Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Reader Blog: Blow it up.

I don't see any difference between finishing in third and finishing dead last.  No playoffs = failed season. With that in mind, I suggest the Cubs begin the process of razing the roster now, with the goal to be a threat to win the division again in 2012 or 13. Here's the plan:

IN SEASON: Trade Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly and Kosuke Fukudome. None of these players figure into the Cubs' future, and only Fukudome has a toxic contract. Eat as much of his contract as necessary and move him. Gorzellany moves back into the rotation and Tyler Colvin becomes the everyday RF.

POSTSEASON: Trade Carlos Silva, trade or non tender Ryan Theriot, sign a cheap southpaw power bat to be a warm body at 1B. Andrew Cashner moves into the rotation.

IN SEASON 2011: Call up Josh Vitters, Jay Jackson and Brett Jackson. Trade Marlon Byrd. Shift Aramis Ramirez to 1B.

If the Cubs follow this plan, they will probably be awful next year. I don't care. They will clear payroll allowing them to be aggressive in free agency in 2012, when they will have holes to fill on the roster. The players that remain will mostly be young, with some major league experience, and ready to be competitive again for years. The 2012 roster:

C: Geovany Soto

1B: Open ($12m option on Ramirez)

2B: Open (but Starlin Castro should shift over once Hak Ju Lee is ready to be the major league SS).

SS: Castro

3B: Vitters

LF: Soriano

CF: Jackson

RF: Colvin

SP1: Carlos Zambrano

SP2: Ryan Dempster

SP3: Tom Gorzellany

SP4: Andrew Cashner

SP5: Randy Wells/Jay Jackson.

Hopefully the veteran trades will have netted some nice pieces that can be used on the major league roster as well, or flipped to fill additional needs.

I agree with your ideas to

I agree with your ideas to blow up the unneeded parts of this team. However, I disagree on two parts.

1) Keep Marlon Byrd. He's consistent, loved by the fans, provides plenty of production, and very affordable. I don't think we will get more for him than he's currently worth.

2) Castro is supposed to be a brilliant defender, why not just move Juk-Lee to 2B instead.

One last thing

Why not go after Chris Davis at 1B? The Rangers have Smoak so he is expendable. They are looking for a nice RHB. I think a Lee for Davis trade makes a lot of sense. Davis provides the same defense, is younger and MUCH cheaper, a LHP for our lineup... and his contact ability will come. Sure, he will strike out a fair amount too, but he has a good eye and could potentially be an Adam Dunn type bat at the 1st base corner.

Blow it up

I agree, start taking it apart. I don't see Vitters at 3B anytime soon though. The guy isn't hitting, period. You need power at 3B. I don't see this guy making it up anytime soon. I keep Ramy at 3B for another year and go find somebody to play 1B. I like the rotation, but I would find another lefty in case Gorz doesn't work out. I agree with keeping Byrd. You need a veteran presence and he fits the bill perfectly. Hak Ju Lee is still a question mark. All we can do is hope for the best in his case. Trading Marmol now might bring in a load of talent as well. The million dollar question is who is your GM and Manager????

I agree with most

I agree with most of what you write here Eddie. I've been saying pretty something similar for a while. But I take issue with a few moves:

1) Trading Fukudome. It's just not going to happen. The Cubs have stated publicly that they aren't willing to eat salary and no one is going to take on the next 1.5 years of Fuku's salary. So the Cubs need to utilize what they can out of Kosuke. He's an effective, if overpaid, player. He shouldn't keep Colvin out of the starting lineup (I'm still dubious about Colvin, btw) but he's probably not going anywhere until either late 2011 or after the 2011 season unless the Cubs get lucky.

2) Calling up Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. Dude, Jackson is in Single A right now. I don't think he'll be major league ready until 2012. If he hits the shit out of the ball in Double A next year, maybe you start thinking about bringing him up but I think they'll be lucky if he's the starting CF in 2012. As for Vitters, he's far from ready. He's struggling in Double A right now. Now he's only 20 years old but I think he probably needs 1-2 more years in the minors. The Cubs need to assume that neither of these guys will be ready until 2012.

As for the rest of it. I think the Cubs have plenty of starting pitching and can think about dealing both Silva and Lilly this year. If they can find a taker for Silva, it is worth their while to move him now. They can move both Gorzelanny and Cashner into the rotation this year (Jay Jackson is a possibility also). I'd like to see them move Lee also. I really doubt they will do any of these things until the middle of next month and I think it's as likely that they will do nothing as it is that they will do something. Quite frankly, I don't think they can screw this up unless they decide to be buyers with how far out they are.

If they keep Lilly, for instance, he's a likely type A free agent and there will be teams interested. It will yield the Cubs two high draft picks in a talent ridden draft. They need a good haul in the trade market under those circumstances and if they can't get it, they should hold onto Lilly.

As for Lee, I don't think the Cubs should just give him away. I know his contract and the fact that he is aging make is harder to deal him but I'd rather the Cubs hold on to him and re evalute after the season then trade him.

I honestly do not believe the Cubs will be terrible in 2011. I think they will be mediocre. I realize that might be worse than many people want but it's where they are right now. They are in the down phase of the cycle. They will rise again. People need to just be patient.

I'm sure you're right about

I'm sure you're right about Vitters. Part of my impatience is that it seems like he's been in the organization forever.

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