Just about the time the Marlon Byrd deal was going down I was talking with someone familiar with the Cubs plan. I was told the Cubs are working the phones hard now, and the Byrd deal proves it.
This front office has a lot more bodies to shuffle and they seem to have the go ahead from ownership to make any move they deem necessary. That would indicate they would eat the remainder of Alfonso Soriano’s deal when they feel the time is right.
That time could come when Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson are ready. That is a whole other issue. This front office won’t rush these guys as we have talked about exhaustively.
I was told that ownership now realizes how silly it was to “start the clock” on Starlin Castro almost 2 years ago. Castro was brought up quickly by then GM Jim Hendry at the time to try and save not only the 2010 season but also maybe his job and face.
Hendry badly wanted to show that his farm system was producing a talent like Castro. If he had let Castro stay down a bit longer it could have ultimately saved the Cubs about $8 million.
I was told yesterday that not only would it be financially and baseball prudent to let Rizzo and Jackson ripen a bit, but also mentally.
Let’s say Rizzo were to come up here in the cold and unforgiving spring weather that has affected slow starts to vets like Moises Alou and Derek Lee. It messed with their Cubs debuts, just think what it could do to a young player that faltered a bit in his first major league stint.
The Chicago media vultures would be throwing out the AAAA label, and short sighted fans would be up in arms over another failed, hyped prospect quicker than you can say Brooks Kieschnick.
Not a good idea if you think about it. It may sound like silly semantics to you, but think about how much sense it makes to bring these guys up in June. You not only have the chance to start their clocks later, you get some weather to help ensure a Rizzo shot reaches Sheffield rather than get knocked down to a warning track out.
That could go a long way in greasing the skids for a young player in an unforgiving situation.
For now we just have to wait it out and see if other players like Geovany Soto or Soriano can be moved to make room for replacements. We have discussed the reality of rebuilding here lately. John is a bit more patient with holding onto vets than I.
I do have patience to rebuild; I just want the full effect. This is the first time since 1982 that a Cub organization is being completely retooled.
I guess we may have to wait for the weather to change before the climate completely does too.