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   1. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:17 PM (#3027778)
Oh, forgot to add. There's also some talk of what to do with Gaudin. The Cubs might non-tender him in an attempt to sign him cheaply. There seems to be something to his off field injury this past season that is giving the team some concerns. But I haven't seen anything solid on that.
   2. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#3027811)
We would have given up our backup CF, our 2 backup starters, our best prospect (and backup 3B), our starting 2B, 2 potential relievers, and a potential starting pitcher (if he stays healthy) and take on about $15 million more salary for Peavy. I just don't see it as worth it, simply because it strips us of a lot of depth.

I'd like to see the Cubs get Bradley. Hopefully RF is easy enough on him that he stays healthy.

And I'd prefer Hill or Blanco to Bako.
   3. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#3027815)
I should say $15 million more this year. The other years shouldn't be that big a factor in terms of money.
   4. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:01 PM (#3027861)
Now what?

Non-stop ######## and moaning.

I understand that adding an ace to the rotation was at the very bottom of the need list - but you seldom get the opportunity to add a true stud at (what at least appeared to be) a discount price. Peavy has a very reasonable contract - especially next year.

I hate think this all blew up because the Cubs couldn't get the Marquis contract eats down to 4 million or that Towers or someone made an unreasonable request like adding Soto to the deal.

I'd have emptied out the system for Peavy... there's nothing there I wouldn't have moved to acquire him (more a statement of the Cubs system than anything).
   5. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#3027866)
We would have given up our backup CF, our 2 backup starters, our best prospect (and backup 3B), our starting 2B, 2 potential relievers, and a potential starting pitcher (if he stays healthy) and take on about $15 million more salary for Peavy. I just don't see it as worth it, simply because it strips us of a lot of depth.


Oh come on... Vitters is nowhere near ready to play at the major league level.

If the trade was straight up was DeRosa, Marshall, Marquis, Pie, Vitters, and Guzman for Peavy - I do that deal in an absolute HEARTBEAT. You're talking about a back rotation starter, a contract you don't want - a very useful 2B/utility swingman and a lot of question marks for a premier SP.

Fontenot slides into 2B... I realize it doesn't address the primary Cubs need - a LH hitting corner OF - but like I said... you just don't get the chance to acquire a pitcher of Peavy's caliber all that often. When you do - you just have to jump on it.

Is Hendry losing his touch?

I mean... even with how it worked out, the Nomar trade was a great one. The Lee/Choi swap was also a good move.

But this is now two straight offseasons where Hendry couldn't a deal done for a premier acquisition, when all indicators are that the match-ups were there to get done.
   6. Weeks T. Olive Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:25 PM (#3027882)
I'd have to think long and hard about that deal, zonk, but I'd probably do that, also.

BUT, assuming reports were correct, the Padres were asking for Hart also AND they wanted the Cubs to kick in upwards of $5M for Marquis remaining $9M.

Three potential members of the bullpen (Marshall is a lock, Hart and Guzman could potentially both make the team out of ST), the team's top prospect, the starting 2B (and backup 3B and 4th OF), AND $5M? That's a lot, and leaves a lot of questions:

- Who's the backup 2B?
- Who's the backup 3B?
- Who steps into the rotation if a starter (Harden) goes down?
- Is there enough money left over (after paying $5M for Marquis and $11M for Peavy) to get Bradley or Abreu?
- If there's not enough money left for a RF, are you comfortable with Fukudome in RF and Johnson in CF?
- Are you comfortable with Fukudome in LF or RF if Soriano or Bradley/Abreu go down? Comfortable with Hoff in LF or RF in the same scenario?
- Who fills out the bullpen? Without Marshall, Hart, or Guzman, you've got Marmol, Gregg, Cotts, Wuertz and Gaudin, and it doesn't appear there's much help available from the farm there.

Those are some tough questions to answer. I would have loved Peavy, but I see why Hendry couldn't pull the trigger.
   7. Weeks T. Olive Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:34 PM (#3027891)
Ah, forgot about BPJ in my bullpen calculation. I knew there was someone I was forgetting.
   8. Weeks T. Olive Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:48 PM (#3027906)
BTW, in response to Moses in the original post, I've often thought that Hendry is not very good at multitasking. I can't recall any specific incidents off the top of my head, but it seems like he has, at several points in the past five years, let opportunities slip by because he was focused on something else.

