Friday, January 19, 2007

Padres About to Lock Up Wells; SDPD Hopes It Won't Have To

The AP/ article about the one-year, $3 million contract David Wells is about to sign with the Padres contains this gem:

Wells will anchor a rotation that includes Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Clay Hensley and [Greg] Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner.

Wells' listed weight: 248 lbs.

In other signing news, former Notre Dame receiver Jeff Samardzija signed a five-year, $10 million deal with the Cubs. Samardzjidzija will transition from catching to throwing the ball:

A 21-year-old right-hander, Samardzija was the Cubs' fifth-round pick in last year's amateur draft and had a 2.70 ERA in seven starts for their Class A teams at Boise and Peoria....

Samardzija's fastball was clocked at 97 mph last summer and [Cubs GM Jim] Hendry said the Cubs project him one day to a be "high end starter."

$10 million! How far apart were the Dodgers and Luke Hochevar, $1 million or so? Looks like this off-season's free-agent spending frenzy has trickled down to the minor leagues, at least for the Cubs.

UPDATE: Dayn Perry's take:

All in all, Samardzija projects as a reliever, but he's being paid like a starter. Needless to say, it's too early to say whether this move is definitively smart, dumb or somewhere in between, but at this juncture it looks like a serious reach on the part of the Cubs.