Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman threw together a list of the eight most disappointing offseasons in Major League Baseball this year, and – no surprise – the Chicago Cubs made the cut. In fact they came in at number two behind only the New York Mets, who at least added a big bat in Jason Bay. High praise, this is not.
It’s never going to be a great winter when the big goal is to undo the biggest move of the winter before. They did finally get rid of Milton Bradley but had to take Carlos Silva, poster of an impossibly bad 8.60 ERA last year and one of the worst pitchers in baseball since signing for $48 million over four years, in return from Seattle. Marlon Byrd’s acquisition allows them to move Kosuke Fukudome to right field, where he’s excellent, although Byrd isn’t exactly a Gold Glover in center. John Grabow was overpaid at $7.5 mil for two years, and Xavier Nady seems similarly fortunate to get $3.3 million (plus $2 million in incentives) given that he didn’t play after April last year and needed a second Tommy John surgery. But the bigger issues were beyond their control. Ted Lilly’s injury could be a big blow, and Alfonso Soriano proved to be even more untradeable than [Luis] Castillo. No matter, they remain very talented and still have an excellent shot to get back to the playoffs. Jon Heyman – SI.com.
Although I don’t agree with his assessment of the Xavier Nady signing, which I regard as the team’s best move this offseason, and his comment that Alfonso Soriano “proved” untradeable seems strange given the Cubs never endeavored to trade him (did they?), Heyman is spot on in the rest.
Heyman didn’t even mention the fact that the 2010 Cubs are down one very good starting pitcher in Rich Harden.