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edward mujica cardinalsThe Chicago Cubs were briefly mentioned as a suitor for free agent reliever Edward Mujica, but you may let him fall from your mind. Jeff Passan reports that Mujica has agreed to terms with the Red Sox on a two-year, $9.5 million deal. That’s a pretty great signing for the Red Sox if you’re asking me.

Digging into Mujica’s performance over the years was a mixed bag, though he clearly did a lot of things very well as a reliever. In Chicago, he would have had the opportunity to close. In Boston, he’s got the opportunity to win.

And therein lies the problem with having too much anger about missing out on Mujica (if you’re upset at all – some folks didn’t want him). Thing is, he signed with a good team. Unfortunately, signing with the reigning world champs is a little more attractive than signing a team that projects to be crummy in 2014, and maybe 2015, too. Oh, and also, it’s a team that’s very likely to trade you at some point.

Such is the Cubs’ conundrum when it comes to getting their preferred targets (again, assuming Mujica really was a target). You can sell the city, the ballpark, and the fans, but the two things that do the most talking are money and winning. Since the Cubs can’t match too many on the latter, they have to be willing to go over and above with the former. If Mujica would have considered there years and $13 million, I think that would have been a worthwhile move. But I could be persuaded that it’s unnecessary overpaying. If you want your targets, though, that might be what it takes until the Cubs are actually good again.

The Cubs will continue on in their search for a quality late-inning reliever, one to whom they can offer the opportunity to close (and then hopefully not have to overpay).

  • OlderStyle

    raspberries…

  • oswego chris

    I think this is a market(reliever with a possible chance to close) that they can wait out until the end…Hell, last year they picked up Gregg off of the scrap heap(just a bit too late)…I am going to check out the other relievers out there and get back to the board…

  • emrac

    can’t be mad at him. It’s a good deal for Boston winning attracts. The Cubs will find good pieces

  • oswego chris

    okay, here is why I stated that about waiting out “reliever with a chance to close” market

    Axford, Chris Perez, Balfour, Benoit, Madson, Rodney….

    and these are just guys listed as “closers”…

    • OlderStyle

      Good point, thanks for the perspective.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    If Jesse Crain is healthy I would hope the Cubs would be all over him.

    • Mick

      Agreed, l’d love Crain on a 1-year deal to be traded at the deadline but I’m starting to think Crain’s going to want 2 or 3 years too. We’ll probably be digging a little deeper down the list to find our 1-year trade deadline pieces. Maybe Axford, K-Rod, or Frank Francisco? Heck, what about Kyle Farnsworth?

  • Randy

    Day by day… another player gone and the Cubs are looking good for 95 losses

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

      Seriously dude? It’s Edward Mujica.

  • emrac

    how about Andrew Bailey also

  • abe

    Maybe he likes how he looks in a long beard ..

  • Blackhawks1963

    Not a fan of Ed Mujica. Boston can ues him the right way as a set-up guy.

    But right now the Cub bullpen appears “dubious” — Strop, Parker, Rondon, Villenueva, Russell, Wright, Rusin / Grimm

    • Diggs

      Vizcaino could be added at some point if he stays healthy.

      • willis

        I’d love it if Russel was moved and Rosscup was the other lefty in the pen with Wright.

        Bullpen as is, ok. Not great but not the biggest worry. Starting pitching and the lineup are much bigger concerns. I really like Strop and Parker. I also like what Villanueva brings. Not sold on Wright, we’ll see, same with Rondon. I wouldn’t count on much from Vizcaino because he’s never proven healthy and we don’t even know if he’ll ever pitch effectively again. Same with Fuji…IF he can get back from TJS he’ll be rough around the edges, so not counting on him either.

  • Brains

    good post, and spot on about the fact that the cubs are eventually going to have to spend MORE than other teams, at least at first, for top free agents. no one wants to work at the fermented oat factory when they can eat corn grits at the diner.

  • Steve R

    We can’t get everyone and considering everything, I understand why he went there. We are making small improvement, while not sexy ones, they will improve the team. Sucks it has to be this way but it is what it is.

  • MightyBear

    I wasn’t as big on Mujica as a lot of posters were. Don’t care that we didn’t get him and would rather spend the money elsewhere.

