So the Cubs didn’t get James Shields; the whole off-season is now a major disappointment.
A couple weeks ago the Cubs were not even mentioned casually when it came to landing “Big Game” James. However, the longer it took for Shields to actually sign with the Padres, the more it look liked the Cubs were actually in it.
All along, according to many, the plan was for the Cubs to gather ammo to make another push at another top flight arm, either via trade this summer or next offseason in the loaded free agent market.
But as he continued to sit unsigned, Shields recently presented potential value for the Cubs. But, he would have to actually be a value for them.
The four-year deal worth $72 to 76 mil the Padres finally handed over to Shields was a little bit further than the Cubs cared to go.
Apparently, Epstoyer’s definition of value topped out around three years with a vesting option being offered somewhere in the $60’s.
I’m not terribly disappointed, as I wasn’t expecting this get.
Yet, as I told Nick Shepkowksi on WSCR last evening, Shields would have provided real leverage for the Cubs to suddenly be ultra-competitive with their starting pitching alone.
Adding Shields would’ve taken even more pressure off the very young offense filled with up-and-coming bats. Shields is 33 but would’ve bridged a gap until the Cubs could develop or acquire more impact arms.
A rotation of Lester, Shields, Arrietta, and Hendricks gets you a seat at the table with the likes of the Cardinals and Pirates, whether the kids light it up or not.
I’m not saying it would’ve gotten the Cubs to Sporting News silliness levels, but it certainly would’ve put them in Anthony Rizzo prediction territory.
You are now free to resume obsessing over Kris Bryant in two weeks.