz.

Besides that, this is a team we want to win the pennant, right? This is a team we think CAN win the pennant, yeah? Then this is also a team that doesn't have time to wait for rookie outfielders to find their stroke against major league pitching. DuBois, Sergio, and the O's prospects to Tampa for Baez and Huff would be a GODSEND.

Otherwise, it's just DuBois to the bench, and do you really want that?

James

I'd rather have the Cubs pay Dubois the minimum to sit on the bench than trade him for Aubrey Huff and paying him multi-millions of dollars over the next two years to sit on the bench. That's why Burnitz is a better move.

If we can get rid of Dusty after this year, then I'd definitely want this team to go after a young outfielder such as Aubrey Huff.

Look what the Braves got out of a few months of Charles Thomas... even with Dubois seeing limited action this year (maybe after the inevitable injuries), maybe we can turn him into an even better young outfielder such as Austin Kearns or Adam Dunn... or keep him and reap the benefit of cheap, home-grown talent.

Point is... trading him now (and even before the Burnitz signing) doesn't make any sense unless it gets a player in return Dusty will actually use... and get along with apparently. What a players' manager, huh?

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