Friday, October 19, 2012

Alex Rodriguez: To Trade For or Not To Trade For...

...that is the question; isn't it?
This is a case for and against the Cubs trading for Alex Rodriguez. (Assuming ARod would accept a trade to the Cubs. In both cases let’s say he would.)
The argument against ARod:

The number one reason the Cubs should not try to trade for ARod is he is not worth the money. ARod is owed $114 over 5 years in which the Yankees are willing to pay 90 million of the 114 million dollars but is Alex worth 24 million over 5 years? On a contending team probably but on a rebuilding team like the Cubs? NO! There is more than just money that prevents the Cubs from trading for ARod. He is 37 years old and are the Cubs actually going to pay 4-5 million dollars to a guy when he is 40+ years old? No way, that is not the Theo way and not for a proven steroid user. Another thing going against this trade is the fact ARod seems to look after ARod more than anything else. He has been a bad example to younger players on the team and has been a clubhouse cancer in New York so why would the Cubs want to crack the foundation of the rebuilding by signing ARod? The fact is they wouldn’t. Another argument is having Arod start at 3rd base for 5 year essentially blocks that position for younger infielders to come up. The Cubs do have Josh Vitters (who does not look like a starter but that could change), Javier Baez (who could move to 3rd or push Castro there), Junior Lake, and also many other infielders that have yet to show promise or given the opportunity that could fill 3rd in a couple years. The Cubs are better off giving a two year deal to a veteran 3rd baseman rather than Alex Rodriguez. The Chicago Cubs are heading down a tough path of rebuilding and adding Alex Rodriguez contradicts a lot of what the front office has been telling us. Trading for him just does not make sense and that is without even looking at his numbers this season (122 games, .272 avg. .353 OBP 18 homers 57 RBI and 116 Ks). Alex Rodriguez to the Cubs? NO THANK YOU!
The argument for ARod:
Alex Rodriguez is an icon not only in baseball but in sports. He is one of the highest recognized players in sports and is a marketing teams dream come true which alone should have the Cubs interested. The questions everyone has been asking is “how do the Cubs sell high ticket prices, high food and drink prices, and reassured season ticket holders to keep their tickets during this hard road of rebuilding?” One part of the answer could be signing Alex Rodriguez. Alex Rodriguez could still find his way into the Hall of Fame regardless of the steroid stuff surrounding him and people will come to the ballpark, buy a Cubs ARod jersey, and see a losing ballclub just to see ARod because of that Hall of Fame status. People still love saying I saw a game when McGwire and Sosa battled for the HR record, others say I remember seeing Bonds during the season he broke the all time HR record set by Aaron, etc… and ARod is no different. Arod is 14 homers from passing Willie Mays with 660 and is 116 homers shy of surpassing Bonds on that list which is still possible and fans know that and will want to see it. Plain and simple ARod will put butts in the seats and that is enough to trade for him.
Another reason to trade for ARod is the fact he will only cost 4 to 6 million dollars a year over 5 years and the Cubs have no true 3rd baseman in their system to block him. Would you turn down a player with HOF numbers at 4-6 million dollars a year over 5 years with the expectations he hits milestone homers and runs a line of .270 with 15-25 homers .350 OBP, that would feast on NL pitching, and not to mention a good glove at 3rd? You would be crazy if you said no. I also do not buy the argument he is selfish and a bad clubhouse guy. He is under microscope in NY which skews the view of the person. Let’s face it the NY media make the Chicago media look like pussy cats. A change of scenery is need for ARod and getting him to Chicago would prove a win/win for everyone involved.
The Chicago Cubs have a black hole at 3rd now that Aramis has left and need to fill it until they develop a player who can play good defense at 3rd and hit for power. They are going to need time to do that. The Cubs are not going to be competitive for at least two more years so what is better than to have ARod on your team just in case you become competitive one of those years.
Another thing to think about is what if ARod proves he is healthy and is hitting like 2007-2008 ARod? Can you imagine anyone else’s trade value higher at the trade deadline than Alex Rodriguez at 4-6 million dollars a year on pace to hit .300+ 30+ homers and 100+ RBI? You can’t because there would not be one person with a higher value at that price. So whether ARod succeeds or fails; all Theo is gambling is 4-6 million and that is less than he paid Dempster, Maholm, Marmol, and many others as a risk/reward scenario. So the high reward is still there and if the Yankees come calling the Cubs need to listen.
After all this support how can you say you would pass up on Arod? Let’s say the Yankees call up Theo/Jed and say we will trade you Alex Rodriguez and pay 90 million of the 114 million left on his contract if you give us Josh Vitters. Would you blame Theo if he pulled the trigger on that trade? If you said yes then that maybe a reason why you don’t run the Cubs.
That concludes the case for and against the Cubs trading for Alex Rodriguez and I am still on the fence about it. What say you? What would you do with everything considered above.
Until Next Time….

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who Will Replace Bob Brenly?

I first want to thank Bob Brenly for his 8 wonderful years in the Cubs broadcast booth.  His incredible knowledge with Len Kasper play by play skills made them a dynamic duo.  Good luck on future endeavors Mr. Brenly.  You are truly once of the best color commentators in baseball.

Now onto the future! Here is my list of 6 guys who I think would work well in the broadcast booth for the Cubs and also with Len Kasper.

6.  Todd Hollandsworth: A former Cub who says what is on his mind.  He has experience in the booth and has filled in for Brenly numerous times.  He has gotten better every year since he established himself on CSN pre and post game show. The thing that puts him on the bottom of this list is whether he can get excitable and exercise more than one tone in his voice.  He also tends to be rather dry.

5.  Doug Glanville:  Another former Cub and known to be the smartest man in baseball.  Doug is very intelligent and knows the game well especially from a Cubs perspective.  His experience with ESPN has put him on this list alone but just like Hollandsworth can he do the part and avoid being dry and boring.

4.  Eric Karros:  He is just great on TV and also a former Cub.  He is baseball smart and has on screen charisma that Doug and Todd seem to lack.  His experience on Baseball Tonight would be a huge plus but also his voice and actions seem to be suited well with Len Kasper.  You can do worse than Karros that is for sure.

3.  Mark Grace:  Another former Cub who is out with the Dbacks and maybe looking for another announcing job.  He has a problem with drinking while driving so that is a negative but he knows the Cubs and is good at what he does.  Gracie is loved by most Cubs fans and he is also really baseball smart.  His experience in the booth in Arizona is a huge plus and I feel he would work great with Len.  Without the baggage Grace would be number 1 or 2 on this list.

2.  Steve Stone:  The guy just knows baseball and is one of the best color commentators in sports alone. He has an obligation with the White Sox and confirms he wants to stay but friction between Hawk and him could result in a "change of heart." This is a different time, different team, and I think all things will be forgotten once Stoney gets in that seat next to Len Kasper.

1.  Rick Sutcliffe: He is the man for the job.  He is a former Cub and not to mention a genuine Cubs fan.  He has great charisma, he is flamboyant, and just good at what he does. Has ton of experience with ESPN and is very baseball smart.  Having him in the booth with Len would be a smooth transfer from Brenly.  The Cubs need to at least offer the job to him.

Honorable mention to Dan Plesac, David Kaplan, Kerry Wood, and Dave Campbell.  All 4 of them are good candidates for the job but the 6 I laid out above exceed these men for one reason or another.

Until Next Time....