Rumors ran wild this past week about the potential of the Cubs trading for Roy Halladay or Curtis Granderson.
What is sad is that the Cubs have the highest payroll in the league, and both of these players are going to be considered too expensive.
What's worse? Both of these players would fulfill enormous needs for the Cubs. In fact, they are the two biggest needs of the current Cub team.
Despite the Milton Bradley experiment, the Cubs lineup is still extremely right handed and more lefties should be targeted. Granderson would be a perfect fit. Although he does not have great OBP numbers, he does have experience at the top of the lineup and fills a need in CF.
He is also the "anti-Bradley", in the sense that he is a great clubhouse guy, Chicago native, and only 28-years old.
While I would categorize the likelihood of Granderson becoming a Cub as unlikely, Halladay coming to the Northside falls somewhere between pigs flying and Sammy Sosa turning into a white guy (wait, maybe that is a bad example). Regardless it is very unlikely.
Timing is everything. The Cubs were big spenders when they needed SP depth and corner outfielders. Two expensive dissapointments and Ted Lilly later, the Cubs are locked into expensive, long term contracts with players on the wrong side of 30.
What are their needs now? A frontline starter and CF/leadoff man. There are two for the taking, but the Cubs cannot afford to be spenders after swinging and missing on Bradley, Fukudome, and Soriano.
It is disappointing. It is, however, what happens when you make mistakes on free agents. The Yankees did it, and it took getting Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, etc. off the books before they could make another run.
The Cubs are in the same boat. It is time for fans to be patient. This team is seriously flawed in places, but it is going to take clearing some bad contracts before the team is able to seriously address their needs.
Maybe when Halladay and Granderson are even older and on the free-agent market, the Cubs can overspend for multiple years for them then. Until then, we have to keep dreaming.
Timing is everything, and the timing simply does not work in the Cubs favor in the short term. Halladay and Granderson will help other ballclubs.
The 2010 Cubs will look an awful lot like the 2009 Cubs.
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