While the Chicago Cubs have not yet designated themselves sellers, that’s not stopping other MLB teams from comin’ a-calling. We’ve already heard rumors about Derrek Lee and Xavier Nady, but with a glut of starting pitching, more rumors were bound to surface.
It seems that Tom Gorzelanny – recently moved to the bullpen in favor of Carlos Zambrano, despite an effective run as a starter – is becoming something of a hot topic.
”Obviously, I want to start,” he said, ”but I want to be a part of this team as well. If going somewhere else to start is what they want me to do, or they feel they can get something for me, and I have a chance to go start, then that’s what’ll happen. But I haven’t really thought about it.
”This is where I am right now, and where I’m going to do what they need me to do here. But if it comes to that point where they need to do it, then I’ll just have to do it.”
The Cubs got a few calls regarding Gorzelanny weeks ago, even before the decision that led to his reassignment to the bullpen.
And as teams start lining up to try to acquire pitching for the second-half stretch runs, he could quickly move near the top of the list of prime targets — in part because of his effectiveness and perhaps in larger part because of an $800,000 salary that makes him a payroll fit for every team with a need.
”I don’t have a say in it,” said Gorzelanny, who made his first appearance in his new relief role Friday night and struggled with the adjustment. ”This is where I’m at. I haven’t spoken to anybody about anything. I just try to come here and do my job and see what happens.”
The Evergreen Park native doesn’t necessarily want to leave his hometown team, whatever the opportunity elsewhere might be.
”I’m a starter, and that’s what I’ve been and what I want to continue to be,” he said. ”Obviously, it goes a lot deeper here with me, being in Chicago, and this being a desired place for me. But whatever plan I have drawn out for me is the way I go.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
That the Cubs would blanch at moving Gorzelanny right now is both unsurprising and good. There’s no need to pull the trigger quite yet on a guy who, given his salary, extra year of team control, and success starting this year, could very well be the Cubs’ most valuable trade piece.
The Cubs will bide their time over the next month, see where they stand by early July – and see if any injuries have popped up in the rotation – and then make a decision about moving Gorzelanny. Given that the team could have Gorzelanny for cheap again next year, they’d probably prefer to deal someone like Ted Lilly (were they to move anyone at all, were Lilly willing to waive his no-trade clause) or Carlos Silva.
Given the emergence of Andrew Cashner, arguably, the Cubs could look to move two starting pitchers should they fall out of competition sooner rather than later.