The Chicago Cubs: Just Terrible

Throughout the playoffs I had a hard time getting over the fact that the San Francisco Giants had over $40 million of their 2010 salary invested in Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria. The World Series champions invested 2/5 of their total payroll into Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria. Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria.

Even considering how great Renteria was in the World Series, is there any team in baseball that would consider these three players anything more than fringe guys? And they made superstar money last season in San Francisco.

Then after learning that Aramis Ramirez had indeed decided to exercise his $14.6 million option for the coming season (shocker), I decided to check out the top of the Cubs payroll for 2011.

Alfonso Soriano – $18 million
Carlos Zambrano – $17.875 million
Aramis Ramirez – $14.6 million
Kosuke Fukudome – $13.5 million

Yikes. Jim Hendry recently warned Cubs fans that he would not be seeking any big name free agents this offseason, but would consider names like Kerry Wood and Nick Johnson.  I guess we know why.

Looking at some of the wastes of dollars around the league, I’m curious as to why a GM would even bother with free agents.  Ever.  With the current system in place in MLB of undervaluing young talent by granting teams years of control at league minimum costs and salary arbitration, it makes no sense to invest long term in options that are almost all guaranteed to decline from the value at which they’re being initially purchased.