Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Save the Pen

The bullpen can be saved:

One week after signing left-handed reliever Scott Eyre, the Chicago Cubs added a right-hander to the bullpen when they reached a deal with free agent Bobby Howry, reportedly worth $12 million over three years.

The deal is pending Howry passing a physical this weekend in Chicago.

On Nov. 17, the Cubs signed Eyre to a deal that guarantees him $11 million over three years. Eyre and Howry were teammates on the Chicago White Sox from 1998-2000. Howry, 32, pitched for the Sox from 1998 until he was dealt at the 2002 trade deadline to the Boston Red Sox. In 1999, he saved 28 games for the White Sox.

Howry has pitched entirely in the American League, and spent the last two seasons with the Indians. In 2005, he appeared in 79 games, going 7-4 with a 2.47 ERA. He served up four homers in 73 innings. He's had limited exposure to Wrigley Field, appearing in four innings over five games in his career.

While the Cubs do not have the starting pitching that the South Siders have, we can at least have a better bull pen. The Cubs have made some good moves, but spending that kind of money confuses me. Billy Wagner was available. Wagner can pitch against St. Louis, the Reds, the Brew Crew and of course he knows how to pitch in Wrigley. There are still many holes that need to be filled before the Cubs can even think about winning the division let alone a World Series, but by fixing up the bullpen is a great idea.


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