Could the Indians be interested in Edwin Jackson on a bad contract swap?

One source told me yesterday that the Cleveland Indians have legitimate interest in Edwin Jackson and could be interested in a bad contract swap.  One player who matches up in terms of contract and a possible fit is Michael Bourn.

Bourn has struggled since signing with Cleveland, particularly last season when he had to play through nagging leg injuries that sapped some of his speed and defensive range.  If those injuries are in the past, perhaps he can recapture the skills that led to gold glove defense and OBPs n the the .340-.355 range as an Atlanta Brave.  We first mentioned this idea back in early September but now it appears there may be something behind this idea.

One of the things new manager Joe Maddon has tossed around is adding more speed,

We might possibly need to see a trend away from seeing pitches,” suggested Maddon. “I can see speed – including using it creatively – becoming a more important part of the game. I think the trend might be going back to the way the game had been before the unrealistic home run numbers arrived and walks became prominent. I really don’t know.”

And as Mike mentioned yesterday, Maddon may have more pull to get what he wants than previous managers

The Cubs certainly are accumulating a lot of arms that will be under contract.  They picked up Jacob Turner’s option and they recently re-signed Tsuyoshi Wada to a major league deal.  With Jake Arrieta, Travis Wood, and Jackson under contract — and the Cubs expected to add an arm or two in free agency, somebody is going to have to go.

The Cubs have admitted that signing Jackson hasn’t worked out as well as they had hoped and that he would have to pitch very well to maintain his spot on the roster.  Bourn would add a net $5.5M to the payroll over the next two years, so if we consider Jackson a sunk cost, the hit to the payroll is small enough where the Cubs can gamble that a return to the NL and better health can rejuvenate Bourn’s career.

Could the Cubs see a possible match here as well?

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  • fb_avatar

    I remember when he became a free agent, and lots of people wanted to Cubs to sign him. There was concern from you and others over his age, and a quick decline if injuries sap his speed. That indeed, is what has happened. Imagine if the Cubs had signed Bourn and Jackson? yeesh

    That said, the Cubs need to find a way to unload Jackson. They should do this in a heartbeat, if it's offered. Maybe he can bounce back a bit. If not, platoon him.

  • Maybe we could send them Sweeney as well to make the net cost $4 million. If we add Bourne, we won't need Sweeney.

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    Yes, I would do this in a heartbeat. A veteran presence at the top of the order would be outstanding; change of scenery might do the trick for both of them. Throw in Sweeney as a sweetener!

  • In reply to Joe Hayes:

    Why would Sweeney be a sweetener? He would just be one more contract that the Indians didn't want.

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    Not a fan of picking up more money and possibly more years.

    No use throwing good money after bad.
    Jackson's season was probably worst case scenario and I'd rather hope he improves than get a more expensive mistake.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I agree...while Jackson was terrible last year, he does have a history of good performance. Our rotation right now is Arrieta and a lot of hopes (hope Hendricks late season performance can continue, despite lack of stuff, hope Wood can catch 2013 again, hope Turner can do something good, hope someone else emerges from many 4th-5th starter candidates) and a desire to sign free agents.

    We wouldn't be dealing from a source of strength or depth but depleting something we need. If Jackson is as bad as last year, that will be terrible and we will need to make a move. But hoping Jackson gets back to form is at least as realistic (if not more) than all the other hopes we are pinning on our rotation. He (and this hope for performance similar to past years) is more valuable to us than Bourn (and the hope he will perform as in the past).

  • In reply to springs:

    Lack of stuff? Hendricks doesn't have a great fastball, but he has excellent stuff. Getting MLB level pitches exactly where you want them is great "stuff", especially when you can do it with a change up to compliment a low 90 mph fastball.

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    In reply to DaveP:

    Not really. He's a smart pitcher with good control. But many games his fb was in the mid-80s and he has no strikeout pitch. But that's not "stuff." IMO

  • In reply to DaveP:

    There is a reason Hendricks was not considered a top prospect. He throws in the mid to high 80s (from what I saw) and can change speeds. To be effective, he needs to have perfect location.

    People with great "stuff" are people like Kerry Wood, who didn't need to hit a particular location perfectly to get people out.

