Each time I watch Sergio Mitre come to the mound and get shelled, all I see is his trade value becoming less and less. When we first called him up, he was one of those prospects that was mentioned often in various trade discussions. Now, each time he gets killed on the mound, the chances of someone taking him off our hands and giving us ANYTHING for him at all becomes smaller and smaller. Everytime he is pitching, I feel like we will lose that game.
I am so thankful that the Cubs are not really counting on him being a part of this rotation in the future. With Prior, Wood, Zambrano all locks to be good to excellent starting pitchers in the Major Leagues, Hendry should lock up Matt Clement and have a very strong foursome. The fifth spot can be a battle between Rusch, Guzman, Brownlie, & Ryan Dempster. We can then cut ties with the annoying Mitre and still have a rotation that is in the top 5 in the majors.
I know that I probably seem like I am very harsh on the young kids: Mitre, Patterson, etc., but the way I look at it is this. The Cubs are so high on all of these kids. They are unwilling to trade anyone for fear that we’ll get Matt Karchner for Jon Garland. This has just never made sense to me though. The Cubs are not a small market team that is unable to get the proven free agent talent, so they do not need to worry about relying strictly on the development of their minor league system as teams like the Pirates, Brewers, and Reds do. So, why not trade a few before they have the chance to show the world that they can’t play well at the Major League level. Don’t trade all of them, but you can afford to trade some of them. I have always looked at prospects as nothing more than a crap shoot anyways. There are like 400,000 rounds in the Major League amateur draft so all of those players can’t possibly be scouted as high as the players in the NFL and NBA drafts. These are high school kids more often than not who may or may not have what it takes at the big league level. It’s easy to pick first every year and not get anything for your money. It’s also easy to pick late and get a steal in the 50th round. The Dodgers did this awhile back when they picked Mike Piazza. No one figured he would be anything special in the Majors, but now he is perhaps the greatest offensive catcher that has ever played the game. My feeling is don’t be afraid to use this minors to get proven talent. There are plenty of teams that have players that they will not be able to afford to keep (Kansas City). Get these guys with the talent we have.