It seems like he has a very clear "A then B then C" mentality and he will work tirelessly to resolve each item, but only after moving on from the previous item.
   9. DCA Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:13 PM (#3027940)
- Who's the backup 2B?

Cedeno -- or cheap FA (Durham?).

- Who's the backup 3B?

Cedeno or McGehee -- or cheap FA (Nomar?).

- Who steps into the rotation if a starter (Harden) goes down?

Gaudin.

- Is there enough money left over (after paying $5M for Marquis and $11M for Peavy) to get Bradley or Abreu?

Probably not.

- If there's not enough money left for a RF, are you comfortable with Fukudome in RF and Johnson in CF?

But there's likely enough to get Rivera or Hinske with the promise of 600 PA or bring back Edmonds.

- Are you comfortable with Fukudome in LF or RF if Soriano or Bradley/Abreu go down? Comfortable with Hoff in LF or RF in the same scenario?

Yes. No, but that's why you get Edmonds/Hinske/Rivera. Hoff as plan C is fine.

- Who fills out the bullpen? Without Marshall, Hart, or Guzman, you've got Marmol, Gregg, Cotts, Wuertz and Gaudin, and it doesn't appear there's much help available from the farm there

Villone and Herges or similar guys off the scrap heap.

You don't pass on Peavy because of the 6th and 7th guys in the bullpen, the 6th starter, 5th OF, or 5th IF, or even all of the above.
   10. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:22 PM (#3027951)
Oh come on... Vitters is nowhere near ready to play at the major league level.


For whatever reason I keep thinking Vitters was in AA last year.
   11. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:34 PM (#3027963)
- Who's the backup 2B?
- Who's the backup 3B?
- Who steps into the rotation if a starter (Harden) goes down?
- Is there enough money left over (after paying $5M for Marquis and $11M for Peavy) to get Bradley or Abreu?
- If there's not enough money left for a RF, are you comfortable with Fukudome in RF and Johnson in CF?
- Are you comfortable with Fukudome in LF or RF if Soriano or Bradley/Abreu go down? Comfortable with Hoff in LF or RF in the same scenario?
- Who fills out the bullpen? Without Marshall, Hart, or Guzman, you've got Marmol, Gregg, Cotts, Wuertz and Gaudin, and it doesn't appear there's much help available from the farm there.


Answering these questions in order.
1)Cedeno. They'd still need to add another backup IF as a FA.
2)Same as #1
3)Marshall is the 6th starter. The Cubs pulled him out of the deal, so he wasn't going anywhere.
4)Yes. If DeRosa was leaving, that was $5.5 they were saving, plus $4.5 for Marquis. That's only $1mil more that Peavy would have costed. The budget is supposed to be around $140mil, so there's room.
5)Yes. With Soriano, Johnson, Fukudome, Bradley, Hoffpauir they'd be ok. If there was an extended injury, it would hurt, but that's a pretty good group. Not sure how many teams can compete with that depth.
6)There are fewer arms in AAA than in the past, but there's still options. And other guys they could invite and try to make the team.

Depth is important, but I don't think the Cubs need to worry too much about that. They need to improve their top line talent to win more than they'll already done. But, for now, this is all just a could have been.
   12. Weeks T. Olive Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:35 PM (#3027965)
You don't pass on Peavy because of the 6th and 7th guys in the bullpen, the 6th starter, 5th OF, or 5th IF, or even all of the above.

It's not this OR this OR this ... it's all of that PLUS your starting 2B PLUS your top prospect PLUS possibly hitting your payroll ceiling with some additional needs to fill. It's a little disingenuous to call DeRosa the 5th IF, by the way.

In your scenarios above, assuming the Cubs picked up $5M or more of Marquis and after paying Peavy, would there really be enough money to get a backup C, a backup 2B, two or more bullpen arms, AND an outfielder? Maybe, but maybe not. It certainly sounds like the Hendry was hitting the upper limit of what he could spend (which I'm sure is true, if he was contemplating trading DeRosa).

I don't think anyone's comfortable with Cedeno as the backup at SS, 2B, and 3B. And Casee MacGeehee is not a major league player.

