Wednesday, December 7

Well slap me in the face and call me Susan

Goodbye Asheville, hello Chicago!

The Cubs have indeed pulled the trigger on Juan Pierre, firing two pitching prospects down to sunnier climes while welcoming in their new CF/lead-off man. It's true. The Cubs made a deal.

I've talked at great length about JP and our other options, so I won't go on at great length. I will however quote a couple of other excellent Cub resources (well, that implies I'm calling LB excellent, which it most certainly is not! Insert pity here) who have analyzed the trade at more depth.

First up is Derek Smart from the brilliant Cub Town:

"Still, the Cubs have adopted a solid approach with this deal. Your minor league system is there to funnel talent to your Major League squad, either directly or through trade, and in using the type of players they have in surplus to address an issue, they have attempted to do just that.

Pierre is far from perfect, and to my mind including the quantity of talent the Cubs did in this deal was overkill, but he does address a need better than the other available options, at least while staying realistic (rail all you like about the superiority of non-prototypical lead-off alternatives, the fact is, with Dusty at the helm, all attempts to go down that road lead to Neifi! getting 700 at bats at the top of the order).

This is not a great deal, this is not a terrible deal. It is, instead, a trade that makes something livable out of a potentially unlivable situation, and while that may not be a thrilling result, it has its value."


I think that about sums it up from any standpoint really. It's exciting from the perspective that we've addressed arguably our most pressing need, and while we did give up a couple of prospects, we ultimately have to realize that they are just that: prospects. Despite our high-ranking farm system, these fine gentleman have never tasted a live MLB pitching mound. There is no assurances beyond speculation, no guarantees beyond estimation.

We have given up some current major league stars in recent times: Dontrelle Willis and Jon Garland to name just two. However, for every Dontrelle, there have been a thousand question marks, and I'm sure we can all agree that at the end of the day, disgruntled or otherwise, we have taken care of a massively important issue, one that, whether brilliant or average, can now be laid to rest. He may not have a season like 2003 or 2004, but even a 2005-type year will trump the collective efforts of what we did have. Short-term or long-term (I hear we have him for effectively a 1-year deal with arbitration included, and since the Cubs don't often go that route, he is a quick fix until Pie is ready for the bigs. This could all be wrong, but I'm just going on what I've heard), we have a lead-off man. We may now exhale.


I will leave with one further quote, taken from the same Cub Town article (sorry Derek if you ever read this. I am making sure everyone knows it wasn't me who wrote all this!), although written by another highly-informative source, Bryan Smith from Baseball Analysts:

"This new haul of Marlins minor leaguers is their weakest yet, but also their deepest. None of these players would grade above a straight B, but none would be lower than a B-. Pinto and Nolasco both pitched well in AA, however, it was their second time around. Pinto has control problems, and has stalled in now two attempts at AAA. I've compared him to a young Arthur Rhodes before, and like Rhodes, I think Pinto will thrive when moving to the bullpen.

The same could be true with Nolasco, though he has a bit more chance of succeeding in a starting role. Nolasco's groundball numbers were done last season while his strikeout numbers were up, oftentimes indicating an advancement in stuff. Like Pinto, Nolasco needs to prove it in AAA, but is on a similar timetable to Josh Johnson, the rich man's Nolasco."


Make of that what you will.


At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Quick addition here; It looks like we sent them Mitre in the deal too.

Here's a question for everyone: It seems like unless Walker gets traded Cedeno will be our starting shortstop next year, which would mean we have all positions filled except for right field. Which is more likely, a trade to get a right fielder, or using CP? I've heard talk of using CP as the right fielder for next year, but it seems as if the Cubs are now dedicated to trading for a right fielder, possibly Bradley. What will be done with Corey in that case? Will he be part of the deal? Will he spend the year in AAA or as a defensive replacement/pinch runner? It will be interesting to see what happens.

Welcome Pierre, I will now do my best to convince myself that I like you a lot instead of being indifferent to you. It will help that we didn't give up anyone I'm attached to to get you. Hopefully I will succeed and you will have a good year. This has happened before (I didn't really like Maddux when he was pitching for Atlanta).


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