December 08, 2004

Nomah stays in Chicago (and gets to keep Todd Walker by his side to boot): The Cubs and Nomar Garciaparra have agreed to a one-year deal worth $8M for 2005, which sounds like a pretty good bargain when you figure Jamie Wright got 21M over three years, and Sean McAdams thinks it's a good move for both teams. Who has moved that's surprised you, and who's the biggest fish yet to be landed?

posted by wfrazerjr to baseball at 09:52 PM - 15 comments

Walker and Nomar are staying? Very nice. In fact, I'll go as far as saying, "w00t."

posted by NoMich at 03:56 AM on December 09, 2004

Maybe I'm biased, but I think the biggest signing of the off-season so far has to be Doug Brocail going to the Rangers. The AL West has been served notice: there's a new sheriff in town.

posted by rcade at 07:19 AM on December 09, 2004

It's a great bargain for the Cubs, but Nomar can't be thrilled. It's a pay cut and a 1 year deal is like having someone say "if you suck this year...that's it". Think he'd be interested in 4yr/60M....or even 4yr/48M? So far the hot stove hasn't been all that hot. I was a little surprised that the Phillies declined arbitration to both Milton and Millwood.

posted by YukonGold at 08:08 AM on December 09, 2004

Well, Millwood would have gotten more than he's worth and Milton . . . he just wasn't good last year, was he? They might resign one or both of them (though I doubt it), but I can't see going to arbitration with anyone who isn't either a top-tier superstar or very new in the league. Given how the arbitration process currently works (as someone who always sides with the players, I have to say arbitration awards have been way high in recent years), I think the Red Sox, even pre-Epstein, have used arbitration well. They went to arbitration with Trot Nixon when he was still a complete bargain and hadn't had a break-out season yet, and now they've offered arbitration to guys who might command more money in the open market. Even if they players don't accept, it opens up the possibility of compensation if they're signed away during the arbitration period.

posted by yerfatma at 08:25 AM on December 09, 2004

and Milton . . . he just wasn't good last year, was he? No, no he wasn't. So the Yankees might sign him! Hooray! The Yankees are actively getting worse this offseason, and this will be the year the Sox win the division. Mark my words.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:36 AM on December 09, 2004

Nomar for $8mil is a steal. And the one-year deal means the Cubs are probably looking at next year to be "the year". Although I expect the competition in the NL Central to be even tougher next year, what with the Cards getting swept, the Astros getting so close to the series, and the Cubs getting so close to the playoffs.

posted by rocketman at 01:06 PM on December 09, 2004

You guys think that the Giants have a good chance at signing Steve Finley? And, if so, is he the bat behind Bonds who can finally put the Giants over the top?

posted by billsaysthis at 01:47 PM on December 09, 2004

Steve Finley is not putting anyone over the top, except maybe a team's average age. Nomar for $8 million is a "steal" only if he were to find a new wrist. I think the price accurately reflects the risk the team is taking. They get a former All-World shortstop with some serious medical questions. If he was worth $15 million per at one point, $8 million per suggests the market thinks the risk of him never being Nomah! again is 45% or greater.

posted by yerfatma at 02:19 PM on December 09, 2004

Early prediction: Nomar hits .330 in 120 games with 20 homers. It's become far too popular to blast this guy like he's done. I think in the juiced era age means absolutely nothing.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:22 PM on December 09, 2004

I'm not blasting him. He was the best badball hitter I ever saw and I love the guy. When he was on, everything near the plate got returned as a rope, a 1000mph line drive into the outfield. Then that bastard Al Reyes hit him on the wrist in the middle of a beanball war between the Sox and Orioles during the last week of the season (that all started when Brady Anderson dove into a Wakefield knuckleball) and some of the badball hitting ability went away. But he never adjusted. Then he hurt his leg. And Nomar needs his legs more than most batters. He didn't adjust to that either. Maybe he hits .330, but I don't see it. .290 with some power (maybe 20HRs, but probably not as many doubles-- then again, Fenway is a good doubles park) would be a good season now. Remember he doesn't walk. Unless he adjusts to how his body works now, he's never going to be the hitter he was for that 4-5 year period.

posted by yerfatma at 02:57 PM on December 09, 2004

Remember he doesn't walk. I'd forgotten that. Still, if he heals up this winter and gets even some of his old form back, Jim Hendry will be hailed as a genius. I'm waiting to see him get something for Sosa before I call him that.

posted by rocketman at 03:17 PM on December 09, 2004

is he the bat behind Bonds who can finally put the Giants over the top? Nobody is - Bonds made a deal with the devil long ago that guarantees he'll never see championship hardware. He'll hit plenty of dongs, though.

posted by rocketman at 03:21 PM on December 09, 2004

What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.

posted by yerfatma at 04:20 PM on December 09, 2004

Talk about a cursed man. Nomar should have taken the red sox offer when he had the chance. And it's not blasting nomar to point out the obvious. The cubs are taking a chance, even for a one year contract. The man is a walking injury. And let's not even get into his play at shortstop. I blame it all on yoko mia.

posted by justgary at 05:43 PM on December 09, 2004

I just like saying, "we got Nomah!" At least I can do it for one more year.

posted by Bag Man at 06:06 PM on December 10, 2004

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