The Chicago Cubs continued their wise spending spree this offseason, signing former Texas Rangers starting pitcher Scott Feldman to a one year deal worth $6 million. Feldman's signing comes on the heels of the Cubs signing former Minnesota Twins starter Scott Baker to a one year deal worth $5.5 million. Feldman is also a nice value signing for the Cubs, after he was scheduled to make $9.25 million for the Rangers in 2013 before they declined his option, making him a free agent.
While I like the Baker contract more than the Feldman signing, that's not to say that Feldman joining the team isn't a bad move. Despite a 5.09 ERA for Texas in 123 2/3 innings last year, Feldman's FIP was more than a run lower at 3.81, and he struck out three times as many hitters as he walked. Away from the Ballpark in Arlington, a place where pitchers tend to fall apart, Feldman allowed just a .658 OPS in 2012 and cut his home run rate down to a much-more palatable 0.61 per nine innings.
As I mentioneid in my writeup of the Baker signing two weeks ago, signing these type of players is a good strategy for the Cubs. A starting rotation of Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Baker, Feldman, and Travis Wood looks pretty solid on paper, and the Cubs could easily get interest in Garza, Baker, and Feldman at the trade deadline as they continue to bolster their farm system. I'm starting to think that the 2013 Cubs might not be as bad as a lot of people imagine.
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