Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Welcome to Cub Town, Home of the Sarcastic Exclamation Point
2005-11-08 06:44
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?

2005-11-08 07:04:30
1.   Lefty
Let's just say that this would be a step backward. Does this foreshadow Baker's extension?
2005-11-08 09:33:30
2.   Sandus
While I completely agree with you about Dusty-Proofing, I also believe that as long as the Cubs got a good price, this isn't a terrible deal. Neifi played extremely well last year for what he was paid and his ability to play any position with surehandedness is a plus. Now while I would HATE to see him play every day, he still provides a switch-hitting bat off the bench and a more than solid 9th inning sub at 2nd or 3rd. I don't mind the signing as long as they aren't paying him too much.

Now if they sign Jose Macias...let's just say you mught want to turn on the profanity filter.

2005-11-08 11:14:53
3.   Andy Rutledge
Love this quote from Perez on

"I told him I will be happy if he comes to the Cubs," Perez said of Furcal. "I know what he can do to make the team win. When you've got a guy like him at the top of the lineup, a lot of things can happen. Out of five at-bats, he'll be on base two or three times."

Dang, I'd love to have a leadoff guy with a .400 to .600 on-base percentage!

2005-11-08 19:49:06
4.   Uncle Charlie
Signing Neifi this early at just above market value is definitely a good will gesture to his agent and--not coincidentally--the agent of his friend, Rafael Furcal. It practically guarantees that Furcal will be a Cub before the weekend is out. And Perez is a backup middle infielder that most teams would like to have on the bench. Whether Walker or Cedeno or Perez play second base, the Cubs will have their first legit lead-off man since Lofton. Considering all their one run losses over the past two seasons, I say Furcal improves their record for 2006 to at least 90 wins.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.