They have enough offense to cover the loss of Garciaparra. They have shown they can score enough runs to win games without him.
He has been one of their most popular players, and he will be missed. But after the A-Rod debacle last year, they realized he probably was not going to re-sign.
And they got an extremely good deal for a guy that they were not going to re-sign.
I don't know if they plan to sign Garciaparra in the offseason or if he would want to stay there. But the Cubs had huge expectations for this season, and they remain in it.
Pretty much an even swap. The Yankees tried Contreras both in the bullpen and as a starter, and he has great stuff. But they were not able to get out of him what they expected.
Loaiza came into his own last year and then some, winning 21 games. He proved he could get out both lefties and righties.
He gives the Yankees a little bit more stability, but I don't think they are expecting him to take them to the promised land. If one of those starters does go down, I think they will be a lot more comfortable putting in Loaiza for a big game than Contreras.
When you give up a prospect like Scott Kazmir, who might have become a No. 1 starter for your team in a couple of years, that's tough. You had better win now, and you had better hope he doesn't become a No. 1 for his new organization.
But if you can add two No. 3 starters, it is hard to pass that up. They will have solid pitching from top of bottom, and that may help them get there this year.
WINNER: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Added Kazmir, lost Zambrano.
I wrote in my season preview that the Devil Rays needed a top-name pitcher. Folks from Tampa Bay fired off emails about all their prospects, and that's great, but they need pitching to win. They never have had No. 1 or No. 2 starters.
Kazmir has the chance to become that, and as we have seen, the Devil Rays have not been able to land top-quality free agent pitchers.
This is a tough one. I don't see how Finley and Mayne can replace the chemistry and talent they lost if, in fact, they acquired the other guys in an effort to acquire Randy Johnson.
It's hard to believe that could be true given the way multiple-team trades are done nowadays.
I don't see how the Dodgers did anything but hurt their bullpen a little and mess with their chemistry. Back in the Tommy Lasorda days, folks bled Dodger blue and they tried to hold on to guys like Lo Duca, who isn't just a clubhouse leader but a .300 hitter.
It would have been a tough deal to get rid of Lo Duca even for Randy Johnson.
NEITHER: Arizona Diamondbacks
Kept Randy Johnson, lost Steve Finley and Brent Mayne.
At least they don't lose Johnson and get nothing in return (unless they trade him later). If he comes back, they will have a No. 1 starter to build around next year.
By keeping Johnson they are closer to getting better than they would have been by settling for too little in return.