Tuesday, October 17, 2006


A-Rod to the Cubs?

With the Chicago Cubs signing of Lou Piniella to a lucrative 3 year contract to be their manager, and Piniella's fondness for Alex Rodriguez, a trade seems realistic. The Cubbies are one of the few teams in the majors with the financial resources to pay A-Rod. The move to Wrigley would allow A-Rod to move back to short, and give the Cubs a huge offensive upgrade.

Playing everyday at home in hitter friendly Wrigley, and most of his away games in parks that also favor the hitter in Houston, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and best of all Cincinnati, A-Rod would likley be able to put up even better numbers than he did in tough Yankee Stadium (for a righty). The Yankees seem more than willing to part with A-Rod, so a trade to the Cubs is a realistic possibility. Do the Cubs have any players the Yankees would want?

What do the Yankees need? As outlined in the previous posting, the Yankees do not win World Series unless they have a dominant lefty on their staff. Do the Cubs have any dominant or potentially dominant lefty starters to trade?

The Cubs do have two relatively young lefty starting pitchers. Let's take a quick statistical look at both:

RICH HILL - will be 27 years old, but lefties sometimes mature later. Hill's minor league record is not bad, great in one respect. He's a tremendous strike-out pitcher. In 351 minor league innings, he K'd 12.6 batters per 9 innings. His control is a problem though, as he also walked 4.9 batters per 9.

So far in the majors, in 123 innings, Hill's record is 8.1 K's per 9, with 4.1 BB's per 9.

What's intriguing about Hill is that he's showing signs of getting better. In 2005 in the minors his record was 130 innings/ 13.5 K's / 2.4 BB's. And at AAA in 2005 he was 65 innings/ 12.8 K's / 1.9 BB's. Very impressive numbers.

In 2006 in the majors, Hill's numbers were also slightly better than in 2005 in the majors. He improved to 99 innings/ 8.2 K's / 3.5 BB's.

Rich Hill has talent, if he can keep his walk ratios down, he's going to be a very good major league pitcher. He's definitely someone the Yankees should be looking at.

SEAN MARSHALL - is 24 years old. Marshall's minor league record is excellent. 252 innings/ 9.2 K's / 2.5 BB's. The only problem is, he never pitched above AA in the minors. But neither did Dontrelle Willis.

In the majors in 2006, Marshall's record was 125 innings/ 5.6 K's / 4.3 BB's. Not too good, but he's learning. Given his stellar minor league record, he's also someone the Yankees should be looking at.

The NY Yankees want to trade Alex Rodriguez. The Chicago Cubs just signed Lou Piniella to a three year contract. Piniella likes A-Rod. The Yankees need left-handed starting pitching. The Cubs have two relatively young left-handed starters with talent. Could such a trade happen?

If I'm the Yankees, I would trade A-Rod for both Rich Hill and Sean Marshall, plus another throw in (like lefty reliever Edward Campusano, 55 inings / 13.3 K's / 2.8 BB's in minors last year). Would I do the deal if I was the Cubs? If I wanted to vastly upgrade my offense, with A-Rod back at SS, and add a huge talent who can only help my box office sales and TV ratings, the answer is yes!

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