Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Out of options

The Cubs finally joined the wave of teams that have been outrighting or DFA'ing veteran players this year. Cliff Bartosh was the first victim. So how long until the next piece of 25-man roster fodder gets jettisoned? And who will it be? The odds on favorite is for Sweaty Joe to receive his pink slip before the end of the month. I assume he may accept an outright to AAA in an attempt to keep his career alive. Or will he mysteriously break his pinky between two chairs???

Currently the Hawkins trade is looking pretty sweet. Two young arms with decent upside for a guy with an elbow injury. One half of the receipt looked fairly good in AAA Iowa and is going to bump tonight north of the "Cheddar Curtain" against the Milwaukee Dairy Fairies. The other half is throwing well at AA West Tenn (still walks too many hitters). If the Hawkins injury turns out to be serious, I doubt Mr. Sabean will be taking Jim Hendry's calls for a while.

This is the type of deal that Hendry excels at completing. He is able to identify what player a team has given up on and gets him for a pair of used tube socks and a container of IcyHot. Although we all want to win now and would have liked to see the Cubs make some huge offseason moves, much of the talent was way overpriced. Hendry has been able to acquire a very good allotment of talent the last couple years. Not all of the moves have panned out perfectly, but none of the pieces (Francis Beltran, Brendan Harris, Hee Sop Choi, etc.) he has traded away are doing much. Where would this team be without Lee, Ramirez, & Barrett? Lee and Ramirez are legit cornerstones to build the lineup around and Barrett is the best hitting catcher in the NL (his defense is improving which I chalk up to Hank White, their throwing styles are amazingly similar). In my humble opinion, Hendry is an extremely good GM. He hasn't reached Schuerholz or Jocketty status, but just may over time.

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