My point with the above questions is that, based on the what it appears the Padres were asking for, the Cubs would have been giving up ALL their depth at EVERY position for Peavy, and may not have had the funds left to do anything reasonable to recover.

Now, if we're talking about a trade for an RF at the same level that Peavy is as a pitcher or had Peavy not been injured last year, sure, maybe it would make sense. But SP is not a point of weakness for the team, and I think Hendry thinks that it's not worth emptying out ALL of the reserves to address a non-existent weakness.

Not saying I necessarily agree with it, but I can see why he couldn't make the deal.
   13. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:36 PM (#3027966)
For whatever reason I keep thinking Vitters was in AA last year.

Even though Soto was a success, I still don't trust the Cubs to develop a young position player. Vitters is 19, a lot can happen before he gets close to the show. He's not a deal breaker, IMO, for top talent.
   14. Weeks T. Olive Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#3027980)
3)Marshall is the 6th starter. The Cubs pulled him out of the deal, so he wasn't going anywhere.

According to today's Trib, San Diego was still insisting that he be included.

Look, I'm just playing devil's advocate. Of course, we all want Peavy and the Cubs wouldn't be giving up anything great in that deal (DeRosa's the most valuable piece there, but you can survive without him).

I think it's just the sheer number of players (6 supposedly) that has me blinking. Pick any 4 of those 6 and the deal's done and I'll throw in the $5M if Marquis is one of the four. But to ask for all 6 plus the $5M is just a little much, I think.
   15. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:46 PM (#3027982)
I think it's just the sheer number of players (6 supposedly) that has me blinking. Pick any 4 of those 6 and the deal's done and I'll throw in the $5M if Marquis is one of the four. But to ask for all 6 plus the $5M is just a little much, I think.

I do agree with this, and I'm glad Hendry does too. I guess I never really thought that there was a chance of losing all 6. It does sound like Towers kept asking for more and more. Oh well.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:58 PM (#3028003)
But depth, especially on offense, was the key to the Cubs' success last year. They've got an aging, declining offensive core and they simply can't go into the season with obvious holes and/or no bench. And I'm projecting declines for Soto, DeRosa, Edmonds (or his replacement), Fontenot and probably Johnson. The Cubs could really use an offensive upgrade -- something a healthy Bradley would really give them but then other mythical beasts would surely come in handy too. (By the way, Zaun as backup C sounds like it's worth a shot to me)

And such a trade would also put the Cubs in a position where they'd have absolutely nothing else to trade for other upgrades. Heck, I'm not sure they'd have anything to trade in the 2010 offseason. And I'm concerned that apparently taking on Peavy's contract requires moving both DeRosa and Marquis -- we're already at our payroll limit?

At the moment, I'm not buying the "I'd give anything to get Peavy" argument. Other than the Haren trade, nobody else seems to be giving up tons of bodies for star pitchers. Also the Padres are pretty clearly in a financial situation where they're kinda desperate to move Peavy. And who are the other teams vying to get Peavy?

There's a game of chicken here. Maybe Peavy gets annoyed enough he tells the Pads to trade him whereever. Maybe the Pads crack and start lowering their price (I'm pretty sure this will happen eventually). As their price lowers, the Cubs may have to act quickly because eventually the price will drop enough that other teams get into the bidding.

Obviously the Cubs have to give up some stuff of value. But seems we should fall somewhere between Gomez (Santana) and the Haren package. Vitters, their pick of one among the young pitchers (I'll be fine with adding Bullpen Jesus) and Marshall seems about right to me. OK, probably still one player short but it shouldn't be anything we need in 2009.

As to Hendry ... Macphail was always slow as molasses and Hendry learned from him. But for Hendry (and Macphail when he was with the Cubs), that patience usually paid off. Sometimes that payoff was intentional -- one thing you can say about Hendry is he almost never loses anything of value in a trade (non-Pierre division) but usually still gets his guy. Sometimes unintentionally -- thankfully, we didn't land Tejada a couple seasons ago and while Roberts would have been nice last season, DeRosa and Fontenot gave us everything we could have expected out of him.

So I'll trust Hendry on Peavy in that if he thinks the Cubs are being asked for too much, he's probably right.

