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Cubbies Going Hog Wild… November 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Pro Baseball, Sports.

Yes, thats right sports fans. The Cubs are spending money….and lots of it.

The question is, is it money well spent?

Here are the key transactions so far:

Alfonso Soriano (IF, OF) – 8 years, $136 million (5th largest deal in MLB history)

Mark DeRosa (IF, OF) – 3 years, $13 million

Re-signed Aramis Ramirez (3B) – 5 years, $75 million

Re-signed Kerry Wood (SP/RP) – 1 year, $1.75 million

Re-signed Wade Miller (SP) – 1 year, $1.5 million

Re-signed Henry Blanco (C) – 2 years, $5.25 million

Acquired (LHP/RP) Neal Cotts from the White Sox in exchange for RP David Aardsma and Minor-leaguer Carlos Vasquez

The Breakdown:

The re-signing of Ramirez, Wood, Miller, and Blanco is fine with me. I think Ramirez is slightly overpaid at $15 million per year. That’s more than Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Carlos Beltran, Eric Chavez, and a cast of other better players get paid. But hey, if they lose him, they’d really be hurting for power in their lineup; so I guess I can see the reasoning.

I also think they are overpaying DeRosa, a career utility man, a little much.

This Soriano move is going to mark the Cub franchise for years to come. Hopefully, for them, in a good way. With memories of Cub’s past, I won’t hold my breath just yet. I sure hope they can live with his AWFUL defense in return for 40 homers and 20-40 stolen bases. To me, offense has never been the Cub’s problem. Recently it’s been pitching and defense. These moves don’t seem to address any of these concerns so far, unless they just plan to win games by softball scores of 12-10, 16-14, etc.

Cotts was awesome in 2005, but in 2006 his ERA was worse than Aardsma’s.

Supposedly the Cubs are still looking to strengthen their rotation this off-season. However, I’m guessing they aren’t players in the big name free agent pitchers, hence the Soriano signing. Plus, all the really smart teams like the Mets, Yankees, and Redsox are gobbling up the pitching as fast as possible. They’ve got $25 million (1/4 of their 2006 payroll) already wrapped up in the first six players I just listed above. Unless they’re going to exceed the luxury tax limit, I don’t see a whole lot of pitching help coming their way. My bet is they can’t find enough starting pitching so Wood ends up back in the rotation; again. And we all know how that story goes.

I could talk about this until I’m blue in the face, but that wouldn’t be any fun; so why don’t you offer up some opinions…



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