Friday, July 28, 2006

When did you become so uncreative?

In today's Chicago Tribune Dave van Dyck writes about Jim Hendry's unenviable position. The July 31 non-waiver deadline is quickly approaching and Hendry doesn't have the players to bring back valuable pieces in return.

Now I will concede if that were, in deed the case, Jim Hendry's level of (in)activity could be understandable, but he is NOT IN THAT POSITION and to claim he is, is patently absurd.

Another team in a similar situation to the Cubs in 2006 is the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland, unlike Chicago, was expected to perform well this year and potentially compete for a playoff/World Series birth. However, following a promising first series against the White Sox to open the year there hasn't been a lot for Chief Wahoo to get excited about.

Contrast the action coming out of Mark Shapiro's office against the inaction of Jim Hendry. On 6/30 Cleveland sent platoon first baseman Eduardo Perez to Seattle for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, 7/20 Cleveland sent closer Bob Wickman to Atlanta for catcher and plus hitting prospect, Max Ramirez, 7/26 Cleveland sent platoon first baseman Ben Broussard to Seattle for OF prospect Shin-Soo Choo (great name) and a PTBNL.

So far Jim Hendry has sent Scott Williamson to San Diego for two project A-ball pitchers.

Jim Hendry, please do something. Where has your creativity gone? Are you still the guy who turned drunken Todd Huntley into Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros? Are you still the guy to turned Bobby Hill and Jose Hernandez into Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton? Are you still the same man who took Alex Gonzalez, Francis Beltran, Brendan Harris and yielded Normar and Matt Murton?

Since the deadline deal for Murton, you've done nothing of value. What's changed?

Your waste line has grown and there have been rumors of a drinking problem. Is this why you think Greg Maddux is the only player on the roster that could be traded for something valuable?

You have 3 days and 7 hours to get something done, to help you on your way here is a list of the players you should be sending feelers out for to contending teams willing to pay for overpaid, marginal talents who you seem drawn to sign.

1. Jacque Jones - He will NEVER have the value he has right now EVER again. He cannot hit lefthanders and with a free agent class devoid of right fielders keeping him may tempt you to put him and his AWFUL arm back in right.

2. Aramis Ramirez - A number of teams, especially out west, would love to talk about bringing in Ramirez to be a middle-of-the-order bat, going into a playoff push. Ramirez could provide the Cubs with a stockpile of prospects similar to the Bartolo Colon to the Expos deal that got the Indians Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore. Furthermore, Ramirez will exercise his option to test free agency and keeping him will cost in the neighborhood of 4 years, $48 million with a full-no-trade clause. Because 3B has become a much less difficult position to fill with production in recent years, it is not wise to allocate scare free agent dollars to 3B when so many other holes would remain unfilled.

3. Greg Maddux - Who gives a rat's ass if Sir Toothpick McDoubleswitch wants to keep him for the remainder of the season? Think to yourself, how many of his suggestions (Neifi, Goodwin, O'Leary) have turned out well.

4. Scott Eyre/Bobby Howry - With the market price established for plus bullpen guys in the Washington deal, you are INSANE not to trade these two in this market. I would aim at an Andre Either-type talent for each of them; you'd probably get some fish to bite.

5. Michael Barrett - We know he is your pet project and he's done very well, especially since his round with AJ in May. However he is a defensive liability and most importantly his value is at its highest. A quality replacement like Jeff Mathis could be had in a trade for Ramirez (or others) to the Angels. Just try selling high once?

6. Ryan Dempster - He is wild and since his baby was born he blows saves like Paris Hilton blows real estate moguls. He is a lot younger than Bob Wickman and his contract puts him under control of the acquiring team for two more years, not asking the Yankees for Eric Duncan for Dempster is a CRIME!!!!

7. The leftovers - I don't care how you do it but find takers for Todd Walker, Phil Nevin, Glendon Rusch, John Mabry, and Henry Blanco. I don't care if you get a bunch of PTBNLs, but these types of players who've became such a symbol of the Dusty-era need to be banished from the roster for the healing to begin.

Even if you have to put on a Creed CD to do it, imagine its 2002 and be a Major League general manager!

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