From the Wire … Gorzelanny Traded to the Nationals

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs have sent Tom Gorzelanny to the Washington Nationals for three minor league prospects … two pitchers and an outfielder.

Gorzelanny is in D.C. taking a physical and the deal is expected to be made official on Tuesday.

The Tribune confirmed the report an indicated the Cubs will receive three mid-level prospects in return for the southpaw.

Updated 2:16pm C.T.According to Jon Paul Morosi, the outfielder in the deal is Michael Burgess, the Nationals first round pick in the 2007 draft.

Updated 3:24pm C.T. – According to multiple reports, A.J. Morris is one of the minor league pitchers acquired by the Cubs.

Updated 5:17pm C.T.According to a report from Bruce Miles, the other pitcher in the deal is Graham Hicks, a southpaw.

The Cubs had been shopping Tom Gorzelanny due to budget constraints after acquiring Matt Garza. Gorzelanny is arbitration eligible.

Updated 2:16pm C.T. – According to Jon Paul Morosi, one of the players in the deal is outfielder Michael Burgess. The 22-year old lefty was the Nationals first round pick in the 2007 draft (49th overall). Burgess spent time in High Class-A and Double-A in 2010.

Burgess combined to hit .265/.357/.465/.822 in 122 games with 26 doubles, six triples and 18 home runs. In 21 games at the Double-A level, Burgess put together a .284/.391/.649/1.039 line with five doubles and six home runs.

Michael Burgess’ Page on Baseball-Reference

Updated – 3:24pm C.T. – The Nationals selected A.J. Morris in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. The 24-year old right-handed pitcher (December 1, 1986) posted a combined 5-3 record in two stops (Rookie Ball and Class High-A) with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 27 games, 16 starts, in 2010.

A.J. Morris’ Page on Baseball-Reference

In the upcoming 2011 Prospects Handbook, Baseball America ranked A.J. Morris the Nats 18th best prospect and Michael Burgess came in at number 19.

Updated 5:17pm C.T.According to Bruce Miles, the third player in the deal is lefty Graham Hicks. The Nationals selected Hicks in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. Hicks was 2-6 in 16 games, all as a starter, in two stops in A-ball last year with a 5.02 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Hicks turns 21 on February 9.

Graham Hicks’ Page on Baseball-Reference

Gorzelanny filed for arbitration on Friday and was expected to make around the $2 million mark in 2011 … the Cubs paid the lefty $800,000 in 2010. The Cubs have three arbitration eligible players unsigned … Matt Garza, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol. The talk over the weekend was the Cubs are working on a multi-year deal with Marmol.

With Tom Gorzelanny on his way to the Nationals, the Cubs 40-man roster stands at 38 players.

Stay tuned … will update if any additional information is made available.

Quote of the Day

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." - Dale Carnegie

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  • Notch8

    Michael Burgess one of the prospects coming over from Washington

  • PleaseStopLosing

    Wow, This Burgess looks like a good catch to me for Tommy G… Might be a nice net of prospects for trader Jim for once.

    Young hitter with a lot of upside and some power. Left handed bat and a little speed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    My question is Burgess now in our Top 10? He wasn’t in the Nats this last year. I still just wish we would get some better prospects at the corner infield positions.

    • daverj

      I’d say he’s about 8-12’ish. Probably our third best outfield prospect behind Jackson and Golden … I suppose you could also make an argument for Szczur ahead of Burgess, but it’s close and not a distinction worth making.

      My Top Ten now would be:

      Tier 1
      1) B Jackson
      2) McNutt
      Tier 2
      3) Vitters
      4) Carpenter
      5) Jay Jackson
      Tier 3 – very hard to distinguish these guys from the players that would rank 11-15
      6) Golden
      7) LeMahieu
      8) Dolis
      9) Simpson
      10) Burgess

      • Tom U

        At this point, I would consider Jae-Hoon Ha ahead of Golden and Burgess, although Golden has a chance to improve his status if he shows he can play a full season.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Just a note: Nats system is pretty bare before this trade. Cubs system was supposedly near the top in MLB. Burgess ranked #19 best Nats prospect. How would he be catapulted to #10 in our system?

