A prospect is a prospect until proven worthy at the big league level.
As a Cubs fan, I have never been so happy to see prospects, promising ones at that, get traded in such a flurry. As a matter of fact, this is the first time in recent memory that I can remember my beloved Cubs trading away the future for the present.
Chris Archer ……gone…….Hak-Ju whatever your name is …..gone. Traded away for Matt Garza, a former Tampa Bay Ray starter with some youth left to boot! Did I mention he was good?
Prior to this move, the Cubs seemed determined to stick with their homegrown talent at any cost. Names like Rich Hill, Felix Pie, Corey Patterson were once prospect’s of gold! It appeared that championships were waiting to be picked off like a snoozing runner with a big lead at first. It was as if the Cubs brass hoped if only one of those prospects could be the next Ernie Banks or Greg Maddux we could end this streak and do it with our own talent….discovered in house…. by our own people. For a period of time this seemed to be the game plan on Chicago’s north side. Nobody wanted to give up the next Ernie banks for , well……the next Ernie Broglio.
Insert the Matt Garza trade..…… He will get one of the top three spots in the Cub rotation for the coming season. Don’t get me wrong Wrigleyville, I’m not trying to predict greatness but the move does give the Cubs a certain validity in the NL Central. The real question won’t be what he does on the mound but what he does for the rotation as a whole. Even a pedestrian effort could bear fruit in year one!
With Garza’s acquisition a certain amount of strain is removed from Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano. Two above average Pitchers (on their good days) carrying a rotation is a stretch, and up to the Garza trade your Cubs rotation looked like a head case, an injury waiting to happen (the reason we have Dempster is due to an injury riddled past) , and a guy that another team couldn’t wait to get rid of for Milton Bradley followed by two doses of some young unproven talent. One word…Yuck!
With Garza the clouds seem to part. If he gives us 200 innings this year, which many believe he is capable of, then the grey skies become blue….Cubbie blue! Zambrano continues his form from 2010’s second half 8-0 effort, Dempster proves the injuries are in the distant past and keeps forging his path of consistent, not dominant, but consistent stuff and Silva becomes a nice back of the rotation starter.
If Garza can win 10 or more against the AL East, what can he do against the NL Central? Does anybody remember what Ted Lilly did when he came over to the division?
This leaves one spot for a new guy. A young gun in need of some nurturing, but one who has the stuff to be good….. A “get your feet wet at the back of the rotation” guy……who could it be? This is when it gets fun!
Now, if only Carlos Pena hits above .250……………..