With the first day of the Winter Meetings coming to a close, let's take a look at some of the Cubs' activity.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs met with Albert Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, today. Although Rosenthal would not characterize the nature of the talks, previous rumors have the Cubs potentially offering a shorter-term contract, but a higher annual salary than other teams.
Its a risky move for the Cubs and it will be interesting to see what's more important to Pujols. My gut feeling is that he will prefer an 8 or 9 year contract, as opposed to a potential 5 or 6 year deal that the Cubs may offer. For example, if the Cubs offer him a 6 year deal worth $25 million per year, for a total of $150 million, whereas the Cardinals offer a 9 year deal worth $200 million, Pujols will have to consider whether he will be able to make up the $50 million difference over the 3 year difference in contract years. With Pujols turning 38, a $16.7 million per year contract may be hard to come by, given normal deterioration of skills.
However, from the Cubs' standpoint, a shorter deal makes sense, given Pujols' age and the fact the Cubs have been burned in the past by long contract.
Speaking of Alfonso Soriano, Jon Heyman tweets that the Cubs have been getting a bit of interest in the overpaid outfielder. Soriano would be a good fit for an AL team, where his defense or lack thereof would not be a factor. However, as Heyman points out, the Cubs would have to eat a large part of his contract.
The Cubs are also trying to gauge the market for lefty C.J. Wilson, according to Ken Rosenthal. Wilson makes a lot of sense for the Cubs, but at the right price. I cannot see Epstein and Hoyer paying $20 million a year for Wilson, but $15 to $18 million would be more palatable. However, if the Yankees get into the bidding, Wilson price will quickly go out of the Cubs range.
Former Dodger, Hiroki Kuroda, also appears to be of interest to the Cubs, tweets Phil Rogers of the Trib. The risk here is that Kuroda will turn 37 before next season and would move from pitcher-friendly Dodger stadium to Wrigley. I wouldn't go more than 2 years/$25 million for him, but he could be a decent fallback if Wilson can't be had.
Finally, in a move that was LONG overdue, the Golden Era Committee elected Ron Santo to the Hall of Fame. I was going to write a long rant about how it is bittersweet that this happens now, in that it would have meant a lot more if it had happened while Santo was still alive, but Herb Gould beat me to it. Nonetheless, it is still a great honor and I am happy for his family.