Hey Jim Hendry, don’t mean to wake you, but I have something to tell you:
It’s only 174 days until opening day 2010!
Yeah, I know, that sounds like a long time. But when you are trying to do a chemistry makeover on a team with so many expensive, long-term contracts, there's no time like the present.
Milton Bradley will not return, of that much we’re certain. But who we get to replace him to fill that power-hitting, middle-of-the-order presence that your manager desires so badly will be interesting. And time-consuming.
Don’t expect that player to come in the Bradley dumping. The only thing we’ll get in that deal is someone else’s problem. For me, I hope that it’s not an outfielder because that’s about the only place we’ll have a space to fill next year.
Oh, and second base, too; I almost forgot. If you can get financially creative, Jim, perhaps you can fill both the leadoff and run producing holes using the center field and second base positions as magnets.
Moving Kosuke Fukudome back to right field and acquiring a center fielder is one obvious move the Cubs need to make. Don’t forget about defense, Jim; we need an outfielder who can go get 'em out there. There are some helpful metrics for you to use, if you’re so inclined, over at Baseball Prospectus and Fan Graphs, among other sites.
What's that you say, forget about Chone Figgins, he’s not coming to Wrigley Field? Sorry to hear that. But please, Jim, can you make sure to consider defense in any deal you make for a second sacker?
Improving the team’s defense and on-base ability is important. The key to an offense is not making outs. Period. And the key to having a successful pitching staff is preventing outs.
I think we all could use a breather after a frustratingly disappointing 2009 Cubs season. Except for you, Mr. Hendry and your band of merry management. You guys have a lot of work to do.
The early bird gets the worm, Jim, and times-a-wastin’. Meanwhile, as the Cardinals just proved, anyone can play three bad games of baseball and lose a series. It doesn’t mean you need to go out and overreact.
The past is over, and there's no use in bringing up last winter again. That’s the beauty of baseball—you get second chances.
This is your mulligan, Jim. Don’t blow it. Or you may be playing a lot of golf the following summer, come to think of it.