The Cubs continued their offseason pickups by acquiring Scott Feldman, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $7 million following eight years with the Texas Rangers. As first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney, the deal was made on Tuesday. Feldman is the second starting pitcher Chicago has signed in the past few weeks, as he joins Scott Baker, who the Cubs also signed to a one-year contract. The Cubs newest pitcher was 6-11 last season with a 5.09 ERA.
Feldman's best season came in 2009, when he went 17-9 while posting a 4.08 ERA. Aside from that campaign, the 29-year old has never won more than seven games, accomplishing that feat twice. He was the Rangers opening day starter in 2010, but things have gone downhill for Feldman since then, needing to recover from a knee injury which forced him out for most of the 2011, when he made only two starts.
This move seems to be an indication of the route the Cubs will continue to take in free agency, which is to sign ailing pitchers to low-risk high reward deals. Baker is coming off a Tommy John surgery, although Cubs front office members fully expect him to be ready in time for the 2012 season.
With the limited high-profile pitchers on the market right now, this could be a smart signing by the team. If Feldman and Baker are able to recapture some of their success which led to both of them being opening day starters at one point in their careers, the Cubs will have gotten both of them for only $12 million. Chicago will then have the choice of holding onto them for the entire season, or flipping them for talent once the trade deadline approaches. The Cubs do not look to figure into the playoff picture this season, so the deadline could be a perfect time to unload Feldman or Baker to a contender.
Of course, if they pitch well enough, the team might just have an interest in keeping them in Wrigley.
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