A League of Her Own

Saturday Headlines: For Some Reason Carlos Silva is Now A Cub

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Congratulations, Jim Hendry! I never thought you'd be able to swing a trade that would make me long for the Pat Burrell and Luis Castillo rumors, but somehow you pulled it off.

After painting himself into a corner in September when he suspended Milton Bradley for the final 15 games of the season, Jim Hendry finally came up with an exit strategy.

The Cubs general manager sent the disgruntled outfielder to the Mariners on Friday for underachieving right-hander Carlos Silva and $9 million, coming away with $6 million after the two contracts are offset.

Considering the Rays were asking the Cubs to take their albatross,
Pat Burrell, and pay the Rays around $10 million, the Seattle deal was about as good as Hendry could have gotten, despite Silva's alarmingly poor statistics.

Does anyone else find it extremely annoying that Paul Sullivan has the gall to criticize both sides of this deal without acknowledging the role he played in bringing it to fruition? Never have I seen a supposedly "unbiased" reporter work so hard to create a story, campaign so effortlessly to run a player out of town, and express such glee at it's final resolution.

Shame on you, Paul Sullivan. 

Milton didn't disappoint yesterday, either, maintaining his jackass-i-tude on his way out of town:

"There's no way that I'm going to be fairly portrayed or represented," he said. "It's like everything in sports, and being a celebrity and whatnot, it's his reputation and what dirt you can dish and what you can get on someone ..."

Bradley declined to talk about the Cubs, saying: "Chicago is a thing of the past. I'm not interested in rehashing old news."

Yes, the fact that you, only moments before, had to shipped off to a non-baseball town for a crappy pitcher is "old news." Well done, Sir.

So what are we getting in return for our ever-grouchy outfielder with like, a REALLY HIGH OBP?

In Silva, the Cubs received an enigmatic starter whose $48 million, four-year, free agent deal helped pave the way for former GM Bill Bavasi's firing. Silva went 5-18 with a 6.81 earned-run average in two seasons, missing most of last year with a shoulder injury. He will compete for a starting spot but could head to the bullpen after Ted Lilly returns in May.
He's owed $11.5 million in both 2010 and '11, plus a $2 million buyout of his option year in '12. Bradley is owed $9 million in 2010 and $13 million in '11, including incentives. The Mariners will give the Cubs $3 million each year to offset Silva's salary.

Jim Hendry, what do you have to say for yourself?

"I think the bottom line was he just got off to such a bad start and the expectations were so high for all of us," Hendry said. "Obviously, when expectations weren't met, and the criticism started in his direction, I certainly don't think he handled it well. Once you go down that path, as you know, we're playing on the big stage. If you want the big stage, you've got to be able to perform on the big stage.

"I always look at myself. My intentions were just going for the levels higher, that we were close to, but hadn't reached. I think every player would tell you that they're responsible for their own performance. Yeah, I would think he would think he should have performed better. But I'm not going to speak for him."

So what's next for the Cubs this off-season?

The Cubs will concentrate next on getting a veteran right-handed reliever and a center fielder. Hendry insisted that he was not held hostage financially by the Bradley situation.

"The biggest perception that was probably inaccurate was that we couldn't do anything until Milton was gone," Hendry said.

Um, what?

So you could have been making deals all this time for Curtis Granderson and Mike Cameron and Melky Cabrera? You're weren't actually held up until Bradley was gone?

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Despite all the "cancer in the clubhouse" talk and Ryan Theriot's flat-out stupid comments on the radio yesterday, Koyie Hill gets the sensible last word on this:

"It's our job to play," Hill said. "If we had our way, we'd get [Derek] Jeter or Mickey Mantle on the team. But it doesn't work that way. ... If you're worried about things [like who's on the roster], your mind is in the wrong place. If that's a concern, you need to re-prioritize."

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21 Comments

millertime said:

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Granderson was probably never going to happen. The Cubs were competing with the Yankees on that one, and while the Cubs might have been able to offer better prospects, the Yankees have the financial flexability to take on more contract than the Cubs. So I don't think Granderson was ever a realistic option.

If the Cubs sign Marlon Byrd, this won't be a total loss. If Byrd has a career year, Lee has a year like last year, Ramirez stays healthy, and everybody else bounces back, this team might contend for the division. Plus, the chemistry has nowhere to go on this team but up, so we got that going for us. And maybe this way Sam Fuld and Tyler Colvin can get more playing time.

