IF YOU COULD FIX THE CUBS...

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Neil ran a post on the homepage a few days ago asking what you would do as the GM.

I pose a similar question, but wanted to take different criteria into consideration. Let's suppose you were able to find takers for all of our big contracts. Who would you move first, and why? The second part of the question is, who would you replace them with?

Here's my list:

1) Bradley-as a clubhouse cancer, injury prone, and underachiever his entire MLB career, Bradley takes the cake as worst signing in all of baseball probably for the last 10 years, given length of deal and dollar amount. We can easily replace his "production" in the lineup with Hoffpauir or Fox...heck, even Fuld

2) Soriano-next to Bradley, he's one of the worst free agent signings of the past decade. His swings look downright awful. He can't hit offspeed pitches, and his bat speed has slowed considerably to the point where you wonder if he's really 36 years old, and not 33 years old. Unfortunately, at this point, we're going to have to take on a very ugly contract with similar dollars and years left. The ugliest deals right now that I can think of would be:
Barry Zito, Vernon Wells, and AROD (I'm talking deals with over 5 yrs left for big dollars). I'd do Zito and Wells in a heartbeat for Soriano. Outside of Fuld, Hoffpauir, and Fox, there really aren't any internal options available, so we must go outside to get a bat

3)Lee-$13 million left for a first baseman that clearly lacks the bat speed to be effective going forward. Though he's come on of late, I'm VERY skeptical that he will even finish with more than 20 home runs...yes, I know he's VERY close to it, but he just isn't driving the ball with authority. If you can't drive it with authority, then you surely will not drive in many runs either, and we can't afford to have that happen. In this case, I would prefer to trade for a AA slugger like Mitchell Moreland of the Rangers, or Chris Davis. Both are 23 years old, which is a decade younger than Lee. Both have tremendous upside, so I would make a move for them in a heartbeat.

4)Dempster-his deal is going to look really ugly 3 years from now...mark it down. At over $12 million/year, this is going to get really ugly. With all of our pitching talent in the minors right now, we should be able to solve this internally with Cashner, Jay Jackson, and others.

5) Fukudome-at $12 million/yr, his deal is also VERY ugly. It'd be fine if he were a natural CF with his stats, as it'd be more palatable. However, he's a RF by nature, and can't seem to hit a lick after the first month of the season. You pay corner outfielders that type of money to hit 20+ hr, 100+ RBI...NOT 10+ hr, 50+ RBI. His defense in CF leaves much to be desired. He doesn't take charge, and often misreads the ball. For CF, I'd just go with Sam Fuld to be quite honest, and have him bat lead-off.

6) Fontenot-at $400k, he's more than affordable, I realize this...but he is NOT an everyday player, and will turn 30 next year anyhow. I say we go after a Dan Uggla, Freddy Sanchez, or Mark Teahen here, and sacrifice defense for offense. (actually, you wouldn't even be doing that, as Fontenot isn't that great at defense anyway).

7) Gregg-$4 million. Let's just call it for what it is...yet another HUGE mistake by Hendry in the offseason. His fastball is straight. His breaking pitches are erratic. He lacks the intensity you'd expect out of a closer...he's an average middle reliever at best. All you have to do here is bump up Marmol or Guzman to closer, and bring up BJ Ryan to double as closer/set-up man

8) Heilman-$2 million. He's awful in relief. He's a LOT like Dempster in many ways. He'll rack up the walks in a hurry, but spread out over the course of a 9 inning ballgame, he's not that bad at all. In one or two innings though, he's HORRIBLE. Trade Harden and his $7 million contract for prospects, and bump up Heilman to the rotation for the time being.

9) Theriot-$400k. He's a LOT like Fontenot in that he lacks range to be an effective shortstop. His bat is decent though, so my recommendation would be to either trade him while his value is still high as a shortstop, or get a Yunel Escobar, then move Theriot to second base instead.