  • The Dude Abides

    Agree with your point on free agents and the catch 22 we are in. Why would any relevant player sign with the Cubs? We either have to overpay or give extra years and that flies in the face of Theo’s plan, similar to Werth with the Nationals a couple of years ago. Mujica is marginal and opted for a winner what do you think the water cooler talk is out there by top players and their agents?

    That’s why Tanaka is such an important get for us. He really doesn’t have an option if we get the bid and he hopefully pans out to be the solid starter that everyone is projecting.

    • Whiteflag

      He does have an option though. The cubs won’t be the only team posting 20 million.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Don’t even know if his team will post him at all now. Wouldn’t that be ironic. I think a lot of teams are waiting to see how that plays out. One way or another there will be a Shark feeding frenzy if Tanaka doesn’t get posted.

  • MightyBear

    Out of O Chris’ list, I like Chris Perez as a possible signing. He struggled big time for Cleveland last year but was pitching hurt. He was pretty dominant a few years ago and he’s only 28.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Some of you guys are getting carried away …

    Just because the Cubs were linked to having interest in Mujica doesn’t necessarily mean they were going to acquire him at all costs. Theo and Jed no doubt did an analysis that suggested they would be interested in Mujica IF they could obtain him for X dollars over Y years. And while they may been willing to pay a “loser’s premium” to get him there was a limit to those dollars too.

    So for all we know Mujica wanted to play for a winner regardless. And/or, Boston offered better contract terms than Theo and Jed thought was prudent.

  • Brains

    this is no big loss, i think fans are just continuously disappointed in a lack of forward progress. one impact singing will do a lot to improve morale immediately. tanaka would be superb, but there’s just no chance. i’ll happily eat my words if i’m wrong but i have to assume that we’re in the bottom of the second tier for that one. i really thought we’d get granderson, so now i’m totally at a loss for how the team will be composed next year. one thing is for sure – they’ll be worse than 2013.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Sir, you really do have brains! Glad somebody has come down from fantasy land. Fans want to see a .500 ball club or better this year, But this FO or their boss (probably the boss) see no point to spend a few dollars to reach mediocracy. The concept of putting a major league level lineup on the field is lost to them. And by doing this Ricketts puts more pressure on those who oppose his vision for Wrigley field. Saying look here fans. These guys are apposing my jumbotron and the cubs can’t be winners until I see revenue. Maybe the curse is in Wrigley field and not the team. The FO isn’t interested in 81 wins. Another top five pick in the amateur draft is their interest. Chasing Tanaka when they can’t even pursue a bat to protect Rizzo in the lineup. For petes sake they even dumped De Jesus for a little salary relief, Time are tough for sure. Living for the waiver wire. Yuk!

      • mjhurdle

        hmm, lets see….
        Ricketts is cheap……check
        Ownership doesn’t care about winning…..check
        References to the mythical lineup protection…check
        Bitterness about the loss of a 4th OF…..check

        but wait…aw man….
        we missed by one to get the Cub complaining BINGO. :)

        Possible answers that would have accepted:
        - Pining reference to Tony Campana
        - Anger about Logan Watkins playing time
        - funny original joke about the Front Office and TJ surgery recovering pitchers.
        - complaints about the batting average of the Cubs backup catcher

        Better luck next time :)

    • cubbiehawkeye

      No way this team is worse than 2013. Do you remeber the bullpen we had to start the year…it was god awful. That is probably the worst year Castro will ever have. Barney isn’t a stud on offense and probably never will be but I doubt he is that bad again…at least not as a cub. Everything points to Rizzo having a bounce back year. Dejesus and his OBP in leadoff will be missed but that alone will not make us worse. If Castillo carries the second half of 2013 into 2014 I don’t see a downfall there. We won’t be world beaters and I assume you we see some sort of sell off at the deadline which will hurt the second half but I don’t see where people would think this year is going to be worse.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com salesguy

    Actually, I don’t dislike our bullpen right now, I think it could stand to have one more strong arm late inning guy added, but those guys are still out there. I just don’t understand, comments (here or on other boards) saying, “Well we didn’t get that guy, we’re gonna suck this year.” (Gnashing of teeth, balled fists shaking at cubs FO building) I just don’t think that will be the case, I truly believe when all is said and done the pitching will be a strength of this team, and that will keep us in a lot of games. I didn’t like Mujica, last years sharp breaking pitch to contact stuff, could be this years hanging breaking ball deposited on Waveland, and I really didn’t like him at that price tag, and I think we can find better value elsewhere.

