You Have Reached the Summer of My Discontent
In what surely is another small step towards the erasure of Jose Macias from the 40-man roster, the Cubs have reportedly signed IF/OF/RP/MAN utility dude John Mabry from the St. Louis Cardinals, pending a physical. His contract is modest (1 year, $1 million), and it seems like an absolute steal considering Jose "PacMan" Macias gobbled his way through $1.6 million last season.
Mabry can play average ball just about anywhere. He filled in admirably for the Cards through several injuries, although his offense was far below his career line:
.240 BA, .295 OBP, .407 SLG
.269 BA, .325 OBP, .412 SLG
That being said, he can play both corner infield spots and both corner outfield spots. I hope that he's used primarily as a spot-start guy or as a PH (he's not a good career PH, as my man Mabry needs time to warm his bat, man), but in Dusty's trusty hands, who the fuck knows.
So, we've apparently wrapped up our third low-key signing of the off-season, and in relatively short time too. Our bullpen is sorted, our bench is a lot more stable (Neifi and Mabry will do the job in that department), and now all we're waiting for is the big gap-filling FAs to pad out our starting lineup.
In retrospect, this was probably the best way to do things: fill in the small, easier part first, and then figure out what money/trade bait is left to get the big names in the door. It's also a lot more straightforward to bring in major players when you show them that there's a clear structure in place that is committed to winning (well, at least trying to win), and I think all our small holes have been filled.
Now, we should have 3 major priorities:
1. Center Field
2. Right Field
(the lead-off issue should hopefully be addressed in fulfilling one of those 3 needs, don't forget)
So let's see it Hendry! I hear rumblings that Furcal could make a decision as early as Tuesday of next week, and I've also been hearing/reading that the Cubs are looking at volatile OF Milton Bradley (temperamental, but reaching the peak of his career), which I may comment on at a later time. But hey, at least it's another player to add to the mix.
Bradley, Giles, Furcal, Pierre..... who can say?