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Um, yeah so, Theo. Tell us again what you were thinking when you made that trade with the White Sox for Jose Quintana a few years ago now?
Because I have to say at this point, it is looking like you could have won more World Series' for the South Siders with that trade than you have won for the Cubs.
You and your guy Jason McLeod have drafted and developed exactly one potential star pitcher during your eight (!) years at the helm of the Cubs and you traded that guy, Dylan Cease, to the White Sox? I don't want to hear about Adbert Alzolay. Let's see if he can stay healthy for just one stinking month in the majors at some point. Then I suppose some sort of pathetic conversation can begin.
Maybe I'm wrong but almost certainly not: Alzolay will never be as good as Cease is right now.
You tossed Cease into the trade for Quintana to go with a prospect, Eloy Jimenez, who you already knew was a potential star? And a charisma machine to boot? Eloy may end up being a permanent DH sooner than later but you had to know that the DH was coming to the National League eventually, didn't you?
And I know you were not surprised when Eloy not once but twice last year sent himself to the injured list because he is next-level clumsy. That just adds to his charm and it will no longer be a factor when he doesn't have to worry about the outfield anymore.
You realize that if Cease and Jimenez both make All-Star teams at some point during their careers, and hell, they could have done it this year if there was an All-Star game, that goes down as one of the worst trades in baseball history?
Oh, and you had to trade them to the White Sox?
This is a bit personal because my son and one of my best friends are both White Sox fans who are going to be giving me a hard time about this for a long, long time.
The one guy who had been flat-out good for the Cubs during summer camp, pitcher Kyle Hendricks, got his ass kicked by the middle of the White Sox lineup Sunday night. And he gave up a home run to one of the worst hitters in the American League in Adam Engel. Not good.
Is this an overreaction to a couple meaningless preseason games at the start of this week? Of course it is. But it won't take long to doom this shortened season with mediocre at best baseball execution in the first few weeks of real games.
Yes, rookie center fielder Luis Robert will have growing pains and it will just not be possible for diminutive rookie second baseman Nick Madrigal not to struggle for long stretches against major league pitching. But these rookies are exactly what the White Sox needed to round out a lineup for the ages.
Their returning third baseman, Joan Moncada, you remember him, almost won a batting title last year, suffered through COVID-19 in the weeks leading up to summer camp and no one on the White Sox seemed to sweat it. And he is already starting to lock in at the plate. The shortstop, Tim Anderson, makes too many errors. But he was the guy who won the batting title.
First baseman/designated hitters Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnación will provide power. The free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal was the best-hitting catcher in baseball last year. And clearly he is more than decent defensively. There is Jimenez in left and Nomar Mazara in right. Robert will have to cover a wee bit of ground between those guys but anything is possible.
And that is definitely enough about the White Sox. And this is the preseason so we must include at least a little bit of optimism. The Cubs' lineup will be feast or famine but the feasts will be fun. Kyle Schwarber is the poster child for that state of affairs but he is a better left fielder than people think.
The Cubs have options at catcher. Josh Phegley will probably make the team, at least initially, as a third catcher. But his defensive "work" against the White Sox was not exactly promising. I have long believed that anyone who really knows anything about catching knows that a contender cannot afford to have Willson Contreras behind the plate. And new manager David Ross obviously knows this better than anyone.
I believe that before long Contreras will move to the designated hitter role and Victor Caratini and his impressive switch-hitting skills will get a long look behind the plate. That is all for now.
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.
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