Friday, January 28, 2005

This is stupid…

ESPN is reporting that the Cubs are shipping Sosa to Baltimore for Jerry Hairston Jr. and 2 prospects:

Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa will be traded to the Baltimore Orioles for infielder Jerry Hairston and at least two minor-leaguers, pending physicals and approval from commissioner Bud Selig and the players' association. An Orioles source told ESPN's Tim Kurkjian that the only way the trade will not happen is if someone fails a physical.

The Cubs would pay a substantial part of Sosa's $17 million salary this season, major-league executives told the AP. Sosa would agree to void his salary in 2006, they also said.

So, essentially, the Cubs have now lost two of their substantial offensive producers from last year with no clear replacement(s) readily apparent. Has anyone forgotten that last year was one of offensive futility even with Sosa and Alou? What, for heavens sake, do you think this team will do without both of them?! Do 35 HR/100 RBI guys grow on trees in the major leagues?

To make matters worse, the Cubs are 1) paying a substantial portion of Sosa’s salary for this year, 2) they didn’t even get Julio in return (although the ESPN report indicated that the Cubs are receiving Hairston and at least 2 prospects - other news outlets are reporting that Jorge Julio is included in the deal), and 3) they received a potential leadoff hitter in return. Oh, but there’s only one small problem - he’s spent the majority of the last 2 seasons on the disabled list. Can anyone say injury prone? Further, Hairston's numbers aren't that great - his 162 game average (from Baseball Reference)is .261/.334/.371 and he averages 8 HR and 49 RBI's over the same period. This isn't a suitable replacement for either Alou or Sosa.

As I have said repeatedly on this blog, I didn’t want Hendry to ship Sosa at any cost, and if Sosa returns to his pre-sneeze form of last year (which I think he will) - Hendry is going to have to answer to a lot of angry and frustrated fans. I confess that I just don’t understand this trade and right now I’m pretty upset about it - especially since the Cubs now have 2 significant holes in the outfield and I don't know who's going to fill them.