Realistic Free Agent Pick-ups
I am not gonna get into the fantasy trades of Sexson or A-rod just players that are available on the market for the right price, that can help this team alot.
Todd Walker - 2nd Base
Forget about Luis Castillo and the laughable Adam Kennedy. Castillo's game is based on speed, and he doesnt have that much speed it seems like anymore. His 19 times caught stealing show that. Plus he was pretty much shut down in the playoffs.
Todd Walker is everything the Cubs need. He is a .290 career hitter with a .346 OBP. He has a BB/SO ratio similiar to Randall Simon but doesnt swing at anything and everything.
Walker would fit nicely into the #2 slot hitting ahead of Sosa and possibly behind Patterson. Walker would be an excellent hit and run batter and when was the last time we had a .290 hitter in front of Sosa for an entire season? Sure would help him, instead of coming up most of the time with no one on base.
Todd Walker made $3.45 Million last year and i think $5 million would be a reasonable salary. Or in other words we get Todd Walker for what we payed Grudz only that Walker is about 3 times as good as Grudz.
Keith Foulke - Closer
Alot of Cubs fans consider the bullpen a crap shoot. Yeah its a crap shoot when your getting guys closer to 40 and on top of that throwing money at them like its going out of style. Its not a crap shoot when you invest in the right players.
Keith Foulke is an invest the Cubs need to make. I dont know how many games we lost waiting to get to Borowski but it nearly cost us the division and it did cost us a trip to the World Series.
There was alot of talk of bringing in Borowski in key situations instead of just the Closer spot. Well guess what with Foulke on board you can pitch Borowski anywhere you please! Everyone goes home happy. I just like the thought of Prior/Wood/Clement handing off to Borowski/Foulke than Farns/Insert crappy pitcher to blow the game before we get to closer.
Orlando Palmerio - Bench
Probably one of the best #4 outfielders available on the market. Has a .279 career batting average and a .356 OBP. What a novel idea, a bench guy that can take walks and doesnt strikeout a ton. Ohhhh the Horror!! The main thing with Palmerio is he can step in and not humilate his team if guys go down with an injury. He wont bring superstar numbers but he isnt gonna be a complete bum like Lenny Harris either.
Later on i will mention some of the iffy players the Cubs should consider on the market, but the 3 players i mentioned above would all fall well under the total salary we paid Karros and Grudz last season. I am not dramatically increasing payroll, i am only improving the overall talent level of the team and these 3 can help the Cubs return the playoffs on a consistent basis for atleast the next 3 years.
A Fire Dusty Baker, Chicago Cubs Blog
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Gold Gloves and Rookie of the Year are meaning less awards
Towards the end of the season i got in a heated arguement with some other Cubs fans that said Alex Gonzalez will win the Gold Glove. I told them .220 hitters dont win Gold Gloves. Of course they said batting doesnt matter in Gold Gloves, but try telling that to the people who hand out these kind of awards.
I told them Edgar Renteria was a lock for the NL SS Gold GLove. .330 BA, 100 RBI. Who cares if his fielding % was .975 and Alex Gonzalez was .984. If you want to win a Gold Glove you better swing a big stick or forget about it. Doesnt sound fair does it? Oh well.
But the biggest travesty was the NL rookie of the year winner. Dontrelle Willis? Gimme a break. Its official Willis is the most overhyped player in baseball. Another award where they dont look at the stats and just award it out of pure popularity.
The winner should of been Brandon Webb of Arizona. Besides record Webb destroys Willis in every major pitching category and almost all of the smaller categories as well
Willis 14-6, 3.30 ERA, 142 SO, 58 BB, 1.28 WHIP, .245 OBA, 160 IP, 148 Hits
Webb 10-9, 2.84ERA, 172 SO, 68 BB, 1.15 WHIP, .215 OBA, 180 IP, 140 Hits
Its a pure and simple blow out. Webb was also rated one of the top 5 starters in the NL for most of the year. Willis never even cracked the top 15. Does this award mean anything anymore? Nope.