Say what you will about the Chicago Cubs, but they aren't letting a little thing like an impending sale stand in the way of paying a ridiculous amount for a big name. In a move that should put those A-Rod rumors to the crematorium, the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year, $136 million deal. That's eight years; Soriano will be thirty-freaking-eight when the contract ends, and we mean no offense here, but Soriano doesn't exactly strike us as the type of guy who's going to be a great player when he's 38. (Many non-Cubs fans agree.)
The move was obviously meant to rejuvenate a fan base that tends to be more interested in keg stands in the bleachers than winning of late — who can blame them, really? — so obviously Cubs fans are losing their minds in joy about the deal, right? Well, kind of.
The Cubs have a new batting coach, Gerald Perry, who helps preach patience at the plate, and I don't see any reason why Soriano couldn't continue to do what he did last year. His 2006 splits show that he hit for a better average outside of Washington, and had almost equal power (.561 SLG at home, .558 on the road). Yes, by year 6 or 7 or 8 of this deal, it'll look like an albatross. But if the Cubs really can shore up the starting pitching, suddenly they have three major power threats (Lee, Ramirez, Soriano) and one minor one (Barrett, if he's not dealt). The lineup's far better than it was a year ago.
Of course, there's some cuteness out there ("If the Chicago Cubs win the World Series at any point during Soriano's contract, then it is totally worth it no matter what." Hee!), but mostly, Cubs fans just seem excited that they seem to finally be trying. Baby steps!
Nice job not trading him at the deadline, though, Mr. Bowden.