I had a hunch this might happen…
According to MLBTR, the Cubs are fielding offers for Tom Gorzellany. On a personal level, this is a little disappointing to hear because I’ve been a big fan of TG’s since he came to Chicago. But I also find it curious that the Cubs are apparently so in need of a starting pitcher that they’re willing to trade a perfectly good one in Gorzellany…
I wonder if most fans realize just how good he’s been since Hendry stole him from Pittsburgh. Despite making just 23 starts last year, Gorzellany was worth more than two wins in his 136 IP, posting a sub-4 FIP along the way. Seeing Carlos Zambrano get shuffled in-and-out of the rotation last year was frustrating enough on its own, but the fact that Gorzellany lost his starting spot at one point because of that nonsense was equally frustrating for me.
If left alone, I’m really confident that Gorz could post a 3-win season as a starter. The Cubs don’t have any other lefties in the rotation, but with two years remaining until he hits free agency, he’s actually a decent trade asset. He’s arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason, but he’ll easily be worth probably twice as much as he ends up being paid. It’s hard to say what exactly the Cubs want in exchange for Gorzellany, but he could be a part of any trade designed to address one of this team’s needs. Obviously, moving him would open up a spot in the rotation, where the Cubs clearly feel they need an upgrade.
Since moving one of Carlos Zambrano or Silva isn’t a possibility, Gorz looks like the odd man out. Again, I’m not really sure how much I like this idea, but at the very least, moving a pitcher would potentially allow Andrew Cashner to take his spot in the rotation. Word is, the Cubs will only give Cashner a shot at starting if they can’t find a pitcher this winter, but we all know how interested they are in Brandon Webb, so there’s a good chance this rumor is something of a precursor to a free agent signing.
UPDATE: The latest rumor has the Cubs aggressively pursuing Adam LaRoche. I’ve got a final in about two hours, so, in short, this sucks. LaRoche puts up decent counting numbers most years, but all told he’s not that good a player. He’d be more of a stopgap-type option, so at least he won’t require much of a commitment. Personally, I’d rather see the Cubs try and make a trade for someone younger, with a little bit of upside. If LaRoche really is the Cubs’ choice, then it’ll be clear just how much the lack of financial flexibility hindered them this offseason.
UPDATE: ESPN says Hendry is still after Carlos Pena. At the very least, he presents a little more upside than LaRoche, so at the right price he’s the better choice between the two. However, earlier today Ken Rosenthal said the Nationals are still the favorites to sign him, and ultimately I doubt the Cubs will be able to match whatever offer they make.