Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jiggled Protons to Determine Season

With Carlos Zambrano headed for an MRI, the pressure builds further on Jim Hendry. Being a short timer (new ownership will have a new GM next season), Hendry has to do something now to ensure this team does not repeat last season's three-and-out playoffs.

He was going to have to get a starting pitcher sooner or later. The later option is now gone.

The targets should be C.C. Sabathia, Randy Wolf, Jake Peavy, and Rich Harden. Wolf is included in this list because he's available and would probably come cheap. The other three are much better targets.

The dilema will remain how much is Hendry willing to pay? Given his job status, he may be willing to overpay to get one of these guys and empty out the minor league system. That may not be something the incoming owner wants to see happen.

The take here is to go ahead and overpay. The Cubs' minor league system doesn't seem to have anyone coming up of the quality of Sabathia, Peavy or Harden. Who cares if you dump three starting pitchers who will never be better than a Dick Ruthven level pitcher? A good owner is going to realize that the Jim Hendry minor league system isn't exactly the talent pool equal to the IBM training program in 1968.

But the biggest key for Hendry is not to make the same mistake he made in 2004. Alex Gonzalez did the team a big favor that year by getting hit by a pitch and breaking his wrist. Jim Hendry availed himself on that opportunity with Rey Ordonez. Nomar didn't show up until 2 months later.

Don't wait, Jim. Give up whatever it takes. Go get a difference maker. Now. And don't wait for Z's MRI results to become public and possibly weaken your hand.

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