Have the Cub's missed their chance to grab the brass ring? This Cub's team was built to win now and I believe now has passed. It is time to look at the future.
The team is still up for sale with no end in sight. Ricketts has not been able to close the deal. As a matter of fact was/is looking for an additional 250 million from outside investers. Add that to the fact that he is going to have to invest a large amounts of money into improving Wrigley Field. He is not going to be the deep pockets owner we were hoping for.
Any rebuilding project is going to be handcuffed by the back loaded contracts we have. Also, is Jim Hendry the man we want to trust to do the rebuilding. Here are my suggestions as a possible direction we can go today.
The Ranger's are looking for starting pitching to make their run now. Work a 3 way deal with the Rangers and the Rockies, Trade them Lilly and Heilman for prospects and move the prospects, and Patton, to the Rockies for some combination of Ian Stewart, Ryan Spillboughs, and Seth Smith.
Fukudome has not totally sucked this year. Market him to a team that has a Japanese player and sell his lack production as being homesickness. Yes, we will need to eat part of the contract.
Play the heck out of Freel and market him as DeRosa lite. Keep starting Jake Fox hope he stays hot, there are teams looking for a righthanded bat.
Sit Bradley down. His stats do not justify his starting and if he misses enough starts he loses the option on the 3rd year of his contract. There will be whining, but who runs the team Lou and Hendry or the players.
The Giants are looking for a bat. Try and get D. Lee off of his no trade clause and ask for Matt Cain settle for J. Sanchez.
Kurt, I believe you have all the details on the sale of the team. Perhaps you could explain better why Rickett's does not have deep pockets.
Does anyone have better ideas of what the future holds?
I don't really believe in trades just to shake up a team, but. Here is a thought
Trade Lilly @ 13 million, Heilmann @ 1.6 million, Miles @ 2.2 milliuon and David Patton for Ian Stewart @ 400,000 (plays 2nd, 3rd, LF&RF), Ryan Spillboughs @ 400.000 (plays all 3 OF ppostions), Manuel Corpas @ 750,000 (had 19 saves 2 years ago) and Seth Smith @ 400,000 (plays all 3 OF positions and left handed). May have to pick up some of the money.
Trade for Yunel Escobar @ 400,000 (can play 2nd, SS, 3rd) the Braves are suppose to have a hot shot SS at 3A, for Fukudone @ 12.5 million and Jake Fox (my guess it that it would have to be Spillboughs and not Fox). The selling point on this may-be that the Braves have Kenshin Kawakami who was Fukudome's team mate in Japan and all Fukudome needs is a fellow country man to hang out with to get his game together.
This would hurt our starting pitching and bullpen since we would have to move Marshall (Marshall is no Lilly yet) into the rotation. Depending on how much of the contracts we had to pick up we could save 5 million to use to make an addition to the bullpen.
I know the Braves have been looking to improve their outfield and the Rockies are on a hot streak and not out of the wildcard race at worst. Bottom line is how much would it hurt?
There has not been anything of late about the sale of the Cub's being completed. Here is what I know. About 3 weeks ago there was a story in Chicago Crains Business that Ricketts looking for 10 investors to put in another 25 million each. Today the reports are that Ricketts has had meetings with "hollywood" types that have Chicago roots looking for money. I don't take any of this as good news that the sale will being going thru any time soon. My take on the situation is that this may hold back the Cub's as much as the bullpen. With the ownership in such a state of flux, Hendry's hands may-be tied as the deals he can make. Does anyone have any more information?
This post is not to continue the Hoffpauir debate, but to draw attention to a greater debate. The greatest flash in the pans in Cub's history. My vote goes to Ced Landrum. In 1991 he stole 27 bases in 86 at bats. Did not make a major league roster in in 1992 and ended his career in 1993 after a cup of coffee with the Met's. Let's see if anyone can beat that.
I have already joined 2 leagues via MSN/Fox Fantasy. Since there seems to be some intrest and the leagues are not full I will pass on this information. I think (I have not tried to add additional teams before) that all you have to do is -
Go to MSN Sports MLB and there will be a link to get to the fantasy baseball sign up.
use option C
pick options rotisserie, daily, live draft
If you are interrested to joining me in the leagues I am in you will need to choose
draft date 3/28 at 11am et - 6 slots open
draft date 3/29 at 8 am et - 8 slots open
Kurt, I know you are not big on links etc. being on this blog, so if I crossed a line let me know.
There is a blog in Bleeding Cubbies Blue talking about Lou's future. According to them via WSCR via an un-named Cub's blog with a source, Lou has talked to Hendry about retiring at the end of the season. The reasons given were he wanted to get away from the club house politics and the pressure from the media. I have a question about his future with the Cub's. If he is looking to leave at the end of 2009 for the reasons given would he consider going to AAA for the last year of his contract (he is signed thru 2010).
I bring this up because we all complain about the Cub's farm system and the fact that they don't develop position players. In Lou's time here he has developed at least Theroit and Fontenot into good/decent players. If I remember correctly they were not considered top propects. I would also give Lou partial credit for Soto's development based on the number of failures we have had in the past with propects at the major league level.
For Lou it could mean semi-retirement. At 3A ball he would face less pressure from the media and fans, fewer ego's, and a shorter season. Travel may-be an issue, but I am sure something could be worked out. He could focus more on developing players and less on winning now. Could he have done something with Pie if could of let him play everyday doing what Lou wanted. He could get Hendry to cut or trade the deadwood and bring up 2A players to develop. An added extra could be that he could identify players the Cub's should target in trades.
Just offering a different approach to solving an age old problem with the Cub's farm system.