I’m calling my take on hot stove stuff the “Hot Soup Report.” For this feature, I will be taking some offerings from MLB’s hot stove and preparing them into a delicious soup for the (hopeful) enjoyment of all.
I have also created the “Soup Scale” to rate the interestingness/validity of each report. A One is canned tomato (boring.) A Two is Broccoli Cheddar (predictable yet enticing.) A Three is Crab Bisque (mmm.) A Four would be Dunkard Soup (off the charts.)
In baseball’s off-season, fans such as myself (read: not inclined toward the NFL or NBA) are obliged to take an interet in hot stove reports. There are a lot of silly rumors involved, and 98.7% of them come to nothing. Evidence of this can be easily obtained by browsing the Chicago Cubs roster, where you will not find the names of either Brian Roberts or Jake Peavy. The hot stove is still on preheat at this point, but it already looks like we have a likely heir to the Roberts/Peavy throne for the 2010 season in Curtis Granderson.
As a huge fan of Mr. Granderson (he and Tampa Bay’s Carlos Peña are my favorite non-Cub, non-Rebel players in the majors,) I was excited by these initial reports. The Cubs need someone who can hit, someone who can run and someone to play center field. Curtis fits all the qualifications, on top of which he is a Chicago native and a fantastic team guy with a reasonable contract. The fuddyduddies of the internet have been quick to point out his flaws. He strikes out too much, can’t hit southpaws, etc., Duly noted facts, fuddyduddies. It seems clear that if, in fact, Curtis Granderson is an option, he is the best possible option for the Cubs. I don’t doubt that Jim Hendry and Dave Dombrowski will be discussing the matter as the winter progresses.
There are two or three sticky matters that are keeping me grounded in light of these rumors (by grounded, I mean keeping me from literally shouting with joy and dancing jigs at the very possibility of Curtis Granderson in a Cubs’ uniform.)
The first and stickiest of the sticky matters is Milton Bradley. Mr. Hendry has himself in a tight spot with this one and I don’t envy him a winkling. I’ll forgo much further comment on Milton to avoid deviation from the topic at hand. It would seem that Mr. Hendry’s hands will be tied until he is able to complete the Milton Bradley relocation project (no small challenge.)
Second, we have the reality that the Cubbies could be facing some rigid competition. Both the Angels and Yankees are believed to be interested in Mr. Granderson. Both those parties can probably offer some fairly nice packages to the Tigers, besides which it just always seems like the Yankees get whatever they want. They’re basically like the spoiled rich kid in the neighborhood. You know, the one with a pony. I have no especial hatred for the Bronx Bombers, but Curtis Granderson in a Yankee uniform would not make me a happy camper.
Third is the question of whether the Cubs have the players it would take to get a deal done. Or rather, are the Cubs willing to part with the players it would take to get a deal done. Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune recommended simply telling Detroit to name their price. While I wholeheartedly believe that Curtis Granderson is worth a good bit, Mr. Rogers’ suggestion is pretty rash. In my opinion, trading 19-yr.-old super prospect/supposed sweetheart Starlin Castro at this point would be very rash indeed. Castro and Carlos Marmol were the names dropped by Mr. Rogers. He didn’t propose who the closer should then be…
Just in case I haven’t been clear up to this point as to how I feel about Mr. Granderson, I LOVE HIM. He is worth a good bit, but not worth selling the farm for.
The fellow over at the blog Desipio panned Phil Rogers article, proposing instead that the Cubbies ship fan-favorite Ryan Theriot to Detroit. I don’t know who he thinks would play shortstop until Castro is ready, but I do know that this guy found the most creatively vile things to say about every person he mentions. So don’t go read that, because it really isn’t nice.
My working knowledge of these sorts of dealings is not great, so I don’t have some perfect offer imagined up. If I had to make a suggestion, it would be a fair one. A couple of good prospects along with a bench-type player and a reliever or two. Give or take (probably give.) Should the Tigers accept, wonderful! I’ll be turning cartwheels in the backyard. If not, so be it. Move on.
I’ve run away with myself a bit, so lets wrap it up. Where does this hot-stove product rate on the Soup Scale? I give it a Broccoli Cheddar. It’s a tasty tidbit, but I definitely get the feeling we’re looking at Brian Roberts/Jake Peavy part trois.