As mentioned yesterday, the Chicago Cubs face a starting pitcher crunch. With no fewer than five guys for two back-end rotation spots, something’s got to give. And at a Cubs Caravan stop yesterday, new manager Mike Quade suggested – if unconsciously – that the something might be Tom Gorzelanny’s tenure with the Cubs.
When responding to questions about the makeup of the bullpen, and who might get a shot in the rotation, Quade tossed out Andrew Cashner and James Russell as possible rotation candidates. He went on to say this:
“It’s something that’s being discussed,” Quade said. “If you look at the makeup of the pitching staff right now, you have [John] Grabow healthy. You have Russell, who did a great job for us in his role. You’ve got [Sean] Marshall who was Marshall and you have [Scott] Maine who came on and did a nice job late. That’s a great luxury to have, four left-handers. Of those four guys we mentioned, [Russell] would be the only guy in my mind to stretch out [into a starting role].” ESPN Chicago.
Now, does the fact that he didn’t mention Gorzelanny as a lefty mean Tom is gone? Of course not. Quade was talking about bullpenners. He could have been assuming that Gorzelanny was a part of the rotation. But then again, with the starting pitching crunch, I would be surprised if he was assuming anything.
Throw in this…
According to major league sources, numerous teams have contacted the Cubs about Gorzelanny’s availability. Gorzelanny pitched well for the Cubs in 2010, posting a 7-9 record and 4.09 ERA. He did fall victim to the offense’s lack of run production at times. With newly-acquired pitcher Matt Garza due to make between $5-6 million through the arbitration process, the Cubs need to trim some payroll to come in at their budgeted figure by 2011. Thus, Gorzelanny appears to be available.
And you’ve got a guy who, as we’ve predicted all along, is going to be moved at some point this offseason. The Cubs may string the process along in the hopes that a team becomes desperate, or – if it lasts into Spring Training – a team suffes an injury. Gorzelanny is under cheap control for two seasons, and is an effective lefty. That’s cash money in this market, and the Cubs should see real value in a trade.