Ten Guys The Chicago Cubs Should Avoid Like The Swine Flu

Baseball's winter meetings kicked off today in Chicago, meaning after Jim Hendry guzzles a dozen donuts this morning, he won't have too far to go to meet with someone who will gladly take Milton Bradley off his glaze-covered hands.

In the Hot Stove League, it is easy to write about who you want on your team.  But it takes a real keen eye to identify the guys you don't want around.  Over the past few years, Hendry has identified those guys ... and proceded to sign those guys on the Cubs.

Here are the guys he should avoid like the plague swine flu.

1. Mike Cameron, CF.  There was once a time where Cameron was among the best center fielders in baseball.  The three-time Gold Glove winner was always spectacular in the field, making routine plays and making difficult plays look routine.  At the plate, he was serviceable at best, but was usually a threat on the base paths. Cameron has three 30-steal seasons and five more years of at least 22 swipes under his belt.

Unfortunately, at age 36, those days are behind Cameron.  Yes, he still has some pop in his bat (24 home runs, .795 OPS) but I'm not quite sure that He's hit at least 20 HRs in each of the last four seasons.

2. Rick Ankiel.  This is what I said at the A League Of Her Own blog about this season's scariest players on the open market.

"I fear signing Rick Ankiel. Lefty hitter. Power at times. Knows the division. Plays all 3 OF spots. Sounds like a Jim Hendry signing to me."

I still feel that way today.  Ankiel had a breakout season in 2008, hitting 25 home runs and driving in 71.  His production took a dip in 2009 as he hit only 11 home runs and had 38 RBIs in 404 plate appearances.  Funny how this turns out.  Ankiel had 11 homers and 39 ribbies in 190 plate appearances in 2007.  If that's not a red flag, I don't know what is.  Oh yeah, that whole HGH thing Cardinals fans always seemingly forget about when it comes to their own players.

But BOOOOOOOO Manny Ramirez!

3. Brett Myers, SP/RP.  One could argue that Myers hit a pinnacle in 2007 when he saved his season, and possibly career, by moving into the bullpen.  Myers racked up 64 strikeouts in a little more than 53 innings pitched with a 1.200 WHIP, 2.87 earned run average and 21 saves.  On the other hand, one could argue that his biggest hit came on a woman.

Myers wants to be a starter, a role in which he has struggled with in a hitters haven such as Philadelphia.  Doesn't sound like someone you want to throw into the pressure cooker on Addison and Clark.

4. Mark DeRosa, 1B/2B/3B/OF.  I made my argument here for why the Cubs shouldn't bring DeRo Your Hero back to Chicago.  And if you want to bring in a guy who will be 35 next year and is coming off a season in which he posted a .250/.319/.433/.752 slash line on a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal then you should probably get your priorities in line.

5. Gary Matthews Jr., OF  Over the last three years, Gary Matthews Jr. has posted a .248/.326/.379/.705 slash line.  In that same time span, Milton Bradley has posted  a .294/.405/.501/.906 slash line.  If you would trade Milton Bradley for Gary Matthews Jr., you are clinically insane.

6. Doug Davis, SP.  I've heard plenty of Cubs fans who want Doug Davis on the 2010 Cubs to fill the role of inning-eating, back-of-the-rotation guy.  But really, I think Cubs fans want him because he has tortured the Cubs (9-6, 3.20 ERA, 1.159 WHIP) throughout his mediocre career.

The only team Davis has more wins and a lower ERA against is San Diego.  Think about that.

7. Oliver Perez, P  Can you believe the Pirates acquired this guy in exchange for with Jason Bay? (Ed. My bad.) I still want no part of this guy being on the 2010 Cubs.

8. Carlos Silva, P.  Do you want to know why the Seattle Mariners are a bad baseball team?  Because they gave this scrub a four-year deal worth $48 million.  No thanks.

9. Willy Taveras, OF.  A possible non-tender candidate, Taveras is fast.  His $4 million option will likely be declined.  Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown could spend $4 million on blow and I would still think it is a wiser investment than giving it to Willy-T. (possible non-tender)

10. Eric Byrnes, OF.  Total douchebag, which is cool if you're into that thing.  I'm not.  Two years ago, Byrnes hit .286/.353/.460/.813 with 21 home runs and 50 stolen bases.  Two years ago, George W. Bush was our president.  Sometimes things change.  Shit happens.

Honorable Mentions: Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Vernon Wells, Aaron Rowand.


Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh got Perez and Bay in the 2003 trade that sent Brian Giles to the Padres.