Saturday, July 31, 2010
The trade saves the Cubs roughly $3 million in salaries for next year and nets them a few decent players in return.
Blake DeWitt can play 2nd or 3rd and is hitting .270 with a .352 OBP. He has shown some pop in the past (9 HR's in 368 AB's in 2008), but has not shown much power this year (only 1 HR in 256 AB's). The key for him is that, prior to 2009, he had only a little over 1 year of service time, so he will not be arbitration eligible until after the 2011 season. Its possible that he could play 3rd in 2011 with Aramis Ramirez shifting over to first.
Brett Wallach, the son of former major leaguer Tim Wallach, was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft and currently has a 3.72 ERA in 17 starts for the Dodgers low A affiliate. He was ranked as the Dodgers 20th best prospect by Baseball America and according to them features a low 90's fastball and a good changeup. He projects as a number 3 starter in the bigs.
Kyle Smit was drafted in the 5th round of the 2006 draft. After starting for the first few years of his career, he was converted to a reliever in 2009 and has posted his best numbers to date in 2010, with a 2.35 ERA in 37 games. He was not ranked by Baseball America and profiles as a middle reliever.
Overall, not a great deal of talent coming back from the Dodgers, but this was basically a salary dump on two fronts. Theriot for Dewitt is basically a wash in terms of talent, with the Cubs saving money on salaries. Then you're left with the Cubs essentially trading Lilly for a decent prospect, a roster filler and some salary relief.
The good news is that the Cubs could still resign Lilly in the offseason (if they can trade Zambrano) and, as they will likely have one of the top 15 draft picks, which is protected from free agent compensation, they would only have to give up a 2nd round pick to do so, which would be roughly the equivalent of Wallach.
So, not a great deal, but not a bad deal either.
Friday, July 30, 2010
John Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse tweets that the sticking point appears to be how much money the Cubs add to the deal to (partially) offset Lilly and Theriot's salary. While Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the Dodgers are waiting for Lilly's price to come down.
If money is the sticking point (Lilly has $4.3 million remaining on his contract and Theriot $0.9 million), I would be willing to give the Dodgers around $2 million and here's why.
If the Cubs were to keep Lilly, he would likely qualify as a type A free agent. Assuming the Cubs offerred him arbitration, he declined and signed with one of the contenders for 2011, the Cubs would get a first round pick from that team along with a supplemental pick in the 2011 draft.
Looking at the first round picks for 2009 (#16-30, as picks 1-15 are protected), the average bonus was about $1.5 million. Add in the average bonus for the supplemental picks of about $0.7 million and it would cost the Cubs roughly $2.2 million to sign those picks. Not to mention the costs of developing those players for 3-4 years until they're major league ready.
So, by foregoing those draft picks, the Cubs are saving $2.2 million and supposedly getting players who are closer to the majors. Thus, chipping in $2 million on the deal seems reasonable.
In any case, Jim Hendry needs to make this happen. The Cubs aren't going anywhere and he needs to get something in return for Lilly.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Who's left? None better than the Cubs Ted Lilly. However, the list of teams interested in the lefty is dwindling.
It was reported earlier by Jayson Stark that 6 or more teams had interest in Lilly, which possibly included the Mets, Phillies, Tigers, Twins, Dodgers and Yankees. Now that list appears to be down to 2 or 3.
The Phillies are out, after acquiring Oswalt. According to John Paul Morosi, the Tigers aren't pursuing Lilly and the Twins are unlikely to get him. Both Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Ken Davidoff of Newsday say a deal with the Mets is unlikely.
That pretty much leaves the Dodgers and the Yankees. As I reported yesterday, the Dodgers are focused on Lilly and Pirates lefthander Paul Maholm. The Yankees like Lilly too, Jon Heyman Tweets, but they have a good starting rotation already and will likely just jump into the fray if everyone else bows out.
Also, there has been speculation on the talk shows that the Cubs could trade Lilly and then resign him after the year and thus get some prospects and keep Lilly, who apparently likes it here in Chicago. The only problem with that scenario is that the Cubs may want to save some money, with all the bloated contracts on their roster, and give some of their youngsters, like Andrew Cashner a shot.
