Monday, January 19, 2009

Offseason Moves. Are We Better?

Kerry Wood... Gone.

Mark DeRosa... Gone.

Jason Marquis... Gone. (thankfully)

Felix Pie... Gone.

Hello Kevin Gregg, Aaron Miles, Joey Gathright, Luis Vizcaino, Milton Bradley, and Garrett Olson.

Kevin Gregg is no replacement for Kerry Wood, but Carlos Marmol might be as servicable a closer as K Dub was. Overall the bullpen doesn't look as good, but with the fact that Andrew Cashner is in the minors, I could see him making the impact that Samardizja did last season, so if Samardizja can be what Marmol was last year, then the bullpen isn't severly hurt by the loss of Kerry. Only my feelings are hurt as I loved me some K Dub.

Mark DeRosa is a huge loss. HUGE. He was a great hitter, a great defender, and more then servicable and many positions. That isn't easily replaced.

That being said, I like the fact that Fontenot will be getting more playing time. I think that he's going to be a great player and can replace some of DeRosa's offense.

Miles, on the other hand, won't be able to hit the way DeRo could, but he can replace some of his versatility.

Overall, the DeRo trade hurts the Cubs some. They aren't as good in that area as they previously were.

In the outfield, however, the addition of Milton Bradley will be massive. He's a true 5 tool player when healthy. Unlike Abreu and Dunn (the other options for a left handed hitting outfielder), Bradley is the exact opposite of a defensive liability when he's healthy. All of the talk about Bradley's "behavioral problems" are overblown. He just wants to win and has never down anything on or off the field that isn't to some extent understandable.

His addition to the lineup will more then make up for DeRo's numbers also.

So overall, at this point, the Cubs are slightly better or (at worst) just the same as last season, but certainly not any worse. Let's take a look at the starting pitching.

I don't think that the loss of Marquis is that big. If Sean Marshall or Chad Gaudin is the one who replaces him it will be an upgrade. If it's Garrett Olson, I figure that we're in about the same spot. Zambrano will be better next season, Lilly will be much better then he was last season, and a full season of Rich Harden will be a huge boost. Ryan Dempster probably won't be as good as he was last season. All of this adds up to just as good or (at worst) just a little bit worse.

Therefore, at this point, the Cubs are as good a team as they were last season when they won 97 games, so it hasn't been a horrible offseason.

The thing is, though, it could get much better. The DeRosa trade netted us 3 pitching prospects. The Pie trade netted us 2 pitching prospects, including one that we know San Diego is very interested in. What does this add up to?

A very good chance that the Jake Peavy deal could be alive and well and could happen before Spring Training. If it does, this starting rotation instantly becomes the best starting 5 in baseball history.

Jake Peavy
Carlos Zambrano
Rich Harden
Ted Lilly
Ryan Dempster

Everyone of those guys is a potential number one starter. Everyone of them. If the Cubbies do get Peavy then this offseason will have seen them get better. And when you won 97 games last season, better is a very impressive thing to be.

1 comment:

  1. Place under "for what its worth."

    DeRo couldn't hit like DeRo before he got here.

    Miles is talented. Give him a shot.