Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Once more with feeling

The Peavy Trade-0-Meter has been revamped due to popular griping.

With two weeks remaining before Spring Training starts, the Cubs appear to be pretty well done with move-making.  I say this mostly because there have been numerous reports that a) the trade talks are presently dead, b) Hendry has said he's done, and c) different sources are reporting it.

What the Cubs aren't done doing yet is finding a backup shortstop.  It shouldn't be so hard to do, though, so in terms of priority I'd say they have until the last day of Spring Training.

Once more with feeling

I thought Aaron Miles was brought in to back up SS and 2B. Well, maybe he's supposed to compete with Fontenot for the 2B job, but that shouldn't be much of a competition. They don't need to tie up a roster spot with another weak hitting backup SS. I'd like to see them sign Rich Aurilia to back up the corner IF spots and middle IF spots in a pinch, and go with a bench of Miles, Aurilia, Hoffpauir, Johnson, and Bako (and did they ever fool themselves losing Blanco and getting Bako when the two signed for a difference of only $250K). I don't see that much need for Gathright, unless they want to go with only 11 pitchers. Hoffpauir's big bat should prove more valuable than Gathright's speed and weak bat.

LOOGY

Don't forget about LOOGYs

Which available free agent

Which available free agent lefties are better against lefties than Wuertzy?

cubs bench

I agree with you Kurt, but I am hoping you are wrong. There are 3 things I would like to see Hendry address before we get to the last 2 weeks of spring training.

1- A stud left hander out of the bull pen. Since there are 20 other teams looking for the same thing the chances of that are slim to none.
2 - A veteran power left handed bat for the bench. In a perfect world he would be able to play 1st, 3rd, LF and RF. Hoffpauir could (?) handle everthing except third, but he does not have a track record.
3 - If he does not satisify need #2 then find a veteran power right handed bat for first and third.

My reasoning behind the multi postions is Uncle Lou will give A. Ram, D. Lee, Soriano and Bradley at least one day a week off. That equals at least 100 starts. As a glass half empty kind of guy, I am assuming that we will lose Soriano and Bradley for at least one trip to the DL.

Free agent options:
Rich Aurilia - not my first choice, but I quess could be had for 1 million.
Ty Wiggington - a very long shot, our only hope would he be willing to sign a 1 year deal. But, even with that I would guess he would want a shot a 4 million which gets us back to DoRosa.

Trade
Teahen - lh - 1st/3rd/lf/rf
Swisher - switch - 1st/lf/rf
Branyan - lh - 1st/3rd/lf
Norton - lh - 1st/lf/rf

I tried to be as real as possible with talent to trade for. It does appear that we don't have much money and even less talent to use for trades. To be totally honest I would only trade for Teahen or Swisher. We got lucky with Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds becoming available and panning out last year. I think Hendry is hoping he can do it 2 years in a row and I don't see it happening. I would be interested if there are better choices out there. We just have to remeber that they have to be cheap in dollars or talent traded to get them.

cubs bench

One of the guys who could have filled need number one (Brian Shouse) is now off the market, just signed by the Rays. The best option is still out there (Dennys Reyes), but no word whatsoever about the Cubs having interest in him. I agree about the Cubs needing a lefty specialist, especially if Marshall goes into the rotation. Even with Marshall in the bullpen, he should be used in long relief so he's relatively stretched out and ready to be used as a spot starter. Cotts just isn't that good. So Hendry could sign Reyes and then deal some of his surplus of RH relievers. For need #2, I say forget the veteran and give Hoffpauir a shot. Give him a couple starts per week and use him as the primary pinch hitter against RHP, so he can get another half dozen AB's per week. He's done nothing but crush the ball in the minors as well as in his limited opportunities so far with the Cubs. Lastly, for need #3, Aurilia would be my top choice. He's crushes LH pitching to the tune of a .321 BA and a .903 OPS last year, and .305/.899 over the past three years.

I personally prefer Joe

I personally prefer Joe Beimel

Maybe I misunderstood...

But you think those four guys are going to get one day off per week each? That's how it reads. If so, you think these guys, when healthy, will play roughly 130 games for the season? If healthy all year, they should be expected to play (well) over 150 games.

And IMO, I agree with some that we're done making moves. Definitely any type of major transaction.

days off

Lou has said in the past he would like to give his starters a day week off. I am assuming he has not changed his stance on that. Over a full season, 26 weeks, it will probably be closer to 140 games started with the extra days off early in the schedule. Healthy is an open ended term. With the bumps and bruise's an extra day off here and there may not be a bad idea. Yes, A. Ram at 80% is better than Miles at 100%. But, that said with an extra day of does A. Ram back to 100% quicker and have Miles more game ready when we do need him it may not be a bad idea. This is one of those arguments that is a no win. If Lou uses this stratagy and the Cub's win the World Series than it is great and if not then it sucks. I mostly brought this up because I feel that our bench is very weak. A jammed finger takes a player out for 4 to 5 games. I prefer veterans on the bench because when you look at the back of their baseball cards you know what you are going to get. That said Lou has done a good job of making Font & Theroit into servicable major leaguers so who know.

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