In case you haven’t noticed, I have been completely silent on my opinion regarding the idea of signing Carlos Beltran this offseason. The main reason being that I really could not decide how I felt about signing him. Everyone around the Cubs blog army is pinning their 2005 hopes on this guy, but I’m not quite ready to do the same. I understand that when a superstar, young free agent comes along, that he can either really help you (Vlad) or his contract can really kill you (A-Rod). That being said, I’ve spent the offseason trying to decide my opinion on the whole matter. I’m finally doing it. I’m expressing my official position on the Carlos Beltran issue.
Lately all the talk is that the Cubs are out of the Beltran sweepstakes because they cannot trade Sammy Sosa. They won’t win the world series because they do not get Carlos Beltran. Personally, I think it’s a bunch of crap. Having the best players does not guarantee a World Series victory. You would think people would have learned that by now. Instead, people just write and write about how the Cubs need to trade Sosa and go strong and hard for Carlos Beltran. Unfortunately, all my time spent watching TV has taught me that there are two things in life that ain’t easy; pimpin’ & trading aging veterans with high salaries. Both are incredibly difficult. So, rather than waste our time trying to pursue a deal with the Mets, Orioles, etc, why not let Hendry do what he does best, fill the holes. He has already shown that he can do that with a great level of success. When we needed a CF & 3b for the playoffs, he went out and ripped off the Pirates, bringing us an eventual powerhouse third baseman. When we needed a Shortstop last year, he went out and got Nomar and Neifi Perez to back him up. Hendry knows exactly what he’s doing him and I trust him.
With that all being said, I would like to make known what I would do if I were making the decisions. Step one would be to call Scott Boras and tell him that the Cubs were no longer interested in Carlos Beltran. Now before you start going crazy, hear me out. Last year, the Astros had Carlos Beltran and even with his insane playoff performance, they still fell short. Beltran does not mean a World Series. Spending the money we have wisely is the best idea here. With that being said, I keep Sammy Sosa. Yes, you heard me correct, I keep Sammy Sosa. The reason being this. IF we were to actually find someone to take Sosa, it would basically just be to get rid of his attitude. We’d be getting junk back in return. No team is going to give us anything of real value for a RF that makes 18 million when they can just as easily fill their RF void with Carlos Beltran. It’s not happening. So, keep Sosa and take your chances with the fact that this year is a contract year for him. Sosa has made it clear that breaking Hank Aaron’s mark is important to him. With that being said, he’s going to want to be in a lineup that has protection. With that desire, it’s in his best interest to show that he not only still possesses a great deal of talent, but that he can also return to form as the media darling he once was back in ’98. That record and his reputation are important to Sammy. He’s a very selfish character and would not want to do something in a contract year to further tarnish that reputation, thus hurting his market value and chances of breaking Aaron’s record. Now, to fill the left field void, I contact Boras once more and let him know that I am interested in Magglio Ordonez. I sign him for a one year deal with incentives like he wants. Ordonez is a great player and a top notch character. To top it all off, his home is just a quick boat ride away from Sosa’s home in the Dominican Republic. These guys were practically neighbors. Check the map. Ordonez can be a good example for Sosa. Now, with Sosa and Ordonez both having things to prove in 2005, the OF has a tremendous upside. There is potential for 100 homeruns from the corner OF, while still preserving some wiggle room for Hendry to make a midseason upgrade if necessary.
I know there is going to be plenty of people that disagree with my thoughts on this idea, but I really want it to happen. I think it would be the best. Maxing out the bank for Beltran leaves us no wiggle room this trade deadline. I don’t like that idea.