Thursday, January 5, 2012

Random thoughts to begin the new year

  • Why would you sign Robinson Tejada, a relief pitcher, to a minor league deal?  Bad roster management cost you Josh Judy who, at worst, is as good as Tejada.  And now you sign Tejada as AAA depth when you had a guy with more upside who you just lost for nothing!  Geez!  If Tejada makes the team out of spring training over some young relievers this would be even more stupid.
  • Interesting deal between the Marlins and Cubs.  Carlos Zambrano goes to the Marlins.  Chris Volstad to the Cubs.  The Cubs eat 15 million of the last year of his contract.  Volstad has 3 years of ML service.  So the Marlins get now and the Cubs get now and in the future.  The two interesting issues are that Zambrano was a personna non grata with the Cubs from his outbursts last year and the Cubs now have exchanged him for a guy just as good, younger and much cheaper, albeit they had to buy their way into that.  For a rebuilding team like the Cubs should be, this is a good gamble as it is for a win-now team like the Marlins.  I think the Cubs fans probably LOVE this trade and 1/2 the Marlins fans hate it and half love it to death.
  • Now that the Cubs are in rebuild mode, what if we take Alfonso Soriano off their hands?  How much it would cost us would depend on how much of his $18 million PER YEAR FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS salary we are willing to pick up.  What if we could get him for $8 million a year with relatively little cost?  Say Paolo Espino and Aaron Cunningham?  Yeah, Soriano is getting old and his BA and walk rate eroded last year but we have gone to some pretty weird places to find RH batters this off-season (said Mr. Cunningham). Soriano is not ideal offensively or defensively but he would probably mirror most of Willingham's abilities over the next 3 years, costing us about the same or less.  Soriano also outhit Willingham against lefties last year with both hitting 100 points higher in wins and losses.  Soriano also had 88 RBIs while hitting mostly 6th and 7th for the Cubs, a team that was below average in runs scored in the NL.  Heck, maybe they would throw in a useful part or a low A prospect just to dump the salary?
  • Another suggestion that is worth considering is acquiring a secondbaseman who can also hit a little and move Jason Kipnis back to LF.  The Cardinals brought Skip Schumacher in from CF to play 2B a couple of years ago with mixed results and he played more OF last year, even with the bad offense the Cardinals had at 2B and with Berkman and Holliday out there.  So, as I have said for a while, maybe our search for a power hitting outfielder could be a search for a powerhitting secondbaseman, or, with our groundball pitchers, one that can catch and throw above average, something Kipnis might never be.

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