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By now you’ve heard the twin pieces of news buzzing around the ‘net
today (aside from the imminent Marquis-to-Rockies deal and the
probably-going-to-sign-Milton-Bradley news).

Mark DeRosa has been dealt to the Indians for a trio of ho-hum minor
league pitching prospects, and the Chicago Cubs have signed former
Cardinal/mediocre utilityman Aaron Miles to a two year, $4.9 million
deal.

The true nature of these moves – and whether or not they are
swelltastic or retardorific* – won’t be known for some time. Is Miles,
who is coming off of a career year much like DeRosa was when the Cubs
first signed him, a downgrade from DeRosa? Of course. Does he save the
Cubs a little bit of a payroll? Yes. But is that the only reason to
take the downgrade? That’s what we’ll have to wait to find out.

The Cublogoverse is likely to describe the move as a “precursor” to a
deal for San Diego stud starter Jake Peavy. Maybe. The common wisdom
is that the Pads were looking for more young pitching than the Cubs
could part with. But it could just as easily be a precursor to the
aforementioned Bradley signing.

Cubs management can shoot sunshine up our bums about payroll
increasing, the ownership change not affecting things, blah, blah. But
none of us truly knows the financial condition of the team for 2009
and going forward. It’s tough out there right now, and it’s hard to
imagine ANY business remaining unaffected.

So I’m reserving judgment on these moves.

*(Brett of the future: Six years later, I’m pretty shocked that I ever used that word – let alone published it. Not only do I not approve of that, but I affirmatively scrub the comments when other people use that word. Not OK. I’m sorry to anyone who retroactively sees this, and I’m sorry that I ever thought it was acceptable language. I very much don’t now, and I’m pretty embarrassed. But I believe that the Internet is kind of a living, breathing thing, and it’s valuable to leave your mistakes out there for people to see/learn from. I screwed up many years ago, and just now realized it (July 2014). I’m very sorry, and I’ve tried to do better. And I think I have.)

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