Extend, Cultivate, Or Dump? A Cubs Exercise

Jamie Squire

In the family-friendly Cubs-centric version of "Marry, Date Or Kill", decide what to do with groups of three current Cubs.

In the aftermath of the Anthony Rizzo contract extension, I thought it might to be fun to play a mindless little game with extensions. Smart money would have the next extension going to a pitcher, from the triad of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Matt Garza. While the upper minors don't look to have much of an excess of starting pitchers, the situation could look a bit less dire if the above three, in conjunction with Carlos Villanueva and Scott Feldman, keep it up. Or, get dealt for quality prospects. But that is far too deep for today's column, which is about fun.

I originally ran into this exercise as a financial game, but it is more often a raucous, juvenile offshoot of Tri-Bond and Spin-The-Bottle. In any version, a trio of usually people (usually of the opposite sex of the participants) are mentioned. One must fall in the Marry category. One goes in the Date group (though other words are normally used than date). The third goes in the other option, Kill. Since I try to be a non-violent person, and since this is a baseball blog, I've changed the categories.

I will mention three Cubs. One, you must extend. One, you must cultivate, or take time and energy to get them more ready to be traded. The other, you must dump. No other options. No two guys in one group. Very easy. For instance, if I say "Cody Ransom, Travis Wood, David DeJesus", the traditional expectation would be to extend Wood, cultivate DeJesus, and dump Ransom. However, you could want to extend DeJesus (to keep his wife on the players' wives' group), and cultivate Ransom, to get something in trade for the utility guy. In that instance, Wood is the dump.

Now that you know the rules, let's play the game. As we visit the bullpen, we run into "Shawn Camp, Carlos Marmol, Kevin Gregg". Since Gregg is the one retiring hitters of those three, I have little choice but to extend him. That extension might only last until late May, however. I still think Marmol has more potential trade value than Camp, so I cultivate Marmol, and dump Camp.

I can see some of you enjoying this. Here's a toughie. "Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena, Nate Schierholtz". Or, from the rotation, the one that started me on this, "Garza, Feldman, Villanueva". Be nice, and feel free to explain your reasoning for your selections.

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