Sunday, January 03, 2010

Three Moves Jim Should Make.....

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the holes the Cubs have and what moves they should do to fill the needs the ball club already has. Now the Cubs do not have a lot of cash to spend on the team this season but in the next two to three seasons the payroll will see a decrease as big payday players drop off the roster. The Cubs reportedly have anywhere from 4-8 million left to spend on players this offseason not counting arbitration raises to several Cubs. Here are three moves that would immediately improve the team, not cost an arm and a leg for this season, and also help cut some fat off the 40 man roster.

Move #1- Cubs trade Jeff Samardzija and David Patton to the Yankees for Nick Swisher and cash.

The Cubs would get Swisher as their fourth outfielder, backup first baseman for Lee, and all around good clubhouse guy. He would provide the Cubs with versatility, big bat off the bench, and insurance for the Cubs. Swisher it owed 6.75 million in 2010 and 9 million for 2011 which I could expect the Yankees to chip in some cash for this up coming season to help the Cubs financially. Not to mention if the Cubs traded Shark they would be erasing 4 million over 2010 and 2011.

The Yankees would get Shark to strengthen their bullpen or even rotation or be used as a swing guy. It would provide them with another guy that throws heat while cutting payroll by trading Swisher. They would also get Patton in the deal which could provide them with another arm in the pen or just depth.

Move #2- Cubs trade Sean Marshall, Mike Fontenot, and Tyler Colvin for Alberto Callaspo and a minor league reliever.

The Cubs would be giving up a ton of players for essentially just Callaspo but all three players are disposable and Callaspo can be the Cubs 2nd baseman for many years to come. Callaspo is really good switch hitter with decent defense and is being shopped by the Royals for young pitching and a young CF with upside. The Cubs also would be shedding some money to arbitration eligible players in Marshall and Fontenot, both are going to receive healthy raises. It is just a no brainer that the Cubs trade for Callaspo in my opinion. He is everything the Cubs want and need.

The Royals get a young lefty that could fill in the pen but will probably win a starting spot in Spring Training. They would also get a versatile lefty bat off the bench which a change of scenery could really help him. They would also get a young guy for CF with a lot of talent and upside in Colvin. He is basically ready for the big show and would get a chance to start there by playing for KC. He is a 5 tool player and has the makings of being a really good CF for many years to come. This is the type of player the Royals have been dangling Callaspo for.

Move #3- Sign John Smoltz

Smoltz could be had for an incentive laden one year deal with the promise of starting the season in the rotation for the Cubs. I can see the Cubs signing Smoltz with a base salary of 2-3 million with incentives attached to it to make it a much bigger payday if they incentives are reached. He would give the Cubs a veteran presence in the rotation, insurance in case of injury or Lilly being out longer, not to mention closer experience. This is the ideal pitcher for the Cubs.

With all these deals and money changing hands the Cubs would only be taking on a base salary of 7 millionfor 2010 while getting rid of about 2.5- 3 million off their books. Having them take on just 4-4.5 million for 2010 putting them right at where they need to be money wise while filling the holes of a veteran starter/swingman/closer in Smoltz, young switch hitting starting 2nd baseman in Callaspo, and backup corner outfielder/first baseman/platoon partner for Fukudome and clubhouse guy in Swisher. While only giving up Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, David Patton, Mike Fontenot, and Tyler Colvin.

After these moves I feel the Cubs roster would be set and they can be comfortable going into Spring Training knowing they are putting a good team on the field with what they can do. Lets see how the roster would look.

Starting Lineup
Theriot SS
Callaspo 2nd
Lee 1st
Aram 3b
Byrd CF
Fukudome RF
Soriano LF
Soto C

Pitching Rotation

Marmol C
Jay Jackson (if they go with 12 pitchers)

A. Blanco
? (if they went with a strong bench do not know who would be the last position player on the team)

Pretty good looking team in my opinion. Better than the team they have now anyways.

What do you think?


Tanner said...

I think you are forgetting about a REALLY good arm in the bullpen! His name is Jeff Gray, before the A's traded him for Fox and some guy name Miles. I think he will make the team, I mean he throws 96mph with a nasty curve! He reminds me of a Rich Harden, but a HEALTHY Rich!

Tanner said...

I think you are forgetting about a REALLY good arm in the bullpen! His name is Jeff Gray, before the A's traded him for Fox and some guy name Miles. I think he will make the team, I mean he throws 96mph with a nasty curve! He reminds me of a Rich Harden, but a HEALTHY Rich!

Joe said...

You Swish deal idea is feasible. I'm not that big of a fan of Swish... but he did win a WS with the Yanks and is a gritty player and good clubhouse guy. He's a bit expensive, but is a slight upgrade in terms of flexibility (OF and 1B), power, and switch hitter (I think?) over Reed Johnson. I would love to see RJ back, but can understand the Cubs stance on him with injury concerns and the supposed amount of money he is asking for when he is best suited as a 4th OF super sub.

Shark and Patton are expendable considering the pen depth in terms of youthful hard throwing arms as well as the fact that so far Shark has been an overpaid 1st rounder. The potential is still there, but it would be a nice incentive to get his money of the books to get help elsewhere on the roster.

