OK, in order for this line of reasoning to work, you have to agree with the premise that: all that matters for the Cubs is the future right now. What happens the rest of this season doesn't mean dick, because Hendry and Quade are being entirely short sighted, ignoring playing prospects in order to possibly win a few games in a feeble attempt to save their own jobs. In fact, if you choose to lie down, take a nap, and not wake up until October, that's alright by me.
Still here? Good. Task #1 on the critical path really does not change based on the events of this weekend:
Hire a General Manager who knows what he (or she) is doing.
Once that is accomplished, whatever Task #2 on the critical path was, it has now become thus:
There is a number between 0 and 24 million, which is the amount of American dollars it will cost the Chicago Cubs to make Carlos Zambrano go away forever. 24 million is, essentially, the average of what I have heard from several media sources as the amount of money still remaining on his contract. He will certainly receive an amount greater than 0, but he is certainly NOT entitled to the full 24 million. The new GM who knows what he (or she) is doing will work with the league and the players' union to minimize that number.
So now, that Zambrano's tantrum, hasty retirement, and agent-orchestrated un-retirement has saved the Cubs a sum of money, hopefully a great sum of money, that before Friday evening they most certainly were on the hook for, now the new GM who knows what he (or she) is doing can then accomplish Task #3 on the critical path:
Trade Alfonso Soriano to an AL team to be their new DH.
Will the Cubs get to wash their hands of the $54 million they still owe him? Hell naw. They will still owe him the vast majority of it. But, it won't hurt as much to swallow this particular load that it would have, now that they owe Zambrano less thanthey would have.
Once this trade is made, then that opens up outfield positions for the only real prospects we have, guys like Brett Jackson and (I suppose) Tyler Colvin. The result? The outfield is far superior defensively, our offensive speed has increased, and the team as a whole will be free from the crushing albatross that Soriano has become. Just as his arrival was absolutely a symbol of a new Spendy Cubs era, his departure will symbolize something of a new beginning.
And yes, it will be the, let's say, 40th new beginning since the end of World War II. But you and I only know one thing for certain. The 39th new beginning isn't working too well right now, so it is high time for another one, whatever it may be.