Though the Cubs have signed LHP Scott Eyre, Rob Glowacki of The Cub Reporter is somewhat less than blown away.
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.
2 thoughts on “Cubs Add Eyre, Universe Fails To Split In Two”
Is it just me or are relievers hard to judge because you have to judge them as part of a whole bullpen? What sets up the situation they walk into is as important as the numbers they generate — Eric Gagne’s career being a case in point. Or, as Manny Farber used to say, “context is everything.” I agree that Eyre isn’t the answer in and of himself, but I think he sure helps.
he’s right, middle relievers _are_ a fickle bunch. And if any of ’em were guaranteed lights out, they’d be turned into closers or traded somewhere that needed a closer.
If the Cubs went bargain hunting for a middle reliever with a less impressive resume, I’m sure we’d see criticism of the trib’s disinterest in winning.
That said, Glowacki accurately points out that Chicago have approx. $18 million tied up in Eyre, Neifi Perez and Glendon Rusch over the next two years. Without wanting to jinx Eyre’s chances, it isn’t the price of excellence that’s likely to kill the Cubs, it’s the cost of mediocrity.