The Cubs strike Again!
Sleeping with the (former) enemy
Well, the Cubs have struck once more, signing former Indians/White Sox middle reliever Bobby Howry to a 3-year, $12 million deal. Our relief/bullpen corps is now set, and funnily enough, it's not so dire.
Despite having poked run at Scott "ADHD" Eyre for a while, with the addition of Howry, another early-30s middle-reliever, our bridge to Dempster appears pretty complete. Ohman/Wuertz/Novoa/Wellemeyer/Williamson (I doubt we'll carry them all) in the 6th and 7th innings, Eyre/Howry to set-up in the 8th, and then Dump in the final stanza.
Howry is also coming off the best year of his career (like Mr. Ritalin), so who knows what to expect. It was reasonably sensible to get bullpen depth to augment a struggling relief corps, and now we're showing at least some logic in providing enough depth so if someone like Wood gets hurt in the 4th, we're not waving the white flag and bringing in a dope like Remlinger or our 5th starter to get us into the late innings. Plus, another thing I didn't think about is that we're paying Eyre and Howry about the same amount in '06 that we'd be paying one chubby, aging RF in Jeromy Burnitz. That ain't so grim, in retrospect.
So now all our of attention absolutely positively has to shift to the offense, with CF, RF, and SS our major points of concern. Our lead-off questions will be addressed in filling one of those slots (the Florida Fire-Sales will cough up Pierre to some lucky club, hopefully ours, in their Wal-Mart "Everything must Go!!!"), and then we'll hopefully have a competitive team next season. It's worrying to see Omar Minaya go delirious with money in Queens, but I'm sure they'll find a way to falter. Wagner and Delgado doth not a team make.
79 G, 73 IP
7-4, 3 SV, 2.47 ERA
0.89 WHIP, .191 BAA, 5.92 K/9, 3.00 K/BB
434 G, 460 1/3 IP
25-26, 3.58 ERA
.235 BAA, 7.64 K/9, 2.33 K/BB
He's actually a decent pickup, but I hope this isn't as good as it gets for our off-season dealing. I expect we'll trade Hot Rod Todd Walker, for which we'll get something reasonable in return, and this is my current dream line-up as I envision it happening:
1B D. Lee
3B A. Ramirez
That ain't bad at all.
Sorry if this is disjointed -- it's Thanksgiving (even though I'm a limey, I'm on this bandwagon of holiday fun) and I'm already drinking. Now that's something I'm thankful for -- it's not even noon!
Happy Thanksgiving all, more next monday about Howry and our plans.