        You might be right, but I am skeptical.

  • Tom U

    Michael Burgess – 5′ 11″ 195 lbs, bats and throws left. Turned 22 in October. Was a first round pick of the Nationals in 2007. Averaged .257 with 18 Home Runs, 21 doubles, and 68 RBI in 4 minor league seasons. Hasn’t played above AA ball, with his first AA season last year. Primarily a right fielder, with .976 fielding average and 53 outfield assists.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      *OF Michael Burgess- He has big plus power and a nice plus arm in right field…but I’m just not a big believer here. He doesn’t move too well at all and he’s got a long swing. His pitch recognition needs work and Melville made him look silly in a four pitch at-bat. Melville fed him three breaking balls that Burgess swung and missed at each time. It didn’t look pretty. He’ll hit some baseballs a long way but I see his swing as an all or nothing proposition. If he doesn’t figure it out quick I could see him flaming out quickly. His best bet might be to try making it to the big leagues as a home run threat off the bench.
      http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/my-farewell-scouting-tim-melville/

      • gary3411

        He must have at least decent wheels to have attempted 20 stolen bases in ’09. I’m sure he can cover some ground in left field just fine IF he makes it to the bigs with his bat.

        • Patrick_Schaefer

          He has a pretty decent walk percentage too.

  • Cheryl

    Could part of this be a flip for more pressing needs like in the infield? It seems like we have enough prospects that are maturing in the outfield already?

    • daverj

      Probably not a flip … just JH getting what he could for Gorzo.

  • jw

    He’s a compact version of Ryan Howard body wise if that is some comfort..certainly looks physically strong and a bit nasty. Was the 2006 Baeball America’s HS player of the year. Intriguing…like to see who the other prospects are

    • jw

      Correction…Adrian Cardenas was BA’s HS player of the year. Burgess was AFLAC HS player of the year.

  • paulcatanese

    Hate to see Gorzo go,hope it dosen’t come back to bite us.As for this young man I know nothing about him except most power hitters have contact issues and strike zone recognition problems. But as what has been said he is only 21 years old. I wish him well,do we have enough outfielders now? Pitchings prospects? Look for more prospects to be traded.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I’ve updated the post with one of the pitchers, A.J. Morris. I have also included where they ranked in BA’s Prospect Handbook.

  • John_CC

    Not knowing more about these kids than I just read, it seems like a good trade for Gorzellany. He’s a back of rotation pitcher. Hendry replenished the farm a little bit. I don’t think it matters that it happens to be another OFer. To get a first round and top 50 pick – who is still just 21 – in return for Gorzy looks like a pretty good move.

    Now I’m sure someone will tell me who awful this kid really is.

  • Jeff S

    AJ Morris From KSTATEFANS.com

    http://kansasstate.scout.com/2/870033.html

    • The Maven

      Morris seems to be in good company for the Golden Spikes. We all know how good Strasburg and Leake are. Ackley is projected to make the Mariners roster this year and could possibly start.

  • Tom U

    AJ Morris – 6′ 2″ 185 lbs, bats and throws right. Turned 24 in December. Was the fourth fopund pick of the Nationals in 2008. Started 26 of 37 games with a ERA of 3.63, WHIP of 1.21. and record of 5-7. 111 strikeout to 36 walks. Hasn’t pitched above High A ball.

