The Cubs are entering the last month of the season with a lot of questions to be answered. There are several players that could take steps at earning confidence from the Cubs’ Front Office heading into the off-season. With the poor play, injuries, bad management and overall underachievement this season the 2007 season will start on October 2nd with the possible announcement of Dusty Baker not being retained as the manager of the Chicago Cubs.
This organization is at a turning point and while change is inevitable, how much change will the Cubs undergo from their last game at Wrigley on October 1st until they report to Spring Training at Fitch Park in Mesa next February? With the Astros recent signing of Roy Oswalt to a $73 million dollar extension, the price of quality starting pitching just increased. The Astros signed Oswalt to a 5-year extension that includes a no-trade clause and a team option for a 6th year worth $16 million dollars with a $2 million dollar buyout. Oswalt has a career record of 93-47 with a 3.09 ERA; he has won 79 games to date over the last 5 seasons.
Here is a list of the probable free agents that will be available for the Cubs to sign this off-season…. Starting Pitchers
Tony Armas, Jr.
Mark Buehrle (Club Option for 2007, $9.5 million)
Tom Glavine (Player Option for 2007, $5.5 million)
Jason Johnson (Mutual Option for 2007)
Mike Mussina (Club Option for 2007, $17 million)
Chan Ho Park
John Smoltz (Club Option for 2007, $8 million)
Kerry Wood (Club Option for 2007, $13.5 million)
Eric Gagne (Club Option for 2007, $12 million)
Chris Hammond (Mutual Option for 2007, $2 million)
Ray King (Club Option for 2007)
Mariano Rivera (Club Option for 2007, $10.5 million)
Jermaine Dye (Club Option for 2007, $6 million)
Jim Edmonds (Club Option for 2007, $10 million)
Gary Matthews Jr.
Gary Sheffield (Club Option for 2007, $13 million)
Damian Miller (Mutual Option for 2007)
Bengie Molina (Club Option for 2007, $7.5 million)
Mike Piazza (Mutual Option for 2007, $8 million)
These are some of the names that are projected to be on the market. Source for this information is Cot’s Baseball Contracts.…a very good site full of information. The main reason for this list is to get those names out that will generate so much conversation very soon. Remember players have a 15 day window to file for Free Agency after the World Series Champs are crowned.
The Cubs have a tremendous amount of decisions to make. They must build a deep team and spend some money, wisely; the injury card has been played. The Tribune Company must spend the money to build a winner for the Cubs Faithful.
Discuss if you wish….