As you may have noticed, our SB Nation family of blogs was all down for about ten hours this morning.
That's about nine hours more than the server move was supposed to take. We have all received profuse apologies from the Technical Powers That Be, and assurances that no further such events are planned for the "remotely near future".
Thanks for bearing with us. Once again, you haven't missed a thing, except for some new stuff from our favorite site -- the Cubs have some interest in Julio Lugo, Dave Roberts and Derek Lowe.
Lugo, obviously, is a fallback position if Furcal isn't signed. Perhaps the Cubs can get a package deal with the Rays, since they now actually have a GM who's interested in trading players he doesn't need; Aubrey Huff would be of interest, obviously.
Roberts would make a good fourth or fifth outfielder. He would also become, if acquired, the second Dave Roberts to play for the Cubs.
Derek Lowe. Now there's a thought. Lowe has been both a successful closer (42 saves in 2000) and a decent starting pitcher (21 wins in 2002 and 17 in 2003 for the Red Sox). He rebounded from some very poor outings to have a decent 2005 (12 wins for a 71-win team isn't terrible, and his ERA was a passable 3.61, and he doesn't walk people -- 55 BB in 222 IP).
Lowe signed a 4-year, $36 million deal with the Dodgers before last season, and is due $9 million this upcoming season, $9.5 million in 2007 and $10 million in 2008, when he will be 35. Thus, he's pretty expensive, but perhaps worth a flyer, if it doesn't cost too much in terms of players, or if Jim Hendry could get LA to eat some of the contract.
Speaking of Hendry, the downtime this morning gave me the opportunity to scan some of the other Cub message boards, from Cubs Blog Army members to the board on the Cubs website.
The angst and the spilling of venom and the worry -- I swear, they ought to dump a load of Prozac over the whole bunch of them.
This offseason is not a failure. In fact, Hendry's done a pretty good job with what he's done so far -- picked up two very good setup men for what at the time seemed to be a ton of money, but given the Farnsworth and Gordon signings, now appears to be a bargain. The Winter Meetings begin Monday, and I expect trading to be brisk -- our pals over at well, youknowwhere ought to be busy this week.
Not all the best deals are sealed early. I got an e-mail from a BCB reader during the downtime expressing the hope that the Furcal three-ring circus we are now going through wouldn't turn into a Sosa-like problem where there would be no viable options.
There are a lot of differences between the two situations, not the least of which is that it's December, not February.
Finally, the Cubs in recent years have made significant acquisitions almost at season's beginning -- Matt Clement in the last week of spring training in 2002, and Glendon Rusch on the last day of camp in 2004.
If the week upcoming concludes with no major Cub acquisitions, then I'll be worried. Till then, settle down a little and watch things unfold.