    For every later career Greg Maddux who succeeds with a mid 80s fastball by changing speeds and hitting locations, there are hundreds of prospects who never make the bigs or end up as a #4 or #5 or a middle reliever at best. Hendricks had a nice run, but there definitely is uncertainty whether the league will figure him out and make him much less effective.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    As others have said by definition he has no "stuff". What he has is an uncanny ability to gauge pitch selection and he has a knack for the strike zone. He's not unlike former Cubs pitcher Randy Wells who came up made a splash and then the league adjusted. To my eye he's a little better and a little smarter than wells so I give him greater odds to stick but there are no guarantees and the odds are against him. That's why you're seeing so mention of guys like Masterson, Peavy, Santana and Liriano in conjunction with the team. If they go into 2015 with Hendricks as their #3 that would be a substantial risk. As a #4 I think you're taking some pressure off the kid and you can see how hitters adjust to him.

  • In reply to springs:

    I'd rather try Jackson in relief than trade him for a bad contract. If Bourne is indeed healthy, MAYBE.

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    With all the arms available I doubt Jackson even makes the roster. Bourn on the other hand would be useful in CF and makes Alcantara an option at 2B or the super sub so many people have mentioned. Baez could likely start the season in AAA.

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    In reply to TheRiot2:

    Jackson has ~22 million guaranteed left. He will not be cut.

    And I personally doubt they send Baez back to Iowa.

  • I just can't see anyone being interested in Jackson. It is a nice dream, but I think the cubs probably have to eat that contract.

  • I can assure you it is not a dream. The Indians do have interest. We have to remember that Jackson still has a good arm and he is durable. A lot of teams could take a flyer on a buy low scenario, which is essentially what a bad contract swap is.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, you certainly have better contacts, I hope the cubs can do something with Jackson. My opinion overall is the cubs get the better odds of salvaging something with Bourn vs Jackson. It is the other side of this that If I am Cleveland I do not make that trade. Jackson in the American league sounds like a really bad idea to me. I know he has been there before. The one reason for them to do it is if they are stacked in the OF, maybe. That is all I am saying I cant see the advantage to the other side.

  • Thank you; you have brought up the point that is usually missing in these trade scenarios, and that is looking at the deal from the other team's realistic perspective. I am not saying whether this particular deal is realistic or not, but the need to look at it from both sides is necessary and seems to be missing at times.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    This is one time I agree with you 100%. This is a better than B.j. Upton deal due to what Maddon like( speed )

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It does make sense and the added money is a small price to pay over possibly having to eat the rest of Jackson's contract. With the small army of reclamation arms (Turner, Doubront, Strailey) and other pitching assets (Wood, Wada) you have to figure that Jackson is not in that mix. If Bourn is realtively healthy I take that deal quickly and don't look back.

  • (READ sarcastically): Why don't we just trade him to Philly for Howard, who can then be a pinch hitter and DH our AL interleaved games?

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Interleague

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    This is where we could use the sarcasm font :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I seriously cannot believe that the sarcasm font has not been invented yet. It is a pressing need on the internet. A new font wouldn't even necessarily need to be invented, there are already hundreds of fonts out there that are not used for any purpose. Someone with influence needs to get the ball rolling on this and just pick one and get others to start using it as well.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    We could do that as a group and copyright it. I nominate the "Snap" font.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Snap is not legible enough.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Moonlight:

    My vote is Comic Sans. Even if we didn't copyright it if everyone knows it is the convention that is all we need.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Just use a smiley.

  • In reply to mjvz:
  • I think you'd have to throw in Coghlan and $$ to even get a conversation started with Cleveland on taking EJ. Jackson had a disastrous year, the kind where you ask, "Is he a major league pitcher anymore?"

  • In reply to couch:

    I think this is what would have to occur to get a deal done and I don't want that to happen. The Cubs do not have enough depth to get rid of a guy like Coghlan and throwing more money away just to get rid of Jackson is dumb. They can get rid of him by releasing him and paying him nothing more than he is owed. Or they could trade him to a team along with 90+% of the money left on his contract and try to get a backup catcher or lefty reliever in return. There is no reason to include or take significantly more money/years in bad contract back.

  • I can't believe any team would have legitimate trade interest in Edwin Jackson. The Cubs have no leverage. There is no way that Edwin Jackson can be given a rotation spot next season given they already have 5 guys better than him and seem to have the intention of adding at least one more this winter.

    He was the worst SP in baseball last year and not much better the year before. I realize guys can have bounce backs like we saw from Chris Young and Aaron Harang last year, and Jackson does still have decent stuff, but the Cubs are not going to carry him on their 25 man roster next year. They will release him if they can't trade him. Any team that thinks Jackson still has something left in the tank can just wait until next April and pick him up for nothing.