I think you mentioned earlier that there were rumors for DeJesus or Callaspo straight up for Pie or another young CF. Those names made me feel like a deal straight up for Colvin was a rip off. But lately I've heard that Colvin might not be the prospect we thought he was and that he was drafted too high. But throwing in Marshall and Fonty would still be over paying trade wise. I like Marshall, but I guess at this point him and Gorz are interchangeable parts, and if the deal is for Callaspo Fonty is expendable. The question is are the Royals willing to take on the pay raise Fonty will be due.

I would prefer to spend whatever money is left on O Hudson and/or signing a low risk high reward arm like Ben Sheets as another SP option. I am cool with the idea of Smoltz in the pen, but I hesitate to believe he can last a whole season in the rotation. Our young pen could use a vet presence and of whats available, who better than Smoltz?

If Castro is the real deal, we just need a stop gap at SS or 2B for 2010. If Castro grabs the starting SS job sometime in 2010 or by 2011, we can move Theriot to 2B where his range and arm strength wont be a concern. He is still a good top of the order bat without the high price tag, so 2B isnt a long term concern for me.

Lastly, I read some where that Pujols, Mauer, Adrian Gonz, and Prince are FAs in 2011. I love D Lee but Cub fans, enjoy your time with him this season while you can. Unless the Cubs spend their money for upgrades elsewhere in 2011, I do not see why the Cubs should not be targeting those younger options at 1B (except Mauer). I believe Fuku and Lilly will also be off the books by then and D Lee will be a FA as well. Of those names I only see Lilly being pursued to come back assuming he returns healthy in 2010. 2010 will be one last shot with this "core".

Anonymous said...

... and who goes when Lilly returns?

Nick I Cub Fan said...

I don't see the yankees trading Swisher, they only have 2 outfielders now. They are looking to sign a few more. And if we got Swisher he would be a started not a bench guy.( 29 HR .371 OBP )
I also do not see Samardzija going anywhere, he's a stud.
I do like Callaspo deal alot but that would mean Theriot would be traded when Castro is ready.
Smoltz is old, real old, real real
old. Let the kids play, the one thing cubs have is alot of young pitchers. They were 5th best in the Majors last year. Thats with Zambrano having an off year. We also got rid of Gregg and Heilman who had ERA's above 4.00. I do love this site you are always coming up with new ideas. COME ON CALLASPO.

Anonymous said...

The last move is the only acceptable one to me...we shouldnt pay 9 million dollars for a guy to be a fourth outfielder... i would rather have Reed back then Swisher. We dont need a second basemen, in a few years or maybe next year sam fuld, tyler colvin, brett jackson, or STARLIN CASTRO. So y get a guy when u have someone that will be good in a few years and u can keep them for a while. id rather win a world series down the road with good young quality players and be goood for years to come rather than win it this year with fill in guys that dont belong and not contend for years after.

David said...

You're forgetting the RP that the Cubs got from OAK. He makes the pen easily.

Anonymous said...

Shark has a no trade.

I don't see Smoltz as our No. 2 pitcher, even with Lilly on the shelf.

Soriano hitting seventh?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have Swisher. But a couple of problems with your trade. Shark has a NTC and I don't think it's enough for Swisher as far as the Yanks are concerned. Patton is nothing more than a throw in.

Callaspo , not that we'd miss much of the players going, but it's too much for a guy not likely to start on the Royals and his glove scares me.

I'm not sure on Smoltz. I really don't know what he has left. There were times with STL last year where he looked real good and times when he looked like he should hang it up. He seems to prefer starting but I don't think he could do much better than what we already have.

Nate B. said...

While Callaspo did bat .300 last year, giving up 3 players that have potential to be great or at least better than Callaspo would be a huge mistake. Fontenot deserves a chance especially with a new hitting coach plus Fontenot will give you some more speed on the base paths. Samardzija is way ahead of schedule as in where he was projected to be 3 years ago. The experts were saying that he wouldn't see MLB action until this season and he's seen MLB action for 2 years now so trading him before he reaches his potential would also be a huge mistake especially for a guy that needs to be playing almost everyday in Nick Swisher. He would be a good pick up for the Cubs but you cant unload your young guys for someone that puts up mediocre numbers. I do agree, however, that Smoltz would be a great pick up by the Cubs. He could pitch in place of Lilly for a month and then move to the pen so its a win win as long as Jim Hendry doesn't overpay for him like he usually does for guys past their prime. Then again with Hendry calling the shots its unlikely the Cubs will make a move on Smoltz because for some reason Hendry doesn't understand how to get guys that are needed.

Anonymous said...

First off, the Yankees would never make that deal. Basically they'd be getting a guy who has struggled so far in the big leagues in Shark and another guy who has no future in the big leagues in Patton, AND you expect them to throw in cash? The Yankees aren't hurting to cut payroll, this is the Yankees after all.

Second, Tyler Colvin is not a centerfielder. The guy has played maybe 20 games in the minors in center and you expect the Royals, who you state are looking for a young centerfielder are going to see Colvin as the fit? I think they're looking more for an Adam Jones/Brett Gardner type of talent, not Colvin.

And third, do you really want to see what John Smoltz can do away from Dave Duncan? Oh yeah, we already saw that with the BoSox. I'd rather take a chance on Sheets, at least he has a few more years left in the league.

Anonymous said...

Shark has a no trade clause so how would you trade him?