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Monday, January 10, 2005


Some years, there's just no baseball player on the market worthy of becoming one of the highest-paid guys in the league. Obviously, this was such a year. If any free agent was worth breaking the bank over, it was a certain 25 year-old third baseman coming off an unquestionably MVP-caliber season. Carlos Beltran hit .267 with 38 homers, and it was arguably the best season he's ever had.

Sure, he probably could have made the Cubs a better team, but $17 million better? No chance. Our center fielder may make us crazy when he starts flailing in earnest, but he's actually pretty good, and he's almost $17 million cheaper than Beltran. The more I think about it, the more difficult it is for me to believe that I even cared whether the Cubs got Beltran or not. I actually think that both Corey Patterson and Jason Dubois have a reasonably good chance, in the coming year or two, of performing at a level equal to (oh...) about 85% of what one could fairly expect from Beltran. Hell, maybe better! I don't know.

This has been a frustrating off-season to be a Cubs fan, because I kind of knew all allong that nothing was going to happen. Re-signing Nomar was huge, of course, and I was very happy to see Hendry make Todd Walker the starting second baseman, but other than that, there just wasn't much to do. We could use some relief help, but so far nobody acceptable has become available (Though I hear the Sox are trying to unload Byung Hyun Kim, who I think would be a great fit!).

But even that doesn't really matter. If The Proodbranux is healthy, the Cubs will be as good as anybody, including the Yankees.

I'm sick of this offseason.

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