It's all pretty much banking on slumping guys to have good years. Also Theo's moves are based on having a good defense, which this team doesn't have. But for the most part you are right.
DeJesus has been pretty solid, not much to complain about there. He would be a great leadoff man if he had more speed. But between his OBP and defense, he has been pretty good. Stewart started off decent, but has fallen back down. The trade itself wasn't bad, since Colvin was pretty much in the same situation. The problem is Stewart being the starting 3rd baseman. I doubt this team signs a big name here, and will just wait for Baez. Although Baez is still playing SS in the minors for some reason. They need to convert him now, they are enough SS in this system. At this point, even though I have complained about replacing certain players against lefties, Stewart might be someone who shouldn't start against them. Put Mather in against lefties at 3rd, Baker if you have to. Atleast Baker in for Stewart would just be a defensive downgrade, unlike at 1st.
As far as the pitching goes, Volstad hasn't been horrible IMO. I thought he pitched well yesterday, but the bullpen let it go farther and no offense to back it up. Not every pitcher will allow 2 or less runs. Although Maholm has only had one reasonable start. If Maholm falls back apart, I think they need to put Wells in the 5 spot. Also this team needs to bring in a FA pitcher next year, probably two. Rebuild or not, there is no ace in the minors and even if they draft one it will be years until they are ready. Signing another top of the lineup pitcher will not block anyone and is necessary. At worst trade for one close in the minors and sign one.
They traded a lefty reliever who they could replace with a guy already on the team (Russell) for 3 players who could be part of their future.
Aram , it was not going to be worth paying him what he wanted for 3 more years , his defense has gotten pretty bad the last few years. He was one of my favorite Cubs ove the last decade, but it was time for them to move on.
That young new GM just took a Padres farm system from a #29 ranking when he arrived to a top 5 when he left in a 3 year time frame.Yes their major league team currently blows but thats mainly due to them not being able to afford to keep good players and their system is loaded and should start providing a steady flow of talent now. Something they will need if they have to continue to operate on a low budget.
Z was a cancer who was never going to be part of this clubhouse again, maybe you missed what some of the players said about him?