Monday, October 16, 2006

Piniella's the Man

The Tribune is reporting that Lou Piniella will be the Cubs next manager. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow. According to the Trib, the two parties agreed to a three year contract worth $10 million. An option for a fourth year would pay Piniella an additional $5 million.

Okay, so my boy Joe Girardi got the cold shoulder from the Cubs. Long term, I still think Girardi would have been the better choice. Even so, the hiring of Piniella has me excited. By hiring Piniella, the Cubs are making a statement that we want to win and we want to win now. You have to admit, that's better than business as usual.

The Trib article also alluded to the fact that team payroll will increase to about $115 million. That should give Hendry enough money to sign two FA starting pitchers and a FA power hitter. With the pitchers, I'm thinking of a top of the rotation guy like Jason Schmidt, although as I've explained previously, I expect Schmidt to go to Seattle. How about Jeff Suppan? He'd be a solid #2 behind Zambrano and would be significantly less expensive than Schmidt.

The other FA starting pitcher should be an innings eater. a guy who shows up for every start and pitches 6+ innings. Don't laugh, but I have my eyes on Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer. Granted, both guys are nearly old enough to collect Social Security, but they show up every start and do their job. You could do worse for a bottom of the rotation guy.

Alfonso Soriano should be the power hitting FA. There's no way that the Cubs should get out bid for Soriano. If Soriano isn't a Cub next year, it had better be for a reason other than money (and a reason out of Hendry's control).

I'm hopeful that Piniella's presence will help make a trade or two happen. For instance, I have to believe that ARod is more likely to approve a trade to the Cubs now that Piniella is in place. Without Piniella, I seriously doubt if ARod would have had the Cubs at the top of his list.

It's great that Hendry found his new manager so quickly. Now he can turn his attention to re-signing ARAm, signing free agents and making trades.


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