The Cubs were pretty quiet this past off-season. They didn’t make too many moves, and the ones that they did make were more to shore up the bench rather than to provide a punch to the lineup.
They were, however, able to get rid of last season’s big mistake. Milton Bradley will be ruining the Seattle Mariners this season, after his work of art in Chicago.
However, if you ask Bradley, it was Chicago that ruined him, not the other way around, just ask the wordsmith known as Milton.
“Two years ago, I played, and I was good. I go to Chicago, not good.”
So lets see if Bradley returns to “good” this season, it should be interesting.
However, the Cubs didn’t just get rid of Bradley, they also found a couple of players who will come in and be pivotal to helping the Cubs try to get back to the top of the NL Central.
There will likely be only one starter this season who wasn’t on the squad last season, and that is Marlon Byrd.
Although he is 32 years old, he is the player that we were hoping Milton Bradley to be. He hit 20 home runs last season, drove in 89 runs, and hit for average at .283.
Although you shouldn’t expect another 20 home run season, you can expect his average to stay consistent and he will be solid defensively, which is huge as he will be playing center field.
Another solid free agent signing was Xavier Nady, who will come in and compete with Kosuke Fukudome for playing time.
Nady is historically better than Fukudome, and has shown that he can hit more home runs, drive in more runs, strike out less, and get more hits.
The only thing that Fukudome really has on Nady is the fact that he is a more recognizable name and that he is making twice as much as Nady.
I expect Piniella to split time between Fukudome and Nady, but that is for a different article.
After making big moves in each of the previous three free agent markets, Jim Hendry was quite this off-season and decided to keep largely the same roster that got them 83 wins last season.
Expect a similar outcome this season, but don’t expect a huge drop off either. The Cubs will be competitive, but they won’t be turning heads.
I’m Joe W.