As most/all of you know over the last few days the Cubs have named Andrew Cashner as the 5th starter, and have decided to release Silva. Silva has already said he will not take an assignment in AAA for the Cubs and will most likely be released outright over the next week or so. This will open him up to be signed by any team in baseball, and also means the Cubs will be on the hook for his entire 13.5 million ( including 2 million dollar buyout) dollar salary. Now the Cubs are receiving 5.5 million from the Mariners but that still leaves the Cubs on the hook for 8 million.
I understand the Cubs want to give the young guys a shot. I do too, but I also would like to see an organization ran financially well also. I like the whole no nonsense stigma the Cubs are trying to take, but is paying 8 million dollars the way to show that? The Cubs have already said that they have no money this year, and things are extremely tight. Hell we had to pay Pena over two seasons in order to get one year’s worth of service. Ryan Dempster had to defer some money in order to try and make some signings, and now we are just going to flush 8 million down the toilet?
I just cannot wrap my head around this move. I want to see Cashner start just like everyone else, but we already have 4 starters locked in and really only need a fifth starter four times in the month of April. Let Silva start. He just came off a very nice outing in spring training, so why not give him a chance to be moved elsewhere? There isn’t much difference honestly between the two at the moment, and the Cubs are not really considered contenders. Starting Silva over Cashner for a month isn’t going to make or break this team, and neither is starting Cashner over Silva. Putting him in AAA still lets him start and allows you to bring him up once Silva is moved or if he isn’t be May first release him and bring up Cashner. We also have the luxury of having Cashner in the minors in case one of the other four starters gets hurt. Now if one gets hurt we get Casey Coleman. Coleman didn’t look bad last year, but he wasn’t anything special in AAA, and the thought of having Casey Coleman as that backup plan just makes think of 2006 when we had what seemed like 162 different starting pitchers.
I just do not think its financially smart to just flush 8 million dollars down the toilet, especially not with money being as tight as it is. The 2011 Cubs will not suffer from cutting Silva and putting Cashner on the team, but it could hurt future Cubs team. Had we been able to save even two million off the deal and gotten a prospect it could have given us a little more wiggle room next year and even possibly a player back.
While I don’t agree with the move, I will say this. I would much rather pay Silva 8 million to sit at home and eat than pay Bradley 12 million to call us all racists. I would take that any day of the week, so I suppose we should be happy the Cubs are only paying 8 million here instead of 12.