Hey guys. I know I haven't posted much, but I do keep an eye on things each day here. Just thought I would share my opinion about how the offseason has gone to this point.
1) Center Field
I've been seeing a number of guys mentioned as being on the Cubs radar. From those I've seen, this is the order of interest I think the Cubs should have of the guys out there:
- Johnny Damon
- Marlon Byrd
- Scott Podsednik
- Basically ANYBODY besides Rick Ankiel
I don't think I've come across anything stating the Cubs have interest in Damon, but they should have. Now, I know he isn't stellar defensively (if he is even available to play CF) and that he is 36 years old, but what more would you want from a guy? He would be a left-handed hitting lead-off CF with power, speed, good OBP, great attitude, and oh yeah, championship experience. If we were willing to give Cameron a 2 year deal for $7-9M per year, then we should easily be willing to give Damon the same type of deal. I've heard he is looking for $11-13M a year, but he was willing to accept a 2 year deal from the Yankees for $10M per year before they got Nick Johnson. If he would accept a similar deal from the Cubs, they need to be all over that.
As for the other options, I like Byrd the best. I know he would require a bigger deal and some could look at it as a repeat of the whole Bradley thing, but I don't think attitude would be a problem with Byrd and he would be good. If the Cubs don't want to shell out the money for him (which would be understandable), then I think Podsednik is the next best option, as he would be relatively cheap and would give us a nice lead-off guy with some speed, which the current roster currently lacks badly. If it isn't any of these guys, then go with Johnson or Fuld or a platoon of the two.
As for Ankiel, I DESPERATELY hope the Cubs don't go that route. His production has fallen each of the last 2 years, he's an ex-Cardinal, he's got a low OBP, he used HGH, etc., etc. In my opinion, the Cubs have done a good job of trying to restore the chemistry of the team thru addition-by-subtraction so far this offseason and getting a guy like Ankiel would ruin that.
2) Milton Bradley
I don't want to re-hash this very much, but the bottom line is the Cubs had to get rid of him, they didn't have much (if any) leverage, and they were going to take a hit with any deal they would have made. I'm not a big fan of getting Silva (I would have much rather seen them eat most of his contract and gotten even just a nice bench player in return for him), but considering the limited interest in Bradley, it's not bad. I'm not saying Silva is good, but consider these points:
- he is still only 30 years old
- he had a couple solid years for the Twins a couple years back
- he's going from the AL to the NL
- reports are that he is pitching well this offseason and has dropped about 30 pounds
- he would only be considered our 5th starter
- the deal actually saved the Cubs a little money, which can be used elsewhere
Again, the Cubs were going to take a hit on any deal and no team was about to help the Cubs out with Bradley, so the Cubs did what they could. Plus, the money has to go somewhere, whether it was Bradley, Silva, or whatever, but the one constant was the Cubs HAD TO get rid of Bradley. Period.
3) HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!
I'm off to Texas in a couple days and some nicer weather to see family. Whatever the rest of you are doing, have a good and safe Christmas and New Year's. Hopefully the Cubs will give us all a lot to cheer about in 2010!