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Thursday, December 8th, 2016

ZONER’S HOT STOVE: CUBS SIGN EYRE

1

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.

I also happen to remember the Scott Eyre that pitched here for the White Sox and got absolutely hammered. So those things stick out and I have to say I don’t see the Cubs getting their money’s worth out of this deal. And if it is true that he received a full no-trade clause then I’m really confused.

Eyre’s agent Tommy Tanzer said, “All 30 teams have called. I’ve never seen anything like it. In my 23 years, I’ve never seen where every team wants the guy. He’s going to be able to get whatever he wants. There are so many choices, we’re not going to rush into things. Scott’s the kind of kid who wants to be comfortable in the clubhouse.”

We know he’ll get that here in Chicago. The Cubs level of discipline seemingly ends at “let’s leave them all alone”.

B.J. Ryan is the guy they should have went after. He is simply nasty and dominated last year. He is also 4 years younger than Eyre. The Cubs need a power pitcher in their bullpen. Ryan fits the bill. I think if they went after any reliever this year it definitely should have been him. He could close games and Dempster could move to a set-up role–maybe like a 2 inning guy.

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.

I would have loved to see that money allocated differently. If it’s a situational lefty the Cubs wanted, Ricardo Rincon would have been a cheaper alternative. Yes he gets pounded by righties, but that would not be his call. He gets lefties out. Period.

We will see how it pans out. Maybe that’s just the going rate for decent lefty set-up guys. Maybe you can find one cheaper. But here’s hoping that this signing does not preclude the Cubs from getting Furcal. But that situation doesn’t look that bright. From what I’ve read I have a feeling we will see the Cubs get Juan Pierre from Florida. They are also looking at Kevin Mench from Texas. That would be great. A quick look at what that lineup might look like:

  1. CF Pierre
  2. 2B Walker
  3. 1B Lee
  4. 3B Ramirez
  5. RF Mench
  6. LF Murton
  7. C Barrett
  8. SS Cedeno

Pitchers might look like this:

  1. Prior
  2. Wood
  3. Zambrano
  4. Maddux
  5. Rusch
  6. Williams
  7. Dempster
  8. Novoa
  9. Eyre
  10. Ohman
  11. Wellemeyer
  12. Williamson
  13. Wuertz

And the bench:

  1. SS/IF Perez
  2. IF/OF Macias
  3. IF/OF Hairston Jr.
  4. C Blanco
  5. OF Greenberg

I also read where Jim Hendry was not opposed to adding another starter. Huh? I was thinking the quick way to improve the offense is to trade one. If they are so high on Rich Hill and they also have 6 starters already, why not move a starter? Because they always get hurt? Oh.

More to come…

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