Now, I'm not sure I trust him at all to make the right decision on RF and backup C.
   17. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: December 13, 2008 at 01:57 AM (#3028156)
Look - I completely understand the downside... You have to spend money to make money, yada yada.

This move would create some holes that need to be filled, no doubt about it. The Cubs would likely to be forced to fill at least some of those holes with flotsam.

That said, I am firm believer that when you have a chance to acquire a legitimate "best in class" player, you have to pull the trigger... especially when you're not subtracting one of your own potential "best in class" players.

This makes the Cubs awfully top heavy salary wise, with Lee, A-Ram, Soriano, and Zambrano all making 15 million or more and Peavy's deal escalating there later in his contract. They would certainly be forced to take big gambles... maybe a Brad Wilkerson in the OF, Fontenot at 2B, etc. There might be a high probability, we're sitting in July, staring at a big hole in the bullpen, the lineup, or the rotation...

...but when you have a rotation of Peavy, Zambrano, Harden (when healthy), Dempster, Lilly - that can cover a lot of holes. The Braves of the 90s sure did.

Aging or not, a core offense of Soriano, Lee, Rameriz, and Soto ought to be good enough to compensate for anything but a disaster: Theriot's OBP drops to .300, Fontenot goes Jayson Nix, Johnson stops hitting lefties, Fukudome provides a full season of his August numbers, no one else steps into an OF spot. I'll grant that at least one of things almost certainly WILL happen, two of them are fairly likely, and three isn't quite unlikely... but all 5? Of course - Fons and A-Ram could always get hurt, too.

What I'd really have liked to see would have been a monster deal.

Orioles get: Pie, Flaherty, BPJ, discount Marquis, Hoffpauir

Cubs get: Roberts, Peavy

Padres get: Vitters, Olson (O's), Hart, Marshall, B level prospect or 2 from Phils (say... Happ and an A ball toolsy OFer the Phils are stocked with)

Phillies get: DeRosa

I'd float Tyler Colvin in to whomever if it took that to work - I'd guess the O's would want more to part with both Roberts and Olson, but not sure they'd want another OFer since they don't really have room for Pie.

That's 5-6 players to the Padres - including two - maybe three - cheap, major league ready SPers and a top prospect... I think that's somewhere in between the Haren and Santana range and entirely fair.

The O's get Pie - who they seem to lust for some reason - a pretty good, though young, MI prospect who probably moves to 2B, rotation flotsam who isn't nearly as bad the CW (the O's do have at least 2 rotation spots to fill), a fairly high ceiling young reliever, and a bat that they could plug into 1B or DH if they move Milligan or Huff. Toss in Colvin just to add another prospect - or maybe the Phils toss in a kid that misses their own top 20.

The Phillies get a good option at 2B till Utley comes back - who can then slide over to 3B and also play a platoon role in the OF and they don't really give up much.

The Cubs get an answer at 2B and leadoff and an ace SP.

This means their OF bat needs to come on the cheap - like I said, taking a chance on something like Brad Wilkerson or seeing if Josh Kroeger can make the jump.
   18. NTNgod Posted: December 13, 2008 at 02:00 AM (#3028160)
or seeing if Josh Kroeger can make the jump.

White Sox signed him recently as a minor league FA
   19. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: December 13, 2008 at 02:07 AM (#3028166)
White Sox signed him recently as a minor league FA


So much for that. Perhaps the O's (or whomever) consider Cedeno and the Cubs jump Colvin? That's probably a disaster waiting to happen.

Maybe an Edmonds-esque chance on someone like (I know, I know) Griffey or Garret Anderson could be had on a budget - especially for a chance to play during the day for a Cubs World Championship (that has to be worth something to an aging player, doesn't it?).

If the Cubs could find a way to expand the proposed 4 team to also bring Roberts into town, they don't really need a big OF bat... someone that can post a ~100 OPS+ would be perfectly fine.

I also forgot Cedeno - who could certainly be made available (Padres? Orioles?).

I realize that decimates the farm and leaves virtually nil to fill the bench or in case of injury.
   20. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: December 13, 2008 at 02:15 AM (#3028173)
BTW - breathe easier on the stupid non-tender to Gaudin idea. The Cubs and Gaudin just agreed to a 1 year, $2 mil deal. They also came to terms with Cotts on a 1/1.1 mil deal.

