Late last week, the Chicago Cubs signed pitcher Braden Looper – who took off the 2010 season, presumably to tour the beaches of Europe and find himself – to a minor league deal, and invited him to Spring Training. Today, Jerry Crasnick reports that the contract is a $1 million deal, if Looper makes the Opening Day roster. From there, the deal will pay Looper as much as another $2 million “if he’s a fulltime starter.”
Looper seems like a longshot to make the bullpen, given just three (at most) open spots to around among a large group of pitchers, including Carlos Silva, Jeff Samardzija, Casey Coleman, Andrew Cashner, James Russell, Jay Jackson, and on and on. Making the rotation, therefore, would seem an insurmountable task.