  • stormyweather

    If Burgess is #10 on the prospect list, it doesnt say much good about your prospects. This guy is a free swinger, a left handed Mike Cameron without the Gold Glove. All or nothing type.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      There is a big difference this guy is still developing and has potential. He will be 22 years old this season and in AA not time to give up on him yet.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    (@jimcallisBA) Brett Jackson much better prospect.Better hitter, can play CF. @odonnelltw: comparison between burgess and b. Jackson? #Cubs
    half a minute ago via web .(@jimcallisBA) Morris ranked No. 18, Burgess No. 19 on #Nationals Top 30 in upcoming Prospect Handbook.Other pitcher wasn’t on Top 30 #Cubs
    26 minutes ago via web .(@JimBowdenXMFOX) Burgess 60 arm 60 pwr 50 FLD …..light tower power..strikeouts/holes,contact will be issue. But only 21 = Jr in College
    about 1 hour ago via web .RT @BenBadler New Cubs RF Michael Burgess: big raw power, big arm strength, even bigger swing
    about 1 hour ago via web .RT @jonmorosi Scout knows Burgess says has strong build, excellent throwing arm, good raw skills. Struck out a lot last year. #Chicago #Cubs
    about 2 hours ago via web

    • Gary J

      Thanks Patrick – a 60 in both power and arm are pluses… it’ll be interesting to see where BA puts these guys in their revised Cubs rankings

  • The Maven

    Here’s hoping that the third player the Cubs receive is a left handed pitcher. Like Tom U mentioned in his article on the Garza trade, the system needs right handed power hitting and left handed pitching. While Burgess is left handed, maybe he can push some of the other left handed power hittters, such as Ryan Flaherty and Kyler Burke. Right now, the only right handed power the Cubs have in the minors are Josh Vitters, Jae-Hoon Ha, and Reggie Golden. DJ LeMahieu may develop some power, but that remains to be seen. The Cubs could really use left handed pitching. Except for Scott Maine and maybe Polin Trinidad, the only prospects are Brooks Railey, Austin Kirk, and recently acquired Zach Rosscup.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      According to Bruce Miles, the Cubs received Graham Hicks … a southpaw. I updated the main report.

      • The Maven

        Thanks Neil!

  • Ripsnorter1

    So sorry to see Gorzelanny go. And to think that I just learned to spell his name, too.

    Here’s what we got:
    “Michael Burgess likely a reserve at best? Not even that good.
    Burgess doesn’t project as an everyday player in the majors — he has plus raw power and puts on a show in BP, but doesn’t recognize offspeed stuff at all and unless that changes he won’t make enough contact to be more than an emergency callup.” Had best OF arm in Nats minor league system. “Most likely wont ever hit for much average. .270 is tops for him. This kid has a lot to work on. Burgess was the Nationals first round draft pick in 2007 and has played primarily right field throughout his minor league career. His power has never been in question, but his consistency and ability to limit his strikeouts have kept him from reaching elite prospect status. Despite hitting 72 home runs over four seasons, Burgess has yet to slug .500 in a full season.”

    A. J. Morris: Dec 22,2010 Has best slider in all of Nats organization. Even before this trade, BA said, “Nats organization remains thin in premium prospects.” Has a loose, effortless delivery. Knows how to pound the bottom of the strike zone and keep the ball on the ground and in the park. Fields his position very well. Morris was a 4th round pick by the Nationals in 2009 and had been used exclusively as a starter until a promotion to the Carolina League to start the 2010 season. He pitched in both starting and relief roles this year with moderate success, but at 23 was old for High-A ball.”

    What we gave up:
    Gorzelanny ranked 113 of the 115 in walk rate of the MLB pitchers who pitched at least 130 IP in 2010. Control has always been his kryptonite.

    Here’s a great article on Gorzo:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/what-is-tom-gorzelanny/

    My opinion: we gave up a ML pitcher for some hopes. What we have received thus far is not ML caliber, and probably won’t amount to anything for us.

    In short: this was a Jim Clueless salary dump. I don’t like it.

    • Gary J

      I agree with you – it was a salary dump…. but Gorzo is only so so. Nothing worth keeping around other than the arm he throws with. The article you linked to (thanks for that – it was a good read) calls his stuff average.

      And trading him for a 21 year old guy with plus rated power and a guy with “best slider in all of Nats organization” – that’s a decent take to me. Going to have to wait to see until 2013 to see how it pans out though of course.

      But getting two top 20 prospects in their system? They’ve been racking up the high draft picks in recent years – I’d guess these guys fall slightly higher over here but not elite.

