Yesterday's trade including Theriot, once a popular hustle player on the 2007-2008 versions of the club is more than the obvious of trading an arb eligible middle infielder who has no power, marginal defensive capabilities and makes consistent poor decisions on the base paths. TR Lilly was an obvious mid season trade, resulting in getting his value of 2 pitching prospects but Theriot for DeWitt, that was both a statement to the club in Chicago and the seeking of a perceived new attitude in the LA locker room, the Kinks wrote a song about it!
Theriot brought hustle and effort to the game but his effort had costs with what became a funny acronym TOOTBLAN. The signal I am seeing is that subtraction is the key, DeWitt is a nice short-term acquisition and gives the Cubs flexibility both on the field (able o play 3B) and 2B, young, cheap and bat from the left side. It tells me that Fontenot has limited time here as well, not because of attitude, (what I perceive he is a good player attitude wise) but the Bayou partner and roommate to TOOTBLAN didn't produce at the desired level and could not adequately play 3B. Watch Fontenot is picked up through the waiver deal by August 10th or so in a PTBNL deal.
Slowly subtracting players like Theriot also are players that Piniella liked, get it. Piniella chose Bradley, he chose Theriot to be the SS. Watch if the Cubs also waive Koyie Hill (making $1M). Ultimately watch as the roster is rebuilt by players who "play the game right", meaning smarter, starting on the base paths but also defensively, situational hitting, (even making productive outs). I just think that when I read about a player named Barney who is described as the smartest baseball player in the system who can play SS (isn't Fontenot Castro's back up now or was that Theriot?), where bringing up Barney to play 2B would make the Cubs younger and smarter in the middle infield.
There is much more to do, 4th OF'er, 5th OF'er, the bullpen but all those moves on are on the margin. I think going forward that even if Ramirez does use his option the Cubs will seek to move him in the off season. Hope he hits another 15 HR's in August-Sept. Furthrmore there is that attitude thing here, same at 1B and LF.
Lastly the acronym creaters should come up with one that describes Cub players who waves at an unhittable sliders one foot out of the strike zone and diving into the dirt. Seems to me someone is swinging not for the fences but with their eyes closed, like some little leaguer.