With the recent blow up by Carlos Zambrano most Cubs fans have to be fed up with this version of the team. The window to win for this team shut last season. The pitching is still very good, but the hiring of Rudy Jaramillo has not panned out for the Cubs and their bats. Here is what the Cubs need to do.
Trade Kusuke Fukudome: He has some value and can hit far better than his rookie campaign. He is a nice bat for a contender and could bring some decent prospects to Chicago. He has a rough time in Chicago, and it really hasn’t been his fault.
Trade Derek Lee: He has been linked to trade rumors this season, including to LA Angels of Anaheim presented by Pepsi. He is nearing the end of his contract and his career but still has some good baseball left. He is probably the best piece the team has.
Trade Lilly and Silva: Silva has good value after virtually getting him as a piece in the Milton Bradley deal. He can bring back some solid players and at this point, all the wins and players he brings is gravy for getting rid of Bradley. His contract is big though. Lilly is pitching really well but his record won’t show it. He is healthy and could bring some nice value on the market. Dempster has too much left on his contract to move, and now Zambrano is virtually untradeable. He hasn’t pitched well for 3 years and has had whine parties too often. I am really getting sick of his antics. If he pitched better I would be ok but he is really awful.
Everybody else is on the market: I would even consider trading Soriano is we got a nice enough deal. Otherwise, I would keep him around for the leadership. He is actually putting together a nice season. Ramirez may be too washed up to trade. We don’t need to trade guys for the sake of it. The minors are finally starting to produce some talent (Castro, Colvin) and loading it with more talent can only help. We don’t have to build from within; we are the Cubs, top payroll in the NL. But an influx of young talent can go a long way. The Red Sox need home grown guys, and the Yankees can’t buy a team like they used to. This is going to take time fix, and the Cubs will probably go light in free agency for a few years. Even in this economy the Cubs make enough money to spend all they want, they will always be profitable. They have done all this spending without an owner for a while and the team could be in transition.
Don’t fire the GM or Pineilla: Hendry has done a nice job stockpiling talent. His free agent signings have been too much money and he has whiffed on some mightily (Bradley). But, he has put together a great pitching staff and his youngsters will only continue to contribute. I don’t like that he’ll have to get another manager, but he is better than any other GM on the market. With Piniella I would keep him until the end of the season. It does us no good to fire him. Maybe the youth could put together a march to respectability by the end of the year. He can be let go afterwards, unless he really impresses. He just looks lethargic and uninterested. Alan Trammell should get the first look at the new manager. It has been ages since the AAA Tigers lost 119 games under his watch. The team then barely improved their personnel and he won more games and got fired. He is a good manager and has been with the Cubs as a bench coach for some time. I think his rah rah positive coaching style could be good for the younger Cubs. Rothschild definitely stays, Jaramillo should as well. He needs more than one year.
Of course none of this will happen until after the All-Star break. It may be a little emptier in Wrigley this year, but that’s a good sign. Cubs’ fans have been warming up to winning for the last decade and now to expect greatness (without receiving any) from their lovable losers. It could be a busy deadline for the Cubs and a busy offseason as well. Luckily, we have the resources and talent to move to make this rebuilding far more tolerable.