Friday, November 18

Breaking Hearts and Holding Games

The Clement-style beard returneth to Wrigley

Move over Wellemeyer, the Cubs have a new heartthrob hunk in town! Not only that, now we need to give him a nickname!

- Scott "The Eyre Up There"
- Scott "Fresh" Eyre
- Scott "Jane" Eyre
- Scott "Double Double D'Eyre"
- Scott "Panic and Desp'Eyre"

In the dead of night yesterday, as if to avoid the spotlight or any sort of wider, more incisive scrutiny, the Cubs bagged FA Lefty reliever Scott Eyre, formerly of the SF Giants and *spit* White Sox.

So now Will Ohman has come company in the bullpen!

Who is this guy? Let's review:

408 G, 480 IP, 18-25, 4 SV
4.52 ERA, .264 BAA, 1.53 WHIP

Not entirely remarkable, but we can work with it. It's obvious how we'll use him, and it won't be an entirely unfamiliar role either: he's our new LOOGY! The low-ish IP numbers over that many games suggests that he's that dude who comes in for one batter or one out, and if he gets the job done, he leaves the game, and if he doesn't, he still leaves the game. It's definitely nice to have options in the bullpen, even more so considering that we're shallower than Joan & Melissa Rivers in our bullpen at the moment. We did need a free agent to shove in there, but did we get the right guy?

86 G, 68 1/3 IP, 2-2
2.63 ERA, .200 BAA, 1.08 WHIP

Wow, those numbers are awesome! However, they're definitely the anomaly stats given the path of his career. His season ERA has almost always been on the high side of 4 (in 2001 he pitched only 16 2/3 IP with an ERA of 3.45, and in 2003 he pitched 53 2/3 innings at a 3.32 ERA clip), and those hits/walks totals are a little troubling. In 2002 he was diagnosed with ADD, and has struggled with that ever since, but every scouting report and analysis suggests that he has regained a lot of that focus on the mound, not rushing his pitches or his motions and finding more success as a result.

Not only that, but his 2005 salary was around $1.5 million, and we signed him to a 2-year, $11 million contract. Bear in mind that we signed Glendon Rusch, our 5th starter/whipping boy/does-whatever-we-need-him-to guy, to a 2-year, $4 million contract! That has to smart!

Bottom line is that this guy may well turn out to be alright, despite those surprisingly low 2005 numbers compared to his career in the majors. We could be getting him at the right time for his career, and maybe we could hope to see something similar from him in 2006, but it's quite clear that we overpaid for him considering what we're getting in return. He had a great '05 campaign, and his price/value shot through the roof with the Cubs being the last checkbook standing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what he does, but I hope that this doesn't burn an $11 million hole in our other off-season FA courtships. The shopping list is far from empty, and I hope the club piggy bank is far from empty too.


At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

I have to say, I'm a little confused as to why we got this guy and why we spent so much money on him. Ohman was remarkably effective against lefties last year, and do we really need two guys who will mostly only be useful against left-handed batters? It seems to me we needed another middle reliever, not another lefty. I'm a little dissapointed in how we are spending money. Then again he was great last year, and fantastic in 2002 when he was under Baker's management in San Fran, so maybe he and Baker can rekindle the old flame.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Let's see, a lefty with ADD and a shortstop with a serious drinking problme … ? The World Series is now a lock! Brilliant! Now we just need to trade Corey for Manny. The fix is in.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

I think we could trade Corey for both Manny and A-Rod. Call it a hunch. What do you mean they aren't on the same team?

At 10:43 AM, Blogger JT said...

Yeah, maybe we're hoping to build that lovable team of misfits and miscreants that always seems to win in the movies.

Chuck Norris - is he available? He could play right field, and maybe Charles Bronson in the bullpen. Sayonara, NL Central.

At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

We need to sign the kid from "Rookie of the Year" to pitch, the goalie from "The Mighty Ducks" to catch, and Will Ferrel to be the batting coach.


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