  • Kyle

    Wright is plenty for me. I don’t really want to spend any more of our limited resources on the bullpen.

    • Sandberg

      This is where I am too.

      • Isaac

        Completely agree.

  • hansman

    “there years and $13 million”

    Where are the years?

    • Funn Dave

      Three.

    • frank

      There are the years . . . over there . . .

  • Aaron

    “but the two things that do the most talking are money and winning.”

    It’s hard to build a competitive team without one…but without two, very difficult and time consuming. This means it will take in total 5 full seasons to turn the Cubs into a competitive team, with no guarantees of success. Having the ability to attract and sign key free agents in a few years will be essential to the rebuilding plan.

  • wvcubsfan

    If there is a way to pick which fans to sell can we start a clearance sale here at BN?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The ones you want to dump have negative trade value. And I’m not eating salary.

      • Whiteflag

        You’re so greedy!

  • Steve R

    I actually like our bullpen a lot more than I did this past seasons. We lost a lot of close games last year and I actually think the pen as it is now can at least even that out more. We have a good number of intriguing young arms back there, and while I don’t expect all to be great, I suspect for the most part they’ll be effective. Strop, Grimm, Russell, wright, and a few others gives renteria options. If we can continue to get solid starting pitching, and a little more offense we could have a competitive team, not the push overs we have seen the past few years.

  • Aaron

    NL-worst 31-50 home record, a whopping 26 blown saves and a paltry .219 batting average with runners in scoring position. Three key areas to address sometime…perhaps sooner rather than later.

  • Brian Peters

    The Cubs will lose 90+ games again next season and the season after that because although Epstein says high-caliber talent want to come to Wrigley, and that simply is not true.

  • Aaron

    BP – if the Cubs cannot attract the higher tier free agents over the next three season due to their bad record, especially at home, the rebuilding plan will no doubt take longer than expected. More patience will be required.

  • Eternal pessemist

    “You can sell the city, the ballpark, and the fans”

    Maybe two of the three…from a players perspective the facilities (lockers, etc…) probably suck big-time and will probably be a couple more years before that is fixed.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      So now we know. We can’t get good players because the locker room sucks. That really takes the heat off the FO.

  • Brian Peters

    I know it. I’m all about being patient/buying into the rebuilding movement because it is necessary. However, it is fundamentally untrue, untrue, UNTRUE that All-Stars want to come here….unless you throw the caveat in there: “we’ll come when the Cubs are on the verge of winning.” But that’s NEVER what has been said. Teams across the mlb have at least one high-caliber player. The Cubs have none. Not Shark, Not T Wood, not Castillo. We don’t have a Paul Goldschmidt, a King Felix, a Giancarlo Stanton, a David Wright, a Matt Carpenter, Yadi Molina, or a Michael Wacha. We have zip. Nada. Just a “promise” that those in the minors will produce. Well, what if they don’t?

  • http://BN Sacko

    Since we have not done any moves at all up to this time. I’m hoping they really are pursuing Tanaka. However would he sign with a team that has not made any moves? While watching our ace not willing to sign an extension which I believe is due to the no movement and another very tough year to look at coming up.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Exactly! Samardzija isn’t stupid. It’s out of his hands. He doesn’t want to lose for another two years. Period!

  • Aaron

    Players want to win at least 1 championship in their career. Yes money is important, but being a part of a winning culture and team are even more important, given if the money is close to the same from one team to another. I’ve been fortunate to be part of 2 championships over the years and cherished every moment…priceless.

    Shark is going to be 29 years old this next season with 2 more years of team control. I can understand that he wants to win at least 1 championship in his career. With a 5 year contract, the Cubs may never get there.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    All the kool aide is going to have a bitter taste come July.

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