Friday, December 09, 2005

Winter Meetings?

Sorry that It has been so long since I have contributed, but it has been a while since I have had anything worthy of a post. Wait a minute, have the Cubs done anything this offseason worthy of writing about? Well maybe... Juan Pierre is a good addition, as long as we can get rid of Corey Patterson. Pierre will take over center field and I think Murton should be given every oppertunity to play left field every day. So that means that with Cedeno playing short, the Cubs will have two rookies in the line up, OH NO! So what! Hopefully they will have two good rookies in the lineup. Better than no rookies and a bunch of old has beens that give good "Clubhouse presence." While that is a good thing, I think their on field performance is a lot more important.

The additions of Howry and Eyre serve to make the bullpen better, but nowhere near exceptional. Can Dempster repeat last year's somewhat solid performance now that the pressure is on? Good question. I believe the performance of the starters and the rest of the team will shape the bullpen. If they never get the ball with the lead, they will grow discouraged and it will show. If you give them a chance to play in a win every day, they should rise to the occasion.

The addition of John Maybry, well, ho hum. Another utility bench player to replace Macias. I think the swap out will be of little or no impact. Sorry John, need to show us more before we think we snagged a steal.

So where do we stand for 2006? Still got some work to do at the meetings.

We definately need to find ourselves a right fielder. Without giving up the farm, litterally. We have had some strong talent in the minors for the past couple of years. I beleive all of the talent has not come out partially due to poor coaching and managing, but we won't go there. Anyway, a big stick like Abreu or Aubry Huff might help our support Lee and Ramierez, but we would have to pay for players like that.

Cedeno may be the future at shortstop, but if we cannot land a big stick from the right field position, we might need to sit Cedeno for a while and grab up an unhappy Tejada from the Orioles or something like that.

I still think there is a lot of play in Todd Walker. He is a solid fielder and has had flashes of power. I think he could be our everyday guy at second if he knows he has the chance to earn it. But if the Cubs keep dangling him out there as trade bait, someone will definately bite. And I am certain that we will all be dissapointed at what we get in return. My guess is the front office will give up too many prospects and "throw in" Todd Walker to get some over 30 starter who is recovering from sholder surgery and had a medicocre 8 - 11 season last year.

So, do we need another starter? Well we gave away Mitre who had the potential to be our 5th. So we are in a bind cause Borowski is no longer with us to eat innings. So we can pray that we have Zambrano and Maddux to eat innings and hold the team together, a full season from Prior (who could prove to be Cy Young material when it clicks) and a flashback season from Kerry Wood. Then I think Jerome Williams can easily fill the #5 spot. If the cubs could land a better #5 guy without giving up anything more than a second rate prospect and Corey Patterson, then by all means DO IT!

My last note.....

If no one picks up Nomar and the Cubs have another shot, I think if he will accept less money, he is still a darn good player and should be given a shot to be a Cub super star. He can still do it folks. He can still pick it at short and is not a bad 3rd base fill in either. If we have the chance, it might not be a bad idea. Nothing could be worse than to have him go elsewhere, have an MVP year and come back and beat us. Think about it... If it does not work out, Cedeno is ready to pounce on the job. If it does work, we could have another 30+ HR bat in the lineup.

OK, so lets see how the rest of the off season plays out. My guess is that no Cubs fan will actually be excited about our lineup going into Spring Training. DEJA VU?