Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cubs Prediction

Today, the Cubs officially declined to make Mark Prior a contract tender offer, effectively releasing him and making him a free agent. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it is true that he has had no practical value to the team since the 2003 season, when he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. I've seen almost as much action as him in the last few years, which is only a mild exaggeration. So, I can't exactly fault the Cubs for not continuing to hang their hopes on Mark Prior. Still...

I have been a Cub fan long enough to see what happens to pitchers once they leave the Cubs. They generally win the Cy Young award. I guess that I still believe there is some potential there, and it seemed unnecessary for the Cubs to make no offer whatsoever. Couldn't they even make a lowball offer for just over league minimum? He was supposedly going to do a stint in the minors anyway, so there seems little risk in signing him cheap and hoping that he can get healthy. I wouldn't offer him much more than the major league minimum, but I would at least offer it. By not even offering him anything, they added insult to his injury. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes a guy sign with the Cardinals or Astros and rip out my heart for the next decade.

Do I know what is going to happen with Mark Prior? Of course not. Nonetheless, I have a feeling that the Cubs haven't seen the last of him and, just like in the last few years, when he's pitching that's bad news for the Cubs.

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