However, if the Cubs can find someone to take Carlos Zambrano off their hands, without eating a significant portion of his contract, they could have the resources to resign Lilly.
In any case, with less than 2 day remaining until the deadline, Jim Hendry needs to get something decent in return for Lilly, or this opportunity will have been wasted.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Jayson Stark is reporting that there are 4 teams interested in Ted Lilly, the Phillies, Dodgers, Twins and Tigers. Stark also reports that the Phillies appear to be making a push for Roy Oswalt, but the Dodgers are more focused on Lilly and the Pirates' Paul Maholm. It has been reported, by multiple sources, that the Twins and Phillies are on Lilly's no trade list, which may be why the Phillies are more interested in Oswalt and we haven't heard much from the Twins.
A few days ago I posted a list of some possible prospects the Cubs could get from the Dodgers in return for Lilly. On top of that list would be left hander Aaron Miller, the Dodgers #3 ranked prospect (by Baseball America). If Jim Hendry were able to land him for Lilly, I would be happy.
Finally, Jim Hendry confirmed today to Bruce Levine that Derrek Lee will remain a Cub for the rest of the year. The Angels apparently made an offer for Lee and Hendry approached Lee about the trade. But Lee turned down the deal (as is his right as a 10 and 5 player). "When the trade was presented to me, I just felt the best thing for me and my family was to stay here," Lee said.
That's all I've got for now. I'll keep you posted as more rumors come to light.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
He also expressed his love for Chicago and thanked the team for helping him receive therapy for his anger. Zambrano will apologize to the team when he rejoins them on Friday in Colorado.
So, naturally, after all this outpouring of love and contrition, the Cubs did what anyone else would do, they made it clear to anyone who will listen that Zambrano is available.
Its pretty clear that the Cubs want to get rid of Zambrano and his huge contract, even if they have to eat a significant chunk of it. Its unlikely that Zambrano will be traded before the non-waiver deadline this Saturday, but he should easily pass through waivers and could possibly be traded in August. However, I think its more likely he'll be traded in the offseason, if at all (he still has a full no-trade clause).
Bottom line, the Cubs will have to convince a team to take Zambrano and all his baggage off their hands and convince Zambrano that he'd be better off somewhere else.
Monday, July 26, 2010
According to John Paul Morosi, the Angels are in search of another power bat and are monitoring Derrek Lee. The Rangers are also seeking a right-handed first baseman and are taking a close look at Lee. Of course, all this Derrek Lee speculation could be meaningless as Lee has a no-trade clause. However, there are conflicting reports as to whether he'll use it, as Jayson Stark reports that its highly doubtful he'll wave his no-trade clause, whereas Ken Rosenthal and John Paul Morosi reported 12 days ago that some of Lee's friends believe he would accept a deal to the right team.
Ted Lilly survived the weekend as a Cub, despite rumors that he would be traded soon. However, it appears now that the Yankees are interested in him. The Yankees reportedly offered Ivan Nova, Zach McAllister and a couple lower prospects for Dan Haren. Could the Cubs get a similar offer for Lilly?
The Cubs are still looking to move Kosuke Fukudome and are now willing to eat quite a bit of his remaining contract, tweets Ken Rosenthal. This is an apparent change in stance from mid-June, when Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reported that the Cubs were not willing to eat an "appreciable amount" of Fukudome's contract when offering him up to the Red Sox.
Finally, hardly a day goes by without another guy coming forward to state his interest in the Cubs managerial position. The latest guy to step forward is Bobby Valentine, who said to Paul Sullivan of the Tribune "as far as the job coming open at the end of the season, anyone that considers himself a manager would think about how attractive this opportunity is, and every once in a while I consider myself a manager."
Friday, July 23, 2010
I already discussed who the Cubs might get from the Mets in return for Lilly here, so let's take a look at the possible haul from the Tigers and Dogers:
The Tigers have some major league ready talent in the high levels and one intriguing name is Andy Oliver. Rated the #4 Tigers prospect by Baseball America, his name has come up in discussions for some of the other available starters. Selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, the lefthander has a low-to-mid 90's fastball. Baseball America says he has the potential to be a frontline starter or a closer.