      What’s not to like? Gorzo would be little more than a $2M long reliever on this team. And it gives him a chance to be a starter like he wants. If he didn’t make the rotation, he’d have probably asked for a trade anyway.

      Solid move in my book. Nothing spectacular. But he’s had two years here and has been up and down. I’d rather the roster spot went to a prospect at this point.

  • Tony_Hall

    Good luck to Tom Gorzellany. I always liked watching him pitch, and think he is in a good place for him to get to keep pitching in the rotation, and maximize his abilities.

    The inevitable trade of Gorzellany, netted a decent enough return. Hopefully at least one of these guys will make it to Wrigley someday.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Typical Jim CLueless move: keep Grabow, trade Gorzo. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Grabow @ $4.8 million, Gorzo at $800K, maybe $1 million.

      Grabow might toss 65 IP this year; Gorzo should net 180-200 IP.

      • Tony_Hall

        I know, but do you think there is any GM out there saying, boy I wish I could get JH to trade me Grabow! I really doubt anybody would want him for even $1M, let alone $4.8M.

        Gorzellnay will get closer to $2M in arbitration this year.

      • The Maven

        You also have to look at who we gave up to get Gorzelanny and Grabow. Jose Ascanio and Kevin Hart? Only Josh Harrison shows some promise. He batted .300 at AA Altoona at age 22. He has the look of a possible lead-off or number two hitter. When you add up the dead weight the Cubs got rid of, it’s not such a bad deal.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,your post. Shocking but quick,to the point and as usual very good. Roster 38 players? More trades?

  • Cheryl

    So, the roster is now at 38. Brett will probably get an invite to Spring Training if he isn’t slated already. I wouldn’t be surprised if Flaherty gets a look too. But I suspect another left hander will be in the mix at pitching now that G is gone.

    • Tony_Hall

      From the 40 man roster tab on CCO.

      2011 Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees

      Pitchers
      Angel Guzman
      Scott Rice

      Catchers

      Infielders
      Bryan LaHair
      Scott Moore
      Bobby Scales

      Outfielders
      James Adduci
      Reed Johnson
      Brad Snyder

      I would assume, guys like Brett Jackson, will spend sometime in camp, at some point of ST.

      Russell is the other lefty. They are going to stretch him out in ST to start.

  • studio179

    I really can’t go against this move. Clearly, a salary dump. However, the three names coming back all have interesting qualities and all three could contribute or fan out in time. All in all a solid move from both sides. I wish Gorzy well.

  • Aaron

    I don’t know how I feel about this trade yet. I guess if I felt Russell could at least duplicate what Gorzelanny did in the rotation, then I’d be fine with it, but I’m not sure, nor am I even sure if the Cubs will have a lefty in the rotation at this point.

    I was never a huge fan of Gorzelanny even when we got him in the trade initially. I also couldn’t stand Grabow…and the reason was simple…NEITHER of them were consistent pitchers, and both had high WHIPs.

    Gorzelanny, however, surprised me by pitching very well last year. That being said, he’s 28 years old, and the chances of him repeating last year’s relative success after being wildly inconsistent, and only having one other good season were telltale signs that he wasn’t going to be able to sustain it for the long-term. Thus, he becomes expendable.

    Did we get good value? The answer I’d have is “meh”….I don’t really know, and like the Garza deal, it’ll be 2-3 years down the line before we know if it’s a good deal (with how our former prospects turn out).

    Here’s basically what we got:
    Burgess-he seems like the lefty version of Reggie Golden, but about 3 years older. He has huge raw power, but no strike zone discipline, and despite a huge amount of muscle (which you think would translate to bat speed), he supposedly has difficulty with higher velocity pitchers

    Morris-think “Kyle Smit”. He throws in the 91-94 mph range as a starter and 95 mph as a reliever. Supposedly he projects as a reliever at the MLB level. Jeff Gray is also a decent comparable

    Hicks-throws in the 90-91 mph range, and projects better as a starter than reliever. He’s still VERY young, so there’s a chance he could develop into something special down the line based on his high school stats and at least some decent results thus far. If he adds a bit of strength to his 6’5″ frame, he could become a power pitcher…at least that was the scouting report on him.

