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Welcome to Cub Town, Home of the Sarcastic Exclamation Point
by Derek Smart
According to a report by Phil Rogers in this morning's Tribune, the Cubs will be announcing a two-year deal with Neifi! later today. No word on what the money looks like, but Rogers writes, "His versatility was attractive to the Cubs, who see him as a contingency plan at both middle-infield positions," which begs the question of what exactly the "contingencies" might be that would activate this "plan?" Other players' ineffectiveness? Injuries? Tuesdays?
Look, there's no doubt that Neifi! is a fine defender, and that certainly has value, but when you're seriously considering starting a rookie in one of your middle infield spots, while I can understand the desire to have a backup in place in the event the youngster simply falls on his face, ideally you'd like it to be someone who won't hurt the team too badly if he does have to play.
Add in Dusty's penchant for the time-worn and weary of the baseball world, and you've got an excellent example of how not to Dusty-Proof. If the Cubs have Furcal and Walker up the middle, Neifi!'s a decent enough guy to act as Walker's glove-caddy, but if the club wants to see Cedeno start at either middle infield spot, they may have just unwittingly signed Neifi! as a starter, and that would be the very definition of disaster.
UPDATE: The money on this? Five million. That's dollars, kids. Two and a half a year. How do you think Todd Walker feels right now?