The Cubs continued their purge of all infielders that didn’t meet the minimum height requirement yesterday by sending Mike Fontenot across the field to the Giants dugout. Hey Mike, see that dugout over there? Go sit on their bench now!
There must be a large segment of Cub fans that have a strong attachment to little people. It has become clear since the trade of Ryan Theriot that many Cub fans were not happy with the move, and now the trade of Fontenot is just another affront to the tiny.
I applaud the move.
The Cubs have to clean house, and they’re doing so. They acquired Blake DeWitt in the Theriot deal and it is evident that they plan to give him every opportunity to be their every day second basemen. If the talent evaluators in the Cubs organization had any confidence that Fontenot could be an everyday player, don’t you think he’d be in there right now? They’ve tried it already.
Sure, Fontenot can play well for small stretches of time. But he has proven that he is not a valid option as an everyday player. Good for the Cubs for cutting ties with their below average middle infielders. Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot are decent players. But they’re not what the Cubs need moving forward.
The Cubs received 22-year old center fielder Evan Crawford who was hitting .255 with 24 stolen bases at Class A Augusta. If nothing else, the trade saves the Cubs some money and allows them to bring up Darwin Barney from Triple-A to see if he can fit into their future plans.
When Barney sees his first action, he will become the ninth Cub to make their major-league debut this season and will be the 10th rookie on the Cubs 25-man roster.
Hopefully the trade of Fontenot will not be the Cubs last move. I’m looking at you, Xavier. It’s never fun to see your team dismantled. But with the season being what it is for the Cubs right now, this is the right thing to do. Yeah, the Cubs are going to continue to lose a lot of games. But to get better in the future, they may have to get worse this year.
It’s no longer about winning games this season. It’s about developing a long term plan and figuring out who is going to be a part of that plan. Ryan Theriot, Ted Lilly, and Mike Fontenot are not a part of the long-term solution. Neither are guys like Xavier Nady and Kosuke Fukudome. If Hendry can find a way to move those two guys, he will at least be successful in setting the Cubs up for a chance to rebuild quickly over the offseason.
The Cubs still have a decent core of players that they can build around, and even if their budget is cut in the coming years- it’s still big enough to add some upper tier players and give the Cubs a chance to compete year in and out.
Hendry will have to be smart with his money though. And that’s something that he hasn’t proven he can do well yet.