Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
No News is...No News
by Derek Smart
As of this morning, we have officially entered the portion of the offseason where there is so little real news to report or actual moves on which to comment, that grown men are left with little alternative but to concoct spectacular scenarios meant to tickle the reader's fancy like a child's visions of proverbial sugar plums.
Witness as the first example, Phil Rogers' column in the Tribune today, advocating that the Cubs offer up Carlos Zambrano as the ducat of choice to purchase a shiny new Tejada for the club's infield:
Hendry should offer Zambrano, center fielder Corey Patterson and shortstop Ronny Cedeno for Tejada and right-hander Daniel Cabrera or one of the Orioles' pitching prospectsHayden Penn, John Maine or Adam Loewen. He should tell him the offer is good for only 72 hours, and then he should use those hours burning up the phone line to Scott Boras, who represents Millwood, Washburn and Weaver.
I'm honestly not in the mood to construct an in-depth argument detailing why this is silliness incarnate (anyone wishing to do so below is more than welcome to do their worst), but I will mention two things: first, that while Tejada will be 34 when he is next a free agent, that same year, four seasons in the future, will see Zambrano be all of 29 - Tejada's playing age last season - and second, that there has only been one player since 2003 to throw at least 200 innings with an ERA of 3.50 or better in each of those three seasons. His name? Carlos Zambrano.
Today's other bit of idle chatter comes from The Daily Herald's Barry Rozner, and while his thoughts are no more based on fact, they are more grounded in reality:
If the Cubs can't get their hands on Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada, there might be another talented middle infielder available out east.
While the Nationals have not publicly suggested that second baseman Jose Vidro is available, there is talk among baseball folks that Washington will have to consider moving Vidro now that Alfonso Soriano is in town and vowing never to switch to the outfield.
And like Tejada, Vidro would be an excellent fit with the Cubs.
More grounded in reality, that is, until we arrive here:
For Vidro, the Cubs probably could get away with giving the Nats only Corey Patterson or Jerry Hairston since the Nats are looking for an outfielder/leadoff man.
Here's how this goes: in order for the Cubs to do this deal they'd have to be reasonably sure that Vidro was going to be healthy, which he hasn't been for two years now. But in order for the price to be as low as Rozner believes it could be, Vidro would have to be considerably less than whole. The math on his proposal just doesn't work out.
Still, the idea of dealing for Vidro is kinda fun - I've always liked him a bunch, and if healthy, he'd be a great fit with the club's needs. Still, something tells me that either Soriano will be convinced to play somewhere other than second, or Vidro's condition is bad enough that doing a deal wouldn't be in the Cubs' best interests.
Either way, it's just speculation, but with winter's grip tightening by the minute, and little promise of movement in the days to come, that might be all we have left to keep us warm for a while.