Oops! Cubs did it again.

JMB · November 18, 2005 at 12:32 pm · Filed Under General baseball 

Remember a month or so ago, when I made fun of the Cubs for signing Ryan Dempster to a three-year deal? Well, they did it again, this time signing lefty specialist Scott Eyre to a three-year, $11M contract with incentives that could push the total value to $13.4M.

It’s not that Eyre’s a bad pitcher, but c’mon, there are guys like George Sherrill floating around who can do the job for a much smaller paycheck. On the other hand, I heard Buck Martinez on XM Radio the other day saying he thought Eyre was one of the most important free agents on the market (huh?). Also, some writer thought Eyre was the 10th most valuable player in the National League this past season (no joke — check out the voting).


19 Responses to “Oops! Cubs did it again.”

  1. Southpaw on November 18th, 2005 12:41 pm

    Eyre’s also a Type A FA, so there goes a high draft pick to the Giants of all people.

  2. JMB on November 18th, 2005 12:52 pm

    The Cubbies are in the top half of the first round (barely), so they don’t forfeit a draft choice.

    Also, I love a FA rating system which says Scott Eyre is a top-class FA.

    Edit: That’s not what you’re saying, though, is it. The Giants still get a compensation pick even if the Cubs don’t lose their pick. Sorry.

  3. jojo on November 18th, 2005 12:52 pm

    Just a couple thoughts:

    First, the cubs bullpen was absolutely atrocious so its understandable they might be inclined to throw money at the problem (which is one of their biggest priorities).

    Second, the cubs bullpen was absolutely atrocious so a signing like this is at least in part meant to show fans that they should buy those season tickets. Im not sure George Sherrill does that part of the equation as effectively.

  4. JMB on November 18th, 2005 12:54 pm

    OK, but the Cubs’ bullpen has been horrible because they’ve done silly things like trading Dontrelle Willis for Antonio Alfonseca and signing players like Mike Remlinger to lucrative deals.

  5. eponymous coward on November 18th, 2005 12:55 pm

    I’m sincerely hoping this isn’t the start of GMs across the nation having their brains slip out their ears when attracting free agents.

    If the rumors of Burnett getting 5 year offers are right, though, I’m afraid it is.

  6. kenshin on November 18th, 2005 1:02 pm

    Slight nitpick: In an ostensibly flukish turn of events, Eyre was not a LOOGY last season. He actually performed remarkably well for my beloved Giants against righties and lefties. Of course, as we all know one year’s Scott Eyre can become next year’s Matt Thorton (my apologies to Grant from mccoveychronicles.com)

  7. msb on November 18th, 2005 1:13 pm

    #5– Stephen Cannella has an opinion piece SI headlines Fools gold on the subject…

  8. JMB on November 18th, 2005 1:15 pm

    Good point, kenshin; Eyre even faced more RHB than LHB this season. That said, he meets my two LOOGY criteria:

    a. He’s left-handed
    b. He pitched less than one inning per appearance (86 G, 68.1 IP)

    I love the Rotowire take on this: What in the name of Paul Assenmacher are the Cubs doing here?

  9. nickpdx on November 18th, 2005 1:20 pm

    Cmon, Scott Eyre got a 10th place MVP vote, therefore he deserves 1/10 Pujols money. Duh!

  10. Taylor Davis on November 18th, 2005 1:27 pm

    On one hand I see this signing, and the money Wagner is supposed to get, as good things. We don’t need bullpen help, in fact we have a surplus of it, and we have a relatively effective closer *only* making 6 million bucks a year. So if RPs are getting good money, then we seemingly have some trade chips.

    On the other hand, I hope this does not mean that teams are going to spend ridiculous money on all position players and starting pitchers as well.

  11. Taylor Davis on November 18th, 2005 1:29 pm

    Oh and #7—Halladay looks pretty goofy for one of the best pitchers in the game in that link.

  12. Jake L. on November 18th, 2005 1:34 pm

    #9: I think I have to question your assessment slightly. Eyre finished with 1 MVP point, while Pujols finished with 378. So, by your logic, Eyre should be paid at 1/378 the cost of Pujols, which sounds a whole lot more fair. If only the Cubs have used that thinking when writing up the contract…..

  13. Evan on November 18th, 2005 1:40 pm

    Though, if SI is going to assess Burnett’s quality using his W-L record, I’m pretty much going to stop reading SI.

    Halladay’s allowed to look goofy. He was good enough last year that I threw him a Cy Young vote even though he only started 19 games. Just 3 extra starts would have won him the ERA title.

  14. Adam on November 18th, 2005 2:05 pm

    I wonder how much Billy Wagner and BJ Ryan will cash in now?!?

    The Cubs have also signed Nefi Perez for around $2 million…

    …and this is how they’ve decided to spend the money Nomar would have made. It’s even more astonishing since Eyre has now had 1 season with an ERA under 3.00.


  15. The Other Tom on November 18th, 2005 2:32 pm

    I guess you have to ask if the Cubs had anyone at AAA who could fill that roll? If not, then it’s probably a good signing for them, even if they did have to pay a bit of a premium.

    In other news across town, the White Sox signed Pablo Ozuna to a one year contract that pays him $500K if he’s in the majors or $330K if he’s in the minors. I view this as good news for the M’s since Ozuna and Bloomquist can be seen as interchangable parts. Hopefully the M’s can sign Willie to a similar contract rather than the $1 million 1 year contract that most project him to earn.

  16. LB on November 18th, 2005 4:07 pm

    #15: The M’s seem to think WB is a major league player, so they can just skip that minor league contingency side of the deal.

  17. PaulMarrottWeaver on November 18th, 2005 4:57 pm

    Here’s my attempt at being an arm-chair GM, and trying to put this signing into focus.

    If Eyre performs as well as he can (his 2005 performance basically), then this is still an expensive move and the management has to look at it like this:

    He will be paid about $15,000 per out. Will his signing bring in the extra 500 or so fans per game necessary to make up that difference?

    I would venture to guess that if he performs as well as he did last year, the Cubs break even, maybe win a few more games – not a terrible move. If he goes out there and shows you the 4.50ERA-Eyre that his career predicts, then I would guess this move will bring no more fans into the seats and basically be a bust. This is definitely not the kind of move that the A’s or Twins would make.

  18. David/DeadTeddy8 on November 18th, 2005 9:28 pm

    The Eyre signing strikes me as yet another sign of Dusty Baker’s influence on player acquisition. “Hey, we built our pitching staff from back to front in San Francisco, and we made it to the World Series. That must be the best way to do it all the time!”

  19. TedinSF on November 18th, 2005 10:21 pm

    as a mariners fan in san francisco giant territory, i can attest to the value scott eyre. he was a fantastic pitcher for them and it seemed like every sports radio talk show host banged the drum for his installation as closer. he held the pitching staff together.

    still, it’s a lot of money. i think they should have saved the money and shunted that into the furcal sweepstakes.