This means the bullpen looks close to set:

Carmol
BPJ
Gregg
Cotts
Gaudin
...
Wuertz
anyone that survives a potential blockbuster (Hart, Marshall, etc)
Plus the Cubs made a trade for David Patton, a Rule 5er who doesn't look likely to stick.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 13, 2008 at 02:39 AM (#3028188)
McGehee


Did you forget he's gone?

-- MWE
   22. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2008 at 04:11 AM (#3028225)
This makes the Cubs awfully top heavy salary wise, with Lee, A-Ram, Soriano, and Zambrano all making 15 million or more and Peavy's deal escalating there later in his contract. They would certainly be forced to take big gambles... maybe a Brad Wilkerson in the OF, Fontenot at 2B, etc. There might be a high probability, we're sitting in July, staring at a big hole in the bullpen, the lineup, or the rotation...

First I don't necessarily disagree with you. Most of the time I probably agree with you and I'd love to see Peavy in a Cubs uniform.

I'm saying two things. One, this is one area, maybe the only area, where I actually have a good bit of faith in Hendry. There are downsides to his approach but it seems he starts with a price in mind and doggedly keeps at it until he gets the price down. And in this case, for reasons I don't understand, nobody else seems to be lining up to offer the Pads two good prospects (or one real stud prospect) for Peavy. As it stands now, the Padres are going to have to drop their asking price to get the Cubs or another team to jump.

The second is that, if this deal went down and was essentially the last of the Cubs moves (or add Wilkerson if you want) then we're probably looking at something like 1500 AB split among Johnson/Fuku/Wilkerson and 400+ of Cedeno ... and that's if nobody gets seriously hurt. It looks like one of Baker's teams with Cedeno as Neifi and 3 Hollandsworths running around ... o an upside near the 2008 Jays. God help us if ARam goes down for significant time. That's what I'm worried about from a strict baseball standpoint.

Still, I could well be wrong. Maybe Peavy brings enough to make up for all that.
   23. Sweet Posted: December 13, 2008 at 08:38 AM (#3028291)
Hendry seems like a pretty straight shooter, and given that he's consistently said he's not looking for an overhaul, I wouldn't be surprised if his only remaining significant move this offseason is to fill RF. Assuming Bradley is his man -- which he seems to be -- and Hendry gets him, the roster will look something like this next year:

STARTERS (vs. RHP):

Soriano
Bradley
Lee
Ramirez
Soto
DeRosa
Fukudome
Theriot

BENCH:

Fontenot
Cedeno
Johnson
Backup C
Hoffpauir/Pie

STARTERS:

Zambrano
Harden
Dempster
Lilly
Marquis

BULLPEN:

Marmol
Gregg
Samardzija
Gaudin
Cotts
Marshall
Wuertz/Hart/Guzman

***

That's a modestly better team than we started the season with last year, mostly on the strength of an improved OF (again, relative to the team that broke Spring Training, not the bizarro Jim Edmonds version) and the addition of Harden. It's clearly the best team in the division, and probably the best team in the NL, with no real front-line weaknesses and good depth. I'd be pretty happy with that.

Of course, that doesn't really answer the question of whether Hendry should have done the rumored Peavy deal. Impossible to know for sure what it would have cost -- there were enough conflicting rumors that I doubt any single one of them was exactly right -- but any deal that meant losing DeRosa would have been pretty costly. I'm as big a Little Lord Fontenot fan as there is, but I'm not convinced he can replace DeRosa's versatility (he doesn't play the OF) and production on a full-time basis. And even if he could, based on historical figures, (Ramirez at third + Soriano in left + Bradley (maybe) in right) = at least 100 games of missed time at three key offensive positions, and the drop off from [DeRosa (subbing at the corners) + Fontenot (subbing at 2B)] to [Fukudome (subbing at the OF corners) and Cedeno (subbing at 3B)] is significant.

I wouldn't have been that fussed about any other rumored trade chips -- even Vitters, who's very far away -- and Peavy's addition would obviously have strengthened the rotation substantially, but, unlike some others here, I don't think this was an obvious whiff by Hendry.

Question: assuming we had signed Peavy, would you take the expected output of the 2009 rotation (adjusted for health) against the actual output of the 2003 rotation?

