Sigh. I just finished watching the Red Sox press conference introducing Mike Cameron.
Charming. Charismatic. Humble. Relaxed. You got to see so many of the reasons why managers love Cameron, and what I had been hoping to see over at Clark and Addison sometime this winter.
That said, first off let me say that I was wrong. I didn't think it was possible for the Cubs to let Cameron pass them by. Somewhere, I suspect that Lou Piniella is still muttering things under his breath about it, and perhaps about Jim Hendry as well, but it's done. He ain't coming.
Which begs the question, what the hell is this team going to do next season? Re-sign Johnson, and pray for a decent platoon with Tyler Colvin? Sign Marlon Byrd, and watch Hendry have to explain this time next year how he yet again overpaid for a Texas outfielder, turned bust? Trot Sam Fuld out there until Lou's head explodes, and he pulls an Elia-esque tirade about rookies, and the #$@$!!! fans who love them?
It was a big fat fail on Curtis Granderson.
A bigger fail on Cameron; and I have to ask as an aside, how long are the Cubs going to let Milton Bradley hold them up? And any signing of Byrd, Scott Podsednik, or Coco Crisp is surely going to be an epic fail.
So, because I at least used to like Hendry, I'm going to give him a workable idea: Go get Jacoby Ellsbury.
No, no. I'm very serious. The ultra-hot rumor out of Boston is that with the Cameron signing, the Red Sox would seek to put Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz in a package for Adrian Gonzalez.
Now, I wouldn't do this deal personally, as I'd likely ask for a third prospect for what I consider one of the top 25 players in the game. But if these talks are going to get serious, I'd recommend that the Cubs elbow in on this, and turn it into three-way talks.
As a matter of fact, I'll go one-step further, and actually offer a trade proposal; send Randy Wells and Tyler Colvin to San Diego for him. Wells looks like a strong, back-of-the-rotation type starter, pre-arb, who can be inserted into the rotation along with Buchholz immediately. Boston gets their man, the Padres get two major-league ready starters, and a near-ready center field prospect, and the Cubs finally get an athletic, left-handed starter who is a) under 30, and b) doesn't suck.
Now go, and pluck a Jon Garland out of free agency (who would be likely cheaper than what the Cubs would spend for Byrd), and you have a problem solved, and a real, long-term solution in place.
The stats guys and I are going to fight again, and Ellsbury's splits are pedestrian, his defensive stats are a touch shaky, and his stolen bases make him over hyped. Accepted.
But Wrigley is a small park that I'd expect him to cover fairly well, and at 26, he may very well develop into something so much more. This is a chance that I would take, even if I had to overpay a bit on prospects.
I was reading today that Buster Olney didn't see Ellsbury as a good fit in Petco. I tend to agree. And while it's tough to say right now whether these talks are going to go somewhere, if they do, the Cubs would be wise to get in on them.