Cubs Should Just Ride This Out
Whenever a team is suffering a disappointing season and looks lost like the current Chicago Cubs squad, fans and media talking heads will start using phrases like "blowing up the team" or "fire sale."
In some instances, this isn't always a bad path to take. Selling off older veteran players with bigger contracts for young prospects can pay off in the long run.
The Cubs are in a scenario like this currently. The have a veteran squad with some of the largest contracts in baseball and are one of the most disappointing teams this first half of the season. It's seems to be a no-brainer to dump guys like the under-performing Alfonso Soriano, a hot head like Carlos Zambrano or a Derreck Lee on the tail end of his career.
Here's the problem.
Soriano is owed $19 million-a-year through 2014. That means the Cubs will probably have to pick up a good chunk of that salary just to unload him and almost certainly won't get any prospects in return.
Zambrano is being paid a No. 1 starter salary with No. 5 stats. But at 28, his potential still seems pretty endless. The Cubs starting rotation had the lowest ERA in baseball in June and fourth lowest overall this season. Starting pitching is the Cubs strong suit right now and dismantling that would be the wrong move.
Derrek Lee is currently the Cubs best offensive player. Taking him out of a Cubs lineup where the entire outfield combined has less RBI's than Albert Pujols would mean there wouldn't be much of a reason to watch baseball on the North Side the rest of this season.
So what is my solution? Ride it out.
Ride it out Cubs fans.
Aramis Ramirez is scheduled to be back next Monday and although reportedly not 100 percent, he could add a needed spark to a Cubs offense that seems to be able to get guys on base but not able to push runners across the plate.
The bullpen has been bad but Carlos Marmol is showing signs of better control in his recent outings. With the call up of Jeff Samardzija, they should be able to hand games safely over to Kevin Gregg who also has shown signs of improvement recently.
So ride it out Cubs fans. This team isn't as far away from being a contender as it may appear. With a favorable schedule after the All Star break, the Cubs could be right in the middle of playoff contention come September.
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