Carlos Marmol arrived.
Another blow is sure to follow in a few days. Alfonso Soriano will walk in the door.
Cubs President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer will tell you it was a productive offseason. They added badly needed pitching depth and filled some minor cracks. But they did not accomplish the thing that is at the top of their to-do list: Get some prospects and at least a little salary relief on the two high-priced veterans who clearly don’t fit the patient rebuilding plan.
This is nothing against Soriano or Marmol, really. They have done nothing worse than say yes to the contracts they were offered. But both are at a point in their careers when they should be trying to help teams win 90 games, not 75.
They both need to be gone, even if Soriano is coming off a career year and expected to deliver as much at age 37 as he did at 36.
“One thing about Sori — he keeps his body in good shape,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “Obviously he’s a year older, his legs are a year older. But give him 150 games (healthy) and you’re going to see 25-35 (home runs) and somewhere around 100 RBIs. … We think he’s going to get more opportunities (to drive in runs). He drove in 108 without as many opportunities as a lot of guys who hit in the four-hole.”
That’s a good point. The Cubs’ left fielder was third in the National League in RBIs yet 25th in the league in at-bats with men in scoring position. He had 138 such chances, which somehow was 65 fewer than Hunter Pence, the league leader, and 22 less than Carlos Lee, who split his season between Houston and Miami.
Even Marco Scutaro, Aaron Hill and the Mets’ Daniel Murphy — you know him, right? — had more chances than Soriano. All three of those guys were primarily No. 2 hitters. They regularly came to bat in the same inning as the pitcher, and they still got to the plate with men on second or third more than Soriano. That’s stunning, but Starlin Castro’s on-base percentage was a puny .323, with just 36 walks while playing 162 games.
Source: Chicago Tribune