Phil Rogers On Burnitz

Some interesting items for Cubs fans in Phil Rogers’s column today.

Rogers calls the Cubs’ decision not to exercise Jeromy Burnitz‘s $7MM option a gaffe.  He points out that Jacque Jones is basically Burnitz’s equal in right field.  That’s true, even when you take fielding into account.  In my opinion, letting Burnitz go was a smart move.  However, signing Jones for three years is a poor way to solve fill the vacancy.  At least, that’s been my stance on this site. 

But after perusing the right fielder rankings from 2005, I had to ask myself:  what alternative would I have proposed as Cubs GM?  Nobody ranked above Jones/Burnitz was ever really available, at least not for a reasonable price.  Looked at in that way, Rogers is right.  Better to have one year of Burnitz and see if Felix Pie is ready in 2007.  However, given the almighty power as Cubs GM, I would’ve traded for Craig Wilson and stuck him in right. 

Rogers also weighs in on the Tejada trade possibility:

"If Hendry really will give up Mark Prior or Carlos Zambrano—and he would be nuts to deal Prior—there’s a deal to be made. The Orioles should soon realize that."

There’s been pages of debate on this site, but I think Hendry would be truly nuts to trade Zambrano.  Z is just 24 and has quietly become one of the best starting pitchers in baseball.  If he ever gets a handle on his walks, he’d be downright dominant.

Finally, Rogers mentions Alfonso Soriano as a trade possibility.  I shudder at the thought.  Remember when Hendry mandated the callups of Matt Murton and Adam Greenberg?  It seemed like he was forcing some OBP guys onto Dusty Baker and that was that.  I thought the organization had turned a corner and embraced on-base percentage.

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