While I appreciate the difficulty a “general” sports media source may have in covering every single team in every single sport with the same depth that a blog dedicated to a particular team with a razor-sharp focus (and ninja writing skills, I might add) might be able to.
But sometimes, as is the case with this SportingNews.com piece, they’re just so off-base that said ninja blog has to tell ‘em what’s up.
The Cubs have been active this offseason, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. And they’re probably not done — we’ll get to the Jake Peavy possibilities in a moment — and that might not be a necessary thing.
That’s the premise of the article in a nutshell. The Cubs’ offseason has been bad, and the Cubs shouldn’t bother with Jake Peavy.
Both assertions are ridiculous, and we’ll take them on – and some other questionable statements – after the jump.
First and foremost: it is utterly ridiculous to judge the Chicago Cubs’ activity this offseason in a vacuum, and declare it poor. The Cubs are dealing with the sale of the team, a budget, and a payroll set to escalate dramatically in 2010.
Thus, some of the moves are going to look like shitty dumps…because they were.
Chicago traded infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa to the Cleveland Indians for three minor league middle relievers who might not even reach the big leagues this season
Apparently you can only make trades for players that will play in the big leagues in the current season; otherwise, it’s a bad move. This is, of course, aside from the fact that no one believes the three pitchers were acquired to actually pitch for the Chicago Cubs.
[The Cubs] signed supersub Aaron Miles away from the rival St. Louis Cardinals to help make up for the loss of DeRosa’s versatility. Miles is an excellent defensive player and has developed into a reliable singles hitter, but he is quite a step down offensively from DeRosa, who had 21 homers, 87 RBIs and a .376 on-base percentage in 2008.
You’re right, Miles would be a step down from DeRosa. Fortunately for the Cubs, the projected second base tandem is a Miles and Mike Fontenot platoon – likely to be a push at worst from the 34-year-old DeRosa.
The Cubs also let Kerry Wood leave as a free agent without offering the career Cubbie arbitration, so they won’t get any draft-pick compensation for losing the closer who had 34 saves and 84 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings last season.
Again payroll is a concern, as is the Cubs’ already overloaded pen. But more importantly, you’re right: the Cubs won’t get any draft-pick compensation for Wood. Psst. The player has to actually decline the offer of arbitration to get the pick. Woody has stated since leaving that he would have taken a one-year deal to stay. Gee, what do you think an offer of arbitration is?
To get Gregg, they gave the Marlins righthander Jose Ceda, a hard-throwing prospect whom scouts felt could have an impact on the big league level as soon as this season.
Gee willackers, another blunder by the Cubs. Trading a guy who “could” have an “impact” on the big league level some day for a guy who has been a successful ML closer for multiple years. Wait, wasn’t this article supposed to be a rant against the Cubs for failing to improve the big league club?
The issue with the Bradley signing is the length of the deal — three years — and the fact that he has played more than 100 games in the outfield only once in his career (in 2004 with the Dodgers).
Sigh. The deal is for three years UNLESS Bradley misses significant time on the front end, in which case the third year drops off. If you’re going to criticize the length of a deal, you might want to research just how long the deal is.
They’ve also traded Jason Marquis — he of 61 starts and 4.57 ERA over the past two seasons — to Colorado.
Wait, was that supposed to be a compliment of Marquis?
Not satisfied to ineptly throw stones at the Cubs’ offseason thus far, the Sporting News next took aim at the Cubs’ hypothetical offseason – namely, the acquisition of Jake Peavy.
Would Peavy really had made that much of a difference [in the post-season]? The Cubs had starting pitching depth, to the point where Ted Lilly and his 17 wins and 184 strikeouts never even got a chance to take the hill in the postseason. Peavy has a 12.10 ERA in two career postseason starts.
Oh, well if he’s had two poor postseason starts, he should just retire.
And, although he’s a swell pitcher, Ted Lilly hasn’t won a Cy Young award.
To suggest that a pitcher of Jake Peavy’s calibre would not make *any* rotation better is ridiculous. Even if it pushes a guy like, say, Ryan Dempster out of the rotation for the playoffs – it adds a guy like, say, Ryan Dempster to the bullpen.
And, of course, this all assumes that all of the Cubs’ starters will be healthy in October; which itself assumes that the Cubs will even REACH October. Adding Jake Peavy helps with both.
The Chicago Cubs thus far have had an adequate offseason: the rotation is solid with or without Jason Marquis, the bullpen is solid with or without Kerry Wood (with Kevin Gregg), and the lineup is vastly improved with Milton Bradley.
The irony, of course, is if the Cubs manage to add Jake Peavy, it will be heralded as among the best offseasons in baseball. Even the Sporting News couldn’t dispute that.
They would simply say it wasn’t necessary.