Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rebuilding The Cubs

So, over a year ago, I gave my ideas on how to fix the Cubs. You can check that out here, here, here, and here. Sadly, the way I began that piece is still relevant today, so I'll just copy and paste it to save myself time thinking of a clever opener:

The Cubs suck. They're an old, overpaid, boring team, and there's very little to like about the entire organization. They have some unmovable contracts, some tough to move contracts, and a lot of shitty players. Still, I think I could get them back in the race soon. Here is how I would do it.

I figure the Cubs are actively searching for a GM, and I cannot imagine that their search doesn't immediately start in the blogosphere, so here is my application Cubs. I hope you don't mind having more rings than fingers.

1. Hire Hott Joe as General Manager

This is an obvious first step, because without making me general manager, it's going to be tough for me to convince other teams to trade with me. Also, as much as I think Jim Hendry is a great guy, the Cubs GM position needed more Hottness, and I bring an abundance of that.

2. Trade Matt Garza to the New York Yankees for 1B Jesus Montero and OF Slade Heathcott.

Getting a prospect on the level of Jesus Montero is an awesome haul for the Cubs. The guy has huge potential and he's ready to step in and be the Cubs everyday first baseman right away. Sure, the defense may not be pretty at times, but I will gladly take that for a guy with the potential to mash. So why would the Yankees give that up for a guy who may only be a number three starter? Well, the Red Sox and Yankees are both looking for pitching this offseason, and even if they sign C.J. Wilson, they're still going to be looking for more. I will have the Red Sox and Yankees bid against each other to the point that the Yankees will even throw in Slade Heathcott as a bonus for me. Sure Heathcott hasn't shown he can hit, but he's got tools, and my Cubs will be total tool whores when it comes to our farm system.

3. 3-Way Trade
Rays Receive C Geovany Soto and P Chris Carpenter from the Cubs and 1B Yonder Alonso and SS Billy Hamilton from the Reds
Cubs Receive C Yasmani Grandal and OF Yorman Rodriguez from the Reds
Reds Receive P James Shields from the Rays and P Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs

Okay, I'll admit it. I really wanted to find a way to get Yasmani Grandal on the Cubs. At first, I created a simple deal involving Soto from the Cubs and Niemann from the Rays, but then I realized the Rays could just trade Niemann to the Reds for Grandal and cut me out of the deal altogether. Well, fuck you, Andrew Friedman, that shit ain't gonna fly you sneaky son of a bitch (Andrew, if you're reading this, that was all false bravado. Can't wait to work with you in the future, but seriously, don't you dare cut me out of this deal). So why does everybody do this?

Well I do it, because I get a rookie catcher who can come in and start right away and a prospect that is loaded with tools, so, even though he's no Todd Hundley, it's still pretty awesome for me.

The Reds get an anchor for their staff, and Dusty hates young players anyway, so they might as well trade these prospects for people who will actually get playing time. They also get Jeff Samardzija, which not only gives them a good relief arm, but also makes them favorites if the MLB starts a flag football game for All-Star festivities.

The Rays do it, because they have a plethora of starting pitching right now, and they've only got one more year with James Shields before he's a free agent. They get a reliable catcher and Carpenter hit 100 MPH on the gun on Arizona, so that's cool. And they fill a hole at first baseman/DH and get the fastest middle infield prospect in the universe.


4. Trade P Carlos Marmol to the Marlins for OF Logan Morrison.

The Marlins closer may not be allowed in the country. Ozzie Guillen loves Hispanic players. Carlos Marmol is a HISPANIC CLOSER. This is too good to be true. Jeff Loria is crazy enough to do it too. The Marlins get what they want, and LoMo instantly becomes a fan favorite in Chicago and probably all over the world since he will finally be playing in front of fans. Let the Internet rejoice, I have freed LoMo.

5. Trade Alfonso Soriano to the Red Sox for John Lackey.

Nobody would be crazy enough to trade for Alfonso Soriano, and nobody would be crazy enough to trade for John Lackey. Hence, there are two teams crazy enough to trade with each other. J.D. Drew's contract is up, so they can fill right field with Soriano. Lackey is persona non grata in Boston, so trade him to the Cubs where they love all players (except for Milton Bradley). Plus, with Lackey (allegedly) going through a divorce, maybe he can hit up the Wrigleyville bars and find himself a nice young lady.