2003 Cubs:

Prior: 211 IP, 18-6, 2.43 ERA, 178 ERA+
Wood: 211, 14-11, 3.20, 135
Zambrano: 214, 13-11, 3.11, 139
Clement: 202, 14-12, 4.11, 105
Estes (oof): 152, 8-11, 5.73, 76

2009 Cubs (2008 stats):

Zambrano: 189, 14-6, 3.91, 114
Peavy: 174, 10-11, 2,85, 134
Harden: 148, 10-2, 2.07, 206
Dempster: 207, 17-6, 2.96, 151
Lilly: 205, 17-9, 4.09, 109

***

Finally, 'cause it's late and I have insomnia, here's the list of active (as of 2008) starters (+ Smoltz and Wood) ranked by ERA+:

1. Pedro Martinez (36) 154 R
2. Johan Santana* (29) 144 L
3. Brandon Webb (29) 143 R
4. Roy Oswalt (30) 139 R
5. Randy Johnson* (44) 137 L
6. Greg Maddux (42) 132 R
7. Roy Halladay (31) 131 R
8. Carlos Zambrano (27) 128 R
9. Curt Schilling (41) 127 R
John Smoltz (41) 127 R
11. Tim Hudson (32) 126 R
12. Mike Mussina (39) 123 R
13. Mark Buehrle* (29) 122 L
Derek Lowe (35) 122 R
15. Jake Peavy (27) 121 R
C.C. Sabathia* (27) 121 L
17. Tom Glavine* (42) 118 L
Kerry Wood (31) 118 R
19. John Lackey (29) 117 R
Andy Pettitte* (36) 117 L
21. Josh Beckett (28) 116 R
Ben Sheets (29) 116 R
Barry Zito* (30) 116 L
24. Chris Carpenter (33) 112 R
Bartolo Colon (35) 112 R

No doubt that Peavy's a frontline starter, even an ace, but I was surprised he's not higher on this list. (BTW, Harden has a 136 career ERA+ but is about 400 IP short of qualifying for this list.
   24. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 13, 2008 at 01:36 PM (#3028315)
Yes depth was an important part of the team's drive to 97 wins last year but it's not as if the Cubs needed (or will need) that many wins to get there and that depth is not particularly useful in the playoffs.

As for now:

If the Padres do plan on following through with their promise/threat to keep Peavy then they still need to trim payroll. Hendry should make some inquiries about Brian Giles.

The only real need aside from RF is a left handed reliever. However, the Cubs should not abandon the idea of improving at a "set" position.
   25. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: December 13, 2008 at 06:32 PM (#3028396)
However, the Cubs should not abandon the idea of improving at a "set" position.

Indeed. My concern is winning in the playoffs. This same team has gotten to the playoffs for 2 straight years and done nothing. Sure, small sample size and all that. But are any of us really confident in them being good enough to win the World Series? The Cubs have a lot of good players, but almost no great players. They're not a young team, and there's not a whole lot of guys on the roster that look like they're going to improve from last year, none of them, outside of Soto or Harden, appear to have a real chance to be great players. We could also see some serious declines as well (DeRosa is the number 1 candidate for that, no way he comes close to his numbers from last season). That's why I think the Peavy thing was a miss (and Roberts last year), because he was a serious upgrade and an improvement on our chances of winning a short series. There's room for a big upgrade at SP, RF, CF, SS and 2B during the season. If there's a top line player available at any of those positions, I hope Hendry is able to make a push for that upgrade.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: December 13, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#3028406)
On the playoff chances: The last two years have been a total collapse on both sides of the ball so another stud pitcher, all on his own, isn't going to solve whatever issue the Cubs may have. At best he tosses a shutout and we lose the series 3-1 getting outscored 18-8 instead of 3-0 and 18-6.
   27. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 13, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#3028440)
On the playoff chances: The last two years have been a total collapse on both sides of the ball so another stud pitcher, all on his own, isn't going to solve whatever issue the Cubs may have. At best he tosses a shutout and we lose the series 3-1 getting outscored 18-8 instead of 3-0 and 18-6.

A mentally tough player might nudge the collective psyche of Chicago in the right direction. Isn't that the basic idea behind chemistry: players' individual performances are affected by teammates? Obviously, identifying these things ahead of time is always the complication.

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