Another rosterbation/OT post come and gone, it's time for another. The trade market is starting to heat up, with the Cubs already in business. Many reports and article say the Braves are likely to go out and look for bullpen help, and the most recent article talks about Kevin Gregg to the Braves.
Another notable Cub that has been rumored to the Braves is recently-DFA'd pitcher
Rick Vaughn Carlos Marmol, who has lighting stuff but terrible command. If the Cubs pick up at least 85% of the salary, I say, why not? We have nothing to lose by gambling on a guy with stuff like Kimbrel's. Put him at AA and have him re-work his throwing motion, then make him earn his way up to the pen. Other names that have been tossed around include Mike Dunn, James Russell, Erik Bedard, Oliver Perez, and Wesley Wright.
But I ask, what about the relief core that we have coming back up? By the trade deadline (July 31st), many of them are sure to be healthy/ready to contribute. Remember Cristhian Martinez? He has been moved up to Mississippi to continue his rehab assignment. Luis Ayala has continued his rehab at Gwinnett since his setback regarding his blood pressure and weight loss due to anxiety. And what about Joe Beimel? He was moved up to Gwinnett a few weeks ago, and has been pitching out of their bullpen (10 innings, 12 hits, 5 earned runs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts). All of these 3 guys who have had a great amount of major league experience could very easily be major league-ready by July 31st, or even sooner. That trio of players could replace the trio of Alex Wood (for development reasons), David Carpenter (because why not?), and possibly Anthony Varvaro (although we may lose him due to no options).
After losing Ramiro Pena for the season, might we also look for AAAA depth to put on the bench? We do have Paul Janish and Tyler Pastornicky, but do we look for minor league free agents or AAA guys to sign? John McDonald was recently DFA'd by the Indians.
Then comes Gerald Laird. Many have been displeased with Fredi's use of him, and many say he just plain shouldn't be here. Laird's contract is for 2 years, $3M ($1.5M each). Others say Reed Johnson has no place on the roster--Evan Gattis has taken care of pinch-hitting duties, Jordan Schafer and Gattis are already the 4th and 5th outfielders, and Schafer has good pinch-running abilities. Reed Johnson's contract is for 1 year, $1.6M. Packaging them both and paying 70% of their salaries for 2013 (that's $2.17M of the total $3.1M) would bring back something(s) decent. What do you think? Also, if our return is minor league, that opens up a few spots on the bench. The bench, after the trade, would be comprised of Evan Gattis, Jordan Schafer, Paul Janish, Tyler Pastornicky, and one other piece. How about Joey Terdoslavich? Although his walk rate is low and he is certain to cool back down, I think it would be a gutsy call that could help, rather than waiting until September. Terdo serves as a backup first baseman, right fielder, possibly left fielder, and in emergency cases, third baseman (although he can't be worse than CJ at third, right?). His switch-hitting ability also helps on the bench.