While the Rumor Mill seems to be on Holiday Hiatus, a few grains yet emerge
This post was actually eaten by my computer yesterday. I'm giving it One More Chance, then after that, I will take it as a sign from God that nobody gives a rat's ass what I think about the Cubs.
For them that only get the bleatings of the Chicago media sheep, the national press seems to think that we have offered Perpetual Trade Bait Sean Marshall and GROTA Love Child Mike Fontenot to the Royals for the Discouraged Mark Teahen.
So, without the snarkcasm, Marshall and Fontenot for Teahen. I think this bears discussion.
Now, I went out here the other day and stated my case for Marshall plying his wares elsewhere - that the current Cubs rotation is too stacked to allow Sean to meet his ultimate destiny as a #4 starter. We like him, but few of us will truly rue the day he shuffled on to other pastures. On the other hand, several of you have settled upon wee Font as the Answer to Our Offensive Problems, based on his surprising power trip last year. You have extrapolated his productivity to net "20 to 30" homers over a full season, which would be wonderful and magnificent and candy and nuts out of a second baseman. And sure, it wouldn't cost us a thing, which would then install DeRo as our Rightfield Solution and, if I am guessing at your true agenda, free up the money to sign Mr. Furcal, noted Lee Injurer.
Then what are you going to do with The Riot, our other cute little Cajun?
Anyway, I maintain that Font's trade value will never be higher. Yes, you can plausibly extrapolate his 2008 performance to something that many teams could use in a starting 2B role for next year. I personally don't see it happening. Like many Fan Faves in the past that have, either by necessity or by choice, been thrust into starting roles with diminishing results, I think Fontenot's historical performance against lefties, along with his lack of range and athletic abilities afield mark him as a great bench presence who would absolutely KILL us if given 600 ABs.
Of course, many of you thought the same thing about his cute li'l buddy, and although defensively The Riot didn't win us any games last year, his hitting and OBP were more than adequate. That having been said, I like Font a lot, and I do not wish to just give him away.
The return on the deal, of course, is a young man who has been involved with one of the most dysfunctional franchises in recent sports history. You wonder what percent of the blame that he himself should bear in the failure of the Royals. You see his performance decline over the first few years of his career, to the point that if he puts up the same numbers for us next year, he too will be killing us if given 600 ABs. An OPS in the low .700s is not going to cut it in RF.
I personally think he would improve his numbers, substantially. I myself would be willing to take the deal, provide the Royals throw us a pitching prospect we could turn around and offer for Jake Peavy (See what I Did There?). What basis do I have to make this lofty pronouncement? What trends/comps do I have that show that Teahen is on the way up, on an incline that neither Marshall nor Fontenot boast?
If your guessed "nothing", kudos to you. I am merely a relatively old guy, who has been watching guys since the days of Mike Vail and Larry Biittner, Todd Hollandsworth and Glenallen Hill, Henry Cotto and Tuffy Rhodes. All these guys were Wrigley Faves off the bench, and all came around to simply Murder us when asked to play every day, because of a combination of fielding woes, athletic challenges, and holes in their swings big enough to back Kim Kardashian's ass in.
Teahen was a highly touted prospect who was burdened with the "savior" role upon making the majors, and if he were simply asked to play right field and bat seventh, I feel he would respond well. Hell, he'd be so gatdam happy to get out of KC that every day would feel like his birthday. At least until he dropped his first fly ball that lost us a game in Pittsburgh. Right, Al?