|Ron Santo will be joining Ernie Bank outside of Wrigley Field.|
At this point during the offseason, there really isn't a lot of big news around baseball. We're at the time of the year where most of the big free agent signings have already happened and spring training has yet to start, so suffice it to say that it's been kinda slow in the past few days (besides the Yankees spending wayyyyy too much for a setup man). Here's a quick update on some baseball happenings, before you go use your entire weekend to watch the NFL playoffs.
The Cubs will honor the recently deceased Ron Santo with a statue outside of Wrigley Field. He joins Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Harry Caray (elite company) as the only people to have statues erected by the Cubs organization. Santo is considered one of the best players not to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Over his 15 year career at third base he hit .277 with 342 home runs and 1,331 RBIs. He was a nine time all-star and won five Gold Gloves. Starting in 1990, he was a Cubs radio broadcaster known for actively rooting for the Cubs in the booth.
The biggest contract that fans should be thinking about for the rest of the offseason is the possible extension Albert Pujols will sign with the Cardinals. Pujols has said that he doesn't want distractions during the season, so he will either sign a contract extension before the season starts or wait until after the season, when he becomes a free agent. Yesterday, FanGraphs published an article focusing on Pujols' possible contract. The graph below is from FanGraphs and it shows just how good Pujols (the green line) is. Measuring against Adrian Gonzalez (orange) and Mark Teixeira (purple), who have both received huge contracts recently (Gonzalez hasn't officially signed an extension with the Sox, but it's rumored to be around $150 million), the graph shows each player's WAR (wins above replacement) in their first to tenth best seasons. Uhm, Pujols is in another stratosphere. He is going to get way more than either Gonzalez or Tex received. FanGraphs estimates that Pujols should get a contract valued near what Alex Rodriguez has signed for in the past. Yeah that's right, $250 million. The crazy thing is that based on market value, Pujols actually deserves that much cash. That's insane.
The A's are apparently trying to hard to land free agent reliever Brian Fuentes, a lefty who finished last season with a 2.81 ERA in 48 innings last season. The Blue Jays are also contenders for his services. He is now the top free agent reliever left on the market. Here's the team that should have signed Fuentes: Boston. Instead, GM Theo Epstein resigned declining Hideki Okajima. Who would you rather have as the lefty in your bullpen: Fuentes or Okajima? No question, it's Fuentes.
And just for the hell of it, here are my NFL picks for this weekend:
Ravens over Steelers
Packers over Falcons
Seahawks over Bears
Patriots over Jets