On Monday, October 31st the Cubs announced they reached agreement on a new contract with left hander Glendon Rusch. Ruch signed a 2 year, $7 million dollar contract that will guarantee him $6 million over the next 2 seasons with $500,000 each season in perfomance bonuses based on starts.
I think Glendon Rusch deserved another year in Chicago, especially with all of the health problems surrounding this pitching staff, but I do not agree with a 2 year deal. A left-handed starter in the rotation is very valuable in the Major Leagues. But after an inconsistant season in 2005….do the Cubs really need him for 2 years?
Glendon spent time in the starting rotation and bullpen for the past 2 seasons and gave Dusty Baker a much needed swingman on the staff. Rusch was 7-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 19 games as a starter and 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA in 27 games as a reliever in 2005.
Rusch is a better than average pitcher, at times. I do not like the statements he has made about being a starter and not a reliever. He has said he does not want to pitch out of the bullpen anymore. This really concerns me. If he does not make the rotation, will he perfom out of the pen…or just go through the motions, after all he just got paid. His statement also does not reflect that of a team player…and that is even more concerning.
Did the Cubs just sign a $6 million dollar insurance policy? Or did they just get another headache?
If Kerry Wood comes back strong and able to pitch like he did in 2003, where does Rusch fit in? If Jerome Williams picks up where he left off, where does Rusch fit in? If the Cubs sign A.J. Burnett (Florida Marlins) or Jarrod Washburn (Los Angeles Angels), where does Rusch fit in?
The Cubs are very high on Rich Hill, another left-handed pitcher, and Ricky Nolasco and the rumors are they both have a shot to make the club out of Spring Training. Again…where does Rusch fit in? As far as Hill and Nolasco are concerned, I think they are at least a year away from making an impact on the Major League level and this is where the 2 year deal confuses me. Could Glendon Rusch be packaged in trade?
We will have to see how the Cubs handle their new $6 million dollar man.