Sunday, November 14, 2004

Cubs Off-Season Guide Part V of VI

I'm just finishing up this off-season guide before I announce the big move. Today we talk about the bench, this will be much like the bullpen format.

Committed contracts
Neifi Perez - $1 million with another $1.5 million in potential incentives

Arbitration Eligible
Jose Macias

Depending if they go 7 deep or 6 deep with the bullpen will depend if we go 4 deep or 5 deep on the bullpen. If it was my bench I'd go with:

Backup Catcher -
2 utility infielders
2 utility outfielders

On top of that, one of the above should be able to steal you a base at any time (think Dave Roberts), two of them need to be able to hit left-handed, and at least one of your infielders is on the team cause of his defense.

Now backup catching duties will probably go back to Paul Bako. I have no real feelings about this, I mean he can't hit, but everyone seems to rave about his defense. So that's fine, neither for or against. Just pray Barrett doesn't go down. I'd like for the team to go after a slightly better hitter, maybe a Todd Pratt. Although if you like rumors we may end up with Piazza and Charles Johnson as our catchers. Wouldn't that be interesting? I'm betting on a Bako return at about $850,000.

Neifi takes one of the IF spots and can probably play 2B as well as SS. The problem with him is other than being one of the worst offensive players in the league, his defense isn't all that great and he steals bases at barely over a .500 success rate. What a waste!

Let's all hope and pray Macias is NOT the other super-utility player, I have nothing to say about him other than he sucks. I presume and hope Dubois is one of the bench guys as well. The dude has raked minor league pitching and it's time to give him a shot at the majors. My other hope is for Todd Hollandsworth to come back, bad shins and all. Here's my expectations for the Cubs bench next year:

Paul Bako
Neifi Perez
Todd Hollandsworth
Jason Dubois
Pokey Reese

This would give us some pop off the bench from both sides (Hollandsworth and Dubois), and a defensive stud/basestealer in Pokey Reese (85% success rate in SB's for his career). If we can't get Reese or get back Hollandsworth a trade for Dave Roberts would be nice as well. Other potential bench options I wouldn't mind,

Miguel Cairo
Gabe Kapler
Mark McLemore (probably retiring)
Ramon Martinez
Jose Hernandez
Craig Counsell

I'll finish my summary off-season guide probably on Tuesday along with the big announcement. Stay tuned!!!


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