Writing About the Chicago Cubs and Looking at the Team’s Past
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I heard a radio report that the Cubs might be close to signing Jason Schmidt to some big money. This would be huge and would definitely shore up the rotation a bit.
Man, the Cubs have been busy. First we brought back Aramis Ramirez. Then we signed Mark DeRosa. Now the Cubs signed one of the bigger free agent to an eight year, $136 million deal.
This is obviously huge. Soriano will play either centerfield or left and he’ll give the Cubs a third 40 homerun threat. Soriano should fill in nicely in the second spot, if not the lead spot, in the batting order and will give Derek Lee and Ramirez a ton of chances to drive in some runs.
I’m also happy because it looks like Soriano has come into his own. He walked 67 times this year, which was almost thirty more then his previous career high (38). Unfortunately he also set a career hit in strikeouts with 160. Regardless, the Cubs are a better team with Soriano in the lineup.
I guess this is the safe choice. Rather then going out and trying to find a better backup catcher, the Cubs have gone back to what they know. Henry Blanco re-signed with the Cubs for two years and he’ll gross $5.25 million. Pretty low cost but Blanco has hardly torn it up. He’ll of course back up Michael Barrett. The Cubs also have an option on Blanco for 2009.
The Cubs gave their infield a boost when they signed Mark DeRosa, who broke out in 2006 to the tune of 13 homeruns and 74 RBIs. DeRosa can play pretty much anywhere and for three years and $13 million, he makes a low risk, potentially substantial upgrade to a light hitting infield. The question is, will DeRosa be able to repeat his career year for the Cubs or was it just that Rangers offense being contagious.
This also makes Ronny Cedeno the off man out. Apparantly he’s going to have to play for his spot after the shortstop had a rough 2006 campaign. Maybe bench coach and former shortstop Alan Trammell can work with him.
The good news is, we now have Aramis Ramirez under contract for five more years. The bad news is, it’ll cost us a little more then if he stayed under his old contract. Regardless, Ramirez, who had a career year yesterday, signed a five year, $73 million deal to remain with the Cubs.
This is pretty huge. Assuming Derek Lee can remain healthy, this is an impressive one-two punch in the lineup. Then again, I hope this is just the first step.
Kerry Wood also signed his name on the bottom line and he’ll make $1.75 million. Wood has a ton to prove and if he meets all of the incentives, he’ll net $6 million. This is one of those low risk, high potential signings that could really help the Cubs out next year. And if Wood doesn’t throw more then a handful of pitches, it’s probably money well spent to see what Wood still has left in the tank.
The Chicago Cubs signed Wade Miller today to a one year deal. Monetary details weren’t available but you’d hope they wouldn’t pay Miller too much after missing most of 2006 after shoulder surgery. Miller has won 18 games in a season way back when (2001) so this could be one of those nice bargain plays if it works out.
I’m not sure if this is posturing or whether it’s genuine, but I really hope Aramis Ramirez means what he says. He recently said the Cubs are his first choice. The Cubs have until November 11 until an exclusive negotiating window closes. I’d be really surprised to see Ramirez sign on before the 11th though. You’d think he wouldn’t go through the process and then not see what he can get.
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