Last week I read on another Cubs blog (not to be confused with Another Cubs Blog) that Jeff Baker should not be traded. That he's more valuable to this team than he would be anywhere else, that utility players are undervalued, and that he can continue to help this team win over the next few years.
If I wasn't lazy, this is the part where I would google that picture of Captain Picard with his palm over his face — otherwise known as a *facepalm* — and link to it so hard.
No, the Cubs should not trade every single player with positive value. Teams with $100 million payrolls do not have fire sales, because they should have the financial resources to compete every single year.
(Relevant aside: I know Tom Ricketts has gotten crap about making excuses, but seriously, every single member of this team's Opening Day rotation has been injured, and four of our everyday starters have spent at least 15 days on the DL. Pittsburgh is three games over .500 and being talked about as a playoff contender, and I think this team could have been .500 had it been able to avoid starting James Russell, Doug Davis, and Rodrigo Lopez multiple times. Like, seriously, Casey Coleman is one thing, but you will win zero of the games James Russell starts. The point is, this team had enough talent to compete, just as next year's team should.)
Drawn-out parenthetical notes notwithstanding, however, Baker must be traded. I find it hard to believe other teams don't value him; case in point, Peter Gammons barely knows how to use Twitter, and even HE managed to send out a Baker-to-the-Red-Sox message.
Frankly, the whole thing is reminding me of the fan base's obsession with Mark DeRosa. At the end of 2008, Mark DeRosa established himself as a solid right-handed hitter, maybe a .290/.330/.450 guy, who could play defense all over the field, but wasn't quite good enough to take over one position for himself every day (sound familiar?). Women everywhere cried when he was dealt, but in addition to John Gaub and Jeff Stevens, the Cubs got back Chris Archer, who was flipped this past offseason for the guy currently throwing 98mph fastball after 98mph fastball, mixed in with a slider being clocked at 89. (That would be Matt Garza, for those of you who aren't watching games anymore.)
Baker should be dealt to any team willing to part with a legit major league arm. For example, the Cubs could definitely use another right-handed reliever; the best righty signed for next year not named Carlos Marmol is Jeff "34 walks in 48 innings" Samardzija.If we can get back anything like what we got for DeRosa, and I think we can, the dang deal needs to be done yesterday.