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Cubs Acquire Nevin
by Derek Smart
Today, the Cubs dealt seventh string second baseman Jerry Hairston (whom I am now belatedly dubbing "The Human Brain-Cramp"), to the Rangers for the also struggling Phil Nevin. Presumably, Nevin will be manning first base most nights, allowing Todd Walker to shift over to second base on a more regular basis. Oh, how soon we've forgotten your scrappy brilliance, Tony!
If the Cubs were in contention, this would be a very solid deal, as Hairston doesn't do much of anything for this team, and even with his overall struggles this year, Nevin has still hit lefties very well - and if there's something this club has been sorely lacking for several years now, it's a right-handed power bat off the bench. They also need someone to push the various "weak sisters of second" to the bench, and he should do for that quite nicely.
However, the Cubs are not in contention - although the message has clearly not been received in the club's front office - so while there's still nothing wrong with the deal if presented in a vacuum, when taken in context it seems extremely late, a little desperate, and without much real purpose. Nevin is certainly an incremental upgrade, a reasonable tweak, but if fine tuning and moderate adjustments were really what was called for, I'd have expected something better than the recent 5-23 jaunt through hell.
Yes, something got done, and it's a decent enough something, but it's a move the likes of which should have happened over a month ago when such a thing might have actually had meaning. As it is, it's simply a harmless excursion into the land of delusional comeback scenarios. Harmless, that is, if the front office awakens from it before the end of July.