It was about the stuff you can buy with the money
As you probably know by now, Rafael Furcal has agreed to sign with the Dodgers for 3 years and 40 million dollars.
This is a tough blow which came as a surprise to most of us Cub fans, though it shouldn't really. The Dodgers simply made him the best offer. At 13 million per year, He will become the highest paid shortstop in the NL, 2nd highest in the entire league, earning more than Miguel Tejada and behind only Derek Jeter.
The Cubs offered him 50 million over 5 years., 10 million less than he'll be earning with the Dodgers in only three, where he'll see more of that money up front.
Regardless of what his agent said , it was about the money. It wasn't about winning or being with his friends. The Dodgers are a mess and are 5 major pieces away from being a contender. They don't even have a manger.
Here's why he chose the Dodgers. In three years, when his contract in LA expires, Furcal will still be only 31 and, barring injury, should be able to cash in another big payday. He could easily make upwards of 70 million in the next 5 years as opposed to 50 with the Cubs. It's hard to blame him.
The worst part of all this is that now we very well may be stuck with Neifi as our everyday shortstop, who was signed, in part at least, to help recruit Furcal.
Furcal was really a perfect fit for the Cubs. He was the perfect age, he filled 2 of Cubs biggest holes as a leadoff hitter, and shortstop. He would have solidified a great core infield along with D-Lee and Aramis for the next few years.
And now he's a Dodger.
This happens all the time, and it shouldn't be the end of the world. The Cubs still have the money and the season doesn't start for another 4 months. But what makes this so depressing is that it doesn't appear that the Cubs ever really had much of a plan B.
Now Hendry is going to be scrambling. Trade talks will be all over the place. If I had to guess, maybe the Cubs will make a serious push for Juan Pierre, maybe try to swing a trade with Texas for Soriano, maybe go after Julio Lugo. There are rumors floating around with names like Kevin Mench, Milton Bradley, Derick Lowe; lots of possibilities. It's not out of the question for the Cubs to be a dark horse in the Manny sweepstakes...and also, I'm drunk.
It's going to be very interesting to see how Hendry recovers from this setback. Unfortunately I'm not very optimistic.