Wait Before Judging Cubs' Moves

It's about a month too early to evaluate Cubs trades

So, Jim Hendry, as is his wont, did a little wheeling and dealing this summer. He signed right fielder Milton Bradley to a free agent contract. He traded veteran utility man Mark DeRosa to the Indians for a few prospects. He got rid of Jason Marquis, finally. And three weeks in, it is fair to argue that none of these moves have really paid off, at least not yet.

But that's the whole point. It's three weeks in. Judging offseason deals after three weeks of baseball is almost always going to lead to faulty conclusions, or at least ones built on a lack of evidence.

Of course, that doesn't stop the Tribune's national baseball guy, Phil Rogers, from dissecting as such. His early-season grades for the Bradley, DeRosa, and Marquis moves? F, F, and D-, respectively. Bradley gets an F because he's been hurt and hasn't hit well yet. Fair enough, we guess. There's no getting around that. It's three weeks in, so the whole concept of giving him a grade is kind of crazy, but if you're going to do so, go with an F. Sure, why not.

But then the DeRosa stuff just gets weird. Rogers says there was "no compelling reason to trade DeRosa." Really? How about the fact that he's an aging veteran utility player who just had his career year and is at the height of his trade value? How about because the Cubs have shockingly little talent in their farm system these days, and got a package of prospects from the Indians in return? Are those reasons compelling enough?

And then there's Marquis, an innings-eater at best. Trading Marquis away shouldn't even register on the grading scale, but the fact that it gets a D- is baffling. Really? The Cubs still need Jason Marquis? THAT'S the reason the season has started slowly?

Here's the point: Grading the Cubs after three weeks does no one any good. It doesn't provide perspective for readers. It doesn't help us better understand the team. It just gives us something to write about, which is all well and good, but really, give it some time. Let's talk again in another three weeks, huh?

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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