    There are worse contracts in baseball than Jackson. The Dodgers and Phillies each have more than one. It is definitely worth exploring, but Jackson may be the least productive of any of the bad contracts out there, so the only way I see the Cubs being able to swap him out is to take a worse contract back in return that has more years and/or dollars attached. And I say no thanks to that. Just eat the money and move on.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    You don't have to believe it, but it is true.

    Why wouldn't a team take a flyer on an arm and durable guy like Jackson if it is buy low. And you can't buy much lower than negative 5 million dollars, which is the price for them to acquire Jackson if they trade Bourn, who no longer fits their plans.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not doubting your sources say that they have interest in Jackson, I just don't agree with the thought that it ties directly to Bourn in a one for one swap. IMO there would have to be more being sent from the Cubs end in order to make it worthwhile for Cleveland and I wouldn't have any interest in doing so.

    I guess I would look at it in the manner of why would a team trade a reasonably productive player that had injury issues that may have contributed to his down year for a guy that was healthy but still couldn't produce for two straight years even if it saves them 5 million? They would either need the Cubs to kick in more money to make it more than a 5M savings over two years or the Cubs would have to add another player in order to make the Indians consider making their team worse. The 2.5M savings each season doesn't give them much room to make a move to get a player good enough to make up the difference in value between Bourn and Jackson.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    2.5 million is roughly 3-4% of their payroll. Even if its not applied towards another player they increase equity and flexibility.
    I know we have all soured on jackson but he is still a major league pitcher with durability and experience. Teams should look towards his more successful season when he was being passed around the league each year. I have a feeling that he buckles down and starts pitching with authority on a new team.
    But for those of you who still can't wrap your head around it think back to grade school, if you're like me your mom packed you 5-6 sandwiches to get you through the day. Meanwhile my friends dad would make him one sandwich and balance the nutrition with 3/4 larger candy bars. Nobody has that kind of sweet tooth at lunch. So my friend would often trade me the candy he didnt want and I gave him a sandwich I wasn't even gonna eat. There might be a 25¢ difference between his candy and my turkey, but to each of us they were redundant to our holdings.
    Everybody always wants to come out on top of a trade, understandable. But organic trades that diffuse talents and contracts through the majors are part of the balance and produce an overall higher level of competition.

  • I've seen Theo & Jed pull off some pretty amazing stuff during their tenure, but if the can salvage ANY value out of EJAX at this point you gotta call it a win. Why not take a flyer on Bourn?

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    How do we know the Indians want to move Bourn in such a move? They don't have anyone else that can play CF on their roster if they move him.

    I wonder if the guy they want to move is Swisher; he is owed $30 mil through '16, and doesn't fit their defensive plans, since they are going to play Santana at 1B, and Swisher is not a good OF.

    There's alot with Swisher not to like right now, but he can be a platoon partner for Coughlan, is a veteran guy, and we are talking about moving Edwin Jackson here.....

  • In reply to Zonk:

    They are willing to move Bourn. That is not speculation on my part.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    As a long time reader of this blog, you don't have to squint very hard to read between the lines here.

  • This could be the FO's version of Hundley for Karros/Grudzielanek. Take an an overpaid asset that seems to have no value and turn him into a player who could help the team. Bourn may not work out as well as those two, but considering Jackson was worth negative wins last season, it would have to be an improvement.

  • I agree with most - who would want EJax at this point? More to the point, why would the Cubs even want to do a garbage swap at this point in the team's development? Sometimes, eating it (what's left of his contract) is the best strategy.

  • In reply to VaCubFan:

    That makes sense only if the Cubs think they can pick up a better player than Bourn for $2.5M/yr.

    In other words, they get Bourn and have to pay an extra $2.5 M OR
    they can let Jackson go, eat his contract and find someone better for the same money on waivers or on a non-tender. If the Cubs think Bourn can be the same player he was two years ago, or even one year ago, if he is healthy, they'd be hard-pressed to find someone better off the scrap heap.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Your last paragraph almost has me convinced.

