It is an obvious conclusion that it will be difficult for the Cubs to go deep into the playoffs with the current starting rotation. Recently, they slipped back to 4th in the NL in team ERA, no doubt influenced by Demp's poor start against the Sox, and the recent bullpen implosions. Also, when the team falls into a hitting slump - as we have seen recently - a lock-down pitcher that can be a tough stopper is key.
This is not a terrific year to be shopping for a difference-making pitcher. However, as I see it, these are the Free Agents and disgruntled players that could be employees which our Jim Hendry is considering. Have at it! My subjective comments are next to each:
C.C. Sabathia - if the Brew acquires him, I will be sick to my stomach. So will Cubs hitters.
E. Bedard - has plenty of talent, and would be another strong lefty to throw at the Cards and Brew. However, reports are he is not a "team guy". Same was said about Kenny Lofton. Until we got him.
A.J. Burnett - Don't we already have pitchers with high ERA's, that allow plenty of HR's?
Gil Meche - He likes the smaller market. Hendry courted him once, and got Lilly instead. Very talented, but he'd probably be more happy where he is, or Pittsburgh.
Randy Wolf - Pitches well. One game out of six. Next...
Derek Lowe - at 36, he still has a mighty sinker that would be a terrific in Wrigley. We gave Coletti Maddux - maybe he'd return the favor? FA in 2009
Livan Hernandez - I was at Game 3 against the D-Backs. 'Nuf said.
Unfortunately for the Cubs - ain't much more out there this year.