Curt Schiling a Cub? Works for me!

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2009

Curt Schilling-Chicago Cubs

Curt Schilling

Sometimes an idea comes along that makes so much sense that we have trouble grappling with our reactions, even when we know that it's in our best interest.

Yet another example of missing the forest for the trees came along this weekend with news that Curt Schilling has some interest in becoming a Cub. Or a Ray. Or really anyone else likely in either a large market or with a few extra million lying around.

According to Curt, he has little concern about the money and is instead, interested in joining a championship contender who has never won a title. I'll try not to remind David Whitley too loudly that the Cubs have actually, you know, won a championship.


"The challenge would be in a place like Tampa Bay or Chicago," Schilling said.

Steve Phillips goes on to report today that Curt is wildly out of shape and would likely require months to prepare, which is exactly the part that makes my ears perk up.

I would never expect Curt Schilling, at 42, to be a front-of-the-rotation starter again, let alone make 30-35 starts. It's not going to happen, especially with someone recovering from shoulder surgery.
And frankly, I wouldn't even expect him to reproduce his 2007 season, which was still above league average in all the major categories. If this were a straight-up offseason signing, I'd say pass.

But I do think that a healthy Schilling could produce 15-20 starts this season—still providing above-average performance and with good upside.

Given the time period required for him to stretch out his innings and ready himself for what would be left of the season, a likely target date for his first start would be sometime in early June.
This would be the time that teams start to make decisions about their prospects for success and begin looking to see who is available in the marketplace via trade.
The Cubs would have the unique position of having a hell of an insurance policy already in place. They could allow Schilling a few starts at the major-league level leading up to the deadline to assess whether he'd be anywhere close to the Curt of old. 
If he's ready and looks good to go, then you've got a likely upgrade, minus the cost of draft picks or prospects in return. If he doesn't, you release him, and do the usual trade deadline dance. At a salary guarantee of likely less than a couple of million, it's a chance I'd be perfectly happy to see the Cubs make.

See, to me it comes down to the question of whether you'd prefer to have Curt Schilling making 15 starts for you down the stretch, or some combination of Samardzija/Marshall/Gaudin.
I say Schilling—assuming health and cost make it possible. And given that the staff includes one of the most injury-prone starters in the game (Harden), one with significant stamina questions (Marshall), and an ace who is already having his innings managed (Zambrano), I consider a Schilling signing just good business.