    Overall, I neither like, nor dislike this trade. I normally try to look for comparables to judge a trade, but for the life of me, I cannot even think of trade in recent memory with a 4th-5th starter. I don’t know why…I just can’t think of one, though I know it’s happened recently. If someone can think of one, please let me know, so I can look up what they received. Fact is, Gorzelanny not only has NEVER been a top 3 starter, but based on his history, it’s reasonable to suggest that he will never be higher than a 4.

    So….just like my analysis of the Garza trade (where I had him pegged as a current 3, and no better than a 2 in the future), any analysis of Gorzelanny would have to take into consideration that he would’ve been a 4th starter, and most likely a 5th starter. So, I’d probably look for what a 4th starter would net you.

    Based on potential (and age), I love Burgess, especially if Rudy can get a hold of him and start working on his swing. I also am a lot higher on Hicks than I am Morris.

    And I have to give Hendry props on this, no matter how the trade turns out, because a 3-for-1 deal easily is a “sell high” move for a 4th or 5th starter. We netted a former 1st round pick in Burgess, which Hendry seems to enjoy going after them in trades (Burke was another young OF and former 1st rounder like this). Dewitt was another. Fontenot was one..Snyder was one. Heilman was one… and the list goes on.

    I hope at least one of these players pans out. If they don’t, then we end up losing this trade, because the point of any trade for prospects (unless it’s a trade like Aaron Miles where the player you’re giving up has no business even playing in MLB) is to net at least one, if not more, future MLB players, otherwise the trade is pointless, as in most cases, you’d have to overpay to find a FA replacement.

    Full disclosure though…I don’t think this trade hurts us. It can only help us. Here’s why:

    1) Gorzelanny would’ve cost us at least $2 million…and possibly $3 million
    *Cashner, Coleman, Jay Jackson, Carpenter, McNutt, etc., would only make the MLB minimum

    2) Our rotation 1-3 is already set with Z, Dempster, and Garza. And the 4th spot will likely go to Wells, who doesn’t make much more than the MLB minimum anyway. The 5th spot, as mentioned, will likely come down to the guys listed in point #1

    3) The future only looks more bleak for Gorzelanny. We have other highly rated lefties coming through the system with Rusin, Raley, Antigua, and Kirk among them.

    4) As mentioned a few weeks ago by Levine, it appears we might already have his replacement on the roster with Russell, who has a good amount of experience as a starter in the minors.

    Additionally, the rotation as early as 2013, the rotation could consist of:
    Garza
    Cashner
    Jackson
    McNutt
    Carpenter

    So….as I’ve stated before, you deal from excess (which is why I didn’t like the Garza trade, but I digress) for areas of need. We clearly had a deficiency in the power department in the minors, so that’s why I love Burgess in this trade. I would hope the Cubs would look at trading Z, Dempster, Wells, etc. if we’re out of it by this deadline, or at least in the offseason next year, because we have plenty of pitching depth.

    Anyway, that’s my take. Does anyone agree with that.

    • diehardcubfan

      I agree with you. I neither like nor dislike this trade. My concern is that if either Hicks or Morris develops will they go the way of Archer?

      I am now hoping that somehow JH can unload Silva to make room for one of the young guys to get a starting spot.

      I also agree with you on Wells. I think he too has a starting spot unless he has a really bad ST and the young guys really impress. Even then Wells will likely start so the young guys have more seasoning in the minors.

      I am curious on the two open roster spots. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

      The A’s dealt right-hander Joe Blanton to the Phillies. Funny “The minor leaguers involved were left-hander Josh Outman, who was in Double-A, second baseman Adrian Cardenas and our very own outfielder Matt Spencer”
      This seems like a fair comparable.

      BTW I never thought a lot about Gorzo but he was the Pirates best Starting pitcher for two straight seasons. He is a grinder and a competitor…I’ll give him that.

