Commentary

BP Daily: Cubs gamble in offseason

Risky moves will keep faithful on edge all summer

Originally Published: March 5, 2009
By Christina Kahrl | Baseball Prospectus

You can understand how dissatisfaction can inspire a desire for wholesale change. After the crushing disappointment of last season's LDS shutout at the hands of the underdog Dodgers, it was taken for granted that the Cubs would be shaking things up this winter. General manager Jim Hendry was busy: retaining Ryan Dempster, turning over two lineup slots, turning over his club's bench and bullpen, and dealing away several top prospects.

However, after the Jake Peavy trade rumors petered out and it became clear the Cubs would not be adding yet another ace to their rotation, there has been a sort of anticlimactic quality to the exercise. While other teams were chasing down the marquee names of this winter's market, the Cubs seemed to be taking on some strange risks. For a club perhaps already feeling scorched by its big-ticket addition of Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome the previous winter, should the Wrigleyville faithful anticipate being burned again by the decisions to bring in Milton Bradley and retain Dempster at high cost, not to mention waving goodbye to Kerry Wood?

[+] EnlargeMilton Bradley
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireIf healthy, Bradley could make a huge impact.