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The rumored interest of the Cubs in former Red Sox Coco Crisp and Jason Varitek could be telling of potential trades on the horizon.
A deal for Crisp would reaffirm the speculation Alfonso Soriano is headed out of town via trade, and a Varitek signing could mean Geovany Soto has played his last game as a Cub.
Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but I get the feeling Aramis is trying to stick it to his old team by signing with Milwaukee.
The motivation is clearly there when you think about it.
Change didn’t go down the way I thought it would for Chicago at the Winter Meetings. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually.
It could begin as early as this week with Pujols no longer a distraction and Epstein and Hoyer having spent three solid days in Dallas spinning their wheels on potential deals.
The lone trade by Chicago last week, Tyler Colvin for infielder Ian Stewart, appears to have put to rest the Cubs’ opening at third base. Now the focus remains on solidifying the opening at first base beginning with Prince Fielder.
While the Cubs believe they can sign Fielder with a ‘creative’ contract, I suspect his asking price will remain too high for serious consideration.
Not to mention, with plenty of suitors available, it only takes one team to go all ‘Angels’ on us and offer Fielder his desired seven-years, mega-dollars and the moon.
If that’s the case, however, the Cubs are still in a strong position to land another quality first baseman starting in-house with Carlos Pena–who I’m on the record as saying I’d love to see back with Chicago next season.
Albert Pujols signing with the Angels didn’t surprise me. Anaheim paying $52M more than Miami’s 10-year offer did.
In fact, I got a good laugh Thursday morning when I heard the news about Pujols. Not because of the ridiculous money involved, but because I never once thought any team would surpass the Marlins’ $200M offer…by a whopping $52M, no less.
So with the Pujols decision being what it is, here’s both the good and bad news from it concerning the Cubs.
Talk about buzz-kill. Baseball’s Winter Meetings wrap up this afternoon and the Cubs have yet to make any moves.
But that’s been par for the course while the rest of the league appears content on standing pat until Phat Albert decides where he’ll play next season.
The good news, if you want to call it that, with the Marlins pulling out of the Pujols sweepstakes is Chicago still remains in the hunt.
If Miami’s 10-year, $200M offer isn’t good enough for Albert we can fairly assume he’s either heading back to St. Louis or reconsidering taking a shorter deal–and possibly one rumored to have been offered by the Cubs.
It’s hard to imagine the Cubs will parlay Pujols or Fielder into a short-term mega-deal to sign with the Cubs.
At least, not with the Marlins reportedly offering Albert 10-years at $200M and Fielder being courted by multiple suitors willing to shell out ridiculous money and years, as well.
Not to mention, for Chicago to sign either player would require Theo to break from his own code, one which emphasizes making the smart money picks over the sexy ones.
And it’s remarkably clear the severe payroll risks of signing either Pujols or Fielder out weights the gains they could bring the Cubs on the field.
Buckle your seat belts Cubs fans. Theo Epstein is embarking on Chicago’s most important offseason in years.
Consider this fair warning to prepare yourself for significant change in the foundation of Cubs baseball, a much needed first step towards the long-term goal of bringing championship baseball back to the North Side of Chicago.
We’re soon to be riding a roller coaster of emotions, thrilling on one hand at the arrival of fresh faces, and depressing on the other with the departure of beloved Cubbies.
But that change, however tough, is necessary, and likely to come at the expense of dealing some of the Cubs’ most valuable players in return for young major league talent and high-steaks prospects.
Such is the cost of doing business–you’ve got to give to get–and the Cubs need a lot of both to right this sinking ship.