Okay, so previously I had written a predictions blog summarizing what I thought would happen to various Cubs players and Cubs transaction targets. Let’s see how many I got wrong, because while the new Cubs front office guys might be good professional predictors, I am not. Yeah, it’s looking pretty pathetic…
So Prince Fielder is still unsigned! Unreal. There have been all kinds of articles on the subject but the gist is that Scott Boras wants to get him signed by spring training, so that gives us about a month before position players report to camp. A deal could still get done. But who would’ve thought that one of the most powerful hitters in the universe would remain available this long?
Heck, he can’t even go back to Milwaukee as the Brewers are apparently way over budget. In fact, the Brewers didn’t sign Carlos Pena either; he went to the Rays, proving yet another of my predictions wrong. I suck at this game.
I still think Prince goes to the Nationals, but he’ll probably fire Scott Boras after he signs.
So Garza is still a Cub and seems happy about it. So happy in fact that he submitted a huge arbitration figure ($12.5MM!) to counter the Cubs’ $7.95MM offer. I thought he’d be traded to the Tigers by now, but cooler heads (mostly those in Detroit, apparently) prevailed and Garza is staying put for now. I’m not actually sure Garza will win if this goes to arbitration, and because the Cubs have such great poker faces, I don’t even want to assume that Garza will remain a Cub by his arbitration hearing. Given that Detroit just lost Victor Martinez for the season, they no longer need a pitcher so much as they need a DH, which is starting some Garza + Alfonso Soriano trade package rumors that I don’t think are realistic. I think the Cubs and Garza eventually settle on a contract if he’s not traded in order to avoid arbitration, somewhere around the midpoint of $10MM. They might even negotiate an extension. I’m going to cop out with a big “I don’t know” here because he could be traded by the time you read this. And the prospects the Cubs get in return might not be as awesome as you’d hope, although most fans probably overrate Garza anyway, not that he’s a terrible pitcher.
I was dead wrong about Andrew Cashner because the Cubs pulled the swindle of a lifetime in trading him to the Padres for Anthony Rizzo. That might be a bit of hyperbole, but trading an older prospect whose ceiling at this point is as a reliever for a young hitter with power potential is an insanely good trade. Kudos to the Cubs even if this flames out; after all, you can only evaluate a trade at the time it’s made because nobody can really predict the future, they can just project it really well.
Totally wrong about Carlos Zambrano, who was traded to the Marlins for Chris Volstad. Didn’t see that coming. Good luck to Z in Miami, they’re due to contend for another random World Series anyway so it might be fun to watch that even though the Marlins are buoyed by dirty money.
Alfonso Soriano is still around although he is willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to a contender. Good luck with that. I’d rather have him playing every day in LF at this point to drive up whatever trade value he has left, and maybe even platoon at 1B with LaHair. If I were the Cubs I give him a first baseman’s glove in Spring Training and see what he can do; if the Cubs want anything back, Soriano has to play every day. Might as well, because he’s getting paid no matter what.
Until next time, this is Nostradumbass signing off.