      • Aaron

        Excellent comparison! I think the A’s might’ve gotten the better prospects, and Outman, if he recovers from injury might be the gem of all of them.

        Both Blanton and Gorzelanny were about the same pitchers (same age, and almost same stats) prior to being traded…

        so…props to you, Sir, you found a great comparable

    • Gary J

      The reason you can’t remember a trade of a 5th starter is that they are generally unmemorable :-)

      All in all there’s more “hope” in this move that I thought we’d get in return for Gorzo as each of the players has something going for him on a “plus” level… although each has significant flaws. Sometimes these players just need a different perspective from a coaching level in order to plug some of their holes.

      Of course sometimes (OK – most of the time) it doesn’t pan out. But this doesn’t sound like a bad haul on the surface.

      Even if they don’t pan out, I sort of feel like this deal is addition by subtraction. There are better options for the rotation and if he was in the pen he wouldn’t have been happy about it and thus a possible drain on morale. And it saves $1.5M depending on his arbitration result.

      Plus Hendry is giving Gorzo his wish of remaining a starter by sending him to Washington – or at least a chance to remain a starter. I wish him only the best.

      This was essentially a salary dump of a player that was going to be nothing more than an (unhappy) long reliever.

      I’d much rather remove him from the race for the fifth starter altogether and leave it to the prospects to fight over.

  • Aaron

    I’ve seen comparisons linking this Gorzelanny and Garza trade together, because, in order to fit Garza in the budget, we’ve been forced to deal Gorzelanny.

    Essentially, the trade is Gorzelanny, Archer, Lee, Chirinos, Guyer, and Fuld, for:

    Garza, Fernando Perez, Rosscup, Burgess, Morris, and Hicks

    So…what’d we give up?

    Archer-potential ace, according to reports, and no worse than a 3, or, if starting doesn’t work, a closer

    Chirinos-MLB ready catcher

    Guyer-most likely a 4th/5th OF, but all reports suggest he’ll be in MLB for years to come as a solid back-up

    Lee-future lead-off hitter with excellent glove, and will likely be in MLB in a year or two

    Fuld-nothing more than a roster filler

    Gorzelanny-4th or 5th starter at best

    ……………………………………………..and we got………………………………………..

    Garza-currently 3rd starter, but by most reports, no better than a 2

    Perez-like Fuld, nothing more than a roster filler

    Rosscup-below average velocity in mid 80’s tops….Is currently wayyyyyyyy overachieving in Rookie Ball….but at 22 yrs old, he’s too old to be there, and yet, for 2 straight years he’s been there.

    Burgess-using Spencer as a comparable to Burgess is VERY accurate. Spencer is a bit taller, and Burgess probably has more raw power, but both have trouble making contact, and have similar slash lines. He could develop into a gem, or be a colossal bust just as easily

    Morris-Morris=Jeff Gray…Enough said…Actually, even Jeff Stevens is a good comparable, as both started early in their careers

    Hicks=VERY comparable to Rosscup, except he throws a touch harder at 90-91 mph.

    On a prospect basis, we lose this sequence of trades hands down. Garza better develop into an Ace, or this might go down as one of the worst trades in Cubs history….and that’s NOT exaggerating. I’d be shocked if Archer, Lee, Chirinos, and Guyer don’t make it to MLB, and I think there’s a very high likelihood that the first 3 make significant impacts at the MLB level.

    I could be eating a heavy helping of crow if the Cubs end up making the playoffs (doubtful..but still), but I see the Garza trade as extremely unnecessary. I thought we could’ve gotten by with what we have, as pitching was NOT the problem last year…the offense was. The thing I like about next year is that we potentially $40+million coming off the payroll. Why couldn’t we have just gone with the prospects we had, and really made a push for 2012. As it stands now, despite his best efforts to make it appear that we’re competing with the rest of the Central, Hendry gets a failing grade for mortgaging the future when he absolutely, should NOT have done so.

