Goatriders of the Apocalypse

I'm gonna say it again

Jake Peavy mows down the Cubs, again

Even though Jim Hendry did what I consider to be an admirable job in trading a lot of our "spare parts" this off season, the Cubs are still blessed with a few competitions in training camp this spring. 

There are 19 guys who I would bet my paycheck that, barring injury, will start the season with us in Houston.  Soriano, Fukudome, Bradley, Ramirez, Lee, Zambrano, Dempster, Harden, Lilly, Vizcaino, Gregg, Heilman and Gaudin, based on their contracts alone.  Then there are also Theriot, Fontenot, and Miles - this is your middle infield core.  The Rookie of the year, Soto, along with Bako, the catchers.  Of course, Marmol.  None of these guys has to compete for a roster spot.

Now, let's look at what else is going on:

  • Marshall and the Shark are competing for the "fifth" starter role.
  • Hoffpauir and Jake Fox are competing for the "power hitting backup to Lee" role.
  • Gaudin and Heilman are competing for the "ugliest, most disgruntled" reliever role, but I already counted them above.  Never mind...
  • Cotts and Mike Stanton are competing for the "token bullpen lefty" role.
  • Finally, let's hope that Miles and/or Fontenot can show some success in the role of "backup third baseman".  Because, otherwise, we're going to be forced to carry someone who can, out of the cesspool of Andres Blanco, Luis Rivas, etc.  AND, to make matters worse, this then creates a competition for "fourth outfielder" between GROTA Fave Reed Johnson and Joey Gathright, because assuming Lou is bringing 12 pitchers north, that leaves only 4 outfield positions if the infield is taking up 7.
  • As it is, some may say that Johnson and Gathright are already competing for the coveted role of "sometimes center fielder". 

I am about to make my point, for those of you patient enough to stay with me so far, however I must make the disclaimer that my assumptions to follow are, as always, "barring injuries" to one of the 19 fortunate sons above.  But if worse came to worse, and if one of them were to injure themselves, there is always the short-term fix of the farm system, and a longer-term fix in the mid-season trade market. 

But I maintain the following:

  • The 2009 Cubs do not need Samardzija AND Marshall;
  • The 2009 Cubs do not need Hoffpauir AND Fox;
  • The 2009 Cubs, hopefully, do not need another piss-hitting short guy to be a backup infielder.  But even if they don't, they don't need Reed Johnson AND Gathright.
  • The 2009 Cubs do not need Jeff Stevens OR Josh Vitters...

OH GAWD!!  You cry...NOT THIS AGAIN....

Yep.  It is lovely to win early spring games, it is entertaining to discuss the chances of Red Sock Schill park his ample ass along the third base bullpen.  It is delightful to see the former LSU Tigers beat up on guys who will be parking cars next month.  But in my world, this is not a World Championship club we are seeing right now. 

However, kids, what we do have today is a club that is close, real close, two fingers held really close together close, only ONE major pickup close.  We don't need a 42-year-old fame whore; we don't need a fifth starter; what we need is something we don't have.

And yes, I do understand that there isn't much that can be done until the ownerships for both franchises are set in concrete, but that's ok.  All it should take on our end is a few more outings like the one Peavy threw at us yesterday.  And all it should take on their end is several more outings where the only runs they score are unearned runs.

I'd toss Marshall-Fox-Gathright-Stevens-Vitters at them for Peavy, and if they wanted either Johnson or Hoffpauir (but not both) instead of Gathright or Fox, I'd give it to them.  If they wanted both, I'd take Vitters off the table, so a Marshall-Hoffpauir-Johnson-Stevens for Peavy.   This is what we'd have left:

  • We'd still have Samardzija for a "sixth" starter to fill in when needed;
  • We'd still have a power hitting backup for Lee;
  • We'd still have a great-fielding platoon CF with Fukudome;
  • Heilman and Gaudin would be full-fledged bullpen members.  But for perhaps the first time in their respective careers, they would not have the ability to say "Hey, I am better than X - I should be starting for us", and since that is understood, both can concentrate all of their energies to being the best set-up guys they can be;
  • We'd still have the balance and depth Uncle Lou claimed cost us the last two playoffs;
  • Oh, yeah.  We'd have the best MLB starting rotation of the last 40 years.