Just sign Marlon Byrd, and we still have an outside chance for next season.

AndCounting said:

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This won't happen, but for the sake of being an optimistic idiot I'll throw it out there. What if Marlon Byrd was the option the Cubs were targeting if they broke even or lost money on the Bradley deal? What if the extra $6 million gets Hendry in the Holliday spirit?

Okay, that's so stupid in so many ways I'm tempted to delete every word. But I'll post it as punishment to myself for even thinking it. I'll accept responsibility for my thoughts.

LostinFla said:

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You're right, Granderson probably wasn't much of an option given what might have to have been given up to obtain him. Still, since one of the reasons why "a prospects for players" trade was rejected was because of the now mythic status of Starlin Castro, I sure hope he really is the 2nd coming of Ernie Banks. If he is only the 2nd coming of Ivan DeJesus, well, actually, that would still be an improvement over Theriot.

JulieDiCaro said:

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(giggle)

I agree that Starlin Castro better turn out to be Ozzie Freakin' Smith, because if he's another Ronny Cedeno (who, you will all recall, was also deemed "untouchable" by Hendry in like 2005 or 2006), Hendry is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

AndCounting said:

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I don't know, Julie. I would much rather get paid to take Carlos Silva than pay even more to get Pat Burrell and/or Luis Castillo. I'm not glad to have Silva on the team, but I feel better about the team's position in its current state than I would have if the Cubs had been on the paying end of a deal. I don't know that anyone foresaw the Cubs making a deal with a net $6 million payroll advantage. That means Crane Kenney only has 15 million reasons not to release Silva . . . now we're talking.

Rich C said:

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This deal doesn't make me wanna shoot myself in the head, but I have to ask....

Bradly, or Burrell, or Castillo could at least be used in games, so why did Hendry trade Bradley for someone who, according to his statistics, can never, ever be given the ball? Was it simply the fact that Hendry got 6 million out of the Mariners? Do the Cubs actually see Silva filling some kind of productive role here?

Speaking of which....how desperate did the Mariners seem to want to get rid of Silva? They took on an incredible malcontent AND paid 6 million to the Cubs just to be rid of Silva. The LOL factor on that is pretty high, I think.

Umbra said:

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Was it simply the fact that Hendry got 6 million out of the Mariners?

Yes. This is just one step better than paying Milton to sit at home. Now the Cubs pay less for Bradley to sit in Seattle.

JulieDiCaro said:

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If he'd made this deal a week ago we could have kept Harden!

Umbra said:

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No, the Cubs are going to use this money to sign an OF to replace Bradley. If they did this deal a week ago, it wouldn't have mattered- the money would still go towards an OF.

I mean, the Cubs couldn't possibly be thinking that an OF of Sam Fuld, Reed Johnson, Tyler Colvin, Soriano, Fukudome can get it done.

cubby23(eric) said:

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They were never going to keep Harden, and I think Rich knew based on his comments to the media late in the season.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Terrifyingly enough, I think Hendry really does believe he'll compete for the 5th starting spot. And why the hell not, if Tom Gorzelanny has a shot at it, anyone should. ANYONE.

MillsChC said:

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Anyone?... Lemme try it, I played ball my junior year of high school, although I was a catcher (with a season-long perfect record of not throwing out any baserunners, by the way)... how hard can being a teams' 5th starter be?... sign me up!

oog of ulams said:

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They took in someone reputed to be a malcontent in order to get rid of a horrendous pitcher they KNEW was a malcontent.

summerguy said:

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I like that Koyie Hill uses Derek Jeter as a reference... kind of like a "F-you" to Theriot that if they could, they would kick his ass to the curb and play Jeter at SS.

JulieDiCaro said:

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A decent rumor for once! Rotoworld is reporting that the Cubs have inquired about the Nats' Nyger Morgan.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Damn, the article goes on to say we were denied. Boo.

cubby23(eric) said:

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I missed Theriot's comments on Bradley?

JulieDiCaro said:

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He just said a bunch of things like "Now that there won't be pins and needles laying around the clubhouse (????) we'll finally be able to focus."

It was ridiculous.

MillsChC said:

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Too bad when the Cubs play the Mariners in June that it's in Seattle... that's assuming the M's hadn't already suspended Milty for the year.

gravedigger said:

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Has anyone else noticed how the Mariners have quietly gone about dramatically improving their team? Between the end of last season and this off-season, they've made some aggressive and good moves.

millertime said:

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Totally. I'm rooting for them in the AL now.

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