In less than two weeks the Cubs’ pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.
To this point I’m grading the Cubs’ off season at a B.
Resigning Dempster (4-yr $52 mil) was huge and to a lesser degree so was the retention of Reed Johnson (1-yr $3 mil) and Chad Gaudin (1-yr $2 mil).
Continuing on the plus side is the acquisitions of Luis Vizcaino, Aaron Miles, Aaron Heilman and perhaps the most under-rated pick-up, speedster Joey Gathright.
Obviously, allowing Kerry Wood to walk was controversial with Cubs fans, but I understand the move: Marmol is transitioning to closer with Kevin Gregg serving as a formidable stop-gap in the meantime…and Woody is simply too injury prone.
The guys that HAD TO GO did: Howry, Marquis and Lieber.
And the guys with trade value were dealt: Pie, Cedeno, Hill and Wuertz – although, I’m still not in favor of dealing DeRosa to the Tribe.
Not to mention, swapping Henry Blanco for Paul Bako at catcher is a downgrade, especially considering Blanco signed with S.D. for just 1-yr at $750k (Bako is signed for 1-yr $725k).
Worse move this off season? Milton Bradley: too much money for too little production…and eventually too big of a headache.
The good news for Hendry is that I’m offering a little extra credit assignment…trade for Jake Peavy and I’ll change that B to an A+.