So far, Lou Pinella has been a good addition to lure some big talent for the Cubs. GM Jim Hendry is doing his fair share, but I’m leaning towards Big Lou’s appeal as a guy who likes to win as to the reason for getting some of the new guys coming in, not to mention getting Ramirez to stick around.
Cubs complete blockbuster with Soriano
CHICAGO — Alfonso Soriano’s 40-40-40 season now equals $136 million.
The Cubs, who have been signing players at a dizzying pace, locked in the free agent outfielder on Monday to an eight-year deal believed to be worth $136 million. It’s the richest deal in Cubs history, topping the five-year, $73 million contract that third baseman Aramis Ramirez inked one week ago.
It’s also the fifth-largest package ever given to a Major League player, behind Alex Rodriguez ($252 million for 10 years), Derek Jeter ($189 million for 10 years), Manny Ramirez ($160 million for eight years) and Todd Helton ($141.5 million for 11 years).
The power has definitely shifted in the National League Central.
“They [Cubs] are stacking it,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “You look at Soriano, Ramirez and [Derrek] Lee, and they’re going to have quite a team. We’re not going to be able to match their thump, so we’re going to have to have good pitching and defense to compete. They’re looking pretty good right now.”
When general manager Jim Hendry named Lou Piniella the new Cubs manager on Oct. 17, he promised the team would provide the resources to turn things around after a 66-96 season and a last-place finish in the National League. He’s done just that.
So far, the Cubs have re-signed Ramirez, pitcher Kerry Wood (one year, $1.75 million), catcher Henry Blanco (two years, $5.25 million) and pitcher Wade Miller (one year, $1.5 million). The Cubs also have signed free agent infielder Mark DeRosa to a three-year, $13 million deal and traded for left-handed reliever Neal Cotts. They still have some issues to address, such as completing the starting rotation. [mlb]
Being a lifelong fan of baseball, it’s deals like this that make me shake my head at hockey fans complaining about how much money the guys in the NHL are making. You can’t even compare the two sports, but baseball is far less vicious than hockey. Some guys in the NHL get more injuries in a season than a baseball player will get in his whole career.
That being said, why in the world did they resign Wade Miller? He barely played last season, but the guy can pitch well when he’s healthy. Kind of sounds like another guy that they resigned, but could this coming season be the beginning of seeing Kerry Wood in a closer roll? That makes me excited, but I must be missing something about Miller.
Most off seasons for Cubs fans, we’re excited about a single, big trade that is bound to make this year the year. And as we all know, that goes to crap. I’m not singing that tune just yet, but these movements leave my mouth hanging open a little bit. I’m not used to this.
Now they just need to play some interleague ball in Seattle so I can bleed some Cubbie blue on the west coast.