It's not technically the off-season, though we were only one botched Bud Selig decision away from it last night. I suppose baseball is always one botched Bud Selig decision away from any sort of disaster. Chalk it up to occupational hazard.
The Cubs, however, are in off-season mode, which means it's time to discuss ridiculous trade scenarios that will never, ever happen. It's fun! For example: Jake Peavy. Sure, the Padres are run by Kevin Towers and Paul DePodesta, two very prudent baseball minds who will refuse to give up Peavy for anything less than a slam dunk offer. The Cubs are an aging team with few highly regarded prospects. But forget all that. I smell a trade!
Like this one, from the Daily Herald's Barry Rozner:
The Cubs can first send a package of, say for the sake of argument, Felix Pie and Sean Marshall to San Diego. It gives the Padres someone to patrol that huge outfield and an inexpensive, left-handed starter.Then, the Cubs find a team like the Reds, Rangers or Rockies, or any club that can't attract free agents but has some prospects, and the Cubs send them Marquis and maybe a Kevin Hart type, a starter or two that third club can immediately add to its staff.
That team turns around and sends the Padres a couple or three top prospects close to reaching the majors, and you've got the framework for a deal.
What?! Jason Marquis? Really? We're going to get rid of Felix Pie, Sean Marshall, Jason Marquis, and Kevin Hart ... all, at this point, marginal players, for which we expect to receive Jake Peavy, arguably the best pitcher in the game. And it's just that easy, eh? Why not, right?
The Tribune's Paul Sullivan got in on the act today. Say it ain't so, Paul:
In a perfect world, they could acquire Peavy with a package that included not only two or three prospects, but also Fukudome, whom San Diego tried to sign last off-season. Of course, with $42 million remaining on Fukudome's contract, he's now a much tougher sell. Peavy missed a month this season with an elbow strain, so it's a bigger risk than picking up Harden's option was.
Man, this GM stuff is simple. Jake Peavy for two prospects and Mr. I Didn't Hit Anything For Four Months. In a perfect world, of course.
In an imperfect one -- which is, you know, the one we actually live in -- the Cubs just can't trade marginal prospects and a failed signing for the best pitcher in baseball just because, you know, they feel like it. That's not how it works. Recalibrate expectations: lower.