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Ryan Theriot Is In Demand!

The former Cubs second baseman could wind up a member of the Texas Rangers... but they had better be careful what they wish for.

Stephen Dunn

Hey, it's a boring winter day. It's snowing in Chicago. We are still waiting for the Cubs to decide how they're going to make room for Scott Hairston on the 40-man roster. (PSST! Cubs! These guys are supposed to report next week!)

So let's make fun of Ryan Theriot, shall we? Theriot spawned a Cubs acronym (TOOTBLAN) all by himself, angered Cubs fans after he signed with the Cardinals by saying he was "on the right side of the rivalry", and then, to rub the proverbial salt in Cubs' fans wounds, got himself a World Series ring each of the last two years -- the only player to do so, and to top that all off, scored the winning run in the clinching game of last year's World Series for the Giants.

Now, his services are in demand from at least two teams:

And he still could return to San Francisco, writes Baseball Prospectus' Daniel Rathman:

Meanwhile, at least as of three weeks ago, the Giants had not yet closed the door on bringing him back.

I especially liked Rathman's article. Let's sample more, shall we? (Please note: I'm not making fun of Rathman, who hits the nail on the head re: Theriot. I'm making fun of Mr. TOOTBLAN.)

Teams that still believe that Theriot can improve their major-league roster are likely willing to overlook those shortcomings for an empty .27O batting average and a positive influence on their clubhouse. Despite lacking flashy skills, Theriot provides no shortage of entertainment: In addition to scoring the winning run in Game Four of the World Series—the only post-season game in which he cracked the starting lineup, as the designated hitter, no less—he made funny faces, almost injured Aubrey Huff, and photobombed Matt Cain’s post-championship interview while using the restroom.

Entertainment wins championships. Who knew? Rathman then goes on to examine the possibilities of Theriot making the roster of the Rangers or Indians, saying he probably has a better chance of making it in Texas:

If top prospect Jurickson Profar will open the 2O13 season in the minors, then Theriot could fit as manager Ron Washington’s 25th man.

Jurickson Profar. Not just the Rangers' top prospect, but, says Keith Law, the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. And yet he could get beat out for a roster spot by... Ryan Theriot, whose Cubs jersey will likely be seen in Wrigley Field more in 2013, three years after he was traded to the Dodgers, than it has any right to be.

Ryan Theriot, I have decided, is the Rasputin of baseball.

The Rangers had better be careful. If they sign him, they will then have three ex-Cubs on their 40-man roster (Geovany Soto and Jeff Beliveau are the others). The Rangers have three other former Cubs on their non-roster invitee list -- Randy Wells, Jeff Baker and James Adduci (though Adduci never played in the major leagues for the Cubs, he played in enough spring-training games in blue pinstripes that I'm counting him anyway).

Playing with fire, the Rangers are. Remember what happened to those who came in contact with the real-life Rasputin.