Another player to keep an eye on is firstbaseman Ryan Strieby, ranked #11 by Baseball America. He has above average power and could replace Derrek Lee as soon as next year. The downside for him is that he tends to strike out a bit too much.
Finally, the Cubs could go after catcher Alex Avila, ranked #6 by Baseball America, who projects him as a .280, 15 HR guy in the majors with good catch and throw skills. Acquiring him could allow the Cubs to move Geovany Soto to first.
For the Dodgers, the name often brought up in trade discussions is lefthander Aaron Miller, the #3 ranked Dodgers prospect by Baseball America. BA projects him as a potential #2 starter. He pitched well in A+ ball this year (2.77 ERA and 75 K's in 74.2 IP), but has struggled some after being promoted to AA. He may not be as advanced as the Tigers' Oliver, but he has a higher ceiling.
Another possibility is outfielder and converted first baseman Andrew Lambo, ranked #7 by Baseball America. Described as a pure hitter by BA, he uses all fields and although he hasn't shown much power this year (only 3 HR's in 164 AB's), his power could come as he learns to pull the ball more.
Finally, an intriguing prospect is #9 ranked Trayvon Robinson, a 5-tool center fielder with good range. He tends to strike out too much and the Cubs have their own 5-tool center fielder in Brett Jackson, but Robinson could interest the Cubs nonetheless.
If the Cubs could get one of the above players and another prospect or two from either team, that would be good enough for me. If they are able to parlay the high interest in Lilly into a bigger package, all the better.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Ryne Sandberg - Managerial Record 253-258 (.495) all within the Cubs minor league system. A lot of people consider Sandberg to be the favorite, however its possible that Jim Hendry would want a more experienced guy leading the team (remember he picked Lou Piniella over fan favorite Joe Girardi the last go around). For his part, Sandberg says he is ready and does not want (or need) on the job training (as a bench coach). Mark's Remarks - Its pretty much all or nothing for Sandberg. Either the Cubs hire him or he will probably move on to another organization.
Joe Girardi - Managerial Record 329-250 (.568), 1 World Series title. Despite his record and World Series title, he doesn't get a lot of respect in New York and may be willing to move on for the right opportunity. Mark's Remarks - He lost out to Piniella the last go around, but has said before that he wants to manage the Cubs someday. Cub fans like him and he has experience, but will he be willing to leave the ever contending Yankees for a potential rebuilding project with the Cubs?
Bob Brenly - Managerial Record 303-262 (.536), 1 World Series title. Managed for 3 1/2 years with the Diamondbacks and currently works as one of the Cubs announcers. He interviewed for the job back when Piniella was hired and has expressed his interest again. Mark's Remarks - Cubs fans like him for his blunt criticisms about the team. However, how would the players react to him as a manager, after being the target of those criticisms.
Alan Trammel - Managerial Record 186-300 (.383). The current Cubs bench coach, he spent 3 years managing a pathetic Tigers team from 2003-2005. Although he is not openly campaigning for the job, I'm sure he will be on the short list. Mark's Remarks - Well respected as a player and given a bad rep as a manager, I'm sure he's eager to prove himself. Will his next shot come with the Cubs?
Joe Torre - Managerial Record 2296-1960 (.539), 6 pennants and 4 World Series titles. If the Cubs are looking for a big name, here he is. Torre has managed for 29 years and at age 69 is probably about ready to retire. For his part, Torre told the AP that "he's not ruling anything out" but he doesn't anticipate managing anywhere other the Las Angeles next year. Mark's Remarks - this is probably a pipe dream at best and the Cubs could end up with another Lou Piniella. Even if he were interested, I think the Cubs should look elsewhere.
Pat Listasch - No major league managerial experience. A former minor league manager for the Cubs and the current third base coach for the Nationals, Listach recently threw his name into the hat. Mark's Remarks - Its hard to see why the Cubs would go with Listach, when they already have an internal candidate with no major league experience and a bigger name in Sandberg. He'll probably get an interview out of courtesy, but that's about it.
Fredi Gonzalez - Managerial Record 276-279 (.497). Recently fired from his position as Marlins manager, Gonzalez has already been tabbed as one of the candidates to be interviewed for the Cubs job according to a major league source. Mark's Remarks - Gonzalez was able to get a lot out of some young Marlins teams and might be a good choice if the Cubs go with a youth movement. However, it seems likely that he will replace Bobby Cox as Atlanta's manager.
