Northside For Life

Monday, December 05, 2005

The One That Got Away

By now most, if not all Cub fans are aware that prized SS Rafael Furcal took the money and ran to L.A. to play for that mess of a team otherwise known as the Dodgers. Go to any of the team message boards, e-mail lists, and blogs and you'll find a mixed reaction to this. Some feel that Jim Hendry did all he could and wasn't going to overpay for Furcal's services. Others act as if the team will now endure a 90 loss season because Furcal wasn't signed. And of course there are a few calling for Hendry's head. Even though it's only December.

I myself have mixed emotions about this deal. On the one hand, I realize Furcal isn't the be all end all of shortstops. A savior he is not. If anything, I think he is a tad overrated and $13 mil a year over 3 years is a bit much to pay for a player of his caliber. I can see why Hendry folded after the Dodgers went that high, especially since he still has holes to fill in the outfield. On the other hand, Furcal is still a pretty good player, better than any other free agent options at short, as well as better than anything the Cubs have at the moment. He would have solved the leadoff problem, had a good OBP, and had a fair share of steals, as well as providing some good glovework at short. But is he worth $13 mil? Shouldn't the Cubs have broken the bank in an effort to win the World Series. I mean it's been 97 years, what's another couple of million a year right? Then again, it is the Tribune we're talking about here. I'm sure Hendry is on some sort of a budget.

In the end, it might for the best. It's still early and there are still plenty of players for Hendry to choose from, altough they will likely come via trade rather than the FA market. Pierre, Julio Lugo, Aubrey Huff, Kevin Mench, Adam Dunn, and Austin Kearns are some of the names being associated with the Cubs this week. It stings to lose out on the Furcal sweepstakes, but it's still only December and way too early to panic. Let's wait and see what Hendry can come up with.

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