    2012 could’ve looked like this:

    Z
    Dempster
    Cashner
    Archer
    McNutt

    C-Soto, Castillo/Chirinos
    1B-FA 1B such as Pujols, AGON, Fielder, Swisher
    2B-Castro, Flaherty
    SS-Lee, LeMahieu
    3B-Vitters or ARAM if he’d even come back
    LF-Soriano, Guyer
    CF-B Jackson, Campana
    RF-Colvin

    Seriously, would that not have looked better than what we have? The only one you might question would be the Garza trade (as being a good thing), but with that, we’re also increasing payroll dramatically over time with his arbitration raises, PLUS, I think you’d be hard pressed not to find someone from a group of Archer, McNutt, Cashner, Jackson, etc. to at least come close to what Garza would offer.

    I don’t know how to feel. I’m so jaded right now. I’ve never had this feeling going into a season of just plain apathy. I couldn’t care less what happens, because I know, deep down, that this team is going NOWHERE, and I know it, because I look on paper, and it tells me they’re going nowhere, and more times than not, the paper doesn’t lie, ESPECIALLY when you take into consideration consistency of the players involved.

    I would like to look each and every person in the eye on this site, and ask them if they truly, deep down, believe the Cubs have a realistic shot this year. I would just venture a guess, but I think most people on here, if they’re not lying to themselves, would say there’s a greater chance that the Miami Heat do NOT make the NBA playoffs as opposed to the Cubs actually making the playoffs.

    Just look at the Reds, for instance:

    C-Hernandez, 7 hr, 48 RBI vs Soto, 17 hr, 53 RBI *we win
    1B-Votto, 37 hr, 113 RBI vs Pena, 28 hr, 84 RBI*Reds win
    2B-Philips, 18 hr, 59 RBI vs DeWitt, 4 hr, 22 RBI (for Cubs) *Reds win
    SS-Renteria, 3 hr, 22 RBI (72 games) vs Castro, 3 hr, 41 RBI (125 games) *for the future, we win, otherwise it’s a toss up
    3B-Rolen, 20 hr, 83 RBI vs ARAM, 25 hr, 83 RBI *last year, Rolen wins, but career-wise ARAM wins, so I have to go with us winning this one
    LF-Gomes, 18 hr, 86 RBI vs Soriano, 24 hr, 79 RBI *Reds win, as Gomes is younger and drove in more last year
    CF-Stubbs, 22 hr, 77 vs Byrd, 12 hr, 66 RBI *Reds win
    RF-Bruce, 25 hr, 70 RBI vs Colvin, 20 hr, 56 RBI *Reds win
    *Their top 3 in the rotation of Arroyo, Cueto, and Wood is about even with us. But when you factor in the rehabbed Volquez, they’ll beat us hands down

    The Brewers also embarrass us in every position I just mentioned, except for catcher, CF, and SS.

    C-?
    1B-Fielder
    2B-Weeks
    SS-?
    3B-McGehee
    LF-Braun
    CF-Gomez
    RF-Hart
    *Their top 3 in the rotation of: Gallardo, Greinke, and Marcum beats us…but it’s close

    The Cardinals also destroy us everywhere or are even with us at every position but SS and 3B.

    C-Molina *even
    1B-Pujols *Cards win
    2B-Shumaker *even
    SS-Theriot *we win
    3B-Freese? *we win
    LF-Holliday *Cards win
    CF-Rasmus *Cards win
    RF-Berkman *Cards win
    *Their top 3 in the rotation of Carpenter, Wainwright, and Garcia beats us EASILY

    Does everyone understand what I mean? I’m not trying to be a d$ck or anything….I’m just showing how difficult it’s going to be to even finish in 4th place….and I mean that in all seriousness. Our lineup is PATHETIC. Our rotation is solid. Our pen is solid….But that’s all we have going for us. Unless our rotation averages under a 3 ERA, there’s no possible way I see us making the playoffs.