Bobby Valentine - Managerial Record 1117-1072 (.510). Valentine last worked as a manager in Japan before taking an analyst position with ESPN. He was a candidate to replace Fredi Gonzalez at Florida. Mark's Remarks - Although Valentine blames the Marlins management for botching his hiring, something doesn't smell right about that whole situation and I think it best for the Cubs to just stay away.
So, there you have it. Eight potential replacements for Lou Piniella. If I were doing the hiring, I'd rank them like this:
- Joe Girardi
- Ryne Sandberg
- Fredi Gonzalez
- Alan Trammel
- Bob Brenly
- Pat Listach
- Joe Torre
- Bobby Valentine
I think the Cubs need to go with someone young, who could survive a potential rebuilding process, thus Torre and Valentine do not rank high. Girardi has Cubs ties and experience and therefore would be the ideal choice in my eyes. However, if they are unable to pry him away from the Yankees, then I think they should give Sandberg a shot.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
With his early success, the Cubs will certainly give him every opportunity to get back on track and prove this season is not a fluke. But with Carlos Zambrano starting working his way back to the active roster and the other starters showing no signs of letting up, Silva may have only a couple weeks to reestablish himself.
In addition, Sean Marshall is already campaigning for a return to the rotation, giving Silva even more competition, whether it be this year or next.
Hey, it was a fun ride while it lasted, but, as is usually the case with the Cubs, all goods things must come to an end.
Candidates are already throwing their names into the hat to be considered for the job, with fan favorite Ryne Sandberg saying "I'd be delighted" to manage the Cubs and former player and minor league manager Pat Listasch expressing his interest.
The list of pontential candidates includes some big names as well, including Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Dodgers manager Joe Torre, Cubs announcer Bob Brenly, former Mets manager Bobby Valentine and Cubs bench coach Alan Trammel.
The most surprising news of the day was Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts' announcement that Jim Hendry "will be our general manager going into next year". He will make the decision on Piniella's replacement and, if past history is any indication, he is likely to go with a more experienced manager (he chose Piniella over Joe Girardi). However, would an experienced manager want to go through a rebuilding period, as it appears the Cubs are heading?
Its possible that the Cubs will bring in another outside manager to guide the ship and make Sandberg the bench coach to get him some on-the-job training. But will Sandberg will want to play second fiddle after paying his dues in the minors the last 4 years.
In any case, the Cubs and Jim Hendry have plenty of time to reach a decision as to Lou's replacement and then we will have someone new to blame when the team plays poorly.
More details to be posted tonight, including my thoughts on who should replace Piniella.
Monday, July 19, 2010
I'm praying that doesn't happen.
Don't get me wrong, it would be nice for the Cubs to start winning regularly again, but not if it means that Hendry decides to try to win now and sell off the future for a pipe dream today. This team, as it is currently constructed, is not capable of making the playoffs, let alone make a deep run in them.
The roster needs an overhaul. The core players are getting old and its high time to start getting younger (and hopefully better). There may be some growing pains, as we have seen with Starlin Castro, but it will be worth going through some pain in the near-term to build a strong contender for years to come.
So, if you're reading this Jim Hendry, please don't buy into this fool's gold. Do whatever you can to shed the bloated contracts of Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome. Go out and get some younger players or promote from within to replace Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly and Aramis Ramirez, as their contracts expire.
The goal here is to build a solid nucleus of players, in the 23-27 age range, who can contend for a title over the next 5-10 years. The old system of throwing money at aging veterans to fill holes is no longer working.
Its time to blow it up and start again.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
After completing his anger management therapy, Carlos Zambrano is in Mesa getting himself back up to speed. After completing a throwing program in Mesa, he will likely make his first rehab start either Tuesday or Wednesday. Mark's Remarks - Here's hoping that Lou Piniella is true to his word and puts Zambrano back in the bullpen, at least until he shows some maturity (or one of the other starters is traded).
