I’ve recently started using Remember the Milk as a cloud based task manager service. It’s helpful for the obvious reasons, reminding me to do stuff (gotta go pick up dry cleaning as soon as I get done with this) and as an idea dump place, but I actually more enjoy it just for the sense of accomplishment it gives me. Whatever the odious task, whenever I’m done, I get to click a button to declare I’ve finished with it. There’s some satisfaction there – moves my mind a little bit from worrying about all the things I’ve haven’t finished to being pleased with the things I’ve gone done.
It’s just a task monitor, not an evaluation dvice, so there’s no grade of how well you’ve actually done the task. Which means I’m probably not going to recommend this service to Jim Hendry. I’m sure he would’ve had the same feeling of relief checking the boxes next “Trade Milton” and “Create Payroll Space for 2010” (both highlighted in red, listed as OVERDUE) and clicking the complete button, but doing a job and doing a job well are two different things.
I’m glad Milton is not on the Cubs, and I don’t share the optimism of M’s fans and most internet pundits that Milton will get along this time. He is who he is, and he’s probably not changing just because his uniform does.
However, Carlos Silva is a horrible baseball player, possibly the worst baseball player who will make a roster next season. As much as I hope that to be wrong, I don’t believe Silva’s abilities will turn around any more than Bradley’s attitude. This is a deal that will handicap the club just as much as David Patton on the roster took up a useful spot in 2009, except Silva will play more and pitch worse, and will do it for the next 2 years unless something lucky (or smart) occurs.
The single hopeful note in this deal is teams are much more willing to cut someone who was signed by someone else than someone they signed. Releasing Silva would cost the Cubs nearly the amount it’d cost the Mariners, but maybe it doesn’t look as bad in the papers and maybe that gives them the nerve to do it.
Things we’ve learned from this deal
– The Cubs have NO money to spend this off season
– They had to draw the hard line with Tampa Bay (Burrell would’ve been easily better) because they had no money and needed to create some room on any deal
– When Tampa Bay traded for Rafael Soriano, they were out of this market
– Besides the M’s, no one else seemed to be in on Bradley. And so this was done just to get it done.
My worry now is that this extra payroll room will be used to give 2+ year deals for Marlon Byrd and Matt Capps. Neither moves seem to be great bets – the difference between Byrd and the much cheaper Coco Crisp is minimal, and Hendry should know by now the dangers of multiyear deals for relievers – but they completely fit how he’s run this team.
In a way, I’m happy the new ownership didn’t fire Jim Hendry, because he’s spending his off season cleaning up his own mess and it woudl’ve been unfair to saddle all of that on a new guy (then again, the new M’s GM had the same and seems to be doing better than OK.) As this offseason goes on, I’m starting to change on that too, because moves like two years of Carlos Silva indicate he’s just making a new mess for whoever comes in next year.
That’s the one other thing to note here: this Bradley saga is the noose around Hendry’s neck, and it’s starting to look pretty tight. Unless people wildy out perform exceptions, the “Evaluate General Manager” task on Tom Rickett’s tasks list is going to be checked off next October, and it won’t be completed well for the current guy.