Slamming Sammy and the Rediculous Deals.
Obviously one of the bigger baseball stories right now is the impending trade of Sammy Sosa to the Orioles. The Cubs would get back Jerry Hairston, Jr. and a couple of borderline minor leaguers. Sosa abandons his team and disrespects not only the Cubs, but an entire city. Now they have to turn around and unload his big name and declining skills for pennies on the dollar. If I had to guess, I would say Hairston takes over as the Cubs right fielder, considering that Todd Walker's Iron Skillet Mitt is firmly entrenched at second (lord knows you don't want him playing any other positions). Hairston had a decent season last year, despite being injured and the emergence of Brian Roberts. The injuries are a bit of a question mark (he's only played over 150 games once in 6 seasons ) but he's still relatively young. If he puts it together in his “prime” years, he could be an alright leadoff/number 2 hitter. A potential lineup:
CF Corey Patterson
RF Jerry Hairston
1B Derrek Lee
3B Aramis Rameriez
2B Todd Walker
C Michael Barrett
P Whatever black hole takes the mound that day.
Seems a little underwhelming, but I'll let Colin's eventual mathmatical breakdown of the roster prove or disprove the validity of that statement. At inital glace though, I would argue that the loss of Alou will hurt the Cubs more than replacing Sosa with Hairston. As a Cubs fan would you feel comfortable with him hypothetically taking Sammy's place? I would, if only because Sammy shouldn't be getting by on his rep anymore. The guy has been in a steady decline over the past three years (I know you love the VORP, so here's some evidence: 2001 - 125.4, 2002 - 69.5, 2003 - 42.1). I would even go so far as to say that Kevin Millar was more valuable than Sosa last year, albeit while playing 25 more games. Wicked awesome home run hops aside, would you want .383/.474/.857 at $3.3m or .332/.517/.849 at $16.9m? (Look numbers!) That's not even taking into account that Millar was shit until just about the all-star break. All things being equal, he opens his stance up earlier and I think the case of Millar over Sosa last year becomes even more cut and dry.
To me, the Orioles make this move because it’s a big name move and they really haven’t done much else this offseason. They lose out on Delgado so they go get what Delgado will be in 2 years. They go into the season with what could be a potent lineup, but their pitching still seems suspect. Even with the $10m the Cubs are rumored to throw in, in my opinion this trade is going to end up being garbage for both sides. For all the people bitching initially that the Sox traded Nomar for less value on the dollar; take a look at how much worse it could have been.
Also in other news, the Tigers reportedly have thrown out a figure of 5-years, $50m for Magglio Ordonez. The same Magglio Ordonez who had to have controversial treatment on his injured knee in a foreign country. The only person pumped about this deal is Bill Bavasi, since inking this deal makes Richie Sexson look like a sound investment.