Monday, October 06, 2008

2009 Starts

So, why did a 97 win team lose to a 84 win team in three straight games? Occam's Razor suggests the obvious answer: The 2008 Playoff Dodgers were a better team than the 2008 Playoff Chicago Cubs.

The professional media has made a great deal of the case for the detail behind this. Alfonso Soriano beats up on lousy pitching but gets blown away by the good pitching found in the playoffs. Derrek Lee is not the player we witnessed in 2005 and is becoming a shadow of what he was in 2004 and previous years. Kosuke Fukudome is better off auditioning for Daniel Dae Kim's role. Lou Piniella had a mediocre series at best. Not mentioned so far was that the one guy that GM Jim Hendry acquired to help this team in the playoffs, Rich Harden, couldn't last 5 innings in a start.

In short, a lot of blame to go around. And a lot of questions for next year.

Where to begin?

Well, it all starts with money. Here are the Cubs major commitments for 2009 and beyond ($ millions):

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Zambrano $15.000 $17.750 $17.875 $17.875 $18.000 $19.250
Ramirez $14.000 $15.650 $15.750 $14.600 $2.000
Soriano $13.000 $16.000 $18.000 $18.000 $18.000 $18.000 $18.000
Lee $13.000 $13.000 $13.000
Lilly $7.000 $12.000 $12.000
Fukudome $6.000 $11.500 $13.000 $13.500
Dempster $5.500
Marquis $6.375 $9.875
DeRosa $4.750 $5.500
Harden $4.500 $7.000
Wood $4.500
Howry $4.000
Lieber $3.500
Blanco $2.800 $3.000
$103.925 $111.275 $89.625 $63.975 $38.000 $37.250 $18.000

The key is going to be getting rid of as much money as possible from players no longer wanted by the team. This has to be balanced against the reasonable ability to divest some unattractive players and the cash that may be held back due to the ongoing delays in the sale of the team.

That's what will be discussed here in the coming days.

The World Series will be over in about 3 weeks. Jim Hendry, still a lame duck, has plenty of prep work to do.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]