Now, THERE's a World Series team!

Loving it

Was reading and reading and reading, wondering where this was going. And then BAM, I saw Peavy. I agree completely. We have too many "little pieces" of a puzzle that really don't fit. We have depth ALL AROUND. But the addition to a Cy Young pitcher like Peavy....Game, Set, Match. Of course, like stated above, this is all speculation that everyone can remain healthy and that the team that takes the field for the first regular season game is the same team that takes the field in October. Wow, I like the trade, except for the Reed Johnson "extra" additive.

Keep in mind, I don't wanna trade Johnson

...but I have a feeling that it will take something of that value to pry Peavy away.

And it would be worth it.

Anyway...how about the picture at the top? Should have given you a hint early on in the post...

The Trade

I have a hard time believing the Pads would be interested in Fox/Gathright/Stevens as the third piece of a Marshall/Vitters trade and even harder for the Marshall/Hoffpauir/Johnson/Stevens deal. While Towers will probably be more willing to trade Peavy come summertime, he'll also have bidders and thus a higher selling price.

No Trade Clause

Yeah, but doesn't Peavy have a No-trade clause?

Yes but the Cubs were one of

Yes but the Cubs were one of the few teams he said that he would waive his no trade clause for.

Have to point out that...

If Fox can prove he could capably backup third base, he AND Hoffpauir could both make the team. The Cubs all of a sudden have a LH dominant bench and could use Fox's RH thunder. Who would be the platoon partner for Fukudome in CF if you were to trade Johnson? Certainly not the lefthanded Gathright, whom you are also trading in your scenario. And Bako is competing for the backup catcher spot with Koyie Hill, he's not being handed the position. And while it would be fabulous to add Jake Peavy to the Cubs rotation, the Padres aren't going to be interested in Gathright and probably not in Fox either. Marshall and Vitters yes, but it would take more than that, which is what caused the deal to fall thru in the first place. Hendry wasn't willing to meet San Diego's asking price.

It would be Gathright OR Johnson

I would not trade both, and I'm pretty sure I made that clear. But you are correct when you point out that Gathright could not form a platoon with Fukudome.

Second of all, if you honestly think Koyie Hill has any sort of chance to go north...I guess in nearly 40 years of watching baseball, I have never seen the kid beat the experienced guy in the competition for backup C.

I agree that SD isn't going to be interested in Gathright at all. They might be interested in Fox, certainly not as the centerpiece, but they really need offense in the worst way.

I think SD would want Johnson, and we would end up with a full-time Fukudome in CF. Certainly not ideal by any means, but for Peavy, I would take it.

I was all for getting Peavy

I was all for getting Peavy this offseason until I was convinced otherwise by an interview with Steve Stone. Stone's arguement was that the Cubs should wait until the trade deadline to trade for Peavy in case of any unforseen injuries. The concern is that if say Ramirez gets hurt there would still be people in the farm to either replace him or put together a nice package to get a suitable replacement. If by the trade deadline we are still healthy, then take the risk and sell the farm for Peavy for the playoff run. If this team plays up to their potential we wouldnt need Peavy for the regular season beyond letting Soto getting used to his pitches. So what is the harm in waiting? Also, if you look at Peavy's season the last time he pitched in the WBC he started off very poorly and only finishied strong to salvage his season.


I think that Peavy still remains on the radar, and the cubs still remain in good position to get him. I've heard that Sandy Alderson, a former Padres executive, could join the cubs in some capacity once the Ricketts ownership transition is complete. I'm not saying its going to get the job done, but it probably couldn't hurt any either. The long-term effect of trading for Peavy could impact many different aspects of the team; such as clearing out the few talented prospects that remain in the farm system, losing one or both of Rich Harden and Ted Lilly to free agency, blocking Samardzija from joining the rotation if Peavy is added and others remain, and having no payroll flexibility from 2010 and beyond. I agree though that Peavy is likely worth the cost, whatever it may be. I hope to see the team clear some payroll before they truly pursue him though, and possibly explore trading Luis Vizcaino or Kevin Gregg. At this point, if you can get Jake Peavy, you have to push the chips all-in and go get him.

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