Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Little But Good
2005-11-29 07:13
by Derek Smart

It's a relatively small event in an offseason where mega-bucks and monster trades are being bandied about with ease like so much idle PTA-style gossip, but while far from earth-shattering, the Cubs signing of John Mabry for their bench is good news indeed.

Mabry's not a great player - if he was, he'd be a starter - but he's a solid reserve who instantly becomes the team's best option for a bat off the bench, as well as having the defensive versatility to play all four corners (although, he's bad enough at third to give Aramis' glove that golden glow).

He does a couple of things well - namely hitting for some power while walking at an acceptable rate - while giving his manager the flexibility to not only use him as a pinch hitter, but spot start him for more than one man on the diamond who might be in need of some rest. He's exactly the sort of player that teams should have on their bench, and he's exactly the sort of reserve the Cubs have lacked of late.

The report is that he's being paid $1M for his services, and while that might be a little high, quibbling with that figure in light of the nearly $1.6M the club has doled out to Jose Macias for being absolutely appalling over the last two years seems petty.

In fact, one of the glorious side effects of this deal might be the addition by subtraction that would be the release of Macias. My goodness, the acquisition of a solid bench component and the banishment of Jose Macias, all in one fell swoop? Be still my beating heart!

2005-11-29 07:27:06
1.   The Boar
I ain't overly thrilled by this signing, but it if means that Macias leaves Chi-town for good, then awesome.

However, what if he doesn't? What if Hendry and Baker's obscene infatuation with His Worthlessness continues for yet another season? Who is going to get the axe then? Since our 40-man is apparently full, it has to be someone. I sure hope we don't just DFA somebody like Koronka or Wellemeyer instead.

2005-11-29 08:13:37
2.   rynox
Much of an improvement over the Enrique Wilson experiment! I still have nightmares about him starting at 2B against the Yankees because he "had experience playing at Yankee stadium". Slaps forehead

BTW Boar- Both Neifi & Macias have good qualities, they just aren't "Dusty-proof". Macias has good speed and can play 3rd base. Good for pinch running for Aramis late in the game. Neifi is great at not striking out and putting the ball in play. Just can't put him in with a guy on first, he's pretty much double-play prone.

2005-11-29 19:03:58
3.   The Boar

I hear you on Neifi. I think he is a perfectly acceptable backup SS/2B if used that way and a decent 2nd/preferably 3rd option as PH.

But I can't buy that Macias should be on a major league roster. His speed is average at best, his defense is bad, his plate discipline worse. The only reason he is on a MLB roster is 1) he has incriminating evidence of Hendry and/or Baker or 2) he can play a lot of positions and seems to be a good clubhouse guy.

I don't hate the guy, at all. But we're trying to win the World Series here and niceties don't play into it.

Speaking of which, anybody desirous of Milton Bradley?

2005-11-30 04:38:30
4.   rynox
Dodgers OF'er Bradley... he's not the one with the temper, is he?
2005-11-30 07:14:36
5.   Marc Normandin
My favorite John Mabry moment is one where he didn't play, when Marlon Anderson DH'ed in his stead in the World Series. "If your DH is batting 9th, you picked the wrong guy."

I bet Dusty could make Bradley settle down. He'd probably bat him 8th because he doesn't understand lineup construction, but I bet his personality would help smooth things out. I bet Milton ends up in Chicago.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.