How The Cubs ‘Right The Ship’ In 2012
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(WSCR) When baseball resumes on Thursday, Cubs fans will have to face the the reality of watching their team, most likely, struggle through the final 70 games of the season. And after that, comes an offseason where they’ll demand significant change.
The majority of those changes are focused on sending overpaid veterans out the door.
“Most of these big contracts are going to fall off naturally anyway,” Gordon Wittenmeyer, of the Chicago Sun-Times, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “And then there’s just a few other big ones, and [Alfonso] Soriano is about the only one left, other than the ones that are going to fall off naturally, unless you’re talking about the pitchers. I don’t think you trade the pitchers.”
Since coming to the Cubs prior to the 2007 season, Soriano has a .270 batting average with 120 home runs and 320 RBI. He still has three more years on his contract that will pay him roughly $19 million per year.
LISTEN: Gordon Wittenmeyer On The Mully And Hanley Show
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“If you can move him, now’s the time to do it,” Wittenmeyer said.
“But going forward, you don’t move the pitchers. Because if this team can catch the ball next year, they get a few young guys up, they’re generally better defensively all the way around and the don’t hit a whole lot better, they will win if they can pitch. … If [Carlos] Zambrano is healthy and [Ryan] Dempster is not the Dempster we saw in April [they'll be OK], and you’ve got [Matt] Garza back next year.”
Wittenmeyer feels that the club has at least one in-house pitcher who can fill in as a starting pitcher. That would leave, in Wittenmeyer’s opinion, one more starting pitcher and a “depth guy” on the Cubs shopping list this offseason.
“Now you go to spring training next year and you have a chance to turn this thing, at least, into a winning situation again,” Wittenmeyer said. “You have a chance to do that. But you have to catch the ball, and you have to pitch. They had the bullpen [this year], they’re probably going to keep that largely intact, except for, you know, a guy like maybe John Grabow. But you need another starting pitcher or two. That right there alone should be enough to at least right the ship and, you know, bring it to sea level.”