Thursday, April 24th, 2014

THOSE CONFUSING CUBS

11

The recent Cubs moves confuse me…for now. There best be a trade on the horizon. With Theriot, Fontenot and Cedeno already in house, there is absolutely no need for Aaron Miles. And for a team supposedly trying to save money, why would you give Miles almost 5 million over 2 years? Succinctly put: he’s just not very good.

If I’m Mike Fontenot, I sure hope I’m headed to San Diego to be the everyday 2nd baseman in a Jake Peavy deal. Because I would be irate. Fontenot turned on the power last year, made only one error in 80+ games and had an OPS of .914. He also has 4 years on Miles. Am I missing something? Is it the ‘grinder’ factor? It doesn’t get more gritty and grindy then Mike Fontenot.

Someone seems excited about this move: Paul Sullivan. Apparently he also thinks Dusty Baker is still the manager of the Cubs from his projected opening day lineup. If that’s the opening day lineup then shoot me now and buy me an Astros hat. If the idea is to get on-base about half as much as Fontenot and Fukudome, then Sullivan has it nailed. Gathright is a 25th man, period. I question Sullivan’s state of mind if he actually pencils him into any starting lineup. If he’s merely predicting what he thinks the Cubs will do, then pray that he is wrong.

There can’t be enough said about the great strides the Cubs have made over the last decade. But if it ends up this way–with Miles a starter and Fontenot a bench player–then the Cubs have yet again failed to give a fair shot to a younger player that has been with them, and even helped them get to the playoffs.

But if the Cubs make the moves that many now expect them to make–get Peavy and sign Bradley–then maybe the Miles signing makes sense.

  • http://www.docksquadsports.com docksquad

    i’m with u on this. but i really do think that the cubs r going to get bradley and peavy after this. i got faith in hendry. lets hope it happens.

  • PV

    Couple with the DeRosa trade, it makes more sense, as he essentially replaces him in the super-utility role. Seen this way, the move is indicative of what they need to do this off-season: become less righty and swingy, and more speedy and balanced. It reminds me a bit of the Carlos Lee for Podsednik switch the Sox made before ’05, we can only hope for the same results.

    And Sullivan is drunk – Gathright won’t be starting, he’s the 25th man like you said. I expect Fontenot will be in there v. righties, as he should be, so don’t fret.

  • Schmidty

    I’m gonna take you one further…if I see Pie, Vitters, and Hart in a deal for Peavy I’m going to be in line right after you for that Astros hat. The Red Sox have figured this thing out…grow your own players and keep the pipeline moving and you can be competitive every year. The Cubs are going to try to win it all in one swoop and we’ve seen how that’s worked the past two seasons for the Cubs. If you can’t see it here, ask the Yankees how it’s worked the past five years (and then ask yourself if the Cubs are putting ENOUGH in to compete against the Yanks if it’s a “who spent the most” World Series in ’09). Sullivan also briefly touches upon clubhouse chemistry (which I think he glosses over TOO easily)…Cubs are losing DeRosa, Wood, Edmonds, Blanco, Howery, and Ward and Sullivan thinks Lee, Lilly, and Dempster will step up as leaders. Huh?!?! Dempster is the only one who’d be a VOCAL leader and he just wants to be liked. He’s not gonna kick someone in the ass when they need it, nor are any of these three going to intimidate a player into performing better (unless they’ve got a fear of flying leather from Lilly!). When you ask us for our Cubs predictions for next year, provided the Peavy deal goes through, I say 86 wins and they lead the league in 2-1 losses with all that pitching and zippo hitting.
    On a final note, I’m not all that broken up about DeRosa leaving,

  • Schmidty

    Sorry for two posts…clicked “submit” on accident! Here’s my wrap-up…
    On a final note, I’m not all that broken up about DeRosa leaving, but couldn’t you have gotten a little more for a guy who hit .285/.376/.481 last season?
    OK, off my soapbox! :)

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    PV- “Seen this way, the move is indicative of what they need to do this off-season: become less righty and swingy, and more speedy and balanced.”

    DeRosa was hardly swingy and Miles isn’t speedy. I’m even more confused. Miles has no speed, no power and has had one decent year–last year. And he was actually a little better against righties.

    Schmidty– the whole ‘leadership’ thing was weird tome too. Ted Lilly? The guy who was throwing his mitt like a 5-year old?

    Hey let’s throw money at Milton Bradley who will either freak out, get injured or both once he gets that long term!

  • dhaab

    Well put, Zoner. I too am at a loss to explain the thinking in giving a guy like Miles who is an average offensive player (lifetime OPS of .693 with no power and little speed) and an average defensive player at best, this kind of contract. I know the Cubs are trying to shed some payroll, but over spending on someone like Miles just to replace DeRosa seems like a screwy way to do it.

    Also, it seems odd they’re so obsessed with finding a lefty bat that they’ll take such an awful clubhouse guy like Milton Bradley. A guy like that living in a town like Chicago doesn’t seem like a good thing.

    As for Peavy, I don’t think he’s going anywhere until the trade deadline in July.

  • Schmidty

    Hey D…while I agree with you that Bradley isn’t the answer, from all accounts (and in total irony), he’s a GREAT clubhouse guy. Total team-player and just wants to win. His problem is how he treats fans and folks in authority positions when he forgets to take his meds. :)

  • dhaab

    You’re right, Schmidty. My bad. I forgot what affliction he had.

    And he is a talented player, no doubt. I just wonder about distractions with him.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Hmmm…career year in a contract year–no way!

  • dhaab

    Buster Olney sure doesn’t like what Hendry is doing and he mentions a huge issue with Bradley that wasn’t even talked about here…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3805324&name=olney_buster&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab6pos1

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    I was just going to post that story now. (Anytime you include a link in a comment it goes to moderation.) I mentioned the Bradley injury bug in the comments–but yes–it needs a hard looking at if I’m the Cubs.

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