The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that the Cubs pursuit of Padres pitcher Jake Peavy has come to a close, at least according to Cubs manager, Lou Pinella.
Sweet Lou was quoted as saying “Starting we don’t need. We’re set. We’ve got six good starters, and they’re all experienced. Getting Dempster back was the key. We’re in good shape with our starting pitching.”
Now I don’t mean to call Lou’s honesty into question here but do you mean to tell me the Cubs wouldn’t prefer to replace Jason Marquis with Jake Peavy? They wouldn’t like to replace a guy who’s best ERA was 3.71 (from five years ago) with a guy who has averaged an ERA of 2.92 over the last 5 seasons? They wouldn’t want to replace a start that’s topped out at 138 strikeouts (also 5 years ago) with a guy that’s averaged over 200 per season?
Give me a break! Now look, the Cubs might well have decided to start looking at other options to make their team better. The Peavy trade talks have been fairly stagnant for quite a while now. However, please don’t try to sell my the BS line of not needing to upgrade your starting pitching. A rotation of Peavy, Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, Harden would be one of the most potent rotations ever assembled and it’s a heck of a lot deeper than a Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, Harden, Marquis (or Marshall) rotation.
The game of baseball is fickle at times, and most teams (even the great teams) are just an injury or two away from dropping back to the rest of the pack or worse. After Zambrano’s shaky finish last year are the Cubs really sure that his arm is going to be able to hold up? Can they really count on him as their ace this year? If Dempster were to go down with an injury who would eat those innings? Is there any reason to think that Harden will somehow learn to stay healthy after several injury shortened seasons?
My point is, starting pitching, especially GOOD starting pitching, is something you can never have too much of in this league. So, if I were the Cubs, I might keep trying to work out a deal to land one of the best pitchers in the league over the last 5 years. Oh, and the same goes for the Atlanta Braves that pulled this same “no longer interested” stunt last week.