Here’s about as bare bones as a rumor gets: the Cubs are looking to sign Vicente Padilla. That’s it. That’s all I got on the details.
La Prensa in Nicaragua reports that the Cubs and Cardinals are in the lead to sign free-agent pitcher Vicente Padilla, according to Cesar Batista, who is linked with the agency representing the right-hander. Diamond Notes.
If true, this could be a solid move – presuming Padilla will take a one-year, lower money deal. If I haven’t said it enough, the Chicago Cubs rotation gets NO attention from the pundits, but is perhaps more scary than the lineup. Next year, the Cubs will enter the season with a rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, and then two question marks. The first three have names, but each also comes with his own big fat question mark (in order: can Zambrano be a consistent ace, was his second half of the season the true Dempster, and was Wells’ season a fluke).
A little veteran depth can’t hurt. Padilla, 32, put together an adequate season last year, splitting time between Texas (where he was just ok) and Los Angeles (where he was very good). Padilla’s ERA+ for the year, which adjusts for park influences, was a precisely average 100. In fact, that’s also his career ERA+. So Padilla’s pretty much as average as it gets. Which is not a bad thing, of course, it just means that anything more than a one-year contract in the $4 to 6 million range would be a mistake.