    One possibility is a player currently on the roster for $1.5M in 2015 and $2.5M in 2016 and is about 2 years younger, and does not have a $12M vesting option for 2017. Sweeney. While he is not a particularly good player he was injured last year too and before that hadn't had a negative WAR since 2007. He could be our back up with AA in CF until Almora comes up. We could release Jackson if we have really given up hope of him becoming decent and have a spot available on our 25-man AND 40-man rosters to be able to protect someone OR a spot available for a FA signing/trade acquisition of talent that will be on the roster right away. If Sweeney is truly our best option I would be surprised, but as our 5th outfielder he could have value.

    Personally, I like mjvz's idea of a trade of EJax where we pay the vast majority of his contract and ask for almost nothing in return. Then his new team can cut him with relatively low cost. Maybe there is a player that is just not living up to expectations and the original team just wants to cut ties with him like we were with B. Jackson.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Also, it's potentially more than that Looks like Bourn has a $12 million vesting option if he has 550 PA's in 2016. I suppose the Cubs could suppress that in 2016, but that's a tricky business.

  • In reply to Jeff Gottlieb:

    If he gets 550 PAs in 2016, stays healthy, and staves off young prospects then we should probably assume he is playing pretty well.

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    I'd make that trade in a heartbeat. The most needed piece on the roster right now is a centerfielder. Bourn is a risk worth taking. Probably would need to expand the deal- but nevertheless he fills the void. We have other options-including moving Russell to cf-if Bourn continues to decline.

    As for the previous thread on Martin. I agree with John on the value. I, for one, consider catcher to be a defensive position. If you look to improve your offense, it's high risk to put that importance on your catcher. It would be much more prudent to spread the risk over two catchers. Welly hits lefties. I'm in total support of trading for Montero and platooning them.

    As for trade pieces-I think Travis Wood will be used in a deal for a cf or catcher. I think they'll be willing to deal him to get the other pieces they need. Given Wood's bat-Arizona may be the best fit.

    I see Pedro Strop as another piece that will garner a lot of interest. I wouldn't be surprised if they moved him-given Vizcaino and others in the pipeline, to snag a centerfielder.

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Well said!

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    I disagree with the notion that the Cubs greatest need is CF. I think their greatest need is a short term slugger for LF. The Cubs have more than enough in Alcantara/Sweeney/Ruggiano/Coughlan/etc. for CF. What they need is more run production, and they don't really have someone who fits that profile for LF (since Bryant is going to have every opportunity at 3B).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to VaCubFan:

    One option would be if they could pick up Markakis for LF then move the current LF platoon with Alcantara in the mix to CF, but I don't think anyone wants to see Coghlan playing CF, so he'd likely be moved. Sweeney and Ruggiano are better in CF, but a healthy Bourn would be better.

  • I'm all for dumping Jackson, but not for Bourne straight up. We are talking about a speed player who is coming off a season marred by leg injuries and will soon be 32. Not ancient by any means, but when your game is based on speed I think it is a factor. Having said that, if this was a straight player-for-player swap, why not, but toss in the added 5.5 million cost to the Cubs and my thought is "no way." I'd rather just release Jackson and use the 5.5 million to sweeten the pot for Lester, Martin, Scherzer, Robertson or Shields.

  • In reply to CyHawk23:

    Agree

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    The danger with Bourn is the $12 million vesting option for 2017 which vests after 550 PAs. Still, this deal makes a ton of sense. Maddon wants speed and with Span out of the picture, Bourn is a decent option B. BJ Upton could also work in this role.

    Ben Revere makes a ton of sense but it looks like the Phillies are not going to do the rebuild thing.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    It is the $12M vesting option for Bourn that has me concerned as well.

    While Jackson has not pitched up to his contract, his contract isn't that bad. It is 2/$22M left on it. I am inclined to use our payroll flexibility to eat that contract rather than take on another contract for more $$ and potentially years.

    As for Maddon and speed we might be reading too much into it. I wouldn't be opposed to him getting someone with speed and using it "creatively" (this creativity is one of the things I like best about Maddon) but I don't know that I want to take on a worse contract than EJax to acquire an aging player with solid speed.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I can also see why the Cubs would be interested in Bourn, but obtaining him would almost necessitate trading Baez or Alcantara or sending one of them back to AAA. Young guys need to play, and there's no sense in having them sit on the bench when they're trying to figure out big-league pitching. On the vesting option, you'd have to figure that the FO would give Maddon marching orders to keep Bourn under 550 Pas in 2016--that would be a worry, but a manageable one, imho.

