Monday, November 20, 2006

I am at my wrongest when I overestimate the public

Cubs sign Soriano. Top free agent on the market, superb hitter in the prime of his career, recent addition to the list of the top defensive outfielders...and people hate the deal.

I'm sorry, but not even in Darren Daulton-land is this anything even resembling a less-than-spectactular deal. Let's address the criticisms of the deal.

1) It's too much money.

Yeah, it's the fifth-largest deal in MLB history, behind A-Rod, Jeter, Manny, and Helton. That being there one of those guys you take before Soriano? Stats-wise, Jeter and Helton pale, Manny can hang on the offensive end but is an absolute liability on defense, and A-Rod...well, Wrigley is about two blocks too far west for him. You get what you pay for (superb THS coverage excepted, of course), and sometimes, you can get the best value by spending the most.

2) The contract is too long.

Okay, it expires when Soriano's 39...but it's an EIGHT-YEAR CONTRACT. When's the last time you saw a contract this long carried to term? I posed this question to loyal reader Lauren, and all she could reply with was an oblique reference to my ex-girlfriend. If he DOES stick around that long (oh, look, another oblique reference), he'll have restructured his deal...because THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS.

3) He's not worth the money.

Show me one proven star player who's signed for less, compared to the top salaries in baseball, yet achieved at this level before the signing. Next.

4) A folksy, down-home maxim from your favorite Southern-fried storyteller.

"Some people ain't happy, less'n they ain't happy." I know people have an urge to bitch, but this? Unless 'Fonso becomes a member of Mark Prior's Our Sisters Of Minor Injuries Girl Scout Troop #421, this is a brilliant signing in all regards.

Now, our shitheap of a 3-5 in the pitching rotation...that's something else entirely. But, you must remember...we live in a world where a team can supposedly win the World Series with #2 and #3 starters named Jeff Weaver and Suppan. I'd take Hill over Suppan any day, and any of the young guns (save for Mike O'Malley and Hae Fuk-Ryu) over Weaver. Could this be the year?

Probably not. But I have a feeling it's gonna be a hell of a ride.


At 11/20/2006 12:14 PM, Blogger Pandrew said...

I actually read an article that said Prior has spent about 1/3 of his career with the Cubs on the DL. Wood has only spent 1/4.

Large sample size.

At 11/20/2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Vinnie said...

Of all the guys out there, Padilla might be worth a shot. But I assume like all mid-level guys this offseason, he'll get way more than will be worth the Cubs' while.

People also have to remember that six years ago, not only was A-Rod getting $25mill, but Manny got $20mill, Mike Hampton $17mill, Sosa $17mill, Darren Dreifort $11mill, Chan Ho Park $14mill...the list continues. (Those figures may be off, but they're close.) Toss in six years of inflation, and $18mill for Soriano is a comparative bargain.

Actually, f that. All you need to say is, he still makes less than Jeter.

At 11/20/2006 5:10 PM, Blogger Pandrew said...

Padilla has a good G/F ratio, but a high WHIP with a tendency to walk a bunch of guys. While I don't think he's a bad pitcher, I also don't think he offers much more than pedestrian middle-to-end of the rotation numbers on the upside. His name and experience will force the market to overpay him this year, so I wouldn't be uncomfortable with Sean Marshall or Wade Miller in his position.

Of course, I still think that the Cubs should have concentrated on 2008, but I think their "spending spree" has more to do with the fact that they need to convince the fans that stopped coming to the games that they are a serious contender, especially now that the White Sox are fielding a winner. It doesn't mean that they are actually going to contend, it just means that they are going to make a lot of noise.

At 11/20/2006 7:08 PM, Blogger Vinnie said...

I completely agree. They did the right thing by signing/retaining the marquee guys that will actually make a difference. The one way they could foul it up now would be by bloating the payroll with mediocre, mid-level FAs.

That in mind, you're right; they shouldn't actually sign Padilla, assuming he'll get way more than he's worth (a certainty now with what Pierre just got..mercy!). He's intriguing because I sort of think he'll come back nearer to his '02-'03 numbers. I may be crazy, but his walk totals did come back down a little last year from his injured seasons in '04-'05.

That, or he may have just been a flash in the pan. Yeah, stick with Marshall and Miller. Probably equal uncertainty and potential reward at a fraction of the price. You've sold me.

At 11/21/2006 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay Mariotti has done nothing but bitch and moan about the Cubs and Chicago Tribune. The more players Hendry signs, the louder Fucktard complains. We're fighting back. Sign the petition to have Mariotti fired. Click the avatar for the URL.

At 11/21/2006 1:29 PM, Blogger Pandrew said...

That's something we can get all behind, seriously.

At 11/21/2006 2:27 PM, Anonymous lauren said...

Wasn't Mike O'Malley ESPN's The Rick?

At 11/21/2006 7:52 PM, Blogger Pandrew said...

Thank you Mo!

At 11/22/2006 3:02 AM, Blogger A-Train said...

and not unlike the rest of the national league, we've come all the way back to david eckstein's wife!

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