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Where’s John Grabow?

By bullpenbrian - August 12, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Add John Grabow to the list of Cubs players who drastically underperformed this year–1-3 with a 7.36 ERA in 28 appearances.

Sidelined with a sore left knee since June 29, the left-handed specialist has been shut down for the remainder of the season with a Grade 3 tear of the MCL on his left knee, which he suffered while on a rehab assignment in the Arizona League.

He’s to meet with a team orthopedist in Chicago on Monday to discuss options for recovery, surgery being one possibility.

The Cubs acquired Grabow via trade on July 30, 2009. He resigned with the club as a free agent for 2-years, $7.5M. Since joining the Cubs, however, Grabow has slumped through 58 games posting a 1-3 record and 5.33 ERA.

If signing Marlon Byrd was GM Jim Hendry’s best move this past offseason, resigning Grabow was certainly his worst. It’s not Milton Bradley bad, but Hendry clearly overpaid for a guy who’s grossly underperformed his contract, and still has another year left.


Will Jim Hendry Trade Ted Lilly?

By bullpenbrian - July 17, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Ted Lilly has two more scheduled starts before the trade deadline.
Both are against Houston–July 21 & 28.

Lilly made it clear in his meeting with Jim Hendry Thursday
that he prefers to stay with Chicago.

If the Cubs keep winning, chances are he stays, at least
through both starts against the Astros.

But if the Cubs revert back to its first-half form, Lilly’s
most likely gone by the end of next week.

The Met are pushing hard for Lilly, followed by Minnesota
and Tampa Bay. All three teams individually have enough
trade pieces to swing the right deal.

No doubt Hendry feels the rope tightening around his neck.
He’ll be desperate to turn any deal that might improve
the Cubs’ chances in 2011, and Lilly’s his most valuable trade bait.

My gut says Hendry will attempt to sell Lilly on the idea of
trading him for prospects, then re-signing him in the offseason.

It’s a risky move for sure, but Hendry’s in no place to be patient.
With two weeks to save his job, re-signing Lilly this winter
is simply an after thought.


Jim Hendry The Trader

By bullpenbrian - July 4, 2010 - 12:01 am 2 comments.

Jim Hendry’s peers selected him as the “Easiest GM to Make a Deal with” according to Buster Olney’s survey of baseball’s general managers.

Olney notes in his blog that Hendry is known for being direct, decisive, and accountable for returning phone calls.

The Cubs’ GM is certain to test his skill set this month with the Cubs floundering in fourth place in the NL Central.

Lee, Lilly, Fukudome, and perhaps Zambrano, will be sought after pieces…and Hendry’s ability, or inability, to swing the right deals will largely determine his future employment with the Cubs.

Here’s a history of Hendry’s trades with Chicago.


Hendry Fails, Zambrano Too?

By bullpenbrian - April 22, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

If Carlos Zambrano is smart…he’ll use this opportunity to resurrect his career as a reliever…like, for good.

His potential to win 20-games as a starter is just that…potential…which loosely translates to…he’s never done it.

Eight full seasons in the bigs and Zambrano averages 14-wins per year. Not bad, of course…but not an ace….and 20-W’s just ain’t gonna happen, either.

But…put this guy in the pen, and perhaps, for one single inning, he can channel his untamed emotions into All Star stuff again.


Credit Hendry For Defending Cubs

By bullpenbrian - March 11, 2010 - 2:00 am 2 comments.

Milton The Terrible is at it again, this time jabbing the Cubs in his interview with ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez.

Jim Hendry, appropriately, is taking a stand against Bradley, sticking up for himself and the Cubs organization. I say, good for him.

“We’re all brought up in life to accept responsibility when we fail, and to judge people by how they act and how they carry themselves when things don’t go well.” “Bradley needs to look in the mirror,” Hendry said.

Who better than Hendry to joust Milton back. It was Hendry, after all, who risked his own neck to sign Bradley, and who stood along side Bradley despite his struggles.

And when the whole fiasco turned into a dumpster fire he did the only thing he could, which was the only option Bradley left him–trading the disgruntled outfielder.

It’s not that Hendry wasn’t deserving of the heat. I called for his head at the time. But this wasn’t the first time or the last time Hendry will hear the backlash of Cubs fans.

But criticism comes with the territory–especially in a baseball-savvy market like Chicago.


Angel Guzman A Lost Cause

By bullpenbrian - March 8, 2010 - 1:45 am Leave a comment.

Raise your right hand if you think Angel Guzman has a future on the North Side.

My hand isn’t raised, and even if Guzman believes it, he probably can’t lift his hand above his shoulder.

I’m not making fun of–Guzman’s story is truly unfortunate. The kid’s golden arm is in shambles. And the Cubs, meanwhile, would be better off forgetting about this guy all together. A lost cause? You bet.


Milton Bradley Traded To Seattle

By bullpenbrian - December 18, 2009 - 3:15 pm Leave a comment.

Let’s not confuse the Milton Bradley trade for a great day in Cubs’ history. The fact is it’s far from it.

Sorry, but trading the most cankerous sore in Cubs’ history for Carlos Silva just isn’t on par with no-hitters, record setting performances or dare I say, a world championship.

Doesn’t mean I’m not happy to see Bradley go. The truth is I’m thrilled.


The Rink At Wrigley

By bullpenbrian - December 18, 2009 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Sad knowing the biggest news this offseason is the grand opening of the The Rink at Wrigley, which opens Saturday at 11 a.m.

Further details include:

-Ryan Dempster throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita.


Bradley Bomb Is Ticking

By bullpenbrian - December 14, 2009 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Maybe today’s the day Milton becomes a Tampa Bay Ray? It appears that’s the only legit option left on the table for Hendry anyway.

I’ve said all along the Cubs should take Burrell in exchange for Bradley. So what if Burrell doesn’t fit the Cubs roster, which he doesn’t, that’s not the point. You eat most of Bradley’s contract, flip Burrell for low-level prospects and move on.

Letting this circus drag on is the last thing the Cubs wanted, but is exactly what’s happening. Not to mention, with each passing day Hendry losses leverage.

Another idle week of chit-chat and it’s likely the Cubs release Milton, eat all of the $21 million still owed on his contract and get nothing in return. And that bomb, like Bradley, is ticking.


Cubs Need Dope On The Table

By bullpenbrian - December 11, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Talk about not living up to the hype. What a boring week at the Winter Meetings.

Where were all the money-for-money deals with the bad economy? Where was the blockbuster trade for Roy Halladay? And where, oh where, was the ‘Milton the Meltdown’ trade?

All we got was the three-way Granderson deal to New York, which is just wonderful. I mean, who doesn’t want to see another All Star suiting up in pinstripes? Grrr!


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