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Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry continues his quest for a veteran, right-handed reliever for the bullpen. But is he getting ready to rob Peter to pay Paul?

After confirming the Cubs’ interest in Toronto Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor, Bruce Levine had this to say:

Frasor has a good power arm, seems to have something left at age 32. He’s a free agent after next season and arbitration eligible. Toronto would want pitching in return. They’ve expressed some interest in Angel Guzman.

Now, before we erupt in cries of execration – this is just Levine shooting from the hip, and explaining what he’s heard Toronto has expressed interest in. This is not Levine saying that the Cubs have offered Toronto Angel Guzman for Frasor.

But if they have or they do…

SWEET JESUS NO!

Frasor, a free agent after this year, is set to get a substantial raise from his 2009 salary of $1.45 million. Frasor had a dominant 2009 – 2.50 ERA in 57.2 innings, with a 1.023 WHIP – so we’ll give him that. But it was also a career year by far. His lowest ERA in any of the previous three seasons? 4.18. Frasor also turns 33 next season.

Compare all of that with Angel Guzman. Guzman is headed to arbitration for the first time, meaning he’s under inexpensive control for three more years. Guzman also had a dominant 2009 – 2.95 ERA in 61 innings, with a 1.049 WHIP. It, too, was Guzman’s best year so far in his career. Guzman will be 28 all season.

Am I going to argue that Guzman is surely better than Frasor? No. The stats, and Guzman’s questionable durability, simply wouldn’t back that up. But when you stack Frasor’s slightly more predictable track record against Guzman’s cheap, three-year control and far greater upside, this isn’t even a remotely close question.

Guzman, let’s not forget, was one of the bright spots in last year’s dismal bullpen.

  • http://424tales.blogspot.com Aisle 424

    Hendry will get lynched at the Cubs Convention if he does this. This would serve no purpose unless they know Guzman’s arm is about to fall off again (not out of the realm of possibility).

    • Ace

      If I’m the Blue Jays, and the Cubs offer me Guzman for Frasor, I’m one seriously suspicious dude.

  • Kyle

    we could trade derek lee and soriano to the blue jays for roy halladay?

    • Ace

      (1) The Blue Jays would never, in a million years, want Alfonso Soriano and his hellacious contract; and
      (2) Who would replace Soriano and Lee for the Cubs?; and
      (3) The Blue Jays already traded Roy Halladay to the Phillies. I probably should have said that one first.

      • http://tenprairiesticks.wordpress.com Kevin Lager

        Good call, but what about Lee AND Soriano to the BJays for Halladay?

  • Kevin G

    If Hendry does this he an idiot, wait thats already up for debate. In my option (which does care much weight around here) Guzman is one of the back ups for Marmols. Guzman has the stuff to close just his durability.

  • Kevin G

    If Hendry does this he an idiot, wait thats already up for debate. In my option (which does care much weight around here) Guzman is one of the back ups for Marmols. Guzman has the stuff to close just his durability is in question.

    • Ace

      I got the sense last year that Lou felt that way about Guzman, too.

  • Gary

    Couldn’t agree more Ace. I do however like the idea of having Frasor and Guzman both for 7th-8th inning match-ups.

    • Ace

      I have no opposition to getting Frasor (if Hendry absolutely MUST add another reliever), and agree that he’d make a solid addition to the pen.

  • http://fantasybaseballhotstove.blogspot.com Mark

    Hendry just couldn’t be that dumb. No way that will happen.

    • Ace

      I would have said the same thing, Mark. … two years ago.

  • Kevin G

    Ace if you could add or change on this Club what would you do?

    • Ace

      I would have been looking for a starting pitcher from day one.

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