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    What about Carlos Santana in a deal back? Obviously we'd have to actually give up something -- but can he still catch?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Chris Lattier:

    He's a poor catcher. He's also the best bat the Indians have, and they figure to contend next year. He won't be moved

  • In reply to Chris Lattier:

    Carlos is a Ist baseman. Cant catch, tried him at 3b to start 2014 and he lost it offensively, hitting .130 on June 1 before he rebounded. Hes a DH/1b right now. With his OBP hed likely be a leadoff hitter for the Cubs.

  • If Theo can't include Ejax in a big package for Cole which is my first choice I would then chat up the Indians. My concern is Ejax does have good qualities, besides normally being healthy innings eater, he is a good clubhouse guy, and good with the press. I'm sure Joe doesn't want a clubhouse problem his fist year with all the rooks so how is Bourne's intangibles?
    Yes we know Bourne has some good action flicks (Insert sarcasm font here).

  • In reply to Rock:

    Ejax, by all accounts, is a hard worker and well-liked in the clubhouse. He is not a problem from a personality standpoint.

    Bourne is also respected, I don't know if he is considered a leader, but I do know he is not a problem of any kind.

  • If Theo eats half the money, I guarantee you he can find several teams that would be interested in taking a flyer on Jackson. Pitching has become so expensive that even with his lousy last 2 years on the books, at $5.5MM/year he only needs to produce 1 WAR to be of value to a new team. And he has a track record of producing 3+ WAR in his good years with 180+ IP. Say no to Bourn, eat some money, and send Jackson to a team free and clear.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    Exactamundo!

    A lot of teams would take Jackson if it doesn't cost them any extra money.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:

    A week or so ago some KC Royals blog had an article investigating possibly trading for Jackson.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    http://www.royalsreview.com/2014/10/31/7137759/royals-trade-target-edwin-jackson-cubs-offseason-hot-stove

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    Someone was interested in Milton Bradley, someone was interested in Todd Hundley, someone will take Edwin Jackson. the question is do you want to trade bad contracts, or simply do a salary dump and get next to nothing in return? I'd rather do the latter, get rid of the salary and keep our payroll flexibility for someone that will truly help us.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    That is what it boils down to. If the Cubs think they can get a better player by letting Jackson go and finding someone of the scrap heap then they'll do that, but they are paying $11M for that roster spot + the salary of who replaces him.

    It really boils down to what the Cubs think about Bourn (which is the part I don't know) and what they think will be available off waivers, non-tenders or any other inexpensive way to pick up a player.

  • Michael Bourne, yes. Nick Swisher? No thanks

  • This Cub rebuild is always evolving. Theo just hired the best manager, who a week ago was not even available, and saying goodbye to one that he liked. I heard him say that the Cubs are going for it. I thinking that the front office will not be spending 5.5 on a has been that is a marginal difference at best.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I get that but what if Bourn is healthy and shows he has something left? Then you have a possibility of putting him in a trade package which would seem to be more valuable than Jackson in trade package. Sometimes swapping assets works out for both teams. The Cubs have no use for Jackson but might have use for a comeback year from Bourn. Just seems like a smart deal to me.

  • fb_avatar

    What's Bourne like in the clubhouse? There is potentially more flexibility with Bourne. You could put him in CF and use Alcantara as our Zobrist. Keep his legs fresh by spelling in on a semiregular basis. Worst comes to worse he's a veteran presense off the bench. Theo has talked about adding vets. There's value in that. At this point there is no room for ejax and we might end up having to eat his contract anyway. At least with this trade theres upside with really no more risk then if we just kept ejax.

  • As John said...I do believe the Indians would be interested in Jackson. You have to look at it from their POV.....it gives $5.5 million extra to add an important piece to their team plus give them a guy that can at least be counted on to throw innings (even if they are bad) at the No. 5 spot. The $5.5 million extra for two seasons ($11 total) is like $25 to Chicago. I could definitely see this trade going down (although if a deal is to be made with Cleveland...I'd love to see Michael Brantley....LH bat and solid back-to-back seasons), but is Bourne worth the extra $11 million over two seasons or is it better served elsewhere??? That is the big question!

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    oops - meant to reply to this comment

    I believe it's $5.5 million total for the two years, not per season.

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    Although he checks all the boxes, left handed hitter, solid defender, good obp skills, good make up, can hit in the middle or the top of the order, but Michael Brantley is not leaving Cleveland.

    Other then reincarnating victor Martinez as a 26 yr old slick fielding center fielder, Brantley is next best thing we could dream of being added to the cubs lineup.

