The Cubs big moves during the winter meetings were to sign two players that were non-tendered by their teams a week ago. This is a year!
The Cubs signed former Giants OF Nate Schierholtz to a one year, $2.25m deal plus incentives. He's an above-average defender, but has posted a .270/.319/.409 line over the past six seasons. Granted, a lot of that was in SF but that's pretty not good. He's penciled in as the starting RF, but he's not going to block the Cubs from acquiring someone if something better comes along. The funniest thing about the Schierholtz signing was Yankees fans/media saying that they "missed out" on him to be Nick Swisher's replacement. I don't even. Schierholtz is barely a starter on this sorry squad.
Given the complete lack of non-Youkilis options out there, the Cubs re-signed Ian Stewart to a one-year, $2m non-guaranteed deal with $500k in incentives. At least Stewart is the youngest of all the free agent 3b out there. Given how long I stuck with thinking Randy Wells was worth a damn, I'm okay with this deal. Aside from Youkilis, look at the other "top" FA third basemen who were out there
- Eric Chavez – signed by the DBacks, has seemingly been on the DL for the past ten seasons
- Chone Figgins – posted wOBA of .220 and .242 the past two seasons
- Jose Lopez – Lost his job to Chone Figgins
- Brandon Inge – as great at fielding as he is terrible at hitting
- Mark Reynolds – as great at hitting as he is terrible at fielding
- Casey McGehee – is who we thought he was when the Cubs released him
- Scott Rolen – 38, batting numbers fell off a cliff in 2011
- Jeff Keppinger – broke his leg this offseason
Youkilis is the only credible option out there, and has recieved several offers from other teams. Still, despite the bidding war one of the relatively credible offers was for 1/12. So not much.
Stewart's offer is guaranteed, so there's still a chance the Cubs could get someone else via trade. Or maybe Josh Vitters will be Transformed or something. You never know.