Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Who I would keep

Welcome, one and all, to today's edition of Roster Talk! 

Today, we're gonna look at the bright side of things, once again, because whenever I look at things from the other side of the coin, some of you get upset, your feelings get hurt, and you start demanding that I hang myself.  Ah, kids...you know I would always go with the overdose, or perhaps the double Smokey Joe in the sealed bathroom method, like my favorite singer used.  I just LOVE the smell of a charcoal fire!

Anyway, let's go over the 2009 Cubs roster, and discuss who I would keep for 2010...don't worry, people, it's not a long list, and you can finish it in no time and get RIGHT back to work...you don't even have to print it and take it to the can with you. 

Without further eloquence, here's the "keepers" on Jim Hendry's fantasy team:

Derrek Lee - even in this, his best year in the past five, he doesn't have the offensive output of the top NL first basemen.  He's no Pujols, Howard, Gonzalez, Fielder.  He's there with Todd Helton, Fat Elvis Berkman, some of the other 35 year olds.  His so-called fielding excellence is overrated, too.  None of the experts list him in the top three.  But 2009 is not his fault. 

Ryan Theriot - he's a decent second baseman, has good bat control, and like his predecessors at second before him, Todd Walker and Mark DeRosa, never met a microphone or camera he didn't like.  See what I'm doing here?

Aramis Ramirez - the best player we have.  His dislocated shoulder turned out to be the turning point of the year.  The player we can least afford to lose. 

Jake Fox - as long as he realizes his role on the team, backup corner outfielder and corner infielder, he adds value to our team.  Once he starts crying about playing time, and someday, he will, they can trade him.  Until then, he's a keeper.

Kosuke Fukudome - history will show that he was not as advertised, in terms of offensive impact.  Yes, he gets on base, and yes, he is the only Cub mentioned by the baseball experts as an above average fielder for his position.  He knows how to play the game.  He just isn't good enough to dominate major league pitching.  But if we had an actual offense, what he gives us in CF would be plenty.

Geo Soto - you know just how pissed off I am at him this year.  I am willing to give him another chance this off season to work out hard and come back in 2010 in top shape.  I am only willing to do this because catching talent is at an all-time low.  If the Molina brothers were born 30 years earlier than they were, they'd be pumping gas in Bayamon for a living.  Today, they are beloved figures.  So we have to give this guy slack, whether he deserves it or not.

Ted Lilly - the best pitcher we have.  He's suffered some physical ailments for the first time in three years, and he came back as strong as any other Cub coming off of the DL this year.  They need to extend his contract.

Ryan Dempster - nobody will take him and his contract right now.  Plus I am also willing to cut him some slack, due to his personal issues with his newborn daughter.  Hopefully she thrives, and daddy can go back to running up and down mountains in the off-season.  Because he ain't the same guy who won for us last year.

Carlos Zambrano - I honestly thought we had a chance to do a three way with San Diego and the Sox, where Z ended up with fellow countryman Ozzie Guillen and we ended up with Jake Peavy.  Otherwise, I'm sure nobody is going to touch his $18 million + salary.  And, I guess he has as much chance of having a big year as anyone else.

Randy Wells - he's got heart, if not a whole lot else.  That counts, don't it?

Sean Marshall - hey, we need the dues.  Actually, a great guy to have, as long as you don't rely on him too much.

Angel Guzman - I guess that's why we've been rehabbing this guy the past six years.  Still gives up too many taters.  Of course, so does Lilly.  Which is not quite the bad habit of...

Carlos Marmol - ...giving up too many walks.  While I don't, like, have a personal dossier on this guy, going by the first-person stories I HAVE heard + some of the photos that have surfaced on the internet + some of the comments made by the beat writers and game announcers, this guy has some personal problems right now, and a LOT of growing up to do.  If he does, he could be great.

John Grabow - looks like a decent pickup.  Plus he's lefthanded, and I heard he tips well.

OK, then, that's 14.  Fifteen if you count Alfonso Soriano, who is arguably the most untradeable guy in the league.  With Barry Zito winning every now and again, Soriano may have the worst contract in the majors. 

So, Hendry, or whoever.  You only have ten holes to fill for next year.  You need a leadoff hitter, closer, shortstop, and for the third straight year, right fielder.  I believe Milton Bradley is tradeable, in fact a MUST trade, certainly we will have to eat either salary or not get value back for him, but he has shown he has no business being here.  Send him someplace where nobody shows up for games, nobody reads papers or listens to sports radio, and he'll thrive again.  Maybe Texas will take him back?

You might get someone to give us a bag of peanuts for Kevin GreggRich Harden is a free agent this year?  Perfect, if that's true. Maybe we'll get a sandwich pick we can waste.  If Reed Johnson doesn't mind making fifth outfielder money again next year, maybe you give him one more look. 

That's it.  Everyone else, yes including the Great Jeff Baker, feel free to get that insurance certification or whatever it is that you will need to earn money the rest of your life. 

So, Cubs fans.  That's this winter's episode of "Who I would keep", with your congenial host, me.  Until next time, football is just around the corner, and you know what that means?  Yep, betting!  And, Cheerleaders!  Whoo!

naturally, your input is always encouraged, either via comment or by user blog page.  It's time!  Sharpen up the axe, and start Hackin!!

Offseason Moves

I'm really hoping to see Ricketts, Inc. bite the bullet, eat some salary, and unload some bad contracts. Find someone to give us a prospect or two in exchange for Soriano and $40M. And Bradley and, say 90% of his remaining contract for another couple of prospects. Its killing me that new ownership (and presumably new GM, etc.) is going to be saddled with so much Hendryian bad to start it off.

it will never happen

there isn't an owner alive, not even the Big Stein, who is willing to eat the Soriano contract.

I think they can get the Bradley thing done, though.

Jake Fox

I really, really like his bat, but if he continues to hit like he has so far, wouldn't we be better served using him as trade-bait to an AL team? That being said, the right deal must come along; however, this guy can flat-out hit, and an AL team should be interested if he continues to do what he's done so far. He's below-average in the field, so DH would be great for him. Why not shop him around? Maybe we could package him with Alfonso "Whiffianio". That would make taking on Alf's contract a bit more bearable for another team.

I agree on the rest, except for, I'd like to keep Fontenot too. I like his bat, but I think he's best in a reserve/platoon situation, as this is where he seems to be most effective.

Just a couple of things to think about.

keeper

I'm willing to accept him and his level of fielding as a fifth outfielder/backup corner infielder. We should have a 4th outfielder who can field, as well as a backup infielder that is a good fielder, as prerequisites to keeping Jake Fox.

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