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monger monger monger
by Derek Smart
Alright, alright, I know I did an entire post that was essentially a warning about how following rumors over the winter can be hazardous to your health, but gosh darnit, I'm bored, and sometimes an addict like me simply can't help himself. Besides, there seems to be some traction to this, so without anything else of substance to examine, I thought I'd take a quick peek.
First, we have the Daily Herald reporting that the Cubs could be in pursuit of yet another middle reliever, this time Bobby Howry, late of the Cleveland Indians. But that alone isn't enough to make me toss up a post, I need a little more backbone before I start circulating innuendo. Enter the New Jersey Star-Ledger:
The Yankees are pessimistic about their chances of signing top relief-pitching targets such as B.J. Ryan, Bob Howry, Kyle Farnsworth and Tom Gordon, and they're moving down the list to lesser names.
Howry was said yesterday to be nearing a deal with [the] Chicago Cubs -- a three-year contract worth more than the $11 million the Cubs gave to Eyre.
Don't get me wrong, Howry's been very good for the Indians the last two years, but again, here we see the Cubs preparing to give a middle reliever in his thirties top dollar directly after the best season he's ever had, or is ever likely to have. Add in that Howry saw a precipitous drop in his hit rate (from 0.85 H/9 to a minuscule 0.67 H/9, which is good, but not necessarily sustainable), as well as his strikeout rate (from 8.23 K/9 to 5.92 K/9, which is never good), and there's reason to be wary.
Not enough to scare you off? How about his career 0.82 GB/FB ratio. I do not look forward to the hypothetical situation where Howry comes into a tight game late at Wrigley with men on and the wind howling out to left.
Of course, nothing's happened yet, but this has been a winter where the whispers of free agent goodies coming Chicago's way have turned out to true more often than not - in fact, I can't think of a resolved free agent situation that was rumored to involve the Cubs that hasn't gone their way, not that there have been many to begin with.
But even so, take what I said about Eyre and his signing and apply it equally here, because while I think Howry should be able to make the bullpen better next year if he comes on board, the philosophy behind his signing is mortally flawed, and will eventually do the Cubs severe injury.