MVP – Garrett Jones (.394 WPA)

No, you’re not imagining it. There is a new post on the blog from me. It’s been a little while, but I’m back. Unfortunately the first day back resulted in a loss. Ah, who am I kidding, even when I’m here a lot it results in a loss. On to the notes.

Prior to the game, Theo Epstein was interviewed on both the Score and ESPN 1000 in Chicago. He didn’t really address anything new on the trade front, but there have been reports that the Cubs have made a new offer for an extension to Jeff Samardzija. Personally, I don’t think the return is out there to match what the Cubs are looking for. These days, while people want to acquire pitching, there is so much risk around pitcher health that it’s hard to mortgage your top prospects in order to acquire it. I am leaning toward rooting for an extension, but something in the three to four year range as opposed to 5+. What I found strange about the recent reports was news that the Cubs were listening to offers not only on Samardzija and Jason Hammel, who we knew about already, but also on Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta. Jackson can go at any time, as he’s garbage, but Arrieta? At some point, we have to have someone ready to pitch when the core four come to the big leagues. Arrieta and Travis Wood are building blocks and need to be part of that. A trio of them and Samardzija would be a great nucleus to a starting rotation that would be a strength.

As far as the game itself, it was a little frustrating seeing Brian Schlitter cough up the lead in his inning of work, but it’s going to happen from time to time. I continue to sing the praises of the bullpen, which currently ranks 4th in the NL. I believe I had that one.

It’s an early start today as we try to steal the series in Miami with a 12:40p EDT start. Arrieta takes the mound coming off one of the best starts of his career last time out. I expect a good outing from him and a series win. Baby steps.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail