Sure enough, Joey Gathright was a goner – out the door to the Baltimore Orioles for utility man Ryan Freel.
The Cubs convinced Baltimore to pay around $2.7 million of the remaining $3.3 million on Freel’s contract, while Baltimore will take on the $600,000 or so remaining on Gathright’s contract.
General manager Jim Hendry said the Cubs knew they would have to add an infielder sooner or later, and that Freel’s availability made it an easy deal to make. The odd-man out will probably be Bobby Scales, who is likely to be optioned back to Iowa on Saturday. Hardball.
Freel – a scrappy type, as some might say – brings one great thing to Cubs: he’s incredibly versatile. He can literally play anywhere but shortstop.
The rub, though, is that he hasn’t hit for shit in three years. Still, for this team, it’s a huge upgrade over Gathright.