It's just spring training, the first two of 39 games, but the Cubs look pretty good so far. I know, I know. It really doesn't mean much, it's early, but winning and scoring runs and preventing runs is better than the alternative, right?
The Cubs beat the Giants 4-3 at their first HoHoKam Stadium game of 2013, in the last season of Cubs spring ball at HoHoKam. Attendance was 7,784 on a very chilly 51-degree day; that's more than I thought would be there, and many might have been Giants fans, who always come to spring training in large numbers and especially now, after their team has won two of the last three World Series.
Doesn't that sound good? "Won two of the last three World Series." Maybe someday...
Anyway, the big blow Sunday was a three-run homer in the first inning by Dioner Navarro, who looks like the Cubs' best backup catcher since Henry Blanco (admittedly, the bar is set pretty low for that "honor"). The Cubs scored all their runs in that inning; Jeff Samardzija had a decent two-inning outing and the rest of the staff did all right, even Carlos Marmol, who welcomed everyone back by walking the first hitter he faced. (You expected something else?)
Kyuji Fujikawa, in his Cubs debut, struck out two in his inning of work.
What I'm much more interested in than the result of this game, though, is this:
Curtis Granderson stepped into the batter’s box to face the Toronto Blue Jays’ J. A. Happ on Sunday. In his first plate appearance of spring training, Granderson fractured his right forearm when he was struck by a pitch in the first inning of the Yankees’ 2-O loss. Granderson, an outfielder, is expected to miss 1O weeks, an absence that will extend into May.
Well. The first thought is, "Tell Theo and Jed to get on the phone to Brian Cashman and offer them Alfonso Soriano!" There was a report last week of a list of "six or seven" teams where Soriano had reportedly pre-approved a deal.
Soriano to Sun-Times today on NYY possibility. He has given the Cubs no list of teams he'd approve; NYY not on last yr's list.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 24, 2013
Sori: would consider self, team and family if asked to approve a trade, adding "There's only one team on my mind: The Cubs"— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 24, 2013
So. Why not do this instead: Call up the Yankees and offer them David DeJesus.
DDJ doesn't have no-trade protection. He's making a team-friendly $4.25 million this year (plus a team option for 2014 for $6.5 million with a $1.5 million buyout, so the least an acquiring team would owe him in a deal would be $5.75 million). He could step in and play left field (where Granderson was supposed to be moving, with Brett Gardner going to center field), then when Granderson returned, he could be a useful fourth outfielder.
Yes, I know, I know. Brett Jackson needs to go to Iowa to work on his swing and the Anthony Rizzo Plan and everything.
But at a certain point, if you could make this deal and get back a decent prospect and just go with Jackson in center field... I'd say you do it.
What say you?
The Cubs will face the Dodgers at Glendale Monday. Carlos Villanueva gets the start for the Cubs; he'll face L.A.'s Chad Billingsley.