THE END OF EYRE
Scott Eyre is soon to be an ex-Cub. And while that means he will likely sign with a contender and pitch lights out the rest of the way, it’s also time to take a look at the signing. To the wayback machine…
The Cubs signed lefty Scott Eyre to a 3-yr. deal. Forgive me if I don’t jump for joy. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the all too similar contract of Mike Remlinger. Other similarities include them both coming off their best year, and not being that good before that year.
Until last year, Eyre was a mediocre pitcher. Before last year his career total of K/BB was 300-214. He’s not a bad pitcher, and maybe last year indicates he is ready to be one of the premier lefties in the league. At age 33, that would definitely be odd. More likely is that last year was his career year and 2006 will find him closer to his career averages. I think for that kind of deal–length and salary– you have to be an exceptional pitcher. And I just don’t think that he is although I certainly hope to be proved wrong.
But I wasn’t. Let’s work from this year back. Eyre just got pounded in his final appearances. He’ll leave the Cubs with an ERA over 7. His season didn’t start until May 10th and he had 2 stays on the DL. Righties were killing him. And he wasn’t signed to be just a LOOGY; Hendry himself said he signed him because he could get batters out from both sides of the plate.
Last year he pitched in only 55 games and his ERA was over 4. His WHIP was 1.80 as he gave up 59 hits and 35 walks in 52.1 IP.
2006 was his best year as a Cub. His ERA was 3.38 and he pitched in 74 games. He struck out 73 batters in 61 IP. But he also allowed 11 homers.
The Eyre the Cubs thought they were getting was the guy who threw in an average of over 80 games per season when he was in San Fran, and had an ERA of just 2.63 during his final season there. That guy never made it to Chicago. Over all he was 5-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 148 appearances as a Cub.
Eyre’s deal was for 3 years and $11 million and shockingly included a no-trade clause. There were also incentives built in for appearances of 70 and 80 games. Eyre reached 70 games just once in his first season as a Cub.
Overall I think it’s hard to say that this was a successful signing. It was a rather pedestrian stay here for a player that was rewarded with an exceptional contract. Although I will say that there is no definable monetary value you can place on having Piniella calling him Stevie Ire all the time. That was priceless.