So, who wants to talk about some baseball?
UPDATE: Rizzo acquired, Cashner moved, questions 1-3 answered. Obviously everyone is on the front page but feel free to address questions 2,4 and 5 here if you have thoughts.
I have to admit with a couple days hindsight the Zambrano deal looks pretty good. Getting a guy who can compete in the back-end of the rotation for a few years is a pretty good return. So we've turned the page and gotten the clubhouse back. Are we done? Or are more moves coming? 5 questions to answer between now and Spring Training
1. Is Cashner a starter? This to me almost seems like a case where you have to let the pitcher decide. Cashner would be most valuable in the rotation, but he pitched effectively out of the pen on return last year. I think you have to sit down with him and just ask him: where are you most comfortable? how's the shoulder? Do you feel like you can throw 150-175 innings this year? If he says yes, you've got to start him because it gives you the best chance to have a plus rotation. That gives 6 guys competing for 5 spots. Not a bad place to be. IMO, given decent springs from all 6, Wood is most likely to move to the pen, but that's something you can sort out in spring training.
2. Do we trade Garza?. Let's face it, Garza is the unquestioned ace of the staff. If he's dealt, you're clearly punting 2012. We've been through this before. If you get an offer of Turner, Smyly, Paulino and Brantley you pull the trigger. If not, Garza is a Cub in 2012, at least until July.
3. Is LaHair really the starting 1b? The obvious place to make a move. Not opposed to starting LaHair. I think he can hit. But a back-up plan or a RH hitting platoon partner would make me feel better, if not the PF flyer.
4. Is eating $40 million+ really worth it to move Sori? As Theo said, Sori has power on a team that is seriously lacking it, especially from the right side. I think Sori's coming back --with lots of double-switches in his future. Next offseason may be a more opportune time to send him out. But Theo & Jed have shown they can surprise us. At the moment, I'm resigned.
5. Who's on second? Barney did a decent job last year and held his own at the plate, but expecting more isn't really realistic. A regression would mean lots of Blake DeWitt. On a team with little offensive firepower, is there an upgrade to be found here? I've looked around at who's available, and found nothing.
Am I missing anything? Discuss.