    • Agustin_Rexach

      I think we gave a lot for Garza, especially with Lee who I believe will be a solid mlb player. Yet I can honestly say that even though Garza is not an ace as of today, he is hands down better than Zambrano and better than Dempster. He should be a stud in the national league after cruising through a superior Al east. Cashner could be in that league but we’ll have to wait and see if he clicks.
      I agree that we are not even pretenders for the nl central crown much less dream about beating the Phillies… Lol!!! I can’t see us winning one game against them this year! But Matt Garza is going to anchor the Cubs rotation for atleast for 2012 and 2013 which is the year we could really contend fo the WS because of the “projected” economic flexibility and some of our projected farm stud could be peaking at the same time. (that is if JH is not allowed ti screw either of those two up again)
      Gorzo was not even going to make the starting rotation and lets face it, he was not gonna net us Chamberlan! Please for the love of God Compare Gorzo vs Chamberlan and tell me what Gm other than JH would be so foolish to do that??? Cashman knows the value of players.
      All in all, our Donkey gm got solid return for a spare part with potential in Gorzo and paid a steep price for our new #1 starter. Like all trades involving good prospects; we will have to wait 2-4 years to really know who won.

      Aaron-we might have just found your new Adam Dunn Version In Burgess, who knows? He is young, powerful, honest obp, better defensive and strikes out a ton :) he’s got a shot to make your list!

      • Aaron

        I know it was a bit tongue-in-cheek with your Dunn comparison, but the 2 aren’t even comparable with minor league stats.

        As I’ve mentioned countless times, the true indicator of future success in the big leagues for a power bat in the minors is at least a .300 avg, and close to a .400 OBP. Burgess has neither. Dunn did. In fact, he had a .304/.425/.525 slash line, and the funny thing is, his walks and strikeouts were nearly identical in the minors (230 walks vs 270 K’s).

        As the scouting report said for Burgess, he’s nothing more than a 4th/5th OF or just a power pinch hitter, kind of like Matt Stairs is now.

        I will say this for Hendry though….at least he seemed to identify our weakness in the minors (power) and landed a HUGE project like Burgess.

  • Tony_Hall

    Interesting view from ESPN Stats & Info (viewable to all)

    http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/15965/one-step-forward-one-step-back-for-cubs

    I would rather have Garza than Gorzellany, but this article makes a case on did the Cubs improve all that much in the Garza for Gorzellany and the Cubs losing out on the prospects exchange.

    I am over the Garza deal, and feel that it was inevitable to trade Gorzellany, due to the number of options in the rotation, and who had trade value. I would have waited longer, but, never expected 3 mid-level prospects back, (I was expecting 2 mid-level guys). A deal like this was to get cash back to offset some of Garza’s pay, and get 3 chances at a prospect making it someday.

  • Bryan

    I’m neither here nor there on what we received back in the Gorzellany deal. What irks me though is that you can almost bet that JH never picked up the phone to call the Yankees about a potential Gorzellany/Chamberlain swap. That would have been a more applauded move.

    • daverj

      Applauded by Cub fans and met with a chuckle and a click by the Yanks front office.

  • paulcatanese

    Would Hicks be the grandson of Joe Hicks(WhiteSox)? If so,. Joe was a teamate in Fankfurt Germany 1956,

  • paulcatanese

    Read bleacher report this morning and there was some talk about dumping Theriot in the dirt,not once but several times because of the comments he made. I am not in favor of that practice. Too often reverse effects take place.You fire up the opposing team,face retaliation,and people get hurt.If they are going to do that don’t broadcast it especially against LarRussa thats his favorite game. Play the game, stike the guy out or whatever,but do not give him the excuse to be fired up.

    • paulcatanese

      By the way, it read as though Hill was making most of the comments,in his case he’s probably looking for another way to get on base.But then why would they throw at him? Three and he’s out anyway. The old days(mine) featured throwing the bat back at the pitcher or bunting down the first base line and then taking the pitcher out. But those days are gone ,too much money out there to risk anything like that. I have never done that but have seen it done.

      • Gary J

        There were comments along those lines made by several of the Cubs pitchers during sessions at the convention. I think my favorite was “I hope he likes the taste of dirt”