I remember exactly where I was when I learned the Cubs had signed Nate Schierholtz to be part of their outfield in 2013. I was at the legendary Martyr’s on Chicago’s northwest side taking in Matt Spiegel’s band Tributosaurus play songs by the Band. I checked my twitter feed between songs, saw the Cubs signed Nate Schierholtz, and then heard the band launch into “Don’t do it”. It was just one of those moments where life had great timing.
I kid about Schierholtz. He’s not an awful signing. He’s not great. In fact, all the Cubs signings have kind of had a Ho-hum reaction from me. With the exception of the 15 minutes it looked like Anibal Sanchez was a Cub of course. But when you look around the league at what some of the other teams have done, you realize that while the Hot Stove party has been more of a snooze fest, it’s better than being the clown with the lampshade on your head.
The fighting Phils shipped out 4 pitching prospects while getting AARP candidate Michael Young to play 3rd and speedy but fairly useless Ben Revere from the Twins. And now comes word that they’re interested in acquiring Vernon Wells… Maybe the Mayans are on to something.
I think you have to like the R.A. Dickey trade. (Although using Ken Davidoff of the Post to smear him on his way out the door was kind of oily…). Travis D’arnaud is a prospect even I’ve heard of but to get Syndegard as well is a total bonus. But how then do you give all that money to David Wright? Are you rebuilding or not? Mixed messages for sure.
So you let Haren and Santanna go. You lose Zack Grienke. And how do you respond? By signing Josh Hamilton. Hey, Hamilton is still a helluva player. But the cracks are readily apparent. And a dude with addiction problems in La La land. And exactly who’s taking the bump after Jeff Weaver? (Who’s logged a lot of innings and seen his velocity dip in consecutive years.) This move smacks of desperation.
The Red Sox:
Okay so you wipe the board clean by getting Jim-Hendry-on-steroids Ned Colletti take on a quarter billion of salary. But four years for Shane Victorino to replace Carl Crawford, three years for Nap time to try and replace Adrian Gonzalez. Ryan Dempster (whose humor should go over really well in Red Sox nation…. yikes.) to replace Josh Beckett. Ummm…Okay. That battle for third in the AL East should be a thriller.
Well, they did sign Bob Brenly. So kudos there. But in Trevor Bauer, you had the biggest piece of currency this winter. Young, highly rated, highly touted pitching prospect. You could have exchanged it for almost anything. And while Didi Gregorious is a fabulous name, he’s considered to be an all glove, no stick SS. Really? Really?!!?! Talk about using a $100 on a candy bar and telling them to keep the change.
So Edwin Jackson is now the buzz on Cub twitter feeds and rumor boards. And most Cub fans brace themselves for what my colleague Tom Loxas so elegantly stated as “not falling for the banana in the tailpipe again…” A fourth year seems a bit much on the surface. But the team needs pitching and E Jax can pitch. He’d be fine. More importantly, he won’t be a rushed move, a panicked move, or a move that makes you scratch your head. And he certainly won’t be a move that we hold up in the long line of Milton Bradley, Koskue Fukedome, Dave Smith. Etc.
And that will definitely take a load off. Take a load for free.