The trade rumors continue to swirl around the Cubs, with most of them centered on starter Ted Lilly. Jim Hendry met with Lilly this week to discuss his future, possibly to discuss potential destinations. Lilly has a partial no-trade clause (he can block trades to 10 teams), however the only contenders on the list are the Twins and Phillies. The Mets, long rumored to be interested in Lilly, appear to not be too excited about the lefty now. Still, Jon Heyman reports that a few GM's think that Lilly to the Mets makes the most sense. Mark's Remarks - It seems highly likely that Lilly will be gone before the trade deadline. He is Hendry's biggest trade chip and should bring the most in return. For his part, Lilly tries to shut out the trade talk.
One of the few bright spots for the Cubs has been lefty Sean Marshall, who has been both impressive and a revelation. He has worked his way into the setup role and has helped stabilize a bullpen that was in shambles early in the year. Mark's Remarks - I believe that Marshall's talents are wasted in the pen. He could be a heck of a starter if given half a chance. However, with that said, he has been the Cubs best and most consistent reliever all year.
Finally, it appears that Aramis Ramirez has finally gotten back into the groove. In the month of July, Ramirez is hitting .375 with a .883 slugging percentage (inlcuding 5 HR's). Mark's Remarks - It may be too little, too late, but its good to see him finally getting off the schneid.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Over the years, though, I've lost interest in the mid-summer classic and rarely watch it anymore. I come to see it for what it really is--an overblown, meaningless exhibition game (despite the commissioners efforts to make it count for something). Sure it was nice that Marlon Byrd had a good game and all that, but to me its just 3-days of waiting until the real games start again.
However, now that the All-Star game is over, the real fun begins, as with the conclusion of the game comes the heart of trading season. Over the next two plus weeks, we will hear countless rumors, from the plausible to the absurd, and many trades will be made.
We all know by now which direction the Cubs are heading. Let's hope Jim Hendry can pull a few more rabbits out of his hat and shed some bloated contracts. There has been much speculation over who the Cubs will move and what they will get in return.
Well, over the next few weeks we will find out.
Monday, July 12, 2010
The truth of the matter is that its probably time for a change. Attendance has been dropping as many Cubs fans are unhappy with the product on the field. However, not all the blame should be put on Hendry (nor Lou Piniella for that matter).
Hendry has made some great moves during his tenure, including acquiring Aramis Ramirez from the Pirates and Derrek Lee from the Marlins for next to nothing. Although they haven't played well this year, Ramirez and Lee were the backbone of the Cubs offense for the last several years.
Hendry also was able to turn a bad situation into a positive by dealing Milton Bradley for Carlos Silva. Despite yesterday's poor outing, Silva still leads the Cubs in wins, is second amongst Cubs starters with a 3.45 ERA and leads the starters in fewest walks allowed (19).
The main knock on Hendry is all of the bad contracts that the Cubs have on their books, primarily Carlos Zambrano (2 years/$36 million remaining after this year), Alfonso Soriano (4 years/$72 million) and Kosuke Fukudome (1 year/$13.5 million).
To be fair to Hendry, those contracts were signed in 2006 and 2007, when the Tribune Company was trying to make the Cubs more attractive to potential buyers. But it was still Hendry's decision to sign those particular players to long, expensive contracts.
So, Hendry will finish out his lame-duck season trying to fix the problems he created. Then, at the end of the year, Ricketts and family will survey the landscape and most likely jump at the first opportunity to replace Hendry with someone better.
Friday, July 9, 2010
The latest rumors have the Mets focused on Ted Lilly, after missing out on Cliff Lee (traded to the Rangers), and Texas now has strong interest in Xavier Nady, to potentially play first, after they traded first baseman Justin Smoak to acquire Lee.
Lilly is clearly the Cubs best trade chip. He is now the best starting pitcher on the market and is reasonably priced (due roughly $6 million the rest of the year).
Who might the Cubs be able to get for Lilly? Well, considering that the Mariners acquired the Rangers #2 ranked (by Baseball America) prospect (Justin Smoak) and #17 (Blake Beavan), along with a couple other prospects, I think you can pretty much rule out acquiring one of the Mets top 4 prospects (Jenry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, Fernando Martinez and Ike Davis).
However, the Cubs might be able to pry former first round pick, pitcher Brad Holt, away from the Mets. He has struggled the last couple years at AA and his stock may be falling in the eyes of Mets management.
