On a day all about celebrating the past, the Chicago Cubs should already be thinking future.
The Cubs let a 5-2 lead slip away in the top of the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks and lost 7-5 on Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday, snapping their first winning streak of the season.
Considering the torture their fans have been in, this was a fitting way for the Cubs to lose.
With the loss, Chicago is 7.5 games back of the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers through 20 games in 2014.
As the Cubs blew out the candles for the 100th birthday, the front office should start thinking about making more positive memories in Wrigley Field.
And that might start with some pieces they acquired this season late in free agency.
The Cubs inked Emilio Bonifacio to a minor-league contract Feb. 16 and he’s arguably been the team’s best hitter.
Jason Hammel is another new addition. Chicago signed the veteran right-hander to a one-year, $6 million contract and he’s been great early on this season.
The former Baltimore Oriole missed time last season because of a strained right elbow and had a mediocre 7-8 season with a 4.97 ERA.
Now, after less than a month into the season, the Cubs find themselves realistically out of the playoff race and those one-year contracts offered late in the free agent period could potentially turn into more serviceable prospects than Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations, initially anticipated.
Bonifacio is just the type of player the Cubs need. He hits for average, has speed and it all churns the slow-moving Cubs offense a lot more than it would without him.
I believe Bonifacio should stay in a Cubs uniform for more than one season not only because of the above-mentioned reasons, but also because he’s only 28 years old.
A prospect is simply that. It is the possibility that some future player will be productive in an organization.
Bonifacio might get more value now, but he is a great fit for the offense and I’d much rather hold onto him than a 31-year-old Hammel who has an injury history.