If a trade for Ryan Dempster is not imminent, as one reports suggests as of Thursday afternoon, then I wonder why the Cubs would have Casey Coleman and the newly acquired Justin Germano on hand in St. Louis for a spot-start in Dempster’s place?
Let’s just say my money’s on Dempster being dealt (Dodgers, Braves, Nationals) before he takes the mound against the Cardinals Friday night.
It only makes sense for Team Theo to capitalize on Dempster’s high trade value of five straight victories, 33.0 consecutive scoreless innings and his major league leading 1.86 ERA.
The risk is simply too great for the Cubs to let Dempster toe the rubber and not to pull the trigger on a deal tomorrow afternoon.
THE STING OF TRADING DEMPSTER ALREADY HURTS
Meanwhile, as if trading a fan favorite like Dempster won’t be tough enough, how fitting this team has spoiled us with the major’s best record since June 25 (14-5) right before the trade deadline. A Cubbie occurrence, I tell ya!
And not long after Dempster is wearing Dodger blue (or some other shade of blue), we can expect more trade dominoes to fall off the Cubs roster: Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker and perhaps a block-buster involving the likes of Bryan LaHair or Darwin Barney, among other possible candidates.
It’s all in the name of rebuilding, of course, but it’s hard not to imagine where this hot streak could lead with the Cubs current roster intact.
By no means am I suggesting this Cubs teams is worth keeping together at the cost of what could end up as a season record at, near or close to .500 baseball.
We can’t lose sight of October baseball as the goal, and the Cubs need everything they can get via trade before July 31 to get there before another 108 years pass without a championship.
However, the Cubs are so ridiculously hot right now that if they maintained (and let’s face it, it’s unattainably) a .736 winning percentage, which they have during this current run, Chicago would finish the season with 90-wins.
For good measure, the Yankees, with the best record in baseball (57-35) have a .620 winning percentage. Fun to imagine the Cubs in such light, but we know that ain’t gonna happin.
WILL THE CUBS AVOID 100-LOSSES?
The reality come August 1 is the Cubs will be riddled with holes throughout its lineup and pitching staff that will be filled with fringe major league players as hold-overs for the prospects who are yet to reach major league maturity.
For the Cubs to play .500 ball the rest of the season with such a rag-tag group would be more than fulfilling. But the more likely scenario is the Cubs will slump back to the team we saw before its hot run, somewhere close to 20-plus games below .500.
Mind you, a 100-loss season, let alone a franchise worst 105-losses or more, will be nearly unavoidable.
As it is, the Cubs are already on pace for 94-losses. No doubt they’ll be six losses worse after the trade dust settles.
That doesn’t mean the second half will be completely unwatchable or unsuccessful. But instead of focusing solely on the win/loss record we can set our sights on the development of guys like Anthony Rizzo all the way down through the September callups.
For all intents and purposes, the Cubs are about to be knocked down and dragged through the mud, taken apart piece-by-piece as we near the trade deadline.
But with the big picture in mind it’s worth remembering this is where winning is born, at the ground level, setting the foundation for the Cubs to become the buyers and not the sellers.