Second baseman Reese Havens (#7) is also an intriguing prospect, but the Cubs have an abundance of infield prospects and don't need to create more of a log jam. So, a package of Holt and one or two lesser prospects could get the job done.
As for Nady, the Cubs might be able to get a lower prospect or two, but I wouldn't expect much.
It will be interesting to see how Jim Hendry kick starts the rebuilding proces, however its unlikely he'll be around to see the fruits of his labor.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
First off, Lou Piniella told the Sun Times that "we probably will be sellers" and also told Paul Sullivan of the Tribune that the Cubs "will be my last managing job." Mark's Remarks - Although he didn't specifically say it, one can infer that this will probably be Piniella's last year as a manager, as I don't see him wanting to go through a rebuilding process with the Cubs (which is where I think the Cubs are headed).
Thus, with the Cubs apparently deciding which direction they are going, Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the "Cubs are getting more serious about trades." Mark's Remarks - Of course. And the closer it gets to the trade deadline, the more serious they will get.
Who could the Cubs trade?
Davidoff mentions in his tweet above that the Mets are interested in Ted Lilly. Mark's Remarks - Lilly is in the final year of his contract and is relatively cheap, so he would be a likely target of any team looking for a starting pitcher. Of course, the Cubs could try to trade Carlos Zambrano instead, however I think that Zambrano will more likely be moved in the offseason.
Andrew Baggardly of the San Francisco Mercury News reports that the Giants might have interest in Ryan Theriot. Mark's Remarks - Theriot has not been hitting well this year and has somewhat fallen out of favor with the Cubs, with Mike Fontenot seeing more playing time. Chances are at least one of Theriot, Fontenot or Jeff Baker will be moved before the deadline.
According to mlbtraderumors.com, other players who could be on the block include Derrek Lee, Kosuke Fukudome and Xavier Nady. Mark's Remarks - Lee is in the last year of his contract, whereas Fukudome and Nady have become excess, with Tyler Colvin getting the lion's share of starts in right. Its likely that one of these three will be gone by the deadline.
The Cubs will trade Theriot, Nady and Lilly before the deadline, mostly for minor leaguers, as the rebuilding process begins.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
As I mentioned before, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ran down a list of 7 possible destinations, however all seemed unlikely to Tim. Mark's Remarks - Jim Hendry has been down this path before with Milton Bradley, so if anyone can get it done, it's him.
Mets Paradise speculates that the Mets could offer up a couple bad contracts of their own in Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo for Zambrano. Mark's Remarks - I guess there are worse players the Cubs could get in return. Maybe they can trade Zambrano for Milton Bradley.
Buster Olney on ESPN Insider (pay site) says that Zambrano has value as an innings eater and that the Cubs could probably get a team to eat $10-15 million of Zambrano's contract, but that a trade likely won't happen until the offseason. Mark's Remarks - I think $10-15 million for an "innings eater" is a little steep. Its more likely that the acquiring team will pay more in the $7-10 million range.
Finally, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests that the Giants should trade Aaron Rowand to the Cubs for Zambrano. Mark's Remarks - Problem with this is that the Cubs already have a glut of outfielders and don't need another clogging things up.
Bottom line is that there is no obvious destination for Zambrano. Even though a lot of teams are looking for pitching, not many teams are looking for an $18 million pitcher who appears to be on the downside of his career. Jim Hendry is going to have to create a market for Zambrano and likely take a bad contract in return.
He did it once, with positive results. Can he do it again.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
As a starter this year, Gorzelanny has a 3.34 ERA with 58 K's in 56.2 IP. Including his 1 inning, 4 ER stint last Friday, Zambrano has a 6.12 ERA in his 9 starts. So, based on performance alone, there was no reason that Zambrano should replace Gorzelanny.
However, as we all know, decisions like this are not always based on performance. Whether the Cubs were trying to showcase Zambrano for a possible trade or just trying to placate his enormous ego, they felt that putting him back in the rotation was the "best thing for the team".
The good news is that the Cubs now have their best 5 starting pitchers in the rotation. The bad news is the Cubs can't score any runs, so it really doesn't make any difference.