Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Ex-Cub Update #3
2004-12-20 09:49
by alex ciepley

Matt Clement was probably the most desirable ex-Cub this offseason, mostly due to his facial hair, but also because he's a pretty good pitcher.

The Red Sox signed Clement to a three-year deal worth $25.5M. Because Clement was a Type B free agent, the Cubs would normally get the Red Sox's first round draft pick next year. Unfortunately, the Sox already signed both Edgar Renteria and David Wells, both of whom are Type A players, so... I don't know what that means, but I do know that the Cubs won't be getting as tasty a draft pick as they could have.

By that way, how crazy are the "official" NL player rankings for pitchers? Mark Prior (6), Carlos Zambrano (7), Greg Maddux (9), and Kerry Wood (12) all are near the top. But any ranking system that puts Russ Ortiz (5) ahead of that foursome is clearly on crack, so whatever to that.

Clement's contract is drawing near-universal praise, but I think that's pretty overblown. The deal only looks good in this market, where Kris Benson and Karl Pavano and Karet Wright all get Krazy money. I love Mattie, but $8.5M a year seems a tad much.

I prefer the 3-year, $32.5M guaranteed (plus team option) contract given Kerry Wood last offseason to pretty much every big pitcher contract given out this year. Wood's an insanely frustrating pitcher, but he's better than most every free agent, too -- I still think that he's been overpenalized in people's mind just because he has yet to turn into Curt Schilling. He's not Curt Schilling, he's Kerry Wood! And he's a great pitcher!

Anyway, Clement was a nice guy to have on the Cubs' staff for the past three years, even if his sulking on the mound was an occasional downer. Red Sox fans are going to be sorely disappointed if they think they've found a Pedro replacement in Clement, but they'll be happy enough if he's seen as just another good, scruffy-faced guy in their idiotic Nation.

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