The Dodgers have a deal in place…..no, the Yankees have a deal in place…wait, whats that, the Rangers have a deal in place! At one point yesterday I began to wonder if any of the rumored deals were actually on the table. Jim Bowden, former GM of the Cincinnati Reds now ESPN analyst, was tweeting near deal consummations like an auctioneer calls out bids. The trade deadline has taken on a new chaos and it’s called social media… and I find it fun.
With one fell swoop, the entire Jim Hendry experiment came a few clicks from exploding into little pieces. There isn’t a single Cub left from 2004 season. By my count, the only ones left from the 2007 season are Marmol and Soriano. The same Soriano that almost, supposedly, maybe was going to be traded to the Tigers in the waning moments of the deadline. We wouldn’t be so lucky.
I know, I know, Sori has been productive, but not $17 million/year productive. I keep wondering how many of these “mega-deals” are left to be had in this sport? Pujols certainly hasn’t lived up to his billing in LA and Prince has been good , but not break the bank good! Jayson Werth and his play share very little in common with his pay and then there is Carl Crawford, whose contract Theo is still getting skewered over in beantown. It’s hard to commit the money to a player these days and expect equal production.
This whole Dempster mess coming up to the trade deadline, and I speak of the mess with the Braves, brings up another interesting twist to contracts and value. The idea of allowing a player to gain 10-5 rights will now rank up there with the no-trade clause as a mistake in my book. How does Ryan Dempster, ye of average pitching ability, get 10-5 rights? Yes, I said average, which is exactly what he is. To this point Ryan should be seen as a steady, but not great, starting pitcher. A plug-in for a team needing a number 4 guy. Okay, maybe he is a 3 on a depleted staff, what I am trying to say is 10-5 rights should be reserved for stars or elite players. Guys like this need to be movable for a team going nowhere and in no way, should a player of Dempster’s caliber, call the shots when it comes time to being traded. He just isn’t that good. I am sure he is a great person, and I am even more sure that this puts a wrinkle in his family life, but the millions he makes should cushion the fall.
To the Rangers fans I tell you this, you got a decent pitcher who is at the top of his game. He will be a good clubhouse guy for the two months you have him. We like to call him “Contract Year Dempster” for obvious reasons. He will not carry you to the promise land, but I see you getting one game in the win column out of this deal. I think it was a good deal for both sides.
As for Cubs fans, the countdown to the end of the Tribune/Zell/Hendry era is almost at zero. It’s like watching the ball drop on New Years Eve when you’ve had a particularly rough year. I can see all the bad contracts, no trade clauses, and lack of organizational development receding on the horizon, making way for change…..am I right Theo?