Okay, fine, I will be the King of Pessimism for the time being. It beats being the Queen of Apathy.
I have tried to be optimistic this entire off season. We all do, I think, every year. We try to convince ourselves that the team is improving and the management is doing all it can to field a champion. After last year’s regular season success, there wasn’t much we needed to address. So what did Jim Hendry do? As far as I can tell…not much good. Let’s dig deeper.
In no particular order…
- The first mistake this offseason, in my opinion (and I’ll no doubt take some heat for this) was not signing Rafael Furcal. He could have been had, especially early on, for the same type contract we gave Bradley. Why was it a mistake NOT to sign him? He filled two major holes for us. Solid defensive shortstop. Great, switch-hitting leadoff batter. That would have made us a much better team. And it would have allowed us to trade either Theriot or Fontenot or both. More on that later.
- Trading Mark DeRosa. For nothing. Minor salary dump on the team MVP and all around good guy and versatile player? Huh? What the…oh yeah, Joe has rules on this blog. You get my point. Put on your thinking cap. Imagine Furcal at short and DeRo at second. Nice thought, isn’t it?
- This one is optional. Take it or leave it. With Furcal, we could have gotten Peavy. Trade the Padres Theriot, Fontenot, Marshall, Hill and all the other out of options players we have. And some arms from the farm. Thinking cap time again. Imagine this rotation: Zambrano, Lilly, Peavy, Dempster, Harden. Filthy. Best in baseball. Hands down.
- Right field — why isn’t Adam Dunn our right fielder? He wanted to play for the Cubs and you can mail in 40 – 50 homers and 100+ walks. How would that look in the middle of our lineup? Pretty good to me. At half the Bradley price tag.
- Aaron Miles — good move. One of the only ones this offseason. Would have been a better move if we’d done what I mentioned above. Furcal/DeRosa with Miles as the backup? Plus we’d still have DeRo for backing up Ramirez.
- Heilman — good pickup, too. He can be nasty. Live arm. Could fill the five spot if necessary or pitch out of the pen. Even better if we have Peavy, because he becomes Harden’s insurance.
So (not Taguchi — don’t get me started) here we sit. We added a head case and lost a great guy. Couple of minor moves and some NON-moves that hurt us. Do you blame Jim Hendry or the ownership issue? I blame Hendry this time — and that is not to detract from past good things he has done. This year, though, I think he blew it. I hope I am wrong.
The King of Pessimism. (But not forever)