Well, either that or a firing. The oldest cards in the sports columnist’s deck. The Tribune’s Phil Rogers says the Cubs should deal for a catcher.
Yes, the Cubs’ current output from the catcher’s position is pathetic, but the alternatives aren’t much better. In a way, it’s a good thing that Hundley‘s on the DL with his sore thumb. The only advantage he theoretically offers is a left-handed bat with power, but it’s all theoretical. He doesn’t call a particular good game and his defensive skills are subpar.
So why not just write off the position as an offensive contributor? Just let Machado catch most of the games and throw in Girardi once or twice a week. Bill Mueller is back and looks like he will contribute. Bobby Hill is up and will add some offensive power. Yes, it stinks that McGriff and Alou haven’t done much so far, but those are positions we can’t do much about. So let’s just consign the catcher’s spot as a defensive specialty. A deal is not advisable. Here is what Rogers suggests:
There’s no GM sneaky enough to find a team to take Hundley. So unless Tribune Co. agrees to write off Hundley as if he were an oldies radio station in a college town—not a bad option—MacPhail will have to use Girardi in a trade to upgrade at catcher.
One immediate possibility is to send a starting pitcher, Matt Clement or Jason Bere, to Seattle for talented backup Ben Davis or even regular Dan Wilson. Kansas City’s Brent Mayne and the White Sox’s Sandy Alomar Jr. could also be made available.
It’s a long shot, but Texas might cut the cord with Pudge Rodriguez now that it’s playing better behind backup Bill Haselman. If that is pie in the sky, sorry, but grim reality is the mother of implausible dreams.
Clement has way too much upside to trade for a slight upgrade in the catcher’s slot. As for Bere, I’d be behind that deal — especially with Prior itching to come up — but who realistically will give up much for a guy who’s making last year look like a fluke. He’s 1-5 with a 6.62 ERA and really hasn’t had a good start all year. Why not throw in Fassero into the deal as well? I’m sure teams will go for that.
As for the Pudge trade — yeah, keep dreaming. A Hall of Fame catcher for Jason Bere and Joe Girardi? This isn’t one of those video baseball games where you can trade Ken Griffey Jr. for Damon Buford. Pfft. Sports columnists.