Transactions and Thoughts

Before the Noon game today vs. The Marlins the Cubs traded OF Matt Lawton to The New York Yankees for RHP Justin Berg.

According to cubs.com, Justin Berg is 21 and in his second professional season, as he was selected by the Yankees in the 43rd round of the 2003 draft. In 30 career games (10 starts), the right-hander has gone 9-4 with a 4.33 ERA. This season, Berg is 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 15 games (nine starts). He has held opponents to a .226 average and allowed just 3 home runs in 58.2 innings of work.

Matt Lawton was acquired at the trade deadline from The Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for OF Jody Gerut. Gerut was acquired in a trade with The Cleveland Indians for OF Jason Dubois in mid-July. So basically the Cubs have traded Jason Dubois for a minor league pitcher. Dubois is a fine young hitter, but a work in progress. His bat is better suited for the American League, but I did not like it when they traded him then and now I really do not like it. Dubois will be a very good major league player for the Indians for years to come. The Cubs tried the Hollandsworth / Dubois platoon in left field to replace Moises Alou and it did not work and they traded Dubois.

Also today, the Cubs purchased the contract of IF Scott McClain from AAA Iowa to fill the roster spot vacated by the trade of Matt Lawton. According to cubs.com, Scott McClain, 33, joins the Cubs after spending the entire season at AAA Iowa where he hit .291 with 27 doubles, 30 homers and 93 RBI in 121 games. He had 30 multi-hit games and 24 multi-RBI games - and drove in a season-high 5 runs on June 20 at Nashville. McClain was a non-roster invitee to big league camp in 2004 and batted .348 with 6 homers and 16 RBI in 24 spring training games. He re-signed with the Cubs on February 8, 2005, as a minor league free agent. In 1,364 career minor league games, McClain has batted .268 with 265 doubles, 203 homers and 794 RBI.
McClain will wear uniform #9.

McClain will add depth to the Cubs bench and give us a look at the future.

As the season comes to an end, I think we will start to see more and more moves to prepare for the 2006 season. I know this has been a very difficult season, but this could help the Cubs for years to come. Remember this is just year 3 in the Dusty Baker reign, year 4 could be very special.

Just Believe!!


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