Monday, January 07, 2008

What about the Cubs?

Thtuck, thtuck, thtuck!!! Thtuckk!! THTUUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!!!!!

Like Flick in A Christmas Story, the Twins remain stuck in their dealings for Johan Santana. The Red Sox and Yankees are primarily concerned in keeping him away from each other. Ditto the Angels and the Mariners. The Mets have the needs and money but not the prospects. Are there any dark horses on the horizon?

I submit for your consideration, the lovable Cubbies. They certainly have the money, and their 3rd best pitcher is currently Jason Marquis, so I think we can safely say they’re in the market. Frankly, pairing Santana with Zambrano might give the North Side the pairing they’ve been waiting for since Kerry Wood and Mark Prior flamed out, as well as delay Lou Piniella’s next coronary by six or so months.

They were originally not viewed as an option because they’re for sale, and the perception was that they couldn’t take on any huge contracts, but that didn’t stop them from promising $48 million to a Japanese center corner outfielder with a questionable elbow. Santana would represent a significantly larger obligation, but it might also represent a significant asset.

But the Cubs also mimic the Mets in that they don’t really have the loaded minor league system one would like to see. They could conceivably offer up 22-year-old centerfielder Felix Pie as a centerpiece, but he doesn’t outrank Jacoby Ellsbury or Phillip Hughes. You could argue that he doesn’t outrank Melky Cabrera or Jed Lowrie.

On the other hand, the Cubs success last year was partly fueled by rookies, so they can fill out their offer with quantity, though the quality is suspect. I assume 26-year-old Matt Murton would be included, but where are the Twins going to put another corner outfielder? Are infielders like Ryan Theriot, Eric Patterson, and Mike Fontenot legitimate starters, or just backups who had good years? Their minor league careers suggest the latter. And can any of the young pitchers they utilized in last year’s run be effective other than at the back end of a rotation, or in the bullpen?

All things considered, they seem to be at least as good a trading partner as the Mets, who continue to be included in the conversation without bringing anything substantial to the table. Whether they'll represent an additional bidder remains to be seen, but they should be summarily dismissed.


Anonymous said...

the mets do have the prospects

Anonymous said...

No they don't

Anonymous said...

They don't have as many prospects, but they have enough to trade for Johan. Seth does a good job introducing us to some of the Mets.