The deal itself is for 2 years with a player option for the third year. Reportedly, it’s for a total of $11 million, but I have no idea of the breakdown. The reason I’m not overly thrilled by this deal is that despite what is considered, “exceptional stuff”, it still hasn’t translated into “exceptional numbers”. He’s got an okay ERA and his K/9 rate has skyrocketed the last 2 years (8.37 in 2004, 8.56 in 2005), but he walks way too many batters (should fit right in with this ballclub) and when your team plays almost 100 games in parks named Petco, Dodger and “Insert Phone Company Here” Park, it’s going to do wonders for a pitcher’s home runs allowed. Especially a pitcher whose primary job is to face left-handed batters. He’s not suddenly going to turn into Greg Maddux on us, but his miniscule home runs allowed are bound to go up with the move, making those walks a bit more costly.
Don’t get me wrong, ordinary is fine. Ordinary can turn out quite good, or it could turn out quite bad. I would classify almost every move the White Sox made last off-season as ordinary and that turned out just great for them. But I ask, do you care to potentially spend $11 million on ordinary over the next 3 years? Let’s hope he ends up being extraordinary for the Cubs, but middle relievers are a fickle bunch (see Hawkins, LaTroy & Remlinger, Mike) and I don’t see anything that guarantees he’ll be lights out the next 3 years.