So, Um, Which Is The Big Market Team Again?

Ben Nicholson-Smith had an interesting write-up over at today, highlighting the 12 teams that took on salary at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Only one team added more than $5 million, and that was the Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals. Bolstering what was once a mediocre line-up (outside of Albert Pujols) with Mark DeRosa at third base and Matt Holliday in left field added $6.6 million worth of payroll.

It makes me wonder about the Cubs, whose front office execs said they would be able to add big-name payroll before the season before apparently losing some money along the way en route to saying they can add marginal payroll at the deadline.

George Sherrill would be anice alternative to run out in the ninth rather than Kevin Gregg. He cost the Dodgers only $1 million. Nate McClouth seems to be the left-handed hitting outfielder Lou Piniella craved, and the Braves added him at a cost of $1.3 million. Adding a second baseman that doesn't suck (*cough*John*Baker*cough*) cost the Giants one of baseball's 50 best prospects -- and $2.1 million.

Heck, even the Brewers added $1.4 million worth of payroll when they dealt for Felipe Lopez.

My point is that the Cubs and their ownership need to make a plan, take a stand and stick with it.

The North Side Baseball club can be one of two things:
  • A big spender. It worked well for them as the offseason spending sprees that preceded the 2007 & 2008 seasons helped bring a pair of division titles to Wrigley Field.
  • A meddling middle market team, like most of the Cubs teams of the Tribune Co. generation.
Additions like John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny, God bless their hearts, are for mid-market teams or teams that need a tweak to their roster.

The Cubs needed more than a tweak. They've gotten next to nothing offensively from the jokers playing second base, so Freddy Sanchez could have worked. Victor Martinez could have been a sweet addition behind the plate if Jim Hendry could have roofied conned Mark Shapiro into a deal. Oh, and Kevin Gregg sucks ... so who's to say that George Sherrill wouldn't have looked good in the ninth inning.

I remember when then-VP John McDonough (please come back!) vowed that the Cubs would compete with the Yanks & Sawks of the worlds when it came to adding payroll. They're closer to having an owner now than they were in 2007, yet they were more willing to add Rich Harden's salary last year than they were to add any salary this year.

And I still do not believe the Cubs couldn't afford to acquire Jake Peavy or Roy Hallday with approximately $13.92 million coming off the books next year.

The Cardinals, who have been known to avoid adding payroll as if it were the herp*, apparently have thrown caution to the win in an attempt to win another World Series title.

On the other hand, the Cubs and whoever is in charge over there are treating high salaries like it's chlamydia*.

* Denotes how sick I am of analogies to the plague. No one has the plague these days. It's all about STDs.