6. Let Aramis Ramirez walk in free agency.

Nothing against A-Ram, but I'm not exactly focused on the next couple years when he will have the most value. We're blowing shit up here, so A-Ram can sign with a contender and win himself a World Series ring before we take over the MLB in a few years.

Okay, so I'm going to be completely honest about something. It's a good thing I wrote out my plan before following through with it, because I got to the end of this post and realized I didn't have a third baseman. Whoops. If I'm desperate, I'll give the job to Ryan Flaherty, and if I can get the Mariners to take all of his salary, I'll put Chone Figgins there, because he's scrappy, and 2012 is not a year to focus on good, so being scrappy will make us beloved.

7. Get the band back together.

Oh, you have no idea what that means? It means this. We've got Zambrano, Wood will resign for minimum wage (not major league minimum, Illinois minimum wage; that man loves the Cubs), so it's time to bring the boys back together. Mark Prior gets signed to a minor league deal, personal favorite Juan Cruz gets signed to help out the bullpen, and if Matt Clement still has a right arm, I'll throw him a minor league deal and send him to the Midwest League (yes, I know that's against MWL rules, but just roll with it). This team is not going to be good in 2012, they might as well remind people of 2003, the last Cubs team that was actually likable.

8. Brett Jackson starts the year in the Majors.

And he's playing center field, Marlon Byrd is moving over to right, LoMo in left. That's not a good outfield, but it's an outfield, and we are saving a ton of money with all of my cost-cutting maneuvers.

9. Spend in the draft and the international market like money has never been spent before.

We are going to make Bud Selig's head explode with the money that we are going to spend on amateur players. We are going to walk into a Dominican tent and make it rain on the best 16 year olds money can buy. Any signability concern in the draft will be laughed at as we draft away and meet the demands of greedy little 18 year olds. Hell, I might even hire a Canadian to go into Cuba and smuggle me some ballplayers. I probably shouldn't write that for legal purposes, but I'll just say it was a very convenient coincidence.

10. Sign Tom Gorzelanny and Rich Harden.

I love both these guys. Gorzelanny gives us a lefty for the rotation that will give us quality innings, yet nobody gives the guy any love. Rich Harden is immediately sent to the bullpen to become the greatest closer ever. I am honestly not sure if he'll ever give up a run.

Um, so what the hell does this all mean?

Even with my outrageous spending on amateur talent, I have saved a ton of money. But that's not what Cubs fans are interested in; they want to know what the product on the field looks like. With that being said, here is our lineup and starting rotation:

Batting Order:
1. RF - Marlon Byrd
2. LF - Logan Morrison
3. SS - Starlin Castro
4. 1B - Jesus Montero
5. CF - Brett Jackson
6. C - Yasmani Grandal
7. 3B - Ryan Flaherty/Chone Figgins
8. 2B - Darwin Barney
9. SP

Pitching Rotation:
1. Ryan Dempster
2. Randy Wells
3. Tom Gorzelanny
4. John Lackey
5. Carlos Zambrano

Is this a good team? Well, if everything breaks, the answer is no, it's not a good team. In fact, it's quite a bad team, but this is a necessity. And it's a young team that people can get behind. They've got veteran pitching and a very young lineup. They're good for about 70 wins, which this year's team did and spent way more money than I am going to spend, but the building blocks are there for the future.

Also, I'm keeping Mike Quade as manager, and here's why: Most likely, this Cubs team has no chance of competing until 2014. I know Cubs fans aren't going to like that, so after two years of failure, I'll bring in Ryne Sandberg as manager for positive PR, and to ensure that I have three more years as GM. When the team explodes in 2014 or 2015, we'll both look like geniuses, and I will have my choice of the thoroughbred dimepieces of Chicago. Bravo me.


P.S. Speaking of Cubs, I'm still rooting for Adam Greenberg and you should be too.

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