Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Cubs honor my son by taking a vacation for a week

Well, I've been lurking about for a few days now and I've been waiting for the something substantial as far as Cubs news before resuming posting here.

Well, the crickets chirping made me decide that something else must actually be up and so I did a little investigating and, well, it seems that the Cubs front office has taken a vacation for the last week. I can only assume that it is due to the fact that the Cubs wanted to celebrate the birth of my son last week.

Why else would nothing of note have happened over the last week? We are less than 4 weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting. You'd think they would be making a serious push to trade for Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, or steal Tim Lincecum from the Giants....or something. But since the Tom Gorzelanny trade, the Cubs have done nothing. They haven't talked to the press. They haven't broken any laws. They haven't told us that they intend to honor Todd Hundley with a statue in the bleacher restroom. This is just boring as hell. I honestly can't remember an off-season this sleepy in the last 10 years.

So what the hell should I do? Well, I never really analyzed the Gorzelanny trade. I personally liked Gorzelanny and would have preferred that the Cubs keep him over someone like Randy Wells. That being said, with the surplus the Cubs have in starting pitching, it made sense for them to dump one of those guys...I just which it wouldn't have been the only lefty that had a legitimate shot at making the rotation.

So did the Cubs get anything in return?

The players: Outfielder Michael Burgess, right handed pitcher A.J. Morris and left handed pitcher Graham Hicks.

Burgess will be entering his 5 year in professional ball and will likely start out at Tennessee. He made it to the National's AA team in Harrisburg for the first time last season. He appears to have some power...and strikes out a ton. He seems to take a walk every once in a while. To add to the resume, he doesn't appear to hit much for average. He's only 22 years old, so he has plenty of time to improve and it would appear that his development has been steady through his 4 years in the minor leagues. The few scouting reports that I have found on the kid indicate he is pretty good defensively in the outfield. In the end, he wasn't really a top prospect for the Nationals, but there seems to be some potential here.

Morris is a 24 year old and will be going into his 3rd year of professional ball and has put up some decent numbers so far pitching mostly as a starting pitcher. He has moved his way up to the National's high A team in Woodbridge, Virginia, and had a decent season there last year posting a 3.88 ERA. He isn't a high strikeout guy, but his WHIP has been pretty good in his first two seasons in the minor leagues. I did find out that in his last year in college, he was runner up to Stephan Strasburg for player of the year, so there is definitely some talent here.

Graham Hicks is another very young player who was drafted out of high school in the 4th round 3 years ago. Hicks numbers to this point have been less than stellar as he has made it up to middle A ball in three seasons in the minor leagues. He appears to have some control issues and tends to have a hard time missing bats. He will turn 21 next month, so there is still time for the Cubs to develop this kid.

In the end, the Cubs got 3 players that have a long way to go before they could possibly be considered for a big league roster. In the end, it is very possible that none of these guys make it to the big leagues and I would say the Morris is probably the player with the best chance to get there. Burgess is probably the highest ranked of these three players, but could very well end up being another AAAA player that the Cubs tend to collect so frequently (Micah Hoffpauir, Matt Murton, Jake Fox, Brian LaHair, and so on...)

So, there. CDE is back in business. Now hopefully the Cubs front office is back from their week in Tahiti, and will at least release some information about how many tons Carlos Silva has gained over the last 3 months.


It would seem the front office is back from vacation as they have signed Todd Wellemeyer today as insurance in case the other 15 starters all getting injured at the same time.