Well, if the next time you see me I'm in a sling, its because I think I'm going to have to pat myself on the back on this one.
"...the gut feeling here is that the Cubs may be looking more at guys like Scott Baker and Scott Feldman."
Here's what I wrote about Feldman at the time,
The Cubs were rumored to have shown some interest in acquiring Feldman last spring and could continue that over this winter. He's now 3 years removed from his surprising 17 win season. Interestingly, Feldman's peripherals continue to improve as his results have gotten worse. His FIP this year (3.78) is actually less than it was in his breakout year (4.31). Feldman is another low 90s pitcher, though he has turned much more frequently to the cut fastball, which is about a tick slower but has more movement and has been more effective. Stuff-wise, Feldman is more on par with current Cubs young starters Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley, but his control/command is much more advanced. This year he's walked just 2.1 batters per 9 innings and has allowed less than a HR per 9 innings, no small feat considering that bandbox he pitches half his games in. Feldman's ERA of 5.01 is higher than his FIP, due in part to a Chris Volstad like strand rate of 59.7% -- but that's the kind of thing that could make him a bargain this offseason.
Needless to say, I absolutely love this signing. Feldman can be a starting pitcher and he potentially adds some versatility should the Cubs decide to keep him longer term. The relatively large one year salary indicates that the Cubs plan to make him a starter, which is probably the lure that brought him to Chicago.
For even more detail on why Feldman is such a great signing, here is what Dave Cameron of Fangraphs wrote on November 9th.
Feldman is excited about joining the Cubs,
“In my mind the Cubs are like a dream scenario for me. I’m getting to play with an organization that has that history, in a city like Chicago, with those fans. I think it’s an ideal situation ... I was looking for an opportunity to have a bigger role on the team (than with the Rangers). I still left there on good terms with everybody. There are a lot of good people in that organization that I’m going to miss.’’
“You see what happens in baseball. You see the A’s, the Orioles made the playoffs – we got eliminated by the Orioles – and I don’t think anybody was ready to crown them anything at the start of the season. Baseball’s a funny game. A lot of things can happen. As long as we have 25 guys come together, anything can happen. Baseball is sort of unpredictable that way. A lot of people won’t think that can happen, but crazier things have happened.’’
Two shrewd value signings and the one year deals indicate that the Cubs want to remain flexible for next years market. Now on to 3B, CF, and maybe one more pitcher.