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Cubs Hot Stove – Bonderman & Webb

By bullpenbrian at 11.30.2010 4 comments.

I like the idea of the Cubs going after Brandon Webb and Jeremy Bonderman.
Both these guys potentially give the Cubs that power-arm and innings eater they desperately need in the rotation.

Webb, 31, hasn’t pitched since Opening Day 2009 because of a shoulder injury. But his track record is brilliant having won 14, 16, 18 & 22 games since 2005. That includes the 2006 Cy Young Award and top three finishes in 2007-08.

The Cubs won’t get him on the cheap, but it’s likely Webb will sign for a short-term deal. If so, I think it’s in the Cubs favor to take a risk on a guy who could very well revert to his old form. Quite frankly, I think it’s a no-brainer.

Bonderman, 28, is the younger and more affordable option, but his 2010 seasons was plagued with control issues and several embarassing outings. He’s also suffered from the injury bug over his eight-year career.

I see greater risk in Bonderman because he’s struggled at times even when healthy. But his career average of 200 IP per season is a bright spot.

The Cubs’ bullpen is young and limited in experience. Getting the game to Marshall and Marmol is imperative. That didn’t happen enough last season when the Cubs dug themselves an early hole they couldn’t climb out of come the stretch run.

Ryan Dempster was the lone Cub to eclipse 200 IP (215.1). That’s not good enough to win the Central. Adding a healthy Webb or Bonderman, in addition to the several young pitchers the Cubs have coming into 2011, could position the Cubs for contention next year.

Standing pat is the safe way to protect a very limited payroll, which would also benefit the Cubs, but only in the long run.

However, I think the Cubs have enough talent to win now, but it will take the risk of signing the unknown of a Webb or Bonderman. Hey, it worked for the Giants.

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4 Comments

  1. Cheryl says:

    I agree with your assessment on Webb. But I also think they need to make a serious run onKerry Wood. He could add the veteran status they so sorely need in that bullpen. I think Cashner should be given every chance to be a starting pitcher with perhaps one other of their young pitchers. Keep Samar… in the bullpen.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Webb takes the Cubs from pretenders to contenders. It’s that simple.
      I have a hunch Wood will be back in the bullpen…if he’ll take less money than what he’ll get elsewhere.
      The Cubs need to stick with whichever role they choose for Cashner.
      They didn’t do that with Samardzija and I believe it stymied his progress.
      Thanks for checking out the post. Look forward to hearing from you again:)

  2. Cheryl says:

    OK. The cubs have lost out on many. Pitchers are still a possibility. I’m not crazy about their options for first base. Why not Dewitt there? Hang on to Lee and some the other ones coming into form. They’re the future. Aramis will be gone next year. Give the rookies a good shot and bring up Lee for short and move the current shortstop to second. Have Soriano mostly in the lineup as a pinch hitter. He’ll get enough bats and you won’t need to worry about his fielding.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Yep, the Cubs have fallen short on signing top free agents, but all is not lost, either.
      Hendry is working on a tight budget, so it’s not surprising the Cubs haven’t landed a big fish.
      And honestly, they have enough talent to win without further gutting the payroll on one big signing.
      A few small, but well positioned, moves could easily put the Cubs back in contention for 2011.

      If, however, the Cubs want to bring up the younger guys they need to fully commit to such a move.
      That means trading Aramis, Zambrano and others to free up payroll and make room on the roster.
      Keeping the veterans and playing the kids gives the club zero direction.
      Personally, I’d rather see the Cubs take one more shot at winning with the talent they have for 2011.

      As much as we would like to see Soriano limited to a pinch-hitting role, that’s not gonna happen!
      He’s paid too much money and cutting his playing time could quickly turn the slugger into a malcontent.
      That’s the last thing a new manager like Quade needs to deal with.

      The best case scenario for Soriano is for him to show signs of his old self–hitting HR and driving in runs.
      Then it’s possible the Cubs could trade him to loosen the payroll and call-up a prospect like CF Brett Jackson.
      Doesn’t mean you’re wrong about putting Sori on the bench…it’s that I just don’t see that as a likely possibility.

      Hey, thanks for checking in. Looking forward to reading your other ideas:)

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