I am going to write a new article
about the Cubs every month of the 2005 Cubs season. Here is issue
So yet another disappointing season for
the Cubs. It was a different year with less distractions. Having Sammy
gone was actually kind of nice and I think they got rid of him in time
because his numbers were bad this year. All in all the Cubs didnt
play to the level they could have and this off season should be interesting
with a couple of high priced guys coming to the North side
The Cubs most likely have a checklist of things they want to do in the
off season. Each team has about 1/3 of the team turning over from season
to season. This off season is a pretty big one for the Cubs front office
considering the amount of $ they have to play with considering Nomar's
8 million and Sammy's 16 million being off the books. The Cubs need a
leadoff hitter, a big time SS or 2Bman, a high priced outfielder, maybe
another starter, and a couple of new relief pitchers. I hear the names
Furcal, Giles, Witasick, and Embree popping up, but we will soon find
out what players come and talk to the Cubs.
I get a little nervous with the fact that Hendry doesn't give out deals
for 5 years or longer but the Cubs do have an appeal to players with the
fans support, Dusty Baker, and all the tasty restaurants in the Windy
It will be interesting to see what will happen to the outfield. They have
to add at least one guy. Lets say we can add Johhny Damon, I think we
should keep Murton and Buritz. Or if they get Giles, I am fine with Patterson
coming back and Murton in LF. It sounds like Pie might not be ready for
Spring '06 so there is also the possibility of getting Kenny Lofton to
fill the CF hole until Pie is ready. This is all assuming we can deal
Patterson. Watch him become the next Lou Brock.
I think this was a big problem in 2005. The Cubs went in the season with
Latroy and Chad Fox as important relievers and they broke down. Dempster
was a pure joy to watch. He looked great this year and I hope he remains
the closer in 2006. They need to add some arms but I hope they don't spend
big here like they did in the past with Remlinger and Latroy. This is
a tough area to find people because I think reliefers are underrated and
mostly underpaid compared to everyday players. But as we have seen with
the Cubs, overpaying verteran arms doesnt seem to work. This is
where I hope Hendry can step in and come up with a plan.
The Cubs should also go after another starting pitcher. Things are
looking like we have Zambrano, Wood, Prior, Maddux, and maybe Jerome Williams.
But the way things have gone with injuries I say we get one more arm.
Guys like AJ Burnett are available but the Cubs did pass on Matt Clement
who had similar career numbers. Will they go after an expensive arm this
Cubs are fine at the corners but we need to address our middle infielders.
I love Nomar and would love him back if he could stay healthy but that
is a huge gamble. The big name on the market is Rafael Furcal. He would
fit our need at SS and our need for a real lead-off hitter. If the Cubs
can land a guy like Reyes or Rollins, that would be huge. Ideally if they
could get Arod that would be real great. OK I will be the 1st to propose
this one. Derrek Lee and Sergio Mitre for Arod. Done.
Coaches and Hendry
I thought the coaches did fine this year. Everyone loves blaming
the coaches. But the bottom line was that the Cubs had injuries that hurt
their lineup and rotation and the bullpen was not strong enough. So I
guess I sort of am blaming Hendry for this. Otherwise I don't think we
can really blame management. I like these guys and am glad that they are
all coming back next year. This year will be the big test because I can
see the Cubs spending some money and if the coaches don't win in 2006
with a high payroll they could be out on their butts.