    Perhaps if we send over Albert Almora and some other pieces along w Edwin.......maaaaaaybe

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Haha. Yeah...Michael Brantley has been my pipe dream all year, even when people were/are discussing Stanton! Dude is a beast and is getting better!!! I doubt Almora would even start things....Baez/Pierce Johnson might. And someone may say thats too high, but it would be worth it!

    Also...thanks for correcting me on 5.5 over two season guys. If that's the case, it would serve the Cubs to say yes, but is the roster spot more valuable than if they just dump EJax altogether?

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    It's really not about the roster slot. If a deal happens for Bourn what they're really looking for is a (relatively) cheap addition who provides some speed. Maddon has gotten a lot of value out of guys like Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton in the past. Guys who promptly lose the ability to play baseball when they leave Tampa.

  • How many players are out there who will be 36+ when their
    contract ends. Let's hope the Cubs don't end up with one of them

  • And to John Arguello....this site is fantastic bro!!! I've been a lifelong Cubs fan (41 years) in Ohio amongst Pirates and Reds fans :/ Love the work you do and I appreciate your effort!!! Was a sports editor in the newspaper biz for 12 years and used to have a lot of contacts and insight, so I appreciate what you offer!!! Keep up the good work!!!

  • fb_avatar

    I believe it's $5.5 million total for the two years, not per season.

  • Maddon will certainly have a POV to add here. EJax pitched for him in Tampa. Also Maddon managed B J Upton ( another rumored bad contract trade candidate)

  • I'm partial to Bourne. Last spring he found my grandson and I in a crowd and flipped us a baseball. Hero at our house.

  • Someone mentioned Michael Branley for E Jax and a sweetner. Are you kidding me?

    How much of a sweetner.., Baez.(kidding, but not really)

    John, any chance at all for this to happen??

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    No :)

  • I'd try out EJax as a reliever before cutting him.

  • PLEASE, make it happen. EJax has no value here anymore, between him and Travis Wood last year we had to carry an extra pitcher just to cover the innings there incompetent performances didnt. Ill take Bourn, only has 2 yrs left on his contract and if healthy does have some value, certainly more than Edwin Jackson does.

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    We must do this. I don't care how much Bourn has in the tank. It is much easier to hide an ineffective position player than a pitcher. Edwin last year was explosively bad. Like pouring gasoline on a tire fire. If the Cubs are interested in contending this season they have to get rid of him. I think the Cubs don't let him anywhere near this team. They will trade him or cut him or send him to AAA. And on a side note for Cubs fans health they need to move him. Lord knows my blood pressure spikes when he takes the mound.

  • Normally, signing a 32 year old whose biggest asset is his speed is a bad idea. However, under the circumstances (bad contract swap) and the fact that he has had a decent OBP and defense to go with it, it's probably a pretty good idea. I'd probably play the Indians against the Braves to see which one is the most desperate.

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    "We might possibly need to see a trend away from seeing pitches,” suggested Maddon, ..."

    Am I the only one who finds this somewhat troubling?

  • In reply to BubbaMike:

    It seemed to me that last year, in their effort to work deep into counts, the Cubs hitters had a tendency to take too many pitches on hitters counts. I wonder if that is what Maddon was alluding to.

  • Am I allowed to throw out some crazy, off the wall idea? What are the chances the Cubs could get Justin Upton or Jason Hayward significantly cheaper if they just flat out took B.J.'s contract (as opposed to a swap for EJax)? Would it be a waste of money? Yes, but if it could mean acquiring Justin or Jason without giving up a top prospect (assuming taking on B.J.'s salary would entice the Braves to do so), could it be worth it? Or perhaps instead you can net Mike Minor and Evan Gettis w/ B.J.

    I'm usually one who is arguing for sound economic policy in trade decisions, but teams have had some success with making trades where they pick up over-priced players on the cheap. Just a thought...

  • Trade for Bourn? Not as an early move. You have to wait and see if you can get a more productive centerfielder some other way... especially if in a Hamels deal we get Revere as well in a bigger packaged.

    Bourn is more productive even with his injuries than EJax, but EJax costs just $5M more than Carlos Villaneuva did to fill the long-reliever role. So spending another $5M for an unproductive CF is a bit of chasing bad money with more bad money. But if you get locked out on most of your targeted acquisitions, nothing wrong taking a flyer on Bourn.

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