This may be blatantly stealing from Brian a bit, but with Winter Meetings ongoing, news can strike any moment, so I am keeping this brief! I am just going to sound off on some random thoughts about the off-season and the Winter Meetings thus far, and I highly encourage all the great CCO Readers to join in as well. If you were hoping Jim Spendry would simply just sign everyone you wanted off your wish list, using his new and improved company Visa card, and your list included J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo, well….then….you know better.
The flavor of the day will likely be Ted Lily, the most highly sought after career .500 pitcher since, well, those other .500 pitchers were sought after in the last couple of years: Jeff Weaver, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, etc…. Lily is a fine 4th starter, and maybe even a #3 starter, but he isn’t a #2 guy, and that is what the Cubs are lacking behind Zambrano. Can Hill be the #2 guy? Will Prior return to form and be the #2 guy? Are we back to “hoping” someone will get better, or will we sign a legitimate #2 guy behind Zambrano….namely, Jason Schmidt? I hope so!
Lugo….Drew….We Hardly Knew You!
Tears were flowing down the CCO cyber streets last night, with the signing of Lugo and Drew by the Red Sox, who still probably have a higher payroll than the Cubs. So much for the Cubs being the next Yankees and buying up all the talent. I for one, am not shedding tears for these two. Drew will be injured again….he is Nomar, but with less heart. Lugo is only a slightly above average shortstop, and couldn’t hold Rafael Furcal’s jockstrap, I believe. More money left now for….I don’t know….Jason Schmidt? I hope so!
Had Jim Spendry overpaid for Rafael Furcal last year, he would still have three solid pitching prospects in Renyel Pinto, Sergio Mitre, and Ricky Nolasco. Instead, he gave them away in a lost season, and basically watched $5 million on Juan Pierre get wasted. If Furcal was worth $9-10 million to Hendry, as a player, then Hendry should have realized the extra $3 million it would have taken to sign him would have been a good investment in his farm system, by not having to give away talent for a 1-year rental like Pierre. Not only that, there are no talented players like Furcal available for the infield this year….so we have settled on Mark DeRosa. Definitely should have overpaid. Hopefully Spendry has learned his lesson, and will now overpay, if needed, for….Jason Schmidt? I hope….ok, you get it….I want the Cubs to sign Schmidt.
Schmidt makes sense because he is the best option out there, that won’t take 5 plus years in a contract to sign. Barry Zito is a flyball pitcher, while Schmidt supposedly is more of a groundball pitcher. In that case, the edge, for Wrigley Field, needs to go to Schmidt. Even if Prior comes back, and Wood returns to the rotation in a year or two, a 3-4 year contract for Schmidt won’t keep a talented pitching prospect from breaking into the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. So why sign Lily/Meche for 4 years, and fewer likely wins, over Jason Schmidt for the same length of time? Didn’t John McDonough say resources were not going to limit the Cubs from the goal of winning the World Series? I hope Trader Jim still has a few tricks up his sleeve, but I also hope we see Jim Spendry one more time in the next few days! Until next time, CCO Readers, keep the faith that all that money spent on Soriano will not be in vain, that we will have 5 healthy starters (or more!) heading into Spring Training, and let’s go Cubs!