With Tom Ricketts giving Theo Epstein a five-year window to succeed after identifying him as Hendry’s replacement, the Cubs no longer seem to have the fear of failure that was behind the Garza trade. It gave the Cubs one starting pitcher who is better than any of their holdovers but, like the Edwin Jackson trade that cost the White Sox a long-term starter in Daniel Hudson, it always begged a question: What was the point?
...Sam Fuld, who was considered a minor part in the deal, got 308 at-bats and made the catch of the year for the Rays. Chirinos, who was traded on the heels of a breakout 2010 season, is battling Jose Lobaton for the backup catcher’s job behind Jose Molina. Guyer, who hit .312 with 14 homers in Triple A, is battling for a bench job. But it was Lee and Archer who were the headliners in the trade, and their stock has increased.
Lee, 21, won a batting title in the Florida State League and is ranked as the Rays’ No. 2 prospect by Baseball America. Both he and Archer, who is penciled into the rotation for Triple-A Durham, could force their way into the picture later this season.
Handling any of these five guys should be relatively easy. The Cubs, however, will have to double down on Garza or cash out in a big way if they’re going to make this trade work for them.
Posted: February 27, 2012 at 05:58 AM | 60 comment(s)
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