Usually you don't see a 97-win team in such panic after a season. Unfortunately this is no ordinary team. This my friends, is your Chicago Cubs, and your father's, your grandfather's, and even your great grandfather's. A team may never be so closely tied to losing than THE Loveable Losers. However, with 100 years of nothing to show but a few (and I really mean few) winning seasons, the Loveable Losers are starting to lose their lust. Never before have Cubs fans (and maybe any fan EVER) been so hungry for a World Series, which is why the National League best 2008 Chicago Cubs must change. So, without further ado, the attempt to stop the longest championship drought ever.
One of the most talked about concerns for the Cubs is Ryan Dempster. I feel that the Cubs should try and bring back the righty who had a career year. However, if Dempster ends up asking for rediculous money, I say we pass. Dempster, for his career, is a below .500 pitcher (76-81) with a 4.55 ERA. He's a solid pitcher that could be good in any rotation, but I still don't think the guy has top of the rotation stuff. I still see him as more of a Paul Byrd-type pitcher. A solid arm to throw in the middle of your rotation. That said, I would like to see us give Demp a reasonable offer and hope that he takes a discount from us.
So, if Dempster goes, we will need another pitcher. Most of the talks so far have been about Jake Peavy. The real hope here is that we can sign Dempster for less and still aquire Peavy. Peavy is a must-have at the moment, especially after rumors have pointed to the Cubs as the leading contender. I could see the Padres taking a deal that included Felix Pie (the Padres see something in this kid), Sean Marshall (showed much promise as our young lefty when Rich Hill fluttered), and Wellington Castillo (a very promising player who wouldn't have room on the Cubs with '08 Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto behind the plate). Add in maybe another young pitcher with promise and I feel that the Padres would consider.
If we don't end up getting Peavy, then I would like to see us either A) offer up a little bit more money for Dempster (notice the little bit) or B) pick up a pitcher like an AJ Burnett. Burnett is a question mark and really has been his entire career. I mean this is the guy who threw a no-hitter while walking NINE GUYS!! His consistancy as a dominant, strike-out pitcher however would welcome him to the Cubs who have led the National League in strikeouts for the past six years.
We also need to find somewhere to put Jason Marquis, if we cannot somehow get rid of him in a trade. Last year he said that he wouldn't pitch in the bullpen, so if it comes down to it, we may need to just cut him.
SFH2's Projected 2009 Rotation:
This rotation would be the best in the entire major leagues (assuming they all stay healthy). Having a 17-game winner as your number five is just unthinkable these days, but it could happen.
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